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How Many Divine Beings Are There According to Bible and SOP

How many divine beings are there according to the Bible and Ellen White’s published writings?

“Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,--one in nature, in character, and in purpose,--the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” {E. G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 493}

That plainly tells us that there is no other being besides Christ who enters into the counsels of God. No other being in all the universe! That makes two beings only. The Holy Spirit cannot be a being, for that would mean it cannot enter into all the counsels of God! But we knew that for the Bible made it clear long ago (Zechariah 6:12, 13). Sister White never mentions another being besides Christ who is allowed into counsel with God. How can this be if she really was a Trinitarian, as some claim on her behalf? Where is “God the Holy Spirit”? The only other being in the universe who wanted to enter into counsel with God and His Son was a proud angel by the name of Lucifer. It was he who wanted the heavenly counsel to include a third member! Let the readers read the first chapter of Patriarchs and Prophets and see if this is true or not. But there is more:

“The only being who was one with God lived the law in humanity, descended to the lowly life of a common laborer, and toiled at the carpenter's bench with his earthly parent.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, October 14, 1897 par. 3} 

Here she clearly and plainly says Christ is the only being who is one with God. There is no mention of anyone else being “one” with God besides Christ. That is only two beings. Just in case someone may use the strange notion of “just because God the Holy Spirit is not mentioned does not mean he is not there!” we again emphasize the word ONLY. When using that word Mrs. White is excluding any other options or possibilities. It is impossible for her to say "only" and then elsewhere contradict it. Again, the same plain language and testimony is used in the following quote:

“The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.” {E. G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, July 7, 1898 par. 2}

The above statement alone should be sufficient to abolish every theory of a trinity. Honestly, how could Ellen White (if she was really a Trinitarian) make a statement like that? Let us ask again the oft repeated question: where is ‘God the Holy Spirit’? If the Father and the Son alone are to be exalted, then what are we to do with ‘God the Holy Spirit’? Surely we say aright, the servant of the Lord was not a believer in that doctrine which is espoused by the mother of all harlots, neither in any of its varied and multitudinous forms.

Let us look at further evidence that will confirm the above. We are counseled to go by the “weight of evidence” (DA 458) and not just by one or two statements. Let each reader consider the question: who is the third highest being in heaven? This is an important question to answer in light of the “three holiest beings” statement. We shall not attempt any guess-work in seeking an answer to this question. In the published writings we are plainly given the answer:

"Drawing aside the veil which conceals the glory of God, it shows Him in His place, high and holy, and lifted up, not in a state of solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy, happy beings, every one waiting to bear the message, to do His bidding--all heaven is in active communication with every part of the universe through a variety of channels, and that holy One is actually stooping, bending from His throne, listening to every sound uttered, observing the movements of every earthly power. It is the highest Being condescending to the lowliest, approving or condemning every action which is developed.” {UL 23.3}

“God is a moral governor as well as a Father. He is the Lawgiver.” {12MR 208}

“The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver.” {2SP 9}

“The only being who was one with God lived the law in humanity, descended to the lowly life of a common laborer, and toiled at the carpenter's bench with his earthly parent.” {ST, October 14, 1897 par. 3}

“The Lord has shown me that Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Jesus Christ.” {1SG 17}

“Speaking of Satan, our Lord says that "he abode not in the truth." He was once the covering cherub, glorious in beauty and holiness. He was next to Christ in exaltation and character.” {RH, October 22, 1895 par. 1}

“Satan in Heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God's dear Son. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A special light beamed in his countenance, and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels; yet Jesus, God's dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created. Satan was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on Christ alone.” {1SP 17.1}

“Was not Satan the light-bearer, the sharer of God's glory in heaven, and next to Jesus in power and majesty?” {RH, November 17, 1891 par. 3}

“Sin originated with him, who, next to Christ, stood highest in the favor of God, and highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of Heaven. Before his fall, Lucifer was the covering cherub, holy and undefiled.” {4SP 316}

"Christ's humiliation is not understood and not appreciated. Forty days and nights Jesus was subjected to the temptations of the enemy--the one who was once an angel next to Christ in majesty and glory in the heavenly courts. It is stated, Thou wast exalted because of thy beauty, et cetera. But he wanted to have the place of Christ, and Christ was one with the Infinite God; and because this was not accorded him, he became jealous, and he was the originator of sin.” {16MR 180.1}

Let us illustrate our findings so far:

God the Father – The highest Being and the great Lawgiver.

The Son of God – Next in authority, the only being who was one with God.

Lucifer – The third highest being, next to Christ in power, majesty, exaltation, character, honor, and glory.

The above clear descriptions leave no room for a third divine being. It is overwhelmingly apparent that the third highest position in heaven was occupied by a created being. Even after the fall of Lucifer, the third highest being is identified for us:

“It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel.” {DA 234} 

From the above plain testimonies we learn that the third highest position in heaven has ever been occupied by a created being, both before and after the fall of Lucifer. This should be plain to any clear thinking individual. This weight of evidence cannot be set aside lightly. To insist otherwise based on just one reported statement can only betray a stubborn desire to maintain a groundless theory. 

These plain statements are from her published works, they are not statements that were produced long after she died. These are authentic statements that she reviewed and checked and that the whole church at the time subscribed to. On the other hand, statements that only make an appearance posthumously and which clearly contradict the authentic writings must be closely examined and studied and checked against the published writings. This is the only safe way to arrive at the truth. We cannot just grab one statement because we like what it says and ignore her published writings which she tells us are the most authentic and accurate report of her beliefs and teachings. Let those who desire to obey the prophet heed this counsel is our prayer.

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