O how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people, and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential, and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings, and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organization and order that has been built up by wise, careful labor. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time. {GW 487.1}
The Type of Organization Needed
The Lord in His wisdom has arranged that by means of the close relationship that should be maintained by all believers, Christian shall be united to Christian and church to church. Thus the human instrumentality will be enabled to co-operate with the divine. Every agency will be subordinate to the Holy Spirit, and all the believers will be united in an organized and well-directed effort to give to the world the glad tidings of the grace of God. {AA 164.1}
God has not set any kingly power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to control the whole body or to control any branch of the work. He has not provided that the burden of leadership shall rest upon a few men. Responsibilities are distributed among a large number of competent men. {8T 236.3}
Every member of the church has a voice in choosing officers of the church. The church chooses the officers of the state conferences. Delegates chosen by the state conferences choose the officers of the union conferences, and delegates chosen by the union conferences choose the officers of the General Conference. By this arrangement every conference, every institution, every church, and every individual, either directly or through representatives, has a voice in the election of the men who bear the chief responsibilities in the General Conference. {8T 236.4}

1889 Historic Seventh Day Adventist Church

Are we Authorized to Begin a "New Organization"? The Spirit of God has told us through his messenger E. G. White:

After the passing of the time, God entrusted to His faithful followers the precious principles of present truth. ... {2SM 389.3}
Those who passed through these experiences are to be as firm as a rock to the principles that have made us Seventh-day Adventists. ... {2SM 389.4}
The Lord has declared that the history of the past shall be rehearsed as we enter upon the closing work. Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world. Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.--Manuscript 129, 1905. {2SM 390.1}
Consider the Points Brought out in the Above Statements:
  • God entrusted to the Seventh-day Adventist Church “precious principles of present truth.”
  • It is these principles that make a church, Seventh-day Adventist.
  • To step off of the foundation of these principles, to apostatize from these truths, is equated with, or results in a new organization (a new church).
The Modern Seventh Day Adventist Church is a Different Church, a New Organization

In 1980 the Seventh Day Adventist Church in General Conference Session in Dallas Texas changed these principles, particularly principles 2, 4, and 5. Below, I quote these principles as they were in 1889 during the life of God’s servant Ellen White, and then I quote how it reads after the official change of 1980.

1872 and 1889 Fundamental Principles
  • I. That there is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit. Ps. 139:7.
  • II. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the one by whom God created all things, and by whom they do consist; that he took on him the nature of the seed of Abraham …
1980 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists

#2. “The Trinity

  • “There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.” Seventh-day Adventists Believe p. 16
  • “God is omnipresent (Ps 139:7-12; Heb 4:13), transcending all space. Yet He is fully present in every part of space. He is eternal (Ps 90:2; Rev 1:8), exceeding the limits of time, yet is fully present in every moment of time.” Seventh-day Adventists Believe p. 20

#4. “The Son

  • “God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. … Forever truly God …”

#5. “The Holy Spirit

  • “God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, ...”

The differences are clearly apparent:

  • The 1889 principles 1 and 2 tell us the one God is the Father. (In harmony with 1Co 8:6). The 1980 belief #2 tells us God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • The 1889 principle #1 tells us God is a personal being (singular). The 1980 belief #2 says God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - a plurality of persons
  • The 1889 principle #1 tells us God is present everywhere by the Holy Spirit. The 1980 belief #2 says God is omnipresent and that “he” transcends all space and is fully present in every part of space. {This is spiritualism.}
  • The 1889 principle #2 tells us Jesus is the Son of the Eternal Father. The 1980 statement #4 tells us that Jesus is “God the eternal Son”, “forever truly God”.
  • The 1889 fundamental principles do not mention the Holy Spirit in describing the Godhead at all. The 1980 statement #5 calls the Holy Spirit “God the eternal Spirit”.

Every theologian will admit, and in fact it is self-evident, that if you change the doctrines, you change the nature of the church. In other words you have a new church, a new organization. Especially is this the case if you change doctrines that describe the God you profess to worship. Also, the inspired statement quoted previously agrees that if we step off of the foundation of the principles given to us in the beginning, we apostatize from the truth and enter a new organization. Furthermore the Scripture declares that the church is to be the "pillar and ground of the truth" 1 Timothy 3:15. We have just shown above, that the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church has different principles than it had in its beginning, thus we must acknowledge that is a different church than it used to be. It is a new organization than that which existed in 1889. This is highlighted by the following statement by George Knight, a respected Adventist theologian, historian and professor at Andrews University.

George Knight - MINISTRY magazine, Oct/1993 p. 10.

"Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination's Fundamental Beliefs.” "More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the Trinity.

George Knight goes on to mention beliefs numbers 4 and 5 as well, as we have also mentioned above.

The Principle of Separation

The following references outline a guiding principle which applies in this case.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
2Cor 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Cor 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
"After a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the word of God. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls, and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children's children. To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war." {GC 45.3}
" Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God's professed people. There is an alarming indifference in regard to the doctrines which are the pillars of the Christian faith. The opinion is gaining ground, that, after all, these are not of vital importance. This degeneracy is strengthening the hands of the agents of Satan, so that false theories and fatal delusions which the faithful in ages past imperiled their lives to resist and expose, are now regarded with favor by thousands who claim to be followers of Christ." {GC 46.1}
"As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ's withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience." {DA 232.2}

There is outlined in the references quoted above a biblical principle of separation that must be followed to be faithful to Christ. To remain in an apostate church would be to partake of its sins.

The Possibility of the Church Giving up the Principles of Truth, and Thus Forming a New Church, a New Organization, was Foretold
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? 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. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. {1SM 204.2}

This statement warns that there was already a movement underway in 1904 that would consider the doctrines which constituted the fundamental principles of the first 50 years as error, and would give them up and discard them, writing books of a new order, and that this would constitute a new organization and a re-organization. Dr. Kellogg, leaning toward pantheistic theories for several years, had just accepted the Trinity the year before, and within a few years would leave the church with thousands of followers. But the seeds had been planted, and in 1913 F.M. Wilcox described the church's teachings in the Review as a Trinity, though it required a whole generation to die off before it came to be generally accepted.

God Called for Reorganization and a New organization

On several occasions, when wrong principles were being adopted, God called for a reorganization and a new organization through his servant Ellen White.

That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,—that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle. {GCB, April 3, 1901 par. 25}
When we see the regular lines are altered and purified and refined, and the God of the heavens mold is upon the regular lines, then it is our business to establish the regular lines. But when we see message after message that God has given has been accepted, but no change, just the same as it was before, then it is evident that new blood must be brought into the regular lines. The leaders of the regular lines, they must have an entire change, an entire new organization, and to have a committee that shall take in not merely half a dozen, that is to be a ruling and controlling power, but it is to have representatives of those that are placed in responsibility in our educational interests, in our Sanitariums, that are working, and the life in them, constantly at work, constantly adding, constantly giving to the field the talent that has come from it. {SpM 163.1}

As we have seen, the corporate Seventh Day Adventist Church has apostatized from its most central foundational pillars held during the first 50 years, the principles concerning God, and thus has formed a new organization, a new church. And we have seen that Ellen White counsels us when the church departs from those principles that the appropriate response is to reorganize, to form a new organization returning to those first fundamental principles. Therefore, we believe we are fully justified in our decision to step back on the foundation of truth that God gave the Seventh Day Adventist people and to re-organize His church on those priinciples.

God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. {UL 315.5}
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No. 1 The Sacred Scriptures

1. It's Name and Sections

The English term, Scriptures, comes from the Latin Scriptura, which comes from scripto which means to write. Scriptures means writings. It is the English translation of the Greek word graphe which means things written.


Jesus referred to the “Scriptures”

“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Matthew 21:42)


What other name did Jesus give to this important book?

“And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” (Luke 8:21)

It is interesting to note that the word Bible does not occur in the Bible itself. It is derived from the Latin Biblia, which came from the Greek biblia, meaning little books. The Greek word biblia in turn is derived from byblus, meaning “papyrus,” the name of the material upon which ancient books were written. The Greeks call this writing material byblus because they obtained it from the Phoenician port of Byblos. (Encarta Encyclopedia)

What were the 3 divisions of the Scriptures in Christ day?

“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Lu 24:44)

In our day it is divided up into books, chapters and verses; for easier reference.


2. It's Real Author

What is the source of all Scripture?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2Timothy 3:16)

Who Spoke through theses men?

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,” (Hebrews 1:1)

How were the prophets of old guided as they thus spake for God?

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.{in old time: or, at any time}” (2Peter 1:21)


3. Authority the Scriptures should he

What shows us that Jesus recognized the authority of the Scriptures?

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)

To Think about: the time, place and circumstances of the above incident.


4. The value we should place upon the Holy Scriptures

For what purpose were the Holy Scriptures written?

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

What are four ways in which Scripture can help us?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2Timothy 3:16)

What do the four things mentioned above, accomplish in us?

“That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3:17)

Thought Question: The Scriptures are likened to a lamp. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105) Why is this, and what does a lamp do for us?


5. The example of righteous men

What value did Job place upon the words of God?

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12)

How firm was the prophet Isaiah's faith in God's word?

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

What has God done with His word and how?

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalms 138:2)

6. To Research:

Find the approximate date and person who penned each of the books in the Scriptures, and write it on the time line in the appropriate place to share in class. You may look in the scriptures themselves, commentaries, the introduction to each book of the Bible if your edition has information there, the web or you may visit a library.


Time Line

Time Line