J. S. Washburn 1939 Letter
By J. S .Washburn, 1939. (This letter was liked by a conference president so much that he distributed it to 32 of his ministers. You can see a photocopy of the original J.S. Washburn letter in PDF format HERE)
“The doctrine of the Trinity is regarded as the supreme test of orthodoxy by the Roman Catholic Church. Many of the councils of that church during its development were almost entirely given over to the discussion of the Trinity, the Arian and the Trinitarian controversy.
“Was Christ of the same substance of the Father, or of like substance?” Very naturally the nature of the personality of God was the center, the core, the key of the teachings of Roman theology, Satan's crowning masterpiece of Apostate Counterfeit Christianity.
The leading doctrines of the Roman papacy were taken directly from heathenism, -the sign of the cross, Holy water, monks, nuns, the celibacy of the priesthood, the Sunday Sabbath, etc., etc. So this Catholic doctrine of the Trinity comes from heathenism. In India we have Brahma, Shive, Vishnu, vengeful, unforgiving trinity.
Where in Heathenism or in Romanism is the Divine mediator between God and man? “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” I Tim. 2:5. There is none in heathenism; and in the Roman church, as Christ is a very physical part of God, the deity, it becomes necessary to invent a multitude of human mediators, the Virgin Mary, Peter, Andrew, etc. and a multitude of manufactured saints, a band of immortal souls of dead men and women. Jesus has become so fully and literally a component part of the great severe judge who delights in eternal torment, according to the Roman teaching of the Trinity, that they must find or manufacture a multitude of human spiritualistic mediators. THIS REMOVING OF JESUS FROM HIS TRUE RELATIONSHIP TO GOD AND MAN, TAKES HIM SO FAR FROM US THAT HE BECOMES AN INFLICTOR OF EVERLASTING TORMENT AND NO LONGER OUR LOVING SAVIOUR.
The doctrine of the Trinity is a cruel heathen monstrosity, removing Jesus from his true position of Divine Saviour and Mediator. It is true we cannot measure or define divinity. It is beyond our finite understanding, yet on this subject of the personality of God the Bible is very simple and plain. The Father, the Ancient of Days, is from eternity. Jesus was begotten of the Father. Jesus speaking through the Psalmist says:
The Lord (Jehovah) hath said unto me, Thou are [art] my son, this day have I begotten thee. Psalm 2:7.
Again in Proverbs eight (where Jesus is spoken of under the title of Wisdom, See I Corinthians 1:24), we read: The Lord (Jehovah) possessed me in the beginning of his way. Verse 22. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth. Verse 24.
The Son says he was brought forth, begotten, born of his Father (Jehovah). He calls his father “Jehovah.” In Psalm 110:1, The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, etc. Literal Hebrew, “Jehovah said unto Adoni,” Jehovah (the Father) said to Adoni (the son). Psalm 110:4, The Lord (Jehovah) hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. Who is this priest of the order of Melchisedec? It is Jesus. See Hebrews 7:21, 22; Mark 19:35, 36.
In these scriptures Jesus himself says the Father's name is Jehovah, his own name Adoni. Put in Exodus 23:31, the Lord said he would send his Angel before his people, literally his Messenger, and said, “My name is in Him,” so God placed His name in His son. So on earth the name of every father is in his son. It is therefore permissible to say that the son may be spoken of as Jehovah, but primarily, fundamentally, the Son said his Father's name is Jehovah.
On the 14th of October 1939, Elder W. W. Prescott preached a sermon in the Takoma Park Church on the subject, The Coming One. From a copy printed by the speaker, I quote the following from pages 1 and 2.
“In the Old Testament we find the name Jehovah or Lord about 7,000 times, and in the New Testament, we find the name Jesus about 1,000 times and the name Lord more than 700 times. Now the Jehovah or Lord of the Old Testament has been manifested as Jesus the Lord in the New Testament therefore this ONE PERSON, Jehovah-Jesus, is mentioned by name about 8,750 times.”
This is one of the most astounding perversions of the original language of the Bible ever written, and coming from a man of education it seems almost inexcusable. The coining of the double name “Jehovah-Jesus” is certainly original with Elder Prescott, for I fail to find it in the Bible or in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. As shown from the Hebrew of Psalm 2:7, Psalms 110:1, 4 and Prov. 8:22, we have shown that Jesus says his Father's name is Jehovah, and in the Hebrew of Psalms 110:1, the name of the Son is Adoni.
It is true that the Father says in Exodus 23:21, that his name is in the Son. This is true of every son on earth. His father's name is in the son, but the son and father are TWO PERSONS NOT “ONE PERSON,” as Elder Prescott incorrectly states in his sermon.
For many years my father was a leading minister in the Iowa Conference. In 1884 I began my work as a minister in that conference. My father was Elder Washburn. Then upon my ordination I became Elder Washburn also. But we were TWO PERSONS NOT “ONE PERSON.” Now would it be fair or true to say that in writing up a history of the Iowa Conference every mention of Elder Washburn applied to myself? Emphatically NO!!! It would be utterly false, as is the statement that every time in the Bible where the word “Jehovah” or “Lord” appeared it meant Jesus and that Jesus and the father were “ONE PERSON.” Several thousand times it applies to the Father and not to the Son.
The statement of the sermon is a tremendous misrepresentation of the truth of the Divine separate personality of the Father and the Son. THE FATHER AND THE SON ARE NOT “ONE PERSON” BUT TWO PERSONS AS DISTINCT AS THE TWO PERSONS OF MY FATHER AND MYSELF.
Jesus, who illustrated and explained heavenly things by earthly things, in his parables, had made it plain that the Father and the Son are NOT “ONE PERSON” as Elder Prescott teaches, thus following the Roman doctrine of the Trinity.
In John 17:21, 22, That they (his disciples) all may be one as thou father art in me and I in Thee that they also may be one in us . . . that they may be one even as we are one. Jesus knew, and we know, the disciples were NOT ONE PERSON; and that represented the unity of the Father and the son. They could not from Christ's own word be “one person.”
Read this glorious statement from the Spirit of Prophecy, explaining John 17:21, 22, the text just quoted, Testimonies, volume 8, page 269: “Wonderful statement. The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but NOT IN PERSON. IT IS THUS THAT GOD AND CHRIST ARE ONE.”
Elder Prescott squarely contradicts the words of Jesus in the Bible and words of the Holy Spirit of Prophecy when he states that they are “one person.” Satan has taken some heathen conception of a three-headed monstrosity, and with deliberate intention to cast contempt upon divinity, has woven it into Romanism as our glorious God, an impossible, absurd invention. This monstrous doctrine transplanted from heathenism into the Roman Papal Church is seeking to intrude its evil presence into the teachings of the Third Angel's Message.
On page 8 of the printed sermon by Elder Prescott is this statement:
“We cannot regard the three persons of the Godhead as separable beings, each one dwelling in and confined to a visible body the same as three human beings. “There are three persons in the Godhead but they are so mysteriously and indissolubly related to each other that the presence of each one is equivalent to the presence of the others.” This is the doctrine of the Trinity as expressed in the statement already quoted from the sermon, page 1, that the three, Father, Son and Holy Ghost are “ONE PERSON.” He states that they are NOT distinct separate persons but “One Person” and “that the presence of each one is equivalent to the presence of the others.”
Christ himself teaches in John 17:21, 22 that the three persons of the Godhead are three “separable beings.” For the disciples were “separable beings,” and Christ compares the unity of the Father and the Son with the unity of the disciples united in perfect unity of heart. Thus this statement of Elder Prescott's is absolutely contrary to John 17:21, 22, and I Corinthians 1:10.
If the teaching of this sermon of Elder Prescott be true, then of course as the three, in the doctrine of the Trinity, are one person, when Christ was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary, the Father was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary; when Christ hung on the cross dying, the Father hung on the cross dying; when Christ lay in Joseph's new tomb the Father lay in Joseph's new tomb; if the person of Christ died the person of the Father which is counted one person, also died; either the Father and the Holy Ghost died when Jesus died, or Jesus did not die.
If Jesus was actually dead from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning the Father and the Holy Ghost were also dead from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, if Prescott's sermon is correct. But Professor Prescott is very logical. Which horn of this dilemma does he take?
I quote from a letter written to me by Elder J. F. Anderson, former pastor of Takoma Park Church, dated January 16, 1940, 112 St. Louis Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas:
“In answer to your question as to my conversation with Elder Prescott, it was after I had spoken on the vicarious sacrifice of Christ, that he called me and wanted to talk with me about it. He tried to convince me that Christ DID NOT DIE AS THE SON OF GOD, as I had preached. And when he could not convince me, he said, 'I do not appreciate your leaving me without a Christ for three days and nights.' “And remember, Elder Washburn, this statement was made after he had taken the position that the Son of God did not die but only the Son of Man.”
Other teachers of the Trinity say that the death of Christ was not vicarious but only his sufferings. But the wages of sin is DEATH not suffering. Christ's sufferings alone could not pay the penalty. The Son of God must DIE to pay the penalty of the broken law. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and (by a sacrifice for sin) (margin) condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. Romans 8:3, 4. The Son of God died that the law of God might live in us.
If Christ did not die, we never could keep the law. Either Christ must die or the law dies in us. That the law might live in us the Son of God died. But the Trinity makes the death of Christ impossible, as Professor Prescott seems to teach, therefore the Roman Trinity destroys the law. No wonder that the Papacy changes and destroys the law of God, and substitutes tradition and human works.
As stated in the letter from Elder Anderson, we have the logical bold denial of the death of Christ, the very foundation of the Gospel—“the son of God did not die,” only the son of man, only a human atonement. This is the only logical position any man can take who believes the heathen Roman doctrine of the Trinity, which is a twin sister of eternal torment and as true and logical as purgatory and the Sunday Sabbath. No wonder that the Roman papacy is the original teacher of both doctrines of the Trinity and eternal torment. Very logically the Roman Church must have many human mediators but also many human works to earn salvation or by purgatory, or the mass, or by the torments of self-inflicted punishment to gain Heaven.
Because Christ being a part of the one person of the “Trinity” could not die unless the Father and Holy Ghost all died with Him, according to this false doctrine of the Trinity, if we accept the Catholic Trinity, we must accept that which goes with it, human mediators and human works, for according to Elder Prescott, the Son of God did not die; he resented the idea that the Son of God was dead “three days and nights.” The Christ of Professor Prescott was not dead but alive from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. IF THIS IS SO, THEN OUR DEBT HAS NOT BEEN PAID, AND WE ARE ALL LOST. This is the logic of Elder Prescott's adoption of the Roman doctrine of the Trinity.
The Bible teaches that the Son of God died, as the Son of God. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son: much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:10. See also Colossians 1:13–22, 1 Thessalonians 1:10. The words “Son of God” and “Christ” are synonyms Matthew 16:16. And again and again the scriptures state that Christ died for our sins, the foundation principle of the Gospel.
Nothing is clearer in the scripture than the truth that the Son of God died for us and we have a Divine and not simply a human atonement. Those who believe that the Son of God did not die quote an unpublished statement of Sister White. “Deity did not sink and die, that would have been impossible.” This is all very clear if we believe the Bible statement of death as found in Job 34:12, 14, 15: Yea surely God will not do wickedly . . . If he (God) set his heart upon man, if he (God) gathers unto himself His Spirit and His breath (God's spirit and God's breath) all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust.
WITH GOD IS THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE. Psalm 36:9.
All life, angelic, human, animal, vegetable, comes from God and is simply loaned for a time to God's creatures. It was God's life before the creature received it. It is God's life while they have it and if God takes back to Himself His own life, the creature goes back where he was before he received the life of God. But that life is not a separate person. It is the life of God, taken back by the Lord to himself where it was, before being given to the creature. It is true that we are partakers of the Divine nature, if we are Christians. But that does not mean that we are conscious personalities in death. God takes back his life and we are dead. And SO WAS CHRIST.
When Christ was begotten of the Father, He received the life of God, His father. When Jesus died on the cross, he said, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit,” (or life) and the life of God was given back to the Father, and for a time, three days and nights, that life was with the Father from whence it had come. In the resurrection that life of God is restored to the one who died. Ps. 104:30. But between his death on Friday afternoon, till Sunday morning, the Son of God was dead.
HE POURED OUT HIS SOUL UNTO DEATH. Isaiah 53:12.
Read this clear statement from the Spirit of Prophecy, volume 3, page 203: “When he closed his eyes in death upon the cross, the soul of Jesus did not go at once to Heaven . . . ALL THAT COMPRISED THE LIFE AND INTELLIGENCE OF JESUS REMAINED WITH HIS BODY IN THE SEPULCHRE. AND WHEN HE CAME FORTH IT WAS AS A WHOLE BEING. HE DID NOT HAVE TO SUMMON HIS SPIRIT FROM HEAVEN.”
This squarely contradicts the teaching of Elder Prescott. Truly as the scripture says, “We have been reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” The Son of God died for fallen man. We have a Divine atonement, all sufficient. That papal doctrine of the Trinity destroys the Gospel and leaves us without hope, for it compelled its defender, Elder Prescott, to deny that great scripture truth, that the Son of God died for the sins of the world. Any doctrine that leads a man to deny that the Son of God died must be an evil doctrine, an anti-Christian doctrine, not from God but from Satan.
The distinct separate personality of the Father and the Son are absolutely essential to the plan of salvation. It was essential, an absolute necessity that while Christ was dead, the Father should live upholding all things and bringing Jesus from the tomb. Christ is the one, only, mediator between God, the Father and man. If the Father and the Son are “one person,” then Christ is a mediator between Himself and man. Christ was made in the express image of His Father's person. The Father has a person. The Son has another, a distinct, a separate person.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down and the Ancient of Days did sit whose garment was white as snow and the hair of his head like the pure wool. His throne was like the fiery flame and his wheels as burning fire. Daniel7:9.
I saw in the night visions, and beheld one like the Son of man came with the clouds of Heaven and came to the Ancient of Days and they brought him near before him. Verse 13.
Here are two persons, distinct and separate in their personality. The scriptures are as clear on this point as on any subject of Bible truth.
Because the heathen believed in some gods who had one body with more than one head and because the Roman Church adopted that heathen idea, eternal torment, the worship of dead men, the sign of the cross, and also the Trinity, direct from heathenism, is the doctrine of the Trinity any more sacred than eternal torment, the Sunday Sabbath, purgatory, or any other Pagan papal doctrine? CERTAINLY NOT! And the fact that Christ is not the mediator in the Roman church demonstrates that the Trinity destroys the truth that Christ is the one, the only mediator.
The so-called Christian church, the Papacy, that originated the doctrine of the Trinity, does not recognize him as the only mediator but substitutes a multitude of ghosts of dead men and women as mediators. If you hold the Trinity doctrine, in reality, Christ is no longer your mediator.
The Trinity doctrine like its author, Satan, is a destroyer; a bungling absurd irreverent caricature, a blasphemous burlesque on the glorious free unity of heart and purpose and perfect almighty love and creative life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Many times in the New Testament we read of Christ praying to God. If the three persons of the so-called Trinity were always together, always inseparable, 3 persons in 1 person, a very personal part one of another and as Elder Prescott teaches that Christ was always Jehovah the father, WHY SHOULD CHRIST PRAY? AND WAS HE NOT REALLY PRAYING TO HIMSELF?
When Jesus said, “I can of myself do nothing,” John 5:30, was he a personal part of the “one person” of the Trinity? He recognized a person above himself, a separate personality when he said, “MY FATHER IS GREATER THAN I,” John 14:28, he surely looked up to a person greater than Himself. While he was NOT “one person” with the Father, as the scripture and Spirit of Prophecy have stated, yet he was in absolute harmony with His Father, and rendered to Him perfect obedience, an example to every angel and every creature in the universe. And when sin is over forever and “when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also be subject unto Him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:28. These and many other scriptures make the doctrine of the Trinity impossible.
When Jesus came to this world as a human being, he took the same risk that every man faces, the “risk of failure and eternal loss.” It was possible for Jesus to fail, to fall into sin and to be lost. I quote one of the most beautiful, pathetic statements found in the Spirit of Prophecy. Desire of Ages, page 49: “Into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe subject to humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as very child must fight it at the risk of failure and eternal loss.”
“The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only begotten son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones.”
“Herein is love. Wonder O heavens! And be astonished O earth.”
If Christ, as was possible, had suffered “failure and eternal loss,” if the Trinity doctrine that Christ was “one person” with the Father is true, then the Father would also have been lost, and the universe annihilated. This whole beautiful passage indicates as separate a personality for the Heavenly Father and His Son, as of any earthly father and son.
The whole Trinity doctrine is utterly foreign to all the Bible and the teachings of the Spirit of Prophecy. Revelation gives not the slightest hint of it. This monstrous heathen conception finds no place in all the free universe of our Blessed Heavenly Father and His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The three distinct, separate persons of the Godhead were present at the baptism of Jesus, who, when coming out of the water, heard the Father's voice proclaiming, “This is my beloved son,” and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, in divine benediction. The Father, the first person of the three, spoke from Heaven of his son, the second person, and the Holy Spirit, the third person of the three, confirmed the word of the Father that Jesus was the beloved Son of God. Here are the three distinct persons that the Spirit of Prophecy calls the “Heavenly trio.” Series B, No. 7, page 62.
On page 8 of Professor Prescott's sermon, he says that the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ and Christ are “equivalent Expressions,” that is, that Christ is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is Christ. So the logic of Professor Prescott's teaching is that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are “one person,” the Holy Spirit is Christ and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are “one person.” When therefore he emphasizes the expression, “the Person of Christ,” he must mean that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one person, “the person of Christ.”
The Catholic teaching of the Trinity (3 persons in 1 person) is a monumental falsehood, and a fountain of deadly evil.
God has given a distinct, a separate personality to every being in the universe, angelic and human, an independent, a distinct individuality and personality and desires that we should preserve that individuality and personality distinct and separate from that of every other being. Thus there is given to everyone the right of choice, freedom, liberty; and how glorious are the privileges of liberty, to choose the will of God and thus be in perfect oneness, unity with all who love and obey God, the fountain of life and liberty.
SO GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD CREATED HE THEM. Genesis 1:27.
If God was a trinity, (3 in 1 person), man created in his image was a trinity. But he is not. God has given to every person in the universe a separate distinct person and a will, a personality of his own. Into that separate sacred personality even God does not intrude. He gives every person the liberty to make his own choice.
In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39. Here the will of Jesus was that the cup of agony and death should pass from him. But he surrendered freely his own will to His Father's will.
THIS WAS THE UNITY OF FREEDOM, OF LIBERTY.
The Father has one person with his own Divine will. The Son was a distinct separate person with an individual will of His own. The Son was free to make his personal choice and freely he chose the will of His Father rather than his own will.
HERE BETWEEN THE GLORIOUS FATHER AND HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND ALSO THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PERFECT DIVINE LIBERTY AN EXAMPLE TO ALL HIS CREATURES, TO HIS CHURCH.
The liberty God desired His people to enjoy is enjoyed in glorious heavenly perfection by the “three living persons of the Heavenly trio, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Series B, No. 7, page 62.
WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS THERE IS LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17.
There is liberty in Heaven where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are. God made us free and leaves us free to all eternity on earth and in Heaven, and the glory of righteousness is that without a shade of compulsion we freely choose to do the will of our glorious God. But in the Catholic Church, Roman or Greek, where the Trinity had been borrowed from Satan's pagan religion, there is no liberty, only bondage and tyranny, cruelty, darkness, death.
Where the Trinity is the central doctrine, one man supreme, the Pope, tyrannizes over the bishops; the bishops over the priests; and the priests over the people. This is the natural, the logical fruit of their central, key doctrine, the Trinity. No one can deny this fact that where the Trinity is made the supreme test, there is tyranny, cruelty, torture, death. And when finally in desperation men rise up and destroy the Catholic Church, whether Roman or Greek, the pendulum swings and there is tyranny, destruction, infidelity, despotism, ruin. This was seen in the French revolution where the streets of Paris ran with blood, and in the terrible revolution in Spain and in the fearful upheaval in Russia where infidelity, force, murder, darkness, are reigning supreme worse than in the darkest heathen lands. Men trained under the Catholic trinity principle, when they revolt, set up another government on the same principle, despotism, tyranny.
The heathen doctrines of the Trinity, supreme in the Catholic Church, Roman and Greek, blots out the light of God given liberty, fills the world with darkness and blood, either when it is logically enforced as the only religion, or, when men filled with the same spirit, revolt and take revenge in the same way that they have suffered, and set up another government on the same principle, despotism, dictatorship.
No one living can deny that where the Trinity was the supreme doctrine there has come horrible bondage, destruction, ruin; liberty utterly lost. Look at Italy, Spain, Russia; Hitler an Austrian Catholic, Stalin studied for the priesthood, Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy. The world is in torment from action and reaction of the blasphemous doctrine of the Trinity. The fruit of the Trinity is only evil, only cruel, despotic, the opposite of the glorious personal liberty in Heaven of the Father and the Holy Spirit, of the Son of God and of His children, on earth, the sons of God.
The Catholic heathen doctrine of the Sunday Sabbath is just as sacred as the Catholic pagan doctrine of the Trinity and no more so. Elder Prescott has as much authority to advocate the Sunday as the Sabbath as to teach that the Father and Son are “one person,” “Jehovah-Jesus.” If he believes the words of Christ that the disciples are to be ONE as Christ and the Father are ONE, he can never again say they are “one person.” And if he will believe the following on page 422 of Ministry of Healing: “They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in PERSON. IT IS THUS THAT GOD AND CHRIST ARE ONE,” he will never again borrow the central doctrine of Romanism to teach to Seventh-day Adventists.
Seventh-day Adventists claim to take the word of God as supreme authority and to have “come out of Babylon,” to have renounced forever the vain traditions of Rome. If we should go back to the immortality of the soul, purgatory, eternal torment and the Sunday Sabbath, would that be anything less than apostasy? If, however, we leap over all these minor, secondary doctrines and accept and teach the very central root, doctrine of Romanism, the Trinity, and teach that the son of God did not die, even though our words seem to be spiritual, is this anything else or anything less than apostasy? and the very Omega of apostasy?
Thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy! In the printed copy of Elder Prescott's sermon, I note that he quotes profusely from the teachings of Sunday-keeping ministers of other churches; from the I ams of Christ, Samuel H. Giesy, from Peter Payne, Thomas Dehany Barnard, James M. Campbell and H. Grattan Guiness, in his sermon he quotes 1205 words, while he only quotes from the Spirit of Prophecy 75 words; 16 words from outside popular preachers to 1 word from the blessed light God has given to this people by His Holy Spirit. If he would read the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy more and the teachings of popular Sunday-keeping ministers less, if he would in simple faith take the teachings of the Testimony of Jesus, he would not make the mistake of teaching the heathen doctrine of the Trinity or bringing in any other arguments to overthrow the established settled faith of the people who believe the great closing message.
A little more than 40 years ago I was working with Elder Prescott in England. Beginning there and almost constantly since then he has been teaching “new light,”(?) constantly criticizing the original message of which Sister White says in Early Writings, “Woe unto him that shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages.” page 258.
Even before he came to England he made a great campaign for the so- called Testimonies of Anna Rice, who claimed the gift of Prophecy. In a tremendous testimony from Australia, Sister White unmasked the dangerous teaching of these false prophecies and reproved those who had pushed these teachings on our people.
Elder Prescott has often told me how greatly he appreciated being associated with Dr. Waggoner and learning his wonderful “new light.” For some time they lived in the same house. When Dr. Waggoner began teaching Pantheism (God in everything), Elder Prescott followed as a pupil follows his teacher. Then at conferences, etc., they both visited Dr. Kellogg in Battle Creek and worked in harmony with him. After a few years, when Elder Prescott had become the editor of the Review, Elder W. C. White said to me, “Professor Prescott has as truly taught Pantheism as Dr. Kellogg has taught it, and yet made no acknowledgment of his wrong teaching.” With the hope that Elder Prescott would make this matter right, I requested that he make an acknowledgment in the Review of his mistake, as wide as his wrong teachings had been made. But my kindly suggestion was indignantly and emphatically refused. If he had been willing to acknowledge this wrong, he might have been kept from many strange teachings later on, contrary to our great message.
When Elder Prescott and Dr. Waggoner were in England, Elder Conradi was at the head of all the work in Europe and they were often together and Elder Prescott learned some of the Conradi theology. In the summer of 1931 L. R. Conradi wrote a letter to the editor of the Review finding fault with The Great Controversy. He asserted that Sister White had made quotations from history that were false. He further says in the same letter, “I well remember when the LIGHT OF THE NEW DAILY came to my mind some forty years ago. I was again and again met with Sister White's statement to the contrary. . . . But this settlement of the Daily was but the first step to the second one.” Thus L. R. Conradi with the Daily as his first step in the Light (?), he took the second, and third steps, etc., etc., into the “light”(?) of final and complete apostasy. HE, CONRADI, THE ORIGINATOR OF THE new view of the DAILY, IN OUR TIME, LEFT HIS EXAMPLE AS A WARNING. At the head of the way, THE DAILY (NEW VIEW), AND AT THE END OF THE WAY A COMPLETE AND UTTER DENIAL OF THE LAST MESSAGE. This is the logic of the NEW VIEW OF THE DAILY, because it denies the Spirit of Prophecy as Conradi himself states.
I have a letter in the handwriting of Dr. E. J. Waggoner, dated November 22, 1909, in which he discusses the DAILY at length. He says: “I knew the view that Prescott held in London, and which Conradi teaches in his German book on Daniel and do NOT see how anybody who has regard to the scriptures can hold any other view, I mean anyone who regards the scriptures as above all other books and sufficient in themselves. Early Writings most clearly and decidedly declares for the OLD VIEW.” Thus Dr. Waggoner sets the Bible squarely against the Spirit of Prophecy and with a covert sneer at the Testimonies declares for the NEW view of the Daily and identifies the teachings of Conradi and his own (Dr. Waggoner's view with Prescott's view).
CONRADI ORIGINATED THIS MODERN IDEA AND LED PROFESSOR PRESCOTT INTO THE LIGHT(?). CONRADI AND WAGGONER BOTH APOSTASIZED AND DIED OUTSIDE THE MESSAGE. BUT PROFESSOR PRESCOTT STILL PERPETUATES THE CONRADI-WAGGONER APOSTATE DOCTRINE.
When we were working together in England, I noticed that Professor Prescott used the American Revised translation of the Bible. I asked why he did not use the Authorized Version. He said, “I will show you why I use the A. R. V.” Then he turned to Daniel 8th chapter and showed me that the Revised Version was much more favorable to his new view of the 'Daily,' than the Authorized Version, and he has used the Revised ever since; and that is WHY he uses it. It suits the Conradi-Waggoner view of the Daily. In England, Professor Prescott said to me, “If I can only get these new views taught in America, I will change the whole face of our work.” And this he has evidently been trying to do for the last 40 years.
Shortly before the close of the last century he returned to the U. S. and a few years later he became editor of the Review and Herald. After a time he started a series of articles on Daniel to bring out this NEW VIEW OF THE DAILY. Sister White told him he was making a mountain out of a molehill. And she requested him NOT TO PUSH THIS VIEW in the Review. So he was cut down there and soon after started the Protestant Magazine, a regular anti-Catholic paper, in which he taught the NEW VIEW and moved nearly all the prophetic dates of the prophecies.
An edition of the book, Bible Readings for the Home Circle, REVISED BY W. A. COLCORD, WHO HAD ACCEPTED THE CONRADI-WAGGONER-PRESCOTT IDEA, and, (as he told me proudly that he was ASSISTED IN THIS REVISION BY D. M. CANRIGHT, who as nearly all our people know APOSTASIZED years before helping Colcord revise Bible Readings for the Home Circle) had in it several pages of the NEW VIEW OF THE DAILY with a 5-year sliding scale, moving nearly all the dates of our prophetic frame work. We thank God that the Review and Herald cut out this absurd sliding scale a few years ago and that Bible Readings now teaches the original message.
The Protestant Magazine was published a few years and as Professor Prescott even held meetings with the Orangemen, who are politically anti-Catholic, and there was danger that this anti-Catholic organ might bring premature persecution (see Testimonies, volume 9, page 243) the Protestant was brought to a sudden inglorious end.
At the General Conference in 1909, I had my last talk with Sister White, in the house for years owned by Dr. Kress. Just before the conversation closed, Sister White shook her head very sadly and said, “They are all tied up here in Washington and there MUST BE A GREAT CHANGE.” One of the first changes Sister White requested was that Professor Prescott should no longer be editor of the Review and Herald and President of its association, but should do work in the cities. Her son, J. E. White, told me it was NOT that Professor Prescott was such a good city worker but that it was necessary to get him where his influence would not destroy the faith and confidence of the readers of the Review and Herald.
In a letter written to Elder Daniels by Elder George B. Starr, June 21, 1930, he states that Sister White said to him, “I have my commission from the Lord to see that he (Professor W. W. Prescott) DISCONNECTS from the Review and Herald.” “Why,” she said, “Brother Starr, if that man remains on the Review he will LEAD THIS WHOLE DENOMINATION ASTRAY.”
In a personal talk with Professor Prescott at Knoxville, Tennessee; he said to me, “I have had to revise my belief of the Spirit of Prophecy. I have found that The Great Controversy is full of mistakes.” In a personal letter to me, he said that The Great Controversy “had to be revised to be in harmony with the FACTS.” His profound researches among the writings of UNINSPIRED MEN gave him the AUTHORITY and ABILITY to prove that the INSPIRED PROPHET OF GOD was mistaken. Evidently he does not belong to those who believe the Testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy. See Revelation 12:17. No wonder that Sister White said if he remained as editor of the Review he would lead the whole denomination ASTRAY. The years that have gone by have confirmed that statement.
Professor Prescott in his sermons and articles uses the American Revised Version without any indication, as other writers use the Authorized Version. Is this fair or honorable? All English-speaking writers use the Authorized without any marks of identification, a universal understanding, and if the Revised or any other version is used they indicate what version by initial letters, R. V. for Revised Version, A. R. V. for American Revised Version, etc. One who was not acquainted with the versions, in reading the articles of Professor Prescott, might think Adventists had a different Bible of their own. I protest that this is not fair or honorable. If a writer uses the A. R. V. or any other version he must indicate the version. We have seen that the reason why Professor Prescott uses the A. R. V. IS BECAUSE IT TEACHES THE APOSTATE CONRADI'S DOCTRINE OF THE DAILY.
This message was settled, sealed by the Spirit of Prophecy before the Revised Version was translated from two Catholic Manuscripts, the Vaticanus and the Sinaitacus. The Revised has many Catholic errors in it.
The Authorized version is translated from manuscripts kept by the Waldenses. “In a most wonderful manner it was preserved UNCORRUPTED through all the ages of darkness,” The Great Controversy, page 69. “The Church in the wilderness and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world's great capital, was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasury of truth, which God has committed to the people to be given to the world.” The Great Controversy, page 64.
So the manuscripts kept by the Waldenses and translated into the Bible of Luther, in German, and into the Authorized Version in 1611, in English, is the “truth, uncorrupted, unadulterated.”
Sister White quotes, as anyone is at liberty to quote, the Revised and other versions where it is clearer and more modern English. However, she uses almost entirely the Authorized edition, but always indicates when the Revised or any other version is quoted.
But there are many falsehoods and blunders in the Revised Version, translated from Catholic Manuscripts: “without my flesh shall I see God.” Job 19:26 teaches the Catholic Immortality of the soul. The Catholic Purgatory is directly taught in the Revised Version, of 2 Peter 2:9. The Revised Version translates Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they that wash their robes,” instead of “do His commandments,” which must please those who oppose the Sabbath truth. The R. V. in Matthew 14:30 omits the word “boisterous” and gives us this crude absurdity, “When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid.” No wonder! In the margin of the R. V., Revelation 13:18, instead of the number of the beast being 666, the margin of the R. V. gives 616. Does Elder Prescott believe the number of the beast is 666 or 616? The glorious close of the Lord's prayer in the R. V., Matt. 6:13, is omitted. “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Yet those words are quoted by Sister White in the Mount of Blessing. She thus seals the Authorized Version as the true word of God. In Revelation 8:7, the R. V. says “a third part of the earth (instead of “trees” in Authorized) was burned up.” Who believes this Revised Version, impossible untruth! The whole text Acts 8:37 is omitted in the R. V., yet that text is quoted in full in Volume 8 of the Testimonies and thus sealed as the word of God by the Holy Spirit.
THE REVISED VERSION IS NOT THE TRUE COMPLETE WORD OF GOD, FIRST, BECAUSE IT IS NOT ALL THERE AND SECOND, BECAUSE IT IS NOT ALL THERE STRAIGHT.
Does Professor Prescott, who uses the A. R. V. as the only authoritative word of God, believe in the immortal soul? Job 19:26 R. V., in purgatory, 2 Peter 2:9 R. V.? Does he believe that “do his commandments” in the Authorized Version is a wrong translation? Does he believe that Peter “saw the wind” Matthew 14:30 A. R. V.? Does he believe that 616 is the number of the beast? Margin, A. R. V., Revelation 13:18. Does he believe that “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen,” should be cut out of the Lord's prayer? A. R. V. Matthew 6:13. Does he believe that a third part of the earth was burned up? , (a physical and historical falsehood)! Revelation 8:7, A. R. V. Does he believe that Acts 8:37 should be cut out of the Bible and that Sister White was wrong in quoting it? If he believes ALL THESE THINGS, he should continue using the A. R. V. as the complete authoritative Word of God. If not, he should use the grand old Protestant Authorized Version, that was accepted as the supreme foundation of this message long before the Revised Version was translated.
Professor Prescott believes that the R. V. teaches his NEW VIEW OF THE DAILY. It also teaches that Peter saw the wind. One is as true as the other.
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that the word of God was preserved “uncorrupted” by the Waldenses. The Great Controversy, 69. “The church in the wilderness and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world's capital, (Rome) was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasures of truth which God had committed to his people to be given to the world.” The Great Controversy, 64. These were the manuscripts of the Received text translated into the Bible of Luther in German and translated into English in 1611 as the Authorized Version, while the Revised Version was translated mainly from the “Vaticanus” manuscript preserved in the Vatican in Rome, and the “Sinaitacus” kept in a Catholic convent, Which is the true Word of God???
When the Holy Spirit through God's appointed prophet endorses the Manuscripts of the Waldenses as “uncorrupted and unadulterated” then they ARE THE “BEST ATTESTED MANUSCRIPTS” and NOT the “Sinaitacus” and the “Vaticanus” kept by the Roman Church, from which the R. V. was translated. On this authority, the Testimony of the Holy Spirit, we may rest as final and decisive. To a Seventh-day Adventist, there is no appeal from this authority. On this rock, brethren, we may all build for eternity, and the “gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”
In the Ministry of March 1939, appeared an article by Professor Prescott, based on quotations from Catholic writers which states that the position of Adventist on the number of the beast is not correct, that is, that the Latin words “Vicarius Filii Dei” in which the number 666 is found is not the true title of the Pope. There is abundance of evidence on this point which Professor Prescott had not seen, and yet he takes the position that his own researches are final, that he had seen all that was to be seen, and that the pioneers of this movement were all wrong and his judgment against them was correct and final. There is a logical result of his setting up his authority for many years to overthrow the established faith of the body on one point after another, or as, Sister White said, to “lead this whole denomination astray.”
In the Revised Version of Revelation 13:18, the margin gives 616 as the number of the beast instead of 666. Does Professor Prescott believe that 616 is the number of the beast? He takes away the established faith of the Body and gives us nothing solid or certain in its place. Is Professor Prescott a builder or a destroyer? Does he confirm the faith of the people of God? or has he been for more than 40 years a bank of clouds and darkness? He followed the false prophecies of Anna Rice. He accepted the Pantheistic doctrine of Dr. Waggoner and Dr. Kellogg and held them for years. He accepted the Conradi-Waggoner doctrine of the NEW VIEW OF THE DAILY and both the founder and teacher of that doctrine apostatized completely and died outside the fold. He perpetuated their theology that moved nearly all the dates of our prophetic framework.
Following the Conradi theology, he discarded the Authorized Version and took the American Revised Version as authority, based on Catholic Manuscripts because it was more nearly in harmony with the Conradi version of the Daily. When the Lord Himself through His prophet, removed Professor Prescott from the editorship of the Review and Herald, because he was “leading the whole denomination astray” and his anti-Catholic magazine came to a sudden inglorious end, he did not obey the request of the prophet that he work in the cities but remained in Washington to do “literary work.” Then, with Conradi, he taught that the principal book given us by the Lord, The Great Controversy was full of mistakes (that the prophet of God was mistaken) and that his wisdom is superior to that of the prophet.
He teaches that we are wrong on the number of the beast and now embraces the pagan papal doctrine of the Trinity that the Father and the Son are “one person,” “Jehovah-Jesus,” when Jesus in John 17:21, 22 and the Spirit of Prophecy directly state that they are “NOT one person,” and then he follows this Catholic doctrine of the Trinity to its logical end, affirming that the Son of God did not die, thus absolutely contradicting the Word of God and forever destroying our hope, a fitting climax to his developing program of “changing the whole face of our work” and the faith of this people, a program followed by him as many years as Israel wandered in the wilderness.
Professor Prescott is a courteous, cultured, educated gentleman. Personally I regard him very highly. But his teachings are thus the more dangerous and destructive. He has not strengthened the confidence of our people but has paralyzed the faith of many. I do not say that he has followed ALL the teachings of Conradi and Waggoner, but a number of them he has perpetuated, and when they with A. T. Jones, Fletcher and many others have given up the faith, he has continued to teach their destructive theories. We thank God that a number of our leading brethren have seen the terrible danger of his ruinous teaching. However kindly or beautiful or apparently profound his sermons or articles may be, when a man has arrived at the place where he teaches the heathen Catholic doctrine of the Trinity, and denies that the Son of God died for us, is he a true Seventh-day Adventist? Is he even a true preacher of the Gospel? And when many regard him as a great teacher and accept his unscriptural theories, absolutely contrary to the Spirit of Prophecy, it is time that the watchmen should sound a note of warning.
The Lord is calling on all his army of faithful workers to stand firm, unshaken, as the great enemy of God has marshaled the myriads of fallen angels and wicked men for the last terrific battle of the great controversy. He has told us to encourage one another, to strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. And here is as educated, cultured man, with great ability, who might have been a safe wise leader, a rock of strength to God's people, and yet for 40 years he has taught one new discovery (?) after another of the mistakes and false (?) teachings of our pioneers and even dared to criticize the Messenger of God. Has God called him or any other man in such a time as this to weaken the hands of our valiant army of workers and to publish our “false (?)” teaching before our enemies? Is this the work of God or is it the work of the destroyer?
The Spirit of Prophecy in Series B, No. 7, p. 57, says: “One thing is soon to be realized, the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger and will continue to do so until the Lord will descend from Heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time . . . If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit's power to confirm truth in the beginning; after the passing of the time, we need today all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils?”
The false teaching of the personality of God making him simply an essence and not a personality was the “Alpha of Apostasy.” Another phase of false doctrine on the personality of God, might become the “Omega of deadly apostasy,” Series B., No. 2, page 16. “Few see the meaning of the present apostasy, but the Lord has lifted the curtain and has shown me its meaning and the result that it will have if allowed to continue. We must now lift our voices in warning .” Series B, number 7, page 37.
The apostasy in the days of Dr. Kellogg was in regard to the personality of God. Then He was regarded as an ESSENCE pervading all nature. Being checked by the powerful Testimony of the Prophet of God, it is bound to come back later in a modified form. The Spirit of Prophecy has plainly indicated this. “THE RESULTS OF THIS INSIDIOUS DEVISING WILL BREAK OUT AGAIN AND AGAIN,” and it HAS BROKEN OUT AGAIN, and is still on the personality of God. Now Professor Prescott, once associated with Dr. Kellogg, takes up the subject of the personality of God again, but this time, asserts the Father and the Son are “one person,” and that the Son of God could not die, Satan's teaching through heathenism and the Papacy, of the doctrine of the Trinity, leading us back to Papal theology and darkness, and absolute destruction of all our hope that springs from the death of the Son of God. TO KNOW GOD ARIGHT IS LIFE EVERLASTING. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3. A false conception or false knowledge of God is eternal death.
Books that contain God's special message are counted full of mistakes, or thrown entirely out of publication. The Lord, through His prophet, has named the three books most needed today. Largely through the teachings of Professor Prescott, one of these is criticized as being full of mistakes, and one has been thrown out of publication. If God has ever spoken to this people the following words are the eternal truth of God.
“Patriarchs and Prophets, Daniel and the Revelation and The Great Controversy are needed now as never before . . . the very books most needed.” Mrs. E. G. White in Review and Herald, February 16, 1905. “Daniel and the Revelation, The Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets would make their way. They contain the very message the people must have, the special light God has given his people. The angels of God prepare the way for these books in the hearts of the people. . . . Of all the books that have come [forth] from the press those mentioned have been of the greatest consequence in the past and are at the present time.” Special Testimonies in regard to Royalties. [Now known as Special Instruction Regarding Royalties.]
One word of God is worth infinitely more than ten thousand words of men. “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away.”
“The past fifty years have not dimmed one jot or principle of our faith as we received the great and wonderful evidences that were made certain to us, in 1844 after the passing of the time ... NOT A WORD IS CHANGED OR DENIED. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as Truth after the passing of the time in our great disappointment is the SOLID FOUNDATION OF TRUTH.” Series B, number 7, pages 57 and 58.
Teachers of the doctrine of the Trinity often use figures of speech to explain its mysteries that cannot be understood. The Spirit of Prophecy has clearly stated the falsehood and danger of some of these illustrations. We quote from Series B, No. 7, P. 62: “Such representations as the following are made, 'the Father is the light invisible; the son is the light embodied. The spirit is the light shed abroad: . . . another representation: The Father is like the invisible vapor, the son is like the leaden cloud; the spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power.'
“All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. The Father cannot be described by the things of earth. The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and is invisible to mortal sight. The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested . . . The Comforter that Christ promised to send after he ascended to Heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead making manifest the power of Divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are 3 living persons of the Heavenly Trio, in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized.”
One of the mightiest proofs of the Divine inspiration of Sister White is that she saw clearly through the dangerous false teachings on the personality of God and warned the people of God in this power statement. “THERE ARE THREE LIVING PERSONS” NOT “ONE PERSON.” “The more simple the education of our workers, the less connection they have with the men whom God is NOT leading, the more will be accomplished. Work will be done in the simplicity of true Godliness, and the old, old times will be back when under the Holy Spirit's guidance, thousands were converted in a day.” Series B, number 7, page 63.
“For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the DEATH OF HIS SON, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by His life.” See Ministry of Healing, page 422.
“The Unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, BUT NOT IN PERSON. IT IS THUS THAT GOD AND CHRIST ARE ONE.”
In 1933 there was published by Fleming H. Revell Co. a volume by W. W. Prescott, entitled The Spade and the Bible. In the chapter, “Light on New Testament Words,” an effort was made to prove that “Vicarius Filii Dei” was not the title of the Pope and that the Mark of the Beast contains “his name or the number of his name,” in other words that “the mark” is the name of the beast. That is to say that the number 666 is the Mark of the Beast. On page 448 of The Great Controversy are found the words, “What then is the change of the Sabbath but the sign or mark of the authority of the church . . . the mark of the beast.”
At least three times the Spirit of the Lord has spoken emphasizing the fact that the mark of the beast is Sunday. Why then this confusing statement by Professor Prescott that the mark of the beast is the name, the number of the beast? “To the law and the testimony, if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.”
In the same chapter, Professor Prescott throws doubt on “Vicarius Filii Dei.” It is argued in the Ministry [Magazine of the SDA Church] that the title of the pope is “Vicar of Christ” not Vicar of the Son of God. But is not this simply a play upon words? For is not Christ the Son of God? Matthew 16:16. But the very words, “Vicarius Filii Dei” are given as the title of the pope in the Donation of Constantine, a document reputedly found on the tomb of St. Peter in the 8th century, now admitted by Roman Catholics to be spurious but nevertheless made use of by the popes when they were climbing into power. But while they repudiate the document they still cling tenaciously to the title, “Vicar of the Son of God,” or “Vicar of Christ.”
We quote from the Donation of Constantine by Coleman as given in Gratian's Decretum, “Blessed Petrus in Terris, Vicarius Filii Dei.” From the Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine P. 12. See also Ferraris Ecclesiastical Dictionary issued by Extypographia Polyglotta, S. C. de Propaganda Fide, Rome, in 1890, under the Title Papa on page 43.
The Donation of Constantine using the Exact title “Vicarius Filii Dei” was referred to by many popes as authority for the assumption that, as a Roman Catholic priest in conversation with me asserted, the Pope is Christ on earth; “Vicarius Filii Dei.” These popes used this forged edict of Constantine to prove their divine authority; Leo IX, Urban II, Euginius III, Innocent III, Gregory IX, Innocent IV, Nicolas III, Boniface VIII and John XXII. There is much more, yea an overflowing abundance of authority to prove that Uriah Smith was right when he taught that “Vicarius Filii Dei,” the real and comprehensive title of the Pope contained the number of the beast 666, and when the Holy Spirit through His prophet endorsed the book, Daniel and the Revelation and classes it with The Great Controversy, how can Professor Prescott or any Adventist minister or any real student of history presume to throw doubt and confusion and darkness on the Mark of the beast or the number of his name? When God speaks, true history must, and always does, respond with a unanimous “Amen”.