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I was doing a study to write a outline of the foundational pillars of Adventism. Everyone seems to have a personal view of what they entail but limited support for it. What SOP or writings in church periodicals has everyone on this important issue as I have the following pillars.....

The investigative judgment
The sanctuary service
The perpetuity of the Law of God
The faith of Jesus
The Three Angels' Messages
The seventh-day Sabbath
The state of the dead
The special gift of prophecy (or the Testimony of Jesus).

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Are we to trust in man-made creeds? Is this what the GC that God established was intended for? Are the decisions made by the GC in session infallible like Papal encyclicals? 

My understanding was that the GC sessions were to make decisions for more practical purposes. Our pioneers never voted on doctrine. 

Never the less this is how it came about. If you have problems with how things are done take it to God. Do you believe God established the SDA?  

I believe that the movement first and then the organization was established by God. But after light was rejected in 1888, things went downhill. There were times when Sister White said that she no longer trusted the General Conference and she voiced fear of another coming out or that we would become a sister to fallen Babylon. Kingly power developed and took over and the denomination was changed, including the abandonment of our pioneer pillars, especially the personality of God one. But I believe that a major revival is underway. The question is will we recognize it?

As long as you trust in falsehood you will never get a clear understanding about the nature of God, see my post below.


M.E. Malachi said, "the denomination was changed, including the abandonment of our pioneer pillars, especially the personality of God one." (emphasis mine)

What are the pillars that you are referring to? Can you provide a list of those pillars?

You mention in particular "the personality of God one", where can we find that defined?


Look up "personality of God" and "pillars" on the EGW CD Rom.

Then look up "personality of God" in the pioneer writings. 

The way that the Godhead is taught today is not in harmony with the "personality of God" doctrine that our pioneers taught. 

what way is the Godhead taught  now? 

Can you not just point me to where I can find what you are referencing?

In searching SoP for "pillars" over 1,500 hits come up. So far in attempting to search through them I have found no list of Pillars and no pillar on the personality of God.

If you know that there is a doctrine taught today which is not in harmony with what was taught previously why not point it out - old definition and new definition.

The problem that I have found is that nowhere in the writing of EGW or the Pioneers do I find any definite list of pillars other than the list I quoted earlier which contains nothing on the personality of God.

The next problem is fixing a date for a change in the Godhead doctrine. In 1915 sis. White wrote in the Bible Training School of 1st March,

"The truths that have been substantiated by the manifest working of God are to stand fast. Let no one presume to move a pin or foundation-stone from the structure. Those who attempt to undermine the pillars of our faith are among those of whom the Bible says that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

In 1906 she wrote in Review and Herald,

"Think you that I can remain silent, when I see an effort being made to sweep away the foundation pillars of our faith?"

So, on that basis, can we assume that any changes in the pillars of our faith will come in after the death of Ellen White?  

M.E. Malachi said, "Are we to trust in man-made creeds?"

I'm not sure what you mean by "trust in". Adventists have produced statements of belief from the very beginning. It was recognised that there was a need to define what beliefs Adventists hold in common, indeed to define what it means to be an Adventist, let alone a Seventh-day Adventist.

In 1845 at the Albany Conference where the name Adventist was decided William Miller defend making statements of belief on the following basis,

Has not a man a right to tell the world what he does, or does not believe? O, yes, certainly. Then have not five, or ten, or fifty men the same privilege? Most certainly. Then, wherein, pray, is the objection? O, says one, it looks too much like a creed, and I object to all creeds, either oral or written. But what do you mean by a creed? if you mean by it a test of Christian character, I agree with you; and the Conference expressly voted that they had " no fellowship with any of the new tests as conditions of salvation, in addition to repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and a looking for and loving his appearing." But if you mean that a man or body of men have no right to speak or write what they believe, I must dissent from you. The objector replies, we want nothing short of the entire Scriptures for our creed; that alone is sufficient. And that alone is sufficient for me. But while I receive the entire word of God according to my understanding of its teachings, and while different men draw different and opposite conclusions respecting its teachings, have I no right to inform the world what I conceive to be truths it inculcates?

The first thing that Miller established was that it is right for us to set out clearly what we believe, he went on to say that it is our duty to do so if we are to tell the world what the Bible says.

Similarly, in 1872, when Uriah Smith wrote A Declaration Of The Fundamental Principles Taught And Practiced by SDA it was done, in part, to distinguish between those who say they are SDA and those who actually are members of the SDA Church. Look at what he wrote in the preamble,

In presenting to the public this synopsis of our faith, wo wish to have it distinctly understood that we have no articles of faith, creed, or discipline, aside from the Bible. We do not put forth this as having any authority with our people, nor is it designed to secure uniformity among them, as a system of faith, but is a brief statement of what is, and has been, with great unanimity, held by them. We often find it necessary to meet this subject, and sometimes to correct false statements circulated against us, and to remove erroneous impressions which have obtained with those who have not had an opportunity to become acquainted with our faith and practice. Our only object is to meet this necessity.
As Seventh-day Adventists we desire simply that our position shall be understood ; and we are solicitous for this because there are many who call themselves Adventists who hold views with which we can have no sympathy, some of which, we think, are subversive of the plainest and most important principles set forth in the word of God.”

If you read the preamble to the current 28 Fundamentals you read a similar thing,

Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church’s understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference Session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God’s Holy Word.”

Interestingly, in the early Adventist Church the pillars of faith appear to have been treated as a creed as members were baptised according to their acceptance of the pillars. So, I'm not too sure what the argument is here. If you object to creeds you will not be happy with the Pillars of Faith as they were used as a baptismal confession. However, if they are wrong why did not Ellen White raise any objection? Why not rebuke Uriah Smith or her husband for writing out such things and why not rebuke them for publicly printing them?

Reply by M.E. Malachi 

Oops. Here is the link:

Indeed the link is false the Quote in the letter to Kellog Here is the original letter let us see if the first Quote from EGW is there 

“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.” (Ellen G. White to John Harvey Kellogg, Letter 300, March 16th 1903)”

The poster your link is pointing is trying to make out it is about the Trinity and has taken the quote out of context and you believe falsehood like that? EGW is talking about the sanctuary, not the Trinity.

Lt 300, 1903
Kellogg, J. H.
“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California
March 16, 1903
Portions of this letter are published in 5Bio 292.
Dr. Kellogg,—
I have read your letter. It makes my heart very sad to consider the way you are placed before me, and this is the reason I have not for a time felt that I could write to you. My heart is very sad over your case. I cannot possibly answer your letter. {Lt300-1903.1}
I hoped very much for you after the General Conference. I tried in every way to encourage the brethren to do all in their power to remove everything possible from your path and to co-operate with you; but I am very sorry now that I labored so unremittingly to place your case as one who would place your feet on the right platform and would yet see where you have made your mistakes in the past. As long as you sustain yourself in your actions, you are only planning more extensively to set your food business in operation in every place. You will work by wrong methods, and commercial things will be your ambition. You will carry your own way, when your way is not God’s way. {Lt300-1903.2}
I have been instructed that when you shall be worked by the Holy Spirit will be when you have a new heart and are born again. I supposed that the conference meeting in Battle Creek would be the time of your entire conversion, but your heart is not right with God. The Spirit of God is not working you. You need now not to rush and drive, but to be converted. You are not sound in the faith. The work which is essential to be done for our people, our youth, is to educate them to believe the truth that has made our people what they are in numbers and in strength. This is the work for this time and is to be acknowledged and not denied as you have and are denying the faith. {Lt300-1903.3}
You are not sound in the truth. Your statements made to believers and unbelievers misrepresent us as a people who have not changed the truth for error. They detract from the influence God would have us possess before the world in revealing in plain, unmistakable language that we are true to the principles of our faith and that we hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. We are strictly denominational. We believe in 1903 the same truths we did believe when we established the Sanitarium and the College in Battle Creek, and we know that we had no ifs or ands about this matter. {Lt300-1903.4}
While you have told the things that you have and made the statements you have before unbelievers, my heart has been sad indeed. You have evidenced that you have departed from the faith. The very statements you have made before worldly men of influence, as the papers have reported your words, have been presented to me distinctly from your lips as you have spoken them. We cannot labor to give you influence as one whom we can trust with the sacred work connected with our institutions, for you need first to be converted and led. {Lt300-1903.5}
You are not sound in the faith. I have stated this in my diary months ago. You have certainly placed the people of God, whom the Lord has led step by step in the ways of truth and placed upon a solid foundation, in a false showing before unbelievers. Some have departed from the faith and will continue to misrepresent the work God has given me. {Lt300-1903.6}
The sanctuary question is a clear and definite doctrine as we have held it as a people. 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. {Lt300-1903.7}
Why should you take the liberty to make the statements which you have made, as though you had authority for thus stating, when they are falsehoods? You have made the facts of our faith of none effect before unbelievers, and the truth which should ever be kept prominent and exalted with this people you have virtually denied and ignored in your many statements. How dared you to do this? It necessitates us now to present our true position which constitutes us Seventh-day Adventists. Whatever influence God has given you in the past has been in mercy to you, letting the light shine upon you. {Lt300-1903.8}
We cannot for a moment have any misrepresentation upon these solemn and important subjects of truth which have been the faith of our people since 1844. This means much to us. The Lord would have me say to you that the enemy has, through his specious deceptions, placed his unbelief in your mind, and you have been working it out. All who receive your presentations will enter upon strange paths if they connect with you. You are bringing in strange, common fire, but not the fire of God’s own kindling; and now I must speak plainly to our people that the Lord has led us step by step and shown us clear light upon the heavenly sanctuary in the most holy of holies where God revealed Himself to His appointed ones. {Lt300-1903.9}
Now I cannot state half that I wish, but we must have no controversy with you. God has brought out a people, and His Holy Spirit has opened to them His Word, clear and conclusive. We are to be lightbearers to the world. All are to be a unit and follow step by step as led by the Lord. We are not to go back, denying our past experience, but to press forward and upward and make straight paths for our feet lest the lame—the weak in faith—be turned out of the way. {Lt300-1903.10}

She didn't write about the Trinity, she wrote about the alpha of apostasy; the Trinity came later, rejecting the same pillar of the personality of God. 

I have to question the definition that you are using of "trinity". Merriam Webster gives the following definition:

the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead according to Christian dogma

So, when she refers to the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Godhead she is giving a trinitarian statement. You appear to be using a different definition, possibly the Roman Catholic Church's definition, but is that really fair? Whilst many of the Pioneers may have held Arian or Semi-Arian views, not all of them did and sis. White certainly did not. You say, "the Trinity came later" but fail to say when.  Presumably you mean after 1903 but The Desire of Ages was published in 1898 and that contained trinitarian statements and a rebuttal to Arianism (and Semi-Arianism). This book caused a shift in belief to three equal Persons in the Godhead.

In 1899 A. T. Jones and Uriah Smith were joint editors of The Review and Herald with control of the content. In the 10th January edition of the paper appeared the following,

God is one. Jesus Christ is one. The Holy Spirit is one. And these three are one: there is no dissent nor division among them.”

Isn't this a trinitarian statement? Yet it is 4 years before the letter that Elijah quoted above.

So I find this allegation of changing the Pillars to be vague and contradictory - and it certainly does not fit in with Spirit of Prophecy.


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