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SHOULD S.D.A CONTINUE TO ADOPT THE  PHRASE " TRINITY " TO DESCRIBE THE GODHEAD,KNOWING THAT THE CATHOLIC'S UNDERSTANDING OR BELIEF ON THIS SUBJECT DIFFER FROM OURS, AND THEY WERE THE FIRST TO USE THIS TERM ?

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Why shouldn't we?  Is the term useful?

 

While the term is not itself found in the Bible and some argue that even the concept is unbiblical, the concept, in some form, can be found in scripture as one of the many ways God is described.  We do ourselves a disservice by insisting that the Trinity is the only valid model for God because God provides us with others in scripture that get ignored as a result.  You cannot get a complete picture of God from a single, inadequate model.  This is why he uses other models as well and we need to include them in our concept of God.

 

The term is useful even if we define it a bit differently than others do, so I see no use in continuing to use it.  However, if you are wanting to get especially technical about the definitions, it would be improper to use any definition which God himself does not give us in scripture, and this terminology is not used.  There is even some argument as to whether Matthew 28:19 was written in by Matthew or added much later by translators or editors.  This is the only verse in the entire Bible that clearly supports the concept of the trinity.  Other texts only allude to it.

George

 

Should we stop using the word "God" because it is applied to false gods? 

Because Satan claims to be the god of this world? 

 

No, we just need to clearly present the truth and let the chips fall where they may.  Remember: "The sower went forth to sow."  That is our job, not to worry about the Catholics.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

Hi Rob,

 

You said,

I personally wouldn't use the term "trinity" or even the word "GOD" but its OK to use these terms to make communication easier for the sheep who understand Scripture less than you do.

 

Why wouldn't you use the word "GOD"?  And why is it OK to use these terms as you said?  Can you point me in the direction of Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy that says it is OK to call God and Jesus by any other name than their own.

 

Are you a sacred name believer?  What are your thoughts on those that are against the use of the word Jesus instead of Yahshuah; and God instead of Yahuah?  I didn't mean to veer off topic and I didn't mean to bombard you with many questions, just would like your POV.  It's something I have been asked and something I only have a surface understanding of.

 

Thanks and God the Creator Bless!

Thanks Rob!

 

Yes, I would greatly appreciate any EGW references.

 

Here are a few more questions for you.  

 

Regarding God's/Jesus' ancient name I was questioned by a young woman yesterday (who has somewhat lost faith in the Bible as she believed the translations have taken away or diluted the original texts).  She asked whether or not I knew the actual names and not the transliterated names of God and Jesus; I told her I did.  She then questioned me as to why I still used the words God and Jesus as she believes that those words are vain and by her definition vain meant fake.  I allowed her to speak her case as she paraphrased, as many other ancient name believers (I prefer your term better) have, Romans 10:13. "For whosoever shall call upon the NAME of the Lord shall be saved".

 

Why have many associated the name Jesus with Je-Zeus?  Is it fair then to ask is the Greek translation of the NT valid, since Ioesus was used?

 

Man, I didn't want to veer off the topic of the trinity and to be honest I'm a bit skeptical about using anything that comes from a catholic system.  It's that "deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9) thing that I take notice of.  But I have no idea what the catholic's doctrine of the trinity is all about.

 

My mother had once told me, paganism is all around so I must basically live in the sky if I wanted to avoid it.  I told her whatever I know to be pagan, I will make a conscious effort to avoid those things.  What is it we were told to come out of and be separate from then?

 

While I am trying to be careful not to swim out too deep or go overboard as you put it, I must explore this ancient/ sacred name topic.

 

Forgive me if I am wrong, Rob, but I remember reading a post where you said that you didn't believe in studying the Bible with a Strong's concordance but rather study the Hebrew directly for yourself.  How did you do this (I'm assuming not having previous knowledge of Hebrew)?  Also, what do you use to study the NT?

 

As I have said I only have surface knowledge of the matter and would like to be better equipped to handle questions on this topic.  I was telling this young woman that the world does not have one language and one speech and there will come a day when that will be restored.  As it stands the world is not that way yet and there will be many idioms used for both God and Jesus.  I find it hard to think that many will be lost by not knowing and calling upon Jesus' Hebrew name.  Now the question begs, what about those that do know?  This question seems a bit superficial I know even when she asserted to that idea too because IMO it goes beyond a mere utterance as I see it, but having a personal relationship with Christ.  As I am writing thoughts keep pouring out, please forgive me if this sound a bit ramble-y or this reply goes beyond my intended length.  Doesn't having a personal relationship with Jesus makes one want to know and call Him by His true name?

 

OK let me end it here, for now.  Thanks so much for your time and reply!

 

Thanks so much!  Rob, I greatly appreciate this!  I hope you don't mind sharing your response to this young lady and my "little" sis who both had many questions about the Bible and the received texts.  I quite enjoyed them asking questions, but I sensed a strong apprehension from this young woman as opposed to my sister who is slowly coming back to God.

 

The one thing I hope never to lose is the child like Faith and Love I have for my Saviour!

 

Have a Blessed Shabbat!

I am not a theologian, but my answer to your question is YES. I am not sure if the SDA church has adopted the phrase TRINITY from the catholic church. Since our church had done its own extensive studies on this area, I think we ought to use the same phrase. It's true that the catholic church was the first to use the word trinity. Just because our church didn't take shape until the Millerite movement somewhere between 1843 and 1844. Then it did finally recognized as an organized church until years later. On the other hand, the catholic church had been way long existed before our church did. Good question, George.
I first heard the word TRINITY when I was a catholic. But didn't learn the meaning of it until I became a Seventh-day Adventist. For some reason though, the word TRINITY is seldom use by many in SDA church. Doug Batchelor wrote a topic regarding the three Godhead. Look it up.

There are many professed Seventh-day Adventists who, in support of the trinity doctrine, say that Ellen White changed the anti-trinitarian thinking of the church by writing a book called "The Desire of Ages" in 1898.They say that when people began to read this book they came to understand that God is really a trinity. They say it was Ellen White who changed the thinking of the church. Now, let us notice something most significant. Most of us are reasonably familiar with Scripture and the writings of Ellen White; so I want to ask this: Do you agree that Ellen G. White would've been classed as a false prophet if she held "heretical views" on the Godhead? Do you agree that Ellen G. White would've been classed as a false prophet if she consistently contradicted herself? Do you believe that God gives revelation to people or groups who subscribe to "heretical doctrines", like denying the Trinity?

Friends, I believe with all my heart and soul, that Ellen G. White was/is a True Prophet of God - The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Moses, David, Elijah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Paul, and John the Revelator.

Furthermore, my objective is not necessarily to disprove the trinity doctrine. My prime purpose is to interpret Ellen White's statements [on whatever subject] so that nothing contradicts (RH, November 25, 1884 par. 24). In an effort to do that very thing, it will be proven that Ellen White was NOT a trinitarian. It will be proven that those who advocate her as being "trinitarian", thus make her into a false prophet. And more importantly, it will be proven how the trinity doctrine destroys the Atonement and the Sanctuary Service messages. I cannot overstate how vital it is that we understand this.

Now please, let us review the Desire of Ages paragraph immediately above, this time, paying extra attention to the portions that are underlined, as well as the portion that is capitalized: DA 671: "The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this Satanic captivity was amazing. 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."

Most SDAs do not recognize the subject of the Godhead as a Landmark or Pillar doctrine of pioneer Seventh-day Adventism: "Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor." (E.G. White, Manuscript Releases 760 9.5) "I entreat every one to be clear and firm regarding the certain truths that we have heard and received and advocated. The statements of God's Word are plain. Plant your feet firmly on the platform of eternal truth. Reject every phase of error, even though it be covered with a semblance of reality, which denies the personality of God and of Christ." (Review and Herald, August 31, 1905 par. 11) "The Father and the Son each have a personality. Christ declared: "I and My Father are one." Yet it was the Son of God who came to the world in human form. Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity through His infinite sacrifice might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust." (9T pages 67-68)

Is it not interesting that Ellen White does NOT mention the personality of the Holy Spirit in the above statements? IF the Holy Spirit has been the third person of the Godhead since eternity past, then why does she not mention Him? The reason she does not is because she elsewhere defines the personality of the Holy Spirit to be that of the life and soul of Christ, and it would thus be redundant to mention the personality of the Holy Spirit as extra to that of God and Christ.

What Was the Landmark SDA Teaching Concerning the Identity of the Holy Spirit? "The Power of God in the Third Person.--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." (E.G. White, Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37) {1897}. DA 671: "Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead ...".

The Bible says that it is Jesus, God's Son, whom the Father sent to bless us, turning away every one of us from our iniquities. Acts 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. The "power of evil" is synonymous with iniquity, so unless Ellen White disagreed with the Bible, (and she did not!), we know that the Son is the Holy Spirit - which is the ONLY agency which holds in check or resists the prince of the power of evil or iniquity.

Did Ellen White Say that the Holy Spirit was Christ? "Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin. In the gift of the Spirit (HIS LIFE--THE SOUL OF HIS LIFE), Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow. ... The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. ... 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 the church." (E.G. White, Review and Herald , May 19, 1904 par. 1, 2, 3).

Thus we have the landmark pillar doctrine teaching of the pioneers concerning the Godhead. It becomes clear that any other doctrine would work total despite to the Atonement and the Sanctuary doctrine as well as the terms of the Everlasting Covenant, which demanded the death of the Testator.

What the Trinity Doctrine blasphemes is the fact that Jesus shed His Holy Spirit FOREVER, to become invested with humanity. This is one of the greatest condescension's of the Incarnation, and the Trinity Doctrine denies this great sacrifice on the part of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The trinity doctrine teaches that this other spirit which is separate from Christ's breath of His own Spirit, His own life, abides in men, rather than the life of CHRIST'S OWN LIFE abiding in men. This is an abomination. This is blasphemy. This is antichrist. James White, J.N. Andrews, and ALL the other SDA pioneers recognized this truth.

The regeneration--regenerating agency was NOT Christ's death on the cross. It was something else without which "His sacrifice on the cross would have been of no avail". That "something else", was His Holy Spirit mind, soul and breath, in addition to His blood shed on the cross. The other three--the Holy Spirit mind, soul and breath, was shed or laid aside at His Incarnation, to be [later] given to us, as a gift, for the purpose of regeneration-regenerating us into the image of God. THAT was the highest good and the crowing gift that Christ gave to us, NOT only the death of His humanity on the Cross. For without the regenerating Holy Spirit life, breath and soul (mind) of Christ, sin could have proliferated forever. That is another reason why the truth of this issue is so relevant to the Sacrifice of Christ and EVERYTHING He sacrificed - not just the cross. The Cross Sacrifice provided for justification. The Incarnation Sacrifice provided for sanctification.

"Christ gives them the breath of HIS OWN SPIRIT, the life of HIS OWN LIFE. The HOLY SPIRIT puts forth its highest energies to work in the heart and mind." (E.G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 827). All this could mean is: exactly what Ellen White says that it means. The Holy Spirit is the life, breath and soul of Christ - imparted to us as a regenerating agency, made possible for the first time under the New Covenant, by Christ "laying aside that life" and "bequeathing it to us". If Christ had not given His original life Holy Spirit as a regenerating agency, then His sacrifice on the Cross would have been of no avail, because man could never have overcome and the Sanctuary would never have been cleansed. The Cross provided justification for sins past, but the Holy Spirit life, breath and soul of Christ, which He possessed in Heaven before His Incarnation into humanity, was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for sanctification, overcoming, and the final cleansing of the Sanctuary. Without this gift the Sanctuary would never be cleansed.

This is what Ellen White was referring to, when in the Alpha of Apostasy, she saw THE SANCTUARY GONE--THE ATONEMENT GONE. In other words, IF Christ did not give us His original state-of-being Holy Spirit as a regenerating agency, the Atonement could have never been complete and would have been of no avail.

"In a representation which passed before me, I saw a certain work being done by medical missionary workers. Our ministering brethren were looking on, watching what was being done, but they did not seem to understand. The foundation of our faith, which was established by so much prayer, such earnest searching of the Scriptures, was being taken down, pillar by pillar. Our faith was to have nothing to rest upon--the sanctuary was gone, the atonement was gone." (E.G. White, The Upward Look, p.152). This is what the Omega Heresy of the trinity doctrine has achieved. It completely denies that Christ sacrificed His personal Holy Spirit at His Incarnation. Acceptance of the trinity doctrine makes the Atonement and the Sanctuary Service null and void, because it is by CHRIST'S PERSONAL Holy SPIRIT that sanctification is effected. The trinity doctrine teaches that Christ did not sacrifice His personal Holy Spirit. The trinity doctrine teaches that the Holy Spirit was another separate and distinct person from - the person of the Son.

Without the sacrifice of the Son's own personal Holy Spirit, AT HIS INCARNATION, to be given as a regenerating agency, the entire sacrifice of Christ would be null and void and the requirement of the FOREVER death of the Testator of the Covenant - would not be met.

The Scriptural answer to this conundrum is that the Holy Spirit was and is the life, breath and soul of the Son, until the Son gave up His first state-of-being (pure Divinity) to be forever linked with humanity at His Incarnation. This is the ONLY answer that makes all Ellen White statements on the subject of the Godhead, interpret so that nothing contradicts.

if we stick to the bible we would not be confused. Ellen White is not the first nor last word of God, the Bible is. She told us to believe the Bible and te Bible only as our source of truth. She don't promote the trinity doctrine. Unconverted flesh eaters mis interpret her writings as they do the Bible. These topics only show up the sheep and goats in Adventism. It show the disunity in our ranks. We cannot be united in error neither can we receive the latter rain in error.We have to be in one accord. There's no where in the Bible can any one show the trinity. THE BIBLE MENTION THE GODHEAD OUR GOD IS ONE GOD. IT'S A MYSTERY FRIENDS. DON'T TRY TO DISCECT IT WITH OUR INFINITE MINDS.

Yes. Our prophet did speak of and support the Fundamental Belief of the Trinity.

And yes ... she was a meat eater for the majority of her life.

But I resent you calling her an Unconverted flesh eater.

I would think that we would need to start with the beliefs attached to the papal/protestant trinity doctrine...I fear many of us do not know them...and even worse, are not aware of why our pioneers were so strongly against it.

 

Makes sense, Teresa!  I have been told the use of trinity is just the use of the word TRI-UNITY and not the use of any other doctrine.

Thoughts like these might be of interest:

“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 p.615)

The “heavenly trio…”

________________________


D. M. Canright, wrote an article entitled “The Holy Spirit”, printed in The Signs of the Times (July 25, 1878), and expressed the view:

“All Trinitarian creeds make the Holy Ghost a person, equal in substance, power, eternity, and glory with the Father and Son. . . . But this we cannot believe. The Holy Spirit is not a person. In all our prayers we naturally conceive of God as a person, and of the Son as a person, but whoever conceived of the Holy Ghost as being a person, standing there beside the Father and equal with Him?”

However, Mrs. White spoke to the students at Avondale College in 1899, saying,

“we have been brought together as a school, and we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, that the Lord God is our keeper, and helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.” (7Manuscript Release p.299, Evangelism 616)

Today a number of SDA’s hold the view that, while referring to the Holy Spirit in the piece just quoted, Mrs. White actually means Jesus. But this, in my view, is quite a desperate measure… Some still deny that the Holy Spirit is “a distinct personality”. But


“the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ's name. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality. We may have the Holy Spirit if we ask for it and make it [a] habit to turn to and trust in God rather than in any finite human agent who may make mistakes.” (1893)  (20Manuscript Release p.324)




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