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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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sorry I should have highlighted the conjunction 'and' and should have define it but I will post another text from Revelation. 

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

So, you're saying that grace and peace is coming only from the Father and Son, notwithstanding what the scripture says? 

Wrong, Christ was never considered God in the First Century church and that idea would be totally alien to both the Hebrews and to Jesus himself. Jesus proclaimed that the Shema was the greatest commandment: 

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Deut. 6:4 was his answer to the question 

In Hebrew the word hear is shema. Consequently, the Jews call Deuteronomy 6:4–5 the Shema. When asked which was the greatest commandment in all the law, Jesus quoted the Shema(see Matthew 22:36–38). President Ezra Taft Benson explained why it must be first: “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 3; or Ensign, May 1988, 4).

Yes, the great Bible student has shown why he thinks the Mark of the beast is a computer chip. Stale thinking is retarding progress. The Jews could not accept that Jesus was equal to God as the Bible points out and Jesus also declared the Holy Spirit part of the Godhead. 

JohnB quoted the Bible, "Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." (John 20:28)

To which James replied, "Wrong, Christ was never considered God in the First Century church..."

Of course, Thomas, the Apostle, was a member of the "First Century Church" and Thomas declared that Jesus is God. When you have to deny what the Bible says to support your erroneous theory surely you must realise that you are on shaky ground?

In regard to the Shema: why does the Shema use the plural word for God?

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God (Elohim: plural) is one (Ehad: compound unity) LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God (Elohim: plural) with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deut. 6:4-5)

The Hebrew text very clearly demonstrates the Oneness of God as a compound unity, so even within the Shema the plurality of God is clearly expressed. Once again you are denying what the Bible states. E. W. Bullinger, whom I know you hold in high regard, explains it the same way. Perhaps you should read his Bible commentary to understand this point correctly?

Other quotes from the early church have been given in previous threads on the subject of the trinity and can easily be referred to there. As this thread is on the Pillars of Adventism I suggest that you post in the relevant thread rather than expecting everyone to repost everything from the other threads into this thread.

Wrong again!

From Revised English Version commentary on Deut 6:4;

See PDF uploaded


From E. W. Bullinger's Bible Commentary on Deut. 6:4 "one. Hebrew ’ehad = a compound unity (Latin. unus), one made up of others: Gen. 1:5, one of seven; Deu. 2:11, one of four; Deu. 2:21, one of twenty-four; Deu. 2:24, one made up of two; Deu. 3:22, one of the Trinity: Deu. 49:16, one of twelve; Num. 13:23, one of a cluster. So Psa. 34:20, &c. It is not yahid, which is (Latin) unicus, unique a single, or only one, occurs twelve times: Gen. 22:2, Gen. 22:12, Gen. 22:16. Jdg. 11:34. Psa. 22:20; Psa. 25:16; Psa. 35:17; Psa. 68:6. Pro. 4:3. Jer. 6:26. Amo. 8:10. Zec. 12:10. Hebrew of all other words for "one" is ’echad."

Now I seem to remember you saying that anyone who ignores such a great Bible scholar is a fool.

John Gill on Deut.6:4, "And for this purpose these words are cited in Mark 12:29 but then they no ways contradict the doctrine of a trinity of persons in the unity of the divine essence, the Father, Word, and Holy Spirit, which three are one; the one God, the one Jehovah, as here expressed; see 1Jn. 5:7 and so the ancient Jews understood this passage."

Adam Clarke, "Some Christians have joined the Jews against this doctrine, and some have even outdone them, and have put themselves to extraordinary pains to prove that אלהים Elohim is a noun of the singular number! This has not yet been proved. It would be as easy to prove that there is no plural in language."

John Calvin states, "The orthodox Fathers aptly used this passage against the Arians; because, since Christ is everywhere called God, He is undoubtedly the same Jehovah who declares Himself to be the One God; and this is asserted with the same force respecting the Holy Spirit."

John Trapp, "One in Three, and Three in One. Here are three words answering the three persons; and the middle word, Our God, deciphering fitly the second, who assumed our nature, as Galatinus well observeth. Echad, One, may show the unity of essence in this plurality of persons. Others take notice that the last letter of this first word, "hear," is extraordinarily large in the Hebrew, as calling for utmost heed and attention: {Hebrew Text Note} and so is the last letter in the word rendered "One." {See Trapp on "Exodus 34:14"} This last letter, daleth, which usually stands for four, signifieth, say the Hebrews, that this one God shall be worshipped in the four corners of the earth. Therefore whensoever, in their synagogues, they sing or say these word of Moses, they turn their heads to the four corners of the world."

Matthew Henry, "The three-fold mention of the Divine names, and the plural number of the word translated God, seem plainly to intimate a Trinity of persons, even in this express declaration of the unity of the Godhead."

From the Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible unabridged, "'Hear, O Israel: Yahweh (Hebrew #3068) is our God ( 'Elohiym (Hebrew #430), plural), Yahweh alone.' "

Etc., etc.

The claim that the concept of Jesus Christ as God was unknown amongst early Christians has been proven to be false by virtue of the apostle Thomas' statement (which has now been ignored twice in this thread alone). However, I will add to Thomas' witness with the following:

Justin Martyr's first Apology contains the following in regard to "the true God", "For Him, most assuredly; and His Son, who came forth from Him; and the Prophetic Spirit: these we worship and we adore, honouring them in word and in truth, and, to every person who wishes to learn, ungrudgingly delivering as we ourselves have been taught."

As Justin Martyr is writing 30 years after the death of the Apostle John that means that the previous generation that taught Justin was the Apostolic generation.

Ireneus writes against heresies of his time and states that, "The Church... hath received this Faith from the Apostles and their disciples. She believes in... Jesus Christ, our Lord and God and Saviour and King... For, through the world,.. this tradition is one and the same." He also states, "Christ Himself, the Word of God, the only-begotten of the Father, is our God."

Ireneus stated that he received his doctrine from Polycarp and Polycarp professed that he had learned this doctrine from the Apostles. Therefore the doctrines of the Trinity and the Godhead of Christ were taught to theearly Church by the Apostles themselves.

I suggest that if you want to discuss this further you move your response to this thread, The Holy Spirit in current lesson 2017. In that thread I have also challenged your claims in regard to the Council of Nicaea which also remains unanswered. This thread is for discussion of what were the foundational Pillars of Adventism, none of your replies have addressed the actual topic of the thread.

From REV Commentary: See upload below


Once again, Bullinger does not agree with you.

"He therefore believed him to be Lord and God, and we are to believe him so. We must believe his deity - that he is God; not a man made God, but God made man, as this evangelist had laid down his thesis at first, Joh. 1:1."

John Wesley, "And Thomas said, My Lord and my God - The disciples had said, We have seen the Lord. Thomas now not only acknowledges him to be the Lord, as he had done before, and to be risen, as his fellow disciples had affirmed, but also confesses his Godhead, and that more explicitly than any other had yet done. And all this he did without putting his hand upon his side."

The Greek word used here is theos which menas diety or God.

Bullinger did amazing accurate research. Even though he was a trinitarian, he did make the distinction between God the giver (Holy Spirit) and the gift of God (holy spirit). 

Trinitarian doctrine has clouded the minds of Bullinger and most of Christianity.

Bullinger falsely concluded that healing and other manifestations of holy spirit had ceased based on those that were sick in the epistles and probably due to the lack of power of the holy spirit since its decline in practice and up to his time.

I am thankful for Bullinger’s research, but that does not mean I must adhere to all he concluded. I am required to use my brain and inspiration of the holy spirit and not be enslaved to anything that is not true.

I respect Jefferson, but disagree with his rejection of supernatural miracles and other manifestations of holy spirit in the Bible. The Declaration of Independence is an amazing inspiration.

I do not adhere to an all or nothing adherence to any researcher if I find something does not ring true.

If anyone is expert at ancient Hebrew it is the Hebrews. Historically and now they state and believe that echad means ONE ALONE GOD.

You ignore the evolution of the trinity as shown by history of the councils of 325 and 381 AD as well as the Biblical Hebrew. In 1975 I was informed that Jesus is not God by someone, and I did six solid months researching the question before concluding I was taught error and rejecting the trinity for good cause.

James said:

"Bullinger did amazing accurate research. Even though he was a trinitarian," 

Did it ever occur to you that Bullinger could be right and you wrong!

You obviously failed to read the REV Commentary regarding John 20:28.

You did not read my answer from the REV Commentary, reproduced here without other parts of John cgapter20 commentary. Please address the technical matters below only.

Joh 20:28
“my god.” Any good Greek-English lexicon will give examples of the Greek word theos, often translated “God,” also referring to a pagan “god” or “goddess” (Acts 19:37), the Devil or a demon (2 Cor. 4:4), or of people who represent God in some way (John 10:34). The fact that Thomas called Jesus “God” does not mean he thought Jesus was part of the Triune God, but he did think of him as God’s highest representative and worthy to be called “god.”
To understand what Thomas said there is some background information that we must understand. For one thing, Thomas was almost certainly speaking Hebrew or Aramaic, and thus the flexibility of the word “God” in those languages will be covered in some detail
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below. It is also important to know that the early manuscripts of the Bible were written in all capital letters. That means that technically, both Elohim in Hebrew and Theos in Greek should always be translated “GOD,” in all capital letters. Since the biblical languages used the word “GOD” to refer to God, lesser divinities such as the Devil, angels, and demons, and also to rulers, judges, and people who represented God in some way, Bible readers are forced to use the context and scope of Scripture to determine whether the modern English translation should be “God,” “god,” or “gods.” [For more information on this, see commentary on Hebrews 1:8].
The following few paragraphs are about the biblical, especially the Semitic, way of using the words for “God.” It is quite detailed, but in light of the huge Trinitarian bias to make Thomas say that Jesus is “God,” it seems necessary to quite fully show that in biblical language you could call someone Elohim or Theos without meaning they were the Most High God. It is helpful in understanding the Bible to know that the Hebrew word Elohim (“God”) is a plural form—Elohim is always plural. It is a uniplural noun like our English word “deer” or “fish,” and so it has to be translated according to the context and can mean “God,” “a god,” or “gods.” When we see the word “fish” we must determine from the context if it is singular or plural. In a sentence like, “Did you eat the fish” there may not be enough context to determine whether the person ate one fish or more than one. This problem can occur in the Hebrew text as well, although we sometimes get help in the Hebrew from the accompanying verb.
Elohim is not the only uniplural noun in Hebrew. Two others are “water” and “heaven” (cp. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, 2nd edition by A. Cowley, pp. 244, 246). Trinitarians assert that the reason Elohim is plural is because it refers to the plurality in the Trinity, but even if there was a Trinity, and we do not believe there is, that would not be likely. For one thing, God gave the Hebrew language to the Jews, so they should be the experts in their own language, and they have never believed Elohim referred to any plurality in God. Just as “water” and “heaven” are plural in part because they are so vast, Elohim seems to be plural because of the vastness and greatness of God.
The majority of the times Elohim occurs in the Bible, it refers to the true God. However, even a brief glance through a Hebrew concordance will show that many times it refers to false gods. Dozens of verses could be cited as examples, but a few are: “have no other gods [Elohim] before me” (Exod. 20:3); “Do not bow down before their gods [Elohim]” (Exod. 23:24); “they chose new gods [Elohim]” (Judges 5:8); and, “[Solomon’s] wives turned his
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heart after other gods [Elohim]” (1 Kings 11:4).
There are times when Elohim is used to refer to a specific pagan god: for example, Dagon
(Judges 16:23; 1 Samuel 5:7), Chemosh (Judges 11:24), and Baal (1 Kings 18:24-27).
Elohim, “God,” can also refer to angels or other spirit beings. One example is Psalm 8:5, which says God made mankind a little lower than Elohim. Given the flexible meaning of Elohim, the verse could be saying that God made mankind a little lower than He Himself, or it could be saying that He made mankind a little lower than his representatives in the spirit world, i.e., angels. Thankfully, the interpretation is not in doubt because the verse is quoted in Hebrews 2:7, which says “angels,” letting us know that in Psalm 8:5, Elohim refers to God’s representatives, the angels. Thus Psalm 8:5 is an excellent example of how the New Testament clarifies our understanding of the Old Testament. Another example is Judges 13:22, where Manoah and his wife saw an angel, but exclaimed, “We have seen God [Elohim].” Their statement made perfect sense in the biblical culture because they saw God’s representative.
There are times when God’s representatives are called “God” (Elohim and even Yahweh!) when they represent God and speak on His behalf. This is referred to as “agency.” The essence of the principle of agency is: “a person’s agent is regarded as the person himself” (Werblowsky and Wigoder, The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion, p. 15). The principle of agency is well attested by scholars and occurs quite a few times in the Bible. For example, in Genesis 16:13, even though Hagar was speaking to an angel, she referred to him as Yahweh and El (God). In Genesis 31:11 an angel speaks to Jacob, but in verse 13 he says, “I am the God [El] of Bethel.” In Genesis 32:28, 30 it seems Jacob is wrestling with God [Elohim], but we learn from Hosea 12:3 that it was an angel representing God. Another example is that Exodus 13:21 says “Yahweh” went before Israel in the pillar of fire, but Exodus 14:19 and 23:20-23 let us know it was an angel, a representative of God. So “Yahweh” did go in front of Israel as represented by his angel protector. Similarly, if you read Judges 2:1-4, an angel speaks to the Israelites, but his speech is in first person as if he were God Himself.
Elohim, “God,” can also refer to human rulers, kings, prophets, and people who represent God in some way. Thus Exodus 21:6; 22:8-9, almost certainly refer to God’s representatives as Elohim, “God” (Exod. 22:27 likely does too. In those verses the accompanying verb is plural, not singular, so the traditional teaching of the Rabbis, that the meaning is “judges,”
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which is also in the KJV, is almost certainly correct). Psalm 82:1 is noteworthy because it uses Elohim twice; at the beginning of the verse to refer to the true God, and at the end of the verse to refer to rulers and people who represent him. The verse says, “Elohim [“God”] stands in the congregation of the mighty; he judges among the “Elohim” [“gods”].” Furthermore, verse 6 says, “You are Elohim [“gods”]; and all of you are sons of the Most High.” As sons of the Most High, these rulers are qualified to be called Elohim, [“gods”]. Psalm 97:7 also calls rulers Elohim.
There are times when specific individuals are called Elohim, “God.” One example is Moses. In Exodus 7:1, God is speaking to Moses and says, “See, I have made you God [Elohim] to Pharaoh” (Darby). Given the uniplural nature of Elohim, another translation is, “See, I have made you a god [Elohim] to Pharaoh” (BBE, KJV), but the fact is that Moses, who represents Elohim (“God”) can legitimately be called Elohim (“God”) in the biblical culture. Another example is when King Saul wanted to speak to the dead prophet Samuel and went to a woman who was a medium and necromancer (1 Sam. 28:7-15). When she conjured up “Samuel” (actually a demon impersonating Samuel), the woman said, “I see Elohim coming up from the ground” (1 Samuel 28:13). This is a good example of a person being called Elohim, and we could translate it “God” and understand the custom of God’s representatives being called “God,” or a more easily understood translation for the English reader is simply, “a god;” the woman saw “a god” coming up who she thought was Samuel.
Given the language of the time, and given that Jesus did represent the Father and have divine authority, for Thomas to refer to Jesus as “god” is certainly understandable. In contrast, to assert that Thomas said that Jesus was “God,” and thus 1/3 of a triune God, seems incredible. As was noted above, in biblical times it was common to call God’s representatives “God,” and the Old Testament contains quite a few examples, such as when Jacob wrestled with “God” and it is clear that he was actually wrestling with an angel (Hosea 12:4).
It is common to read commentaries that assert that Thomas shifted from the depths of unbelief to the height of faith and called Jesus his “God.” But on what basis would Thomas do that The commentators point out John 1:1, that the Gospel says “the Word was God.” First, there is solid evidence it does not actually say that (see commentary on John 1:1). More to the point, however, the Gospel of John was not written until decades after Thomas spoke, and there is no evidence that Jesus ever taught the Trinity or that he was “fully human and fully God.” Quite the opposite. He called God, “the true God” (John 17:3); he
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said the Father was greater than he was (John 14:28); and he referred to the Father as his God both before and after his resurrection (Matt. 27:46; John 20:17). Also, when he did have chances to “correct” people’s understanding about him or to teach the Trinity, such as with the woman at the well (John 4), or the Pharisee who asked him about the first and great commandment (Mark 12), he did not teach about the Trinity or say that he was man but also God. Very importantly, the few verses in the Gospels where Jesus said something that Trinitarians use to show Jesus is God can all be interpreted in a non-Trinitarian way. There is just no evidence that people at the time of Jesus knew about the Trinity or that Jesus was fully God and fully man—there was no teaching about it.
There are many Trinitarian authorities who admit that there was no knowledge of Trinitarian doctrine at the time Thomas spoke. For example, if the disciples believed that Jesus was “God” in the sense that many Christians do, they would not have “all fled” just a few days before when he was arrested. The confession of the two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus demonstrated the thoughts of Jesus’ followers at the time. Speaking to the resurrected Christ, whom they mistook as just a traveler, they talked about Jesus. They said Jesus “was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God...and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:19-21). The disciples thought Jesus was the Messiah, a “prophet,” and the Son of God, but not God Himself.
Even in realizing that Jesus was the Christ, they knew that according to the Old Testament prophecies, the Christ, the anointed of God, was to be a man: he was to be an offspring of Eve (Gen. 3:15) and through the line of Abraham and David, and “God” did not fit that description. He was to be anointed with holy spirit by God as foretold in Isaiah 61:1, a verse Jesus quoted about himself (Luke 4:18); whereas God does not need to be anointed with holy spirit. The Messiah was to be “one of their own” (Jer. 30:21), not God. We know how hard Jesus worked to teach the disciples that he would die and be resurrected—how many different times he taught it—and the disciples never did “get it.” Are we to believe that somehow Jesus taught the Trinity, something that went against everything the disciples were taught and believed, but there is no mention of Jesus ever teaching it anywhere and yet the disciples somehow “got” that teaching That seems too incredible to believe. There is no evidence from the gospel accounts that Jesus’ disciples believed him to be God, and Thomas, upon seeing the resurrected Christ, was not birthing a new theology in a moment of surprise.
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Besides the biblical use of the words for “God” being used for God’s representatives, there is a contributing cultural reason Thomas may have used the word “god” to refer to Jesus when Jesus appeared to him. In the Greco-Roman culture it was becoming customary to refer to the emperor as “god,” but usually only after he was dead. So, for example, after Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 BC, the Roman senate voted that he was a god. Elevating great people into the ranks of the gods is a process scholars refer to as “deification.” If dead Roman emperors were “gods,” it is reasonable that Thomas, knowing Jesus had been dead but now seeing him alive, referred to him as “god.”
The context of the verse shows that its subject is the fact that Jesus was alive. Only three verses earlier, Thomas had ignored the eyewitness testimony of the other apostles when they told him they had seen the Lord. The resurrection of Christ was such a disputed doctrine that Thomas did not believe it (the other apostles had not either), and thus Jesus’ death would have caused Thomas to doubt that Jesus was who he said he was—the Messiah. Thomas believed Jesus was dead. Thus, he was shocked and astonished when he saw—and was confronted by— Jesus himself. Thomas, upon being confronted by the living Christ, instantly believed in the resurrection, i.e., that God had raised the man Jesus from the dead, and, given the standard use of “God” in the culture as one with God’s authority, it certainly makes sense that Thomas would proclaim, “My Lord and my god.” There is no mention of the Trinity in the context, and there is no reason to believe that the disciples would have even been aware of such a doctrine. Thomas spoke what he would have known: that the man Jesus who he thought was dead was alive and had divine authority. [For more information on this verse and further references, see Graeser, Lynn, Schoenheit, One God & One Lord: Reconsidering the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith].


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