What many Seventh Day Adventists will find shocking is the fact that their Church was anti-trinitarian for its first fifty years of existence, and that this stance was supported by their prophet "Ellen White".

What we want to do first, is show our Adventist readers that Ellen White did in deed teach in her "testimonies" that the doctrines that were established during these first fifty years were indeed the foundation on which the Church was to be built. And these established doctrines included who Jesus is, and his relationship to the Father.

"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. The languishing souls are to be confirmed and quickened according to His Word. . . . Not a word is changed or denied. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as truth after the passing of the time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth. [The] pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we are--Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus. (The Upward Look, page 352, paragraph 4 Chapter Title: God's Word is True).

"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. .  (S M bk 1, pg 206-208).

Ellen White names some of the men who laid the foundation for the SDA church. She explains how the Spirit of the Lord would show her the truth of scripture passages, which she shared with her co-laborers. Included in this "truth" was the understanding of Christ and his mission, according to Ellen White these truths would extend through out time. In the following quotes we clearly see that Ellen saw the churches doctrine concerning the Godhead a pillar of faith.

    “Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” {MR760 9.5}

    “I entreat every one to be clear and firm regarding the certain truths that we have heard and received and advocated. The statements of God's Word are plain.
Plant your feet firmly on the platform of eternal truth. Reject every phase of error, even though it be covered with a semblance of reality, which denies the personality of God and of Christ.” {RH, August 31, 1905 par. 11}

Now I ask dear reader, has the foundation that was laid by men like James White, Elder Edsen, Uriah Smith, Joseph Bates, and Ellen White herself changed? What did the pioneers of the SDA Church believe, and what does the church teach today about the Godhead?

JOSEPH BATES: Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was impossible for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being. I said to my father, "If you can convince me that we are one in this sense, that you are my father, and I your son, and also that I am my father, and you my son, then I can believe in the trinity."… In a few days I was immersed and joined the Christian Church.---Joseph Bates, The Autobiography of Elder Joseph Bates (Battle Creek, Mich.: Steam Press of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, 1868).

: Mr. Smith was strongly anti-trinity. The 1899 edition “Thoughts on the Book of Daniel and the Revelation” by Uriah Smith states: “Others, however, and more properly we think, take the word to mean "agent" or "efficient cause," which is one of the definitions of the word, understanding that Christ is the agent through whom God has created all things, but that he himself came into existence in a different manner, as he is called "the only begotten" of the Father. It would seem utterly inappropriate to apply this expression to any being created in the ordinary sense of the term.”

The Southern Publishing Association in the 1944 revision excluded the Semi-Arian view from this work. The statement now reads:
“Others, however, and more properly we think, take the word, arche, to mean the "agent" or "efficient cause," which is one of the definitions of the word, understanding that Christ is the agent through whom God has created all things.” (*Note: there were almost another dozen changes preformed to this book to remove any anti-Trinitarian statements. This is the process that has been performed on all the writings of the pioneers; in order to make them appear pro-trinitarian. The following quote shows exactly what Uriah Smith believed about the Godhead.)

But respecting this Spirit, the Bible uses expressions which cannot be harmonized with the idea that it is a person like the Father and the Son. Rather it is shown to be a divine influence from them both, the medium which represents their presence and by which they have knowledge and power through all the universe, when not personally present. Uriah Smith, “In the Question Chair,” Review and Herald, LXVII (October 28, 1890), 664.

JAMES WHITE: James White, prior to becoming an Adventist, was an ordained minister of the Christian Connection, which held an anti-trinitarian doctrine. He clearly shows here that he held to the semi-arian belief by denying both the Trinity and the Unitarian doctrines.  "The inexplicable Trinity that makes the Godhead three in one and one in three is bad enough; but that ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse. Did God say to an inferior, ‘let us make man in our image?’ " - James White, Review and Herald, November 29, 1877

The “mystery of iniquity” began to work in the church in Paul’s day. It finally crowded out the simplicity of the gospel, and corrupted the doctrine of Christ, and the church went into the wilderness. Martin Luther, and other reformers, arose in the strength of God, and with the Word and Spirit, made mighty strides in the Reformation. The greatest fault we can find in the Reformation is, the Reformers stopped reforming. Had they gone on, and onward, till they had left the last vestige of Papacy behind, such as natural immortality, sprinkling, the trinity, and Sunday-keeping, the church would now be free from her unscriptural errors. (James White, February 7, 1856, Review & Herald, vol. 7, no. 19, page 148, par. 26)

James White was editor of the Review and Herald in 1861. In November of that year, he published J. N. Loughborough’s answer to the question,
"what serious objection is there to the doctrine of the trinity?" Loughborough replied: There are many objections which we might urge, but on account of our limited space we shall reduce them to the following: 1. It is contrary to common sense. 2. It is contrary to Scripture. 3. It’s origin is Pagan and fabulous. Review and Herald, XVIII (November 5, 1861), 184

Christ came into existence first of all things…My grounds for this proposition are John i:1,2; Col. i, 17; Prov. viii, 22, 30. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. the same was in the beginning with God." Here, the existence of the Word, or Christ, is placed as far back as language can place it, even in the beginning with the great God. D. M. Canright, "Jesus Christ the Son of God," Review and Herald, III (June 18, 1867),

Surely, we say right, that the doctrine of a trinity degrades the atonement, by bringing this sacrifice, the blood of our purchase, down to the standard of socinianism." J. H. Waggoner, The Atonement (Oakland, Cal.: Pacific Press, 1884), p. 174.

....the great mistake of Trinitarians, in arguing this subject, is this: they make no distinction between a denial of a trinity and a denial of the divinity of Christ. They see only the two extremes, between which the truth lies; and take every expression referring to the pre-existence of Christ as evidence of a trinity. The Scriptures abundantly teach the preexistence of Christ and his divinity; but they are entirely silent in regard to a trinity."- J. H. Waggoner, Review and Herald, November 10, 1863

And what of Ellen White? As Kellogg took bits and pieces of her work to make it look like she supported his doctrine, those who have brought the current SDA version of the trinity (Which is in truth "Tritheisms") have done the same.  How can one ever believe Ellen was a Trinitarian, when history so clearly declares that her husband and all the pioneers of the SDA Church were semi-arian? She was married to her husband for 35 years and never once did she rebuke him for his belief. Never once did she ever teach against the semi-arian doctrine. In fact, she never used the term trinity, and she taught decidedly against it. 

“The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that He might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon His Son.... The Father then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ His Son, should be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host." - E.G. White, the Story of Redemption, p.13.

"Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty.... Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." {LHU 235.3}

Will the SDA church admit that there has been a change in the fundamental doctrine concerning the Godhead?

“Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of "present truth." Most startling  is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Many of the pioneers, including James White, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, and J. H. Waggoner, held to an Arian or semi-Arian view—that is, the Son at some point in time before the Creation of our world was generated by the Father….Likewise, the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists. Even today a few do not subscribe to it”. (Adventist Review, January 6, 1994, pp. 10, 11)

George Knight, Andrews University Seminary professor made the following statement in Ministry, the official Seventh-day Adventist journal for ministers:
"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." - Ministry, October 1993, p. 10.

The following is the Statement of faith that was published in 1874, this statement was not changed until 1931, sixteen years after the death of Ellen White.

"1. 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. Psalm 139:7.

2. 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...."
- Signs of the Times, June 4, 1874

The SDA church has replaced their foundational teachings of the person of Jesus Christ and the Godhead with a tritheistic version of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Trinity.


Why did the SDA Church change? After the Death of James White, Ellen White fell under the influence of Prescott, who was a trinitarian. Ellen White often "SAW" what other told her, and it was no different with Prescott. By 1897 Ellen White began to teach that there were THREE BEINGS in the Godhead. It was her TRITHEISTIC statements that helped push the SDA Church into the mess it is in today. Here are some examples of her "Three Persons/Beings" statements:

“There are three living persons of the heavenly trio” (Special Testimonies, Series B, No.7, pg 63.)

    “You are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You are raised up out of the water to live henceforth in newness of life--to live a new life. You are born unto God, and you stand under the sanction and the
power of the three holiest beings in heaven, who are able to keep you from falling.” - Manuscript Release Volume 7 MR No. 480 Reconversion and Rebaptism

    The eternal heavenly dignitaries--God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit--arming them [the disciples] with more than mortal energy, . . . would advance with them to the work and convince the world of sin.--Manuscript 145, 1901.  {Ev 616.4}

    We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.--Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.)  {Ev 616.5}

     The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. . . .

     The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."--Manuscript 20, 1906.  {Ev 617.1}

     “The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.--Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897)  {Ev 617.2}

     “In Co-operation With the Three Highest Powers.-- We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, --and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.--Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 51. (1905)  {Ev 617.3}

   “There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers --the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.-- Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905)  {Ev 615.1}

   “When you gave yourself to Christ, you made a pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--the three great personal Dignitaries of heaven. "Hold fast" to this pledge.  {7BC 959.8}

   “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.--Counsels on Health, p. 222.  {7ABC 442.1}


The only truthful conclusion is such:

#1. Ellen White was for the first fifty years (1844-1895) decidedly non-Trinitarian, especially with her clear statements that Christ is not the Lord God Almighty. Thus, if the trinity is true, then Ellen White was a false prophet.

#2. If the pioneers were Arians, then there is no link between the Modern Church and the one that came out of the great disappointment (1844) and this is readily admitted by the Conference. Thus if the trinity is true then the SDA church is not the remnant, and if the trinity is not truth, then the SDA Church of today is Babylon by their own standards.

OH Dear reader, will you not escape from the vat of confusion? Will you not learn to trust in the Word, and the Word alone?

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NOTICE: For those who would like more information on this issue, you can visit the following Historic Adventist site, whose main goal is to move the Adventist people back to Ellen White's original "semi-arian" view about God. www.smyrna.org

                                                     "Come out of her My people" - Jesus Christ


Babylon Forsaken