Fall 2016: Winds of Doctrine Part 1
Publish date:

It would be naïve to say that we don’t face a challenging future as a church. It would only come from a lack of Biblical understanding to think that God’s end-time organized people are going to go through the events leading up to the Mark of the Beast and the end of probation without Satan attacking the very fiber of the Church. The Apostle Paul warns concerning this in Acts 20:29-30 “For I know this; that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” And again in 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” So we should be prepared to defend the doctrine of the Bible in any case against any false teaching. This is the reason that I am writing this series, to give us all the chance to learn and know what the Bible says and does not say about some very, shall we say ‘popular’ topics. To be honest with you, I have no idea how long of a study this may become, but I would invite you to read along as we search the Bible for answers for our faith.

DE F I N I N G GOD? There is great debate, and conflict that has arisen again over the issue of the Godhead, or as some have named it the Trinity. Is Jesus God? Is Jesus self-existent from eternity, with no beginning and no end or did the Saviour of mankind have a beginning? Is He not eternal? Is Jesus lower than God the Father? Is the Holy Spirit an individual person of the Godhead or is the Holy Spirit just the mind of God or the force of God? These are the points of contention in the discussion of the Trinity, or the Godhead. Oh yes, there is one more. The accusation that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church holds the same doctrinal view concerning the Godhead as the Catholic Church. This has been spurred on by the unwise decision to use the term of ‘trinity’ to title the Godhead in our 28 fundamental beliefs. So Let us address this error first and then go on to the Bible.

As stated in our beliefs: “There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.” We do believe this, as this is what the Scriptures give evidence to. According to the International Catholic University in its study of the Trinity Doctrine, the Catholic Doctrine is that yes there are three co-eternal persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. But it is in the manner of the explanation of these three that we see the doctrine. From their course study online it states:

“The Catholic Creeds teach us that there are two internal divine processions: the generation of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit (which, we shall see, is called "spiration") . . . What does this mean? It means that from all eternity the Father generates the Son, and the Father along with the Son "breathes forth" the Holy Spirit. Thus there are two internal divine processions which give rise to three divine Persons.”

“It is a dogma of the Catholic faith that the second divine Person proceeds from the first divine Person by an act of generation and therefore is related to him as Son to Father. The Nicene Creed says that Jesus Christ is "the only- begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all time." The Athanasian Creed of the fifth-sixth century says:

"The Son is not made or created, but he is generated by the Father alone."

The most extensive declaration of the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on the Trinity was made at the Eleventh Synod of Toledo in Spain (675 AD). A portion of that statement may be helpful as well in understanding their definition of God.

“We confess and we believe that the holy and indescribable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one only God in His nature, a single substance, a single nature, a single majesty and power.”

Notice that they are of the “same substance” and that Jesus only has life because the father “generated” Him and the Holy Spirit’s existence is wholly dependent on the Father and the Son, as we read here:

“Since the Holy Spirit proceeds by an act of will of the Father and the Son, it should be clear that he does not proceed as a perfect image through generation. So the Holy Spirit is not a Son of God; only the second Person of the Trinity can be called "Son," as we have already explained. For St. John calls him "the only-begotten Son" of the Father. Qppropriately, then, the fifth century Athanasian Creed says: "The Holy Spirit is not made nor created nor generated, but proceeds from the Father and the Son."

Theologians have given a name to that type of proceeding, calling it "spiration," from the noun "spirit" which, of course, means "breath." . . .

“The term "spiration" designates the loving activity between the Father and the Son which results in the term of their love, namely, the Holy Spirit. So they say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son through spiration. There are three distinct Persons but only one God. So there is only one divine nature or essence which is common to all three. They are co-equal in power, majesty, wisdom and everything else. The distinction between them is to be found in their origin. The Father has no origin. The Son proceeds from the Father by intellectual generation. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one principle because of their intense mutual love. The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father so intensely that their mutual love terminates in the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Accordingly, we are justified in referring to him as the love of God, the power of God, the Spirit of truth, a river of living water and the kiss of the Father and the Son.

It is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son as from a single principle through a single spiration. You will find this in Lateran IV (D 428), Lyons II (D 460, 463), and Florence (D 691, 703, 704).”

Alright then, what is the summation of the Roman Catholic Doctrine? They do claim three persons of the Trinity but the manner of their nature is completely distinct from Adventist theology. We have no such belief in regards to the ‘origins’ of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Here are the statements from the 28 Fundamental Beliefs:

“God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also those of the Father.”

“God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly human, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things.”

“God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He is as much a person as are the Father and the Son. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth.”

It should be clear by just the reading of the Seventh Day Adventist doctrine that these two doctrines, that of the Roman Catholic Church and that of the Seventh Day Adventist Church are not the same. Indeed they are dramatically different, especially in regards to the eternal and self-existent qualities of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. To claim that these two are the same disregards all evidence to the contrary.

So what is the Biblical evidence for our faith? First let us look at the name. You know, the name we are commissioned to baptize in found in Matthew 28:19-20.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”

What is that name? Notice that it is a singular ‘name’ yet the Bible lists the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost thereby indicating that the one ‘name’ includes all three persons of the Godhead. This is alluded to as well from the very beginning of Scripture as seen in Genesis 1:1 where it states “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The word used for God here as in most of the Old Testament is the Hebrew word “elohiym” which is in the plural. This plurality was never understood by the Hebrew scholars, to this day in fact. Could it be that it is because they have rejected the teachings and the revelation received in the New Testament, where the Son of God and the Holy Ghost are manifest to us? Whatever the reason for their inability to explain the plural nature of the Godhead, we have the entirety of Scripture to help us understand to the best of our ability. Which, it must be stated, is far short of a complete and total understanding or defining of God.

Here I would like us to take note of a very important rule of understanding Scripture. It is this, that there are ‘clear’ texts of scripture and there are ‘not so clear’ texts of Scripture. But those texts that are not so clear do not erase the clear lines of understanding of the clear texts. For example, 1 John 4:8,16 tell us that God IS love, so whatever we understand about God’s character must fall within the boundary of Love. Even ‘not so clear’ texts like Romans 9:13 “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Which would seem to indicate some contradiction to the fact the God is Love, must still be understood to fall within the boundary of the clear fact that God is love. We may need to understand much more of Scripture to know how and where it falls within the realm of love, and it may take us some time and study to know where it fits but it does not erase the definite truth that God is love.

In the following article we will take a longer and more complete look at the name, and indeed the names, Scripture uses to indicate the Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. We will find a clearly defined boundary that we cannot deviate from. We may not have all of our questions about the Godhead answered, but that is not goal, frankly that is not possible, for God in all of His glory is beyond our understanding. We may understand that which He has revealed to us, particularly and most importantly His Character, but to be able to ‘define’ God in terms of the nature of His being is not for us here to know. God is God, if we could define Him, He would cease to be God.

… to be continued in Part Two

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Understanding the Creation Week The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Age Of The Earth Evidence for a Young Universe Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolution of the Horse Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements Recombination of Chromosomes The Evidence of Things Not Seen Ernst Haeckel's Theories Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Variation and Classification Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Why So Many Species? Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Tyre and the Bible Archaeology Confirms the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
The Philosophers Talk Music Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Beat The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Rave Can You Feel the Music? Whose Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Ear The Last Great Contest – Worship Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny Philipp Melanchthon
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is Jesus God? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth The 70-Week Prophecy What Day Did Jesus Die? Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon Identifying the Antichrist The Second Beast of Revelation 13 The Final Confederacy Walking Through Daniel The Seven Plagues Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Sun Worship Babylonian Religion Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Wealth Redistribution The Charismatic Movement Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Paganism and Christmas Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit The New Age Movement Paganism in our Culture Secret Societies The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Signs and Wonders Revival and the "Power of God" What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Choosing the Books of the Bible Archaeology Confirms the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel Story Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? Salvation By Faith God's Plan to Eradicate Sin The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus