The Eternal Nature Of Truth

New Light or Not?

Review and Herald, April 14, 1893: “The events of the future WILL be discerned by prophecy, and WILL be understood.

"I stated that... there was to be special light for God's people as they neared the closing scenes of this earth's history. Another angel was to come from heaven with a message, and the whole earth was to be lightened with his glory. It would be impossible for us to state just how this additional light would come. It might come in a very unexpected manner, in a way that would not agree with the ideas that many have conceived. It is not at all unlikely, or contrary to the ways and works of God, to send light to His people in unexpected ways." Manuscript Releases, volume 13, 334.

In Psalms 119:105 we learn that "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." 

"The five foolish virgins had lamps (this means a knowledge of Scripture truth), but they had not the grace of Christ. Day by day they went through a round of ceremonies and external duties, but their service was lifeless, devoid of the righteousness of Christ."  The Review and Herald, March 27, 1894.

THE LAMPS WHICH ALL THE VIRGINS HAVE = THE WORD OF GOD (Rev 19:13) = Jesus the Son of God the Father.
Psalm 119:105: - “Thy word (Jesus the Son of God) [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Ephesians 5:13: "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light."

Psalms 119:130 "The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

John 3:21: "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

1. When did the truths that God gave to the Pioneers and Ellen White become error? In other words, when did the repudiation of the trinity doctrine end and the embracing of the trinity doctrine begin?      

2. By whose authority were the truths that God gave to the Pioneers and Ellen White declared to be error?

New light. Many think they have it. What is it? Who has it? Who doesn't? 

"We can confidently say, The truth that has come to us through the Holy Spirit's working is not a lie. The evidence given for the last half century bear the evidence of the Spirit's power." The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters, p. 257, June 23, 1905, Letter to G.I. Butler.

"We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, 
that the doctrines we hold to-day are present truth, and that we are preparing for the Judgment."   ST September 18, 1879, par. 5

"He (God) calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority." 1 SM, p. 208. "Who has authority to begin such a movement?" 1 SM, p. 205

How many foundations of truth do Seventh-day Adventists have? "The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time has not lessened their value." 1 Selected Messages, p. 201 (1904)

Who gave the principles of truth to establish the foundation? "This foundation was built by the Master Worker,…" 1 Selected Messages, p. 204 (1904) "God never contradicts Himself." 1 SM, p. 162

What would happen if Seventh-day Adventists gave up the doctrines that stand as pillars of our faith? "The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error." 1 Selected Messages, p. 204 (1904) The fundamental principles are now called error.  See: 

"We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?" 1 Selected Messages, p. 205 (1904).

"There is no place for gods in heaven above. God is the only true God. He fills all heaven." 1888 Materials, p. 1633. 

"Reports that have not the least foundation will be asserted as truth." 5 Testimonies, p. 601

"Men may suppose that they have found a new way, that they can lay a stronger foundation that that which has been laid; but this is a great deception. 'Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid.' (1 Cor. 3:11)" Gospel Workers, p. 307. "Like its divine Author, it (the truth) is unchangeable…" 5 Testimonies, p. 62

"Thus light was given that helped us 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 others the instruction that the Lord has given me." 1 Selected Messages, p. 207 (1904). "The message must in no case be changed from that which has been." The Upward Look, p. 168

"Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved,…" 1 Selected Messages, p. 208 (1904).
"…doctrines which require words coined in the human mind to express them, are coined doctrines."Review & Herald, June 1, 1869. Words such as 'God the Son' and 'God the Holy Spirit' are coined doctrines.

"Erroneous theories, with no authority from the word of God, will come in on the right hand and the left, and to weaklings these theories will appear as truth which makes wise." 1 Selected Messages, p. 171. "…we are not to allow our imagination to frame doctrines concerning things not revealed." 1 Selected Messages, p. 173

"While no single Scriptural passage states formally the doctrine of the Trinity, it is assumed as fact…"Adventist Review, vol. 158, no. 31, p. 4. Evolution is also 'assumed' as fact."The doctrine of the Trinity,…is not explicitly and evidently laid down in Scripture in the Protestant sense of private interpretation" R&H, Aug. 22, 1854

"We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment." 2 Testimonies, p. 355, 1870. To know the truth is to know what the church believed in 1870. "God never contradicts Himself." 1 Selected Messages, p. 162
The book Issues, authorized by the North American Division Officers and Union Presidents, called the 1872 Statement of Fundamental Principles "distinctly non-Trinitarian" (p. 39). This is what the church believed.

"It is as certain that we have the truth as that God lives, and Satan, with all his arts and hellish power, cannot change the truth of God into a lie." 4 Testimonies, p. 595 (1881). To know the truth is to know what the church believed in 1881. "God never contradicts Himself." 1 Selected Messages, p. 162
"It is a fact that we have the truth, and we must hold with tenacity to the positions that cannot be shaken;…" R&H, Aug. 7, 1894. To know the truth is to know what the church believed in 1894. "…I change not…" Mal 3:6

"Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years." Review & Herald, May 25, 1905. To know the truth is to know what the church believed between the years 1855 and 1905. "God never contradicts Himself." 1 Selected Messages, p. 162
"We had the truth; we were directed by the angels of God… God never contradicts Himself. Scripture proofs are misapplied if forced to testify to that which is not true." 1 Selected Messages, p. 161,162,

Letter 329, 1905. 
To know the truth is to know what the church believed in 1905. "…light and darkness cannot harmonize. Between truth and error there is an irrepressible conflict." Great Controversy, p. 126
"The truth is the same as it ever has been, and not a pin or a pillar can be moved from the structure of truth. That which was sought out of the Word in 1844, 1845, and 1846remains the truth in every particular." E.G.W. MR V. 1, p. 52, 1906. To know the truth is to know what the church believed between 1846 and 1906.

"The truth is so elevated as to be admired by the greatest minds, and yet it is so simple thatthe humblest, feeblest child of God can comprehend it, and be instructed by it." 1 Testimonies, p. 338. "In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved.Many will get above the simplicity of the Work." 1 Testimonies, p. 608

"Two lines of railway may seem to lie parallel, yet insensibly they diverge until they lead in opposite directions. 'A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.' A seemingly 'little error,' no matter what it be, has in it the germ of all wickedness. 'Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.' James 2:10. A single false principle adhered to, will wreck the whole life and character. The little foxes spoil the vines." E.J. Waggoner, The Glad Tidings, p. 219. 

"The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit,…"1 SM, p. 202

"Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in 
the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether 
thou wouldst keep his commandments, or no." -- Deut. 8:2. p. 9, 1,.

It has ever been the design of God that his people should remember the manifestations 
of his providence and power in their behalf. In giving the reasons for the backsliding of Israel 
from God, the psalmist says, "They forgot God their Saviour, which had done great things in 
Egypt; wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red Sea." [[1] Ps. 106:21, 
22.] If it was good for Israel to call to remembrance the leadings of the Lord with them, is it not 
good also for us? In ecstasy the psalmist again says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not 
all his benefits." [[2] Ps. 103:2.] p. 9, 2, .

Through all ages the Lord has had important truths, calculated, by his grace, to lead out 
a people from the bondage of sin, and fit them for an entrance into the heavenly Canaan; and it 
is profitable to consider the dealings of the Lord with those who have proclaimed these truths. p. 
9, 3,. 

Pioneer History to Be Kept Before the People—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. [Reference is here made to The Rise and Progress of Seventh-day Adventists, published in 1892 by J.N. Loughborough (revised in 1905 as The Great Second Advent Movement).]

We must study to find out the best way in which to take up the review of our experiences from the beginning of our work, when we separated from the churches, and went forward step by step in the light that God gave us. We then took the position that the Bible, and the Bible only, was to be our guide; and we are never to depart from this position. We were given wonderful manifestations of the power of God.
Miracles were wrought. Again and again, when we were brought into strait places, the power of God was displayed in our behalf. At such times, souls were convicted, and amidst the scorn and derision of the opposing churches, they bore testimony in favor of the truth.—Letter 105, 1903.

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.

The Three Angels’ Messages—The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages has been located by the word of Inspiration. Not a peg or pin is to be removed. No human authority has any more right to change the location of these messages than to substitute the New Testament for the Old. The Old Testament is the gospel in figures and symbols. The New Testament is the substance. One is as essential as the other. The Old Testament presents lessons from the lips of Christ, and these lessons have not lost their force in any particular. The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the proclamation of the third; but all three of the messages are still to be proclaimed. It is just as essential now as ever before that...

There are some obvious warning signs we can keep an eye out for also when people come to us claiming to have light. One of these warning signs is the "tendency" of the new idea: "Men and women will arise professing to have some new light or some new revelation, whose tendency is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks. Their doctrines will not bear the test of God's word, yet souls will be deceived." (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 49).

Indeed, here we have another warning, a very firm one in the same vein: "When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No aftersuppositions, 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." (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 31).

Here is a crucial principle: "new light" will always harmonize with other light. It will never contradict it, never cause us to go backward and give up that which the power of God has testified already is truth. This truth exists side by side with the fact that we have "many, many lessons to unlearn." It does seem possible however that the "many, many" lessons to unlearn may have more to do with feeling satisfied with the truth we have -- an attitudinal concern -- than doctrinal points.

"It is true that there are prophecies yet to be fulfilled. But very erroneous work has been done again and again, and will continue to be done by those who seek to find new light in the prophecies, and who begin by turning away from the light that God has already given. The messages of Revelation 14 are those by which the world is to be tested; they are the everlasting gospel, and are to be sounded everywhere. But the Lord does not lay upon those who have not had an experience in His work the burden of making a new exposition of those prophecies which He has, by His Holy Spirit, moved upon His chosen servants to explain." (Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 111). We thank God for anchors such as these truths that enable us to measure what is presented as coming from God with what has come to us from God.

There are found in the Ellen G. White writings some very powerful principles for how we should explore that which is termed new light. We are repeatedly warned "We must not look with suspicion upon any new light which God may send" (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 33). New light has much to do with how we discern and perceive. "Christ in His teaching presented old truths of which He Himself was the originator, truths which He had spoken through patriarchs and prophets; but He now shed upon them a new light. How different appeared their meaning! A flood of light and spirituality was brought in by His explanation. And He promised that the Holy Spirit should enlighten the disciples, that the word of God should be ever unfolding to them. They would be able to present its truths in new beauty." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 127).

Again, "The old truths will be presented, but they will be seen in a new light. There will be a new perception of truth, a clearness and a power that all will discern. Those who have the privilege of sitting under such a ministry will, if susceptible to the Holy Spirit's influence, feel the energizing power of a new life. The fire of God's love will be kindled within them. Their perceptive faculties will be quickened to discern the beauty and majesty of truth." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 130).

When we come to the writings of Ellen G. White we find the phrase "new light." Perhaps the best definition-giving material is given in the following quotation:

Wherever the truths of the gospel are proclaimed, those who honestly desire to do right are led to a diligent searching of the Scriptures. If, in the closing scenes of this earth's history, those to whom testing truths are proclaimed would follow the example of the Bereans, searching the Scriptures daily, and comparing with God's word the messages brought them, there would today be a large number loyal to the precepts of God's law, where now there are comparatively few. But when unpopular Bible truths are presented, many refuse to make this investigation. Though unable to controvert the plain teachings of Scripture, they yet manifest the utmost reluctance to study the evidences offered. Some assume that even if these doctrines are indeed true, it matters little whether or not they accept the new light, and they cling to pleasing fables which the enemy uses to lead souls astray. Thus their minds are blinded by error, and they become separated from heaven. (Acts of the Apostles, p. 232).

Modern SDA church now says: 

  • "God is glad for us to go to church BOTH days [Saturday and Sunday]. He wants us to worship Him BOTH days." (ST, 3/1990, p. 22-23).  
  • And the trinity of gods doctrine “is not found expressly stated in the scriptures.” (AR 8/20/93 P-8) 
  • “Only by faith can we accept the existence of the Trinity." AR, Vol. 158, No. 31, p. 4. 

"And to take the place of the word of God he [Satan] holds our spiritual manifestations. Here is a channel wholly under his control; by this means he can make the world believe what he will." Great Controversy, p. 557

The great movement that Wycliffe inaugurated, which was to liberate the conscience and the intellect, and set free the nations so long bound to the triumphal car of Rome, had its spring in the Bible. Here was the source of that stream of blessing, which, like the water of life, has flowed down the ages since the fourteenth century. Wycliffe accepted the Holy Scriptures with implicit faith as the inspired revelation of God's will, a sufficient rule of faith and practice. He had been educated to regard the Church of Rome as the divine, infallible authority, and to accept with unquestioning reverence the established teachings and customs of a thousand years; but he turned away from all these to listen to God's holy word. This was the authority which he urged the people to acknowledge. Instead of the church speaking through the pope, he declared the only true authority to be the voice of God speaking through His word. And he taught not only that the Bible is a perfect revelation of God's will, but that the Holy Spirit is its only interpreter, and that every man is, by the study of its teachings, to learn his duty for himself. Thus he turned the minds of men from the pope and the Church of Rome to the word of God. Great Controversy, p. 93

“In this age of the world there is no safety in departing from a plain "Thus saith the Lord," however wise and correct the human assumption may appear. Tradition in names and books is nothing. God's word is everything. The wisdom of the wisest man that lives is foolishness if it swerves one jot or tittle from the word of the living God. God lives, God reigns, and He declares, "Them that honor me I will honor." Of those who place their sophistry above a plain "Thus saith the Lord," God says, "I will make their wisdom foolishness." {BTS, May 1, 1913 par. 3}

"The Protestant sects, were the next to come on the stage and act out the same mind that the mother had when she persecuted the saints." E.G. White, Spalding-Meagan Collection, "Copy of Three Visitors."

"The image to the beast represents ANOTHER religious body clothed with similar powers." The Story of Redemption, p. 381.2The Spirit of Prophecy Volume 4, p. 277.2

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