ADVENTIST TIMELINE OF CHANGE
This is a step by step illustration of our early church Pioneers or “old-timers” dying off and the effects of educated scholars inserting their academic influence in changing the direction of our church to what has become now-from non-trinitarian to a decidedly a trinitarian denomination. While there are quite a few more events that have taken place, to keep the focus on the subject of change, we have elected to stay with the key events.
1860 – The remnant (Sabbath-keeping Advent believers) is given the name Seventh-day Adventists which carried Heaven’s approval.
1863 – Organization of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (May 20, 1863). Source: Transcript of minutes of GC sessions from 1863 to 1888 (pdf)
1872 – The “Declaration of Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by Seventh-day Adventists” consisting of 25 propositions largely written by James White is published as a pamphlet at Battle Creek, Michigan (To view or download the original pamphlet click HERE). This lays down a clear non-Trinitarian foundation and is not replaced or changed in any way until 1931. These propositions are based on 1 Cor. 8:6 and contain neither the term Godhead nor Trinity. First year that the Fundamental Principles were actually published in the Yearbook was 1889. Prior to 1981, the years of publish are 1905, 1909, 1913, 1914. Then it goes dark but published again until it changes in 1931. Then 1942, 1955, 1965-66, 1973-74, 1975, 1980, 1981.
1872 – Death of Elder Joseph Bates.
1874 – The Fundamental Principles of 1872 are published again by James White in the first issue of the Signs of the Times, June 4, 1874 (Vol 1 No. 1 pg 3), and by Uriah Smith in the Advent Review and Herald of the Sabbath, Nov. 24, 1874 (Vol 44, No. 22; pg. 171) In his introductory remarks to the fundamental principles in the Signs, James White states, “In presenting to the public this synopsis of our faith, we wish to have it distinctly understood that we have no articles of faith, creed, or discipline aside from the Bible. We do not put forth this as having authority with our people, nor is designed to secure uniformity among them, as a system of faith, but is a brief statement of what is, and has been, with great unanimity, held by them.”
1877 – The Biblical Institute, where Uriah Smith and James White outline the Principal Doctrines of Seventh-day Adventists, is held in Oakland, California. Covering everything from the Sanctuary to Prophecy, the nature of Sin to the nature of Christ, this Institute confirms and strengthens the teachings of Adventism, as outlined in the Fundamentals of 1872.
1881 – Death of Elder James White.
1883 – Death of Elder J.B. Frisbie and Elder John Nevins Andrews.
1883 – At this General Conference Session, it is decided against publishing a Church Manual, as it is deemed undesirable to take any steps towards a discipline, creed or form of formalism (RH, Nov. 27).
1888 – The 27th General Conference Session is held at Minneapolis, Minnesota, with 91 delegates, and approx. 475 attendees. God brings the truth of justification by faith to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. Built on a powerful Biblical foundation, this message of the love of God marks the beginning of the Loud Cry. But sadly, the message is resisted by a large majority of the church leadership. Ellen White writes, “The prejudices and opinions that prevailed at Minneapolis are not dead by any means. The seeds there sown are ready to spring into life and bear a like harvest, because the roots are still left…. and will bear their unholy fruit, to poison the perception and blind the understanding of those you connect with, in regard to the messengers and messages that God sends…” (Manuscript 40, 1890; 1888 Materials, ch. 115)
1889 – The Fundamental Principles are expanded to 28 sections and published in the 1889 Yearbook, leaving the first two on the doctrine of God unchanged. It remains unchanged during its reprinting from 1905-1914 in the SDA Yearbook. Click HERE to view or download the original 1889 SDA Yearbook (Fundamental Principles are found on pages 147 to 151).
1889 – Death of Elder Joseph Harvey Waggoner (Ellet Joseph Waggoner’s father).
1889 – D. M. Canright (a prominent leader in Adventism who left the church in 1887) publishes a book, “Seventh-day Adventism Renounced”. In the book, on pg 25, he levels against his former brethren stating, “they reject the doctrine of the Trinity”.
1890 – Leadership attempts to remove the name Seventh-day Adventist from the American Sentinel (Religious Liberty journal of the SDA Church) to make the magazine popular with other denominations, but this step is averted because a living prophet is present. Ellen White states, “This policy is the first step in a succession of wrong steps” (Counsels to Writer and Editors, p. 96) the leading brethren are taking down the road to ecumenical concessions.
1891 — The General Conference sends Ellen White far away to Australia, contrary to the light given her (This Day With God, p. 61). E.J. Waggoner is sent to England as editor of The Present Truth for 10 years to separate him from A.T. Jones and E.G. White (Letter from W.C. White to A.G. Daniells, May 30, 1902).
1892 – Death of Elder Roswell F. Cottrell.
1892 – Bible Students’ Library series – lessons for the public. # 90 “The Bible Doctrine of the Trinity.” Reprint of article in New York Independent on November 14, 1889. Author – Samuel Spear (non-SDA). Promotes “one God subsisting and acting in three hypostases/persons,” but also in “eternal divine subordination of the Son to the Father.” The tract used terms not generally used by Adventists, but it is generally non-Trinitarian in content.
1894 – Ellen White warns, “It is a grave mistake on the part of those who are children of God to seek to bridge the gulf that separate them from the children of darkness by yielding principle, by compromising the truth.” (BEcho, April 9, 1894, par. 6) “It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the papacy.” (ST Feb 19, 1894) These counsels would later be disregarded by the leadership as we shall see.
1894 – Herbert Camden Lacey attends Sunday-keeping/Trinitarian meeting as a Battle Creek College delegate to Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions in Michigan. Lacey re-accepts the Trinity doctrine.
1895 – Ellen White warns the leadership in Battle Creek: “The Lord has not placed any one of His human agencies under the dictation and control of those who are themselves but erring mortals… But there is a power exercised in Battle Creek that God has not given, and He will judge those who assume this authority… Brethren, leave God to rule.” (TM 347.3)
1896 – H. Camden Lacey lectures on Trinity in Cooranbong, Australia. Sister Marian Davis, literary assistant to Ellen White, takes copious notes. Arthur G. Daniells does not oppose the lectures.
1896 — Recommendations for essential change at General Conference session, to choose one man as president, but the brethren are advised that it is not wise to do so. Ellen White warns: “To place men where God should be placed does not honor or glorify God. Is the president of the General Conference to be the God of the people? Are the men at Battle Creek to be regarded as infinite in wisdom?… ‘Cease ye from man.’” (TM 375.2)
1897 – John Harvey Kellogg presents his first concepts leading to Pantheism at a series of studies he gives at the General Conference session.
1898 – The Review and Herald prints an article from “The King’s Messenger” which is Trinitarian in teaching – “The God-Man” (1898).
1898 – R.A. Underwood’s view of the Holy Spirit changes from an influence to a person, thus becoming a Trinitarian.
1898 – Ellen White states, “The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst.” (Ms 156, 1898 – Notebook Leaflets from Elms haven Library, Vol.1, Need of Self-Sacrificing Effort, p. 99)
1900 – The Review and Herald again prints two more articles from “The King’s Messenger” both of which are Trinitarian in teaching –“The Third Person” (January 1900), and “ Blended Personalities” (April 1900).
1901 – The American Standard Version of the Bible is first published. This move towards a common Bible between Catholics and Protestants will influence Adventism in small steps away from truth.
1901 – Recommendations f
or change are repeated and voted. One chairman is to head the G.C for only one year. Arthur Daniells is elected, but two years later, he is still president. General Conference Executive Committee increases its members from 13 to 25 (GCB p. 151). Ellen White warns that the church is “working upon wrong principles.” (Ms 37, p.98, 1901) “The people have lost confidence in those who have the management of the work. Yet we hear that the voice of the Conference is the voice of God. Every time I have heard this, I have thought it was almost blasphemy.” (Ms 37, 1901, p. 8)
1902 – J.H. Kellogg prepares to publish his work, The Living Temple. He is told not to include his new theories, but ignores the counsel. He tries to gain approval at the Autumn Council for his book to be published but a letter from Ellen White to Daniells counsels him to have nothing to do with the book. Kellogg takes his manuscript to the Review and Herald publishing house as outside work, and they agree to print it.
As the result, the Battle Creek Sanitarium (February 18) headed by Kellogg and the Review and Herald printing office (December 30) burn to the ground, and with it the galley proofs of Kellogg’s book Living Temple. But he takes the manuscript to a non-Adventist printer. 23 fires would happen between 1901 and 1923. Judgment has ruled from the heavens above.
1902 – Ellen White feels perplexed and frustrated with the G.C and decides to withdraw herself from all their meetings. She writes to her sons Edson and Willie, “I have but very little confidence that the Lord is giving these men in positions of responsibility, spiritual eyesight and heavenly discernment. I am thrown into perplexity over their course; and I desire now to attend to my special work, to have no part in any of their councils, and to attend no camp meetings, nigh or afar off. My mind shall not be dragged into confusion by the tendency they manifest to work directly contrary to the light that God has given me. I am done. I will preserve my God-given intelligence. My voice has been heard in the different conferences, and at camp meetings. I must now make a change… I shall therefore leave, leave them to receive word from the Bible… This is the light given me and I shall not depart from it.” (Letter W-186, 2 Dec, 1902 to Edson and Willie White, p. 4, 5)
1903 – Crisis begins with Living Temple and the Alpha heresy. Kellogg prints the book in which he has placed his theories. Ellen White says they are “spiritualistic” and “akin to pantheism” (Special Testimonies B, No. 6, p. 41). She says these teachings are the “alpha of deadly heresies” (1SM 200), and that “the Omega would follow in a little while. I tremble for our people. In Living Temple the assertion is made that God is in the flower, in the leaf, in the sinner. But God does not live in the sinner. The Word declares that He abides only in the hearts of those who love Him and do righteousness. God does not abide in the heart of the sinner; it is the enemy who abides there.” (Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, p. 341,343) But Kellogg claims that his book is in harmony with Ellen White’s writings and can be sustained by statements from the testimonies. Ellen White tells him he has taken her statements away from their connection, and interpreted them according to his own mind. “I saw what was coming in, and I saw that our brethren were blind. They did not realize the danger.” (Sermons and Talks, vol.1, p. 344)
In a vision, Ellen White sees “a platform, braced by solid timbers—the truths of the Word of God. Someone high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform…” (1SM 204)
1903 – Autumn Council, the understanding of the character and personality of God comes under threat.
A.G. Daniells is concerned that the supporters of Living Temple would cause a confrontation, and dares not call for a vote. Ellen White writes to him: “Be careful how you sustain the sentiments of this book regarding the personality of God… It has been represented to me that the writer of this book is on a false track.” (Keepers of the Flame, no.6, Dr Alan Lindsay)
After the council, Daniells writes to W.C. White regarding the proposed changes Kellogg has planned for the book. “Regarding Dr Kellogg’s plans for revising and republishing ‘Living Temple’…within a short time he had come to believe in the Trinity and could now see pretty clearly where all the difficulty was… He now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and his view was that it was God the Holy Ghost and not God the Father, that filled all space, and every living thing…” (Oct 29, 1903, p. 1,2)
Ellen White writes to Kellogg: “You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.” (Letter 300, The Elmshaven Years, Vol.5, 1900-1905. Arthur L. White, 1941)
She further predicts what will happen in the future. “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 doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced…” (1SM 204)
1903 – New Constitution is proposed to provide for the election of a G.C president who will be given a mandate from the Church. This will give the president and leading officers authority to enact what they think the people need. Daniells is made president for the next 20 years. New Constitution provides for the Exec Committee of 25 members to have full administrative power between sessions for any five members as a quorum to take steps that will involve the whole committee.
Ellen White writes, “These principles are so foreign to God’s principles that God cannot bless those who vote upon them.” (GCB 1903, p.152) E.J. Waggoner also objects: “It is fundamentally and diametrically opposed to the principles of organization as set forth in the Bible.” (GCB 1903) Percy Magan says, “They are the same principles and introduced in precisely the same way as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made.” (GCB Day 3, No 10, p. 150) A.T. Jones states, “This proposed constitution is subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the G.C of 1897 and that of 1901.” (GCB 1903, p. 152,153) This G.C session has rejected the 1897 and 1901 recommendations.
1903 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg promotes Trinitarian doctrines in Battle Creek after converting from Pantheism. Kellogg asks Jones to teach at Battle Creek College. Waggoner moves to Battle Creek, placing him in great peril. Ellen White writes to him: “Satan is working stealthily, untiringly, to affect your downfall through his specious temptations… He hopes to lead you into the mazes of spiritualism.” (Letter 231, 1903)
1904 – Ellen White has a vision in which the angel says to Jones and Waggoner, “The sentiments that you have received in harmony with the special theories presented in the book ‘Living Temple’ are not pure truth. There is a co-mingling of truth and error… Separate entirely from the bewitching, misleading sentiments that run through ‘Living Temple’.” (Letter 279, 1904)
For more on Kellogg and the early Adventism, check out this article by Terry Hill, “The early 1900’s crisis – Kellogg and the Holy Spirit”
1904 – Ellen White has another vision of Kellogg: “The subject upon which he was speaking was life, and the relation of God to all living things. In his presentations he cloaked the matter somewhat, but in reality he was presenting, as of the highest value, scientific theories which are akin to pantheism… I was astonished to see with what enthusiasm the sophistries and deceptive theories were received. The influence of this talk gave the speaker encouragement to call for a council of our brethren at Battle Creek, for a further examination of these seducing sentiments.” (Special Testimonies Series B, No.6, p. 210)
“Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe.” (2SM 58)
The apostasy will “develop into darkness deep as midnight, impenetrable as sackcloth of hair,” and will increase in strength until the coming of Jesus. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, p. 185.1)
In 1904, Ellen White writes, “For the past 50 years every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us… Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayer, study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord.” (Special Testimonies, Series B #2, p. 59)
Notice that in 1904, the foundation of faith has been firmly established. “Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder Hiram Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure… When they came to the point in their study where they said, ‘We can do nothing more,’ the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.” (1SM 206.4)
1905 – The 28 Fundamental Principles of 1889 “Synopsis of our Faith” is inserted again in the church Yearbook, and continues until 1914.
Ellen White confirms these principles: “Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth” (Manuscript 129, 1905). “The past fifty years have not dimmed one jot or principle of our faith as we received the great and wonderful evidences that were made certain to us in 1844, after the passing of the time… Not a word is changed or denied.” (Letter 326, Dec. 4, 1905; The Upward Look, 352.4)
1905 – Daniel Bourdeau dies.
1905 – Ellen White says the writings of the pioneers should be reproduced. “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.” (RH May 25, 1905)
1907 – Apostasy is here. With the apostasy of J.H. Kellogg, Ellen White warns: “The time of this apostasy is here. Every conceivable effort will be made to throw doubt upon the positions we have occupied for over half a century.” (Letter 410, 1907, p. 2 [to J.E. White, Aug 26, 1907]; 7MR 195)
1910 – Bible Training School Booklet, December issue was published ( 5yrs before the death of Ellen White) using the term, “Trinity.” On pg. 13, under “Question Box” the Holy Spirit is described as, “one of the Trinity, and fully represents God, and Christ, and the Trinity;” (see pics below, click to enlarge pics). You will also find Ellen White’s article on the 2nd pg. of the booklet. Click HERE for the pdf copy of the original Booklet.
1912 – The Review and Herald reprints the original Principles with the first two unchanged–”one God” and “one Lord.” (August 22, 1912, p. 4)
1913 – F. M. Wilcox publishes a supposed “Trinitarian tract” and a quote from Ellen White (taken from Desire of Ages) next to it from 1898 to paint a false picture of belief in the Review and Herald, Vol 6, Oct. 9, 1913, p 21. Wilcox rolls out the divine Trinity which includes the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead. This sets the stage for making the Godhead (used exclusively by Ellen White) equivalent with Wilcox’s “divine Trinity.” This is apparently a response to counter the claim published by James Gray of the Moody Bible Institute that Adventists deny the Trinity (James Gray, Bible Problems Explained, 1913).
1915 – Ellen White warns of great changes to take place after her death. “I am charged to tell our people, that do not realize, that the devil has device after device, and he carries them out in ways that they do not expect. Satan’s agencies will invent ways to make sinners out of saints. I tell you now, that when I am laid to rest, great changes will take place. I do not know when I shall be taken; and I desire to warn all against the devices of the devil. I want the people to know that I warned them fully before my death.” (Manuscript 1, Feb 24, 1915)
1915 – Ellen G. White dies.
When Ellen White died in July 1915, three funerals and a graveside service memorialized her life of ministry. An estimated 5,400 people attended these services.The first funeral was held July 18 on the lawn at her home in California, known as Elmshaven. A second was held the next day in Oakland, California. The third and largest service was held on Sabbath, July 24, in Battle Creek, Michigan, where Ellen White had lived for many years and where she was to be buried beside her husband, James.
1915 – The “Synopsis of Our Faith” which is the Fundamental Principles mostly written by James White in 1872 and inserted in the 1889 Yearbook and again in the 1905-1914 Yearbooks are now removed from the 1915 SDA Yearbook by a mere General Conference statistician, Edson Rogers. He obviously did it as soon as the living prophet has died. Thus the Fundamental Principles held in great unanimity by the pioneers are put out of the way.
1916 – Elder E.J. Waggoner and Dr. David Paulson die.
1918 – Death of Elder George I. Butler, Elder James H. Morrison and Elder W. H. Littlejohn.
1919 – Bible and Teachers Conference takes place in secrecy with the discussion becoming heated at times as some in leadership positions test the waters to see if the doctrine of the Trinity can be brought in. There is enough resistance to table the conversation for another time. The recorded minutes for this five week long event (July 1 to August 1) disappears for 55 years until 1974. Click HERE for the full original Report of the 1919 Bible Conference (7/1 to August 1, 1919). Click HERE for the notes on the Bible Conference provided by Dr. Gary Hullquist.
1922 — Judson Washburn writes an open letter to Daniells saying the 1919 Bible Conference was “the most terrible thing that had ever happened in the history of this denomination.” ( J. S. Washburn, An Open Letter to Elder A. G. Daniells and an Appeal to the General Conference, 1922, p. 28,29) Another letter written by Washburn to Claude Holmes is published as a 36-page tract called The Startling Omega and its True Genealogy. It is distributed at the General Conference of 1922. In this tract he mentions that the college in Washington has become “a nest of Higher Criticism” and he blames Daniells and Prescott for all the theological problems. (Omega Tract, Washburn, p. 1, 6)
1922 – Elder Stephen N. Haskell, author of many best selling books and Adventist Pioneer, dies.
1923 – Elder Alonzo Trevor Jones and Elder O.A. Johnson die.
1924 – John Norton Loughborough, the last of the first generation core of Pioneers, dies.
1926 – LeRoy Froom (who is the first associate secretary and then made secretary of the GC Ministerial Association until 1950) is asked to present studies on the Holy Spirit at the Milwaukee General Conference Session. In preparation for his studies, Froom went to books written by authors outside of our faith (he went to Babylon for his material) to reference their writings as he could not find in our own denomination writings that would line up with his agenda.
Gradually the meaning of the word “divine” changed, until it meant not fully divine. We do not know how it changed, but Trinitarians were using the term “deity”, instead of “divine”. (Once divine and deity meant the same.) When Froom uses the words “all the fullness of the Godhead”, he is making two statements — an Arian or Semi-Arian belief is not true Christianity, and the Trinity has a Saviour with full deity.
1926 – G.C Working Policy (075) is adopted. SDA Church becomes a part of evangelical churches. The policy states, “We recognize every agency that lifts up Christ before men as a part of the divine plan for the evangelization of the world, and we hold in high esteem the Christian men and women in other communions who are engaged in winning souls to Christ.” (“Relationship To Other Societies,” GC Exco, 1926) This would include the Jesuit Order. Ellen White has warned, “Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?” (Great Controversy, 1888, p. 571.1) This is the first “wrong step” toward ecumenical concessions taken by the G.C.
1928 – Death of Elder James Edson White, son of James and Ellen White.
1928 – LeRoy Froom is invited to present a series of studies on the Holy Spirit at the North American Union Ministerial Institute. After the Institute meetings he says, “You cannot imagine how I was pummeled by some of the old timers because I pressed on the personality of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead.” (Letter from LeRoy Froom to Dr Otto H. Christenson, Oct 27, 1960) Ellen White has also used the term “third person of the Godhead” but with very different connotations.
1928 – LeRoy Froom, founder of Ministry Magazine, begins promoting the American Revised Standard Version of the Bible and demotes the King James Bible to not accurate and old-fashioned status. He tours the U.S. promoting the Sunday Trinity to Adventist ministers and writes the book The Coming of the Comforter.
1928 – The Coming of the Comforter, a pro-Trinity book by LeRoy Froom, is published upon urgent request of hundreds of ministers who heard him speak. In the book he emphasizes strongly the personality of the Holy Spirit as a separate being from the Father and Son. The book contains many quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy, but the interpretation is totally different than the teaching of the pioneers. More on Froom HERE.
1928 – W. W. Prescott who was educated by the secular Dartmouth College, writes eleven articles in the Signs of the Times documenting the Sunday scholars’ proof of the inferiority of the King James Bible. The Bible of the Pioneers is under assault and being replaced by modern corrupt versions.
1928 – General Conference leadership adopts the American Revised Version Bible, which is inspired by the Jesuits of Rome, above the Authorized KJV Bible of the pioneers. This version comes from scholars that rely on two manuscripts, the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus (Constantine’s state Bibles.) This is the second “wrong step” toward ecumenism. This step is now possible with the passing of the last pioneer.
1929 – Healing of the deadly wound of the Papacy. The Lateran Treaty is signed between Italy and the Vatican, settling the “Roman Question.” Italy now recognizes the Vatican City State as an independent state, and agrees to give the Church financial compensation for the loss of the Papal States.
1929 – A.T. Robinson writes an article “One God and One Mediator” for the Review and Herald, quoting 1 Cor. 15:28, giving the impression that the one God is the Father only.
1930 – General Conference votes to publish a Church Manual. In 1883 the G.C. session had voted NO. They have also decided it was time for a new statement of fundamental beliefs. This is the third “wrong step” toward ecumenism. Attitudes have now changed and become more liberal. Theological wounds have “healed.” The last of the pioneers has died and their voices are no longer heard. Leadership wants to change the old SDA doctrines on (1) The final atonement in heaven, (2) The human nature of Christ, (3) The place of Scripture and prophecy in the church, and (4) The doctrine of the Trinity as taught by evangelicals. Ellen White warns, “In no respect is God’s work to be circumscribed by man-made restrictions. Many of the ambitious plans and policies that have been made are not endorsed by Him.” (1MR 245)
1930 – Our Authorized Bible Vindicated by B.G. Wilkinson is published, documenting the origins and history of the King James Bible. The General Conference tries to discontinue the book and Wilkinson writes a second book in defense of his position, Answers to Objections to our Authorized Bible Vindicated.
1931 – Church leaders in Africa request a “statement” that will “assist in a better understanding of our work.” (27 Fundamentals Introduction) In answer to the request, a suitable Statement of Faith is placed in the 1931 Yearbook.
1931 – Yearbook with new Statement of Beliefs is published without a vote or authority. The G.C President C.H. Watson is voted the authority to select a committee of four men of which he is a member, to prepare a statement for publication in the Yearbook. The four are G.C Associate Secretary M.E Kern, Review editor F.M Wilcox, manager of Review and Herald E.R. Palmer, and G.C President C.H Watson. Francis McLellan Wilcox, editor for the Review and Herald for 33 years, alone writes up the new Statement of Beliefs with 22 Fundamental Beliefs with the approval of the committee and passes it over to Edson Rogers (G.C statistician from 1903-1941) who places it in the 1931 Yearbook. LeRoy Froom would later claim there was a consensus because no one complained. He fails to mention the church was unaware of this action. President Watson knows, but does not seek to take official action. Thus the Statement of Beliefs is added not by approval of the G.C, but “by common consent” and is “accepted without challenge.” (Froom, Movement of Destiny, p. 414)
Click HERE to view the entire yearbook (For statement of beliefs see pgs. 377 to 380)
The first two fundamental principles of James White/Uriah Smith (1872/1874/1889-1914 Yearbooks) state in part, “1. That there is one God,… everywhere present by His representative, the Holy Spirit. 2. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father… that He took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race…” The 1931 Yearbook now states, “That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father,… the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father,… the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead…” (p. 377)
Points that are entirely removed from the 1872/1874/1889 Fundamental Principles include: Prophecy as a part of God’s revelation to man, World history fulfills Bible prophecy, and Papacy (man of sin) changed the Sabbath.
The pioneer view on the post-fall human nature of Christ is changed to a pre-fall human nature, Christ’s work of final atonement in the most holy place since 1844 is omitted and now replaced with atonement being completed on the cross and Christ now lives to make intercession for us, and the cleansing of the sanctuary involving the work of blotting out sins is now replaced with only a work of judgment.
Now the SDA Church has a new statement on the Trinity, a new Christ with an unfallen human nature instead of a fallen (but not corrupted) human nature, and a new final atonement that was completed on the cross rather than finished in the most holy place in heaven. These doctrinal changes place the SDA Church in harmony with the Sunday-keeping churches of Babylon, and make it possible for ecumenical ties with other denominations. To substantiate these new apostate doctrines, a new Bible, the American Revised Version (now approved by the Papacy), is embraced.
1931 – F.M. Wilcox publishes Review and Herald article called, “Christ is Very God” where he states, “We recognize the divine Trinity,— the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,—each possessing a distinct and separate personality, but one in nature and in purpose, so welded together in this infinite union that the apostle James speaks of them as “one God.” James 2:19. THIS DIVINE UNITY IS SIMILAR TO THE UNITY EXISTING BETWEEN CHRIST AND THE BELIEVER, AND BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT BELIEVERS IN THEIR FELLOWSHIP IN CHRIST JESUS.” (Review and Herald, October 29 1931 pg. 3, ‘Christ is Very God’) This is very important. This explains HOW, in the 1930’s SDA’s understood “the divine Trinity”.
By 1931, periodicals, tracts and books have been published “on the ‘Three Persons’ of the Godhead, the eternal pre-existence and complete Deity of Christ, and the personality of the Holy Spirit” by LeRoy Froom (Movement of Destiny, p. 418).
1932 – The first Church Manual is published, with the 22 articles of Fundamental Beliefs, despite G.I Butler’s objection to having a Church Manual in 1883 (RH, Nov. 20). Now the church has an official creed for the first time. In 1861, James White warned, “Making a creed is setting the stakes, and barring up the way to all future advancement. They say virtually that the Lord must not do anything further than what has been marked out in the creed. A creed and the [spiritual] gifts thus stand in direct opposition to each other… The Bible is our creed. We reject everything in the form of a human creed.” (RH, Oct. 8, 1861) Click HERE to view or download the 1932 Church Manual.
1935 – Death of Arthur Grosvenor Daniells, one of the key men in apostasy.
1935 – Letter from H.W. Carr to Willie White asking about the nature of the Holy Spirit as being promoted by some of the leaders being another separate person from the Father and the Son. Ellen White explaining that the Spirit of God and of Christ (Holy Spirit) is a divine personality begins to be twisted into “someone else” other than Christ the Comforter. Part of Willie White’s response is, “The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit was an individual as are God, the Father and Christ, the eternal Son, have perplexed me and sometimes they have made me sad. One popular teacher said ‘we may regard Him, (the Holy Spirit) as the fellow who is down here running things.”’ (Letter Willie White, April 30, 1935)
1936 Sabbath School Lesson 4th Q pp. 11-14
1936 – The General Conference Sabbath School Committee publishes a series of Sabbath School lesson studies (starting with the 4th quarter 1936 to the 2nd quarter 1938; see original copies above – click to enlarge) for the church which is intended to show the world what Seventh-day Adventists officially believe, and purportedly to show that the church still upholds the Adventist Pioneer position on the nature of God and Christ. Six men including F.M Wilcox and M.E Kern were voted by the G.C Committee in late 1935 to sit with the Sabbath School Department Lessons Committee when they compile the studies on essential Bible doctrines. The studies apply Trinitarian language to non-Trinitarian belief, in effect subtly reinterpreting it in Trinitarian terms. In the third week of the 4th quarter 1936 lesson under the title “The Godhead”, the word Trinity is used twice, once as a heading and once as a sub-heading. Under the “Trinity” heading, they state that “three powers wrought in the work of creation,” and that “the name God is used of the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit–a kind of heavenly family name. These three constitute the Godhead.” Then under the heading “Unity of the Godhead”, they state, “The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. The Spirit is ‘the Spirit of God’ and ‘the Spirit of Christ.’ Hence all three dwell together, and the three are one.” (Lesson 3, p.10) The only other time that the word Trinity is mentioned again is in Lesson 10, which states, “Since the divine Trinity is composed of three persons, there is established a personal relationship between the Godhead and the one baptized.” (Dec. 5, p. 31) Nothing else is said about the word Trinity, and the phrase “Trinity doctrine” is not used, but intimations of it are being subtly conveyed. At this point, the begotten belief is still the official belief. Time and death is needed to change it to an unbegotten belief to support the false claim that Christ could not be begotten and yet be fully God in His pre-existence. Ellen White believed that Christ was truly begotten and still truly God, for she said in 1905, “The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality.” (Manuscript 116, Dec. 19, 1905) The 4th quarter lesson rightly concludes regarding the pre-existence of Christ that “He was therefore no part of creation but was ‘begotten of the Father’ in the days of eternity, and was very God Himself.” (Lesson 4, p. 13) In the section regarding the Deity of Christ, the lesson rightly recognizes that Christ as the begotten Son has inherited God’s name and therefore can rightly be called God. So it seems that as late as 1936, Ellen White’s writings have actually not changed the beliefs of the church about the pre-existence of Christ as the truly divine begotten Son of God, contrary to later claims that they have. Also at this point, the Holy Spirit is still not officially regarded as a divine person exactly like God and Christ are persons. The lesson states, “Hence the Father sends the Spirit in the name of the Son, that is, as the Son’s representative. The Spirit ‘proceedeth from the Father,’ to do His work in the earth… Hence the Father sends the Spirit, and the Son sends the Spirit. The Son speaks what the Father gives Him to speak, and the Spirit speaks what the Son gives Him to speak. The Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ…” (Lesson 3, p. 11) Click HERE to view the original Sabbath School lesson of 1936.
1936 – Benjamin Wilkinson answers a letter from Dr. T.S. Teters saying, “Replying to your letter of October 13 regarding the doctrine of the Trinity, I will say that Seventh Day Adventists do not, and never have accepted the dark, mysterious, Catholic doctrine of the Trinity.” (http://omega77.tripod.com/bivensholyspirit.htm)
1937 – Death of Willie C. White, son of James and Ellen White.
1939 – W.W. Prescott preaches a sermon at the Takoma Park Church, where he says that Scripture “clearly implied the doctrine of the Trinity… There are three persons in the Godhead, but they are so mysteriously and indissolubly related to each other, that the presence of one is equivalent to the presence of the other.” Elder Judson S. Washburn protests what he hears and sees happening in the church by writing a letter to the G.C president J.L. McElhany against the Trinity doctrine. It was circulated by a conference president to 32 ministers.
1941 – General Conference Committee votes that the Statement of Beliefs be made available in leaflet form and officially released as our accepted Statement of Faith. The committee also approves a uniform ‘Baptismal Covenant’ or ‘Vow’ in certificate form, based on the now generally accepted Fundamental Beliefs declaration of 1931. (G.C Session in San Francisco) The Trinitarian-worded baptismal vow is formulated by 13 men led by Prescott. They call the Father the first person, Jesus the second person, and the Holy Spirit the third person. The word Trinity is not used.
1941-44 – Hymnal “Christ in Song” and “Hymns and Tunes” song book copies are ordered back to the conferences for burning so that a new Church Hymnal with Trinitarian influence can replace them. This is under the guise of Roy Allan Anderson.
1943 – John Harvey Kellogg dies, after seducing many to his heresy.
1944 – Removal by committee of all 18 non-Trinitarian statements from Uriah Smith’s book Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation in an attempt to cover up history. They eliminate every portion that said Christ was begotten of the Father. W.W. Prescott and others change the meaning of the “daily sacrifice” in the 2300 days message. Changes are also made to Spirit of Prophecy books, such as lower case changed to capital letters for Third Person.
1944 – Truth Triumphant by Benjamin G. Wilkinson is published, an exhaustive study of the history of God’s Church in the Wilderness. It contains strong statements against the Trinity doctrine. LeRoy Froom is angry, and orders the destruction of the original offset press plates so the book cannot be reprinted.
1944 – Death of William Warren Prescott, one of the key men in apostasy.
1945 – LeRoy Froom publishes a compilation of Ellen White quotes in Ministry Magazine to give credence to the “eternity of Christ”. Her understanding in this usage was far different than his.
1946 – Leadership again calls for a committee of four to make a statement of official beliefs. However, it is again penned individually by F. M. Wilcox through a statement of beliefs on the Trinity, originally written in 1931 by him and unofficially put in the Yearbook.
1946 – The compilation of Evangelism with careful, calculated use of certain Ellen White statements, many not even complete sentences, to paint a picture that she was supposedly Trinitarian, is done by LeRoy Froom, Roy Allan Anderson and Miss Louise C. Kleuser under the encouragement of Elder Branson (1966 Froom Letters). With the intent to deceive, Froom places these quotes from Ellen White in his book Evangelism under the heading “Misrepresentations of the Godhead” where she had said “third person”, “three great powers” and “Heavenly trio” etc. When reading the statements under such a heading, a subtle message is given. But all of these in fact refer to the Spirit of Christ and not another being. This is how Froom eventually managed to lead the entire Adventist Church astray because people do not take the time to research what else Ellen White wrote on these topics. They just take the one-liners like they are hypnotized. Froom’s book has persuaded many non-Trinitarians in the Columbian Union to “lay down their arms” and become Trinitarians.
1946 – The General Conference Session votes that all further revisions of the Church Manual must be approved in advance by the G.C in world session.
1946 – The General Conference, after being conditioned for 27 years (and a new generation of members coming into the church during those 27 years that knew nothing but the Trinity), votes to retain the 1931 Baptismal Vow officially. They then vote that “changes to the baptismal vow could only be made by the General Conference delegates in official session.” (Movement of Destiny, p. 422) The Trinity is now protected by the necessity of an entire church vote in session. The entire ministry and the world membership now believes the Trinity is true.
1947 – Charles S. Longacre writes paper #17 “The Deity of Christ,” clarifying the SDA church’s original stand on the Godhead – a non-Trinitarian article, submitting it to the Bible Research Fellowship for discussion. This would be the last of any major resistance left in the church for decades to come.
1948 – World Council of Churches is formally instituted in Amsterdam.
1949 – Bible Readings for the Home Circle is revised by D.E. Rebok in an attempt to remove any non-Trinitarian, Arian or Semi-Arian statements. Roy Allan Anderson had his influence in this as well.
1950 – Death of Herbert Camden Lacey, one of the key men in apostasy.
1950 – Elders R.J. Wieland and D.K. Short write a thesis for the GC entitled “1888 Re-examined”. This is eventually rejected with ongoing discussions up until 1961. This is a form of correction for the church through self-examination and getting back to truth.
1951 – The Church Manual was published endorsing trinitarian sentiments in both the Fundamental Beliefs and the Baptismal Vows. One thing to take note is that while the expression, “trinity” or the “godhead” was defined as consisting of the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the 3 Persons (Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit) were not necessarily defined as “One God” of the Bible as they are now. Moreover, while the “Doctrinal Instruction for Baptismal Candidate” certainly appears to affirm the trinitarian position of Church during this time, the Baptismal Vows, 1 and 2 remains not as explicitly trinitarian (3 Gods = 1 God of the Bible concept) until it was amended in 1990 Church Manual (see 1990). Click HERE to view or download 1951 Church Manual.
1952 – A book is copyrighted called Principles of Life, and printed in 1956. It has been used by school children as their Bible Doctrines study book. One paragraph says, “While God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three separate and distinct beings, yet they are ‘one in nature, in character, in purpose’ (PP34.1), working in such close relationship as to be one.” (Principles of Life, p.28)
1955 – Death of Elder Judson S. Washburn, one of the last of the connecting links to truth.
1955-56 – Evangelical Conferences take place between the General Conference (represented by Froom, Anderson, Read, and Unruh) and Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse, editor of Eternity magazine. Are Adventists a cult? That was the question of the Evangelicals. The Trinity doctrine is one of the first issues discussed. Concessions are made on the Atonement and the humanity of Christ. Christ’s nature was changed to that of Adam’s nature before the Fall. The teaching of the atonement was changed to “completed at the cross”, instead of “commencing at the cross”. These changes were required by the protestant denominations for the SDA church to be classified as an evangelical Christian church instead of a cult or sect. We submit to the daughters of the Harlot in fear of being labeled a cult, and reject the Spirit of Prophecy writings because they do not reflect Adventist theology. But we were previously labeled a cult for years because our beliefs stood out from the rest of Protestantism. Ellen White warned in 1894 not to bridge the gulf that separates the children of God from the children of darkness. But this is not heeded.
Donald Barnhouse writes in his Eternity magazine, “Immediately it was perceived that the Adventists were strenuously denying certain doctrinal positions which had been previously attributed to them…. The Adventists specifically repudiate any teachings by ministers or members of their faith who have believed, proclaimed, and written any matter which would classify them among Arians.” (Eternity. September, 1956)
1957 – Questions on Doctrine is published following those meetings – a pro-Trinity book written by LeRoy Edwin Froom, W.E. Read, R.A. Anderson and T.E. Unruh. This is to match the SDA Church with the Protestant and Evangelical world, to be accepted so we would not be labeled a “cult”.
1957 – The Church declares oneness with the fallen Protestant denominations. “We are one with our fellow Christian denominational groups in the great fundamentals of the faith once delivered to the saints.” (Questions on Doctrine, p.32)
1957 – SDA Church joins the CWC – Christian World Communions.
1958 – Death of Charles S. Longacre, a champion of religious liberty, an author who stood for the original Pioneer views within Adventism.
1962 – The Second Vatican Council begins to be held, concluding in 1965. The Roman Church repositions itself in relation to the modern world. Major changes occur in the Catholic Church, but the intention remains the same. The final stage is set for the Jesuit Order’s Counter Reformation to take over all the Protestant churches.
1962 – The World Council of Churches incorporates the Trinity doctrine in its prerequisite for membership, and becomes the foremost Ecumenical organization.
1962 – The 1962 Yearbook reprints the statement of faith in substantially the same form in which it first appeared in 1931.
1965 – Bernard Seton urges the General Conference to revise our Fundamental Beliefs. Several of our leaders had just traveled to Geneva Switzerland to enter into negotiations for closer contacts with the World Council of Churches headquarters.
1965 – Bert Beverly Beach becomes the SDA ecumenical liaison with other denominations.
1968 – Death of Elder Benjamin G. Wilkinson, Ph.D, after 76 years of active church service. This pioneer of Adventism spoke out against the new Trinity doctrine until his death.
1968 – Uppsala, Sweden – World Council of Churches admits to full membership the representatives from non-member churches, which include the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Published on July 12, New York Times newspaper.
1970 – Bert B. Beach is elected as the Secretary-General of the annual Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions, which represents about two billion Christians and covers more churches than any other organization. He would hold this position until 2003.
1971 – Movement of Destiny by LeRoy Froom gets published. Froom admits to alterations made from 1931 to “standard works” to correct “erroneous views on the Godhead” to make them Trinitarian. His historical account says “we began as Semi-Arians, but steadily rose to become a strong Movement, able to take our place among mainline Protestant denominations. Together with them we wholeheartedly profess Christendom’s doctrine of the Trinity and the full deity of Christ.” He also makes other admissions of wrongdoing which include going to Sunday-keeping authors for his material that is included in his book The Coming of the Comforter that was published in 1928. (Movement of Destiny, p. 322, 422)
The principles and provisions of Adventism are altered in the books Seventh-day Adventists Answer, Question on Doctrine, and Movement of Destiny. The “divine Personalities”, the pioneer Adventist position on the human nature of Christ, is also changed and omitted in SDA publications.
1973 – Bert B. Beach, secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division, and company begin Social Engineering of acceptance of being one with the world in joining the World Council of Churches. He co-authors a book with Lucas Visher, secretary of the WCC, titled “So Much in Common between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church”, published by the WCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 1973, saying, “The member churches of the World Council of Churches and Seventh-Day Adventists are in agreement on the fundamental articles of the Christian faith as set forth in the three ancient symbols [creeds] (Apostolicum, Nicaeno-Constantinopolitum, Athanasium). This agreement finds expression in unqualified acceptance of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Two Natures.” (So Much in Common, p. 40) Ellen White had warned that “it is a grave mistake on the part of those who are children of God to seek to bridge the gulf that separate them from the children of darkness by yielding principle, by compromising the truth.” (BEcho, April 9, 1894, par. 6)
1974 – Death of LeRoy Froom, one of the key men in apostasy.
1974 – The 1919 Bible Conference transcript is discovered by Don Yost and Don Mansell at the G.C Archives.
1975 – A non-Trinitarian paper by Edward Edstrom is printed at the request of the Board of Walla Walla Valley Academy in book form called Human Spirit – Divine Spirit. Edstrom’s belief in the Trinity had been challenged in 1954 when fellow pastors and workers in Central Africa were confronted by Moslems “who claimed ONE God Allah, while Christianity appeared to have THREE separate, distinct Gods that were called ONE.” (Human Spirit – Divine Spirit, Introd. iv)
1976 – Neal Wilson, President of the North American Division of SDA, gives this sworn statement in the Silver-Tobler legal case involving the Seventh-day Adventist Church: “Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term hierarchy was used in a perjorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church’s part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned.” (Merikay McLeod lawsuit, p. 4, footnote #2, Docket Entry #84: EEOC vs PPPA C-74-2025 CBR, Sworn statement dated Feb.6, 1976) Ellen White warned in 1894, “It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the papacy.” (ST, Feb 19, 1894)
1977 – Pope Paul VI rewards Bert B. Beach for his book with a private audience in the Vatican. Beach presents the pope with a book and a gold medallion confirming friendship of the SDA Church with the Vatican. “The medallion is an engraved witness to the validity of the Ten Commandments. While the other commandments are represented simply as Roman numerals, the words of the fourth—‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy’—are written out.” (W.D Eva, Adventist Review, “Book, Medallion Presented to Pope”, August 11, 1977, (849) p.23) However, the Seventh day was removed from the text, and quoted in the same way as it is quoted in any Roman Catholic catechism. Beach represents the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church in an interview over Vatican radio referring to the pope as “Holy Father,” when Ellen White has clearly warned, “The pope is not regarded by God as anything more than a man who is acting out in our world the character of the man of sin, representing in his claims that power and authority which Satan claimed in the heavenly courts.” (5MR 102)
1979 – W. Duncan Eva and Bernard Seton are working behind the scenes in moving an agenda to adopt a new Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. The revision draft is sent to the “theologians” at Andrews University to ready it for prime time at the World Session in April 1980. Back in 1946 a committee had put forth an action making it almost impossible to change any Belief statement. But that hurdle was overcome and now moving forward.
1980 – World General Conference in session (Dallas, TX), officially votes to accept the Trinity doctrine, as part of 27 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.
April 23, 1980 issue of the Adventist Review was published detailing the discussions surrounding the formulation of the new Fundamental Beliefs.
“NEAL C. WILSON: For some time we have been considering a refinement of our Statement on Fundamental Beliefs. I think you have that document in your hands. No doubt you have done both some studying and some praying. We have heard a variety of interesting rumors. Some, it is said, understand that the church leaders want to destroy completely the foundations of the church and set the church on a course that would be un-Biblical, contrary to the tradition of the past and to historical Adventism. My fellow delegates, there is nothing that is further from the truth. We have also heard that any time we touch the Statement on Fundamental Beliefs we would be introducing the Omega, the final confusion of theological and doctrinal positions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I suggest to you that this is also a very unfortunate statement.” — Excerpt from Adventist Review, April 23, 1980 — Seventh Business Meeting, Fifty-third General Conference Session, April 21, 1980, 3:15 P.M.
“There are others who think they know why this is being done. They believe it is being prepared as a club to batter someone over the head, to try to get people into a narrow concept of theology, not leaving any opportunity for individual interpretation of prophecy, or any individual views with respect to theology or certain areas of doctrine. This also is unfortunate, because this never has been and is not the intention of any study that has been given to the Statement on Fundamental Beliefs. Some academicians, theologians, and others have expressed the fear that this statement was being developed so that the church could confront them with a checklist to determine whether they should be disqualified from teaching in one of our institutions of higher education. It is very, very tragic when these kinds of rumors begin to develop.” — ibid
Click here for the full issue: Adventist Review, April 23, 1980 (General Conference Bulletin No. 5)
By officially approving the Trinity doctrine as a fundamental belief of Seventh-day Adventists, the denomination has publicly declared to the world that she is following in the steps of the daughters (fallen churches) of the mother of harlots (the Roman Catholic church) whose central pillar doctrine is the Trinity.
1980 – Ex-Jesuit priest Alberto Rivera states that “all the mainstream churches were taken over (under control of Rome) by 1980.” (Secret Terrorists, p. 108)
1981 – Neal C. Wilson, now General Conference President, announces that the Church has officially adopted the Trinity doctrine, which is now number 2 in the Church’s 27 Fundamental Beliefs. He declares before the Seventh-day Adventist Church that: “…there is another universal and truly catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” (Adventist Review, March 5, 1981, p. 3)
1981 – Adventist Review 7-30-1981 Special Issue on Bible Doctrines—The Trinity doctrine is explained one year after it was voted as an official doctrine (which was in 1980). It states, “While no single scriptural passage states formally the doctrine of the Trinity, it is assumed as a fact by Bible writers and mentioned several times… Only by faith can we accept the existence of the Trinity.” (p. 4) “The concept of the Trinity, namely the idea that the three are one, is not explicitly stated but only assumed.” – (Fernando L. Canale, Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, vol. 12, p. 138, ‘Doctrine of God’)
1984 – Baptismal vow is reformatted again – pro-Trinity.
1985 – A new SDA Hymnal takes the place of the older Church Hymnal of 1941. It is decided that there are even more songs that can be replaced or changed to fit the new 1980’s Fundamental Beliefs. Catholic terms are used in headings and responsive readings.
1986 – The official doctrine of the church is stated in the Church Manual: “There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal persons.” – (SDA Church Manual, chapter 2, p. 23. Refer also to the book – Seventh-day Adventists Believe 27 Fundamental Beliefs, “The Trinity”)
1988 – “Seventh-day Adventists Believe” 27 Fundamental Belief book is published (strongly Trinitarian).
1990 – Baptismal vow revised to make it decidedly Trinitarian. Fifty-Fifth General Conference Session, on July 11, 1990, 2:00 p.m. voted to revise the church manual p. 44, Baptismal Vow and Baptism, to read as follows (see pics below); 1986 Church Manual’s first baptismal vow states, “1. Do you believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit?” 1990 Revised first baptismal vow states, “1. Do you believe there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons?” Click HERE to view or download 1986 SDA Church Manual. Click HERE to view or download the original 1990 GC minutes (see pdf pg 37):
1993 – George Knight, a professor and prominent SDA theologian, makes this startling confession in Ministry Magazine, October 1993: “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.” In all actuality, this would have included ALL of the founders and Pioneers of the early SDA Church and it should be alarming to today’s members.
1994 – William Johnsson, editor of the Adventist Review, writes, “Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of present truth. Most startling is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.” (Adventist Review, January 6, 1994) While the pre-existence of Christ is held, the divine begotten Sonship of Christ as held by the official world church up to the 1940’s is denied as a “false doctrine” as Johnsson puts it.
1995 – G.C World Session in Utrecht, Netherlands. The Vatican flag is carried through the meeting hall in a singular fashion amidst an unusually loud ovation.
1996 – Devotional ‘Ye Shall Receive Power’ is printed, in which the prophet’s words are changed. Back in 1899, Ellen White wrote, “Why should we not prostrate ourselves at the throne of divine grace, praying that God’s Spirit may be poured out upon us as it was upon the disciples? Its presence will soften our hard hearts, and fill us with joy and rejoicing, transforming us into channels of blessing. The Lord would have every one of His children rich in faith, and this faith is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit upon the mind. It dwells with each soul who will receive it, speaking to the impenitent in words of warning, and pointing them to Jesus, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. It causes light to shine into the minds of those who are seeking to cooperate with God, giving them efficiency and wisdom to do His work.” (Signs of the Times, Sep. 27, 1899) If you look carefully, you will see that Ellen White has used the word ‘it’ four times, and one ‘its’ when speaking of the Holy Spirit. But in the devotional ‘Ye Shall Receive Power’ p.59, ‘it’ has been changed to ‘He’ or ‘His’ and ‘Him’. (See also ‘Ye Shall Receive Power’ p.93, 151, 164, 183, 303, 318, 319, 321, 323, 325, 344 for other changes.) Ellen White Estate has since retracted the changes back to “it”. Learn more HERE.
1996 – Merlin Burt writes, “During the 1930’s there continued to be statements teaching the ‘old view’… This largely changed during the 1940’s. The fourth quarter of 1936 Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly was prepared by T.M. French. French concluded regarding Christ’s pre-existence with these words: ‘He was therefore no part of creation but was “begotten of the Father” in the days of eternity, and was very God Himself.’ It seems that French was mixing Wilcox’s fundamental beliefs reference to Christ as ‘very God’ with the ‘old view’ of a ‘begotten’ Christ.” (Merlin D. Burt, Demise of Semi-Arianism and anti-trinitarianism in Adventist theology, 1888-1957, p. 40) So the belief in a begotten Christ has become the “old view”, while an unbegotten Christ is now the new officially accepted doctrine.
1997 – SDA logo is changed from the three angels to flames and cross, diminishing our distinctive identity as teachings the three angels messages.
1999 – B.T. Rice, pastor of the St. Louis SDA Northside Church addresses the Pope in a Vatican mass held locally as “Pope, your Holiness, your historic visit to St. Louis…”
2003 – John R. Graz (GC director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty since 1995) is elected as Secretary-General of the annual Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions, succeeding Bert B. Beach. Graz would hold this position until 2014.
2003 – Questions on Doctrine is republished and circulated by Andrews University– pro-Trinitarian, pro-unfallen human nature of Christ.
2005 – Baptismal Vow is revised to the Trinity creed to read: “Do you accept the teachings of the Bible as expressed in the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and do you pledge to live your life by God’s grace in harmony with these teachings?” For the first time in Adventist history, the Church has based its membership on a creed. The prophet had told us 95 years earlier, “The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed.” (RH, Dec 15, 1885)
2008 – In contrast to the 1936 Sabbath School lesson, the 2nd quarter lesson in 2008 teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not really a father or a son or a holy spirit but are three divine beings who are just role-playing these parts. Here is a quote from the lesson: “But imagine a situation in which the Being we have come to know as God the Father came to die for us, and the One we have come to know as Jesus stayed back in heaven (we are speaking in human terms to make a point). Nothing would have changed, except that we would have been calling Each by the name we now use for the Other. That is what equality in the Deity means.” (April 10, 2008, p. 19) As J.N. Andrews said, “This [Trinity] doctrine destroys the personality of God and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (RH, March 6, 1855)
2012 – The White Estate database is hacked by an anonymous party known as “SDAnonymous.” Their concern is for public access to all of Ellen White’s documents and that they have been restricted and it is public domain at this point as they should belong to the people. The meaning and context of her writings is hampered by not being able to view everything in its entirety. The hacker is pushing for full digitized access to anyone wanting them, not just a handful of privileged people. The White Estate attempts to sue for damages. The hacker threatens to release all of Sister White’s writings. Their request is that the White Estate does it to save their reputation.
2015 – Revision was made on the fundamental belief #18 pertaining to the Gift of Prophecy. Ellen White’s authority is diminished. The phrases “as the Lord’s messenger” and “a continuing authoritative source of truth” are removed. Arthur Stele would later say, “The suggested changes seek to avoid giving the impression that Ellen G. White and the Bible are equivalent sources of truth.”
“I have had no claims to make, only that I AM INSTRUCTED that I AM THE LORD’S MESSENGER; that HE CALLED ME in my youth to be HIS MESSENGER, to receive His word, and to give a clear and decided message in the name of the Lord Jesus. Early in my youth I was asked several times, Are you a prophet? I have ever responded, “I AM THE LORD’S MESSENGER”. I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. MY SAVIOR DECLARED ME to be HIS MESSENGER.” Selected Messages, Book 1 (1958), page 32
2014 – Ganoune Diop (GC director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty since 2011) is elected as the new Secretary-General at the annual conference of secretaries of the Christian World Communions.
2015 – Ellen White Symposium is held at Andrews University and spread worldwide, denies the Spirit of Prophecy’s inspired authority to define doctrinal faith and practice, but only as theological and practical guidance and end time application.
2015 – The White Estate reaches a court settlement with the “SDAnonymous,” and releases the rest of Sister White’s unpublished writings that they have been holding back for years. The SDAnonymous hacked into EGW estate’s database and was able to obtain files containing manuscripts that were not released to the public. The collection contains approx. 8,300 typed documents, letters and manuscripts dating from 1845 to 1915. Honest Adventists now fully know that Sister White wrote over and over that Jesus is their Comforter coming to them in spirit form as the Holy Spirit, not some other mystery person or Ghost. The dogma of the denomination’s teaching has been shown to be in error for those who want to know and are paying attention. Click HERE for SDAnonymous’ press release.
Original 1872 Fundamental Principles; published as a pamphlet at Battle Creek, Michigan. View/Download HERE.
Original 1889 SDA Yearbook (Fundamental Principles are found on pages 147 to 151).
Original 1905 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 188-192) View/Download HERE.
Original 1909 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 220-224) View/Download HERE.
Original 1913 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 281-285) View/Download HERE.
Original 1914 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 293-297) View/Download HERE.
Original 1931 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 377-380) View/Download HERE.
Original 1942 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 4-6) View/Download HERE.
Original 1955 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 4-5) View/Download HERE.
Original 1981 SDA Yearbook ( Fundamental Beliefs on p. 5-7) View/Download HERE.
For a full archive of the SDA Yearbooks click HERE.