Chapter 7

Let the Pioneers Speak about the Father

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Ellen White wrote, “God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it? —He has said that the dead are to speak. How? —Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced….

“…These articles must be reproduced. There is truth and power in them. Men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

“Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people….” (RH May 25, 1905, emphasis added)

What the Pioneers Wrote About the Father:

 JAMES WHITE - “…To assert that the sayings of the Son and his apostles are the commandments of the Father, is as wide from the truth as the old trinitarian absurdity that Jesus Christ is the very and Eternal God….” (RH Aug. 5, 1852)

J. N. ANDREWS - “That God is the fountain and source of immortality is plain from the statement of Paul. He speaks thus of God the Father: 'Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting; Amen.' 1 Tim. 6:16. This text is evidently designed to teach that the self-existent God is the only being who, of himself, possesses this wonderful nature. Others may possess it as derived from him, but he alone is the fountain of immortality.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ is the source of this life to us. 'For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.' John 5:26. 'As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.' John 6:57. The Father gives us this life in His Son. 'And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.' 1 John 5:11, 12. These Scriptures do clearly indicate that Christ is the source of endless life, and that those only have this who have Christ.” (RH Jan. 27, 1874)

The following article is from the front page of The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, dated August 28, 1878. It was written by Elder D. M. Canright and titled “The Personality of God.” This is not the complete article, but, rather, just segments pertinent to our topic. Canright often made a comment following the Scripture he quoted.

D. M. CANRIGHT – “Text: ‘But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things.’ 1 Cor. 8:6.

            “There is but one true and living God. He is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, just, holy, and worthy of all praise and worship.… At the time when the Bible was written, nearly the whole world had adopted either Polytheism or Pantheism. Polytheism taught that there were many gods.… In opposition to this, Moses and the prophets set forth the grand fact that this doctrine of many gods was a lie, and that there was but one God, Jehovah the living God.…

“‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ Ex. 20:3. All others were false.

“‘Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.’ Deut. 4:35. This declaration is emphatic. There is no God beside the Lord.

 “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.’ Deut. 6:4. Here we strike the key-note of the doctrine of the Deity. ‘The Lord our God is ONE Lord.’ Not many, not a thousand, not a hundred, not ten, not three, but only ONE—one God.

“‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me.’ Deut. 32:39.

 “‘Thou art great, O LORD God; for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee.’ 2 Sam. 7:22.

“‘Thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.’ 2 Kings 19:15…

“‘Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all.’ Neh. 9:6

“‘For thou art great, and doest wondrous things; thou art God alone.’ Ps. 86:10

“‘Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.’ Isa. 43:10. This is very strong language. ‘Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.’

“‘I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God…. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.’ Isa 44:6, 8

“‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.’ Isa. 45:5. ‘I am God, and there is none else.’ Verse 22. No comments of ours can make these declarations plainer. There is just one eternal God and no more, —one who is the Author and Father of all things.

“Turning to the New Testament, we find the same doctrine taught just as plainly as in the Old. Neither Moses nor the prophets ever set forth the unity of God more strongly than Jesus himself. He taught it and reiterated it many times. Thus he says: ‘The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul…  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth; for there is one God; and there is none other but he.’ Mark 12:29-32.

“The scribe said, ‘There is one God, and there is none other but he.’ To this declaration Jesus assented. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ John 17:3. Jesus says his Father is the only true God. But Trinitarians contradict this by saying that the Son and Holy Ghost are just as much the true God as the Father is. Now were I, on going into a place, to inquire for a minister of the gospel, and one were to inform me that Roger Roe was the only minister of the gospel in the place, and another were to tell me that two other persons were just as truly ministers of the gospel as Elder Roe, surely the latter would contradict the former. And precisely so do Trinitarians contradict the Saviour in this text.

            “‘There is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many); 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.’ 1 Cor. 8:4-6.

“Says the great apostle, ‘There is none other God but one,’ and ‘there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things.’ He tells us who this one God is. It is not the Holy Ghost; it is not Jesus Christ, but it is the Father. Gal. 3:20; 1 Tim. 1:17. There is, then, only one wise God. 1 Tim. 2:5; Deut. 6:4. Those who are familiar with the Bible will see that I have selected only a few of the plainest texts upon this doctrine. How the doctrine of the trinity, of three Gods, can be reconciled with these positive statements I do not know. It seems to me that nothing can be framed which more clearly denies the doctrine of the trinity, than do the Scriptures above quoted.

            “And then the Bible never uses the phrases, ‘trinity,’ ‘triune God,’ ‘three in one,’ ‘the holy three,’ ‘God the Holy Ghost,’ etc. But it does emphatically say there is only one God, the Father. And every argument … to prove three Gods in one person, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, all of them of one substance, and every way equal to each other, and all three forming but one, contradicts itself, contradicts reason, and contradicts the Bible….

“God is self-existent, and the source and author of all things,—of angels, of men, of all the worlds,—of everything. Thus Paul says, ‘For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.’ Rom. 11:36.

“He is the source of all life and immortality. Thus, speaking of the Father, Paul says, ‘Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.’ 1 Tim. 6:16. Notice that this glorious God is the only one who, in himself, possesses immortality. That is, he is the fountain-head, the source of all life and immortality…. ‘For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.’ John 5:26. This statement is unequivocal. The Father has life in himself, and in his great love for his Son he bestows the same gift upon him; but it will be noticed that the Father is the one from whom the gift came….

“…How carefully Paul distinguishes between the Father and the Son. He says, ‘The Father, of whom are all things,’ and ‘Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.’ The Father is the source of everything. Jesus is the one through whom all things are done. All the authority, the glory, and the power of Christ he received from his Father….” (RH August 29, 1878) 

What Brother Canright wrote bears repeating: “And every argument to prove three Gods in one person, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, all of them of one substance, and every way equal to each other, and all three forming but one, contradicts itself, contradicts reason, and contradicts the Bible….”

God never instructed Ellen White to correct Canright’s detailed, biblically-based critique of the Trinity, for she never did. Yet this unscriptural and contradictory doctrine is what Kellogg believed, and it has been in our Fundamental Beliefs from 1980 onward.

A. T. JONES - In 1890 Jones wrote, “Again, speaking of the appearing of Jesus Christ, the Word says: ‘In His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, the Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see.’ 1 Tim. 6:15-16.

“Christ has brought this immortality to light…. Now as immortality is to be sought for, and as God is the only one who has it, and as Christ is the only one who has brought it to light, it follows that immortality must be sought of God, through Christ….” (Bible Questions and Answers Concerning Man, 3-4)

E. J. WAGGONER - “We are mindful of Paul's words, that ‘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’ (1 Cor. 8:6); just as we have already quoted, that it was by Him that God made the worlds. All things proceed ultimately from God the Father; even Christ Himself proceeded and came forth from the Father….” (Christ and His Righteousness, 19)

We know that every one of these statements is true and accurate, because God’s prophet was never directed by God to challenge their correctness or authenticity. Rather, she was inspired to urge that their words be repeated and reprinted.




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