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THE REAL ESSENCE OF

PAPAL OR ROMAN
CATHOLIC WORSHIP
An Unbiased SDA Perspective!!
By Derrick Gillespie

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INTRODUCTION

“Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye
will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve
the LORD.

“Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus …. it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him
only shalt thou serve.”

“Psalm 100:2-4 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us…. Enter into his gates with
thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise…”

TRUE SDA WORSHIP!

To the TRUE Seventh-day Adventist the declarations of Joshua in Joshua 24:15 and of Jesus in
Matthew 4:10 they’re understood and carried out in a certain way, as echoed by Adventism’s
chief pioneer, E.G. White, and confirmed by just two other bonafide SDA pioneers, Uriah Smith
and Stephen N. Haskell (notice carefully their full recognition that in worshipping God or the
Lord it involves worshipping, serving, or praising equally the Father, the Son and the Holy
Spirit):

"...let us [SDAs] consecrate to Him ["the Lord" our God] all that we are, and all that we have,
and then may we all unite to swell the songs, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son,
*AND Holy Ghost.” ---E.G. White, RH January 4, 1881

“When we have accepted Christ, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to serve [i.e. reverence, honor, worship and obey; see
Joshua 24:15; Psalm 100:2] God, the Father, Christ, *AND the Holy Spirit --the three
dignitaries and powers of heaven--pledge themselves that every facility shall be given to us if
we carry out our baptismal vows to "come out from among them, and be . . . separate, . . . and
touch not the unclean thing. ----E.G. White, Manuscript 85, 1901

"As the saints in the kingdom of God are accepted in the beloved [i.e. Paradise], they hear:
“Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of
the world.” And then the golden harps are touched, and the music flows all through the
heavenly host, and they fall down and worship the Father and the Son *AND the Holy Spirit."
---E.G. White, Manuscript 139, 1906.

“Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then
co-operate with the three great powers of heaven *who [all three called “who”] are
working in your behalf. Doing this you will reveal to the world the principles of
righteousness…God says, [notice after this whom she means says this] "Come out
from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing; and I
will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and
daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." This is the pledge of [not one person, but] the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit [i.e. the *pledge to receive and be a Father to
you]; made to you if you will keep your baptismal vow, and touch not the unclean
thing… In order to deal righteously with the world, as members of the royal
family, children of the heavenly King, Christians must feel their need of a power,
which comes only from the [three] heavenly agencies that have pledged
themselves to work in man's behalf. After we have formed a union with the great
THREEFOLD POWER [singular; collective], we shall regard our duty toward the
members of God's family with a sacred awe.”

--E.G. White, Signs of the Times, June 19, 1901

“Do the Scriptures warrant praise to and worship of the Holy Sprint? ...in the formula for
baptism, the name “Holy Ghost,” or” Holy Spirit,” is associated with that of the Father and the
Son. And if the name can be used thus, why could it not properly stand as a part of the same
*TRINITY in the hymn of praise, “Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost”?”

-- Uriah Smith (“U.S.”), In the Question Chair, Review and Herald, 1896,
Vol. 73, No. 43, pg. 685

"The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one and receive worship. Each one represents all
the other members of the *Trinity...[but] Gabriel was only an angel bearing a message from the
great *Trinity of heaven, and could not receive worship [Rev. 19:10; Rev. 22:8-9]"

---Stephen N. Haskell, The Bible Training School, November 1907, No. 6, pg. 94

"It is evident that the Holy Spirit is one of the *Trinity, and fully represent God [the Father] and
Christ, and the *Trinity [or the Godhead group as a whole]; and appears in any form or shape,
or without form or shape, as best answers the purpose of God"

---S.N. Haskell, The Bible Training School, 1910, Vol. 9, No. 7, pg. 13

ROMAN CATHOLIC WORSHIP BEING CONFUSED WITH SDA WORSHIP

Now, it interesting that despite the foregoing quotes (and many similar ones) are clearly on
record fully capturing the essence of SDA-type worship, and the worship of what Mrs. White
called “the great threefold Power” or what both Uriah Smith and S.N. Haskell called “the
Trinity” but as separate personal beings, yet we do find some among SDAs today (dissidents in
the minority), who don’t even understand their own SDA Church’s historical teaching on
“serving” or “worshipping” God (since the words “worship” and “serve” are interchangeable in
the religious sense, as Jesus himself made plain in Matthew 4:10). These dissidents are confused
about Church history (i.e. about general Church history and about that of even their own SDA
Church), and so they unfortunately point to any belief in a trinity (a group of three persons in
the Godhead) as being “Roman Catholic” in origin, and hence it’s “paganism” through and
through (or so they falsely argue, forgetting that paganism often counterfeits the things of God,
and that the Papacy did not invent the trinity of the Godhead). But it must be asked in the first
instance: Is Roman Catholic worship really about serving the “three Persons” of the “Eternal
Godhead”? That is what Roman Catholicism claims, even as it pretends that this is so by even
declaring the Trinity to be its “central doctrine”. However, as is the case with deception (and the
Papacy is the masterpiece of deception), what is proclaimed on the surface is not usually the
reality. Let the reader at this point stop to analyze this following crucial point:

ROMAN CATHOLIC WORSHIP IS NOT REALLY ABOUT “SERVING” OR WORSHIPPING THE FATHER, THE
SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT (a Christian duty even Mrs. White in Adventism endorses) BUT, RATHER,
IT’S REALLY ABOUT “SERVING” OR WORSHIPPING THE ANCIENT PAGAN OR “BABYLONIAN” GODDESS
AND CHILD, DECEPTIVELY, i.e. THROUGH THE ADORATION OF MARY AND HER “DIVINE” INFANT SON; A
REALITY WHICH ECLIPSES TRUE WORSHIP!!

It’s time to discover the real truth about Roman Catholic worship being falsely paraded as just
Trinitariansm!!! Refer to the foregoing pictures to see even the most recent Pope exemplifying
Roman Catholic false worship, i.e. that or worshipping the images/idols of Mary right before
our very eyes!!! In one picture we see the Pope with the censor doing ‘priestly duties’ before
the images of Madonna and Child, offering the prayers of the saints (as it were) to an image of
Mary!! True Catholic worship is supremely Mary worship!! Plain and simple!

This thought is given much force when one considers the truth in the following quotes, taken
from the renowned book, “The Two Babylons”, by Alexander Hislop who, by the way, was not a
Seventh-day Adventist:

“In Papal Italy [where Catholicism is most developed], as travelers universally admit
(except where the gospel has recently entered), all *APPEARANCE of worshipping the King
Eternal and Invisible is almost extinct, while *the Mother and Child are grand objects of
worship. Exactly so in this latter respect, also was it in ancient Babylon [the literal civilization].

The Babylonians, in their popular religion, *supremely worshipped a Goddess Mother and a
Son, who was represented in pictures and images as an infant in his mother’s arms. From
Babylon, this worship of the Mother and Child spread to the ends of the earth. In Egypt, the
Mother and Child were worshipped under the names of Isis and Osiris. In India, even to this
day, as Isi and Iswara… and even in Tibet, in China, and Japan, the Jesuit missionaries were
astounded to find the counterpart of Madonna and her child as devoutly worshipped as in
Papal Rome itself; Shing Moo, the Holy Mother in China, being represented with a child in
her arms and a glory around her exactly as if a Roman Catholic artist had been employed to
set her up.”
“It is evident that the goddess enshrined in the Papal Church for the *supreme worship of its
votaries, is that Babylonian Queen who set up Nimrod, or Ninus „the Son‟, as the rival of
Christ…”
“If these things be true (and gainsay [disprove] them who can), who will venture now to plead
for Papal Rome, or call it a Christian Church? Is there one who fears God, and who reads
these lines, who would not admit that paganism alone [without Satan‟s help] could never
have inspired such a doctrine as that avowed by the Melchites at the Nicene Council [Council
of Nicea, 325 A.D.] that the Trinity [The Godhead] consisted of “the FATHER, *THE VIRGIN
MARY, and the Messiah their Son‟?”
---Alexander Hislop, “The Two Babylons”, 1959, pgs. 20, 21, 88 and 89
This is quite revealing, coming from a man who, like Mrs. E.G. White (in Adventism), recognized
the Godhead of three worship-worthy or divine Persons, but who equally rejected Mary worship
which overshadows the worship of the threefold Godhead, as well as he rejected the Roman
Catholic explanation of the numeric oneness of the Godhead, and their blasphemous or
sacrilegious visual depiction of same by three heads on one body. The following “Catholic”
paintings (worded in Latin; the official language of Roman Catholicism) aptly show that not only
is Mary worship incorporated into Catholic worship (see the painting on the right), but, as
Alexander Hislop correctly observed, the Trinity as explained by the Catholic Church is actually
not about separate divine beings or persons of the Godhead but is really about “one undivided
substance” having three faces or three “personas” falsely called “three persons”!!!!

Notice how one Catholic painting (as seen on the right) even has Mary standing in the center of
the picture depicting who is worshipped as God. It’s quite revealing and actually captures the
real essence of true Roman Catholic worship more than many realize.
Now, despite the misrepresentation of Hislop’s book by certain misguided readers (reporting it
to be anti-Trinity when it’s not), Hislop‟s thesis REMARKABLY and surprisingly (for some)
evidenced a balanced perspective on the threefold Godhead, as opposed to the fanaticism of
the dissident anti-Trinitarians. In Chapter 2 of his book just quoted, he objected to the Godhead
being represented as a single undivided Being or individual with three heads, tracing this
idolatrous practice of representing the invisible Godhead *tangibly in this way to ancient
Babylon (see Isaiah 40:18,25 and Ex. 20:4,5). This historical fact Hislop honestly reported,
despite having to personally admit to the three Persons forming the Godhead, which he still
calls “the triune Jehovah” or “a trinity” (or three persons united in a group). Proof?

“While overlaid with idolatry, the recognition of A Trinity was universal in all the ancient
nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine
on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis [e.g. Gen. 1:26, 27; Gen. 3:22-14; etc.]
The threefold invocation of the sacred name in the blessing of Jacob bestowed on the sons of
Joseph is very striking: "And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac did walk the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel
which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads" (Gen 48:15, 16). If the angel here referred to
had not been God [i.e. the pre-existent Jesus as a “Messenger”; not a literal angel], Jacob could
never have invoked him as on an equality with God. In Hosea 12:3-5, "The Angel who
redeemed" Jacob is expressly called God: "He (Jacob) had power with God: yea, he had power
over the Angel, and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto him: he found him in
Bethel, and there he spake with us; even the Lord God of Hosts; The Lord is his memorial."
– Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylon’s (1959), pg. 15

In the foregoing quote from Hislop, it is plain he personally felt that ancient religions had pre-
Christian counterfeits of the “early-introduced‟ but “later fully revealed‟ triadic or threefold
Godhead, i.e. a trio of separate living persons who are all divine. And when one considers that
Satan was in heaven and therefore KNOWS that indeed a threefold Godhead does exist, then
it is not strange that he tried to counterfeit and caricature the truth within paganism. Hislop
even alluded to how the patriarchs, probably unwittingly, were laying the foundation for not just
accepting that the pre-existent Jesus was to be recognized as divine like Jehovah, but also a
recognition of a triadic divinity as centered in the one true God the Father, but never excluding
those he is united with supernaturally (i.e. His Son and Holy Spirit). Hislop, in his arguments and
the conclusions drawn at the end of his book, sought to point out that Roman Catholicism not
only overlaid the truth about*“the triune Jehovah” with pagan trappings and borrowed
“Babylonish‟ concepts and images, but he concludes that Catholicism consistently gives
greater recognition to Mary or “the Madonna” and pagan “Child”, than to the Godhead Trio
(named after the Father, “Jehovah”; Matthew 28:19) that it deceptively claims to have as
“central” to its religion.

Here is what Hislop actually stated and finally concluded about Catholicism and it’s false
depiction of whom he calls *“the triune Jehovah”, and its attitude to the true Godhead:

“Will anyone after this say that the Roman Catholic Church must still be called
Christian, because it holds the doctrine of the Trinity? So did the Pagan Babylonians, so did
the Egyptians, so do the Hindoos at this hour, in the very same sense in which Rome does.[i.e.
one Being with three heads] They all admitted A trinity, but did they worship THE *Triune
Jehovah, the King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible? And will anyone say with such evidence
before him, that Rome does so? Away then, with the deadly delusion that Rome is Christian!
There might once have been some palliation for entertaining such a supposition; but every day
the "Grand Mystery" is revealing itself more and more in its true character. There is not, and
there cannot be, any safety for the souls of men in "Babylon." "Come out of her, my people," is
the loud and express command of God. Those who disobey that command, do it at their peril.”

– ibid, pg. 63

If Rome [the Papacy or Catholicism] is now to be admitted to form a portion of the Church of
Christ, where is the system of Paganism that has ever existed, or that now exists, that could
not put in an equal claim? On what grounds could the worshippers of the original Madonna
and child in the days of old be excluded "from the commonwealth of Israel," or shown to be
"strangers to the covenants of promise"? On what grounds could the worshippers of Vishnu at
this day be put beyond the bounds of such wide catholicity? The ancient Babylonians held, the
modern Hindoos still hold, clear and distinct traditions of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the
Atonement. Yet, who will venture to say that such nominal recognition of the cardinal articles
of Divine revelation could relieve the character of either the one system or the other from the
brand of the most deadly and God-dishonouring heathenism? And so also in regard to Rome.
True, it nominally admits Christian terms and Christian names; but all that is apparently
Christian in its system is more than neutralised by the malignant Paganism that it embodies.”
– ibid, pg191

Concerning the series of quotes, here taken from Hislop’s book, let the reader recognize that
Alexander Hislop‟s findings are evidently true. Consider also the following.

[1] Mrs. White, S.N. Haskell and Uriah Smith (key pioneers in SD Advetism), in writing on the
same subject (of paganism in Catholicism) in their main literary works on “modern Babylon”
and the Papacy (i.e. in their books “Great Controversy”, and “Daniel and the Revelation”
respectively), they highlighted Mary worship in their list of chief errors of Babylon eclipsing the
worship of God.

[2] Interestingly however, Mrs. White, S.N. Haskell and Smith either ignored NAMING or
condemning the subject of the Trinity altogether in their prophetic books on Daniel and the
Revelation written and updated after 1888 and 1892, even while they stressed the separateness
of the Father and the Son and, with Mrs. White in particular (along with very many pioneers
after 1888 and before 1915), clearly teaching a “Trio” (or what S.N. Haskell called “the Trinity”)
of “three holiest beings” in the Godhead. This must have been for a reason, and to any
objective thinker the reason is obvious. Only some things in the traditional Trinity doctrine held
by the Catholics and most Protestants needed correcting; not everything!!
Pure and true Roman Catholicism is simply a pretense at serving Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit (an undeniably necessary Christian duty), while supremely worshipping the pagan
goddess and child, deceptively, through Mary and the infant Jesus, and even while
misrepresenting and unwittingly parodying the Godhead as one Being with three heads (all
pagan or Babylonian imagery it borrowed to overshadow the truths in the Bible).

CONCLUSION

Concluding then, the idea of Roman Catholicism supposedly “serving” “the constituent
Persons of the Eternal Godhead”, to borrow the phrase by E. J. Waggoner (an SDA pioneer), is
simply a ‘smoke-screen’ (deceptive covering) for the false Church IDENTIFIED IN BIBLE
PROPHECY as “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots” (Rev. 17:5). Its real worship
is supremely expressed in Mary worship (for pure Catholics), and Sunday observance (the
Church’s mark of its supposed authority, and its “bond” connecting it to all her daughters in
Protestantism). Is “official‟ Seventh-day Adventism sharing in any of these? Certainly not! What
Adventism share with the Catholics is the true Christian duty that Mrs. White endorses; that we
should “serve” or worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, or “the three holiest beings
in Heaven”, as Mrs. White herself expressed it, and as her contemporary pioneers eventually
admitted it to be true by saying:

"Paganism, popery [the Papacy], and infidelity fail entirely to either rightly know or truly
represent the ever-living God. It is left for pure Protestantism to proclaim to the world the true
God consisting of three persons but of one spirit and aim."
----The Signs of the Times, Vol. 26, No. 24, June 12, 1911; p. 371.372

"...when there were no worlds; no created being, not even an angel; in fact, there were only
three beings — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; these three persons in
the Godhead.“
---- Review and Herald, Vol. 78, No. 1. Jan 1, 1901. No., 2409; p. 2

No wonder that for years the SDA pioneers praised all three by singing: “Praise ye the Spirit,
Comforter of Israel, Sent of the Father and the Son to bless us. Praise ye the Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit— Praise ye the Eternal Three!” ---No. 296 (“Praise ye the Father”) in the SDA
“Christ in Song” pioneering denominational hymnal of 1900 (verse 3).
**Note: The 1908 version of the "Christ in Song" pioneering hymnal (vetted by GC pioneers
themselves) had songs of praise listed under the title "Praise to THE TRINITY" on page 6 under
"Contents" (left column). See the photocopy below, and much more on this issue at this link

That's the ORIGINAL pioneering "1 Cor. 8:6 Movement" (as some of the dissidents are calling it
online these days) telling it like it is, as they came to fully understand the issues of true
worship!! The pioneers of the 1863-formed “1 Cor. 8:6 movement” did come to realize that if
Deut. 6:4 says “The LORD our God is one Lord”, and 1 Cor. 8:6 speaks of Jesus as the “one
Lord” it is actually proof of the divine Godhead persons being together the one Lord and the
one God of the Bible (not two or three “Lords”, or two or three “Gods”). It is the case that
Jesus as the one Lord does not exclude the Father as being our Lord, just as the Father being
the one God does not exclude Jesus from being our God, since they are “one” in function and
nature (not the same in person). And that’s why the SDA pioneers themselves did not refrain
from saying before 1915 about “the great threefold Power” which Mrs. White spoke of:

"...the Creator is the only Being worthy to receive worship....God is worshipped


because He is Creator; and God means the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit; for all are mentioned as having part in creation."
---The Present Truth (SDA periodical), Vol. 29, No. 48. Nov. 27, 1913, p. 757

They all (i.e. the Father, Son and Spirit) are identified as God or divine in the Bible, and MUST
receive worship, since Jesus himself said in Matthew 4:10 only a divine person which is “the
Lord” or is “God” (or divine) should be served or worshipped in the ultimate religious sense!!
ANYTHING ELSE BEING TRUMPETED AS “PRESENT TRUTH” TODAY BY A SO-CALLED "ADVENTIST"
IS A FALSE DOCTRINE ON THEIR LIPS AND THEY ARE DENIERS OF THEIR OWN SDA FAITH (OR
THEY ARE SIMPLY “HERETICS” WITHIN ADVENTISM PEDDLING FALSEHOODS, JUST AS THE
CATHOLICS ARE DOING WITHIN CHRISTIANITY)!!

---THE END----

Derrick Gillespie is a trained teacher in the Social Sciences, History, and Geography, and remains a
member of the SDA Church in Jamaica and a lay evangelist for SDAs.
(Contact Info: ddgillespie@live.com OR https://www.facebook.com/derrick.gillespie