Teachings of the Pioneers
QUESTION: I listened to your message titled “The Holy Spirit Person” recently. . . . EGW states in 1881 “It is as certain that we have the truth as that God lives, and Satan, with all his arts and hellish power, cannot change the truth of God into a lie.” 4 Testimonies, p. 595. Being God never contradicts Himself (1 Selected Messages, p. 162) we can be assured that the doctrines of the Pioneers are to be trusted and are to be our guide. “Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years.” (1855 to 1905) Review & Herald, May 25, 1905. God NEVER contradicts Himself.
“The truth is the same as it ever has been, and not a pin or a pillar can be moved from the structure of truth. That which was sought out of the Word in 1844, 1845, and 1846 remains the truth in every particular.” EGW MR V. 1, p. 52, 1906.
Please consider what I have shared with you. If you judge the source of this information to be from God, then I pray you will have the courage and conviction to follow that truth. If there is error, then I need to be corrected.
ANSWER: While it is true that the pioneers’ work is important, their work must be put in right relation to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Certainly the pioneers contributed to the searching out and acquiring of the pillars of our Adventist faith, however, on subjects other than the saving truths that were clearly stated and promoted as pillars or landmarks of Adventism, the explanations of the Spirit of Prophecy must always be considered and given preference over that of the pioneers. In other words, if there is a conflict or disparity between what Ellen White wrote and that of the pioneers, we must take what Ellen White said as having much more weight or truth than what the others said. Because, as she said, the pioneers did make mistakes and different ones did have errors in their theology at different times.
Recently I did a sermon on this very topic, and it is this month’s sermon entitled “Teachings of the Pioneers.” Please carefully listen to its contents, and hopefully it will help to clarify the issue for you.