Godhead vs Trinity

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There are a large number of individuals who will make a major issue about disagreeing with the Adventist doctrine of the Trinity. There is a great deal of confusion on this subject. The typical argument usually tries to make the Holy Spirit a force instead of a person. They think they have the support of the pioneers and Ellen White. The issue is based on a misunderstanding.

The disagreement of the pioneers was not about the number three. The pioneers rejected the teaching of the Trinity because the usual interpretation would blur the distinction between the Father and Son. Some would deny the divinity of the Son and others would deny the Father was separate from the Son. The discussions on this topic lead some to believe the pioneers dismissed the Holy Spirit as a person because the focus was on the nature of the Father and Son.

The use of the word 'Trinity' is the only substantial problem I see in this dispute with Adventist doctrine. The word 'Trinity', is a word originated and used by the Roman Catholic Church to describe their doctrine. I am committed to Biblical truth. I am not committed to whatever the Roman Catholic Church doctrine states. The word 'Trinity' is not found in the KJV Bible nor is there any similar word or meaning in the Greek. I find the word Godhead three times in the KJV which does not have the associations with Catholic doctrine.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
Acts 17:29
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Romans 1:20
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 2:8-9

The Greek words mean simply 'divinity'. These statements of Ellen White should make the position of the pioneers clear. This statement supports this disputed text.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Matthew 28:19
"The rite of baptism is administered in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to be the efficiency of all who submit to this ordinance, and who faithfully keep the vow they then make..." {6MR 27.1}
This quote from Ellen White written in November 1905 is valuable insight into her own beliefs, the teaching of the Bible, and the belief of the church she represented. It illustrates the disagreement of Ellen White with the doctrines and ideas of Trinity and Pantheism.
"I am instructed to say, The sentiments of those who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are not to be trusted. Such representations as the following are made: "The Father is as the light invisible; the Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light shed abroad." "The Father is like the dew, invisible vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of life." Another representation: "The Father is like the invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power."{SpTB07 62.2}

"All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God can not be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father can not be described by the things of earth. The Father is all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight." {SpTB07 62.3}

"The Son is all the fulness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be "the express image of His person." "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Here is shown the personality of the Father." {SpTB07 63.1}

"The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fulness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. 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. . . ." {SpTB07 63.2}

We also find she makes these statements, which clearly establish a belief in the person of the Holy Spirit.
"When trials overshadow the soul, remember the words of Christ, remember that He is an unseen presence in the person of the Holy Spirit, and He will be the peace and comfort given you, manifesting to you that He is with you, the Sun of Righteousness, chasing away your darkness... --Letter 124, 1897." {DG 185.2}
"When God's people search the Scriptures with a desire to know what is truth, Jesus is present in the person of His representative, the Holy Spirit, reviving the hearts of the humble and contrite ones. (John 15:23, 10-11 quoted.)--Ms. 158, 1898." {12MR 145.2}
"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." {SpTA10 37.1}

Do you recognize the attempts of Satan to mislead and misdirect?

I pray we may all continue to seek love, peace, and unity in truth preparing for the soon coming of Iaushuo (ee-ah-oo-shoo-oh) Messiah, the Son of God.

Next: Four Angels' Message

Revised 2011-05-13