The Godhead and the One True God Movement
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Summary: The Alpha of heresies or apostasy is a descriptive definition of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s subversive and pantheistic teachings regarding the nature and personality of God. At the time when Dr. Kellogg wrote his book the Living Temple few could decipher in his theories a blatant and Satanic attack into the heart of God’s remnant movement.
 
 

Alpha of Heresies (Apostasy)

The Alpha of heresies or apostasy is a descriptive definition of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s subversive and pantheistic teachings regarding the nature and personality of God. At the time when Dr. Kellogg wrote his book the Living Temple few could decipher in his theories a blatant and Satanic attack into the heart of God’s remnant movement. Satan sought to carry his deceptions right into God’s church and thereby lower the perception of who God is. The enemy had found in Dr. Kellogg a ready instrument for his devising, and for the first time in the history of God’s church Satan had tried to usher in eastern spiritual philosophy, and by it he had hoped to paralyze God’ remnant movement. Amidst this emergency Mrs. White was directed to meet the issues agitated by the book Living Temple head-on. She was to expose the error for what it truly was. Concerning Dr. Kellogg’s book Mrs. White wrote:

Living Temple contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God….Few can discern the result of entertaining the sophistries advocated by some at this time. But the Lord has lifted the curtain, and has shown me the result that would follow. The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy. --Selected Messages Book 1, 203, 204.

“The alpha of these theories” was the teachings of pantheism found in the book Living Temple, however Mrs. white warns us of a coming storm called the “omega,” which accepted will cause God’s people to “enter into controversy over the presence and personalty of God.” While many through the years have speculated what exactly is the nature of the omega heresy, Mrs. White clearly tells us it will bring into question the presence and personality of God. So then, both the alpha and omega of heresies attack God’s very nature. By this attack Satan is trying to undermine the faith of God’s people and consequent believers who should believe the three angel messages. Pay close attention to the following statement from the pen of inspiration.

There is a strain of spiritualism coming in among our people, and it will undermine the faith of those who give place to it, leading them to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner. The enemy desires to divert the minds of our brethren and sisters from the work of preparing a people to stand in these last days. I am instructed to warn our brethren and sisters not to discuss the nature of our God. Many of the curious who attempted to open the ark of the testament, to see what was inside, were punished for their presumption. We are not to say that the Lord God of heaven is in a leaf, or in a tree; for He is not there. He sits upon His throne in the heavens. --Manuscript Releases, Vol. 4, 57.

Please note how the pen of inspiration in the preceding statement describes the coming and already arrived “strain of spiritualism” in God’s church. She tells us, firstly, it will “undermine the faith of those who give place to it,” secondly, it will lead “them to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” Thirdly “errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner.” And finally it will “divert the minds of our brethren and sisters from the work of preparing a people to stand in these last days. And the fountainhead of all this mayhem will be brought about by a presumptuous discussion about “the nature of our God,” which deals with the pantheistic teaching of the alpha of heresies. So then, in both preceding statements from the pen of inspiration Mrs. white warns us not to enter into “controversy” or “discuss” the “presence and personality” and “the nature of our God.” Those who do will be "punished for their presumption.”

El Greco's painting of St Dominic in Prayer
Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:El_Greco,_St_Dominic_in_Prayer.JPG
The Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 clearly shows us how in the last days shortly before the return of Christ Satan will work in spiritualism "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” But God has beforehand warned us of this.

Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power. --The Great Controversy 588

We’ve been warned not to get into controversy or discussion over the nature of God, His presence and personality. It is clear by getting into such controversy we will be guilty of the sin of those who tried to look into the Ark and were punished for their presumption. This is exactly what the One True God Movement is doing. These individuals would have us believe that Christ at some point in eternity past had a beginning that He was birthed by the Father and His oneness with the Faith is due to their sharing the same essence, and that He is a lesser God since He had a starting point and the Father did not. They also teach that the Holy Spirit is not really the Third Person of the Godhead, that there is not third person. They teach that the Father alone is God, Jesus is His only begotten Son and the Holy Spirit is their spirit or presence. They try to hash a theological explanation of who God is. But how can man understand God? His best efforts are futile. God is eternal! His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts. Charles Wesley correctly said, “You show me a warm that understands man, and I will show you a man that understands God.” Pay attention to the following inspired statement from the Spirit of Prophecy.

“The most humbling lesson that man has to learn is the nothingness of human wisdom, and the folly of trying, by his own unaided efforts, to find out God. He may exert his intellectual powers to the utmost, he may have what the world calls a superior education, yet he may still be ignorant in God’s eyes.” Selected Messages Vol. 1, 249

The One True God Movement

From the onset it is my heartfelt desire to remind the reader that the subject we are studying deals with the Nature and Person of God. Therefor we should thread softly with our shoes off our feet for the ground we are threading is Holy ground. May God have mercy on us all.

The problem with the One True God Movement is that its proponents are trying to explain things about God that are not necessarily revealed in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy. They would have us believe that their beliefs regarding the nature of God is supported by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. But are they? Here are the major points supported by the adherents of the One True God Movement.

1. Jesus is the literal Son of God, literally born of God in eternity past.

2. Jesus dying on the cross is proof that He is not really eternal God in the same sense as the Father is eternal God. They argue, Just as Jesus was born of God in the beginning so God could take His life from Him as it happened on the cross. They believe if Jesus was eternal God He could not have been able to die on the cross.

3. Denial of the nature and literal existence of the Third Person of the Godhead the Holy Spirit. That He is only the mind or Spirit of Christ and nothing more.

The One True God Movement by their title insinuate that there is only “One true God” which is the Father and since Jesus was born of God somewhere in eternity past He cannot be that “One True God,” that He is in some way a lesser God than the Father. They believe that Christ derived His life from the Father at some point in eternity past, and that truly the only Self Existing One is the Father. But what does inspiration have to say about this?

Source: Leland Francisco on Flickr.

“Jesus declared, I am the resurrection, and the life.” In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. “He that hath the Son hath life.” 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.” The Desire of Ages 530

“All Created things live by the will and power of God. They are recipients of the life of the Son of God. However able and talented, however large their capacities, they are replenished with life from the Source of all life. He is the spring, the fountain, of life. Only He who alone hath immortality, dwelling in light and life, could say, ‘I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again.’” Mind Character and Personality 28.

So then if in Christ is life, “original,” “unborrowed,” “underived” then it is safe for us to conclude with all assurance that Christ is as much A Self existent God as is the Father for Mrs. White clearly tells us that Jesus Christ is the Source of all life. Amen! Lets read one more quote from the pen of inspiration.

“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” John 1:4. It is not physical life that is here specified, but immortality, the life which is exclusively the property of God. The Word, who was with God, and who was God, had this life. Physical life is something which each individual receives. It is not eternal or immortal; for God, the Life giver, takes it again. Man has no control over his life. But the life of Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life from Him. “I lay it down of myself” John 10:18, He said. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as His personal Saviour…” Selected Messages 296.

“From Jesus is our life derived. In Him is life that is original, unborrowed, underived life. In Him is the fountain of life. In us there is a streamlet from the fountain of life. Our life is something that we receive, something that the Giver takes back again to Himself.” Review and Herald August 6, 1914

“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death Revelation 1:18. …These are wonderfully solemn and significant statements. It was the Source of all mercy and pardon, peace and grace, the self-existent, eternal, unchangeable One, who visited His exiled servant on the isle that is called Patmos.” Bible Commentary Vol. 7, 955

“The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the One in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906

The Holy Spirit

I want to emphasis this all encompassing truth that when we speak regarding the nature and work of the Holy Spirit we should take great care not to presume or conclude beyond what Scripture has revealed. Remember we are walking on hallowed ground. Is the Holy Spirit an individual person separate just as the Father and Son are? Is it necessary or even possible for us to know for certain all there is to know about the Third person of the Godhead? Here is one of my favorite passages about the Holy Spririt from the pen of inspiration.

Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CrownOfThornsBedfordMuseum.JPG

"It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, “the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.” It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit that , in His work of guiding men into all truth, He shall not speak of Himself.” John 15:26, 16:13.

“The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.” Acts of the Apostles 51-52

Lets evaluate the above statement from the pen of inspiration:

1. "It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is." (this is exactly why we are in such a mess to begin with, we are trying to explain who the Holy Spirt is).

2. “The Holy Spirit shall not speak of Himself.” The adherents of the One True God Movement say that the Holy Spirit is just the mind of Christ, that the Holy Spirit is in fact Christ Himself. But how can that be? We just read from the pen of inspiration that the Holy Spirit will not speak of Himself; Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit saying, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13

Again Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:15-17 So then if the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, what is His job then? “guiding men into all truth.” Acts of the Apostles 51-52 And if the Holy Spirit is indeed Christ Himself, it makes no sense for Christ to say He will not speak of Himself , since it is only by a knowledge of Christ that sinners can be saved.

3. “The Nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery.” So when the adherents of the One True God movement try to explain the nature of the Holy Spirit they are meddling with the unknown, those things which have not been revealed and that is presumptuous. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

4. “Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them.” “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

5. “The acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church.” Our church is more divided now than at any other time in the past.

6. "Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding silence is golden.” We should not get into controversy over truths that deal with the nature and person of the Godhead, for such mysteries “are too deep for human understanding.”

The office of the Holy Spirit is distinctly specified in the words of Christ: “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.” John 16:8. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin. --Acts of the Apostles 51-52

The office of the Holy Spirit is clearly made plain in the Bible, but His person and nature is a mystery. And after reading such statements why is it that some insist on trying to explain exactly the nature of the Holy Spirit. As far as the work and office of the Holy Spirit is concerned we have much revelation but not His Person.

CC Waiting For The Word https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/5602666514

If the Spirit of God is indeed just His Spirit and mind than we can safely conclude that there is no third person of the Godhead. But is that in fact what scripture teach us?

Lets look at some examples of what the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy say regarding the Person of the Holy Spirit.

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. --Acts 5:30-32

How can the Holy Spirit be a witness of the life, sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ if the Holy Spirit is just the mind of Christ?

The Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Savior would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if Hi hand not ascended on high. --Desire of Ages 669

Of the Spirit Jesus said, He shall glorify Me. The Savior came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of His love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His grace to the world. --Desire of Ages 671

“I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is true.” John 5:30-31

In the preceding statements it can clearly be seen that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are definitely three distinct individualities or personalities. Christ represents the Father, and the Holy Spirit represents Christ. If the Holy Spirit is simply Christ’s own presence and essence than the statements we just read are nothing but conjectures. Note, how the Spirit of prophecy describes it, “the Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth.” So then if the Holy Spirit is the very essence of Christ Himself as the One True God Movement teaches than why did Christ have to go to heaven in order for the Spirit to be sent. And how can Christ be His own “representative” and “successor” if we believe the teaching that the Holy Spirit is just Christ’s own presence. It just makes no sense.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. --John 16:13-14

Again we see the John’s clear distinction he makes between the Holy Spirit and Christ. The Holy Spirit will not speak of Himself, He will hear and He will speak but not of Himself. He will glorify Christ for He shall receive of Him and shall show it unto us Jesus said.

“The Holy Spirit is the comforter, in Christ’s name. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 20, 324

Wow it couldn’t get any more clearer! And here are more statements from the pen of inspiration that help us understand who the Holy Spirit is.

the Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. --Evangelism 616

We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God s a person, is walking through these grounds, that the Lord God is our keeper, and helper. --Manuscript Release Vol. 7, 299

the Holy Spirit must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. -Manuscript 20, 1906

Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interacting in mans behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ, who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing our prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving. The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit’s striking the cord of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart. -- Selected Messages 344

Wow, it can’t get any clearer. Clearly the Holy Spirit is not Jesus and Jesus is not the Holy Spirit. They have different work and function in the eternal scope and the plan of salvation. Its also crystal clear that the Holy Spirit is an individual with His own personality although and that He is Divine just as the Father and the Son are divine yet shrouded in infinite mystery.


Part two of this article called The Godhead, The Old Landmarks, and the Pioneers will be published in our next edition of the Amazing Discoveries Magazine.

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