Does Seventh-day Adventism Teach the Trinity?

SDA scholars admit that Adventism has a different "Trinity" doctrine than orthodox Christianity! See also: Helpful Christian Quotes on the Trinity

SDA "Trinity" Audio Exposé - hear the SDAs in their own words! (See the sources for the audio compilation here.)

Also, you can view this webpage in PDF format, by clicking here. (Note: not all of the links will work in the PDF version, and neither will RefTagger.)

Jump down to subsections of this page:

What Does Adventism's Clear Word "Bible" Teach About the Trinity?
Ellen White's Teaching
Denial of Christ's Omnipresence
Denial of the Incorporeality of God
Conclusion

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and their prophetess Ellen G. White, teach the Biblical, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity? As we will see, the answer to that question is, "No"--despite the fact that the SDA Church now uses the term "Trinity." (As for Ellen G. White, she was careful never to use the term in all of her published writings--a remarkable feat, considering her extensive plagiarism.) The reality is that Seventh-day Adventism is actually anti-Trinitarian and teaches Tritheism (three gods), just like the Mormons do.

website statistics

First, here is a good description of the Christian definition of the Trinity:

"In Christianity, the doctrine of the Trinity states that God is one being who exists, simultaneously and eternally, as a mutual indwelling of three persons: the Father, the Son (incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth), and the Holy Spirit. Since the 4th century, in both Eastern and Western Christianity, this doctrine has been stated as 'three persons in one God,' all three of whom, as distinct and co-eternal persons, are of one indivisible Divine essence, a simple being. [...]" (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trinity&oldid=148650755)

The Biblical, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity teaches that there is only one God (which is affirmed throughout the Old and New Testaments). In other words, there is only one living Being that is God. As the Nicene Creed affirms, Jesus Christ is "of one Being with the Father." God is one spirit, not three spirits. He is one being, not three beings. Otherwise, we would have three gods.

In the early days of Seventh-day Adventism, they (including their prophetess Ellen G. White) taught some form of Arianism--denying the eternality of Jesus Christ, denying the personality of the Holy Spirit, and teaching bitheism, or two gods: the eternal Father and the non-eternal Son. Eventually, "the Holy Spirit" got added into this "Godhead" as one of "three living persons of the heavenly trio"1 and one of "the three holiest Beings in heaven"2--and the current SDA teaching of Tritheism (that there are three divine beings in "the Godhead" who are "one" only in purpose, character, etc.) was born. In other words, Adventism's teaching of polytheism is foundational, fundamental, and continuing--and goes deep into the roots/foundation of Adventism, which was established by their "pioneers" (including their prophetess Ellen G. White). The SDA Church gradually adopted the use of the term "Trinity" to describe this tritheistic view of the Godhead, eventually culminating in the official General Conference session endorsement, in 1946, of a statement of beliefs that incorporated the word "Trinity."3 Beginning in 1980, the SDA Church finally stated (although, in reality, disingenuously as we'll see later) in their official statement of "Fundamental Beliefs" that Christ is "eternal."4

So while they now, officially, use the term "Trinity," in reality they deny the Trinity and actually teach Tritheism, just like the Mormons do. The Mormons will also use the term Trinity, as does modalist preacher T.D. Jakes. But that does not make any of them Trinitarian, any more than the Jehovah's Witnessess using the terms "Jesus Christ" or "Son of God" means that they believe in the real Jesus of the Bible. They have simply redefined Christian terms--and so have the Mormons, T.D. Jakes, and the Seventh-day Adventists, with regard to the term "Trinity." In fact, as we will see later on, even the SDA Church's own theologians/scholars admit that Adventism teaches a different "Trinity" doctrine than the historical, orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Now, let us explore what Adventism teaches about this essential point of doctrine.

As mentioned above, the SDA Church uses the word "Trinity" (once--as the title of belief #2) in their current official statement of 28 "Fundamental Beliefs" (although in some instances, the statement of beliefs is published with the word "Godhead" substituted for the word "Trinity"). Here is belief number 2, as found at the official SDA website (adventist.org):

"2. Trinity:
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)" (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html)

At first glance many may think that this statement appears to be orthodox-sounding. But we must investigate further to see what they actually mean by this statement. Just as Mormons claim to believe in "one God" but in reality teach Tritheism, this claim by the SDAs is not enough to make them Trinitarian. The statement can make evangelical Christians believe they are orthodox, while at the same time meaning something different within Adventism. (Anyone who is familiar with Adventism knows that this is exactly what they do on many different subjects--they have their own, different definitions for Christian terms.)

PAGE 1

Before looking at further SDA sources, let's first look a little bit closer at this statement itself. Notice that it does not say that there is one God in three persons, but that the "one God" is "a unity of three co-eternal Persons" (capital 'P'). Here is a hint of their teaching that "God" is a group/"trio" of three "divine Beings," which we will see more of later. At first glance, the Fundamental Belief statement may appear to at least be compatible with orthodoxy. But in fact, what it says is not very orthodox at all, and their statement is actually heretical in itself. It states, "There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons." Notice how their "one God" is defined as "a unity of three co-eternal Persons." As Christians, we don't worship "a unity of three"--we worship one living God (one indivisible simple Being who exists as three persons). They define "one God" as a "unity [group] of three" Persons. So even what their official statement is saying is that there is a "united group" or "family" of three "Persons"--and this group is called "God" and there is only "one" group. In fact, in some ways their current statement of Fundamental Beliefs is less orthodox than the pre-1980 statement of beliefs, even though that statement did not say Jesus is eternal. Interestingly, in 1980 they deleted their previous (1931) wording about Jesus, where they had said that he was "of the same nature and essence as the Eternal Father." (Although, even that was deceptively stated--even back then they didn't mean the same thing orthodox Christianity means, that God is one Being!) Also, since they define "God" as a group of three, then they are actually lying in this Fundamental Belief statement when they say that they believe that "God" is "ever present," considering the fact that they deny that Jesus Christ is omnipresent (click here to jump down to the section "Denial of Christ's Omnipresence"). In other words, since they redefine and (mis)use the word "God" as a collective (group) noun, then "God" would have to include all three in the "group/trio," and yet they deny that Jesus is omnipresent. Looking at this Fundamental Belief statement further, notice that it also does not say that "God" (the "Trinity") is the Creator. Under belief number 3, they say that the Father "is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation." Under belief number 4, regarding the Son, they will only admit that, "Through Him all things were created..."; and under belief number 5 they say that the Holy Spirit was only "active with the Father and the Son in Creation." This is in direct contradiction to God's Word which says that Jesus is the Creator and Source and Sustainer of all creation. According to God's Word, Jesus is the Sovereign God of the universe. The Biblical truth is that there is only one Being, only one God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--who is the Creator, Source, Sustainer and Sovereign of all creation. Also under belief number 3 ("Father"), they say: "The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father." But, interestingly, they have no similar declarations in their belief statements about the "Son" and the "Holy Spirit." So, in conclusion, as will be overwhelmingly confirmed as we go on, these official "Fundamental Beliefs" actually separate and divide the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit into multiple gods.5

The wording of these "Fundamental Beliefs" regarding God was adopted in 1980 at the SDA Church's General Conference Session. To get some background on the SDA's statements about God, let's take a look at the following excerpts from the "Session proceedings" of the "Seventh business meeting" of the "Fifty-third General Conference session" (April 21, 1980, 3:15 P.M.), as published in the April 23, 1980 edition of the Adventist Review (the SDA Church's official "flagship" magazine), starting on page 11 [Note: Neal C. Wilson was the president of the SDA Church at the time]:

"J. W. BOTHE: [Read Section 2 of the Statement.]

"NEAL C. WILSON: Here are several lines packed with a lot of meaning. Who has some help for us on this or some question with regard to the Godhead or Trinity?

[...]

"LEIF HANSEN: In this discussion of the Trinity, which is always a difficult matter to discuss, I wonder if a certain misunderstanding could be eliminated by saying 'a unity in purpose' so that the matter of physical unity may be eliminated.

"NEAL C. WILSON: I see your point there. Maybe we ought to make it a unity in purpose rather than a physical unity.

"J. G. BENNETT: The statement about the Godhead and the Trinity goes on to use the pronoun He. Later as the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are discussed, we use the same pronoun He. I do recognize and accept the Trinity as a collective unity, but I would have a little difficulty in applying the pronoun He to the Trinity or the Godhead. For me this has deep theological implications.

[...]

"H. J. HARRIS: It seems to me we have a conflict or a contradiction in this statement, 'There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of Three co-eternal Persons.' Would not it be more clear if we were to say 'There is one God consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit'? We begin with 'one God.' Then, without any explanation, we use 'Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.' Later, we go to 'a unity of Three.'

"RICHARD HAMMILL: There are several comments I would like to make. Regarding this last suggestion, I think it is rather difficult to use the verb consist with God. I think we ought to be very careful in using terms that the Bible does not use of Him. When we framed this statement we tried to use Biblical phrases as much as we could.

[...]

"W. G. C. MURDOCH: I would suggest that we use the expression 'The Godhead or Trinity' rather than 'Trinity.'

"J. J. BATTISTONE: There was a reference to the pronoun He. We are talking about the Godhead, so the antecedent of the pronoun is God, not the three persons. In the reference to His self-revelation in Scripture, I prefer that reading.

"PAUL C. CHIMA: I would suggest that when this goes back to the committee, Sister White's writings be studied to see what term she used to describe God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Let us use a lot of her terminology to define this. Whatever decisions are made and expressions found, let us be content with them.

"W. R. LESHER: I am concerned about words and phrases that would seem to limit God or to change the view of God that is given to us in Scripture. One of these is the suggestion that was made that we not use the word He. I presume that the speaker was referring to the use of 'They' in paragraph 2. And, of course, the statement of Scripture is that 'The Lord our God is One Lord.' And to speak of 'They' or some other pronoun than 'He' would make us tritheist, instead of believing in one God. The expression 'consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit' might read more nicely. It seems to me it does introduce a limiting factor. It is much more in harmony with the mystery of God to simply say there is one God— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. My same observation would apply to the expression 'a unity of purpose.' We assume that

PAGE 2

there is a unity of purpose in the Godhead. Still, God is a mystery. And we do not know in what ways that unity might exist other than in purpose. There are some ways in which we can seem to say that God is not a unity. But even then we are not sure what we are talking about. The idea of three Beings that are One is a mystery, and it seems to me that we should not try to remove all of that mystery from the statement.

"N. C. WILSON: I would like now to appoint a committee to do some editing for us with these suggestions in mind. I would like to suggest that Dr. Richard Hammill serve as chairman and that the following serve as members:

"Thomas H. Blincoe, dean of Andrews Theological Seminary

"W. Duncan Eva, of the General Conference

"Larry Geraty, of Andrews University

"W. R. Lesher, from the Biblical Research Institute

"James Londis, pastor and Biblical scholar

"Robert Olson, from the White Estate

"Jan Paulsen, from Newbold College

"Mario Veloso, from South America

"G. R. Thompson, chairman of the Church Manual Committee

"M. T. Battle, secretary of the Church Manual Committee

"This makes a committee of 11.

"It might be well to add R. H. Brown also, since we are dealing with some areas of science." (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH1980-20/index.djvu)

From the above excerpts, we can see very clearly that these SDA leaders who helped adopt the official Fundamental Belief statement about the Trinity at the 1980 General Conference Session were, in fact, not Trinitarians, but instead tritheistic in their beliefs, even using the phrase "three Beings" in reference to the "three Persons" mentioned in the belief statement. Also notice, as we will continue to see repeatedly, that in Adventism, the "mystery" about God is how "three Beings" can be "one." This is the exact opposite of Trinitarianism. For the Trinitarian, it is not God's oneness that is the mystery about God (how three "gods" can be "one," as in Adventism), but instead the mystery is how the one living God/Divine Being can be three distinct, but not separate, persons.

Also, click here to open a new page and see that, even by their own admission, the SDAs worded their official statements of "Fundamental Beliefs" quite deceitfully.

In a special edition of the Adventist Review in 1981 (No. 31), they published brief explanations of each of their "Fundamental Beliefs." On page 2, under the heading "About This Issue," they said: "This special issue of the ADVENTIST REVIEW offers a brief but balanced discussion of each of the church's 27 fundamental beliefs. Each discussion is titled and numbered to correspond to the Dallas statement. The staff believes that this issue sets forth accurately the church's present understanding of these 27 doctrines." The following quotes are from section 2, "The Trinity":

"Although other religions include a 'trinity' in their pantheon, only Christianity is marked by a general belief in one triune God—one true and living God (Deut. 6:4) existing in a unity of three distinct coeternal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The divine Persons in this triune Godhead are immortal, all-powerful, and all-knowing.

"The Godhead is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known to the extent that They have chosen to reveal Themselves. The members of the Godhead have revealed Themselves through the works of Their hands in nature, through providential workings, and in the written Word—the Bible, and in the living Word—Jesus Christ.

[...]

"The three persons of the Godhead are portrayed in the Bible as interrelating to one another in the way expected among persons. They use personal pronouns when speaking of one another (see Matt. 17:5; John 16:13, 28; 17:1). They love and glorify one another (see John 3:35; 15:10; 16:14). The Father sends the Son (Matt. 10:40), the Son prays to the Father (John 17:18), and the Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit as Their agent (John 14:26; 16:7). The persons in the Godhead are so distinct that They can address each other, love each other, and act in relationship to each other. Each of Them also has a particular work to perform even when They are cooperating together in such activities as creation and redemption." (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH1981-31/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=4)

In the above quotes, we see that they refer to "the Godhead" as a group or club--since they use the words "They" and "Themselves" to refer to "the Godhead" (using it as a collective noun). According to the Bible, "the Godhead" (KJV) or "Deity," is a He--a single living Being--not a "They"! In Adventism, however (much like in Mormonism), "the Godhead" is only the title of a divine "membership club," in which there are three divine beings (gods), or "members." Also, that last sentence of the above quotation makes it sound like the three "members" don't even always have to cooperate together!

The Seventh-day Adventist Church also publishes a book entitled Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An exposition of the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which explains their "Fundamental Beliefs" in more detail. We will see further evidence from this official belief book

PAGE 3

that they teach Tritheism. But first, let's examine some other sources of evidence.

The following excerpts are from an article entitled "What the Trinity Means to Me," by Fritz Guy, in the September 11, 1986 edition of the Adventist Review (the official "flagship" magazine of the SDA Church). Fritz Guy was, at the time, "associate pastor of the Loma Linda University church." While he was a theology professor at Andrews University (SDA), Guy "served as secretary of the university committee that drafted a new Statement of Fundamental Beliefs for the Adventist Church, which was subsequently adopted (with some revisions) by the church's 1980 General Conference session in Dallas, Texas."6 He is currently (2009) a theology professor at La Sierra University (SDA). Here are the excerpts from his article:

"So we can properly think of this threefold designation—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—as the Christian name of God. [...]

"The meaning of the threefold name of God has, however, been the subject of theological debate through the centuries. The principal question has been the way in which the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are different from and related to each other. [...]

[...]

"Beyond all the theological arguments about the eternal existence of the Son and about His precise status in relation to the Father, what is crucial is the fact that Jesus was and is God.

"More Than Son

"Yet God is more than the Son. That is why the name Jesus is not the whole name of God. We must speak of God also in terms of the Father and the Holy Spirit. For the reality of God is not limited to the reality of the Person who was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth, preached 'the gospel of the kingdom' (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; etc.) in Galilee and Judea, and died on a Roman cross outside Jerusalem.

"Jesus the Messiah is truly God, but He is not the whole of God. When Jesus was in Capernaum, He was not in Jerusalem. But when God is in Capernaum, He is also in Jerusalem, and Athens, and London, and Washington. God is the Son who prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and God is also the Father to whom the Son prayed.

[...]

"God is the Father who remained in charge of things when Jesus was in the tomb. He continued to be God, doing those things that the Father always does. He continued to be the source of reality. He continued to maintain the created universe, from the minutest subatomic particle to the most massive galaxy. He continued to love the human family, which had been created 'in the image of God' (Gen. 1:27). He also experienced the pain of separation in the death of His Son.

[...]

"We sometimes speak of the Holy Spirit as the 'third person' of the reality of God. This is appropriate if we understand it correctly. The Holy Spirit is third only because there is a Christian theological custom of speaking of the Father and the Son before speaking of the Spirit. The Spirit is not third chronologically, as a more recent reality of God. The Son and the Father are not prior to the Spirit. And the Spirit is not third organizationally, as if there were some sort of hierarchical order within the reality of God. The Son and the Father are not essentially superior to the Spirit in the quality of their Godness.

"The Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all different from each other. But They are not independent of each other, for They are all God and They all belong to the reality of God. So They are all involved in God's extravagant, self-giving love. The gift of salvation is the gift of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

[...]

"When I experience the activity of the Holy Spirit, I am experiencing the activity of God. The reality of the Spirit is part of the reality of God. [...]" (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH19860911-V163-37/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=12)

First of all, it cannot be said that the Christian name for God is "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." That is not what Jesus said. Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19 NKJV). He did not say that "the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" is the name of God.

Then Guy goes on to use this false claim for devious purposes, to teach that Jesus is not fully God! He says that Jesus is only part of God, not the whole of God (fully--or all of--God). In Trinitarian doctrine, God is a simple being, and does not have parts. Notice also how he says that Jesus is "truly God" rather than "fully God." The SDA Church's official statement of "Fundamental Beliefs" also uses this wording, saying in belief number 4 ("Son") that Jesus is "truly God" rather than stating that He is "fully God." As the above article by Guy shows, Adventism does not believe that Jesus is "fully God," but instead that He is just "part" (one third) of "God"--one of three divine beings who together make up the one "Godhead" group. (And, as we will see later, even when Adventists do use the term "fully God" they, once again, have a different definiton for the term than the Christian definition.)

We also see in the above article some of their denial of Christ's omnipresence. Also, Guy makes reference to the SDA teaching (which we will see a bit more of later) that Jesus ceased to exist when He died, and that "the Father" is the one who ran the universe during that time because "the Son" no longer existed, and that the Father "continued to love the human family" but the Son was not able to, because He was non-existent!

Next up we will look at quite a few different quotations from the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (the official SDA "quarterly").

This first quote is from the Introduction of the October/November/December 1998 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"Lesson 3-'Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.' The Godhead consists of three divine Beings, unified in action but distinct in personality."

PAGE 4

(http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/98d/index.html)

And from the actual Lesson 3:

"KEY THOUGHT: One of the mysteries of God's being and nature is that the Godhead consists of three divine Beings, unified in purpose and action but distinct in personality." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/98d/less03.html)

Notice how, just like the Mormons, the Seventh-day Adventists redefine the words "Godhead" and "God" to mean a "group" or "office," consisting of three gods ("divine Beings") who are "unified in purpose and action." This is blatant Tritheism and anti-Trinitarianism.

Here are some additional quotes from the same Lesson 3:

"When we forget that Jesus came to reveal the Father, we will begin to misunderstand the Father. We must remember that when we see Jesus in His sacrifice and love, we also are seeing the Father at work. We must never separate the work of One from the work of the Other. God is not demanding and Jesus pleading, They both demand. And They both plead.

"'Christ came to reveal God to the world as a God of love, full of mercy, tenderness, and compassion. The thick darkness with which Satan had endeavored to enshroud the throne of Deity was swept away by the world's Redeemer, and the Father was again manifest to men as the light of life.

"'When Philip came to Jesus with the request 'Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,' the Saviour answered him: 'Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the FatherT Christ declares Himself to be sent into the world as a representative of the Father. In His nobility of character, in His mercy and tender pity, in His love and goodness, He stands before us as the embodiment of divine perfection, the image of the invisible God. '—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 738, 739.

[...]

"In another passage, Jesus says the Father will send the Comforter (John 14:26). Thus there seems to be perfect collaboration between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This perfect cooperation among the three Persons is to help Christ's disciples powerfully testify of Him and spread the good news of salvation.

"Describe the relationship between the Father and the Son. John 5:19-22.

"It is interesting to note that not only do the Father and the Son work together, but They assume parallel functions. The Father raises the dead. So does the Son. He gives life to whom He will. As for judgment, the Father seems to have given this authority to the Son, so there will be mutual honor. (See verse 23.) Everlasting life is dependent on hearing what Jesus says and believing in the Father (verse 24). Both Father and Son have life in Themselves (verse 26).

[...]

"SUMMARY: Have I allowed the Father to be my friend? Have I opened my mind to the beauties of salvation through the Son? Have I surrendered my life to the guidance and ministry of the Holy Spirit? Have I allowed Those who provided my salvation to become the rulers of my life?" (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/98d/less03.html)

The above is simply polytheism in its most open form. The Bible says that there is only one Savior and only one Ruler of our lives--there is only one God! Notice also that the quote they give above, which is from Ellen G. White, twists what Jesus says in John 14 to make it so that He is only saying that He is a "representative" of the Father--taking all the force away from His words that "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father."

And here are some excerpts from the next week's lesson, Lesson 4:

"KEY THOUGHT: Entirely through Their own initiative, the Godhead arranged for One among Them to become a human being. They did so in order to (1) provide us with our Substitute and Surety, (2) make God's ways plain, (3) restore us to our pre-sin perfection, and (4) settle the debate about God's Justice.

[...]

[...] "We really do not know Jesus unless we recognize His divinity, His part in Creation, His relation to the Father, and what He has done for humanity.

"Jesus is the Word of God. The Word is an expression of God. Through Jesus, God expressed Himself to angels and to humans. In Jesus we find the expression of the inmost, the dearest, the most vital, the most enduring thoughts of God. Jesus is so completely identified with His Father that He can be considered His Word.

[...]

"How do we know that the Father and the Son are distinct Persons? Matt. 3:17; John 20:17. What does Their distinctness, as well as Their union, teach us?

"Because of the complete identification between God and Jesus, between Father and Son, there are those who look upon Them as one and the same Person. But that is not true. Jesus was a perfect expres sion of God. But He was a separate Person from the Father.

[...]

PAGE 5

"In the plan for our salvation, there was complete unity between the Father and the Son. God sent the Son. And the Son volunteered to go. The results of this unity of purpose and effort was the death of Jesus and the offer of eternal salvation to us.

"In John 10, what facts did Jesus present to show the close unity that exists between Him and the Father?

[...]

"In the relationship between the Father and the Son, there is always the closest possible unity in everything. This is true in thought and purpose, in plan and effort.

[...]

[...] "He came from heaven to earth that earth itself might become heaven. He left His position on the throne with His Father that the redeemed might reign in glory. [...]

[...]

"FURTHER STUDY: In view of what Christ has done, how should we respond to Him? Read Philippians 2:9-11. To learn what the Lamb will do for the victorious saints, read Revelation 7:17. Also see The Great Controversy, pp. 666, 669-671.

"'All who have borne with Jesus the cross of sacrifice will be sharers with Him of His glory. It was the joy of Christ in His humilia tion and pain that His disciples should be glorified with Him. They are the fruit of His self-sacrifice. The outworking in them of His own character and spirit is His reward, and will be his joy throughout eternity. This joy they share with Him as the fruit of their labor and sacrifice is seen in other hearts and lives. They are workers together with Christ, and the Father will honor them as He honors His Son.'—The Desire of Ages, p. 624.

[...]

"SUMMARY: At precisely the right time and in the right way, the three Members of the Godhead put into operation a plan They had devised before the world was created. They surrendered a portion of Themselves—the Divine Son—to become the Saviour of the world. [...]" (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/98d/less04.html)

Most of the above speaks for itself, but there is a lot of anti-Trinitarian heresy in the above excerpts. First, notice that they make it clear what they mean by "unity"--that the Father and the Son only have a unity of "purpose," etc. Also, the part about "He left His position on the throne with His Father" hints at the SDA denial of the incorporeality of God, their denial of the omnipresence of Christ, and their teaching that Christ gave up His divine attributes when He came to earth. Additionally, the Ellen G. White quote from The Desire of Ages is utterly blasphemous, claiming that "the Father" will honor Christ's followers "as He honors His Son." Nowhere is such blasphemy taught in the Bible, and it certainly separates, and lowers, Christ from the Father (not to mention that it deifies man).

The following is from Lesson 9:

[...] "He came knowing that He would die but knowing also that we would live. Today heaven is ours be cause Jesus was willing to give up heaven. I am a child of God because Jesus became the Son of man.

"'Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. '—The Desire of Ages, p. 49. [...]

[...]

"Let us suppose that the richest and most generous person on earth set up a trust fund with the simple provision that any person who wrote and asked could have $10,000. Would that multibillionnaire watch to see how many took advantage of the offer? Would that person be interested in knowing why some had not gotten the word and why, when they had heard, they did nothing about it?

"God the Father and God the Son watch eagerly to see who will accept Their gift of mercy. Some have never gotten the word. Some who have heard pay little attention. As Satan tries to snatch the gift away from many, God lovingly, anxiously presses His gift upon those who will accept it. To coerce them to do what is right would be to play into the hands of Satan, who claims that God forces obedience. [...]

[...]

"Why do you think God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son? Gen. 22:1-13. What did Jesus say about this experience that caused some people to be angry? John 8:56-58.

"Some have been called upon to make the sacrifice of a son or daughter to die for their country. It is not an easy experience. Some parents would rather die and have their children live. But the supreme sacrifice becomes the measure of supreme love and devotion.

"For the Son 'this was a voluntary sacrifice. Jesus might have remained at the Father's side. He might have retained the glory of heaven and the homage of the angels. But He chose to give back the scepter into the Father's hands, and to step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to the benighted, and life to the perishing.'—The Desire of Ages, pp. 22, 23.

[...]

PAGE 6

"'All that He endured-the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father's face-speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. He who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee, who opened blind eyes and called forth the dead to life-offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice, and this from love to thee. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself.'—The Desire of Ages, pp. 755, 756.

[...]

"While dying on the cross, Christ agonized 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Matt. 27:46, NIV). The sins of the ages resting on Christ caused separation between Him and His Father, and He died for sin.

"'The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.'—The Desire of Ages, p. 753.

"At times, we all feel forsaken by God. How does the cry of Christ recorded in Matthew 27:46 help you to work through those times? Remember that He was forsaken for your sake that you may never be forsaken for His sake.

[...]

"2. Which was a harder experience to bear, the Father giving the Son, or the Son offering Himself for our salvation? Why?

"SUMMARY: May this consecration prayer be your heart's desire:

"O Lamb of God, You freely chose to take away the sins of the world. I accept Your perfect sacrifice as a full atonement for all my sins. I plead Your abiding presence for power to obey. You are my strength, my everlasting helper. Our Father has made You my righteousness and wisdom, my sanctification and redemption. Amen." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/98d/less09.html)

In that last paragraph, notice that they say in the prayer to "Jesus," the words "Our Father"--evidently speaking for Jesus and the person praying the prayer. Jesus never taught that God is our Father in the same way that He is His Father. He always made the difference clear and never said "our Father" (except in the Lord's Prayer where He was giving the disciples an example of how they should pray). He even went out of His way to not say the words "our Father" in John 20:17 when He told Mary, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" (John 20:17b NASB.)

Also notice the Ellen G. White quote which teaches (and we will continue to see this taught repeatedly as we go on) that the Father "hid His face" from Jesus, which is a direct contradiction of Scripture. Notice that they also teach that Jesus was "separated" from the Father, based on Jesus' words in Matthew 27:46. But Jesus was quoting the opening line of Psalm 22, to direct everyone's attention to the entire Psalm, which states explicitly in verse 24 that God did not even "hide His face" from Jesus, much less "forsake" Him, or "separate" Himself from Him. Also, the Son could not have been separated from the Father, since there is only one divine spirit--one undivided and indivisible God, who is outside of time and is unchangeable. (For more on Matthew 27 and Psalm 22, click here to open another page.) Also notice that White even states that Jesus "feared" that "Their separation was to be eternal," and that He did not know that He would be resurrected or that "the Father" would "accept" His sacrifice! All of these statements are a denial of Jesus' deity.

And here is a quote from Lesson 11:

"If we would understand the impact of angel ministry in our lives, we must first appreciate angels' involvement in the work of Heaven. In a previous lesson, we learned the extent to which the Trinity have expended Themselves for the sake of this world. This is not to say that God is any less involved in upholding other inhabited worlds or in communing with their holy inhabitants. Not at all. But this world has been the object of untold attention and immeasurable blessings because it is a lost world. As 'foot soldiers' of God's army, angels are used in every battle and participate in every victory. They are personally involved." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/98d/less11.html)

Notice that in the above quote they use the word "Trinity" as a plural or group noun, using the pronoun "Themselves" after it. Adventism redefines the word "Trinity" to simply mean "three" (or, as Ellen G. White says, "trio") rather than "three-in-one."

The following is from Lesson 4 of the January/February/March 1995 Adult Sabbath School Lessons (the official SDA "quarterly"):

"Who was active in the creation of our world? Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30; John 1:1-4; Heb. 1:1, 2; Col. 1:15-17.

"Just as all three Persons of the Godhead shared in the work of Creation, all three are involved in re-creation. All three Persons of the Godhead are interested in the redemption of lost man, his restoration to the divine image. In this sense creation is still going on. The creative energy and power of God is needed in every life every day."

In the above quote, we see again (and will see even more evidence later) that Adventism teaches that there are three "Co-Creators" who "shared" in the work of creation. But in the Bible, God says that He created the world all by Himself, all alone, with no one to help Him. See Isaiah 44:24. There is only one living God and only one Creator. God is one Being (an "I"/He).

We see more of the same heresy in the next quote, which is from the Introduction of the April/May/June 1999 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (the official SDA "quarterly"):

"Humankind did not spring out of nature by some natural evolutionary process, for according to Genesis, the creation of human beings is

PAGE 7

attributed directly to God. Men and women were created and formed by Him (Gen. 1:27; 2:7, 8). Also, while the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Elohim, plural for God) were involved in the creation process (Gen. 1:2, 26), Jesus was more directly involved. 'All things were made through Him (John 1:3, NKJV)." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/99b/index.html)

Note also that they emphasized the fact that Elohim is "plural for God," in other words, "Gods"! The Biblical usage of the word Elohim will be dealt with more later on.

The following quote is from Lesson 3 of the April/May/June 1999 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"Our Social Nature

[...]

"MEMORY TEXT: 'A man who has friends must himself be friendly' (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV).

"KEY THOUGHT: What can we learn about our social nature from the interrelationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

[...]

"GOD'S IMAGE IN PLURALITY. The word Our in Genesis 1:26 reveals that the Deity possesses plurality, while the word His in verse 27 reveals that the plurality of God does not cancel out the Godhead's unity. God is triune, three Persons, yet so united they are One.

[...]

"Explain Jesus' answer to loneliness found in John 8:29. What happened to Him on Calvary? Matt. 27:46.

"In Gethsemane, when the guilt of the world's sin was placed upon Jesus, He began to fear that He would be cut off from His Father's love forever. On Calvary, He experienced what He feared and cried out, 'My God, why have you forsaken Me?' It was not the spear thrust in His side nor the cruelty of the cross that caused His death. He died of a broken heart when His Father separated Himself from His Son. The Son of God was slain by the sin of the world and in this sense tasted the second death for all who would accept Him as their wonderful Saviour and Lord.

"What other characteristics about modern life have the tendency to make us lonely? How does knowing that Christ experienced the ultimate in loneliness help to ease any loneliness you might be feeling now?

[...]

"SUMMARY: Being created in the image of God means we are social beings. Fellowship with God and one another helps us to enjoy life and share the love of Christ with those who need it most." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/99b/less03.html)

Again, in the above quote, we see that by "unity" they mean "so united they are One." Notice that that is also their definition for "triune." Also, as we will see more of later, they teach that being created in "the image of God" means that multiple human beings are supposed to be united together as "one," just as their three "divine beings" are.

This next quote is from Lesson 11:

"What did Jesus mean when He said that He must be 'about My Father's business' (Luke 2:42-49)?

"As a servant, Jesus laid aside the full use of His divine powers (Phil. 2:7). His mind and body developed according to the laws of childhood. He gained knowledge as all humans do. To say that Jesus 'grew in wisdom' does not detract from His deity. His intimate acquaintance with Scripture shows how diligently His mother taught Him and how much of His early years He spent studying the Word of God. Early training and the right education have a powerful influence in shaping the conscience and thinking. Conscience can become insensitive to spiritual things and can even harden against truth (1 Tim. 4:1, 2). In His early years, Jesus' conscience was shaped by His mother, who under the guidance of the Holy Spirit taught Him from Scripture.

"List reasons why Jesus chose not to study under the rabbis (John 7:15).

"What would have happened to Jesus if He had received a rabbinical training?

"The rabbis were surprised that Jesus was so well informed. They believed being truly educated meant receiving an education from a recognized teacher and closely associating with that teacher in service to him. Self-education was considered vastly inferior to such training.

"It was Satan's intention to shape Jesus' mind and conscience through false education. He knows that the human conscience can be trained and that through it he can control human behavior. This he attempted to do with Jesus. But Jesus rightly refused to be trained in the customs and traditions of the rabbis.

[...]

"Some Christians believe that Christ could not have been overcome by temptation. But unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is not temptation. Christ could not have been tempted in all points as we are (Heb. 4:15) if He could not or would not have sinned. Christ experienced to the fullest extent what we experience when striving against sin. That is why He understands us and why we can come to Him to find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). 'He not only became an exile from the heavenly courts, but for us took the risk of failure

PAGE 8

and eternal loss.'—The Desire of Ages, p. 131.

"What basic needs of human nature did Satan appeal to when he tempted Christ? Explain what Jesus meant by the responses He gave. Matt. 4:3-10.

"Now match the following texts with the temptations:

"1st: Health and life _______ A. 1 Chron. 21:1-8
2nd: Spiritual pride _______ B. Ezek. 16:48-50
3rd: Wealth _______ C. Job 2:1-10

"Principles we can learn from Christ's experience in the wilderness include the following: (1) Obedience is more important than physical survival. (2) God's rescuing power is not something to be experimented with but something to be quietly trusted in from day to day. (3) The plan of salvation allows no room for compromise.

"How has Satan tempted you regarding health and life, spiritual pride, and wealth? How can believing that Jesus was tempted as you are improve your relationship with Him?" (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/99b/less11.html)

In the above exerpts, we see the SDA teaching that Christ gave up His divine attributes when He came to earth, and that He lived on earth just as a man, like any other man lived, using (another) "God's" help and power (we will see much more of this teaching as we go on).

And in Lesson 12 from the same quarter, we find the following:

"Satan has not hesitated to quote Scripture. But while he is doing so, he manipulates it to suit his purpose and to make it appear as if the Scripture he quoted approves a sinful course of action. In the case of his temptation of Christ, while he quoted Psalm 91:11, 12, he took it from its context to mean that God would protect Christ no matter what He did because He was His beloved Son. But the psalm clearly teaches that God will protect His children only if they walk in His ways, not their own. (See SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 313.)" (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/99b/less12.html)

The above quote is incredibly blasphemous and belittling of the Jesus Christ of the Bible, who is God Himself! It is heretical in multiple ways, and puts Christ on the level of God's "children."

The following excerpts are from the July/August/September 1999 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 1:

"There seems to be a tension between Paul's statement that 'there is no God but one' (1 Cor. 8:4, NIV) and that there is one Spirit, one Lord, and 'one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all' (Eph. 4:4-6). Consider also his reference to 'one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1 Tim. 2:5).

"However, reference to Jesus as mediator does not contradict His divinity any more than His reference to Himself as God's unique Son contradicts it. [...] The Bible teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together constitute divinity.

[...]

"EQUAL YET DISTINCT (John 1:1-18; 14:16-28; 16:5-16).

"How can the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be equal and yet different? 1 Pet. 1:2; John 20:28; Acts 5:3, 4.

"The Bible presents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as equally divine yet distinct Persons. [...] 'There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons.'—SDA Fundamental Belief, 2.

[...]

"Titles that are used primarily for one divine Person are often attributed to the other divine Persons as well. [...] The sharing of divine titles may explain why Jesus referred to the singular name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the baptismal formula. [...]

[...]

"What implications does the sharing of divine titles despite different divine roles have for human relations in our homes, in our churches, and in our society?

[...]

"UNITED YET DISTINCT

[...]

"Explain how creation reflects the unity and diversity of the Creator? Gen. 1:26, 27; 3:22; Mal. 2:10.

[...]

"All things exist in a network of relationships. The world is shaped in part by what human beings make of it. The image of God in creation includes a diversity of human individuals united by relationships. This reflects the fact that God is a Person experiencing time and space. He said: 'Let us make man in our image' (Gen. 1:26, KJV). The plural image of male and female is simply 'God's image' (Gen. 1:27). [...]

PAGE 9

"As you read this statement [NOTE: The quote is from Ellen G. White], contemplate God's glorious plan for you to reflect His image now and for eternity: 'When Adam came from the Creator's hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. ... It was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal his image. ... All his faculties were capable of development.'—Education, p. 15.

[...]

"It is interesting to note that the unity among the divine Persons is also evident in the use of the terms adoption and redemption in connection with the Spirit. The Bible also refers to adoption and redemption by the Father and the Son (Isa. 63:16; Heb. 9:12; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). [...]

[...]

"DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

"1. Do we experience God differently as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit? If yes, in what ways?" (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/99c/less01.html)

First of all, there must be something very wrong with SDA theology with regard to the Trinity in order for them to say that there "seems to be a tension" between "there is no God but one" and the statement that there is one Spirit, one Lord, and "one God and Father of all"! Trinitarians have no problem at all with those two statements--they need no reconciling. Each person of the Trinity is fully (all of) God. For example, Jesus Christ is the only God; the Father is the only God; the Holy Spirit is the only God. Jesus Christ is the only Lord; the Father is the only Lord; the Holy Spirit is the only Lord. Additionally, they even say that the 1 Timothy 2:5 quote seems to have tension. Actually, what 1 Timothy 2:5 says is that Jesus Christ is the "one God," and that He is the "one mediator between God and men," and that He is a "man." So of course the verse "does not contradict His divinity"! It is an apparent contradiction only if you deny (as Adventism does) that Jesus Christ is the "one God"!

And no, the reason that Jesus "referred to the singular name" is not because of any "sharing of divine titles," but because there is only one God and He has one name.

The next quote is from Lesson 2:

"The communion among the divine Persons of the Godhead was there before the creation of humanity. For example, 'Let Us make man in Our image' (Gen. 1:26, NKJV). Later, at Creation, God communed with human beings (Gen. 1:28). This communion was interrupted by sin (Gen. 3:8). However, God has bridged the separation between Himself and humanity by His saving grace in Christ." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/99c/less02.html)

The following quote is from the April/May/June 2000 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 6:

"In the council of peace, even before our creation, the Godhead made the decision to send Jesus to this world if humankind should sin. [...]

[...]

"Christ wants to have fellowship with us (Rev. 3:20). He has taken our place on the cross in order to remove every barrier erected by sin. On the cross, He has taken the separation from God that was ours in order to give us the eternal relationship with the Father that is His." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/00b/less06.html)

Note that they say we can have the same "eternal relationship with the Father" that Jesus has!

The following excerpts are from the January/February/March 2001 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 11:

"The crucifixion appeared to be anything but glorious. At the crossroads of the world, Jesus would be stripped of all human dignity and degraded by the very people He came to save. Incredibly, though, to Him it was an hour of supreme glory. He was about to illumine the world and the onlooking universe with a glory never before witnessed, though He and the Father had shared this glory before They created the world (17:5)—the glory of self-sacrificing love. [...]

[...]

"MUTUAL OWNERSHIP (John 17:6-10).

[...]

"List the possessions the Father and the Son hold jointly. John 17:5-10.

"Jesus and His Father do not own separate bank accounts. They share everything jointly, and we are one of Their most precious possessions.

[...]

"Both the Father and the Son work for our salvation. The Father draws us to Jesus (6:44), and Jesus draws us to Him by His Cross (12:32). In this sense, we are Their property, obtained at great cost to Them, and They derive great joy from us. [...]

[...]

PAGE 10

[...] "That's why we have to rely on Divine power, the power of God. More than anything else, prayer is the method by which we grasp hold of that power—as did Christ.

"'As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world.'—The Desire of Ages, p. 363. Through our prayer life, we may be so charged with the power of self-sacrificing love that our faces radiate the glory of God—His name on our foreheads.

[...]

"'I [Jesus] give them eternal life, and they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one' ' (John 10:28-30, RSV).

"Grasp a coin in your left hand. You are just as secure in the hand of Jesus, even more so. Then wrap your right hand around your left hand. You are secure in the Father's hand as well. When tempted to doubt your own salvation, claim the promise that both Jesus and the Father will hold you firmly in Their hands.

"List and explain the things Jesus and His people have in common.

"John 17:13, 16

"John 17:18, 19

[...]

"The Father and the Son are closely bonded together. They never act independently but always are united in everything They do (John 5:20-23). They share a common love for fallen humanity to the extent that the Father sacrificed His Son, and the Son sacrificed His life (3:16; 10:15). Neither one seeks His own glory, but each brings glory to the Other (17:1). To know One is to know the Other (14:7, 9). This type of relationship is what Christ desires for us, the members of His church.

[...]

"2. When we read Jesus' prayer in John 17, we are struck by how easily He talked with His Father. What can we learn from this example about conversational prayer?" (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/01a/less11.html)

First of all, God says in the Bible that He does not "share" His glory with anyone (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11). The above excerpts are simply blatant polytheism, and clearly teach a group of multiple gods.

The next quote is from the January/February/March 2002 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 2:

"Linked to the idea of Christ as owner of the world is the last of Jesus' three temptations in which His status as God the Son, the Creator, is another issue in the great controversy:

"1. Satan disputed Christ's unparalleled position. (For Christ's status, see Matt. 16:16; John 1:1-3; 10:30; 14:10; 17:5; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:5-8; Titus 2:13.)

"2. Satan was jealous of Christ's position in the Godhead, and on earth he thought he could make Christ bow to him.

"3. Satan knew that God alone is worthy of worship and that as God the Son, Christ deserves worship from all created beings. Getting Christ to worship him meant getting Him to doubt His own position in the Godhead.

"4. Jesus' mission was to return Satan's 'stolen property' to the Father by shedding His blood for sin." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/02a/less02.html)

And here is more, from Lesson 3:

"We saw last week that one of the issues in the great controversy centers on Christ's status in heaven. Satan refused to acknowledge that Christ is equal to the Father. Since his expulsion to our world, he battles this issue with even greater vigor. Satan has tried to usurp the role that belongs only to Christ. [...]

[...]

"Satan also works against Christ and His role in redemptive history through certain human agencies and systems. Though antichrist has been around since John's time, it has been manifested particularly in a church that assumes for itself the role and prerogatives that belong only to God or Christ Himself.

[...]

"Jesus Christ is the eternal Word, the second Person of the Godhead—coexistent, coeternal, and coequal with God the Father. Jesus was not a created being but rather existed from eternity with the Father. As such, He's in a whole separate category from any created being. As part of the Godhead, He's the Creator; everything and everyone else, Lucifer included, are created. The difference, then, between Christ and Satan is, in a sense, the difference between the finite and the infinite. Like Peter, Satan is fully aware of Christ's position; but unlike Peter, he constantly attempts to usurp that position, one way or another." (http://www.ssnet.org/qrtrly/eng/02a/less03.html)

PAGE 11

The SDA teaching that, as stated above, "Satan refused to acknowledge that Christ is equal to the Father" is the most blasphemous teaching, but it is a foundational part of the SDA "Great Controversy" worldview. But such a scenario, which is totally unBiblical, is impossible within the context of monotheism. This foundational SDA teaching, as taught by the SDA prophetess Ellen G. White, separates the Father and the Son, teaches a polytheistic, corporeal "Godhead," and prevents Adventism from ever teaching Trinitarianism.

In the July/August/September 2003 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 3, we find the following very Mormon-sounding quote:

"When it comes to the Bible and to God Himself, we often talk in paradoxes or contrasting pairs. There are three divine Personalities and yet one Godhead. God is far away, unreachable yet present and close to us. Though not limited to time, He reveals Himself in time. We are already saved, and we still will be saved." (http://absg.adventist.org/2003/3Q/SE/EAQ30303.pdf)

In the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 3, it says the following:

"We often talk in paradoxes,8 or in opposites, when we talk about the Bible and God. For example, God comes in Three Persons, but there is one Godhead. God is far away, but still close to us. God is not limited to time, but He shows Himself in time. We are already saved, and we still will be saved." (http://absg.adventist.org/2003/3Q/ER/ERQ303_03.pdf)

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 3, the following additional comments are made:

"I. Christ Before His Humanity.
A. Christ existed before the world was created.
B. Christ held the heavenly office as the Right Hand of God.
C. Christ was exalted above all the host of heaven.

[...]

[...] "Jesus, who became Man; who was made 'a little lower than the angels'; Jesus, who endured death; was raised to the place of highest exaltation and honor.

"Moreover, it is exactly because of His humiliation, suffering, and death He has been invested with heavenly glory. This interpretation is in agreement with Paul's statement that 'therefore God also has highly exalted Him' (Phil. 2:9, NKJV). [...]

[...]

"Imagine a young man bowing before the throne of God, his face to the ground. He trembles in the presence of holiness. The whole universe watches in utter silence. Suddenly, a shadow hovers over him. He timidly lifts his head and looks into the loving face of Jesus. A strong hand reaches down and lifts him up (he has no strength of his own). Standing in front of the young man, the Savior turns to the Father and says, 'He is with Me.'

"It is easy to identify with someone with whom you have something in common. Jesus can identify with us. He assumed human nature and was tempted 'in all points' as we are, 'yet without sin' (Heb. 4:15). He experienced what we experience, and He overcame. So, we can be sure the One who stands before the throne of God to speak in our behalf is a 'faithful witness' (Rev. 1:5), and He has the power to save us." (http://absg.adventist.org/2003/3Q/TE/ETQ30303.pdf)

And the next quote is from Lesson 13:

"The Bible is full of statements that seem to be opposed to each other and yet both are true: While living on earth, Jesus was fully divine and fully human. The Bible is written by human authors; even so, it is the Word of God. God is independent of time, though He relates to us in time. There is one Godhead, but the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are called God. We are saved by faith and judged by works." (http://absg.adventist.org/2003/3Q/SE/EAQ30313.pdf)

In the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 13, it says the following:

"The Bible is full of ideas that seem to be opposite from each other. But both ideas are true. For example: (1) While living on earth, Jesus was fully God and fully human. (2) The Bible is written by human authors. But it is God's Word. (3) God is independent of time. But He relates to us in time. (4) There is one Godhead. But the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God. (5) We are saved by faith and judged by works." (http://absg.adventist.org/2003/3Q/ER/ERQ303_13.pdf)

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 13, the following additional comments are found:

"II. Keeping Perspective.
A. The Bible is written by human authors but is the Word of God.
B. There is one Godhead but Three within the trinity, and All are called God.
C. We are saved by faith but judged by our works." (http://absg.adventist.org/2003/3Q/TE/ETQ30313.pdf)

The following is from the January/February/March 2004 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 2:

[...] "The One who walked this earth, who became sweaty, tired, and hungry, was intimate with God before the world began, because He Himself was one with God. Although He became part of the human race and was subject to human limitations, He was the One who created the human race and the world in which it lived. [...]

[...]

PAGE 12

"The concept of 'the Word' would have been readily recognizable to the ancient Greeks, whether or not they ever had heard of Jesus. For centuries the Greeks had conceived that a divine figure they called 'the Word' (logos in Greek) was the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the Source of reason and intelligence, and the Mediator between the great God and the creation. In applying the term Logos to Jesus, John was appealing to the Greeks in terms they could understand.

[...]

"But the eternity of the Word is not based on some kind of precreation origin in the Father; Jesus was not created by the Father. Instead, from eternity, Jesus, the Word, was distinct from the Father (called 'God' in John 1:1 but 'Father' in verse 18) but in no sense inferior. 'What God was, the Word was' is the brilliantly accurate translation of The New English Bible. The intimate relationship between the Word and the Father was an intimacy of equals. We are not dealing with 'Gods' here; there is full unity in the Godhead at the same time that there is intimate relationship among the personalities of the Godhead. (See quotations in Friday's section.)

[...]

"Moses was a man given an incredible revelation of God (Exod. 33:19-23), and yet, even he was allowed to see God only briefly and from the back. In contrast, the Word came to earth as One who had been in continual residence 'at the Father's side'—the Greek implies continual close communion with God.

[...]

[...] "No being in the universe is more divine than Jesus,nor is any more human. [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2004/1Q/SE/EAQ104_02.pdf)

Notice that they say that no being in the universe is "more divine" than Jesus. Actually, Jesus is the only Divine Being--the one and only true God. No other being is "divine" at all. Also, they claim that they are not teaching three "Gods" simply because there is "full unity" "in" the "Godhead." That is not Trinitarianism or monotheism, which teach that God is actually one.

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 2, it says the following, which helps to explain what they meant by some of the above excerpts:

"The Greeks of John's day probably would have understood what 'the Word' meant, even though they had never heard of Jesus. For many hundreds of years, the Greeks knew that a God called 'the Word' (logos in Greek) was the Creator and Sustainer4 of the universe. They knew that 'the Word' was responsible for a person's ability to reason and think. They knew that 'the Word' also worked with God and Creation. In using the word logos for Jesus, John was talking to the Greeks in a way they could understand.

[...]

"Jesus was not created by the Father. From eternity, Jesus, the Word, was separate from the Father (called 'God' in John 1:1 but 'Father' in John 1:18). But He was in no way lower than the Father. 'What God was, the Word was' is the correct translation of The New English Bible. The close relationship between the Word and the Father is a closeness of equals.

[...]

[...] "From the days of eternity, Jesus Christ was one with the Father. He was 'the image (copy) of God.' He was the image of God's greatness and kingly power. 'He was the outshining of His glory.' It was to show God's glory that Jesus came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth, He came to show the light of God's love. He came to be 'God with us.' So prophecy said of Jesus, 'His name shall be called Immanuel.' '—Adapted from Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 19.

[...]

"Moses had a great opportunity to see God (Exodus 33:19-23). But God just let Moses see Him only shortly and from the back. Jesus was different. He came to earth as one who had always been 'at the Father's side.' The Greek word suggests a close working relationship with God." (http://absg.adventist.org/2004/1Q/ER/ERQ104_02.pdf)

Jesus is equal with the Father in the sense that He is fully God and is the one Divine Being, as is the Father. But Jesus and the Father are not "equals" as Adventism teaches--two equal Gods who are closely united. In fact, God says in Isaiah 40:25 and 46:5 that He has no equal. (For some more helpful commentary on this, see D. A. Carson's The Gospel According to John, pages 249-251.) Also notice, in the above quote, that they call Jesus "a God" separate from "God" and they also call Him the "copy" of God. Also, they say that "God" "just let Moses see Him only shortly and from the back" but that "Jesus was different"! And then they say that Jesus has "a close working relationship with God." All of these statements are incredibly heretical and polytheistic.

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 2, the following additional comments are made:

"III. The Word of God (John 1:1).
A.The concept of the Word was familiar to Jesus'and John's contemporaries.
B. The Word was fully distinct from the Father, although partaking of the same nature. [...]

"Summary: John makes it clear that if we are to accept Christ, we must accept His divinity. This Gospel shows us a Jesus who is in every sense equal to God the Father and who has always mediated between Creator and creation.

[...]

"God the Son was 'with the Father from all eternity.'—Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 39. 'There never was a time when He

PAGE 13

was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.'—Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 615. Two distinct Persons of the Godhead are thus identified: the Word and God. They are one in nature, thought, and function. They were revealed to Moses as the Creator and now through John as the world's Redeemer.

[...]

"John 1 describes how Christ, the Eternal Word, participated in Creation. What connection does this participation have to His role as Redeemer?

[...]

"Throughout the history of Christianity, the status of Christ as fully equal to God has often been a source of conflict. Why is it important to correctly understand Christ's status in the Godhead? [...]

[...]

"A word is a powerful thing to the Jewish person. It has dynamic energy and the ability to exist independently. And that is why the Hebrew language uses words sparingly. With this in mind, read John 1:14. What pictures of Jesus is John trying to portray by calling Him 'the Word'? How do you think the people of John's time might have reacted to this kind of description of Jesus?" (http://absg.adventist.org/2004/1Q/TE/ETQ104_02.pdf)

The following quote is from the January/February/March 2005 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 8:

"Darkness at Noon

[...]

"In the Bible, darkness is a symbol of evil, of separation from God, who is Light and in whom 'is no darkness at all' (1 John 1:5). In fact, Jesus talked of 'outer darkness' (Matt. 8:12, 22:13) as an expression for hell. In a sense, Jesus at the cross went to hell for us; that is, He suffered the penalty of sin that those in hell will have to face themselves.

[...]

"The darkness, then, is an outward symbol of the spiritual darkness that was surrounding the Son of God as He bore the full brunt of God's righteous wrath against sin. With the accumulated sin of the world not only falling on Him but being punished in Him there at the cross, with the Father, who is light, hiding His presence from Jesus—it's not hard to see why the darkness would sweep over the land as a powerful manifestation to the world and to the universe of what was happening at the cross, of the great punishment that Jesus was taking upon Himself in order to save humanity from the condemnation that sin would otherwise have brought. 'The dense blackness,' wrote Ellen White, 'was an emblem of the soul-agony and horror that encompassed the Son of God.'—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, p. 164.

"At times,who hasn't felt oppressed by spiritual darkness? What caused it? How did it go away? And what advice would you give to someone who says that he or she feels enveloped in spiritual darkness?

[...]

"The Father Hidden

"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? What could Jesus—who had said 'I and my Father are one' (John 10:30) and that 'Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me' (John 16:32)—have meant by those words? [...]

[...]

"However difficult for us to understand, Jesus—who had been One with the Father since eternity—now felt the complete separation from God caused by sin. God's wrath, which would otherwise fall on us, fell on Him so that none of us would ever have to face it ourselves.

"'It was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about His soul because of the withdrawal of the Father's love and favor; for He was standing in the sinner's place, and this darkness every sinner must experience. The righteous One must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God, not in vindictiveness; for the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when His Son, the guiltless, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering of the divine powers will never again occur throughout the eternal ages.'—Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 924." (http://absg.adventist.org/2005/1Q/SE/EAQ105_08.pdf)

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 8, we find these additional comments:

"Summary: At the sixth hour (see Matt. 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44), darkness separated Jesus from the Father. The God who is Light became the Sin Bearer and endured the darkness of separation from His Father. He who was able to save others did not save Himself, in order that we might be saved. [...]

[...]

"II. Darkness at Noon.

"Christ endured the horror of great darkness so that we could walk in the wonders of His great light. He suffered burning thirst so that we could drink from springs of living water. He suffered bloodstained nakedness so that we could be clothed in His spotless righteousness. He

PAGE 14

suffered the hiding of His Father's face so that we could someday see His face with no darkening veil between (see Rev. 22:4). [...]

"III. The Father Hidden.

"It was as painful for the Father to separate from Christ as it was for the Son to endure His Father's withdrawal. Jesus did not cry, 'O God, O God, why have You forsaken me?' but 'My God, My God . . .'; thus expressing His invincible faith in the Father, a faith that, at that time, could receive no comforting reward.

"We can hardly overemphasize that the reason the Father forsook Him was to allow His Son to experience in our stead the full punishment for our sins. The essential pain of that punishment is the spiritual anguish of total separation from God. Even the most rebellious of sinners still is surrounded at present with an atmosphere of wooing grace (see Ps. 68:18, Rom. 10:21, Rev. 22:17). When that drawing influence ceases, how great a chill of darkness and isolation shall descend upon the rejectors of mercy. Christ felt this, and more. He felt in our place the wrath of God against sin and recalcitrant sinners, so we could benefit from His reconciling mercy and grace. May God spare us from a languid, perfunctory response to this greatest of vicarious interventions dared and done for our everlasting good.

[...]

[...] "Though He hid His face from His Son for several eternity-freighted hours at the junction of Deliverance and Doom, 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them' (2 Cor. 5:19).

[...]

"l In our homes and offices, we do everything we can to dispel darkness. Jesus came to this earth to confront spiritual darkness. He who was Light (see 1 John 1:5) bore the full accumulation of the world's sin. This sin was made visible in the darkness that surrounded the cross and separated Him from His Father. How do you feel when you recognize that your sin was part of Jesus' burden? Describe how Jesus' sacrifice has freed you from spiritual darkness.

[...]

"Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine you have been informed you would never again see, speak to, or come into contact with your closest loved ones. Focus solely on this news. Suppose yo u are now told you will experience complete and absolute separation from Jesus. Let the terrible finality of this sink in. Now share with the group your honest reaction—physical, emotional, spiritual, mental—to such news. Did you experience any of the following: shock, disbelief, grief, anger, fear, abandonment, pain, horror, agony, displeasure, or loss?

"If so, you have gained a glimmer of what our Savior experienced as He hung on the cross and the full weight of humanity's sins fell on His shoulders. He cried out to His Father, from whom He felt totally alienated. He could not see past the terrible present. Yet, He refused to save Himself. He knew that if He gave in to the taunts slung at Him to save Himself, humanity would be lost to eternity.

[...]

"2 What is the difference between discouragement and despair?

"3 How does Jesus' experience with literal and spiritual darkness impact your life and your feelings?" (http://absg.adventist.org/2005/1Q/TE/ETQ10508.pdf)

The next quote is from the April/May/June 2005 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 12:

"The Week at a Glance: [...] What happened to the Godhead at the Cross?

[...]

[...] "Note the following truths set forth in the Bible.
1. In the plan of salvation, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One in love and action. We must avoid portraying the Father as cruel or merciless and the Son as merciful by contrast. (See John 3:16.)

[...]

"'Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.'—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 753.

"Dwell on this Ellen White quote. How does it help us understand what happened at the Cross? What does it tell us about the character of sin? Of God? How does it help us understand what our salvation cost God?

"Although Jesus tapped the depths of despair in His cry of woe— 'My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?'—His final words, 'It is finished' (John 19:30), expressed confidence, hope, and trust anyway. [...]

"Think about it. Jesus was One with the Father from eternity (John 1:1, 2); He and the Father were One in unity, action, and purpose (Gen. 1:26, 3:22, John 10:30); and yet, there, at the cross, Jesus felt this overwhelming sense of separation because of sin! There was a sundering of the Godhead itself there at Calvary! Have you ever been separated from someone that you love and feel very close to? How did that separation make you feel? How could those experiences, in a small way, not only help you appreciate what Jesus did

PAGE 15

for us but also help you live in loving obedience to the God who went through all this for you?" (http://absg.adventist.org/2005/2Q/SE/EAQ205_12.pdf)

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 12, the following additional comments are made:

"II. Suffering (Mark 15:16-32).
A. Christ on the cross became sin and experienced eternal separation from God—the second death. [...]

"III. Death (Mark 15:33-39).
A. The crucified Jesus experienced real despair. He could not see the successful end.
B. This despair is identical to what unsaved sinners will feel when they realize they are doomed. [...]

"Summary: To accomplish our salvation, Jesus had to experience what we, as condemned sinners, were meant to experience—despair and hopelessness. [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2005/2Q/TE/ETQ205_12.pdf)

Once again, in the above quotes, we have clear statements which deny the Trinity and teach tritheism. Notice that they say that Jesus and the Father are only "One in unity, action, and purpose" (again clearly showing what they mean by the word "unity").

The next quote is from the January/February/March 2006 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 1:

"What deeper meaning of the family emerges from reflection on the nature and Personhood of God and the creation of humankind in His image? Gen. 1:26-28. Compare John 17:11, 21, 22; 1 John 4:8, 16.

"What we can see in Christ's words is the unity and the loving relationship within the Godhead Itself. Think of the meaning and purpose this gives to life in our individual households, which, in their own way, can reflect the self-giving love seen within the Trinity! No wonder family becomes a major metaphor in the New Testament for the church, the household of faith (Gal. 6:10).

[...]

"Just as the human family was to reflect the Creator's relational nature, so the church is to be an even more exquisite replica of the harmonious, giving, loving relationship known within the Godhead. Family terms—birth, adoption, mother, father, sister, brother—provide a new vocabulary, a whole new way of talking about the human relationship with God and of human beings with one another.

[...]

"Summary: 'Family' is God's idea. He formed the human family as an expression of His own relational nature. [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/1Q/SE/EAQ_body106_01.pdf)

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 1, we find the following additional comments:

"Teachers Aims:
1. To show that families were established for companionship and were created to reflect the unity of the Godhead.

[...] "C. The first man and woman were created to be one flesh as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One. [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/1Q/TE/ETQbody106_01.pdf)

In the above quotes we see the SDA teachings (which we will continue to see more of) that "God" is like a "family" and that the "Godhead" is "one" only like a husband and wife are "one."

This next quote is from Lesson 7:

"God had a special purpose in creating humankind as male and female (Gen. 1:26-28). While each bears His image, the joining of gender opposites in the 'one flesh' of marriage reflects the unity within the Godhead in a special way. The union of male and female also provides for procreation of a new life, an original human expression of the divine image." (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/1Q/SE/EAQ_body106_07.pdf)

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 7, the following additional comments are made:

"This is what God desires; but what does Satan want? He wants to trivialize sex, to make us afraid of it, to fill us with shame and guilt about it. Remember, Satan is a fallen angel, and perhaps this causes him to envy what humankind is able to experience in cooperation with God. After all, it was Lucifer's envy of Christ's position in the Godhead that caused him to be cast out of heaven." (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/1Q/TE/ETQbody106_07.pdf)

The following quote is from Lesson 1 of the April/May/June 2006 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"This week we'll concentrate on one often misunderstood aspect of the Holy Spirit: His divinity. In other words, the Holy Spirit isn't just some impersonal force that emanates from God. Instead, He is God, one of the three Persons who make up the Godhead of the Christian faith. Let's take a look at this fundamental teaching of the Bible.

[...]

"Yet, the Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit is Divine; that is, the Holy Spirit, just as the Father and as the Son, is one of the divine Personages of the Godhead.

PAGE 16

[...]

"Christians have often been, and sometimes still are, accused of being polytheists—worshipers of more than one God. This is an understandable, but false, accusation. As Christians we admit there are three Persons in the Godhead, but 'they are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person.'—Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 422. The Christian religion is not a belief in three separate gods; rather, it is a belief in one God who is manifested in three Persons working in perfect harmony with one another." (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/SE/EAQ206_01.pdf)

Here they define their "one God" as "three Persons working in perfect harmony with one another," and they say in response to the charge of polytheism that they "admit" that there are "three Persons in the Godhead" who are "one" only in "purpose," "mind," and "character"!

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 1, these additional comments are found:

"Scripture consistently mentions the Three Personages of the Godhead with an unequivocal inference of peership among them. [...]

[...]

"III. The Unity of God

"The Godhead's unity of purpose, mind, and character, but individuality among its Three Members, does not require any justification or explanation from created beings. [...]

[...]

"Inductive Bible Study

"Texts for Discovery: Genesis 3:22, Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, John 3:8, 16:13

"1 How do we know the Holy Spirit is a divine, personal Being, as are the Father and the Son? Why is it important to believe this?

"2 Our views on the Holy Spirit stem from the concept of the Trinity as a unity of Three coeternal Beings. Most Christian denominations believe that this is true. What evidence for this belief do we have in the Bible?

[...]

"Consider how the unity among the Three Members of the Godhead and the richness of Their concerted benevolence toward all creation serve to root out of the universe anything that approaches a spirit of rivalry, contention, and lust for power.

[...]

"Thought Questions:

"1 As we read through the Bible, we meet God who is Three. The plan of salvation is portrayed through the different facets of their ministry to us: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What texts help you to understand the vast concept of Their unity, yet individuality of purpose and activity? [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/TE/ETQ206_01.pdf)

There are some incredible statements in the above quote. First of all, notice that they have a very obvious paraphrase of their official "Fundamental Beliefs" statement on the "Trinity"--instead of "a unity of three co-eternal Persons," they say "a unity of Three coeternal Beings." This clearly shows that by the word "Persons" in the official belief statement they mean "Beings." And then they follow this up with an outright lie, saying that "Most Christian denominations believe that this is true." The rest of the above quote is also very blatantly Tritheistic.

And here are some more incredible quotes from the parallel Collegiate Quarterly (the official SDA quarterly for ages 18-35), also from Lesson 1 of the 2nd quarter in 2006:

"CONCLUDE

"God functions as a system—a union of three stand-alone components. This study looks specifically at the Holy Spirit. In the Bible the existence of the Holy Spirit is a given.The Spirit is distinguished from—and related to independently of—the Father and the Son. He is an individual we can grieve and rebel against. [...]

"CONSIDER

"Creating a picture using a theme of '3s.' For example, draw three trees on one page. Use a different medium for each tree, like graphite, ink, and pastels. Or make a triptych of one subject, like flames or clouds.

[...]

"Organizing the following exercise: In a group setting have three or more men stand shoulder to shoulder in a line. Walk behind the line and randomly (with care, please) push one person's back and watch how well he stays in place. Have everyone in the line link arms with his neighbor. Push another person and see the difference that being 'three-in-one' makes in how well he keeps in place." (http://cq.adventist.org/languages/lessons/english/2006-2/01.pdf [no longer online])

So here they define "God" as a "system" rather than a living Being. "God" is just a "union of three stand-alone components"--this is simply Tritheism.

PAGE 17

And then, to illustrate their "Trinity," they're supposed to draw "three trees"--using "a different medium for each tree"--on "one page"!

The next quote is from Lesson 2 of the April/May/June 2006 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"Paul here uses the figure, or symbol, of money, kind of like a down payment, to illustrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to believers. This is a first installment, an assurance of their full inheritance when Christ returns.

"Where do you see the work of the triune God in the preceding texts? Why should that also give us assurance regarding salvation?

[...]

[...] "Jesus likened the Spirit to the wind. He cannot be seen, yet, the effects He brings about in changed human lives are plainly evident. But the Spirit Himself is a mystery. Of the three Persons in the Godhead, He is the most unfamiliar to humanity. Jesus came to reveal, or make known, the Father (see John 1:18), and humanity saw Jesus in human form. But no one has ever seen the Spirit, nor has anyone revealed Him to us.

"'Christ uses the wind as a symbol of the Spirit of God. As the wind bloweth whither it listeth, and we cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth, so it is with the Spirit of God. We do not know through whom it will be manifested.'—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 2, p. 15." (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/SE/EAQ206_02.pdf)

First notice that they are saying that our salvation being "the work of the triune God" is more assurance than merely having the gift of "the Holy Spirit"! Also notice that they say that "Jesus came to reveal...the Father" but that no one has "revealed" "the Spirit." This is very polytheistic. They also state that "humanity saw Jesus in human form" but that "no one has ever seen the Spirit." This is not true according to Jesus' teaching in John 14:7, 9. It is true that no one has seen the Holy Spirit's actual essence. But it is also true that no one has seen Jesus' divine essence (which, of course, is the one and the same essence as the Holy Spirit and the Father), since God is an invisible Spirit.

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 2, it says the following:

"We cannot see the wind.We do not know where the wind comes from.We do not know where it goes. But we can see what the wind does. Likewise, we cannot see the Spirit. But we can see what the Spirit does in the lives it changes. The Spirit is a mystery. Of the Three Persons in the Godhead,9 the Spirit is the most unfamiliar to people. Jesus came to show the Father (John 1:18). And people saw Jesus in human form. But no one has ever seen the Spirit.

[...]

"9Godhead—God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit make up the Godhead." (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/ER/ERQ206_02.pdf)

The following quote is from Lesson 3 of the April/May/June 2006 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"Throughout His entire ministry Jesus was led by the Spirit. He unreservedly committed Himself to the accomplishment of His Father's will, as unveiled to Him in the Sacred Writings and the promptings of the Spirit. He surrendered His own inclinations. [...]

[...]

"However unfathomable the incarnation of Jesus, it's not hard to understand why the Holy Spirit Himself, One of the Godhead, would be the acting Agent. Who else other than God could perform such a miracle? It's hard to imagine an angel, or any inferior or created being, as the causative agent in this incredible act.

[...]

"Though He was the spotless Son of God, the One who was with God from the days of eternity (John 1:1-3), Jesus, in His human manifestation, was totally dependent upon the work of the Spirit in His life. That is, in His humanity, He allowed Himself to be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.

"Notice, too, at this scene that all three Persons of the Trinity were manifested in a special way not always revealed in Scripture: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost were all there. This fact alone should tell us how significant the anointing and baptism of Jesus were. Indeed, here, in a special way, began His work, not only for the redemption of humanity but for ending the great controversy with Satan.

[...]

"Acts 1:1, 2 makes it plain that it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus 'had given commandments unto the apostles.' Here, too, we have another clear reference to the dependence of Jesus upon the power of the Holy Spirit in His life.

[...]

"The Pharisees asserted that Jesus cast out devils through the power of Beelzebub. But He made it clear that He performed His miracles through the power of the Spirit (see Matt. 12:28). Jesus was dependent on the power of the Spirit to perform His miracles during His earthly ministry.

[...]

"None of us, of course, is Jesus. But in what ways can we, if filled with the Spirit, do some of the same things Jesus did (John 14:12) for the

PAGE 18

benefit of others? How have you been able to, under the power of the Spirit, do some of these same things?

[...]

"God is one, but triune. The three Persons of the Trinity work together. They are intimately united in Their work. Thus, although this text says Jesus was raised from the dead by that Spirit, the other two Persons of the Deity united in resurrecting Jesus." (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/SE/EAQ206_03.pdf)

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 3, it says the following:

"We cannot fully understand how Jesus was put in human form. But it is not hard to understand why the Holy Spirit would be the acting Agent.1 [...]

[...]

"1agent—someone, or something, who does work for someone else. The Holy Spirit works for God and Jesus.

[...]

"What did Peter think of Jesus' Spirit-inspired work? Acts 10:38.

"How can we do some of the things Jesus did (John 14:12) if we are filled with the Holy Spirit? How have you been able to do some of these same things under the Holy Spirit's power?

[...]

"God is Three-in-One. The Three Persons of the Godhead work together. They are united in Their work. First Peter 3:18 says Jesus was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit, but the other Two Persons of the Godhead joined together to bring about the resurrection.6" (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/ER/ERQ206_03.pdf)

Notice their definition of the word "agent" and that they use it in a very polytheistic way.

And here are some additional comments from the Teachers Edition for Lesson 3:

"Summary: Jesus set aside His divine powers completely to take on humanity. Not one miracle that He performed or one temptation that He overcame was done with His own power. All that Jesus did, said, and taught came directly from the Holy Spirit. Jesus' divinity never ceased, but He chose to be exactly like us—in our need to rely completely on the Holy Spirit—to fulfill His mission. He became the perfect human tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit. We, too, can be used by the Holy Spirit as efficiently as Jesus if we learn to fully submit to His leading and to His voice.

[...]

"Christ's mission was sustained and guided by the Holy Spirit throughout every phase of His earthly life. The Spirit's infinite intelligence, capabilities, and full sympathy with the Divine purpose qualified Him to labor as an equal Partner with the Father and the Son for our redemption.

[...]

"Christ's visible anointing by the Holy Spirit (see Luke 3:21, 22) unveils several core truths:

[...]

"2. Christ's renunciation of His inherent divine powers and His entire dependence on the other Two Persons of the Godhead for the conduct of His mission. Thus, He retained no advantage that we cannot possess through the same dependence on God that He exercised. (See John 5:19, 30; 8:28; 15:4, 5; Phil. 4:13.) This also reveals that it was not exclusively Christ's desire to save us; the Father and the Spirit are equally committed to our redemption and are unitedly laboring to consummate it. (See John 6:37-39, 63.)

[...]

"Christ's submissiveness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit clearly displays the variety of the Spirt's [sic] work in His life. Consider some aspects of this work—daily direction with regard to duty and its proper performance; discernment; endurance; energy; power; and clarity of mind to comprehend, teach, and apply Scripture. This work is also to be carried out in and through the life of Christ's disciples but only as we completely submit to God. (See Isa. 11:1, 2; 50:4-10; 59:19-21; 61:1, 2; John 9:4.) In concert with the Father, and in subjection to His will, the Spirit glorifies Christ. (See John 16:13, 14.)

[...]

"Christ's paramount mission was 'to seek and save the lost' (Luke 19:10). This involved a full restoration of Bible truth and personal demonstration of its beauty and power. (See John 18:37.) The Holy Spirit anointed Christ to perform His work with flawless mastery, skill, and plenitude, as the great Medical Missionary who came to save us from sin and from every conceivable form of life-robbing affliction (see Acts 10:38). Because of Christ's single-minded submission to the will of God, and full obedience to His Word, the Spirit was granted to Christ without measure (see John 3:31-35).

PAGE 19

[...]

"l Describe the Holy Spirit's role in Jesus' life and ministry. How is this similar to the Holy Spirit's role in the life of a Christian? How is it different? Why was it necessary for Jesus, Himself a manifestation of God, to rely on the Holy Spirit?

[...]

"4 A close look at the Gospels indicates that God and the Holy Spirit were active in Jesus' life and ministry at different times and places. What does this say about the nature and character of the Holy Spirit manifested in the Godhead?

"5 Jesus performed His miracles strictly through the power of the Holy Spirit. Presumably, we have access to the same power, but we rarely, if ever, perform such miracles, or see them performed by others. Was Jesus different in this sense? If so, how? Did He have an advantage in being God, or was He closer to God's ideal for humanity—an ideal that is at least theoretically attainable for us?

[...]

"'Christ came to this world to show that by receiving power from on high, man can live an unsullied life. With unwearying patience and sympathetic helpfulness, He met men in their necessities. By the gentle touch of grace, He banished from the soul unrest and doubt, changing enmity to love, and unbelief to confidence. . . .

'At the sound of His voice the spirit of greed and ambition fled from the heart, and men arose, emancipated, to follow the Saviour.'—Ellen G. White, Reflecting Christ, p. 43. [...]

[...]

"To the many Scripture references that the Father raised Christ from the dead (see Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 13:30-37), Peter adds that Christ was 'quickened' (zoopoieo, which means 'made alive') 'by the Spirit' (1 Pet. 3:18; compare Rom. 1:4, 8:11). This again atests [sic] to the intimacy with which the Father and Spirit worked together in all aspects of Christ's life and ministry, from His birth to His resurrection. God desires this same intimacy with us from our new birth onward to final glory. (See Romans 6-8; Eph. 1:17-19.)" (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/TE/ETQ206_03.pdf)

The above excerpts totally teach Tritheism and deny the deity of Jesus, even stating that He "set aside His divine powers completely"! Their statement that "Jesus' divinity never ceased" is totally disingenuous and meaningless in light of everything they claim. They even teach that Jesus was no more divine than we can be.

In Lesson 10, the following appears in the Teachers Edition:

"The Holy Spirit makes Christ present to seekers and believers. Yet, we also know that the Spirit is a distinct, personal entity in His own right. What do these two facts about the Holy Spirit teach us about the relationship between the members of the Trinity?

[...]

"Salvation in Christ introduces us to intimate fellowship with the entire Godhead through the Spirit. No part of the Deity remains aloof from us or inaccessible. This communion is most directly open to us through the avenue of receptivity to the Word of God (see John 14:15- 17, 21-23; 15:7-15). God's Word begets new life in the soul, a life that conforms to the image of Christ, the Living Word, thus making us partakers of the divine nature. (See 1 Pet. 1:2-5, 9-14; 2 Pet. 1:1-4.)" (http://absg.adventist.org/2006/2Q/TE/ETQ206_10.pdf)

The following quote is from Lesson 8 of the 1st Quarter 2007 Collegiate Quarterly:

"Anyone who has ever been threatened knows the importance of sticking close to the one who can protect them from the threat. All of us are threatened by Satan (1 Pet. 5:8). However, we have Friends in high places that are more than willing to come to our rescue.

"The Godhead is more than equal to the task of keeping us upright, but we must be willing and active participants. Real intimacy is not intellectual; it is not emotional; it is life-sustaining. How do we get this intimacy?" (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2007-1/08.pdf)

In the above quote, they explicitly refer to "The Godhead" as our "Friends"!

The following is from the July/August/September 2007 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 1:

"The Image of God

"'So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them' (Gen. 1:27, NKJV).

"The meaning of what constitutes the 'image of God' can be understood partly through the clarifying statement that follows in the text— 'male and female He created them.' Male and female together reflect the image of God. One gender complements the other and is incomplete by itself. Male and female human beings were not meant to live separately but to seek the other naturally. This combination of male and female is necessary for the preservation of society and the continuity of human history.

"Many have associated God with solely the masculine gender. Though the Hebrew word for God has a masculine plural ending and takes masculine forms of the verb, the Bible also includes feminine imagery and qualities for God.

"What feminine images for the attributes of God are used here? Deut. 32:11; Isa. 49:15, 16; 66:12, 13; Hos. 13:8; Matt. 23:37.

PAGE 20

"In support of this complementary nature of the genders is the idea of the plurality in God. The pronoun used for God is in the plural: ' 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness' ' (Gen. 1:26, NIV).

"How might the plurality of the Godhead reflect the idea of man and woman together reflecting the image of God?

"Plurality in the Godhead is necessary because God is love. In order for love to exist, there must be someone to love and someone to be loved. Male and female in their partnership reflect this plurality. Like God, it is natural for man and woman to be united in love. Love marks a basic human relationship. Humans live to love and are not complete unless they do so, whether or not that love is expressed in a marriage relationship. Single people can express love in other ways. After all, Jesus was single.

[...]

"Commenting on Genesis 2:24, Jesus declared that husband and wife ' 'are no longer two, but one' ' (Matt. 19:6, NIV). Husband and wife are to be united, socially, emotionally, and spiritually, even as the Trinity, though Three, is One. This is one way in which husband and wife reflect the 'image of God.'" (http://absg.adventist.org/2007/3Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ307_01.pdf)

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 1, it has the following even more blatantly polytheistic statements:

"The meaning of the 'image of God' can be partly understood from the verse: 'male and female He [God] created them' (Genesis 1:27). Male and female together show the image of God. One gender (sex) helps the other gender and is not whole by itself. Male and female humans3 were not meant to live by themselves. God made male and female humans to need one another. This need helps society4 stay together and helps human history to keep moving forward.

[...]

"Male and female together help us understand the idea that God is more than one Person. The pronoun, or part of speech, used for God shows that God is many: ' 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness' '(Genesis 1:26, NIV).

"How might the idea of man and woman together help us understand that God is more than one Person?

"Male and female together show that love works when two or more are involved. Like God, man and woman want to join together in love.

[...]

"About Genesis 2:24, Jesus said that husband and wife ' 'are no longer two, but one' ' (Matthew 19:6, NIV). Husband and wife are to share in their feelings, in their friendships with others, and in their love for God. In the same way, the Trinity12 is Three-in- One. This is one way in which husband and wife can show the 'image (likeness) of God.'

[...]

"12. Trinity—God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit." (http://absg.adventist.org/2007/3Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ307_01.pdf)

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 1, the following additional comments are made:

"Teach the Class to:
Know: Marriage reflects God's divine image.
Feel: A desire to be created anew in God's image.
Do: Determine to ask Jesus to bless your relationships.

[...]

"Summary: Godly marriage reflects the image of God in its unity.

[...]

"Consider Genesis 1:26. What does the phrase 'image of God' mean to you? Does it have physical, emotional, creative, male-female overtones? If so, how?

[...]

"II. Marriage: Unity in Diversity

"'The image of God . . . male and female' (Gen. 1:26, 27). These two phrases that describe the human creation and the human family teach us a profound truth. Just as unity, love, and unselfishness mark the Godhead, in the midst of Their plurality—the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit—so should humanity, particularly the family, reflect that aspect of the image of God in being united in love. An ideal marriage brings together two to make one—not sacrificing the individuality of either, but each complementing the other, to ensure that the two 'shall be one flesh' (Gen. 2:24)." (http://absg.adventist.org/2007/3Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ307_01.pdf)

Again we see, from this lesson, that Adventism teaches that the "oneness" of "God" is merely a "unity" of purpose, love, character, etc.

The following quote is from the April/May/June 2008 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 2:

"The above passages put Christ on an equal footing with the One whom we have come to call 'God the Father.' And this all measures up

PAGE 21

with Jesus' own declarations when He walked the dusty streets of Palestine. In John 10:30, for example, He declared, ' 'I and the Father are one' ' (NIV). The neuter form of the Greek used here for 'one' implies a union as close as our minds can conceive. Jesus and the Father are of one substance, one nature, yet not one and the same Person (in which case He would have used the masculine gender). If you have trouble plumbing the depths of all this, you have lots of company. The deeper you probe the subject, the more keenly you understand the depths of your ignorance.

"But imagine a situation in which the Being we have come to know as God the Father came to die for us, and the One we have come to know as Jesus stayed back in heaven (we are speaking in human terms to make a point). Nothing would have changed, except that we would have been calling Each by the name we now use for the Other. That is what equality in the Deity means." (http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ208_02.pdf)

The above shows that even when they do say "of one substance," they don't mean "one Being," as they then go on to teach once again that the Father and Son are two separate Beings. Also, they clarify that by "of one substance" they simply mean "one nature," or "kind."

This is made explicitly clear in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 2, which says the following:

"In John 10:30, for example, Jesus said, ' 'I and the Father are one' ' (NIV). The Greek word used here for 'one' suggests a union as close as our minds can imagine. Jesus and the Father are of the same kind, but not one and the same Person. (If so, He would have used a different word.) If you have trouble understanding this, you are not alone. The deeper you explore the subject, the more clearly you understand your limits.

[Next is an image that says "JESUS = GOD" with the following caption underneath it:] "Jesus and God are equal in power but are not the same person.

"But suppose what would happen if God the Father came to die for us, and the one we have come to know as Jesus stayed back in heaven? Nothing would have changed except that we would have been calling each by the name we now use for the other. That is what God the Father and God the Son being equal means to us." (http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ208_02.pdf)

And the following additional comments are from Lesson 2 of the Teachers Edition:

"Summary: Jesus, the Son of God, existed eternally with the Father before the world began and is both divine and human. Jesus spoke of His own existence with the Father before coming to save humanity and remained in constant communion with God while here on the earth.

[...]

"Jesus claimed a special relation of equality with God the Father. [...] So intimate was His status with God that Jesus equated one's attitude to Him with the attitude to God. [...] To preach the gospel was to preach in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—all Three being coequal and coeternal Persons of the Godhead (Matt. 28:19). Jesus further claimed that He shared the glory of the Father from eternity (John 17:5, 24). [...]

[...]

"John 1:1-3, 14. The text marks out four points. The Word (i.e., Jesus, vs. 14) independently and eternally existed. The Word is distinct from, but equal with, God the Father. The Word was with God and was God. The Word is the Creator. The Word is Jesus.

[...]

"Thought Questions:
l 'My Father and I are One,' said Christ. They Both are One in nature, One in character, and One in purpose. Is it possible for us to say 'Christ dwells in us'? If it is possible, how would that be seen in our lives?" (http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ208_02.pdf)

The next quotation is from Lesson 3:

"One scholar makes the point that the claim that the founder of Christianity was Divine was not a big shock in the Roman world; after all, their emperors routinely claimed divinity. But the claim that 'the Christian God was concerned about humanity; concerned enough to suffer in its behalf. This was unheard of.'—Huston Smith, The Illustrated World's Religions (New York: HarperCollins, 1986), p. 219. [...]

[...]

"While on earth, Jesus voluntarily surrendered the independent exercise of the Divine attributes. He surrendered; He did not relinquish. The attributes remained in Him. He could have used them at any time for His own advantage, but He did not. The temptation to call on these attributes to extricate Himself from difficulty (in ways not open to us) was a major ingredient of His daily trials." (Emphasis in origingal. http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ208_03.pdf)

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 3, it says the following:

"One thinker makes the point that it was not a big shock in the Roman world that the founder of Christianity was divine (of God). Roman emperors often claimed they were gods. But the claim that 'the Christian God was very interested in humans, so much that He would suffer for their sake was unheard of.'—Adapted from Huston Smith, The Illustrated World's Religions (New York: HarperCollins, 1986), page 219. [...]

[...]

PAGE 22

"While on earth, Jesus voluntarily (freely) surrendered (gave up; offered) His right to use power as God. This power remained in Him, and He could have used it at any time for His own advantage (gain). But He did not. The temptation6 to call on this power to remove Himself from difficulty was a big one in His daily trials.

[...]

"6. temptation—anything that tries to turn us away from God and tries to get us to do, think, feel, or say what is wrong." (http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ208_03.pdf)

Notice that with their definition for "temptation" they are saying that Jesus was tempted to turn "away from God" by using His divine power/attributes! Also, notice that in the first paragraph they are comparing Christianity's claim of divinity with the Roman emperors' claims of divinity, saying that the Christian claim of Jesus' divinity was "not a big shock in the Roman world." But the Roman emperors did not claim to be the one and only true God!

And the following additional comments are from Lesson 3 of the Teachers Edition:

"Jesus, of His own free will, denied the exercise of His divine power while here on earth.

[...]

"Summary: Although Jesus was divine, He suffered in the flesh and experienced our weaknesses. He did not use His divinity to overcome sin and temptation, yet He lived a sinless life.

[...]

"John 1:1-3, 14 is foundational to understanding the nature of Christ and its significance to Christ's ministry. This passage teaches us three great truths. First, John, the beloved of Christ's disciples, introduces Christ as the Word. This Word existed from the beginning, along with God, coequal and coeternal with Him. Second, being God, the Word took upon Himself the 'flesh'—that is, human nature—and dwelt as Man on earth. [...]" (http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ208_03.pdf)

Notice the subtle perversion of John 1:1 in the above quote.

This next quote is from Lesson 12:

"'Not long after the Creation . . . our first parents fell into sin. . . . In the wake of this terrible crisis, God's first concern was for human restoration and the eternal security of the universe. The death of a member of the Godhead—a contingency already determined in the foreknowledge and council of God (see Rev. 13:8)—was the only means to that end.

"'To secure human participation and cooperation in this supreme endeavor, God moved quickly to inform our first parents of the plan. At the same time, He put in place a teaching device to keep it perpetually before their attention and that of succeeding generations.'—Roy Adams, The Sanctuary (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald® Publishing Association, 1993), pp. 17, 18. That teaching device, of course, was the sanctuary service." (http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ208_12.pdf)

And the following additional comments are from Lesson 12 of the Teacher's Edition:

"Summary: Christ's high-priestly ministry has no time barrier. It was relevant in the days of the early New Testament church and still applies to our time today. Through His ministry, all who come to Jesus can have access to God the Father.

[...]

"So God, in His love and mercy, gave us His Son—Someone who understands both parties 100 percent; Someone who can mediate and straighten out the problems and misunderstandings that exist between God and us." (http://www.absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ208_12.pdf)

We will now move on to the October/November/December 2008 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, whose "Principal Contributor" was Angel Manuel Rodriguez, who is the director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The following excerpts are from Lesson 4:

"Key Thought: To show that the Godhead anticipated the Fall, and that a plan was crafted to solve the problem of sin long before it arose.

[...]

"God was not obliged to save the human race. It was not something that He was forced to do. It is difficult to imagine the Godhead saying, 'Had We done this or that, Adam and Eve would not have fallen into sin. Therefore, now We should do something to save them from their predicament.'

[...]

"First, it was formulated before the 'foundation of the world' (Eph. 1:4, NASB). This implies that long before humans fell into sin, the Godhead had created a plan to deal with that calamity.

"Second, this divine mystery was 'kept hidden for ages and generations' (Col. 1:26, NIV). Not only was the plan configured in advance, but it was also determined that it would be put into effect at a particular moment. Therefore, it remained hidden within the Godhead for ages.

PAGE 23

[...]

[...] "Fifth, the mystery secretly formulated within the Godhead before the creation of the world has now become known through the coming of Christ into human history.

[...]

"When Jesus was in Gethsemane, experiencing the anguish of death (Matt. 26:36-46) and bearing the sins of the world, He approached the Father, asking Him, essentially, whether or not there was another option available to accomplish the salvation of humankind. The answer came wrapped in divine silence. There was no other way out for the human problem except through the sacrifice of Christ.

"In the mystery of divine council, before the creation of the world, the Son of God offered Himself to die as our Substitute and Surety. [...]

[...]

[...] "He needed to go to Jerusalem. He could have chosen not to go, but He knew that this was indispensable for the divine plan. [...] He was following the eternal plan put together by the Godhead." (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ408_04.pdf)

In the above excerpts we see that they teach that "the Godhead" is a group which comes together in a "divine council" where they "put together" plans.

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 4, it says the following:

"KEY (IMPORTANT) THOUGHT: To show that the Godhead3 expected the Fall. And then They made a plan to solve the problem of sin long before it arose.

[...]

"3. Godhead—the Father, His Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are the Three Persons who make up the Godhead. Together they are One God.

[...]

"Fifth, the mystery was secretly planned within the Godhead before the creation of the world. But it has now become known through the coming of Christ into human history.

[...]

"In the mystery of God's council, before the world was created, the Son of God offered Himself to die as our Substitute.18 [...]

[...]

[...] "He needed to go to Jerusalem. He could have chosen not to go. But Jesus knew that this was a very important part of God's plan. [...] He was following God's eternal plan." (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ408_04.pdf)

Again, we see that their definition of the "Godhead" is a group of Three who "together" "make up" "one God." This is the same definition as the Mormon "Godhead."

And in the Teachers Edition for Lesson 4, it has the following additional comments:

"Consider This: Why did Jesus see what He did as so necessary for His mission? Why did He say so often that He wasn't doing His work but His Father's?

"The communion between the Father and Son is so close that Jesus, in loving us and dying for us, was expressing the Father's love for us, in close obedience to His Father's will. Yet, our relationship with Jesus is so intimate that Jesus says He knows us the way the Father knows Him. 'What a statement is this!—the only begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be 'the man that is my fellow' (Zech. 13:7),—the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!'—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 483." (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ408_04.pdf)

The following quote is from the Collegiate Quarterly, from Lesson 7 of the 4th quarter in 2008:

"If Christ is a true revelation of God's character, and if God's plan of redemption in Christ truly consists of our salvation, then we must address the question: Who are God and Christ? How are they able to achieve salvation for sinful humans?" (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2008-4/CQ-08-Q4-07.pdf)

The next quote is from Lesson 8 of the October/November/December 2008 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"Third, the Godhead was involved and present in the baptism of Jesus. The Father's voice was heard from heaven, and the Holy Spirit made Himself visible through the symbol of a dove. God's love was flowing down to His Son as a member of the human race, accepting Him as its Representative. Humans were no longer separated from the love of God, because in Christ a channel through which divine love could reach them was found.

[...]

PAGE 24

"The temptations of Jesus reveal some contrasting parallels with those of Adam and Eve. [...] Sixth, Adam openly went against the Lord and joined Satan in his rebellion against God and His government. Jesus was offered the kingdoms of this world if He would only worship and join Satan in his struggle against the kingdom of God. Jesus, however, remained loyal to the Father.

[...]

"That deep bond of unity between the Father and the Son was not broken through the temptations and attacks that Satan launched against the Son of God. He overcame every one and remained totally dependent on the Father. No other human being has been, is, or will be exactly like Him. He was by nature and by personal election sinless. [...]

[...]

"Further Study: Purpose of the Incarnation: 'Christ in counsel with His Father laid out the plan for His life on earth. . . . He clothed His divinity with the garb of humanity, that He might stand at the head of the human family, His humanity mingled with the humanity of the race fallen because of Adam's disobedience.'—Ellen G. White, The Southern Work, p. 85.

[...]

"Summary: In the incarnation of Jesus we witness the only human Being who was born on this planet in complete and perfect union with God. Although tempted by the enemy in ways that no other human being has been or will be tempted, Jesus remained loyal to the Father and overcame where Adam failed, thus paving the way to bring salvation to all who surrender to Him in faith and obedience." (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ408_08.pdf)

If Jesus is God, then it would be impossible for Him to "worship and join Satan in his struggle against the kingdom of God." And there would be no need for Him to try to "remain loyal to the Father" if He is one and the same God! The above excerpts are simply a denial of Christ's deity and of the Trinity.

And the following comments are from the Collegiate Quarterly, also from Lesson 8 of the 4th quarter in 2008:

"Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where He prayed and fasted for 40 days and nights and was then tempted by the devil. [...] Jesus was trying to show us that it is possible to resist temptation and overcome sin—even in our weakest moments. After 40 days without food, He was physically weak and longing for a meal, yet he managed to resist Satan's temptation to turn stones into bread. Pay close attention to the fact that Jesus' only source of strength came from praying to God—something all of us can do. He specifically chose to lay aside His power, and to exercise only the means available to us in order to prove that we, too, can live sinless lives.When we sin, it is not because God has refused to help us, but rather because we have failed to use all of the resources made available to us by Him, in order to avoid falling into the trap of sin. It is only through following Christ's example of staying in constant communion with God, that we can conquer temptation.

[...]

"Everybody knows that oil and water don't mix—but do they? In many recipes, water-based and oil-based liquids do mix by forming an emulsion using egg yolks. So why are we talking about cooking?

"On the surface, we cannot 'mix' with God because of our sin (Rom. 3:23), but God has made a way for a perfect union with Him by providing the secret ingredient—His Son (1 Pet. 3:18). So how does this recipe work? How can we be part of God's plan to be restored to Him through the incarnation of Jesus and through the sanctifying of our nature?1 Let us take a look at the formation of emulsion using a hollandaise sauce recipe to illustrate how:2" (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2008-4/CQ-08-Q4-08.pdf)

Notice that the above quote has Jesus as a separate, third "ingredient" in addition to "God" and the believer. And the first paragraph teaches that Jesus was no more divine than we can be.

The following is from Lesson 10 of the October/November/December 2008 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"It is to this cup that Jesus was referring when He asked the Father to let it be taken away from Him, if possible (Matt. 26:39, Mark 14:36). He was experiencing loneliness—the abandonment of the disciples and particularly the abandonment of God. He sought the company and support of the disciples but didn't get it. And now, all by Himself, He asked the Father not to forsake Him. The answer that came back to Him from within the darkness of the divine silence was, 'There is no other way to save the human race.' Jesus voluntarily acquiesced to the will of the Father.

[...]

"Darkness: Handed Over to the Enemy

"In Gethsemane, and now in the events leading to the Cross, Jesus faced as never before the forces of evil. The struggle against satanic powers was to reach indescribable dimensions, testing the Savior to the very core of His being.

[...]

"According to Matthew 26:45, 46, Jesus was handed over into the hands of sinners. The verb expresses the idea of a transfer of a possession from one to another. Indeed, already 'the light of God was receding from His vision, and He was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness.'—Ellen G. White, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, August 1, 1892. Now He was going to be delivered totally into the hands of sinners; that is, into the hands of evil powers. For Him this was the hour ' 'when darkness reigns' ' (Luke 22:53, NIV), when He was to experience total separation from the Father's love. Christ was going into the kingdom of darkness by Himself; and yet, it was there, in that kingdom, that He would defeat evil once and for all. [...]

PAGE 25

[...]

"On the cross, Jesus was suffering intensely. But so was the Father. God was in Christ, consequently, 'the omnipotent God suffered with His Son.'—Ellen G. White, The Upward Look, p. 223. [...] What was the nature of the suffering experienced by the Godhead that caused Christ to ask, ' 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' ' (Matt. 27:46, NIV).

"On the cross God experienced something He had never before experienced: The penalty for sin. 'It was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about His soul because of the withdrawal of the Father's love and favor; for He was standing in the sinner's place. . . . The righteous One must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God, not in vindictiveness; for the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when His Son, the guiltless, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering of the divine powers will never again occur throughout the eternal ages.'—Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 924.

"This statement indicates, first, that the Father withdrew His love from the Son not because He did not love Him but because Jesus was dying in our place. There was no one available to mediate God's love to His Son! Second, there was no vindictiveness in the heart of the Father as His Son was dying for the sins of the world. He did not rejoice in the death of the Son but was suffering with Him. Third, the real penalty God paid for our sins was 'the sundering of the divine powers.' Ellen White is taking us inside the mystery of the relationships between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, describing for us what the Godhead underwent as Jesus was on the cross. The verb to sunder means 'to break or force apart.' That which should have remained united was torn apart.

"In short, through Christ's sacrifice the Godhead was accepting responsibility for the world's sins and, more so, the Godhead was suffering the consequences of these sins. Could it be that the Godhead, who cannot die, felt in a unique way—through the temporary sundering of the divine powers—the full intensity of the eternal death of the fallen race, through the temporal exclusion of the Son from the unity of the Godhead? The plan of salvation, the atonement, pulled the Trinity apart but momentarily. This experience of extreme 'pain' within the Godhead took place only once and will never occur again.

[...]

"Discussion Questions:

[...]

"2 Dwell on Wednesday's lesson, the idea of the temporal sundering of the Godhead. What can you take from that which can help you understand the depth of the atonement? How was that experience in the Godhead 'the penalty' for our sin? Discuss your answer in class on Sabbath.

[...]

"Summary: On the cross, Jesus experienced the fullness of the sinner's eternal separation from God. [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ408_10.pdf)

In the above excerpts, there are many incredibly heretical statements. They are teaching a totally polytheistic "Godhead," saying that there was a "sundering" of the "divine powers" (gods) when "Jesus" was on the cross.

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 10, it says the following:

"And now, all by Himself, Jesus prayed to the Father not to leave Him. The answer that came back to Him was silence. It was the same as the Father saying, 'There is no other way to save humans.' Then Jesus surrendered11 to the will of the Father.

[...]

"11. surrendered—to give one's whole life to God.

[...]

"Jesus was in Gethsemane, and now the events were leading to the Cross. Jesus was facing the forces of evil as never before. The struggle against satanic powers was reaching its peak. It was testing the Savior to the very limit.

[...]

"Ellen G. White's statement shows, first, that the Father withdrew His love from the Son. He did not withdraw because He did not love Him. He withdrew because Jesus was dying in our place. There was no one to connect Jesus to God's love! Second, there was no revengeful13 spirit in the heart of the Father as His Son was dying for the sins of the world. The Father did not rejoice in the death of the Son. But the Father was suffering with Him. Third, the real penalty God paid for our sins was 'the sundering [tearing apart] of God's powers.' Ellen G. White is taking us inside the mystery of the relationships between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. She is describing for us what the Godhead14 had gone through while Jesus was on the cross. The verb to sunder means 'to break or force apart.' That which should have remained united (joined together as one) was torn apart.

"In short, through Christ's sacrifice15 the Godhead was accepting responsibility for the world's sins. More so, the Godhead was suffering the results of these sins. The Godhead cannot die. But, at the tearing apart of God's power, could the Godhead feel the great pain of the eternal death of all fallen sinners during the Son's short 'absence' from the unity16 of the Godhead? The plan of salvation,17 the atonement, pulled the Trinity18 apart for a short while. This experience of great 'pain' within the Godhead took place only once and will never happen again.

PAGE 26

[...]

"16. unity—when two or more people or things are joined together as one; when two or more people are in agreement in ideals, feelings, and so on.

[...]

"DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

[...]

"2 Go over Wednesday's study about the idea of the tearing apart of the Godhead. What can you take from that to help you understand the deep meaning of the atonement? How was that experience in the Godhead 'the penalty' for our sin? Discuss your answer in class on Sabbath." (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ408_10.pdf)

The above definition of the word "unity" (which they use in reference to "the Godhead") is extremely polytheistic. This is what they mean when they say in their official statement of "Fundamental Beliefs" that their "one God" is "a unity of three co-eternal Persons."

And the following additional comments are from the Teachers Edition for Lesson 10:

"The Student Will:

[...]

"Feel: The agony Christ felt as He became separated from His Father.

[...]

"Separation from God fills the soul with horror. Explore what God the Father and the Holy Spirit might have felt during Christ's time in Gethsemane, on the cross, and in the tomb.

[...]

"Consider This: At the cross, Jesus became sin for us. He gave up His life to pay the penalty for our rebellion. His Father had to be totally separated from Him. (See Mat. 27:46.) What does that tell us about our Savior? In the context of the great controversy between good and evil, what does this tell us about the risks He was willing to take for us? What should this mean to us?

"III. The Rescue Mission Action Plan—Atonement

"The heavenly Trinity met and developed a plan for our salvation. We describe it using the word atonement. As a class, take a few minutes to draw a time line of salvation representing the different steps in Jesus' journey from heaven to the cross and resurrection. How do the words anguish, darkness, submission, enemy, and eternal death fit on the time line? [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ408_10.pdf)

Not only do the above comments teach tritheism, they also hint again at their teaching that "Christ" ceased to exist when he died and was non-existent "in the tomb" (and therefore separated from their other two gods during those three days).

And the following comments are from the Collegiate Quarterly, also from Lesson 10 of the 4th quarter in 2008:

"The cup Jesus spoke of referred to the terrible physical agony He knew He would endure and to the mental and spiritual anguish He would suffer as He faced the prospect of eternal separation from His Father as He took upon Himself the penalty for humanity's sin. No wonder He needed to pray!

"Jesus' physical suffering was the visible reflection of the spiritual suffering He was experiencing—spiritual suffering brought upon by bearing the sins of all humanity. He seemed to be shut out from the light of God's presence and His Father's love. And now He was numbered with the transgressors and the guilt of fallen humanity.

[...]

[...] "The darkness on that Friday afternoon was both physical and spiritual. While Jesus' friends and enemies alike fell silent in the encircling gloom, He cried, ' 'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?' ' (Matt. 27:46, NLT). Jesus was not questioning God, but was quoting the first line of Psalm 22, a deep expression of anguish He felt as He took on the sins of the world, causing Him to believe He would be eternally separated from His Father.

[...]

"Spend time in prayer with friends. In times of trouble it helps to know that someone is there to listen and give us hope. Christ experienced unbelievable sorrow because many of those He loved were preparing to betray Him. God heard His Son's cry and gave Him strength because of Christ's faith. Praying with friends strengthens our faith and allows our hearts to be in connection with Him. [...]

[...]

"The cross was God's solution to sin. Jesus endured the agony of utter severance from God so that no one would ever need to. In the

PAGE 27

ultimate paradox, Jesus' temporary separation from God brings us all together forever. [...]" (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2008-4/CQ-08-Q4-10.pdf)

The following quote is from Lesson 11 of the October/November/December 2008 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"Third, the ascension of Christ also testifies that His defeat of evil powers on the cross was final. After His ascension, He was enthroned as co-Regent with God, sitting at His right hand, 'with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him' (1 Pet. 3:22, NIV; see also Heb. 10:12, 13). He will remain with the Father until His enemies are subjected to Him. Then He will return to save those who are waiting for Him (Heb. 9:28), thus consummating His work of salvation (Phil. 2:10, 11; Rev. 17:14)." (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ408_11.pdf)

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 11, it says the following:

"Third, the ascension of Christ also proves that His victory (win) over evil powers on the cross was final. After His ascension, Jesus was made co-ruler with God. He sits at the Father's right hand. 'Angels, authorities [evil spirits] and powers are under his control' (1 Peter 3:22, NIrV). (Read also Hebrews 10:12, 13.) Christ will remain with the Father until His enemies are under His control. Then He will return to save those who are waiting for Him (Hebrews 9:28). This finally will bring His salvation to a successful end (Philippians 2:10, 11; Revelation 17:14)." (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ408_11.pdf)

The above quotes are an absolute denial of monotheism. There is only one Ruler of the universe! Jesus is not a "co-ruler with God" or a "co-Regent." He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords! Also, Adventism uses the phrase "sitting at His right hand" literally (instead of recognizing such phraseology as "a figurative expression in Semitic cultures in Biblical times, signifying a position of authority"7), as they deny the incorporeality of God.

And the following comments are from the Collegiate Quarterly, also from Lesson 11 of the 4th quarter in 2008:

"From the beginning, our heavenly Father has always vested power on His only Son to rule the universe. Shall we not be happy to know that Christ, through whom God created the whole universe, and the One who sets everything in their proper place, is also our personal Intercessor before the Father? As we pray every day, He presents our petitions before God with His own voice, to ask on our behalf. This gives us a deep sense of belonging and destiny. Since we are both the subjects and the objects of sin before God, this mediatory function of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary places can have great impact on our spiritual life—He is both our Advocate and our Judge. [...]

[...]

"The Benefactors and the Beneficiaries

[...]

"CONCLUDE

"God is good all the time. Jesus is good all the time. Sometimes we think that God is angry enough with us that we need Jesus to appease Him, so He intercedes on our behalf before God. However, the Bible clearly teaches that both the Father (God) and the Son (Jesus) are on the same team. They are both on our side, defending us against Satan's lies and accusations. They live to intercede for us. They're rich benefactors of grace, and we're blessed beneficiaries of their grace. Enjoy it!" (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2008-4/CQ-08-Q4-11.pdf)

The above excerpts are incredibly polytheistic, even going so far as to say that "our heavenly Father has always vested power on His only Son to rule the universe" and that "both the Father (God) and the Son (Jesus) are on the same team" and that "they" are "rich benefactors of grace, and we're blessed beneficiaries of their grace"!

The following quote is from Lesson 12 of the October/November/December 2008 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"There is a very close connection between the Spirit and Christ. Several ideas in Romans 8:9 deserve some attention. [...]

[...]

"Further Study: 'Christ gave to humanity an existence out of Himself. To bring humanity into Christ, to bring the fallen race into oneness with divinity, is the work of redemption. Christ took human nature that men might be one with Him as He is one with the Father, that God may love man as He loves His only-begotten Son, that men may be partakers of the divine nature, and be complete in Him.'—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 251.

[...]

"Summary: Adam, through his sin, initiated a humanity separated from God. Christ came in union with God, overcame the enemy, died for our sins, and instituted a new humanity, one in union with God free from the enslaving powers of sin and death. [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2008/4Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ408_12.pdf)

Notice that the above quote says that we can be "in union with God" just like "Christ" is "in union with God."

And the following comments are from the Collegiate Quarterly, also from Lesson 12 of the 4th quarter in 2008:

"God loved Adam, Eve, and generations yet to be born so much that a plan had been laid in order to make redemption successful. 'There seemed to be no place of rest or safety for the infant Redeemer. God could not trust His beloved Son with men, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation. He commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on

PAGE 28

earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save.'1

"From the womb to the tomb, Jesus had experienced great distress at the hand of Satan. [...]

[...]

"1. The Desire of Ages, p. 67." (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2008-4/CQ-08-Q4-12.pdf)

The statement they quote from Ellen G. White is utterly blasphemous, as Jesus is nowhere near being God!

The following excerpts are from Lesson 13 of the Collegiate Quarterly:

"Before Jesus went to the cross to purchase our salvation, He promised His disciples (and by extension us) that He was going 'to prepare a place' for them and that when He had everything ready, He would return to take us home with Him. This was the whole reason for His first coming—to unite us to Himself—and to the God who loves us. [...]

[...]

"This is the end of our study on the atonement Christ made for us. Reflect upon what these lessons have taught you about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and your relationship to them.

[...]

"CONCLUDE

"When God created us, He intended for us to live in His presence forever. Satan had other plans, and our first parents allowed his plans to influence theirs. Where God intended for us to be co-creators with Him, we became co-destroyers with God's—and ultimately our own—enemy. God would have had every right and reason to vaporize our world and start over. But instead, He insisted on trying to restore us.We need to remind ourselves every day how important and wonderful this is, and to try to live and think like people who have been redeemed." (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2008-4/CQ-08-Q4-13.pdf)

According to the above quote, Jesus is not "the God who loves us"!

And the following additional comments are from the Teacher's Guide for Lesson 13 of the Collegiate Quarterly:

"2. God and His Son are our ultimate judges, and Jesus makes it quite clear that we ourselves are not to 'judge' (Matt. 7:1, 2), yet a few verses later He insists that we carefully evaluate false prophets (verses 15-20). How can we tell when we're being a 'judge' and when we're being a 'fruit inspector'?" (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2008-4/CQ-08-Q4-T-13.pdf)

According to the Bible, there is only one "Judge of all the earth" (Genesis 18:25; see also Psalm 75:7 and Hebrews 12:23). There are not multiple "judges"/gods!

The next quote is from the January/February/March 2009 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 1:

"In the Garden of Eden God spoke with Adam and Eve face-to-face. 'And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day' (Gen. 3:8). However, after that fateful day, when they blatantly disobeyed their Lord, they no longer were allowed to enjoy His presence (Gen. 3:23, 24), and their face-to-face communion with Him ended.

[...]

"In John 1:18 John says, 'No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.' The Divine Being, therefore, who appeared to the people in the Old Testament must have been Jesus, not the Father. Ellen G. White tells us that 'after the transgression of Adam, the Lord spoke no longer directly with man; the human race was given into the hands of Christ, and all communication came through Him to the world. It was Christ who spoke the law on Mount Sinai.'—Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 237, 238." (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/1Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ109_01.pdf)

First of all, in the above quote, they teach once again that there are multiple Divine Beings (gods). There are also more hints of their divine corporeality teaching. Also, they are misusing and twisting John 1:18. When it says that no one has seen God at any time, it means what it says--that no one has seen God's actual essence/Being--since He is an infinite, invisible Spirit. And this fully applies to the Son, not just the Father--since God is one spirit being. No one has seen the Son's divine essence. The verse does not say that no one has seen the Father but that they have seen the Son. And, in fact, Jesus said that those who had seen Him had seen the Father (John 14:7-9). The SDA interpretation of this verse separates the Father and the Son into two gods. Then, their Ellen G. White quote totally separates "the Lord" from "Christ"--saying that "the Lord" no longer spoke directly to man, but that "Christ" did! They are simply denying outright that Jesus Christ is the Lord.

And in the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 1, it says the following:

"In the Garden of Eden, God spoke with Adam and Eve face-to-face. But soon after, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Then they could not be in God's presence (Genesis 3:23, 24). They could no longer speak to God face-to-face.

[...]

"In John 1:18, John says, 'No one has ever seen God. But God, the one and only Son, is at the Father's side. He has shown us what God is like' (NIrV). God, who appeared to the people in the Old Testament, must have been Jesus, not the Father. Ellen G. White tells us that

PAGE 29

'after the sin of Adam, the Lord did not speak face-to-face to man anymore. God put the future of the human race [group] in Christ's hands. All that God needed to tell us came through Jesus to the world. It was Christ who spoke the law on Mount Sinai.'—Adapted from Fundamentals5 of Christian Education, pages 237, 238." (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/1Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ109_01.pdf)

So for the Easy Reading editon, instead of saying "The Divine Being...," they have to have awkward, ridiculous wording, saying, "God...must have been Jesus, not the Father," in order to not say what they really mean ("The God who appeared to people...") and thus speak of two "Gods" outright. Nevertheless, it is obvious they are referring to multiple gods.

And the following additional comments are from the Teachers Edition for Lesson 1:

"Consider This: How else does the sun teach us about the majesty of God? What does the sun suggest about God's ability to reach us, though He, too, is physically distant? What are the limits of the analogy?

[...]

"God's greatest act of mercy was sending Jesus to die for us. Yet all the aspects of Jesus' life, not just His death, reveal the plan of salvation at work and communicate God's truth and grace to us: His perfect life is an example of obedience; His vicarious death allows Him to justify us; our faith in His death frees us from the guilt of sin; His resurrection promises us immortality; His ascension into heaven confirms His promise to return to earth and take us to meet the Father." (Emphasis in orginal. http://absg.adventist.org/2009/1Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ109_01.pdf)

Again, in the above quote, they make reference to their denial of God's incorporeality. Also, in that last sentence, they change Jesus' promise and say that it was to "take us to meet the Father." Actually, His promise was: "I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:3b NASB.) It was Phillip who said: "Lord, show us the Father" (verse 8). And Jesus replied that, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (verse 9). Instead, the SDAs have to make "meet[ing] the Father" (yet another hint at their corporeality teaching) the thing that is special, and something that is "new"--even for the disciples to whom Jesus was speaking. They have Jesus as "lesser" than the Father. And all of this is a denial that the Father already indwells all believers.

And the following comments are from the Collegiate Quarterly, also from Lesson 1 of the 1st quarter in 2009:

"This week, we'll look at God's means of communication. After seeing Him in our own selves, it's important to learn about what nature does and does not tell us about Him. Finally, the revelation of Christ as our Savior comes to us as a new drop of rain in a desert. How does His revelation of God differ from God's other revelations?

[...]

"As much as we can see God through the records of the prophets and through nature, we can see Him most vividly through His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ has always been with God, one with Him in purpose, will, and mission; and after the Fall of our first parents, Christ fulfilled His mission on the cross of Calvary so that we might have eternal life. On the cross—the pivotal point of our salvation—God's love radiated through His Son, Jesus Christ.

[...]

"1. Why is Christ the only bridge linking us to God? Why can we not deal with God without involving Christ?

[...]

"By His special revelation, Christ 'rises above humanity, throws off the guise of sin and shame, and stands revealed, the Honored of the angels, the Son of God, One with the Creator of the universe.'1

[...]

"As we continue to study this week's lesson, we will learn that both the personality and the character of God are displayed in His Son, Christ." (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/english/2009-1/STUDENT/CQ-09-Q1-01.pdf)

Note that the quote they give above, which is from Ellen G. White's The Desire of Ages, says that the Son of God is only "One with the Creator of the universe" rather than that He is the Creator!

The following quote is from Lesson 8 of the January/February/March 2009 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"In Matthew 21:23, while Jesus was teaching, the chief priests and the elders asked Him, ' 'By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?' ' (NKJV). Jesus responded to the question in good rabbinic fashion, and that was with a counter question: ' 'The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?' ' (vs. 25, NKJV; see vss. 24-27). In rabbinic debates the counter question was meant to point the way to the answer of the original question. When they refused to answer, He refused to give a clear answer in return, because if they refused to acknowledge God's power in John's ministry, there was little point in discussing His own—which was also from God.

[...]

"Throughout the Gospels we find Christ's more-than-human authority. He forgave sins (Mark 2:10), drove out devils (Mark 3:15), and claimed the right to judge men's hearts (John 2:24, 25) and give eternal life (John 10:28). Yet, the authority that Christ exercised within His earthly commission was granted to Him by the Father (John 17:2). Whatever He did, including all the miracles He performed, always was

PAGE 30

done in dependence on and in cooperation with His Father (John 5:19). At the same time, He had absolute authority (Matt. 28:18). Therefore, He could delegate authority to His disciples (Mark 6:7) and will in the end judge all people (John 5:27)." (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/1Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ109_08.pdf)

One of the reasons why Adventism misinterpets passages such as John chapter 5 is because, as we will see later, they deny the concept of timelessness (that God is outside of time and space). Another aspect of the doctrine of the Trinity that Adventism denies is the eternal generation of the Son (and the eternal procession of the Spirit). Since the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, He says in John 5:19 that "the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing;" (NASB). This actually is not "separating" Himself from the Father, or demeaning Himself, as Adventism interprets it; rather it must be true if there is only one God. If God is one God, then the Son cannot do anything "apart from" the Father.

In the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 8, it says the following:

"Throughout the Gospels we find Christ's godly authority. He forgave sins (Mark 2:10). He drove out devils (Mark 3:15). And He claimed the right to judge the hearts of people (John 2:24, 25) and give eternal10 life (John 10:28). But the authority that Christ used on earth was given to Him by the Father (John 17:2). Everything Jesus did on earth was done in close cooperation with His Father (John 5:19). At the same time, Jesus had full authority (Matthew 28:18). So, Jesus could pass His authority on to His disciples (followers) (Mark 6:7)." (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/1Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ109_08.pdf)

And the following additional comments are from the Teachers Edition for Lesson 8:

"I. Speaking for God (Exod. 4:10-16)

"A What was the basis of Moses' authority? What is the respective importance of being called, being sent, and encountering God?

"B What was the basis and evidence of Jesus' authority (Matt. 21:23, John 17:2)? How does this apply to prophets?" (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/1Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ109_08.pdf)

The following is from the Easy Reading Edition for Lesson 12:

[...] "During the Kellogg13 crisis at the turn of the century, Ellen G. White's advice saved the church from pantheism.14 At the same time, almost by herself, she led the church from a semi-Arian15 (a belief that Jesus was not God) to a Trinitarian belief.16 [...]

[...]

"15. Arian (belief)—a belief started by a man named Arius, who taught that there was only one God, the Father.

"16. Trinitarian belief—a belief that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are Three Persons united (joined together as One) in one God." (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/1Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ109_12.pdf)

In addition to yet another heretical definition of the Trinity, notice that they also imply in their definition of "Arian" that it is wrong to teach that there is "only one God."

The following quote is from Lesson 5 of the Teachers Edition of the April/May/June 2009 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"Summary: God loves us so much that He wants to have an ongoing dialogue with us. He speaks to us through many means, the most powerful of which is Jesus.

[...]

"Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: God reveals Himself and His plan for our lives through a number of sources, including nature, the conscience, His prophets, the Bible, and, most of all, Jesus.

[...]

"However little or much of it we may use, we all crave sugar, and there's just no denying it makes certain foods taste better. We know that sugar is present in candy or cake, but did you know that it also can be a 'hidden' ingredient in soups and sauces, ketchup, and even some meats? When sugar is included in foods in which you might not expect to find it, sugar's sweetness often is disguised by less sugary names, such as lactose, maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, and xylitol.

"Like sugar, a knowledge of God and His will also can be obtained through abundant sources. God reveals Himself to us through nature, our conscience, His prophets, the Bible, and, ultimately, through Jesus Christ. One has only to avail oneself of these sources in order to 'taste and see that the Lord is good,' as the psalmist says (Ps. 34:8). The difference, however, is that giving in to the soul's craving for a knowledge of God—unlike too much sugar—actually is good for you.

"Consider This: When you want something sweet, what do you usually crave? Mangoes? Coconut custard pie? Baklava? Chocolate cherry chunk ice cream? Granted, everyone's taste buds crave something different, and we might find ourselves reaching for chocolate instead of an apple more often than we'd care to admit, but our cravings for sweet foods actually may have something beneficial to teach us about our cravings for spiritual things. Too often we may fill this 'God hunger,' or craving for spiritual things, with other kinds of stimuli that do not feed or satisfy our soul. How can the different ways that God reveals Himself to us offer the true nourishment and sustenance the soul needs most?

[...]

PAGE 31

"Still, as beautiful and potent a witness as nature is, it alone cannot reveal the plan of salvation. For the fuller picture, we must turn to other sources, such as the Word of God and the revelation of God through Jesus.

[...]

"III. In the Flesh (Review Hebrews 1:3 and John 14:8, 9 with your class.)

"Have you ever met a child who looked, sounded, and acted just like his or her parent? It can be an unsettling experience. You may have even felt as though you were in the presence of the very person the child resembled, though, of course that was not the case.

"Jesus resembled His Father in character even more than any earthly parent and child ever could resemble each other. He and the Father are One. Jesus' presence here on earth was the most complete revelation of God ever given to humanity. 'Christ was the express image of His Father's person.'—Ellen G. White, The Upward Look, p. 148. Additionally, 'Christ came to the world to reveal the character of the Father and to redeem the fallen race. . . . He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God.'—Ellen G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 38.

"Consider This: How can we grow to 'look more like' God? What is the relationship between growing in Him and growing to look like Him? What can we learn from Jesus' own example? What does His closeness or oneness with the Father reveal about how we may attain God's character attributes?

[...]

"2 Romans 1:18-20 tells us that the 'invisible things' of the eternal power of God and the Godhead are revealed so clearly through nature that an ignorance of Him or a refusal to acknowledge Him is 'without excuse.' Pretty powerful words. Put them to the test. What specific example or examples can you find in nature that reveal God's 'eternal power' or that illustrate the concept of the 'Godhead'? Explain your answer.

[...]

"2 Think about how you came to know God personally. Was it nature, prophecy, the Bible, or the life of Christ that made the greatest impact? Which revelation will you explore now to deepen your intimacy with God? Give reasons for your choice." (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ209_05.pdf)

First of all, notice that they put Jesus on a level with nature, the conscience, the Bible, and "prophets" (such as their prophet Ellen G. White), and say that He is just one of many "sources" which "reveal" God. Then they say that Jesus was just like a child who resembles his father, in that He "resembled His Father in character." They also reveal what they mean by "He and the Father are One" when they admit that by "oneness" they only mean "closeness"--a "closeness" which we are supposed to have also so that we, too, can "attain God's character attributes"! They certainly do not teach that Jesus is God Himself, "of one Being with the Father" (as the Nicene Creed puts it)! And, finally, in the second to last paragraph in the above quote, they show their gross misunderstanding of the word "Godhead." The original Greek word that is translated "Godhead" in Romans 1 in the KJV, simply means "divine nature" (NASB and other modern translations), and not their "concept of the 'Godhead'." And it says "His...divine nature" (or "his...Godhead" in the KJV), not "the Godhead" as they change it to.

And the next quote is from Lesson 6 of the Easy Reading Edition of the April/May/June 2009 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:

"1. Think how group sins in our world may be seen against the background of the great controversy (war between Christ and Satan). 'Behind the rise and fall of nations and the history of humans lies the unseen struggle between the Godhead [the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit], with the loyal angels, and Satan with his hosts of fallen angels. This has been a struggle that directly influences [affects] all human activities.'—Adapted from Frank Holbrook, 'The Great Controversy,' in Raoul Dederen, editor, Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (Hagerstown, Maryland: Review and Herald® Publishing Association, 2000), page 995." (Words in brackets in original. http://absg.adventist.org/2009/2Q/ER/PDFs/ERQ209_06.pdf)

The following is from Lesson 7 of the Collegiate Quarterly for April-June 2009:

"CONSIDER

"Role-playing the conversation in heaven among Members of the Godhead about the plan of salvation." (http://cqbiblestudy.org/site/1/lessons/2009-2/English/STUDENT/CQ-09-Q2-07.pdf)

The following quote is from the April/May/June 2009 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Lesson 9:

"Heaven is a reality. It is a place. It is where God lives together with the other Members of the Godhead and a host of unfallen angels. It also is where we will live if we remain on God's side. When Christ returns and the first resurrection takes place, the resurrected saints will accompany their Lord to heaven, where they will remain for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6). [...]" (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/2Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ209_09.pdf)

The above quote, besides teaching tritheism, also hints again at their corporeality teaching, by saying that heaven is where God "lives."

And at the end of Lesson 13, they have a preview of the July/August/September 2009 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. Under "Lesson 1—Jesus and the Johannine Letters" they say:

"Sabbath Gem: John's Epistles focus on problems in the early Christian church but also point to God the Father and the Son and portray who They are and what They have done for us. When we ponder these truths, we need to consider what our response must be." (http://absg.adventist.org/2009/2Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ209_13.pdf)

PAGE 32

This next quote is from the Teacher's Guide for the official SDA quarterly Cornerstone Connections (ages 15-18), from Lesson 8 of Quarter 4 for 2004:

"DELVING INTO THE WORD

"Option A. God created the sanctuary in the wilderness so the Israelites could relearn about God and how to worship Him. The furniture in the sanctuary was not just there for comfort or adornment. Each piece had a significant place in the service and each represented some aspect of the Godhead and their relationship with humanity. Divide the class into groups and give them the following furniture and texts." (http://cornerstoneconnections.adventist.org/CornerTchr/2004/Q4/Lesson_8.pdf [no longer online])

The following quote is from Lesson 2 of the 1st Quarter 2009 Cornerstone Connections:

"keytext

"'So in heaven's council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.' (The Desire of Ages, p. 32)

[...]

"Who comprises the heavenly council? If things on earth are transpiring according to a metaphorical 'great clock of time,' is there merit to the idea of predestination? Is it possible we humans can hasten or delay the second coming of Christ?" (http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/site/1/lessons/2009/Q1/STUDENT/CC-09-Q1-02.pdf)

The following quote is from Lesson 8 of the 1st Quarter 2009 Cornerstone Connections:

"flashlight

"'Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then He could not have been placed in Adam's position; He could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us. But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured' (The Desire of Ages, p. 117).

[...]

"Luke 4:1 tells us that Jesus was 'led' by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. In the original Greek, the language in which these verses were written, the verb 'led' doesn't only mean that Jesus was directed to go into temptation in the wilderness and left there to fight Satan alone. The Holy Spirit was leading Jesus when He was fasting, and the Holy Spirit went into temptation with Him.

[...]

"Besides Jesus and Satan, who else was a part of this desert drama?

[...]

"Jesus had a deep knowledge of the Old Testament writings of people such as Moses and Isaiah. He knew God's Word and that was why He was so successful in defeating the devil.

[...]

"The Holy Spirit didn't leave Jesus when He faced a trying time; the Holy Spirit was right there inside of Jesus, keeping all His faculties sharp to fend off Satan's attacks.

[...]

"Read this week's Flashlight quotation again. Now read James 1:13. If God cannot be tempted with sin, and He doesn't tempt humanity with sin, how do we explain the fact that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness?

"When Jesus came to pay our penalty for humanity's sin, He had to give up some things. For instance, Jesus never called on His awesome power to get Him out of trouble, not even when He faced Satan himself.

"What does the Flashlight quotation tell you about how much God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love us?" (http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/site/1/lessons/2009/Q1/STUDENT/CC-09-Q1-08.pdf)

And these additional comments are from the Teacher's Guide for the same lesson:

"Jesus faced powerful temptations throughout His sojourn on Planet Earth. For instance, Satan attempted to misdirect Jesus through the harsh treatment He received at the hand of His siblings. Jesus refused to yield then. When Jesus met Satan in the wilderness, He was familiar with His wily foe. They had been skirmishing since His birth.

[...]

"Jesus met each of Satan's temptations with a clear 'It is written.' Emphasize the importance of God's Word in our day-to-day struggles with Satan. Jesus overcame Satan because He had studied the writings of the prophets that were available to Him. Jesus was a disciplined follower of God. He prayed, He studied, and He fasted—the latter was His preparation for this moment of trial.

PAGE 33

"Make the point that through the Holy Spirit we can overcome any temptation, even as Jesus did.

[...]

[...] "In every temptation there is an opportunity to grow in Christ that will not come again. As you prepare to explore this week's lesson story, keep in mind that it was Jesus' habit of resisting Satan, of deciding to please God instead of Himself, that enabled Him to face His moment of trial.

[...]

"What were the stakes in the wilderness that day when Satan tempted Jesus? What did Satan stand to gain? What did Jesus stand to lose? What was our role in the battle? Are the same stakes that high when we face day-to-day temptations?

[...]

"Fasting is an often overlooked spiritual discipline. What are its benefits physically and spiritually? Make the point that when Satan approached Jesus, though He was hungry, Jesus' spiritual powers were in a heightened state. He was ready.

[...]

"1. Ready and Waiting. Ellen G. White states: 'At the birth of Jesus, Satan knew that One had come with a divine commission to dispute his dominion. He trembled at the angel's message attesting the authority of the newborn King. Satan well knew the position that Christ had held in heaven as the Beloved of the Father. That the Son of God should come to this earth as a man filled him with amazement and with apprehension. He could not fathom the mystery of this great sacrifice!' (The Desire of Ages, p. 115).

[...]

"Jesus used the spiritual disciplines to bring heaven near to Him. We too have the privilege of making God our constant companion. Wherever the Spirit of God is, there is liberty—and victory.

[...]

"The wilderness temptation also teaches us the importance of personal spiritual preparation for the challenges we face. During His battle with Satan, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 6:16, and Deuteronomy 6:13. He read and studied the Bible that He had—the writings of Moses, Isaiah, and the other Old Testament prophets. Jesus prayed earnestly and fasted regularly. These disciplines gave shape and power to His life because He was always in the presence of God." (http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/site/1/lessons/2009/Q1/TEACHER/CC-09-Q1-08T.pdf)

The above quotes totally deny that Jesus is God.

And the following quote is from the Teacher's Guide for Lesson 11 of the 1st Quarter 2009 Cornerstone Connections:

"What do you think went through Jesus' mind when He came to the sacred Temple, which was devoted to worshipping His Father, and found people buying and selling and doing business?" (http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/site/1/lessons/2009/Q1/TEACHER/CC-09-Q1-11T.pdf)

The next quote is from the Teacher's Guide for Lesson 3 of the 2nd Quarter 2009 Cornerstone Connections:

"Review this story from the perspective of different people. For each of the following characters in the story, consider the questions 'What am I thinking? Feeling? Believing about God?'

The following is from the Teacher's Guide for Lesson 11 of the 2nd Quarter 2009 Cornerstone Connections:

"This week's lesson focuses on the calling of the 12 disciples and the Sermon on the Mount, which follows this call. Five disciples were with Jesus from the very onset of His ministry, but it is instructive that Jesus ministered for more than a year before He chose the rest of the group. Jesus lived a life of discipleship to His Father before He asked anyone to follow Him. Is that a lesson for us?

"Although Jesus was God in human flesh, He did not depend on His deity to determine whom He should select to be His disciples. Instead, He spent a night in prayer, after which He chose the twelve. Jesus was about to launch a movement that would change the world, so He wanted to be sure that He had the right people. This is one of the important parts of the story to be emphasized. God is waiting, listening, and ready to give us guidance—no matter how big or small our decisions are." (http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/site/1/lessons/2009/Q2/TEACHER/CC-09-Q2-11T.pdf)

Notice that in the above quote they teach multiple "deities."

And the following quote is from Lesson 12 of the 2nd Quarter 2009 Cornerstone Connections:

PAGE 34

"The Constitution is the document that defines the president's authority and what they are supposed to abide by. Who or what was the source of Jesus' authority while on earth (John 17:1-5)?

[...]

"Jesus was empowered to do great works on earth, but did you know that He also gave this power to His disciples and to us today. Consider what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 10:1. If God gave this power to you, what would you do with it?" (http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/site/1/lessons/2009/Q2/STUDENT/CC-09-Q2-12.pdf)

And these additional comments are from the Teacher's Guide for the same lesson:

"The objective of this exercise is to make the point that just like the United States Constitution gives the president certain powers, God gave Jesus power and authority over all things in earth and in heaven. The centurion recognized Jesus' power was not from this world.

[...]

"Faith in Jesus is key to living the Christian life. It was faith in His Father that allowed Jesus to walk around helping people with no seeming concern about where His next meal would come from or where He would lay His head at night.

"Occasionally Jesus would see such faith, as He did in the centurion, and where He saw it, He highlighted it. [...]" (http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/site/1/lessons/2009/Q2/TEACHER/CC-09-Q2-12T.pdf)

Notice that they teach that Jesus' power and authority was no more inherent in Himself than a president's power that is given to him by the Constitution! They totally separate "God" from "Jesus," and even deny Jesus' omniscience while on earth in the second to last paragraph.

And the following incredible quote is from the official SDA quarterly PowerPoints (ages 10-14), from Lesson 13 of Quarter 3 for 2008:

"What does it mean to be created in the image of God?

"It means to have a mind that thinks, creates, grows, learns, and loves. It means that we are 'wired' to do all these things in relationship to God and others. For example, notice that God says in Genesis 1, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.' The us He is referring to is what we call the Godhead: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Three Persons in one. And even though they work as a unit, they also have specific roles. It's like a shoe company. Each employee does a specific job: one makes the shoe soles, another makes the upper parts, another puts the parts together, another sells the shoes to shoe stores, but all are needed to make up the company. And they have one purpose—to work together to sell shoes.

"In the same way, the Godhead works together to guide us as we live and work and study with family, friends, and one another. Why do you think God said (in Genesis 2:18) that it's not good for people to be alone? Because being alone is not Godlike. He created us to live and learn together." (http://www.juniorpowerpoints.org/site/1/Lessons/2008/Q3/STUDENT/13.pdf)

The above quote shows very explicitly that the Adventists' definition of "God"/"Godhead" is a group/company--instead of one living Being.

The Adventist Review, the official "flagship" magazine of the SDA Church, published an article by Gordon Jenson in the October 31, 1996 issue (which was their annual "READINGS FOR THE WEEK OF PRAYER" issue), which was for Wednesday's reading and was entitled "Jesus, the Heavenly Intercessor." Jenson was, at the time, "president of Spicer Memorial College [SDA] in Pune, India." Here are some excerpts from the article:

[...] "A plan of salvation was encompassed in the covenant made by the Three Persons of the Godhead, who possessed the attributes of Deity equally. In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into, the role the of Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit, was also to participate in effecting the plan of salvation. All of this took place before sin and rebellion transpired in heaven.

"By accepting the roles that the plan entailed, the divine Beings lost none of the powers of Deity. With regard to their eternal existence and other attributes, They were one and equal. But with regard to the plan of salvation, there was, in a sense, a submission on the part of the Son to the Father. This is a mystery. A mystery demonstrated in the incarnation of the Son—still fully God, yet fully man (Phil. 2:5-7).

"This Father/Son relationship involved great responsibilities and sacrifices on the part of both. The Father would be called upon to permit His Son to be humiliated; to be subjected to all the fury and wrath that Satan, wicked angels, and evil men could devise; to witness the temptations of the Son during His sojourn on earth; to see Him suffer and die in order to endure the penalty of the sins of all generations. The Son would be designated as lamb (1 Peter 1:19, 20), priest (Ps. 110:4) and mediator (1 Tim 2:5), advocate (1 John 2:1), and intercessor (Heb. 7:25). Still, the 'Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both' (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36).

"That the heavenly temple of God existed before the origin of evil is implied in the phrase 'thou art the anointed cherub that covereth' (Eze. 28:14). This temple, 'the true tabernacle which the Lord built' (see Heb. 8:2), was from its construction the center for the worship of God by every intelligent being in the universe. It was also the center of God's government. When sin emerged in heaven, and subsequently on earth, the crisis had to be met within the context of the heavenly temple. As a member of the Godhead, the preincarnate Jesus participated in all the activities of the divine Beings in the holy places. He shared the glory of the Father before the world was (John 17:5).

"Handling the Crisis

"As sin progressively developed in heaven and later, on earth, so the plan to deal with it was progressively revealed—the divine Beings entered into the roles they had agreed upon before the foundations of the world were laid (see 1 Peter 1:20). When there was war in heaven (Rev. 12:7), Michael (the preincarnate Christ) waged war against Lucifer. After Adam and Eve sinned, the same preincarnate

PAGE 35

Christ manifested Himself to His servants through the centuries and sent the Holy Spirit to give instruction, doctrine, reproof, and correction through the 'holy men of God' (1 Peter 1:10, 11; 2 Peter 1:21).

[...]

"In His glorified capacity as priest and king, Jesus could enter all of the activities of the divine Beings in heaven. In His high priestly work, which is incidental to the original purposes of the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus performed the first phase of His ministry in that sanctuary until 1844. This work corresponded to the ministry of the Aaronic priests in the earthly sanctuary that took place throughout the year (the 'daily' ministry). A new dimension was added to the intercession of Jesus in heaven, by virtue of His atoning sacrifice having been accomplished. [...]

[...]

"Questions for Discussion

"1. How would you explain the separate roles of the Godhead in human salvation to a non-Christian?" (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH19961031-V173-44__C/index.djvu)

Clearly, you can't get any more blatantly Tritheistic than the statements in the above article, which repeatedly speak of three "divine Beings" (gods).

And in the corresponding readings for children, by Claire Eva, in the same issue of the Adventist Review, they have the following statement in Wednesday's reading entitled "Two Lambs—One Saviour":

"When Jesus died, the plan that God and Jesus had made long ago was completed. Remember, when Jesus died He said, 'It is finished!' Jesus' work to save us was finished. Called the Second Adam, Jesus rescued the world that the first Adam had lost." (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH19961031-V173-44__C/index.djvu)

In the current edition of the official Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual (Revised 2005, 17th edition), available on the official SDA website (adventist.org), in the Appendix, on pages 219-223, is a "Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs." Under the heading, it says: "This summary of doctrinal beliefs is especially prepared for the instruction of candidates for baptism. (See pp. 31-35.)" And on pages 31-32, it discusses this "Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs":

"Baptismal Covenant—A summary of doctrinal beliefs, prepared especially for the instruction of candidates for baptism, together with Baptismal Vow and Certificate of Baptism and Commitment, have been adopted by the denomination as a baptismal covenant. A printed copy of this covenant, with the Certificate of Baptism and Commitment properly completed, should be furnished to all those who are accepted for church membership by baptism. In the case of those received on profession of faith, an appropriate certificate will also be given.

"This summary of doctrinal beliefs is especially prepared for the instruction of candidates for baptism. Each candidate should be thoroughly familiar with the teachings contained in this summary and with the duties enjoined upon believers and by practice demonstrate a willing acceptance of all the doctrines taught by Seventh-day Adventists and the principles of conduct which are the outward expression of these teachings, for it is 'by their fruits ye shall know them.'

"Prospective members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, before baptism or acceptance on profession of faith, should be carefully instructed from the Scriptures in the fundamental beliefs of the church as presented in chapter 3 (see p. 9) of this Church Manual. In order to assist evangelists, pastors, and others in giving such instruction and making it Scripture-based and practical, a specially prepared summary appears as an appendix on pages 219-223 of this Church Manual and in the Minister's Handbook." (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/church_manual/Seventh-day-Adventist-Church-Manual-17th-edition.pdf)

So, let's see what this "Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs" has to say:

"1. The true and living God, the first person of the Godhead, is our heavenly Father, and He, by His Son, Christ Jesus, created all things. (Matt. 28:18, 19; 1 Cor. 8:5, 6; Eph. 3:9; Jer. 10:10-12; Heb. 1:1-3; Acts 17:22-29; Col. 1:16-18.)

"2. Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, and the eternal Son of God, is the only Saviour from sin; and man's salvation is by grace through faith in Him. (Matt. 28:18, 19; John 3:16; Micah 5:2; Matt. 1:21; 2:5, 6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:11, 12; Eph. 1:9-15; 2:4-8; Rom. 3:23-26.)

"3. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, is Christ's representative on earth, and leads sinners to repentance and to obedience of all God's requirements. (Matt. 28:18, 19; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Rom. 8:1-10; Eph. 4:30.)" (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/church_manual/Seventh-day-Adventist-Church-Manual-17th-edition.pdf)

So, according to the above statements, only "the first person of the Godhead" is "The true and living God," and then there are two other persons of "the Godhead," one of which is "Christ's representative on earth." So, if only "the first person of the Godhead" is "The true and living God," then what are the other two? False gods? Also, they are saying in that first statement that there is a "God" within "the Godhead" (just as Mormonism teaches--three Gods in one Godhead).

The actual "Baptismal Vow" itself, which must be affirmed by those being baptized into the SDA Church, contains (in vow #1) the same wording as the first sentence of the second Fundamental Belief statement (quoted and discussed earlier), although it does not include the word "Trinity." The alternative "Vow" does not contain a statement on the "Godhead" but does require acceptance of the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs (as does the main "Vow" also). On the official General Conference Children's Ministries website, they have a list of "Simplified Baptismal Vows" for children. The first "vow" says:

"1. I believe in God the Father; in His Son, Jesus Christ; and in the Holy Spirit."

PAGE 36

(http://childrensministries.gc.adventist.org/children_and_baptism.html)

Notice that they have no statement of "one God" whatsoever. And on the official North American Division Children's Ministries website, they have an even more blatantly tritheistic version, in a document entitled "Children's Simplified Seventh-day Adventist Baptismal Lessons," "Adapted by Pastor Victoria Harrison and Noelene Johnsson." Under "Vows," the first one listed says:

"I believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, and that they have always been and always will be." (http://childmin.com/PDFs/baptismal_vows.pdf)

And in the column next to the "Vows," under "Lessons," it says:

"1

The following are excerpts from the book A Reason to Believe: What being an Adventist is all about, which, according to the official SDA website (adventist.org), is "the first Seventh-day Adventist Church-sponsored youth doctrinal/baptismal course anyone has seen for a long, long time!" Here are some quotes from the book, which was edited by Chris Blake (former editor of Insight, the official SDA magazine for teens) and is published by the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association:

"Lesson 1

"Divinity

"With Maylan Schurch

[...]

"Is God a Shy Person?

[...]

"Why didn't God inspire a sculptor to carve from a 10-foot block of pure Italian marble the kindness in His eyes, the fatherly smile on His lips? Why not inspire a fifteenth-century artist to paint an oil portrait of His living features? Why instead did He command that no one even attempt to make images of Him?

"This shyness on His part is actually pretty risky. We often fear what we can't see—and that's why, when our family seems to be exploding around us, and when we hear about dying African kids, and when serious illness like cancer brushes close to us, we're afraid and sometimes angry with God. If we could just look into His eyes, or see whether His mouth has a kindly shape

"Why this shyness?

"The answer is simple: a portrait or carving of Him wouldn't be accurate. It would make Him too small. It would limit Him to one set of features (if He looked like us, we'd be happy. If He didn't, we might fear Him or hate Him). A portrait would also hide the fact that He's actually Three Beings In One—He's God.³

[...]

"So even though a picture of God³ might go a long way toward helping people accept Him, He decided to remain invisible. However, because Jesus Christ came to show how God³ behaves in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit inspired hundreds of Bible truths about God³, we know quite a bit about Him:*

"Three-in-One?

"You'll blow a mental microcircuit if you try to figure out how God³ can be three beings in one. Some have described God³ as an egg, with its yolk, white, and shell. All these are egg, but the forms and functions are different. Others compare God³ to water, with its three states: solid (Father), liquid (Son), and gas (Spirit).

"But maybe the most difficult thing to comprehend is how God³ can be so eternal and so great and still so concerned about you. [...] There's nothing you're facing that He hasn't dealt with or formed opinions about—and best of all, He's on your side. [...]

[...]

"In one way God³ is life to us as an electrical outlet is life to a vacuum cleaner. God³ always honors our choice, whether we want to plug in or not. If we aren't plugged in, there's no life. (But that's not the fault of the electrical outlet!) And if we try to tap into the power in any way except through the outlet, the current will kill us; we can't handle it.

"Before Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of man, there was no outlet for the human race. As one of the God³ team, Jesus let His Father

PAGE 37

remove life support from Him. That ended His earthly existence the way ours would end, but in so doing He became the outlet for us. This means we've got the option of eternal life, but if we want it, we must choose—choose to allow ourselves to be plugged into God³. [...]

[...]

"Book Look

"(Open the Bible and read for yourself.)

"God—

"Always was, always will be (see Psalm 90:1-6).

"Involved all three persons of the Godhead in the creation and redemption of the world (see Genesis 1:1,2; John 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

[...]

"Divinity:

"What Others Believe

"V. Bailey Gillespie

"Seventh-day Adventists are Christians. The topic of the Trinity—belief in a three-Person God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)—places Adventists at the center of the Christian world. [...]

"The majority of Christian denominations accept this personal, three-in-one God. The Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of God, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Disciples of Christ, and Baptist churches all agree with the Seventh-day Adventist Church that God is a unity of purpose called the Godhead. The real questions come when we try to explain this concept. How can one God be three? Does it work like a committee? Does God have three personalities? Are there really three Gods? All of Christianity accepts that God is one—whatever that truly means.

[...]

[...] "For Judaism and Islam, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity violates monotheism (belief in one God and one alone—both basing their beliefs on Deuteronomy 6:4, 'The Lord our God ... is one').

[...]

"Hinduism has various expressions or 'paths' to deity. Hindus find release from life by devotion to one or more of the Indian gods. The Trimurti are their three major gods, each carrying a characteristic of God—Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

"The concept of God in three persons is found in many religions.

[...]

"To Learn More . . .

"To learn more about the Trinity and its members, look at these resources. All should be available at an Adventist Book Center.

[...]

"Check It Out

"(You may check one or more.)

"To me, being created in God's image means:

"I am a child of God.

"I can do unbelievable things.

"God has two arms and two legs.

"creativity flows through my veins.

"I'm not just a grown-up amoeba.

"God must be pretty strange.

"I feel valuable.

"I should be getting a lot better grades.

PAGE 38

[...]

"The Bible claims that Jesus has been alive forever. [...]

[...]

"However, there was one enormous difference between Jesus and all the rest of us who have ever lived here on earth. Even though Satan constantly bombarded Him with every possible temptation, Jesus didn't sin. Not even the dark doubts about whether His heavenly Father still loved Him, or the cruel events surrounding His trial on false charges, or His brutal execution could make Him break His deep friendship with God.

[...]

"Marriage is a mirror of God's relationship to us. His commitment is permanent and faithful, as we vow in our own marriages. God asks that He be the only god in our lives, and our marital love is to be exclusive to each other. Each member of the Trinity is equal in value and each performs different, complementary functions. Likewise, a woman and man bring to marriage their own unique contributions, yet work together for common goals."

So, first of all, we see clear indications again in the above quote of their denial of God's incorporeality. Also, they are clearly teaching tritheism, even calling Jesus "one of the God³ team," and saying that He is the "outlet" but that it is possible to try to "tap into" God without going through the "outlet." And then they lie about various Christian denominations, saying that they all agree with the SDAs that "God is a unity of purpose called the Godhead." That is false, as true Trinitarian churches do not believe in that false SDA definition of the Trinity. Notice also that they go on to admit that their belief is like the Hindu belief in three gods, as they say that "The concept of God in three persons is found in many religions."

Now let's take a look at some excerpts from the SDA Church's official belief book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An exposition of the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Second Edition, copyright 2005). This book is published by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association and is copyrighted by the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. On the Ministerial Association's website, they said: "Announcing Seventh-day Adventists Believe, a new edition of the official book detailing the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."8 And on the back cover of the book, the following statement is found: "Seventh-day Adventists Believe . . . stands as an authentic resource on Adventist doctrine because it is written by Adventists themselves—more than 230 men and women were involved in the production of this book." In the introductory section entitled To the Readers of This Book, the "Editors" wrote: "We have written this book to assist those who are interested in knowing why we believe what we believe. This study, written by Adventists themselves, is not just window dressing. Carefully researched, it represents an authentic exposition of Adventist beliefs." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-introduction.htm)

[Note: The links for the quotations given point to the First Edition of the book. The corresponding quotations as found in the First Edition (copyright 1988) are usually either identical or almost identical to the current Second Edition. All quotations as found here have been edited to conform to the current Second Edition (copyright 2005).]

First, we'll look at some excerpts from chapter 2, "The Godhead" (note that the chapter title does not have the word "Trinity" as in their corresponding "Fundamental Beliefs" statement #2):

"Dynamics Within the Godhead

"Is there only one God? What of Christ, and the Holy Spirit?

"The Oneness of God. In contrast to the heathen of surrounding nations, Israel believed there was only one God (Deut. 4:35; 6:4; Isa. 45:5; Zech. 14:9). The New Testament makes the same emphasis on the unity of God (Mark 12:29-32; John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Tim. 2:5). This monotheistic emphasis does not contradict the Christian concept of the triune God or Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; rather, it affirms that there is no pantheon of various deities." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

Even this quotation which talks about the "oneness" of God sounds very questionable. Also notice that there is no affirmation that God is one Being.

"The Relationship Within the Godhead. The first advent of Christ gives us a much clearer insight into the triune God. John's Gospel reveals that the Godhead consists of God the Father (see chapter 3 of this book), God the Son (chapter 4), and God the Holy Spirit (chapter 5)—a unity of three co-eternal persons having a unique and mysterious relationship." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

Notice that they do not say that these three persons are one being, but it sounds as if they are using the word "persons" to mean separate "beings," who have a "unique and mysterious relationship." Notice also that the above quote is a paraphrase of the official Fundamental Belief statement, and helps to clarify further what it means by "unity," by saying, "a unity of three co-eternal persons having a unique and mysterious relationship."

"Sinners will never comprehend what Jesus' death meant to the Godhead. From eternity He had been with His Father and the Spirit. They had lived as coeternal, coexistent in utter self-giving and love for one another." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

So, in other words, when Jesus died, the three divine beings were no longer coexistent. There were only two beings left in the Godhead, since, according to their teaching, Jesus ceased to exist (the SDA definition of "death"--which is made clear later on in the chapter when they say: "Christ became man to die for the race. He valued selflessness more than self-existence."). (Notice also that this means that their "Jesus" cannot be eternal, no matter what they claim, if He ceased to exist at some point. The "Resurrection" of "Jesus" merely becomes a re-creation.) So what this teaching means is that, according to Adventism, Jesus is unnecessary--he ceased to exist, and "God"/"the Godhead" did just fine without him! And the universe ran just fine, too. What utter blasphemy, and a complete denial that Jesus is God! In Trinitarianism, if Jesus were to cease to exist there would be no God--because Jesus is the only true God! The SDA teaching is completely anti-Trinitarian.

"To be together for so long bespeaks the perfect, absolute love that existed within the Godhead. 'God is love' (1 John 4:8) means that each

PAGE 39

so lived for the others that they experienced complete fulfillment and happiness." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

So if they had happened to quit loving each other, the three gods could have disbanded--even before their "Jesus" ceased to exist. That is not describing one being/God--that is a "god-group/office/family"--or "trio" as their prophet Ellen G. White calls it.

"There is no distance between the persons of the triune God. All three are divine, yet they share their divine powers and qualities. In human organizations final authority rests in one person—a president, king, or prime minister. In the Godhead, final authority resides in all three members." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

Apparently, God's Word is wrong when it says that there is just one King who rules the universe. Also, notice that the Godhead is not defined as a living Being, but as an organization. The whole quote is tritheism, plain and simple.

"While the Godhead is not one in person, God is one in purpose, mind, and character." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

That is basically the definition of Tritheism right there. Notice that the "oneness" of God is about being "one in purpose, mind, and character"--not one in being.

"This oneness does not obliterate the distinct personalities of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Nor does the separateness of personalities within the Deity destroy the monotheistic thrust of Scripture that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God." (Italics in original.) (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

So these separate personalities/beings together make up "one God" (their interesting use of italics, not mine), but supposedly this "separateness" does not destroy the "monotheistic thrust" of Scripture. Nice.

And here are a couple of final excerpts from chapter 2:

"2. A working relationship. Within the Godhead an economy of function exists. God does not unnecessarily duplicate work. Order is the first law of heaven, and God works in orderly ways. This orderliness issues from and preserves the union within the Godhead. The Father seems to act as source, the Son as mediator, and the Spirit as actualizer or applier.

[...]

"The apostolic benediction includes all three persons of the Godhead. 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all' (2 Cor.13:14). Christ heads the list. God's point of contact with humanity was and is through Jesus Christ—the God who became man. Though all three members of the Trinity work together to save, only Jesus lived as a man, died as a man, and became our Saviour (John 6:47; Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12). But because 'God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself' (2 Cor. 5:19), God could also be designated as our Saviour (cf. Titus 3:4), for He saved us through Christ the Saviour (Eph. 5:23; Phil. 3:20; cf. Titus 3:6)." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-02.htm)

There are many problems in the above excerpts, including the fact that they imply that there is more than one "God" when they say "the God who..." Also notice that they are denying John 5:19 and are teaching that if it were true that "whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner" (John 5:19 NASB), then that would be "duplicating" work--obviously they are teaching multiple gods. They also say that this "working relationship" and "orderliness" actually "preserves" the "union" "within" the "Godhead"--again showing that they don't actually believe in one God.

In chapter 3 ("God the Father") of the same book, it says the following:

[...] "Although the Old Testament alludes to the Persons of the Godhead, it doesn't distinguish Them. But the New Testament makes clear that Christ, God the Son, was the active agent in Creation (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:16) and that He was the God who led Israel out of Egypt (1 Cor. 10:1-4; Ex. 3:14; John 8:58). What the New Testament says of Christ's role in Creation and the Exodus suggests that even the Old Testament often conveys to us its portrait of God the Father through the agency of the Son. [...]" (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-03.htm)

And again, the above quote is so polytheistic, even saying that "God the Son" was "the God who..." as opposed to "God the Father" (or the Holy Spirit).

In chapter 4 ("God the Son"), they say:

[...] "Christ's humanity alone could never have endured the deceptions of Satan. But in Him dwelt 'all the fullness of the Godhead bodily' (Col. 2:9). He was able to overcome sin because He relied completely upon the Father (John 5:19, 30; 8:28), and 'divine power combined with humanity gained in behalf of man an infinite victory.'23

"Christ's experience in victorious living is not His exclusive privilege. He exercised no power that humanity cannot exercise. We may also 'be filled with all the fullness of God' (Eph. 3:19). [...]

[...]

"God 'has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all' (Ps. 103:19). It is self-evident that the Son of God, as one of the Godhead, shares in this divine government over the whole universe." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-04.htm)

Notice how they are totally twisting Colossians 2:9, saying that the we can have the same experience. Also, Jesus does not "share in" the "divine government" as "one of the Godhead"--instead, He is the one and only King of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Also in chapter 4, they quote a book entitled Problems in Bible Translation which was published by the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association in 1954:

PAGE 40

"Jesus Christ, the pre-existent God, the divine creative Word, at His incarnation became in a unique sense the Son of God—which is why He is designated 'mongenes,' the only one of His kind, altogether unique in many aspects of His being and life. No other child of the human race was so compacted in his being, had so unequaled a relation to the Godhead, or did such a work as is true of Him. So 'monogenes' describes a relation between God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son as separate Persons of the Godhead. This is a relation that belongs to Christ's complex, divine-human personality, in connection with the economy of the plan of salvation." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-04.htm)

In chapter 5 ("God the Holy Spirit"), they say the following:

"The Holy Spirit and the Godhead

"From eternity, God the Holy Spirit lived within the Godhead as the third member. The Father, Son, and Spirit are equally self-existent. Though each is equal, an economy of function operates within the Trinity (see chapter 2 of this book)." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-05.htm)

The following quote is from chapter 6 ("Creation"):

"Who Was the Creator God? All the members of the Godhead were involved in Creation (Gen. 1:2, 26). The active agent, however, was the Son of God, the preexisting Christ. [...] Jesus was the Creator, the One who spoke the earth into existence (see also Eph. 3:9; Heb. 1:2)." (Emphasis in original. http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-06.htm)

The following exerpts are from chapter 7 ("The Nature of Man"):

"The origin of the human race is found in divine council. God said, 'Let Us make man' (Gen. 1:26). The plural 'Us' refers to the Trinitarian Godhead—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (see chapter 2 of this book). Of one purpose, then, God began to create the first human being (Gen. 1:27).

[...]

"Created for Relationships With Others. God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone' (Gen. 2:18), and He made Eve. Just as the three members of the Godhead are united in a loving relationship, so we were created for the fellowship found in friendship or marriage (Gen. 2:18). In these relationships we have the opportunity to live for others. To be genuinely human is to be relationship oriented. The development of this aspect of the image of God is an integral part of the harmony and prosperity of the kingdom of God.

[...]

"The covenant of grace was not developed after the Fall. The Scriptures bring out that even before Creation the members of the Godhead had covenanted among Themselves to rescue the race if it should fall into sin." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-07.htm)

The following quote is from chapter 9 ("The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ"):

"The Scriptures reveal a God who has an overwhelming concern for the salvation of humanity. The members of the Godhead are allied in the work of bringing people back into a union with their Creator. Jesus highlighted God's saving love, saying, 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life' (John 3:16)." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-09.htm)

In chapter 15 ("Baptism"), it says the following:

"In the apostolic church the outpouring of the Holy Spirit generally followed water baptism. So today, when we are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we are dedicated, consecrated, and united with the three great powers of heaven and to the spreading of the everlasting gospel." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-14.htm)

As we will see later, the tritheistic phrase used above ("the three great powers of heaven") comes from the writings of their prophetess, Ellen G. White.

And in chapter 23 ("Marriage and the Family"), they say the following:

"This term ["man"] includes both male and female. The text makes clear that it was not a case of the male being created in the image of God and the female in the image of the man.1 On the contrary, both were made in the image of God.

"Just as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God, male and female together are to make up 'man.' And like the Godhead, though they are to be one, they are not the same in function. They are equal in being, in worth, but not identical in person (cf. John 10:30; 1 Cor. 11:3). Their physiques are complementary, their functions cooperative." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-22.htm)

The above quote is very tritheistic, comparing the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" to a man and woman, and comparing "man[kind]" to a "God[kind]."

The Office of Education of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a document called "Key Learnings" which sets forth the required teachings for all Seventh-day Adventist schools in the North American Division. It says: "This document is a compilation of curriculum standards for grades K-8 named: Key Learnings. They were written in a succinct and friendly format for educators, students and parents. The Key Learnings provide an overview of the content that students should know and be able to do in each subject area and grade. They were aligned with the North American Division curriculum guides, national standards, McRel Database (Mid-Continental Regional Educational Laboratory) and Ten Sigma (a compilation of standards for 38 states)." In a part of this document called "KEY LEARNINGS: BIBLE CHART," which is a very brief overview, they have the following shocking statement as something that is supposed to be taught to students in grade 2:

PAGE 41

"Godhead as creators" (http://circle.adventist.org/download/NADKeyLearnings_Charts_Brochures.pdf)

This unabashed statement of polytheism explicitly contradicts God's word, which says that there is only one Creator (for example, see Isaiah 44:24 and 45:18). We do not have multiple "creators"!

And here are some of the more detailed descriptions for "Bible" for various grades:

"KINDERGARTEN

[...]

"Understand that the God family — 'God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit' - work in perfect unity, yet are separate and unique beings

[...]

"FIRST GRADE

"Belonging to His Family: The Heavenly Family, Families of the Bible and the Church

[...]

"Identify the 'three-in-one' members of the God family, and their individual ministry

[...]

"SECOND GRADE

[...]

"Understand that the 'God Family' created the world, one way God reveals Himself to humanity

[...]

"THIRD GRADE

[...]

"Know who the 'three-in-one' members of the God-family are and their individual roles

[...]

"Know that Christians are part of God's family and have a responsibility to witness/serve others
Understand that all people are equal in God's sight and are accepted into the Family of God" (http://circle.adventist.org/download/NADKeyLearnings03.pdf)

So they teach the students that "God" is a "family" of three "separate and unique beings" and that "they" are the "creators" of the world. This "God family" teaching is nothing but polytheistic paganism, and is also reminiscent of the teaching of false prophet Herbert W. Armstrong. God is not a "family"!

Also on adventist.org is another document from the Office of Education of the North American Division of the SDA Church, entitled "Curriculum Guide" for "Religion" for "Grades K-12." It says: "The North American Division includes the United States and Canada, as well as the Islands of Bermuda, St. Pierre, and Miquelon. With such a diversity of cultures, this curriculum guide is designed to ensure that uniform standards are maintained. In those places within the Division where governmental academic requirements differ from those of this guide, appropriate adjustments may be made as long as the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy is maintained." And under "Elementary" in the Introduction, it says: "The teacher will find this guide helpful: 1. to identify the essential concepts to be taught in grades K-8, 2. to enrich the Bible curriculum beyond the textbook, 3. to plan for instruction and to help implement accountability in teaching, 4. to track class progress." Here are a few of the things that are supposed to be taught to grades K-8, according to the "Correlation Guide" section under "Elementary":

"Recognize the 'three-in-one' members of the God-Family, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and their individual personal ministry

[...]

"Recount that the God-Family created the world

[...]

"Describe how God actively seeks and invites us into His family" (http://circle.adventist.org/files/CD2008/CD2/circle/NADReCGK12.pdf)

Again, these descriptions are extremely heretical and are blatant Tritheism.

The following quotes are from the official SDA "Bible" curriculum textbook for grades 5-6, entitled God Is Like This, from the Unit 5 Test (their "correct" answer is bolded in the quotes below):

PAGE 42

"Part III Multiple Choice (14 points)

"Directions: Place the letter of the best answer to each question on the line to the left of the question.
Do not choose more than one answer for a question.

[...]

"7. What was the secret of the power Jesus used while on earth?

"A. The time He spent with God. C. He prayed publicly often.
B. The fact that He was Divine. D. He was born especially strong spiritually.

[...]

"11. What caused Jesus the most pain when He was on the cross?

"A. Knowing that some of his disciples had deserted Him.
B. The spikes in his hands.
C. Not knowing if His Father was with Him.
D. The public embarrassment and ridicule."

The late Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph.D., former Professor of Theology and Church History at Andrews University (SDA), in his Endtime Issues Newsletter, wrote the following:

[...] "It is important to note that in the Old Testament God manifested His glory, not His face. On Mount Sinai God's face was hidden by a cloud. In the sanctuary His presence was manifested as the shekinah glory between the cherubins, but there was no visual portrayal of God. Respect for the holiness of God precluded any attempt to represent the divine Beings of the Godhead. Even sacred object like that the ark of the covenant located in the Most Holy Place (symbol of God's throne), could not be touched or looked inside by ordinary people.

[...]

"The biblical prohibition of the use of visual representation of the three Persons of Trinity to form mental images to worship them, raises questions about the endorsement of The Passion by 'name-brand' preachers like Billy Graham. [...]" (http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/et_119.htm)

In more recent editions of his newsletter, Bacchiocchi addressed the doctrine of "the Godhead" in more detail.

First, here are some excerpts from his Endtimes Issues Newsletter, number 147:

[...] "It will come as a surprise to some to learn that some of our leading pioneers, like Uriah Smith, did not believe in the divinity of Christ. Eventually our Adventist church rejected the Arian view that reduces Christ to a created Being, and adopted the biblical view of the Trinity as three Beings sharing the same divine nature and center of consciousness. [...]

[...]

"In a very real sense, it was on the doctrinal issues of the Trinity that early church leaders cut their intellectual teeth. The matter was forced upon them by the need to explain to Greek thinkers how the three Beings of the Godhead can be defined and worshipped as one God. [...]

[...]

"Some Christians question the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity because no one can explain how the three Beings of the Godhead can be one. They reason that if no one can explain this mystery, then it cannot be that important after all. Such reasoning ignores that the Christian faith is based on mysteries. [...]

[...]

"Gnostics believed that God is transcendent, living in eternal aloofness, with no direct contact with the material world which is evil. For this reason they rejected the incarnation of the Son of God (1 John 4:1-2), just as the Moslem do. By contrast, the God of biblical revelation consists of three Beings who live in eternal fellowship. He is both transcendent and immanent, beyond and within His creation. He humbled himself to the point of becoming part of his created order through the incarnation of His Son Jesus Christ. By becoming part of His created order, God sanctified humanity. [...]

[...]

"The increasing evangelization of Christians by those of non-trinitarian religions, makes it imperative today to reaffirm the biblical revelation of God, consisting of three Beings, equally divine and yet inseparably one. This unique doctrine is of great importance because, as we shall now see, it is intimately connected with the message of salvation.

[...]

"The importance of the doctrine of the Trinity is indicated especially by its impact on religious, social, and political institutions. The exercise of power in most societies generally reflects the prevailing understanding of how God rules the universe. The tendency has been to

PAGE 43

represent God as the only all-powerful ONE, who rules the world as a monarch. The usual conclusion has been that those who wield power on earth, are to act as God's natural representatives.

[...]

"The struggle has been inspired by misconception of the Father's role within the Trinity. God was envisioned, not as the perfect communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but as the sole Ruler of the universe, wielding all the power without questioning by any one. This monarchical conception of God has served to justify authoritarianism in religion, totalitarianism in politics, and machismo in the family.

[...]

"Historically, the autocratic form of church government has been inspired by the vision of God as the almighty sole Ruler of the universe, rather than the biblical conception of God as the communion of three equal Beings. [...]

[...]

"Boff continues urging, especially his own Catholic church, to overcome the historic concentration of power in few hands, by recapturing the biblical vision of the Trinity as the perfect communion of the divine Three, making them one God. From this vision will emerge a community oriented church, where 'each one has his or her own characteristics and gifts, but all live for the good of all. . . . Each one, in so far as he or she creates community and becomes part of that community, represents the Blessed Trinity. In the Trinity what unites the divine Three is the communion among them and the complete self-giving of one person to the others. The same thing ought to happen in the church. It is by overcoming the centralization of power and distributing among all, that dynamic unity emerges, reflecting trinitarian union.' (Ibid., p. 66).

"The problem of the concentration of power in few hands, exists not only the Catholic church, but in other Christian churches as well. As denominations become established there is the tendency for the governing power to become centralized in the hands of few leaders, who run the church with only a token lay representation. Thus, it is imperative for all churches to recover the biblical vision of the Godhead as the perfect communion of three Beings acting in unison. Such a vision can encourage Christians to strive for a more egalitarian, democratic, pluralistic, and family-oriented church and society, where collaboration, union, equality, and good relationships prevail in the family, church, and society.

[...]

"The monarchical view of God has influenced, not only authoritarianism in church government, but also totalitarianism in politics. As mentioned earlier, during the middle ages kings and emperors claimed to have been invested by God to rule the people. The reasoning was that just as there is one God in heaven who alone governs the world, without explaining anything to anyone, so there must be rulers on earth who act like the God in heaven.

"The outcome of this misconception of the Trinity has been, as Boff explains, 'Political totalitarianism which has created arrogance among the leaders and submission among the led. [...]' [...]

"Boff's insighful observations can help us understand why the ongoing efforts of the American government to establish a democratic form of government in Iraq, holds little hope of success. Why? Simply because the Iraquis are Muslims who believe in a rigid monotheism. Their god, Allah, is not a perfect communion of the three equal Beings, but a sole despotic Ruler who teaches the use of the sword to promote Islam. Moslem rulers are expected to imitate Allah by ruling the people with an iron fist. Sooner or later the Iraqis are going be to governed again by an autocratic regime, simply because such a regime is inspired and sanctioned by their rigid monotheism.

[...]

[...] "The only hope for democracy to flourish in Iraq or in any other strict Moslem country, is for the people to repudiate their rigid monotheism which sanctions their totalitarian regimes, and embrace instead the biblical view of God as the perfect communion of three equal Beings. It is unlikely that the American government will ever take on such a bold reeducational project, which is bound to stir up the ire of Moslem leaders around the world.

"Democracy as a New Vision of God

[...]

"The new vision of God as a loving communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, encouraged a much greater participation of Christians in the religious and political life. New music was composed, new worship styles were developed, new forms of democratic government gradually came into existence. The priesthood of al the believers in the church was interpreted as a mandate for the participation of all citizens in the social-political institutions of the state.

[...]

"The understanding of God as a male who controls everything and hold all power for Himself, has fostered male domination in macho-oriented cultures. Believing to be acting in the name of God, the man views himself as the 'boss' and 'owner' of his wife and children. This culture has hardened family relationships, preventing them to express tenderness especially toward women, whose function is to serve men.

"This macho-culture ignores that God has a Son and lives with the Holy Spirit in perfect communion and equality. The rediscovery of the biblical vision of the Godhead, living as equal in perfect communion, can undermine the macho mentality that is so harmful to family relationships. Believing in the Trinity, as the perfect communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,is a much needed corrective in the

PAGE 44

family, church, and society. It can provide a powerful inspiration to live lovingly in a world where pride and selfishness prevail.

"Conclusion

"The preceding observations have served to highlight the importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity for our religious and socio-political life. We have seen that the belief in God as a perfect communion of Three, sets Christianity apart from all other religions. [...] Finally, we have seen that the biblical vision of the Trinity can serve as a model for our religious, political, and social institutions." (http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/et_147.htm)

There is a just an overwhelming amount of anti-Trinitarian heresy in the above excerpts. Not only does he teach that there are three divine "Beings" (gods), but he even says that it is wrong to teach that there is only one Ruler, or Monarch, of the universe. He says that the teaching that "there is one God in heaven who alone governs the world" is a "misconception of the Trinity"! His statements are in direct contradiction to the word of God, which states over and over again that there is only one Ruler and King (Monarch), the King of kings and Lord of lords. He also says that a view (which would include the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity) that denies "three equal Beings" is "rigid monotheism" and needs to be "repudiate[ed]"! This is blatant polytheism and a denial of monotheism and Trinitarianism. The absolute rejection of the Trinity in the above excerpts cannot be overstated.

Here is a quote from Bacchiocchi's next newsletter, number 148:

"The exercise of power in most societies generally reflects the prevailing understanding of how God rules the universe. The tendency has been to represent God as the only all-powerful ONE, who rules the world as a monarch. The usual conclusion has been that those who wield power on earth, are to act as God's natural representatives. The result has been authoritarianism in church government, totalitarianism in politics, and machismo in the family.

"The evolution which has taken place in Western countries from totalitarian to democratic forms of government, appears to have been partly inspired by the evolution in the concept of God. The gradual replacement of the medieval conception of God who rules the universe as an absolute, autocratic monarch, has been gradually replaced by the new vision of a Triune God, who functions as a loving communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

"The rediscovery of the biblical vision of the Godhead, as three Beings living as equal in a perfect, loving communion, has provided a much needed corrective for the autocratic and often abusive exercise of power in the church, state, and the family. It has provided a powerful inspiration to live lovingly in a world where pride and selfishness prevail." (http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/et_148.htm)

Again, it is God Himself that represents Himself in His word as "the only all-powerful ONE"! Again, the above statements are simply an amazing rejection of the Trinity, while at the same time claiming to be Trinitarian.

And here are some excerpts from a section of the same newsletter (number 148) entitled "The Personality and Deity of the Spirit," by Woodrow Whidden, Ph.D., who was, at the time, Professor of Church History and Theology, Andrews University (SDA):

"One final piece of evidence for the Spirit's personality comes from 2 Cor. 13:14: 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.'

"The first thing to note about this verse is that the Holy Spirit is here described as the third named being headed up by the God the Father and the Son. The vast majority of Bible-believing Christians agree that the Father and the Son are personal divine beings. Most certainly the 'grace' which comes from Jesus Christ is only something that can have a personal origin. The 'love of God' is obviously suggestive of the personality of the Father since love is the essence of any experience which is inter-personal and expressive of caring sentiments. The Holy Spirit is then mentioned in a most straight-forward way, strongly suggestive that He is a personal, coordinate divine being---the Third Person of the tri-personal Godhead.

[...]

"The Biblical testimony given in chapters 1 to 3 strongly suggests that the God revealed in the Scriptures is manifest in three divine persons. Thus if they are all divine persons, there is the very real implication that they all must be profoundly one in their divine character, nature or substance. There is simply a deep sense of identity and oneness between persons (human and divine) when they share the same nature and character. The question is this: what is it about their divine nature which makes them 'One'?

"I John 4:8

"'God is love.' Do we truly comprehend the depths of this inspired statement which is so disarming in its seeming simplicity? I would suggest that these three words have a profound contribution to make to our understanding of a God who has eternally pre-existed in something like trinitarian 'Oneness.'

[...]

"Have we not discovered that the most profound of human unities are those of selfless love? Could we experience such profound loving unions if there was not a deeply united, plural God of infinite love who has defined the very essence of the universe and the existence of those creatures made more especially in His image? I think not. The very essence of living in love flows from the great Triune Godhead of loving grace!!!" (http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/et_148.htm)

And here is an excerpt from Bacchiocchi from number 149 of his newsletter:

"The classical definition of the Trinity, first proposed by Tertullian (about A. D. 200), has been tria personae unia substantia — three persons and one substance. Such a definition satisfied ancient metaphysical thinkers who attempted to prove the oneness of the Trinity by

PAGE 45

arguing that the three Persons shared the same substance. Today, we would question such a definition, because being made of the same substance-staff, does not guarantee the same thought process.

"In fact, even the description of the Godhead as consisting of three Persons, can be misleading, if not properly qualified. The reason is that a 'Person' implies a unique personality, individuality, and character. But the Godhead does not consists of three different personalities, each with a different character. They consist of three Beings with the same mind set. In my Bible classes I proposed the definition of Three Beings sharing the same center of consciousness. The problem with such a definition is that there are no human analogies to help us understand it. Let us accept the fact that we worship a triune God who is so great that escapes our comprehension." (Emphasis in original. http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/et_149.htm)

Notice that he is incorrectly interpreting "one substance" to mean that there are three divine Beings (gods) who are all "made of" the same substance (just like human beings are all made of the same substance). As we will continue to see, the SDAs completely redefine the term "one substance" (when they do use that term).

The following is from number 86 of Bacchiocchi's newsletter:

"For Muslims the biblical teaching that Christ is the Son of God is blasphemous. 'They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no God except One God' (Surah 5:76). Islam's teaching of the absolute Oneness of God stems from their believe that God is 'far above' and beyond any intimate relationship. He lives in solitary aloofness. Such a teaching derives from gnostic sects that lived in Saudi Arabia at the time of Muhammad. By contrast, the God of the Bible consists of three Beings who live in eternal fellowship. He is both transcendent and immanent, beyond and within His creation.

[...]

"It is from this perspectives that we, as Christians, can help our Muslim friends to understand the uniqueness of the triune God of the Bible. Rather than wasting time to prove the Trinity - a sublime mystery that transcends any human explanation - we can affirm that the biblical God does not live in solitary aloofness, but in a holy communion of three beings, because He is love. But we need to explain to our Muslims friends that the three Beings of the Godhead are indeed ONE GOD, because they share the same center of consciousness - a mystery beyond human comprehension." (http://biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/eti_86.html)

The following excerpts are from Bacchiocchi's book THE MARRIAGE COVENANT: A Biblical Study on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage, chapter 3 ("Marriage and Sex"):

"There is, however, another possible way in which human maleness and femaleness reflects the image of God, namely in the capacity of a man and a woman to experience a oneness of fellowship similar to the one existing in the Trinity. The God of Biblical revelation is not a solitary single Being who lives in eternal aloofness but is a fellowship of Three Beings so intimately and mysteriously united that we worship them as one God. This mysterious oneness-in-relationship of the Trinity is reflected as a divine image in man, not as a single individual but as a sexual duality of maleness and femaleness, mysteriously united in marriage as 'one flesh.' The love uniting husband and wife points to the love that eternally unites the Three Beings of the Trinity. In this sense, it constitutes a reflection of the image of God in humanity.

[...]

"We noted earlier that God has revealed Himself, not as a solitary Being who lives in eternal aloofness, but as a fellowship of three Beings so intimately united that we worship Them as one God. If God Himself lives in a most intimate relationship with the other members of the Trinity, there is no reason to believe that He would abolish at the end the unitive function of marriage that He, Himself, established at creation." (http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/books/marriage/3.html)

Part of the first paragraph in the above quote was adapted into an article published on the official SDA website, in the College and University Dialogue section. Here is the description of that section: "College and University Dialogue is an international journal of faith, thought, and action published by the Committee on Adventist Ministry to College and University Students (AMiCUS) in cooperation with the 13 world divisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."9 Here is the quote by Bacchiocchi on the official SDA website:

"However, there is another way in which we can understand the image of God, implicit in Genesis 1:27: 'In the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.' Thus the human maleness and femaleness reflect the image of God in that a man and a woman have the capacity to experience a oneness of fellowship similar to the one existing in the Trinity. The God of biblical revelation is not a solitary single Being who lives in eternal aloofness but is a fellowship of three Beings so intimately and mysteriously united that we worship them as one God. This mysterious oneness-in-relationship of the Trinity is reflected as a divine image in humanity, in the sexual duality of maleness and femaleness, mysteriously united in marriage as 'one flesh.'" (http://dialogue.adventist.org/articles/08_1_bacchiocchi_e.htm)

These statements by Bacchiocchi are incredible--in a futile attempt to avoid the charge of Tritheism, he says that their three divine "Beings" are so united that they worship them "as" one God.

The following quote is from an article (from 2001) by the late Dr. Ralph Larson, who was an SDA Pastor and seminary teacher:

[...] "No treatment of this subject can be considered adequate unless it deals with the vital and critical question, where did the devil get the idea of a Trinity?

"Why did he so unfailingly work that idea into all of his false religions?

"Why did he never set up a false religion with a godhead of two divine beings, or four, or five, or six?

PAGE 46

"Why did he stick so religiously to his 'false religion blueprint,' that there must always be a godhead of three divine beings in every false religion?

"Let us proceed slowly and carefully. In order to achieve the greatest possible degree of simplicity and clarity, let us use a question and answer method.

[...]

"Question: What was Lucifer's position in heaven?

"Answer: 'Among the inhabitants of heaven, Satan, next to Christ, was at one time most honored of God, and highest in power and glory. Before his fall, Lucifer, 'son of the morning,' was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him.' Signs of the Times, July 23, 1902.

"Question: In that position, would it have been possible for Lucifer to know about the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

"Answer: It would have been impossible for him not to know about them. He had Daily converse and association with them. He knew them as intimately as it is possible for any created being to know its Creator.

"Question: How can we be sure that there was a 'Trinity' in heaven and that Lucifer knew about it?

"Answer: Because he set up a counterfeit of it in all of his false religions. Satan is a master counterfeiter. God has a Sabbath; Satan has a counterfeit, Sunday. God has baptism: Satan has a counterfeit, sprinkling. God has prophets; Satan has counterfeits, false prophets. God has a gift of tongues; Satan has a counterfeit, gibberish. God has divine healing; Satan has a counterfeit, pretended healing. God has faith; Satan has a counterfeit, presumption. God has divine worship; Satan has a counterfeit, celebration worship. God has conditional immortality for the faithful, Satan as a counterfeit, natural immortality for everybody. God has fire that will destroy the wicked: Satan has a counterfeit, a fire that will never stop burning the wicked. And so on and on. Satan has overlooked nothing. He has counterfeited everything that God is or does!

"In view of these unquestionable realities, and in view of his intimate knowledge of the three heavenly persons of the true Godhead, would it not be reasonable for us to suppose that he would fail to counterfeit the heavenly Trinity? And is it not perfectly obvious that he did not fail to do this? Just look at his pagan religions. Do they not all have their trinities?

[...]

"Now tell me what you would think of me if I did something like this. I come out on the platform to speak and observe a man sitting on the front row, and a lady sitting beside him.

"'Sir,' I say to him, 'Who is that lady sitting beside you?'

"He answers, 'She is my wife.'

"Then I proceed to talk to him like this: 'Do you think I was born yesterday? You must think I am pretty dumb. Well let me tell you something, sir. I am not so dumb. I have been to school and I know how to count. The Bible states clearly that when a man and a woman marry, they become 'one.' But you two are certainly not one. You are two. I am not blind. I can count. Do not try to tell me that you are married. You are not one.'

"I believe that you would be ready to say, 'Larson, you are making a fool of yourself.'

"And you would be right. I would be making a fool of myself. Yet how many times we have heard people talk just like that when the subject of the Trinity is brought up. I find it very depressing. We have to face it, folks. Our little heads simply cannot be wrapped around the Godhead. It just is not possible! 'Canst thou by searching find out God?' Job 11:7.

[...]

"I have seen it tried. I have watched a class of highly educated graduate students spend an entire hour trying to work out a definition of the Godhead that would express clearly both the unity of the Godhead and the individuality of the Godhead. When they were finished they had nothing better to offer than the simple Bible affirmation that there are three divine beings, and that the three are one. This combines unity with individuality in a way that no human mind can explain, but it is the 'given' with which we have to do. Like the statement that a husband and wife are one, it is a truth as stated, but not explained. If we were to study the mystery of the Godhead throughout eternity, there would still be mysteries beyond our comprehension. We have been told as much as we need to know. Let us accept that and move on. Let us waste no time in conjectures and speculations about the nature of the Godhead. And let us not forget that the devil had his concept of a trinity from heaven. He did not just manufacture it out of thin air. He did not originate it. He was counterfeiting what he had seen in the courts of glory." (http://stepstolife.org/php/view_article.php?article_id=12)

It is clear, especially from that last sentence, that he is teaching three separate corporeal/visible gods. Notice that he's also saying that there are multiple divine beings (gods) but that we can't complain about that teaching, because husband and wife are multiple beings and they are called "one"!

The following excerpts are from another article on dialogue.adventist.org, which is entitled "Another Look at the Battle of the Sexes," by Beatrice S. Neall (Ph.D., Andrews University), who "has served as missionary and college teacher" and has authored "many articles." Neall also was the "Principal Contributor" to the January/February/March 2001 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (which we looked at earlier), which states that, "She also has served on numerous General Conference Committees including the Sanctuary Review Committee ('Glacier View'), the Daniel and Revelation Committee, and the Christian View of Human Life Committee." Here are the excerpts from her article:

PAGE 47

"And yet it shouldn't be surprising that trying to define male-female roles and relationships in the current atmosphere is close to treading a minefield. At the risk of losing an arm or a leg, I wish to share what I have discovered from the biblical 'image of God' paradigm. It seems to me that in this paradigm we can see a complementary role for the male and the female. It is also possible that by observing how the members of the Godhead relate to each other, we can understand better the male-female relationships. [...]

[...]

"The Hebrew for man is adam. The passage, rich in meaning, indicates that God split adam into two complementary beings who together would reflect His likeness. God Himself is not a loner, but a loving family. God (Hebrew Elohim, plural) says, ''Let us make man in our image, in our likeness'' (Genesis 1:26). Here's conversation within the Godhead--three Persons, consulting, creating, and working together in harmony. God in relationship created the human in relationship. One part of the image of God is this relationship of the male and the female.

"At creation, male and female formed a unity. This togetherness in a way reflects the divine image.4 On both the divine and human levels, oneness is a kind of relationship in which different persons complement each other, forming a unity.

"True, God cannot be considered in terms of gender, but He has shared with the male and the female particular attributes that reside in Him. [...]

[...]

"The Godhead is a model support system. The members empower each other in the fulfillment of their shared goals. Jesus in His human weakness was empowered by the Father and the Spirit to succeed in His mission (see John 1:32; 14:10). Our feelings of inadequacy would be soothed if we as men and women affirmed and empowered each other. Neither sex should seek to dominate the other. The tendency of male coercion and female manipulation illustrate the perverse human assumption that power is in short supply and must be fought over. In the Trinity we see the opposite principle: power is abundant and is freely shared.10

[...]

"There is oneness in the Godhead, such closeness that the pain of separation is unendurable (see Matthew 27:46). Jesus said, ''I and the Father are one'' (John 10:30). There is not only oneness, but inness: ''I am in the Father, and... the Father is in me'' (John 14:10). Love is the force that binds them together. Human beings are invited to experience intimate oneness with the Godhead (17:21). Through union with God husbands and wives can reach sublime heights and depths of love in their relationship with each other. God has given them a unique way to express 'inness' through the sexual embrace. A couple who are one with God and one with one another experience a level of ecstasy unknown to, and unavailable in, casual sex. Moreover the fibers of love that bind them together build a sturdy nest for the young. Where parents are genuinely in love with each other, children develop secure personalities." (Italics in original. http://dialogue.adventist.org/articles/06_1_neall_e.htm)

Again, we see the SDA concept of the "God family," and various other expressions of polytheism.

Neall, who, according to her website, is "Professor Emerita of Religion, Union College [SDA], Lincoln, Nebraska," also has an article on her website entitled "Is Jesus God? What the Old Testament Says." Here is a quote from that article:

"What difference does it make if Jesus is God or not? And how could He be God when the Bible says 'The LORD our God, the LORD is one' (Deut. 6:4)? If we believe that the Father, Son, and also the Holy Spirit are God, do we then worship three Gods? No, the Godhead is a unity of three Persons who are one in character and purpose, cemented together by love. Out of this love relationship all things animate and inanimate were created. Three gods would have to be lesser, rival gods, competing with each other for dominance. Their massive conflicts, as described in heathen pantheons, would place the whole cosmos in jeopardy. The security of the universe depends on the unity of the Godhead.

"What if God were a single individual, as Jews and Muslims believe? A single Person who existed alone in the eternity of the past before anyone else was created, could not be a God of love. He would be the distant God of Islam, a harsh judge who demands obedience and executes violators. Our God, as the Bible reveals, is a union of three who live in an such an atmosphere of love that the Father was willing to sacrifice His Son and the Son His life, to save Their rebellious creation." (http://www.beatriceneall.com/jesusgod1.html)

Here Neall goes to such desperate, illogical lengths to avoid the charge of polytheism that she doesn't even use sensical grammar. "Three gods would have to be lesser, rival gods"? Lesser than what? And in order to be three, they have to be rivals? What kind of "fuzzy math" is that? If they get along really well with each other, then they aren't three? This is utter nonsense and shows so powerfully that there is simply no way for Adventists to avoid the charge of tritheism.

Neall also wrote an article in the Adventist Review (the official "flagship" magazine of the SDA Church), entitled "Who Was Jesus?" At the end of the article, it says: "Beatrice S. Neall is retired after a career as a missionary and college Bible teacher. She is the author of several books." Here are some excerpts from her article:

"These verses clearly identify Jesus. He is God. He is not identical to the Father, but is with the Father. He is the co-Creator of the universe.

[...]

[...] "John portrays Jesus as the partner in the everlasting covenant between Father and Son, that He would come to earth to save a perishing world and by so doing reveal the glory of the character of God (1:18; 3:16; 17:5).

PAGE 48

[...]

[...] "What Paul does here is to include Jesus in the Godhead. [...]

[...]

"And so we ask, Who existed with the Father from the beginning, but God? Who could be the co-Creator of the universe, but God? [...]" (http://www.adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2007-1523&page=22)

Notice that in order for that last sentence to even make sense, it has to mean "a God" (one of three Gods). And again, there are not multiple Creators/Gods--there is only one Creator.

And Neall also gave a "Devotional Message" on September 28, 2000 at the 2000 Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee. Here is the ending of that message:

"We need to be consumed by the vision of Paul's magnificent prayer as found in Ephesians 3:14-21. We need to be filled with the fullness of God.

"The whole Trinity unites to bring about unity. The Spirit in the inner being strengthens us. Christ dwells in our hearts through faith. I wish for you the ability to grasp the four dimensions of Christ's love, to know the love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (http://www.adventist.org/world_church/official_meetings/2000annualcouncil/neall_devotional.html)

The following quote is from a document on the website of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (which Institute, according to the home page of their website, seeks to, among other things, "Provide reliable information about Adventist thinking and theology to the larger Christian and non-Christian communities"), written by George W. Reid (former director of the Institute), entitled "Toward an Adventist Theology of Worship":

"In John 17 we find Jesus addressing His Father in heaven, establishing clearly the distinction between them. No form of modalism is compatible with it. Then we find them speaking of the Spirit as a quite separate entity.

[...]

"Based on these and numerous other examples, we know that three persons are recognized as deity in the Scriptures, therefore worship is appropriate for all. While we cannot know the exact relationship among the divine persons, we know they function in perfect harmony and can be thought of as a unity, one God. Worship is appropriate for all, and all relate to us as worshippers." (http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/advtheoworship.pdf)

Notice the astounding statements above, including the statement that the "divine persons" "can be thought of as" "one God" because "they function in perfect harmony"! Also, the Bible does not teach us to worship an "all" or a "they" as Adventism teaches, but rather a "He"--the one living God!

In another document on the Biblical Research Institute's website, entitled "The Trinity in Scripture," Gerhard Pfandl, Associate Director of the Institute, writes the following:

"According to Genesis 2:24, man and woman are to 'become one ('echad) flesh,' a union of two separate persons. In Deuteronomy 6:4 the same word is used of God, 'Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one ('echad).' [...]

[...]

[...] "He has no need of counseling with his creatures, not even with heavenly beings. The plural, therefore, while not proving the Trinity, suggests that there is a plurality of beings in the speaker.

[...]

"Truth in Scripture is progressive, therefore, when we come to the New Testament we find a more explicit picture of the Trinitarian nature of God. The very fact that God is said to be love (1 John 4:8) implies that there must be a plurality within the Godhead since love can only exist in a relationship between different beings.

[...]

"'For in Him dwells all the fullness (pleroma) of the Godhead bodily (somatikos).' The word pleroma has the basic meaning of 'fullness, fulfillment.' In the Old Testament it refers repeatedly to the earth/sea and 'all its fullness' (Ps 24:1; cf. 50:12; 89:11; 96:11; 98:7), which is quoted in 1 Corinthians 10:26, 28. In secular Greek pleroma referred to the full complement of a ship's crew or to the amount necessary to complete a financial transaction. In Colossians 1:19 and 2:9 Paul uses the word to describe the sum total of every function of divinity.25 This fullness dwelt in Christ 'bodily,' i.e., even during his incarnation Christ retained all the essential attributes of divinity, though he did not use them for his own advantage. [...]

[...]

"(c) During his incarnation Jesus voluntarily subordinated himself to the Father, being the Son of God. This included surrendering the prerogatives but not the nature of the deity. The risen Lord being enthroned as king and priest also voluntarily accepts the priority of the Father, but he and the Father are - according to Scripture - both God, co-eternal and co-equal personalities of one Godhead." (http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/trinscript.pdf)

PAGE 49

Notice that in the second to last paragraph quoted above, they are redefining what "all the fullness of the Godhead" means in Colossians 2:9. Instead of it meaning that Jesus is fully (all of) the one true God (since they deny this Biblical truth), they say that it just refers to "the sum total of every function of divinity" and that it simply means that Jesus possesses all of the "essential attributes of divinity." But as the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown commentary explains: "of the Godhead--The Greek (theotes) means the ESSENCE and NATURE of the Godhead, not merely the divine perfections and attributes of Divinity (Greek, 'theiotes'). He, as man, was not merely God-like, but in the fullest sense, God."10 (Emphasis in original.) Also, as Christian scholar Dr. James R. White shows in his article "Theotetos: Meaning at Colossians 2:9": "One cannot translate theotes as a simple quality or attribute - it refers instead to the actual essence of deity, not simply to its attributes."11

The following quote is from an article from January 2006 on the official SDA website (adventist.org), by Angel Manuel Rodriguez, Director of the SDA Church's Biblical Research Institute, entitled "ECCLESIOLOGY AND REORGANIZATION: THE ONENESS OF THE CHURCH":

"In His prayer for the church Christ asks the Father to keep believers united to Him and to each other as He and the Father are united in the mystery of the trinity (John 17:21). The church participates in some way in the unity of the Godhead. Through the Spirit Christ established a union between Himself and believers that is as real as the union that exists between the different parts of our own bodies." (http://www.adventist.org/world_church/commission-ministries-services-structures/rodriguez-ecclesiology.pdf)

Notice that in the above quote, Rodriguez subtly changed what Jesus says--and he gets this "change" from Ellen G. White's writings, as we'll see later. Jesus does not pray for believers to be "united to Him" "as He and the Father are united in the mystery of the trinity."

The following excerpt is from a "devotional" presented on July 4, 2000 at the SDA Church's 2000 General Conference Session, by Virginia Smith, Director, Children's Ministries Department, General Conference:

"Why He Accepted the Responsibility of Being Born Here as a Baby

"This sacrifice took place because the most beautiful angel of all accused God of being unjust and arbitrary, a tyrant demanding what cannot be given and should not be required. His whisper campaign convinced one third of the angels, and it became imperative to cast them out of heaven. The perfect universe now had to weigh the evidence presented with the serious charges Satan brought against God. A cloud of suspicion and distrust threatened the peace and safety of all God's dominions. Then word flashed through space that Adam and Eve, the newly created beings on Planet Earth, had sided with the rebellious one.3 Could Lucifer be correct in his allegations against God?

"The Godhead was prepared with a defense. From eternity they had an astonishing plan ready to answer the charges against them and to save sinners. The Son of the Almighty would come personally to this patch of contaminated real estate and take on human nature as the weakest, most vulnerable human being—a baby." (http://www.adventistreview.org/2000-bulletin5/4-devotional-second-adam.html)

This next quote is from one of the SDA Church's "Official Statements," entitled "An Affirmation of Marriage." They say: "This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) on April 23, 1996." Here is a portion of the statement:

[...] "In the culmination of His creative activity, God fashioned humankind as male and female in His own image; and He instituted marriage, a covenant-based union of the two genders physically, emotionally, and spiritually, spoken of in Scripture as 'one flesh.'

"Arising from the diversity of the two human genders, the oneness of marriage images in a singular way the unity within diversity of the Godhead. [...]" (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main_stat16.html)

And the following is from a document on the official SDA website entitled "Declaration of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Church-State Relations":

"The appropriate relation between religion and the state was best exemplified in the life of our Savior and example, Jesus Christ. As one of the Godhead, Jesus held unparalleled authority on earth. [...]" (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/other_documents/other_doc8.html)

The following quote is from the "Morning Devotional" for July 3, 2005 at the SDA Church's 2005 General Conference Session in St. Louis, Missouri, by Hiskia Israil Missah, D. Min.:

[...] "I would say that when the plan of salvation was first discussed among the Godhead in heaven, considering that He is God, Jesus did not say that He did not want to become a human being or to live a human life. He did not say, 'Well, I am God. Why should I do this business that will trouble me so much and make me feel uneasy, pained, miserable and suffering? No, I won't do that!!'

"Brothers and sisters:

"Jesus did not say such words. Instead of clinging to His Divine position, He was willing to let go of His Divinity to become a Savior to humanity. [...]" (http://news.adventist.org/specials/2005/gcsession/2005-07-03/devotional-missah.html [no longer online])

The next quote is from the "Morning Devotional" for July 7, 2005 at the 2005 General Conference Session, by Robert Wong, D. Min., Chinese Union Mission:

"Christ and the Holy Spirit are one just as Jesus said 'I and the Father are one' (Jn. 10:30). The mysterious Holy Trinity--Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit--the three persons all are one (Acts 5: 3,4; Gen. 1:2; Matt. 10:20; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 4:6; Psa. 51:11. The Triune God has always worked harmoniously together as well as distinctively for our creation and redemption. This is one of our fundamental Christian beliefs. [...]

"Just how close is the connection and how intimate the relationship between Christ and the Holy Spirit? We find in the Scripture that the Holy Spirit was at work in: [...]

PAGE 50

[...]

"In Jesus' farewell speech again and again He introduced the Holy Spirit to His disciples and put emphasis on the Holy Spirit as His representative, successor and finisher of His redeeming work on earth during the solemn yet joyful 'change of administration' ceremony." (http://news.adventist.org/specials/2005/gcsession/2005-07-07/devotional-wong.html [no longer online])

How does a "God" work "harmoniously together" or "distinctively"? This misusage of grammar just goes to show once again that they redefine the word "God" as a collective noun--a "group" of three separate Divine Beings (gods).

And the following quote is from the "Afternoon Devotional" for June 30, 2005 at the 2005 General Conference Session, by Jo Ann Davidson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Andrews University, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary:

"No, the sin problem is not just a trite matter of the God of Heaven having His feelings hurt. And Christ's atoning sacrifice was not an artistic crucifix between two candles on an altar. It was an awful torturing death which tore apart God from God. It was an execution. The Godhead was at war with itself, the most inconceivable event in the history of the universe. Christ bore God's holy wrath against sin to the utmost upon Himself because God loves us more than His own life." (http://news.adventist.org/specials/2005/gcsession/2005-06-30/davidsonj.html [no longer online])

The above quote is incredibly polytheistic, and explicity refers to more than one "God."

The following excerpts are from an essay on fae.adventist.org (The Foundation for Adventist Education, which is part of the Institute for Christian Teaching of the General Conference Education Department) by Lionel Matthews, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology at Andrews University (SDA), entitled "Sociology: A Biblical Perspective":

"God and Group

"The group reality must be appreciated not only for its relevance to human development but also for its appropriateness, it seems, in capturing the divine reality. In spite of its clear monotheistic ring, the biblical account seems uncompromised on the idea of God as a group. While God has been declared to be one God (Duet. 6:4,1 Tim. 2:5), He has also been presented as a plurality of beings (1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 4:5). Moreover, Genesis 1:2 gives us the very first limit of the plural nature if the Deity in the invitation extended for the collaborative effort that yielded the creation of humankind: 'come let us make man in our own image'. These positions on the Deity, while they seem to smack of a contradiction of terms, become clearer within a wider sweep of scripture.

"Spouses become one flesh at marriage (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5, Ephesians 5:31), and Jesus prayed for His followers to be one (John 17:21). Paul (1 Corinthians12) presents the church with its plurality of members as one body, and Matthew (chapter 25) pictures the redeemed of the ages as a bride. Thus, the notion of oneness emerging from groupness seems clearly biblical. Yet this group-based oneness, as we are aware from our experience in regards to husbands and wives and the followers of Christ, does not translate to fusion of beings or personalities. Neither husbands and wives nor individual Christians are ramified into a single entity at the point where oneness between them is reached.

"What the notion of a triune (group) God seems to suggest is that the three members of the Godhead become joined in their relationship with each other, on the basis of their common purpose, values and interests. Furnish (1989) has suggested that a mystical oneness emerges when people interact in a group context. If this is true of human beings, how much more might it be illustrative of the oneness of the Godhead.

"The point underscored by scripture in the persistent image it portrays of 'oneness' being a function of 'groupness' is that reality is ultimately relational; that it is within relationships, and in particular the group relationship, that reality is best conceptualized, accessed, and constructed. But this view does not sit well in cultures dominated by the Western individualistic notion of human nature. [...] Yet, it is not my wish to propose an 'individual-less' collective as the ideal. The biblical worldview would have me steer clear of this. What seems inescapable however, is that God in whose image we have been created is communal, and we are in essence social beings made for God and for each other (Sire 1990). That the group is the primary reality it is the contention of the Bible- and it seems clear that it is the point of the Sociologist too." (http://fae.adventist.org/essays/34B_Matthews_L.pdf)

Not only does the above essay explicitly teach that "God" is simply the name of a "group" (of three "beings"/gods), but it also misquotes Scripture. Genesis 1:26 is not an "invitation" and God does not say "come..." as it is misquoted above (the verse also does not have the word "own").

The following quotation is from a document on the SDA General Conference's Sabbath School & Personal Ministries website, by Gabriel Maurer:

"But there is still one argument left. This is the truth about Trinity. In spite of the fact, that it goes beyond human comprehension, we discover, that the Godhead, as our primary model, gives us an example of team leadership. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit work together in their leadership tasks for the Universe as well as for the salvation of the human race. The perfect Universe leadership encourages us to team leadership in the church." (http://www.sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org/site/1/iicm/Local%20Church%20Leadership/LCL%20101%20Principles%20Christian%20Leadership.pdf)

The next quote is by Karen Flowers, Co-Director, Department of Family Ministries, General Conference:

"When we think of the meaning of Christ's sacrifice for us, some of us think with John and Paul of the sacrifice He made to become human, to step out of the circle of the Godhead and become flesh and live among us. From our limited human understanding, I've heard it likened to a prince being willing to be kissed and become a frog rather than the other way around. To be sure, joining the human race was a huge step down! An incredible sacrifice!

[...]

PAGE 51

"Christ was willing to be eternally separated from His Father, to die forever, to reconcile the human family to God. This was the supreme sacrifice He believed He had made when He cried out in His humanness, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?' Yet his declaration, 'It is finished,' marks willful assent to His own eternal death, that we might choose life." (http://familyministries.gc.adventist.org/Resources/sermon_collection/family-if_you_don't_get_it.htm)

The above statements are incredibly blasphemous, even asserting that Jesus' "It is finished!" meant that He thought He was going to cease to exist forever (SDA definition of "eternal death"). And since, according to Adventism, Jesus did cease to exist when He died, then it would have to be forever, because the "Resurrection" could only be a re-creation--"God" creating a new being named "Jesus" (since the "original" "Jesus" had ceased to exist--which, notice, had no impact on the existence of "God"/"the Godhead" or the universe). Therefore, the SDA "Jesus" is actually a created being (only about 2,000 years old), and not "eternal" as they claim (and even the word "eternal" is meant by the SDAs in a "historical" sense, since they deny the concept of timelessness, as we'll see more of later).

The following quote is from another essay on fae.adventist.org, entitled "The Bible and Astronomy," by "Dr. Mart de Groot, Pastor, Irish Mission, Astronomer, former Director of Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland":

"The final use of bara is found in verses 26 and 27. In the first instance, in vs.26, God says, 'Let us make (asah) man in our image .....' as if this new creature is going to have the same life as the animals. But, then, in vs.27, when He is actually creating man, the word bara is used three times. Now God adds something to the life of man that the animals do not possess: His image. And He uses the word bara three times to indicate that man is given the image of each of the three persons of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

[...]

"The difference between the Hebrew words 'bara' and 'asah' became clear. Finally, God created man in His image, after His likeness.

"Man was given the image of the whole of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." (Italics in original. http://fae.adventist.org/essays/31Bcc_159-181.htm)

From the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists' website, by Lester Bennett (D. Min.), in a document from the Sabbath School Ministries department entitled "Some Background for the SS Lessons on the Holy Spirit":

"Along with most Christians, Seventh-day Adventists hold the doctrine of the Trinity. (See Fundamental Doctrines, # 2) This includes identifying the Holy Spirit as a person, one of three divine beings making up the Godhead. The biblical passages that define and support this position will be studied in the various lessons of the quarter.

[...]

"Once this step of recognizing Jesus as an eternal divine Being was taken and affirmed, renewed interest in the understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit logically followed.

[...]

"True, the work of the Holy Spirit is often mysterious, 'moving as the wind' Jesus told Nicodemus. Yet He is often described as acting in various capacities and may be 'lied to' and 'insulted.' He also comes as the representative of and serves in the stead of Christ. Only a person, One who is also a divine being, could hold such a position." (http://ncc.adventist.org/article/articleview/607/1/30 [retrieved 04-25-2006, but no longer online])

The following is from an article in the January 18, 2001 issue of the Adventist Review (the official "flagship" magazine of the SDA Church), entitled "My Mistake":

"The rest of my church family stayed away, never called, never sent a card. [...]

[...]

"'How foolish I've been to allow people to keep me from God,' I said. 'I want to go back to God's house. I want to worship Him in His sanctuary. I want to take back what Satan has robbed me of: my Sabbath joy. I'll make the Trinity my family. God will never betray me. Jesus can heal my heart, and the Holy Spirit can teach me to trust again.'" (http://www.adventistreview.org/2001-1503/story3.html)

The following quote is from an article in the May 27, 2004 issue of the Adventist Review, entitled "The Presence" with a subheading of, "Those who've experienced times of extreme crisis have sometimes felt a mysterious Attendant close to them." The article is by John D. Butler, Sr. who "is a retired university professor and administrator. He writes from his home in Washington, D.C."

"As a Christian I believe unequivocally in the immanence of God, that no matter where we may go, we cannot escape His presence (see Ps. 139:7-12). But it's obvious to me that there are occasions when, under unusual stress, the presence of divinity is so arresting, so personal, so concentrated, so awesomely influential and inspiring, as to cause the victim to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, invisibility and immateriality notwithstanding, that a member of the Trinity (or another celestial representative) is present--not necessarily to remove the ordeal, but expressly to give courage, strength, and sustaining power to enable us to endure it." (http://www.adventistreview.org/2004-1522/story3.html)

The next quote is from an article in the December 2, 2004 issue of the Adventist Review, entitled "A Rabbi, a Jug, and a Christian," by Lee Gugliotto. At the end of the article, it says: "Lee Gugliotto is an author who equips people to understand the Bible, to reconnect with the God of the Bible, and to fulfill the Great Commission." Here is a quote from the article:

"Jesus invites us to have a personal relationship with Him. Only He can mold and shape disciples into followers of Himself, and so restore

PAGE 52

in us the image He shares with the Trinity—the image of God." (http://www.adventistreview.org/2004-1549/story1.html)

The following excerpts are from an article in the March 10, 2005 issue of the Adventist Review, entitled "Desert Storm: Reflections on the temptations of Jesus":

"The Genesis creation story begins with nothing--'without form and void.' But the presence of the Trinity brings life into being. First, the Spirit is seen moving over the waters. Next, the spoken word of God breaks through the darkness, declaring, 'It is good.' Finally, in the creation of humans we see Christ drawing near and making them in God's image (Gen. 1:2-4, 26).

"While all this talk about Adam's creation may seem far removed from the temptation of Christ, it becomes relevant when we recall that Christ is, in the typology of salvation, the Second Adam. When setting in motion Christ's public ministry, we again find the Trinity drawing near. Once more, God the Holy Spirit is present--this time flying above the waters of the Jordan; verbal evidence of God the Father's presence comes in an announcement of that which is 'good' ('My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'); and God the Son, Christ Himself the agent of Creation, draws near once again, this time for the re-creation of humanity.

"As this story develops we will see how these tokens of divine presence (Spirit and word) not only play a pivotal role in the establishment of Christ's ministry but are the very means by which it moves forward.

[...]

"Christ's desert experience was immediately preceded by His baptism at the Jordan. Contrast between the two settings could not be keener. At the Jordan all was well. Vegetation, refreshing water, and, most significantly, words of encouragement and confirmation of human and divine origin. But desert life was different; Christ found Himself thirsty and hungry. And in this solitary wasteland such visible support was nowhere to be seen.

"In this context of contrast Satan comes to Jesus as an angel from heaven. His statement 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread' suggests that the test has reached its end and that Jesus may now deliver Himself from His famished condition. What's more, Satan hints that Christ can demonstrate His divine relationship to His Father in miraculously doing so.

"In this way the first temptation raises a basic but important question. Namely, 'How does a man prove he is a child of God?' 'How does a woman show she is on God's side?' Satan here implies we do so by creating something ourselves--by works. What he's asking is for us to manufacture evidence. And all too often we readily oblige. When we face difficulties, particularly those that come unexpectedly, Satan steps in and questions our relationship to the Divine in light of our circumstances. Do you really believe God would allow this to happen to His son or His daughter? It is, at once, a question regarding God's love and our position before Him.

"In our 'show me the money' world, there's an incessant call to prove the vitality of our relationship to God by our own efforts. This is particularly true in times of struggle, when our sense of danger and vulnerability is raised. It's as if we need to reassure ourselves and others that everything is still fine. To Satan Jesus replies (in effect): 'At present My life may look unsuccessful. I may appear abandoned. I may not seem much of a Messiah. Sonship is not proved, however, by My will, but by the recognition and surrender to the will and leading of the Father.'

"From the beginning Jesus' constant desire was to hear and follow His Father's will. In this process Christ may not have always understood how the individual pieces of God's puzzle were to finally come together. But this mystery, which at times greatly enhanced the human struggle, was no excuse for self-promotion or release. Christ knew the greatest evidence of His divine sonship was continued faith in the wise and loving guidance of His Father. Any other sign of divine right would have been failure by human effort.

"The first temptation raised questions about the relationship between Jesus and His Father. But we see that Jesus refused to answer Satan's question by evidence of His own choosing. To provide His own evidence would have been a denial of and an attempt to externally add to the evidence already given: the Father's announcement at the Jordan (an external sign) and the Spirit's leading (an internal sign). Jesus refused to play this game, and in so doing overcame His tempter.

[...]

"By His response to the first temptation we see that Jesus refused to doubt His connection to the Father. [...]

[...]

"Another point. Much has been made of Christ's use of Scripture to respond to Satan's attacks. But we benefit in also noting the way in which Jesus did not use the Scriptures. Christ refused to fall into the trap of expecting or demanding from God those things He had not promised. After study and reflection upon the Scriptures Jesus refused to give in to the temptation to water down or artificially sweeten God's Word. This saved Him from disappointment in false promises masquerading as truth.

"Satan suggested to Jesus that now, on His own timetable, He should demonstrate His arrival by gloriously descending from the sky accompanied by protective, attending angels. By doing so, the Temple worshippers could acknowledge and proclaim His arrival. It was a temptation to improve upon God's timetable. But the time had not yet come for Christ to descend upon Jerusalem surrounded by angels. That will take place on the 'great day' to come. Once again Jesus held to His belief that the best way--yes, the only way--for Him to prove His equality with and faithfulness to God was to live in subjection to His revealed will and wait upon God's time.

[...]

"While Luke's account never has Christ rebuking Satan by name, Matthew does this very thing following the third temptation. Some might

PAGE 53

see in this a new and final awareness on the part of Christ regarding the identity of His tempter. While it is true that the cumulative effect of these deceptions would have had their weight, I believe there was another reason for the timing of this dismissal--with a name attached.

"In the first two temptations it seems that Satan came to Christ as an angel sent from God bringing new directives and manifesting godly compassion. The first temptation does so by purporting to be a message of mercy from a satisfied Father. 'Enough already!' is the cry. 'You have shown Your fidelity in abstinence, now relieve Your hunger and summarily prove Your divine nature.'

"Similarly, the second temptation declares, 'Trust God,' 'Trust Your calling,' 'Trust the Scriptures.' Such heavenly directed talk suggests that Satan sought to maintain his deception of light until it was clear he had failed a second time.

"But here in the final temptation Satan attempts to mislead the Savior not by trickery but by direct appeal. This temptation was about the means by which Christ was to achieve the Father's purpose here on earth.

"Satan's invitation to pay homage suggests that he was no longer presenting himself as an angel of light, but openly showing himself to be Satan, secondhand owner of this world. At various times Christ Himself gave partial support to Satan's claim of ownership.

"In this third temptation Satan quizzes Jesus on the best means of obtaining His objective. Before a weakened Christ, Satan stands like a school-yard bully taunting a weaker boy with his stolen ball. 'Do You want it back?' he asks. 'I'll give it back; just bow down to me, and it's Yours.' Of course, a bully's offer is fictitious, as was Satan's. Satan not only planned to keep the world, but from a legal standpoint his immediate success was the only means by which he might obtain it. Although Satan had limited power and partial claim to this world because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, his place of authority, like Adam's, was conditional and thus temporary.

[...]

"Again, Satan asks for little more than token allegiance, and by this Christ is told He will gain the world. However, it was not an offer about giving, but of taking. Had Christ bowed to obtain this world, by that very act He would have been giving it away. Such an act would have been the last legal 'step' in Satan's hostile bid to take over this world.

"Satan comes to us in much the same way today, tempting us to behold our weakened condition and abandon the path of Christlike similitude for the path of immediate satisfaction. Satan was offering Christ credit-card salvation. In light of our limitations he says, 'Bow to me, and I will help you obtain that which you seek without sacrifice.'

"In one sense Satan is right, for we can obtain victory in life's warfare only as we acknowledge our fallen, needy condition. At the same time, we claim victory over Satan by recalling that which is already ours (just as Christ overcame the third temptation by recalling that this world was already His). [...]" (http://www.adventistreview.org/2005-1510/story2.html)

The above article is extremely blasphemous throughout, and teaches a "Jesus" who is much less than God. It even teaches a "Jesus" who is less powerful than satan!

The next quote is from an article in the January 25, 2007 issue of the Adventist Review, entitled "Experiencing the Trinity," by Allan Robertson, who it says at the end of the article is "a retired pastor living in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada." Here are some excerpts from the article:

"Is the Trinity a mystery? I see it as a mystery, but not an absurdity. [...]

[...]

"Sometimes we struggle with the personality of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps we have a tendency to think of this entity more as an influence, because He is without hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.

[...]

"On Sabbath, May 22, 2004, I was invited to preach the sermon during the worship hour at the rural Silver Creek Adventist Church in British Columbia. During the fellowship meal following the service, the Adventist woman who sat across from me told the story of how a Christian woman friend of hers had converted from Christianity to Islam because she was convinced that Christians are breaking the first of the 10 commandments by worshipping more than one god. The first commandment reads: 'You shall have no other gods before me' (Ex. 20:3). How shall we view this challenge?

"The Trinity Means One God in Three Eternal Persons

"Mathematically, this seems confusing because three do not equal one, but there is a oneness beyond mathematics. Think about a couple of sentences in the prayer Jesus prays to His Father as recorded in John 17. 'Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one' (verse 11). Jesus is asking of His Father that the 11 apostles who are the nucleus of His church may be one. Obviously, He is not requesting that His followers become one person. He prays that they may have a oneness, a unity in purpose, mind, and character. The oneness He desires for them is compared to the oneness that exists between Himself and His holy Father in heaven. The oneness, the harmony He asks for the 11 is expanded later in the prayer to include all genuine followers of Jesus. Hear His words in verse 22: 'I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.' The harmony between the Father and the Son is to be the example of the harmony that Jesus cherishes for Christians among themselves.

"The ancient Greek and Roman gods were indeed many gods. They were infamous for being in conflict and warring with one another perpetually. In sharp contrast is the God of the Bible who exists as three Persons in oneness, harmony, love, and purpose. 'God is love' (1 John 4:8) implies more than one Person in one God. God is one, but God is not alone. The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Father. The Father loves the Spirit. The Spirit loves the Father. The Son loves the Spirit. The Spirit loves the Son. At the center of our

PAGE 54

universe is a community of love, harmony, and oneness." (Italics in original. http://www.adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2007-1503&page=24)

So, once again, we see in the above article that Adventism teaches that God's "oneness" is not a "mathematical oneness," but is only a oneness of harmony/purpose, such as believers are supposed to have! This is Tritheism. Also, he argues that the ancient pagan gods "were indeed many gods" because they fought all the time, but that the SDA gods get along well and so that means they are not teaching polytheism! And notice that when he says "God is not alone" he is denying, among other verses, Isaiah 44:24, where God says: "I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone," (NASB). Also notice that he defines "God" as "a community of love, harmony, and oneness"!

And, as we will continue to see, Seventh-day Adventists, just like the Mormons, try to use John 17 to teach their polytheistic godhead--that "God" is not actually one, but is "one" only as believers are. They get it backwards--they try to create "God" in the image of man (or men plural!). This passage cannot be used to say that God is "one" only in the way that believers are. (For more on this misusage of John 17, click here to open another page.) In order to prove that the SDA position is polytheism, all that needs to be asked is: "If you were to worship the 11 apostles whom Jesus was praying for, would you be a monotheist?"

The following quote is from the cover story of the November 22, 2007 issue of the Adventist Review, entitled "Growing God's Love in Our Children," by Linda Mei Lin Koh, who "is director of Children's Ministries for the General Conference":

"If you're trying to explain the doctrine of the Trinity, show them an egg and ask them to break it open to look at its composition. Ask them, 'How many parts make up this egg?' Talk about the shell, the yolk, and the white and how they form one unit.

"Or you may give children three colored strands of yarn—red, yellow, and blue. Ask them to braid them together. The three colors blend together to form a complete braid. Explain that the red piece of yarn is like God the Father, who loves us and forgives our sins; the yellow color is like God the Son, who created the world and died on the cross to save each one of us; and the blue is like God the Holy Spirit, who comforts us when we are discouraged and helps us enjoy a happy life by teaching us right from wrong. Three different strands, but they work together as one whole." (http://www.adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2007-1533&page=8)

The following excerpts are from the cover story of the December 20, 2007 issue of the Adventist Review, entitled "The God Who Comes Looking," by Calvin B. Rock. At the end of the article, it says: "Before his retirement in 2001, Calvin B. Rock was a general vice president of the General Conference. He served for nearly 50 years as a pastor, evangelist, administrator, and president of Oakwood College. This article is adapted from an Annual Council sermon." Here are some excerpts from the article:

"It is one thing for God to peer over the walls of glory and gaze upon the calamity of humanity from afar. It is one thing for Him to dispatch angels to examine our situation and take back their unerring reports. It is one thing for Him to occasionally appear, as in the case of Moses at the bush, and dazzle us from a distance with His glory. But it is an entirely different thing for God to reduce Himself to our level and come looking through the eyes of earthlings.

"That God would pull our humanity over His divinity and walk among us is wonderfully inexplicable. [...]

[...]

"How and When

"Consider the logistics of His coming. How did God operationalize His wish to personally look from the viewpoint of humanity? Galatians 4:4 again supplies the answer: 'When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman' (KJV). How? Ellen White wrote it was by a 'painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men' (The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 915).

[...]

[...] "By Bethlehem Satan had made our planet a virtual land of deranged minds and distorted limbs. It was then, when heaven and earth could clearly see the full consequences of Lucifer's rule, that God personally came looking.

[...]

"The price of His coming and looking is far beyond our knowing, but this much we can calculate: it cost 4,000 years of apprehension on the part of unfallen beings who wondered about the plan that allowed sin to exist so long; it cost Jesus 33 years of absence from the throne; it cost Him the disgrace of participation in the sinful processes that He Himself had condemned; it cost Him the ignominy of evil accusations and the shame of being numbered with transgressors. [...]

[...]

"He came looking, looking for ways and opportunities to fulfill prophecy, looking for ways to honor His pledge to the Father. And when He had fulfilled His destiny, He returned to His throne.

"God the Son is no longer here physically looking, but He has sent God the Holy Spirit in His place; and through the Holy Spirit He is still the God who comes looking." (http://www.adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2007-1535&page=8)

Note the blasphemous claim that Jesus had to pay the price of being "absen[t] from the throne" for 33 years. I guess some other God(s) had to rule the universe in His "absence"! And that last paragraph is hinting at the SDA denial of Christ's omnipresence.

The next quote is from an article in the October 6, 2006 issue of the Adventist World, which, according to their website, is "an international magazine for Seventh-day Adventists. Published monthly by the General Conference, the journal is printed in five languages, Bahasa (Indonesian), English, French, Korean, and Spanish, and has a global circulation of nearly 1.5 million." The article is in the "FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS" section of the magazine, and

PAGE 55

is about "Number 21." The article is entitled "Giving to a God We Trust," and is by Juan R. Prestol, who is "the treasurer of the North American Division, and an associate treasurer of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in Silver Spring, Maryland." Here are some excerpts from the article:

"Three Basic Stewardship Concepts

"1. Relationship

God/humanity, owner/manager, steward—these terms describe the traditional/biblical stewardship motif. However, Scripture offers us another model: Jesus Christ, steward of His Father.

"The members of the Trinity relate, decide, and act in harmonious union, as we find in the Creation, for example ('Let Us ... ').1 They present to us a model of relational love. Together They are God, and individually They are God.

[...] "Their interdependence reveals Their love, and love presupposes a focus on the other.4 As chief steward of His Father, Christ showcased His character to the universe through His sinless life and death on the cross.5 Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit as 'another Helper,'6 a divine agent who persuades us to be stewards of the gifts and abilities we have been entrusted with.7" (http://www.adventistworld.org/issue.php?issue=2006-1008&page=20)

So, in the above article, we have a group of three who "act in...union" and "Together They are God" collectively and also "individually They are God." This is identical to the Mormon teaching of the Godhead--three Gods who together make up "one God."

The following quote is from the cover story of the December 2007 Signs of the Times, entitled "Born to Die," by Dr. Loren Seibold, Senior Pastor of the Worthington, Ohio Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Signs of the Times website says the following: "Published by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, this monthly four-color magazine emphasizes Christ's second advent and the prophecies and 'signs' that indicate the nearness of this event, which Scripture calls the Christian's 'blessed hope.'" The magazine is published by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association. Here is the quote from the article:

"Your salvation was bought with the price of the life of a Member of God's immediate family! Please understand this, for it is the pivotal truth of Christianity: you are God's most valuable treasure. Just as you are, sins and deficiencies and all, God paid the highest price He could pay that you might have the hope of eternal life." (http://www.signstimes.com/?p=article&a=44111340729.645)

Again, we see the concept of a "God family." The above quote is blatant polytheism, and a denial that Jesus is God!

The following excerpts are from the cover story of the May 9, 2009 Insight, entitled "Gethsemane," by Tiffany S. Taylor. Insight is the official SDA magazine for teens, and is usually given out weekly to the students at SDA "Sabbath School" classes. Here are the excerpts from the article:

"Have you ever stopped to think what would have resulted if Christ had yielded to the temptation of the devil and chose not to go through with His rescue plan?

[...]

"Though the event of Jesus going to the Garden of Gethsemane is often included in the story of Christ's death and resurrection, it's often overlooked in terms of what a pivotal time it actually was. All four Gospels do mention the event, though they give it small mention compared to the in-depth details they offer concerning the crucifixion.

[...]

"However, I've come to realize that the reason Jesus prayed such a prayer had very little to do with the physical pain He was about to endure and everything to do with the emotional torture He was already going through.

"You see, at that moment, Jesus was feeling the weight of the sins of all of humanity on His shoulders.3 His sacrifice was dying for our sins—sins that He never committed so that we wouldn't have to. The hardest part of carrying all of our sins was feeling those sins tearing Him away from His Father.4

"Things of God are in direct opposition to things of Satan, and they cannot coexist. In Christian writer Ellen White's book The Desire of Ages, it is written that Satan's last temptation for Christ was telling Him that if He took on the sins of the world and became the sacrifice for them, Jesus would be seen by God as being on Satan's side, and that Jesus would forever be separated from His Father.4 Jesus struggled immensely with the idea of being separated from His Father—the Father that He loved so much, the Father that loved Him so much in return. Such a thought He could hardly bear.

"Imagine if, for the sake of somebody's life, you were asked to be separated from those you love dearly, from those who are your comfort and strength. Not only do you have to part from them, there's a chance you might never see them again. Oh, by the way, the person you're doing all this for hates you, calls you all types of names, and does everything in their power to make your life difficult.

"How many of us would rise to the challenge of performing such a task? Yet that was the situation in which Christ found Himself. He went through such an agonizing ordeal because He realized that He was our only hope. If He'd chosen not to die for us, we would have forever been subjects of Satan's kingdom.6

"As painful as the idea of being separated from His Father was, it was also painful for Jesus to think of all of humanity, God's precious creation, dying in sin. That's why He went through with it." (http://www.insightmagazine.org/cover/index.asp?issueID=20091619)

The above article is extremely blasphemous, claiming that Jesus didn't know whether or not Satan's supposed temptation that Jesus would be "seen by

PAGE 56

God as being on Satan's side" and would be forever separated from the Father was true!!! And then the article claims that there was a "chance" (at least in Jesus' "unknowing" mind!) that He might not ever get to "see" His Father again, since that's what (the partially trustworthy?!) Satan had told him!!!! But then Jesus supposedly "realized that He was our only hope"!! They are not only teaching multiple gods, but they are saying the most blasphemous things possible about Jesus Christ. And notice that all of this sickening teaching comes from their false prophet, Ellen G. White, and her book The Desire of Ages (which we will look at more later).

On the official Ellen G. White Estate website, in the "Issues & Answers" section, they say the following:

"The Godhead

"What did Ellen White believe regarding the Godhead?

"Ellen White never used the term 'trinity,' although she did refer to the 'three living persons of the heavenly trio' (Evangelism, p. 615). She believed in the full deity of Christ, stating that 'Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore' (Review and Herald, April 5, 1906). She also referred to the Holy Spirit as 'the Third Person of the Godhead' (The Desire of Ages, p. 671). Her comments, as collected in Evangelism, pages 613-617, suggest that she believed that the Scriptures taught the existence of three co-eternal divine persons.

"Did Ellen White believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person?

"Yes, but at times she used the pronoun 'it' when referring to the Holy Spirit. [...]" (http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/faq-egw.html)

Note that they do not affirm that White believed in Trinitarianism or Monotheism, but they certainly show her belief in Tritheism! They admit that she never used the term "Trinity," but that she taught "'three living persons of the heavenly trio'" (tritheism). And they also say that she believed in "the existence of three co-eternal divine persons." Notice that they don't even claim that she believed in one God.

In the same section they also refer to a PDF document on their site entitled "Ellen White's Trinitarian Statements: What Did She Actually Write?" by Tim Poirier of the Ellen G. White Estate. Here are some excerpts from that document:

"Certain opponents of the church's second fundamental belief ('The Trinity') argue that Ellen White's supportive statements cannot be trusted as reflecting accurately what she wrote and taught. These persons claim to accept Ellen White's prophetic writings, but they question the authenticity of her statements that affirm the church's belief in three distinct, co-eternal, fully divine persons in the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. [...]

[...]

"We will not pursue the third interpretation, except to look later at a further Ellen White statement that speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as 'three distinct agencies' working together on behalf of humanity. [...]

[...]

"Ellen White's use of 'third person' and 'three persons in the heavenly trio' plainly indicates her belief that not only are there three beings in the Godhead, but that they are 'persons.' [...]

[...]

"In the mysterious union that exists between the members of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit's presence is synonymous with the personal presence of Jesus, yet their distinct identities are preserved." (http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/The-Trinity.pdf)

There is no "union" "between" any "members" of any "Godhead"! There is one God--one simple Being who exists as three distinct, but not separate, persons, who is indivisible and without "parts" (or "members"). In Adventism, just as in Mormonism, "God"/"the Godhead" is just a divine "membership club" which has three "beings" or "members" (gods).

The following quote is from a document featured on the official Ellen G. White Estate website entitled "Inspiration/Revelation: What It Is and How It Works" by Roger W. Coon (a now retired associate secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate), which is reprinted from "The Journal of Adventist Education (Volume 44, Numbers 1, 2, 3, October 1981 through March 1982)":

"God's Chain of Command

"Just as all three members of the Godhead participated in the creation of this world,[29] just so do all three participate in the process of inspiration: The Father gives the message to the Son,[30] and the Son gives it to the Holy Spirit,[31] and the Holy Spirit moves upon the prophets.[32]

[...]

"2. The prophets also heard the voice of a member of the Godhead, or of the angel Gabriel, speaking messages of counsel, instruction, admonition, and sometimes of warning and reproof. These voices apparently were unaccompanied by scenes of events, although Ellen White does tell us that she entered into direct conversation with Jesus Christ on a number of occasions." (http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/rev-insp.html)

The Ellen G. White Estate also has on their website a book entitled Messenger of the Lord: The Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White, by SDA theologian Herbert E. Douglass, published by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association. Here are a couple of quotes from the book:

PAGE 57

"The 'good news' is that in the wonder-full mind of God, One of the Godhead chose to come to this rebel planet with hands outstretched, inviting men and women everywhere to return to the family of God. The 'good news' is that the God-who-became-man 'gave' Himself to the human family forever, forever limited to time and space. For what purpose? To show us what God is like! (John 14:7.)

"As we will see, the Revealer we call 'Jesus'; the Revealed we call 'God'; and the Person through whom the Godhead chose to 'reveal' the Revealer to the human race is the Holy Spirit.

[...]

"The Holy Spirit is our Lord's counterpart. The Spirit will say and do exactly what Jesus would say and do if He were present today!" (http://www.whiteestate.org/books/mol/Chapt1.html)

"Not Clear on the Personality of God

[...]

"During that period, Ellen White wrote to Dr. Kellogg: 'You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.'

[...]

"Disregarding her counsel, Dr. Kellogg had 5,000 copies of The Living Temple produced by a commercial printer. Now more of the general public could see for themselves why church leaders had been concerned. Opposing sides developed; those in favor saw this 'new light' to be conducive to a deeper religious experience; those opposed saw it as contributing to the dismantlement of the sanctuary doctrine, creating confusion regarding the function of the Holy Spirit, and blurring the truth concerning the distinct personalities of the Godhead. Throughout the summer Ellen White remained silent." (http://www.whiteestate.org/books/mol/Chapt18.html)

Again we see more of the SDA teaching that Jesus Christ is not omnipresent--he even says that Jesus is "limited" to time and space and teaches that He is a separate "God" (when he says that it is "the God-who-became-man" who is "forever limited"). No, He is the one and only unlimited, infinite, omnipresent God of the universe! And, as we will see later, some of the latter excerpts above refer to the SDA denial of the incorporeality of God.

These next quotes are from another book that is on the official Ellen G. White Estate website, by T. Housel Jemison, entitled A Prophet Among You, which according to the website "served for many years as a college textbook on the gift of prophecy as manifested in Scripture and in the ministry of Ellen G. White." The book was published by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association in 1955. Here are some excerpts from the book, as displayed on the White Estate site:

"This was a revelation which was given—

"By God (the Father)to Jesus Christ, By Christto His angel, By Christ's angelto John, By Johnto the seven churches.

"Descriptions given elsewhere in the Scriptures fit well into this pattern except in one detail. The question may be asked immediately, What about the part played by the Holy Spirit? Does not Peter say that 'holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost'? 2 Peter 1:21. The work of the Spirit is not mentioned in the Revelation passage. Is this not something different from what has taken place in the experience of the other prophets? It would appear that the place of the Holy Spirit in the giving of prophecy is so fully presented in other portions of the Bible that there was no necessity for presenting it again in the introduction to the Revelation. But lest there be any mistake as to the source of the message he is bringing, John immediately goes on (Revelation 1:4, 5) to express a salutation from the Father ('Him which is, and which was, and which is to come'), the Holy Spirit ('the seven Spirits which are before His throne'), and the Son ('Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness'). Thus it appears that the Spirit must be closely connected with each step in the giving of the prophecy.

"Of the members of the Godhead, Christ is the One entrusted with the responsibility of seeing that the planned communications reach man. Since the entrance of sin, all communication from heaven to man has been through Christ. He is the link between earth and heaven, the ladder on which the angels ascend and descend. John 1:51. Obviously the message would not need to be guarded while it was in Christ's hands, but as soon as it passed from the divine being into the hands of a created being, even though that created being was an angel, it would need special attention and protection. It seems that in the transfer of the message from the angel to the prophet, the Holy Spirit was present to safeguard the transaction." (http://www.whiteestate.org/books/pay/PAYC04.html)

"Christ's interest in and contact with the prophets did not begin when He was a man in Galilee and Judea. As a member of the Godhead, before His incarnation, He was responsible, with the co-operation of the Holy Spirit, for every communication that reached the prophets. [...]" (http://www.whiteestate.org/books/pay/PAYc07.html)

So, according to the above, if John hadn't mentioned the Holy Spirit in Revelation 1, we might have been mistaken about "the source of the message," and thought that it only came from two of the gods, and not all three! We might have thought that the Holy Spirit wasn't even "involved" at all in the message. But then we are assured that "it appears that the Spirit must be closely connected with each step in the giving of the prophecy." All of the above excerpts belie their supposed Trinitarianism.

This next quote comes from another book posted on the official Ellen G. White Estate website, entitled The Voice of the Spirit: How God Has Led His People through the Gift of Prophecy, by Juan Carlos Viera, who was the Secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate from 1995-2000. The book was published in 1998 by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association:

"We may conclude, then, by reaffirming our assurance that the Lord speaks and communicates with His church, which He loves and desires to save. In His wisdom and sovereignty, the Godhead chose the Holy Spirit as the divine Being in charge of communication with His people. This transforms the prophetic word into a sovereign and 'more certain' message than human opinions, giving it authority over the

PAGE 58

latter. Choosing the prophets, human beings like ourselves, as the bearers of the divine message, was also an act of divine sovereignty. In the following chapter, we will analyze the relationship between the perfect and foolproof message of God and the human messenger, subject to the frailties of humanity and therefore imperfect and fallible." (http://www.whiteestate.org/books/vots/vots.html)

The Ellen G. White Estate also has on their website a document written by "the volunteers at Ellen-White.com" (who are not affiliated with the White Estate) entitled "Did Ellen White Contradict the Bible Over 50 Times." Here is a quote from that document:

"Here EGW is obviously referring to the Deity of Christ. Although the 'fulness of the Godhead' dwelt in Him 'bodily' it was the Son only who had to sink in death under the agonies of Calvary; every Christian knows this. Jesus 'purchased the church with His own blood.' He suffered 'at the hands of religious zealots.' The Father suffered in a different way: watching His beloved Son die helplessly on that Cross.

"Now the next statement, in its entirety:

[...]

"Here she uses the word 'Deity' to describe the Godhead—'Christ and the Father' (and the Holy Spirit of course). The Father and Holy Spirit did not 'sink' into death like Jesus did. She is clearly saying that although Jesus and the Father are one, the entire Godhead did not sink under the torture of the Cross. Christians understand that when Jesus died, God the Father did not die also. The other two Persons of the Godhead or Trinity were still very much alive; it was the Son who was to die in our stead, not the entire Deity. She is saying, in the context, that although the 'Deity' (Father included) did not suffer and die on the Cross, nevertheless God the Father gave His Son to die for us, and what agony that must have been --watching Him die. Here EGW is clearly contrasting the role of the Son with the rest of the Godhead and it is this Godhead to which the word 'Deity' refers in this instance. In summary, was Jesus Deity? Yes. Did He sink/die on the Cross? Yes. Are the Father and Holy Spirit Deity? Yes. Did they sink/die on the Cross? No. This is simply a case where a word (like the word 'law' for example) is used different ways." (http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/contradictions.html)

In the above quote, we find again the SDA teaching that Jesus ceased to exist but that there were two gods left in their godhead. Also, they deny that the Son is "the fulness of the Godhead" and that He is "the entire Deity."

The following quote is from the booklet entitled Your Friends, the Seventh-day Adventists, by Ken McFarland, which is published by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association. The official Adventist Book Center website features the booklet as one their "Featured Selections" under "Sharing" and says the following: "For those who ever wondered who Seventh-day Adventists are and what they believe-this book is the perfect introduction." Here are some excerpts from the booklet:

"The Trinity

"We believe that God is the Creator and King of the universe. Three distinct persons make up the Godhead: the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Although the word Trinity, which Christians use to describe this three person God, is not in the Bible, the fact that God indeed consists of three persons is clearly taught there.

"The three persons of the Godhead share certain common characteristics that set them apart from all other beings in the universe. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, unchangeable, and able to be everywhere at once. He is the source of all love, life, and power. And though He constantly supervises His entire vast creation, He is a personal God who wants to be the close Friend of each person on earth.

"Perfect unity exists in the Trinity. Their goals, plans, and opinions are identical. They never disagree. Their very thoughts are open to each other. Though the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate persons, they think, act and feel as one. They actually are one God in three persons.

"Perfect equality also exists in the Trinity. All three of its members are fully God. No one member is less divine than the others. The father did not create the Son or the Holy Spirit—all three have existed together from eternity and have no beginning. The Holy Spirit is not simply God's power—a divine force. He is a fully equal member of the Godhead.

[...]

"How Everything Began

"It may take real effort, but try to imagine a time when there was no evil, no trouble, no sin. The Bible takes us back to just such a time - a time long, long ago—a place far, far away. A place called heaven.

"In heaven is God's throne—the headquarters of the vast universe. Countless angels—brilliant, intelligent, sinless beings whom God has created—bask in the joy and love of His presence. The highest angel over them all is called Lucifer—'the shining one.'

"At some point in the years of eternity past, the Bible says, Lucifer began to become increasingly proud of his appearance and abilities. He determined to move up in heaven's scheme of things and eventually coveted equality with Jesus Christ Himself. When God the Father made it clear to him that this would never be—Lucifer became enraged. [...]

[...]

"Sin, which had poisoned heaven, had now spoiled our newly created world. The great war between Christ and Satan had moved to the planet Earth." (http://www.kcma.edu/FileUploads/KetteringCollege2008_09studenthandbook.pdf)

Notice that they define "fully God" as only meaning that a "Godhead member" is fully "divine"--or just as "divine" as the others. They do not use "fully God" in the Christian sense of "all of, or the whole of, God." Also note their very tritheistic statement that: "The three persons of the Godhead share

PAGE 59

certain common characteristics that set them apart from all other beings in the universe." And again we see their anti-Trinitarian teaching about Lucifer's fall, which comes directly from their Arian foundation.

The SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association publishes a book entitled God's Answers to Your Questions, which is "Abridged from Bible Readings for the Home" (one of the most well-known SDA books), and is sold by the Adventist Book Center. In chapter 5, they have the following statements:

"How has the Father shown that His Son is one person of the Godhead?
'But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.' Hebrews 1:8.

[...]

"How did Christ assert an equal proprietorship with His Father in the kingdom?
'The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.' Matthew 13:41.

"To whom do the elect equally belong?
'And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?' Luke 18:7. 'And he [the Son of man] shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.' Matthew 24:31.

"Who are equally joined in bestowing the final rewards?
'But without faith it is impossible to please him [God the Father]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' Hebrews 11:6. 'For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matthew 16:27.

"NOTE--In the texts (Matthew 16:27; 13:41: 24:31) in which Christ refers to the angels as 'his angels' and to the kingdom as 'his kingdom' and to the elect as 'his elect,' He refers to Himself as 'the Son of man.' It thus appears that while He was on earth as a man, He recognized His essential deity and His equality with His Father in heaven." (http://books.google.com/books?id=1v6JZxuYKP8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Seventh-day Adventist author Kim Allan Johnson has written a book entitled The Team, which is published by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association. On the official Adventist Book Center website, there is a description of his book, part of which is as follows:

"And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: John 17:22 (NKJ).

"From eternity the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been one.

"In Jesus' prayer, He calls for the Church to be one. It's a big order we cannot accomplish on our own. Jesus' disciples spent years in His presence but were not one until Pentecost.

"Kim Allan Johnson author of The Gift and The Morning shares in this new book a vision of the Church as a team. The word 'team' conveys images of togetherness, mutual support, and the blending of talents and abilities to become something together that is much greater than any could be alone.

"The Bible tells us that our success as individual Christians depends on our understanding and experiencing the Church as God intended it to be. Johnson believes that it is 'the calling of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to portray the union of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.'

"'When humanity fell The Trinity related to us on the basis of our need, not Theirs. [...]'" (http://www.adventistbookcenter.com/olink.tpl?sku=0816322031)

The next quotation is from a PDF document entitled "UNITY IN DIVERSITY," by Mallam Tambaya, which was on the official website of the West-Central Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Interestingly, in this article and other articles, Mallam Tambaya uses both the Holy Bible and the "Glorious Qur'an" as authoritative sources of revelation!:

"This rather intriguing topic is, more or less, a continuation of another related one entitled THE MYSTERY OF DIVINITY. Therein, in a nutshell, it is revealed that the omnipotent God is not limited by time or space in His existence and operation. Thus God is presented in terms of a single personality1 as well as in plural personalities.2 It is also pointed out that, according to the Holy Bible, the Supreme Deity is, evidently, a harmonious Council of Three Divine Beings, namely, 'the Father, . . . the Son and . . . the Holy Spirit.'3 The Glorious Qur'an, too, seems to allude to this Divine Council as comprising 'the Chiefs on High.'4 In both books, attempts have been made to describe Divinity in finite human terms. One point that is made clear in that paper is that, in whatever form He manifests Himself, singular or plural, God is the powerful Creator of the universe and that His eternal existence means that He has neither a beginning nor an end. Let us now continue this stimulating discussion and study as God's Spirit continues to enlighten us along the way through the mystery.

[...]

"Furthermore, consider their mode of operation. Since they operate as a unique Council, they never disagree on any point, very much unlike humans. On creation, for instance, they agreed for the Father to give the command, 'Let Us make man in Our image'. [...] Moreover, this Divine Council unanimously agreed to send the Word of God to become the Messiah [Jesus], according to Isaiah 48:16. Note how the Three Divine Council Members collaborated during the Messiah's sojourn and mission on planet earth:

[...]

PAGE 60

"So also the Divine Council unanimously consented to send the Holy Spirit after the Messiah's ascension,20 which promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day, i.e., fifty days after the Messiah's resurrection, according to Acts 2:1-4, 33. Furthermore, the Three collaborate in their loving acts of redemption.

[...]

"Therefore, unlike idols, Godhead is not three Gods in one God, but Three Supreme Beings in One God. I lack appropriate illustration. But let me use the analogy of the chemical compound H2O. Ordinary water is H2O.. Vapor is H2O. Ice is H2O. However, Water + Vapor + Ice = H2O. Similarly, the Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit also is God. But whenever Two of them, or all Three come together, they think, talk and act together as One God.

[...]

"GOD AND GODS CONTRASTED

"In summary, we have seen that in the Supreme Divinity or Godhead there are both singularity and plurality - unity in diversity per excellence! That the heavenly Supreme Council, consisting of the Three Chiefs on High, exist from everlasting to everlasting and that all Three Members play their respective roles in creation and redemption, for example, in perfect unanimity with each other. So when we read warning reminders from God like 'There is no God besides Me',25 they have nothing to do with the mysterious relationship existing within this Divine Council.

"Rather, such challenging reminders have everything to do with the contrasting relationship between the self-exising, life-giving, life-saving Creator-Godhead and the myriads of man-made, or self-declared gods. These animate and inanimate gods cannot create,26 instead they are themselves created by human imaginations or machinations.27 Worse still, they cannot save or deliver anyone." (http://www.wad-adventist.org/documents/Unity%20in%20Diversity.pdf [no longer online, but archived here])

I don't think there really needs to be much comment on any of that--the blatant Tritheism is astounding. What I would like to know is, when "Two of them" "come together" and "act" "as One God"--where is the third one off to? Also, they brazenly reject God's warnings that He is the only God, claiming that such warnings have nothing to do with their "Divine Council" of gods.

In the other article, "THE MYSTERY OF DIVINITY," Mallam Tambaya writes:

"Note the singularity of the word 'name' and the plurality of the Personalities that it refers to above. In the Holy Bible,20 the Divine Council consisting three Unique Holy Personalities is called the 'Godhead' which came to be known as the Trinity.

[...]

"In UNITY IN DIVERSITY, I have outlined how the 'Godhead' or Three 'Chiefs on High' operate together and separately but in perfect harmony, without any hint of clashes or conflicts. This is because both Matthew 19:26 and Al-Imram 3:189 assert that with God all things are possible." (http://www.wad-adventist.org/documents/Mystery%20of%20Divinity.pdf [no longer online])

Notice again that they think the word "Godhead" in the Bible (appearing 3 times in the KJV) is referring to their "Divine Council" concept, when in reality it is translated from three different Greek words, which simply mean "divine," "divine nature," and "deity."

Bob Pickle, an SDA Ellen G. White apologist, says the following on his website, in an attempt to defend a heretical statement by Ellen White ("The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one."):

"Is it not readily apparent that Ellen White was saying that Jesus is not God the Father? If Sanders had quoted the entire sentence, the remaining seven words, would not the intended meaning have been more apparent?

"Most Christians agree that the Godhead is comprised of three beings: the Father, Son, and Spirit. Some, however, like the United Pentecostals, maintain that the Father, Son, and Spirit are three manifestations of one person or being. They would strongly object to Ellen White's statement since they believe that Jesus is God the Father and the Son and the Spirit all at the same time.

"The very statement of Ellen White that Sanders quotes from makes it crystal clear that Jesus is truly God, while at the same time denying the idea that there are not three beings in the Godhead. We are therefore uncertain why Sanders has a problem with this particular statement." (http://www.truthorfables.net/50-contradictions-christ-almighty.htm)

Once again, we see the false claim that "most Christians" believe in "three beings" (tritheism).

Here is a quote from Bob Pickle's book entitled A Response to the Video: Seventh-day Adventism — The Spirit Behind the Church, which is endorsed by PlusLine.org (which says on the "About Us" page that: "This website is sponsored by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists and your local Union Conference."):

"#94: Uriah Smith and James White denied the deity of Christ. This is simply not true. [...]

[...]

"White, Smith, and others reacted against certain speculations of their time regarding the Godhead. Their reactions are assumed to be a denial of belief in what the Bible teaches about the Trinity, making this charge in the video all too common. But such an assumption is unwarranted in light of three popular speculations about the Godhead that they reacted against.

"1. A catechism from one church and a book from another taught the following: God is composed of three persons and is 'without body

PAGE 61

or parts,' but the second person definitely has a body! This view was criticized in the March 7, 1854, issue of the Review and Herald, page 50.

"Early Seventh-day Adventists advocated taking the Bible literally unless there was an obvious symbol used. They saw such views of the Godhead as not doing this, since the Bible describes God as having a [p. 68] form and sitting on His throne in Heaven (e.g. Rev. 4:2, 3).

"Just as they rejected views that spiritualized away the literalness of the second coming, so also they rejected views that spiritualized away the personality of God.

"2. Some views of the Trinity did not make the Father and Christ to be separate persons. This can readily be concluded from the documentation package's 'Point 48.' Joseph Bates is quoted as writing: 'Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was an impossibility for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being.'

"3. The orthodox view of the Trinity includes an aspect that speculates regarding when Christ was begotten. Most believers are unaware of this aspect called the 'processions.' It teaches that the Son proceeded forth from the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeded forth from both the Father and the Son. Yet, since God is outside of time, there never was a time when one of the three did not exist. So Jesus was begotten and proceeded forth, but that's not to say that He hasn't always been.

[...]

"And yet, though the Son and the Spirit came forth, They always have been, since God and the processions are outside of time (Hogan and Levoir, p. 14). Sounds a bit contradictory? These early Seventh-day Adventists thought so.

"They apparently had no problem with the general idea of the processions, judging from what little they wrote on that topic, but they just couldn't be dogmatic about both God and the processions being outside of time. So can we with a clear conscience call men cultists and non-Christians who wanted to take the Bible just as it reads and not speculate like this?" (http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/response-to-video-94.htm)

So Mr. Pickle defends Uriah Smith and James White by saying that they were correct to be against the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity (including their denial of the incorporeality of God).

And here is another quote from later on in the same book:

"#206: They originally denied the deity of Christ. This is not true, as pointed out under #94.

[...]

"Mr. Cannon is really dealing with two separate issues: the deity of Christ and Christ being eternal. They aren't the same.

"For example, consider the views of well-known Adventist preacher Ellet J. Waggoner (1855-1916) in his 1890 Christ and His Righteousness. Chapters two and four are entitled 'Christ is God' and 'Christ not a Created Being.' He obviously believed in the divinity of Christ.

[...]

"Here is a man who says that Christ is God, is divine, and is not a created being, while at the same time he says that Christ is 'practically without beginning.' Was he contradicting himself? No, he wasn't. We are dealing with multiple issues here.

[...]

"Typically, the debate over whether Christ is divine or not is called the Arian controversy, dating back to the fourth century. After the initial stages, the difference between the two sides hinged on a single letter, the letter 'i.' The 'orthodox' position was that Christ was homoousios. This Greek word means 'of the same substance' or essence. The semi-Arian position was that Christ was homoiousios, of 'like essence.'

"Since Waggoner said that Christ was 'of the very substance and nature of God,' he was on the orthodox side of the question. He was neither Arian nor semi-Arian. Presumably, Mr. Cannon is in agreement with most, if not all, of what Waggoner wrote in these selections.

[...]

"Isaiah speaks of those who 'make a man an offender for a word' (29:21). In the fourth century they made a man an offender for a single letter. Things got so bad that by 381 AD, the 'orthodox' emperor had forbidden the Arians to worship publicly. Any building in which they met was seized and donated to the imperial treasury (Theodosian Code, bk. 16, title 5, statute 8).

"That was only the beginning. Over the centuries that followed, love, acceptance, and fellowship were withheld from those who differed on this and many other issues. Millions died for their faith.

"Let's be more tolerant lest our behavior be called cultic. Especially let's be tolerant of those whom we don't really disagree with anyway." (http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/response-to-video-206.htm)

It is totally false to say that Trinitarian Christians "don't really disagree with" the current SDA position, not to mention the views of E.J. Waggoner. Notice how he quotes even Waggoner as saying that Jesus is "of the very substance and nature of God," even though Waggoner believed that Jesus had a beginning! This shows how deceptively Adventists use orthodox terms, such as "same substance," when they really mean nothing close to the orthodox definition of "same living Being." Waggoner obviously could not have meant anything more than that Jesus was "begotten" of the Father, and was thus

PAGE 62

"of the very substance...of God" just as any human son is "of the substance" of his father. And Adventists still deceptively use the phrase "same substance" to mean that their three gods are all made of the same type of "stuff"/"material" or "characteristics"/"nature."

The following are some excerpts from an article on the Amazing Facts website entitled "The Trinity: Is it Biblical?," by Doug Batchelor (popular SDA "evangelist" and President-Speaker of Amazing Facts, an "evangelism" "ministry" dedicated to promoting Adventism) and Kim Kjaer:

"Unity or Quantity?

"Most of the confusion regarding the number of beings composing the Godhead springs from a simple misunderstanding of the word 'one.' Simply put, 'one' in the Bible does not always mean numerical quantity. Depending on the Scripture, 'one' can often mean unity.

"We see this principle established very early in Scripture. 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh' (Genesis 2:24, emphasis added). 'One flesh' here does not mean that a married couple melt into one human after their wedding, but rather they are to be united into one family. Jesus prayed that the apostles would be one, saying, 'And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one' (John 17:22, 23).

"We need to keep in mind that when Moses said, 'The Lord is one,' Israel was surrounded with polytheistic nations that worshiped many gods that were constantly involved in petty bickering and rivalry (Deuteronomy 6:4), whereas the God who created is composed of three separate beings who are perfectly united in their mission of saving and sustaining their creatures. As the Spirit is executing the will of both the Father and Son, it is His will also.

[...]

"Who Outranks Whom?

"Let us now venture a little deeper onto sacred ground. As we consider the mysteries of the Godhead, we notice that there seems to be an order of authority concerning the three persons in the trinity. Keep in mind that while all three are the same in properties and attributes, and equal in power and glory, it appears that the Father is recognized as the ultimate authority. [...] In fact, while it might not be wrong, we are never told to pray to Jesus or the Spirit—but instead to the Father in the name of the Son. Yet just because the Father seems to have supreme authority, it does not in any way diminish from the divinity of Jesus and the Spirit. That would be like saying that a corporal is less of a soldier than a sergeant.

"Among the three members of the Godhead, we do not see a clamoring for preeminence, vying for recognition, or reveling in power. Instead, the exact opposite is true. In fact, the Father, Son, and Spirit always seem to be trying to out give and glorify each other. The Father wants to glorify the Son. The Son lives to glorify the Father, and the Spirit lives to glorify the Father and Son (John 17:1, 5; John 16:14; John 13:31, 32).

[...]

"A Tearing in the Trinity

"Another point to consider is that sin causes separation from the Creator (Isaiah 59:2). The iniquities of the human race were placed upon the Son of God (Isaiah 53:6). When Jesus hung on the cross, suffering for our sins, every fiber of His being was torn as the eternal relationship with His Father and Spirit was ripped apart. In agony He cried out, 'My God [for the Father], my God [for the Spirit], why hast thou forsaken me?' (Matthew 27:46). If there had been only one person in the Godhead, there would not have been this excruciating pain of separation to wring the life out of the heart of Jesus.

"The real risk in the redemption plan, besides the loss of man, was the breakup of the Godhead. Had Jesus sinned, He would have been working at cross-purposes with the Spirit and His Father. Omnipotent good would have been pitted against omnipotent evil. What would have happened to the rest of creation? Whom would the unfallen universe see as right? One sin could have sent the Godhead and the universe spinning into cosmic chaos; the proportions of this disaster are staggering. Yet the Godhead was still willing to take this fragmenting risk for the salvation of man. This reveals the depth of God's amazing love." (Words in brackets in original. http://www.amazingfacts.org/Publications/InsideReport/tabid/123/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/378/The-Trinity-Is-it-Biblical.aspx)

So, according to the above article, the only difference between the Adventist gods and the heathen gods is that the Adventist gods don't war against each other. Although, the Adventist gods even risked this "unity of purpose"--because Jesus could have sinned and then the gods would have warred against each other--with Jesus being "omnipotent evil"!! And Jesus and the Holy Spirit are such lesser gods than the Father that it might be wrong to pray to them! The blatant tritheism and blasphemies in the above quote are just totally amazing! To listen to a short audio clip of Doug Batchelor explaining his heretical, tritheistic view of the "Trinity" to a caller on his radio show, "Bible Answers Live," click here.

And the following excerpts are from a transcript on the Amazing Facts website of another call to Doug Batchelor's radio program:

"Caller: I was having a discussion with a friend of mine the other day about the Nature of God, and she was saying that she saw God's Nature as being Three Separate Individuals that acted together under the Title of God - kind of like how my father, my mother and I would act together under the title 'family'. And that is how she explains that you've got a singular God; a singular Entity called God, but that there can be different individuals in that. And I don't really know how to answer that.

"Pastor Doug: Well actually that's not too far from the truth Doug, because the Trinity doctrine - actually you don't find the phrase Trinity so to speak in the Bible - but the doctrine of the Godhead, where Jesus said baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you can find three distinct Individuals outlined in the Bible.

PAGE 63

[...] "So there you have another example of those three Entities that the Bible speaks of.

"Caller: But do you think They are three completely separate Entities?

"Pastor Doug: The three Persons of the Godhead - you know when Jesus was baptized is a good example where you can see they're three separate Entities. Christ, God the son, comes out of the water at His baptism. The Voice of God the Father says, 'This is My Beloved Son....' Incidentally, this is Matthew chapter 3. Then the Holy Spirit descends in the Form of a Dove. So you've got three distinct Persons that are making up God.

"First John 5:7 says, '...for there are Three that bear record in Heaven [there's three, very simple]. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.' Now some people get confused and they say, ' 'these three are one? How can They be three in one?' ' All you've got to do is remember that in the Hebrew mind, one meant unity.

"Jesus said a man leaves his father and mother, cleaves unto his wife, they become one flesh. Well they're two in reality. We know they're two separate, distinct persons. They're now one unit of a family. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in their purpose of creation, of redemption, and saving man." (Words in brackets in original. Link [with audio])

And here is a quote from another transcript from Doug Batchelor's "Bible Answers Live":

"Pastor Doug: And now proof for that is the baptism of Jesus. Jesus is in the water, God the Father speaks from Heaven - this is Matthew 3 - He says, 'This is my Beloved Son...'; God the Spirit comes down like a dove. It tells us in John that there are three that bear witness, the Word - which is Christ, the Father and the Spirit. So you have all the elements; and even in Revelation chapter 1 you read verses 4 through 6 you've got the Trinity there.

"So it's like water. You know water can be ice, water can be steam and water can be liquid. It's one thing, but it's three different forms. Well that's actually not a good illustration because God is three separate people." (Link [with audio])

Notice that in his reference to 1 John 5:7 KJV (which is not found in the early manuscripts), he completely left out the part that says, "and these three are one."

And here are some exerpts from one more transcript from Doug Batchelor's radio program:

"Pastor Doug: Well I can't do an exhaustive study, but I'll give you a few basics if that'll be okay. First of all, the concept of one is the most misunderstood concept that people struggle with.

"Moses says, 'Hear Oh Israel, the Lord of God is One.' But it's also Moses who wrote, 'a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one.' Well that oneness in the Bible doesn't always mean it's one numerically. You can remember, Andre, in John 17, Jesus prays the Apostles might be One, even as He and the Father are One. One means unity. So that's one point.

[...]

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. You read where it says in the beginning all things were made by Jesus in John chapter 1. So Jesus must also be part of God. See what I'm saying?" (Link [with audio])

Notice that he outright says that Jesus is only "part of" God, rather than fully (all of) God.

Also on the Amazing Facts website, is the following, from the description of Doug Batchelor's pocket book The Trinity:

"The doctrine of the triune Godhead is under attack from all corners of Christianity. Understand the history behind this dangerous assault and know the biblical support for this great mystery found in both Testaments. You will see the nature of the Godhead and each being in a new, fascinating light, and you will find peace with a fundamental truth important to all believers." (http://www.amazingfacts.org/store/product/tabid/268/p-690-trinity-the-pb.aspx)

And the following is a quote from the book, which can be downloaded from their website:

"But as we consider the various features of the Holy Spirit, we can quickly see He has all the credentials of a separate and distinct, intelligent, individual being." (http://www.amazingfacts.org/Resources/Download/PBLib/BK-TRIN.pdf)

The following are excerpts from an article by Dennis Priebe, which is on his website (www.dennispriebe.com). Priebe is a speaker for Amazing Facts, and, according to his website, is "a Seventh-day Adventist minister, with 40 years experience as a pastor, a teacher, and seminar speaker."

[Speaking of "The contemporary anti-Trinity movement" (within Adventism):] "As with all errors, there is a truth at the foundation of this teaching. After the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. the papal party took the title of Trinitarians. They said that the Godhead consists of three personalities and one essence or substance, using very philosophical and metaphysical terms.

"Following is a sample of Catholic instruction for confirmation. 'The Son proceeds from the Father by an act of the intellect and this is termed 'Eternal Generation,' by which we mean not only that there never was a time when the Father existed without generating the Son, but also that the act of Generation is a continuous act.' The manual teaches that there could be no separation between the Father and the Son on earth, since this would interrupt the act of generation. Thus the Son would not exist, which would mean that the Father would not exist. Since they are of one essence, neither the Father nor the Son could exist separately from the other. (Alfred Mortimer, Catholic Faith and Practice) Is there any wonder that the pioneers rejected this doctrine of the Trinity? J. N. Andrews said, 'This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.' (Review and Herald, March 6, 1855)

PAGE 64

[...]

"If we want to defend the truth that there are three persons with the family name of God, it might be better to use the Biblical name Godhead, as Ellen White consistently did.

"Matthew 28:19 tells us to baptize 'in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' 'Name' is singular here, and all three that follow are on the same level, with one name. The definite article is used for all three beings. The Three are God and yet they are one God.

[...]

[...] "These are three gifts from three individual beings."

[...] "Here we find three functions of three individual beings.

"The Spirit of Prophecy [NOTE: this refers to the SDA prophetess Ellen G. White's writings] has many references to the three beings. 'Three great powers of heaven.' (8T 254) 'There are three living persons of the heavenly trio.' (Ev 615) 'The eternal heavenly dignitaries--God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit.' (Ev 616) 'The three highest powers in heaven--the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' (Ev 617)

[...]

"Here is a suggestion for keeping this issue in balance and resolving some apparent contradictions. The nature of the Godhead is not a central theme in Scripture. Where it is discussed it reveals three equal beings, all existing from eternity, one in purpose and mind in ways impossible for created beings.

"The central issue in Scripture is the function of the Godhead. This is always described in descending rank from the Father to the Son to the Spirit. This is the way the Godhead wants all created beings to approach them. The Father is the ultimate authority; the Son is the visible representative to created beings; the Spirit is the invisible presence with all created beings.

"The Father even had to explain to angels the difference between Christ and Lucifer, since both had similar functions. If this could be misunderstood in heaven, it is easy to see why we have problems understanding the Godhead.

[...]

"The members of the Godhead are equal in nature and attributes, but are unequal in function and rank as they relate to created beings.

[...]

"The Godhead has chosen to reveal itself gradually to the human race. This was apparently not one of the crucial issues for the redemption of mankind.

[...]

"In the New Testament Christ was revealed as the Word of God, the Son of God. The Holy Spirit was revealed as the Comforter, the Advocate. The emphasis was on three Beings in one Godhead, descending in rank and function from the Father to the Son to the Spirit." (http://www.dennispriebe.com/documents/New%20Light%20For%20Adventists.html)

The above statements are incredibly blasphemous, even going so far as to say that angels in heaven didn't know "the difference between Christ and Lucifer, since both had similar functions" and that "the Father" had to explain it to them!! That statement (which is based on the teachings of the SDA prophetess, Ellen G. White) is also powerful proof of his polytheism. Notice also that he, an SDA "Trinitarian," says that the pioneers were correct in rejecting the historical, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity!

J. David Newman, D.Min, former editor of Ministry (the official SDA magazine for clergy), and current (2009) Senior Pastor of New Hope Adventist Church, an "evangelical"/"progressive" SDA church in Maryland, wrote the following comments on the progressiveadventism.com blog in February 2007. Notice that he even uses the words "three gods"!:

"The doctrine of the Tinity [sic] is called an Implicit doctrine rather than an explicit one. This is because there is NO clear statement in Scripture saying three gods are one. If you read the King James Bible you do find that statement in 1 John 5:8 but that is only because Erasmus, on a dare, in the 16th century when compiling the Greek manuscripts into one that translators could use inserted that text. There is not room here to tell the whole story of how this came to be. Most modern translations omit this verse and footnote it.

"Of course we have Matt 28L19, 20, the baptismal formula and statements of Jesus saying that He and His father are one. Language is our big problem. Words are only symbols for what is in the mind. That is why JWs emphasize the humanity of Christ by playing on the fact that he is a son, human. It is only in the New Testament that we get a fuller picture of the godhead. We use analagies such as in Gen 2:24 where Adam and Eve became one flesh (even though they were still two separate people)." (http://web.archive.org/web/20070927220645/http://progressiveadventism.com/2007/02/16/interlogue-18-woodrow-whidden/)

Also, on Newman's church's website, on the "what we believe" page under "about us," their statement of faith says the following:

"We believe there is one coeternal God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons." (http://lookingforachurch.org/)

PAGE 65

The above statement does not even make sense grammatically. What is a "coeternal God"? How can "one God" be "coeternal"? That is an oxymoron! It is grammatically incorrect. With whom is He "coeternal"? By definition, for anything to be "coeternal" there has to be more than one. Therefore, if "God" is coeternal, there has to be more than one god. The statement only makes sense at all when you realize that Adventism teaches that "God" is a group of three beings who are one in purpose. In other words, "God" is not a living Supreme Being but merely the title of a "group"--an "organization" or "club," comprising three divine beings (gods). In this way, the word "God" is changed from a noun describing a living Being to a collective noun describing a group (or "trio," as their prophetess Ellen G. White calls it). And then, they make it clear that they are using the word "God" to mean a "group" by then defining "God" as "a unity of three coeternal Persons." Again, this paraphrase of the official Fundamental Belief statement helps to clarify further what is meant by it.

The following quotation is from a sermon by Dr. Hyveth Williams, Senior Pastor of the Campus Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Loma Linda, California, which was delivered at a women's retreat at the Sligo SDA Church in Takoma Park, Maryland on February 2, 2002:

"And so, Naomi said to Ruth, 'When he lies down for sexual intimacy, find out exactly where he's lying down . .

"Find out where God is lying down. The God of heaven, holy Trinity; they are lying down on earth, in the hope that we're going to come and find out where they are, so we can get into some intimate relation with them . ." (As quoted at http://www.sdadefend.com/MINDEX-U-Z/Williams.pdf)

Celebration Center, a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Redlands, California, publishes a magazine entitled Kingdom Adventism. In the first edition of this magazine, January 2009, the following quote is found in the article entitled "In Essentials - Unity" by Steve Daily, Senior Pastor of Celebration Center:

"In practical terms, for those of us who seek to be Kingdom Adventists, this means that essentials focus on Jesus and the Godhead. Unity is defined by the most essential spiritual question, His question, 'Who do you say that I am?'

"Essentials include the belief that Jesus is Lord and fully God, that God is a personal Being--not an impersonal force. They include the belief that the Godhead is One as God's people are intended to be one, and that the Word of God in Christ, discerned through the Spirit, has full authority for the believer." (http://www.kingdomadventism.com/wp-content/themes/femme-flora/images/articles/January_2009_KingdomAdventism.pdf)

Notice that one of their "essentials" is anti-Trinitarianism--the belief that "the Godhead is One as God's people are intended to be one" (one in purpose/tritheism) rather than that God is actually one (one living being). So, according to this statement, even this liberal/ecumenical SDA congregation doesn't even want to have unity with Christians who believe in the Trinity!

The Spencer Seventh-day Adventist Church in Spencer, Indiana, held a "seven-week Wednesday evening series entitled The Problem with Evil and God's Plan to End It" which "concluded on March 29, 2006." Their website says: "Steve Pickett and Jeff Miller developed and presented the material each week to a regular group of members and visitors. Each session was also recorded for future availability on our church website.

"In addition, handouts that included Bible texts and commentary enabled participants to readily follow the presentations, make notes, and have a printed copy for later personal study. Pastor David Fish, who strongly encouraged the two laymen to develop their insights into such a program, welcomed attendees each night and enthusiastically supported the sessions in whatever way possible." Here is a quote from the handout for the first session, which was entitled "Love and The Godhead":

"The God Head

"Genesis 1:1 KJV In the beginning God (f) created the heaven and the earth.

"(f) 'elohiym el-o-heem' Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

"If love is other-centered, can there be love if there is only one? If God is love, should we be surprised that God is plural?

[...]

"(h) Different from the multiple gods of other religions, the members of the Godhead are of the same mind, hold the same experiences, and have the same attitudes. All have existed from the beginning of eternity. There is no rivalry

[...]

"(d) Here Christ is declared to have always been with his Father. The Father has had no experiences without the Son present." (Italics in original. http://www.difdesigns.com/church/seminar/1LoveandtheGodhead.pdf)

First, we see that they quoted Strong's definition for the Hebrew word elohiym. The problem is that they only quoted the first part of Strong's definition. This is just like how the Jehovah's Witnesses (mis)use the quotes of Greek scholars! If we look at the whole definition, we will see how totally deceptive their quoting was: "plur. of 433; gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:" (Emphasis in original. The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers.) Dr. James Strong himself would never have agreed that it meant "gods" in Genesis 1:1!

And once again, we see that the only difference between the SDA gods and the gods of other religions, is that their gods don't fight with each other! Here are a few quotes from the audio presentation:

"In Genesis 1:1, the first verse of the Bible, it says: 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' And that word for 'God' is 'elohiym,' which is a plural word for 'gods.' And think about it. If love is other-centered, can you have love if there's only one? If you were put on a desert island, somehow, and you were stranded there, you would still love, wouldn't you? [...] And you'd be thinking of all the

PAGE 66

people that you've known, that you wish could be there, or who you wish you could get back with them. Because, when you really think about it, the greatest prize in life is a friend. [...] And, if you were stranded, you'd be thinking of a friend. But if there had never been another, you were the only one that had ever been, you'd never known anyone else, could there be love? [...] If there'd never been anyone but you, there couldn't be love, could there? And so why should we think it strange that God should be plural? If God is love... There's three, in the Godhead.

[...]

"The Jews never really believed in a Godhead, they believed in a single God. The Muslims believe in a single God. And then, the other religions believe in multiple gods. The difference between the Godhead, as being three, and the multiple gods of the other religions, is that in the other religions there was rivalry. The gods weren't always the same. You go to this god, for this need, 'cause that's where this god's at. [...] And there's gods for fertility, and for whatever needs you had, you have a god to go to. And in some of the myths of the gods, the gods were opposed to each other, there were good gods and there were bad gods. And some of the bad gods were powerful, and if you needed a favor from them, you might go to that god, but sometimes that bad god was cursing you and... And so you've got this rivalry going on. But this is not the case in the God HEAD. In the God HEAD, they've all existed from eternity, and we'll see that a little more as we go on. But they're all of the same mind, they've had the same experiences, and they have the same attitudes, as it says in John 10:30 there, Jesus said, 'I and My Father are one.'

[...]

"You know, I was thinking, when we read in the Scripture earlier, where it says, 'I was as one brought up with him.' [Proverbs 8:30] You know, it's almost like the Father and the Son grew up as twin brothers. There's nothing one has experienced, they've both been since eternity. There's not anything that the one has experienced that the other hasn't experienced. You know, I have an older brother, and he's always experienced things that I haven't, 'cause he was around before I came along. But with twin brothers, that come up together, you know... And that's kinda the way it is with the Father and the Son." (http://www.difdesigns.com/church/seminar/1LoveandtheGodhead.mp3)

In the above quote about the Jews, we see again that Adventism has completely redefined the word "Godhead" to mean a "group of three gods," just as Mormonism has. They admit that, unlike the Jews, they don't believe in "a single God" (monotheism)!

This same redefinition is also made clear in the following quote from a manual on the official SDA General Conference Youth Minstries Department website, which is for the SDA "Pathfinders" program and is entitled "Bible Truths" "A course in Bible Doctrine" "General Conference Youth Department 2003 Revision." Notice that they use both "Godhead" and "Trinity" as plural nouns:

"The Godhead, or Trinity, comprising the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, all had part in the work of creation." (http://gcyouthministries.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=O%2fvTnQpa9Tc%3d&tabid=86&mid=526)

And then under "Lesson 10 The Trinity" in the above document, it says, "There are three persons in the Trinity. (Matt. 28:19.)," and then goes through discussions about each "person of the Godhead." But in the whole section there is no mention of God being "one" at all!

The following excerpts are from an article about Soophaphone Sirivongsack (aka Soo), who is being accepted within mainstream Adventism as having received visits and divine messages and instructions from an angel (much like SDA founding prophetess Ellen G. White claimed for herself):

"Wanting to learn more about her religion, Soo became a 'nun' and lived in the temple on several occasions to study the Buddhist history. [...]

"It was during this time that Soo learned from her 'second father' of a God who had come down from Heaven, who had marks in His hands, His feet, and His Side and Head...one that forgives sins and will come again to take His children to live in Heaven with Him. She learned His name as 'Second God.'

[...]

"As Soo prepared to go to sleep, she saw something strange reflected in her window—her bedroom door was opening and shutting. Three times it happened. Her hair stood on end; she had goose bumps on her arms. She was frightened that an evil Buddhist spirit was visiting her. So Soo prayed to the 'Second God' [PRA-MA-XI-ANN in her language] and the manifestation stopped. Relieved and at peace, she turned off her light to go to sleep.

[...]

[...] "When she wanted to go tell her mother the good news about her cancer the angel said it would have to wait...she needed to move forward. He also assured her she would see her real mother in heaven. [Soo knew about the 'Second God,' perhaps her mother did, also.]

[...]

"Soo has worked with others to begin the translations she was directed to do. Translation of the book 'Steps to Christ' has been completed and she and is working on chapter 17 of the Great Controversy, which she is interpreting from Thai to Lao with the assistance of a local elder at the Japanese SDA church in Sacramento. [...]

"So again I say yes, I believe Jesus will find faith when He returns. He will find it in Soo, who is now understandingly following the 'Second God' Jesus, the Son of God and looks joyfully for His soon return. On November 15, 2004 Soo will return for a few months to Australia to renew her visa and passport and begin the process of laying the groundwork for her mission in Laos. [...]" (Words in brackets in original. http://english.sdaglobal.org/testimony/soo.htm)

The above obviously teaches multiple gods, calling Jesus a "second" god.

PAGE 67

The following quote is from an article on the Wahroonga (Australia) SDA Church website, by Max Hatton, SDA pastor and author of the book Understanding the Trinity, which is published by Autumn House, a division of the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association. Here is the quote from Hatton's article, which is entitled "WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CALL JESUS 'THE SON OF GOD.'":

"A thorough study of the Word of God reveals that Jesus adopted many roles in the plan of God for our salvation. He was the Lamb, the Mediator, our High Priest, the Judge, and much more. Additionally, He is the Son of God who adopted this subservient role and as such was sent by the Senior Partner in the program of the Trinity to come and die for us. He willingly adopted this role which made Him less than the Father in position but not in nature. He was God as well as man on earth, and always will be God in the absolute sense — a member of the Trinity." (http://www.wahroongasda.org.au/docs/The%20Trinity%20-%20What%20Does%20it%20Mean%20to%20call%20Jesus,%20the%20Son%20of%20God.doc)

So "the Trinity" is a "program" which has a "Senior Partner"? This is not the Trinity of Christianity.

Max Hatton also has his own personal website, which contains several articles of his. Here are some quotes from an article of his which is entitled "THE TRINITY Vs SEMI-ARIANISM":

"Scripture requires us to accept that Jesus was God in the fullest sense. There is no way that He could make Himself less than God in Nature. He voluntarily assumed humanity and veiled His Deity. He voluntarily gave up the independent exercise of His Divine attributes and only used them when prompted to by the Father in heaven (see John 5:19, 30; 6:38 and 8:29). They were never used for His personal comfort or benefit but only in the interest of others. Unless He had these Divine attributes though, all the temptations that the Devil brought to Him, trying to entice Him to use His Divine powers for His own benefit, would have been meaningless.

[...]

"We are permitted to gain only a glimpse of what was going on within Jesus during this final period of His life. There are many things that took place while Jesus suffered for us that seem quite paradoxical but they are nevertheless true. God was pouring out His wrath upon Christ but was nevertheless suffering with Him because they are both part of the Triune God. On the Cross Jesus offered the heart wrenching agonizing cry, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?' Jesus, as our sin-bearer, was forsaken but yet all the while the Father was there with Him hidden in the darkness. We thank God then for Jesus' cry of faith, 'Into your hands I commend my spirit.' Despite His feelings He remained faithful to the task right to the end.

"Can you agree with me that from the time in the Garden of Gethsemane to His death on the Cross, Jesus was more and more experiencing the Second Death which is separation from God? Finally, even from the depths of His Divinity, when the full impact of the experience came to His full realization, He cried out in utter despair 'Why have you forsaken me?' It seemed as though separation from God was complete. It was as though the Trinity had been rent first, then the rending of His flesh, and then the rending of the Temple curtain from top to bottom. I marvel at what God has done for us and it leaves me in almost astonished silence. Who am I to think to explain what was going on in the heart and mind of the Divine human Jesus? I desperately want to understand and I believe that God wants us to appreciate as much as we can what He has revealed to us. I nevertheless realize my limitations so I leave myself open to further understanding.

[...]

"Do we have a conflict arising from these statements? Did the Father raise Jesus or did the resurrection result from the Divinity of Jesus bringing the God-man back to life? Remember that Jesus, during the time of his life on earth, only used His Divine powers at the instigation of the Father. Additionally, we recall that these powers were never used for his personal comfort or benefit. Jesus says that He had received authority from the Father to both lay down His life and take it again. The Father was no doubt then, involved in the resurrection, but so was Jesus because at that time He could use His Divine powers on His own behalf. [...]

[...]

"Trinitarians find no problem in accepting that the Father and Jesus, either individually or together, can come to us through the Holy Spirit. This is not a problem because all three are the One God. What one does has the value of them all doing it. [...]

[...]

"The Holy Spirit is a Person:

"a. He performs personal actions in association with other persons: Matthew 28:19; Acts 15:28; Revelation 22:17 — NB The Holy Spirit is a separate person from the Father and Jesus — Matthew 28:19 etc.

"b. Takes the place of Jesus: John 14:16. Could an impersonal force take the place of the Divine Jesus on earth?

[...]

"It is quite ridiculous really to say that the Holy Spirit is just the spiritual presence of the Father or the Son or of both. At the baptism of Jesus the Three were manifested there. The Father spoke from heaven, Jesus was in the water being baptized, and the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus like a dove. The Father and Jesus needed no spiritual presence of any third party. Remember too the baptismal formula Jesus gave at Matthew 28:19 — 'baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.' Blind Freddy can surely see that there are Three Persons in the Heavenly Trio." (http://users.bigpond.net.au/mhattonSDA/The%20Trinity%20Vs%20semi-A.htm)

First of all, notice that he says that "God" and "Christ" are "both" "part of" "God"! He also says that "the Father and Jesus" can come to us through "the Holy Spirit," "either individually or together." This is a complete denial that God is one simple living Being, without parts. He also uses Ellen G. White's tritheistic phrase "the Heavenly Trio."

PAGE 68

Here are some excerpts from another article by Hatton on his website, which is entitled "THE TRINITY Vs SEMI-ARIANISM SEMINAR":

"God has revealed some things about Himself to us in what is termed 'the economy of the plan of redemption.' In other words, the terms 'Father,' 'Son,' and 'Holy Spirit,' are all suitable to help us understand the Heavenly Three and their relationship to One Another in the Plan of Redemption (this is what the Bible is all about really). We do not know how each of the Three would be described apart from the plan of redemption.

[...]

"We have to say that there are either two Yahweh's, or, that there are two involved in the complexity of Yahweh. Later revelation points us to the latter. The New Testament enhances our understanding also bringing into clearer view the doctrine of the Trinity as it reveals the Holy Spirit to be a person who is also a member of the Godhead — Trinity.

[...]

"The Three who are all revealed to be God are often mentioned in a way that emphasizes their Tri-unity. We remember the baptismal formula of Jesus — Christians are to be baptized in the name (one Name) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — Matthew 28:19. An unmistakable threeness is evident here. Three united in the one Name. So we have a Threeness but also a Oneness.

"At the baptism of Jesus we find the Father speaking to Him from heaven while the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove — Matthew 3:16, 17. The Three are represented here as being active and separate. We must be excused for accepting that They are Three and not two. Other evidence shows that they are each God and because there is only One God the Three are One within the complexity of the One God.

"Then there is the benediction found at 2 Corinthians 13:14 — 'May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.' On any count there are Three mentioned again. These expressions, and there are many more similar ones, indicate that the Threeness was very evident to the Bible writers. Their Monotheism was not being challenged by their acceptance that their God was a complex unity of Three.

"Because the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all the One God in Triunity (Trinity), what one does has the value of them all doing it. When the Holy Spirit comes to us it is the same as the Father coming to us, or of Jesus coming to us, or of the whole Three coming to us. The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as the Spirit of Christ — Romans 8:9, 10; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 1:19, etc. Luke 21:15 says Jesus will tell His followers what to say in time of trouble while Mark 13:11 says it is the Holy Spirit Who will do this. This is where some dissidents have become confused. They think that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same Person or that the Holy Spirit is some force that comes from Jesus and the Father. The truth is that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same God — not the same Person. Remember the baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19, 20 where they are spoken of as separate Persons.

"John 14:18 tells that Jesus will come to His followers — Verse 23 says that both the Father and the Son will make their abode with believers. Verse 26 indicates that this will be through the Holy Spirit — see also verse 28 first part. There is no need for confusion — there are Three Persons all working in perfect harmony as One God." (http://users.bigpond.net.au/mhattonSDA/THE%20TRINITY%20Vs%20ARIANISM%20SEMINAR.htm)

Notice that instead of there actually being one God, Hatton presents "Three Persons all working in perfect harmony as One God." Also, he is denying that God is one simple Being without parts (Divine simplicity), instead speaking about God's "complexity." God is not "a complex unity of Three." God is one simple living Being who exists as three distinct, but not separate, persons, who is indivisible and without parts.

And here are a couple of quotes from another article of Hatton's on his website, which is entitled "THE CHECKERED HISTORY OF THE TRINITY DOCTRINE":

"The plain facts are that Maimonides is quite out of harmony with Deuteronomy 6:4 where God's oneness is revealed by the word achid which allows for a plurality in the oneness. A strict solitariness would require the word Yachid which Maimonides misleadingly uses. Achid is used of a husband and a wife becoming one flesh (Genesis 2:24), also of the two dreams of Pharaoh being one.

[...]

"Obviously, some Jews have struggled to understand or accept the parts of their Scriptures where the complexity of God is clearly indicated. On the other hand some Jews have quite obviously denied the evidence of Scripture and refused to accept that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit form the Godhead or Trinity. [...]" (http://users.bigpond.net.au/mhattonSDA/THE%20CHECKERED%20HISTORY%20OF%20THE%20TRINITY%20DOCTRINE.htm)

Actually, the Hebrew word used in Deuteronomy 6:4 simply means "one"--just like the English word "one." We will see more about this later.

The following quote is from another article by Hatton that is on his website, which is entitled "THE TRINITY (Very brief Bible Study Notes)":

"e. Jesus shares the glory of God: John 17:5; Matthew 16:27 compare Isaiah 42:8; 48:11." (http://users.bigpond.net.au/mhattonSDA/THE%20TRINITY%20Very%20brief%20Bible%20Study%20Notes.htm)

This is a direct contradiction of Scripture, which states that God shares His glory with no one (see Isaiah 42:8 and 48:11).

The following excerpts are from an article of Hatton's entitled "ELLEN G. WHITE AND THE HOLY SPIRIT":

[...] "It is desirable first of all to demonstrate who the Bible is really about. It is primarily about Jesus. This makes a difference because while

PAGE 69

the Holy Spirit has a role to play it is a comparatively minor role and therefore He does not gain the same attention as that given to Jesus. [...]

[...]

"I repeat that the Bible is not about the Holy Spirit. He has a most important role to play but it is primarily to glorify Christ, not Himself — John 15:26; John 16:14. That is why the Holy Spirit has sometimes been referred to as 'The Shy Member of the Trinity.' Nevertheless, we can say with confidence that enough is revealed of Him to ensure that we accept Him as a Person who is God, a member of the Trinity.

"The above brief survey should be helpful to those who are bothered by the fact that as the Plan of Redemption unfolds we see such things as Jesus seated on the throne with the Father but the Holy Spirit is not mentioned. In other words, this is the reason why Jesus, the Redeeming Mediator, is seen in triumph and no mention is made of the supporting Holy Spirit. He is simply not in the view of the Revelator and other Bible writers who are revealing further matters related to the Plan of Redemption.

[...]

"I am astonished that some people are either unaware of statements such as these or they somehow distort them. Each of the three Persons in the 'heavenly trio' (not a duo) is said to be 'all the fullness of the Godhead.' How could this be said of them unless they were each fully God? It could not!!! Furthermore, they are 'three great powers' — not two! Ellen White distinctly says, 'there are three living persons.'

[...]

"I could offer many statements describing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as 'three great powers,' and such like, but if the above does not convince that the position of the Church is correct in revealing that each is one of the Three Persons that comprise the Trinity, nothing will." (http://users.bigpond.net.au/mhattonSDA/ELLEN%20G.%20WHITE%20AND%20THE%20HOLY%20SPIRIT.htm)

And here are some excerpts from one more article by Hatton, which is entitled "Ellen G. White and the Trinity":

"My book, Understanding the Trinity, provides an adequate testimony to the fact that the Trinity doctrine is a definite teaching of Scripture. Unfortunately, in recent time, books, papers, and audio cassettes have popped up here and there in some Adventist circles advocating that the Holy Spirit is not a separate actual Person from the Father and Jesus and also that Jesus is not a Person having eternal existence. Jesus is promoted along the lines of the Semi-Arian falsehood which claims that He came into existence at some time in the mystical past as an emanation from the Father. [...]

[...]

"How ever could we escape the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is here distinguished as a person? If language means anything we must submit to such clear statements! Please do not pass from this point without noticing too that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are clearly two different Persons. Jesus is not the Holy Spirit. Rather the Holy Spirit represents Jesus.

[...]

"Just as it is possible to have only one World Champion in any field of sport, it is possible to have only one universal, completely separate individual who is Omnipotent. The true God is a Trinity existing as three Persons who are not completely separate — see my book Understanding the Trinity. It is therefore quite correct to say that each Person is Omnipotent because they all comprise the One Omnipotent God.

"Look at it another way. Our Trinity God is Omnipotent. Would it be possible to correctly say then that any one of the Members of the Trinity is not Omnipotent? Obviously not!

[...]

"Here are some, by no means all, of the statements Ellen White made which confirm our conclusion that she was a convinced Trinitarian:

[...]

"We must not let the point escape us that Ellen White clearly states over and over again that God is a Tri-unity. Let us summarise. She says there are:

"three living persons of the heavenly trio
the three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
three great and glorious heavenly characters
three powers of the Godhead
The eternal Godhead — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
The Godhead...the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
The eternal heavenly dignitaries — God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit

"How anyone could hope to manipulate these statements to mean that God is a Duality is a mystery beyond the ability of normal people to solve. Why ever would Ellen White use language such as the above if there are only two Persons involved in the Godhead? How can it legitimately be explained that she made out that the power from God is a third Person?" (http://users.bigpond.net.au/mhattonSDA/Ellen%20G.%20White%20and%20the%20Trinity.htm)

The following is from an article on the Spectrum Blog (which is hosted by Spectrum magazine, an independent SDA magazine), by Johnny Ramirez-

PAGE 70

Johnson, who is "a tenured professor in Theology, Psychology, and Culture at the School of Religion at Loma Linda University." The article is entitled "Bloggin' the 28: Applying Trinity to human relationships" and starts out by quoting the second of the 28 "Fundamental Beliefs" of the SDA Church:

"There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.) (Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, Belief No. 2, The Trinity

"Introduction

[...]

"Have you ever drawn God? If you were assigned the task of doing so where will you go for inspiration? [...]

[...]

"When I selected the assignment to write about the Trinity I felt like Mr. French, the sculptor, I asked myself where can I find an image of the Godhead? Where can I get inspiration to draw with words an accurate description of God? You see there are no pictures, paintings, diagrams, or even internet sites to visit where I can find a reliable photo album of the Godhead family, the Trinity. Therefore I decided to search the Bible. [...] No human has ever seen the Trinity.

[...]

"The main points to ponder are summarized in three questions: Is God an immutable, far away, all knowing, and all encompassing, far from human frailty God? Is the Trinity a mutable one, each member having a unique opinion and each member learning from each other? Is the Trinity in 'need' of companionship and enjoys the pleasures of intimacy with humans and between themselves?

[...]

"The first point that I wish to make in regards the doctrine in consideration is the fact that our God is a Trinitarian one. Before we make up our minds in regards to what is true we ought to listen to at least three perspectives from three different people, like the Godhead we all can benefit from diversity of perspectives. Diversity of opinions begins with God. I will latter explain myself.

"Ellen G. White Advises Silence

"Ellen G. White declares that silence is golden when trying to define who the Holy Spirit is, she says.

"It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, 'the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.' It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit that, in His work of guiding men into all truth, 'He shall not speak of Himself.' John 15:26; 16:13. The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden (White, 1911:51-52).

"Her advice is to study the nature of the work of the Holy Spirit. In this paper I will concentrate on the nature of the relationship of the Trinity with us and what can we learn to help us understand God's character and love for us humans. Instead of building a statue of the Trinity or the so-called logical attributes thereof, I wish to describe the goodness of God (see Exodus 33:18-20) as it relates to us. I will describe God's backside--which has been revealed, not God's face--which has not been seen.

[...]

"Genesis 1:26-27 no uncertain ways that there is an authoritative, legitimate, image of the Trinity on earth. [...] The God of Genesis is plural, the Creator of Genesis consulted in a heavenly council before creating our first parents. I have no idea of what when on in their dialogue, what I know for certain is that they came up with a design. This design is a reflection of God, the image of God. As presented by our prophetess Ellen G. there is no question about the fact that we humans, male and female, reflect God.

"There is no ground for the supposition that man was evolved by slow degrees of development from the lower forms of animal or vegetable life. . . . Man was to bear God's image, both in outward resemblance and in character. Christ alone is 'the express image' (Hebrews 1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God' (White, 1958:45).

"Therefore if we look at the best human traits, both in our physical 'outward appearance' and psychological ways, 'character,' we will find the only authorized image of the Trinity. To accomplish this task we will examine the passage in question with the question: What can we learn about the Trinity from the story of the creation of humans?

"Diversity Within The Trinity

"The first lesson that we must learn from Genesis 1:26-27 has to do with diversity, 'male and female he created them' is what the Bible says. It was not one of them who bore the image of God it is both. When we examine the female body and compare it to the male one we can only wonder what kind of a dialogue the Trinity had when creating humans. 'Man will have this and that organs in this and that shape, woman will have this and that features shaped in these unique ways.'

"From the biblical record we cannot ascertain whose hands got dirty with mud in the process of creating Adam, what we do know is that humans were created with a hands-on method rather than a voice-command method. Many parts of the creation account declare that

PAGE 71

God 'spoke' things into creation. For humans the method was hands-on, the 'LORD God formed' man and woman into creation.

"It is beyond the scope of this paper to determine the nature of God's gender qualities, though the Bible refers to God mostly with male metaphors, female ones are also used (see Rosado, 1990). It is assume by the author that God indeed has both male and female attributes; though God is neither male nor female per se. Since both males and females carry the image of God; in whatever way(s) they carry God's image, then God is like them in those same ways (see White, 1958:45--'Man [humanity] was to bear God's image, both in outward resemblance and in character').

[...]

"The Hebrew word used in Genesis 2:7 'formed' is also used to describe the action of a potter shaping or forming a clay vessel into existence. God's hands got as dirty as any potter's hands when working with clay! What implications does the fact that both men and women represent the image of God have on the doctrine of the Trinity? Historically women have not been led to believe that they carry in their bodies as much the image of God as men do. [...]

"As every female reader examines her body in front of a mirror, as every female reader learns about the marvelous physiology of her beautifully designed body, she learns about God! All female readers are designed in outward appearance in the likeness of God! This Trinitarian statement has tremendous implications for the psychological and social well being of females and males. Although we cannot answer the question if there are differences, similar to the male and female differences, in the outward appearance of the three persons of the Trinity, we do know that the Trinity choose to create us in two likeness, male and female.

"Both male and female carry God's image and we do well in affirming the goodness of this heavenly designed diversity. Just like the male and female bodies differ in 'outward appearance' and physiology, also the Trinitarian nature must reflect a like diversity. [...]

[...]

"Just as true that there is diversity both psychologically and physically between men and women it is also true that there is a lot of unity between them. The Bible declares that our first parents became one, Genesis 2:23-24. 'The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.' The Trinity is also 'one flesh.' Theologians have expressed this in so many words. The Bible expresses it with the image of marriage. It is only in the context of unity between a man and a woman in marriage that we can begin to understand the concept of the Trinity. In the logic of God as expressed in Genesis, since man and woman were created from the same essence they ought to become one in marriage. [...]

[...] "The plural God of Genesis exist in a oneness only understood in the relationship of a man and a woman in love."

[...]

"Is it that God needs companionship in order to be complete? Based on what we learn from God's image on earth and what the Bible says about God's relationships with us, I believe God needs our companionship in order to be complete.

"The Needs Of God

"Isaiah 43

"This beautiful poem describes the inner feelings, desires, and logic of God (presented in the context of Israel and their present truth). As we read it together let us try to understand God's reasoning. [...]

[...]

"It is not far fetched to say that God needs us in the same fashion that two loved ones need each other. We are not talking about a need for survival, we are talking about a need for pleasure and enjoyment of what is good and beautiful. Our nervous terminals and central nervous system are an image of God's own sensory system. God is capable of joy and pleasure as much as we are capable of joy and pleasure. [...]

"The logic of Jesus is the logic of equality in diversity. Treating others as equals even when we cannot always accept their logic. Jesus practiced this discipline all the way to the cross of Calvary! This discipline will bring to Jesus the greatest joy, the joy of saving us from our sins. That is why Jesus is looking forward to our reunion with him. When Jesus will be reunited with his first human creation, Adam. [...]

[...]

"Conclusion

"If we are to live a wholeness life we need to learn from the Trinity some key behaviors/attitudes.

"1. We do not need to be able to understand in order to believe. Just like we do not understand the logic of our spouse's in order to always love them; we do not need to understand how the Trinity is best described in order to have a relationship with God!

[...]

"3. Just like we have the need for companionship, God has the need for companionship. It is not a favor that God has saved us; it is because God needs us. Out of self-love God saved us!

"4. Since God needs us we can feel as partners, members of the family of God. We are not strangers receiving charity, we can

PAGE 72

provide God with what She/He needs-companionship!

"5. God will judge us based on our relationship with Her/Him. Our relationship with Her/Him is judged based on our relationship with those closer to us." (http://spectrummagazine.typepad.com/the_spectrum_blog/2007/06/bloggin-the-28-.html)

The extremely blatant Tritheism, among other heresies, in this article is astounding. Notice that Ramirez-Johnson even says that "we cannot ascertain whose hands got dirty with mud in the process of creating Adam"! In other words, "We don't have a clue which corporeal god out of our three corporeal gods is the creator"! Incredible! He even goes so far as to teach that the gods have male and female body parts.

And then in the "Comments" section following the article, Ramirez-Johnson posted the following in a comment:

"The Trinity is a great Christian concept that is focused on relationship. How you imagine the relationship is the key to the understanding. The most prevalent view is one that asserts the unity above the diversity of the relationship.

"If unity prevails God has one mind interconnected and thus in no need of communication, dialogue or 'discussions' among the members of the Trinity. If this is the case the Trinity's relationship-model and humans relationship-model have no connection whatsoever.

"But if on the contrary; the Trinity needs to talk among each other and come to one mind or agreement as a matter of fact; then the creation account serves as a model of how the Trinity may communicate among themselves.

"Based on the creation account I draw the conclusion that the Trinity falls better under the diversity account, thus viewing the Trinity or each members thereof, as in dialogue, having needs to be fulfilled by each other and by the creatures they created." (http://spectrummagazine.typepad.com/the_spectrum_blog/2007/06/bloggin-the-28-.html#comment-74491218)

The following excerpts are from an article entitled "The Adventist Trinity Debate Part 1: Historical Overview," by SDA theologian Dr. Jerry Moon, published in Andrews University Seminary Studies in 2003:

"Those who rejected the traditional Trinity doctrine of the Christian creeds were devout believers in the biblical testimony regarding the eternity of God the Father, the deity of Jesus Christ 'as Creator, Redeemer and Mediator,' and the 'importance of the Holy Spirit.'[14] While some, very early in Adventist history, held that Christ had been created,[15] by 1888 it was widely accepted that he had preexisted from 'so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension' he was 'practically without beginning.' Whatever that beginning may have involved, it was not by 'creation.'[16] Moreover, they weren't initially convinced that the Holy Spirit was an individual divine Person and not merely an expression for the divine presence, power, or influence.

[...]

"The early Adventists set forth at least six reasons for their rejection of the term 'Trinity.' The first was that they did not see biblical evidence for three persons in one Godhead. This was not a new objection.[19] In its simplest form, the concept of Trinity is the result of affirming, on the authority of Scripture, both the 'oneness' and the 'threeness' of God, despite human inability to fully understand the personal, divine Reality those terms point to. How this can be explained has been the subject of much thought and speculation over the centuries. The influence of Greek philosophy on the doctrinal developments of early and medieval Christian history is well known.[20]

[...]

"[19] The names of Arius, Servetus, and Socinus come to mind. Deut 6:4 clearly teaches that God is one, but while the writer could have used the term yahîd to denote a solitary one, the term chosen was the Hebrew eehad, which denotes a composite 'one' or one of a group, in contrast to a solitary or emphatic 'one.' The same word, eehad, is used in Gen 2:24 for the unity of husband and wife, who become 'one,' but within that oneness, still retain their individuality (Woodrow Whidden, 'The Strongest Bible Evidence for the Trinity,' in The Trinity: Understanding God's Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian Relationships, Woodrow Whidden, Jerry Moon, and John Reeve [Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2002], 33-34). An extended discussion of the biblical evidence is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that both the OT and NT contain indications that the One God is not merely solitary, and the NT explicitly refers to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (see, e.g., Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14) (ibid., 21-117).

[...]

"None of these is a valid objection to the basic trinitarian concept of one God in three Persons.[30] Yet all of them were based on biblical texts. Adventists eventually changed their view of the Godhead because they came to a different understanding of the biblical texts.

[...]

"[30] The term 'person' as applied to God indicates a being with personality, intellect, and will. Unlike the multiple gods of polytheism, the three persons of the biblical Godhead are profoundly 'one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person.' Thus, despite their individuality, they are never divided, never in conflict, and thus constitute not three gods, but one God.

[...]

"A more substantial development was the continued quest to articulate a biblical doctrine of the Trinity, clearly differentiated from the Greek philosophical presuppositions that undergirded the traditional creedal statements. [...]

"Building on this line of thought, Fernando Canale, Dederen's student, set forth in 1983 a radical critique of the Greek philosophical presuppositions underlying what Dederen had referred to as ' speculative thought. Canale's dissertation, A Criticism of Theological Reason, argued that Roman Catholic and classical Protestant theology took its most basic presuppositions about the nature of God, time, and existence, from a 'framework' provided by Aristotelian philosophy. Canale maintained that for Christian theology to become truly biblical, it

PAGE 73

must derive its 'primordial presupposition from Scripture, not from Greek philosophy.[80]

"In the more recent Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (2000), edited by Dederen, Canale authored a magisterial article on the findings from his continuing work on the doctrine of God. Again, Canale explicitly differentiates between a doctrine of God based on Greek philosophical presuppositions and one based on biblical presuppositions,[81] making a strong case for his view that only through a willingness to 'depart from the philosophical conception of God as timeless and to 'embrace the historical conception of God as presented in the Bible, can one discover a truly biblical view of the Trinity.[82]

[...]

"Conclusion

"The long process of change from early Adventists' initial rejection of creedal trinitarianism to their eventual acceptance of a doctrine of the Trinity could rightly be called a search for a biblical Trinity. They were not so much prejudiced against traditional formulas as they were determined to hew their doctrine as closely as possible to the line of Scripture. In order to base their beliefs on Scripture alone, and to disenfranchise tradition from exercising any theological authority, they found it methodologically essential to reject every doctrine not clearly grounded in Scripture alone. Since the traditional doctrine of the Trinity clearly contained unscriptural elements, they rejected it. Eventually, however, they became convinced that the basic concept of one God in three persons was indeed found in Scripture. Part 2 of this study will consider in more detail the role of Ellen White in that process." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/trinity/moon/moon-trinity1.htm)

And here are some excerpts from part 2, which is entitled "The Adventist Trinity Debate Part 2: The Role of Ellen G. White," published in Andrews University Seminary Studies in Autumn 2003:

"The conceptual key that unlocks the enigma of Ellen White's developmental process regarding the Trinity is the discovery that her writings describe at least two distinct varieties of trinitarian belief. One of these views she consistently opposed throughout her adult ministry, and the other she eventually endorsed. The trinitarian concept that she opposed was one that 'spiritualized' the members of the Godhead as distant, impersonal, mystical, and ultimately unreal. The concept that she favored portrayed God as personal, literal, and tangible. She did not initially recognize His trinitarian nature, but when she did, she would describe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as real individuals, emphasizing Their 'threeness' as willing, thinking, feeling, social, and relational individuals, and explaining Their oneness in terms of nature, character, purpose, and love, but not of person. The basis of these differentiations will become clearer as we examine the historical context and process of her developing thought.

[...]

[...] "She clearly rejects the view of the trinity that makes God seem distant, untouchable, impersonal; and embraces a literal, biblical[80] view of the trinity, a view that shows God as including three individual divine personalities, who in nature, character, purpose, and love are one.

[...]

"Fourth, the method by which the early Adventists sought to separate the biblical elements of trinitarianism from the elements derived from tradition, was to completely disallow tradition as a basis for doctrine, and struggle through the long process of constructing their beliefs on the basis of Scripture alone. In doing so, they virtually retraced the steps of the NT church in first accepting the equality of Christ with the Father, and second, discovering Their equality and unity with the Holy Spirit as well. In the process, their theology showed temporary similarities to some of the historical heresies, particularly Arianism. Their repudiation of tradition as doctrinal authority was costly in terms of the ostracism they endured as perceived 'heretics,' but their dependence on Scripture brought them eventually to what they believe is a more biblical view of the Trinity.[87] A controversial corollary is the conviction that the classical formulation of the Trinity doctrine, resting as it does on Greek philosophical presuppositions of timelessness and impassibility, is simply incompatible with a thoroughly biblical theological system.

"Not an objective observer, but a systematic theologian deeply involved in the development of the Adventist doctrine of God, Fernando Canale has written extensively on the distinction between a theology based on Greek philosophical presuppositions, and one based on biblical presuppositions. [...]

[...]

"Canale makes a strong case for his contention that because Adventists, 'departed from the philosophical conception of God as timeless' and 'embraced the historical conception of God as presented in the Bible,' they were enabled to develop a genuinely biblical view of the Trinity." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/trinity/moon/moon-trinity2.htm)

In the above articles it is made quite clear that Adventism teaches a tritheistic godhead, that they reject "creedal" (orthodox/Christian) Trinitarianism, and also that they reject the Biblical fact that God is timeless, the I AM--instead teaching that "God" is "historical." We also see more of hints of their denial of the incorporeality of God.

A more recent version of Dr. Jerry Moon's above study, entitled "The Quest for a Biblical Trinity: Ellen White's 'Heavenly Trio' Compared to the Traditional Doctrine," was published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, which, according to their website, "is a refereed (double-blind peer-reviewed) scholarly journal, translated intermittently into German, Spanish, and Russia. JATS is sent to every member of the Evangelical Theological Society where it is read by nearly 2000 non-Adventist evangelical scholars." Dr. Moon also presented this paper on April 1, 2006 at the Adventist Theological Society's "Trinity Symposium" at Southern Adventist University. At the end of the paper, it says: "Jerry Moon is an Associate Professor of Church History at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. He also edits Andrews University Seminary Studies."

PAGE 74

First, here are some excerpts from the paper:

"In previous research I have traced the development of the Adventist doctrine of God from opposition to the Trinity doctrine as traditionally formulated to acceptance of the biblical concept of one God in three persons.9 I have also traced the clear progression in Ellen White's visions from 1850 onward, showing that her visions gradually formed her concept of God until by 1898, when she published Desire of Ages, she held a trinitarian concept.10

"This research has shown that: (1) Ellen White agreed with some aspects, but not with every aspect of the antitrinitarian views of other early Adventists. (2) Ellen White's view did change—she was raised trinitarian, came to doubt some aspects of the trinitarianism she was raised on, and eventually came to a different trinitarian view from the traditional one. (3) There is a basic harmony between Ellen White's earliest statements and her latest ones. Even on internal evidence, there is no reason to question the validity of her later, more trinitarian writings. They are completely consistent with the trajectory of her developing understanding of the Godhead, and there is every evidence that they represent her own thought. In her earliest writings she differed from some aspects of traditional trinitarianism and in her latest writings she still strongly opposed some aspects of the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. (4) It appears, therefore, that the trinitarian teaching of Ellen White's later writings is not the same doctrine that the early Adventists rejected.11 Rather, her writings describe two contrasting forms of trinitarian belief, one of which she always opposed, and another that she eventually endorsed.

"The purpose of the present article is to clarify more fully the similarities and differences between Ellen White's view of the 'heavenly trio' and the traditional doctrine of the Trinity in order to discover her position in relation to the current debate among Adventists. [...]

"Two Different Concepts of the Trinity

"The conceptual key that unlocks the puzzle of Ellen White's developmental process regarding the Godhead is the discovery that her writings describe at least two distinct varieties of trinitarian belief, one based on Scripture alone, and one based on Scripture as interpreted through the lens of Greek philosophy—the same hermeneutic that brought the immortality of the soul into Christian theology. The concept of God that is explicit in her later writings portrays the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three eternal Persons of intellect, will, and emotions who are united in character, purpose, and love. There is no conflict among them, no working at cross-purposes, no competition, not even disagreement. Thus, they are not three gods (as in polytheism or tritheism), but One. Furthermore, their unity is not a mathematical paradox, but a relational unity, analogous to the unity seen in a good marriage, where husband and wife are united in an ever-growing oneness, but without negating their individuality.13

"Thus, her concept is in harmony with the biblical witness of both the OT and NT.14 After God said, 'Let us make man in our image' (Gen 1:26-27), God proceeded to create humans in a plurality of forms that were capable of becoming one. In Genesis 2:24 God explained His purpose in this—so that these diverse creatures bearing His 'image' could 'become one.' The Hebrew word translated 'one' in Gen 2:24 is 'echad —not a monolithic singleness [for which Moses could have used yachiyd, 'one' or 'only'], but a unity formed from multiple components. The same word occurs in Deut 6:4, 'Hear O Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one ['echad].'15

"The concept of plurality of persons in unity of relationship becomes more explicit in the NT. For example, Christ prayed that believers in Him may 'all' be 'one' as He and the Father 'are one' (John 17:20-22). Ellen White quotes this passage as proof of the 'personality of the Father and the Son,' and an explanation of 'the unity that exists between Them.' She wrote: 'The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one.'16

"In the same year (1905) she wrote elsewhere, 'There are three living persons of the heavenly trio . . . the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.'17 Her concept of the 'heavenly trio' differs from the traditional Trinity in that it is based on simple biblical reasoning and biblical presuppositions. [...]

[...]

"In maintaining that the Father and the Son are 'two distinct, literal, tangible' persons, James White certainly did not doubt that 'God is spirit' (John 4:24),26 but he insisted that though 'spiritual' beings, Christ and the Father are nevertheless Divine Persons who have a 'literal, tangible' existence; They are neither unreal nor imaginary. The trinitarian creeds he knew of made God so abstract, theoretical, and impersonal that God was no longer perceived as a real, caring, loving Being.

"For example, one trinitarian creed that early Adventists quoted fairly often was that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Ellen White's church of origin. That creed says in part, 'There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts.'27 This the early Adventists vigorously refuted, citing several biblical passages that portrayed God as having both 'body' and 'parts.'28 ["28 For instance, Exod 24:9-11; 33:20-23; John 1:18; Heb 1:1-3; Uriah Smith, The State of the Dead and the Destiny of the Wicked (Battle Creek: SDA Publishing Assn., 1873), 27-30. Note Smith's polemic against any 'mystical interpretation of our current theology' (ibid., 27)."]

"Ellen White was also much interested in this question.29 Twice in early visions of Jesus, she asked Him questions related to the 'form' and 'person' of God. In one early vision, she reported seeing 'a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus' countenance,' she said, 'and admired His lovely person. The Father's person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, 'If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist.''30

"In 1850 she reported, 'I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that He is a person. I asked Him if His Father was a person and had a form like Himself. Said Jesus, 'I am in the express image of My Father's person.''31 Thus her visions confirmed what her husband had written in 1846, that the Father and the Son are 'two distinct, literal, tangible persons.'32 The visions also disproved, to her mind, the claim of the Methodist creed that God is 'without body or parts.' Thus, these early visions steered her developing view of God away from creedal trinitarianism, though they offered nothing directly contradictory to her later statements of what I have called biblical trinitarianism.

PAGE 75

[...]

"Further, Ellen White claimed that in Kellogg's heresy she 'recognized the very sentiments' she had opposed among spiritualizing ex- Millerites in 1845 and 1846.66 The implication is that the spiritualizing of the post-disappointment fanatics, the creedal teaching that God is formless and intangible ('without body or parts'), and Kellogg's impersonal concepts of God were all associated in her mind under the general heading of 'spiritualistic theories.'67

[...]

"She clearly rejected any view of the Trinity that makes God impersonal and unreal, but embraced a literal, biblical69 view of one God in three eternal Persons, who are relationally united in character, purpose, and love.

[...]

"The change from Adventist rejection of the traditional doctrine of the Trinity to acceptance of a biblical trinitarian doctrine was not a simple reversal. When James White denounced creedal trinitarianism in 1846, Ellen White agreed with both his positive point—that 'the Father and the Son' are 'two distinct, litteral [sic], tangible persons'—and his negative point—that the philosophical trinitarianism held by many did 'spiritualize away' the personal reality of the Father and the Son.72

"Soon after this she added the conviction, based on visions, that both Christ and the Father have bodily form—rejecting the teaching of one trinitarian creed that God is 'without body or parts.' [...]

"In the 1890s, when she become convinced of the individuality and personhood of the Holy Spirit, she referred to the Holy Spirit in literal and tangible terms much like those she had used in 1850 to describe the Father and the Son. For instance, addressing the church at Avondale College in 1899, she declared, 'the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes . . . . He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.'73

[...]

"Since Ellen White clearly held the basic formula of one God in three persons, it can hardly be denied that her view is essentially trinitarian. However, her view differs from traditional trinitarianism in the following important respects.

"1. She rejected at least three of the philosophical presuppositions undergirding traditional trinitarianism: (a) the radical dualism of spirit and matter, which concluded that God could not have a visible form; (b) the notion of impassibility, which held that God had no passions, feelings, or emotions, hence could have no interest in, or sympathy with, humans76; and (c) the dualism of time and timelessness, which led to the notions of 'eternal generation' and 'eternal procession.'77 Her rejection of all these concepts constitutes a radical departure from the medieval dogma of the Trinity.

"2. She described the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in relational rather than ontological terms. While the traditional doctrine defined the divine unity in terms of 'being' or 'substance,' she focused on the volitional and relational dimensions of Their unity, a unity of 'purpose, mind, and character.'78 In this sense her concept of the 'heavenly trio' is a more humble concept than the traditional Trinity doctrine. [...]

"3. Ellen White's emphasis, however, on the relational unity of God does not preclude an ontological unity (of 'being' and 'substance') as well, but recognizes that the evidence for ontological unity 'transcends the limits of our human reason.'80 Both Canale and Fritz Guy have warned against the danger of tritheism if the relational unity is overemphasized to the exclusion of the ontological unity.81

"4. Since Ellen White described the divine unity in relational rather than philosophical terms, she had no need for Kellogg's scientific-philosophical metaphors—different states of light or water—by which he attempted to explain the relations among the Trinity. She saw such metaphors as not merely inadequate, but intrinsically misleading and false.

"5. For all these reasons, Ellen White's writings never use the term 'Trinity.' An uncritical use of the term 'Trinity' could have led others to accept concepts to which she was diametrically opposed. The traditional doctrine of the Trinity did contain a core of biblical truth, but that truth was distorted by philosophical presuppositions alien to Scripture. The only method by which the scriptural elements in the doctrine could be separated from the nonscriptural elements was to simply set aside the traditional doctrine and seek to understand God on the basis of Scripture alone. In so doing, Adventists eventually became convinced that the basic concept of one God in three eternal persons was indeed found in Scripture. In their progress toward that conclusion, they temporarily held some of the heterodox views that the larger church had wrestled with during the early centuries of the Christian era. By discarding tradition, however, and building a doctrine of God on Scripture alone, Adventists came eventually to a view of the Trinity that they believe is truly biblical. 82" (Italics and words in brackets in original. Hebrew words re-formatted for HTML compatibility. http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=241&journal=1&type=pdf)

So this paper by Dr. Moon makes it abundantly clear that Ellen G. White and Adventism teach that the "Godhead" comprises three individual, tangible (bodily/physical--thus making them finite, also) beings. There are some amazing admissions here, including the admission that Adventism rejects the traditional Trinity doctrine, and that they teach a different type of "Trinity" doctrine than the Christian creeds do! One other very important thing to note is that we see that even when they do use terms such as "being" or "substance," they do not mean the same thing that orthodox Christians mean. Their usage of these terms is very disingenuous, since even when they use orthodox-sounding terms such as "being," "substance," or "essence," they clearly do not mean that God is only one living Being--one indivisible essence or substance--since they make it very clear that they believe in three divine beings. These terms are deceptively used, just as they deceptively use the term "Trinity." Also, note that, in the second paragraph of the above quote, Dr. Moon says that it appears that the SDA "Trinity" teaching is "not the same doctrine" as the orthodox Trinity that the early Adventists rejected. What an incredible admission! Also notice again the same arguments that we have already seen by the Adventists, including the desperate, ridiculous claim that they are not teaching tritheism simply because their gods don't fight (which would also excuse Mormonism's tritheism),

PAGE 76

their misusage of John 17, and their false claims about the Hebrew words for "one" (which we will delve into more later).

Here are a few excerpts from a couple of the footnotes in the above paper:

"77 See Moon, chap. 11, in The Trinity, by Whidden, Moon, and Reeve, esp. 167-174. Malachi 3:6, 'I am the Lord, I do not change,' means that His character is unchanging, hence trustworthy. Heb 13:8 makes the same claim for God the Son, that He is 'the same, yesterday, today, and forever.' But the philosophical notion of timelessness says God has no 'yesterday,' no past or future, but is static, immobilized in an 'eternal present.' When Jesus said, 'I proceeded and came forth from God (John 8:42), the plain meaning of His speech to his initial hearers was a claim: 'My witness of the Father is trustworthy, because I know Him intimately, it is He who sent me into the world, and I speak as His appointed representative' (loose paraphrase of John 8:14-17, 28-29, 38, 42). But Greek philosophy reasons that if Jesus came from outside the world, He also came from outside time, hence He must have pre-existed in timelessness. Since timelessness was theorized to be an eternal present, if Christ 'proceeded' from the Father in timelessness, then His 'procession' from the Father is eternal. [...] A second implication is that if eternity is a timeless, 'eternal present,' then whatever happens to God, is still happening and will continue to happen forever. From this comes the theory of the 'eternal generation of the Son.' Some include the Holy Spirit in this 'eternal generation,' since He too is said to 'proceed' from the Father [John 15:26] (ODCC). [...] But the doctrine is warranted only on the basis of the Aristotelian concept of timelessness.

"78 Ibid. This gives a deep practical meaning to the doctrine of the Trinity. If the Trio's unity is relational, then the biblical statement, 'God is love,' is seen to be not just descriptive, but definitive. Without love, the Three would not be One. And without plurality, God could have love for others, but not be love in Himself." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=241&journal=1&type=pdf)

In the above quotes, we see that not only does Adventism reject eternal generation (which rejection is critically important to them and which they must do, because they teach three separate beings and therefore cannot teach the eternal generation of the Son or the eternal procession of the Spirit), but again we see that they reject the fact that God is timeless. According to Adventism, God is not outside of time. Instead, God is trapped inside of time, and has existed within time for an infinite number of years in the past (an illogical concept). In essence, Adventism rejects the eternity of God. They believe that time and matter/space (since their three "divine beings" are material and spacial) have always existed, uncreated--rather than having been created by God. Thus, time, matter, and space become god.

In his audio presentation of the above paper at the "Trinity Symposium," Dr. Moon made the following statements:

"Since Ellen White clearly held the basic formula of one God in three eternal persons, it can hardly be denied that her view is essentially trinitarian. However, her view differs from traditional trinitarianism in the following important aspects. Number 1. She taught that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct individuals, which is not true of the medieval doctrine of the Trinity. Number 2. She defined their unity in relational rather than philosophical terms. In other words, while the traditional doctrine defined their unity in terms of 'being' or 'substance'--and she didn't deny that--but she clearly places the emphasis on their unity as volitional and relational--a unity of character, purpose, and love.

[...]

"Ellen White never in her writings used the term 'Trinity.' The closest she came was her use of the term 'trio'--which is an approximate English equivalent to the Latin trinitas, which in common usage meant simply a triad or trio. The most likely reason she consistently shunned the term 'Trinity' in her writings, is that she held to a simple biblical concept, of one God in three eternal persons. And she probably feared that an uncritical use of the term 'Trinity' could appear to endorse philosophical concepts she was opposed to. For all these reasons, Ellen White declined to endorse the traditional concept of the Trinity. But she is emphatic in her support for the Biblical concept of one God, comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three eternal persons, who are united in character, purpose, and love." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Moon_Quest_Biblical_Trinity.mp3)

Notice that in the above quote Dr. Moon admits outright that Adventism teaches "three distinct individuals" (tritheism) and that this is a different teaching than the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity!

Then, after his presentation, there was a question and answer session in which Dr. Moon answered some questions. Here are some excerpts from that session:

[Questioner] "Yes, Dr. Moon, I appreciate your presentation. In the main article, or the main testimony, that centered around the 'three living persons of the heavenly trio' statement, uh, earlier in that particular testimony she had been warning against departing, she says, 'from the faith which we have held for the last fifty years'--[...] So, I'm just wondering, if she indeed is introducing something, or trying to intrododuce something new, or is in the process of introducing something new and substantial here, why does she encourage the brethren to hold on to that which they've had for the last fifty years, and how do we relate to that [...]"

[Moon] "OK. OK. Good question. I don't see her as thinking of herself as introducing something new. She was talking about what Kellogg was introducng as new. And I think she saw what she was introducing as the logical, Biblical development of what they had believed--and that she saw Kellogg as introducing the new heresy, which she was opposed to. 1855 was the year of the conference on how to keep the Sabbath. But it was also the, uh, it was shortly after the 1848 to 1850 conferences which established what we consider our distinctive doctrines. And I think that she was not so much saying that everything we believed back then was correct, but she was saying that what Kellogg was teaching was contrary to everything we believed back then. And what she was teaching was the logical development of what we believed back then. [...] Yeah. She agreed with the earliest anti-Trinitarians in our movement that the Father and the Son our two literal, tangible persons. And she agreed that the Trinitarian creed was wrong in seeing God as without form, and body, and so forth. And so, she was making no change from those particular points. Another way of saying that would be that the doctrine of God which was held by the early Adventists in the 1850s was not so much a doctrine as a vacuum--there really wasn't any doctrine of God. They only had a few pieces of points they were convicted on, which was enough to convince them that the creedal Trinitarianism had some things that were unBiblical. And since it had some things that were unBiblical, they just threw it out as being unsafe to deal with. But, eventually they added to what they already knew to be right, and added some more to it, and gradually came to believe

PAGE 77

that there were some aspects of Trinitarianism based in Scripture, and that they would accept. But the only way they could separate what was in Scripture from what was based on tradition was to throw the whole thing out, and then bring back piece by piece what they could find in Scripture. And that's essentially what we need to do today--we need to continually test our teaching by Scripture, because as soon as we say this is correct because it agrees with the 27 Fundamentals, or 28 now, or some other standard than Scripture, then we have set up a standard other than Scripture."

[Questioner] "Did I understand you correctly in saying that Ellen White believes that the persons of the Trinity were distinct in personality? And if so, how does she understand that meaning of the word 'personality,' because they're united in character and volition, so how, what does that mean?"

[Moon] "Okay. Good question. My understanding is that personality includes character, and will, emotions, the things that make a person an individual. And she said--and, of course, we can have some other things in common. I and my family are of the same genetic makeup basically, just as the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of one nature and so forth. But, even though they're one nature, they still are individuals. Now, the way in which they are one, primarily, is that they are one in purpose, and character, and love. So they are united by choice, rather than simply by what their 'being' is. But, I should add, though, that it's easy to take that and then go too far the other direction. And it's tempting, because it offers a fairly simple human analogy that seems to remove some of the mystery, and make it easier to understand. And we need to recognize that we can't necessarily get rid of the mystery--and don't need to, don't want to." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Moon_Quest_Biblical_Trinity.mp3)

In the above quote, we see that in Adventism, "one nature" simply means, or is comparable to, "the same genetic makeup" but that "they still are individuals"! Also notice that he says that Ellen G. White's later, "Trinitarian" teaching was "the logical, Biblical development of what they had believed" (which was the heresy of Arianism!) and that she "agreed with the earliest anti-Trinitarians in our movement that the Father and the Son our two literal, tangible persons." This shows that Adventism is still Arian to this day, in that they still deny the Arius-opposing Trinitarian confession of the Nicene Creed that Jesus Christ is "of one Being with the Father."

The following quote is from another article by Dr. Moon, entitled "Heresy or Hopeful Sign?" which was published in 1999 in the Adventist Review (the official "flagship" magazine of the SDA Church):

"In explaining that only Christ's humanity died, she in no way minimized the divine component of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary. Christ's deity did not die, but suffered something far worse-the rending of the Trinity. 'Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up' (Desire of Ages, 686) and suffered 'unutterable anguish . . . at the hiding of His Father's face' (ibid., 755). 'The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man.' Christ 'feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal.' She explains that 'It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon [Christ] as man's substitute, that . . . broke the heart of the Son of God' and wrung from His lips the agonizing cry, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' (ibid., 753-754).

"Thus she elevated the sacrifice of Christ far above mere human dying because it involved the rending apart, 'the temporary severing of the mysterious unity' of the Trinity (Erwin R. Gane, 'The Arian or Anti-Trinitarian Views Presented in Seventh-day Adventist Literature and the Ellen G. White Answer' [M.A. Thesis, Andrews University, 1963], 92, 95).

"While Christ's deity could not perish, it suffered the infinite ordeal of being separated from the Father, with whom He had been, until this, eternally One." (http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/trinity/Trinity%20Review%20art%20Deity%20sidebar.htm)

Next we will look at some quotes from the book entitled The Trinity: Understanding God's Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian Relationships, written by Woodrow Whidden, Jerry Moon, and John W. Reeve (SDA theologians), and published by the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association (Copyright 2002). On the back cover of the book, it says: "With glossaries, bibliography, and index, this comprehensive primer on the Trinity will shed new light on the central beliefs of Christianity, and show how God still leads His church into all truth." Here are some quotations from the book:

"The first chapter will open the discussion by marshaling the strongest evidence that we have been able to locate regarding the questions of (1) the full divine and eternal nature of Christ, (2) the personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit, and (3) the profound unity or oneness of what Ellen White refers to as the 'three living persons of the heavenly trio' (Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 615)." [Page 11]

"First of all, there appears to be no one involved in the current debate who denies the full and eternal deity of the Father God, the first person of the Godhead. Thus the three remaining areas of contention that cry out for biblical answers are as follows:

"The Deity of Christ

"This issue concerns the question of whether Christ possessed a divine nature that was, in substance, the same as the Father God. In other words, was the Jesus who was the Son of God just as much God as the Father? Or was He some sort of semideity having a qualified or partial divinity? Did He truly exist as a divine person from all eternity past? Was He not only the 'preexistent' but also the 'self-existent' Son of God about whom the Bible 'assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God' (ibid.)? Did such 'self-existence' mean that He really had a divine nature whose life was 'original, unborrowed, underived' (White, The Desire of Ages, p. 530)?" [Page 12]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Notice that they refer twice to "the Father God" as if he is a separate god. Also, as we will continue to see from this book, they keep referring to the "profound unity" or "profound oneness" of their "trio"--giving away the fact that they don't believe that God is actually one. Continuing on with more quotations from the book:

"The Oneness of the Godhead

PAGE 78

"Finally, are there 'three living persons of the heavenly trio' (also referred to by Ellen White as the 'three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit' [ibid., p. 615]) into whose 'name' those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized? Furthermore, are these 'three great powers' truly divine, personal beings who 'cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ' (ibid.)? Can we honestly confess that Christ 'was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent' (ibid.)? Dare we declare that Jesus the Son 'is the eternal, self-existent Son' (ibid.)? Are these 'powers' ('the three highest powers in heaven' [ibid., p. 617]) also referred to as 'the eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit' (ibid., p. 616), truly one in Their divine nature, possessing 'all the fulness of the Godhead' (Col. 2:9)? What saith the Scriptures?

"A Helpful Note to the Reader

"At the beginning of each section we have placed a glossary of key terms that we will employ. We realize that some of the terminology we use is somewhat technical. Thus we want to make it easy for the reader to quickly clarify what we mean when we use the specialized words and terms that often accompany any discussion of the Godhead. [...]" [Page 13. Brackets in original.]

"Glossary For Section One

[...]

"Deity—having the nature of God. Transcendent, as opposed to that which is earthbound, infinite as opposed to finite. The key issue in Trinitarian discussion is whether we are dealing with full deity or only its trappings or selected characteristics. Refers to any 'being' who is declared to possess the nature of deity. They should be self-existent from all eternity past to all eternity future and have an existence unborrowed or underived.

[...]

"Godhead—a theological term often used to refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It can be used in either a Trinitarian or non-Trinitarian sense, depending on whether the person employing the term is Trinitarian or not.

[...]

"Modalism—an ancient Christian teaching that held that there exists only one God who has successively manifested Himself as Father, then Son, and finally as Holy Spirit. The teaching denies the Trinity of three coeternal Persons who have always existed in a profound personal oneness of nature, character, and purpose.

"Monotheistic—the belief in and worship of one God as opposed to many divine beings (polytheism).

[...]

"Person—a being who is rational, self-conscious, able to make choices and moral distinctions, build relationships of affection, and can communicate in ways that are not only concrete but also abstract.

[...]

"Polytheism—the belief that more than one God exists. Persons or groups that are polytheistic worship many divine beings who inhabit the universe and affect life in this world. Polytheism is the opposite of monotheism, the belief in one true God.

[...]

"Self-existent—a term to describe any being who is divine and whose existence is understood to be not dependent on any other divine being.

[...]

"Trinity—the Christian belief that the Godhead consists of three divine, coeternal persons (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are 'one' in nature, character, and purpose. There are not three Gods, but one God manifest as three persons.

"Unitarian—any person or group that denies the Trinity doctrine by suggesting that there exists only one God, the Father. Unitarians consistently deny the full deity of the Son and the personhood of the Holy Spirit." [Pages 16-20]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Notice that by their own definitions in their own glossary, they are polytheists and not monotheists (since they make it clear in this glossary that they believe in multiple "divine beings")! Unless they are trying to make a laughable distinction between "three divine beings" and "many divine beings" (with "three divine beings" being equal to "one God"/"monotheism" and "many divine beings" being "polytheism"!). I guess they only worship a few divine beings (gods), so they're not polytheists! Incredible. Also notice that in their description of Unitarianism, which is indeed a heresy, they themselves use heretical wording and claim that it is a denial of "the Trinity doctrine" to teach "that there exists only one God, the Father"! This is a direct contradiction of Scripture which says that the Father is "the only true God" (John 17:3). (Of course, Jesus is also the only true God, and so is the Holy Spirit--in Trinitarianism there is no problem with this.) Also notce that under "Trinity" they even put the word "one" in quotation marks, clearly showing that they do not believe that God is actually one (one Being). In fact, they even state that the persons of "the Godhead" are "one" only in "nature, character, and purpose."

"So let's proceed to Scripture. Try to picture yourself as a baptismal candidate who has joined a pastor's Bible study class to prepare for

PAGE 79

church membership. The pastor now proceeds to give the best biblical evidence in support of the church's Trinitarian statements of belief. We would remind the reader that the basic issues to be biblically tested are:

"(1) the full, eternal deity of Christ,

"(2) the personhood and full deity of the Holy Spirit, and

"(3) the unity in nature and character of the alleged three persons of the Godhead." [Page 22]

[...] "Thus any one of the Old Testament names for God can speak of God in His unitive oneness (Deut. 6:4) or more particularly to the discrete person of either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit.

[...] "The evidence, however, clearly supports the fact that from the New Testament perspective the term Lord in the Old Testament can refer to either one of the members of the Trinity or to all three in Their profound oneness." [Page 23]

"The very first chapter includes three rather striking lines of evidence (it has others, but we will present only the strongest here) that powerfully suggest that the Jehovah God of the Old Testament included in His identity the person of Jesus of Nazareth." [Page 24]

"Finally, we should point out that the most likely reason that Jesus employs 'Alpha and Omega' and 'Beginning and the End' as self-descriptive titles is that here for the first time the book of Revelation describes both 'God and the Lamb' as fully sharing 'the throne.' Note very carefully how Revelation 22:1 and 3 clearly label 'the throne of God' as the 'throne of God and of the Lamb.' No longer is Christ the 'Lamb' pictured as before the throne of God (cf. Rev. 5:6, 7); He now sits on the one throne with the Father as a fully equal coruler over the redeemed universe.

[...]

"One of the most often cited passages used to prove the full deity of Christ is John 1:1, especially the last phrase in the verse—'the Word was God.' I would like to suggest that the verse does present strong support for the Word (Jesus) as a divine person. Since, however, a credible interpretation involves some rather technical grammatical considerations, we will deal with it in more depth in chapter 3. Suffice it to say, this verse and its detailed grammar clearly testify that Jesus, the Word, is a being with full deity. The most clear-cut and incontrovertible evidence, however, comes from John 8:58." [Pages 28-29]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Again, we find such heretical statements in this book. God does not have a "unitive oneness"--He actually is one Being. God's oneness is also not a "profound oneness"--it is an actual oneness. By their language which they are using to try to emphasize and elevate the "oneness" of their gods, they are actually just giving themselves away as polytheists, and are clearly showing that they don't actually believe that God actually is one. Also, Jesus is not just "included" in the "identity" of "the Jehovah God of the Old Testament"--Jesus actually is the Jehovah God! And finally, there are not "corulers" who "share" the throne of the universe--there is only one King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible teaches that there is only one Ruler and King of the universe--there are not multiple "corulers"!

"THE TRIUNITY OF THE ONE GOD

"Here we confront one of the deepest mysteries about God. While we have some human illustrations of powerful unities that can transpire between discrete personalities (marriage, friendships, teams, etc.), the concept that underlies the Trinitarian vision of God is the most profound. What is the best evidence that the Godhead is not simply unitary, but consists of a united plurality of divine Persons?

"Matthew 28:19

"Probably the strongest clues to such a divine triunity occur in the famous gospel commission that Jesus gave the church in its baptismal formula: 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' (Matt. 28:19). Please note that it declares the three members of the Godhead to have a 'name' (singular, not plural), strongly suggesting that They are one in personal character and nature. In the Bible the concept of 'name' includes character or nature. Here Scripture suggests that the Holy Three are one in name since They share the very character of divinity.

"This verse, along with 2 Corinthians 13:14, offers a striking insight to the life of the early apostolic church. The passages present the apostolic greetings and Christ's own formula for the rite of initiation (baptism) into the family of God in triune ways. Both suggest the unity of the three great Persons who are operative in redemption and the life of the church.

"Matthew 3:16, 17

"Another interesting evidence of the unity of the Godhead arises out of the presence of the Three at the baptism of Jesus. [...]

"What is truly remarkable about the incident is that as Jesus formally begins His public ministry of redemption, all three members of the Heavenly Trio are present. The newly baptized Jesus stands on the banks of the Jordan, the Spirit descends on Him like a dove, and the Father audibly speaks words of divine approval and identity from heaven. This scene powerfully portrays the oneness of purpose held by the Godhead. Futhermore, it clearly evidences the distinctness of each divine being. Matthew does not present the Spirit and the Son as simply different manifestations or personifications of the Father, but as distinct personalities in concert with the Father. Yet They give every appearance of oneness in purpose and character as They focus on the redemptive mission of the Son.

"OLD TESTAMENT EVIDENCE

"Is this conception of a plural unity within the Godhead typical only of the New Testament? Certainly not.

PAGE 80

"What is striking is that the great passage always recited to open the synagogue services and which powerfully confessed the Jews' belief in the one true God strongly suggests that the God of Israel was a multipersonal, yet profoundly one God.

"Deuteronomy 6:4 and Genesis 2:24

"Commonly referred to as the Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4 says: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!' This famous passage has a number of points to teach us about our subject. First of all, the God of Israel is none other than the Lord (YHWH). Second, Jehovah God is the Lord who is 'one.' What is striking about this important word translated as 'one' in English is that it is the Hebrew word 'echad. It 'means 'one [among others],' the emphasis being on a particular one. . . . The possibility of there being others is inherent in 'echad, but yachîd precludes that possibility' (Christensen, p. 69). Another way to explain 'echad is that it refers to the oneness that results from a unity of numerous persons.

"Now Moses most certainly had the Hebrew word yachîd, which he could have employed if he had wanted to describe the Lord God of Israel as an exclusively unitary being. In contrast to 'echad, the word yachid 'means 'one' in the sense of 'only,' or 'alone'' (ibid.). To put it another way, it refers to one in the unitary, not the plural sense. Moses, however, employed the plural 'echad (one among others in a joined or shared oneness).

"It helps us understand more fully the meaning of 'echad when we remember that Scripture employed it to describe one of the most profoundly human unions: 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh' (Gen. 2:24). Here the word 'echad describes the marriage union between two self-conscious, loving, relational beings.

"Genesis 1:1-3, 26

"Our reading of the book of Genesis leads us to the final lines of evidence for the personal unity of divine persons in the Godhead. Genesis 1:26 reports the Creator God as saying, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.' The passage has God speaking of Himself with plural references. When we place this kind of evidence alongside two other key facts in verses 1-3, we have strongly suggestive evidence of the profoundly unitive nature of the Godhead:

"(1) Genesis portrays God working in conjunction with 'the Spirit of God' that hovered over the 'face of the waters,' and

"(2) the repeated declarations of the New Testament that the active agent in creation is none other than Jesus, the Son of God. Here, the Godhead creates humans in 'Our' image—the Father, Spirit, and Son forming a creative, loving, and personal plurality.

"Furthermore, when God did create humanity in 'Our' image, He established a plurality of two individuals, distinct from each other, yet capable of becoming 'one' (Gen. 2:24). These verses strongly portray the historical fact that the plurality of oneness involves the image of God.

"Summary

"So here we have some of the clearest biblical evidence for the full deity of Christ, the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, and the deeply personal union of the Godhead. We ask: Is this evidence persuasive enough for the reader to give consideration to further Bible evidence for the Trinitarian claim that we should understand the Godhead as a profoundly united personal threesome? We hope so." [Pages 32-35. Words in brackets in original.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First of all, notice how they define "the unity of the Godhead" as "the oneness of purpose held by the Godhead." And then they go on to teach that there are three divine beings (gods), but that "They give every appearance of oneness in purpose and character"! Then they go on to use such anti-Trinitarian and awkward descriptions as "a plural unity within the Godhead" and "a multipersonal, yet profoundly one God." How on earth do you have "a...profoundly one God"? Let's break that down even further: "a...one God"??? They are simply showing their denial of monotheism. What they really mean is, "a...profoundly [united] [group]." And the doctrine of the Trinity is not that there is "unity within the Godhead" but rather that God Himself is actually one Being (monotheism).

And again, we see that they make a big deal out of, and lie about, the Hebrew words 'echad and yachiyd. First of all, even if YHWH were "one among others" that would not mean that YHWH is "more than one"--just that there are other gods besides Him. Then they claim that 'echad "refers to the oneness that results from a unity of numerous persons." Actually, the word 'echad simply means "one"--it is simply the Hebrew equivalent of the English word "one," and it is used nearly 1,000 times in the Old Testament. And just like the English word "one," it can have a number of uses, based on the context. Their definition can be proven false simply by looking at the usage of the word in the book of Genesis. Genesis 4:19 (NASB) says: "Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one ['echad] was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah." Was Adah a "unity of numerous persons"? Genesis 10:25 (NASB) says that "the name of the one ['echad] was Peleg"--was Peleg a "unity of numerous persons"? Clearly, their assertions regarding the word 'echad are simply ridiculous. They then go on to use their common false argument that if Moses had actually meant "one" he would have used the Hebrew word yachiyd. Actually, the word yachiyd is not even a common word and is only used 12 times in the entire Old Testament, and it means "only." Actually, though, the Hebrew word bad, which means only/alone and is a synonym of the Hebrew word yachiyd, is used for God in the Old Testament. Also, the corresponding Greek word, monos (which means alone/only), is used repeatedly for God in the New Testament. In fact, Jesus even used the word monos when quoting from the Old Testament in Matthew 4:10 when He says "and him only [monos] shalt thou serve" (KJV). So the SDA arguments are completely false. God is clearly described in both the Old and New Testaments as a "numerical one," a single simple Being--and not as a complex, united "one"/group.

They even go on to refer to "the plural 'echad"--when, remember, the word 'echad simply means "one"--it is not a "plural" word, any more than the English word "one"! It is a singular, not a plural, word. They are simply lying. Then they define 'echad as "one among others in a joined or shared oneness," which, as we have already seen, is a false definition. Notice also that they say, "one in...the plural sense"--what kind of nonsensical language is that? Then they say that "the plurality of oneness involves the image of God." What on earth is "the plurality of oneness"? Besides these phrases that

PAGE 81

they use not even making sense, they are simply heretical. In Trinitarianism, God's oneness is not "plural"--He is actually and absolutely one. It's certainly not His "oneness" that is "plural"! Now let's continue on with some more quotations from this book:

"Paul's response to such heretical teachings was to proclaim Jesus as neither some mere angelic being nor an emanation from some impersonal spirit world, but as the one in whom 'dwells all the fullness' of the essence of, or the express image, of God. Jesus bodily bears the very nature or transcript of a divine being." [Page 40]

[...] "It was thus with our Lord Jesus Christ: He could serenely lay down His divine status because He was fully aware of His divine credentials as an equal with the Father." [Page 42]

"Please note the strong statement that declares that Christ bears 'the express image of His [God's] person.' While some might debate that 'express image' refers only to God's character rather than to His essential divine nature, the context strongly suggests otherwise.

[...]

"Second, the phrase in verse 2 that declares that Jesus was the being 'through whom also He [God the Father] made the worlds' merits close attention. What the author of the book of Hebrews is saying here is that Jesus, the divine Son, is the active agent in the creation of the universe. It is very similar to claims made by numerous other New Testament writers (see John 1:3; Eph. 3:9; and Col. 1:16)." [Pages 43-44. Words in brackets in original.]

"The only sensible explanation for the meaning of this text, if we are to take seriously the clear testimony of the New Testament writers that Jesus is God, is to conclude that whoever the Lord, YHWH, or Jehovah who speaks in Isaiah 43:10, 11 is, His identity must include that of the Jesus of the New Testament who claimed to be in some sense the Jehovah of the Old Testament." [Page 48]

[...] "Could the prophetic writer have been clearer that Christ's 'goings forth' are from time immemorial?" [Page 50]

"Most certainly the repetitive sevenfold use of the 'I am' claims in the Gospel of John augment and highlight Jesus' stunning claims to be one person of the Godhead of the Old Testament who has now come as the life-imparting Savior of the New Covenant." [Page 54]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First of all, notice that they teach that Jesus has "divine credentials" as "an equal" with the Father and that His "divinity" is simply a "status" that He laid down when He came to earth. Then they say that Jesus is a separate being "through whom" "God the Father" created.

And we find again their blasphemous claim that Jesus is merely "included" in the identity of YHWH. Then they go on to blaspheme further and state that Jesus only claimed to be "in some sense" the Jehovah of the Old Testament! Wrong. He claimed to actually, and in reality, be the Jehovah of the Old Testament without any qualifications! To adapt what the late Dr. Walter Martin said regarding the Jehovah's Witness idea of "a prophet in a sense," there is no such thing as being Jehovah "in [a] sense"--you're either Jehovah God Himself or you aren't God at all! Of course, then we see later that they mean that Jesus is just one third of "the Godhead"--part of, rather than fully, God. Also notice the reference to their denial of eternity/timelessness (when they say "time immemorial").

[...] "Without going into all of the details of the grammar involved, I believe that we can best understand the last phrase of John 1:1 as 'and the Word [Jesus] was God' (not God the Father, but Jesus, who is God in the sense that He possessed all the qualities of the divine character and nature of the Father).5 [Italics in original.]

"In other words, John opens his Gospel with the clear declaration that Jesus is a being with all the eternal and divine qualitites possessed by the eternal Father. [...]

[...]

"What about the case for the personhood, or distinct personality, of the Holy Spirit as the alleged divine third living person of the 'heavenly trio' (White, Evangelism, p. 615)? Further, is there credible evidence to support the profound unity alleged to exist among the three persons of the Godhead? It is to these questions that we turn in chapter 4." [Pages 59-60]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Again we find their "God in [a] sense" nonsense (which is very similar to Jehovah's Witness teaching about Jesus Christ). They say that Jesus is only "God" in the "sense" that He is "a" "divine" "being" (a god) just like the Father is a divine being (a god). Theirs is clearly an anti-Trinitarian and polytheistic interpretation of John 1:1, as we will continue to see below. And regarding the last paragraph above, again, God's oneness is not defined by some "profound unity" that exists "among" the "three persons of the Godhead"--rather, God actually is one.

"The predicate nominative (theos) can be translated in a more 'qualitative' manner. If we take this approach, the noun functions more like an adjective and seeks to translate some key quality or characteristic that more clearly defines the subject (logos). Examples would include Bible versions that translate theos as either 'divine' (Moffatt) or as 'What God was, the Word was' (NEB).

"This option appears to be the most satisfactory. [...]

"We could illustrate Wallace's point this way: My wife and I have been spouses since 'the beginning' of our marriage. We share the very same essence of 'married humanity' (I have dubbed it 'human spousehood') while maintaining our personal distinction as male and female and husband and wife. While we are different in our gender and spousal roles, we still share the same essential 'human spousehood.' Thus the following illustrative paraphrase of John 1:1: 'In the beginning of our marriage the woman [my wife, the human spouse] was with the man [me, the husband, the human spouse] and the woman [my wife] was of the same 'human spousehood' essence as the man [me, the husband].'

PAGE 82

"Most obviously John is not saying that Jesus, who possesses divinity, is simply 'a god.' Neither is he suggesting that we should equate Jesus with the person of God the Father. To the contrary, John is here employing carefully chosen grammar to express his conviction that Christians, along with the disciple Thomas, can truly confess Jesus as 'My Lord and my God' (John 20:28). John is most plainly declaring that 'God' can be used as a 'qualitative' predicate nominative to describe Jesus as one who shares the full essence of the divine nature of the Father God." [Pages 63-64. Words in brackets in original.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

So here we continue to see their blatantly anti-Trinitarian interpretation of John 1:1, including their blasphemous "paraphrase" in which they teach that Jesus is no more "God" than a woman is her husband! So again we see that when they use words like "essence" they do not mean anything near what Trinitarians mean--one and the same indivisible essence/substance/being. Instead, they compare it simply to the marriage of a man and his wife, who "share the very same essence of 'married humanity'"! They are simply teaching polytheism. Notice that they also are admitting that when they say "Jesus is God" they are using the word "God" as an adjective, rather than a noun (in other words, they are saying that Jesus is just "divine" rather than "the one true God"). And they are ignoring the fact that John 20:28, which they quote in the last paragraph above, even has the article ("ho"/"the") in the Greek, and literally says, "the Lord of me, and the God of me!" Jesus is the one and only true God. Continuing on:

[...] "Verse 26, however, is possibly the most powerful evidence of the personality of the Spirit in the letter to the Romans: 'Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.'

"The whole phenomenon of 'intercession' implies willing, active intervention between two personal beings. Furthermore, the 'groanings' that cannot be 'uttered' strongly suggest an emotional element in the intercession of the Spirit that is also typical of personal beings, not impersonal electronic technology.

[...]

[...] "And how is such knowledge possible? 'God has revealed them to us through His Spirit' (verse 10). And how is it that the Spirit is privy to such knowledge? Answer: 'The Spirit seaches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God' (verses 10, 11).

"What is Paul saying? First of all, we must point out that he here describes the Spirit as having the ability to 'search' out 'the deep things of God' and to 'know the things of God.' While it is true that our personal computers have 'search' capabilities, it is not some sort of a 'word search' that Paul has in mind—it is rather an intensely personal exploration of 'the deep things of God.' This strongly suggests an intimate, personal communion between the Spirit and God the Father. And what is its result? It is most certainly a deep knowledge of 'the things of God.'

"Furthermore, what this passage seems to imply is that if you want to know the 'things of a man,' you cannot gain such knowledge unless ('except') you posses in you 'the spirit of the man.' To put it quite simply, to really know a man, you must be a man—'it takes one to know one'!

"This, however, is true not only on the human-to-human level, but also on the level of deity. 'Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God' (verse 11). Once more, only a divine person can truly know what is in the mind and heart of another divine being. As on the human level, so it is on the divine—it takes One to know One!

"Paul appropriately concludes by observing that what we have received from the Spirit is 'not the spirit of the world' (man, the creature), 'but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God' (verse 12). If you really want to know the things of God, you must connect with a personal God (the Spirit) who alone can discover the 'things' of God.

"I know that it is hard for me to comprehend what goes on in the minds of many of my students who come from cultural and language backgrounds differing from my own. It has, however, often proven helpful to get insights from persons who have bridged these cultural chasms and can help me know the 'mind' of those I long to better undertsand. Thus it is with the work of the Spirit—He knows the mind of God because He is a personal and divine being capable of communicating to us God's mind." [Pages 68-69]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Notice that they are saying that just as "it takes a man to know a man" that it "takes a God to know a God." In fact, they even use that wording basically, calling the Holy Spirit "a...God" who can "discover the 'things' of God"! All of the excerpts above are so very clearly polytheistic, including that last paragraph where they compare their gods to different people who share the same cultural understanding. For more commentary on the extreme, and anti-Trinitarian, twisting of the 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 passage above, see the comments on a similar quote by Whidden which is quoted later on below.

"One final piece of evidence for the Spirit's personality comes from 2 Corinthians 13:14: 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.'

"The first thing to note about the verse is that it describes the Holy Spirit as the third named being headed up by God the Father and the Son. The vast majority of Bible-believing Christians agree that the Father and the Son are personal divine beings. Most certainly the 'grace' that comes from Jesus Christ can have only a personal origin. The 'love of God' obviously suggests the personality of the Father, since love is the essence of any interpersonal experience and expresses caring and concern. Second Corinthians 13:14 then mentions the Holy Spirit in a most straightforward way, strongly suggesting that He is a personal, coordinate divine being—the third person of the tripersonal Godhead." [Page 73]

"The second thing to notice about the 'coordinate relationship' of the Spirit with the Father and the Son (in 2 Cor. 13:14) is that it associates the Holy Spirit with 'communion' (NKJV), or 'fellowship' (NIV). This word, directly descriptive of the workings of the Spirit, strongly

PAGE 83

suggests interpersonal communications between relational beings--that is, personal beings, whether they be human, angelic, or divine.

"Not only does the passage support the personality of the Spirit, but it also suggests the profound unity or oneness inherent in the doctrine of the Trinity. Here are three divine beings lined up together in such a way as to point to Their oneness of purpose in imparting grace and love to God's people through Their deep fellowship with one another and the redeemed.

"Furthermore, it seems to be an almost unconscious expression of the Spirit's personality for Paul to conclude his second letter to the Corinthians with a farewell greeting that simply links the work of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit together as a fully united personal force for the redemption of lost humanity. The verse is a transitional passage to further biblical evidence for the full deity of the Spirit and the profound unity found within the Godhead.

"In the first chapter we suggested that Acts 5 provides persuasive evidence for the deity of the Spirit. Peter told Ananias that he had lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3) and then explained, 'You have not lied to men but to God' (verse 4), strongly implying that Ananias had directly made falsehoods to God the Holy Spirit, not to God the Father or God the Son." [Pages 74-75]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

The statement that the "vast majority of Bible-believing Christians agree that the Father and the Son are personal divine beings" is simply a lie. Trinitarians believe in only one divine Being. Notice also that they clearly define the "oneness" of their counterfeit "Trinity" doctrine as merely a "oneness of purpose" among "three divine beings." You can't get any clearer statement of Tritheism than that! It is completely anti-Trinitarian.

"Another striking evidence of the Spirit's deity is that Scripture portrays the Spirit as the author of the new birth. Yet the work of givng new spiritual life is an act unique to God. First John 3:9 speaks of being 'born of God.' Thus the new birth, accomplished by the Spirit, Scripture elsewhere also described as being wrought out by God—strongly implying the work of the new birth is the act of a divine being.

"The Oneness or Personal Triunity of the Godhead

"In chapter 1 we suggested some important evidence for the profound oneness of the tripersonal Godhead. The use of the inherently plural word 'echad in Deuteronomy 6:4, the singular 'name' employed to describe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 28:19, and the plural 'Let Us make man in Our image' of Genesis 1:26 all powerfully suggest the deep unity manifest among the divine persons of the Godhead. This language unmistakably has God speaking of Himself with plural references. What is interesting is the way this kind of evidence shows up in other places in the Old Testament.

"In addition to the 'let Us make man in Our image' terminology of Genesis 1:26, we encounter similar plural God language in the following passages:" [Page 76]

"As the Adventist experience with the Revelation has unfolded, it has become more and more apparent that the heart of this fascinating book occurs in chapters 11 through 14. Furthermore, one of the really striking things about these chapters is the way the conflict between the forces of good and evil comes down to a struggle between the divine Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and Their satanic imitations (the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet)." [Page 78]

"We would humbly suggest that the weight of Bible evidence strongly points to the full and eternal deity of Christ as one in nature, character, and purpose with the Father (and the Holy Spirit). Furthermore, what proves to be quite ironic is that some of the most compelling evidence for the equality of the Father and the Son occurs in contexts that employ the very metaphors of 'Father' and 'Son' (especially John 5:16-23)." [Pages 106-107]

"In 1 Timothy 2, however, Paul, without excluding Christ's deity, uplifts His profound identity with those He mediates for before God. [...]" [Page 109]

[...]

"Furthermore, this is not the only picture we have of the eternal rule of Christ in relationship to the Father's reign. Revelation 22:1, 3 call the throne of God 'the throne of God and of the Lamb.' Thus while Paul, in speaking of the Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, can picture Christ ('the firstborn from the dead' [Col. 1:18]) as in functional subordination to the Father, yet in Revelation 22:1, 3 the Father and the Son appear to share one throne as fully equal corulers over the everlasting kingdom.

"The two passages do not inherently contradict each other. It is just that in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul seeks to communicate Christ's solidarity with the resurrected humans redeemed into the kingdom; whereas John the revelator wants to show that the Father and Son are fully triumphant in the New Jerusalem as coregents of the eternal kingdom. Thus while we find a functional subordination in 1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 22 depicts the full sharing of the rulership in the everlasting kingdom." [Page 110. Brackets in original.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Again, we see their lie that the Hebrew word 'echad is an "inherently plural word"--remember, this is simply the Hebrew word for "one"! And again, they teach their polytheistic concept of "corulers" and "coregents." The Bible teaches that there is one King of the universe, not a coregency.

"Thus it is quite acceptable for Trinitarians to give some reasonably coherent account that seeks to explain how one is three and three is one in the life of the Godhead. The question is this: What is it about the nature of the triune Godhead that makes the alleged persons called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 'one'?

"The first response to the question of the logic of Trinitarian thought is to admit that we are dealing with an extremely profound mystery. While I readily believe the Bible when it says that Adam and Eve became 'one' and were yet two, I have yet, however, to fully fathom the

PAGE 84

ways of any man with any maiden (Prov. 30:19). Yet in loving relationships, there does appear to develop a profound oneness. Are we then to say that loving relationships are totally illogical and incoherent? I think not. And this seems to be the best way to give a coherent account of the mystery of the Trinity and its plural oneness.

[...]

"1 John 4:8

"'God is love.' Do we truly comprehend the depths of this inspired statement that is so disarming in its seeming simplicity? I would sugggest that these three words have a profound contribution to make to our understanding of a God who has eternally preexisted in something like Trinitarian 'oneness.'" [Pages 113-114]

"Have we not discovered that the most profound of human unities are those of selfless love? Could we experience such profound loving unions if there did not exist a deeply united, plural God of infinite love who has defined the very essence of the universe and the existence of those creatures made more especially in His image? The very essence of living in love flows from the great triune Godhead of loving grace!" [Page 116]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First, notice once again that they put the words "one" and "oneness" in quotes, and that it is "the Godhead's" "one"ness that is the question and mystery for them. This is the exact opposite of Trinitarianism. For the Trinitarian, it is not God's oneness that is the mystery about God (how three "gods" can be "one," as in Adventism), but instead the mystery is how the one living God/Divine Being can be three distinct, but not separate, persons. And then notice that their explanation for the mystery is that the "oneness" of God is like the "oneness" found in loving relationships between human beings. This is polytheism. Also, what is a "deeply united...God"? This shows that their definition of "God" is not a living Being, but rather a group/organization.

"Glossary For Section Two

[...]

"Homoousios—literally 'of the same nature,' this is the term used at the Council of Nicea to represent the relationship between the Father and Son. It is a transliteration of a compound Greek word containing the prefix homo, which means 'the same,' and the verb ousios, which means 'to be' or 'essence of being.' As defined during the fourth century theological debates, it came to represent that the Son is of the same nature as the Father." [Pages 122-123]

"The earliest Christian writings available to us—those books we know as the New Testament—clearly present a Father, a Son, and a Holy Spirit. According to Matthew 28:19, the local churches were to initiate new converts to the young Christian religion by baptizing them in the 'name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' Each of the three Beings was indisputably central to early Christian worship and belief. What was not immediately obvious from the New Testament documents was the relationships between the members of the Godhead. Much of the discussion and disagreement among Christians of the first four centuries consisted of attempts to establish how we should view the relationships between Father, Son, and Spirit. The next two chapters will trace some of the earliest Christian views about God, and will explain how the Trinitarian formula came to be the preferred Christian understanding of the Godhead." [Page 124]

[...]

"It is true that the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople did make declarations that we must now reject because they disagree with Scripture. Even some aspects of Athanasius' understanding of the Son today seem to cause more problems than they solve, including his description of the Son as 'eternally begotten.' But such things are neither part of, nor necessary to, the Trinitarian formula of God as three in one—that is, three persons sharing one nature as one God. Although as Adventists, we may not recognize the councils as authoritative, we must recognize the value of Basil's arguments from Scripture and from worship. We do not accept the Trinitarian formula based on the authority of church dogma or of church councils, but on the fact that it best represents what Scripture presents about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God." [Page 150]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First of all, they are trying to twist the definition of the word homoousios to fit their anti-Trinitarian theology. It does not simply mean "of the same nature" as they want it to mean, so that they can teach "three Beings" (which, as we see above, is exactly what they do on the very next page!) who "share one nature" (which is how they try to redefine "the Trinitarian formula" in the last paragraph quoted above). In fact, St. Athanasius himself, who actually attended, and spoke against Arius at, the Council of Nicaea, explicitly denied that that is what they meant by the term homoousios. (Click here to read Athanasius' statement.) Also, the English translations of the Nicene Creed do not translate homoousios as "of the same nature" but rather as: "of one Being," "of one substance," and "of one essence."12 And the Athanasian Creed explicitly shows that the orthodox, Trinitarian understanding is that God is one indivisible divine Being.

"'Person' as applied to God indicates a being with personality, intellect, and will. Unlike the multiple gods of polytheism, the three persons of the biblical Godhead are profoundly united in purpose, mind, and character, to that despite Their individuality, they are never divided, never in conflict, and thus constitute not three gods, but one God." (From page 192, as quoted at http://www.restorationministry.com/Open_Face/html/30-feb-2003-content.htm)

Again we find their nonsensical argument that because their three gods are "profoundly united in purpose, mind, and character" and are "never in conflict" that they are not teaching polytheism/three gods.

"A major development [in Adventism] since 1972 has been the quest to articulate biblical presuppositions grounding a biblical doctrine of the Trinity, clearly differentiated from the dualistic presuppositions that undergird the traditional creedal statements. In a 1972

PAGE 85

path-breaking article, Raoul Dederen set forth a brief exposition of the Godhead from the Old and New Testaments. He rejected the 'Trinity of speculative thought' that used philosophical terms to describe 'distinctions within the Deity for which there is no definable basis within the revealed knowledge of God' (Dederen, p. 13), and advocated rather the example of the apostles: 'Rejecting the terms of Greek mythology or metaphysics, they expressed their convictions in an unpretending trinitarian confession of fath, the doctrine of one God subsisting and acting in three persons' (ibid., p. 21).

"In 1983 Fernando Canale set forth an analysis and radical critique of the Greek philosophical presuppositions underlying what Dederen had referred to as 'speculative thought.' Canale's dissertation, A Criticism of Theological Reason, showed that classical Catholic and Protestant theology took its most basic presuppositions about the nature of God, time, and existence, from a 'framework' provided by Aristotelian philosophy. He argued that for Christian theology to become truly biblical, it must derives its 'primordial presupposition' from Scripture, not from Greek philosophy (Canale, Criticism, p. 359; p. 402, n. 1)." [Page 201]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

So again they admit that they reject orthodox, creedal Trinitarianism.

"The pioneers...initially rejected the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, which clearly contained elements not evident in Scripture. As they continued to work on the basis of Scripture, periodically challenged and stretched by the Holy Spirit through the visions of Ellen White, they gradually became convinced that the basic concept of one God in three persons did indeed appear in Scripture" (From page 202, as quoted at http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/showpost.php?p=3929273&postcount=2)

And here are some final quotes from The Trinity, which show that even in their index, they are quite capable of teaching heresy:

"Index

[...]

"God, [...]

"Father, [...]

[...]

"personal being with tangible form, 208

[...]

"Godhead, [...]

"corulers, 87, 88

[...]

"'heavenly dignitaries,' 13

"'heavenly trio,' 11, 13, 32, 79, 198, 217, 228, 229, 280

[...]

"'three great powers,' 13

"'three living persons,' 11, 13

[...]

"'heavenly trio,' 11, 13, 32, 79, 198, 217, 228, 229, 280

[...]

"Holy Spirit, [...]

[...]

"only being to

[...]

"represent Godhead, 256

[...]

"persons of the Godhead, 187, 192, 196

"'heavenly trio,' see Godhead

PAGE 86

[...]

"Trinitarian, [...]

"belief, two varieties, 201, 202, 212-220

[...]

"Trinity, [...]

[...]

"biblical view of, 201, 202, 212-220

[...]

"traditional dogma of, 167-173, 197, 219

[...]

"White, Ellen G., [...]

[...]

"condemned spiritualistic view of Trinity, 216-219

"endorsed biblical view of Trinity, 216-219"

[Pages 282-286] (http://books.google.com/books?id=ym4Efps-ZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Another presentation at the 2006 "Trinity Symposium" of the Adventist Theological Society was made by Dr. Jiri Moskala, who is Professor of Old Testament Exegesis and Theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (at Andrews University). The presentation was entitled "Meaning of Plural Expressions 'Let us' / 'For us' in the Divine Speeches in the Background of Biblical Monotheism." Here are some excerpts transcribed from the MP3 audio archive of the presentation:

"The very first usage of the divine plural, Genesis 1:26, is employed in the context of creation. God the Creator is presented not as 'I,' but 'we,' when He creates humans. This is very significant. This divine 'we' creates people in His image. It means that this divine 'we' makes humans, not as isolated individuals, but persons in relationship--to Him and to each other. God creates humans into a close fellowship. He creates them as male and female. God is plural, and He creates humanity into His image--it means also into plural; into fellowship. Thus, the first divine plural, God directly presents Himself as 'we' and proclaims, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule...' From the very beginning, God wants to be known, not by His 'I,' but 'we' in His relationship to humanity--to His creation. This is why we also, uh, creates--He also creates 'we' humans as male and females. Humans created into His image must be also a plurality, and as there is a unity within God Himself, so the true human persons, distinct and different, should become intimately one. The whole human being is 'we' and not 'I,' and is only in condition that they live in close, personal fellowship. The purpose of God's creation is to live in this intimate unity, and in order to maintain their humanness, they need to stay in that fellowship with each other, and must live for the other. To do so, they need to stay in their relationship with Him, Who created them out of love--He wants to be their God.

"Thus, when God creates, He creates into fellowship, creates human 'we'--He creates male and female into His image, to mutual relationship to those--to these two persons, and these two persons become intimately one. And on the background of this immediate context of Genesis 1:26, I want to propose that this divine plural, is a plural of fellowship within the Godhead.

[...]

[...] "This plural is employed, every time, when humanity is seen in fellowship--also, because humans were created to the image of God--one can speak about a plurality of persons.

"And here we need to pause and ask if the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) is in contradiction to our conclusion. Well, let me therefore briefly comment on Deuteronomy 6:4, with 'echad'--that our God is 'one.' There are at least three nuances of meanings of the word 'echad' (not 'yachiyd' but 'echad,' 'one' of Deuteronomy 6:4). 'The LORD is one' means first, the Lord is 'unique'--He's holy. He's utterly unique, and He's utterly holy. He's the other One. It is not a numerical value here--how many there are--[...]. No, it's, first of all, description of the quality--is very unique.

[...]

"And third, 'the LORD is one'--it means God is, um, 'oneness.' The word 'echad' indicates also the invisible and indivisible unity of 'The LORD our God.' [...]

"This term, 'echad,' does not speak about singleness and solicitude [sic] of God--He is not, uh, you know, single or isolated, but again it very well matches what we stated before, there is a plurality within the substance of God. It is the reference of plurality within the oneness of God. Not 'yachid' 'one,' in the sense of a lonely and solitary, you know, Being--but 'one' in the sense of uniqueness, and of plurality.

[...]

PAGE 87

"OK, my final conclusion. This fresh investigation of the divine plural expressions lead to a new conclusion. The divine expression 'let us' does not testify directly about Trinity, but hints about a unity of the Godhead within plurality. This Biblical monotheistic belief does not think about God in terms of His solicitude [sic] or His singleness, but present Him as 'We'--as fellowship within Godhead. As God created humanity into His, uh, into the fellowship with each other, and particularly, husband and wife into close intimate relationship, so is He in fellowship, or plural relationship within Himself. This plural of fellowship suggests plurality of persons--also suggests uniqueness and unity in nature. This intra-divine fellowship of one God within plurality, is a unique characteristic of our, our God. God is not single, nor married, He is in fellowship with Himself. [...] On the background of the Hebrew monotheism, and divine plural speeches, it becomes clear that these expressions have--leave room for the doctrine of the Trinity, because 'echad' is, uh, not only affirms the oneness and uniqueness of our God, but also points to the unity within plurality of fellowship. And the plurality of fellowship in the light of this context leads to the recognition of different persons, not necessarily three, but different persons within the Godhead, in the action. However, this plural is not a direct witness about heavenly trio. [...] Instead of trying to explain all the details about Him, let us relate to Him personally, Who is one and plurality of fellowship at the same time. Let us follow Him, and follow faithfully. Let us fellowship with Him, Who created us into fellowship with Him, out of love. Thank you." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Moskala_Plural_Expressions.mp3)

Notice that he explicitly states that the word "one" in the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) "is not a numerical value here--how many there are"! Then he goes on to state it means "'one' in the sense of...plurality"--whatever that is supposed to mean. He then says that "the Godhead's" "unity" is "a unity...within plurality," which is the exact opposite of the doctrine of the Trinity, which is that there are three distinct (but not separate) persons within one God--one indivisible divine Being. God's oneness is not a "unity...within plurality."

Another presentation at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium" was made by Ganoune Diop, who was, at the time, a theology professor at Oakwood College (SDA). Diop is now "Director of the Global Mission Study Centers at the Office of Adventist Mission"13 at the headquarters of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Here are some excerpts from his presentation, which was entitled "And the Word Was God: A Closer Look at the Foundations for the Ultimate Revelation of God":

"Justification by faith in Christ, the nature and content of worship, prayer to Jesus, God's inner ability to experience plurality, the unity of diverse elements of the universe, all depend on the inescapable belief in God as Trinity of persons.

[...]

"The prologue introduces this main purpose by focusing on the origin, eternity, divinity, incarnation of the Word, and on His transformation of human beings into children of God. The prologue ends with the legitimacy and unique competence of the Son to reveal the Father.

[...]

"The Word, in fact, is described in reference to three categories: temporal ('In the beginning'), spacial ('with God'), qualitative ('the Word was God').

[...]

[...] "John had several choices of prepositions to convey the relationship between the Logos and God--which usually is translated, 'the Word was with God.' He could have used the Greek preposition sun. That could convey, though, the idea of a group, a collection, of people. And he did not use that, of course. He could have used the preposition meta, which would convey the idea of being alongside of, side-by-side. He preferred another preposition, pros, which had the connotation of facing, or the image of a face-to-face relationship of intimacy. This latter connotation is intimated and even consolidated by the use of another preposition, this time at the climax of the prologue, verse 18, that affirms that no one has ever seen the Father--the unique God, or the unique Son, the one being 'in,' we are told, in translation, the bosom of the Father, He is the one that explains, or exegetes, Him. This time, John uses the preposition eis--which also has a relational connotation.

[...]

[...] "The best understanding of the anarthrous pre-verbal nominative predicate theos in verse 1 is to interpret it as qualitative. That is, what God is in essence, the Word is in essence, or nature. This understanding allows distinction and differentiation within God, without breaking or dividing the essential unity within God. [...]

[...] "The Word is presented--the word logos, the Word, is presented in a network, or web, of relationships. 1. The Father--distinct from the Word, but sharing the same divine prerogatives. 2. Creation--all things. 3. Darkness--as an entity that struggles against the Word, but could not comprehend it, because in the Word was life and life was the light of men. [...] In reference to the Father, expanding on the relationship between the Word and several entities, we see the Word shares the same nature while being a different person. There is plurality within the unity of God. [...]

[...] "The Word is God, without being another God. That was stated. Now, the Word is distinguished from the Father, while sharing the same essence. How can that be? The only revealed way to reconcile and articulate the affirmation of the prologue, is to think God not as a solitary Monarch, but as an inner fellowship of persons. God is not an undifferentiated unity, but a Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, who is free to relate to us as one of us, while yet remaining both over us and other than us, as Sovereign Lord. The divine essence, though, the ontological content of God's triunity remains beyond the grasp of creaturely knowledge, even in glory, let alone under the conditions of fallen, historical existence. [...]

[...]

[...] "Clearly, the Word is distinct from God the Father, while being inseparably connected to Him. [...] The unique Son, who is in everlasting fellowship with the Father, the One who is towards the bosom of the Father, is the only One who can probe the depth of the knowledge of God. [...]" (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Diop_Closer_Look.mp3)

PAGE 88

The following excerpts are from another presentation at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium," by John Reeve, Assistant Professor of Church History at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (at Andrews University). Reeve is also Co-editor of Andrews University Seminary Studies. Here are the excerpts from his presentation, which was entitled "The Trinity in the Early Centuries":

"The more difficult problem was the ambiguity of the philosophical use of the term ousia. [...] Ousia can be referring to the nature of a related group. This would be Aristotle's genus. [...] By genus, he means a group of related individuals. That's what Aristotle meant, and that's one of the things that is referred to by the term ousia. That was the way in which it was referred to 'of the same substance with the Father.' We have two beings, with the same characteristics. That's what was intended. However, the term ousia can also mean describing the nature of an individual. Aristotle's species. The characteristics of an individual are referred to by the term ousia as well. [...]

[...]

"But, ironically, onto the stage comes a group of people who almost save the day, by their obstinacy. They said, 'Ok, if you guys are gonna talk about 'similar,' let's admit it, and say they're 'dissimilar.' And heteroousios comes onto the term. Heteros meaning 'other.' 'Ok, the nature of the Father is completely other than the nature of the Son. Let's admit the fact that Arius was right, and it's illogical to talk about two being of the same nature, and two gods in the same, in the same, one Godhead, etc., etc. Let's go back to just pure mathematical logic that says two can't be one, three certainly can't be one. Let's admit they're different. One is God. The other is God by participation.' And as they're making this argument, guys like Aetius and Eunomius are making this argument, it became clearer to more and more people that this is not what Scripture is teaching about the Godhead. So we need to come back to some way having the homoousios, forced to not mean same person but to mean same, uh, same nature. [...]" (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Reeve_Early_Centuries.mp3)

These statements by Reeve are absolutely incredible, and are even more direct than his statements in The Trinity (which we looked at earlier). Here he says that the Nicene Creed is teaching that the Father and Son are "a group of related individuals," and are "two beings, with the same characteristics"! He uses the very word ("homoousios") in the Nicene Creed that means "one being" (singular) and tries to change its definition to mean "two beings" (plural)! This blatant anti-Trinitarian deception is inexcusable. Then, in the last paragraph above, notice that he even uses the words "two gods"! His description of "two gods in...one Godhead" is the exact same teaching as Mormonism, but is not a description of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity as he makes it sound.

And the following excerpts are from the question and answer session following Reeve's presentation:

[Questioner] "What did they mean by 'substance'? 'The same substance'? Does that mean that they're made of the same stuff, or what?"

[Reeve] "Well, substantia is the Latin term that is translated in English as 'substance,' and they are meaning by that the same thing that we mean when we use the term 'nature'--the, the, the sum characteristics of a person."

[...]

[Reeve] "Good question. 'Trinity' is not in the Bible, neither is 'Triune.' But what is in the Bible is a clear plurality, threeness of God, and a clear singularity, oneness of God. 'Trinity' is merely saying 'three in one.' And, by that, I think it's a very, uh, it's a very good term to describe the basic formula that Scripture gives us. By the way, there is dogma connected with the Trinitarian doctrine, as it develops through the ages, and even within Augustine, that I disagree with. There is much that gets, gets fabricated in the name of Trinitarian dogma, from later years, that goes way beyond the basic 'Trinity' formula. So, when I say I agree with the early fathers on the Trinity formula, that doesn't mean I buy everything they say. I say that they have correctly identified that the Scripture identifies God as both one and three, at the same time. And that's, that's what I call the basic Trinitarian formula to which I subscribe."

[...]

[Reeve] "In other words, is the question, 'Are there more than one person of the Godhead?' Yes. Scripture makes that unequivocally clear. God has a Son, and He gave that Son. There's no doubt about that. Now, is that, is that mean there are two gods? No. Can I completely understand those two things? No. Are they both revealed to me in Scripture? Yes. That's why I use a term that is not a solution to the problem, but is simply an agreement of the term we are going to use to highlight two things that seem to be illogical together, but Scripture presents them both as true, and we must recognize that our logic just is not capable of handling a total understanding of God."

[Questioner] "Comment as a historian, please, on the eternal begetting of the Son. Most Trinitarians, I think, would say you couldn't have the Trinity if you didn't have the eternal begetting of the Son. In the book here that you have put out, you say that the eternal begetting of the Son is not necessary to Trinitarian belief. Could you comment on that?"

[Reeve] "Well, Augustine would be one of the ones who says that the eternal begetting of the Son is necessary. I simply disagree with him. I don't think Scripture presents an eternal begetting. And I think Scripture does present a, a relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit that is eternal. And whether, whether the roles could have been switched, uh, and, and a decision made back then, I don't know, I am not gonna get into that. There is times when I say, along with Augustine, that it is a mystey and I'm gonna leave it that way. I think Augustine should have left it that way just a few chapters before he did. We know too much, oftentimes. And when we know too much, we end up filling in more of the knowledge from our own sources. So I am not comfortable going beyond what Scripture reveals, because, for me, the final authority is Scripture. Therefore, I cannot go beyond what Scripture reveals." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Reeve_Early_Centuries.mp3)

Note that Reeve defined "same substance" as merely meaning same "characteristics" rather than actually meaning same substance/essence/being.

Another presentation at the 2006 "Trinity Symposium" of the Adventist Theological Society was made by Dr. Jack Blanco, the former dean of the School of Religion of Southern Adventist University, and author of The Clear Word, which, as we will see later, is a corrupted SDA "paraphrase" of the Bible, which deletes, changes, and adds to the original text of Scripture to fit SDA theology and the teachings of their false prophetess Ellen G. White. Here are some excerpts from his presentation, which was entitled "The Trinitarian Model for Ministry":

PAGE 89

"This paper is an attempt to make the doctrine of the Trinity, with the attributes of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, more applicable to those engaged in pastoral and related ministries. Our knowledge of the attributes of the Trinity, of course, must come from Scripture. For while the heavens declare the glory of God, and nature speaks to us about Him, the Bible is the only authoritative source from which to draw such insights about the three persons of the Godhead. And for the purpose of this paper, I have chosen to select the divine attributes from Scripture--and there are so many, but I had to make a careful selection--which reflect most deeply the character of each of the Trinity, in the light of the controversy between good and evil. In other words, what attribute does the Scripture emphasize about the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that would shed light on the great controversy. [...]

[...]

"To say that our heavenly Father has no emotions is simply the Aristotelian god of perfection, who feels nothing, and is not touched by joy or pain, comes from an ignorance of Scripture. There are numerous passages in both Testaments which speak of God's feeling the pain of rejection as He reaches out in forgiveness to His people. [...]

[...]

[...] "Why did He remain in the tomb until Sunday morning? Well, we may give numerous reasons, and there may be numerous reasons. But the fact is, that He remained in the tomb submissively, waiting until an angel came and rolled away the stone. Even though He had power to do so. And Paul reminds us that it was God who raised Christ from the dead. In other words, Christ submissively waited in the tomb until His Father called Him. [...]

[...]

"A further attribute of the Trinity, of course, is modeled to us by the Holy Spirit. Of His many attributes, the one that stands out above all others is His willingness to assume a subservient role. And again, we see exhibited a contrast between the member of the Trinity and Lucifer, who said in his heart, 'I will exalt myself.' This does not mean that the Holy Spirit lost His equality within the Trinity. He is still God the Holy Spirit. There are three aspects of this divine willingness. The first aspect of the Holy Spirit's subservience is His willingness to listen. Jesus said, 'when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.' Or as the New American Standard says, 'He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak.' This statement by Jesus is not to be interpreted as meaning that the Holy Spirit has an inferior standing in the Trinity, or that His full equality with the Father and the Son can be called into question. But rather, it shows that the Holy Spirit's willingness to assume this subservient role, and become involved in our salvation. So the Holy Spirit's willingness to listen is a model for us in ministry. Which raises the question, are we in ministry willingly subservient to those above us in the management structure of the church? Are we willing to listen? Doing what we can to support the organization in harmony with Scripture. [...]

[...]

"The second aspect of subservience modeled for us by the Holy Spirit is a willingness to speak, to speak, what He has been told. In this sense, His authority comes from outside Himself. He has emptied Himself. Authority comes from outside Himself. This is the role of ministry as well. Are we willing to speak what we have been told in Scripture? [...]

[...]

"And so, in conclusion, the Trinitarian model for ministry is seen in the compassion of the Father, the submissiveness of the Son, and the willing subservience of the Holy Spirit. These attributes are to be emulated and become part of our being, if we are to genuinely reflect the image of the Trinity. Thank you." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Blanco_Trinitarian_Model.mp3)

It is important to note that when Adventists talk about the Holy Spirit "listening" and speaking what He "hears" or about Jesus doing what the Father "shows" Him--they are actually teaching destructive heresy, because they deny the concept of timelessness (as well as the eternal generation of the Son and the eternal procession of the Spirit), and are thus saying that these things happen within time (in temporal sequence), and they thus separate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Also, notice his blasphemous, polytheistic claim that the Holy Spirit's "authority comes from outside Himself"!

The following excerpts are from yet another presentation at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium," entitled "The Trinity: A Mark of Seventh-day Adventist Identity," by Dr. Paul Petersen, SDA scholar, Field Secretary for the South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists, and "the Biblical Research Director for the Adventist Church in the South Pacific"14:

"My challenge, my topic, this afternoon is very simple: How can the doctrine of the Trinity be essential to us as Seventh-day Adventists if our pioneers did not believe what we believe? Now, I don't claim that I can answer that fully, I just want to reflect on that. [...]

[...]

[...] "And, we have already seen, for instance, with the presentations by Merlin and Jerry, that the word 'Trinity' can have many connotations. So that just because some of our pioneers were against some kind of Trinitarian teaching, does not necessarily mean that they would be against any. Now, I was reminded about that some time ago, we had a meeting with a group called the Restitution Ministry. That's an Australian group who have been attacking the church quite heavily, and we had some meetings in order to try to speak together, and figure out what the differences actually were. And when I read Wilcox' statement from Review in 1913, some of these honest people cried out almost with tears of anger, 'How could he say such a thing when the prophet herself never used the word?' But we need to go behind the words. Sometimes words change meaning because we speak them in a new context. And words, concepts, like those we use, our summary statements, like the Trinity, we of course have to say, 'What do we mean from the Bible when we use such a term?'--just as when we speak about the Investigative Judgment.

[...]

PAGE 90

[...] "In the Bible, a 'son' could be a representative. Like, you remember our discussion on the book of Daniel--which is my area--what is the relationship between Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar? In what sense is he the son? Well, it may be, but we have no knowledge of that. But it doesn't matter, because 'son' here can mean 'the one who [defends?/unintelligible] the same empire'--he is on the same throne. 'Son' means 'representative,' in the culture.

[...]

"What kind of monotheism? Of course, we would read from Deuteronomy, 'Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!' The basic question is, however, 'How is the God who is one?' Because when this is mentioned, God is already revealed. It's not a mathematical formula, speaking about the unity of God, but there is a question which goes before, 'How is the God who is one?' Is He like the Moslem god or the Jewish God? [...] So, what kind of God is it? [...] And the early Christians maintained that there is one God. Then they saw all the Biblical evidence that Christ is also God. So they came to the Scriptural conclusion, there's one God--but there's several persons that are one God.

[...] "To the early Christians, I believe to the Cappadocian Fathers in the 4th century, though it's not my area, their reflection on the Trinity was founded on the historical revelation of God and His acts of salvation, not, first of all, on philosophical speculation, which came in, and which has destroyed much of the discussion, and left us with some heresies we don't want to have.

[...]

"Now, what have we got? And here, whether you agree or not, this is where we are, in our church, this is what the understanding of the Trinity implies, that is, that God has revealed Himself to us as community. Being God is to be relational. That was, what has been called the social analogy. I think, from what I've understood, that this is actually what the Cappadocian Fathers were after, too. It has been revived in the twentieth century. Interesting, from listening to Jerry Moon, that Ellen White had, was in the similar vein, but in her time, it wasn't normal. But in the twentieth century, especially the last twenty-five years, this concept of God as communion has been revived. [...]

"Now, let me move to, what are the implications? Now, I speak here from my belief in the Trinitarian teaching, as we understand it as Seventh-day Adventists. What is the significance? How can it be part of our identity?

"First of all, to me it is an important part of our identity, of my identity as a Seventh-day Adventist, that I have the Bible as my absolute source of authority. So, I regularly criticize, maybe reject, notions about the Trinity that are based on philosophical constructions, but not on the Bible. However, that leads to the next point, which is, to me, very important for understanding who we are. That is, if the Bible is our identity, if we don't have--or our creed--if we don't have any other creed, it also means that we are, and should be, open to change our views as we, led by the Spirit, study the Scripture, and find better ways to express them. [...] This is a unique feature of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It's part of our identity. [...]

"George Knight has this wonderful quotation that has been used often, stating, provocatively, in his first page in his book A Search for Identity, that a number of our pioneers would not have been able to be a member of our church today, if they had lived, because of the Trinity. Now, as I think we have seen from Jerry Moon's and Merlin's presentations, that statement probably should, should be modified, somewhat. [...]

[...]

"Now, a few reflections on our pillars and the Trinity, inviting you to reflect with me and ask, because if you want to make this doctrine practical, we need to reflect on its relations to our distinct pillars. Now, what is better to remind me about the community with God than the Sabbath? Is that what the Sabbath is about? This is what the Trinity is about. What about the second coming? The second coming promises to me that future, perfect community. Now, we live in the western world, in a very individualistic world. When I grew up, and became an Adventist, I was proud of that. I grew up in a country where I certainly would not follow anyone else, just because he was an authority. That's good. [...] But that individualistic spirit has some good traits. I've come to appreciate, living in another part of the world--not Australia, but visiting the Pacific Islands with more traditional cultures--I've come to appreciate the corporate cultures, and the blessings of these cultures. That is, community.

"Now, community has something to do with who I am as a person, what we call the nature of man. In our culture, we have developed a concept of self that is almost unrelated to anything. Like self is something static within me, so I get to know myself by looking into myself, and there I find it. The Biblical teaching is completely different, because from the beginning, when created in the image of God, human beings were created to be relational, and to find the meaning in life in being in perfect relation with people outside of themselves. Finding meaning in somebody else, in the other, and ultimately, of course, in that Other who is God. Part of that is that we were created to communicate with God. To me, the teaching of the Trinity highlights those communal, corporate aspects of our nature.

[...]

"And in spite of all that we see in the so-called charismatic movement, the primary fruit of the Holy Spirit is actually unity. [...] I wonder about that, because in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is characterized by creating unity--the bond in the church, love, peace. To me, that is part of my reflections on the implications of the Sanctuary in relation to the doctrine of the Trinity.

[...] "Now, how come that we have changed, or at least developed this? Why wasn't it very clear from the beginning? Now let me point to that--isn't that part of our prophetic message? That there would be a time where Jesus will be preached in conjunction with our distinct message? And that will be the Loud Cry. So that the development of our theoretical understanding of the Trinity, at least, could be seen as a fulfillment of prophecy. Although, it needs to be more than just a theoretical understanding--it needs to be a matter of the heart and life. But I think that is a part of what the Trinity means to us.

"And let me just close with a--I've always been told that you need to close with a main thought of some kind. We need to highlight who

PAGE 91

God is, and who Jesus is. But, we need to do it in such a way that our pillars, our distinctive traits of Adventism, are not lost. It's easy to say 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,' and end up saying nothing. [...]" (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Peterson_Mark_of_SDA_Identity.mp3)

Notice that once again they admit that "the word 'Trinity' can have many connotations," and that when they use terms like "Trinity" the question has to be asked, "'What do we mean from the Bible when we use such a term?'" And again they describe the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity as "philosophical speculation." And he even calls it "heresies"! Then he says that the SDA understanding of "the Trinity" is that God is a "community." Then the first thing he mentions to show that "the Trinity" is a mark of SDA identity is that he regularly criticizes and rejects "notions about the Trinity that are based on philosophical constructions" (referring to teachings that are part of the historical, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity)!!! In other words, the Trinity is a mark of SDA identity because, as SDAs, they reject the (orthodox) Trinity! These statements are absolutely incredible. He goes on to say that the early Adventists' Arianism was actually a fulfillment of prophecy and that's why they taught Arianism!!! And that they haven't even necessarily "changed" their view--only "developed" it! And then he says that there is a danger that in highlighting "who Jesus is" they might "end up saying nothing" and their "pillars"/"distinctive traits" might be "lost."

And the following quote is from the question and answer period following Dr. Petersen's presentation:

[Questioner] "Thank you, Paul, for that presentation. It seems to me, as we have had a very rich two days of focusing on various aspects of this topic, that this still is so hotly debated in our churches today. And I cannot help but think in the end-time context, and you kind of concluded with that thought just a moment ago, that it is precisely at this time that we have the promise of the Latter Rain, and we have the promise of the Holy Spirit being poured out. And I would think that in some ways that promise, that fuller outpouring of the Spirit, and the concept of Trinity, and the concept of the Godhead, in their full outworking at this time, may be a reason why it's being challenged so much today, and why we are having this debate."

[Petersen] "That is--that may be the case. I just want to add that we shouldn't be afraid of discussing, or speaking with people who may differ. What is important is that we do it in the spirit of Jesus. Even though some people may understand that expression differently. So we don't--the doctrines, or our expressions of doctrines, are not to be used as hammers, you know, to bang people on the head. And we should be willing to listen to people who have other views, because that will help ourselves, to clarify what we believe." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Peterson_Mark_of_SDA_Identity.mp3)

The following are some excerpts from an article by Dr. Petersen entitled "Worshipping Jesus—the 'eternally blessed God!'" which was the feature article in the March 21, 2009 issue of the Record, the "Official Paper of the South Pacific Division" of the SDA Church:

"Oneness of relationship

"But how could Jesus be God and God be one at the same time? [...]

"The answer to the question is in part found in the Hebrew word used for 'one' in the famous text in Deuteronomy 6:4: 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!' (NASV). It denotes a unity of relationship, not necessarily a numerical or mathematical oneness (compare the use of the word echad in texts like Genesis 2:24; 21:25; and Judges 20:1).

"So in establishing the Trinity doctrine, the Christians had to denounce those views that questioned that there are three distinct persons or personalities in the Godhead, admitting that the word 'person' is from the human sphere and falls short of fully and exactly describing God. On the other hand, the Christian church had to distance itself from any position presenting Jesus as substantially different from the Father. The language used was that Father and Son share in substance, a term later used by Ellen White when she writes, 'Jesus said, 'I and my Father are one.' The words of Christ were full of deep meaning as he put forth the claim that he and the Father were of one substance, possessing the same attributes.'1

"The term 'substance' is not to be understood as some kind of mystical emanating energy but as the basic attributes without which God would not be God, such as being eternal and without beginning, independent of all created, and thus omnipotent, all knowing and forever present. Only in this way could the early Christians defend the true oneness of God, and avoid worshipping more than one God and thus a return to paganism.

[...]

[...] "Jesus is the unique representative of the Godhead to all creation. This is what He has always been." (http://record.adventistconnect.org/site_data/88/assets/0018/2437/rec10_09_03_21.pdf)

Once again, we see the denial of the "numerical or mathematical oneness" of God, based on their misusage of the Hebrew word echad. And then Dr. Petersen defines "substance" as simply meaning the divine "attributes," instead of meaning that God actually is one in substance! And he also calls Jesus a "representative of the Godhead."

And on the official website of the Field Secretary of the South Pacific Division of the SDA Church, Dr. Petersen has several "Supplementary Articles." The following excerpts are from his article entitled "What is meant by the 'Substance' of God?":

"In the Trinitarian discussion the concept of the divine 'substance' plays a significant role. In popular presentations the history of the term is often forgotten, and consequently the usage of the expression is at times misguided, and the concept misunderstood. Contrary to much popular usage, when Church fathers used the expression 'sustantia' about the essence of God's being, the purpose was not to designate some kind of quasi-physical 'matter' of which the core of divine being was composed.

[...]

"What was then meant with the 'ousia/substantia' of God by Church fathers such as Anastasius [sic], the Cappadocian Fathers, and

PAGE 92

Augustine? And what was intended by the use of the words in the creeds?

"Not least Anastasius [sic] and the Cappadocian fathers fought a Greek dualistic philosophy which tended to make the essential being an ontologically independent entity of the actual phenomena of that very being. If that type of ontological philosophy in the end had gained the upper hand in the Trinitarian discussions, the Church would have had not three persons in the Godhead, but also a fourth ontological entity, an impersonal substance of which the divine persons were composed. However, leading theologians in the Early Church as well as throughout the history of Christianity have consistently argued against such a position.

"Rather, the 'substance/ousia' was seen by the Cappadocian fathers as those very divine attributes which describe the persons of the one God in their internal relation and characterise them uniquely as God, such as Creator, independent of creation, and consequently, omnipotent, omniscient, and for ever present, and also as Redeemer, working in personal unity to save. In short, the 'ousia/substance' of God is relational.

"This insight which so drastically contrasted the pervading Greek philosophy, has throughout the ages been lost in various degrees. When that has happened, the understanding of the divine 'substance' as a 'substance' in the modern sense of something tangible, or at least quasi-physical, has surfaced, and people have tended to describe the commonality between the Father and the Son as their shared substance. For Seventh-day Adventists a unique historical example of an abuse of the term, inspired by Greek dualistic philosophies, is found with J. H. Kellogg whose teaching about the divine substance permeating everything got very close to pantheism.

"Ellen White in contrast presents an Adventist example of the classical use of the terminology, in full accordance with the ancient Church creeds and the intention behind the original Trinitarian doctrine as espoused by Athanasius and the Cappadocian fathers. Ellen White describes the unity between Father and Son in the following manner, 'Jesus said, 'I and my Father are one.' The words of Christ were full of deep meaning as he put forth the claim that he and the Father were of one substance, possessing the same attributes (Ellen White in 'The True Sheep Respond to the Voice of the Shepherd,' Signs of the Times, November 27, 1893, 54).'

[...]

"The true essence of God is not something beyond what God is in his relations. The persons of the Trinity therefore share the basic relations to each other and to the created world. The latter we often label attributes, such as omnipotence, omniscience etc., but in the above quotation from Ellen White, it seems that more than these traditional attributes are in mind. She may also be speaking about the relational aspects as attributes, that is, the mutual love, servanthood, and submission which characterizes God in a unique way as the triune God." (http://spd.adventistconnect.org/fs-substance-of-god)

In the above article, Dr. Petersen systematically denies the historical, orthodox understanding of the term ousia ("substance" or "being"), and once again defines it as simply the divine "attributes" and says that it is "relational." He denies that God is actually one in substance, and that God's "substance" refers to His essential nature--which is spirit (John 4:24). God is one spirit, one being. Instead, Dr. Petersen insists that the heretical SDA view that he is describing (which he shows Ellen G. White taught) is what was intended by the early church fathers and creeds, even including Athanasius! However, as we saw earlier, Athanasius himself (who actually attended, and spoke against Arius at, the Council of Nicaea) explained what was meant by the term ousia/homoousios in the Nicene Creed. Athanasius denies that it referred only to the divine "attributes," but instead, he says that, 'Moreover, they wished to indicate by this that his generation is different from that of human nature; that the Son is not only like to the Father, but inseparable from the substance of the Father, that he and the Father are one and the same, as the Son himself said: 'The Logos is always in the Father, and, the Father always in the Logos,' as the sun and its splendour are inseparable.'"

At the end of the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium," there was a panel discussion and question and answer session, mostly featuring presenters from the Symposium. Here are some excerpts from that session:

[Dr. Norman Gulley] "The question here is, 'How can one be a classical Trinitarian, if one does not believe in the eternal begetting of the Son?' [...] And, to speak to that, the answer would be, 'No'--because they believed in the eternal begetting of the Son, and also the eternal procession of the Spirit, from the Father. Or, in the West, they added the Filioque debate, the eternal procession also from the Son. And, obviously, I think of these as wrong, and you would, too, because they overlook the relational, reciprocal loving relationship between the three members of the Godhead. And if they'd understood the Biblical concept of reciprocal love from eternity among three persons in the Trinity, this could not have become a part of theology, I think."

[...]

[John W. Reeve] "Let me take these questions. I have two questions in my hands that are history questions, and they're both essentially the same question. I will read them both out, and then answer them together. 'If the Trinity was not made clear until 381 A.D., what happened to Trinitarian orthodoxy before 381 A.D.?' The simple question--I mean the simple answer to that is there was none, before 381 A.D., there really was none, as far as Trinitarian orthodoxy. It was up for grabs. Orthodoxy means that it's been defined. It was not defined until then. What happened to the beliefs? Well, if you're trying to suggest that the disciples had a wonderful understanding of Father, Son, and Spirit, as being three distinct persons and one--in one--I believe that that did exist, in the mind of Christ, in the mind of the disciples, etc. I think that Paul had that concept. Was it communicated clearly and worked out systematically? No. I do not think that Paul set out to make sure that the readers of his letters were understanding a systematized Trinity. So there was no orthodox Trinity doctrine until 381, and then, I think even before 381, it starts getting messed up. I really like Nazianzus's five theological orations in many ways. They are the five definitive orations that both got him to be the chair--uh, the bishop of Constantinople, which made him the chair of the Council of Constantinople in 381, but in those five theological orations are the seeds of the falling apart, in my opinion, of the orthodox understanding of the Trinity. There are the seeds of the subordinationism that Augustine filled out in the eternal procession, and the eternal generation. So, even before 381, the thing starts to fall apart, from my perspective, because they go beyond the Scripture, and the revelations of Scripture. So, 'What do you mean by orthodoxy?,' is the question I would send back.

[...] "The second part of that question: 'Origen's Trinity was not satisfactory, you said (meaning me). Who held the true Trinitarian view between 100 A.D. and 381 A.D.?' And the simple answer there, is: nobody that I know of."

PAGE 93

[...]

[Ron E.M. Clouzet] [...] "Because the objective, or the function, the specific function, of the Holy Spirit, is it in its praxis, is in what it can do, in a practical way, in terms of reformation, in changing people's hearts, it is in the actual working out in the lives of people. That is why you have a variety of expressions that are not expressions that are used for a person, like, you know, 'poured out,' or 'being filled,' etc. We must remember, that the Holy Spirit, there is no evidence, that I've seen--maybe some of the theologians can help me here, but, there's no evidence that I have seen that the Holy Spirit has a body, just like the Son and the Father do. The Holy Spirit is the invisible God, it is the, is the, is the spirit God, if you will, that chooses to be more behind the scenes, by function. Because He intends to be seen--the effects of the work of the Holy Spirit are planned to be seen in the lives of people. [...]"

[...]

[Panel discussion moderator] [Following discussion about using the word "Trinity"]: "Right. So do we fill the word, or the custom, with the Biblical meaning, or do we put it in the context of some other kind of a philosophical meaning, then, would be the question. Because, as you say, we are dealing with words which are used within our societies and our customs, but we need to make sure that we understand those words from the standpoint of Scripture, rather than the other way around. [...]"

[A panel participant] "Jiri came up to me afterwards and made a good point on this. We are arguing for a Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. And I think that we need to emphasize that point. Just because other people use a term, and give it meanings, and there are many different meanings that have been given to this term, doesn't mean that we can't talk of a Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, a Biblical teaching of the Trinity."

[Another panel participant] "Just like we talk about a Biblical Sabbath. Many people apply the word Sabbath to Sunday. We don't quit using the word. But we do clarify what we mean by it."

[Another panel participant (Dr. Whidden?)] "Non-Biblical abuse does not cancel legitimate, Biblical use."

[...]

[Dr. Norman Gulley] [...] "I think it's good to remind ourselves, as many of you know well, that there's an economy of function in the Trinity, although they're ontologically one--united in purpose, character, plan of salvation. Nevertheless, they take a part in the plan of salvation, which is equally shared by them, but in different ways. And so the Son comes down, as the God-man. And the Holy Spirit represents Christ, since His ascension. And as such, He becomes even called a different name, the Spirit of Christ. So there's a subservience there, if you please. So Christ came down and revealed what the Father showed Him, and spoke what He said. And likewise, the Holy Spirit, Christ said, 'will say nothing on His own, but what He gets from Me.' I think we need to keep this in mind, this background, when we come to the end of the Millennium. At that time, Christ will hand over the kingdom to the Father, as I see it, and then the Son will remain, however, ontologically equal as He's always been, and the Holy Spirit has always been, with God the Father. So it is not a questioning of their Trinity, their unity, particularly, their equality, but it's simply this kind of functional language that we've seen in the plan of salvation, and this is the finishing of the same."

[...]

[Another panel participant] "Just a footnote to brother Norm's point. And that is that, first of all, Christ did take a lower position before sin entered the world, and He was the representative of God, and the reason why Lucifer became so confused, because he decided that he was an equal to Christ, and sought to be next to the Father, as Christ was next to the Father. The other factor is that Christ took a human body, forever to retain it, and became the King of this world, aside from sharing the throne of the universe. But, as such, He humbled Himself forever, to take human flesh, and to become a human being, to become the head of the human race, which meant that there was a permanent subordination, not of essence, but it has to do with function, and it has to do with the, uh, taking on another essence, the essence of the created."

[...]

[Another panel participant, first reading a question] "'In Revelation 16:13, the beast symbolizes the Roman Catholic Church, as part of the counterfeit trinity. However, history reveals that the Catholic Church defended the doctrine of the Trinity. How can one reconcile this apparent dissonance?' Well, first of all, just because the Catholic Church teaches something, doesn't necessarily mean it's error. Truth and error have been mixed together throughout history. Secondly, as several of the gentlemen have pointed out, the doctrine of the Trinity that we teach is not identical to the doctrine of the Trinity as developed by the Roman Catholic Church. [...]"

[...]

[Dr. Merlin Burt] "There's two questions here, and I think I'm gonna defer the second one to someone else. But I'll go ahead and answer the first one--try to answer it. 'Since we as SDAs do not hold a creedal view of the Trinity, as many other churches do, how are we viewed by those other churches, as a sect, or at least as out of the mainstream of Christianity?' Well, of course, there's a couple different categories of other churches. I mean, I'm not sure what's meant by that. If we're talking about other liberal Protestant churches, that would be one thing that we would say. Certainly, we are out of mainstream, to some degree, from them. Talking about the more Protestant church tradition, there's a little bit different of a discussion. But I think that the reason why we are viewed as a sect, as a general rule, has not been because of us not holding to a creedal view, but rather, more because of some of our distinctive beliefs and doctrines. Belief of the end-time gift of prophecy, the understanding of eschatology that we have, and so forth. The approachment back in the 1950s, as we begin to settle the issue of the Trinity, opened up communication with other Protestant churches, in a very remarkable way, and, of course, that was the goal of Questions on Doctrine, to try to find a place of meeting and contact. I mean, we can chide them for some things, if we want to try to do that, but their goals were very good, they were admirable. They were trying to make contact and interact with them. And the fact that we were holding to a Biblical view of the Trinity opened up a place of dialogue and contact that was helpful, in that way. [...]"

PAGE 94

[...]

[Another panel participant (Dr. Jack Blanco?)] "Uh, let me respond to that. That's why Ellen White's statement, that was mentioned this morning, 'In Christ is life original.' Okay? Even though, you know, they, the Catholic Church, they talk about, 'Well, that was before time, so that is timelessness.' But they still talk about generation. But in Christ is life 'original, unborrowed, underived.'"

[...]

[Richard M. Davidson reading a question] [...] "'How did destroying three non-Trinitarian powers help establish Papal Rome, and was Rome wearing out the saints when it uprooted these three Arian powers?' [...]"

[John W. Reeve] [...] "I'm not talking about--I'm not gonna comment on the little--on the horns and things, other than to say, that they're called Arian, but they're called Arian kind of after the fact. They got to Christianity through Ursula, and Ursula is actually going to tell them about Christianity before there was such a thing as Arian and Trinitarian. This is actually not so much an Arian group of Christian believers, as a pre-Trinitarian group of Christian believers. And since they did not use the term Trinity, they were called by their enemies, i.e., the Catholics, 'Arian.' So, they're not really holding a true Arian position. They're certainly not followers of Arius. They would have never heard of Arius. In fact, even after they had heard of the term Arian, and decided, 'Well, since that's what they're calling us, and we don't know what it means anyway, let's go ahead and call ourselves that,' they still had no idea of what they were being accused of. So, they're pre-Trinitarian Christians, rather than Arian, as in followers of Arius. They would not agree with Arius at all."

[...]

[LeRoy Moore] "I just wanted to comment, in line with what has already been said, but that there were several tribes that were identified by the Papacy as Arian. Ellen White warns us, however, about the fact that the Papal historical process has actually confused many issues. But I would like to say, I think there were seven non-orthodox, which means those who did not hold their brand of Trinitarianism, which we reject today, along with them. So, we probably would have been branded as Arian by the orthodox."

[...]

[Closing prayer] "Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit, we have spent these last couple days wrestling with who you all are, and how to talk about you, how to experience you, and what difference this kind of discussion and experience would make in our personal lives and in our mission as the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We want to thank you for your Word, that has power and authority to change minds and hearts, and we give you permission to adjust our thinking, and to transform our lives, in keeping with the witness that you have given in these sacred pages. And we invite you to work in a powerful way, that we will go forth talking freely of you as you have expressed yourself to us. And we pray that in the process, that there will be a power in our lives that will win souls to you, and bring honor and glory to you, in this world. Thank you so much, for your Word, for revealing yourself to us, for being at work through history to save us. Thank you for joining together at every point, at creation, and the Cross, and the sanctuary, and the final coming. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Participants_Panel_Discussion.mp3)

First, we see that they recognize and admit that the orthodox teachings of the eternal generation of the Son and eternal procession of the Spirit contradict, and are incompatible with, their so-called "Trinity" doctrine of three separate beings. And then Clouzet speaks of "the Holy Spirit" as a separate "God," calling "it" "the invisible God" and "the spirit God" (in contrast to the Father and Son, who he claims each have bodies)! There is absolutely zero difference between this teaching and the Mormon teaching of the Godhead. Then they go on to make it very clear that they have a different definition of the term "Trinity" than orthodox Christians do, even calling the Christian usage of the term Trinity "non-Biblical abuse"! Then another panel participant says that Christ took a "lower position" in heaven before sin, and that's why Lucifer was "confused" and decided that he was an equal to Christ, and that he "sought to be next to the Father, as Christ was next to the Father"! What blasphemous, heretical, anti-Trinitarian concepts! But they have to teach such things, because they come from their prophetess Ellen G. White's writings.

Then another panel participant admits that "the doctrine of the Trinity that we teach is not identical to the doctrine of the Trinity as developed by the Roman Catholic Church." And then Dr. Burt says that even though SDAs do not hold to a creedal view of the Trinity, the fact that they were holding to (what they call) "a Biblical view of the Trinity" "opened up a place of dialogue and contact that was helpful" in convincing evangelical Christians that they aren't a cult! In other words, the SDAs deceived the evangelicals, such as Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse, into thinking that they were Trinitarian and not cultic while in reality they were against the orthodox, creedal doctrine of the Trinity (and still are to this day)!

Then LeRoy Moore says that Adventists today "reject" the orthodox "brand of Trinitarianism" right along with non-Trinitarian tribes in the early centuries, and he admits that "we probably would have been branded as Arian by the orthodox" (if they were around back in the early centuries). Then these incredible admissions are followed by an incredibly heretical, anti-Trintarian closing prayer, where the speaker even thanks their gods for "joining together at every point"!

Denis Fortin, Professor of Theology and Dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (at Andrews University), has on his webpage at andrews.edu, a presentation of his from the "Baden-Württemberg Conference Stuttgart, Germany July 2007," entitled "Ellen G. White and God
One, Two or Three?" It says at the beginning that it is adapted from parts 1 and 2 of Jerry Moon's 2003 articles (which were quoted from above) and from The Trinity by Whidden, Moon, and Reeve (also quoted from above). Here are some excerpts from the presentation:

"A brief look at the development of our historical views on the Trinity will show that Ellen White played an influential role in helping us accept a biblical view of God, without the constraints of some unbiblical philosophical presuppositions.

[...]

"From the beginning of her ministry, Ellen White portrayed God as a personal, literal, and tangible being, in contrast to 'spiritualizers' and deists who viewed God as a distant, impersonal, mystical, and ultimately unreal being.

PAGE 95

[...]

"Ellen White did not at first recognize God's Trinitarian nature, but when she did in the 1890s and 1900s, she described God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and as real individuals.

[...]

"She emphasized their threeness as willing, thinking, social, and relational persons, and explained their oneness in terms of nature, character, purpose, and love, but not in terms of being one person.

[...]

"Ellen White's doctrine of the Godhead

"She refutes the assumption that all doctrines of the Trinity are the same and that objections to one demands the rejection of all.
She rejects views that teach God is a formless, intangible, impersonal being, or simply a force in nature.
She calls these views 'spiritualistic theories.'

[...]

"She embraces a literal, biblical view of the Godhead—she never uses the word Trinity.
God includes three individual divine personalities, who in nature, character, purpose, and love are one.

[...]

"She rejects the traditional philosophical presuppositions of timelessness and impassibility of God.
Her biblical view of God sees God as active within our time and space limitations; he is genuinely involved in our lives." (http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:7fsyeJ-egNYJ:www.andrews.edu/~fortind/EGW-Trinity.ppt+adventist+trinity&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=26&gl=us)

So here again, this time from Denis Fortin, we see their Tritheism, which comes from their prophetess Ellen G. White, their denial of the incorporeality of God (which also comes from Ellen G. White), and their admission that they have a different doctrine of the Trinity.

Fortin also published a paper entitled "God, the Trinity, and Adventism: An Introduction to the Issues" in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society. Here are a couple of quotes from the paper:

"The eastern Cappadocian fathers expanded on Tertullian's thought and tended to emphasize the distinct individuality of the three persons while safeguarding their unity by stressing the fact that both the Son and the Spirit derived from the Father.10 They spoke of one 'substance' (ousia) in three 'persons' (hypostases).'11 However, another issue for us today is that much of that vocabulary and thought assumed ancient Greek dualism and metaphysics, which are very distant and confusing to us now.

[...]

"Our own Adventist theological experience and history can make valuable contributions to this discussion. In many ways the philosophical assumptions and presuppositions of our worldview are different from traditional Christianity and bring different perspectives on some of these old issues. We do not accept the traditional Platonic dualistic worldview and metaphysics that were foundational to the church fathers' theology of the Trinity, one of these being the concept of the immortality of the soul." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=232&journal=1&type=pdf)

Again, we see another clear admission that Adventism does not accept the traditional, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.

Another article published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, is entitled "The Doctrine of the Trinity Among Seventh-day Adventists," by Gerhard Pfandl of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. At the end of the article, it says: "Gerhard Pfandl is an Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Old Testament from Andrews University. A native of Austria, he has worked as a pastor in Austria and in the Southern California Conference. From 1977-1989 he was Professor of Religion at Bogenhofen Seminary [SDA] in Austria. Prior to joining the Biblical Research Institute in 1999, he served for seven years as Field Secretary of the South Pacific Division in Sydney. He has published many articles for scholarly and popular journals in German and English and is the author of vol. 1 of the Adventist Theological Society Dissertation Series, The Time of the End in the Book of Daniel, and of Daniel: The Seer of Babylon (Review & Herald, 2004)." Here are some excerpts from the article:

"During the early decades of our church, Ellen White made statements that could be interpreted as anti-Trinitarian. [...]

[...]

"This seems to imply that after the angels were created, they did not know or recognize that Christ was equal with the Father and it took a special 'heavenly council' to inform them of this.

[...]

[...] "Could it be that these passages express Ellen White's understanding of Christ's position in heaven at that time and that as time progressed, she received more light, which eventually led to her very clear Trinitarian statements in the late 1890s?15

"Carsten Johnson's Explanation

PAGE 96

"Carsten Johnson, one time professor of theology at Andrews University, taught that God's glory consisted not of his supreme might and majesty, but rather of his humility and self-effacement. His glory was his 'going down' to the level of his creation. And this glory did not become visible only in Christ's incarnation, but God has been like that all the time.

[...]

"Thus, Johnson believed that when the angels were created Christ was already concealing his glory in humility. From the fact that 'the angel of the Lord' (Judges 6:22) is a divine being, and Michael is called an angel (1 Thess 4:16), he concluded that Christ at the creation of the angels identified himself with them. Therefore, when Satan became jealous of Christ, God was forced to lay bare all the facts. It was in this context that the events portrayed in Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 36-38, took place.

[...]

"Only someone who believed the Trinity doctrine would speak of 'three living persons in the heavenly trio.' Anti-Trinitarians would not use such language.

[...]

"Allaback says, 'The above quotation is misinterpreted to mean: 'There is a 'trio' of three living Gods in the 'God family,' who all have the same qualities and divine powers.'' He cannot accept three persons in the Godhead, so he paraphrases the whole passage to give 'the correct interpretation.' The sentence, 'There are three living persons of the heavenly trio,' is paraphrased in this way:

[...]

"Summary and Conclusion

[...]

"While the Trinity is a divine mystery, and no mortal man will ever be able to understand it fully, the Scriptural evidence clearly indicates the equality and eternal co-existence of the three persons in the Godhead. While human reason may not understand it, by faith we can believe it." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=242&journal=1&type=pdf)

Actually, contrary to what Pfandl says, only anti-Trinitarians would use such language as "three living persons in the heavenly trio." In Trinitarianism, God is not a group/trio of three living persons--God is a single living Being. Also, (SDA professor) Johnson's conclusion that he speaks of totally makes "Christ" into such a separate god/angel from "God" that Lucifer and the rest of the angels didn't even know that "Christ" was divine!

Another article published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, is entitled "The Personhood of the Holy Spirit and Why It Matters," by Ron E.M. Clouzet. At the end of the article, it says: "Ron E. M. Clouzet is an award-winning educator who has been Professor of Ministry and Theology at Southern Adventist University since 1993. Before he became a teacher, he pastored for twelve years in California. He holds a D.Min. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, where his doctoral work was on theological education, and is completing a Th.D. in Systematic Theology from the University of South Africa. He has written and spoken on a number of areas related to ministry, the Christian life, and the Holy Spirit in the United States and abroad." Currently (2009), according to the official website of the North American Division of the SDA Church, "Ron Clouzet is secretary of the North American Division (NAD) Ministerial Association, Director of NAD Evangelism Institute (NADEI) and professor of Christian Ministry and Pastoral Theology at Andrews. Previously he was Dean of the School of Religion and Professor of Theology and Ministry at Southern Adventist University." Here are some excerpts from his Journal article:

"In fact, the promise is that both Father and Son will come to make Their abode with them (v. 23), and even though no explicit mention is made about the Spirit being the Third Guest in their hearts, it is the Spirit who will aid the disciples in comprehending what He has just said. We find here a clearly subordinate role in the person of the Holy Spirit, even though He is another parakletos, another like the Son. This in no way should be understood to mean the Spirit is somehow a lesser God than Christ or the Father. This appears to be the Spirit's role and function in the Godhead, not His status or rank. [Emphasis in this paragraph is in the original article.]

[...]

"The concept of a plural union within the Godhead that is interactive and mutually submissive is seen even in the passage Jews for generations have used to voice their monotheism: the Shema. Deuteronomy 6:4: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!' The word translated 'one' is the Hebrew 'echad. Though it means 'one,' it means 'one among others, the emphasis being on a particular one.' According to Otto Christensen [SDA], 'the possibility of there being others in this 'oneness' is inherent in the word 'echad.' Moses could have used the word yachiyd to indicate 'one' as in 'one alone.' But 'echad 'oneness' results 'from the unity of numerous persons.'48 The same word is used to describe the submissive union between the first pair: 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh' (Gen 2:24). A match made in heaven is the union of two distinct persons who, loving one another supremely, choose to become 'echad—one.

"This concept, as simple as it is, is nevertheless revolutionary, in part because sin has managed to make 'yachiyds' out of all of us—lonely units. However, God had other ideas from the beginning. In every family with more than one child in the home, it becomes obvious to the adults that each young sibling has significantly different philosophical, stylistic, and general ways of approaching life and issues. Even if much of their shared experience is the same, parents soon notice that these two, or three, or four young persons are definitely not alike, though living under the same roof, eating the same food, and originating from the same parents. If one considers the injunction God gives to mankind through Adam and Eve to 'be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth' (Gen 1:28, emphasis supplied), simple mathematics leads to the conclusion that it would take at least three children per couple to do so, one in addition to the two it would take to replace themselves. How appropriate, considering the Trinity. The command in verse 28 comes right after we are told that God said 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness,' 49 and then corroborated it with: 'And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created

PAGE 97

him; male and female He created them' (Gen 1:26, 27, emphasis supplied). From plurality to singularity and back to plurality again: male and female. This idea is also true in marriage. What do two people find attractive about one another so as to get married? One key attraction is how unlike each other they may be: opposites attract.

"Why is this in society? Because it mirrors, in a small and pale way, what it means to live and to love and to be. God as a solitary one, a yachiyd, would not reflect these values as clearly as God can being a union of three persons. [...]

[...]

"The Godhead, then, is a society. Not a group of Gods but a union of three Persons who practice and express perfect love in perfect humility. And why three? Perhaps because with three 'there is a dimension of openness and extension not necessarily found in a relationship between two persons,' which could be more closed in nature.51

[...]

"The Christian God—three in one—is completely different from the gods in the Olympic pantheon or the Nordic tales. The gods with 'the small g' engaged in constant warfare one with another. They each had an individual will and plan and clearly were not of one purpose. They each had their pride and their 'turf' to protect.61 Such gods remind us of the conflict and pride that existed among the disciples of Jesus before Calvary and Pentecost. However, when the Spirit is allowed to work among those who wrangle (Luke 22:24) and push for the preeminence (Mark 10:35-41) and are suspicious of one another (John 21:20-22), a holy submissiveness takes over their hearts which allows them to become of 'one accord' (Acts 1:14; 2:1). The group then mirrors the Trinity in this respect. In fact, absolute humility may be the most distinct characteristic of the Triune God. How else could God handle His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and other attributes only the God of the Universe can have? [...] Contemplation of the deep humility demonstrated for eternity by the Third Person of the Godhead puts our pride and pettiness in the dust.

[...]

"Conclusion

"At a time when the greatest growth explosion in Christianity is among charismatics,63 a greater clarity regarding the person of the Spirit is warranted. It matters that we understand God the Spirit as a personal Being who knows and loves and has a clear idea of how God's children ought to understand reality. It is through the Spirit that we can know God as He truly is.

"This intimate relationship between God the Spirit and His people is seen in the last appeal in Revelation: 'And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost' (Rev 22:17). We note first what it does not say. It doesn't say 'the Spirit and the church' or 'the Spirit and the remnant of her seed.' It says, 'the Spirit and the bride.' The picture is of a wedding. The attention is to be on the Heavenly Groom. His bride, you and me, thanks to the work of the Spirit in our hearts, and the Heavenly Best Man—the Spirit—those who love the Groom most, cry out in unison: 'Come to feast on the riches of Christ!' 'Come, come, come!' And so it will echo for eternity future as it has for thousands of years now, the clarion call of the Spirit on behalf of the Son, for the sake of His own." (Hebrew words re-formatted for HTML compatibility. http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=234&journal=1&type=pdf)

Again we see the exact same false arguments about the Hebrew words 'echad and yachiyd from Clouzet that we already looked at above in the quotes from The Trinity. And once again we see the incredible argument that the SDA "God" is not a group of three gods, simply because the SDA gods all have one purpose, unlike the Olympic or Nordic gods who fought all the time!

And another article published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, is entitled "Proverbs 8 and the Place of Christ in the Trinity," by Richard M. Davidson. At the end of the article, it says: "Richard M. Davidson is J. N. Andrews Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Chair of the Old Testament Department at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University. In addition to his books Typology in Scripture, Lovesong for the Sabbath, and In the Footsteps of Joshua, he has published many articles. He is a past-president of the Adventist Theological Society." Here are some excerpts from the article:

"Introduction: Issues

"The history of the interpretation of Proverbs 8 embraces an astonishing array of ancient and modern perspectives on this passage, ranging from the Christological debates of the early Christian centuries to the almost universal rejection of Christological interpretations in recent decades. In this study I survey the gamut of interpretations, revisit the possibility of a Christocentric interpretation in light of recent exegetical insights into the passage, and explore potential implications for understanding the place of Christ in the Trinity. [...]

[...]

[...] "I concur with Rogers that the meaning of 'craftsman' better comports with the immediate context of Prov 8:30. Clifford seems to make another less-than-natural reading of the text to avoid having Wisdom be a co-creator with Yahweh in a post-exilic monotheistic context. [...]

[...]

[...] "He [Rogers] points out that this translation arises largely because of uneasiness with having wisdom being a 'mastercraftsman' and hence, a co-creator with Yahweh. [...]

[...] "The versional evidence of Aquila and some rabbis is apparently another attempt to solve a theological problem, i.e., of having wisdom be a co-creator, rather than the representation of a more original reading. It is easy to see why a scribe would wish to read

PAGE 98

'infant' instead of 'mastercraftsman' out of a concern for monotheism. [...]

[...]

"These obstacles need not cause the interpreter to look for a rare (and in my view improbable) grammatical construction ('accusative of state') in this context to explain the difficulties, as Rogers does, and ascribe the term Mastercraftsman to Yahweh rather than Wisdom.59 Instead, the very dissonances that Rogers points out are in my view internal textual indicators that Wisdom is here hypostatized and ultimately refers to another Person within the Godhead. Seen as hypostatization for the Son of God, the grammatical and contextual difficulties disappear: the Son (masculine in gender, as indicated by the masculine 'Master Workman') is indeed Co-Creator with Yahweh.

"This inner-textual hint is perhaps reinforced in Prov 30:4 (with possible allusion to Father and Son Co-Creators): [...]

[...]

[...] "But what precisely was the office to which the Second Member of the Godhead was installed 'in the beginning,' before sin and even before creation of the universe, as described in Prov 8? This leads us to the next section.

[...]

"Is it possible that, perhaps in a council between the members of the Godhead before creation, it was decided that the One we now call the Second Person of the Godhead would at the commencement of creation condescend to partially empty himself (cf. the kenosis of Phil 2), to step down (perhaps taking the form of an angel?) to become the Mediator between the infinite God and finite creatures? And that Prov 8 is referring to this installation—this 'begetting' of the Son of God—into the office of Mediator between the transcendent God and finite created beings? And that Prov 8 describes the mediatorial role of Wisdom—the pre-incarnate Christ?

"Proverbs 8, I suggest, not only describes this role, but gives us an inside look into the attitude of Christ as He engages in the act of creation beside the Father. What is the spirit, the attitude, of the Mediator in Creation? This leads to a fifth issue in this passage.

"V. The Theology of 'Play' in Prov 8:30-31

"According to Prov 8:30, Wisdom was beside Yahweh at creation, a 'Master craftsman ['amon]' who was 'rejoicing [mesaheqet, lit. playing, sporting, laughing]77 always before Him (Prov 8:30). This term mesaheqet is a participial form of the root shq, 'to sport, play, laugh.' Here is represented the mood of joyful celebration, pure delight, of the Son with Yahweh, and pure delight, joyful celebration with humanity. This verb shq is used elsewhere of children 'playing' in the streets (Zech 8:5). The Father and the Son are having 'the time of their life,' as it were, rejoicing, laughing, playing, as they work together, Co-creators, fashioning this world and its inhabitants. Likewise, the Son is having 'the time of His life,' as it were, rejoicing, laughing, sporting with the humans He has created. This description introduces a dynamic into the theology of creation that has long been overlooked—a theology of divine play! Unfortunately, within space constraints, this theology must await further development in a future study. I move now to the last issue, by way of synthesis and implication.

"Based upon the insights derived from Prov 8, I conclude that it is not possible to posit either an eternal or an economic subordination within the Godhead before Christ's incarnation. As Schroer observes: 'it would be false, keeping in mind the whole context of ch. 8, to impute to these texts (vv. 22-31) the notion that Wisdom here is subordinate to YHWH. The text avoids any statement that could be read as a clear expression of subordination. Hokma is a counterpart for YHWH, a divine counterpart.' 78

"I suggest that according to Prov 8, at the beginning of creation, we find a situation of equal members of the Godhead as Co-creators. There is no reference to a time before which One of the Members of the Godhead did not exist, nor a reference to the eternal subordination of One Member of the Godhead to Another Member. Rather, there is described a time, before the creation of the universe, when, presumably by mutual consent, one Person of the Godhead is 'installed' (nsk III) in a role of Mediator. While the Person we call the Father continued to represent the transcendent nature of the Godhead, the Person we know as the Son condescended in divine kenosis to represent the immanent aspect of divinity, coming close to His creation, mediating between infinity and finitude, even before sin. [...]

"Far in the future from this time at the commencement of creation, the incarnation, coming after the entrance of sin into the world, will continue this pattern of kenosis by the Son, as He actually takes the nature of humanity and voluntarily becomes subordinate to the Father, obedient even unto death, even the death of a cross (Phil 2:5-11). The incarnation clearly involves the economic (not eternal) subordination of the Son. But that is the subject of another study." (Words in brackets in original. Hebrew words re-formatted for HTML compatibility. http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=235&journal=1&type=pdf)

Again we see the polytheistic SDA heresy of "Co-Creators"--this time trying to use Proverbs 8 to deny the Trinity, just as the Jehovah's Witnesses and other Arians do. Davidson even admits that the idea of "co-creators" is problematic for monotheism. The Bible teaches that there is only one Creator, who is the one and only true God.

And after Davidson's presentation of the above paper at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium," he answered some questions. Here are some excerpts from some of his answers to questions:

"I don't think that Proverbs 8 gives us a definitieve answer to that. It does not give us a full blown doctrine of the Trinity here. It does describe two Co-creators, at least two, it doesn't mention that these are the only ones. [...]

[...]

[...] "But I argue that the term 'Mediator' has to be seen in a much broader perspective than simply solving the sin problem. A mediator is a go-between. And already, when God started creating, He had a problem. Because He's infinite, and He creates finite creatures. And His solution was to make this go-between, and the Son was that go-between. And it could have been the Father just as well--I don't, I don't see

PAGE 99

any of them as different.

[...]

[...] "Philippians 2 takes it way back to the very beginning, when He starts creating the universe, He makes the decision that He will--one of them, I mean the Father could have done it, the Son could have done it, the Spirit could have done it--but it was decided that the Second Member of the Godhead would be the one who would come down to mediate between infinity and finitude. And it's a beautiful picture of the character of love that we have in the, in the Godhead. Thank you." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Davidson_Proverbs_8.mp3)

These comments are even more grossly heretical than his statements in his article. Notice how he says that Proverbs 8 describes "at least two" "Co-creators" but that it doesn't say that "these are the only ones"!

Another article published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society (JATS), is entitled "The Trinity in the Book of Revelation," by Edwin Reynolds. At the end of the article, it says: "Edwin Reynolds is Professor of New Testament and Greek at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. He also serves as the executive editor of JATS." Here are some excerpts from his article:

[...] "It seems clear from John's salutation (1:4-5), in which he greets his readers with grace and peace from three separate entities, all of which he treats as members of the Deity, that John understands the Holy Spirit to be a separate person of the Godhead,10 but the Spirit receives significantly less attention in Revelation than the other two divine Persons, and He is four times mentioned in symbolic terms. [...]

"Three Separate and Distinct Persons

[...] "This virtual lack of overlap in names, titles, or designations makes clear that John has three separate Persons in view, and He introduces these Persons very early in his letter.

"Although John introduces both God (the Father) and Jesus Christ as separate persons already in the very first verse of the book, he introduces the divine Trinity in 1:4, expressing his wish to his readers for grace and peace from (apo) the One who is and who was and who is to come, and from (kai apo) the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from (kai apo) Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. The three-fold repetition of apo connected by kai is clear indication that the three are separate entities or persons but are placed on an equal ground ontologically. Each one of these three is equally and fully able to communicate grace and peace to the readers and hearers of the book.

"Throughout the book the Father and the Son are juxtaposed in such a way as to make clear that they are separate persons while equally sharing the essential attributes of Deity. It would be tedious to render an exhaustive accounting of all of the evidence for this, but let us consider a variety of examples. The revelation to John comes from both God and Jesus Christ, each of whom plays a leading role in the origin and transmission of the revelation to John (1:1). [...]

[...]

[...] "Most significant, perhaps, is 22:1, 3, where God and the Lamb share the same throne. Not only does the river of the water of life flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb (v. 1), but 'the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads' (vv. 3-4). The use of the third person singular personal pronoun throughout this text to refer to God and the Lamb seems to lend extra force to the sense of unity that is demonstrated by their sharing the throne.17 ["17 Bauckham, 60-61, points out that John, motivated by a concern for monotheistic worship of God, 'is evidently reluctant to speak of God and Christ together as a plurality. He never makes them the subjects of a plural verb or uses a plural pronoun to refer to them both.'"] In addition, the claim of Jesus to the titles of God in 22:13, in the midst of a series of first person statements about Himself in verses 12-16, substantiates still further His ontological equality with God the Father while at the same time being a separate person.18

"Individual Roles of the Members of the Godhead

"Although there is a fundamental ontological equality among the three members of the Deity, there are clearly separate individual roles that They play in the book. As soon as one begins to gather and sort the data from this study, it becomes immediately apparent that the different persons of the Godhead have different functions, and these functions seldom overlap. [...]

"The Role of the Father. God the Father is portrayed throughout the book of Revelation as the figurehead, the One who sits on the throne (4:2-3, 9-10; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 7:10, 15; 19:4; 20:11-12; 21:5), the Almighty or Sovereign Ruler (pantokrator: 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22), the Creator who rightfully receives the worship of all created things (3:14; 4:9-11; 7:11-12; 10:6; 11:16-17; 14:7; 15:3-4; 19:4, 10; 22:9), the One who lives forever and ever, who is and was and is coming19 (1:4, 8; 4:8-10; 10:6; 11:17; 15:7; 16:5). He is the Father of Jesus Christ, the Lamb (2:27; 3:5, 21; 14:1), who is the Son of God (2:18). Although God shares His throne with the Son (3:21; 22:1, 3), it is usually depicted as His throne (1:4; 4:2-3; 7:15; 12:5), which He shares at His will (3:21), and the Son is never portrayed as sitting on it by Himself.20 ["20 This is not to imply that Christ has no right to sit on it by Himself, but it is a matter of function. [...]"] The Father is the God of heaven (11:13; 15:11) and Lord of the earth (11:4). He is also the Lord God of the holy prophets (22:6). If there is any seniority in rank among the three divine Persons, in terms of roles, it would be the Father who is depicted as holding that position. This is shown in a variety of ways.

[...] "God the Father is seated on the throne at the center of the heavenly throne room, surrounded by the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, with their thrones, receiving constant praise, adulation, and worship (4:2-11). [...] God directs the affairs of men and nations to accomplish His purposes (17:17), but in the end, as Sovereign, He will judge them in righteousness (6:10; 11:18; 14:7; 16:1, 5-7, 19; 18:8; 19:2, 17-18; 20:12; 22:18-19). Although there is some participation by others in some aspects of judgment (19:11, 15; 20:4) [NOTE: Notice that the "others" spoken of here by Reynolds includes Christ!], in the final analysis, God is depicted on the 'great white throne' as presiding over the executive judgment of the wicked (20:11-12). [...]

PAGE 100

[...]

[...] "The relation between Jesus and the Spirit is so close that the things Jesus says to the churches are described as being spoken by the Spirit (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). [...]

[...]

[...] "The Lamb has followers who follow Him wherever He goes (14:4; 19:14), like a flock following their divine Shepherd (7:17). Nonetheless, the salvation of the race is declared to be a joint venture between God, who sits on the throne, and the Lamb, who has come down and sacrificed Himself for humankind (7:10; 12:10-11).

"It appears from the biblical evidence that the Son of God is also Michael (12:7), the heavenly combatant with Satan, the Dragon, and who casts the latter out of heaven along with his angels.24 Michael is a figure in the book of Daniel who stands as the ruler and defender of God's people against their foes, who assists another heavenly being25 in combating the opposition of the kings of Persia and Greece (Dan 10:13, 20-21), and who will at last deliver God's people from all their enemies and raise the dead to face their final rewards (12:1-2). [...]

"Although the Son of God, the Male Child of the Woman, was caught up to God and to His throne, He is not inactive in regard to His people. He is depicted not only as Michael the Archangel but as a mighty Angel with the glory of God coming down from heaven with a little scroll in His hand and planting His right foot on the sea and His left foot on the land (10:1-2), showing His authority over all of creation.26 He announces the time of the end and the urgent need to prophesy again to the peoples of the earth (10:6-7, 11). Though it cannot be stated conclusively from the text, it seems reasonable also to see Him as the Angel of Rev 8:3-5,27 who is ministering before the golden altar before the throne of God, mingling incense with the prayers of the saints until the time comes when He throws the censer to the ground and concludes His intercessory ministry before God, a time apparently indicated by the opening of the temple in heaven in conjunction with the close of probation and the pouring out of the seven last plagues upon the earth (11:18-19; 15:5-8).

[...]

"In the eternal kingdom that is established at the time of Christ's return in glory to retrieve His followers, Jesus Christ and His Father co-rule the universe (11:15; 21:22-23; 22:1, 3-4), separate but equal. Despite their equality as the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, they have separate functions in the divine economy. [...] Finally, He will return in power and glory to establish the eternal kingdom in which He co-rules with His Father and receives the honor and worship of His loyal servants.

[...]

"The Holy Spirit is never portrayed in Revelation as sitting on a throne, ruling, judging, receiving worship and adoration, or even sacrificing Himself to save fallen humanity.36 Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit has a very important role to play in the plan of salvation.37 [...] The Spirit is an integral part of the triune Deity from whom grace and peace are communicated to the readers and hearers of the book of Revelation (Rev 1:4-5). [...]

"Conclusion

"I have shown from a close study of the book of Revelation that there are three divine Persons who are introduced in the opening verses of the book as a Trinity composed of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Various names, titles, and designations are used throughout the book to describe these three divine Persons, and the text describes various activities in which They are engaged. These names, titles, and designations, presented in close relationship to each other, along with their complementary functions, demonstrate the fundamental ontological equality that exists between the three Persons of the Godhead. At the same time, the various designations and activities of each of the Three point very clearly to different roles or functions which They assume in the divine economy, especially with respect to the carrying out of the plan for humanity's salvation and the eradication of sin from the universe.

"In this divine economy, the separation of functions makes for a more effective administration of the government of the universe, and each of the members of the Godhead makes His own unique contribution. The Father is the figurehead Administrator, the Sovereign, Almighty God, who remains on the throne directing the affairs of the universe while the other Two are engaged in other activities, especially activities connected with the salvation of humanity.

"The Son, on the other hand, agreed to come down to earth and be incarnated in human flesh, to live and die in order to redeem humanity from death by meeting the enemy on his own ground and overcoming him on earth as He had overcome him in heaven. The Son was victorious and was caught back up to God and to His throne, but He continues to intercede there for humanity before the bar of justice, rebuking the accusations of Satan against the faithful followers of Christ until the time comes for Him to destroy the evil powers, claim the kingdom He has already won, and reward His saints who have been faithful even to death.

"The Spirit is less prominent in the book, yet is pervasively active nonetheless. [...] He is Christ's personal representative on earth to carry on the work that Christ began when He was on earth. [...]

"There should be no doubt from a close study of the book of Revelation that God is comprised of a trinity of Persons working as a team for the administration of the universe and the salvation of this fallen race. Although we do not have all the detailed answers we would like to have, the evidence is abundant for three divine Persons working together in a distribution of functions to accomplish their collective will for the eradication of sin from the universe and for the salvation of as many fallen human beings as absolutely possible in the process." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=236&journal=1&type=pdf)

There are so many heretical statements in this one article by Reynolds. First, he speaks of "three separate entities." Then he claims that the only reason John uses singular personal pronouns in Revelation 22:3-4 is to "lend extra force to the sense of unity that is demonstrated by their sharing the throne"--and not because there actually is only one God! And notice how when Reynolds speaks about "the Son" "sitting" and not "sitting" on the throne

PAGE 101

"by Himself," he is clearly speaking of multiple, corporeal gods. If "the Son" was sitting on the throne and "the Father" was not, then where would this other god ("the Father") be off to? He is clearly talking about two separate gods! And then near the end of the article, he repeats the same concept, saying that "the Father" is "the...God" "who remains on the throne directing the affairs of the universe while the other Two are engaged in other activities"! He also speaks of a "joint venture" between two of the gods, and then says that they "co-rule the universe, separate but equal" (the same phrase used by segregationists!!). Again, the Bible teaches that there is only one Ruler and King of the universe--there are not multiple "rulers" (gods) as Adventism teaches. And, finally, in the last paragraph he defines "God" as a "team" (polytheism) rather than a single living Being (monotheism).

And in his audio presentation of the above paper at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 'Trinity Symposium,' Reynolds said the following:

"In the book of Revelation, one actually finds, I believe, perhaps the clearest delineation of the Godhead and the respective roles if its members in all of Scripture. And what I did, finding not much work having actually been done in this area, I decided to do primary research. I went through the book of Revelation very, very carefully, and tried to pick out every mention of one of the members of Deity in Revelation. And I categorized them, classified them, and then tried to look at, not only the names, the designations for the members of the Godhead, but also to look at what They were doing, what Their activities were.

[...]

"There should be no doubt from a close study of the book of Revelation that God is a single, united family, working as a team for the administration of the universe and the salvation of this fallen race. [...]" (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Reynolds_Trinity_Apocalypse.mp3)

Notice that here he defines "God" as a "family" and a "team." This is blatant polytheism. Instead of God being a "single Being" he says that "God" is a "single...family"!

And after Reynolds' presentation, there was a question and answer period. Here are some (very enlightening) quotes from that period:

[Questioner] "Thank you for this beautiful overview of the Trinity in Revelation. Last year, I was in Australia, and I gave a presentation on the Trinity in the Old Testament, and it seemed like every anti-Trinitarian of Australia showed up at the meeting. And afterwards, I encountered questions that I had never thought of before, or heard of before. And one of them dealt with Revelation. And I think you've partially answered it, but I'd like to just hear a little further. You have the Father and the Son on the throne, but the Spirit is never on the throne. I mean, it seems like if I were writing the book of Revelation, I'd finally have them all three on the throne, at the end, you know, I mean--they all have different functions and working the plan of salvation, but when it's all over, you'd want to represent the Triune God somehow, you know, in a manner of togetherness that way. Can you elaborate on what might be your thinking behind the reticence of John to have the Spirit on the throne?"

[Reynolds] "Well, as I indicated in a little parenthetical statement, I think Dr. Clouzet last night probably hit on it as well as anything I could say, and that is, the Spirit is the one who gives prophecy, the Spirit is the revealer. When Jesus speaks to the seven churches, He always says, 'Hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.' So the Spirit becomes the medium of communication, and if He is the medium of communication, and He is the humble Person that Dr. Clouzet showed Him last night to be, He is not going to play up His own personal role. He's not going to place Himself as a prime figure. We do see His working, it's important that we see His working, but He certainly doesn't place Himself in that role, as He reveals Himself prophetically through John here. I don't think I can do better than that."

[Questioner] "I've been curious, at the second coming of Christ, does the Father come with Christ, or does He come alone as we see Him pictured? Matthew says He's seated at the right hand of Power, which may imply the Father. What about Revelation?"

[Reynolds] "Yeah, that's a good question. It's been raised a number of times, and some good papers have been written on that subject, as well. I tend to favor that view myself. God presents Himself, not quite as we would expect, when He says He is 'the One who was and who is,' and we expect 'the One who will be in the future'--He doesn't say that, He says, 'the One who is coming.' And, throughout the book of Revelation, He continues to present Himself as the One who is coming. It's interesting when we get to the coming, and we look in the sixth seal, who is coming there? When the wicked flee from the wrath, whose wrath are they fleeing from? Both. They're fleeing from the face of the One who sits on the throne and from the Lamb. The wrath in Revelation is both the wrath of God and the wrath of the Lamb--both are specifically mentioned. And when the wicked face that wrath, the wrath is both the wrath of God and the wrath of the Lamb. In Revelation chapter 14, we have a little different representation of it, but under the third angel's message, you have wrath being poured out, and the wrath there is the wrath of God, but it's being poured out in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. So, the Lamb is integrally involved. When you have in Revelation 19, the Rider on the white horse coming, and He's executing wrath and judgement, He is the One who is actually engaged in trampling the vineyard--which is the wrath of God, as it says there. And, so, when we look at the two harvests in Revelation 14, where the first harvest Christ is coming on the clouds and He's harvesting the wheat, which represent the righteous. In the second harvest, you have the grape harvest and the trampling, He's the One whose blood is spattered--I mean whose garment is spattered with the blood--because He is the One who tramples. So, both God and Christ are portrayed somehow as involved in this judgement. We, too, are involved, in chapter 20, verse 4--that is, the righteous are involved in an aspect of that as well. But, I believe that there is sufficient evidence in the book of Revelation to suggest that actually Christ comes with His Father, or the Father comes with Christ, at His coming. But Christ is represented in a very human way. He is presented in chapter 14 as the One like the Son of man. So when He comes, He comes with, you know, a human figure, a human person. God is represented as remaining on His throne, as Ruler of the universe, and yet we know that God is omnipresent. So how do you define where God is at Christ's second coming? He's not limited to a form, He's not limited to a physical manifestation. And so, I believe He is coming with Christ, but you may not see Him, as a person, as we see Christ looking. And yet the wicked realize that what they're fleeing from is not only the wrath of the Lamb, but it's also the wrath of the One who sits on the throne."

[...]

[Questioner] "I'd like to thank you for the presentation. And I'd like to go back to something that Professor Reeves had brought up a little bit earlier, concerning the issue of the not being the throne, for the Holy Spirit, which is a pretty good point--he makes a valid point. But, I was

PAGE 102

wondering how you would relate that then to the issue of submission or humility, because over and over in the Gospel presentation, when Jesus was talking about His Father, He was always downplaying His role, you know, showing His humility in exalting the Father. And yet, in the book of Revelation, He is highly exalted, and He has a throne, and does receive worship. And as you, to my understanding, correctly related also that there's no place in the book of Revelation where we're told to worship the Holy Spirit. Do you know of anywhere in the rest of the Scripture, where we are told to actually worship the Holy Spirit? Thank you."

[Reynolds] "Well, I didn't exactly prepare for that. Dr. Clouzet would probably have an answer on top of his head. Um, can't think of it off hand. Certainly, we don't see Him being worshipped in the book of Revelation. In fact, if you are precise, if you are very careful, you will not find specific reference to Christ being worshipped, per se, in the book of Revelation. And Richard Bauckham makes quite a thing of that, as John trying to avoid conflict with monotheism, and so forth. He points out that whenever God and the Lamb are referred to, They're always referred to with a singular personal pronoun, rather than a plural pronoun. And, when you read explicit passages in the book of Revelation about who's being worshipped, it never says the Lamb. And yet He does receive adulation and worship. It's very clear in chapter 5, for example. But it doesn't explicitly say, you know, they worshipped. When it says that they fell down and worshipped, it always says 'the One who sits on the throne.' So, I don't want to read too much into that, but I think we have to limit ourselves to what the text says, and not what we wish it said." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Reynolds_Trinity_Apocalypse.mp3)

Another article published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, is entitled "History of Seventh-day Adventist Views on the Trinity," by Merlin D. Burt. At the end of the article, it says: "Merlin D. Burt teaches Church History at the S.D.A. Theological Seminary and is Director of the Center for Adventist Research and the Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office, Andrews University. He holds a Ph.D. in Adventist Studies from Andrews University." Here is a quotation from his article:

"James White wrote: 'Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ.'5 Arthur White, grandson of James White, correctly argued that while James White rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, he did believe in the three great powers in heaven.6 The first Hymn book compiled by James White—in 1849—contains the Doxology, 'Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.'7 While James White was opposed to the Trinity, he did not believe that Christ was inferior to the Father. In 1877 he wrote, 'The inexplicable trinity that makes the godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough; but the ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse.'8" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=240&journal=1&type=pdf)

And after Burt's presentation of the above paper at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium," he answered some questions. Here are some excerpts from the question and answer period:

[Burt] "Now, your second question, briefly restate. Ah, the tritheism. They were certainly anti-tritheism. I mean, that's one of the historic issues that they were opposed to. And Adventists certainly were never comfortable with that perspective. They remained opposed to it. And they were maybe hypersensitive to the issue in light of the old-new view struggles that were going on, there in the first decades of the twentieth century. So yes, there was a careful attempt to avoid that type of perspective."

[Questioner] [...] "And in communicating with these members, I'm thinking this nuance that I think you said Smith made among others, the difference between having a beginning by being begotton versus having a beginning by being made. Can you nuance that, if you would, as well?"

[Burt] [...] "The second part, I'm sorry, briefly again. Yeah. Right. Well, it's more in nature and essence. They looked at it biologically. My son, in a somewhat biological type of way, my son is of my essence. I conceived him, he came forth from me, he has my nature, he has my characteristics, he's different some, he's younger than me, I'm wiser than him, perhaps, in some ways, although they might not have pushed that point too far. That type of nuance. Whereas, if He's created, it's different--the essence is different."

[...]

[Questioner (LeRoy Moore?)] [...] "I am a little uncomfortable with the concept of discontinuity, because I see considerable continuity. What James and the other men were opposed to, we are just as opposed to as they were. Now, their solution to that, at that time, they didn't see any solution by retaining the Trinity concept, and getting rid of its distortions. But, in reality, we have been faithful to their commitment, and I know of nothing that they were objecting to, in objecting to Trinitarianism, that we have not also objected to. So I see a considerable fluidity and continuity."

[Burt] "I don't think that, I think on that level, that's correct. But the idea of trying to go back to a pure point, where everything was together, that's, I think, what I heard being considered, and that is not true." (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Burt_Historical_Adventist_Views.mp3)

Notice that Burt claims that Adventism made "a careful attempt to avoid" tritheism! And then notice the incredible statement, which Burt agreed with, that there is nothing that the Arian SDA pioneers objected to, in objecting to Trinitarianism, that current Adventists don't also object to! This is an amazing admission that the SDA Church is anti-Trinitarian.

And yet another article from the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, is entitled "Trinity in the Old Testament," by SDA theologian Dr. Norman R. Gulley. At the end of the article, it says: "Norman R. Gulley earned his Ph.D. degree in Systematic Theology from the University of Edinburgh and is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Southern Adventist University, where he has taught since 1978. He has been a pastor and missionary. He has served as Chair of the Religion Department at Madison College and of the Theology Department at Japan Missionary College. He was also founding Dean of the Graduate Seminary in the Philippines. He has written extensively for leading SDA journals, authored four Sabbath School quarterlies, and written several books—including Christ Our Refuge (Pacific Press, 1996), Christ is Coming! (Review and Herald, 1998), the Prolegomena to a three volume systematic theology (Andrews UP, 2003), and Satan's Trojan Horse and God's End-Time Way to Victory (Review & Herald, 2004). He is a past-president of the Adventist Theological Society." Here are some excerpts from his article:

"Old Testament Shema

PAGE 103

"'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one' (Deut 6:4, NIV, NASB, NKJV), or 'one Lord' (NEB, KJV, RSV), or 'The Lord alone' (Goodspeed), or 'the Lord our God is one Lord, the only Lord' (Amplified). Commentators recognize that the Hebrew can be translated in different ways.15 [...] These texts focus on the uniqueness of God.

"The Shema

expresses not only the uniqueness but also the unity of God. As one God (or the 'Unique'), when he spoke there was no other to contradict; when he promised, there was no other to revoke that promise; when he warned, there was no other to provide refuge from the warning. He was not merely first among the gods, as Baal in the Canaanite pantheon, Amon-Re in Egypt, or Marduk in Babylon, he was the one and only God.17 ["17 Craigie, 169."]

"What is this oneness that is attributed to God? Is it more than a name, uniqueness, and the one and only? There are two words for 'one' in Hebrew (1) yachiyd means unique, such as an only son (Gen 22:2) and an only child (Prov 4:3; Zech 12:10), whereas (2) 'echad means united, such as 'a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh' (Gen 2:24). The word 'echad (united) is used in the Shema. Millard Erickson observes that the unity of husband and wife is 'not uniqueness, but the unity of diversity. It speaks of union, rather than aloneness'18 That's why Duane L. Christensen says, 'The word 'echad in the text of the Shema speaks not only of the uniqueness, but also of the unity of God. The doctrine of monotheism is implicit in this brief creedal statement.'19 The Hebrew word for 'one' (yachiyd), meaning solitary, or without others, is not used in the Shema. So it seems that the Shema not only speaks of the uniqueness of God as the only God, but 'refers to the oneness that results from a unity of numerous persons.'20 ["20 Woodrow Whidden, Jerry Moon, John W. Reeve, The Trinity: Understanding God's Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian Relationships (Hagerstown: Review and Herald, 2002), 33, 34"]

[...]

[...] "When God said 'let us,' 'one of us,' or 'for us,' He indicated that more than one Person is in the Godhead, even though He told Israel that their God was one. While focusing on one God to keep them from many gods, He allowed them to glimpse that one God as more than one Person.

[...]

[...] "God said, to Israel, 'I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him' (Exod 23:20, 21). Here God spoke about the pre-incarnate Christ and said He had His name. That is to say, He also is called God. Here is a clear statement that there is more than one Person in the Godhead, and a clear statement that they share the same name 'God,' and in this respect there is only one God, the God who is represented by these two in the passage.

[...]

"Creation. In the creation of male and female in the image of God (Gen 1:26, 27), the Persons of the Godhead are imaged in the oneness of man and woman in marriage. The sola scriptura hermeneutic specifies the reality of that image as the Spirit (Gen 1:2; Psa 104:30; cf. Job 33:4; 26:13) and the Father creating everything through the Son (Col 1:15, 16; Heb 1:2b), and hence the reality of the image is a oneness in three, or the Trinity.

[...]

"(2) Kindnesses of the Lord, v. 7: The word 'Lord' (Heb. Yahweh, mentioned three times in the verse) is a distinct being from 'the angel of the Lord' (Heb. Yahweh in verse 9), and both are distinct from the Holy Spirit (vs. 10a, 11b), who is said to be the 'Spirit of the Lord' (Heb. Yahweh in verse 14a). Here we have: (1) Yahweh, (2) angel of Yahweh, and (3) Sprit of Yahweh, an explicit reference to the Trinity, and a specified relationship between them: the Son and Spirit are related to the Father, for they both share the name Yahweh with the Father. The Trinity is hesed love (cf. 'God is love,' Gr. agapeoe, 1 John 4:8b, 16).

"(3) He too was distressed, v. 9: God was not aloof, impassible or unmoved by human suffering (as in Platonism and in the classical theism of Christian Theology). He suffered with His people. [...]

[...]

"The Spirit in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit is mentioned 88 times in the OT, in about half of its 39 books,39 and 325 times in 24 NT books.40 Yet you will find that He says very little about Himself. He communicates much about the Father and the Son. This is an insight into the selfless love in the Trinity, for the Son glorifies the Father (John 17:4), and the Spirit glorifies the Son (John 16:14). I can imagine that in heaven before the inhabited planets of unfallen intelligent beings, the Father glorified the Son and the Spirit. For in perfect eternal and reciprocal love, each loves the others more than loving Himself—the very opposite of Satan and those who follow Him. This communion means they do not do things on their own (John 5:22, 27, 30; 10:30, 37, 38; 14:31; 15:10b), so the Son speaks what the Father told Him (John 7:16; 12:49; 15:15), and the Spirit 'will speak only what he hears' from Christ (John 16:12-14).

[...]

[...] "God could not be solitary and be love, for an eternal existence of God by Himself before the first creation would not be the same as a Trinity. The fact that the Trinity lived for eternity with each other before creating indicates that their mutual love for one another needed none other. It means that there is a reciprocal love relationship within the Trinity so that each loves the other two with a love that is eternal and divine.

[...] "(2) The Trinity is a relationship of equals who have different functions in the plan of salvation. [...]

PAGE 104

[...]

"Conclusion

"Even the Shema (God is one, Deut 6:4), stressing the uniqueness of God (compared to polytheism), didn't use the word one as unique (Heb. yachiyd) but one as united (Heb. 'echad), thereby indicating unity of persons. We noted that there are several OT texts indicating a plurality in God, as one God addresses another God. The pre-incarnate Christ often acts in OT history as the 'angel of the Lord' and reveals His same hesed love (OT) as His agapeoe love (NT). The continuity of a relational God in both Testaments counters the idea that the OT God is different from the NT God (which if true would aid the cosmic controversy against God). [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=238&journal=1&type=pdf)

First of all, notice that Dr. Gulley twists a couple of the quotations from non-Adventists (based on his own usage of words, like "unity"), and tries to teach the same false claims that we've already seen regarding the Hebrew words 'echad (which simply means "one") and yachiyd (which means "only," and is hardly even used in the Old Testament). And regardless, the Old Testament (and also the New Testament) teaches throughout that YHWH is the "only" God (even using a synonym of yachiyd [bad]). Then he says that "God" told Israel that their God was one, and "focus[ed] on one God," but that was just in order to "keep them from many gods"--but that He allowed them to "glimpse" at the reality that God was actually more than one! So he is describing a group of deceitful gods who were actually lying about being one God, just so the Israelites wouldn't worship other gods! Then he says that the SDA gods "share the same name 'God'" and that "in this respect there is only one God"! Then he goes on to teach more than one divine "being" and says that the "Son and Spirit are related to the Father, for they both share the name Yahweh with the Father."

And finally, in his conclusion, Dr. Gulley makes the most incredible statement of all, saying that "one God addresses another God"! If that is not polytheism, then there is no such thing as polytheism!

And here are some additional comments made by Dr. Gulley in his presentation of the above paper at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium":

"The thesis: The Old Testament Shema doesn't deny that God is more than one. There is internal evidence for God as a plurality in the Old Testament. [...]

[...]

"The problem: 'Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God...is one.' [...] Does this well-known Shema indicate a solitary God alone, by Himself, from all eternity, before He created? The New Testament says God is love. Can a solitary God be a God of love? [...]" (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Gulley_Relational_God.mp3)

Notice his incredible statement that the Shema (which he calls a "problem") "doesn't deny that God is more than one"! Actually, that is exactly what it denies--it says that God is one! That's exactly what it's there for--to deny that God is more than one!

The following excerpts are from another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Fall 2007 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "Revelation-Inspiration Model of a Relational God":

"The most popular view of God among Christian theologians is a timeless God. This view is indebted to Parmenides (ca. 540-470 B.C.),2 Plato (ca. 427-ca. 347 B.C.),3 and Aristotle (384-322 B.C.).4 Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy perceived the world of the gods (noetos) as the real world, and the world of humans (aisthetes) as merely a shadow of the real world. Between the two worlds is a chasm, an unbridgeable gulf (chorismos). Logically this denies the incarnation. Still, the timeless view, paradoxically, is held by theologians who accept the incarnation, but attempt to unite two mutually exclusive worldviews. In classical theology, a timeless God is considered to be immutable, impassible, and non-historical.5 [...]

"The purpose of this article is threefold. The first purpose is to question the traditional view of God as timeless, because a timeless God cannot be the God of revelation and inspiration. Evidence for this is shown from the effects an alleged timeless God has on doctrines. The second purpose is to present the biblical God as a relational Trinity in an eternal, divine, reciprocal relationship of love, in an inner-history of temporal acts of give and take among themselves. Rather than being frozen in simultaneity (as a timeless God would be), a relational God is able to enter time and meet humans where they are, accommodating to their cognitive level to pass on revelation to them so they can communicate it in their own language, logic, and literature to be understood by readers. Revelation is not confined to Christ, for Scripture is revelation and not an ordinary book. [...]"

"1. Timeless God: Revelation-Inspiration

"A timeless God10 doesn't experience the sequence of time. All time is simultaneous to him. A timeless God doesn't enter time, for eternity is merely tangential at the outer border of time where eternity intersects with time, as in Barth's wholly other God (Ganz anderer) in his book Romans.11 A timeless God is removed from human history and hence does not impart information. Although removed from human history, paradoxically God is supposed to encounter persons in history. This is a logical inconsistency.

"A timeless God is also the sovereign God who predestines people without any response from them in history. This is the God of Reformation theology (Calvin). He is the remote, removed, deistic God who acts in an arbitrary way, with no interest in human freedom. For this God, verbal inspiration is really verbal dictation, where biblical writers make no contribution to biblical revelation. Although removed from human history, paradoxically God dictates words into history. This is another logical inconsistency.

"II. Impossibility of a Timeless Model of Revelation-Inspiration

"A timeless God cannot impart revelation and inspiration in time, the one following the other, God communicating with prophet and then prophet communicating with humans respectively. A timeless God is prevented from acting in sequential order of cause and effect, for he is

PAGE 105

beyond time, and therefore doesn't enter into time to act in a temporal way (past, present, future). When God comes in ever-repeated encounters, in acts of revelation (actus purus), Scripture becomes again and again revelation in repeated moments, only to be disenfranchised when the encounter is absent (Neo-Orthodox theology). This 'yo-yo' 'revelation as encounter' rejects 'Scripture as revelation.' God's Word is emptied of revelation because God's World is emptied of God. Often in theology errors can be traced to distorted views of God. Here are some examples of how a timeless view of God affects biblical doctrines. We look at the six loci presented in many theological systems for locations where doctrines are questioned by a timeless view of God.

"Doctrine of God (Theology)

"1. In Eastern theology there is a timeless generation of the Son from the Father and a timeless procession of the Spirit from the Father, which seems to elevate the Father above the Son and Spirit as their source (subordination view) which seems incompatible with each member of the Trinity as equal and eternal;12 2. On the basis of a timeless God, how could God provide a revelation in time of who He is, in order to answer the false charges of the great controversy?13 More than that, if God is a timeless God who disallows creaturely freedom and arbitrarily decides human destiny (with eternal hell for those He rejects), how could He ever be exonerated from the charges of the great controversy against Him? If God is a timeless God, the cosmic controversy will never be resolved, and eternal dualism in the universe is inevitable. More than that, if God is a timeless God, without revealing Himself in time (whether for good or evil), there's no possibility for the great controversy to exist.14 [...]

[...]

"14 I am indebted to Fernando Canale for the non-existence of the cosmic controversy issue if God is timeless, and for helping me view verbal inspiration in the context of a sovereign God. On verbal inspiration see Fernando Canale, 'The Revelation and Inspiration of Scripture in Adventist Theology,' Part 1, Andrews University Seminary Studies 45/2, (2007): 206.

[...]

[...]"5. Viewing creation as God's body, as does Sallie McFague (and other Process theologians), replaces a timeless God with an imminent [sic] God, which relegates biblical creation to a 'myth.'15 Scripture transcends both extremes by God's hands-on creation of Adam and Eve in the image of the Trinity (Gen 1:26-28; 2:20b-24).

"Doctrine of Christ (Christology)

"1. A timeless God calls into question the mission of Jesus Christ in time and His subsequent mission in heaven. There is no ontological reality to the incarnation or death of Jesus, no bodily resurrection and ascension to heaven. A timeless God remains above time and never enters time to live or to die. 2. Even the Reformers distanced Christ from history more than warranted. John Calvin taught that Christ never gave up His omnipresence during the incarnation, so He remained at the throne of the universe while on planet-earth.16 This finds its roots in the theology of Athanasius (293-373), with the receptacle view of space (God poured Himself out into the space of this world, but remained present throughout the rest of space).17 Paradoxically, a timeless God who is omnipresent must be present in time or history.

[...] "7. A timeless God is the immutable and impassible God of classical theology who is removed and detached from human history, not understanding human experience. Such a timeless God cannot be a sympathetic high priest interceding for humans.

[...]

"God is love (1 John 3:8-17) because God is a relational Trinity, for each divine Person participates in an eternal, divine, internal history of reciprocal love, and hence in a temporal way. There is temporal history, in the give and take, of the eternal God. It is this dynamic love present in their inner history which God longs to see reflected in human relationships, for humans were created in the image of the Trinity (Gen 1:26, 27). This means that God created relational beings, and this entails freedom to participate in mutual love. [...]

[...]

[...]"Note the process of inspiration includes not only what to say but how to say it. Words are not dictated (verbal inspiration), but words are inspired from Father to Son (as from Holy Spirit to biblical writer). [...]

"5. Jesus lived on earth as a human dependent upon God, and in this respect like all other believing humans. [...] Jesus reveals how important it is for an apostle or prophet to remain fully dependent upon God in the revelation-inspiration process, for it takes this dependence throughout the entire communication of God's truth in order for it to be communicated. Christ's self-testimony overthrows the theological consensus (for 1000 years) that Christ lived on earth as God, and not as man, because the Council of Nicea (325) and Chalcedon (451) didn't address this matter.40 Christ's living was thus removed above the life of a human; apparently reflecting to a degree the timeless view of God.

[...]

"40 The councils rightly decided that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man (vere Deus, vere homo), but they never spelled out the relationship between the divine and human. So for a thousand years theology stressed that the relationship was between an active divinity living in a passive humanity; Christ lived on earth as God. This had repercussions, for He could not be tempted like other humans and so could not be a sympathetic high priest in his subsequent sanctuary ministry in heaven.

[...]

"2. Ponder how the Spirit helped Christ. Christ entered planet earth 'conceived . . . from the Holy Spirit' (Matt 1:20), baptized by the Spirit

PAGE 106

(Mark 1:9f), 'led by the Spirit' (Luke 4:1), offered Himself up to die through the Spirit (Heb 9:14f), and, in part, was resurrected by the Spirit (Rom 8:11). Jesus depended upon the Spirit as much in His human life as He did in His incarnation. [...]

"3. A new level of Christ's dependence on the Spirit is found from Pentecost throughout the Christian era, In the incarnation, the Spirit brought the omnipresent pre-existent Christ to one human (Mary). At Pentecost the Spirit brought the God-man to many humans (Acts 2:1-4). A double movement is involved: (a) bringing the omnipresent God to become localized as Christ and (b) bringing the localized God-man at the throne of God to become omnipresent through the Spirit. This is why Jesus spoke of His departure in terms of (1) sending another (allos one like; not heteros—one unlike Himself) Comforter or Counselor (John 14:15-17), and (2) coming Himself to be with them (John 14:18). Just as Christ was dependent upon the Spirit in His incarnation and human life, so He is subsequently dependent upon the Spirit to be with and in humans. 43 Christ said 'It is for your good that I am going away,' for besides becoming their high priest in heaven (Book of Hebrews) He could be omnipresent, and thus with all His followers, through the Spirit (Matt 28:19,20).

[...]

"43 In both incarnation and Pentecost, the Spirit comes Himself to bring Christ to humans. He comes not with His own credentials, as if to add to what Christ accomplished, as if that were not sufficient. He comes to bring Christ's completed work to us, that it may be applied in us. He brings Christ and works on His behalf. We receive the robe of Christ's righteousness (Isa 61:10), the wedding garment (Matt 22:11), or Christ's perfect human life and the Spirit's working with us to imitate that life in obedience as we receive the Giver. [...]

[...]

[...] "It means being true to the Reformation sola-tota-prima Scriptura principle of interpretation, where Scripture interprets Scripture, where the reader looks within Scripture for internal controls that open up meaning. It means thinking through all truths within the metanarrrative of the cosmic controversy. The controversy calls into question the love and justice of God, and a timeless view of God is a foundational distortion that unwittingly aids the controversy. [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=348&journal=1&type=pdf)

First of all, notice that he explicitly states that Adventism rejects the "timeless God" whom Christians worship. Then he goes on to explicitly admit that Adventists reject "the sovereign God"! And then he admits that Adventists worship a different god than "the God of Reformation theology."

Then he goes on to say that if God is timeless, then He could never be "exonerated from the charges of the great controversy against Him" (referring to unique SDA heresy) and that God and Satan would have to both be the gods of the universe!! Then he again explicitly admits that Adventists do not believe in "a sovereign God"! He also denies the omnipresence of Jesus Christ, and says that Jesus Christ did not remain "at the throne of the universe" while on earth. He then concludes by saying that all teachings need to be filtered through the SDA "great controversy" worldview.

Here are some excerpts from another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Spring 2007 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "The Public Square: Union of Church and State: What We Can Learn from History and Scripture":

"1. 'God is love' (1 John 4:8b) means the Trinity experience an inner history of eternal reciprocal love and created Adam and Eve to image that love. The Trinity are three Persons in an eternal freedom of equality, where each one loves the other two more than Himself. The intent of the Trinity was that humans reflect this love in the finite sphere, through the indwelling of God's love within them.

"Selfless love was not new to Christ in becoming the God-man. It was the overflow of the Trinitarian love outward that had always existed inward, as the very essence of God. Here is the profound eternal depth of the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, who didn't enter the world as a conquering King, but as a helpless babe. He left the royal throne of glory where He was praised, adored, and loved and began a long, lonely journey as the Man of sorrows, acquainted with human grief and struggle, often misunderstood, hated, spied on. [...]

[...]

"How can the unselfish eternal reciprocal love in the Trinity ever have anything to do with torturing the reprobate whom they have allegedly never loved? If destiny is based on an arbitrary choice of God in eternal history, why did the Trinity send Christ to tell the world that destiny is based on human choice? And why have a future judgment if the Trinity have already judged in eternity? And why take the gospel to the whole world when it cannot change God's predestination?

"On the cross Jesus pled, 'Father forgive them.' His love was unconditional. He loved His enemies just as He taught His church to do. This was His response to the worst religious persecution ever committed by a union of church and state. [...]

[...]

[...] "These are true, but so are the following: (a) Jesus said: 'Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father' (John 14:9), for the Trinity is as loving as Jesus (1 John 4:7-16); [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=326&journal=1&type=pdf)

Notice that he says that all that Jesus meant by saying that anyone who has seen Him has seen the Father, was that "the Trinity is as loving as Jesus"!

The following excerpts are from another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Fall 2004 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "What Happens to Biblical Truth if the SDA Church Accepts Theistic Evolution?":

"It should be kept in mind that Darwin's Origin of Species is a worldview to explain evil in nature,16 whereas God's creation of the universe through Christ (Col 1:15, 16; Heb 1:1, 2) is through One who later revealed God as love (John 14:9b; 17:23), and the Trinity were as selfless and loving in creation as they are in salvation (John 3:16; Heb 13:8). [...]

[...]

PAGE 107

"Christ demonstrated His power as Creator through these creative acts during His life on earth.26 [...]

[...]

"26In Genesis Christ created as God, for God worked through Him to create (Heb 1:1-3). Having laid aside the use of His divinity in His incarnation (Phil 2:5-11), Christ depended upon His Father to do creative acts (John 10:25, 32, 38; 14:10). As Son of God He was also a dependent human throughout His human life, but in choosing to die and in His resurrection His divinity operated again. As He chose to become human (Heb 10:5-7), so He chose to lay down His life and to take it up again (John 10:17, 18)." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=5&journal=1&type=pdf)

Note the fact that he defines Christ's "power as Creator" to only be "the Father's" power which Christ had to "depend" on and "use." Notice also the heresy that Christ "laid aside the use of His divinity"--and thus had to "use" some other "divinity" (polytheism).

Another version of the above article was published in Perspective Digest, which, according to the Adventist Theological Society's website, "presents theological articles in a more popular format for our lay members. It regularly offers readable digests of significant JATS articles allowing the scholar's influence to reach beyond academia." Here is a quote from the article by Dr. Gulley, which is entitled "Is the Genesis Creation Account Literal?":

"It should be kept in mind that Darwin's Origin of Species is, at least in part, a worldview conceived to explain evil in nature; whereas God created the universe through Christ (Col. 1:15, 16; Heb. 1:1, 2), who later revealed God as love (John 14:9; 17:23), and both were as selfless and loving in creation as They are in salvation (John 3:16; Heb. 13:8)." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=206&journal=2&type=pdf)

Here are some excerpts from another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Spring 2004 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "Creation: The Foundational Importance of Scripture as Revelation":

"In our time it is important to stress that when God's Word to humans is confined to Jesus Christ, this is not essentially different from God's Word confined to personal experience, as in Friedrich Schleiermacher's The Christian Faith18 and subsequent existential systems. It is true that the focus has moved away from a revelation made to an individual to a revelation made through an individual, and it is true that the focus has moved away from revelation to a human to revelation made through One also divine. But the foundation is still limited to the existential realm, albeit on different levels, because Scripture is emptied of revelation.19 Rather, revelation is found outside Scripture within the Christian or in Christ.

[...]

[...] "The Word of God has godlike power because it is God's Word. Jesus knew this, defeated the enemy through using the Word, and by doing this showed His respect for it as the cognitive revelation from God.

"This doesn't make Scripture magical, as if it houses some power to be used on demand. There is no bibliolatry involved; Christ did not worship the writings. When invited to worship Satan He clearly stated, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only' (Matt 4:10). Christ didn't look to Scripture alone, but to the divine author and His Word together. Christ knew that God and His Word are to be united, as were His own divine-human reality on another level. It was the Spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted (Matt 4:1). It was the Spirit and His Scriptures that helped Him overcome. The presence of the Revealer and His revelation must always be held together. The use of Scripture and the interpretation of Scripture is to be done in relationship with its divine author, and never without.

"Throughout His ministry Jesus never called attention to Himself as God's revelation to humans. Although He did mention that He revealed the Father on one occasion (John 14:8, 9), He consistently directed His hearers to the written Word of God. [...]

[...]

"Just as God and Christ were together in the supernatural work of salvation (John 3:16), so they were together in the supernatural work of creation (Heb 1:1-2). Christ and the Holy Spirit work together in the supernatural work of recreation (2 Cor 5:17; Col 1:27; John 17:17; Rom 15:16b). [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=20&journal=1&type=pdf)

The following quotes are from yet another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Fall 2003 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "A Biblical Evaluation of Islamic and Catholic Soteriology":

[...] "The Koran says God is 'too high' for any partners (like Christ and the Holy Spirit) to be with Him.10 In fact, God curses those who think Christ is the Son of God, for there is only One God.11 [...]

[...]

[...] "There is no biblical basis that Mary ascended to heaven at her death to become the Queen of Heaven. The only queen of Heaven mentioned in Scripture provoked God to anger. She was a part of Judah's theology when truth perished (Jer 7:17-28; cf. 44:17-30). The Queen of Heaven was a counterfeit god, prayed to by Judah in its rebellion against the only true God. Isaiah and Jeremiah were sent by God to warn Judah of its false theology.

"If Mary really was the Queen of Heaven, she would be an addition to the Kings, the royal three of the Trinity. In fact, if she is able to hear the prayers of believers around the world, and be present with them in life, represent them to the Son, and help them at the moment of death, and lead them to Jesus, then she must have the gift of omnipresence that is a prerogative of God alone. Mary would have to be divine to be able to do what Catholic theology says she does. The way Mary is adored and prayed to deflects attention away from the only Savior-Intercessor and comes between the believer and Christ. There is a striking parallel between Judah's apostate adoration of the Queen of Heaven and that of the Catholic church.

PAGE 108

[...]

[...] "Clearly Christ meets the need of humans and does not need any help from other human intercessors, even if they were qualified, which they are not. Christ promised, 'You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it' (John 14:14). Paul affirmed, 'My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus' (Phil 4:19). The Holy Spirit makes this possible, not human intercessors. [...] Clearly the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, divine authors of salvation, are the only Ones able to help sinners. No human sinner can contribute anything.

"The very thought of other intercessors reveals a failure to comprehend the love of Christ for humans, the love of the Father who gave His Son for the world, and the love of the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us. There is no member of the Godhead who needs human intercessors. Christ once said He would not need to pray to the Father to get Him to love people, because He already does (John 16:26-27). Hebrews says, 'If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?' (Rom 8:31-32). Christ's high priestly intercession rebukes Satan the accuser of humans (Zech 3:1-7).99 The Catholic view of Mary putting in a good word to Christ fails to comprehend the all-sufficiency of the words of a Savior-Advocate and the Holy Spirit- Intercessor. Christ 'is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ?' (Rom 8:34-35). Paul lists a number of things that attempt to separate the believer from Christ. He concludes that nothing 'will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Rom 8:39). For the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love each member of the human race. The idea of human intercessors fails to comprehend the depth of this love, and such a failure ends up separating many sincere Catholics from God by approaching Him through human mediators. Why cling to Mary and the saints and flee to them for help, throughout life and even in death, when the Father, Son, and Holy Sprit are the only ones who can help them?

[...]

"One could argue that Moslems pray directly to Allah, whereas Catholics pray indirectly through Mary and the saints allegedly interceding for them. Nevertheless, this doesn't change their works oriented ways to merit salvation. One could also argue that belief in a Trinity among Catholics is better than belief in only one God among Moslems. But this doesn't change the fact that either the Three or the One do not gift salvation." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=34&journal=1&type=pdf)

In the above article, Gulley makes a shockingly polytheistic reference to "the Kings"--which is in direct contradiction to God's word, which says that there is only one King of kings, only one King of the universe. Christians do not worship multiple "Kings" (gods). That is simply polytheism. Then he goes on to call his three "Kings"/gods "divine authors of salvation" and says that they are "the only Ones" who can help sinners. Then, in the last paragraph above, he shows his gross misunderstanding of the Catholic Trinity as a belief in three gods (like his own SDA "Trinity" belief), and says that one could argue that believing in the "Trinity" is "better than belief in only one God"!!!

Here are some excerpts from another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Spring 2000 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "The Impact of Eschatology on Protology":

"I want to pay tribute to those who have wrestled with the divine decrees to election and to reprobation, attempting to see justice in them. My remarks are not to denigrate these attempts. I am pleading, rather, for a rethinking of the issues in an expanded worldview. I will argue here for what I call a cosmic controversy biblical worldview. This worldview will bring us to these issues in a fresh way that penetrates beyond the Calvinist-Arminian debate. These cosmic dimensions will take us beyond the classic teaching of predestination to a new understanding.

[...]

"Human protology begins with creation (Gen 1-2), when God created Adam and Eve in His image (Gen 1:26-27). In what way were they in His image? God's image is seen in their freedom to choose, in their dominion to rule, and in their relationship. They could choose whether to obey or ignore God's warning about the forbidden tree (Gen 2:16-17). They were given dominion to rule over things in this world as God rules over the universe (Gen 1:26). In the relationship of two individuals who loved each other, they mirrored the relationship of love within the Trinity. [...]

[...]

"When we begin with Christ's mission on earth and see why He came and how extensive was His goal, then we can proceed on the basis of a safe revelation of the God who sent Him on that mission. 'For God so loved the world' (John 3:16). That is clear. Not the elect, but the world. There is no limit to His love. So His love is universal. In coming, Jesus said, 'I have come to do your will, O God' (Ps 40:6-8; Heb 10:7). Jesus came to manifest God's universal love. He also loved all mankind. So He could say, 'Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father' (John 14:9). [...]

[...]

[...] "As far as human destiny is concerned, there would be no future hope without the fact that God and Christ have elected all mankind, yet human destiny is also finally dependent upon the election/rejection of Jesus Christ by humans. God has elected Christ to save everyone. But humans elect or reject Christ, and so confine the realization of His atonement for mankind. [...]

[...]

[...] "In joining a rebel race with the royal Creator, God and man were united in the person of the Son. In His very being the gulf gouged through human rebellion was bridged. In Him God and man were once more at-one-ment. This is one side of the enormous and expensive atonement plan for all mankind. The uniting of humanity to divinity has raised the human race far above the level of its pristine state before the fall. At that time they were merely created beings. Although perfect and loyal, they were still a great distance from their eternal Creator. Even before the fall there was an infinite qualitative distinction between God and man, to use the words of Soren Kierkegaard. The

PAGE 109

incarnation bridged that gulf and elevated the human race as nothing else could.

"The redeemed will always worship God as Creator, Redeemer, and King, but always have the privilege of being sons and daughter [sic] in the Trinitarian family. This is why God will come to this world and make His dwelling place with mankind (Rev 21:1-3). Heaven will be depopulated as all come to the earth made new. Throughout eternity the closeness of the redeemed with their Redeemer will forever call forth gratitude and praise. As the Christ's condescension in becoming a man in sinful history and dying for rebels to give them redemption slowing [sic] sinks into their minds, the hearts of the redeemed will thrill with unspeakable amazement. This amazement will deepen as His love is experienced and understood." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=109&journal=1&type=pdf)

Notice that he says that it was because Jesus also loved all mankind that He could say that anyone who has seen Him has seen the Father! So if any of us love all mankind, we can also say that anyone who has seen us has seen the Father?! Once again, Gulley is simply taking this verse, which is one of the clearest declarations that Jesus is God, and trying to make it mean nothing!

The following quote is from another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Spring 1999 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "Will Christ Return in the Year 2000?":

[...] "Biblical truth is the product of the 'Spirit of Truth,' so truth is the only basis of authentic unity under the Spirit of Truth. Jesus spoke of His true successor—the Holy Spirit, and not Peter—and said, 'the Spirit of truth' 'will guide you into all truth' (John 16:13). 'He will bring glory to me' (John 16:14).

[...]

[...] "Jesus in His prayer for union pled to the Father, 'that they be one as we are one' (John 17:22). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in truth. In this same prayer for unity among His disciples, Jesus asked, 'Sanctify them by the truth: your word is truth' (John 17:17). There is no true unity among Christians apart from a unity over Biblical truth. [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=139&journal=1&type=pdf)

The next quote is from another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Spring 1998 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "The Good News About Last Day Events":

"The scene is changed to Calvary. 'The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation . . . Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Savior could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror . . . He feared that sin was so offensive to God that their separation was to be eternal.'20

"He cried out, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?' (Matt 27:46). One thing is for sure. Jesus did not forsake us on Calvary, nor will He in the end-time. He promises, 'Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you' (Heb 13:5). But as our sin-bearer He felt God-forsaken in His great time of trouble. Though Christ had promised to rise from the dead (Luke 18:33), build homes for the saints in heaven (John 14:1-2), and return in the second advent (John 14:3), now He couldn't see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him a safe passage through death. 'Father, If my death will mean eternal separation from you so that my people can live with you in my place—so let it be'—and He plunged into the abyss and perished. That's the ultimate meaning of Christ's substitutionary sacrifice for us! That's the ultimate of what it means to be the Lamb! And if He went that far for us, and we cling to Him, He will never let us slip out of His hands in final events. He says to us today: 'Do not be afraid little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom' (Luke 12:32). That's the good news about last day events." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=162&journal=1&type=pdf)

The above statements are completely anti-Trinitarian. In fact, according to his made-up "quote" of "Jesus," we could have enjoyed heaven forever with "the Father," with "Jesus" being just a distant memory, an annihilated god!

Here are some excerpts from yet another article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Spring 1997 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "Revelation's Throne Scenes":

"The heavenly temple mentioned in Hebrews is not rooted in Platonic dualism (with its belief in the timelessness of God) but in the OT sanctuary/temple types. Greek dualism speaks of the supra temporal as the real (kosmos noetos) and the temporal as a mere shadow (kosmos aisthetos). In Scripture the sanctuary/temple types are never considered a shadow of the heavenly reality, but a model, or miniature copy, of the heavenly reality, even though a small representation of that vastly escalated original (Exod 25:40). The distinction between the heavenly temple reality and the earthly types is never one of literal/symbolic, but one of literal/literal correspondence.

[...]

"First Throne Room Scene (Rev 4:2; 51). As my previously mentioned article deals with this first throne-room scene, I will only say here that it sets the stage for all the others. It introduces Christ as the King/Priest, inaugurated on His Father's throne as a coregent to oversee human history, to intercede and empower His church, to defend the saints in the pre-advent judgment, and to deliver them and destroy their enemies in the Second Advent. It is this King/Priest who is revealed throughout the rest of Revelation. The Lamb, because of His victory at Calvary, is enthroned by God before He opens the seven seals." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=257&journal=1&type=pdf)

And in another article by Dr. Gulley in the Spring 1997 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, entitled "Revelation 4 and 5: Judgment or Inauguration?," the following excerpts are found:

"The Question of Authority. There is another distinct difference between Daniel 7 and Revelation 4-5. In Daniel 7 the Father gives authority to Christ. 'He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all people, nations and men of every language worshiped him' (Dan 7:14). In

PAGE 110

Revelation 5 the Father does not give authority to Christ. He already has authority because of Calvary. No one else has this authority to give. Not even God the Father. Thus, only Christ is worthy to open the sealed scroll because of Who He is and what He did at the cross. 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!' (Rev 5:12). So the focus is very different in these two passages. In Revelation 4-5 the focus in on the verdict of the Calvary judgment, whereas in Daniel 7 the focus is on the verdict of the pre-advent judgment.

[...]

"Let's explore the significance of Christ being seated on His Father's throne, as it impacts the enthronement scene of Revelation 5. Clearly Christ is seated with His Father on his throne, and not on His own throne. If Christ is on His Father's throne in this verse, when does He get to sit on His own throne? In Daniel 7, after the pre-advent judgment is concluded, Christ comes to the Father to receive His throne. 'He was given authority, glory and sovereign power: all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed' (Dan 7:14).

"Although Christ is given the Kingdom before the second advent, and although He comes as King of kings in the second advent (Rev 19:16), Christ speaks of that coming as the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Mighty One, (Matt 26:64; Mark 14:62), or sitting on the right hand of the mighty God (Luke 22:69).28 The second advent will cause the wicked to cry out, 'hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!' (Rev 6:16).

"It would seem that the second advent is the time Christ receives His kingdom. He comes to receive the redeemed and to destroy their enemies. Not until after the post-millennial judgment, on the great white throne, will the wicked of all generations be destroyed (Rev 20:11-15). Only then will the double verdict of Calvary (deliverance/destruction) be fully realized. But Christ does not need to wait until all the wicked are destroyed until He receives His kingdom, for the receiving of the kingdom is the receiving of the redeemed at the second advent. This is why end-time martyrs reign with Christ for a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6). Then, in the new earth, 'The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city' (Rev 22:3). All these events are eschatological. They are in the future. It is true that Christ reigns in the lives of His victorious saints in the kingdom of grace throughout the Christian age. But He does this while seated on the throne of His Father, which means that He reigns together with Him as a co-regent.

[...]

"Immediately, upon entering heaven, the reader is introduced to the throne in Revelation 4. It says someone was sitting on it (Rev 4:2). Notice that the throne, rather than its occupant, is the first focus in the chapter. Then the gaze moves to what is happening around the throne. Four living creatures cry out, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come' (Rev 4:8). Who is this God being praised? These are the same words sung to God the Father on his throne by seraphs back in Isaiah's day. They sing, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty: the whole earth is full of his glory' (Isa 6:1-3). This praise is said to be 'day and night, non stop (Rev 4:8). Evidently this praise has been offered non-stop since Isaiah's day (and no doubt before). Clearly the someone sitting on the throne is the same God the Father who sat on the throne in Isaiah's day.

"The 24 elders worship God the Father, saying, 'You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being' (Rev 4:11). Here God the Father is praised for being the Creator of the universe (Heb 1:1-2). This is why He is worthy to sit on the throne because He made every one of His subjects. He has the right to reign on the basis of being the Creator of all created beings. This scene is a backdrop to Revelation 5, just like Revelation 3:21. Both prepare the way for the central act in Revelation 5. Just as God is declared worthy to reign in Revelation 4, so Christ is declared worthy to reign in Revelation 5. This parallelism should not be overlooked.

[...]

[...] "When you put these two moments together, Christ comes to take the Scroll that lay to the right of God on His throne. One gets the picture that the book was laying on the throne itself rather than being held by God. Ranko Stefanovic points this out and penetrates to the significance of this fact.30

"Importance of the Right hand. We have already noted that Christ is seated on the throne of God rather than on His own throne (Rev 3:21). Although the Old Testament can speak of the Father and Son sitting on each other's right hand' (Psa 110:1,5), the ascended Christ is said to be 'exalted to the right hand of God' (Acts 2:32-33), sitting on the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Rom 8:34; Ephes 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 10:12) or 'sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One' (Matt 26:64; Mark 14:62), or 'seated at the right hand of the mighty God' (Luke 22:69). The right hand is the place of co- regency, where a king who co-reigns with another, is said to be placed. This suggests that Christ occupies the throne as a co-regent with the Father since His ascension.

[...]

"In Kings it says, 'Jehoida brought out the king's son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, 'Long live the king'' (2 Kings 11:12; cf. 2 Chron 23:11). These two passages speak about a scroll, or a book of the covenant, that plays a significant part in an enthronement scene. This is the scroll that contains the covenant that God made with Israel, and reminds the king that he is only a servant of God, who is the King of kings. As it were, the human king rules as a co-regent with the heavenly King, as long as he is true to the covenant as outlined in the scroll. This Book of the Covenant, or the Book of Deuteronomy, was to guide the king in his reign. King Josiah read from this book (2 Kings 23:1-2). Here is the Book of the Covenant, the book of Deuteronomy, that was received by a king at his enthronement. So the book does represent God's eternal covenant with mankind, and thus involves Scripture, the book of Revelation, and the judgment. But in Revelation 5, its function, rather than its contents, is the focus.

[...]

PAGE 111

"Revelation 4-5 is a powerful scene. The heavenly King is seated on the throne, surrounded by other thrones and other beings. The living creatures forever sing, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come' (Rev 4:8). To which others join in and sing, 'You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, fore [sic] you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being' (Rev 4:11). Here is a majestic scene of a holy, immortal God who created everything. Here is God on His throne as the pre-eminently worthy one.

"Then a book is seen laying on the throne, to the right of God. Who is worthy to open this book? No one responds. John weeps. But an elder tells him, 'Don't weep. Look at the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David—He is able to open the book' (see Rev 5:5). Then Christ is seen as a Lamb. He takes the scroll from where it lay on the right hand of God, the King, and then all heaven breaks forth into tumultuous acclamation, 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain and with your blood you purchased men for God.' (Rev 5:9). 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!' (Rev 5:12). Here He is said to be worthy to receive power, or to begin to reign. 'Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them, singing, 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!' (Rev 5:14).

"Here the Lamb shares in the praise and honor equally with the King who sits on the throne. Here is a picture of a both Father and Son seated on the throne together. This is the same picture seen in the second advent when the wicked call to the rocks to 'hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!' (Rev 6:16). The scene changes in its focus as one goes from Revelation 4 to 5. The scene begins with the Father alone seated on the throne. He is honored as Creator and said to be worthy. He occupies the reader's attention in chapter 4. Then as one comes to chapter 5 a scroll takes over as the focal point for the first part. This scroll is purposely placed at the center of attention, because it is a scroll that a King gives to a co-regent at the time of His installation. But it is a scroll that no one is worthy to take. Then Christ comes into focus, the only One worthy to receive the scroll. With the taking of the scroll from the throne comes the moment when Christ is installed as co-regent along with His Father.

"It should be noted that it is a sealed scroll, that no one can open, except Christ. Yet, chapter 5 says nothing about Christ opening the seals. The taking of the scroll is the only activity focused on. This scroll taking suggests that the moment of inauguration has arrived. This scroll taking suggests that Christ ascends the throne. The final view of Christ and the Father together on the throne suggests the moment of inauguration before His reign as co-regent. His opening of the seals are subsequent acts of His reign. The fact that no crown is used is unimportant. He has no crown in Revelation 1, but has a crown in Revelation 14:14, and multiple crowns in Revelation 19:12. The fact of receiving the scroll and then taking His seat at the Father's right hand on the Father's throne is sufficient to suggest His inauguration as King/Priest, and hence His coronation.

[...] "Here is Christ's inauguration as King/Priest. He reigns at His Father's side as co-regent. His enemies will ultimately be under His feet at the post-millennial judgment (Rev 20:11-15). That will be the 'great white throne,' for it is the final judgment throne (Rev 20:11). But, now in the heavenly sanctuary since His ascension, Christ is seated at the right hand of His Father on 'the throne of grace' (Heb 4:16). Glorious and wondrous is the fact that the co-regency of the Father and Son is from the throne of grace, to which we are invited to approach with confidence!

[...]

"In Zechariah 6:12-13, LXX version (Greek translation), it reads, 'Behold the man whose name is the Branch; and he shall spring up from his stem, and build the house of the Lord. And he shall receive power, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and there shall be a priest on his right hand, and a peaceable counsel shall be between them both.'

"We said, above, that Christ will ascend His throne as the new David after He brings forth the redeemed at the second advent. But, even before that event, as co-regent, He acts as the Branch, or the new David. [...]

"The kings of David came to an end. No one occupied the throne for hundreds of years before Christ's first advent. No legitimate King David can occupy the throne until Jesus, the new David, takes over His kingdom at the second advent. In the meantime, as the new David, He rules as the co-regent from the throne of His Father. The fact that the phrase 'root of David' is mentioned in Revelation 5, is added evidence about His status as King/Priest now. The new David has entered into the eschatological tension of the New Testament, between the 'already' and the 'not yet.' He already is the New David as a coregent on His Father's throne. In the eschatological future He will be fully vested as the New David on His own throne forever.

"The new David comes to fulfill the Davidic covenant--an eternal Davidic reign (2 Sam 7:12-16). Two of the royal psalms speak of Christ's inauguration (Psa 2, 110). The Father says of Christ, 'I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill' (Psa 2:6). God says, 'The Lord says to my Lord; sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet' (Psa 110:1). The writer of Hebrews says, 'After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven' (Heb 1:3). And seated there by His right side, the Father promised, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom' (Heb 1:8).

[...]

"Christ's Public Ascension. On Resurrection day Christ privately ascended to the Father (John 20:17).35 His later public ascension was in the presence of the disciples. The exuberant heavenly welcome attending it had forty days of pent up energy and preparation following the private ascension. That welcome was predicted in Psa 24:7-10. It is informative to follow the description of Ellen G. White.

[...]

[...] "They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.

"But He waves them back. Not yet; He cannot now receive the coronet of glory and the royal robe. He enters into the presence

PAGE 112

of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming. . . .

"The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. . . The Father's arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him' Heb. 1:6.

[...]

"36Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, CA: Pacific, 1940), pp. 833-834.

[...]

"Note that this shout of praise comes from Revelation 5. It comes immediately after the ascension. All waited to sing the words, but it was Christ who held them back with His request to speak with the Father. There is no doubt in the minds of the welcoming angels and created beings. [...]

[...]

[...] "They watched His fierce struggle, heaving on the cross, gasping for air, gauging His back. They watched as He cried out 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Matt 27:46). They watched the Father weep.

[...]

"Conclusion

"Because (1) Rev 4-5 is solidly in the historical section of Revelation, while Christ is in the holy place, and not in the eschatological section in the most holy place where the pre-advent judgment takes place; and because (2) the scroll in its placement at the right hand of God and in its function to install a co-regent when received, strongly implies the Father's reception of Christ to His throne; and because (3) the atmosphere is one of tumultuous praise of Christ as the Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the root of David, terms indicating His right to rule; and because (4) the scroll focus is on its reception, and not upon its opening, appropriate for a reception of a co-regent and not an investigating of its contents; and because (5) there is no judgment language or judgment setting in the chapters; and because (6) there is no mention of naos (most holy place) or kibotos (ark of the covenant) until later in Revelation; it seems that Revelation 4-5 is the inauguration of Christ as the King/Priest co-regent on the Father's throne, which is a necessary pre-requisite before His King/Priest ministry in heaven's sanctuary, which occupies most of the remaining chapters of Revelation.

"Thus Revelation 4-5 introduces the reader to the King/Priest installed at the Father's throne, before going on to view human history from the perspective of the following six throne-room scenes (Rev 8:2-6; 11:19; 1:1-8; 16:17-17:3; 19:1-10; 21:5-11). Thus Revelation 4-5 is the logical preface to the rest of the Book. It clearly shows why Christ has the right to guide the affairs of human history, the destiny of His church, and to summon pre-advent, millennial and post-millennial judgments. It is the key that unlocks the rest of the book. That key is the slain Lamb, the crucified One. Not just from the throne, but from Calvary—this is the ultimate vantage place from which all human history is unfolded throughout Revelation, and from where it can best be understood." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=259&journal=1&type=pdf)

It is clear from these many heretical statements, that he is talking about two separate corporeal gods. He even goes so far as to compare this supposed "co-regency" of "Jesus" being a "co-regent" with "the Father" to King Josiah and other human kings being a "co-regent" with "the heavenly King"! All of this is a denial that Jesus Christ is the only King! He is the one and only King of heaven--the King of kings! There is no co-regency!

And here are some excerpts from one more article by Dr. Gulley, which was published in the Fall 1996 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "The Cosmic Controversy: World View for Theology and Life":

"What has been done in science now needs to be done in theology. Theology needs to break beyond the man-centered world view about human salvation to the cosmic world view about the great controversy. Seventh-day Adventists have an opportunity to lead out in this Einsteinian-like breakthrough into the broader world view.

"Origin of Sin and Issues in the Controversy

"Scripture mentions the origin of sin in the universe. There was war in heaven (Rev 12:7) between Satan (Rev 12:9) and Christ (as Michael, Jude 9, 1 Thess 4:16; John 5:26-28). [...]

[...]

"Sin's origin and the issues in the cosmic controversy are presented well by Ellen G. White in The Great Controversy, pp. 492-504. Sin originated in Satan, and not in Christ. Satan became proud, coveted Christ's position, and bent his energies towards obtaining His power. He pretended to be reverent to God, but under this guise worked to call His government into question. He sought to win the sympathy of angels, and charged that God had unjustly honored Christ instead of him. Note that his controversy was Christ-centered from its inception and continues that way.4 Within this context, Satan's charges against God are numerous. His fairness is called in question. His justice is called in question. His law is called in question. His mercy is called in question. Satan portrays God as severe and tyrannical. Satan clothes God and Christ with his own attributes, and presents himself as just the opposite.

"Consider twelve ways Satan expressed these charges: (1) The Father and Christ have no self-denial.5 (2) They are selfish.6 (3) God is 'oppressive.'7 (4) Christ is not self-sacrificing.8 (5) Satan 'represented God as claiming all and giving nothing, as requiring men's service for his own glory, but denying himself nothing for man's good.'9 (6) On the one hand, in opposition to God's law Satan claimed that 'angels

PAGE 113

needed no control, but should be left to follow their own will, which would ever guide them right.'10 (7) On the other hand, Satan 'cast contempt upon the law of God, and declared that it was impossible for men to keep God's commandment.'11 (8) Furthermore, he 'declared that men could not enter the kingdom of heaven unless the law was abolished and a way devised by which transgressors could be reinstated into the favor of God. . . and saved in their sins.'12 (9) He 'declared that the principles of God's government make forgiveness impossible.'13 (10) Hence, he 'charged upon God a lack of wisdom and love.'14 (11) After Christ's death, 'Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law.'15

[...]

"It is necessary that the truth about God, Christ and Satan be made manifest. The real story of all three is involved in the cosmic controversy. The revelation of who they really are must be made so that all created beings, angelic (fallen and unfallen), humans (redeemed and lost) and the unfallen inhabitants of worlds afar, may all vote unanimously on who is right and who is wrong. Only one side can win, yet all from both sides must vote, and vote the same. This is done with complete freedom, and is done purely on the evidence given by both sides.

[...]

"Insights into the Cosmic Controversy

"Lucifer at the Throne. Come with me to heaven. We are gathered around the throne of God. The Father is there. Christ is there. Lucifer is there. Christ is the One through whom the Father has created all things, and this includes Lucifer (Heb 1:1-2; Col 1:16-17). What is it like to gaze on God in His throne room?

[...]

"In blind disdain Lucifer refused to come back. Then follow terrible words. 'He would never again acknowledge the supremacy of Christ;'41 'he was determined never again to acknowledge the authority of Christ.'42 No wonder it is the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Satan rebelled against His Creator—the One who gave Him life. Its [sic] like rebelling against one's mother. He wanted to take His place to receive the worship and adoration and praise Christ had been given. He thought that he, a mere creature, had the right to oust His Creator and receive adulation from created beings, as if he were the eternal Creator. That's how blind and dumb the devil is! He was devoid of the Holy Spirit and spiritual discernment. He was out of control, a loose canon, a horrible counterfeit.

[...]

Christ on Earth. Whereas Lucifer wanted to usurp Christ's throne for his own glory, Christ left His throne to save sinners on planet earth. [...]

"What did Jesus give up? He gave up the throne. He left the adoration and worship of angels and came to this world as a little helpless baby boy. Being a helpless human thrust Him into a 'fearful risk.'44 Yet the wise men from the east, who were not of the Jewish faith, came under the leading of the Holy Spirit to bring gifts and to worship Him. Not so Satan. This was his opportunity. Fancy Christ coming as a mere babe! Satan was a powerful, brilliant, shining angel, and his enemy. Christ whose throne Satan wanted to usurp (Isa 14:13-14), the mighty Michael who had thrown him out of heaven (Ezek 28:16; Rev 12:7-8), was now a mere child. Satan gloated at the prospect. The battle had never been so tilted in his favor as now. Victory seemed assured. Satan worked through Herod to put Christ to death soon after birth (Matt 2:13), but the scheme backfired. The Holy Spirit, who gave Christ birth, led Joseph and Mary with the child to flee to Egypt, and the gifts from the wise men paid for the journey and the stay (Matt 2:13-18).

"Consider Jesus as presented in The Desire of Ages. [...]

"'Yet through childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus walked alone. In His purity and His faithfulness, He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. He carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of men. He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race, all would be lost. This was the burden of His soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him. Filled with intense purpose, He carried out the design of His life that He Himself should be the light of men.'48

"We cannot even begin to imagine the enormous responsibility that rested upon His young shoulders. As a child and as a lad He was carrying this load. And Satan did everything to cause Him to stumble and become disqualified. How would you like to live with that burden? How would you cope if one sin would cause you to lose your eternal future with God. That's what He faced. No wonder He prayed entire nights!

"Consider the temptations in the wilderness before He launched His public ministry. 'When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the Father's glory. Absorbed in communion with God, He was lifted above human weakness. But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with temptation. It was pressing upon Him every moment. His human nature shrank from the conflict that awaited Him. For forty days He fasted and prayed. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with metal agony, 'His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.' Isa. 52:14. Now was Satan's opportunity. Now he supposed that he could overcome Christ.'49

"Satan arrives as a bright angel from heaven with a message from God. He claims that God is satisfied with Christ's willingness to enter the bloodstained path. Christ has passed the test. The fast could now end. Just as Abraham did not have to sacrifice his son, so Christ was freed from His future sacrifice. 'If you are God's son, make these stones bread.' Notice the doubt. Just as in Eden he had said, 'Did God say you would die?' casting doubt upon God's word, so now he said if you are God's son, casting doubt upon the words of the Father forty days before when He said at the baptism, 'This is My beloved Son' (Matt 3:17).

PAGE 114

"Then Satan had another ploy. As an assumed heavenly angel he says, 'One of the most powerful of the angels. . . has been banished from heaven. The appearance of Jesus indicates that He is that fallen angel, forsaken by God, and deserted by man. A divine being would be able to sustain his claim by working a miracle.'50 So make the stones bread.

"Skipping to the third temptation, we read: 'Placing Jesus upon a high mountain, Satan caused the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, to pass in panoramic view before Him. The sunlight lay on templed cities, marble palaces, fertile fields, and fruit-laden vineyards. The traces of evil were hidden. The eyes of Jesus, so lately greeted by gloom and desolation, now gazed upon a scene of unsurpassed loveliness and prosperity. Then the tempter's voice was heard: 'All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine.''51 [...]

"Christ refused. For His 'mission could be fulfilled only through suffering. Before Him was a life of sorrow, hardship, and conflict, and an ignominious death. He must bear the sins of the whole world. He must endure separation from His Father's love.'52 Jesus lived on earth as a dependent human. We knew what it was to be hated, ridiculed, misunderstood, laughed at. Satan threw his full fury at Him. The greatest evidence of a cosmic controversy is the fact that this perfect man, who was also God, had to meet temptations. Satan dogged his every footstep.

"Christ in Gethsemane. In Gethsemane Christ's wilderness experience is magnified. Now, for the first time, He, who knew no sin, became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). 'Now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God's sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father's love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.''53

"'He felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape. As man He must suffer the consequences of man's sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression. Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, 'Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.' Zechariah 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.'54

Christ knew that the issues in the great controversy were at stake here. 'With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ's soul was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan's kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God. . . . The sins of men weighed heavily upon Christ, and the sense of God's wrath against sin was crushing out His life. Behold Him contemplating the price to be paid for the human soul. In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. . . From his pale lips comes the bitter cry, 'O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.' Yet even now He adds, 'Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.''55

[...]

"Christ on the Cross. 'Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon his heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation.'58 He had spent his entire life talking about the Father's mercy and pardoning love. But now, as our Sin Bearer, He could not see that gracious and forgiving Father. [...]

[...]

"Both in Gethsemane and Calvary Christ felt separated from His Father and His love, He felt agonizingly alone. He suffered the horror of hell—eternal separation from God as a guilty man. No not as a guilty man, but as the representative of the whole race of guilty humans! It was crushing out His very life. It was discouragement and despair all wrapped up in one, and compounded because He was the substitute for the entire race of sinners! In Gethsemane Satan tried to get Christ to believe that He would be forever separated from His Father. On the cross Jesus thought that this would truly be the case. There is an apparent intensity involved from Gethsemane to the cross, which makes the eternal separation seem so real. Now He could not see beyond the tomb, even though before He spoke of His resurrection (Matt 12:39-40) and coming in the second advent (Matt 26:64; John 14:3). Now He bore the sins of all mankind and His very life-His future with His Father-was being crushed out. In His agony He cried out, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me' (Matt 27:46). It was as if Christ said, 'Father if I will never be with you again in order to save mankind, if it means that I will perish forever so that the redeemed can live with you in my place, then so be it.' And He plunged into the abyss and perished! How utterly incredible! How infinite and eternal was His giving for mankind!

[...]

"You see, only Jesus knew what it was like to live with the Father. They had been together from eternity. He knew that at God's right hand there are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11). Here at Calvary He was giving up that greatest joy in order to save you and me. What a startling, staggering and forever defining contrast with Satan. The devil aimed to take Christ's place. Jesus plunged into death so that we could take His place. You see, it wasn't that He was unwilling to give it up. Calvary forever proves that. [...]

[...]

"So the actions of both Christ and Satan have revealed their characters. It is this self-revelation of each which convinces the onlooking universe. They cannot help coming to the verdict they do because the evidence is so overwhelming. The contrast between the authentic Christ and the counterfeit Christ is so startlingly different. There is an infinite qualitative distinction between the two. Christ was willing to die for the lost world, and never live again so that they could live in His place. Satan was only willing to take Christ's place and rule as a tyrant over his followers. Christ is other-centered. Satan is self-centered. But more than anything else, the greatest evidence of the distinct

PAGE 115

difference between them-the uncrossable dividing line-is seen at Calvary. There Christ perished for His created beings. There Satan as a created being took the life of His Creator." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=280&journal=1&type=pdf)

All of the incredibly heretical statements above are simply a denial that Jesus Christ is God Himself. Notice how he even groups together as a sort-of trio, "God, Christ and Satan" and then speaks of "all three"! This is such polytheistic, satanic blasphemy. In these quotes, he even makes satan out to be more powerful than Jesus Christ!

One more article published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, is entitled "God Is Love—Trinitarian Love!," by Woodrow Whidden. At the end of the article it says: "Woodrow W. Whidden, II (Ph.D., Drew University) has been Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion and Biblical Languages of the College of Arts and Sciences at Andrews University for sixteen years, but is taking up new responsibilities as Professor of Religion at the Adventist International Institute for Advanced Studies in the Philippines. Whidden's major areas of teaching responsibility include modern church history, systematic theology, and ethics. He has published extensively on both Adventist and Wesleyan soteriological issues and has co-authored a book on the Trinity. His most notable publications are his treatments of Ellen White's soteriology and Christology, Ellen White on Salvation (Hagerstown: Review & Herald, 1995) and Ellen White on the Humanity of Christ (Hagerstown: Review & Herald, 1997)." Here are some excerpts from his article:

"While these three divine Persons are One, they have taken different roles or positions in the Godhead's work of creation, redemption, and the loving administration of the universe. The Father has assumed overall leadership, the Son has subordinated Himself to the leadership of the Father, and the Spirit is voluntarily subordinate to both the Father and the Son.

"The Son is the fully divine second Person of the Godhead who, while retaining His full deity, laid aside the trappings or prerogatives of His divine power and became fully man in the Incarnation. The Spirit proceeds forth from the Father and the Son as the personal, divine representative of the Trinity on earth. The Holy Spirit is just as much divine as the Father and the Son and is fully personal.

[...]

"God's love unfolds from His Trinitarian Oneness as radical, selfsacrificing, mutually submissive, yet always creative and redemptive outflowing Social Love. God's love, revealed as balanced justice and mercy, has been consistently manifested in the three eternally divine Persons of the biblical Godhead. Furthermore, the Holy Trinity has (from all eternity past) been only able to fully reveal and define themselves through their relationship to one another—Yes, in profoundly unitive social love!

[...]

"2 What follows is largely adapted and extracted from the final three chapters of the book co-authored by Woodrow W. Whidden, Jerry Moon, and John W. Reeve: The Trinity: Understanding God's Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian Relationships (Hagerstown: Review and Herald, 2002).

[...]

[...] "Only One who is God, in the fullest sense of the word, can effectively reveal what God is like (John 14:8-11; 1 Cor 1:21-24). And since Jesus was fully one in nature and character with the Father, He was fully capable of revealing the truth about God. Not only does it 'take one to know one,' but it takes One who really knows about deity by nature to give a truly credible revelation of what God is like. No created god, semi-god, or god of some derived divine nature could be sufficiently equipped to do the job. Only a divine 'insider' can really reveal to humanity the inside, in depth truth about God.

[...]

"Most certainly the Holy Spirit has received less notice in theology and practical Christianity than has the Father or the Son. Yet, this is most likely just the way the Holy Spirit would have it. His business has never been to call attention to His own being or person. [...]

[...]

"This passage plainly claims that God can only be made known through the Spirit of God, who is now His authoritative representative on earth, the revelation of God's love and saving power.

"Thus it only makes sense that if the Holy Spirit is to rightly represent both the divine Father and Son, then He must also be fully divine Himself. Once more, it not only 'takes One to know One,' but it takes a Being of the same essential divine 'Kind' or nature to reveal that Kind to some other creaturely 'kind.' In other words, only a Being Who is fully divine, Who wholly shares the eternal nature of divine love, can adequately communicate such love to a created world woefully destitute of divine knowledge and doomed to death.

[...]

"(7) Only One Who can be fully in tune with the heart of Jesus' incarnate ministry, and yet at the same time be able to be everywhere at once (the omnipresence of God), could ably represent the redeeming presence of Christ to the entire world. The only being Who could do such a thing is the ever- and all-Present Holy Spirit.

[...]

"Conclusion

"The God revealed in the Scriptures is composed of Three divine persons who have existed for all eternity in a profound unity, or oneness of nature, purpose, and character. [...]

PAGE 116

"Furthermore, we have discovered that the essential nature of this divine unity is dynamic, creative, out-flowing and self-sacrificing love. [...]

[...]

"The Trinity is simply too foundational, too essential, too biblical, and finally, too precious to the very nature of our understanding of God to relegate it to an irrelevant side track. I urge a renewed commitment to the truth of the Triune Godhead and the 'Heavenly Trio's' awesome vision of a loving and benevolent human existence." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=239&journal=1&type=pdf)

First of all, notice that he defines God's "Trinitarian Oneness" as "Social Love." Then he writes a blasphemous statement that the Holy Spirit's "business has never been to call attention to His own being"! And notice that he then equates "being" with "person." Also notice his very enlightening statements that "God" is simply a "divine 'Kind'" made up of multiple beings (gods), just like man is a "kind" (made up of multiple beings [men]). In other words, "God" is "one" only in the sense of one "kind" (a "godkind"), comparable to "mankind." This is incredibly polytheistic. Notice also that "same...Kind" is also his definition of "same...nature." And he also appears to equate "essence" with "Kind."

He goes on to teach the SDA denial of Jesus Christ's omnipresence. And then he says that the "essential nature" of the "divine unity" is "love." In other words, the only thing that makes their gods "one" is that they happen to love each other. Finally, notice that he says that the SDAs' tritheistic teaching of the "Heavenly Trio" is very "foundational, "essential," and "precious" to "the very nature" of their "understanding of God."

Dr. Whidden also gave a presentation at the Adventist Theological Society's 2006 "Trinity Symposium," entitled "The Trinity: Its Practical, Theological, and Ethical Implications." Here are some excerpts from the audio archive of that presentation:

"You see, Smith, Waggoner--both J.H. and E.J.--had all moved to at least a semi-arian position. And that was an advance, wasn't it? Of course it was an advance. But it did not give us a co-eternal, social Trinity. [...]"

[...]

"Now, again, for my non-Adventist friends that are here today, I want to remind you that we have a very broad vision on atonement in Adventism. As LeRoy tried to point out yesterday, we believe that atonement certainly includes the incarnation. For M.L. Andreasen, that was phase one. Certainly, it includes His holy and victorious life, as He was daily filled with the Holy Spirit, aided by the graces of the Father, mediated through the Spirit, He was able to be totally victorious against all temptation. So, that is what we call phase one. [...]

[...]

"Now, let me suggest this to you. I, in my book--I should say our book. And I just, again, want to thank Jerry and John for cooperating with me as we pulled all this together, and it's amazing how we clicked. We really, as we say, were an aspiring unholy trinity trying to expound the Holy Trinity. [...]

"And the argument essentially goes like this: that only One who is God is fitted up to undo unlove. Let me put it to you another way. The only beings in the universe are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost who are eternal love, that can bring a perfect balance of justice and mercy that will overcome the sin problem.

[...]

"But the God who has been from all eternity Triune, self-sacrificing, mutually exclusive--submissive, though creatively outflowing and expansive, made whole orders of beings in His image. And that was what? To live also in social love, where we find our deepest meaning. Okay? And the argument is simply this: only a God who has been eternal, infinite social love could ever crank out an order of beings made in His image.

[...]

"By the way, the flip side of that is: only One who is equal with God would be able to treat with God for our redemption. Okay? And He does so with His bargaining chip, and His bargaining chip is His atoning death that was qualified by His totally victorious life.

[...]

"Listen also to this powerful statement [Note: The quote is from Ellen G. White] on Christ as Mediator: 'The reconciliation of man to God could be accomplished only through a mediator who was equal with God, possessed of attributes that would dignify, and declare Him worthy to treat with the Infinite God in man's behalf, and also represent God to a fallen world. Man's substitute and surety must have man's nature, a connection with the human family whom He was to represent, and, as God's ambassador, He must partake of the divine nature, and have a connection with the Infinite, in order to manifest God to the world, and be a mediator between God and man.'

[...]

[...] "God died. The death of the God-forsaken God, Jesus Christ. [...]

[...]

"And then we have the marvelous passage that God was in Christ, reconciling Himself--reconciling the world unto Himself. Right? The Father died in the sense that He died the thousand deaths that every parent dies when they send their children on a hopeless mission that they know will possibly bring death. God was in Christ in that He was undergirding His Son every step of the way as the Son was responsive to meet the demands of a just mercy so that we could be redeemed. And where was the Holy Spirit in all of this? The Holy Spirit was the agency of Father God to sustain Christ to the very portals of the tomb. Folks, the hell of hell was that moment when Christ said, 'My

PAGE 117

God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?' He was the God-forsaken God! For God's sake and for our sake.

"And this is why only the Holy Spirit can help us to die the second death to self so that we can have everlasting victory over the second death of the body. Okay? All right? I would suggest to you that it is out of the profound Trinitarian oneness, that the wonders of the atonement were cooked up, so that we would be able to share the great celestial banquet. [...]" (http://atsjats.org/site/1/podcast/06_Trinity_Whidden_Trinity_Implications.mp3)

Once again, we see the teaching of multiple divine "beings" (gods), and other polytheistic statements. He even explicitly teaches more than one "God," calling Jesus "the God-forsaken God"!

Another article by Woodrow W. Whidden was published in the Spring 2000 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and is entitled "Trinitarian Evidences in the Apocalypse." Here are some excerpts from the article:

[...] "The following study presents evidence in support of three important aspects of the Trinitarian concept of God: 1) the Godhead manifest as a personal and profoundly united threesome, 2) the full deity of Christ, and 3) the personhood of the Holy Spirit. [...]

[...]

"It is quite evident that the Father, Spirit, and Son are in focus here. What is impressive about these verses is that they are so straight forward in introducing a heavenly Threesome. [...]

[...]

"The appellation given to the Father, however, is a bit more complex. In vs. 8 and 10 the same being 'who is and who was and who is to come' is also called 'the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,' 'the Lord,' and 'the Almighty.' Who is this 'Lord' of verse 8? Is He the Father or the Son?

"What is interesting about these titles is that in the succeeding verses (10, 13, 17, and 18) the expressions 'Alpha and Omega' and 'the first and the last' are also applied to Jesus. What is to be made of the use of these titles?

"The first suggestion is that quite obviously the profound oneness of the Father and the Son is evidenced by the stunning fact that they are both described with a title which is most obviously drawn from the prophet Isaiah (44:6) to describe the self-existing Yahweh.

"What is most important to note, however, is that in the Apocalypse the expressions 'Him who is and who was and who is to come' and 'the Almighty' are never applied explicitly to Jesus (compare 4:8; 11:15, 17; 16:5, 7).5 This is rather strong implicit evidence that the one called 'Him who is and who was and who is to come' (NJKV) in v. 4 refers neither to the Son nor the Spirit, but exclusively to God the Father.

"In chapter one, both the Father and the Son are referred to as the 'Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and the End,' 'the First and the Last' (vs. 8, 11, 17). As was previously pointed out, these expressions are drawn from Isaiah 44:6: 'Thus says the LORD [Yahweh], the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me There is no God.'' This passage, addressed to Yahweh and applied by the Revelator to both the Father and the Son, is compelling evidence for their equality in nature and purpose.

[...]

"This vision of the Spirit is consistent with the later trinitarian convictions of the church that the Spirit has willingly subjected Himself to the Father (and the Son) to proceed forth from Them and to inspire the intelligences of the created order to acknowledge the 'worthiness' of the Father as the Almighty Creator/Lord of the universe.

"The Spirit, however, is not merely content to provoke hymns of adulation to the Father: he is also presented as profoundly bound up with the Son in His work as the chief Agent of redemption—the Lion/Lamb of Revelation five.

[...]

[...] "No mere man could die a ransom for many (Matt 20:28). Only God could pay the price required for breaking His laws. But the Father could not die this death, so the Son took human flesh, indivisibly man and God, so God—the Son—could become the sacrificial Lamb and pay the cost.

"The covenant privileges of the kingdom had been forfeited through Israel's sinful unfaithfulness to the gracious, covenant keeping God; but the slain Lamb, sent as the Father's co-regent Lion/Lamb, effects salvation and covenant restoration.11

[...]

"As the implications of the redemptive exploits of the slain Lamb become apparent to all the orders of the created beings of the universe, there is a seemingly spontaneous manifestation of worship which is indiscriminately directed to the Father and the Son. Needless to say, this is powerful evidence of their profound equality as the divine co-regents of the restored kingdom. Yet, there are still more compelling implications arising from these scenes of worship.

"The Trinitarian evidence in these three chapters is both 'positive' and 'negative.' There is not only a clear presentation of the true Trinity ('positive'), but also an arresting portrayal of a counterfeit trinity ('negative') which seeks to foment a great false spiritual revival to counteract the genuine revival of Gospel proclamation spearheaded by the true Trinity.

"Chapters 11:16-12:17 give an arresting overview of the eschatological crisis, introducing the main protagonists—-the Father, the Son and the Spirit of the True Trinity and the 'fiery red dragon'—the counterfeit father of the evil trinity. Chapter thirteen presents the

PAGE 118

great revival of false religion provoked by the false trinity: the false father 'dragon' now goes off to seek the revivalistic support of the leopard-like sea beast (the false son of vs. 1-8) and the lamb-like land beast (the false holy spirit—the unholy spirit of vs. 11-18).

[...]

"While the Spirit is not expressly mentioned in chapters eleven and twelve, His presence is strongly suggested in 12:17, where God's final people not only keep the covenant law, but also are furnished with the 'testimony of Jesus Christ.' This 'testimony' is plainly defined in the Revelation as the fruit of the mighty workings of the 'spirit of prophecy.' Here is a clear reference to the office of the Holy Spirit as the divine power which inspires and makes effectual the work of the holy prophets (see 19:10 and 22:8, 9).

"Thus the final half of John's apocalypse is introduced against the backdrop of Trinitarian involvement in the resolution of the great controversy between the forces of the Gospel and its diabolic opposition.

[...]

"In opposition to God, the Man Child of the woman, the comforting work of the Spirit, and God's covenant keeping people is a powerful counterfeit trinity—-the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet (16:13).

[...]

"In notable contrast, the Holy Trinity is presented as fomenting a great true revival in chapter fourteen which eventuates in the worship of the creator God through the deep experience of the 144,000 obeying the first four commandments of the covenant code (14:12; cf. 12:17). Thus the entire eschatological crisis is a Trinitarian crisis of cosmic proportions!

[...]

"In 21:1-6 there is one of the most touching scenes of the entire book. The 'first earth had passed away' and 'a new heaven and a new earth' had come forth with their 'New Jerusalem' capital. The One 'who is and who was and who is to come' (1:4 and 4:8) has now literally 'come' to the earth with the New Jerusalem and is dwelling with His people.

"These verses undoubtedly have reference to the Father God who is portrayed as doing the fatherly thing—wiping 'away every tear from their eyes.' His very comforting presence seems to have completely banished 'death,' 'sorrow,' 'crying,' and 'pain.'

"Furthermore, it is instructive to compare this scene with that found in 7:17, where the 'great multitude' of the redeemed are pictured as before the throne and 'the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'

"What is portrayed here is a telling picture of the close working relationship between the Father and the Son in bringing comfort to the redeemed after their pilgrimage through the kingdom of the Devil and sin. At the very least this is suggestive evidence for the profound 'oneness' in purpose of the first two members of the Godhead.

"Yet once more in 21:22, 23 is presented a vision of Their profound oneness: referring to the glorious 'New Jerusalem,' the revelator 'saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.' Here the oneness of the Godhead is portrayed primarily through the cultic imagery of the temple. The OT temple finds its anti-typical significance coming to culmination with the compelling suggestion that all the temple imagery ultimately points to triumphant redemption through the united efforts of the Father and the Son.

"Not only are the united Father and Son displacing the temple, but They are also now envisioned as bringing to completion their full triumph over the forces of evil and sin. [...]

"Now, however, this theme of the throne reaches its fullest consummation in 22:1-3: the throne is called, for the first time in the book, 'the throne of God and of the Lamb.' Now it is explicit: the Father and the Son are full co-regents, both seated on the throne sharing all of the covenant prerogatives which had been secured through their common redemptive efforts (achieved through their vanquishing of the usurping forces of evil and restoring the covenant blessings of the redeemed).17

"17Stefanovic [Religion Professor at the SDA Andrews University] suggests that until this scene in the book, there is the subordination of Christ to the Father. Now, however, with the full triumph of the Gospel of the true Trinity over the false Gospel of the counterfeit trinity, Christ is no longer subordinated to the Father (suggestions shared in personal conversations, to be published in a forthcoming commentary).

"This vision of the co-regency of the Father and the Son is the final piece of compelling evidence for Christ's full deity. Clearly the Son shares all of the royal prerogatives of the eternal Father on the Throne of the universe. Such royal prerogatives and shared rulership of full equality argues coercively for the full deity of the Father being shared with the Son. This is the climactic scene of the entire book and the Father and the Son are one and equal. What is said about the nature and the authority of the One can be said of the Other.

"Quite obviously the enthroned Father and Son are in focus in these chapters; but is the Holy Spirit completely absent? Is the Spirit in this scene of glorious triumph? There is suggestive evidence that the Spirit is once again doing the two things in this setting which are very typical of the redemptive functions He has exercised all along:

"1) He is drawing lost humanity back into covenant relationship with the Godhead, especially as He works through 'the bride,' the church in its gospel mission: 'And the Spirit and the bride say 'Come!' And let him who hears say 'Come!'' (22:17).

"2) The Spirit works, but He works as He finds currency in proceeding forth from the throne of the Father and the Son. Is it going too far to suggest that the 'river of Life' which proceeds from the throne (22:1) is emblematic of the life giving power of the Spirit who bestows the grace of God on a world in desperate need of restoration?

PAGE 119

"There is both Biblical and Jewish literary evidence for identifying the 'river of Life' with the Holy Spirit.18

[...]

"Conclusion

"The evidence for the oneness and the equality of the Father and the Son and the close association of the Spirit with them is quite compelling and strongly suggests that one of the great permeating themes of the Apocalypse is the Triune nature of the Godhead. Certainly the evidence for the divine unity of the Three and the full deity of Christ is more compelling than that given for the Personhood and full deity of the Holy Spirit. But the close association of the Spirit with the Father and the Son in these four major settings (chapters 1—3, 4 and 5, 11—14 and 21 and 22) and the trappings of personhood ascribed to the Spirit (speaking and intelligent, personal eyes) provide credible evidence of the Spirit's full deity and personality." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=119&journal=1&type=pdf)

First, he describes "the Godhead" as a "profoundly united threesome" and then also speaks of "a heavenly Threesome." This is Tritheism, plain and simple. Then he separates the Father and Son into separate "beings." He goes on to totally twist and misrepresent the teachings of the Christian creeds regarding the eternal procession of the Spirit. We also see again their heresy of a "co-regency"--which at the same time that it teaches polytheism, also denies that the Holy Spirit is God! And again, we see a blasphemous, polytheistic grouping together of the Father, the Son and the Spirit with the devil as "the main protagonists" of "the eschatological crisis." He also speaks of "the Father God" as a separate "God." Also, Revelation 21:22 is not presenting two "united" gods as Whidden is teaching--in fact, in the original Greek, John (or, actually, the Holy Spirit inspiring him) refuses to even use the third person plural "are" (Gr. eisi) and actually uses the third person singular "is" (Gr. esti). Notice also that Whidden defines Christ's "full deity" as simply a "co-regency" and "shared rulership of full equality," with "the full deity of the Father being shared with the Son." Also notice that this is also his definition for "one."

Another article on dialogue.adventist.org (and which was published in College and University Dialogue), is entitled "The Trinity: Why is it important?," by Woodrow Whidden, who was, at the time, "professor of religion at Andrews University," and currently (2009) is Professor of Historical & Systematic Theology at the Theological Seminary at Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines.15 Here are some excerpts from the article:

"While the vast majority of Christians have affirmed the eternal deity of the Father, controversies have always swirled around the questions of the full and eternal deity of the Son, the divine personhood of the Holy Spirit, and the profound oneness of the Trio. Space does not permit a detailed discussion of the biblical evidence for God's triune oneness, but if we can settle the full deity of the Son and the Spirit, it seems only logical that there would be a profound oneness with the Father. Thus Christians have confessed that there is One God (monotheism) who is manifest as Tri-Personal oneness in love (not three Gods, or tri-theism).

[...]

"Paul declares that his readers may have a knowledge of 'what God has prepared for those who love him' (vs. 9, NRSV). And how is such knowledge possible? 'These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit' (vs. 10). And how is it that the Spirit is privy to such knowledge? 'The Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God' (vs. 10, 11).

"What the passage suggests is this: If anyone wants to know 'what is truly human' they must get such information from one who is a human being. What, however, is true on a human level, is even more true on the divine: 'Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God' (v. 11, NKJV). Only a divine being can truly know what is in the mind and heart of another divine being.

[...]

"The first response to the logic of Trinitarian thought is to admit that we are dealing with the profoundest of mysteries. In loving relationships, there does appear to develop a profound social or emotional oneness. Are we then to say that loving relationships are totally illogical and incoherent? We think not. And this seems to be the best way to give a coherent account of the mystery of the Trinity and its plural oneness.

[...]

"For Trinitarian Christians, the key question about God has ultimate reference to the issue of His love. And if God is not 'love' in the very core of His being, then any questions about His nature quickly descend to a state of biblical irrelevance. We, however, sense that love is the most basic characterization of God. If God is truly—in His very essence—the God of 'love' (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:8), then we need to consider the following implications:

"Could One who has existed from all eternity and who made us in His loving image—could this God truly be called love if He existed only as a solitary or unitarian being? Is not love, especially divine love, possible only if the One who made our universe was a plural being who was exercising 'love' within His divine plurality (Trinitarian) from all eternity past? Is not real, selfless love possible only if it proceeds from the kind of God who, by nature, was and is and shall eternally be a God of love as a social Trinity?

"We feel strongly impelled to affirm that God is a Trinity of love and that this love has found its most moving revelation in the creative work, Incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of the fully divine Son of God. God's Trinitarian oneness, in the finale, is not illogical. In fact, it is the source of the only logic which makes any ultimate sense—a love that is self-sacrificing, mutually submissive, and eternally outward flowing in the grace of creative and redemptive power.

[...]

"First, before the Trinity could ever bring the effectiveness of Christ's saving life and death to bear on the salvation of sinners, there was the

PAGE 120

urgent need to reveal to sin-alienated human beings what God is truly like. And the only being who could offer such an arresting revelation of the divine nature would be God Himself. And this was the primary mission of Jesus, the divine Son of God.

"Now, when it comes to the actual provision for salvation, especially in His atoning death, only One who is equal with the Father in divine nature could offer a sacrifice that would fully satisfy God's divine justice. And only the fully divine Christ, through the Holy Spirit, would be powerful enough to re-create sin-scarred human beings into the likeness of the divine character. In other words, only the divine Son could effect conversion or the new birth, and bring about character change that would reflect the divine likeness.

[...]

"Only One who can be fully in tune with the heart of Jesus' incarnate ministry, and yet at the same time be able to be everywhere at once (the omnipresence of God), could ably represent the personal, redeeming presence of Christ to the entire world. The only being who could do such a thing is the personal, ever- and all-present Holy Spirit.

[...]

"I want to challenge each reader to ponder prayerfully and carefully the Trinity and its profound implications for the life and destiny that the God of the Bible is offering to humanity. This doctrine meets the demands of modernity's lust for a rational reflection on the human/divine predicament and at the same time offers a truly enticing mystery for the tastes of the more relational 'postmoderns.' Furthermore, Trinitarian thought and life offer a vision of living in loving relationships, which reflects the most profound reality offered by the One Who has made the world in love and is seeking to redeem it from sin (which is un-love—the most profound antithesis of divine love).

"Furthermore, I cannot think of any better point of discussion when seeking to relate to the monotheistic concerns of our Muslim friends. If the love of Jesus, the point Man for the loving Trinity, cannot carry the day, nothing will." (http://dialogue.adventist.org/articles/16_3_whidden_e.htm)

In the above quotation, first we see that Whidden uses the SDA prophetess Ellen G. White's tritheistic phrase "Trio," and he says that the "oneness" of this "Trio" is simply a "oneness in love." And he claims that this is not tritheism, just because the gods all love each other! Then, in the next section of the quotation, Whidden totally twists and changes a passage from 1 Corinthians 2, first quoting the NSRV and then switching to the NKJV when he needs to in order to try to prove his point (which is not supported by any translation!). First, the text does not say that "[i]f anyone wants to know 'what is truly human' they must get such information from one who is a human being"! What it actually said was (in the NRSV): "For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within?" It says "the human spirit that is within" the human being! It does not even hint at anything about two separate human beings, like Whidden would want us to think, in order to "prove" polytheism. Then Whidden says: "What, however, is true on a human level, is even more true on the divine: 'Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God' (v. 11, NKJV). Only a divine being can truly know what is in the mind and heart of another divine being." This is pure polytheism. The text says nothing about "another divine being" (or multiple divine beings) at all (in fact, it teaches the exact opposite). Whidden just created this out of thin air, totally changing the text to make it say what he wants it to say. The analogy in the Scriptural text was that of comparing one human being to the one God (who is one indivisible, living divine Being), not of comparing multiple human beings to multiple divine beings (gods)! He has to change the text entirely, just so he can teach polytheism.

Then he goes onto say that the "oneness" of God is no more than the "oneness" found in loving relationships between human beings. And in the third to last paragraph, he is teaching the SDA idea that Jesus Christ is not omnipresent (click here to jump down to the section "Denial of Christ's Omnipresence"), and implies again that the Holy Spirit is a separate "being." However, before that paragraph, it is interesting to note that Whidden uses the word "being" singular to refer to God. So it appears that when he uses the word "being" in the singular in reference to God, that he is defining it differently then he does when he uses it in the plural to teach polytheism (which we already looked at). So again we see that even when Adventists do use the word "being" singularly, they are not using it with the Christian or monotheistic definition of one living Being. Rather, they are using it more in the Hindu/panentheistic sense of "the being of God," meaning it simply refers to the existence or totality of "God" (which comprises multiple living beings [gods]). In other words, they are still teaching polytheism.

The following excerpts are from an article published in the Spring 2004 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, which is entitled "The Faith Factor: New Testament Cosmology in its Historical Context," by Keith Augustus Burton. At the end of the article, it says: "Keith Augustus Burton is Associate Professor of New Testament at Oakwood College and the Pastor for Administration at the Madison Mission Seventh-day Adventist Church. He has served as President of the Adventist Society of Religious Studies. Burton completed his Ph.D. in New Testament Interpretation and Classical Literature at Northwestern University in 1994. He has presented several scholarly papers and authored numerous articles. His most recent book, Law, Rhetoric, and the Mystery of Salvation, was published by the Edwin Mellen Press." Here are some excerpts from his article:

[...] "Paul also credits God with the creation of 'all things' (Eph 3:9), a thought likewise echoed by John (Rev 4:11).

"In fact, so accepted is the belief that God is creator that not all find it necessary to mention His name when talking about things created. [...]

"A slight problem arises with those New Testament texts that appear to deviate from the First Testament passages and attribute creation to the pre-existent Christ, who is a separate entity from God the Father (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2). The problem is bridged when it is recognized that nowhere is Christ referred to as the Creator. John, Paul, and Hebrews all state that the world was made 'through' (dia) the Logos/Son. This highlights the pre-existent Son as a sort of middle-man in the process. Hebrews is irrefutably clear that God is the chief actor in creation (Heb 1:1f). The pre-human Son appears to be a part of a Divine creation team that God repeatedly addresses with the hortatory command, 'Let us . . .' This is the same team God addresses in Genesis 3:22 when He implies that Adam would gain Divine status if he were to eat from the tree of life. In some mysterious way, the pre-existent Divine Son had an intermediary role in the creation process, but God is the ultimate Creator.

[...] "John proclaims, 'All things came into existence (egeneto) through (dia) the Word' (John 1:3), and Jesus in Mark states, 'The Sabbath came into existence (egeneto) for (dia) humans' (Mark 2:27).

PAGE 121

[...]

"'Let us make man in our image . . . (and) likeness . . .' (Gen 1:26-27). On the sixth day of creation, God led the creation team in the creation of humans who were to be made in the divine image. It is commonly accepted that image and likeness refer more to the spiritual image of the Divine council than to any physical manifestation. [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=17&journal=1&type=pdf)

There is so much anti-Trinitarian heresy in the above excerpts, that it is almost overwhelming. First, Dr. Burton calls it a "problem" that some New Testament texts "appear to deviate" from the Old Testament (which says that God is the Creator) and "attribute creation to the pre-existent Christ"! This is an outright denial that Jesus is God. Then he goes on to say that Christ is "a separate entity from God the Father." So what is his solution to the supposed "problem"? He says that everything's solved "when it is recognized that nowhere is Christ referred to as the Creator"!! Instead, he says that Christ was just "a sort of middle-man in the process," but that "God" was "the chief actor in creation." He says that Christ was actually just "a part of a Divine creation team that God repeatedly addresses with the hortatory command, 'Let us . . .'"! He then goes on to say that Christ just "had an intermediary role in the creation process," but that it was "God" who is "the ultimate Creator." Then he says that "God led the creation team in the creation of humans who were to be made in the divine image," and that this image was that of "the Divine council"! All of these statements are absolute poytheism. And instead of Jesus Christ being God, he is only "a part of a Divine creation team" and is not actually the Creator, because "God" is "the ultimate Creator"!

The following quote is from an article published in the Fall 2002 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, which is entitled "Did the Apostle Paul Abolish the Sabbath?: Colossians 2:14-17 Revisited," by Frank B. Holbrook. At the end of the article, it says: "Frank Holbrook, before his retirement, was an Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute. He served as editor of JATS for five years and also edited the Biblical Research Institute's seven volume Daniel and Revelation Committee Series. Among his books is The Atoning Priesthood of Jesus Christ, available from the ATS." Here is the quote from his article:

"The Godhead worked together in the creation of our earth (Gen 1-2). The NT observes that the Son served as the active agent to bring all things into existence (John 1:1-3, 10, 14; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:1, 2). With regard to the origin of the Sabbath, the evidence is plain. God the Son set aside the seventh day of creation to be the Sabbath for the human family by His example and fiat. [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=51&journal=1&type=pdf)

The next quote is from an article published in the Fall 2002 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, which is entitled "Staying Within the Boundaries: Contextualization of Adventism for India," by Gordon Christo. At the end of the article, it says: "Gordon Christo is Academic Vice-President at Spicer Memorial College. He holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament Studies from the S.D.A. Theological Seminary, Andrews University." Here is the quote from his article:

"God. In contrast to the Christian view of God—righteous, holy, and united in purpose, thought, and action—the Hindu concept varies. Hindu philosophy asserts a belief in only one God—all pervading, self-luminous, eternal spirit, the final cause, and the power behind all things.7 However, folk Hindus serve a plethora of deities. According to Vedic texts, the number of deities was limited to thirty-three. In fact there exist as many as thirty-three score deities worshiped by various Hindus.8 Practically, there is a severe contrast between monotheism and polytheism. Another area that can be contrasted with similar results is the character of God." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=47&journal=1&type=pdf)

Notice that he states that "God" is "united in purpose, thought, and action"! How can a "God" be "united in purpose"? "God" is "united in purpose" with...who? Again, this shows that their definition for "God" is actually just a "group" of three "united" gods, rather than a living Being. They use the word "God" as a collective (group) noun. In reality, they are no more monotheistic than are the Hindus.

The following excerpts are from an article published in the Journal of the Adventist Theological Society in 1997, which is entitled "Worship in the Book of Revelation," by C. Raymond Holmes, "Retired, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Andrews University":

"The key expression, 'You are worthy,' is directed to the Creator in chapter 4 and to the Redeemer in chapter 5. (Such language was familiar to first century Christians, since 'vere dignus' were the first words of solemn acclamation directed to an Emperor upon his entrance into a city.) In Revelation's majestic service all created beings surrender their crowns to Father and Son (4:10). Creation and redemption, heaven and earth, are bound together in this glorious act of worship. The centrality of Father and Son in worship is established for Christians forever.

[...]

"The words that are spoken, and the liturgical action, all take place in the presence of the Lord and the Lamb as Creator and Redeemer are praised and adored. The words and actions are not directed to humans, but to the Deity. They recount, recite, the mighty acts of Lord and Lamb in creating and redeeming the world. The entire focus is on the Deity, not on the worshipers.

[...]

"Summary. We can only be impressed by the theocentric worship in Revelation. It is not man-centered and narcissistic. The Lord and Lamb are at the center, not human feelings, human experience, or human needs. The worshipers come to meet with Lord and Lamb, to hear them speak, and to respond in faith and obedience. [...]

[...]

[...] "No longer are human needs foremost in the worshiper's mind. The worshiper is able to concentrate fully and completely upon offering Lord and Lamb the praise due to them for the victory They have made possible. There is nothing more to do except to glorify Lord and Lamb who have done all, whose work has been finished on earth and has produced the fruit of full salvation and restoration.

PAGE 122

[...]

"The fundamental need of the contemporary Adventist worshiper is to be enabled to live faithfully, courageously, and obediently during the final events of the great controversy and in the midst of a corrupt world system. Adventist worship will meet this spiritual need only when the Lord and the Lamb are its primary focus, when They are glorified, praised, as the only reliable and dependable Source of overcoming power and grace. [...]" (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=255&journal=1&type=pdf)

The above excerpts once again show their polytheism, and again teach that Jesus is not the Creator.

The following quote is from an article published in the Fall 1996 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, which is entitled "Ellen G. White: Side Issues or Central Message?" by SDA theology professor and scholar Alberto R. Timm, "Director, Ellen G. White Research Center Brazil Adventist College (Central Campus)":

"God as the Unfolding Center. Ellen White speaks of God as 'the great center' from Whom 'all life proceeds' and to Whom 'all service, homage, and allegiance belong' (cf. Acts 17:24-28).9 Her view of God as the center is a dynamic concept which unfolds itself from the three Persons of the Godhead10 to Their work of redemption. So, she qualifies as centers not only the Godhead but also Christ and His atoning sacrifice." (http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=283&journal=1&type=pdf)

The following quotes are from SDA professor Dr. Jud Lake's website, "Ellen White Answers." On the "About the Editor" page, it says: "Jud Lake is a passionate advocate of expository preaching and Ellen White's prophetic ministry, holding doctorates from the University of South Africa (Th.D) and Reformed Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is a professor in the School of Religion at Southern Adventist University where he teaches the classes, 'Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White' and 'Adventist Heritage,' among other teaching responsiblities."

"It is important to keep in mind that Ellen White was raised Methodist, which meant she was taught creedal Trinitarianism. [...]

"In light of this influence on her upbringing, it is noteworthy that she never denounced Trinitarianism in print like many of her contemporaries. Although one aspect of the above Trinitarian statement troubled her: 'without body or parts.'

"In one early vision of Jesus, she asked Him questions related to the 'form' and 'person' of God. She 'saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus' countenance,' she said, 'and admired His lovely person. The Father's person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, 'If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist'' (Early Writings, 54).

"Around 1850 she wrote, 'I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that He is a person. I asked Him if His Father was a person and had a form like Himself. Said Jesus, 'I am in the express image of My Father's person'' (ibid., 77).

"These statements were significant for the early Adventists because they rejected the philosophical ideas of God being timeless and without form. Both James and Ellen White wanted people to understand God as personal, as Dr. Moon pointed out: [...]

[...]

"The following is the chronological progression of Ellen White's statements on Christ's divinity and his relationship to the Godhead (based on Jerry Moon, The Trinity, 207-210). [...]

"1850: Christ and the Father are personal beings with tangible form (Early Writings, pp. 54, 77).

[...]

"Over the years I have studied different works on systematic theology and enjoyed the Trinitarian insights of the various theologians. But no other writer, outside of Scripture, has made the concept of the Trinity more clear, meaningful, and powerful to me than Ellen G. White. [...]" (Emphasis in original. http://ellenwhiteanswers.org/answers/mischarges/egwandarianism)

Again we see the SDA polytheism and denial of God's incorporeality. And that last paragraph is very insightful and is a clear denial of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, as we will especially see when we take a look at Ellen G. White's writings on the subject a little bit later.

The following quote is from Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, an SDA theologian and author. According to his website, he "pursued a ministerial training at Andrews University, Michigan, where he received a Masters of Divinity degree (1987) and a Ph.D. in systematic theology (1998), specializing in biblical authority & interpretation and ecclesiology." His website also says: "His articles have appeared in both scholarly and popular journals. He has authored and co-authored more than a dozen books. [...] Between 1995 and 2000, he served as a member of the General Conference's Biblical Research Institute Committee (BRICOM), the highest theological body of his church. His name is listed as one of the denominational theologians who reviewed the scholarly articles contained in the Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology [2000], which is volume 12 of the 'Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary' series. [...] He is an ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist church, currently employed by the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He has served the world church as a delegate to five General Conference sessions (1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005), the most authoritative convocation of the church. At these General Conference sessions, he has spoken passionately on issues affecting the identity, message, and mission of the church. [...] Serving currently as the Director of Public Campus Ministries for the Michigan Conference, Dr. Pipim's office is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he ministers to students, faculty, and staff at the University of Michigan." The following quotation is from pages 32-33 of his book entitled Receiving the Word:

"2. How is 'all Scripture' inspired? 2 Timothy 3:16 makes it clear that 'all Scripture is given by inspiration of God [Greek theopneustos, literally 'God-breathed'8],' that it to say, all the books of the Bible have a divine origin. Not only is God the fundamental source of the Bible, but Jesus Christ was also intimately connected with the production of the Scriptures. [...]

"The apostle Peter later wrote that the Holy Spirit was also an active participant in producing the Scriptures: [...]

PAGE 123

"Thus the testimony of Scripture is that the book we call the Bible has its source in all the members of the Trinity--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Just as all three members of the Godhead cooperated in the creation of the world, so also do we find all three working together in giving to the world a unique Book, the Bible.

[...]

"Probably the most mysterious thing about the Bible is the manner in which the Principal Authors of the Book--the members of the Holy Trinity--were able to employ fallible human beings as their instruments to write down, in a trustworthy manner, the message of God. This process is called 'inspiration.'" (http://maranathamedia.com/start/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=271)

The above statements clearly teach Tritheism, even going so far as to say that there are three "Principal Authors" of the Bible!

In 1957, the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association published a book entitled Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, in response to questions from Evangelical counter-cult apologist Walter Martin. This book, after having been out of print for years, was republished by Andrews University Press in 2003 as an annotated edition. The book was carefully crafted to appeal to Evangelicals (especially Walter Martin), so that the SDA Church would be accepted as a Christian group, rather than viewed as a cult as it had been up until then. Nevertheless, even in this book their teaching of Tritheism is found (which teaching is very explicit in the Ellen G. White quotes in the back of the book in Appendix A "Christ's Place in the Godhead"). The following quotations are from the original version of the book:

"I. In Common With Conservative Christians and the Historic Protestant Creeds, We Believe—

[...]

"2. That the Godhead, the Trinity, comprises God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

[...]

"4. That Jesus Christ is very God, and that He has existed with the Father from all eternity.

"5. That the Holy Spirit is a personal being, sharing the attributes of deity with the Father and the Son."

(http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/q01.htm)

"The candidate signs this statement, in affirmation of belief, before baptism. And in Appendix A, on pp. 641-645, appears a compilation of statements on the deity and eternal pre-existence of Christ and His position in the Godhead from one of our most representative writers, Ellen G. White.

"As to Christ's place in the Godhead, we believe Him to be the second person in the heavenly Trinity—comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are united not only in the Godhead but in the provisions of redemption. A series of succinct statements on the Trinity also appears in Appendix A, 'Christ's Place in the Godhead,; clearly presenting (1) that Christ is one with the Eternal Father—one in nature, equal in power and authority, God in the highest sense, eternal and self-existent, with life original, unborrowed, underived; and (2) that Christ existed from all eternity, distinct from, but united with, the Father, possessing the same glory, and all the divine attributes.

"Seventh-day Adventists base their belief in the Trinity on the statements of Holy Scripture rather than on a historic creed. Article 2 of the statement on Fundamental Beliefs, is explicit:

"That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption. Matt. 28:19.

"Another representative statement appears in the 'Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs' on the Certificate of Baptism

"1. The true and living God, the first person of the Godhead, is our heavenly Father, and He, by His Son. Christ Jesus, created all things. (Matt. 28:18, 19; 1 Cor. 8:5, 6; Eph. 3:9; Jer. 10:10-12; Heb. 1:1-3; Acts 17:22-29; Col. 1:16-18.)

"2. Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, and the eternal Son of God, is the only Saviour from sin; and man's salvation is by grace through faith in Him. (Matt. 28:18, 19; John 3:16; Micah 5:2; Matt. 1:21; 2:5, 6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:11, 12; Eph. 1:9-15; 2:4-8; Rom. 3:23-26.)

"3. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, is Christ's representative on earth, and leads sinners to repentance and to obedience of all God's requirements. (Matt. 28:18, 19; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Rom. 8:1-10; Eph. 4:30"

(http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/q04.htm)

[...] "The being who appeared to Joshua as 'captain of the host of the Lord' was a divine being, whom Joshua worshiped (Joshua 5:14). Thus the hosts of the Lord are under command of a divine being worthy of worship, and whose presence makes a place holy (verse 15). This Divine Being we believe was none other than our Lord Jesus Christ."

(http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/q08.htm)

"Having burst the bands of death, Jesus ascended as the 'King of glory' (Psalm 24), to appear in the presence of God for us. And there, amid the adoration of angels, He was enthroned. Addressing Him as the Creator, as the One who had 'laid the foundation of the earth' (Heb. 1:10),

PAGE 124

the omnipotent Father reaffirms His position as God, saying: 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows' (Heb. 1:8, 9).

[...]

"In the upper room, just before entering the Garden, He, as the Eternal Word, offered His high-priestly prayer to the Father. He who had shared with His Father the effulgent glory of the Eternal Godhead, presented His disciples to Him; and not them only, but all who, through their ministry, would be led to a knowledge of salvation. [...]

[...]

"As our exalted Lord, Christ shares the throne of Deity. Nevertheless He is our 'advocate' (parakletos, 1 John 2:1), representing us before the Father. [...]"

(http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/q33.htm)

In the above excerpts, they imply that "the Godhead" is a group made up of parts, who are "united" together, and that the Holy Spirit is a separate being from the Father and the Son. And even in their section where they state what they believe "In Common With Conservative Christians and the Historic Protestant Creeds"--there is no statement of belief in only one God. Then they say that the Son is "distinct from, but united with, the Father" in that He possesses the same "glory" and "all the divine attributes." Then we see that even in Questions on Doctrine, they admit that their Trinity belief is not necessarily the same doctrine that the historic Christian creeds teach. Then they quote their official Fundamental Beliefs statement on the Trinity that they had at that time (which is actually tritheistic). And then they quote their anti-Trinitarian "Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs," which we already examined earlier. Then they go on to imply that there is more than one "Divine Being," and then they claim that "the omnipotent Father" reaffirmed Christ's "position as God" after His ascension. And again we see their teaching of "shared glory" and also their teaching that "Christ shares the throne of Deity." This is absolutely blasphemous--Christ does not "share" the throne--He is the one and only true God, the one and only King of kings, and Lord of lords! There is not a "coregency" as Adventism teaches. So, as we have seen, even Questions on Doctrine teaches anti-Trinitarianism.

And in the section near the end of Questions on Doctrine entitled "Representative Adventist Doctrinal Literature," it says: "For the benefit of our readers who may wish to investigate further some of the subjects that have been dealt with but briefly in this book, we list the following publications." And under "Specific Doctrinal Books" it lists, as one of the books, The Coming of the Comforter, by LeRoy E. Froom, SDA theologian and one of the primary authors of Questions on Doctrine. Froom's book was originally published in 1928, and was republished by the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association in 1997, and is still sold currently by the Adventist Book Center. Here are some excerpts from Froom's book, which says on the back cover, "A classic study on the Holy Spirit":

"Jesus Introduces His Successor

[...]

"Before vacating His own earthly office as teacher, Jesus introduced His successor in His valedictory discourse.

[...]

[...] "One must be impressed with the fact that just as truly as the prophets announced Jesus' advent, so He announces the advent of another, coequal with Himself and the successor of Himself. As one ascended, so the other descended. And the same recognition of authority and deference paid by the disciples to their Lord, was to be given to the Holy Spirit as Christ's vicar on earth.

[...]

"At creation the Holy Spirit was present, brooding over chaos, and was the agency in producing cosmos. [...]

[...]

[...] "And when Jesus completed His work on earth and ascended with His glorified humanity, taking His place in the heavenlies, then the conditions were fulfilled, and the Holy Spirit came down as Christ's official representative and successor to make individually efficacious that redemptive work. So He comes transcendently as the Spirit of Jesus." [Pages 24-29]

"And as when we look through the telescope, we see not the lens but the object the lens brings near, so through the Holy Spirit we see not Him, but 'Jesus only.' [...]

[...]

"The baptism of the Spirit was not accomplished during the three years of Christ's earthly ministry. It was impossible because of the localization and limitations of His humanity, and for the reason that 'the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.' John 7:39. So Jesus never baptized with the Holy Spirit during His earthly career." [Page 33]

"Now think of the Holy Spirit's character. He is 'another Comforter.' This identifies the promised Spirit with the promising Lord in being, character, purpose, and activity. He is Christ's other self, as it were, identical in nature and character. If a crude simile may be permitted, they are like two sides of a triangle—alike and related, but different. [...]" [Page 37]

[...] "So Christ is our advocate with the Father, and the Holy Spirit is Christ's advocate with us.

"As Christ pleads for us, so the Spirit pleads for Christ in our hearts. Shall we who do all honor to the representatives of earthly

PAGE 125

governments, be guilty of disrespect and neglect of this Advocate of the heavenly King, Christ's representative to the church and to the world?

"The Spirit a Divine Person

"The discussion of the character of the Holy Spirit leads us directly into a consideration of His personality. It is easy to think of the Father as a person, and Jesus as a person. We seem to 'visualize' them, as it were. But the Holy Spirit is considered so mysterious, and is so invisible, so secret, and His acts are so removed from the senses, that His personality is questioned because contrasted with the other persons of the Godhead." [Page 39]

"Jesus was the most marked and influential personality ever in this old world, and the Holy Spirit was to supply His vacated place. No one but a person could take the place of that wondrous Person. No mere influence would ever suffice." [Page 41]

"There are 'three living Persons' in the heavenly trio:" [Page 44]

[...] "'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.' 2 Cor. 13:14. He is thus bound up with the supreme personalities, the Father and the Son, in the apostolic benediction. [...]" [Page 47]

[...] "These pertain only to God, yet they are attributes of the Spirit. He is greater than the angels, for He, as the representative of Christ, directs all the angels on earth in battle with the legions of darkness.

[...]

"Relationship to the Godhead

"This brings us to a brief survey of the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the other persons of the Godhead. In our conception of the Trinity we are sometimes inclined to conceive of three Gods instead of one. Our God is one God (Deut. 6:4); but there are three persons in the one Godhead. Our difficulty arises from trying to conceive of spiritual beings in terms of the physical. Perhaps a crude illustration may be suggestive. A triangle is one figure, but it has three sides. So the Godhead, being one, is manifested as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus said, 'I and My Father are one.' John 10:30." [Pages 49-50]

"The Godhead a Trinity

"The plurality of the Godhead is first indicated in Genesis 1:26, when God said, 'Let us make man in our image.' The Father is the source, the Son the intermediary, and the Holy Spirit is the medium through which the creation came into being.

[...]

"At Jesus' baptism (Matt. 3:16, 17) the Father's voice announces pleasure in the Son, and the anointing Spirit descends. Here is a clear-cut distinction of the three on one occasion. In the great commission (Matt. 28:19) the baptismal formula has the name of the Spirit placed on an equality with those of the Father and the Son. [...]

[...]

"Concerning this unfathomable mystery we have absolutely no theory to advance. We make no attempt to define or to analyze the Trinity as to nature. It is simply a truth revealed and declared." [Pages 53-55]

"The first and second persons of the Godhead now hold their residence on earth through the third. He is the abiding representative. The presence of the one involves the presence of the others. Thus we are made aware of Christ's presence. To know the Father we must know the Son (Matt. 11:27), and to know the Son we must know the Spirit. So the Son reveals the Father, and the Spirit reveals the Son." [Page 62]

"The True Vicar of Christ

[...]

"The distinctive feature of the Papacy, without which there would be no Papacy, is the claim that the pope is the vicar or successor of Christ. The distinctive feature of Protestantism—without which there would be no Protestantism—is that the Holy Spirit is the true vicar or successor of Christ on earth. To depend on organization, or leaders, or wisdom of men, is to put the human in place of the divine, and in effect to adopt the Roman Catholic principle." [Pages 66-67]

"Thank God for the Holy Spirit, who has come as the divine substitute, the divine presence, the divine instructor, the divine mentor, the divine testifier, the divine convictor, the divine comforter—Christ's other self." [Page 74]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=nhgsPguodwgC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First of all, the Bible does not teach that the Holy Spirit is Jesus' "successor" or that He "take[s] the place of" Jesus. In fact, in John 14:18, Jesus said, "I will come to you." As we can see from the above excerpts, however, Adventism denies the omnipresence of Jesus. Froom also calls the Holy Spirit an "Advocate of the heavenly King, Christ's representative," comparable to "the representatives of earthly governments." Also, he says that the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of Jesus" because He is "Christ's official representative and successor"--not because God is actually only one Spirit Being. Then he says that it is easy to think of the Father and Son as persons, and that, "We seem to 'visualize' them"--an admission of their polytheism and corporeality teachings. Then, once again, we see their teaching of "the heavenly trio" (group) rather than the Trinity. Then he speaks of multiple "supreme personalities" and three "spiritual beings" (gods). And again we see the SDA teaching that Jesus was just an "intermediary" in the creation process. Then

PAGE 126

he speaks of names (plural) in Matthew 28:19, which in reality says "name" (singular). Then he makes the amazing remark that, "We make no attempt to define or to analyze the Trinity as to nature." In the fourth to last paragraph, he makes it sound like even "the Father" is not omnipresent. And finally, in the last paragraph above, he says that the Holy Spirit is "the divine substitute" (for Christ)!

The following excerpts are from a book entitled New by the Spirit: Experiencing the Life-changing Power of the Comforter, by Arnold Valentin Wallenkampf, which was published by the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association in 2006. The book was originally published in 1978 by the SDA Church-owned Pacific Press Publishing Association. In the Introduction of the April/May/June 2006 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (the official SDA "quarterly"), which was quoted from earlier and which was "[b]ased on previously published material by Arnold V. Wallenkampf," it says: "The late Arnold V. Wallenkampf, Ph.D., a Swede, worked in the church for decades as a pastor and a professor, and before retirement was an associate director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists." On the back cover of his book, it says: "In this volume Pastor Wallenkampf has given of his best. Neither the topic nor its treatment needs apology. Here is a Bible-based, dependable, and scholarly treatise that you will treasure for years to come." Here are the excerpts from Dr. Wallenkampf's book:

"If, on the other hand, the Spirit is a Person, and part of the Triune God, He deserves worship. [...]

[...]

"In order to come into a right relationship to the Holy Spirit and to understand His work, it is essential, we believe, that we rightly learn to know the Holy Spirit. The knowledge of the doctrine of the personality of the Spirit is not only fundamental; it is also vital and immeasurably practical. Anyone who knows God the Father and God the Son, but has not attained to the belief in the Spirit as a Person and as God, is not a Christian any more than are those who do not believe in the deity of the Son. Jesus spoke repeatedly of the Spirit as His successor and representative on earth.

[...]

"Jointly the Three Persons in the Trinity seek man as a lost sheep and offer him salvation. In unison They engage in his rescue. Together and separately They invite us to salvation (see Isa. 1:18; Pro. 23:26; Matt. 11:28; Heb. 3:7, 8; Rev. 22:17).

[...]

"Has it ever occurred to you, that as you thank the Father and the Son for your salvation, you should also thank the Spirit for your redemption? The Father gave His Son, and Jesus paid our redemption price on Calvary. But if it had not been for the love of the Spirit and His willingness to come here and effectualize in us the objective salvation, wrought for us by Jesus on the cross, we would still be irretrievably lost, despite Christ's sacrifice.

[...]

"The Deity of the Spirit

"God is a trinity. He is made up of three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. GOD is the divine family name. As we as individuals belong to a certain family and carry a family name, so God has a family name. This name is GOD. As we as individuals in our respective families have individual or personal names, in addition to our family name, so each person in the Godhead, the Trinity, has an individual name. These are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

"Although God is made up of Three Persons, we say that God is one, and we call ourselves monotheists. We feel justified in doing this because the three persons in the Godhead are one in purpose, thought, will, plans and intentions. To us as human beings this appears perplexing and impossible. We think of different persons as having different wills, thoughts, purposes, and plans. This is true even when the relationships are most close and intimate. But God is different. He is one in Three Persons.

"'There are three living persons of the heavenly trio . . . the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.'4 ["4 Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 615."] With the ancient Hebrews, Seventh-day Adventists and other Christians aver: 'The Lord our God is one Lord' (Deut. 6:4). Moses in speaking of God says 'our God.' In this text 'our God' could more correctly be translated by the plural 'our Gods.' Even with their intense monotheism, the Jews still used a plural name for God. Rather than attribute this usage to the pluralis majestatis (plural of majesty), it is logical to deduce that Moses used the plural name for God because there is a plurality of persons in the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

[...]

[...] "The Father's agent in Creation was Jesus Christ. [...]

"The Spirit was present and actively associated with God the Father and God the Son in Creation. [...]

"All the Three Persons in the Trinity were united in the work of Creation. What the members of the Godhead do, They do together as a unit, although Their particular activities or tasks may be different. Being a partner in Creation proves the Spirit's divinity.

"Baptism is a symbolic portal leading into the church. Through baptism the believer becomes a member of the heavenly family as he is baptized 'in [into] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' (Matt. 28:19). 'To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God' (John 1:12). Through this symbolic rite, to which the believer has been prompted to submit by the love of the Father, and through the ministry of the—Spirit, he has left his old family and become a member of the family of God. He is now a brother of Jesus, who will impart to the believer His grace or power to live according to the divine will. [...]

"Jointly the Three Persons of the Deity work for the salvation of man. 'The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that they will strengthen men to overcome the powers of darkness. All the facilities of heaven are

PAGE 127

pledged to those who by their baptismal vows have entered into a covenant with God.'5 ["5 Ellen G. White Comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1953, 1957), vol. 5, p. 1110."]

"By both Jews and Muslims, Christians have often been, and still are, accused of being polytheists, or worshippers of more than one God. As Christians we admit there are Three Persons in the Godhead, but since they are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person, we still reckon ourselves to be monotheists. The Christian God—three in one—is completely different from the gods in the Olympic heaven and in the Nordic sagas. In both those places constant and perennial warfare raged among the different gods. Those gods each had their individual will and plan and were definitely not one in purpose and mind. The Christian God, on the other hand, is not a triad of gods, but one God in three—a trinity.

"The apostle Peter, in speaking to Ananias, equated God and the Spirit by referring to them interchangeably. [...] This interchange forcibly emphasizes the unity that exists among the persons in the Godhead (see also Acts 10:38).

"But Peter is not the only Bible writer who interchanges the names of God and the Spirit; Paul does the same. [...]

[...]

"Jesus intended to send someone to the disciples, and succeeding generations of His followers, who is like Himself—divine. Jesus had previously equated Himself with His Father. Now He likens Himself to the Spirit. Consequently, They are all alike—divine." [Pages 9-15]

"The direction of the church since the ascension of Jesus has been under the administration of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God's intended vicegerent of Jesus Christ on this earth. He is to administer His church by endeavoring to perfect in its members the image of our Lord and Savior. It is with the Holy Spirit that you and I are to be intimately associated in our transformation of character into the likeness of our Creator.

[...]

"Ambassador. One symbol of the Spirit is an ambassador. The Holy Spirit is God's ambassador to man in sin and rebellion; He has the task of trying to restore man's loyalty to His Creator and God. After his great sin David prayed, 'Take not thy holy Spirit from me' (Ps. 51:11). When nations get into strained relations one with another, and before they declare war, they withdraw their ambassadors. The essence of this prayer, after David had hurt God by his gruesome sins of adultery and murder, was, 'Please, God, don't take Your Ambassador away from me, but leave Him so that I may have a chance to speak to You through Him and come back into a friendly relationship with You.'" [Pages 17-18]

"The dove (pigeon) has historically often been used as a messenger. The Spirit is God's messenger to men or His ambassador to us from heaven. As a nation maintains ambassadors in other nations in times of peace, so God has His representative—the dove of the Holy Spirit—with men who are not at war with Him. He is constantly presenting to them messages from heaven and trying to transform them to fit into heavenly society." [Page 22]

"Of the Three Persons in the Godhead the Spirit is the most mysterious, and possibly also the most unfamiliar, even to Christians. Jesus came to reveal or make known the Father (see John 1:18), and man saw Jesus in human form. But no one has ever seen the Spirit, nor has anyone revealed Him to us. It is God's purpose that every follower of His come to know the Spirit as His personal friend and guide through life, and finally through the pearly gates into His eternal kingdom." [Page 24]

"Jesus received the fullness of the Spirit. John testified to this by saying that 'God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him' (John 3:34, KJV). Jesus was always filled or possessed by the Spirit.

"But the infilling of the fullness of the Spirit was not an arbitrary bestowal, ordered by His Father; rather, Jesus chose to remain a temple of the Spirit, as God had originally purposed every person to be. Jesus claimed and welcomed the Spirit's sustaining power. 'As a man He supplicated the throne of God, till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that connected humanity with divinity.'1 ["1 Ellen G. White, Education, pp. 80, 81."] Each morning He supplicated His Father for wisdom and strength for that day. [...]

"Jesus was humble and teachable, not merely willing but anxious to do His Father's will. [...]

"He was sealed with the Spirit (see John 6:27). The Spirit's sealing was a sign that He fully and wholly belonged to God and was under His direction. No one else but the owner of the seal had the right of access to Him. He was fully committed to His Father's will and way.

"Thus His acts were in accordance with His Father's will. He did not go His own way and do 'his own thing,' as the phrase ran a few years ago. He went His Father's way and did His work (see John 4:34). [...]

"Immediately upon His baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (see Matt. 4:1). Occasionally we may be prone to think that it was not the Holy Spirit but some other spirit that prompted Jesus to go into the wilderness. But Jesus heeded the promptings of no spirit but the Holy Spirit. Thus the Spirit led Him into the wilderness seclusion to be alone with His Father that He might enjoy His intimate fellowship and gain directives for His mission before entering upon His public ministry.

[...] "With an appeal to the appetite Satan had vanquished Adam and Eve in Eden. But Jesus 'was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.'4 ["4 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 123."] The prophet Isaiah speaks of this divine companion with Jesus by saying, 'Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him. . . . He will not fail or be discouraged' (Isa. 42:1-4). [...]

"During His temptation in the wilderness the Spirit reminded Jesus of Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:16; and 6:13, which He had previously studied and learned. With these—the sword of the Spirit—He met and quashed the temptations. By His use of this mighty weapon He routed the enemy. Three times the tempter ventured forward in subtle attack, and once he himself tried to use the sword of the Spirit to

PAGE 128

overpower Jesus. [...]

[...]

"Jesus was raised from the dead through the Spirit. Peter says that He was 'made alive in the spirit' (1 Peter 3:18; compare Rom. 8:11). The Spirit was part of the resurrection power, but as the Trinity is one in purpose, motive, and acts, the other two members of the Godhead also participated in the resurrection. [...]" [Pages 27-29]

"Humanly speaking, the secret lies in our different relationships to the Spirit and the divine power available to man through Him. Jesus chose at all times and under all circumstances to ally Himself with His Father and thereby experienced the indwelling of the Father through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. During His sojourn on earth Jesus did nothing on His own. He remained constantly alert to His Father's will through the Holy Spirit. In John 8:29 Jesus says about His relationship to His Father: 'I always do what is pleasing to him.' He subordinated His will to His Father's will.

"Throughout His entire minstry Jesus chose to be led moment by moment and day by day by the Spirit. He unreservedly committed Himself to the doing of His Father's will, as unveiled to Him in the sacred scrolls and the promptings of the Spirit. [...]" [Page 32]

"'Christ did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess.'42 If an unmarried woman accepts a date with an eligible man, she does so without being condemned by anyone. But if a married woman does the same, or even considers it, she is disloyal to her husband. Jesus was never disloyal to His Father. He did not entertain Satan's propositions. You and I, alas, have often done so by considering his temptations. Jesus chose not to do this. [...]" [Page 34]

[...] "In this, as in other texts, the Spirit is called 'another Counselor' ('Comforter' in KJV). This 'Counselor' was coming to take the place of Jesus as the disciples' 'Helper' after Christ's ascension. [...]

[...]

"Jesus promised His disciples before His departure that the Spirit would be a more adequate Helper to them than even He Himself. [...]" [Pages 40-41]

"Pentecost did not denote the beginning of the existence of the Spirit, or even of His ministry among men. Rather, it marked 'the installation of the Holy Spirit as the Administrator of the Church in all things.'1 Upon His return to heaven Jesus committed the supervision and direction of His church to the Spirit. The Spirit is His vicegerent on earth until Jesus returns to receive His own people unto Himself.

"Pentecost followed the reinstatement of Jesus at the right hand of God in heaven. It signalized His restoration to the position He had occupied with the Father before His incarnation and His installation as our High Priest in heaven. [...]

[...] "At Pentecost the Holy Spirit did come in His fullness to be the official representative and successor of Jesus Christ on earth. The Spirit had not functioned before as Christ's vicegerent." [Page 43]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=YZ6YlYKBAMgC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First of all, we see again their heresy that the Holy Spirit is only "part of" God (and that God has parts). Then he talks about how important the true doctrine of the Holy Spirit is, while teaching heresy himself. And again we see the teaching that the Holy Spirit is Jesus' "successor," "representative," and that He "take[s] the place of Jesus"! This is utter blasphemy. Notice also that he admits that in Adventism "God" is simply "the divine family name"--and that just as "we as individuals belong to a certain family and carry a family name, so God has a family name." This is blatantly teaching three different gods. Then notice that he says that "Although God is made up of Three Persons" according to Adventists, they still "say" that "God is one" and they still "call" themselves "monotheists"--and that they "feel justified in doing this" because their three gods are "one in purpose, thought, will, plans and intentions"! These are incredibly amazing admissions that Adventists are not actually monotheists. Then he makes the shocking assertion that it would be more correct to translate the Shema (!) of Deuteronomy 6:4 as "our Gods"!!! If this is not polytheism, then nothing is. Then he says, in response to the accusation of polytheism, that "we admit there are Three Persons in the Godhead, but since they are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person, we still reckon ourselves to be monotheists"! This is additional clear proof of their Tritheism. And he goes on to state the same argument we've seen used repeatedly, that they are not teaching polytheism, because their gods don't fight with each other like the Olympic and Nordic gods. Then he says that they believe in "one God in three"--three what? He would have to mean three "gods."

Then he even repeatedly calls the Holy Spirit the "vicegerent" of Jesus Christ, a clearly polytheistic statement! He also says that the Holy Spirit is "God's ambassador" and he even rewrites David's prayer in the Psalms in order to fit the polytheism! And his statement that "the infilling of the fullness of the Spirit was not an arbitrary bestowal, ordered by His Father; rather, Jesus chose to remain a temple of the Spirit, as God had originally purposed every person to be"--is totally teaching three completely separate gods! Then he makes up a story about "the Spirit" leading Jesus into the wildnerness in order "to be alone with His Father that He might enjoy His intimate fellowship and gain directives for His mission"--which contradicts the Bible, which says that "Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil" (Matthew 4:1 NASB). Then He says that Jesus had to be "reminded" by "the Spirit" of certain Scriptures, "which He had previously studied and learned"--rather than Jesus actually having written the Scriptures and being the omniscient God! Then we come to his statement that the Holy Spirit "take[s] the place of Jesus"--which is an utterly blasphemous and idolatrous concept. Anything that takes the place of Jesus is called an idol! Then he talks about "the reinstatement of Jesus at the right hand of God in heaven" and "His restoration to the position He had occupied with the Father before His incarnation"! These statements show that they do not believe that Jesus was even "a God" while on earth.

Next is a quote from the Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (copyright 2000), which was "Produced upon request by the leadership of the General Conference"16, and is published by the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association:

"....The reality of divine forsakenness is possible only when the one God is understood in His biblical, Trinitarian structure, which involves Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as divine, personal, conscious beings, mutually interacting among themselves and with the created universe."

PAGE 129

(From page 127, as quoted at http://www.restorationministry.com/Open_Face/html/30-feb-2003-content.htm)

The above statement from the official Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology is clearly Tritheism, teaching three "divine...beings" (gods).

On the official website of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the following is the first thing they say on the "What We Believe" page:

"Adventists believe a Trinity of three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - make up one God. They made salvation possible when Jesus, the Son, came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem and lived a sinless life in accordance with the Father's will. [...]" (http://www.nadadventist.org/article.php?id=17)

Notice that in the above statement they redefine the word "Trinity" to mean "three persons," rather than "three persons in one God." And they say that this "Trinity" "make up one God."

They make this redefinition of the word "Trinity" even more clear at the "Adventists Beliefs" page on the official website of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. When you go to the official SDA website, adventist.org, and click on "Adventists Beliefs" it takes you to a page entitled "What Adventists Believe." Here is what they say on that page:

"Seventh-day Adventists believe that Jesus is one of the three persons, called the Trinity, who make up our one God. The Bible describes Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit as each being committed to our growth as Christians and to our salvation as their children. They made this salvation possible when Jesus came to Bethlehem as a human baby. [...]" (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/index.html)

The above quote from the official SDA website's "Adventists Beliefs" page is incredibly Tritheistic, even going so far as to say "their children." This is simply polytheism.

Also, on the official website of the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on their "Beliefs" page, they make it very clear what they mean by the word "unity" in the official SDA statement of Fundamental Beliefs. Under question number 2 about their beliefs, they say:

"Who is God?

"There is one God, made up of three eternal Persons who co-exist in unity -
The Father is sovereign over all creation
The Son became human, lived on earth as Jesus Christ, died for our sins and returned to heaven where He is working on our behalf and awaiting His return to grant people who believe in Him eternal life.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God sent to earth to comfort us, convict our hearts of sin and to give us the power to overcome sin.
Read the full belief (2, 3, 4 & 5)." (http://adventist.org.au/about_adventists/beliefs)

Again, it is clear from the above that when they use the word "unity" in their Fundamental Beliefs, they simply mean a harmonious group, and their "one God" is defined as a "unity [harmonious group] of three" in their official Fundamental Beliefs statement. And in the above answer, they say that their "one God" is "made up" of a united group of three (only one of which is "sovereign over all creation"!). This is not the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

As was pointed out in the January/February 2005 issue of Proclamation! (an ex-Adventist magazine), the official Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal contains numerous changes to traditional Christian hymns to make the hymns fit with SDA teachings. One of the changes mentioned in the Proclamation! article was to the hymn "Praise Ye the Triune God." In both the 1941 hymnal and the current 1985 hymnal, this hymn's title is changed to "Praise Ye the Father" and the last line of the hymn is changed from "Praise ye the Triune God!" to the following:

"Praise the Eternal Three!" (http://www.digitalhymnal.org/dhymn.cfm?hymnNumber=70)

What Does Adventism's Clear Word "Bible" Teach About the Trinity?

The Seventh-day Adventist Church publishes, advertises, and sells their own "Bible," The Clear Word, which is supposed to be an "expanded paraphrase." It was written by Dr. Jack Blanco, who was at the time a theology professor and chairman of the religion department at the SDA Church's Southern College (now Southern Adventist University), and it was first published in 1994 under the title The Clear Word Bible. This "Bible" deletes, changes, and adds to the Word of God, to try to make it fit with SDA teaching, and includes unBiblical ideas that are directly from their prophetess Ellen G. White. As Dr. Verle Streifling shows in his study entitled "Deliberate Distortions in SDA's 'Clear Word Bible'," there are many distortions in this "Bible" which deny Christ's deity, deny His eternality, make Him into an angel, teach polytheism, etc. Here are some quotations from some passages in The Clear Word which are distorted from the original in order to teach anti-Trinitarian polytheism/tritheism:

"26But this was not the end of His ["God"'s] work for that day. Next He said to His Son, 'Now let us make beings who look like us and can reflect our thinking and our personality. Let's give them the responsibility of ruling over and caring for the fish, the birds and the animals which we created.'

"27So they created two human beings, a male and a female, equal but with different functions, to reflect the unity of the Godhead.

"28Then God and His Son blessed them and said, 'We have given you the capability to produce beings in our image. So be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and manage it for us. We have put the two of you in charge of the fish, the birds and all the animals that walk the earth.' 29Then God told them what to eat, saying, 'For food, we have given you fruit-bearing plants. There is ample food for you and your offspring. 30There is also plenty of food for the animals, birds and all the other living things which we created. They will eat what the earth produces just as you will.' And that's how it was. 31Then God looked at everything He had created through His Son, and it was very good. And the nighttime and the daytime made up the sixth day." [The Clear Word, Genesis 1:26-31.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=_j508JFJQVUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First of all, notice that the words "God" (singular), "He" (singular), and "His" (singular) are carefully used only in reference to their "Father God." Throughout the entire creation account, he is saying only "God the Father" is the Creator, and is defining the word "God" to mean "the Father" from the

PAGE 130

very beginning in Genesis 1. As Dr. Streifling points out, verse 27 is identical to Mormonism, saying "they created..." (instead of "God created man in His own image")! Clearly, there are two "creators" (polytheism) according to this corrupt "Bible." Also notice that all of the singular pronouns referring to God in these verses (in the original) have been changed to plural pronouns (except for when it clearly refers only to "the Father" in The Clear Word). Instead of it saying, "His," "He," "He," "I," and "I," in verses 27-30 (NASB), The Clear Word says, "they," "We," "our," "us," "We," "we," and "we"! Notice also that The Clear Word leaves out any mention of "the Holy Spirit" in these verses about the creation of man, even though he adds "His Son" repeatedly. And again we see the SDA teaching that Jesus is not actually the Creator, but that it was "God the Father" who created "through" the Son. There is also the teaching of the SDA denial of God's incorporeality in verse 26 above. All of these changes are clearly polytheistic in nature.

"18On the sixth day of creation God and His Son had said to each other, 'It's not good for us just to create man and leave him alone. He needs to have companionship similar to our oneness, so let's make another human being suitable for him.'" [The Clear Word, Genesis 2:18.]

"24That's why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two of them shall become as one person." [The Clear Word, Genesis 2:24.]

"22God said to His Son, 'Man was like us, but he has changed. He now knows good and evil, so he's infected with sin. If we leave him in the garden and he continues to eat from the Tree of Life, he will never die, and he and his descendants will live in sin forever. We can't let this happen.'" [The Clear Word, Genesis 3:22.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=_j508JFJQVUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Again, for Genesis 2:18, we see the addition of "God and His Son had said to each other..." and the change from a singular pronoun in the original ("I") to plural pronouns ("us," "our," and "let's"). Also notice again the SDA teaching that the "oneness" of a husband and wife is comparable to the "oneness" of "the Father" and "Son." (And again notice that any mention of their "Holy Spirit" god is left out completely.) And for Genesis 3:22, we again see the addition of "God said to His Son."

"Immediately after His baptism, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the Judean wilderness to pray and to prepare for His ministry. But the devil would not leave Him alone. 2While in the wilderness, Jesus fasted for forty days, and He became extremely hungry. 3Then the devil confronted Him by disguising himself as an angel from heaven. He told Jesus that His fast was over and that His Father had given Him permission to use divine power to turn some of the desert stones into bread. 'If you are the Son of God, that should be no problem,' Satan said. 4But as famished as Jesus was, He recognized who was tempting Him. So He answered, 'The Scripture teaches that man is not to put survival before obedience to God's word.'

[...]

"11Then the devil left Jesus in the desert. By this time His strength was totally gone, and He lay there dying. But God sent an angel from heaven to revive Him and assure Him of His Father's approval and love." [The Clear Word, Matthew 4:1-4, 11.]

[...] "10But he said to them, 'Don't be afraid. I'm bringing you good news that will thrill your hearts and bring joy to people everywhere. 11A few hours ago, the Lord's Messiah, your Savior, was born in Bethlehem, the city of David. [...]" [The Clear Word, Luke 2:10-11.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=_j508JFJQVUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First, notice that verse 1 is completely changed (based on Ellen G. White's writings) from the original which says that the reason Jesus went into the wilderness was in order to be tempted by the devil! Then he adds more heresy from White's writings, saying that the devil "disguised himself" as "an angel from heaven" and that he told Jesus "that His fast was over and that His Father had given Him permission to use divine power..." Then he adds that Jesus "lay there dying" and that "God" sent an angel to "revive Him and assure Him of His Father's approval and love"! All of these distortions and additions to the text totally degrade Jesus Christ and elevate satan, and are clearly anti-Trinitarian. Then, for Luke 2:11, he has the angel saying that Jesus is just "the Lord's Messiah" instead of Jesus being "the Lord" (which is what the angel actually said), since Adventism does not believe that Jesus is the Lord.

"From the beginning, the Word of God was there. The Word stood by the side of God, and the Word was fully God. 2There never was a time when the Word of God was not with God.

[...]

"No one has ever seen God face to face except the Son of God, who came to us directly from the Father, and He came to show us what the Father is like." [The Clear Word, John 1:1-2, 18.]

"19On one occasion Jesus responded to the charge of Sabbath breaking by saying, 'The Son does nothing on His own, but everything He does is according to the Father's will and only what the Father Himself would do. 20The Father loves the Son and shows Him what to do. Soon He will show the Son even greater things to do. And you will be amazed. [...]

[...] "26Just as the Father is the Source of all life, so He has allowed the Son to use His life-giving power. [...] 30If I were only human, I couldn't judge people except by what I hear them say or see them do. But my judgment is true because I judge by what my Father tells me, and He knows what's in everyone's heart. So I do what pleases the Father who is the One who sent me.

[...]

[...] "43I come in my Father's name, backed by His credentials, but you don't accept me. If others came and claimed to speak for God and continued under your direction, you would accept them. [...]" [The Clear Word, John 5:19-20, 26, 30, 43.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=_j508JFJQVUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

PAGE 131

First of all, notice his corruption of John 1:1, where he says that the Word "stood by the side of God" (two separate corporeal beings/gods) and then instead of actually stating, as does the original, that the Word "was God," he says that the Word "was fully God" (using "God" as an adjective to mean "divine"). Then, for John 1:18, he adds an implication of two corporeal beings again. And in John 5, he totally twists and changes what Jesus says, starting in John 5:19, which we looked at earlier, where Jesus actually says, "the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing;" (NASB). The Clear Word changes His words to: "The Son does nothing on His own, but everything He does is according to the Father's will and only what the Father Himself would do." And The Clear Word completely eliminates the last part of the verse, where Jesus says, "for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner." (NASB.) Then in verse 20, he changes "shows Him all things that He Himself is doing" to "shows Him what to do," and also adds the words "to do" to the next part of the verse. Since God is outside time (which Adventism denies), these things that Jesus describes in verses 19 and beyond are not things that are happening in time or temporal sequence, but rather in eternity/timelessness. God is one indivisible, simple Being, and cannot be divided into "parts." If God does something, He in His entirety does it. He can't just have "part" of Himself do something--because He does not have "parts." Blanco is denying this, and that is why he had to delete the last part of verse 19 ("for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner") and also make the other changes. (See more here).

Then he completely changes verse 26, and says that the Father "has allowed" the Son to "use His life-giving power." Jesus actually says, "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;" (NASB). Of course, this only makes sense within the understanding of the eternal generation of the Son (which, as we have seen, Adventism vehemently denies). Jesus doesn't just say that the Son also has life in Himself, but that the Father "gave to the Son also to have life in Himself." And yet we know that Jesus is eternal and that He is God Himself and, from this very verse, that He has life in Himself "just as the Father has life in Himself"! So, the only way that this makes sense is eternal generation (see more here and here). Then, for verse 30, he again changes Jesus' words completely, and has, "But my judgment is true because I judge by what my Father tells me, and He knows what's in everyone's heart." Not only is he changing what Jesus actually said, but he is denying the omniscience of Jesus Christ (especially when you consider, once again, that Adventism denies timelessness and eternal generation). And then, for verse 43, he adds the phrase, "backed by His credentials." All of these changes totally degrade Jesus Christ and deny the doctrine of the Trinity.

"28I give them eternal life, and they will not perish, nor will anyone be able to take them away from me. 29The Father who put the sheep under my care is greater than anyone; no one can take them out of His hand. 30You see, my Father and I are so close, we're one.'" [The Clear Word, John 10:28-30.]

[...] "32When they came back, Jesus faced them and said, 'I have done nothing but good to people, and I did all this under the direction of my Father. For which of these good works are you going to stone me?' 33They said, 'We're not going to stone you because of the good you've done, but for blasphemy. You're only a human being, yet you keep calling yourself the Son of God.'

"34Jesus said, 'Don't the Scriptures say that we are the sons of God? 35If the word of God says that we are His sons, and the Scriptures are always true, 36then how can you reject the One whom the Father has sent and accuse me of blasphemy because I say I'm God's Son? 37If you don't think I'm doing the Father's works, then you don't have to believe what I say. 38But if I am doing the Father's works, even though you don't want to believe in me, at least admit that the works I do are from God. If you admitted that much, you would soon see that He's working in me and that I am in Him. We work together as one.'" [The Clear Word, John 10:32-38.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=OPEa4iijuNgC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

The above corruption of John 10:30 is a complete denial, and deletion, of monotheism and Trinitarianism, with polytheism inserted in its place. In literal translations of this verse, Jesus says that He and the Father actually "are one." Then, for verses 32-38, Blanco completely changes the passage from what the original says. For verse 33, he replaces "You...make Yourself out to be God" (NASB) with "you keep calling yourself the Son of God." Not only this, but he goes on to replace "gods" in verse 34 and "he called them gods" (NASB) in verse 35 with "we are the sons of God" and "we are His sons"! So instead of Jesus claiming to be God, all we have is Him saying that He only claimed to be just like one of them, who were supposedly called "the sons of God"!! This is a complete deletion and denial of Jesus' deity. Also, for verse 38 he deletes the teaching of perichoresis (see here and here), replacing "the Father is in Me, and I in the Father" (NASB) with "that He's working in me and that I am in Him." (And he also deletes the teaching of perichoresis in his corruption of John 14:10-11--since Adventism denies this teaching and doesn't even believe in the omnipresence of Jesus.) And then he adds to verse 38, "We work together as one"--again denying Jesus' teaching in verse 30 that He and the Father actually "are one."

[...] "7If you really knew me, you would know the Father, because you would have seen Him in me. From now on, you can say that you know Him and have seen Him.'" [The Clear Word, John 14:7.]

"Jesus Prays to Be Reunited With the Father

[...] "3And this is eternal life, to know you, the only true God, and to accept Jesus Christ as the One you have sent. [...] 5Father, let us be one again with the glory I had with you before this world was created." [The Clear Word, John 17:3, 5.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=n6Uun6jMAjsC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

The above changes are completely anti-Trinitarian. First, he just completely adds in the phrase "because you would have seen Him in me" to the first part of John 14:7. And then, instead of Jesus telling His disciples that "from now on you [Gr., really, actually] know Him, and have [Gr., really, actually] seen Him" (NASB), The Clear Word just has Jesus telling them that they can "say" that they know and have seen the Father (even though it isn't actually the truth, according to SDA theology!). And then he has the blasphemous heading saying that Jesus prayed to be "reunited" with the Father! Then he changes John 17:3 so that it no longer teaches Trinitarianism. Instead of Jesus saying, "and Jesus Christ whom You have sent," The Clear Word has "and to accept Jesus Christ as the One you have sent"--which subtly, but completely, changes the meaning of the text. Instead of eternal life being to know the Father and Jesus Christ (and having the implicit teaching that Jesus Christ is the only true God, just as the Father is the only true God--Trinitarianism), The Clear Word has eternal life being to "know the Father" and to "accept Jesus Christ." And then he has Jesus saying "Father, let us be one again..."--an incredibly anti-Trinitarian distortion to the text.

"10God has revealed His plans for us in the Scriptures. And if anyone can read the mind of God or know the way He thinks, it's the Holy Spirit who gave us the Scriptures. 11Which one of us can know what another man is thinking? Only the man himself knows that. No one can know what God is thinking or the way He thinks except God Himself. But the Holy Spirit, also being God, knows how God thinks."

PAGE 132

[The Clear Word, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.]

"6We know that there is only one God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He made all things and it is through His power that we live. There is only one Jesus Christ through whom all things were created and through whom we are saved." [The Clear Word, 1 Corinthians 8:6.]

"4Make every effort to preserve the unity given to you by the Holy Spirit, and you will be at peace with one another. 5There is one Lord, one faith and one baptism. 6There is one God and Father who is over everything, works through everything and now is in all of you." [The Clear Word, Ephesians 4:4-6.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=_j508JFJQVUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First, he has one god "read[ing] the mind" of another god, and then for verse 11, we see once again that they have to delete the human spirit, of course (since they deny that humans have actual spirits). Also, notice that very important word "But" in verse 11, which shows the anti-Trinitarian twisting of the passage. Then, for 1 Corinthians 8:6, he deletes "and one Lord, Jesus Christ" (NASB) and instead changes it to just say, "There is only one Jesus Christ"--because he can't have Jesus being the only Lord (since Adventism believes that Jesus is only one of three Lords). And he changes the first part from "there is but one God, the Father" (NASB) to "there is only one God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (again diminishing Jesus' deity). And then, for Ephesians 4:4-6, he deletes "one Spirit" (which, again, Adventism denies), which also gets rid of "one Lord" definitely being a reference to Jesus Christ. In other words, the SDA Church's Clear Word "Bible" takes this Trinitarian passage and totally gets rid of the doctrine of the Trinity!

"5You need to think and act like Jesus Christ. 6From all eternity, He had the very form and nature of God. But equality with God was never something He boasted about. Christ always honored the Father above Himself. 7In fact, He has always been willing to put self aside like a servant, which in no way detracts from His equality with God, even though He took on man's nature. 8As a human being, He obeyed God in everything, even when God led Him to Calvary to die on a cross for us. 9This is why God can exalt Him, because He's so selfless. God has rightfully given Him a name above every other name in heaven and on earth." [The Clear Word, Philippians 2:5-9.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=_j508JFJQVUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

The Clear Word inserts blasphemous, anti-Trinitarian changes into this passage, saying that "equality with God was never something He boasted about" and that "Christ always honored the Father above Himself"! And then it says that the only reason that God "can" exalt Him is "because He's so selfless."

[...] "9The fullness of Deity was in Christ when He was here and continues to be. [...]" [The Clear Word, Colossians 2:9.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=OPEa4iijuNgC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Notice that The Clear Word gets rid of "all" (NASB, et al.) or "the whole" (ESV) before "fullness" and also deletes "dwells in bodily form" (NASB) or "dwells bodily" (ESV/KJV), and adds "was...when He was here and continues to be." All of this is done so that they can teach that the fullness of Deity is merely something that indwelt/indwells the man Jesus and is not actually who He is in Himself.

"God, who in the past spoke to our fathers through the prophets many times and in a variety of ways, 2has at the end of the preceding ages spoken to us through His Son, who is the rightful Heir of this world because it was through Him that God created all things. 3Christ is the reflection of God's glory, the visible expression of God's thought, the exact copy of God's inmost nature. He upholds and directs the whole universe by the power of His word. After providing cleansing from sin by His own death, He sat down on the right hand of God. [...]" [The Clear Word, Hebrews 1:1-3.]

"10God also said to His Son, 'You existed with me before time began. You carried out our plan and shaped the earth, creating the sky above it with your own hands. 11They will pass away, but you will remain. They will wear out like a piece of clothing. 12You will fold them up like an old garment. They will be changed, but you will always be the same and your years will never end.'" [The Clear Word, Hebrews 1:10-12.]

"24Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before His Father and the assembled universe with great joy, 25to such a wise God and Savior belong glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever! Amen." [The Clear Word, Jude 24-25.]

"21He who overcomes will receive the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and now sit next to my Father on His throne." [The Clear Word, Revelation 3:21.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=_j508JFJQVUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First, notice that for Hebrews 1:2, instead of Jesus being God's final Word ("in these last days has spoken to us in His Son" [NASB]), The Clear Word changes it to "has at the end of the preceding ages spoken to us through His Son" (which also allows for further revelation, such as from the SDA prophetess Ellen G. White). The Greek word is eschatos and actually means "last," not "preceding"! Then The Clear Word goes on to say that Christ is merely the "reflection" of God's glory rather than the actual "radiance of God's glory" (NIV), and that He is just a "copy" of "God's inmost nature," rather than being "the exact representation of his being" (NIV). Then, for Hebrews 1:10, The Clear Word adds the phrase, "You carried out our plan" to teach the SDA/Ellen White polytheistic heresy of the gods coming together to make plans about creation. Then for Jude 24-25, he replaces "before the presence of his [own!] glory" (KJV) with "before His Father," and changes "the only wise God our Saviour" (KJV) to "such a wise God and Savior"! He insists on reducing Jesus' deity and teaching polytheism, in place of the monotheism and worship of Jesus Christ as the only true God which is found in the original text! And then, for Revelation 3:21, the words "next to" are added to the text (again teaching two separate, corporeal gods).

Here are some quotations from The Clear Word for Kids, a children's version of The Clear Word which also was written by Jack Blanco and which the Seventh-day Adventist Church also publishes, advertises, and sells:

PAGE 133

"26. Then God said to His Son, 'Let Us make people who look like Us, and put them in charge of all the animals and fish and birds.'" [The Clear Word for Kids, Genesis 1:26.]

"18-20. When God and His Son created man, They said to Each Other, 'It's not good for man to be by himself. Let's make a suitable companion for him.' But first God brought all the animals and the birds to Adam and asked him to name them. After he had named them all, Adam felt very lonely, because they all had companions, but he didn't." [The Clear Word for Kids, Genesis 2:18-20.]

"22-23. Then God said to His Son, 'Because Adam and Eve ate of the tree of good and evil, they are not like Us anymore. But if they stay in the garden, they'll keep eating from the tree of life. So We need for them to leave the garden, or they will live forever the way they are.'" [The Clear Word for Kids, Genesis 3:22-23.]

"4-6. 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. Don't forget His commandments, but keep them as long as you live." [The Clear Word for Kids, Deuteronomy 6:4-6.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=CPPasHfRsN4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Again we see similar teachings of polytheism and corporeality for Genesis in the Kids version. And notice that for Deuteronomy 6:4-6, he completely eliminates the Shema altogether!

"10-12. The angel said, 'Don't be afraid. I have good news for people everywhere! Today the Savior was born in Bethlehem. You will find Him wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." [The Clear Word for Kids, Luke 2:10-12.]

"Jesus has always been with God. He is the Word of God and is equal with God. There never was a time when He was not with God.

[...]

"18. No one except Jesus has ever seen God face to face. He was sent to us by God, and came to show us what the Father is like." [The Clear Word for Kids, John 1:1-2, 18.]

"10-11. The Scriptures tell us about God's plan for us. The Holy Spirit is able to read the mind of God. So He helped people write the Scriptures so that we can understand God's thoughts." [The Clear Word for Kids, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.]

"5-7. Think and act like Jesus. Even though He was equal with God, He never bragged about it. When He came here, He acted the part of a servant.

"8-9. And as a man, He obeyed God and honored Him, even when God asked Him to go to the cross and die for us. That's why God can exalt Him—because Jesus is so obedient and unselfish. Also, that's why God can rightfully give Him a name that is above every other name." [The Clear Word for Kids, Philippians 2:5-9.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=CPPasHfRsN4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

Again, for Luke 2, Blanco deletes the angel's declaration that Jesus is "the Lord." Then, notice that for John 1:1-2, he completely leaves out that "the Word was God," instead only saying that He "is equal with God." And then we see similar teachings to the regular version of The Clear Word for John 1:18, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 (where we again find their mind-reading gods), and Philippians 2:5-9.

Here are some quotations from The Easy English Clear Word (which was also written by Jack Blanco, and is also published, sold, and advertised by the SDA Church):

"19-21. During one of those conversations Jesus said, 'I'm doing only what My Father would do. He tells Me what to do, and I do it. Soon He will tell Me to work even greater miracles. You'll be surprised. God can raise the dead, and when He tells me to do it, I will." [The Easy English Clear Word, John 5:19-21.]

"6-7. Jesus replied, 'I'm the way to get there. No one can come to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you know the Father. So you can say that you've seen the Father, because you've seen Me.'" [The Easy English Clear Word, John 14:6-7.]

"3-4. Jesus is the reflection of God's glory. He's exactly like God. He holds the universe together by the power of His word. After He came and died for our sins, He went back to heaven. God invited Him to again sit down at His right side. This makes Him much greater than the angels." [The Easy English Clear Word, Hebrews 1:3-4.]

"9. In contrast to these arrogant men is Jesus, also called Michael, because He's in charge of all the angels. When Satan challenged Him about raising Moses from the dead, He didn't attack him with words, but simply said, 'May God rebuke you.'" [The Easy English Clear Word, Jude 1:9.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=KMMBYCvgdzUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First of all, we see similar distortions as in the regular version of The Clear Word for John 5:19-20. And then for John 5:21, he makes totally blasphemous changes. What Jesus actually said was, "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes." (NASB.) Instead, Blanco changes it to, "and when He tells me to do it, I will." He has Jesus having to wait around for the word before He can do anything. No! Jesus is the Word! And then for John 14:6-7, we find a similar change to what the regular version of The Clear Word says, with Jesus giving His disciples permission to lie, telling them that (even though it's not actually true, according to SDA theology) they "can say that" they've seen the Father, "because you've seen Me." Then, for Hebrews 1:3-4, we again see the same thing about the "reflection" of God's glory, and then instead of saying that Jesus Christ is "the exact representation of his being" (NIV), it just says that "He's exactly like God." Actually, the Bible says that no one is like God (see Deuteronomy 33:26; 2 Samuel 7:22; Psalm 71:19, 113:5)--Jesus is God Himself. And then for Jude 9, he makes Jesus (who Adventism

PAGE 134

identifies with Michael the archangel) out to be less than God, and has Him saying, "May God rebuke you."

And here are a couple of quotes from Savior: Four Gospels. One Story, by Jack Blanco, which is a blended "paraphrase" of the four Gospels:

"From the beginning God's Son was there. There never was a time when He did not exist. He is also the Word of God. [...]" [Page 9.]

"The angel said to them, 'Don't be afraid. I bring you good news for people everywhere. Today the Savior of the world was born in Bethlehem. This is how you will recognize Him: Look for Him in a barn, wrapped in strips of cloth, and lying in an animal's feeding box.'" [Page 13.]

(http://books.google.com/books?id=JC51qeLfYKQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0)

First, notice that he completely eliminates any mention that "the Word was God"! And once again he deletes the angel's declaration that Jesus is "the Lord."

Although we have already seen some of what Ellen G. White teaches on this subject from some of the quotes above, let's now move on to the next section and examine in more detail what the SDA Church's prophetess teaches about "the Godhead."

Ellen White's Teaching

First, let's take a look at what the Seventh-day Adventists claim for Ellen G. White and her writings. Here is number 18 of their official statement of "Fundamental Beliefs":

"18. The Gift of Prophecy:
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)" (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html)

And in one of their "Official Statements" entitled "A Statement of Confidence in the Spirit of Prophecy," they say:

"In Revelation 12, John the Revelator identifies the church in the last days as the 'remnant . . . which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ' (verse 17). We believe that in this brief prophetic picture the Revelator is describing the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which not only keeps 'the commandments of God' but has 'the testimony of Jesus Christ,' which is 'the spirit of prophecy' (Revelation 19:10).

"In the life and ministry of Ellen G White (1827-1915), we see God's promise fulfilled to provide the remnant church with the 'spirit of prophecy.' Although Ellen G White did not claim the title 'prophet,' we believe she did the work of a prophet, and more. She said: 'My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there' (Selected Messages, Book One, p 36); 'If others call me by that name [prophetess], I have no controversy with them' (ibid., p 34); 'My work includes much more than this name signifies. I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people' (ibid., p 36)." (http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main_stat24.html)

As the founder and prophetess of Seventh-day Adventism, Ellen G. White's teachings are the foundation upon which Adventism is founded (as admitted by White herself17), and they are a "continuing and authoritative source of truth" according to the SDA Church's belief number 18 (quoted above).

And Ellen G. White herself made the following additional claims about her writings:

"How many have read carefully Patriarchs and Prophets, The Great Controversy, and The Desire of Ages? I wish all to understand that my confidence in the light that God has given stands firm, because I know that the Holy Spirit's power magnified the truth, and made it honorable, saying: 'This is the way; walk ye in it.' In my books, the truth is stated, barricaded by a 'Thus saith the Lord.'

"The Holy Spirit traced these truths upon my heart and mind as indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God upon the tables of stone, which are now in the ark, to be brought forth in that great day when sentence will be pronounced against every evil, seducing science produced by the father of lies.--Letter 90, 1906. (Colporteur Ministry, p. 126.)" (Selected Messages, Book 3, page 122, paragraphs 2-3.)

"I am now looking over my diaries and copies of letters written for several years back. . . . I have the most precious matter to reproduce and place before the people in testimony form. While I am able to do this work, the people must have things to revive past history, that they may see that there is one straight chain of truth, without one heretical sentence, in that which I have written. This, I am instructed, is to be a living letter to all in regard to my faith.--Letter 329a, 1905." (Selected Messages, Book 3, page 52, paragraph 2.)

So, now let's see what this woman whom the SDA Church claims is "the Lord's messenger," whose "writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth" for Seventh-day Adventists, this woman who claimed to be "much more" than a mere "prophet"18--let's see what she teaches about "the Godhead."

First, here are a couple of polytheistic quotes which imply bitheism:

"Before the entrance of evil there was peace and joy throughout the universe. All was in perfect harmony with the Creator's will. Love for God was supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,--one in nature, in character, and in purpose,--the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. 'By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, . . . whether they be

PAGE 135

thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers' (Colossians 1:16); and to Christ, equally with the Father, all heaven gave allegiance." (The Great Controversy, 1911 edition, page 493, paragraph 1.)

"In order that the human family might have no excuse because of temptation, Christ became one with them. The only being who was one with God lived the law in humanity, descended to the lowly life of a common laborer, and toiled at the carpenter's bench with his earthly parent. He lived the life which he requires of all who claim to be his children. Thus was cut off the powerful argument of Satan that God required of humanity a self-denial and subjection that he would not himself render. The weapons that Satan designed to use against God, were taken from his hands.

[...]

"Christ became a man that he might mediate between man and God. He clothed his divinity with humanity, he associated with the human race, that with his human arm he might encircle humanity, and with his divine arm grasp the throne of Divinity. And this humiliation on his part was that he might restore to man the original mind, the image of God, which he lost in Eden through Satan's alluring temptations, that man might realize that it is for his present and eternal good to obey the requirements of God. Disobedience is not in accordance with the nature which God gave to man in Eden." (The Signs of the Times, 10-14-1897, "That We Might Be Partakers of the Divine Nature," paragraphs 3 and 5.)

Now we'll look at more quotes from Ellen G. White which either teach polytheism (more than one god) in general or tritheism (three gods) in particular.

"Here the position of Jesus Christ in reference to his Father is brought to view. While they are one in purpose, and one in mind, yet in personality they are two. May we not learn from this that there is to be unity between believers? There is no reason why one should feel that it is necessary for him to bring others to the exact line of his own individuality. So long as we are subject to the temptations of Satan, we shall each have all we can possibly attend to, in order to maintain a right relation to God, that Christ may do for us his atoning work. And though we may differ in the form of words, and in the expression of our individuality, yet our words may be sanctified, and our characters purified through the sacrifice of Christ." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 08-15-1907, "Notes of Travel, No. 4 (Labors in San Diego)," paragraph 4.)

So there she's saying that Christ and the Father are "one" only in purpose and mind--and are no more "one" than believers are "one." She makes this even more clear in the following quote:

"The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each.

[...]

"The personality of the Father and the Son, also the unity that exists between Them, are presented in the seventeenth chapter of John, in the prayer of Christ for His disciples:

"'Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.' John 17:20, 21.

"The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one.

"Taking humanity upon Him, Christ came to be one with humanity, and at the same time to reveal our heavenly Father to sinful human beings. He who had been in the presence of the Father from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone able to reveal the character of the Deity to mankind. [...] (The Ministry of Healing, page 421, paragraphs 2, 4-5; and page 422, paragraphs 1-2.)

The above quote is so very clearly polytheistic. She is admitting that she is no more of a monotheist than if she worshipped "Christ and His disciples"--who are just as "one" as "God and Christ"! And we can see that the SDA misusage of John 17 comes from their prophetess, Ellen G. White.

"In the name of whom were you baptized? You went down into the water in the name of the three great Worthies in heaven--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost you were buried with Christ in baptism; and you were raised up out of the water to live in newness of life. You were to have a new life. You were to live unto God; you were not to live unto yourself, and keep yourself under your own supervision for fear someone would touch you and hurt you.

[...]

"Those who have been baptized can claim the help of the three great Worthies of heaven to keep them from falling, and to reveal through them a character that is after the divine similitude. This is what we claim to be --followers of Jesus. We must be molded and fashioned in accordance with the divine pattern; and if you have lost your Christlikeness, my brethren and sisters, you can never, never come into communion with God again until you are reconverted and rebaptized. You want to repent and to be rebaptized, and to come into the love and communion and harmony of Christ. Then you will have spiritual discernment which will enable you to see those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. There is enough to contemplate regarding heavenly things, to fill every heart and mind, every congregation that is in the land, with rejoicing and praise and thanksgiving to God.

[...]

"Here is where the work of the Holy Ghost comes in, after your baptism. You are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You are raised up out of the water to live henceforth in newness of life--to live a new life. You are born unto God, and you

PAGE 136

stand under the sanction and the power of the three holiest Beings in heaven, who are able to keep you from falling. You are to reveal that you are dead to sin; your life is hid with Christ in God. Hidden 'with Christ in God'--wonderful transformation. This is a most precious promise. When I feel oppressed and hardly know how to relate myself toward the work that God has given me to do, I just call upon the three great worthies, and say: You know I cannot do this work in my own strength. You must work in me, and by me, and through me, sanctifying my tongue, sanctifying my spirit, sanctifying my words, and bringing me into a position where my spirit shall be susceptible to the movings of the Holy Spirit of God upon my mind and character. And this is the prayer that every one of us may offer." (Sermons and Talks, Volume One, page 363, paragraph 1; page 366, paragraph 1; and page 367, paragraph 3.)

There we have a clear statement from Ellen G. White that there are three gods--three divine "beings" in heaven. This is an explicit denial of the Trinitarian confession of the Nicene Creed which says that Jesus Christ is "of one Being with the Father." Also notice that she says that she calls upon "the three great Worthies"--not the one true God of the Bible.

"There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ." (Evangelism, page 615, paragraph 1.)

Notice that White used the term "trio" instead of "Trinity." A trio only means a group of three--and the three are not one, other than being "one group." Again, she is teaching a "god-group," or a group of three different gods, whom she calls the "three great powers."

"No one is to take part in the solemn ordinance of baptism without giving the subject careful, prayerful thought. The candidates and especially the youth, are to be carefully instructed in regard to the obligations they assume in taking this step. They pledge themselves to devote their lives to God's service; and the three great Powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, pledge themselves to cooperate with them, to work in and through them. As they accept Christ as their Saviour, they receive power to become the sons of God.

[...]

"Fearful perils are before those who bear responsibilities in the cause of God--perils the thought of which make me tremble. But the word comes, 'My hand is upon the wheel, and I will not allow men to control My work for these last days. My hand is turning the wheel, and My providence will continue to work out the divine plans, irrespective of human inventions. Man's plans will be overthrown, and the Lord God of heaven will reveal His glory. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit will work out Heaven's law. These three great Powers have pledged themselves to bring to nought the inventions of idolatrous human minds. They have put the infinite treasures of heaven at the command of God's struggling people. As the wheel is turned by a divine hand, the philosophy of the wisest men who are working contrary to My purposes will become intricate and confused.'

"Let us remember that the coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. What a wonderful thought it is that the great controversy is nearing its end. In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with, but let us not forget that the three great Powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass. He will gather from the world a people who will serve Him in righteousness, who will not bind yokes on the necks of their fellow beings, but will break every yoke of human invention." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Twenty-one, page 150, paragraph 4; and page 151 paragraph 5-page 152 paragraph 1.)

Again, Ellen White talks about the "three great Powers" to describe her three gods. Here are some additional similar quotes:

"Those who proclaim the third angel's message must put on the whole armor of God, that they may stand boldly at their post, in the face of detraction and falsehood, fighting the good fight of faith, resisting the enemy with the word, 'It is written.' Keep yourselves where the three great powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, can be your efficiency. These powers work with the one who gives himself unreservedly to God. The strength of heaven is at the command of God's believing ones. The man who takes God as his trust is barricaded by an impregnable wall.--The Southern Watchman, Feb. 23, 1904, p. 122." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7A, page 442, paragraph 2.)

"The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.--Counsels on Health, p. 222." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7A, page 442, paragraph 1.)

"The three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to furnish to the Christian all the assistance he requires. The Spirit changes the heart of stone to the heart of flesh. And by partaking of the word of God, eating the flesh and drinking the blood of His Son, Christians obtain an experience that is after the divine similitude. When Christ abides in the heart by faith, the Christian is the temple of God. Christ does not abide in the heart of the sinner, but hearts that are susceptible to the influence of Heaven's instrumentalities, and have been sanctified by obedience to the truth, are representatives of His righteousness.--Letter 53, 1904, p. 6. (To W. W. Prescott, January 26, 1904.)" (Manuscript Releases, Volume Four, page 368, paragraph 5.)

"Parents, you have a church in your home, and God demands that you bring into this church the grace of heaven, which is beyond computation, and the power of heaven, which is without measure. You can have this grace and this power if you will. But you must educate yourselves in accordance with your baptismal vows. When you took these vows, you pledged yourself, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that you would live unto God, and you have no right to break this pledge. The help of the three great powers is placed at your disposal." (Reflecting Christ, page 178, paragraph 3.)

"No requirement is laid upon man that Christ has not obeyed. We can overcome as He overcame, if we will avail ourselves of the help of the three great powers of heaven, who are waiting to answer the demand made upon them by God's people for power to defeat satanic agencies.

[...]

PAGE 137

"These words present God and Christ as two distinct personalities.

"Christ prays that a pure, holy love may bind His followers to Himself, and to the Father, that this close fellowship may be a sign that God loves as His own Son those who believe in Him." (Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library Vol. 1, page 124, paragraphs 1, 6-7.)

"We are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and these three great, infinite powers are unitedly pledged to work in our behalf if we will cooperate with them. We are buried with Christ in baptism as an emblem of His death." (Lift Him Up, page 109, paragraph 2.)

"Before the disciples shall compass the threshold, there is to be the imprint of the sacred name, baptizing the believers in the name of the threefold powers in the heavenly world. The human mind is impressed in this ceremony, the beginning of the Christian life. It means very much. The work of salvation is not a small matter, but so vast that the highest authorities are taken hold of by the expressed faith of the human agent. The eternal Godhead--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost--is involved in the action required to make assurance to the human agent, . . . confederating the heavenly powers with the human that man may become, through heavenly efficiency, partakers of the divine nature and workers together with Christ.

"Man's capabilities can multiply through the connection of human agencies with divine agencies. United with the heavenly powers, the human capabilities increase according to that faith that works by love and purifies, sanctifies, and ennobles the whole man.--Manuscript 45, May 14, 1904, 'That They All May Be One.'" (The Upward Look, page 148, paragraphs 4-5.)

"The three great and glorious heavenly characters are present on the occasion of baptism. All the human capabilities are to be henceforth consecrated powers to do service for God in representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost upon whom they depend. All heaven is represented by these three in covenant relation with the new life.--Ms 45, 1904, pp. 9, 10. ('That They All May Be One,' May 14, 1904.)

"Released March 11, 1975." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Six, page 389, paragraph 3.)

"A pure fountain will not send forth an impure stream, neither will a true Christian utter words of abuse, or enter into contention with those around him. When we set our hearts on God, we shall have a constant battle to fight, for we have the enemy of all righteousness to contend with. In every conceivable way he will seek to discourage us and cast us down. The world stands opposed to Christ and His work. But those who are striving to do the will of God have this consolation--they are united with the highest authorities of heaven. Trusting in Christ, and advancing step by step, the children of God will gain the victory." (This Day With God, page 320, paragraph 1.)

"'As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.' Those who take part in the solemn rite of baptism, in the name of the highest authorities of heaven, pledge themselves to come out from the world, to separate themselves from its idolatrous practises. God places His sign upon them, making them members of the royal family. And they on their part pledge themselves before angels and before men to live for Christ. They are buried with Him in baptism in the likeness of His death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection. [...]" (The Signs of the Times, 08-14-1901, "'Ask, and It Shall Be Given You'," paragraph 8.)

"The world has no claim to our service; for by a solemn, holy covenant we accepted God's badge of service at the time of our baptism. On that occasion we pledged ourselves, in the presence of the three great heavenly Powers, to come out from the world and be separate.--Ms 130, 1902, p. 4. (Diary, October 27, 1902)." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Six, page 167, paragraph 1.)

"We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,--and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7A, page 442, paragraph 5.)

"As a Christian submits to the solemn rite of baptism, the three highest powers in the universe,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,--place their approval on his act, pledging themselves to exert their power in his behalf as he strives to honor God. He is buried in the likeness of Christ's death, and is raised in the likeness of His resurrection. The Saviour went down into the grave, but He rose from the dead, proclaiming over the rent sepulcher, 'I am the Resurrection and the Life.'" (The Signs of the Times, 08-16-1905, "Living for Christ," paragraph 1.)

"In whose name are we baptized? In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost--the three highest powers in the heavenly courts. They pledge themselves in our behalf. We may claim the strength and the victory that they may give us as we stand before the world, not to ape its fashions, not to study the fashion books, but to walk humbly with our God. 'Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory' [Col. 3:3]. Then do not dishonor your Saviour by lightness, or trifling, or by seeking for the things of the world.

"My dear young friends, you may maintain the simplicity of true Godliness. You may follow on to know the Lord, that His going forth is prepared as the morning. You may know that He is your Helper. You will have an increase of light and joy and hope and consolation in Jesus Christ, as you commit the keeping of your souls to the heavenly powers, and become separated from corrupt worldly influences." (Sermons and Talks, Volume Two, page 287, paragraphs 3-4.)

[...] "Let us not forget our baptismal vow. In the presence of the three highest powers of heaven,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,--we have pledged ourselves to do the will of him who, over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, declared, 'I am the resurrection and the life.' [...]" (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 05-26-1904, "Words of Encouragement," paragraph 15.)

"The rite of baptism is administered in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to be the efficiency of all who submit to this ordinance, and who faithfully keep the vow they then make." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Six, page 27, paragraph 1.)

PAGE 138

"The Lord has pledged himself to make his name a praise in the earth. What power he has promised to all who will work in co-operation with heaven! The three highest powers in the universe are pledged to labor with those who will seek to save the lost. God wants his people to claim his promised help for the accomplishment of his work in the world. [...]" (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 08-12-1909, "What the Cause of God Demands of His Servants," paragraph 3.)

"In this Scripture God and Christ are spoken of as two distinct personalities, each acting in their own individuality." (Manuscript Release No. 760: The Integrity of the Sanctuary Truth, page 18, paragraph 2.)

"'These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee; as thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.'

"In this scripture God and Christ are spoken of separately. They are two distinct persons, but one in mind, one in heart, one in holiness and justice, and purity, and one in the work of seeking to save the sinful race. To those who believe in Christ, God will give power to become His sons even to them that believe on His name. This is the science of the life that now is, and of the life which is to come. This is the true science that our medical men need to study,--the science of the saving grace of the gospel. This is the science that students must study in order to become genuine medical missionaries.

"Unless the heart, mind, soul, and strength are completely conformed to the will of Christ, the science studied will not give entrance into the narrow way and the straight gate that lead to eternal life. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Because broad is the way, and wide is the gate that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go thereat. Those who regard it as a valuable science to be sharp, to take advantage of and cheat their neighbors, are cheating their own soul, and unless they change, they can never enter the holy city. No crooked dealing, no deceptive science, will find a place in the heavenly courts.

"We are God's little children, and we are to learn of Him, His spirit is too pure to dwell in the mind and heart of one that is lifted up unto vanity. In His prayer Christ said, 'I have glorified Thee on the earth.' This is the science of heaven. 'I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.'

"These are the words of Him who was one in mind, in heart, and purpose, with God in the work of saving a fallen world. God and Christ had oneness of purpose, oneness of aim, and they made one eternal never-ending effort to work for the salvation of the fallen race. The prayer of Christ lays open before the intelligent, understanding mind that not one taint of the science of Satan's practice can enter the holy city.

"Satan worked in every possible way to come out victorious in standing in the highest place in the heavenly courts. How artful were his contrivances to win the game! He employed every artful intrigue and device to carry his science against God and His Son Jesus Christ." (Battle Creek Letters, page 127 paragraph 2-page 128 paragraph 2.)

"These restoring agencies are not to be confined to a few places but extended to the ends of the earth. Oh, the depths of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! The perfect unity for which Christ prayed would be exemplified when his disciples should be one in heart, in belief of the truth, in sympathy, in true courtesy, in compassion and grace, exemplifying the union existing between the Father and the Son. John 17:16-23. This unity is the power of the truth sanctifying the soul." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Eighteen, page 209, paragraph 1.)

"When they [Israel] came to Sinai, He took occasion to refresh their minds in regard to His requirements. Christ and the Father, standing side by side upon the mount, with solemn majesty proclaimed the Ten Commandments.--Historical Sketches, p. 231. (1866)" (Brackets in original. Evangelism, page 616, paragraph 3.)

"In all things Christ was made like unto his brethren, that in his human nature he might give to man a perfect example. He alone could bridge the gulf that sin had made. In him, humanity touched humanity, while divinity laid hold upon divinity, that man might become Christlike, a partaker of the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust." (The Home Missionary, 10-01-1897, "The Law of Love," paragraph 1.)

All of those statements are very polytheistic/tritheistic--with White referring to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the three "powers," "authorities," etc. Notice that she even teaches multiple "infinite powers"--a nonsensical and logically impossible concept. In the second to last quote, White is blatantly teaching two separate, corporeal gods. And in the last quote, she says that there are at least two "divinities" (gods).

Here are some more quotes from Ellen G. White which also teach Tritheism:

"We are to 'hold fast' and live up to all the light we receive from heaven. Why? Because God wants us to grasp the eternal truth, and act as His helping hand by communicating the light to those who are not acquainted with His love for them. When you gave yourself to Christ, you made a pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--the three great personal Dignitaries of heaven. 'Hold fast' to this pledge." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, page 959, paragraph 8.)

"The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that they will strengthen men to overcome the powers of darkness. All the facilities of heaven are pledged to those who by their baptismal vows have entered into a covenant with God (MS 92, 1901)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, page 1110, paragraph 8.)

[...] "We are not to think that as soon as we are baptized we are ready to graduate from the school of Christ. When we have accepted Christ, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to serve God, the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit--the three dignitaries and powers of heaven--pledge themselves that every facility shall be given to us if we carry out our baptismal vows to 'come out from among them, and be . . . separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing.' When we are true to our vows, He says, 'I will receive you' (MS 85, 1901)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 6, page 1075, paragraph 8.)

PAGE 139

"It was while there was a disregard of His holy precepts, that God called His people from Egyptian bondage, away from the influence of human authority, to be set free from their life of slavery. The Dignitaries of heaven had ordained that God's people, as a nation, should be delivered from slavery and become a separate and peculiar people who served the Lord God of heaven." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Twenty-one, page 64, paragraph 4.)

"The Lord Jesus described the difficulties they should meet. Having called their minds to rise to an eminence, He bids them behold the vast confederacy of evil arrayed against God, against Christ, against all who unite with these holy powers. Christ tells them they were to fight in fellowship with all the children of light; that satanic agencies would combine their forces to extinguish the light of the life of Christ out of their ranks. But they were not left to fight the battles in their own human strength. The angelic host coming as ministers of God would be in that battle. Also there would be the eternal heavenly dignitaries--God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit--arming them with more than mortal energy, and would advance with them to the work, and convince the world of sin." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Sixteen, page 204, paragraph 4.)

[...] "How will those who neglect the words God has spoken through his messengers meet their Saviour, whom they have not honored in conversation or by their example? All these opportunities and privileges will rise up in the Judgment to condemn them. Every one must meet a record of his life just as it is. The work he has been doing stands to testify for or against him. If that work is evil, he stands stripped of his own righteousness, and without the white garments on,--the righteousness of Christ,--without the friendship of Jesus. How terrible the position! standing alone amid the terrible dignitaries of heaven, confronted by the Lord Jesus who gave his life for them, but whom they rejected, saying, We will not have this man Jesus to reign over us. These are the fearful words heard, 'Depart, I know you not.'" (Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 12-11-1883, "Notes of Travel. The New York Camp-Meeting," paragraph 10.)

"The teachers are to educate the youth to realize that if they receive Christ and believe on Him, they will be brought into close relationship with God. He gives them power to become the sons of God, to associate with the highest dignitaries in the kingdom of heaven, and to unite with Gabriel, with cherubim and seraphim, with angels and the archangel. [Revelation 22: 1-5, quoted.]" (Sermons and Talks, Volume One, page 285, paragraph 1.)

In the third paragraph above, notice that White defines "God" as "the three dignitaries and powers of heaven"! And in those last two quotes it is difficult to tell whether she is talking about angels or her gods (especially considering the fact that she taught that "Christ" is Michael the archangel, as we will see later).

"But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus. Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give. 'I do nothing of Myself,' said Christ; 'the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father.' 'I seek not Mine own glory,' but the glory of Him that sent Me. John 8:28; 6:57; 8:50; 7:18. In these words is set forth the great principle which is the law of life for the universe. All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings: through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus through Christ the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life.

[...]

"The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan's deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world's dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, 'with healing in His wings.' Mal. 4:2.

"The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of 'the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.' Rom. 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, 'that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' John 3:16.

"Lucifer had said, 'I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; . . . I will be like the Most High.' Isa. 14:13, 14. But Christ, 'being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.' Phil. 2:6, 7, R. V., margin.

"This was a voluntary sacrifice. Jesus might have remained at the Father's side. He might have retained the glory of heaven, and the homage of the angels. But He chose to give back the scepter into the Father's hands, and to step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to the benighted, and life to the perishing.

[...]

"By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. [...]

[...]

[...] "It is the 'Son of man' who shares the throne of the universe. It is the 'Son of man' whose name shall be called, 'Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.' Isa. 9:6. The I AM is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both. [...]" (The Desire of Ages, page 21 paragraph 2, page 22 paragraphs 1-4, page 24 paragraph 3, and page 25 paragraph 3.)

PAGE 140

There is so much anti-Trinitarian heresy just in the above few excerpts from Ellen G. White's The Desire of Ages, separating "God" and "Christ" and clearly teaching polytheism. She even teaches that Jesus left "the Father's side," that He gave "back the scepter into the Father's hands," and that He stepped "down from the throne of the universe"! These statements are incredibly blasphemous, and blatantly teach more than one god. Then we see that the SDA teaching of a "coregency" comes from Ellen White's writings, as she says that Jesus only "shares" the throne of the universe. And then she denies that Jesus is God by teaching that He is just a middleman between "God" and men, saying that He is "the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both." Now let's look at some more excerpts from The Desire of Ages:

[...] "So in heaven's council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem." (The Desire of Ages, page 32, paragraph 1.)

"The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden 'the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.' Rom. 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.

"Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.

"The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. 'Herein is love.' Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!" (The Desire of Ages, page 48 paragraph 5-page 49 paragraph 2.)

"Such was the Saviour's reception when He came to the earth. There seemed to be no place of rest or safety for the infant Redeemer. God could not trust His beloved Son with men, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation. He commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save." (The Desire of Ages, page 67, paragraph 1.)

Again, we find the polytheistic SDA teaching of a divine "council" which, as we can see, comes from White's writings, and also her lowering of Jesus Christ. Also notice that the SDA teaching that Jesus gave up "the throne" also comes from White's writings.

"At the birth of Jesus, Satan knew that One had come with a divine commission to dispute his dominion. He trembled at the angel's message attesting the authority of the newborn King. Satan well knew the position that Christ had held in heaven as the Beloved of the Father. That the Son of God should come to this earth as a man filled him with amazement and with apprehension. He could not fathom the mystery of this great sacrifice. His selfish soul could not understand such love for the deceived race. The glory and peace of heaven, and the joy of communion with God, were but dimly comprehended by men; but they were well known to Lucifer, the covering cherub. Since he had lost heaven, he was determined to find revenge by causing others to share his fall. This he would do by causing them to undervalue heavenly things, and to set the heart upon things of earth.

[...]

"At the Saviour's baptism, Satan was among the witnesses. He saw the Father's glory overshadowing His Son. He heard the voice of Jehovah testifying to the divinity of Jesus. Ever since Adam's sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; but now that Jesus had come 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (Rom. 8:3), the Father Himself spoke. He had before communicated with humanity through Christ; now He communicated with humanity in Christ. Satan had hoped that God's abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored.

[...]

"When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the Father's glory. Absorbed in communion with God, He was lifted above human weakness. But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with temptation. It was pressing upon Him every moment. His human nature shrank from the conflict that awaited Him. For forty days He fasted and prayed. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, 'His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.' Isa. 52:14. Now was Satan's opportunity. Now he supposed that he could overcome Christ.

"There came to the Saviour, as if in answer to His prayers, one in the guise of an angel from heaven. He claimed to have a commission from God to declare that Christ's fast was at an end. As God had sent an angel to stay the hand of Abraham from offering Isaac, so, satisfied with Christ's willingness to enter the bloodstained path, the Father had sent an angel to deliver Him; this was the message brought to Jesus. The Saviour was faint from hunger, He was craving for food, when Satan came suddenly upon Him. Pointing to the stones which strewed the desert, and which had the appearance of loaves, the tempter said, 'If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.'

[...]

"The words from heaven, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' (Matt. 3:17), were still sounding in the ears of Satan. But he was determined to make Christ disbelieve this testimony. The word of God was Christ's assurance of His divine mission. He had come to

PAGE 141

live as a man among men, and it was the word that declared His connection with heaven. It was Satan's purpose to cause Him to doubt that word. If Christ's confidence in God could be shaken, Satan knew that the victory in the whole controversy would be his. He could overcome Jesus. He hoped that under the force of despondency and extreme hunger, Christ would lose faith in His Father, and work a miracle in His own behalf. Had He done this, the plan of salvation would have been broken.

"When Satan and the Son of God first met in conflict, Christ was the commander of the heavenly hosts; and Satan, the leader of revolt in heaven, was cast out. Now their condition is apparently reversed, and Satan makes the most of his supposed advantage. One of the most powerful of the angels, he says, has been banished from heaven. The appearance of Jesus indicates that He is that fallen angel, forsaken by God, and deserted by man. A divine being would be able to sustain his claim by working a miracle; 'if Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.' Such an act of creative power, urges the tempter, would be conclusive evidence of divinity. It would bring the controversy to an end.

"Not without a struggle could Jesus listen in silence to the arch-deceiver. But the Son of God was not to prove His divinity to Satan, or to explain the reason of His humiliation. By conceding to the demands of the rebel, nothing for the good of man or the glory of God would be gained. Had Christ complied with the suggestion of the enemy, Satan would still have said, Show me a sign that I may believe you to be the Son of God. Evidence would have been worthless to break the power of rebellion in his heart. And Christ was not to exercise divine power for His own benefit. He had come to bear trial as we must do, leaving us an example of faith and submission. Neither here nor at any subsequent time in His earthly life did He work a miracle in His own behalf. His wonderful works were all for the good of others. Though Jesus recognized Satan from the beginning, He was not provoked to enter into controversy with him. Strengthened with the memory of the voice from heaven, He rested in His Father's love. He would not parley with temptation.

"Jesus met Satan with the words of Scripture. 'It is written,' He said. In every temptation the weapon of His warfare was the word of God. Satan demanded of Christ a miracle as a sign of His divinity. But that which is greater than all miracles, a firm reliance upon a 'Thus saith the Lord,' was a sign that could not be controverted. So long as Christ held to this position, the tempter could gain no advantage.

[...]

"Jesus rested upon the wisdom and strength of His heavenly Father. [...]

"'The prince of this world cometh,' said Jesus, 'and hath nothing in Me.' John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan's sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ's humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.

"And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us. By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan? By the word of God. Only by the word could He resist temptation. [...]" (The Desire of Ages, page 115, paragraph 2; page 116, paragraph 2; page 118, paragraphs 1-2; page 119 paragraph 1-page 120 paragraph 1; and page 123, paragraphs 2-4.)

Again, we see more of White's lowering of Jesus Christ and separating Him from "God." First, she talks about "the position that Christ had held in heaven as the Beloved of the Father"--clearly denying the fact that He is God. Then she says that humanity had been "cut off from direct communion with God" and that instead, "the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ"--again, blatantly denying that He is God! Then she says that at first in the wilderness Jesus was "shut in by the Father's glory" and that it was only through "communion with God" that He could be "lifted above human weakness," but that even the Father's glory "departed" from around Him and He was left all alone--just a mere man--"to battle with temptation." Again, this is totally denying the deity of Jesus Christ. Then we see that the SDA twisting of the wilderness temptation comes directly from White's writings, where she says that the devil came, "as if in answer to His prayers," "in the guise of an angel from heaven" and claiming that he had "a commission from God to declare that Christ's fast was at an end" and that, "As God had sent an angel to stay the hand of Abraham from offering Isaac, so, satisfied with Christ's willingness to enter the bloodstained path, the Father had sent an angel to deliver Him." This scenario would not even be possible within the concept of Trinitarianism.

And she goes on to say that "Christ" had to cling to the Father's words which were Christ's "assurance" and "that declared His connection with heaven"--but that Satan knew that if "Christ's confidence in God could be shaken," that Satan would win "the great controversy" and that he "could overcome Jesus." And she says that satan hoped that because "Christ" had "despondency and extreme hunger" that He would "lose faith in His Father"! Then she has satan trying to "trick" Jesus into believing that He (Jesus!) is a "fallen angel" that has been "banished from heaven" rather than being "a divine being"! Then, at the end of that paragraph, she refers to her teaching that the "great controversy between Christ and Satan" (which supposedly began long before man was created) started due to the fact that satan didn't believe/acknowledge that "the Son of God" is "divine" (again, a ridiculously impossible scenario within the concept of Trinitarianism). Then she goes on to say that it was "the memory of the voice from heaven" that strengthened Christ and that He "rested upon the wisdom and strength of His heavenly Father." And then she totally denies the divinity of Christ, saying that His "humanity was united with divinity" by, and that "He was fitted for the conflict" by, "the indwelling of the Holy Spirit"--and that we can have the same experience by also being "partakers of the divine nature"! She is saying that Christ on earth was no more "divine" than believers are! And then she says that, "Only by the word could He resist temptation." Actually, Jesus is Himself the Word!

"Satan now supposes that he has met Jesus on His own ground. The wily foe himself presents words that proceeded from the mouth of God. He still appears as an angel of light, and he makes it evident that he is acquainted with the Scriptures, and understands the import of what is written. As Jesus before used the word of God to sustain His faith, the tempter now uses it to countenance his deception. He claims that he has been only testing the fidelity of Jesus, and he now commends His steadfastness. As the Saviour has manifested trust in God, Satan urges Him to give still another evidence of His faith.

"But again the temptation is prefaced with the insinuation of distrust, 'If Thou be the Son of God.' Christ was tempted to answer the 'if;' but He refrained from the slightest acceptance of the doubt. He would not imperil His life in order to give evidence to Satan.

[...]

PAGE 142

[...] "In their unbelief they sought to put Him to the test. And Satan was urging Christ to do the same thing. God had already testified that Jesus was His Son; and now to ask for proof that He was the Son of God would be putting God's word to the test,--tempting Him. And the same would be true of asking for that which God had not promised. It would manifest distrust, and be really proving, or tempting, Him. [...]

[...]

"Christ's mission could be fulfilled only through suffering. Before Him was a life of sorrow, hardship, and conflict, and an ignominious death. He must bear the sins of the whole world. He must endure separation from His Father's love. Now the tempter offered to yield up the power he had usurped. Christ might deliver Himself from the dreadful future by acknowledging the supremacy of Satan. But to do this was to yield the victory in the great controversy. It was in seeking to exalt himself above the Son of God that Satan had sinned in heaven. Should he prevail now, it would be the triumph of rebellion.

[...]

"So we may resist temptation, and force Satan to depart from us. Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by the apostle He says to us, 'Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.' James 4:7, 8. We cannot save ourselves from the tempter's power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but 'the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.' Prov. 18:10. Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.

"After the foe had departed, Jesus fell exhausted to the earth, with the pallor of death upon His face. The angels of heaven had watched the conflict, beholding their loved Commander as He passed through inexpressible suffering to make a way of escape for us. He had endured the test, greater than we shall ever be called to endure. The angels now ministered to the Son of God as He lay like one dying. He was strengthened with food, comforted with the message of His Father's love and the assurance that all heaven triumphed in His victory. Warming to life again, His great heart goes out in sympathy for man, and He goes forth to complete the work He has begun; to rest not until the foe is vanquished, and our fallen race redeemed.

"Never can the cost of our redemption be realized until the redeemed shall stand with the Redeemer before the throne of God. Then as the glories of the eternal home burst upon our enraptured senses we shall remember that Jesus left all this for us, that He not only became an exile from the heavenly courts, but for us took the risk of failure and eternal loss. Then we shall cast our crowns at His feet, and raise the song, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.' Rev. 5:12." (The Desire of Ages, page 124, paragraphs 2-3; page 125, paragraph 4; page 129, paragraph 3; and page 130 paragraph 4-page 131 paragraph 2.)

Again we see that she teaches the anti-Trinitarian concept that satan was trying to trick Jesus into believing that he (satan) was an angel sent from "God" to "test" the "fidelity" and "faith" of "Jesus"! Then she says that Christ was "tempted" to give in and sin--which is a direct contradiction of James 1:13 which says that "God cannot be tempted by evil" (NASB). Then she makes it sound like Jesus needed to "pass the test" in order to earn God's approval to be the Savior! And she says that Jesus was dying, and that angels "comforted" Him with "the message of His Father's love and the assurance that all heaven triumphed in His victory"--totally denying His deity and omniscience. Then she even calls Jesus "an exile from the heavenly courts" and says that He "took the risk of failure and eternal loss."

"Jesus repelled the charge of blasphemy. My authority, He said, for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God. 'The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.' The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father's will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God's plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.

[...]

"The humble Nazarene asserts His real nobility. He rises above humanity, throws off the guise of sin and shame, and stands revealed, the Honored of the angels, the Son of God, One with the Creator of the universe. His hearers are spellbound. No man has ever spoken words like His, or borne himself with such a kingly majesty. [...] (The Desire of Ages, page 208 paragraph 2 and page 210 paragraph 1.)

"When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the 'Master of earth and sea and sky' that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, 'I can of Mine own self do nothing.' John 5:30. He trusted in the Father's might. It was in faith--faith in God's love and care--that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God." (The Desire of Ages, page 336, paragraph 1.)

[...] "They are to contend with supernatural forces, but they are assured of supernatural help. All the intelligences of heaven are in this army. And more than angels are in the ranks. The Holy Spirit, the representative of the Captain of the Lord's host, comes down to direct the battle. Our infirmities may be many, our sins and mistakes grievous; but the grace of God is for all who seek it with contrition. The power of Omnipotence is enlisted in behalf of those who trust in God." (The Desire of Ages, page 352, paragraph 2.)

"Though now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. [...]

[...]

PAGE 143

"However much a shepherd may love his sheep, he loves his sons and daughters more. Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our 'everlasting Father.' And He says, 'I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father.' John 10:14, 15, R. V. What a statement is this!--the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be 'the Man that is My fellow' (Zech. 13:7),--the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!" (The Desire of Ages, page 480 paragraph 5 and page 483 paragraph 2.)

"'If any man serve Me,' said Jesus, 'let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.' All who have borne with Jesus the cross of sacrifice will be sharers with Him of His glory. It was the joy of Christ in His humiliation and pain that His disciples should be glorified with Him. They are the fruit of His self-sacrifice. The outworking in them of His own character and spirit is His reward, and will be His joy throughout eternity. This joy they share with Him as the fruit of their labor and sacrifice is seen in other hearts and lives. They are workers together with Christ, and the Father will honor them as He honors His Son." (The Desire of Ages, page 624, paragraph 2.)

Notice that White makes up quotes of Jesus, and has Him saying that He is only "one with" "God" in "nature," "will," and "purpose" and that He "co-operates" with God in "all His works," including creation (thus the SDA teaching of "co-creators" comes from White, also). Then she says that "Christ" was "dependent upon" the Father's "power" and that He had so emptied Himself that He "made no plans for Himself" and that He didn't even know what "the Father's" plans for Him were until He unfolded them to Him each day (again denying Christ's deity and omniscience). Then she says that Jesus had a "guise of sin and shame" and that He is only "One with the Creator of the universe" rather than actually being the Creator of the universe! Then, in the next quote, White says that Jesus did not rest "in the possession of almighty power," because He had "laid down" His power, and that it was instead the power of "God" that calmed the storm! So again we see that the SDA "Jesus" is certainly not God! And in the next quote she makes the Holy Spirit separate from, and lesser than, her "Christ." Then in the next quote White again says that Jesus only "shares" the throne of the universe, but that He didn't even "share" it while on earth, and she also twists what Jesus says in John 10 and denies that He is the eternal God! Then she says that Jesus' followers will be "sharers with Him of His glory" and that "the Father will honor them as He honors His Son"! These statements blaspheme Jesus and contradict Isaiah 42:8 and 48:11 where God says that He does not share His glory with anyone.

"Jesus had been earnestly conversing with His disciples and instructing them; but as He neared Gethsemane, He became strangely silent. He had often visited this spot for meditation and prayer; but never with a heart so full of sorrow as upon this night of His last agony. Throughout His life on earth He had walked in the light of God's presence. When in conflict with men who were inspired by the very spirit of Satan, He could say, 'He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.' John 8:29. But now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God's sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father's love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.'

[...]

"He went a little distance from them--not so far but that they could both see and hear Him--and fell prostrate upon the ground. He felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape. As man He must suffer the consequences of man's sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.

"Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, 'Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.' Zech. 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.

"As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness. In the wilderness of temptation the destiny of the human race had been at stake. Christ was then conqueror. Now the tempter had come for the last fearful struggle. For this he had been preparing during the three years of Christ's ministry. Everything was at stake with him. If he failed here, his hope of mastery was lost; the kingdoms of the world would finally become Christ's; he himself would be overthrown and cast out. But if Christ could be overcome, the earth would become Satan's kingdom, and the human race would be forever in his power. With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ's soul was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan's kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God.

[...]

"Behold Him contemplating the price to be paid for the human soul. In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. The chilling dew of night falls upon His prostrate form, but He heeds it not. From His pale lips comes the bitter cry, 'O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.' Yet even now He adds, 'Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.'

"The human heart longs for sympathy in suffering. This longing Christ felt to the very depths of His being. In the supreme agony of His soul He came to His disciples with a yearning desire to hear some words of comfort from those whom He had so often blessed and comforted, and shielded in sorrow and distress. The One who had always had words of sympathy for them was now suffering superhuman agony, and He longed to know that they were praying for Him and for themselves. How dark seemed the malignity of sin! Terrible was the temptation to let the human race bear the consequences of its own guilt, while He stood innocent before God. If He could only know that His disciples understood and appreciated this, He would be strengthened.

[...]

"The worlds unfallen and the heavenly angels had watched with intense interest as the conflict drew to its close. Satan and his confederacy of evil, the legions of apostasy, watched intently this great crisis in the work of redemption. The powers of good and evil waited to see what

PAGE 144

answer would come to Christ's thrice-repeated prayer. Angels had longed to bring relief to the divine sufferer, but this might not be. No way of escape was found for the Son of God. In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in God's presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. The angel came not to take the cup from Christ's hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father's love. He came to give power to the divine-human suppliant. He pointed Him to the open heavens, telling Him of the souls that would be saved as the result of His sufferings. He assured Him that His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan, that His death would result in the utter discomfiture of Satan, and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. He told Him that He would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, for He would see a multitude of the human race saved, eternally saved." (The Desire of Ages, page 685, paragraph 2; page 686, paragraphs 3-5; page 687, paragraphs 2-3; and page 693, paragraph 3.)

The above statements by White in The Desire of Ages are incredibly blasphemous. She even goes so far as to say that Christ "longed to have an intercessor for Himself"!!! An intercessor between Himself and..."God"?! She is totally denying that Jesus is God. Then she says that as Christ "felt His unity with the Father broken up" that He "feared" that He would "be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness." Then she says that His "soul was filled with dread of separation from God" and that "Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan's kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God." This shows very clearly that by "one with God" she does not mean that Jesus actually is the one God, just that He is "one in purpose" etc. with God! Then she makes the disgustingly blasphemous statement that, "In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God." And then notice that according to White, Jesus even needed an angel to "assure" Him that "His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan"! (And notice that there is no mention of Jesus being "greater and more powerful than Satan"!)

"The people of Israel had made their choice. Pointing to Jesus they had said, 'Not this man, but Barabbas.' Barabbas, the robber and murderer, was the representative of Satan. Christ was the representative of God. Christ had been rejected; Barabbas had been chosen. Barabbas they were to have. In making this choice they accepted him who from the beginning was a liar and a murderer. Satan was their leader. As a nation they would act out his dictation. His works they would do. His rule they must endure. That people who chose Barabbas in the place of Christ were to feel the cruelty of Barabbas as long as time should last." (The Desire of Ages, page 738, paragraph 5.)

"In another prophecy the Saviour declared, 'Reproach hath broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave Me also gall for My meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.' Ps. 69:20, 21. To those who suffered death by the cross, it was permitted to give a stupefying potion, to deaden the sense of pain. This was offered to Jesus; but when He had tasted it, He refused it. He would receive nothing that could becloud His mind. His faith must keep fast hold upon God. This was His only strength. To becloud His senses would give Satan an advantage.

"The enemies of Jesus vented their rage upon Him as He hung upon the cross. Priests, rulers, and scribes joined with the mob in mocking the dying Saviour. At the baptism and at the transfiguration the voice of God had been heard proclaiming Christ as His Son. Again, just before Christ's betrayal, the Father had spoken, witnessing to His divinity. But now the voice from heaven was silent. No testimony in Christ's favor was heard. Alone He suffered abuse and mockery from wicked men.

[...]

"Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.

"Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.

[...]

[...] "And all that He endured--the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father's face--speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. [...]

[...]

"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor." (The Desire of Ages, page 746, paragraphs 2-3; page 753, paragraphs 1-2; page 755, paragraph 1; and page 756, paragraph 3.)

First of all, White makes the blasphemous, anti-Trinitarian claim that just as Barabbas was the "representative" of Satan, so "Christ" was the "representative" of "God." Then she says that Christ was "alone" and without the Father, in direct contradiction to Jesus' own words in John 16:32: "Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." (NASB.) And it also contradicts 2 Corinthians 5:19 which says that "God was in Christ reconciling the world to

PAGE 145

Himself," (NASB). Then she says that the Father's face was hidden from Christ, which is in direct contradiction to Psalm 22:24 which says, "Nor has He hidden His face from him;" (NASB). And she even says that "Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus" and that Jesus did not even know that He would be resurrected or that "the Father" would "accept" His sacrifice! She also says that Jesus even gave into Satan's temptation that she mentioned earlier in the book and "feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal"! Then she totally makes Jesus lower/lesser than the Father and denies His deity and omniscience, saying that Jesus had to rely "upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him" and that He was "was acquainted with the character of His Father" and, "By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey." White's teachings are certainly not Trinitarianism or monotheism.

And here are some final excerpts from The Desire of Ages:

"When Jesus came into the world, Satan's power was turned against Him. From the time when He appeared as a babe in Bethlehem, the usurper worked to bring about His destruction. In every possible way he sought to prevent Jesus from developing a perfect childhood, a faultless manhood, a holy ministry, and an unblemished sacrifice. But he was defeated. He could not lead Jesus into sin. He could not discourage Him, or drive Him from a work He had come on earth to do. From the desert to Calvary, the storm of Satan's wrath beat upon Him, but the more mercilessly it fell, the more firmly did the Son of God cling to the hand of His Father, and press on in the bloodstained path. All the efforts of Satan to oppress and overcome Him only brought out in a purer light His spotless character." (The Desire of Ages, page 759, paragraph 4.)

"Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people until He had the assurance that His sacrifice was accepted by the Father. He ascended to the heavenly courts, and from God Himself heard the assurance that His atonement for the sins of men had been ample, that through His blood all might gain eternal life. The Father ratified the covenant made with Christ, that He would receive repentant and obedient men, and would love them even as He loves His Son. Christ was to complete His work, and fulfill His pledge to 'make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.' Isa. 13:12. All power in heaven and on earth was given to the Prince of Life, and He returned to His followers in a world of sin, that He might impart to them of His power and glory.

"While the Saviour was in God's presence, receiving gifts for His church, the disciples thought upon His empty tomb, and mourned and wept. [...]" (The Desire of Ages, page 790, paragaphs 3-4.)

"There is the throne, and around it the rainbow of promise. There are cherubim and seraphim. The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son, the representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion,--all are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.

"But He waves them back. Not yet; He cannot now receive the coronet of glory and the royal robe. He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming. He approaches the Father, with whom there is joy over one sinner that repents; who rejoices over one with singing. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled. When upon the cross He cried out, 'It is finished,' He addressed the Father. The compact had been fully carried out. Now He declares: Father, it is finished. I have done Thy will, O My God. I have completed the work of redemption. If Thy justice is satisfied, 'I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.' John 19:30; 17:24.

"The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. Satan is vanquished. Christ's toiling, struggling ones on earth are 'accepted in the Beloved.' Eph. 1:6. Before the heavenly angels and the representatives of unfallen worlds, they are declared justified. Where He is, there His church shall be. 'Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.' Ps. 85:10. The Father's arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.' Heb. 1:6." (The Desire of Ages, page 834, paragraphs 1-3.)

The above excerpts from The Desire of Ages are just full of sickening heresy. First, White says that "the Son of God" had to "cling to the hand of His Father," as if He was some sort of demigod who was frail and helpless! Then she actually states that "Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people until He had the assurance that His sacrifice was accepted by the Father"!! And she says that He had to ascend to "the heavenly courts" and hear from "God Himself" the "assurance" that His sacrifice was "accepted" and good enough!! Then she says that at His ascension everyone in heaven wants to celebrate Christ's triumph and glorify Him, but that He won't let them and He "waves them back" and tells them, "Not yet;" that "He cannot now receive the coronet of glory and the royal robe." Then she says that "He approaches the Father" and that "the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan" and that, "They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge" and that, "The compact had been fully carried out." Then she says that even in heaven, even with her "Son" god in the "physical" presence of her "Father" god, the "Son" god still doesn't even know if "God"'s justice has been "satisfied" by the "Son" god's sacrifice! Then "God" finally clues him in and tells the "Son" god that justice is satisfied. And then she says, "The Father's arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.' Heb. 1:6." Hebrews 1:6 actually states that He says this "when he brings the firstborn into the world," (ESV). Also, notice White's totally corporeal "Father" god. Also, according to the dictionary, a "coronet" (which she has "Christ" about to receive in the above quote) is a type of crown worn by those who are inferior to the sovereign. And she even makes it sound like there is a "heavenly council" which is above "God and His Son" "before which" "Lucifer" could accuse them. All of these statements from The Desire of Ages are nowhere near the Trinitarian/monotheistic worldview! They are part of a completely different paradigm--the polytheistic SDA worldview.

"It was to redeem us that Jesus lived and suffered and died. He became 'a Man of Sorrows,' that we might be made partakers of everlasting joy. God permitted His beloved Son, full of grace and truth, to come from a world of indescribable glory, to a world marred and blighted with sin, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. He permitted Him to leave the bosom of His love, the adoration of the angels, to suffer shame, insult, humiliation, hatred, and death. 'The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.' Isaiah 53:5. Behold Him in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, upon the cross! The spotless Son of God took upon Himself the burden

PAGE 146

of sin. He who had been one with God, felt in His soul the awful separation that sin makes between God and man. This wrung from His lips the anguished cry, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' Matthew 27:46. It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible enormity, of its separation of the soul from God--it was this that broke the heart of the Son of God." (Steps to Christ, page 13, paragraph 1.)

In the above quote from Steps to Christ, White makes the blasphemous claim that "God" "permitted" His "Son" to "leave the bosom of His love" and "the adoration of the angels." And then she says that the Son "had been" "one with" God, but then He no longer was. (Again, see this page for more on Adventism's misusage of Matthew 27.)

"Christ might have continued to abide in the heavenly courts, clothed in garments whiter than the whitest white, and sitting as a prince at God's right hand. He was not compelled to step down from the throne, to lay aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and come to this earth to receive hatred, abuse, rejection, scourging, and a crown of thorns. The humiliation that He endured, He endured voluntarily, to save a world from eternal ruin." (Manuscript Releases, Volume 12, page 397, paragraph 2.)

"Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people until He knew that His sacrifice had been accepted by the Father, and until He had received the assurance from God Himself that His atonement for the sins of His people had been full and ample, that through His blood they might gain eternal life. Jesus immediately ascended to heaven and presented Himself before the throne of God, showing the marks of shame and cruelty upon His brow, His hands and feet. But he refused to receive the coronet of glory, and the royal robe, and He also refused the adoration of the angels as He had refused the homage of Mary, until the Father signified that His offering was accepted.

"He also had a request to prefer concerning His chosen ones upon earth. He wished to have the relation clearly defined that His redeemed should hereafter sustain to heaven, and to His Father. His church must be justified and accepted before He could accept heavenly honor. He declared it to be His will that where He was, there His church should be; if He was to have glory, His people must share it with Him. They who suffer with Him on earth must finally reign with Him in His kingdom. In the most explicit manner Christ pleaded for His church, identifying His interest with theirs, and advocating, with love and constancy stronger than death, their rights and titles gained through Him.

"God's answer to this appeal goes forth in the proclamation: 'Let all the angels of God worship him.' Every angelic commander obeys the royal mandate, and Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain; and that lives again a triumphant conqueror! echoes and re-echoes through all heaven. The innumerable company of angels prostrate themselves before the Redeemer. The request of Christ is granted; the church is justified through Him, its representative and head. Here the Father ratifies the contract with His Son, that He will be reconciled to repentant and obedient men, and take them into divine favor through the merits of Christ. Christ guarantees that He will make a man 'more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.' All power in heaven and on earth is now given to the Prince of life; yet He does not for a moment forget His poor disciples in a sinful world, but prepares to return to them, that He may impart to them His power and glory. Thus did the Redeemer of mankind, by the sacrifice of Himself, connect earth with heaven, and finite man with the infinite God (3SP 202, 203)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, page 1150, paragraphs 3-5.)

"Christ was crucified; but he rose from the dead, appeared to his disciples, and ascended to heaven, escorted by myriads of heavenly beings. At the Father's throne he received the assurance that his sacrifice was accepted, and that the world that had been divorced from God by sin, was drawn across the gulf. Receiving Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour, man might become an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ; 'for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'" (The Youth's Instructor, 03-29-1900, "John the Beloved," paragraph 5.)

In the first quote, not only does White teach her heresy that Jesus left heaven and "step[ped] down from the throne," but she also teaches that He was corporeal, before the incarnation. And she even says that He was "sitting as a prince at God's right hand"--totally denying that He was the King of the universe! And in the last two quotes, we see similar teachings to what she says in The Desire of Ages, and she even states that Jesus "refused the adoration of the angels" (and that He "had refused the homage of Mary"), "until the Father signified that His offering was accepted"!

"Oh, was there ever suffering and sorrow like that endured by the dying Saviour! It was the sense of his Father's displeasure which made his cup so bitter. It was not bodily suffering which so quickly ended the life of Christ upon the cross. It was the crushing weight of the sins of the world, and a sense of his Father's wrath that broke his heart. The Father's glory and sustaining presence had left him, and despair pressed its crushing weight of darkness upon him, and forced from his pale and quivering lips the anguished cry: 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'

"Jesus had united with the Father in making the world. Amid the agonizing sufferings of the Son of God, blind and deluded men alone remain unfeeling. The chief priests and elders revile God's dear Son while in his expiring agonies. Yet inanimate nature groans in sympathy with her bleeding, dying Author. The earth trembles. The sun refuses to behold the scene. The heavens gather blackness. Angels have witnessed the scene of suffering until they can look on no longer, and hide their faces from the horrid sight. Christ is in despair! He is dying! His Father's approving smile is removed, and angels are not permitted to lighten the gloom of the terrible hour. They could only behold in amazement their loved Commander suffering the penalty of man's transgression of the Father's law.

"Even doubts assailed the dying Son of God. He could not see through the portals of the tomb. Bright hope did not present to him his coming forth from the tomb a conqueror, and his Father's acceptance of his sacrifice. The sin of the world with all its terribleness was felt to the utmost by the Son of God. The displeasure of the Father for sin, and its penalty, which was death, were all that he could realize through this amazing darkness. He was tempted to fear that sin was so offensive in the sight of his Father that he could not be reconciled to his Son. The fierce temptation that his own Father had forever left him, caused that piercing cry from the cross 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'

[...]

"Faith and hope trembled in the expiring agonies of Christ, because God had removed the assurance he had heretofore given his beloved Son of his approbation and acceptance. The Redeemer of the world then relied upon the evidences which had hitherto

PAGE 147

strengthened him, that his Father accepted his labors and was pleased with his work. In his dying agony, as he yields up his precious life, he has by faith alone to trust in Him whom it has ever been his joy to obey. He is not cheered with clear, bright rays of hope on the right hand nor on the left. All is enshrouded in oppressive gloom. Amid the awful darkness which is felt even by sympathizing nature, the Redeemer drains the mysterious cup even to its dregs. Denied even bright hope and confidence in the triumph which will be his in the near future, he cries with a loud voice, 'Lord into thy hands I commit my spirit.' He is acquainted with the character of his Father, his justice, his mercy, and great love. In submission he drops into the hands of his Father. Amid the convulsions of nature are heard by the amazed spectators the dying words of the Man of Calvary, 'It is finished.'

[...]

"Some have limited views of the atonement. They think that Christ suffered only a small portion of the penalty of the law of God, and that while the wrath of God was felt by his dear Son, they suppose that he had, through all his painful sufferings, the evidence of his Father's love and acceptance, and that the portals of the tomb before him were illuminated with bright hope. Here is a great mistake. Christ's keenest anguish was a sense of his Father's displeasure. His mental agony because of this was of such intensity that man can have but faint conception of it.

[...]

"But bodily pain was only a small part of the agony of God's dear Son. The sins of the world were upon him, and also the sense of his Father's wrath as he suffered the penalty of the law. It was these that crushed his divine soul. It was the hiding of his Father's face, a sense that his own dear Father had forsaken him, which brought despair. The separation that sin makes between God and man was fully realized and keenly felt by the innocent, suffering Man of Calvary. He was oppressed by the powers of darkness. He had not one ray of light to brighten the future. And he was struggling with the power of Satan, who was declaring that Christ was in his hands, and that he was superior in strength to the Son of God, that God had disowned his Son, and that he was no longer in the favor of God any more than himself. If he was indeed still in favor with God, why need he die? God could save him from death." (The Signs of the Times, 02-15-1883, "The Love of Christ," paragraphs 1-3, 5, 12, and 14.)

Again there are so many heretical statements in the above excerpts. She states that the Father's "glory" and "presence" "left" Christ. Then she says that "Jesus" and "the Father" "had united" "in making the world." Then she teaches the same heresies that we've already seen, saying that "doubts assailed" Jesus and that He had no "hope" that He would rise again, or that the "Father" would "accept" His sacrifice. Then she even states that Jesus "was tempted to fear that sin was so offensive in the sight of his Father that he could not be reconciled to his Son." Nowhere does the Bible even teach that the Father ever needed to be "reconciled" to His Son! This is absolute blasphemy--the Father and the Son are one and the same God. Then White says that "God had removed the assurance he had heretofore given his beloved Son of his approbation and acceptance." Again, she totally makes Jesus lower/lesser than "God" and denies His omniscience. And notice where she says that Jesus was "Denied even bright hope and confidence in the triumph which will be his in the near future"--actually, Jesus' death on the Cross was His triumph, according to Colossians 2:15! And she even misquotes Jesus, and has Him saying "Lord" instead of "Father." White then goes on to say that those who refuse to deny the omniscience of Jesus Christ "have limited views of the atonement" and are making "a great mistake." Then she says that Christ's "divine soul" was "crushed" and again says that the Father hid His face from Him, that He had despair, and that "he was struggling with the power of Satan, who was declaring that Christ was in his hands, and that he was superior in strength to the Son of God, that God had disowned his Son, and that he was no longer in the favor of God any more than himself"!!! What utter, anti-Trinitarian, blasphemy!

"By loving words and by works of mercy, Christ bore down old traditions and man-made commandments, and presented the love of the Father in its exhaustless fullness. His calm, earnest, musical voice fell like balm on the wounded spirit. He was revealing the image of God mirrored in himself. He presented to His hearers the truths of the prophecies, separating them from the obscure interpretations which the scribes and Pharisees had attached to them. He scattered the heavenly grains of truth wherever He went.

[...]

"Christ was accused of breaking the Sabbath by doing upon it works of healing. But He justified himself by stating that His work admitted of no interruption. He must work constantly, even as His Father works. It is by God's unfailing care that we are provided with daily food. Then should we not trust in Him who has undertaken our salvation. The knowledge that the Father and the Son are united in the work of redemption should give courage and hope to the most desponding.

[...]

"Christ threw back the charge of blasphemy, with the words, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that himself doeth.' My authority for the work that I am doing, He said, is the fact that I am God's Son, one with Him in nature, will, and purpose. I co-operate with Him in His work. My Father loves me, and communicates to me all His counsels. Nothing is planned by the Father in heaven that is not fully opened to the Son." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 03-05-1901, "Lessons from the Christ-Life," paragraphs 2, 7, and 10.)

"This was the reception the Saviour met as he came to a fallen world. He left his heavenly home, his majesty, and riches, and high command, and took upon himself humanity, that he might save the fallen race. Instead of glorifying God for the honor he had conferred upon humanity in thus sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, by giving him a place in their affections, there seemed to be no rest nor safety for the infant Saviour. Jehovah could not trust to the inhabitants of the world his Son, who came into the world that through his divine power he might redeem fallen man. He who came to bring life to man would meet, from the very ones he came to benefit, insult, hatred, and abuse. God could not trust the heavenly Messenger with men while carrying on his noble work for their salvation, and final exaltation to his own throne. He sent angels to attend him, and preserve his life, till his mission on earth should be accomplished, and he should die by the hands of the very men he came to save.

"From his childhood, Jesus conformed his life strictly to the Jewish laws. He manifested great wisdom in his youth. The grace and power of

PAGE 148

God were upon him. The word of the Lord, by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, describes the office and work of Christ, and shows the sheltering care of God over his Son in his mission to earth, that the relentless hatred of men, inspired by Satan, should not be permitted to thwart the design of the great plan of salvation." (Redemption Or The First Advent Of Christ With His Life And Ministry, page 23 paragraph 2-page 24 paragraph 1.)

First, notice that White says that Christ was "revealing the image of God mirrored in himself"--separating "Christ" and "God." And, again, she simply makes up quotes of "Jesus," and has him teaching polytheism. Then, in the second quote, she says that Jesus "left his heavenly home, his majesty, and riches, and high command"--meaning he was no longer even a god. She also says that "Jehovah" could not trust His "Son," "the heavenly Messenger," with men and He had to send angels to "attend him" and "preserve his life" until "his mission" was accomplished. If Jesus was God why would He need "God" to send angels to "preserve his life"?! White is simply denying Jesus' deity. Jesus said that no one could take His life from Him ever: "I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative." (John 10:17b-18a NASB.) Also, notice that in White's quote, her "Jesus" is only the "Son" of "Jehovah," "the heavenly Messenger"--rather than actually being Jehovah God Himself!

"Christ left His position in the heavenly courts, and came to this earth to live the life of human beings. This sacrifice He made in order to show that Satan's charge against God is false--that it is possible for man to obey the laws of God's kingdom. Equal with the Father, honored and adored by the angels, in our behalf Christ humbled Himself, and came to this earth to live a life of lowliness and poverty--to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet the stamp of divinity was upon His humanity. He came as a divine Teacher, to uplift human beings, to increase their physical, mental, and spiritual efficiency.

"There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Yet we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'

"In every possible way Satan sought to prevent Jesus from developing a perfect childhood, a faultless manhood, a holy ministry, and an unblemished sacrifice. But he was defeated. He could not lead Jesus into sin. He could not discourage Him, or drive Him from the work He had come to this earth to do. From the desert to Calvary the storm of Satan's wrath beat upon Him, but the more mercilessly it fell, the more firmly did the Son of God cling to the hand of His Father, and press on in the blood-stained path (MS 140, 1903)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, page 1129 paragraph 6-page 1130 paragraph 1.)

Again, we see White's heresy that Jesus left His "position" in "the heavenly courts" and only lived as a man on earth. Then she outright denies Jesus' deity, saying, "The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty"! That is an absolute lie and denies the deity of Jesus, no matter what exactly she meant by it. And again we see her heresy that "the Son of God" had to "cling to the hand of His Father."

"Christ came to save fallen man, and Satan with fiercest wrath met him on the field of conflict; for the enemy knew that when divine strength was added to human weakness, man was armed with power and intelligence, and could break away from the captivity in which he had bound him. Satan sought to intercept every ray of light from the throne of God. He sought to cast his shadow across the earth, that men might lose the true views of God's character, and that the knowledge of God might become extinct in the earth. He had caused truth of vital importance to be so mingled with error that it had lost its significance. The law of Jehovah was burdened with needless exactions and traditions, and God was represented as severe, exacting, revengeful, and arbitrary. He was pictured as one who could take pleasure in the sufferings of his creatures. The very attributes that belonged to the character of Satan, the evil one represented as belonging to the character of God. Jesus came to teach men of the Father, to correctly represent him before the fallen children of earth. Angels could not fully portray the character of God, but Christ, who was a living impersonation of God, could not fail to accomplish the work. The only way in which he could set and keep men right was to make himself visible and familiar to their eyes. That men might have salvation he came directly to man, and became a partaker of his nature." (The Signs of the Times, 01-20-1890, "God Made Manifest in Christ," paragraph 6.)

"Heaven's councils decided that Christ, the great Teacher, must himself come to the world. [...]" (The Signs of the Times, 04-15-1897, "Christ the Restorer," paragraph 3.)

"In the heavenly councils it has been decided by what means and methods the grace of Christ shall prove effectual in saving the soul. And it is clear that unless the sinner consents to be drawn, unless he will cooperate with divine agencies, the end will not be attained. The work to be done is a united work. The divine and the human are to work together, and the sinner is to depend upon grace, while rendering willing obedience to the dictates of the Spirit of God. 'Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.'" (The Signs of the Times, 02-12-1894, "Co-operation With God a Necessity," paragraph 3.)

"If God had decided, in his councils in heaven, to visit the transgressors of his law with instant death, there would have resulted a much greater restriction of the inclination to do those things that are offensive to God. The very men who seem to be dead to entreaties and warnings sent in mercy by God, those who will not be deterred from their evil course of action, would be prudent to save their lives, even if they had no love for God. But the Lord's arrangement, made in council with his only begotten Son, was to leave men free moral agents to a certain length of probation. His eye would discern all their works, but he would compel no man's service. If the love displayed in his long-suffering and patience could not bring them to repentance and perfect surrender to the laws of his kingdom, then they must be left to choose whom they would serve. Their life must testify of their choice. If men love transgression, and choose to disregard his laws, after sufficient test and trial their case is forever decided. God cannot have such as members of his family in heaven. Their punishment will be in accordance with the character of their defiance and rebellion against God." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 12-21-1897, "The Limit of God's Mercy," paragraph 4.)

"In the councils of heaven it was decided that principles must be acted upon that would not at once destroy Satan's power; for it was God's purpose to place things upon an eternal basis of security. Time must be given for Satan to develop the principles which were the foundation of his government. The heavenly universe must see worked out the principles which Satan declared were superior to God's principles. God's order must be contrasted with Satan's order. The corrupting principles of Satan's rule must be revealed. The principles of righteousness expressed in God's law must be demonstrated as unchangeable, perfect, eternal." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,

PAGE 149

09-07-1897, "The Great Controversy," paragraph 10.)

"That which in the councils of heaven the Father and the Son deemed essential for the salvation of man, was defined from eternity by infinite truths which finite beings cannot fail to comprehend. Revelations have been made for their instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may glorify his own life and the lives of his fellow men, not only by the possession of truth, but by communicating it. [...]" (Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 408, paragraph 1.)

"In the councils of heaven before the creation of the world, when it was planned that man should people the earth, there arose the question, What if man should sin, as Satan has sinned? Christ answered this question. The infinite Son of God pledged Himself that if man should sin, He would give Himself, His life, as a ransom for the fallen race, taking upon Himself the transgression of humanity. The Innocent would bear the sins of the guilty, and stand before God to make intercession in behalf of the transgressor." (Sermons and Talks, Volume Two, page 229, paragraph 4.)

"I was surprised as I saw men who claim to believe the truth for this time all excited in regard to matters-- which relate to the Lord Jesus and eternal interests? No; but they seemed to be wonderfully excited in regard to the currency. Some ministers were distinguishing themselves by weaving these subjects into their discourses. They were excitably involving themselves, taking sides in regard to these questions that the Lord did not lay upon them the burden to engage in. These persons seemed to have a large share of self-sufficiency. But they themselves really did not know what they were advocating. They knew not whether they were defending principles that originated in the councils of heaven or in the councils of Satan." (Testimonies to Minsters and Gospel Workers, page 332, paragraph 1.)

[...] "You have the Word which tells you that God's commandment-keeping people are to have His special favor, and that they are to be sanctified through obedience to the truth. Shall we unite ourselves with those that are full of error, who have no respect for God's commandments, and shall our students go forth to obtain the finishing touches of their education from men who, unless they are converted will not be honored with a place in the councils of heaven." (The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters, page 271, paragraph 4.)

"Man's need for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were aroused in behalf of human beings, fallen and bound to Satan's chariot car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the councils of heaven came to this earth as man's instructor. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world, and to meet the necessities of human nature He took humanity upon Himself. To the astonishment of the heavenly host the eternal Word came to this world as a helpless babe. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts and mysteriously allied Himself with fallen human beings. 'The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.' John 1:14.

"When Christ left His high command, He might have taken upon Him any condition in life that He chose. But greatness and rank were nothing to Him, and He chose the most humble walk of life. No luxury, ease, or self-gratification came into His experience. The truth of heavenly origin was to be His theme; He was to sow the world with truth, and He lived in such a way as to be accessible to all." (Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, page 259, paragraphs 2-3.)

"The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. Christ did not stand alone in this wondrous undertaking for the ransom of man. In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon him. 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' What a price was this for heaven to pay to ransom the transgressor of the law of Jehovah!" (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 11-15-1898, "Christ's Attitude Toward the Law," paragaph 1.)

"When Christ bowed His head and died, He bore the pillars of Satan's kingdom with Him to the earth. He vanquished Satan in the same nature over which in Eden Satan obtained the victory. The enemy was overcome by Christ in His human nature. The power of the Saviour's Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power. This is the privilege of all. In proportion to our faith will be our victory (YI April 25, 1901)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, page 1108, paragraph 6.)

"But although Christ's divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions 'human' and 'divine' were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own. His deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty. Surrounded with sorrow, suffering, and moral pollution, despised and rejected by the people to whom had been intrusted the oracles of heaven, Jesus could yet speak of Himself as the Son of man in heaven. He was ready to take once more His divine glory when His work on earth was done." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, page 1129, paragraph 3.)

In the first quote, notice that White refers to Jesus as "a living impersonation of God." Then she talks about "heaven's councils," "the heavenly councils," "the councils of heaven," etc., which apparently include at least "the Lord" and "his only begotten Son," and which "councils" "decide" and "plan" things in regard to man, salvation, etc. She compares "the councils of heaven" with "the councils of Satan," and even talks about humans being "honored with a place in the councils of heaven." And again she says that Christ "left the royal courts" and "left His high command." And in the next quote, she says that "Christ did not stand alone" in the "undertaking for the ransom of man," but that in "the councils of heaven," "the Father and the Son covenanted together" that "if" man sinned, Christ "would take the place of the transgressor." Then she says that the "power" of Christ's "Godhead" was "hidden" and that He had to rely "upon God for power," which is "the privilege of all." In other words, while on earth, "Christ" was no more divine than we can be, and had to rely on a different god for power, because his own divine power was deactivated. Then White says that Christ's "divine glory"--which in reality is unchangeable and outside of time and space--was "for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity." And she goes on to make the incredible statement that Christ's "deity" is something that could be "lost"! In other words, His deity is just a "status" that He possesses and He is not actually the one true God. Then she says that Jesus could "speak of" Himself as being in heaven because "He was ready to take once more His divine glory"--even though He wasn't actually telling the truth since He had lost His omnipresence, according to White, as we will see later. All of the above quotes are teaching polytheism, pure and simple.

PAGE 150

[...] "It was not a dread of the physical suffering he was soon to endure that overwhelmed the Son of God, or forced from his lips the mournful cry, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.' The sins of the world weighed heavily upon the Saviour, and bowed him to the earth. The enormity of sin overwhelmed his soul, and a sense of separation from his Father because he had become sin for us, seemed crushing out his life.

"Christ was amazed at the horror of darkness that enclosed him. [...]

[...]

"But though the disciples slept, the angels watched in silent grief and amazement the Father separating his beams of light, love, and glory from his Son. As Jesus bowed in prayer, in the agony of his spirit, he sweat great drops of blood. The horror of great darkness surrounded him; for the sins of the world were upon him. He was suffering in man's stead, as a transgressor of the Father's law. The light of God was receding from his vision, and he was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness. In the agony of his soul, he lay prostrate on the cold earth. [...]

[...]

"While the load of the world's sin was upon Christ, doubts rent his soul in regard to his oneness with his Father. In this hour of fearful trial he longed even for human sympathy and fellowship. A second time he rose from the earth, and made his way to where his disciples tarried; but again he found them sleeping. [...]

[...]

"Again the powers of darkness pressed upon Christ with irresistible force. Giving his disciples one look of the tenderest compassion, he left them, and bowed a third time in prayer. The divine sufferer shuddered with amazement at this mysterious and terrible conflict. [...]

[...]

"It was soul anguish that wrung from the lips of God's dear Son this cry of woe: 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.'He was overwhelmed with horror at the fearful work that sin had wrought. His burden of guilt, because of man's transgression of the Father's law, was so great that human nature was inadequate to bear it. The sufferings of martyrs can bear no comparison with the agony of Christ. The divine presence was with them in their sufferings; but the Father's face was hidden from his dear Son. [...]

"The awful moment had come that was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. The Son of God might even now refuse to drink the bitter cup. He might wipe the bloody sweat from his brow, and leave men to perish in their iniquity. Will the Son of the infinite God drink the cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the curse of sin, to save the guilty? But now the history of the human race comes up before the world's Redeemer. He sees the power of sin and the utter helplessness of man to save himself. The woes and lamentations of a lost world rise before him, he beholds its impending doom, and his decision is made. He will save man at any cost to himself. He accepts his baptism of blood, that through him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the heavenly courts, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression, and he will not be turned from the mission he has chosen.

[...]

"Although the father does not remove the cup from the trembling hand and pale lips of his Son, he sends an angel from his presence to strengthen the divine sufferer. The angel raises the Son of God from the cold ground, and comforts Him with messages of love from His Father. He is strengthened. He has the assurance that He is gaining eternal joys for all who will accept redemption. [...]" (Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, 08-01-1892, "Sufferings of Christ," paragraphs 3-4, 8, 10, 12, 14-15, and 17.)

The above excerpts from White are incredibly heretical, even saying about Christ that "doubts rent his soul in regard to his oneness with his Father"! She also says that the Father separated "his beams of light, love, and glory from his Son." Then she totally denies the deity of Christ, saying that Christ didn't even have "The divine presence" with Him, unlike the martyrs!! She also says again that "the Father's face was hidden" from Christ (again, in direct contradiction of Psalm 22:24). Then she says that an angel had to comfort Him "with messages of love from His Father"! Her statements are incredibly polytheistic.

"Christ was amazed with the horror of darkness which enclosed him. The temptations of Satan were almost overpowering. [...]

[...] "At the most critical moment, when the Son of God was in need of their sympathy and heartfelt prayers, they were found asleep. [...] We can have but faint conception of the inexpressible anguish of God's dear Son in Gethsemane, as he realized the separation from his Father in consequence of bearing man's sin. The divine Son of God was fainting, dying. The Father sent an angel from his presence to strengthen the divine sufferer. Could mortals view the amazement and sorrow of the angels as they watched in silent grief the Father separating his beams of light, love, and glory, from his Son, they would better understand how offensive is sin in his sight. As the Son of God in the garden of Gethsemane bowed in the attitude of prayer, the agony of his spirit forced from his pores sweat like great drops of blood. It was here that the horror of great darkness surrounded him. The sins of the world were upon him. He was suffering in man's stead, as a transgressor of his Father's law. Here was the scene of temptation. The divine light of God was receding from his vision, and he was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness. In the agony of his soul he lay prostrate on the cold earth. He was realizing his Father's frown. [...]

[...]

"The suffering Son of God leaves his disciples, for the power of darkness rushes upon him with an irresistible force which bows him to the earth. He prays as before, and pours out the burden of his soul with stronger crying and tears. His soul was pressed with such agony as

PAGE 151

no human being could endure and live. The sins of the world were upon him. He felt that he was separated from his Father's love; for upon him rested the curse because of sin. Christ knew that it would be difficult for man to feel the grievousness of sin, and that close contact and familiarity with sin would so blunt his moral sensibility, that sin would not appear so dangerous to him, and so exceedingly offensive in the sight of God. He knew that but few would take pleasure in righteousness, and accept of that salvation which, at infinite cost, he made it possible for them to obtain. While this load of sin was upon Christ, unrealized, and unrepented of by man, doubts rent his soul in regard to his oneness with his Father." (The Signs of the Times, 08-14-1879, "The Sufferings of Christ," paragraphs 2-3, 5.)

"Sundering of the Divine Powers.--The Captain of our salvation was perfected through suffering. His soul was made an offering for sin. It was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about His soul because of the withdrawal of the Father's love and favor; for He was standing in the sinner's place, and this darkness every sinner must experience. The righteous One must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God, not in vindictiveness; for the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when His Son, the guiltless, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering of the divine powers will never again occur throughout the eternal ages (MS 93, 1899)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, page 924, paragraph 2.)

The first quote has similar blasphemous statements to the one before it. Notice that she even says that "the power of darkness" was more powerful than the "Son of God"!!! And then the last quote says that there was a "sundering of the divine powers"--a completely anti-Trinitarian, polytheistic concept!

"The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit; for it is his representative. Through it he infuses spiritual life into the soul, quickening its energies for good, cleansing it from moral defilement, and giving it a fitness for his kingdom. Jesus has large blessings to bestow, rich gifts to distribute among men. He is the wonderful Counselor, infinite in wisdom and strength; and if we will acknowledge the power of his Spirit, and submit to be molded by it, we shall stand complete in him. What a thought is this! In Christ 'dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.' Never will the human heart know happiness until it is submitted to be molded by the Spirit of God. The Spirit conforms the renewed soul to the model, Jesus Christ. Through the influence of the Spirit, enmity against God is changed into faith and love, and pride into humility. The soul perceives the beauty of truth, and Christ is honored in excellence and perfection of character. As these changes are effected, angels break out in rapturous song, and God and Christ rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 02-10-1903, "Our Battle With Evil," paragraph 6.)

"Christ determined that when He ascended from this earth He would bestow a gift on those who had believed on Him and those who should believe on Him. What gift could He bestow rich enough to signalize and grace His ascension to the mediatorial throne? It must be worthy of His greatness and His royalty. He determined to give His representative, the third person of the Godhead. This gift could not be excelled. He would give all gifts in one, and therefore the divine Spirit, converting, enlightening, sanctifying, would be His donation.

[...]

"This is a wonderful announcement. Christ longed to be in a position where He could accomplish the most important work by few and simple means. The plan of redemption is comprehensive; but its parts are few, and each part depends on the other, while all work together with the utmost simplicity and in entire harmony. Christ is represented by the Holy Spirit; and when this Spirit is appreciated, when those controlled by the Spirit communicate to others the energy with which they are imbued, an invisible chord is touched which electrifies the whole. Would that we could all understand how boundless are the divine resources!

"But the time had now come. The Spirit had been waiting for the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. For ten days the disciples offered their petitions for the outpouring of the Spirit, and Christ in heaven added His intercession. This was the occasion of His ascension and inauguration, a jubilee in heaven. He had ascended on high, leading captivity captive, and He now claimed the gift of the Spirit, that He might pour it out upon His disciples.

"The Spirit was given as Christ had promised, and like a rushing mighty wind it fell upon those assembled, filling the whole house. It came with a fulness and power, as if for ages it had been restrained, but was now being poured forth upon the church, to be communicated to the world." (The Signs of the Times, 12-01-1898, "The Outpouring of the Spirit," paragraphs 2, 4-6.)

"God will inspire his loyal and true children with his Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the representative of God, and will be the mighty working agent in our world to bind the loyal and true into bundles for the Lord's garner. Satan is also with intense activity gathering together in bundles his tares from among the wheat." (The General Conference Bulletin, 03-04-1895, "Extract From a Testimony," paragraph 4.)

"The king was furious and commanded that they should be bound, and such haste was made to get them into the furnace that the fire burst forth and burned those that put them in; but the king and all his courtiers around him looked, and lo, in the place of three men there were four, and one was like unto the Son of God. How do you suppose he knew anything about the Son of God? You see, he had been brought into connection with Daniel and these men, and they talked of God and of Christ, the representative of God. This was the work they were doing; and just as soon as he saw them, he said the fourth was like unto the Son of God." (Sermons and Talks, Volume Two, page 125, paragraph 1.)

"Christ is the representative of God to man and the representative of man to God. He came to this world as man's substitute and surety, and He is fully able to save all who repent and return to their allegiance. Because of His righteousness, He is able to place man on vantage ground. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. He gave His precious, innocent life to save guilty human beings from eternal ruin, that through faith in Him they might stand guiltless before the throne of God (MS 29, 1899)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, page 914, paragraph 6.)

"When Philip came to Jesus with the request, 'Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,' the Saviour answered him: 'Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?' Christ declares Himself to be sent into the world as a representative of the Father. In His nobility of character, in His mercy and tender pity, in His love and goodness, He stands before us as the embodiment of divine perfection, the image of the invisible God.

[...]

PAGE 152

"There are, thank God, brighter and more cheering pictures which the Lord has presented to us. Let us group together the blessed assurances of His love as precious treasures, that we may look upon them continually. The Son of God leaving His Father's throne, clothing His divinity with humanity, that He might rescue man from the power of Satan; His triumph in our behalf, opening heaven to man, revealing to human vision the presence chamber where Deity unveils His glory; the fallen race uplifted from the pit of ruin into which sin had plunged them, and brought again into connection with the infinite God, and, having endured the divine test through faith in our Redeemer, clothed in the righteousness of Christ and exalted to His throne--these are the pictures with which God bids us gladden the chambers of the soul. [...]" (Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, page 739, paragraph 1 and page 745, paragraph 1.)

"We are to be representatives of Christ, as Christ was a representative of the Father. We want to be able to attract souls to Jesus, to point them to the Lamb of Calvary, who taketh away the sin of the world. Christ does not clothe sin with his righteousness, but he removes the sin, and in its place he imputes his own righteousness. When your sin is cleansed, the righteousness of Christ goes before you, and the glory of the Lord is your reward. Your influence will then be decidedly on the side of Christ; for instead of making self a center, you will make Christ a center, and will feel that you are a guardian of sacred trusts." (The Signs of the Times, 04-04-1892, "The Christian a Guardian of Sacred Trusts," paragraph 2.)

"The highest angel in heaven had not the power to pay the ransom for one lost soul. Cherubim and seraphim have only the glory with which they are endowed by the Creator as his creatures, and the reconciliation of man to God could be accomplished only through a mediator who was equal with God, possessed of attributes that would dignify, and declare him worthy to treat with the Infinite God in man's behalf, and also represent God to a fallen world. Man's substitute and surety must have man's nature, a connection with the human family whom he was to represent, and, as God's ambassador, he must partake of the divine nature, have a connection with the Infinite, in order to manifest God to the world, and be a mediator between God and man.

"These qualifications were found alone in Christ. Clothing his divinity with humanity, he came to earth to be called the Son of man and the Son to God. He was the surety for man, the ambassador for God,--the surety for man to satisfy by his righteousness in man's behalf the demands of the law, and the representative of God to make manifest his character to a fallen race." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 12-22-1891, paragraphs 1-2.)

"We are not to look with indifference upon those who are dishonored through sin; 'for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Having given Jesus, God will with him also freely give us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. However wretched may be the specimens of humanity that men spurn and turn aside from, they are not too wretched, too low, for the notice and love of God. He sends his Holy Spirit to yearn over them with tenderness, seeking to draw them to himself. God uses humanity to uplift humanity. The Lord Jesus condescended to clothe his divinity with humanity, and to stand as a representative of God upon earth, an example of what God would have humanity become through the grace of Christ. God has not left humanity out of the plan for saving humanity. Humanity must become the channel through which the grace of God is to flow to reach humanity." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 11-12-1895, "Duty of Man to His Fellow-Men," paragraph 1.)

"Christ alone was able to represent the Deity. He who had been in the presence of the Father from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone sufficient to accomplish this work. No verbal description could reveal God to the world. Through a life of purity, a life of perfect trust and submission to the will of God, a life of humiliation such as even the highest seraph in heaven would have shrunk from, God Himself must be revealed to humanity. In order to do this, our Saviour clothed His divinity with humanity. He employed the human faculties, for only by adopting these could He be comprehended by humanity. Only humanity could reach humanity. He lived out the character of God through the human body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God, thus showing that He had the power to unite humanity to divinity (RH June 25, 1895)." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, page 924, paragraph 6.)

In the above quotes, we see that White teaches that the Holy Spirit is merely "the representative of God" and that "it" is Jesus' "representative." She also says that Daniel and his friends "talked of God and of Christ, the representative of God" and that "Christ is the representative of God to man and the representative of man to God." Then she says that when Jesus said, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father," all He meant was the He was "a representative of the Father"! Then she says that "We are to be representatives of Christ, as Christ was a representative of the Father"--totally separating Christ and the Father. She also makes the blasphemous claims that Christ was "equal with God, possessed of attributes that would dignify, and declare him worthy to treat with the Infinite God" and that "as God's ambassador, he must partake of the divine nature" and "have a connection with the Infinite" (just like He had "a connection with the human family" and had "man's nature")! She is saying that Christ is no more God than He is the rest of the human family! And notice that she even uses the phrase "partake of the divine nature" (which is similar to a Biblical phrase used for believers) and this is as divine as her "Jesus" gets! Then she says that Jesus was just "a representative of God." And in that last quote, she says that "Christ alone was able to represent the Deity." Christ did not "represent" the Deity, Christ is the Deity! Colossians 2:9 (ESV) says, "For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,"!

"From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God. He is the link that unites God with humanity. 'Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same' (Heb. 2:14). Only through Him can we become children of God. To all who believe on Him, He gives power to become the sons of God. Thus the heart becomes the temple of the living God. It is because Christ took human nature that men and women become partakers of the divine nature. He brings life and immortality to light through the gospel." (Selected Messages, Book 1, page 228, paragraph 4.)

"Christ saw that the time had come when Satan's power over mankind must be broken. Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with his Father in laying the plan of salvation. God was to be manifested in Christ, 'reconciling the world unto himself.' And now, thousands of years later, the fulness of time came for the infinite sacrifice to be made. Divinity was to be communicated to humanity through a divine-human Saviour. The great Life-giver was to purchase the whole world by giving his own life as a ransom." (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 09-13-1906, "Love Toward God and Man," paragraph 4.)

"In comparison with the millions of the world, God's people will be, as they have ever been, a little flock; but if they stand for the truth as revealed in His word, God will be their refuge. They stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence. God is always a majority. When the

PAGE 153

sound of the last trump shall penetrate the prison house of the dead, and the righteous shall come forth with triumph, exclaiming, 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?' (1 Corinthians 15:55)--standing then with God, with Christ, with the angels, and with the loyal and true of all ages, the children of God will be far in the majority." (The Acts of the Apostles, page 590, paragraph 1.)

"Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God.... In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.--Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900." (Evangelism, page 615, paragraph 2.)

"There was to be co-operation between man and God. But this plan was greatly interfered with by Adam's transgression. Satan led him to sin, and the Lord would not communicate with him after he had sinned as he did when he was without sin.

"After the fall Christ became Adam's instructor. He acted in God's stead toward humanity, saving the race from immediate death. He took upon him the office of mediator. Adam and Eve were given a probation in which to return to their allegiance, and in this plan all their posterity were embraced.

"Without the atonement of the Son of God there could have been no communication of blessing or salvation from God to man. God was jealous for the honor of His law. The transgression of that law had caused a fearful separation between God and man. To Adam in his innocence was granted communion, direct, free, and happy, with his Maker. After his transgression, God would communicate to man only through Christ and angels." (Conflict and Courage, page 20, paragraphs 5-7.)

"The Jewish rabbis presented the requirements of the law as a wearing round of exactions. They did just what Satan is doing in our day,-- presented the law before the people as a cold, rigid code of commands and traditions. Superstitions buried the light, the glory, the dignity, and far-reaching claims of the law of God. They professed to speak to the people in the place of God. After the transgression of Adam, the Lord spoke no longer directly with man; the human race was given into the hands of Christ, and all communication came through Him to the world. It was Christ who spoke the law on Mount Sinai, and He knew the bearing of all its precepts, the glory and majesty of the law of heaven. In His sermon on the mount, Christ defines the law, and seeks to inculcate in the minds of His hearers the far-reaching claims of the precepts of Jehovah. [...]" (Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 237, paragraph 1.)

"Christ, in counsel with His Father, instituted the system of sacrificial offerings; that death, instead of being immediately visited upon the transgressor, should be transferred to a victim which should prefigure the great and perfect offering of the Son of God." (Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7A, page 474, paragraph 3.)

"Four thousand years before a voice of strange and mysterious import was heard in heaven from the throne of God: 'Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.' Christ in counsel with His Father laid out the plan for His life on earth. It was not a chance, but a design that the world's Redeemer should lay off His crown, lay aside His kingly robe, and come to our world as a man. He clothed His divinity with the garb of humanity, that He might stand at the head of the human family, His humanity mingled with the humanity of the race fallen because of Adam's disobedience. The poverty and humiliation of the Son of the infinite God teach lessons that few care to learn. There is a link that connects Christ with the poor in a special sense. He, the life, the light of the world, makes poverty His own teacher, in order that He may be educated by the same stern, practical teacher {as are the poor}. Since the Lord Jesus accepted a life of poverty, no one can justly look with contempt upon the poor. The Saviour of the world was the King of glory, and He stripped Himself of His glorious outward adorning, accepting poverty, that He might understand how the poor are treated in this world. He was afflicted in all the afflictions of the human family, and He pronounces His blessing, not upon the rich, but upon the poor of this world." (The Southern Work, page 85, paragraph 1.)

"Jesus knew that whatever was presented that was out of harmony with what he came to earth to unfold, was false and delusive. But he said, 'Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.' Having stood in the counsels of God, having dwelt in the everlasting heights of the sanctuary, all elements of truth were in him, and of him; for he was one with God. 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak what we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.' 'Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.'" (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 12-01-1891, "The Science of Salvation the First of Sciences," paragraph 10.)

[...] "By Christ the work upon which the fulfillment of God's purpose rests, was accomplished. This was the agreement in the councils of the God-head. The Father purposed in counsel with his Son that the human family should be tested and proved, to see whether they would be allured by the temptations of Satan, or whether they would make Christ their righteousness, keeping God's commandments, and live. God gave to his Son all who would be true and loyal. Christ covenanted to redeem them from the power of Satan, at the price of his own life.

[...] "When Christ ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit took his place, and was a perfect representation of him. It is the work of the Spirit to administer the richest grace, and make it effectual in the hearts of God's people, that the elect may be gathered into one family. [...]" (Ellen G. White, The Gospel Herald, 06-11-1902, "The Abiding Trust," paragraphs 6-7.)

Notice that in the second quote above, White changes what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:19--instead of saying that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (KJV), she says that "God was to be manifested in Christ, 'reconciling the world unto himself.'" White also says that "the Son of God" had always been "in close fellowship with the eternal God"--again denying that Jesus is the eternal God Himself. Then in the next quote she says that "the Lord" would not communicate with Adam after he sinned, but that "Christ" became his "instructor" and that "Christ" "acted in God's stead toward humanity"!!! And she goes on to say that before Adam sinned God would talk with him, but afterwards "God would communicate to man only through Christ and angels." So White is totally denying that Christ is "the Lord" and that He is "God," and she makes the blasphemous claims that after Adam's sin "the Lord" refused to talk to man so "Christ" had to take "upon him the office of mediator" and act "in God's stead toward humanity." Then

PAGE 154

she puts "Christ and angels" together in one category with "God" being in a whole different category. Then the next quote also clearly denies that Christ is the Lord. Then she talks about Jesus "Having stood in the counsels of God" and then discusses "the councils of the God-head" and the "agreement" that took place in them. And in the last paragraph, she says that when "Christ" ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit "took his place" and "was a perfect representation of him." So we see that the SDA heresy about the Holy Spirit "taking Christ's place" (which is related to their denial of Christ's omnipresence) comes from White.

"I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus' countenance and admired His lovely person. The Father's person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, 'If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist.' Before the throne I saw the Advent people--the church and the world. I saw two companies, one bowed down before the throne, deeply interested, while the other stood uninterested and careless. Those who were bowed before the throne would offer up their prayers and look to Jesus; then He would look to His Father, and appear to be pleading with Him. A light would come from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the praying company. Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son, and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. But few would receive this great light. Many came out from under it and immediately resisted it; others were careless and did not cherish the light, and it moved off from them. Some cherished it, and went and bowed down with the little praying company. This company all received the light and rejoiced in it, and their countenances shone with its glory.

"I saw the Father rise from the throne,[1 SEE PAGE 92.] and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way. Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying, 'Wait here; I am going to My Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself.' Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father. On the hem of His garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray, 'My Father, give us Thy Spirit.' Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.

"I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, 'Father, give us Thy Spirit.' Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan's object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God's children." (Brackets in original. Early Writings of Ellen G. White, page 54 paragraph 2-page 56 paragraph 1.)

The above quotation very clearly teaches two separate corporeal gods. Also, she implies that the Holy Spirit is only an "influence."

"Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and the world that God created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus, and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon his countenance. Soon I saw him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse with his Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time he came from the Father, his person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and trouble, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon. That through the merits of his blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life." (Spiritual Gifts. Volume 1, page 22, paragraph 2.)

The above quotation is extremely anti-Trinitarian and blasphemously heretical, teaching two separate corporeal/spacial gods, teaching that "Jesus" is a much lesser god than the "Father" god, and teaching that "Jesus" had to "plead" with "his Father" three times in order to get him to let him die for man (which completely contradicts John 3:16). Her teaching is simply Arianism. Notice that she is teaching that "Jesus" was (before the incarnation, remember) just a corporeal little god, and that "the Father" was also just a corporeal little god, but that "the Father"--unlike "Jesus"--had an "exceeding bright light which enshrouded" him. Notice also that the above quote completely denies the Biblical, orthodox concept of eternity/timelessness.

"The Son of God, heaven's glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. His heart was moved with infinite compassion as the woes of the lost world rose up before Him. But divine love had conceived a plan whereby man might be redeemed. The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin--sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.

"Before the Father He pleaded in the sinner's behalf, while the host of heaven awaited the result with an intensity of interest that words cannot express. Long continued was that mysterious communing--'the counsel of peace' (Zechariah 6:13) for the fallen sons of men. The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is 'the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world' (Revelation 13:8); yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' John 3:16. Oh, the mystery of redemption! the love of God for a world that did not love Him! Who can know the depths of that love which 'passeth knowledge'? Through endless ages immortal minds, seeking to comprehend the mystery of that incomprehensible love, will wonder and adore." (Patriarchs and Prophets, page 63, paragraphs 2-3.)

PAGE 155

"Before the fall of Satan, the Father consulted his Son in regard to the formation of man. They purposed to make this world, and create beasts and living things upon it, and to make man in the image of God, to reign as a ruling monarch over every living thing which God should create. When Satan learned the purpose of God, he was envious at Christ, and jealous because the Father had not consulted him in regard to the creation of man. Satan was of the highest order of angels; but Christ was above all. He was the commander of all Heaven. He imparted to the angelic family the high commands of his Father. The envy and jealousy of Satan increased. Until his rebellion all Heaven was in harmony, and perfect subjection to the government of God. [...]

"True, faithful angels, listening, hear the awful threats of Satan, and immediately report to their great commander. Christ tells them that he and the Father are acquainted with the purposes of Satan, and that they are forbearing only to see how many will unite with him to rebel against the government of God. [...]

"While some of the angels joined Satan in his rebellion, others reasoned with him to dissuade him from his purposes, contending for the honor and wisdom of God in giving authority to his Son. Satan urged, for what reason was Christ endowed with unlimited power and such high command above himself! He stood up proudly, and urged that he should be equal with God. He makes his boasts to his sympathizers that he will not submit to the authority of Christ.

"At length all the angels are summoned to appear before the Father, to have each case decided. Satan unblushingly makes known to all the heavenly family, his discontent, that Christ should be preferred before him, to be in such close conference with God, and he be uninformed as to the result of their frequent consultations. God informs Satan that this he can never know. That to his Son will he reveal his secret purposes, and that all the family of Heaven, Satan not excepted, were required to yield implicit obedience. Satan boldly speaks out his rebellion, and points to a large company who think God is unjust in not exalting him to be equal with God, and in not giving him command above Christ. He declares he cannot submit to be under Christ's command, that God's commands alone will he obey. Good angels weep to hear the words of Satan, and to see how he despises to follow the direction of Christ, their exalted and loving commander." (Spiritual Gifts. Volume 3, page 36, paragraph 1-page 37, paragraph 3.)

In the first quote, we see similar heresy to the previous quote. Then, in the second quote, literally all hell breaks loose in White's spewing of satanic, anti-Christ blasphemies. First, we see again that she teaches two co-Creators, saying that the Father "consulted" his Son and that "they" "purposed" to make man. Then she says that satan was jealous of "Christ" because "the Father" had not "consulted" him "in regard to the creation of man." She also says that some angels were "contending for the honor and wisdom of God in giving authority to his Son" but that "Satan urged, for what reason was Christ endowed with unlimited power and such high command above himself!" She then says that satan had "discontent, that Christ should be preferred before him, to be in such close conference with God, and he be uninformed as to the result of their frequent consultations"!!!! She goes on to say that "God" told satan that "to his Son will he reveal his secret purposes." Then she says that "a large company" agreed with satan and thought that "God is unjust in not exalting him to be equal with God, and in not giving him command above Christ"--showing that White's "Christ" was not "God"! Then she says that satan "declares he cannot submit to be under Christ's command, that God's commands alone will he obey"--again, showing explicitly that her "Christ" is certainly not "God"!! The polytheism and Arianism of the above quotes is extremely blatant and explicit.

"Satan in Heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God's dear Son. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A special light beamed in his countenance, and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels; yet Jesus, God's dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created. Satan was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on Christ alone.

"The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ, his Son, should be equal with himself; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was as his own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son he had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was his Son to work in union with himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out his will and his purposes, but would do nothing of himself alone. The Father's will would be fulfilled in him.

"Satan was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge his supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, Satan bowed with them; but his heart was filled with envy and hatred. Christ had been taken into the special counsel of God in regard to his plans, while Satan was unacquainted with them. He did not understand, neither was he permitted to know, the purposes of God. But Christ was acknowledged sovereign of Heaven, his power and authority to be the same as that of God himself. Satan thought that he was himself a favorite in Heaven among the angels. He had been highly exalted; but this did not call forth from him gratitude and praise to his Creator. He aspired to the height of God himself. He gloried in his loftiness. He knew that he was honored by the angels. He had a special mission to execute. He had been near the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glorious light enshrouding the eternal God, had shone especially upon him. Satan thought how angels had obeyed his command with pleasurable alacrity. Were not his garments light and beautiful? Why should Christ thus be honored before himself?

"He left the immediate presence of the Father, dissatisfied, and filled with envy against Jesus Christ. Concealing his real purposes, he assembled the angelic host. He introduced his subject, which was himself. As one aggrieved, he related the preference God had given Jesus to the neglect of himself. He told them that henceforth all the sweet liberty the angels had enjoyed was at an end. For had not a ruler been appointed over them, to whom they from henceforth must yield servile honor? He stated to them that he had called them together to assure them that he no longer would submit to this invasion of his rights and theirs; that never would he again bow down to Christ; that he would take the honor upon himself which should have been conferred upon him, and would be the commander of all who would submit to follow him and obey his voice. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They were discontented and unhappy because they could not look into his unsearchable wisdom and ascertain his purposes in exalting his Son Jesus, and endowing him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son." (The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume One, page 17, paragraph 1-page 18, paragraph 2.)

PAGE 156

Again we have extremely blasphemous, Arian heresy in the above quotation. First, White states that satan was "next in honor to God's dear Son"--clearly teaching that the "Son" was lower/lesser than "God" even though he was "one with" the Father. Then she has her two gods seated on the throne and the "Father" making "known" that he "ordained" that "Christ" "should be equal with himself" and that "wherever was the presence of his Son, it was as his own presence" and that he had "invested" the Son "with authority to command the heavenly host"! Then again we see her teaching of two Creators "work[ing] in union" with each other. She goes on to say that "Christ had been taken into the special counsel of God in regard to his plans, while Satan was unacquainted with them" and that Christ's "power and authority" was acknowledged to be "the same as" that of "God himself"! Then she says that "God" "exalt[ed]" his Son, and "endow[ed] him" with "such unlimited power and command." Again, all of this is clearly polytheism and Arianism.

[...] "Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of His creatures, it was Lucifer's endeavor to win their service and homage to himself. And coveting the honor which the infinite Father had bestowed upon His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power which it was the prerogative of Christ alone to wield.

"All heaven had rejoiced to reflect the Creator's glory and to show forth His praise. And while God was thus honored, all had been peace and gladness. But a note of discord now marred the celestial harmonies. The service and exaltation of self, contrary to the Creator's plan, awakened forebodings of evil in minds to whom God's glory was supreme. The heavenly councils pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker, and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning, given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed jealousy of Christ to prevail, and he became the more determined.

"Pride in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation, and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host. Angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was the acknowledged Sovereign of heaven, one in power and authority with the Father. In all the councils of God, Christ was a participant, while Lucifer was not permitted thus to enter into the divine purposes. 'Why,' questioned this mighty angel, 'should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He thus honored above Lucifer?'" (The Great Controversy, page 494 paragraph 1-page 495 paragraph 1.)

"Now is fulfilled the Saviour's prayer for His disciples: 'I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.' 'Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy' (Jude 24), Christ presents to the Father the purchase of His blood, declaring: 'Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given Me.' 'Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept.' Oh, the wonders of redeeming love! the rapture of that hour when the infinite Father, looking upon the ransomed, shall behold His image, sin's discord banished, its blight removed, and the human once more in harmony with the divine!" (The Great Controversy, page 646, paragraph 2.)

"The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng--'ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands' (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God's plan, but would exalt the Father's glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love.

"The angels joyfully acknowledged the supremacy of Christ, and prostrating themselves before Him, poured out their love and adoration. Lucifer bowed with them, but in his heart there was a strange, fierce conflict. Truth, justice, and loyalty were struggling against envy and jealousy. The influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them. As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out, in harmony with the sinless worshippers, in love to the Father and the Son. But again he was filled with pride in his own glory. His desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as God's special gift, and therefore, called forth no gratitude to his Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host, angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father. He shared the Father's counsels, while Lucifer did not thus enter into the purposes of God. 'Why,' questioned this mighty angel, 'should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?'

"Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; all their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err. The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor. If this prince of angels could but attain to his true, exalted position, great good would accrue to the entire host of heaven; for it was his object to secure freedom for all. But now even the liberty which they had hitherto enjoyed was at an end; for an absolute Ruler had been appointed them, and to His authority all must pay homage. Such were the subtle deceptions that through the wiles of Lucifer were fast obtaining in the heavenly courts.

"There had been no change in the position or authority of Christ. Lucifer's envy and misrepresentation and his claims to equality with Christ had made necessary a statement of the true position of the Son of God; but this had been the same from the beginning. Many of

PAGE 157

the angels were, however, blinded by Lucifer's deceptions." (Patriarchs and Prophets, page 36 paragraph 2-page 38 paragraph 1.)

In the first quote, White says that "Lucifer" "covet[ed] the honor which the infinite Father had bestowed upon His Son" and she has the "Son of God" presenting before "Lucifer" "the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator" and talking about "God Himself" and Lucifer's "Maker"--showing that her "Christ" is not God. She also says that "Christ" was a "participant" in "all the councils of God," but that "Lucifer" wasn't "permitted" to be a participant. Then, in the second quote, she has "Christ" presenting to "the Father" the "purchase of his blood" and saying "'Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given Me.'" Notice that she completely changes the quote from Hebrews 2:13 KJV, which actually says, "And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me." And in the last quotation, White says that the "Son of God" "shared" "the Father's throne" and that "the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both"--clearly teaching two separate corporeal gods. Then she says that the "King of the universe" (who was not "Christ"!) declared to the angels that they needed to give their homage and allegiance to Christ "as well as to God"!!! We also see from these quotes that for White and SDAs the phrase "equal with God" just refers to a separate being (god) who has just as much power and authority as God. Notice also that White says in the last paragraph above that Lucifer's claims "had made necessary a statement of the true position of the Son of God"--this scenario is impossible within a monotheistic Trinitarian understanding.

"Among the inhabitants of heaven, Satan, next to Christ, was at one time most honored of God, and highest in power and glory. Before his fall, Lucifer, 'son of the morning,' was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him.

"Little by little, Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. Because of the exaltation of Christ, the One equal with the Father, he allowed jealousy to arise in his heart.

"'Why,' he questioned, 'should Christ have the supremacy? Why is he honored above Lucifer?'

"Tho all his glory was from God, Lucifer came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, tho honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, he went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. [...]

[...]

"The Son of God, heaven's glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. He entered into a covenant with God to save man, and to vindicate His Father's character as expressed in the law. He came to the earth in the form of man to refute Satan's lie, that God had given a law which man could not keep. He came to give Himself as a sacrifice for sin, thus revealing to the heavenly universe that the law is as changeless and eternal as is Jehovah Himself." (The Signs of the Times, 07-23-1902, "Satan's Rebellion," paragraphs 2-5, 11.)

"Sin originated with him, who, next to Christ, stood highest in the favor of God, and highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of Heaven. [...]" (The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Four, page 316, paragraph 3.)

"Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Christ. [...] He desired to receive the highest honors in heaven next to God." (Early Writings of Ellen G. White, page 145, paragraph 1.)

"The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that his life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man. He was of as much more value than man as his noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host, were above the work of man. He was in the express image of his Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character." (The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Two, page 9, paragraph 1.)

Notice that in the first quote, White states that "Satan, next to Christ, was at one time most honored of God"--clearly teaching that Christ is not God! She also says that "Lucifer" was jealous because of "the exaltation of Christ" and that he questioned why "Christ" should "have the supremacy" and why he "is...honored above Lucifer"! And in the second quote, she says that satan "next to Christ, stood highest in the favor of God"--again clearly saying that "Christ" is not God. In the second to last quote, she says that satan was "next to Christ" but that he desired to be "next to God"--which is explicitly teaching that "Christ" is not God and that he is lower/lesser than God. And in the last quote, she actually states that the "Son of God" was "next in authority" to "the great Lawgiver"--explicitly teaching that He is lower than God. Also, in the same quote, notice that she misquotes Hebrews 1:3 KJV (as we will continue to see), and that her reference to "features" shows that she is teaching that the "Son" is a physical carbon copy of the physical "Father" (as we will also see later).

[...] "But every such plea was cast aside when Christ died as a substitute for the sinner. He who was made equal with God bore the sin of the transgressor, and thereby made a channel whereby the love of God could be communicated to a fallen world, and his grace and power imparted to those who came to Christ in penitence for their sin." (The Signs of the Times, 02-05-1894, "God's Love Unmeasured," paragraph 10.)

"The Eternal Father, the unchangeable one, gave his only begotten Son, tore from his bosom Him who was made in the express image of his person, and sent him down to earth to reveal how greatly he loved mankind. He is willing to do more, 'more than we can ask or think.' [...]" (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 07-09-1895, "The Duty of the Minister and the People," paragraph 14.)

"Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his; but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His Father, saying, 'The Lord rebuke thee.'" (Early Writings of Ellen G. White, page 164, paragraph 2.)

"As the Prince of life and the shining ones approached the grave, they were opposed by Satan with his company of evil angels, who were determined that the power of death should not be broken. But the glory attending the Son of God compelled the hosts of darkness to fall

PAGE 158

back. Satan insolently claimed the body of Moses because of his one transgression. Christ condescended to enter into no dispute with his adversary but meekly referred all to his Father, saying, 'The Lord rebuke thee.' Moses had humbly repented of his sin, no stain rested upon his character, and his name in Heaven's book of records stood untarnished. By the power of his word, Christ opened the prison-house, and set death's captive free.

"Upon the mount of transfiguration, Moses was present, with Elijah, who had been translated. They were sent as the bearers of light and glory from the Father to his dear Son. Such is the last scene revealed to mortal vision in the history of that man so highly honored of God." (The Signs of the Times, 03-31-1881, "The Death of Moses," paragraphs 14-15.)

"The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each.

"'God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?' Hebrews 1:1-5.

"God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has bee