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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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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: http://theprophetstillspeaks.co.uk/DetHis/zaDHS27.htm

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.

Newer the less your post was showing the link to this site and that Quote was put forward as proof that EGW was not for Trinity and that to me is a falsehood. When you use dishonest sites like that your credibility takes a nosedive. Also if you type "Godhead" into the site of EGW writings you will find that she has mentioned that term over 400 times. 

Peace


Brother M.E, how are you? I pray you and your family are well. 

I believe JohnB and Elijah are on point... Your not showing no evidence, your saying things with no proof. What pillars are you talking about that says the GODHEAD is not Three Persons?

 With all due respect, Until you show that, then unfortunately your just making things up.  

That's why I asked you early in this post, what is your definition "trinity "/ "trinitarian "?


Because your not the first person to bring this up, I believe brother Dan & Rush are some people. It's always presented like you did... That it goes against the "pillars " of 7th Day Adventist, and that we can find nowhere the SOP in the writings of EGW teaches that the GODHEAD is ONE, and at the same time Three persons. 

 

Even though trinity is not used in the Bible or SOP, and we shouldn't use the word, however the definition of trinity on the surface is the same as GODHEAD. What is that basic definition? That there are Three persons that is the GODHEAD.

SOP/EGW wrote in regards to this subject, and it seems clear that what she wrote goes against what you believe. 

EGW : "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. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin."CH p.222

SOP says the GODHEAD gave "Themselves"...

The Holy Spirit is One of Three... Let's check it out,

EGW : "Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church." DA p. 671

EGW: "The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.—Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897). Ev p.617

SOP says the Holy Spirit is the Thrid Person of the GODHEAD, of course that means The  Father and The Son are the other two. 

EGW: "The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. 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.—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905). – Ev p.615

It it seems you tried to change the clear understanding with this statement, which I still don't understand, you something about the useage of the word "of".. But it's clear what EGW wrote, she's not speaking symbolically, it's clear, "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..."

 Brother Dan said this,

Dan wrote: "The chief suggestion of the trinity [GODHEAD] theory is that God is three persons (or its alternate - that God is one person in three). We do note that at its core is the rejection of Christ as the begotten, divine Son of God. "

Strong words indeed... I'm not concerned with the word trinity, nor is the Bible or the writings of EGW, but The GODHEAD according to the SOP "..are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit -..".... The Holy Spirit, the SOP calls Him the Thrid person of the GODHEAD, again which implies there are two other persons of the GODHEAD, that is The Father & the Son.

  

 Blessings! 

 

I'm not here to prove anything but only to point people to the Spirit of Prophecy in correlation with what our pioneers wrote. Their writings are widely available now on the internet. If I try to prove anything, you and others will not believe me. The burden of proof lies on those who say that the one God is three persons. 

Seventh-day Adventists have a pillar called the "personality of God," according to Sister White, and our pioneers described in their writings what that pillar means. I want people to look it up and be convinced for themselves. If I tell them they will instead try to win the argument and thus fail at grasping the truth. 

We have proven to you that Ellen White believe that there are three persons in the Godhead. What do you want to bring in other pioneers? 

M. E. You came here to show us that there is no Trinity and we have shown you irrefutable evidence from the Bible as well as writings from EGW that there are 3 persons in the Godhead Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

What you seem to fail to understand that truth moves forward and therefore is called present truth. If we were to remain with the teachings of James White we would never move forward. We would stay on the same place all the Time just like the people following Martin Luther they now have even lost why they ever protested against the RCC and now wants to get back in the fold of the RCC. 

 

Peace 

  

  

M.E wrote: "I'm not here to prove anything but only to point people to the Spirit of Prophecy in correlation with what our pioneers wrote. Their writings are widely available now on the internet. If I try to prove anything, you and others will not believe me. The burden of proof lies on those who say that the one God is three persons."

 With all due respect, it obvious your trying to show us something, and you haven't proved anything.. again, not being disrespectful, it's facts. 

 I say trying "to point" us somewhere is a form of giving proof, Your trying to point us to the SOP in correlation with what our pioneers wrote... should I assume we all agree the SOP ( giving by GOD) in the writings of EGW trumps what the other pioneers wrote? 

 

M.E, your saying I'm not honest in my reasoning? Why wouldn't I believe you, if what you wrote can be proven to be correct? 

 You said, "if I try to prove" and "I'm not here to prove anything..", and the Bible tells us to prove all things (1 Thess. 5:21).

 You say the burden of proof is on us that GOD is ONE, and at the same time Three... Well, if you believe in the SOP in the writings of EGW, that her writings are inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself, then the proof has been given by multiple people here. 

 It's either you agree with what she wrote in regards to this subject, or you reject what she wrote ... Which is it? 

 Just don't try to take her writings and try to make it say something it's clearly not saying.. Similar to what you try to do already. 

M.E wrote: "Seventh-day Adventists have a pillar called the "personality of God," according to Sister White, and our pioneers described in their writings what that pillar means. I want people to look it up and be convinced for themselves. If I tell them they will instead try to win the argument and thus fail at grasping the truth."

I have nothing but Love for you,  this is not an argument M.E., this is us reasoning together, the Bible recommends us to do this, but as you know, if there is a difference in opinions, then us reasoning together in Spirit and Truth should bring forth the correct understanding. So I wouldn't describe it as winning an argument, but more of being pulled towards the Truth. 

 

  EGW: "The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. 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.—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905). – Ev p.615

 You tried to explain something about the usage of the word "of", and how it changed the clear teaching of what she wrote. My apologies, but I don't know what your talking about. 

M.E wrote: "The burden of proof lies on those who say that the one God is three persons."

Compared to, 

EGW wrote: "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"

EGW wrote: "The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.—Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897). Ev p.617

EGW wrote: "Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power..." DA p.671

EGW wrote: "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. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin."CH p.222

 Is this proof not good enough for you M.E? Or is it you don't accept what the Holy Spirit inspired EGW to write in regards to this subject? 

 Don't put me in a box M.E, if you present things that holds weight and is proven then I'll be in agreement with you, but in this subject, as you said, you haven't proved anything, nor have you pointed us anywhere.

 If there were other pioneers that believe something different than what EGW wrote, then that's on them.. I'm going with EGW, because she was inspired by GOD to write. 

Blessings!

The topic of this thread is a specific request from the OP for sources from the Spirit of Prophecy or Pioneers writings in regard to the "Pillars of Adventism".

You have answered stating that there is a "Personality of God" doctrine but refuse to give any sources. I have searched the entirety of EGW and the Pioneers and cannot find any list or otherwise.

So, what we have is a request for help which you refuse to give whilst insisting that there is this "missing pillar".

I would have thought that the "burden of proof" lies with you. You claim this "pillar" to be there, we say it doesn't exist and has never existed and on top of that we can find no record of it. Now, as it is impossible to prove a negative, surely the onus is on you, the one making the claim. What is the point of making the claim if you are not prepared to provide any evidence for this "pillar" ever existing? The only backing for this claim is that you say so whilst refusing to provide any evidence.

As for the SDA teaching in regard to the Godhead, well there are statements from: Ellen White, Uriah Smith, R. Hare, O.A. Johnson, A.T. Jones, D. H. Kress, Arthur L. Manous, W. W. Prescott, S. N. Haskell, M. C. Wilcox. G. B. Thompson, G. B. Starr, A. G. Daniells, R. A. Underwood and R. D. Quinn who all attest to three Persons in the Godhead.

The term "trinity" was used in relation to the Godhead in Review and Herald, Signs of the Times, Union Conference Record, The Bible Instructor, The Youth Instructor, The Oriental Watchman, The Caribbean Instructor and in many other denominational publications.

All of this was done during the lifetime of Ellen White and the shift towards trinitarian thinking was initiated and supported by her.

I am suspicious that the reason you don't know this is because you have not looked for yourself but have read something on the internet and believed it to be true without checking and are just parroting what you have read. Otherwise, I can't understand why, having taken the time to post in the first place, you cannot simply answer the question and post a proper source for your claim.

I echo my brother Reasoning here. We are asking for information. We have given the sources for our argument but you consistently refuse to give any proper sources other than "somebody wrote it sometime". If you have something to offer, please share it. Do you really think that we will change our faith on nothing more than your say-so?

Perhaps it is difficult because there are so many different compilations to sort through.

8T 255 to 335 is the place that Sister White directed people to in addition to our pioneers. There are also Review and Herald articles from 1903 to 1906. Also this article: { SpTB02 51.1 } and this reference point:  { MR760 9.5 } .  That paragraph has both "personality of God" and "pillars." 

Sister White also directs to to the writings of our pioneers. Since it is a pillar, they would have known and taught what it was. Therefore, we should study everything they published on the "personality of God." How did James White and D.M. Canright define this doctrine in their articles titled with that name? Specifically, search for "personality of God" and "Trinity" together in their writings. 

If you can't see it after all that, I don't know what else I can do to help you online, because this is something that should really be studied out in person with much prayer. It is up to you to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you so that you don't let your preconceived ideas shape your views. 

Just remember one thing: Do not confound "God" with "Christ" and the "Holy Spirit." The Scriptures and Spirit of Prophecy continually distinguish the three, far more than Christ is ever called "God." Christ is "God" in a certain sense, but not in personality. "God" is a distinct personality, not a trio. The three persons are OF the Godhead (Godhood/Divinity). The three great powers are all manifestations of the Godhead because God is the source according to 1 Cor. 8:6 and everything else is OF Him; thus the Son and the Spirit are OF God and His Godhead; they come from Him. God is continually in Scripture called a "Him," not a "Them." The only reason we do not see it is because it has been drilled into us that God is three persons, not one person or personality. "The personality of God" is "everything to us as a people" (look up that latter phrase in SOP). God is a personal being in heaven. Christ is His Son. And the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God (who is the source, or "OF whom are all things) and the Spirit of Christ (who is the channel, or "THROUGH whom are all things").

I pray you will all see this simplicity as it is in the Scriptures, but I hesitate to write these things, because we are not together praying together; the tendency is to try to win an argument, something we are all tempted with. I pray my labors will not be in vain, at least planting a seed if you still don't believe what I'm saying. The reason I'm giving references and not actual quotes is so that you can go to your Bibles and SOP material in prayer, seeing it for yourselves. I want to be out of the picture. Let the precious pearls of God's Word teach you the truth. 

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