STATEMENT OF BELIEFS – the short version for sake of easy comparison
This is a quick summary of the statement of beliefs over time. It was originally labeled as Fundamental Principles. You would not be removed if you differed on it. You would even still be baptized. The founders of the faith were against setting up a creed and measuring people by it. This began in 1872 and remained thru 1930 with the same statement of beliefs. That would be for 58 years! The last of the core of the Pioneers died in 1924.
Then in 1931, one man, Francis McLellan Wilcox executed what was published in the 1931 yearbook. This would be the beginning of educated academic Theologians and Scholars having a dramatic effect on our church and bringing in change. Subtle at first.
In 1941, a committee of Scholars and Theologians was set up to formulate a further change in our beliefs. Now the term Godhead along with a doctrine that is made official even thou the Bible does not detail this information in that language. This is now the God of the Theologians and Scholars.
And then in 1980 under the guidance and influence of Neal Wilson (current President Ted Wilson’s father), the trinity god arrives. This is now the God of the General Conference.
God, the Father:
1872 - That there is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit.
1931 - That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption.
1941 - The true and living God, the First Person of the Godhead, is our Heavenly Father, and by His Son, Christ Jesus, created all things.
1980 - God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God:
1872 - That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the one by whom God created all things, and by whom they do consist; that he took on him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race; that he dwelt among men full of grace and truth, lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only mediator in the sanctuary in Heaven, where, with his own blood he makes atonement for our sins; which atonement so far from being made on the cross, which was but the offering of the sacrifice, is the very last portion of his work as priest, according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in Heaven.
1931 - That Jesus Christ, is very God, being of the same nature and essence as the Eternal Father. While retaining Hs divine nature He took upon Himself the nature of the human family, lived on the earth as a man, exemplified in His life as our Example the principles of righteousness, attested His relationship to God by many mighty miracles, died for our sins on the cross, was raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father, where He lives to make intercession for us.
1941 - Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Godhead, and the eternal Son of God, is the only Savior from sin; and man’s salvation is by grace through faith in Him.
1980 - God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived an experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things.
NOTE: In regards to the use of the words Godhead and Trinity interchangeably in 1931, they do not have the same meaning. Godhead refers to “Deity” or “Divinity”. Trinity before you add a doctrine or dogma to it, simply means three.
The Holy Spirit:
1872 - no definition given separate from the Father.
1931 - no separate listing. However used under the Father’s listing, it is detailed as the “third person of the Godhead”.
1941 - The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead is Christ’s representative on earth, and leads sinners to repentance and to obedience of all God’s requirements.
1980 - God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth.
There is the additional paragraph from the 1980 Fundamentals.
It is #2, then follows the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit as #3, 4 and 5:
“#2 The Trinity
There is one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.”
Compare the last 1980 version to 1872. Look carefully at the subtle changes in 1931 and 1941 vs 1872. Changes are really gradually, until they are not noticed any longer.
Now we can see why people are praying and want to worship a third being. It is even carried out and illustrated on 3ABN television (Adventist TV network). It is being done in some of the churches.
It is included in belief #2 as a division of God in three persons or parts. This third god now is given credit for creation, redemption (salvation), inspiring the writers of scripture, fills Christ's life with power, etc. Not the Spirit of God, but a new being called god the holy spirit. That is not what real Adventists believed back in time. This was brought in with the changes in 1980. That is verifiable with a deeper study of the Spirit of Prophecy. See Patriarchs and Prophets p. 34.1, Early Writings p. 145, Desire of Ages p. 769.
Study Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-18, and Ellen White's Early Writings pages 54-56 to see who was jealous, wanted to be worshiped and couldn't enter into the counsels of God. There you will discover the author of such a doctrine. It doesn’t get revealed any plainer than that.
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