This was written by my friend James Gibson. He has no computer access so I told him I would share it for him. (Frank Klin)
Have you ever tumed on your TV to find yourself in the middle of an exciting program? It can happen the same way if we open our Bible to some of the Old Testament stories. What would be our understanding if we could tune in at the time when Abijah, the King of Judah is speaking to Jeroboam and all of Israel? They have gathered for war. Listen, as he speaks, "And behold, God himself is with us for our captain. and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye, not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper." II Chronicles 13:12
Abijah had said a good bit before coming to this statement, but this was as much as Jeroboam wanted to hear. Verses 13 & 14 say, "But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them, and when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets."
Pretty exciting time don't you think? Eight hundred thousand of Israel against four hundred thousand of Judah. Seems a little unequal doesn't it? What was that Abijah had said? "O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper."
We are told "The sin of ancient Israel was in disregarding the expressed will of God and following their own way according to the leadings of unsanctified hearts. Modem lsrael are fast following in their footsteps, and the displeasure of the LORD is as surely resting upon them." Testimonies for the Church Volume 2, page 94.
To be sanctified in Christ Jesus is God's desire for Modern Israel. But there are things that can cheat God's people of the desire He has for them. "We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the LORD has led us. and His teaching in our past history." Life Sketches, page 196. Why was it that Abijah told Israel not to fight against the LORD God of their fathers?
Listen to a statement he made earlier that day. "And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods. Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? So that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods." II Chronicles 13:8-9. Could Modern Israel be capable of such a deed?
The ten tribes of lsrael under Jeroboam were led to worship before a golden calf. One was placed in Dan, the other Bethel. This was the sin that plagued Israel as a nation until they were removed. They still claimed to worship the true God, but their understanding was darkened by the representation they had created.
"No outward shrines may be visible, there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal." Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, page 173.
History repeats itself and for this reason history deserves to be studied. To rephrase the above quotation, we have everything to fear in the future if we are to forget the way the LORD has led us, and His teaching in our past history.
The leadership of the church has done just exactly what Jeroboam did of old. They now have a different god than the One revealed to their fathers. George Knight, professor of church history at Andrews University was honest in his statement: "Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination's Fundamental Beliefs." Ministry October 1993, Page 10.
Such an admission shows that the church is not building on the same foundation that was laid by God in the beginning. Truth will always build on truth. If new light comes which seems to destroy fruth already accepted it means that what was held as truth before was not truth. If God lays the foundation, He never goes back and kicks out a brick in order to replace it, at least not the God of Creation.
If the church had the truth from 1850 through 1900, how do we understand the guidance of ONE who changes not?
This is not a growing in the truth, but a changing of the truth. "Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination's Fundamental Beliefs. More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity. For Joseph Bates the trinity was an unscriptural doctrine, for James White it was that 'Old Trinitarian absurdity,' and for M. E. Cornell it was a fruit of the great apostasy, along with such false doctrines as Sunday keeping and the immortality of the soul." Ministry October 1993, page 10.
It was the representation created by Jeroboam that darkened the understanding of lsrael. Now Modern Israel has a representation created by Rome with a few minor adjustments. You can be sure the golden calves that Jeroboam brought in his mind from Egypt, and those that were made for lsrael, were not exactly like those of Egypt!
After Jeroboam had expelled the Men of God's choosing he made "priests after the manner of the nations of other lands" II Chronicles 13:9. Modem Israel has found a way to do the same, so that now it has ministers who, on this doctrine, are like most of the churches of other denominations. Is this what God wanted when He led out a people to give the last warning to a perishing world?
We believe what we are taught. None of us lived at the time when the pioneers of the advent message were given that message from God to be given to the world. If we do not study to show ourselves approved of God; if we allow others to decide what we are to believe, we will find ourselves in the camp with Jeroboam! Did Israel ever return to the God of their fathers? Every King who stepped up to the throne accepted Jeroboam's god, or went deeper into paganism!
The Jeroboams of today will tell you, "The pioneers were wrong on this doctrine." Notice God's reply to this.
"When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after-suppositions, contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another with new light. which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat and repeat till the close of their life, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle titl the very close of his life. And the standard bearers who have fallen in death, are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time." Notebook Leaflets 157; Paulson Collection pages 207-208; Loma Linda Messages pages 149-150.
Do you worship the God that Adventism's founders worshipped? If you have never read what the pioneers believed, then you have lacked information needed to make an informed decision. Why were they non-trinitarians? How does the trinity belief affect the nature of Christ, His literal Sonship, the state of the dead, the atonement, or the nature of the Holy Spirit? Could it be that Jesus would say to you "ye worship ye know not what?" John 4:22. Do you want to be used by Christ to help finish His work? "The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." Daniel 11:32
"We may be told that which is veritably true, the essential truth of God; yet if we doubt it, and so long as we doubt it, we never can know it. Therefore, doubt is essentially and only the open door to ignorance.
"Further, we may be told that which is altogether false, an outright lie; yet though we believe it, however implicitly, we never can know it. This, for the simple reason that it is not so; and it is impossible to know what is not so.
"Truth and faith are the two essentials to knowledge: and the first of these in order is truth. This, for the reason already stated, that however implicitly we may believe that which is not so, we never can know it. Therefore, since that which is believed must be true in order to be known, it follows that truth is the first essential to knowledge. And since even the sincerest truth, when told, can not be known without our believing it, it follows that the second essential to knowledge is faith. Truth and faith, therefore, working together-the truth believed-is the way to knowledge." The Place of the Bible in Education, by A. T. Jones, page 17.
"Only by faith can we accept the existence of the Trinity." Adventist Review, Vol. 158, No. 31, page 4. Special edition for the 1980 General Conference.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6.
"Faith is the medium through which truth or effor finds a lodging place in the mind. It is by the same act of mind that truth or error is received, but it makes a decided difference whether we believe the Word of God or the sayings of men." Selected Messages Book 1, page 346
All Jeroboam did was to make a misrepresentation of God. That was the breaking of the first commandment. The trinity doctrine does no more than this! lt doesn't matter which commandment Satan can lead the professed people of God to break. We can be busy in our zeal to show the world the truth about the state of the dead, the Sabbath, etc. But what will be our end if we break the first commandment through a misunderstanding of the truth about God? Notice the example we are given in Il Kings 10:28-31.
"Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not ffom after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin."
And what was that sin? Ahijah, the prophet tells us in I Kings I4:9. "But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back." Is this a salvational issue?
Ellen White used the term "Omega" and referred to a great apostasy that was to follow the "Alpha" of Dr. J. H. Kellogg. "Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The Omega will be of a most startling nature." Special Testimonies Series B, No. 2, Page 16. This is said to the church!
If we would go back in time and behold the out come of that fearful day when Abijah told this straight truth to Jeroboam, what would we have seen? "Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. And the children of Israel, fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand. And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. Thus the children of lsrael were brought under at that time, and the children ofJudah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their Fathers." II Chronicles 13:15-18.
The ten tribes of Israel never saw a problem with the god of Jeroboam. It mattered not what king came to fill his place, they all partook of his understanding. Today the Church can have one leader after another and each will build upon the foundation of the last until, should time continue, there will be seen the same footsteps that appear behind the Catholic Church. This being so because the trinify doctrine is the foundation of all the beliefs of that church. If we have their god, we will end with their beliefs. Of course this is a salvational issue.
I hope these thoughts will stir the Berean element in the hearts of all true and sincere Adventists. Before God can use us we must know Him as He has revealed Himself in Scripture and to the pioneers of this movement.