Long ago, the apostle Paul revealed to us what the omega of apostasy is all about. Our Scripture is 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, and it has dual application. It not only applies to Paul’s time when Jewish legalists followed him and taught against the pure gospel of Paul, trying to convince the new believers that Paul was wrong. These verses definitely also apply to the 1980-81 omega of apostasy within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Paul wrote, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”(Note: Different commentaries on this last clause indicate that “ye might well bear with him” really means “you might accept the erroneous teachings they advocate, rather than the truth of the gospel” that Paul had presented to them.)
In that passage, Paul warned us that we are just as vulnerable as was Eve to Satan’s subtleties—perhaps even more so. He said that if we should become ensnared by one of Satan’s sophistries, our understanding of the simplicity of Christ would become corrupted. Friends, we would be mistaken if we think this hasn’t already happened to us.
What did Paul mean by “another Jesus,”“another spirit,” and “another gospel?” The remaining chapter studies will provide the answers. I invite you to really think about what you will be reading; Paul’s warning is most serious for believers in any age,for a false gospel will not—cannot—present God’s plan of salvation. There simply is no other source of eternal life but the Father, and no other way to receive it except through His Son. As Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father except by me.” (John 14:6) So it really does matter what you believe. None of us wants to be taken in by the omega of apostasy.
The last part of Revelation 13:3 tells us that when the beast’s deadly wound is fully healed, “all the world wondered after the beast.”As power and influence have been restored to the papacy, we see civil and religious leaders seeking audiences with him, the latter setting asidesome doctrinal distinctions and subordinating religious liberty in order to come into “unity” with the papal power. Does “all the world” include Seventh-day Adventists? I would suggest that a good majority ofushold to one of the beast’s primarydeceptions that is connected with the omega.
We dare not underestimate the power of the enemy of souls working behind the scenes, and especially sowhen we are careless in our beliefs. Revelation 12:9 reveals the worldwide extent of his fatal deceptions:“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.…”
Jesus clearly warned us in Mark 13:22, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”There’s a good reason to be on guard: Satan, through human and fallen angelic agents, will work to “seduce even the elect, if it were possible.” The wording implies that deceiving the elect will not be possible. A caution is in order here: A person may think he is one of the elect, correct and unshakable in his understandings, when, in fact, he is not as solid as he thinks, and therefore is quite vulnerable to deception. Remember, “the heart is deceitful above all things.” “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (Jer 17:9; 1 Cor 10:12) In any event, we may be sure that whatever those signs and wonders may be, they will be very powerful in their deceptiveness, with the intention to deceive the whole world, including those stubborn hold-outs, God’s faithful ones who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” But they—“the elect”—will have desired and received the “eye salve” offered by the True Witness to the Laodicean church. They will be able to distinguish between truth and error. In love for God the Father, they will withstand the lure of the miraculous signs and wonders that will ensnare the rest of the world in Satan’s trap for souls. (Revelation 13:13-14) They will retain their loyalty to the one true God.
However, it’s very possible to be seduced into Satan’s doctrinal lies if you are not studying and in earnest prayer. Even if you are inclined to accept the words of respected theologians, remember that they may unwittingly be putting out information that is profoundly different from what our pioneers believed and taught when the Spirit of prophecy was active in their midst. “Themselves deceived, they deceive others.” (1MCP 43)
Matthew 24:24 records Jesus’ words similarly to Mark 13:22:“If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew used the word “deceive” while Mark used the word “seduce,” both evil objectives being directed toward God’s church. Matthew is even more specific when he says the “very elect.” Especially does Satan have in his crosshairs those who draw closest to God. We cannot afford to be careless or indolent; we must understand what this omega is about in order to recognize and reject the deception. It is crucial not to accept “another Jesus”—one who is being presented and taught as if he were the true Jesus.
God’s prophet gave us a detailed preview of the enemy’s attempt to destroy God’s remnant church that He raised up to be His last church before the end:
“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrineswhich stand as thepillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth thatGodin His wisdomhas givento theremnant church,would be discarded. Our religionwould bechanged.The fundamental principlesthat have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted aserror. A new organization would be established. Booksof a new orderwould bewritten. A system ofintellectual philosophywould be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath,of course,would belightly regarded, as also theGod who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed,they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundationwould be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.”(1SM204)
Everything listed here has already occurred, except the last event.So what remains to be fulfilled in this amazing prophecy? Answer: “…Storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.”
What has brought “another Jesus” into Adventism? We read in the above quotation, “A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.”There is our answer. Ellen White’s words inform us that intellectual philosophy would be the source through which not only “another Jesus,” but also “another spirit” and “another gospel,” would come in, and, in fact, did come into Adventism in 1980.
What did she mean by “intellectual philosophy”? It has to do with man’s opinions, deductions and interpretations that have been exalted and preferred over the plain Word of God. What once was plain, literal, consistent and accepted by all is now being reinterpreted (misinterpreted, actually) with a new hermeneutic, which rejects the straightforward meaning of God’s Word in favor of a less-obvious and more mystical explanation of selected aspects of Scripture. In fact, the difference between the former understanding and the new view is such that what was once accepted as truth is now being termed “error”! However, brethren, “the Reformation did not, as many suppose, end with Luther. It is to be continued to the close of this world’s history.” (GC 148) This book that you are reading is a protest against the “intellectual philosophy” that threatens to obscure salvational truths revealed in God’s Word. Certain “fundamental principles” that were established with God’s leadingin the early days of our denomination have been changed. Those truths need to be restored and disseminated worldwide before the prophesied deceptive “miracles” and “great wonders” so enthrall humanity that the truth can no longer be seen—or even desired. (Rev. 13:13-14)
Paul warned the Corinthians of “another Jesus”being preached to them. The presentapplication of his warninghas to do with the deception that is directly connected with the omega. What “another Jesus” was Paul talking about? It is well-known that the best and simplest way to learn how to detect counterfeit money is to study only the legitimate bills. That’s because there are endless and oft-changing counterfeits, but only one true version of each bill. Likewise,in order for us to recognize this counterfeit Jesus, we must study the true.
Luke tells us the following in his account of Saul of Tarsus turned Paul the apostle, not long after Paul’s conversion at Damascus: “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.”(Acts 9:20) Could “another Jesus” possibly have something to do with the Sonship of Christ? I would suggest that it certainly does. Could it be that there would be an attempt to block what Paul began to preach about Jesus, and a different theology presented in its place? I believe that is the case. We have some studying to do before that question can be answered with certainty, so let us consider a number of familiar Scriptures that pertain to the Sonship of Christ. Like those trained to identify counterfeit bills through the study of authentic bills, we will be studying the true Son of God.
The Pre-eminent Fatherhood of God and the Sonship of Christ
In 1 Corinthians 1:9 we’re told, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of hisSon Jesus Christour Lord.” I would like you to notice, in that verse, that Paul did not preach, nor did he ever preach,“God the Son.” Rather, He preached Jesus, the “Son of God.” Even though Jesus is as fully God/divine/deity as is His Father, one cannot find the phrase “God the Son” anywhere in the entire New Testament. Nor can the phrase be found in any of Sister White’s writings. Does that surprise you? Frankly, while Scripture affirms Jesus’ divinity, its teaching emphasis regarding Jesus is primarily on His being the divine Son of God and the critical role the Son plays in our redemption. That relationship is how His Father acknowledged Him: “This is my beloved Son.” Changing the interpretive emphasis to “God the Son”—i.e., His divinity—changes the gospel to “another gospel.”That isbecause it is now taught that Jesus cannot be both God and Son, so Jesus’ true Sonship is now denied; it is said to be only metaphorical. This is very important in helping us to contrast what God is teaching us versus what man is teaching us, so that we collectively can be “the restorer of paths to dwell in.” In modern application, we are to restore the beliefs of our pioneers that Ellen White, in 1906, said “remain the truth in every particular”—truths that today are accounted as error. (Letter 38, 1906)
Would you agree that the Bible is a safe guide, “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path”? Then let us delve into the next Scripture, which is 1 Corinthians 8:6:“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
In that explicit biblical statement, Paul identifies only the Father as the “one God.” He has a Son whom we know as our Lord Jesus Christ. The Son is not the preeminent God of the Bible; He is theSon of the God of the Bible. Paul explained the reason for the difference: “all things” are “of” the Father and “by” the Son. We’ll come back to this shortly.
John recorded these words of Jesus: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee theonly true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”(John 17:3) Jesus called the Fatherthe only true God; Paul affirmed there is “butone God the Father, of whom are all things.” The important points to be gleaned here from both Scripture verses are that the Father is the only true God, according to Jesus, and that He is the source of all that there is, according to the apostle Paul. Jesus thus recognizes the Father as pre-eminent. We have more to study about that, because we want to be sure we stand with our pioneers in belief.
Why would we want to stand with them, if they’re said to be in error? After all, hasn’t truth been advancing, and hasn’t new light come? First of all, true “new light” does not contradict old light, but, rather, complements it, enlarges upon it. The Trinity doctrine does not therefore qualify as “new light;” it is an entirely “new view” to replace the literal understanding of God’s Word. Secondly, God Himself taught the pioneers what is truth. That is the explicit testimony of the Spirit of prophecy in Ellen White: “When the power of God testifies as to what is truth,that truth is to stand forever as the truth.… The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth.” (CW 31-32) Thus we consider the “old paths” to be truly “where is the good way.” (Jer 6:16)
The next Scripture is very important to our understanding of the relationship of the Father and the Son. This will help us know the true Jesus, so we can avoid the “other” Jesus. Paul wrote again, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”(1 Cor. 11:3) Once again, the Father is the pre-eminent One. Jesus’ full divinity is upheld, as is His Sonship.
We also may read, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”(2 Cor. 1:3) There are certainly plenty of Scriptures that establish God as the Father of Jesus. In the New Testament, Christ is referred to as ‘the Son of God’over forty times, and Jesus consistently referred tothe one sovereign God as His Fathersixty-five times.
Now there are many today who say that Jesus did not become the begotten Son of Goduntil His incarnation or until His resurrection, while many others say He was begotten by the Father way back in eternity past. Who is right, and what did the pioneers believe? The answer will become obvious as we continue.Right now, let us read carefully John 3:16-18. Jesus was talking to Nicodemus:“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Nicodemus was told by Jesus that it was Godwho was doing thegiving of his Son and thesending of His Son. When speaking of God, Jesus was obviously referring to His Father, and when speaking of the Son, he was speaking of Himself in the third person. Again in that passage, we see the Father as having the preeminence; the context also reveals a father in a true father-son relationship. It also shows the love of the Father for us in His incredible sacrifice of giving His only begotten Son for a sinful race. John 3:16 does not say He gave His Son to be begotten. The Son of God who was sent was a very particular Son—the only One that was begotten—whom He sent to earth to be begotten “in a new sense” in His incarnation. (5BC 1114)
The Father had other sons who were created or adopted, but only one special begotten Son, “brought forth” from His own substance and nature. (Prov. 8:22-30; ST Nov. 27, 1893)Only to that Son could He entrust the work of being our Redeemer-Kinsman. Only that particular Son could accomplish the atonement for divinity’s broken law; none of His created sons could—not even an angel could. Jesus is the Father’s “fellow:” “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zech 13:7) Strong’s Concordance defines “fellow” as a comrade or kindred man.
Despite these explicit verses regarding the identities of God and the Son of God, many Adventists have come to believe in an intellectual philosophy (1SM 204) that says that Jesus and the Father are but two of three gods in eternity that have chosen to play roles in the great controversy. One acts outthe role ofdivine Father, and the other plays the Son. They are claimed and taught to be co-eternal, neither one preceding the other nor coming after the other. If that claimand teaching is true, then the relationship between the roles of “Father” and “Son” definitely cannot be a true Father-Son relationship. However, the pioneers believed none of this role-playing philosophy, for you see, it is only a philosophical theory—a speculation, if you will. There is no evidence of such role assumption in the Scriptures or the Spirit of prophecy. And yet,despite that lack of proof, the new “intellectual philosophy” interpretation is proclaimed and believed by many today as if it were gospeltruth.Truly, it is “another gospel,” presenting “another Jesus,” but not the Jesus of the Bible.
In truth, this Trinitarian concept of multiple, coeternal gods temporarily assuming roles in order to deal with sin is nothing more than human speculation; nothing even suggestive of that concept is revealed in Scripture. But, if you remember, Ellen White wrote that “nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.” Human pride will not admit the possibility of error. However,God will make truth obvious, for those who desire truth. Consider this: If there really was no true Father-Son relationship prior to the incarnation, then Sister White would not have referred to God as the Father and Jesus as the Son in their respective positions before the fall of man, when the plan of salvation was laid. But she did! God’s prophet wrote, “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.’” (RH, Sept. 13, 1906)
Ellen White also wrote this:“Before the fall of Satan, the Father consulted his Sonin regard to the formation of man.” (3SG 36). Did you notice that while Satan was still the unfallen angel named Lucifer, Jesus was understood to be the begotten Son of God?Indeed, it was because of that very fact that Lucifer was jealous of Jesus and ended up rebelling against the government of God. And God foreknew that His remnant people in the last days would be deceived into questioning the authenticity of the divine Father-Son relationship. We are grateful that, through His prophet, He has provided an account of the fall of Satan. In this two-paragraph excerpt, notice especially how the Father Himself refers to Christ as His Son:
"Lucifer 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 Christ, God's dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created. Lucifer 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 Sonwas 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 Sonto 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." (SR 13)
Ten times in two paragraphs, there was mention of God’s Son. This was beforeLucifer was kicked out of heaven. When John 3:17 says, “ForGod sent not his Soninto the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved,”common sense dictates that in order for God to send His Son into the world, He had to have a Son to send. That Son would be the begotten Son of verse sixteen. He did not send a fictitious, role-playing being. This one thing about verse 16, I must repeat, which says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, …” Please notice, it does not say, For God so loved the world, that He sent His Son “to be begotten.” He already had been begotten.You have read verse 16 often; now consider the point just made.
In The Review and Herald in 1907 are found these words: “The Son of the infinite God came to this earth, and honored it with his presence. He emptied himself of his glory, and clothed his divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and reveal to fallen man the perfect love of God.” (RH, June 6, 1907).
There can be no doubt that this is referring to Christ as a divine Son in His pre-existence. This is only the same as was written sixteen years earlier: “It was necessary that the Son of the infinite God should come to be the light of the world, to be the fountain of healing mercy to a lost race.” (RH Jan. 20, 1891)
In 1899, the Bible Echo published a letter sent by Ellen White from Australia. In it she wrote, “Was not Christ the greatest teacher the world ever knew? Was He not the Son of the infinite God? and yet He said, ‘I do nothing of Myself.’" (BEcho, September 18, 1899).
There are many quotations from the pen of Ellen White that tell us exactly the same thing—that Christ was the Son of “the infinite God.”She also made it clear that Christ was the Son of God prior to His incarnation. Here are three more similar quotes:
“The Son of the infinite God clothed his divinity with humanity, and submitted to the death of the cross, that he might become a stepping-stone by which humanity might meet with divinity.” (RH Jan. 16, 1894)
“Although the only begotten Son of the infinite God humbled himself and took upon him humanity, his faith wavered not; but under the trial and test, he was equal to the proving of temptation on behalf of humanity.” (RH April 24, 1894)
“When in the fulness of time the Son of the infinite God came forth from the bosom of the Father to this world, He came in the garb of humanity, clothing His divinity with humanity.” (ST May 17, 1905)
What more do we know about the true Son of God, so we may distinguish between Him and “another Jesus”? We know that Jesus was God in human flesh. Among the last words to His disciples after the last supper, and only hours before the crucifixion, Jesus said that He was going away to prepare a place for them. This place, of course, was in His “Father’s house” (John 14:1-3). In response to His saying “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know” (verse 4), Thomas asked “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”(John 14:5)The reply of Jesus was “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”(John 14:6)Then He added,“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”(John 14:7)
Philip responded to these words of Jesus by asking, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”(John 14:8) It is evident that up to now, at least one of the disciples had not really understood the relation of Christ to the Father. He did not understand the oneness of the two divine Beings, the One having “come forth” from the Other identical in nature and character and purpose, but not in personality. Jesus, though a separate being, was the “express image” of the Father, the “outshining of His glory.” The reply of Jesus therefore probably surprised the disciples.
Jesus said to Philip: “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, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”(John 14:9-11) Jesus was describing to Philip the “oneness” of Father and Son; “they were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character.” (YI December 16, 1897)
A short time later Jesus also said, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know thatI am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”(John 14:19-20)
What follows is key to our understanding. God the Father and Christ dwell within us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said this in John 14:18:“I will not leave youcomfortless, I will come to you.” And in verse 23 Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, andwe will come unto him and make our abode with him.”Since Jesus ascended to heaven physically, He has been—still in physical form—“a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Heb. 8:2) The Father physically is on His throne. The only way that Jesus and the Father could come and make their abode in the disciples, or even in us, is through the power and presence of Their omnipresent Spirit.
The Scriptures and Spirit of prophecy are so plain in language and meaning. What need is there of human speculation that can result only in departure from what is so plainly revealed, and the consequent promotion of “another Jesus,” “another spirit,” and “another gospel? Why are we not satisfied with what God has revealed to us?
In this chapter we have spoken about the begotten Son of the Father, the biblical Jesus. But we have also discussed a little about“another Jesus” that is embraced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church today. As was noted concerning that “other Jesus,” we are taught that He is a role-playing god, co-eternal with the Father, who did not become a son until the incarnation, and then only metaphorically, since two inherently self-existent gods cannot have a true Father–Son relationship.In stark contrast, the pioneers accepted God’s Word as it reads, and believed only in the biblical Jesus, the actual Son of God. In their minds, there was no need for a new hermeneutic by which to interpret the plain language found in God’s Word! It is impossible to reconcile the two divergent views. Simply put, one is correct; the other, error. And the Spirit of prophecy has told us which is which. We are to “take the Bible as it reads.” (GC 598; RH June 28, 1906; etc.) Consequently, my brothers and sisters, we must be the ones who cry aloud and spare not, for the attack is against the throne of God, God’s begotten Son and the Holy Spirit. It began in the pernicious alpha, and its subtlety and deceptiveness have deepened and spread much more here in the omega of this apostasy.
Telling the Truth
What we read in 2 Cor. 11:3, 4 bears repeating:“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”Paul fears that we might accept counterfeits of those things. Having finite intellects and carnal natures, we are no different from what man has been for millennia, unless, perhaps, even more degraded physically and mentally. We must not deceive ourselves as to our true condition. Without Christ, we are no match against evil.
So far, we have been exploring how Satan, through human agents, has brought in “another Jesus.” “Intellectual philosophy” has reinterpreted the Bible to say that the Father-Son relationship is only metaphorical—and that Jesus’ metaphorical sonship began at His incarnation when He assumed the temporary role of “Son” in the divine plan for our redemption. So now we’ll expand our study even further, to once-and-for-all verify, or else expose as untenable, those philosophical interpretations. This further study will give us additional insight into the alpha and omega.
We have been told by God’s prophet, “False speaking in any matter, every attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is here included. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood.… All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment.” (PP309).
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, not for one second would I jeopardize my eternal life by bringing in deception of any kind. I would like to be able to say the same for those who have changed our religion. The fact of the matter is, truth and error cannot co-exist, nor can they ever agree. Those who formulated the current erroneous doctrines, along with those who teachor otherwise perpetuate them, are ninth-commandment breakers. They need our prayers. Why? Because it may be that as a result of our prayers, they may turn from their downward path, as I did. At one time I, too, taught and defended the same specific erroneous doctrines that we are talking about in this book. I had found the trinitarian teachingsdifficult to believe, difficult to explain logically, yet I taught them anyway. I trusted leadership and the writings of the educated and influential in those“books of a new order” that Mrs. White mentioned that have been brought into our denomination. (1SM 204) Once I put my prejudice and preconceptions aside and began to research the truthsrevealed inthe Bible, the Spirit of prophecy, and our pioneers’ writings, I was able to see the errors in our church today for what they really are. The truth really does set you free. Truth is clear, not confusing; it is logical and easy to explain from God’s Word, and wonderfully personal.
We must resolve to heed this counsel from God’s prophet,which you’ve heard before: “In His dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, they should seek God earnestly, in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve His Spirit are searched out and put away.” (3T 265) There is danger in delay, as there is that “roaring lion” in our midst, seeking our destruction.
Satan Knows the Son of God.
It is very easy to be caught up in the rebellion against heaven if we are careless in our studies. The following words give us precious insight as to how the initial rebellion in heaven came about when Satan was still Lucifer: “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.” (3SG 36)
It was later explained concerning the impending rebellion: “All the angels were astir. Satan was warring against the government of God, because ambitious to exalt himself and unwilling to submit to the authority of God's Son, Heaven's great commander.” (Ibid., p. 37) As you can see from that inspired quotation, Satan well knew of Christ’s pre-incarnate position as the Son of God. What is curious is that today, many Seventh-day Adventists— especially our leadership—do not seem to know of it. They deny that in His pre-earthly existence, Christ was really a begotten Son. And yet, the writings of Ellen White make the truth unmistakable: “Satan was well acquainted with the position of honor Christ had held in Heaven as the Son of God, the beloved of the Father.” (RH March 3, 1874; ST April 5, 1883).
Whenever we read the Spirit of Prophecy, we need to realize that the Spirit of God had Ellen White write what she wrote in such a way that it is not ambiguous. Her words mean what they say, and we need to beware of those who say, “She really didn’t mean that.” I repeat what we just read:“Satan was well acquainted with the position of honor Christ had held in Heaven as the Son of God, the beloved of the Father.”In those words, there is no mistaking Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God, prior even to “war in heaven.” Satan knew that Christ was the begotten Son of God and that He came forth from the Father. In fact, Satan owed his very existence to Christ; God, through Christ, had created Lucifer.
Because Satan knew Jesus to be the Son of God, then when Jesus left the glory and honor He had in heaven to come to earth to live as a man, Satan was aware that he probably would lose the battle for rulership that he had dared to begin. God’s prophet wrote, “Satan well knew the position which Christ had held in Heaven as the Son of God, the Beloved of the Father; and that Christ should leave the joy and honor of Heaven, and come to this world as a man, filled him with apprehension. He knew that this condescension on the part of the Son of God boded no good to him.” (ST Aug. 4, 1887) So Satan was very aware that his claim to be the ruler of this world would be in jeopardy.
A True Son and God His Father
Jesus’ actions on a number of occasions revealed Him to be the Son of God. Sister White wrote, “The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin, — His Sonship to the Eternal.” (DA 231)
At one point the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus. Read what God’s prophet wrote as to their reason:“The whole nation called God their Father, and if Jesus had done this in the same sense in which they did, the Pharisees would not have been so enraged. But they accused Jesus of blasphemy, showing that they understood that Christ claimed God as His Father in the very highest sense.” (RH March 5, 1901)
Whenever we read the Scriptures, it is encouraging to realize that the Spirit of God inspired so manymen of diverse backgrounds, education and occupations to write in such a way that theScriptures are not ambiguous nor contradictory, but clear and complementary. They mean as they sensibly, literally read, except for passages containing symbols, but new hermeneutical teachings have caused confusion and division. Here is how God’s prophet addresses this point:
“The truths most plainly revealed in the Bible have been involved in doubt and darkness by learned men, who, with a pretense of great wisdom, teach that the Scriptures have a mystical, a secret, spiritual meaning not apparent in the language employed. These men are false teachers. It was to such a class that Jesus declared, ‘Ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God.’ The language of the Bible should be explainedaccording to its obvious meaning,unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise, If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confusetheir minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad, and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.” (RHJune 28, 1906)
Yes, “the language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning,” and especially when the same truth is taught in two or more different verses. For example, Jesus explained to His disciples about His being begotten of the Father. John 16:27-28 records His words:“For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” Twice in those two verses, He made it clear that He was begotten in eternity. “I came out from God.”“I came forth from the Father.” Then in John 17:8, Jesus confirmed to His Father that the disciples believed that He was begotten.“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them,and have known surely that I came out from thee,and they have believed that thou didst send me.”
John 8 contains an exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees that leaves no doubt about the topic. Jesus had repeatedly referred to God the Father as His Father. The Pharisees, knowing He was talking about literal divine Sonship, refused to acknowledge His divine lineage. They answered sarcastically in terms of His earthly parentage: “We be not born of fornication….” The topic was birth, or literal parentage. The Pharisees rejected the truth Jesus was trying to tell them, in order that they might be saved.
Those verses are simple enough that even a child can understand them, but those who want to bring in “another Jesus”claimthey do notmean what they say, because a role-playing, metaphorical Jesus better fits their“misleading and confusing” theology. (RHJune 28, 1906)
The true Father-Son relationship between God and Christ couldn’t be put more simply than this:“God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.”(8T 268) This is not even a hint of role-playing in that passage. It emphasizes a real Father-Son relationship.
Somewhere way back in eternity, pre-dating even creation, Jesus was begotten or somehow came forth from the Father. The Almighty Father God has always been, which is something we humans with such a finite intellect cannot understand clearly. Deut. 29:29 does teach us clearly, though, that “the secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,” So God tells us that we can understand what He has revealed in His Word and by His prophets. We are not to speculate or use conjecture to explain what God has not revealed. He has revealed that Jesus is the begotten Son of God, but Hehas never revealed that there are three coeternal Gods in eternity that chose to play roles. That, indeed, is going beyond what God has revealed and is the result of intellectual philosophy found in “books of a new order.”Those books, along with the speculation and confusing reinterpretations of Scripture found in them, must be soundly rejected.
Also to be rejected is speculative reinterpretations in which “begotten” means “unique,” which certainly has not been the ages-old, “usual and customary” understanding of that word. The Bible authors and Ellen White could have used a different word if “begat” or “begotten” wasn’t the best word choice to express the truth they were revealing—but they didn’t. They used the word for their time in history that best fit the reality they were communicating. There is no indication the meaning of the word has changed since the first century AD. More recently, Ellen White wrote in English; her usage of “begotten” was not that long ago, and the meaning of the word certainly hadn’t changed by her time, nor has it changed since her time. It has to do with conception and birth, with procreation or generation. We don’t know how God did it, but we do know what God’s prophet has told us: “The Jews had never before heard such words from human lips, and a convicting influence attended them; for it seemed that divinity flashed through humanity as 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.” (ST Nov. 27, 1893; 7ABC 437)
“…The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality…..” (UL 367)
Consider this statement about Jesus from pioneer E. J. Waggoner: “He was begotten, not created. He is of the substance of the Father, so that in his very nature he is God; and since this is so, ‘… it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.’ (Col. 1:19) ...While both are of the same nature, the Father is first in point of time. He is also greater in that he had no beginning, while Christ’s personality had a beginning.” (STApril 8, 1889)
Sister White was never directed by God to challenge this statement; Waggoner wrote the truth believed almost unanimously by ourspiritual forefathers. So, you see, when Jesus was begotten of the Father, there were then not one, but twodivine Beings of the same substance. What began at that moment when He was begotten was the personality of Jesus. His substance, the material that comprised His form, was 100% the Father’s DNA (Divinity-Nature-Attributes), and His substance is therefore as eternal as the Father’s is.It was Jesus’ personality that had a beginning.
Not only is Jesus’ substance the same as His Father’s, but the life He has is the same life that the Father has. “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he givento the Son to have life in himself.”(John 5:26)It came through inheritance. (Heb 1:4)
We read before that all things that exist are of the Father. In other words, He is the source of all things, including His begotten Son. He “of whom are allthings” appointed Jesus to be Creator of all things—the one “by whom are all things.” There are many Scriptures that bear that out: John 1:3; Heb. 1:2; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:13-16; Eph. 3:9; Isa. 44:24; etc.
Ellen White wrote under inspiration of the pre-existence of Christ:“In speaking of His preexistence, 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.” (LHU 17). A son comes after the father. The same cannot be said of the father, whether human or divine. A father exists before His son exists; the “close fellowship” between the two cannot begin until the Son comes into existence.
The Spirit of the Son, or “another Spirit”?
In chapter 9, “Let the Pioneers Speak about God’s Spirit,” we learned what the pioneers believed about the Holy Spirit—that it is not a third being like the Father and Jesus, but rather that it is the omnipresence of God and Christ, something we experience as they abide in us. Never did God’s prophet receive instruction to challenge the other pioneers’ statements. In fact, manystatements in her writings support what the other pioneers wrote. Here are several Spirit of Prophecy quotations regarding the Holy Spirit, which will show that the church today teaches “another spirit” that cannot be supported by Scripture. Thus it is that when anyone teaches about a Spirit other than the Spirit defined and identified in the Bible and Spirit of prophecy, they are teaching “another gospel.” Here is what God’s prophet had to say about the Holy Spirit:
“Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and the Comforter is the Holy Ghost, ‘the Spirit of truth, which the Father shall send in My name.’…This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter.” (14MR 179)
"The holy Spirit is the comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul." (RH Nov. 29, 1892)
“The divine Spirit that the world’s Redeemer promised to send is the presence and power of God.”(ST Nov. 23, 1891)
“By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you.” (BEcho, Jan 15, 1893)
"The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency, that through His grace we might be complete in Him." (14MR 84)
Our pioneers taught a biblically-based Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit taught in our church today is not biblical, but speculative. The teaching of “another spirit” and “another Jesus” has inevitably led to “another gospel,” just as the apostle Paul feared so long ago. What is the new gospel? These topics below are examples of how far we have been led from our solid biblical foundation:
Rather than true Father and true Son coming personally by the Spirit to dwell in us, we’re told someone else comes to dwell in us—a third god who did not sacrifice himself for us, who did not live as we must live, who cannot relate to humanity as our Savior can. The Bible says that when Christ dwells in us, we have His victorious life, His divine power to overcome. What life can the supposed third god offer us? What love has he shown us? Has he lived a victorious human life? Has he done for us what Christ has done? “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”(Romans 5:10)
Jesus told His disciples that they already knew the promised Comforter because He was right then dwelling with them, and would be in them. (John 14) The disciples didn’t know of any alleged third god, so it could not have been the one Christ was saying would be in us. Rather, they knew He would be in us, though they didn’t yet understand His spiritual manifestation. (SW Sept. 13, 1898)
How can we relate to this contradiction of a strange god that we’re told dwells in us? Denial seems to be the only safe course. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Not only that, we’re told we can pray to, and thus worship, this unknown third god. Is that not idolatry, if the third god is a counterfeit one? And even if that third god were a true one, what is our divine counsel? “The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.” (YI July 7, 1898)
We’re told the Father and Son are mere metaphorical roles. Right away the speculation gets into trouble. Can a metaphorical death atone for a real broken law? If “God the Son” cannot die, then who died on Calvary? Did anyone? And if not, how do we have atonement for our sins? Where does the metaphor end and the reality begin? This is a most critical point: Can a metaphor atone for our real sins?
Also, if God is not “Father,” then how can we be His adopted sons and daughters, as the Bible promises? Or does the metaphor extend into eternal life? And where is it written under inspiration that Jesus cannot be both God and Son? In fact, Scripture affirms that He is both, so why should we believe otherwise?
The Bible says there is one God; we’re now told in our Fundamental Beliefs that there are three gods. That is tritheism, plain and simple, but that is denied in the nonsensical insistence that three equals one. No one can explain how that can be, nor show us from Scripture that it is so. You’ll read in chapter 15 that the one possible supportive test ending “these three are one” was added to the Bible and is rejected by biblical scholars. A most serious question is this: Is it not an offense against the first commandment to worship three gods instead of the one God that brought our forefathers out of the land of Egypt?
Further, we’re told in the Bible that there is “one spirit.” The “spirit of God” and the “spirit of Christ” is the same spirit—which Spirit is holy because God and Christ are holy. Where is any biblical or Spirit of prophecy evidence of the “spirit of” that supposed third god, if He is as “coequal” as claimed?
Even further, we are led to disobey the Spirit of prophecy, because we are told we cannot “take the Bible as it reads.” (GC 598) Rather, we are to read passages about Father and Son as metaphor. When man attempts to impose his own wisdom above the inspired writings, we know to turn away from such soul-destroying works.
This final point should suffice: We have been given the Spirit of prophecy. Ellen White’s writings have been a precious gift from heaven to Laodicea. But since the Trinity doctrine, presented in beliefs 2 through 5 in our published Fundamental Beliefs, has become a creedal test of membership or office-holding in many of our local churches, we have been put in the position where to be “compliant” with the corporate church’s teachings is to deny the truths about God, His Son and His Spirit stated so explicitly in her writings.
The Connection to the Omega
The Bible says that Jesus is “of God … made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” The true Jesus is meant, of course. This cannot be said of “another Jesus,” for it is a counterfeit one. Our sanctification is essential, if we would have hope of eternal life, so we must have the true Jesus dwelling in our hearts. Deception is dangerous to our souls.
Ellen White wrote, “Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous. The enemy has great power over minds that are not thoroughly fortified by prayer and established in Bible truth.
“There are a thousand temptations in disguise prepared for those who have the light of truth; and the only safety for any of us is in receiving no new doctrine, no new interpretation of the Scriptures, without first submitting it to brethren of experience. Lay it before them in a humble, teachable spirit, with earnest prayer; and if they see no light in it, yield to their judgment; for ‘in the multitude of counselors there is safety.’” (5T 292-293)
Did you notice that those “thousand temptations” are for those who already have the light of truth? Satan will seek to shake us from our foundation, and I believe that is what he has so subtly and successfully done by way of the Trinity teaching. What is upheld in this book is “no new doctrine, no new interpretation.” but that which was held by the apostles and our pioneers before John Harvey Kellogg introduced the alpha into our midst. Unbelievably, though the alpha was strongly denied by Ellen White and many leading brethren, the outgrowth of the alpha has been embraced by our church. The omega is doing its baleful work even now. Three false gods cannot save anyone.
Some would remind us we are to “yield to the judgment” of “a multitude of counselors.” What if those counselors are all holding misconceptions about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit? What if the majority have been deceived by Satan’s All-Time Greatest Deception? What if they believe in “another Jesus” and “another Spirit” and “another gospel”? Let’s read that quotation more closely. From what group is that “multitude of counselors” to be composed? “Brethren of experience.” In other words, men (and women) of sound biblical foundation—men who can show from the weight of evidence in inspired writings the reason for their faith—men who have been tested and tried, whose first loyalty is to God and His truth. These “brethren of experience” are not necessarily the elders of the church; the quotation makes no such limitation. However, they can be.
What is the true cause of the division in Adventism about the Godhead? It is the complete absence of biblical and Spirit of prophecy support for the Trinity doctrine, compared to the abundant and compelling biblical and Spirit of prophecy evidence for the apostolic and pioneer view of the true gospel of our one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout this book, you’ve been reading evidence against the Trinity doctrine and for biblical understanding, and there’s more to come. It is irrelevant whether these changes to new interpretations were done intentionally by “wolves in sheep’s clothing”—infiltrators assigned to the task—or by well-meaning theologians who have themselves been deceived. We know the ultimate origin of all deception is satanic.
What is important is that we personally understand what God taught our pioneers, under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. All around the world, God is raising up restorers of paths to dwell in, and we want to be counted among them. We need to align ourselves on the side of truth.
How serious a matter is this? Paul did not mince words, but used strong language: “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal 1:9)
Brothers and sisters, what has been discussed in this chapter is what our pioneers believed and taught. They had the Spirit of God actively working with them. If what you read in this bookis different from what you have previously learned, it is because our religion has been greatly changed over many decades. The pioneers believed and taught the “biblical Jesus.” In contrast to a biblical Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit, the church today is teaching “a metaphorical Jesus,” a “third god” spirit that was unknown to the Biblical authors, and a gospel centering on a false three-in-one god that cannot save.
Satan has worked tirelessly and determinedly over many decades now to get the denomination to the point where it is today: feeling rich, increased with goods and having need of nothing, while deeply embroiled in the omega. What the arch-deceiver doesn’t want is for the sincere seekers of truth to learn the true condition of the church today: wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. This is especially as it pertains to his deceptive omega, the culmination of the alpha. For that reason, he and his demonic accomplices will rise up to try to stop anyone who dares to show God’s church the dangerous error it holds as truth. But there is great hope and comfort for those who desire truth. Jesus, the True Witness to the Laodiceans, offers eye salve, that we may see, and characters purified in His refining fire, that we may be edified and sanctified by the true gospel in God’s Word, and at long last, for those longing to see Jesus—white raiment, the righteousness of the saints by faith.