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First Love

   “But I have against you that you left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4). Christ declared this to the Ephesus church. He didn't reveal their first love, but I’m guessing He was referring to the truth of the correct gospel. I’m concerned about my church (SDA) in this same way and I see that our first love, after “the disappointment” was the Bible, judging from accounts of the early years, our church forefathers sat down together, first to find out where they went wrong with Christ's second advent prediction, and secondly to establish doctrines for the soon to become, Seventh Day Adventist church. They together searched the scriptures, comparing what they found, ironing out variations in opinions, conforming to what the Bible says and developing a unity of truth for the new church to be united in. Starting in 1854 and settling on a refined doctrinal list in 1872 of Fundamental Principles that remained consistent until 1931, when it was changed by rewriting the original description of God, changing it to a Trinity. This is an important issue unto itself but this is not the purpose of this paper. The point I'm addressing is that our founding fathers used only the Bible to determine this list of Fundamental Beliefs, which remained constant for 77 years.

    The Seventh Day Adventist's declared prophet, Ellen White wrote many books, approximately 40 during her lifetime, her estate adding other books after her death, which were written using articles, letters and other writings to total over 100 EGW books. I’ve read about 30 and found them all inspiring and worthy of reading. However, there does seem to be a downside to all this writing, (including the additional books), I refers back to the verse I used to open this paper, since Ellen White has written so much and with such detail, especially the four books that step along with the Bible, many SDAs consider reading these four books as reading the Bible itself and consequently many use the Bible, only to look up verses they are directed to review from hearing sermons, reading books written about the Bible or the SDA Quarterly. Few SDAs, that I have found, have read the Bible completely and even fewer have read it more then once. My evaluation is, that we have left our first love of the Bible only, which was stated in the first line of the Fundamental Beliefs (before the actual list) of 1872 through 1914 "...Seventh Day Adventist have no creed but the Bible..." (F.B. of 1889).

   Moving forward to 1931 when the description of God, in our Fundamental Beliefs was changed by the church officials, from a God of one, the Father, to a God of three, a trinity. This would not have been allow by the SDA congregation if they had maintained their original love and dependency on God's word, only. Then and now we have become too dependent on other writers, especially on Ellen White, to where many consider that her "every" word was inspired by Christ, hence they call her body of writing “The Spirit of Prophecy” using the verse “ …for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10). From my understanding of God's word, all men are imperfect and the only true source of God’s word is "God's word", a collection of books, compiled to make one Book, the Bible in its original text form. We must consider that every book written by man about the Bible is flawed, in varying degrees, not that they shouldn’t be read them, but first and foremost, we, every one of us, those wanting to know God, would need to read God's word and know it well, then we can read other books on the Bible, then we will be capable of spotting the imperfections in all these other writings and discard what is contrary and keep what is consistent with the God's word. I've made this judgment using the original Hebrew and the Greek text, not from the variety of available versions and translations of God's word.

    God’s inspired word does not change from time to time. The term "present truth" is often used so we accept changes, implying we have been given more truth. But the change made in the 1931 Fundamental Beliefs wasn't an addition of clearer truth; it was a complete change, a very different description of God Almighty. If our forefathers, and I'll include Ellen White, were directed by Christ's Spirit in searching God's word for a list of doctrine, then, because a change was made after 77 years, then one or both were not Christ inspired, we know most certainly God does not change, "For I am Jehovah, I change not..." (Malachi 3:6) and neither does His Son. To prove this point even further, our current Fundamental Beliefs as of 1981, the description of God has changed again, from the 1931 Fundamental Beliefs, stating that the three persons of God are "Co-eternal", proving to me that we (SDA) have lost our first love and a solid footing on the Rock, we may have even forgotten that the Bible was our first love, and our anchor to the truth, presented in God's word.

    If you are an SDA, look at what Ellen White says in The Great Controversy, "But God will have a people on earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only as a standard of all doctrine and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority - not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support." (GC 594.2). And by her own description, she must be included in this list. I consider that the up lifting of Ellen White as a prophet was the work of the SDA officers and maybe the congregation, as they lost touch with God's word and clung to the easier to read and understand writings of one of their own. How can we logically consider that every word from a human to be pure and perfect, considering everything to be inspired by Christ? The Ellen G. White Estate has made this assumption because they use everything she wrote and spoke into 60 additional books after her death. I question how much of all her writings were tested with God's word?

   As I understand Rev. 19:10, the testimony of Jesus spans from Genesis to Revelation, Christ being the Word of God, the author of the Bible. The entire Bible contains history, examples, warnings and guidelines for those interested in arriving at New Jerusalem. This collection of inspiration from Christ is the "spirit of prophecy" because it is His testimony of the information that His Father, God Almighty, Jehovah gave to Him. "A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly..." (Rev. 1:1). We need to stayed glued to His word....... only!

   

   If you are interested in viewing some of the contradictions with God's word that came from the words of Ellen G. White that led me to come to this evaluation of some of her writings, go to the paper called "Contradictions" in this web-site, keeping in mind what I stated in the beginning of this paper, that her writings are inspiring and worth reading, after studying and learning God's word.

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