Calvary answers all mysteries part 4

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DESIRE OF AGES Did Not Change Doctrine

When persons present a lame and ridiculous argument that the publication of the book, Desire of Ages, marked an epochal change in Seventh-day Adventist thinking concerning the Trinity, they do their cause a great disservice, perhaps, without even realizing it.

Is that the way a church and a prophet go about the business of correcting a foundational heresy?   Can one, for even a passing moment, entertain the thought that a prophet and a church, realizing that they were in fundamental error, preaching a false concept of a non-Trinitarian God, misleading people (if that was the case), and they just silently publish a book that does not even mention the term Trinity?   No acknowledgement that they were wrong?  No statement that they used to believe this, but further enlightenment has now led them to believe that?  It had to be left to a later generation to break the news that a change had taken place?

People who present this kind of utterly flawed argument are begging the world to hold the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism in contempt.  If one had set out to discredit Ellen G. White as a prophet and to present the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism as deceiving and dishonest, they could hardly have done a better job.

Those who are honestly seeking for truth and a correct understanding will not, however, be deceived into rejecting Ellen G. White and the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers.  In light of the historical record concerning Ellen G. White’s writings and editorial changes, since 1883 (Ronald Graybill, Ministry, April 1994, pp. 10-12), it is not difficult for one to discern the reason for a number of contradictory statements attributed to Ellen G. White since then.

When scholars extend their editorial liberty beyond legitimate bounds and try to clarify, amplify and re-interpret the writings of the prophets, invariably confusion results, just as early Roman Catholic scholars have done in producing their Latin Vulgate which continues to muddy the waters of truth and give the impression that the Bible is sending mixed signals with respect to some important concepts (See Colin Standish and Russell Standish, Modern Bible Translations Unmasked, 1993, Hartland Publications, Rapidan Virginia 22733, USA).

For those who are diligent and care about truth, they can verify for themselves that there were no mixed signals, concerning the subject of the nature and personality of God, in Ellen G. White’s writings prior to 1883 when the General Conference passed resolutions setting up a review committee to make editorial changes to Ellen G. White writings (Review and Herald, Nov. 27, 1883).  Since then, a number of seemingly conflicting statements have appeared and, notwithstanding the claim by some persons (including the acclaimed Professor Walter Martin) that Ellen G. White changed her position on the Trinity, no statement has been produced from the pen of Ellen G. White wherein the term Trinity has been used to describe God or wherein there were any withdrawal or retraction of the numerous non-Trinitarian statements that were made by her before.

If  This is Not The Omega, Then What Is?

It is rather remarkable and unprecedented that one should have to be attempting to defend the honour , integrity and calling of Ellen G. White and the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism against disparaging suggestions and insinuations being made concerning them, not by avowed enemies of Seventh-day Adventism, but by professed Seventh-day Adventists, and not mere pew-members, but leaders, for the most part.  On second thought, it is not altogether unprecedented; Ellen G. White herself prophesied it.  In light of the acceptance of Trinitarianism by professed Seventh-day Adventists and the effect that such acceptance has had on doctrine, credibility and overall direction, vis-à-vis the papacy, the predictions of Ellen  G. White concerning the ‘omega’ stand among the surest evidences that she was indeed a prophet.

Many people speak loosely of the ‘omega of apostasy’ without realizing that the term ‘omega’ was used by Ellen G. White in relation to a particular change of doctrine that would be embraced within the church on account of which the earlier foundation would be rejected.  The following statements speak for themselves (all emphases mine):

“In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given. Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, pp. 49, 50.  {1SM 200.2}

“”Living Temple” contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p53.  {1SM 203}

“The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy.”

“In a vision of the night I was shown distinctly that these sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers,– the truths of the Word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, “Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Masterworker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action.”

The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, pp 54, 55.  {1SM 204}

These statements were made in the year 1904.  Therefore, the points of truth to which reference has been made (“the last fifty years”) would largely have been those that were held within the period 1854 to 1904 and articulated in the statements of faith of 1874, 1889 and 1894.  Consider the following:

(1)               When people were being warned not to engage in any controversy concerning the presence and personality of God, in light of the error that was seeking to intrude, what was then the accepted belief in the church concerning the nature and personality of God?  Was it a Trinitarian view?  The answer is, no.  Therefore she was not urging that the then accepted position be changed.  Quite the opposite, she was cautioning against an attempt to change it.

(2)               The “alpha of deadly heresies” was being resisted and it had to do with the presence and personality of God.  She said, “the omega would follow in a little while” and “will be received”. What doctrine, that had to do with the presence and personality of God, was “received by the church   “in a little while” after the statement was made in 1904?  There is only one doctrine that fits the description – the Trinity doctrine.  In 1931, after the prophet had died, the first Trinitarian statement of faith was published by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the  1931Year Book of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination (Washington, D.C.: R&H 1931, p. 377) which marked a distinct shift from all others that were previously published.

(3)               She further indicated what would be the result of the acceptance of that particular heresy:  “The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error” ; “A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced” ; people would “deny the past experience of the people of God” and this would result in “giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith”. Which other doctrine but the Trinity doctrine fits the description?  The acceptance of the Trinity is the only major change of doctrine that has occurred within the Seventh-day Adventist church since the pioneers fell asleep.  Other changes have taken place, but not on a scale such that a doctrine which the pioneers actively campaigned against, as a pagan and papal heresy, becomes accepted as truth, and on account of which the pioneers are being discredited. So significant is the change that George Knight, Andrews University Seminary Professor said:

“Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs.  More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity.” (Ministry, October 1993, p. 10)

With all that I have highlighted concerning the Trinity and the prophetic forecast concerning the omega of deadly heresies, I have only one further question to ask concerning this matter:  If the Trinity doctrine is not the omega of deadly heresies of which we have been warned, then what is?

Calvary answers all mysteries PART ONE ARGUMENT OF CALVARY
Calvary answers all mysteries PART TWO TRINITY, PAPAL TEACHING and more
Calvary answers all mysteries PART THREE SEEMING CONTRADICTIONS
Calvary answers all mysteries PART FOUR DESIRE OF AGES
Calvary answers all mysteries PART FIVE VIOLENCE TO THE GOSPEL?