Friday, September 23, 2011

Seventh Day Adventism's Anti-Trinitarianism and its Claim to be the Restored True Church


Although most of the modern Seventh Day Adventist cult is is relatively pro-Trinitarian, a “study of Adventist history indicates that from the earliest years of [the] church to the 1890s a whole stream of writers took an Arian or semi-Arian position. The view of Christ presented in those years by Adventist authors was that there was a time when Christ did not exist, that his divinity is a delegated divinity, and that therefore He is inferior to the Father. In regard to the Holy Spirit, their position was that He was not the third member of the Godhead but the power of God. . . . Two of the principal founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Joseph Bates and James White [the husband of the “prophetess” Ellen White] . . . rejected the doctrine of the Trinity . . . [further] prominent Adventists who spoke out against the Trinity were J. N. Loughborough, R. F. Cottrell, J. N. Andrews, and Uriah Smith. . . . [These men made statements such as] ‘the Trinity . . . is contrary to common sense . . . is contrary to scripture . . . its origin is Pagan and fabulous . . . the Son of God . . . did . . . have a beginning of days . . . [as] the first created being.’ . . . During the early decades of the [Seventh Day Adventist] church Ellen White made statements which [were] . . . anti-Trinitarian [but she] received more light which eventually led to her very clear Trinitarian statements in the late 1890s. . . . The first positive reference to the Trinity in Adventist literature appeared . . . in 1892 . . . [but it still] insists on the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father . . . [in] 1897 Ellen White [taught that Christ was] . . . the self-existent One . . . equal to the Father . . . [in] spite of these [new] clear statements from the pen of Ellen White, it took many years before this truth was accepted by the [Seventh Day Adventist] church at large. . . . Uriah Smith believe[d] until his death in 1903 that Christ had a beginning . . . [as did] many [others] . . . [at] the 1919 Bible Conference . . . L. L. Caviness . . . [said] ‘I cannot believe that the two persons of the Godhead are equal, the Father and the Son . . . I cannot believe the so called Trinitarian doctrine of the three persons always existing.’ . . . All [the Seventh Day Adventist] pioneers, including Ellen White[,] were anti-Trinitarians [originally]” (pgs. 1-9, “The Doctrine of the Trinity Among Adventists,” Gerhard Pfandel. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1999).
“James White remained an avowed anti-Trinitarian to his death and Ellen never sought to correct him or other anti-Trinitarian leaders. Her sons William and James were both anti-Trinitarians. Furthermore, Ellen White publicly supported Uriah Smith’s [anti-Trinitarian] book until her death in 1915” (“Anti-Trinitarian Nature of Early Adventism,” David Cloud, elec. acc. Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM library, Port Huron, WA: Way of Life Literature, 2003). Modern pro-Trinitarian Seventh Day Adventist publications admit, “[M]ost . . . early Seventh-day Adventists . . . believed that He [Christ] did not have eternity in the past . . . most pre 1890s Adventists were both anti-Trinitarian and semi-Arian. That is, they were opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity and the full divinity of Christ. . . . [M]ost early Adventists were not orthodox on the Godhead. James White, Joseph Bates, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, Ellet J. Waggoner, and other leaders were in that number. Their position was widely known in the wider Protestant community. . . . [some explicitly preached that] Christ was a created being . . . such as the early Uriah Smith . . . very few among the earliest Adventist leaders . . . [were] not aggressively anti-Trinitarian” (pgs. 44-46, Seventh-Day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, Annotated ed., Notes with Historical & Theological Introduction,George R. Knight. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2003).Light Bearers to the Remnant, by R. W. Schwarz (Mountain View, CA:Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1979), the “Denominational History Textbook for Seventh-day Adventist College Classes . . . Prepared by the Department of Education[,] General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists” (preface, ibid.), admits: “Joseph Bates and James White . . . reject[ed] Trinitarianism. . . . As early as 1848 James White had referred to the Trinitarian conception as ‘unscriptural.’ Loughborough, Uriah Smith, J. H. Waggoner, and D. M. Canright were only the more prominent Sventh-day Adventist theologians who agreed with White and Bates that Trinitarianism was contrary to common sense and of pagan origin . . . a pervert[ion] [of] the clear teachings of Scripture . . . ‘nauseating.’ . . . As late as 1891 . . . Uriah Smith . . . defined the Holy Spirit as . . . [an] emanation,” (pgs. 168-169,ibid.), yet during this entire period Ellen White stated that the Seventh Day Adventists “have the truth . . . We know it” (pg. 167, ibid, citing E. G. White, Letter 18, 1850, to Bro. nd Sr. Hastings, E. G. White Estate). Professors of church history at Seventh-Day Adventist colleges and seminaries admit that the overwhelming majority 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 [on] . . . the Trinity . . . [that] Jesus is both eternal and truly God . . . [and on] the personhood of the Holy Spirit” (pg. 10, “Adventists and Change,” George R. Knight. Ministry: International Journal for Clergy, October 1993, 10-15. The article indicates that “George R. Knight is professor of church history at the [Seventh-Day Adventist] Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.”).This anti-Trinitarianism was never exposed as abominable heresy or idolatry by Ellen White. Mrs. White, in over 100,000 pages of writing, never once used the word “Trinity” to describe her view of the Godhead, and during some seventy years of her life as a “prophet,” while surrounded by scores of Seventh Day Adventist leaders who publicly spoke and wrote against the Trinity, she never once exposed their heresy as idolatry and blasphemy, but instead publically endorsed their persons, sermons, and writings. Thus, Seventh Day Adventism was anti-Trinitarian for over fifty years, before many Adventists began gradually moving (although there are still Arians within Seventh Day Adventism today) towards a relatively more Trinitarian position in the 1890s and the following decades. One wonders how a typical modern Trinitarian Adventist can believe that his denomination is the one true church, re-established in 1844 and years subsequently, but have his prophetess, her husband, her children, and countless Seventh Day Adventist leaders for decades be idolatrous anti-Trinitarians. Did the “one true church” worship the devil for over fifty years?
The “prophetess” Ellen White and her denomination also held other Trinitarian and Christological heresies. She taught (although, since her writings are not inspired, they are often contradictory and confusing) that the Lord Jesus took a sinful human nature. “Christ . . . took . . . our sinful nature” (pg. 181, Medical Ministry, Ellen. G. White. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing, 1963). “Jesus also told . . . the angels . . . that He would take man’s fallen nature” (pg. 150, Early Writings of Ellen G. White(a writing specifically entitled Spiritual Gifts) Ellen White. Washington, D. C.: Review & Herald Publishing, 1882; repr. 1945;). “[T]he Son of God . . . took upon Him our sinful nature” (The Review and Herald, Dec. 15, 1896, cited pg. 535 of Seventh-Day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine,ibid.). “He [Christ] condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity. . . . Having taken our fallen nature, He showed what it might become” (Special Instruction Relating to the Review and Herald Office, and the Work in Battle Creek, May 26, 1896, pg. 13, cited pg. 541, Seventh-Day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, ibid.). Christ “took upon himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin” (Youth’s Instructor, Dec. 20, 1900, pg. 394, cited in Questions on Doctrine, pg. 516).“Christ was not in as favorable a position in the desolate wilderness to endure the temptations of Satan as was Adam when he was tempted in Eden. The Son of God . . . took man’s nature after the race had wandered four thousand years from Eden, and from their original state of purity and uprightness. Sin had been making its terrible marks upon the race for ages[.] . . . [T]he human family had been departing every successive generation, [sic] farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possesssed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth . . . [He had] the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him . . . in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race” (The Review and Herald, July 28, 1874, cited pg. 542, Questions on Doctrine). Other Adventists leaders believed the same thing, as did the denomination at large. Unlike the Arian heresy, the Adventist teaching that Christ had a sinful human nature was not rejected in the 1890s but remains common in the movement into modern times. “E. J. Waggoner in 1889 (see Signs of the Times, Jan. 21, 1889, pg. 39) . . . [made the] clear statement that Christ was born with ‘sinful tendencies’ as was every other child. . . that teaching [became] central to the teaching of Waggoner, A. T. Jones, and W. W. Prescott. At [the 1895] General Conference session Jones taught that ‘In [Christ’s] human nature there is not a particle of difference between him and you. . . . All the tendencies to sin that are in human flesh were in his human flesh.’ . . . The teaching that Christ had sinful flesh in the sense of having the same tendencies to sin as every other child of Adam became the belief of the majority of Seventh-Day Adventists in the first half of the twentieth century. That teaching was so widely accepted that it no longer needed to be argued in Adventist literature.It was accepted as a fact. . . . It was upon this teaching that M. L. Andreasen . . . the most influential theologian in Adventism . . . in the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s . . . [taught that] the final generation of [Adventists] would have to . . . live a sinlessly perfect life. . . . Satan would be defeated by the final generation’s demonstration. God was dependent for his own vindication upon that demonstration[.] . . . [this] theology [was] accepted by the large majority of Adventists. And that theology, we need to note once more, was based upon the fact that Christ was just like every other child of Adam. He not only had a sinful human nature in the general sense, but He also possessed sinful tendencies. That is, He was viewed as having a nature just like Adam’s after the Fall. . . . . [The teaching of] Jones, Waggoner, and Precott in the mid 1890s . . . held that Christ was just like other human beings without ‘a particle of difference’; that Christ had the same sinful tendencies as other humans. That interpretation . . . had been widely published and had become the accepted position of most Adventists. . . . [Any other] strand of Adventist thinking on the topic had been largely invisible . . . Andreasen [wrote in] 1959 . . . ‘That God . . . exempted Christ from the passions of corrupt men, is the acme of all heresy. . . . Such a teaching is . . . completely contrary to what Seventh-Day Adventists have always taught and believed. . . . To accept [this teaching . . . necessitates giving up faith in the Gift [Ellen White’s writings] God has given this people.’” (pgs. 516-525, Questions on Doctrine). For further evidence, see pgs. 8ff. of The Word Was Made Flesh: One Hundred Years of Seventh-Day Adventist Christology, 1852-1952, Ralph Larson (Cherry Valley, CA: Cherrystone Press, 1986); Touched With Our Feelings: A Historical Survey of Adventist Thought on the Human Nature of Christ, J. R. Zurcher, trans. Edward E. White (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 1999). Zurcher, chairman of the Biblical Research Committee of the Euro-Africa Division of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination and Adventist professor, wrote:“The [t]raditional or [h]istorical [Adventist] Christology . . . [is] called postlapsarian because it teaches that Jesus came in fallen human nature, the nature of Adam after [emphasis in original] the Fall. Consequently Christ’s flesh . . . carried within it inherent tendencies to sin[.] . . . This teaching . . . [is] contrary to the beliefs of mainline Christianity. This is why Adventists have often been considered as heretics[.] . . . [The Adventist] church has taught, for a century—from the origin of the movement until 1950 [without question] the postlapsarian position[.] . . . [After 1950] some Adventist theologians, not understanding how it could be possible for Jesus to live without sin in fallen human nature . . . [and with] a desire on the part of some to be recognized as ‘authentic’ Christians . . . [adopted] a [n]ew Christology, or the [p]relapsarian [p]osition . . . [Nonetheless,] probably the most widespread [Adventist] . . . Christology . . . today . . . teaches . . . [i]n harmony with the traditional Christology of the pioneers . . . that Jesus took Adam’s human nature after [emphasis in original] the Fall” (pgs. 272-273,ibid.).
Ellen White also taught that the Lord Jesus could have sinned (“Christ . . . is the second Adam. The first Adam . . . could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. . . . Jesus Christ . . . took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen . . . He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden” (Letter 8, 1895, cited from “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, ed. Francis D. Nichol, Raymond F. Cottrell, Don Neugeld, & Julia Neuffer. Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1956, vol. 5, pg. 1128). “Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then He could not . . . have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. . . . But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation” (The Desire of Ages, pg. 117, cited pg. 543-4, Questions on Doctrine).
How could the “true church” and its prophetess, Ellen White, deny the Trinity and teach that Christ had a sinful nature and could have sinned? Does the “true church” commit idolatry, worship the devil, and blaspheme the sinless Son of God? Seventh-Day Adventist anti-Trinitarianism explodes the cult’s claim to be the restored true church.

--TDR


29 comments:

Alan said...

I'm not a member of the SDA church, but, having studied its history and literature, it is my understanding they believe in an end-time faithful remnant, not the "restored true church." They also believe, as I recall, that the "remnant" status does not belong exclusively to them, but to all who are faithful to the light of truth they have. They have honestly reported their past errors (anti-Trinity, etc.) and corrected them.

Thomas Ross said...

Dear Alan,

Thanks for the comment. If the SDA religion is open to Christianity, why do they teach that worshipping on the Lord’s Day is the mark of the beast? If they have honestly reported and corrected their past errors, could you show me where they have recognized that Mrs. White was an idolator and false prophet, and their entire religion was guilty of idolatry and composed of lost people for a century? How could they be a godly “remnant,” rather than an apostate false religion, while practicing idolatry and worshipping a false god, and thus the devil, instead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Could you show me where, even today, they recognize the fact that affirming that Christ united to Himself a fallen human nature is blasphemy and idolatry? Could you show me where they have repented of the investigative judgment heresy that teaches that salvation is by works? This, and much else, would be involved in “honesty report[ing]” and “correct[ing]” their past errors. People who believe in the SDA religion need to repent of their false gospel of salvation by Sabbath and law keeping to receive the true gospel of salvation from eternity in the lake of fire based solely on the finished work of the crucified and risen Christ (the true Christ, not one who had a sinful nature), received by repentant faith alone, and recognize that those who are truly saved are eternally secure, and that they need to recognize Scripture alone, not Scripture plus Mrs. White, as their only authority for faith and practice. (Check out the resources at http://sites.google.com/site/faithalonesaves/salvation for more information).

Thanks again for the comment.

Anonymous said...

While the SDA Denomination has been up-front about it's anti-Trinitarianism it has not been honest about Ellen White in this area. As the above short article demonstrates Ellen White claimed Christ could have sinned and been eternally annihilated by God.

As Christ was ( and is ) the Eternal Christ it is rank heresy to affirm "He might have" or "He could have failed" & that 'God' would have annihilated Him forever.

This blasphemous idea, SDA's to this day will defend - even in the face of well over 100 Scriptures that are explicit in that Christ would not fail.

The other disturbing thing I discovered about SDA theology that is not discussed in our modern times is the Ellen White teaching that God has a "rectum"!

The term "Personality of God" to all early SDA's including Ellen White meant that God has a "BODY" with all the members organs and parts of a perfect man.

The Holy Spirit was also considered to be likened to God the Father passing gas - it was "the Father's" but was NOT a "Personality" like the Father and Son.

Dejan said...

The early SDA's were right:

1. The doctrine of the Trinity is not Biblical. You can't find any evidence that God is made of three distinct persons. 1 Cor. 8:6

2. Christ had take our fallen sinful nature and in this nature He overcame every temptation.

3. Christ could have sinned but He doesn't. If there was not a risk of sinning then entire plan of salvation was only a theater, a lie.

Thomas Ross said...

Dear Dejan,

You are entirely in error on all of these affirmations. Please visit http://sites.google.com/site/faithalonesaves/salvation and check out the resources on the Trinity, including the extensive answer to objections to the Trinity answered.

It would be very important for you to do this, since idolators shall have their part in the lake of fire, Revelation 21:8. Please consider this--I am writing to help you.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing in the bible that says Jesus did not take our human nature. If he did not come to our level as a human being, then he hasnt bridged the gap between fallen man and God. This truth has been acknowleged by great scholars such as Karl Barth and many others: Here you go:

http://everlasting-gospel.blogspot.com/2011/09/christs-fallen-human-nature.html

Thomas Ross said...

Dear Anonymous,

What SDA theology, because of its doctrine of salvation by works, does not realize is that the fallen nature inherited from Adam is actually sinful--it is not merely limited, etc. Adam before the Fall was limited in his abilities, but his human nature was unfallen. After the Fall, Jeremiah 17:9 is true for each descendent of Adam:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

It is not just actions that are sinful, but the nature itself that is desperately wicked. If Christ assumed a fallen human nature, He would have been a sinner, been unable to redeem mankind, and would have united sin with the Godhead, all of which is blasphemy and utterly impossible.

Rather than the SDA doctrine that people save themselves, with "grace" to help them become sinless so that they can survive in an imaginary Investigative Judgment (that was only supposed to take place for a few months after 1844 in any case), the Bible teaches that sinners are declared righteous only and solely by having Christ's perfect righteousness, wrought out on their behalf on the cross, credited to them, so that they are justified or declared righteous by repentant faith alone, and have a perfect standing before God, not because of their works or Sabbath keeping, but because of Christ's righteousness only:

Consider Romans 3:20-28:

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21* But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22* Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23* For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24* Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25* Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26* To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27* Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28* Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Consider also Philippians 3:9:

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.


For Christ's sinlessness, I commend to you pgs.330ff. of Shedd's Dogmatic Theology here:

http://ia600409.us.archive.org/11/items/cu31924092342546/cu31924092342546.pdf

For more on the gospel, please visit:

http://sites.google.com/site/faithalonesaves/salvation.

I am afraid that the "jesus" that has a fallen and sinful human nature is not the Jesus of the Bible, and only the real Jesus can save anyone.

By the way, Barth was an unconverted heretic who denied the infallibility of Scripture and many, many other core doctrines of Christianity. That he thought the Lord Jesus assumed a fallen, sinful human nature is only further evidence of his apostasy, not evidence that such a heresy is actually true.

May God graciously lead you into the truth.

Thomas Ross said...

By the way, Anonymous, the people listed at your blogspot link are unconverted false teachers (like Barth). For instance, Irving was a demon-possessed idolator; Torrance and Pennenberg deny the infallible inspiration of Scripture (like Barth); Nygren believed baptism washed away sin; etc. Either the person who wrote the article had a severe lack of discernment about who he was posting, or he deliberately concealed the fact that the people he listed were false teachers who are unconverted and under the wrath of God.

Thomas Ross said...

By the way, Anonymous, the people listed at your blogspot link are unconverted false teachers (like Barth). For instance, Irving was a demon-possessed idolator; Torrance and Pennenberg deny the infallible inspiration of Scripture (like Barth); Nygren believed baptism washed away sin; etc. Either the person who wrote the article had a severe lack of discernment about who he was posting, or he deliberately concealed the fact that the people he listed were false teachers who are unconverted and under the wrath of God.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, take a look at the list again. Are you calling people like David Pawson and other Christians unconverted false teachers? Well it really doesn't matter what others believe. An honest reading of the Scriptures makes one thing clear, that Jesus took our nature and hence he can help us when we are tempted.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

I had never heard of David Pawson until you mentioned him, but people like Barth, etc. are very well known people who are certainly going to be in church history textbooks in time to come--and they are definitely false teachers. Do you wish to defend any of the men I pointed out from the list?

Of course Jesus took our human nature and He can help us when we are tempted. Christians believe this. He did not take a sinful nature, but took our real and genuine human nature.

Please read pgs. 330ff. from Shedd in the link above. If you have done so/will do so, I'll be glad to talk about this with you, but otherwise I feel like I would just be re-typing what Shedd already proved in a masterly way a long time ago.

The SDA doctrine that Christ took a sinful nature obliterates the true gospel of salvation based on the substitutionary work of a sinless Christ and received through faith alone (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 3-4), although it fits well with the SDA false gospel of salvation by works, by imitating Christ until you become perfect and can survive an Investigative Judgment.

Jonathan Speer said...

Thomas,

I agree with you that Christ was absolutely sinless. I affirm that, as the God-man, he never once partook in the vile portion of humanity that we know as sin.

I just wanted to point out to you one seeming discrepancy in how you made your point.

You said -

"For Christ's sinlessness, I commend to you pgs.330ff. of Shedd's Dogmatic Theology here:

http://ia600409.us.archive.org/11/items/cu31924092342546/cu31924092342546.pdf

For more on the gospel, please visit:

http://sites.google.com/site/faithalonesaves/salvation.

I am afraid that the "jesus" that has a fallen and sinful human nature is not the Jesus of the Bible, and only the real Jesus can save anyone."

(emphasis mine)

In the text of the book you reccomended by Shedd, the following quote can be found on p. 333 -

"When, therefore, it is asked if the person named Jesus Christ, and constituted of two natures, was peccable, the answer mnst be in the negative. For in this case the divine nature comes into the account. As this is confessedly omnipotent, it imparts to the person Jesus Christ this divine characteristic. The omnipotence of the Logos preserves the finite human nature from falling, however great may be the stress of temptation to which this finite nature is exposed. Consequently, Christ while having a peccable human nature in his constitution, was an impeccable person. Impeccability characterizes the God-man as a totality, while peccability is a property of his humanity."

(emphasis mine)

How do you resolve this?

Is it that you denoted the "fallen and sinful nature" as though Christ's humanity had indeed been compromised by an act of willful sin?

In my view, the issue of Christ Jesus' humanity is paramount because of passages like I John 4. Either he was totally God and totally man or he was not. According to all of scripture, he was indeed fully both. There is no indication in the Bible that he was constituted by any other mixture of the divine and the human. Shedd's discription of the relationship between these two natures is indeed adequate and, as far as I can tell, soundly scriptural.

(On a related side note, we all must be careful about using terms that are "theologically loaded" by their origins in false doctrines such as those taught by Catholics and Calvinists. Such terms are not found in scripture and, if we use them without clearly defining them, they are typically confounding to our efforts to clearly articulate sound doctrine properly. Such terms would be sin nature, the fall, original sin, etc. I have made it my personal goal to limit the terms I use to articulate sound doctrine to those found explicitly in scripture as much as possible.)

Anyway, keep up the good writing. :-)

In Christ,
Jonathan Speer

Thomas Ross said...

Dear jonathan,

"Peccable" means "able to sin," not actually "sinful." Christ's human nature, considered independently of His Divine Person, was able to sin, but it was not sinful, and He did not have a sinful, fallen human nature. Seventh Day Adventism, on the contrary, teaches that Christ actually had a fallen, sinful human nature, like Adam did AFTER the fall.

While the terms "sinful nature" are not specifically found in Scripture, the idea is all over the place. Not only are specific willful acts of sin sinful, but the "heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" is itself sinful. The flesh that lusts agains the Spirit (Gal 5:17)--even in the Christian--is itself sinful. Fallen Adam, and all those who sinned in Him, have such a nature--Christ had, and has, the spotless and sinless (but temptable) human nature like that of unfallen Adam.

I am glad you agree with Shedd--if you do, you agree with Christianity, and you disagree with Ellen White and Seventh Day Adventism on this topic.

Thanks for the comment.

Jonathan Speer said...

Thomas,

Thanks for the clarification. :-)

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

SDA's are correct when they say He took "sinful" flesh. This is exactly what the Bible says:

"God sending his own Son in the likeness of SINFUL flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Romans 8:3

The first thing to understand is that the word "flesh" in this text, and in many other New Testament references, means fallen nature as we know it in our own natures. It refers to the basic equipment we all inherit as a result of Adam's sin.

Now, one might argue that "LIKNESS" in Rom 8:3 means similar not same.

But there should not be room for preconceived ideas as to the word "LIKENESS" becuase:

"And took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the LIKENESS of men." Philippians 2:7


Was Jesus made similar to human beings or did He become a real human being? I think all would agree that when Jesus came down to this earth He became a real man.

The Expositors Greek Testament comments on this verse: "But the emphasis...is on Christ's likeness to us, not His unlikeness;...what he (Paul) means by it is that God sent His Son in that nature which in us is identified with sin." (Vol. 2, pp. 645,646).

"Peccable" means "able to sin," not actually "sinful."

If Christ was "able to sin", with a perfect human nature like that of Adam before the fall, yet He did not sin, then how incredible it is if He took a fallen nature like that of us, yet He did not sin. (Remeber, to be tempted is not sin!).

The issue here is really orginal sin. If assuming a fallen nature means one is guilty or condemned for Hell? The fact is "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity" Ezekiel 18:20.

Wayne Jackson, a leading author at Christ Church has a pretty good articel at Christian Courier on this topic: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/276-original-sin-and-a-misapplied-passage

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

SDA’s are not correct at all, but are idolatrous, when they say Christ took “sinful” flesh.

The word “likeness” in Romans 8:3 does by no means prove that Christ took “sinful” flesh to Himself. Here are a few other texts with the word, which show that “likeness” does not prove “identity”:

Romans 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

The image was not identical with man, but shared some features with man.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Christ’s bodily resurrection, and someone getting immersed in baptism, are “like” in a variety of ways, but they are obviously not identical.

Those examples suffice to show that there is not a shred of proof in Romans 8:3 that Christ actually took a sinful human nature to Himself. He took to Himself a nature that was a true human nature, that was “like” sinful flesh in that both those with sinful flesh and Christ were truly human. If the Bible had wanted to say that Christ took sinful flesh, it would have done so. It did not.

You misunderstand the Expositor’s Greek Testament. Christians believe that Christ took a human nature that is like the one that sinful men have. That is all the commentary is saying. Your quote does not prove that the commentary teaches SDA doctrine—even apart from the fact that the Expositor’s Greek Testament set was written by many theological liberals who denied the infallible inspiration of Scripture.

In relation to the rest of your statement, yes, if Christ took a sinful nature, He would be sinful. A sinful nature is sinful. The SDA position obliterates the gospel and is idolatry, and it makes the Son of God into a sinner.

The real reason SDA’s teach that Christ took a sinful nature is the “inspired” visions of the prophetess Ellen White, not the Bible. Furthermore, their doctrine fits in with their works salvation heresy—Christ had a sin nature but did not sin, so people are (allegedly) saved by doing good works and keeping the ten commandments despite having a sinful nature.

The SDA religion is an idolatrous false religion, not a true “remnant church.”

Anonymous said...

Dear KJB1611,

It doesn’t really matter what SDA’s believe. I want to believe what the Bible says.

If your “likeness” comparisons are anything to go by, then Christ human nature is not really human, it is something like human – He is an ALIEN to humanity – not REAL!

Romans 1:23 is comparing an image with man and Romans 6:5 is comparing Christ’s death and resurrection to baptism. In both instances, it speaks in terms of similaritude, and no sameness – I agree.

However, “LIKENESS” in Romans 8:3 and made in the "LIKENESS of men" in Philippians 2:7 is not speaking of similar-tude, but sameness of His HUMANITY to ours (not to objects or metaphors)!

If He took any other nature than our nature in its fallen state, then He cannot be “touched with the FEELINGS of OUR infirmities” and cannot be “in all points tempted like as WE ARE”. Hebrews 4:15

"For verily he took NOT on him the NATURE of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in ALL THINGS it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren." Hebrews 2:16,17

Hebrews 2:16,17 is very clear: He did not take the perfect nature of angels (OR Adam), but took the seed of Abraham (He is also called the “seed of David”). If Christ is the “seed of Abraham”, we are TO earnestly inquire, what nature did the children of Abraham receive? The nature they inherited from the Abraham was the same nature that Christ was born with if not because He was “made like unto His brethren in ALL THINGS”!

I know why you got a problem with a fallen human nature because you assume that to have a fallen nature means to be condemned and guilty (the famous Calvinist position) – this is however, pure human conjecture. I don’t believe that simply because we are born with a fallen human nature, we are condemned guilty sinners (So is Christ!). We become guilty for hell by choice not by birth. The idea that we are guilty for hell for Adam’s sin is ridiculous. Because of Adam, we receive fallen a nature, upon exercising it only, we become sinners; therefore condemnation and death - the soul that sinneth it shall die – to be tempted is not sin – Jesus was tempted like us and yet he did not yield to sin. According to you it is sin to have a sinful nature. James 1:15 disagrees: sin is when a temptation is “conceived, it bringeth forth sin”. I’ll stick to this definition! Furhter, Rom 8:3 says He “condemned sin in the flesh.” Now does it wouldn’t really make sense for Christ to condemn sin in an unfallen flesh – no, he did it in “sinful” flesh! You say Paul should have written “Christ took sinful flesh”. Actually, He should have simply said “He took flesh” without the “sinful” part if he wanted to really communicate that Christ’s human nature was not like ours!

Kenton Sparks, Ph.D., an ordained Baptist serving currently as Interim Provost at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania says it all well. “As a rule, the fathers were not comfortable with the idea that Jesus had a fallen nature, but I find it more reasonable and more Scriptural, to affirm that Jesus was both finite and fallen, in all respects like us, “sin excepted” (Heb 4:15). This is possible because the sinful nature and sinful deeds are two different things (infants may have a sinful nature, for instance, but they are not yet “sinners”). Thus the implication of ancient orthodoxy and explicit judgment of many modern theologians is that Jesus did have a fallen nature. After all, what victory did Christ win for us if fallen flesh itself were not redeemed and resurrected?” (Source: Sacred word, Broken word, pg 25,26).

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

So if it doesn’t matter what SDA’s believe, do you reject the SDA organization as a cult following a false prophetess, and preaching a false gospel of salvation by works based on a legendary “investigative judgment” that began in 1844? Do you recongize the anti-Trinitarian SDA founders as worshippers of the devil?

Your argument is:

“likeness” = “identity” so Romans 8:3 proves Christ had a sinful nature.

Your argument from Romans 8:3 makes that verse your proof-text, not mine. The burden of proof is on you to show that Romans 8:3 REQUIRES that Christ had a sinful nature. I simply must show that the text does not REQUIRE that view. I have successfully done this by showing that the word “likeness” does not require the meaning “identity.” You must show, not only that at times the word “likeness” can mean “identity,” but that it does so in Romans 8:3, despite the fact that other Greek words that actually meant “identity” existed and were easily available for Paul to use. You have not done this, and you cannot do this. Whether it does in Philippians 2 or not is not relevent to your proof from Romans 8—even if I granted you everything you could possibly desire from Philippians 2, the only legitimate conclusion would be that the word can, at times, mean “identity”—not that this meaning is REQUIRED in Romans 8:3, but only such a proof validates your conclusion.

Christ’s humanity is the same as our humanity. Sin is not inherent to humanity; it is not part of the human substance like having two legs, two arms, a stomach, etc. Christ condemned sin in the flesh by paying the price for it in full on the cross, not by living the way a good SDA wishes to in order to earn salvation despite having a sinful nature.

You can say that Christ’s temptation could not be like ours unless He had a sinful nature, but you cannot prove it from Scripture. Hebrews 4:15 does not say it. The “all things” of Hebrews 2:16-17 is defined as “flesh and blood” in Hebrews 2:14. Christ had the same flesh and blood as Abraham. If you really want to press the “all things” beyond what the context states, then you would have to say that Christ committed actual sins also, because every person who is of the seed of Abraham committed actual sins also.

James 1:15 is neither affirming nor denying that a sinful nature is sinful. James is talking about how sin grows in the practical life of a person. That is the point of the context, not a denial of the imputation of Adam’s sin or the sinfulness of the sin nature. You could as well conclude that there is no such thing as a human nature at all from James 1:15 as prove that the verse teaches that a sinful nature is not sinful—after all, James 1:15 says nothing about a human nature, so there must be no such thing. Q. E. D.
Similarly, Ezekiel 18 is talking about the various evils one’s papa and mama commit. Christians who hold the orthodox doctrine of sin, rather than the SDA heresy on the matter, agree with everything that Ezekiel 18 says. Ezekiel would have been shocked to find out that his words in chapter 18 were actually a denial of the doctrine of the sinfulness of the sin nature, rather than an affirmation of what the chapter actually means in context.

KJB1611 said...

Actually, it is not “human conjecture” to say that a sinful nature is sinful, and a sinless nature is sinless. It is not just an absurdity to deny this fact, but the plain teaching of Scripture. For example:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer 17:9)

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Ps 51:5)

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE the children of wrath, even as others.” (Eph 2:1-3)

Why is it that sinners are unable to come to Christ apart from His supernatural grace if they don’t have a sinful nature that corrupts their will, affections, etc.? For example:

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (Rom 3:11)

Why are even the “good” deeds of people like filthy rags before God, if not because of the corruption of their sinful natures (or are “filthy rags” not really filthy?)

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

Anonymous, do you believe in justification by faith alone? Have you personally been born again? Is your only hope for eternal salvation the blood and righteousness of Christ, freely credited to you, apart from any works, merit, or anything else you have ever done, are doing, or will do?

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:28)

I would also like to know if everyone in the New Jerusalem has a sinless human nature, and, if so, if it would make any difference to the holiness of the place if they all had sinful human natures instead.

If you answer all these questions, I will answer you again, Lord willing. If you ignore some or all of them, I cannot guarantee that I will answer you again.

KJB1611 said...

You should also check out the resources on Seventh Day Adventism and the Gospel at faithsaves.net, specifically at:

ttp://faithsaves.net/seventh-day-adventism-and-saturday-sabbath-keeping/

KJB1611 said...

Here is a link that demonstrates that Ellen White was an anti-Trinitarian idolator and false prophet:

http://www.worldslastchance.com/for-sdas-only/solid-proof-that-ellen-white-never-became-trinitarian.html

Warning: The people who wrote the post are anti-Trinitarian themselves because they recognize what Ellen White taught. Also, those in the comment section, both those who are arguing for a form of Trinitarianism (that seems more like tritheism), and those arguing against the Trinity, seem to have a very poor understanding of what Trinitarianism actually is. Those who comment are largely idolators themselves who would do well to listen to the lectures on Trinitarianism at http://faithsaves.net so they are no longer talking about things they know nothing about.

In any case, the evidence is clear--the early SDA movement was anti-Trinitarian, so either the "remnant church" was worshipping the devil then or they are worshipping the devil now-or they both were and are worshipping the devil because of their false gospel of salvation by works, Sabbath keeping, and investigative judgment.

Anonymous said...

To Thomas Ross read Romans 3:31

Anonymous said...

Also Romans 6:1-2 "what then shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid."

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for the references. Of course, I believe every word of them, having read Romans in English many times, memorized the book in English, and taught in in Greek a number of times.

If your intention with these references is to deny that justification is by repentant faith alone, or that SDA's hold a true gospel instead of a false one, you are going to have to do a lot more than post two references.

I hope that the above is not your intention, and that you yourself have been justified by faith without the deeds of the law, Romans 3:28, and consequently reject the false gospel of the SDA cult.

KJB1611 said...

"in in" should have been "it in"--please excuse the typo

KJB1611 said...

I am currently discussing this topic with an Adventist Ph. D. He argued that a number of passages in the NT show that the disciples did not believe in the Deity of Christ or the Trinity, so the SDAs could be saved and be the true remnant church while still denying both doctrines, although they believe in them now. His questions and my answers are below.

SDA: You have avoided answering the question about some of the disciples not believing in the divinity of Jesus.

Let's keep in mind what we are talking about in the SDA denomination. . . . [strong, bold hatred of the Trinity, condemnation of it as pagan and evil in every way.]


Please give me the examples in the Bible where Christ's true disciples did what the SDA leaders did for over 50 years, that is, where the disciples called Christ's Deity (or that of the Holy Spirit) nauseating, pagan, a perversion of Scripture, etc. and boldly preached and warned against it as heresy. I'm not sure what reference you are talking about. The closest I can think of is Matthew 28:17, where the Bible says "some doubted." The verse doesn't even say that it was the disciples who were doubting, and it doesn't say what they were doubting, so concluding from a text that doesn't even say disciples were doubting that disciples were the ones doubting, and that they were doubting Christ's Deity when that isn't stated, is a big stretch--especially when the disciples are worshipping Christ in that very verse. Jews who denied the Deity of Christ would want to stone to death those that worshipped Christ--they wouldn't just have a little doubt here and there and keep it to themselves.

KJB1611 said...

SDA: How about the 12 disciples of Acts 19 who had only received the baptism of John but had never heard of the Holy Spirit? You would probably have consigned to hell as well, but Luke calls them “disciples”.

Please note the context of Acts 19 at the end of Acts 18:

24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:

28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

7 And all the men were about twelve.


John the Baptist preached about the Holy Spirit (and the Deity of Christ), so who were these "disciples" who had never heard of the Holy Spirit? And why were they "rebaptized" when someone in Acts 18:24-28 was not, although he only knew the baptism of John? And why didn't Paul in Acts 19:1-7 say, "listen, guys, John the Baptist's message has passed away and we have a new message and a new baptism now"? Why did Paul tell them what John the Baptist's message actually was, and then the people believed, were baptized, and received the Holy Spirit? The answer is clear--they were sincere people who had heard something about John but had never understood the gospel of Christ preached by the first Baptist. They were sincere but unregenerate "disciples" just like the people in John 6 are called "disciples" but were not born again, evidenced by their following Christ only for food and their turning away from Him at the end of the chapter. The people in Acts 19 receive baptism after hearing Paul explain the gospel because they were sincere but unsaved people who are converted after hearing John's true message and then receiving baptism. The passage actually shows that people who don't believe in God the Holy Spirit are unsaved; it doesn't help your case that the anti-Trinitarian adventist denomination was pleasing to God and God saves people who preached against and hated the true Christ who is the eternal Jehovah, equal to the Father and the the Holy Spirit, and even made these anti-Christ's Deity people into His true remnant church while forsaking those who believed in the Trinity and worshipped the true God and made them into Mystery Babylon.

KJB1611 said...


SDA: How about John the Baptist who asked Jesus, are you the one or should we look for another? He clearly doubted the messianship of Jesus, let alone His divinity. Hell as well?


John the Baptist was politely asking Christ "Could you please get on with bringing in the kingdom? Aren't you the Messiah? So why am I in jail and the heathen still in charge?" John boldly preached that he was the messenger preparing the way for Jehovah predicted in the OT, and thus that Christ, for whom he was preparing the way, was Jehovah. Even if we ignored the fact that this is what the first Baptist was actually saying in the passage you allude to, if John actually struggled with doubt, he went to Christ and got the doubt resolved. There is a huge difference between someone who has boldly preached the Deity of Christ for years having a temporary conflict with doubt and the SDA denomination preaching for decade after decade that the Trinity is pagan, evil, blasphemy and leading people who joined their movement to reject the Trinity.

SDA: Now to your question. Did early Adventists die in their sins? This is for God to judge and He will judge them in truth.

Yes, he will judge them in truth, just the way He said He would in John 8:58. We should agree with His judgment and "judge righteous judgment" ourselves, John 7:24, as Christ commanded. The SDAs, Watchtower Society, Muslims, etc. who deny Christ is the I AM, the eternal Jehovah of Exodus 3, will die in their sins. That is what He has judged, and that is what we need to agree with and boldly proclaim along with every other truth in the Bible. Do you agree with Christ's judgment in John 8:58, and preach to others the truth in that verse, and boldly apply God's Word to those who deny that He is the I AM?

KJB1611 said...

Note that this blog post is now linked to here:

http://faithsaves.net/seventh-day-adventism-and-saturday-sabbath-keeping/