In Defense of Ellen G White
Since the Internet has arrived on the scene, some
individuals have taken it upon themselves to discredit
and smear the name and works of the prophetess Ellen
G. White. Their goal seems to be to convince people
that she was a false prophet. Little do they know that
they are supporting the cause of darkness. Neither do
they know the truth about her. They get their information
from files readily available from the White Estate and
from people who have written about her with malevolent
intentions and an unholy agenda. They spend much time
and effort in researching her writings with only one goal
in mind—to try and disprove her as a fraud and phony.
As the saying goes, "you will find what you are looking
for." How sad it is that some with a vendetta against her
writings totally ignore the wealth of beautiful and
inspirational material, itself inspired from above.
The most damaging book ever written about Ellen
White, "The White Lie," by Walter Rea, is now on the
Internet for all to see. Maybe this is a good thing, for
now we know how and where the enemy is attacking,
which puts us in a position to counterattack. This article
is the first of two or three that is sounding a warning in
defense of the Spirit of Prophecy as revealed primarily
through Ellen White. But there are other individuals
called by the Lord who are also being maligned. It is to
be expected that the Lord’s true chosen messengers in
this time of earth’s history would be viciously attacked
as they proclaim the truth.
Was Ellen White a true or false prophet? This is the
question we hope to answer. This is the bottom line. If
she is a true prophet, it is to the reader’s eternal benefit
to explore the wealth of heavenly light given to her. If the
Lord in love and mercy did not deem this light important,
it certainly would not have been given. On the other
hand if she is not the Lord’s messenger, then we should
not waste our time reading her lies. She was either from
the Lord or she wasn’t. The purpose of this article and
the ensuing ones, is to present information about Ellen
White, her life, and experience, which will make it
possible for the reader, to come to an honest
To date, most of what is available is only against her.
We will present the other side,—tell "the rest of the
story"— as Paul Harvey, radio commentator says. By
the way, he is a believer in Ellen White and her gift, and
has several times openly and warmly spoken about her
on the radio.
A big problem of Ellen’s detractors and accusers is that
they have failed to recognize the difference between
Ellen White THE PROPHET and Ellen White THE
AUTHOR. Neither have they recognized the difference
between Ellen White THE PROPHET and Ellen White
the woman, wife, mother, and friend. In short her human
side. They have tried to dehumanize her, painting her
as something she is not. Making her out to be an ugly
woman with malevolent intentions. This is character
assassination, not unlike what was done with the Jews
during World War 2 in Germany.
There are important differences between these three
roles. To try to judge a prophet by either of the last two
roles means you will find discrepancies, flaws and
errors. After all, being part of the human race does
have its limitations, even for Prophets. They are subject
to the same emotions, frailties and thought processes
as anyone else.
The late author and writer René Noorbergen wrote a
book in 1973 about Ellen White (as well as several
others, including one about Jean Dixon, Clairvoyant)
called "Ellen G. White, Prophet of Destiny." In his years
of researching for this book, he learned as much and
probably far more about Ellen White than her detractors
and accusers. Noorbergen was an experienced
research writer with years of experience. He always
tried to be objective in his writing. He was not looking to
find fault with Ellen, but rather to look for evidence that
either proved or disproved her special gift.
Eight years later, on November 29 of 1981, he wrote a
letter to a lady, Ms. Herbey, in response to her question
about whether he was going to write another book about
Ellen White. The reason she asked was because, since
he had published his original book "Prophet of Destiny,"
in 1973, Walter Rea, ex-Adventist minister had seven
years later published a book "The White Lie." Charges
of plagiarism were leveled at Ellen’s writings, which was
ridiculous, for in her day, there were no laws regarding
using other peoples material. If somebody’s work added
to what was being written, it was used. Yes, they often
did give credit to the person, but that was not a
requirement. Another consideration is that many of
Ellen’s books were highly worked over by a staff of
helpers, as she only had a 3rd grade education. It is
possible that she may not have even been totally aware
of what was going on.
When Rea’s book came out, Noorbergen, being the
researcher that he was, went to visit Rea. What he had
to say delineates clearly the points of confusion about
not only Ellen White, but also every prophet that has
ever lived from Old Testament times on.
This is a quote from his November letter: ".... I do wish
the White Estate had been more open with me and
given me access to the original sources instead of
giving me only what they wanted me to use for ‘Prophet
of Destiny,’ for I do feel that I have not been given the
correct information in many instances, and I do deplore
this sort of information manipulation.
"As to the Walter Rea’s research material—that is a
different story. I have seen most of it at his home at my
own request, and am astounded at the tremendous
collection of material he has gathered. It has
strengthened my developing conviction that we should
‘divide’ EGW into EGW the Prophet, and EGW the
Author. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT GOD USED HER
AS A PROPHET TO GUIDE AND DIRECT THE
CHURCH IN ITS FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT,
(emphasis added) and that her inspired counsel was
extremely valuable for the early SDA Church. On the
other hand, she was also a woman with a third grade
education - no more. Yet, because of her connection
with God she became deeply concerned about people
and wanted to share her convictions in
books—something she was unable to do with her limited
education. As a result, she gathered around her a
number of people who, as editors and secretaries,
helped her in the construction of these books. But—she
made mistakes. We should never forget that much of
what was written by her was the result of thought
inspiration, NOT THOUGHT INSPIRATION ITSELF.
Other areas were plainly borrowed, rewritten,
rephrased, etc. Yet in the end it turned out to be good
Christian literature with a good solid message, but, in
my opinion, not necessarily written by Ellen G. White the
Prophet, but by Ellen G. White the Author. Do I make
"Walter Rea’s research points out some of the
tremendous mistakes that have been made in the
compilation of some of the manuscripts, but THIS
DOES IN NO WAY DIMINISH THE IMPORTANCE OF
EGW AS A PROPHET. (Emphasis added) David was a
man ‘after God’s own heart,’ yet look what he did! We
have to make allowances for the fact that she was a
normal human being, making the same mistakes all of
us make. The big problem lies with the White Estate.
They have known all this for years but never admitted
any of it. Now it is left to the highly critical book by
Walter Rea to tell the world about it. If our church had
not "sainted" Ellen G. White all these years but had
treated her as a prophet, and an author, and had made
a sharp distinction between the two, and allowed her to
make the normal mistakes any author can make, there
would never have been a book by Walter Rea. I hope
you can see my point. I STILL BELIEVE IN EGW AS A
PROPHET OF GOD (emphasis added) for the SDA
Church, but I do not believe in the right of the SDA
Church to concoct such a tremendous cover-up. SHE
WOULD NEVER HAVE APPROVED OF IT
EITHER—OF THAT I AM SURE. (emphasis added) "...
In writing this, I have said more than I intended to, for I
seldom express my opinions about this subject. I do
hope that you can understand my position. As to the
future—I am sure Walter’s book will send shock-waves
throughout the Church, but the positive effects of it will
be that it will turn the members back to studying the
Bible instead of hiding behind Ellen G. White quotations.
We have to be able to live as Christians, basing our
entire faith on the Bible alone, and use EGW as an
additional guideline— no more and no less. The Bible
still has to remain the guiding rule of our faith." Sincerely
yours, René Noorbergen.
Having said this, I would like to share with you a few
quotes from Noorbergen’s book— a little of what he
found that convinced him Ellen White was a true
prophet of God. The flyleaf of the book puts it
succinctly: "Around the turn of the century, and in some
cases more than one hundred years ago, Ellen G.
San Francisco will face destruction
Tobacco is a malignant poison
Cancer is a germ (virus)
X-rays can be dangerous
Cities will become polluted
Unrest and drug addiction among youth will become
Today, these and so many other Ellen G. White
prophecies have either been proved true or are on their
way toward becoming accepted facts of life....
The extent of her prophecies-coming true is awesome.
She warned of the dangers of tobacco in 1864, at a
time when some doctors were actually prescribing
smoking as an aid for lung disease! She spoke out
against a diet overly heavy in fats and sugar long before
medical authorities became aware of their detrimental
effects on the human body. In the 1860’s she wrote
about cancer in ways which foreshadowed today’s
research discoveries. In 1906 she recognized the
dangers of excessive use of X-rays. These and other
concepts were made known to her through more than
2,000 visions, which she received for over 60 years
throughout her lifetime.
Some of her forecasts in the 1850’s and 1880’s, of
developments to take place in the religious world (like
the coming Sunday law) are just now being fulfilled with
Mrs. White’s achievements are all the more amazing
when one reads of the overwhelming obstacles, which
confronted her throughout her life. Born in 1827, she
suffered an accident when she was nine years old,
which forced her to discontinue formal schooling.
Perhaps it was this, which subsequently led her to
depend upon spiritual values so heavily, and ultimately
to become so great a force for humanity.
Ellen G. White experienced her first vision at age
seventeen and continued her spiritual counseling and
writings for seven decades, until her death in 1915.
With James White, whom she married in 1846, Mrs.
White had four sons, two of whom died before reaching
adulthood. It was her experience as wife and mother,
which enriched and gave special meaning to her
writings on home life, parenthood and the unique
importance of prenatal influence and care, concepts,
which are recognized today as having substantial
With her husband, she helped to establish the
Seventh-day Adventist Church which (as of 1973 when
Noorbergen’s book was published) spread-eagles
throughout the world, encompassing 48 publishing
houses, 4,000 elementary schools, 460 high schools
and colleges, two universities, 300 hospitals, clinics and
a medical school. Her work was mainly in the United
States crossing and criss-crossing the land by carriage,
sleigh and ultimately steam trains, though she spent two
years in Europe and almost a decade in Australia and
New Zealand, lecturing, writing, building and counseling.
Her body of writing, of books in print, makes her
perhaps one of the biggest, best selling authors in the
world literature; and perhaps one of the least known by
popular standards. (Paul Harvey commented on the
radio that Ellen White was the most prolific woman
writer of all time. Her book and written material, all
written in long hand, stacked up on the floor reach up 8
feet to the ceiling.)
Ellen G. White died in 1915, in her eighty-eighth year.
Her legacy to the world speaks for itself.
With this introduction to Ellen White, let us now consider
a few specifics.
From the Beginning:
From the very beginning Ellen White had her detractors,
those who called her a fraud, charlatan, a spiritualist,
medium, psychic, hypnotist, etc. These attacks went on
throughout most of her life.
The reasons for this are obvious when one reads what
she wrote. The Bible says that we wrestle not against
flesh and blood, but against the forces of darkness.
What was shown to Ellen White was information that
Satan did not want the world to know, for it uncovered,
not only his past and present activities, but also his
future plan for world conquest and his final encounter
and defeat at the hand of Jesus his arch rival.
The one most important book she ever wrote was called
"The Great Controversy." This book, for the first time,
showed the behind the scenes of a battle being waged
between Christ and Satan. The Lord revealed these
things to her for many years, and then in 1858 she was
told to write this book, and that it would be circulated
around the world. To date, millions of copies of this
book, under different titles, have been sent out to the
whole world. Copies have been sent to every municipal,
county, city, state, and government official, in the United
States. It has been sent to every minister and lawyer
also, as well as many leaders in other countries.
Millions have been dispersed in every major city in the
USA as well as in many rural areas around the world.
Thus the Lord’s message to Ellen almost 150 years ago
has been and is being fulfilled to the letter.
This is a remarkable achievement in itself, and may be
the primary reason that Ellen White is presently being
so vehemently attacked. When she was told to write this
book, the enemy became very alarmed and tried his
best to keep this from happening. This one book, more
than any other, aside from the Bible, blew his cover,
unmasking him for who he was and is, and the methods
he has and was using to deceive and draw the world
into his net.
The circumstances surrounding the major vision of
Ellen’s life, and especially what happened to her during
the writing of this book (The Great Controversy), clearly
shows that Satan was very anxious to keep this
information from getting out. It is without question the
reason why she was in life attacked and berated, and
now in death maligned and discredited. But let us back
up a bit and go to page 128 of Noorbergen’s book
"Prophet of Destiny." He states his case well.
"To be a prophet—dealing with unerring guidelines
projected by the Author of Prophecy (God)--must be
awe-inspiring, for it enables a mere mortal to peek
across the threshold of the future and observe God
arranging history in advance...
The record of Ellen White as a prophet is not one
based purely on the fulfillment of prediction, yet even
though she never laid boastful claim to being a prophet,
she most definitely did the work of one, and more. Her
medical insight was faultless in every way; her spiritual
foresight was just as broad and grand in scope, for her
prophetic warnings were strong and far-reaching. From
the moment of her first vision, Ellen White openly
claimed that it was the power of God, which spoke
through her as He had done through other prophets in
Whether God required her to have reached a certain
mental maturity before giving her the most important
vision of her entire life, is something we do not know.
But it was not until 1858, the year, which ushered in her
thirty-first birthday, that the wondrous event occurred.
It was the weekend of March 13 and 14 that Ellen and
her husband attended a series of religious meetings in
Lovett’s Grove near Bowling Green, Ohio. The regular
meetings were interrupted during the day of the
fourteenth when it was decided to conduct a funeral
service in the little schoolhouse, which also served as a
meeting hall. Delighted to have the Whites with them,
those present asked James to address the small
congregation. No sooner had he concluded his remarks
than Ellen stood up, desiring to add a few words of
comfort. After her first few words, she faltered...and
stopped in the middle of a sentence. Then it happened.
A moment of pregnant silence followed, when suddenly
she shouted triumphantly, as if forcing her way through
a dark cloud.
"Glory to God...Glory to God...GLORY TO GOD!" this
time not fading out as was the usual case when she
was taken into vision, but shouted with increasing
Startled, the audience tensed and looked questioningly
at both Ellen and her husband. Slowly, James White got
up from his chair and ever so quietly walked over to his
wife, and while her face took on an expression of
intense concentration, with eyes gazing unblinkingly into
the distance, he faced the congregation.
"She is in vision...my wife is in vision..." he whispered
softly to the hushed audience. Cognizant of the fact that
he was addressing a number of people to whom Ellen’s
Gift of Prophecy was not known, he reverently
explained how, since her seventeenth year, his wife
was often called into vision, and that each time this
happened, she was completely detached from her
surroundings. His claim that her breathing ceased while
in this condition caused many of them to press forward
and crowd around her.
"Bring a mirror," James asked in a low tone, and while
holding it close to her mouth, he carefully pointed out
that the total absence of condensation on the glass
proved that her breathing had stopped. A second test,
this time with a burning candle held only inches from her
nose and mouth, was made, but not a flicker of moving
air disturbed the tranquility of the flame. Stunned,
aghast by this unusual phenomenon, the onlookers
watched as Ellen slowly made her way through them,
gracefully moving her arms, occasionally smiling, and
more often giving the impression of staring at scenes
transpiring beyond mortal vision, watching secrets that
were solely intended for her.
For two long hours she remained in vision, sometimes
moving, other times just standing, staring, listening,
observing with her spiritual eyes what was being
revealed to her. Then came her first deep breath which
always signified the beginning of her return to
consciousness. Another followed...and then
another...slightly bewildered, she glanced at the anxious
faces about her and as the memory of her vision
became clear, she realized once again that she had
been taken into Supreme confidence.
Writing of this vision two years later, she said:
In the vision at Lovett’s Grove, most of the matter which
I had seen ten years before concerning the great
controversy between Christ and Satan, was repeated,
and I was instructed to write it out. I was shown that
while I should have to contend with the powers of
darkness, for Satan would make strong effort to hinder
me, yet I must put my trust in God, and angels would not
leave me in the conflict." Scores of visions had passed
before her; however, this time Ellen was transported
into the undeniable dimension of time before and
beyond that of recorded history and was made witness
to the War in Heaven, the rebellion and fall of Lucifer.
Watching the tragedy unfold, she stood appalled and
shocked at the infidelity of one who was once an
The fies of the Ellen G. White Estate contain all of her
recollections of that famous vision, with many passages
expressing her emotions of sadness and astonishment
as her mind’s consciousness locked in on the prophetic
impulses of God."
Note: Noorbergen then goes on for several pages
quoting Ellen White and what she saw, starting with
scenes in heaven before Lucifer fell and became
Satan. Finishing her quotes he then continues with the
"In rapid sequence, the crowning events of Biblical
history passed before Ellen’s mind. In quiet amazement
she observed the ancient patriarchs and consecrated
prophets lead the people of Israel; she saw Moses
receive the Ten Commandments on the Mount of Sinai
and recoiled in horror as she heard the singing of the
apostate Israelites and watched them dedicate the
golden calf. On and on her perception went, and her
mental anguish became more consuming as she
personally witnessed the birth of Christ, only to see it
end on a cross, seemingly ignored by heaven. Via the
apostolic times, she gazed with abhorrence at the
massacres of the early Christians, then proudly viewed
the work of the reformers. She was slowly brought back
to her own times, watching current history evolve; then
transported again—this time into the future—to the
events leading up to the Second Coming of Christ, and
was grieved by the heart-tearing scenes of the final
judgment of man.
It was indeed a prophetic vision unequaled in both
scope and magnitude. She had been taken into full
confidence...now it was up to her to act.
The following day, homeward bound on the train, Ellen
discussed with James her vision at length and
formulated her plans for the writing of the book covering
the great conflict as it was shown to her. Her health was
reasonably good at the time, and there seemed to be
nothing that would prevent her from carrying out this
new challenge. It was Ellen who suggested, while
passing through Jackson, Michigan, en route to their
home in Battle Creek, to make a stop at the home of
Daniel Palmer, an old friend. Scarcely had they arrived
at the Palmers’, when Ellen underwent a frightening
"...My tongue refused to utter what I wished to say, and
seemed large and numb," she recalled. "A strange cold
sensation struck my heart, passed over my head and
down my right side. For a time I was insensible, but was
aroused by the voice of earnest prayer. I tried to use
my left limbs, but they were perfectly useless."
Suffering from a severe stroke, she lost all hope of
recovery. However, with her slowly returning strength
and renewed faith in her mission, she began to rally and
immediately started writing the manuscript, relaying her
experiences while in vision at Lovett’s Grove. In June,
as she was in the completion stage of her book, she
received light concerning what she had undergone at
the Palmers’ home.
‘I was shown in vision that in the sudden attack at
Jackson, Satan intended to take my life, in order to
hinder the work I was about to write.’ she pointed out,
"but the angels of God were sent to my rescue.’ It was
not until September of that same year that her work was
finished and the 219-page Spiritual Gifts—The Great
Controversy—was ready for distribution.
Since she witnessed the origin of the struggle for eternal
survival, it is no wonder that most of the writings of Ellen
White dealt with fundamentally the same subject: that of
guiding people out of this degrading dilemma that originated
...Whereas her vision of 1863 can be regarded as the most
important health-reform vision she had ever received, the
1858 revelation has often been called the most comprehensive
vision, covering both the fall of man and the great plan of
escape. Of all her two thousand revelations, none are comparable
in overall significance to this one."
We will say much more about the life, times, and visions of Ellen
White in future articles, but the point is already very clear for
anyone who wants to know and accept the truth. Just as Satan
attacked Ellen White when she started to write The Great
Controversy, so today he is continuing his attack to discredit her
and this book, which is being so widely distributed. This book
outlines how the enemy worked to develop his religious counterfeit
kingdom as represented by the papal system of Rome (not
individuals). Indeed, some of those presently attacking Ellen
White and her testimony on the Internet are known Catholics.
But know this, the Lord has very many of His own still in the
Catholic Church. They love the Lord with all their hearts.
The Lord in tender love and mercy is warning the world through
this book that cataclysmic events will soon, much sooner than
any expect, burst upon this Old World. He has identified all the
leading players involved in this last great drama. As Jesus said
"a time of trouble such as has never been since there was a nation."
We are the NOW generation that will see this happen. The ONLY
generation in the history of the world who will witness the fulfillment
of Bible prophecy. We are the LAST generation, which will experience
the very last death throes of planet earth and its inhabitants.
According to what the Lord showed Ellen, the next big spiritual event
to come will be the Sunday law and receiving the mark of the beast
or 666. Time will soon tell who is on what side. When Ellen’s detractors
find out that they were fighting God, how will it be with them? What will
they have to say then?
If Ellen’s messages were not from the Lord, they would not agree with
the Word of God. But they do agree 100%. Then too if her messages
were not from God, why was it that Satan tried so hard to keep her
from writing, and now trying to discredit her and get people to disbelieve
It is obvious to anyone who wants to know the truth that Ellen was given
a heavenly gift of dreams and visions for over 60 years. It should also
be recognize that there are not only true prophets but also false ones
who today comprise the vast majority.
The reader should be able to recognize by now that the basic problem
is understanding. When accusers try to validate a prophet in terms of
the prophet’s human traits of character, they cannot be objective. Being
a prophet does not make them superhuman. Adding to Noorbergen’s
differentiation between EGW the Prophet, and EGW the author, we can
add yet a third distinction to this—EGW as part of the human race. Just
because a prophet (often called "messenger") is communicated with from
heavenly sources, this does not make them any less human or immune to
all the frailties and emotions of humanity.
There is not a single Bible prophet who did not at some time in their life
display their human side. In fact some (like Isaiah and Jeremiah) gave
their lives for bringing messages that were unpopular with the people.
Prophets bore a terrible responsibility, placed upon them by God. When
God told them to do something they had to obey.
Often a messenger’s human side is overlooked. They are either set up on
a pedestal by people who almost worship them, or they are hated and
abused, called phonies and frauds, etc. They are either looked upon as
some sort of guru whose every word is inspired, or accused of being a
false prophet. The lot of a prophet is a hard one. Then there are those
who cling to every word that proceeds out of their mouth as if it came
from God. No room here for human thoughts and ideas. This sad state of
mind is grossly unfair to the messenger. For the messenger is encouraged
by these actions to say things that are their own thoughts, but which they
begin to believe is of heavenly origin. Thus enters the element of pride,
which sometimes causes the prophet to fall.
The detractors, in an effort to discredit the messenger, focuses on the
human side of the person, finding faults to tear the person apart, thus
hoping to prove that the person is a false prophet. This is exactly what
some are trying to do with Ellen White and her testimony. Thus they
hope to convince others that the prophet could not be a true prophet,
for they would not have said or acted as they have.
In the beginning of this article, I made the statement that this is a spiritual
battle, which will soon reach a fearsome climax. The battle between Christ
and Satan is now approaching the point where it will become very visible.
The impugning of both the messenger and his or her message is just the
beginning. The enemy has many willing workers in the form of men doing
his dirty work. The enemy has pulled out all the stops in one last desperate
effort to drag down as many with him as he can, to cause them to lose
eternal life. We are living in the end of time, and are approaching the last
great Battle of Armageddon, which will be worldwide, and both a spiritual
and physical battle.
The forces of darkness are aligning against the forces of light. Soon it will
be very visible. We are as it were in the calm before the storm. Soon Jesus
will step out of the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary just as Ellen
White was shown. When that happens he will put on his garments of
vengeance and the seven last plagues will begin to fall. Soon we will see
the sign of the Son of God in the heavens. Where will you be dear reader?
Will you be ready to meet the Lord? Or will you be with those who are
against God. There is only one thing that should concern you—your
relationship with Jesus. He wants all of your heart now. His Holy Spirit is
trying to prepare you by fitting you with a wedding garment (the robe of
Christ’s righteousness). Only the relationship you establish now with God
will count in the days ahead. An intimate, personal, love relationship with
the Lord Jesus will insure our survival in the days ahead. We at the Bible
Revelations web site hope you will seek the Lord with all your heart, soul
and mind. Seek the truth as it is in Jesus.
There are ravening wolves out there that will seek to seduce and deceive
you. But if you are anointed with the Holy Spirit, he will teach you all things,
which is the truth and does not lie (1 John 2:26-27).
In Defense of Ellen G. White
By Devon Grey
In this article, we are going to digress some from talking about Ellen White
per se. We will lay down some ground rules for understanding prophets
and their messages. Today, there are many prophets in the land, the vast
majority are false and very much in view. There are also true prophets,
but for now they are hidden from plain view until God’s time.
Joel 2: 26,27, quoted by Peter in his epistles, tells us that in the last days
there would be those who will dream dreams, and have visions, among
old and young men and also maidens. Joel specifically describes this as
happening at the end of time, associating it with the sign of the Son of
Man which would take place in the heavens and on earth.
Now, it is a fact that the Lord has many people to whom He is speaking
personally through dreams, visions, the Word, and through their thoughts
(commonly called "thought voice."), and through impressions. The Lord
today uses these ways of communicating because he does not want to
mimic the enemy’s false prophets who sometimes work with great and
amazing displays of superpower such as the apparitions of Mary.
True messengers are few and far between and known only to those
around them, and by the providences of God to His sheep. God’s purpose
in giving prophetic messages is the same as it has always been—inform,
instruct, guide, and lead His flock into all truth. Those who believe that in
these last days there is only one true prophet, like the Morman’s Joseph
Smith, the Seventh-day Adventist’s Ellen White, and others, show their bias.
If the prophet Joel and Peter are to be believed, and if we are living in the
very last days of this earth’s history, the question must be asked, "Where
are the promised messengers and prophets?" The answer is that they are
out there, but, they are not known by the world at large, or if identified as
being in a certain denomination, they will not be accepted as a true prophet
of the Lord.
With this introduction, let us now consider some ground rules that apply to
prophets and their work.
Ground Rules for Understanding Prophets and their messages:
These rules have not changed since Eden. Misunderstanding how God
works through prophets has often caused people to stumble and reject
not only God’s messenger, but the message. Ellen White is a prime
It is often the case that the prophet is put on a pedestal by the
denomination and its people in an act that borders on worship of both
the prophet and the messages. Some members of the Seventh-day
Adventist church have been guilty of doing this, not recognizing that as
pointed out in the first article, prophets are first and foremost human
beings subject to the frailties of the human race. Then too, the Adventist
leaders have done a masterful job of covering up some of the prophets
mistakes and humanness for fear their exposure would cause people to
lose faith in the messages. This has turned into a logistic nightmare for
the church, spawning the violent attacks upon Ellen White as discussed
The following points are some of the misunderstandings about prophets
and their work which leads to misunderstandings and false beliefs:
1) God does not inspire every word.
Unless the prophet is directly quoting something our heavenly Father or
an angel told him, the words are not inspired. This is true of all Scripture,
as well as the writings of any prophet, including Ellen White.
2) God may allow inaccurate interpretation.
Interpretation is what the prophet or the reader thinks God said. Today
all messages and Scripture must be interpreted in light of Jesus’ soon
coming. Too often believers depend upon traditional teachings and their
own knowledge of what they assume is the correct interpretation of a
particular passage of Scripture. For Adventists the danger is especially
great. For well over one hundred years, SDA’s have had the inspired
writings of Ellen White.
They therefore feel that she is the final interpretation of all Biblical truth,
and they want no other prophet. People do not even stop to consider the
possibility that Scripture, or Ellen White, have been misinterpreted,
although Ellen herself said the church would "have much to unlearn and
much to learn again" (EW 67).
Sometimes early truth is misunderstood; then on the basis of that
misunderstanding, truths of later messengers are declared wrong. Before
anyone proclaims a prophet false, he should take a close look at
preceding truths to see if they might have been misinterpreted. NO TRUE
PILLARS OF FAITH WILL EVER BE MOVED, but details of eschatology
may have to be revised.
3) God does not give all the light to one person.
This is incomplete revelation (Isaiah 28:9-13). God has never, nor does
He today ever give all the light to any one individual upon any subject.
Light always comes in bits and pieces. It is never handed to anyone
complete on a silver platter.
One piece of light is given to a servant at God’s ordination; then later,
more light is opened up to him or her while searching the Scriptures.
Sometimes this new revelation makes it necessary for this person to
adjust his viewpoint of what was given previously, but not because
God changed what He said. Not having all the information available,
the servant did not understand exactly what our Father was telling him.
Later as understanding comes, the picture clarifies with a fuller, more
4) God considers an event completed when He first decrees it, before
it is visible (Isaiah 14:24,27).
Our Father does not think as we do. Future events are considered to
be accomplished fact. He knows the end from the beginning and what
the outcome will be. When He says something will happen or has
happened, we may not see the evidence until later - sometimes years
later - when the fulfillment at last surfaces into view. BUT FROM THE
MOMENT HE SAYS AN EVENT HAS HAPPENED, FOR EXAMPLE,
IF HE SAID THAT THE BLOWING OF THE SEVENTH TRUMPET HAD
OCCURRED, IT BECOMES FACT, EVEN THOUGH EVIDENCE OF THAT
EVENT MAY NOT BE VISIBLE UNTIL SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE. If
ample evidence is given that some message is from Him (according to
Scriptural tests), we are bound by our love and duty to Him to believe,
even if we do not fully understand.
5) Everything the person writes, even in a single message, may not all
be God’s thoughts.
Hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:15; 3 John 11; Jeremiah
23:28). Generally the argument is used that if there is ANY error in a
prophet’s message, then the whole must be thrown out because the Holy
Spirit is all truth. This argument is often used as a ploy of the enemy to
cause a person to doubt a message from the Lord? Scripture tells us to
"prove ALL things, and hold fast [to] that which is good" (1 Thessalonians
5:21). This text implies that there will be things which are not good or true.
But it does not say to throw out the whole message just because you find
something you do not agree with or which may even be wrong. As a human
being, every prophet and apostle of God was, and is subject to human ideas,
errors, and weaknesses. We hasten to add that Scripture is infallible, but
the writers were not. Their lives and sometimes their teachings gave poor
examples. But their errors did not make them false prophets.
For example, Jonah became angry at God when he prophesied that
Ninevah would be destroyed and it wasn’t (Jonah 3:10). Did anger and
failure of his prophecy make Jonah a false prophet? No. Balaam, while
trying to get worldly riches and destroy God’s people, uttered one of the
most beautiful promises about the coming of Jesus (Numbers 22-24,
especially 24:17-19). He was a despicable traitor to God’s cause, but
was he a false prophet? No, not always. And there was the stunning
display of cowardice by all of Jesus’ disciples except John. Focus on
Peter’s denial—not once, but 3 times! —a shameful recantation of
everything Jesus stood for (Mark 14:66-72; John 18:17,25-27). Did
that failure make Peter a false prophet (Apostle) and a deceiver? At
that moment, yes; but most of the time he was truthful and faithful. As
for the rest of the disciples, their disappearance was the same as a
denial, so they too, temporarily became false prophets. Only John was
Our point here is this: We will see striking similarities between prophets
(apostles, speakers, writers, etc.) of the latter rain and prophets of old.
Don’t make the mistake of discarding truth because something the person
said or did was wrong. Prophets of God have always had what appeared to
be discrepancies in what they wrote.
Sometimes they even appeared to contradict themselves. For example,
John 15:15 says "ALL THINGS...I HAVE MADE KNOWN UNTO YOU."
John 16:12 contradicts with "I HAVE YET MANY THINGS TO SAY UNTO
YOU, BUT YE CANNOT BEAR THEM NOW." Another good example of
confusing word choice comes from Luke 9:18, which says that Jesus
was "ALONE" - but "HIS DISCIPLES WERE WITH HIM." These examples
of what some would classify as "foolish contradiction" is the kind of "error"
most often pointed out by the critics of today’s prophets like Ellen White.
One more example of a Scriptural contradiction which causes problems
only for those who fail or refuse to obtain all of the pertinent information
and light on a given passage(s), comes from two different Bible writers,
John and Paul. If they had written these things today, quite likely, one or
both would have been declared a deceiver and a false prophet! John 9:3
says "NEITHER HATH THIS MAN SINNED, NOR HIS PARENTS." Then
Romans 3:23 says "ALL HAVE SINNED." Modern messengers also have
discrepancies, just like the Scripture writers above.
6) There is something else very important to understand about prophets
of the Lord that most people don’t consider.
Human speech is not perfect; nor is the prophetic expression an exact
duplication of God’s thoughts, which are beyond human comprehension.
Bible writers and Ellen White faced the limitations of language. But nothing
necessary to our salvation was lost, even though God’s messengers
sometimes wrote awkwardly and obscurely. Sometimes the messenger
will hear and relay the message, but misunderstand its significance or
application. Personal ideas may be interjected and thus render an inexact
interpretation. Some did not believe their own messages or forgot them
(1 Kings 13:1-32; Romans 3:1-5; Galatians 3:15).
None of these human situations make God a liar or the message untrue!
The crucial question is: Will we reject today's prophets (who are not writing
Scripture) because of human errors, holding to the notion that if ANY error
is present then the whole must be thrown out? This line of reasoning flies in
the face of the evidence at hand and is a device of the enemy to get the
honest-in-heart to doubt the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which is the
present-day Spirit of Prophecy. If this same line of reasoning and argument
were applied to Scripture, some Bible writers would also fail this test of a
prophet. The Bible is infallible, but its authors were not! All subsequent (post-
Scripture) writers have moments of fallibility, but they are still used by God
His purposes to fulfill. Therefore it is not rational to insist that a messenger
must have a message without human error. To do so may mean the rejection
of a heaven-sent message, which could have eternal consequences. The
same courtesies and understandings granted to the "early rain" prophets
of Scripture should be extended to God's messengers today as the latter
rain of His Spirit is poured out.
7) God will not allow the honest seeker of truth to be deceived (Jeremiah
"...If the heart is loyal to God, EVERYTHING will be made plain" (TM 432).
Satan’s foremost, primary, and major weapon against God, is DECEPTION!
The great controversy between Christ and Satan began in deception.
Deception placed God on trial before curious angels and a watching
universe. God’s fairness, justice, and credibility needed to be vindicated
before a watching universe, which had never witnessed sin. Only by
allowing the evil one freedom to employ all his weapons, including his
greatest DECEPTION, could God triumph.
Today, the Adventist church in particular quakes with fear at any new
messenger or message because they don’t want to be duped by the
enemy. Just to be sure they don’t hear the enemy, they don’t listen to
anything that has not been blessed by the church authorities, and that
includes reinterpreting portions of Scripture in any way that opposes
"church tradition" about end-time events.
Ellen White wrote: "We must have a living connection with God; we must
be partakers of the divine nature; THEN WE SHALL NOT BE DECEIVED
by the devices of the enemy...."
It should be clearly understood that Satan does have the right to try to
deceive any and all who would endeavor to awaken God’s people to the
solemnity of the hour and urge others to make ready for Jesus’ coming.
He will cunningly and subtly try to use that very right to plant seeds of
doubt and destroy faith. Satan whispers, "Don’t take those foolish
precautions against my deceptions by seeking for the mind of Christ
[Philippians 2:5]. Just renounce the message." Don’t let the evil one do
that to you. A little doubt comes in; a little faith goes out. Much doubt
comes in; much faith goes out. Faith is the victory. Who, having the
mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit within, would dare call God a liar
and fear being deceived? Not the elect!
How Does a Prophet Make Mistakes?
8) Prophets are not infallible. Taking Ellen White as an example, we ask
the question: "How could she make a mistake or contradict herself? The
answer is not difficult to find. Ellen read widely because she felt keenly
her lack of education (only a third grade education). As scenes were
presented to her, she would try as best she could to put them into context
with what she read from history or contemporary books. She was not
given time frames or a precise sequence of events. Often scenes shown
to her were run together and were not sequential, either, that is to say,
Ellen had no idea of how much real time will actually elapse in the
fulfillment of scenes which were given to her in rapid succession.
Now that some of the prophecies shown her are currently being fulfilled,
we can see that in some cases the time between consecutive scenes in
her visions was many years. It was up to her to put together what she had
previously read with what was given from the Lord. Ellen was always
learning. Truth was progressive with her, and her understanding grew as
she studied and as the Lord revealed light to her; but because she was
susceptible to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, we accept her final message
as the truth, even if some of the details changed.
Sister White used terms like: "I was shown," "the angel said," "history
shows," "as I understand it," "common sense says." She tried to synthesize,
or put all the information she had together with what she was shown to make
sense. To make her point she would often use borrowed material from other
authors, material that was not inspired.
She had great difficulty with people who would come to her for answers to
questions that she had no light on. "I find myself frequently placed where I
dare give neither assent nor dissent to propositions that are submitted to me;
for there is danger that any words I may speak shall be reported as something
that the Lord has given me. It is not always safe for me to express my own
judgment; for sometimes when someone wishes to carry out his own purpose,
he will regard any favorable word I may speak as special light from the Lord"
(3 SM 60).
The Weight of Evidence
Ellen used the term "weight of evidence" to describe how we are to approach
new messages or understandings. Nowhere is this more applicable than when
considering the messages of today’s prophets.
"Satan has ability to suggest doubts and to devise objections to the pointed
testimony that God sends, and many think it a virtue, a mark of intelligence
in them, to be unbelieving, and to question and quibble. Those who desire
to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all
occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated
with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the
WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE. 3T 255.
"If you will open your eyes in faith, you will find sufficient evidence for
belief. But God will never remove from any man all causes for doubts.
THOSE WHO LOVE TO DWELL IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF DOUBT
AND QUESTIONING UNBELIEF CAN HAVE THE ENVIABLE PRIVILEGE.
God gives sufficient evidence for the candid mind to believe; but HE WHO
TURNS FROM THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE BECAUSE THERE ARE A
FEW THINGS WHICH HE CANNOT MAKE PLAIN TO HIS FINITE
UNDERSTANDING, WILL BE LEFT IN THE COLD, CHILLING
ATMOSPHERE OF UNBELIEF AND QUESTIONING DOUBTS, AND
WILL MAKE SHIPWRECK OF FAITH." 4T 232, 3.
"The servants of God must have the truth in the soul. Said the angel,
‘THEY MUST GET IT WARM FROM GLORY, CARRY IT IN THEIR
BOSOMS, AND POUR IT OUT IN THE WARMTH AND EARNESTNESS
OF THE SOUL TO THOSE THAT HEAR.’ A few that are conscientious
are ready to decide from THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE; but it is
impossible to move many with a mere theory of the truth. THERE MUST
BE A POWER TO ATTEND THE TRUTH, A LIVING TESTIMONY TO
MOVE THEM." 1T 113.
The Lord has not left us in any doubt about how to approach so-called
new light or messages from heaven. Ellen was shown two approaches
for the evaluation of light. One is "true independence of mind," the other,
"True independence of mind is an element entirely different from rashness.
That quality of independence which leads to a CAUTIOUS, PRAYERFUL,
DELIBERATE OPINION should not be easily yielded, NOT UNTIL THE
EVIDENCE IS SUFFICIENTLY STRONG TO MAKE IT CERTAIN THAT
WE ARE WRONG. This independence will keep the mind calm and
unchangeable amid the multitudinous errors which prevail...." 3T 104, 5.
"When a doctrine is presented that does not meet our minds, we should
go to the Word of God, seek the Lord in prayer, and give no place for
the enemy to come in with suspicion and prejudice. WE SHOULD NEVER
PERMIT THE SPIRIT TO BE MANIFESTED THAT ARRAIGNED THE
PRIESTS AND RULERS AGAINST THE REDEEMER OF THE WORLD.
They complained that He disturbed the people, and they wished that He
would let them alone, for He caused perplexity and dissension. THE LORD
SENDS LIGHT TO US TO PROVE WHAT MANNER OF SPIRIT WE ARE
OF. We are not to deceive ourselves." GW 301, 302.
Many today are making shipwreck of their lives because they doubt the
true movings of the Holy Spirit through God’s messengers. Today men
without the discretion of the Holy Spirit are doing the very same thing in
regard to the messages given to Ellen White. They seek to hedge up and
destroy the work of God thinking they are doing God’s service. Note
carefully below that Ellen says GOD "NEVER REMOVES ALL
OPPORTUNITY FOR DOUBT," even though He gives sufficient proof
of the divine character of His work to convince all who honestly desire
to know the truth.
When once we see the divine nature of the messages, even though there
are parts we do not understand, we are required by God to accept the
evidence and exercise faith. Notice what Ellen said about Satan’s ability
to suggest doubts and devise objections:
"Let not those who seek to hedge up my way and destroy the influence
of my words, deceive themselves with the belief that they are doing God’s
service. They are serving another master, and they will be rewarded
according to their work.... It is God’s plan to give sufficient evidence of
the divine character of His work to convince all whom honestly desire to
know the truth. But He never removes all opportunity for doubt. All who
desire to question and cavil will find occasion.... I pity those who have
set their feet in the path of doubt and unbelief." 1 SM 72.
"God gives light to guide those who honestly desire light and truth; but
it is not His purpose to remove all cause for questioning and doubt. He
gives sufficient evidence to found faith upon, and then requires men to
accept that evidence and exercise faith." 5T 303.
There is more than ample evidence that the Holy Spirit has begun to
move with great power to draw all the honest in heart to the Lord. This
is described as the work of the mighty angel of Revelation 18:1, working
in conjunction with the third angel of Revelation 14. This call is beginning
to crescendo throughout the world. But simultaneously, the counterfeit
messages are also going out, spreading their lies across the earth. But
they shall not deceive God’s elect.
The mark of heaven can be distinguished from the mark of hell. God is
supplying more than enough proof for anyone who wants to open his
eyes, ears, and mind to recognize which messages are the works of
the Holy Spirit.
New Light Is Promised:
One great misconception among Adventists is that the messages given
to Ellen White will be all the light needed until Jesus comes. The
argument is given that no more messages or light is needed because
God has already given everything we need for salvation. We agree in
part. God HAS given complete instruction for salvation - but do we
understand it all? Is there no obscurity between Genesis and Revelation?
Have you fathomed the mind of God completely? Then you are indeed a
singular creation! Have you not wondered about translation, perfection,
end-time events? If we have all the light, why listen to one more sermon?
Why read the Bible one more time? A mindset that disallows new
understanding says, "We are saved; let us alone" (once saved, always
saved?). And this mindset dams up the channel of the latter rain of the
Holy Spirit with rocks of opinion, fallen logs of dogmatism, and fills the
remaining leaks with dirt from the past. The Holy Spirit is effectively
sealed off from the parched and dying heart that does not know how
much more there is to know, to wonder at, to be surprised by, to praise
our Redeemer for. How preposterous to think that God has revealed all
there is to know! If that is the case, what shall we think about through
eternity? Would that those who need no new light believe some of the
OLD light from Ellen, as sampled below:
"God will give additional light, and old truths will be recovered and
replaced in the framework of truth; and wherever the laborers go,
they will triumph... every ray of light received is to be communicated
to others." RH Extra, Dec. 23, 1890.
"We must hold fast to the truths which we have already received; we must
not look with suspicion upon any new light that God may send." GW 310.
"No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our hearts to receive
it with the meekness of Christ. Many do not do this." GW 301.
"Even Seventh-day Adventists are in danger of closing their eyes to truth
as it is in Jesus, BECAUSE IT CONTRADICTS SOMETHING WHICH
THEY HAVE TAKEN FOR GRANTED AS TRUTH, BUT WHICH THE
HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES IS NOT TRUTH." TM 70, 71.
"What is the message to be given at this time? It is the third angel’s
message. But that light which is to fill the whole earth with its glory
has been despised by some who claim to believe the present truth.
Be careful how you treat it. Take off the shoes from off your feet; for
you are on holy ground. Beware how you indulge the attributes of
Satan, and pour contempt upon the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
I know not but some have even now gone too far to return and to
repent." TM 89, 90.
There are several traditional beliefs which we have taken for granted
as truth because we did not have all the light. For instance, Ellen said,
"The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be.
NOT ALL IN REGARD TO THIS MATTER IS YET UNDERSTOOD,
NOR WILL IT BE UNDERSTOOD UNTIL THE UNROLLING OF THE
SCROLL" (6T 17).
This prophetic statement by Ellen is coming to pass today. The Lord
has unrolled the scroll to those who seek to know and understand.
New light is coming. End-time interpretations of other prophecies
are beginning to be revealed. Dark passages are beginning to be
understood. In the past it was not yet time for us to understand and
know. But now it appears the time has come. The glory of the Lord
is being poured out upon mankind. New light and truth is being
revealed to individuals chosen by the Holy Spirit, but not for them
alone. This light is for the edification and education of all the elect
in this end time of history.
When an Organization Tries To Control the Holy Spirit:
The first resistance against any manifestation of the Holy Spirit,
whether in dreams and visions or in the person of Jesus himself,
invariably comes from the organized church (for example the Jews
in the time of Christ). As with Jesus, so it is today. The learned
"Pharisees" declare this marvel to be the work of Satan. The
messenger is first censured by the home church, then by the
conference, then on up the chain of command as far as the
message carries. Ellen White, who took her share of heat from
her critics, very pointedly said this would happen. Looking in
Testimonies For The Church and other published and unpublished
letters and writings, it is easy to see that Sister White, while revered
today (at least by lip service) by most SDA’s, was rejected by many
of the church leaders of her day, and by the world at large. Here are
a few quotes of prophetic statements telling what would happen in the
Adventist church; quotes which relate to the SDA church in her day,
and are being fulfilled today.
"The Lord does not ask permission of those in responsible positions
when He wishes to use certain ones as His agents for the
promulgation of truth. But He will use whom He will use." RH
June 23, 1895.
"But the Holy Spirit will, from time to time, reveal the truth through its
own chosen agencies; and no man, not even a priest or ruler, has a
right to say, You shall not give publicity to your opinions, because I
do not believe them. That wonderful "I" may attempt to put down the
Holy Spirit’s teaching." TM 70.
"Let it be understood in every institution in America that it is not
commissioned to you to direct the work of the Holy Spirit and to tell
how it shall represent itself. You have been guilty in doing this. May
the Lord forgive you, is my prayer. Instead of being repressed and
driven back, as it has been, the Holy Spirit should be welcomed and
its presence encouraged. When you sanctify yourself through
obedience to the word, the Holy Spirit will give you glimpses of
heavenly things. When you seek God with humiliation and earnestness,
the words which you have spoken in freezing accents will burn in your
heart; the truth will not then languish upon your tongues...." CT 360.
"THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZED BY
SOME. THE LIGHT WILL BE CALLED A FALSE LIGHT." RH May
"Unless those who can help in the work are aroused to a sense of
their duty, THEY WILL NOT RECOGNIZE THE WORK OF GOD
WHEN THE LOUD CRY OF THE THIRD ANGEL SHALL BE HEARD.
When light goes forth to lighten the earth, instead of coming up to the
help of the Lord, they will want to bind about His work to meet their
narrow ideas. Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work
in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a
way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those
among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate
even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward
under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the
message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means
by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands.
THE WORKERS WILL BE SURPRISED BY THE SIMPLE MEANS
THAT HE WILL USE TO BRING ABOUT AND PERFECT HIS WORK
OF RIGHTEOUSNESS." TM 300.
"HAVE YOU NOT BEEN AFRAID OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? At times it
has come with all-pervading influence into the school at Battle Creek
and into the schools in other localities. DID YOU RECOGNIZE IT?
Did you accord it the honor due to a heavenly Messenger?" CT 363.
Today in the Adventist church, leaders, independent ministers, and
individuals all have taken exception—each for a different reason—to
every contemporary messenger. Though dozens, or even hundreds
of humble believers give evidence of special gifts of the Spirit. Yet
the SDA organization recognizes not a single one. Ellen White said:
"The Lord has shown me that men in responsible positions are standing
directly in the way of His work, because they think the work must be
done and the blessing must come in a certain way, and THEY WILL
NOT RECOGNIZE THAT WHICH COMES IN ANY OTHER WAY...
God has His appointed channels of light, but these are not necessarily
the minds of any particular set of men." 5T 726.
Without realizing what they have done—and are doing—they have
rejected parts of the Bible, the latter rain, and the Holy Spirit. They
have fallen victim to a merciless enemy and the very deceptions they
feared most. They are building their own caskets, nailing them with
doubt, lining them with darkness, and pillowing them with convention
or convenience. For them we weep, for they know not what they do.
What of the Critics?
"Special light continues to come to those earnestly seeking God, and
struggles to be seen through the smokescreen stirred up by the critics.
What shall we do with the critics? Critics come in all shapes and sizes -
8 ½ by 11, 28 by 23; pecked out on primitive typewriters and duplicated
on smeary mimeographs or computer typeset in artistic layouts, illustrated
and documented to the last word; some with microphones, some without.
Respected theologians with impressive credentials using finely polished
phrases, or earnest laymen who have thoroughly studied the matter—all
bear the name "critic."
Whatever their style or origin, critics have certain techniques in common.
We do not suggest merely ignoring every critic, for among them are the
honest in heart. Nicodemuses who really want to know, but are prevented
from perceiving the truth as readily as babes in Christ, by the same
traditional understandings and interpretations they have taught
These deserve careful attention and thoughtful response. In the same
way that messages are tested, so the critics must be tested, for some
have merit. There is also a much larger class of critics who should be
ignored because it will do no good to explain anything to their clouded
minds. The Holy Spirit will give the messenger discernment to know
which critic to reply to and which to ignore.
Techniques of the Critics:
1) Claim authority to think for others. Both the good and bad critics use
pious words, Scripture, and quotations from other writers. All claim to be
doing the Lord's work, but the bad ones claim authority to decide for you
whether a particular message, dream, vision, or interpretation is from
God. Believing that Wisdom resides with them, you, being less
experienced or less educated, will surely be deceived, for they discourage
you from personal, first hand investigation.
2) Harsh, vindictive, or ridiculing. The love of 1 Corinthians 13 is absent.
Many will declare their love for the errant messenger in one sentence but
destroy him with censure and ridicule in the next. Often they will want the
messenger punished, censured, or disfellowshipped. These elements
indicate the spirit of the enemy who motivates them.
3) Plead for tradition to be honored. Plead for the messenger to follow
traditional teachings of the "better educated" church authorities. Use many
Scripture and EGW quotations to support their views. BUT nearly always,
the quotations are misapplied because the critic cannot perceive God's
real meaning in the message. This indicates a spirit of pride in man's
intellect and disbelief that God has any new light, unless it comes through
church-approved channels. They believe there is safety in numbers
"because so many think thus and such, it must be true."
4) Use real or imaginary contradictions to discount entire work. Most
apparent contradictions are only imaginary, the result of misunderstanding,
as evidenced by the several Biblical examples cited earlier in this study.
When examined IN CONTEXT and by reading the entire work, most
contradictions can be resolved. Explanations and further light will come.
Apparent theological errors are more difficult to resolve. Know that
resolution may take time—months or years—some even into eternity.
Do you understand everything in the Bible? What do you do with that
part you don’t understand? Do you throw it out, claiming that part of
the whole to be uninspired? Probably not, though many (whole
Your Personal Responsibility:
Do you just read these through lightly, while you read, study, and
memorize the parts you understand and love? If this is your response,
you have a lot of company. It is easy to ignore the obscure because
there is so much to feed the spirit that you do understand. Do you fault
those who explore areas you don’t understand?
Are you open-minded enough to allow explanation through blind alleys
and dead end-streets? Can you back out of a cul-de-sac or do a "U"
turn, and intersect with other explorers who also seek the light? Do
you say, "Lord I don’t understand. You said this for a reason, and I
believe it is part of the light about You. I want to know You better, to
follow You more closely, to serve You more diligently. Please teach
me, too, by Your Holy Spirit." Which of these readers is the Lord
most likely to teach?
We are not suggesting here that you believe everything you read or
hear. False messages are common these days. Satan is using eternal
truths such as messages of repentance, reverence to God only,
reconciliation with God by a holy life of obedience, to deceive, as in
the apparitions of Mary.
Now that we have defined principles of understanding prophets and
their messages, we will conclude in the next article by looking at
accusations and mistakes made by Ellen White. Bare in mind these
in no way detract from what the eternal truths the Lord has revealed
to her. It only shows that she was a human being subject to the
frailties of us all.
IN DEFENSE OF ELLEN WHITE
By Devon Grey
THE PERSONAL SIDE:
This article is going to look at an aspect of Ellen White almost never
heard—her human side told in her own words. In the rhetoric and
accusations, charges and countercharges, the real Ellen White is
lost in the shuffle. We want to acquaint the reader about her human
side. We will open windows about her and her experiences most
people never hear. We will let her tell her experience and her gut
level feelings about many things. We start with some comments
about being maligned and falsely accused.
MALIGNED AND FALSELY ACCUSED:
Jesus said that a prophet was without honor in his own country, in his
own church. It is as true today as it was when Jeremiah was thrown
into prison and stoned by the Jews, when Isaiah was sawn in two
inside a mulberry tree trunk during king Manassah’s reign, and when
Jesus in the capital city of Jerusalem was crucified. While giving lip
service that declares belief in every dead prophet, the formed church
today "kills" the modern prophets by mockery, ridicule, accusation of
Satanism and disfellowshipping. Eventually they will seek the literal
death of the modern prophets too.
Although the first prophet of end times, Ellen White has gained
acceptability in the Seventh-day Adventist church which uses her
writings to prove that Seventh-day Adventists are the true church of
God because they have the "testimony of Jesus" which is the Spirit
of Prophecy (Rev. 19:10). There is a growing movement by many
toward "sola scriptura" or the Bible only, rejecting any prophet after
the Revelation of John.
Many who say they accept Ellen disregard her teachings. There is
increasing disparity between actual practice and verbal agreement,
rather like the Israelites who promised to keep the commandments
of the Lord and then went out and danced around a golden calf (Ex.
19:5,6; 24:3; 32:1-8). A similar story of obedience and disobedience
was given by Jesus in Matthew 21:28-31.
RESISTANCE TO BE EXPECTED:
Because the visions of Ellen are of heavenly origin, we can expect
that the enemy of all mankind will do all in his power to make of non-
effect these last messages for a dying world and its desperate people.
If Satan can cause people to disbelieve the prophetic messages for
just a very short time longer, judgment in heaven will be completed,
probation will close, and those who doubt will be his. They will have
lost eternal life. With this thought in mind, we consider how the
enemy tries to keep people from accepting God’s word sent through
his chosen instruments. He uses many tricks of the trade to
accomplish his end. One of these tricks is to oppress the prophet
emotionally. Listen to what Ellen White had to say about this.
DISCOURAGEMENT & RELUCTANCE:
I would rather die than have a vision , for every vision places me
under great responsibility to bear testimonies of reproof and of
warning, which has ever been against my feelings, causing me
affliction of soul which is inexpressible. Never have I coveted my
position, and yet I dare not resist the Spirit of God and seek an
easier position." 8MR 238 "I WAS SEVERELY TRIED, AND
ANXIOUS FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD. Would those present
believe the testimony?" LS (1888 ed.) 266.
Ellen sinks into despair (depression): "When Satan found that he
could not take the life of the child, he tempted me that God had left
me, or the child would have been healed when we first prayed for
him. I sank under this temptation in despair...My heart seemed
within me like lead, but God delivered me that eve, and Satan’s
power was broken." Biography, Vol. 1 182.
WHEN SATAN ATTACKED:
Satan tried to destroy faith in Ellen’s visions: "I saw how busy Satan
had been. He saw that the nominal [first-day) Adventists could not
overthrow us, so he began to put prejudices in the minds of our
dearest brethren, so as to hinder the work and overthrow James,
and also TO CAUSE THE FAITH IN THE VISIONS TO BE
DESTROYED, but he failed in his endeavors. And then he attacked
his body, but by faith James was wrenched from his grasp and
placed in the hands of the Great Physician who applied the balm
and set him free. I SAW THAT SATAN’S DARTS WERE HURLED
AT US MORE THAN AT OTHERS SO AS TO DESTROY THE
CONFIDENCE OF GOD’S CHILDREN IN THE VISIONS, and to
get James down so as to stop his work on the paper. I saw that
each one of us must labor for the salvation of souls, that we all
can do something." 6 MR 171. Many unite with Satan to fight
against the visions: "Many poor souls do not know what they are
doing. They UNITE THEIR INFLUENCE WITH SATAN’S FORCES,
AND AID HIM IN HIS WORK. They manifest great zeal and
earnestness in their blind opposition, as though they were verily
doing God’s service BY FIGHTING AGAINST THE VISIONS…
All who desire to do so can acquaint themselves with the fruits of
these visions. For seventeen years God has seen fit to let them
survive and strengthen against the opposition of Satan’s forces,
and the INFLUENCE OF HUMAN AGENCIES THAT HAVE AIDED
SATAN IN HIS WORK. 1T 330 par.2
"When the Lord is about to do a work, Satan moves upon someone
to object." DA 535.
NOT TO THROW OPEN DOORS FOR SATAN BY UNGUARDED
STATEMENTS ABOUT DREAMS AND VISIONS:
"The enemy is preparing to deceive the whole world by his miracle
working power. He will assume to personate the angels of light, to
personate Jesus Christ. Every one who teaches the truth for this
time is to preach the word. THOSE WHO CLING TO THE WORD
WILL NOT THROW OPEN THE DOORS FOR SATAN BY MAKING
UNGUARDED STATEMENTS IN REFERENCE TO PROPHESYING
OR TO DREAMS AND VISIONS." Paulson Collection 105 par.2.
ELLEN ATTACKED BY SATAN TO TAKE HER LIFE:
"I was taken off in vision. In that vision it was shown that IN THE
SUDDEN ATTACK AT JACKSON, SATAN INTENDED TO TAKE
MY LIFE, IN ORDER TO HINDER THE WORK I WAS ABOUT TO
WRITE; but angels of God were sent to my rescue. I also saw,
among other things, that I should be blest with better health than
before the attack at Jackson." LS88 339 Excruciating pain: "Since
coming to this meeting, I have passed through a strange experience.
One day, after appearing before the conference to read some
matters to you, the burden that was upon my soul continued to
press upon me after I returned to my room. I was in distress of
mind. That night I could not seem to lose myself in sleep. It
seemed as if evil angels were right in the room where I was.
And while I was suffering in mind, it seemed as if I was suffering
great bodily pain. My right arm, which through the years has
always been preserved from disease and suffering, seemed
powerless. I could not lift it. THEN I HAD A MOST SEVERE,
EXCRUCIATING PAIN in the ear; then most terrible suffering in
the jaw. It seemed as if I must scream. But I kept saying, ‘Lord
you know all about it.’" "I was in perfect agony. It seemed that
my brain and every part of my body was suffering. At times I
would rise up and think, ‘I will not lie here another moment.’
Then I would think, ‘You will only arouse those that are in the
house, and they cannot do anything for you.’ And so I kept
looking to the Lord, and saying, ‘You know all about this pain.’
The suffering continued at times in the jaw, and then in the brain,
and then in other members of the body, until nearly daylight. Just
before the break of day I fell asleep for about an hour. Legions of
evil angels were in the room: "My arm is all right this morning.
Legions of evil angels were in that room, and if I had not clung by
faith to the Lord, I do not know what might have become of me. "I
shall never be able to give you a description of the satanic forces
that were in that room...but since standing before you the next
morning, I have had no suffering. "Light has been coming to me
that unless we have more evident movings of the Spirit of God,
and greater manifestations of divine power working in our midst,
many of God’s people will be overcome. Satanic agencies will
come in as they came to me. But we cannot afford to yield to
the power of the enemy." TDWG 36.
SATAN'S POWERFUL ATTACK UPON ELLEN:
"The first of October, 1858, Mrs. White was given a vision in which
she was shown that at some place in our contemplated journey
Satan was going to make a powerful attack upon her... Face swelled
up, disfigured: "While journeying by train Mrs. White’s face became
inflamed just under the eyes...she was obliged to take to her bed. The
inflammation increased for two days, depriving her of sleep, as well as
preventing her from taking any part in the meetings. Her head was
swollen so that both eyes were closed, and her face was so disfigured
that it no longer looked like that of a human being...the enemy was
striving hard to cause her to murmur against God. Thus things
continued till the end of the meetings.
"After the meetings had closed Elder White said to me, ‘Brother John,
this is the very attack upon my wife of which we were warned in
Rochester. You remember the promise was there made that if we
would take hold together and hold her up by faith, not letting go for a
moment when the struggle came, the power of the enemy would be
broken, and she would be delivered. Let us go in at once and have a
praying season. We went into the room where Mrs. White was
confined to her bed, and engaged in earnest prayer. In about ten
minutes after we began to pray the power of the Lord came down
and filled the room. Mrs. White was instantly relieved of all pain....
This was about five o’clock in the afternoon. By seven o’clock the
swelling had all disappeared upon her face, and she attended the
meeting that evening, to all appearances as well as ever." GSAM
SATAN’S STRONG EFFORTS TO HINDER WRITING GREAT
"In the vision at Lovett’s Grove, most of the matter I had seen twelve
years before concerning the great controversy of the ages between
Christ and Satan was repeated, and I was instructed to write it out. I
was shown that while I should have to contend with the powers of
darkness, for Satan would make strong efforts to hinder me, yet I
must put my trust in God, and angels would not leave me in the
conflict." LS 162.
Little did they realize the anger of Satan because of this revelation
of his character and wiles, or the intensity of his determination to
defeat the plans for the writing and publishing of the proposed book.
Arriving at Jackson, Michigan, en route to Battle Creek, they visited
their old friends at the home of Daniel R. Palmer. At this time Mrs.
White was in usual health, and the following experience, as given
in her own words came as a complete surprise.
"As I was conversing with Sister Palmer, my tongue refused to utter
what I wished to say, and seemed large and numb. A strange cold
sensation struck my heart, passed over my head, and down my
right side. For a time I was insensible (unconscious) but was
aroused by the voice of earnest prayer. I tried to use my left limbs,
but they were perfectly useless." 4SP 508,509.
"I was shown in vision that in the sudden attack at Jackson, Satan
intended to take my life, in order to hinder the work I was about to
write, but angels of God were sent to my rescue." LS 162.
"On our way home it seemed to me that Satan had stepped in and
was troubling Edson. We found the child at the point of death...
Satan had wanted to hinder the work of God, so he afflicted the
child, but he was beaten back by faith in God, and His Name
shall have the glory."
CHARGES LEVELED AGAINST ELLEN:
DISREGARD OF THE VISIONS:
"We have had but a faint sense of the length and breadth of the
difficulty existing in B.C.—THE PREJUDICE, THE JEALOUSY OF
US, THE EVIL SURMISINGS, THE DISREGARD OF THE VISIONS;
Satan had been invited into the church, and had a powerful hold of
minds. He was exulting as he saw souls walking right into his net."
ELLEN ACCUSED OF SETTING TIME:
"The above, relative to time-setting, was printed more than thirty years
ago, and the books have been circulated everywhere. Yet SOME
MINISTERS CLAIMING TO BE WELL ACQUAINTED WITH ME,
MAKE THE STATEMENT THAT I HAVE OFTEN SET THE TIME
FOR THE LORD TO COME, AND THOSE TIMES HAVE PASSED;
THEREFORE MY VISIONS ARE FALSE." LS 88 p. 221 par.1.
VISIONS OF ELLEN SAID TO BE FROM SATAN:
"Dear Reader, A sense of duty to my brethren and sisters and a
desire that the blood of souls might not be found on my garments
have governed me in writing this little work. I am aware of the
unbelief that exists in the minds of the multitude relative to visions,
also that MANY WHO PROFESS TO BE LOOKING FOR CHRIST
AND TEACH THAT WE ARE IN THE ‘LAST DAYS’ CALL THEM
ALL OF SATAN. I EXPECT MUCH OPPOSITION FROM SUCH,
and had I not felt that the Lord required it of me, I should not have
made my views thus public, as they will probably call forth the
hatred and derision of some. But I fear God more than man."
VISIONS DENOUNCED AS BEING OF THE DEVIL:
"….I was told by those present that he would hear no more, and
took his hat and left the house. Soon after this the snare was broken,
and he could have but little influence over souls. HE DENOUNCED
THE VISIONS AS BEING OF THE DEVIL, and continued to follow
his impressions, until Satan seemed to take the full control of his
mind. His friends at length were obliged to confine him, where he
made a rope of some of his bed clothing with which he hung himself.
Thus ended his career." 2SG 64:2.
VISIONS SAID TO BE THROUGH HYPNOSIS:
"I knelt down in the boat and began to cry to God to deliver us. And
there upon the tossing billows, while the water washed over the top
of the boat upon us, I was taken off in vision and saw that sooner
would every drop of water in the ocean be dried up than we perish,
for my work had but just begun. After I came out of the vision all my
fears were gone, and we sang and praised God, and our little boat
was to us a floating Bethel. THE EDITOR OF THE ADVENT HERALD
HAS SAID THAT MY VISIONS WERE KNOWN TO BE ‘THE RESULT
OF MESMERIC OPERATIONS.’ EW 23.
"Reproof revives dissatisfaction. When everything moves on smoothly,
then past dissatisfactions and difficulties in Paris lie dormant, but when
a reproof or rebuke is given, the same dissatisfaction arises. ‘Brother
White was wrong back there; he was too severe and he is too severe
now.’ Then jealous, hard feelings arise. As he is in union with the
VISIONS given, as the visions and his testimony agree, the visions are
doubted, and Satan is working secretly to affect and overthrow the work
of God." 9 MR 314:4.
DANGER OF DOUBTING VISIONS:
"I saw that you have a knowledge of the truth and a form of godliness,
but the power has been lacking. You have not had faith in God as you
should have had, and when you have obtained the victory it has lasted
you but a short time. I saw that we must have victory every day and
come up steadily. I saw...selfishness in your families, and I saw that
THERE HAS NOT BEEN TRUE FAITH IN THE VISIONS—THAT SOME
HAVE DOUBTED THEM AND STILL HAVE NOT TRUE FAITH IN THEM,
and if they remained where they were they would doubt them still more.
I WAS SHOWN THE DANGER OF DOUBTING THE VISIONS. Had you
believed the visions in time back, you would not have been left to go into
the error you did. I saw that we must have vital godliness and heart
holiness if we would be covered with the covering of Almighty God.’
MS 9, 1851, 1,2. ("Testimony to Believers at Paris, Maine," 1851.)
8 MR 227.
WARFARE WAGED AGAINST VISIONS:
"They [the Andrews family] will not stand in the light until they wipe out
the past by confessing their wrong course in opposing the testimonies
given them of God, and are united with the body in acknowledging the
work of God. Their own selfish feelings and views stand directly in their
way. Either THEIR FEELINGS MUST BE YIELDED, if it tears them all
to pieces, OR THE VISIONS MUST BE GIVEN UP. There will either be
full union or a division. The crisis has come. THE WARFARE THAT
HAS BEEN WAGED AGAINST JAMES (White) AND THE TESTIMONIES
GIVEN OF GOD MUST BE GIVEN UP." 9 MR 314.
SOME FOUND FAULT WITH INSTRUMENT:
"I have been shown faults and wrongs of individuals who professed
perfect confidence in the visions, but FOUND FAULT WITH THE
INSTRUMENT. The natural feelings of their heart rise up in rebellion
against the visions which had exposed their errors and evil. Instead of
humbly acknowledging they had erred, they FOUND FAULT WITH THE
MANNER IN WHICH THE VISION WAS DELIVERED. They took the
position that a PART OF IT WAS CORRECT AND A PART OF IT WAS
A MISTAKE, that I had been told circumstances and thought that the
Lord had shown them to me in vision." 1 MR 306:3.
SISTER WHITE ACCUSED OF MAKING A MISTAKE:
"At times I have had but little courage to write to individuals what I had
been shown in regard to them, for so many take the visions which have
been written to them with feelings of the deepest anguish and in tears.
They lay it aside, some with a feeling of indifference; others say, ‘I
BELIEVE THE VISIONS, BUT SISTER WHITE HAS MADE A MISTAKE
IN WRITING IT. She has heard reports of these things and has got it
mixed up with her visions and thinks she saw it all.’" (Pp. 17-18)--
Letter 8, 1860. (To J.N. Andrews, June 11, 1860.) 9 MR 315.
ELLEN ACCUSED OF INDUCING VISIONS:
"It is utterly false that I have ever intimated I could have a vision
when I pleased. THERE IS NOT A SHADE OF TRUTH IN THIS.
I HAVE NEVER SAID I COULD THROW MYSELF INTO VISIONS
WHEN I PLEASED, FOR THIS IS SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE." 8 MR 238.
BY FALSE REPORTS VISIONS PUT IN A BAD LIGHT:
"He has had much to say in regard to my husband and myself,
and against the visions. He has stood in a position, ‘Report...and
we will report it....’ He has by false reports presented the visions
in a wrong light, and weak souls who were not established in all
the present truth have fed upon these things instead of clean
provender thoroughly winnowed." 1T 333:3.
HANDS STRENGTHENED IN UNBELIEF OF VISIONS:
"...I saw that a strange work has been going on here for months in
the past. There has been A STRENGTHENING THE HANDS OF
ONE ANOTHER IN UNBELIEF OF THE VISIONS because the
wrongs of some have been reproved. I feel crushed in spirit, and
that I have been abused. I have no more testimony to bear in Battle
Creek until there is an entire change. This is darker than the work
in Rochester, and is certainly worse; for I saw that they had their
example and present condition before them as a warning." 1PH p.
ACCUSATIONS MADE BY OTHERS WHO HAD VISIONS:
"Such experiences as these came to be very common. Several in
one family were under this species of deception. ONE WOULD SEE
THAT SISTER WHITE WAS EXALTED; another that SISTER WHITE
WAS NOT HUMBLE BECAUSE SHE WOULD NOT GET DOWN
UPON HER HANDS AND KNEES AND CREEP; another that SISTER
WHITE WOULD BE REJECTED AND LOST BECAUSE SHE DID NOT
BELIEVE THE VISIONS THEY HAD WERE FROM GOD. Another would
see that he must go to a certain place and remain there two, three, or
four weeks. These VISIONS found credit with some who were lacking
in wisdom...." 10MR 310.
ACCUSED OF ABUSING A WOMAN:
"Sunday morning we met with the brethren, and my husband arose
to preach on the parable of the ten virgins. He had no freedom in
speaking, and proposed that we have a season of prayer. We
bowed before the Lord and engaged in earnest prayer. The dark
cloud was lifted, and I was taken off in vision, and again shown
the case of this woman. She was represented to me as being in
perfect darkness. Jesus frowned upon her and her husband. That
withering frown caused me to tremble. I saw that she had acted the
hypocrite, professing holiness while her heart was full of corruption.
After I came out of vision I related with trembling, yet with faithfulness,
what I had seen. I WAS SEVERELY TRIED, AND ANXIOUS FOR
THE PEOPLE OF GOD. WOULD THOSE PRESENT BELIEVE THE
"The woman put on a calm appearance and said, ‘I am glad the Lord
knows my heart. He knows that I love him.’ Then her husband rose in
anger, and laying his hand on the Bible said, ‘THE BIBLE IS ALL WE
WANT, I SHALL NOT GIVE UP THE BIBLE FOR VISIONS.’ His wife
affected to check him, saying, ‘Don’t, husband, dear, don’t talk; the
Lord knows me, and will take care of it all.’ Then she vindicated herself,
saying, ‘If my heart could only be opened that you might see it.’ I knew
the minds of some were unsettled, whether to believe what the Lord had
shown me, or let her appearance weigh against the testimony borne.
Her appearance was perfectly calculated to gain their sympathy.
"But I had discharged a painful duty and God would take care of the
result. At the close of the meeting she stated that she had no hard
feelings against me, and that she should pray for me, and if I got to
heaven I would see her there. We returned with Brother P.’s family,
and that night the Lord met with us. I believed that the Lord would
show his people the truth, and justify the vision. THE NEIGHBORS
SAID THAT I HAD ABUSED THE POOR WOMAN." LS88 266.
FALSELY ACCUSED OF ABUSING WOMAN ON A BOAT:
"There was at one time some trouble on the boat. The chambermaid
had been abused by one of the passengers. She went with her
complaint to the captain of the boat, and gained many sympathizers.
While she was describing the one who had abused her, many eyes
were turned toward me, as the dress described answered very nearly
to my dress. It was whispered round, ‘IT IS HER! IT IS HER! THE ONE
THAT HAS VISIONS! WHAT A SHAME!’ And a zealous one spoke up
and asked if it was me, pointing towards me. ‘Oh no, no,’ said she in
her Irish tongue, ‘Surely she is as nice a little woman as there is on
the boat.’ I COULD BUT NOTICE HOW GLADLY THEY WOULD
HAVE HAD ME THE GUILTY ONE, BECAUSE I HAD VISIONS."
LS 80 276.
ONLY OBJECT OF SOME TO MANGLE THE VISIONS:
"I knew their only object was to mangle the visions, spiritualize away
their literal meaning, throw a Satanic influence upon me, and call it
the power of God." LS 230 par.1.
JOSEPH BATES DISBELIEVED VISIONS WERE OF GOD:
"August 30, 1846, I was married to Elder James White. In a few
months we attended a conference in Topsham, Maine. Elder Joseph
Bates was present. HE DID NOT THEN FULLY BELIEVE THAT MY
VISIONS WERE OF GOD."
PREJUDICE ABOUT VISIONS GOVERNED SOME:
"Brother G sought to move with great caution. He knew that the class
WHO OPPOSED THE VISIONS were wrong, that they were not genuine
believers in the truth; and therefore, to shake off these clogs, he
proposed to receive none into the church who did not believe the third
angel’s message and the visions. This kept out some few precious souls
who had not fought against the visions. They dared not unite with the
church, fearing that they should commit themselves upon that which they
did not understand and fully believe. And THERE WERE THOSE AT
HAND READY TO PREJUDICE THESE CONSCIENTIOUS ONES,
AND TO PLACE MATTERS BEFORE THEM IN THE WORST POSSIBLE
LIGHT. Some have felt grieved and offended because of the condition of
membership, and since the organization their feelings of dissatisfaction
have greatly increased. STRONG PREJUDICE HAS GOVERNED THEM."
THE MOST VITRIOLIC ATTACK:
In "The Review and Herald" for August 14, 1883, p. 16, col. 2, there is
quoted a few epithets which an Elder McLearn applied to Sister White
and her work. It is very revealing how some people felt about Ellen. This
was taken from a paper called the "Advocate" and its "Extra."
"Mrs. White and her illiterate dupes."
"Her contradictory and childish effusions." "What do the S.D. Adventist
people mean by upholding a woman in such glaring inconsistencies and
blasphemous pretensions?" "In her interpretation of that vision, she is
"We have been imposed upon by Mrs. White and her backers."
"You cannot cover such crooked tracks as Mrs. White has made for you."
"In the name of common consistency, what do the S.D. Adventist people
mean by accepting and covering up this work of deception?" "You are
educated to deceive by means of her blasphemous pretensions." "Why
will not the people arise in the majesty of their ‘blood-bought rights,’ and
shake off this destructive incubus?"
"Her popish claims to infallibility."
"Mrs. White’s tyrannical and unreasoning domination."
"The people upon whom she now foists her impositions."
"The glaring inconsistencies and palpable contradictions you see in Mrs.
"Heaven-insulting pretensions to the infallibility of Mrs. White’s
"Using the sacred name of Deity in connection with her soul destroying
deceptions." The R&H editor closed this piece with these comments:
"The above citations from Elder McLearn’s pen have been grouped
together, and printed, simply to show the nature of the spirit by which
he is at present controlled. Such an outburst of malevolence would
hardly be expected in his case. May God pity him. G.W.A."
One last critique of Ellen White done recently points out to several
discrepancies found in the book "Great Controversy." The reader
will need to bear in mind what we have discussed before. These
kinds of discrepancies have no bearing on the prophet’s message
and gifts. They only show that she was human and influenced to a
degree by what she understood at the time of writing.
In the case of the "Great Controversy," you read how the enemy tried
to keep this book out of circulation by trying to kill Ellen White. If God
has allowed them to be in the book, certainly no human should take
exception to these minor historical discrepancies. They certainly do
not distract from the message of the book in the slightest.
SOME ELLEN WHITE MISTAKES:
That Ellen White made mistakes is indisputable. There were times when
she directly contradicted herself. The following are a few examples.
1) In the 1886 edition of The Great Controversy, page 335, Ellen stated
that the fall of the Ottoman Empire or Turkey the "exactly fulfilled
prediction" sounded by the sixth trumpet of Revelation. Yet in 3 SM 426,
she says: "Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded; vial after vial poured
out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth." Which statement
is right? Is Ellen a liar?
2) In relation to the signs connected with the 6th seal of Revelation 6:13-14,
Ellen says in GC 304, "This would put events of the fifth seal (the
souls under the altar) sometime before that time." These signs [the Lisbon
earthquake, the darkening of the sun and moon]) were witnessed before
the opening of the nineteenth century.
In 7C 968 she says: "When the fifth seal was opened, John the
Revelator in vision saw beneath the altar the company that were
slain for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
After this came the scenes described in the eighteenth of
Revelation, when those who are faithful and true are called out
from Babylon." Again in 7C 984, Ellen said, "The prophecies in
the eighteenth of Revelation will soon be fulfilled." Which of her
statements will you take as true? Was Ellen mistaken?
3) In GC 267 we find the statement "The two witnesses represent
the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament." On pages 269,
& 270 Ellen says: "According to the words of the prophet, then, a
little before the year 1798 some power of satanic origin and
character would rise to make war upon the Bible. And in the land
where the testimony of God’s two witnesses should thus be
silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh
and the licentiousness of Sodom."
This prophecy has received a most exact and striking fulfillment
in the history of France." Up farther on page 269, she uses the
term "Great City" in reference to France, calling her "Egypt."
We know that reference to "the great city" in Revelation is to
Babylon. If France is Babylon, which she would have to be to
fulfill what Ellen White said, then she is the beast from the pit in
Revelation 18. That beast is in control of the seven heads, which
means France would have to be the head - the 8th king, but only
one beast ascends out of the bottomless pit.
4) The lamb-like beast in GC 441 is identified as the United States
circa 1798. Three years later in 3SM 393, Ellen says it was Satan
who would bring fire down from heaven to deceive those that dwell
on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to
do in the sight of the beast. She continues quoting Revelation 13,
telling how Satan will cause all to worship the first beast and receive
a mark. What is she saying? How can she contradict herself so
5) GC 54 shows the 42 month prophecy of Revelation 13:5 beginning
in the sixth century. In 7BC 975, all the comments of Ellen on
Revelation 13 point to the end of time, not the sixth century. In 1898
Ellen said that Daniel 7:25, a companion text to Revelation 13, was
an event that was yet future. 6) GC 480 talks about 1844 being the
time when "the judgment was set and the books opened." On page
666, less than 200 pages later, Ellen describes the same scene, but
shows it taking place at the end of the millennium.
As can be seen Ellen White did not always agree with what she said in
other places. One reason for this is that she would have to change her
ideas to advance in new light that was brought to her. Then too, she
depended upon proofreaders and others to help her with the insertions
in the books. If God was satisfied, why should any human try to find
fault with any of the books? The purpose of any of these books is to
lead people to Christ, and that they do admirably. Her book "Desire
of Ages" about the life of Christ has been designated by the Library
of Congress as the most profound book on this subject that they have.
English teachers concluded that the language in that book is as perfect
as it can be, and this from a 3rd grade education.
From the above quotes extracted from her various writings, the reader
can see that Ellen White’s work as a prophet was not always a pleasant
experience. If she were not a true prophet, would not the enemy bless
her endeavors to gain followers? This concludes our study in defense of
Ellen White. The reader is asked to consider and weigh all the evidence
we have presented that supports her messages as being of divine origin.
Not once will you ever find her talking against the Word of God. The
theme of her messages and instructions were only and always to establish
a relationship with our Lord. Never did she try to draw people to herself or
to look at her as someone special. These two last points speak the truth
about her better than any thing else could.
May God bless you as you continue to seek and find the truth. If you
have further questions please feel free to contact us.