Home Page SITE MAP Statement of Beliefs Music Virtual Home Church Services PRIVACY STATEMENT Links ABOUT US Support CONTACT ITH Ministries Guest Book

 

 

 

An independent SDA Ministry
Proclaiming the 3 angels Messages and

   Abiding in the Father and His Son

 
 

Let The Dead Speak

June 2011 Issue

By ITH Ministries

God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it?--He has said that the dead are to speak. How?--Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced. Review and Herald - May 25, 1905

This month's articles.

1.       Joseph Bates - Selected Writings 

2.       James M. Stephenson - The Atonement Pg 126-134 

3.       J.N. Andrews -  EXAMINATION OF SEVEN REASONS FOR SUNDAY-KEEPING  

4.       J. N Loughborough - Questions For Brother Loughborough

5.      Ellen White - Remarks on Pioneers and Landmarks 

 

 

Joseph Bates

Joseph Bates

 1792 - 1872

Selected Writings

My parents were members of long standing in the Congregational church, with all of their converted children thus far, and anxiously hoped that we would also unite with them. But they embraced some points in their faith which I could not understand. I will name two only: their mode of baptism, and doctrine of the trinity. My father, who had been a deacon of long standing with them, labored to convince me that they were right in points of doctrine. … Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was an impossibility for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being. I said to my father, “If you can convince me that we are one in this sense, that you are my father, and I your son; and also that I am your father, and you my son, then I can believe in the trinity.” (Joseph Bates, 1868, The Autobiography Of Elder Joseph Bates, page 204) 

One thing more: Much derision is made about those of our company that have joined the Shakers. I say it is a shame to them first, to have preached so clearly and distinctly the speedy coming of our Lord Jesus Christ personally to gather his saints - and then to go and join the Shakers in their faith, that he (Jesus) came spiritually in their Mother, Ann Lee, more than seventy years ago. This, without doubt in my mind, is owing to their previous teaching and belief in a doctrine called the trinity. How can you find fault with their faith while you are teaching the very essence of that never - no never to be understood, doctrine? For their comfort and faith, and of course your own, you say “Christ is God, and God is love.” As you have given no explanation, we take it to come from you as a literal exposition of the word; … 

We believe that Peter and his master settled this question beyond controversy, Matt. 16:13-19; and I cannot see why Daniel and John has not fully confirmed that Christ is the Son, and, not God the Father. How could Daniel explain his vision of the 7th chapter, if “Christ was God.” Here he sees one “like the Son (and it cannot be proved that it was any other person) of man, and there was given him Dominion, and Glory, and a kingdom;” by the ancient of days. Then John describes one seated on a throne with a book in his right hand, and he distinctly saw Jesus come up to the throne and take the book out of the hand of him that sat thereon. Now if it is possible to make these two entirely different transactions appear in one person, then I could believe that God died and was buried instead of Jesus, and that Paul was mistaken when he said, “Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead out Lord Jesus that great shepherd of the sheep” &c., and that Jesus also did not mean what he said when he asserted that he came from God, and was going to God, &c.&c,; and much more, if necessary, to prove the utter absurdity of such a faith. (A letter written by Joseph Bates to William Miller, 1848, Past And Present Experience, page 187) 

Return to Menu

 

James M. Stephenson

Dates of life and photo lost in the obscurity of time

The Atonement

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John i, 14. Here the Word, and the only begotten Son, are used synonymously; thus, the Word was made flesh, and we beheld his glory, i. e., the Word's glory, etc. , we learn that this Word, i. e., the only begotten Son of God, was in the beginning and was the instrumentality by which all things were made, which were made. 

To be the only begotten Son of God must be understood in a different sense than to be a Son by creation; for in that sense all the creatures he has made are sons. Nor can it refer to his miraculous conception, with the virgin Mary, by the Holy Ghost; because he is represented by this endearing title more than four thousand years before his advent in the village of Bethlehem. Moreover, he is represented as being exalted far above the highest orders of men and angels in his primeval nature. He must therefore be understood as being the Son of God in a much higher sense than any other being. His being the only begotten of the Father supposes that none except him were thus begotten; hence he is, in truth and verity the only begotten Son of God; and as such he must be Divine; that is, be a partaker of the Divine nature. This term expresses his highest, and most exalted nature. Neither the Father, the prophets, nor the apostles apply a higher term to him. The Son of God himself never claimed a higher title. The Jews accused him of blasphemy upon this high claim. John x, 36. This claim also excited their rage to the highest degree. John v, 18. In this glorious and dignified character he is presented as the true Messiah and Saviour of the world; and as the great object of faith, and the author of eternal life. John i, 18, 36; vi, 69. In this character he is presented as the glorious object of worship by all the Host of heaven. Heb. i, 6. In the last clause of the previous verse the Father says, "And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son:" and as has been shown, these passages refer to his primeval nature. And in this character he is represented as the Creator of the worlds. Heb. i, 2, 3; John i, 1-3. 

But in the last place, on this point, What was the origin of this nature; or in other words, the origin of the Son of God. It is admitted by Trinitarians that the pre-existence, simply considered, does not prove his eternal God-head, nor his eternal Son-ship. Says Watson, a standard writer of the Trinitarian School, "His pre-existence, indeed, simply considered, does not evince his God-head, and is not therefore, a proof against the Arian hypothesis; but it destroys the Socinian notion, that he was a man only. For since no one contends for the pre-existence of human souls, and if they did, the doctrine would be confuted by their own consciousness, it is clear, that if Christ existed before his incarnation, he is not a mere man, whatever his nature, by other arguments may be proved to be." This is an honest acknowledgement plainly expressed. And in reference to his nature, it has been shown to be Divine; and being such, it must have been immortal. Indeed this proposition is self-evident; for he who is Divine, must be immortal. 

We cannot suppose that Christ was mortal, and as such, would have heen subject to death, had not the plan of redemption been devised; he must, therefore, in his original nature, have been deathless. 

The question now to be considered, then, is not whether the only begotten Son of God was Divine, immortal, or the most dignified and exalted being, the Father only excepted, in the entire Universe; all this has been proved, and but few will call it in question; but whether this august Personage is self-existent and eternal, in its absolute, or unlimited sense; or whether in his highest nature, and character, he had an origin, and consequently beginning of days. The idea of Father and Son supposes priority of the existence of the one, and the subsequent existence of the other. To say that the Son is as old as his Father, is a palpable contradiction of terms. It is a natural impossibility for the Father to be as young as the Son, or the Son to be as old as the Father. If it be said that this term is only used in an accommodated sense, it still remains to be accounted for, why the Father should use as the uniform title of the highest, and most endearing relation between himself and our Lord, a term which, in its uniform signification, would contradict the very idea he wished to convey. If the inspired writers had wished to convey the idea of the co-etaneous existence, and eternity of the Father and Son, they could not possibly have used more incompatible terms. And of this, Trinitarians have been sensible. Mr. Fuller, although a Trinitarian, had the honesty to acknowledge, in the conclusion of his work on the Son-ship of Christ, that, "in the order of nature, the Father must have existed before the Son." But with this admission, he attempts to reconcile the idea of the Son's being "properly eternal," as well as the Father; two ideas utterly irreconcilable. The idea of an eternal Son is a self-contradiction. He must, therefore have an origin. But what saith the Scriptures? They speak right to the point. The apostle Paul says, speaking of Christ, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature." Col. i, 15. Notice, 1st. This cannot refer to his birth of the Virgin Mary, in Bethlehem of Judea, because millions of creatures, in connection with this world, had been born previous to that time. Cain and Abel had been born more than four thousand years previously. 2nd. The following verse makes his birth antecedent to the creation of all things in heaven and on earth, including all worlds, all ranks and orders of intelligences, visible and invisible. "For by him." By whom? Ans. By the first born of every creature. The pronoun him refers to this being for its antecedent. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." Verse 16. All things in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, evidently include all the orders of created intelligences. Now, he must have been born, i. e., had a real intelligent existence, before he could exercise creative power. But all the works of creation are ascribed to him as the "first born of every creature;? hence the birth here spoken of, must have been previous to the existence of the first creature in heaven or in earth. To be such, it must refer to his Divine nature, unless he had two distinctive natures before his incarnation; for which no one contends. But the 17th verse fixes the priority of the birth here spoken of. "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Here the pronoun he refers to the same person for its antecedent, that the pronoun him does; and both refer to "the first born of every creature." And the "all things," he is before, in this verse, are evidently the "all things" named in the previous verse. Hence the point is fully established, that it is the Divine nature of our blessed Redeemer which is here spoken of; and that this nature was born: and in reference to his order, he was "the first born." 

Again, in John i, 1-3, 14, we have the same class of evidence. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." "In the beginning," evidently refers to the commencement of the series of events brought to view in these verses, which was the creation of all things. This gives "the only begotten of the Father" (see verse 14) intelligent existence before the first act of creative power was put forth, and proves that it is his Divine nature here spoken of; and that too, in connection with the creation of all things. In verse 14, this Word, who was "in the beginning" "with God," who "was God," and by whom "all things were made, that were made," is declared to be the "only begotten of the Father," thereby teaching that in his highest nature he was begotten; and consequently as such, he must have had a beginning. Associate the many occurrences of the term, "only begotten Son of God," with the person, nature, and time, brought to view in the foregoing verses; and if any doubts still remain, in reference to the Divine nature of the only begotten Son of God having had an origin, you may compare them with those texts which exclude the possibility of his being eternal, in the sense of his never having had a beginning of days; such as "The blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality." 1 Tim. vi, 16. This cannot be understood in the sense of none having deathless natures, or being exempt from death, except the Father; for Christ at that time was immortal in this sense: so were all the angels who had kept their "first estate;" it must, therefore be understood in the same sense, that we all understand, his being the only Potentate; not that there are no other potentates; but that he is the only Supreme Ruler. There cannot be two Supreme Rulers at the same time. 

Again, where it is declared, that there are none good except the Father, it cannot be understood that none others are good in a relative sense; for Christ and angels, are good, perfect, in their respective sphere; but that the Father alone is supremely, or absolutely, good; and that he alone is immortal in an absolute sense; that he alone is self-existent; and, that; consequently, every other being, however high or low, is absolutely dependent upon him for life; for being. This idea is most emphatically expressed by our Saviour himself: "For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." John v, 26. This would be singular language for one to use who had life in his essential nature, just as much as the Father. To meet such a view, it should read thus: For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath the Son life in himself. If as Trinitarians argue, the Divine nature of the Son hath life in himself (i. e., is self existent) just the same, and in as absolute a sense, as the Father, why should he represent himself as actually dependent upon the Father for life? What propriety in representing the Father as conferring upon him a gift which he had possessed from all eternity? If it be said that his human nature derived its life from the Father, I would answer, It does not thus read; or even if it did, I would still urge the impropriety of the human nature of the Son of God representing itself as being absolutely dependent upon the Father for the gift of life. Would it not be much more reasonable, in such case, for the human nature of Christ to derive its life, and vitality, from its union with the Divine nature, instead of from its union with the Father? I understand this passage according to the natural import of the language: "For as the Father hath life (i. e., existence) in himself, (i. e., self-existent,) so hath he given to the Son to have life (i. e., existence) in himself." 

I know I will be referred to the declaration of our Saviour, I have power to lay down my life, and to take it up again. John x, 18. Read the last clause of this verse: "This commandment (commission-Campbell) have I received of my Father." 

I will conclude the evidence upon this point by quoting one more passage. Paul says, "And again, when he bringeth the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Heb. i, 6. He must have been his Son before he could send him into the world. In verse 2, the Father declares that he made the worlds by the same Son he is here represented as sending into the world. His Son must have existed before he created the worlds; and he must have been begotten before he existed; hence the begetting here spoken of, must refer to his Divine nature, and in reference to his order, he is the first-begotten; hence as a matter of necessity he must have been "the first born of every creature." Col. i, 15. "The first born of every creature." Creature signifies creation; hence to be the first born of every creature, (creation) he must be a created being; and as such, his life and immortality must depend upon the Father's will, just as much as angels, or redeemed men: and as the Father has given his Son to have life in himself, so his Son will give this life to all his children. His invitation is to all, "Come unto me and I will give you life." The glorious promise for all the pious dead is, that their lives are hid with Christ in God, and when he who is their life shall appear, then shall they appear with him in glory. 

Having investigated the original nature, glory and dignity of our Lord and Master; having gazed a few moments upon the face of him who is the fairest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely; having had a glance at the celestial glory he had with the Father, before the world was, and beheld that matchless form which is the image of the invisible God; and having looked with wonder and admiration upon this august personage, exalted far above angels and thrones and dominions, principalities and powers; we are prepared, as far as our feeble perceptions can comprehend, to appreciate that amazing love and condescension which induced our adorable Redeemer to forego all the glories and honors of heaven, and all the endearments of his Father's presence. Although all his Father's treasures were his, yet he became so poor, that he had not where to lay his head; oft-times the cold, damp earth being his only bed, and the blue heavens his only covering; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief-scoffed at by the Jews, and mocked by the Gentiles; a houseless stranger, he wore out his life under the ignoble garb of a servant, and last of all "died, the just for the unjust," and took his exit from the world under the infamous character of a malefactor. O! was ever love like this! Did ever mercy stoop so low? Well might the poet exclaim, 

"O for this love let rocks and hills 

Their lasting silence break; 

And all harmonious human tongues 

Their Saviour's praises speak."

 

The Atonement - Pg 126-134

 

 Return to Menu

Elder J.N. Andrews

1829 - 1883 

AN EXAMINATION OF SEVEN REASONS FOR SUNDAY-KEEPING 

 

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2Tim.3:16,17.

IN this text we are assured that every word of the sacred Scriptures was given by the Holy Spirit; that every doctrine which men should believe is therein revealed; that every fault is therein reproved; that every error is corrected by its words of truth; and that perfect instruction in all righteousness is therein given.

The design of its Author in providing such a book was, that the man of God might thereby be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. This is the treasure which God has given to his church. Nor is this all that he has done. To those who are willing to obey the teachings of his word he has promised the Spirit to guide them into all truth.

To men thus situated, Jehovah thus speaks: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1Thess.5:21. That is, bring every part of your faith and practice to the test of God's sure word; ask the Holy Spirit's aid, that your mind may be delivered from prejudice, and your understanding enlightened in the word of truth. Then, what you find revealed in that word, hold fast; it is of priceless value; but relinquish at once every precept or doctrine not therein recorded, lest you make the doctrines of men of equal weight with the commandments of God. "What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord."

As the first day of the week is now almost universally observed in the place of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, we design in this tract to examine the grounds on which this observance rests. Those who are willing to submit their opinion to the test of Scripture and of reason are invited to unite with us in the examination of this subject. For what reason do men prefer the first day of the week to the ancient Sabbath of the Lord? On what authority do men continually violate the day which God sanctified, and commanded mankind to keep holy? Come, now, and let us reason together. Here is the commandment which it is said has been changed:

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Ex.20:8-11.

That this commandment requires men to remember and to keep holy the rest-day of the Creator, which he hallowed at the close of the first week of time, none can deny. We now ask for the authority for the change of this commandment.

Papists believe that their church had power to change the fourth commandment; and, on that authority alone, they are perfectly satisfied in observing the first day of the week.

Protestants deny the authority of the church or Rome, and attempt to vindicate the change of the Sabbath by an appeal to the Bible. This is what we wish them to do. We ask them, therefore, to present a single text in which it is said that God has changed his Sabbath to the first day of the week. The advocates of the change have none to offer. If they cannot present such a text, will they give us one which testifies that God ever blessed and sanctified the first day of the week? Its observers admit that they have none to present. But will they not give us one text in which men are required to keep the first day holy, as a Sabbath unto the Lord? They acknowledge that they have none. How, then, do they dare to exalt the first day of the week above the Sabbath of the Lord, which the commandment requires us to remember, and keep holy?

The Bible thoroughly furnishes the man of God unto all good works. Can Sunday-keeping be a very good work when the Bible has never said anything in its favor? Or, if it is a good work, can men be very thoroughly furnished in its defense when God has said nothing in its favor? Instead of being a good work, must it not be a fearful sin against God to thus pervert the fourth commandment, when once the mind has been enlightened on the subject?

But there are several reasons urged for the observance of the first day of the week, which we will here notice.

FIRST REASON. Redemption is greater than creation; therefore we ought to keep the day of Christ's resurrection, instead of the ancient Sabbath of the Lord.

Where has God said this? Sunday-keepers are compelled to admit that he never did say it. What right, then, has any man to make such an assertion, and then to base the change of the Sabbath upon it? But suppose that redemption is greater than creation who knows that we ought to keep the first day of the week on that account? God never required men to keep any day as a memorial of redemption. But if it were a duty to observe one day of the week for this reason, most certainly the crucifixion day presents the strongest claims. It is not said that we have redemption through Christ's resurrection; but it is said that we have redemption through the shedding of his blood. "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Rev.5:9. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; Heb.9:12,15.

Then redemption is through the death of the Lord Jesus; consequently the day on which he shed his precious blood to redeem us, and said, "It is finished," John 19:30, is the day that should be kept as a memorial of redemption, if any should be observed for that purpose.

Nor can it be urged that the resurrection day is the most remarkable day in the history of redemption. It needs but a word to prove that, in this respect, it is far exceeded by the day of the crucifixion. Which is the more remarkable event, the act of Jehovah in giving his beloved and only Son to die for a race of rebels, or the act of the Father in raising that beloved Son from the dead? There is only one answer that can be given: It was not remarkable that God should raise his Son from the dead; but the act of the Father in giving his Son to die for sinners was a spectacle of redeeming love on which the universe might gaze, and adore the wondrous love of God to all eternity. Who can wonder that the sun was vailed in darkness, and that all nature trembled at the sight! The crucifixion day, therefore, has far greater claims than the day of the resurrection. God has not enjoined the observance of either; and is it not a fearful act to make void the commandments of God by that wisdom which is folly in his sight? 1Cor.1:19,20.

But if we would commemorate redemption, there is no necessity of robbing the Lord's rest-day of its holiness in order to do it. When truth takes from us our errors, it always has something better to take their place. So the false memorial of redemption being taken out of the way, the word presents in its stead those which are true. God has provided us with memorials, bearing his own signature; and these we may observe with the blessing of Heaven. Would you commemorate the death of our Lord? You need not keep the day of his crucifixion. The Bible tells you how to do it.

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." 1Cor.11:23-26.

Would you commemorate the burial and resurrection of the Saviour? You need not keep the first day of the week. The Lord ordained a very different and far more appropriate memorial. "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." Rom.6:3-5. "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." Col.2:12.

It is true that the professed church have changed this ordinance to sprinkling, so that this divine memorial of the Lord's resurrection is destroyed. And that they may add sin to sin, they lay hold of the Lord's Sabbath and change it to the first day of the week, thus destroying the sacred memorial of the Creator's rest, that they may have a memorial of Christ's resurrection! "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." When will the professed church cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? Not until the "inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." Isa.24:5,6.

SECOND REASON. The disciples met on the day of our Lord's resurrection to commemorate that event, and the Saviour sanctioned this meeting by uniting with them. John 20:19.

If every word of this were truth, it would not prove that the Sabbath of the Lord has been changed. But to show the utter absurdity of this inference, listen to a few facts. The disciples did not then believe that their Lord had been raised from the dead, but were assembled for the purpose of eating a common meal, and to seclude themselves from the Jews. The words of Mark and of John make this clear: "He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue; neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen." Mark 16:12-14. John says: "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." John 20:19.

It is a fact, therefore, that the disciples were not commemorating the resurrection of the Saviour; it is equally evident that they had not the slightest idea of a change of the Sabbath. At the burial of the Saviour, the women who had followed him to the tomb returned and prepared spices and ointments to embalm him; the Sabbath drew on; they rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment; and when the Sabbath was past, they came to the sepulcher upon the first day of the week to embalm their Lord. Luke 23:55,56; 24:1. They kept the Sabbath, according to the commandment, and resumed their labor on the first day of the week.

THIRD REASON. After eight days, Jesus met with his disciples again. John 20:26. This must have been the first day of the week, which is thereby proved to be the Christian Sabbath.

Were it certain that this occurred on the first day of the week, it would not furnish a single particle of proof that that day had become the Sabbath of the Lord. But who can be certain that "after eight days" means just a week? It would be nearer a literal construction of the language to conclude that this was upon the ninth day. As an illustration, read Matt.17:1: "And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John," etc. Now turn to Luke 9:28: "And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter, and John, and James," etc. Then, "after six days" is about eight days in this instance. But if "after eight days" means just a week, how does this prove that Sunday has taken the place of the Lord's Sabbath? Rather, how does it prove that Sunday has become the Christian Sabbath, when there is not a particle of evidence that either Christ or his apostles ever rested on that day? There is no such term as Christian Sabbath found in the Bible. The only weekly Sabbath named in the Bible is called the Sabbath of the Lord. Was the act of Christ in appearing to his disciples sufficient to constitute the day on which it occurred the Sabbath? If so, why did he next select a fishing day as the time to manifest himself to them? John 21. If it is not sufficient, then the Sunday on which he was first seen of them, the fishing day on which they next saw him, and the Thursday on which he was last seen of them, may not be Sabbaths. It was not very remarkable that Christ should find his disciples together, inasmuch as they had one common abode. Acts 1:13.

FOURTH REASON. The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, which was the first day of the week. Therefore, the first day of the week should be observed instead of the Sabbath of the Lord. Acts 2:1,2.

Admitting that the day of Pentecost occurred upon the first day of the week, it remains to be proved that that day thereby became the Sabbath. But that it was the feast of Pentecost, and not the first day of the week, that God designed to honor, the following facts demonstrate:

1. While the day of Pentecost is distinctly named, the day of the week on which it occurred is passed in silence.

2. The disciples had been engaged in earnest prayer for the space of ten days; for the day of Pentecost was fifty days from the resurrection of Christ, and forty of those days he spent with his disciples. Acts 1. Forty days from his resurrection would expire on Thursday, the day of his ascension. A period of ten days after his ascension on Thursday would include two first-days, the last of which would be the day of Pentecost. If the design of God had been to honor the first day of the week, why did not the Holy Ghost descend on the first of those first-days? Why must the day of Pentecost come before the Holy Ghost could descend? This answer is obvious: It was not the design of Heaven to honor the first day of the week, but to mark the antitype of the feast of Pentecost. Hence the first day of the week is passed in silence.  

The slaying of the paschal lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month had met its antitype in the death of the Lamb of God on that day. Ex.12; John 19; 1Cor.5:7. The offering of the first-fruits on the sixteenth day of the first month had met its antitype in the resurrection of our Lord on that day, the first-fruits of them that slept. Lev.23; 1Cor.15:20-23. It remained that the day of Pentecost, fifty days later, should also meet its antitype. Lev.23:15-21. The fulfillment of that type is what the pen of inspiration has recorded in Acts 2:1,2. God has spoken nothing in this place respecting a change of his Sabbath. Yet grave men, calling themselves Doctors of Divinity, consider this text one of their strongest testimonies for their so-called Christian Sabbath. They might be profited by this advice of the wise man: "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Prov.30:6.

FIFTH REASON. Paul once broke bread upon the first day of the week at Troas. Hence this day was observed as the Christian Sabbath. Acts 20:7.

We answer that at one period the apostolic church at Jerusalem broke bread every day. Acts 2:42-46. If a single instance of breaking bread at Troas upon the first day of the week was quite sufficient to constitute it the Sabbath, would not the continued practice of the apostolic church at Jerusalem in breaking bread every day be amply sufficient to make every day a Sabbath? Moreover, as the act of the great Head of the church in breaking bread must be quite as important as that of his servant Paul, must not the day of the crucifixion be pre-eminently the Christian Sabbath, as Christ instituted and performed this ordinance on the evening with which that day commenced? 1Cor.11:23-26.  

But on what day of the week did this act of Paul's occur? For, if it is of sufficient importance to make the day of its occurrence the future Sabbath of the church, the day is worth determining. The act of breaking bread was after midnight; for Paul preached to the disciples until midnight, then healed Eutychus, and after this attended to breaking bread. Acts 20:7-11. If, as time is reckoned at the present day, the first day of the week terminated at midnight, then Paul's act of breaking bread was performed upon the second day of the week, or Monday, which should henceforth be regarded as the Christian Sabbath, if breaking bread on a day makes it a Sabbath.

But, if the Bible method of commencing the day, viz., from sunset, was followed, it would appear that the disciples came together at the close of the Sabbath for an evening meeting, as the apostle was to depart in the morning. If it was not an evening meeting, why did they have many lights there? Paul preached unto them until midnight, and then broke bread with the disciples early in the morning of the first day of the week. Did this act constitute that day the Sabbath? If so, then why did Paul, as soon as it was light, start on his long journey to Jerusalem? If Paul believed that Sunday was the Christian Sabbath, why did he thus openly violate it? If he did not believe it had become the Sabbath, why should you? And why do you grasp, as evidence that the Sabbath has been changed, a single instance in which an evening meeting was held on Sunday, while you overlook the fact that it was the custom of this same apostle to preach every Sabbath, not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles? Acts 13:14,42,44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4.

Paul broke bread on the first day of the week, and then immediately started on his long journey to Jerusalem. So that this, the strongest argument for the first day of the week, furnishes direct proof that Sunday is not the Sabbath.

 

SIXTH REASON. Paul commanded the church at Corinth to take up a public collection on the first day of the week; therefore it follows that this must have been a day of public worship, and consequently is the Christian Sabbath. 1Cor.16:2.

We answer, It is a remarkable fact that Paul enjoins exactly the reverse of a public collection. He does not say, Place your alms in the public treasury on the first day of the week; but he says, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store."

J. W. Morton, in his "Vindication of the True Sabbath," pp.51,52, says:-

"The apostle simply orders that each one of the Corinthian brethren should lay up at home some portion of his weekly gains on the first day of the week. The whole question turns upon the meaning of the expression, 'by him;' and I marvel greatly how you can imagine that it means 'in the collection-box of the congregation.' Greenfield, in his Lexicon, translates the Greek term, 'by one's self, i.e., at home.' Two Latin versions, the Vulgate and that of Castellio, render it, 'apud se,' with one's self, at home. Three French translations, those of Martin, Osterwald, and De Sacy, 'chez soi,' at his own house, at home. The German of Luther, 'bei sich selbst,' by himself, at home. The Dutch, 'by hemselven,' same as the German. The Italian of Diodati, 'appresso di se,' in his own presence, at home. The Spanish of Felipe Scio, 'en su casa,' in his own house. The Portuguese of Ferreira, 'para isso,' with himself. The Swedish, 'noer sig self,' near himself. I know not how much this list of authorities might be swelled; for I have not examined one translation that differs from those quoted above."  

The text, therefore, does not prove that the Corinthian church was assembled for public worship on that day; but, on the contrary, it does prove that each must be at his own home where he could examine his worldly affairs, and lay by himself in store as God had prospered him. If each one should thus, from week to week, collect his earnings, when the apostle should come their bounty would be ready, and each would be able to present to him what he had gathered. So that, if the first-day Sabbath has no better foundation than the inference drawn from this text, it truly rests upon sliding sand.

SEVENTH REASON. John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, which was the first day of the week. Rev.1:10.

This is the kind of reasoning which the advocates of Sunday are invariably obliged to adopt. But we ask, What right have they to assume the very point which they ought to prove? This text, it is true, furnishes direct proof that there is a day in the gospel dispensation which the Lord claims as his; but is there one text in the Bible which testifies that the first day of the week is the Lord's day? There is not one. Has God ever claimed that day as his? Never. Has God ever claimed any day as his, and reserved it to himself? He has. "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." Gen.2:3. "To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord." Ex.16:23. "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Ex.20:10. "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day," etc. Isa.58:13. "Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." Mark 2:28.

Then the seventh day is the day which God reserved to himself when he gave to man the other six; and this day he calls his holy day. This is the day which the New Testament declares the Son of man to be Lord of.

Is there one testimony in the Scriptures that the Lord of the Sabbath has put away his holy day and chosen another? Not one. Then that day which the Bible designates as the Lord's day is none other than the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.

Pamphlet by J. N. ANDREWS.  1889.

 

Return to Menu 

 

J. N. Loughborough

J. N. Loughborough

1832 - 1924

Questions for Bro. Loughborough 

BRO. WHITE: The following questions I would like to have you give, or send, to Bro. Loughborough for explanation. W. W. Giles. Toledo, Ohio.

QUESTION 1. What serious objection is there to the doctrine of the Trinity? 

ANSWER. There are many objections which we might urge, but on account of our limited space we shall reduce them to the three following: 1. It is contrary to common sense. 2. It is contrary to scripture. 3. Its origin is Pagan and fabulous. 

These positions we will remark upon briefly in their order. 1. It is not very consonant with common sense to talk of three being one, and one being three. Or as some express it, calling God “the Triune God,” or “the three-one-God.” If Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are each God, it would be three Gods; for three times one is not one, but three. There is a sense in which they are one, but not one person, as claimed by Trinitarians. 

2. It is contrary to Scripture. Almost any portion of the New Testament we may open which has occasion to speak of the Father and Son, represents them as two distinct persons. The seventeenth chapter of John is alone sufficient to refute the doctrine of the Trinity. Over forty times in that one chapter Christ speaks of his Father as a person distinct from himself. His Father was in heaven and he upon earth. The Father had sent him. Given to him those that believed. He was then to go to the Father. And in this very testimony he shows us in what consists the oneness of the Father and Son. It is the same as the oneness of the members of Christ’s church. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” Of one heart and one mind. Of one purpose in all the plan devised for man’s salvation. Read the seventeenth chapter of John, and see if it does not completely upset the doctrine of the Trinity. 

To believe that doctrine, when reading the scripture we must believe that God sent himself into the world, died to reconcile the world to himself, raised himself from the dead, ascended to himself in heaven, pleads before himself in heaven to reconcile the world to himself, and is the only mediator between man and himself. It will not do to substitute the human nature of Christ (according to Trinitarians) as the Mediator; for Clarke says, “Human blood can no more appease God than swine’s blood.” Com. on 2 Sam. 21:10. We must believe also that in the garden God prayed to himself, if it were possible, to let the cup pass from himself, and a thousand other such absurdities. 

Read carefully the following texts, comparing them with the idea that Christ is the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Supreme, and only self-existent God: John 14:28; 17:3; 3:16; 5:19, 26; 11:15; 20:19; 8:50; 6:38; Mark 8:32; Luke 6:12; 22:69; 24:29; Matt. 3:17; 27:46; Gal. 3:20; 1 John 2:1; Rev. 5:7; Acts 17:31. Also see Matt. 11:25, 27; Luke 1:32; 22:42; John 3:35, 36; 5:19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26; 6:40; 8:35, 36; 14:13; 1 Cor. 15:28, &c.

The word Trinity nowhere occurs in the Scriptures. The principal text supposed to teach it is 1 John 5:7, which is an interpolation. Clarke says, “Out of one hundred and thirteen manuscripts, the text is wanting in one hundred and twelve. It occurs in no MS. before the tenth century. And the first place the text occurs in Greek, is in the Greek translation of the acts of the Council of Lateran, held A. D. 1215.” - Com. on 1 John 5, and remarks at close of chap. 

3. Its origin is pagan and fabulous. Instead of pointing us to scripture for proof of the trinity, we are pointed to the trident of the Persians, with the assertion that “by this they designed to teach the idea of a trinity, and if they had the doctrine of the trinity, they must have received it by tradition from the people of God. But this is all assumed, for it is certain that the Jewish church held to no such doctrine. Says Mr. Summerbell, “A friend of mine who was present in a New York synagogue, asked the Rabbi for an explanation of the word ‘Elohim’. A Trinitarian clergyman who stood by, replied, ‘Why, that has reference to the three persons in the Trinity,’ when a Jew stepped forward and said he must not mention that word again, or they would have to compel him to leave the house; for it was not permitted to mention the name of any strange god in the synagogue.” (Discussion between Summerbell and Flood on Trinity, p. 38) Milman says the idea of the Trident is fabulous. (Hist. Christianity, p. 34) 

This doctrine of the trinity was brought into the church about the same time with image worship, and keeping the day of the sun, and is but Persian doctrine remodeled. It occupied about three hundred years from its introduction to bring the doctrine to what it is now. It was commenced about 325 A. D., and was not completed till 681. See Milman’s Gibbon’s Rome, vol. 4, p. 422. It was adopted in Spain in 589, in England in 596, in Africa in 534. - Gib. vol. 4, pp. 114, 345; Milner, vol. 1, p. 519. (To be continued.) (J. N. Loughborough, November 5, 1861, Review & Herald, vol. 18, page 184, par. 1-11) 

 

 Return to Menu

Our Periodicals 

God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it?—He has said that the dead are to speak. How?—Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work,who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced. And in The Signs of the Times let not the articles be long or the print fine. Do not try to crowd everything into one number of the paper. Let the print be good, and let earnest, living experiences be put into the paper. 

Not long ago I took up a copy of the Bible Echo. As I looked it through, I saw an article by Elder Haskell and one by Elder . As I laid the paper down, I said, These articles must be reproduced. There is truth and power in them. Men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 

Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people. Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. They talk science, and the enemy comes in and gives them an abundance of science; but it is not the science of salvation. It is not the science of humility, of consecration, or of the sanctification of the Spirit. We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are,—the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step. 

Early Experiences 

After the passing of the time in 1844 we searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with the brethren, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me. I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, his mission, and his priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.

During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principal points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God. The brethren knew that, when not in vision, I could not understand these matters, and they accepted, as light directly from heaven, the revelations given. 

Many errors arose, and though I was then little more than a child, I was sent by the Lord from place to place to rebuke those who were holding these false doctrines. There were those who were in danger of going into fanaticism, and I was bidden in the name of the Lord to give them a warning from heaven. 

We shall have to meet these same false doctrines again. There will be those who will claim to have visions. When God gives you clear evidence that the vision is from him, you may accept it, but do not accept it on any other evidence; for people are going to be led more and more astray in foreign countries and in America. The Lord wants his people to act like men and women of sense. 

Salvation in the Truth 

In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years? (Ellen White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, May 5, 1905) 

Let Pioneers Identify Truth.—When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after-suppositions, contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. 

A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat and repeat till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard-bearers who have fallen in death, are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time. Preach the Word, p. 5. (Ellen White, 1905, Counsels to Writers and Editors, pages 31, 32) 

Protest against Removing Landmarks 

When men come in who would move one pin or pillar from the foundation which God has established by His Holy Spirit, let the aged men who were pioneers in our work speak plainly, and let those who are dead speak also, by the reprinting of their articles in our periodicals. Gather up the rays of divine light that God has given as He has led His people on step by step in the way of truth. This truth will stand the test of time and trial. Ms 62, 1905, p. 6. (A Warning against False Theories, May 24, 1905.) (Ellen White, 1905, Manuscript Releases Volume One, page 55) 

The Testimony of Pioneer Workers.—I have had presentations regarding the deceptions that Satan is bringing in at this time. I have been instructed that we should make prominent the testimony of some of the old workers who are now dead. Let them continue to speak through their articles as found in the early numbers of our papers. These articles should now be reprinted, that there may be a living voice from the Lord’s witnesses. The history of the early experiences in the message will be a power to withstand the masterly ingenuity of Satan’s deceptions. This instruction has been repeated recently. I must present before the people the testimonies of Bible truth, and repeat the decided messages given years ago. I desire that my sermons given at camp meetings and in churches may live and do their appointed work.—Letter 99, 1905. (Ellen White, 1905, Counsels to Writers and Editors, page 26) 

I long daily to be able to do double duty. I have been pleading with the Lord for strength and wisdom to reproduce the writings of the witnesses who were confirmed in the faith in the early history of the message. After the passing of the time in 1844, they received the light and walked in the light, and when the men claiming to have new light would come in with their wonderful messages regarding various points of Scripture, we had, through the moving of the Holy Spirit, testimonies right to the point, which cut off the influence of such messages as Elder A. F. has been devoting his time to presenting. This poor man has been working decidedly against the truth that the Holy Spirit has confirmed. When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after-suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. … 

We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar of the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God. 

Elder proofs are not reliable. If received, they would destroy the faith of God’s people in the truth that has made us what we are. We must be decided on this subject, for the points that he is trying to prove by Scripture are not sound. They do not prove that the past experience of God’s people was a fallacy. We had the truth: we were directed by the angels of God. It was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the presentation of the sanctuary question was given. It is eloquence for everyone to keep silent in regard to the features of our faith in which they acted no part.

God never contradicts Himself. Scripture proofs are misapplied if forced to testify to that which is not true. Another and still another will arise and bring in supposedly great light, and make their assertions. But we stand by the old landmarks. [1 John 1:1-10 quoted.]

I am instructed to say that these words we may use as appropriate for this time, for the time has come when sin must be called by its right name. We are hindered in our work by men who are not converted, who seek their own glory. They wish to be thought originators of new theories, which they present, claiming that they are truth. But if these theories are received, they will lead to a denial of the truth that for the past fifty years God has been giving to His people, substantiating it by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. 

Let all men beware what is the character of their work. They would better be falling into line for their own souls’ sake and for the sake of the souls of others. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). It is nothing to the credit of any man to start on a new track, using Scripture to substantiate theories of error, leading minds into confusion, away from the truths that are to be indelibly impressed on the minds of God’s people, that they may hold fast to the faith.—Letter 329, 1905. (To J. A. Burden, December 11, 1905). (Ellen White, 1905, Manuscript Release No. 760: The Integrity of the Sanctuary Truth, pages 18-20) 

The leading points of our faith as we hold them today were firmly established. Point after point was clearly defined, and all the brethren came into harmony. The whole company of believers were united in the truth. There were those who came in with strange doctrines, but we were never afraid to meet them. Our experience was wonderfully established by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.—MS 135, 1903. (Ellen G. White, The Early Years Volume 1 - 1827-1862, page 145) 

The record of the experience through which the people of God passed in the early history of our work must be republished. Many of those who have since come into the truth are ignorant of the way in which the Lord wrought. The experience of William Miller and his associates, of Captain Joseph Bates, and of other pioneers in the advent message, should be kept before our people. Elder Loughborough’s book should receive attention. Our leading men should see what can be done for the circulation of this book. (Ellen White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, page 145) 

Vindication of Our Message 

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; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. 1 Tim. 4:1, 2.

I am instructed that the Lord, by His infinite power, has preserved the right hand of His messenger for more than half a century, in order that the truth may be written out as He bids me write it for publication, in periodicals and books, Why?—Because if it were not thus written out, when the pioneers in the faith shall die, there would be many, new in the faith, who would sometimes accept as messages of truth teachings that contain erroneous sentiments and dangerous fallacies. Sometimes that which men teach as “special light” is in reality specious error, which, as tares sown among the wheat, will spring up and produce a baleful harvest. And errors of this sort will be entertained by some until the close of this earth’s history. 

There are some, who upon accepting erroneous theories, strive to establish them by collecting from my writings statements of truth, which they use, separated from their proper connection and perverted by association with error. Thus seeds of heresy, springing up and growing rapidly into strong plants, are surrounded by many precious plants of truth, and in this way a mighty effort is made to vindicate the genuineness of the spurious plants. 

So it was with the heresies taught in Living Temple. [* A BOOK EXPRESSING PANTHEISTIC SENTIMENTS PUBLISHED BY J. H. KELLOGG.] The subtle errors in this book were surrounded by many beautiful truths. … The seductive fallacies of Satan undermined confidence in the true pillars of the faith, which are grounded on Bible evidence. Truth is sustained by a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” But there has been a weaving in of error, and the use of scriptures out of their natural connection, in order to substantiate fallacies, which would deceive, if possible, the very elect. … 

Let not the days pass by and precious opportunities be lost of seeking the Lord with all the heart and mind and soul. If we accept not the truth in the love of it, we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days, and believe them.—Letter 136, April 27, 1906, to Brethren Butler, Daniells, and Irwin. (Ellen White, 1906, This Day with God, page 126) 

 

Return To Menu