I would like to share some thoughts on how God led the early pioneers into foundational truths regarding:
(1) His true identity and
(2) The true day of the Sabbath
What I also find interesting is the order IN TIME in which which God led them into these Bible truths.
First of all with regard to God's true identity:
In December of 1844, Seventeen year old Ellen Harmon received the prophetic gift from God. Just two short months later in February of 1845, she was taken in vision to the heavenly sanctuary where she was both to behold and converse with Christ.
What a fantastic gift from God granted to mortal!! Can you fathom what the reality of that vision was like?
While in vision, notice the question that she asked Jesus in regard to His Father right near the beginning of the vision:
"I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus' countenance and admired His lovely person. The Father's person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, "If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist.”" EW 54
Now let us ask this question: Why did Ellen Harmon ask Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself?
“No.1 Of Faith in the Holy Trinity. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Book of Common Prayer. Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. p376. (Anglican)
She asked Jesus this question because God the Father and His only begotten Son were being spiritualized away. That is, the Christian Creeds had declared through the centuries that God was a Trinity without body, parts, or passions. Or in other words, without a form!!!
Ellen Harmon was really asking Jesus here if God was a trinity to which Jesus answered her in the negative by declaring that He indeed had a form like Himself though she could not behold it.
Furthermore, Arthur L. White (grandson of Ellen Harmon White) tells us exactly the purpose of this vision and its effect to the emerging church:
“The spiritualization of heaven, God, Christ, and the coming of Christ lay at the foundation of much of the fanatical teachings that 17-year-old Ellen Harmon was called upon by God to meet in those formative days. The visions firmly established the personality of God and Christ, the reality of heaven and the reward to the faithful, and the resurrection. This sound guidance saved the emerging church.” 1BIO 81
The vision was given (in large part) to declare that the Father and Son were two individual Divine Beings and not three persons in one God without body, parts, or passions! Eleven months later, Ellen’s husband to be, James S. White, wrote the following in the publication titled “The Day Star”:
"The way spiritualizers have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ, is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed, viz that Jesus Christ is the eternal God though they have not one passage of scripture to support it, while we have plain scripture testimony in abundance that He is the Son of the eternal God" James White, January 24, 1846 - the Day Star
Make no mistake about it, the early pioneers including James and Ellen White were taught directly through the scriptures and by Jesus Himself that God was not a trinity and that such a trinitarian belief was in fact a denial of both our Father in heaven and His only begotten Son. This vision was given specifically by God to set forth His true identity and that of His Son, Jesus Christ.
“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 Corinthians 8:6.
After God had established His true identity, it was about two years later from the time of that vision when He then revealed the day of His true Sabbath rest (again in vision) to the pioneers:
"The Lord gave me the following view in 1847, while the brethren were assembled on the Sabbath, at Topsham, Maine. We felt an unusual spirit of prayer. And as we prayed the Holy Ghost fell upon us. We were very happy. Soon I was lost to earthly things and was wrapped in a vision of God's glory. I saw an angel flying swiftly to me. He quickly carried me from the earth to the Holy City. In the city I saw a temple, which I entered. I passed through a door before I came to the first veil. This veil was raised, and I passed into the holy place...... Jesus stood by the ark, and as the saints' prayers came up to Him, the incense in the censer would smoke, and He would offer up their prayers with the smoke of the incense to His Father. In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table were four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth, the Sabbath commandment, shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God's holy name. The holy Sabbath looked glorious--a halo of glory was all around it. I saw that the Sabbath commandment was not nailed to the cross. If it was, the other nine commandments were; and we are at liberty to break them all, as well as to break the fourth. I saw that God had not changed the Sabbath, for He never changes. But the pope had changed it from the seventh to the first day of the week; for he was to change times and laws." EW 32.3
So chronologically speaking, God first revealed His true identity to the pioneers in 1845. Then He revealed to them the true Bible Sabbath day in 1847.
Now it is time to take a look at what the enemy of God and men has done to undermine these two foundational truths by introducing his counterfeits into the SDA church. And he is doing it chronologically the same way as God first led the pioneers into these truths.
The first thing he did was to replace the true doctrine of God with the false doctrine of the trinity. The trinity was officially accepted by the SDA church at the General Conference held in Dallas in 1980.
And just earlier today I received a disturbing (but not surprising) letter from a friend telling me the following:
"Dear Russell, Please pray for our church. The Atlanta Metropolitan SDA church in Atlanta, Georgia, and the First Seventh Day Adventist Church in Huntsville, Alabama are now having Sunday services. I have friends in the Mississippi/Alabama conference. It hurts them and confuses them."
Sadly the SDA corporate church has almost made the retreat back to Rome complete. And it is no wonder that having accepted the God of Rome, they should begin to honor the day held sacred by them:
Catholic Reasons for keeping Sunday: “Because it is a day dedicated by the apostles to the honor of the most Holy Trinity.” RH April 4, 1854.
Let not Adventists here forget that a major contest in the three angel's messages of Revelation 14 is that of worship. Who is the God that you worship?
Corporate SDA's wake up!