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Ellen White vs. the World Wide Web

Mark Howard

Hosting its seventh annual conference, GYC's 2008 theme this was "For This Purpose." How do we find this purpose? By listening to and studying God's Word. Featuring inspirational speakers such as Justin Kim, Randy Skeete, Radim Passer, Chelsy Jourdan, Alistair Huong, Doug Batchelor, and more, this conference leads us in studying how we can reflect Christ's character.

Presenter

Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

Conference

Recorded

  • December 19, 2008
    9:30 AM
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Good morning. Did you have a good breakfast? Yeah. Are you ready to get into the Word and do a little study? You’re looking at me like, “That’s why we’re here; it’s GYC.” Okay. My name’s Pastor Mark Howard, and our topic this morning…But those of you who have been with us, how many of you were in the seminar yesterday? I see some hands there. Now, I know a number of you, and I don’t know…One of the things I’ve noticed, a trend here, is everybody kind of wants to get a little bit of everything. The only disadvantage in that is that what we’ve been covering kind of builds on itself, and fortunately AudioVerse is recording these things, and you’ll be able to get all of the things you missed there, which is a blessing.

 

Last night, or yesterday afternoon, the topic we were covering was hermeneutics, how to read and understand what we’re reading in the Spirit of prophecy, and I finished up – we didn’t actually finish up – I wanted to spend a little bit more time on what we covered yesterday, but I’m going to do that in our second session. We have a lot to cover. I teach this class at ARISE every year. How many of you are familiar with the ARISE program? Okay, if you’re not, see our booth there. We’re a training program that trains people to get into ministry in a short period of time, a four-month program. And I teach this class; it generally is 18 hours’ worth, and so, we’re cramming it into 6, so I apologize if we don’t have time to cover everything.

 

This morning’s topic is “Ellen White Versus the World Wide Web.” If you have studied with anybody, this is Adventist and non-Adventists alike. There are Seventh-day Adventists who are getting on the internet; they’re reading all these allegations against Ellen White and starting to wonder if they’re in the right church. Maybe you’ve studied with friends, and they become interested in the Sabbath and these types of things, and then they get on the internet, and they find out that we have this “false” prophet. That’s what we’re dealing with this morning. What do we do with these internet attacks? How do we answer them? I have to just be very plain up front that there are so many counterfeits, you will never be able to combat the counterfeits by studying the counterfeits. You have to study the truth. The counterfeits are going to keep coming. If I took the time to answer every accusation on the internet against Ellen White, I wouldn’t have time to get the Gospel message out and prepare people for Jesus’ coming.

 

Ellen White herself…In fact, I’ll share that here at this time. Ellen White was asked why she didn’t do more to combat some of these accusations. This is found in the Review and Herald of August 28, 1883, and you do not have this quote in your handout. Review and Herald of August 28, 1883, paragraphs eight and nine, she says, “Many ask, ‘Why do you not contradict these reports? Why allow them to be circulated?’ The same question has been asked again and again for the last 40 years. My answer is, in the language of one of old, I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down. God has called me to reveal to others by pen and voice, what He has revealed to me. In His strength I must go forward in this solemn and important work, knowing that it is soon to bear the test of the Judgment. While false accusers are doing what pleases themselves, I will seek only to please Him who has given me my work. Christ is our leader, and if we follow Him, we shall see his triumph and share his joy.”

 

She said, “I don’t have time for this. I’m doing a good work, and I won’t come down,” and I think that there’s a point to which we, as Seventh-day Adventists, ought to be able to give a reasonable answer for what we believe and a defense for Ellen White, but there’s a point where we’ve got to just say, “You know, I’m doing a good work, and I can’t spend all my time defending.” Are you following what I’m saying? That will be clearer toward the end of the class simply because, again, we don’t have time to cover every internet accusation, but I’m hoping that the time that we do have will give you enough confidence in the gift of prophecy and give you an understanding of where these internet attacks come from because they’re all of the same flavor.

 

So, what I want to do at this time is I want to have a word of prayer. If you’ll bow your heads with me, I’m going to kneel and ask God to bless this time we have together. Heavenly Father, I want to ask You this morning that You would be with us as we study the gift of prophecy in light of some of the current controversy, Lord. It’s not new controversy; it’s been going on since the inception of this planet, Lord, as the enemy has sought to undermine Your will for Your people. But, Lord, I want to pray now especially for the guidance of the Spirit that inspired Ellen White, that He would illuminate our minds so that we could understand more clearly and be more confident in the gift of prophecy in the remnant church. And we ask and pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Okay, I hope you have your Bibles. I want you to turn with me to the book of Revelation, Revelation, chapter 12, Revelation, chapter 12, verse 17. When the Seventh-day Adventist reads Revelation 12, verse 17, we see the identifying characteristics of God’s remnant church. There are two that we generally touch on. There’s a third identifying characteristic in here that people often miss. Revelation 12 and verse 17, the Bible says here, “The dragon,” speaking of the devil, “was enraged with the woman,” that is, God’s church. How did he feel against the church? He was enraged with the woman. “He went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the,” (what?), “testimony of Jesus.”

 

Now, we’ve talked about the testimony of Jesus yesterday as the gift of prophecy. We looked at some of the Scriptures that made that clear beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, tell me what the identifying characteristics of God’s remnant church are in that passage. Okay, some of you are picking up on it, because you’ve got, they keep the commandments of God, they’ve got the gift of prophecy, and the devil is angry with them, okay? That is something that we can’t overlook. A lot of times people look at the first two. I have had people come to me in evangelistic series that I’ve done, and they say, “Well, Pastor, I have some concerns. I’ve listened to your messages and everything, but, you know, I got on the internet, and I find out all kinds of negative stuff about your church.” And I say, “Praise God because that’s one of the identifying characteristics of the remnant church.”

 

The dragon is enraged. “Enraged” is the New King James word. “Wroth” is the King James word that is used, not just a little bit upset, because the devil knows that this movement is going to overthrow him. And so the dragon is enraged, and he’s doing everything he can, and he’s enraged especially with two of the other characteristics of the church, and that is the commandment keeping and the gift of prophecy. So you would expect a lot of negative reports and attacks on the gift of prophecy, wouldn’t you, based on that text? That should not shake our faith. That should give us confidence. Don’t you think?

 

And it’s that, that we want to look at in this presentation together. I want you to notice in your handout there, page one. You should all have a handout, incidentally. It says “E.G. White Versus WWW,” that’s the worldwide web. Does anybody not have a handout? Okay, they will get one to you. Now, if you look at section number two there: Cult scare tactics. That’s what I call them. You know, the devil has this method of working that when he can’t overthrow the logic of the argument, when he can’t overthrow the truth of an argument, what he does is he tries to defame the messenger when he can’t defame the message. If he can’t make the message look bad, he has to make the messenger look bad so nobody will listen to the message, because he knows that if people hear the message, they’re going to be converted, okay?

 

And so, we find this, for example, in Acts 24. Go to Acts 24 with me, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts 24. We’re going to Acts 24, verse 5. As the Apostle Paul appears before Felix the governor, this is the accusation that’s made against him. Verse 5 it says, “For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the,” (what?), “of the sect of the Nazarenes.” And you’ll note there that subpoint A, from the New Living Translation says “the cult of the Nazarenes.” In essence, they called Paul a cult leader. Why? Because they knew that if people listened to Paul’s message, they’d be convinced of the truthfulness of it, and they said, “How can we get people not to listen? I know, we’ll call him a cult leader, and when people hear he is a cult leader, they’ll say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to hear anything; I might be deceived.’”

 

I run into that with people all the time. They begin to learn the Adventist truth, and somebody throws that out at them, “Oh, they’re a cult; don’t get involved with them, or you’ll be deceived.” And they scare people off the ground of investigation. Incidentally, when a Christian ceases to be willing to investigate truth, they cease to be a Christian. You cannot be a Christian if you are not willing to investigate truth. And so, the devil uses cult scare tactics by trying to defame the character.

 

They did this in Christ’s ministry. Jesus told His disciples, “If they call the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those who are of his household,” right? And that’s what they called Him. They said, “You cast out devils by the prince of devils,” because if they could defame the messenger, they knew they would gain ground. That’s what’s happening with Ellen White today.

 

You’ve got Ellen White being attacked. Why? Because, incidentally, Dr. Pitman shares the story that when his sister became a Seventh-day Adventist, he wanted to overthrow her faith, and he said the best thing I could figure to do was start with that church’s “false” prophet, Ellen White. So, he said, “I picked up one of her books, The Great Controversy, so that I could point out the error in it and show my sister she was a false prophet.” He said, “I started with the wrong book.” And incidentally, let me say this about Ellen White. Now there’s a lot we can’t say; we don’t have time for. The Bible says, “By their fruits you will know them.” Ellen White has been the means of multitudes, and we can’t even count them here, multitudes have given their lives to Jesus Christ. Now, my feeling is this, if Ellen White is a false prophet, the devil ought to find himself a new false prophet because the one he has is winning too many people to Jesus. That fruit should say something to us.

 

But we’re going to look at some of the internet attacks. Now the first section there, actually it ought to be number three: Ellen White and plagiarism. We’re going to skip over that first section on literary assistance. The only point in that passage is that in the Bible, the Bible authors used literary assistance, people who would write for them. Ellen White did the same. One thing we’ve tried to do in this seminar in the time we’ve had together is show that the way Ellen White’s ministry worked was the same way the Bible prophets’ ministry worked. If we want to have a clear understanding of Ellen White’s ministry, we’ve got to go to the Bible and understand the prophetic ministry in the Scripture. And so, we’ve tried to do that. This just shows that both Ellen White and the Bible writers had assistance.

 

And so, for some of the critics, they say, “Well, if Ellen White was a prophet, why did she need assistance?” Well, why did Paul need an assistant? Why did Jeremiah need Baruch to write for him, etc., etc. We’re jumping past that, just for sake of time, to the bottom of page two. Actually, we won’t even go to the bottom of page two; we’ll go to the top of page three. And we’re going to talk about plagiarism. Now how many of you have heard that Ellen White’s a plagiarist here? Okay. I remember as a young man, and this was in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as I was 26 years old, I returned to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I began to attend a church in Ohio, and I was studying some things. They were taking some of these new views on prophecy, and I was just starting to read Ellen White, and I saw a discrepancy, and I wondered why the leaders in the church were okay with these views of prophecy that Ellen White was going a different direction with.

 

And I remember talking to my head elder of that church, and I asked him, I said, “Do you believe Ellen White was inspired?” And the first words out of his mouth in response were, “I believe she was a plagiarist,” and then he said, “I believe she was inspired.” And I thought, “That’s interesting, an inspired plagiarist.” But this was the first word – I was a young Adventist, and this was within the church. There are people in the church that are pushing this thing as well as people outside the church, “Ellen White plagiarized.” You get on the internet, and they’ll say, “Ellen White plagiarized, and the Adventist Church to this date has never given an answer for it.” I’ve read that on internet sites. It’s not true, but I’ve read that commentary.

 

(I’ve got to get some notes of my own here.) Plagiarism, and if you look at the top of page three, I want you to notice there’s a difference between plagiarism and literary borrowing. I guess you’ve got to go to page two. I was going to skip over the bottom definition there, but we need it. The bottom of page two: Plagiarism charges. It says, “The word “plagiarism” comes from the Latin word “plagiarium,” which means “kidnapper.” It is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as, “To use and pass off as one’s own.” Plagiarism is a literary masquerade. This is when the author is pretending. They’re taking something from somebody else and pretending they wrote it.

 

You go to the top of page three, and we’re going to contrast that with another term, and this term is “literary borrowing.” Now, literary borrowing occurs when a writer utilizes and employs the words of another for the purpose of making a particular point. I mean, a good example is sermon illustrations. This may be a shock to you, but sermon illustrations are not original. I don’t care who you heard it from. You hear a good sermon, “Oh, that was a good story.” Somebody else told it before the person you heard it from. And you’ll find out, if you listen to many preachers, you’ll find that you hear the same story pretty often, especially if it’s a good story. You know, you say, “Wow, I heard Doug Batchelor share that one,” and here’s Shawn Boonstra using it. And you know, now some of the illustrations they use from personal experience may be their own, of course, but the idea is a sermon illustration is something that’s been borrowed from somebody else for the purpose of illustration.

 

Now, literary borrowing and plagiarism are two different things, and we’re not just word-smithing here. We’re not saying, “Okay, it’s not really plagiarism; it’s literary borrowing.” They’re totally different things. They’re viewed differently in the literary world. And what happened is…And Ellen White did borrow…She was a literary borrower, as were some of the people in the Bible.

 

Let’s go to the book of Ecclesiastes, for example. Once again, if we find that the gift of prophecy used in the Bible employed literary borrowing, then it shouldn’t surprise us that a prophet that comes after Bible times would use the same. Ecclesiastes 12. Here’s what the critics accuse Ellen White of; they say that she borrowed things from other people, and she didn’t give them credit, okay? We’re going to Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes, chapter 12, and I want you to notice with me verse 9. Notice what Solomon says here. Incidentally  the title “Ecclesiastes” means “the preacher,” and that’s what Solomon calls himself throughout this book, and this is what he says in verse 9, “Moreover, because the Preacher was wise,” speaking of himself, “he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and,” (did what?), “sought out,” or searched out, and what? “and set in order many proverbs.” What is that saying?

 

Is it saying he came up with the proverbs? Do you search out what you came out with yourself? No. He sought out wise sayings, and he put them in…he compiled them in order. Solomon says he did this.  Verse 10, “The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth.” He sought out words of truth, and he put them in order on record for us in the Scripture. This is the Bible testimony here.

 

Now, we’re in Ecclesiastes, so let’s look at Ecclesiastes 11, Ecclesiastes 11, verse 4. Now notice this illustration that’s used. Ecclesiastes 11, verse 4, “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the,” (what?), “the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know,” (what?), “the works of God.” Now notice, Solomon equates the works of God with the wind and a woman with child, somebody about to give birth. Birth and the wind and the works of God. Where else in the Bible do we find something like that? You remember when Jesus talked to Nicodemus, and He talks about the Spirit was like the wind? And the new birth, and He connects those three things together? That’s the concept, the same exact concept that’s shared there in Ecclesiastes, the same thing, okay? Jesus borrowed it, incidentally in John 3, and He didn’t give Solomon credit. That’s literary borrowing.

 

Let me ask you a question. Incidentally, is Jesus allowed to borrow something He inspired? We’ve already talked about the fact that the gift of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus, so if Jesus is speaking through the prophet, is He allowed to borrow some piece of wisdom He gave to somebody else? Absolutely. He’s the Author of truth. Now, so we find a little bit here in Ecclesiastes, I mean, we see it in Jesus, we could go through many places in the Bible where they borrowed the concepts of another Bible author and didn’t give credit. And the fact of the matter is, Paul wouldn’t be stomping his feet and saying, or rather, Isaiah wouldn’t be stomping his feet and saying, “Well, Paul borrowed from me, and he didn’t give me credit,” because that wasn’t what it was about.

 

Now, I’m not going to take the time to go to the Gospel of Luke. You read Luke 1:1-3, and as Luke explains his gospel, he says the same thing that Solomon said about the Proverbs, that he basically compiled histories and put them together for his gospel. This is no uncommon in the Bible, that there was literary borrowing employed.

 

Ellen White herself borrowed, and it’s described this way. Page three, down about the middle of the page, letter C: Ellen White’s literary borrowing. Number one there: Ellen White lacked a formal education, and the Lord supplied the lack. Her son Willie reported, quote, “In her early experience, when she was sorely distressed over the difficulty of putting into human language the revelations of truths that had been imparted to her, she was reminded of the fact that all wisdom and knowledge comes from God. And she was assured that God would bestow grace and guidance. She was told that in the reading of religious books and journals, she would find precious gems of truth expressed in acceptable language, and that she would be given help from Heaven to recognize these and to separate them from the rubbish of error with which she would sometimes find them associated.”

 

So, she borrowed, in that setting, from other authors. Now let’s talk about the borrowing. Look at this next point: One prominent critic has alleged that between 80 percent and 90 percent of Ellen White’s writings were borrowed from the works of others. Tim Poirier, now Tim Poirier works with the White Estate, still works for the Ellen White Estate. In his book, Project Surprise, reveals that, “With the exception of five books, the known documented borrowed material that is uncredited in her writings amounted to less than,” (what?), “3 percent.” Let’s see, 3 or 80 or 90, something like that. Obviously, there’s a little distortion of the truth, and people would have you think that Ellen White, most of her works are really written from other people. No. She did borrow things, phrases and expressions, but by and large, it was her own work. The exceptional books, one exceptional book, as it said, with the exception of five books, would be The Great Controversy where much of it is history. And she quotes from D’Aubigne’s History of the Reformation repeatedly and “Wiley” and some of these others.

 

But in regard to the borrowing, the accusation has been, “She can’t be a true prophet of God; she’s borrowed; she plagiarized; it’s illegal,” blah, blah, blah. This is what the Adventist Church decided to do. They took this case, and they said, “Okay. We’ve got these charges of Ellen White borrowing, and the critics want an answer,” and so they decided that they would hire an outside law firm, and they hired that firm with private funds. Warren Johns, who was an attorney at the time with the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference, figured if we hire…We’re going to hire a law firm to solve this case. We’re going to have them investigate it, and rule in favor or against Ellen White.

 

He figured if we hired [it] with church funds, somebody is going to say, “Well, of course, the findings were in your favor because you paid for it from the church, and you had some deals.” So he got together some people and out of private funds paid an outside law firm called Ramik, Diller and Wight, and I think that, yeah, there` at the bottom of page three. This law firm specialized in patent, trademark and copyright law. This was what they specialized in, and Vincent Ramik was the attorney put on the case. Now, Vince Ramik was a Roman Catholic man. He said when he came to the case with Ellen White…this was during the time of the Desmond Ford era, and he said he talked to so many Adventist pastors who said she did do it, that he said, “I tried to unbiased. You’re supposed to be unbiased in a case like this,” but he said, “When I came to the case,” he said, “I was biased against her from the start. I figured she must have done it. Her own people, their own pastors, say she did it.”

 

This is what the church did. Warren Johns gave Attorney Ramik Ellen White’s books, then he gave him the books she copied from, and then he basically told him the allegations, and of course he was able to examine those. And he asked a couple questions. He said, “This is what we want to know. Number one, could Ellen White have been accused of plagiarism? Was what she did illegal? Number two, if what she did wasn’t illegal, was it unethical? Because, see, some people will say, “Well, Ellen White might not have been able to be accused, but what she did was sneaky.” And so they asked him, “Hey, we want to know, even if she couldn’t have been condemned for what she did, was it wrong what she did?” Okay?

 

Now, Ramik says the only book he read all the way through was the book The Great Controversy. What did I say he was? Yeah, Roman Catholic. Do you think that would be a plus? You know, “Oh, wow, my church is the Antichrist power.” Okay, and so I say that to you to say if anybody had an opportunity to be biased, it was Vince Ramik. And I thought, and I had this paper here. I’ve got to get it up on my computer. I thought I had it here. I don’t have the findings. You can get the findings on the Ellen White website. And, incidentally, while I’m looking this up, the White Estate is here in the booths, and they have the Ellen White CD-ROMs; they are 50 percent off there. I would encourage, if you don’t have it, find a way to get it. It’s an invaluable resource, and they said if you tell them you were attending this seminar, they’ll give you an additional five dollars off. So, that’s a good deal. I’ve just got to find my plagiarism handout here. And I give it out in the class. I don’t have them here. You can get this, like I said, on the website. You will find some of this fascinating. I’m sharing with you; here is what happened. 

 

The Adventist Church, after this whole case was done, the Adventist Review interviewed Vince Ramik, and I want you to hear some of what this man says. Again, Roman Catholic, only read The Great Controversy all the way through. He says, “I started out, I think, basically neutral on the literary charges, but somehow as I read one particular Adventist author’s defense of Mrs. White, it left me with a feeling that she was not, in fact, very well defended.” And he goes on to say, “Hey, I was convinced that she did it.” So, here’s what the Review said, and I’m skipping through this interview a little bit. My paper copy would have worked much better on this one. They ask him the question…Sorry, I keep getting into the wrong place on my page.

 

He said, “I simply had to read her writings and then rid my mind of the bias I had built into it, that prejudice.” They said, “So, it was reading her writings that changed your mind,” and here’s what he says, “It was reading her messages in her writings that changed my mind.” (You’re hearing some of the seminar next door now. Okay, here we go.) “And I think there’s a distinction, a very salient difference here.”

 

The Review says, “Would you describe the distinction that you see.”

 

He says, “I believe that the critics have missed the boat badly by focusing upon Mrs. White’s writings instead of focusing upon the messages in Mrs. White’s writings.” Amen. I wish Adventists would do that. I mean, we’ve got people in the church that are questioning this. Here’s this outside…this guy’s a Roman Catholic, he reads The Great Controversy, the only book he reads all the way through, and he’s biased against her from the start, but he reads her writings, and he says, “Wow!”

 

“What did you find in her messages, Mr. Ramik? How did they affect you?”

 

He said, “Mrs. White moved me. In all candor, she moved me. I’m a Roman Catholic, but Catholic, Protestant, whatever, she moved me, and I think her writings should move anyone unless he is permanently biased and unswayable.”

 

“Would you explain what you mean by this?”

 

“Well,” Ramik says, “A person can walk this earth doing good deeds and saying to himself and maybe to others, ‘I’m a nice person,’ and after a time you really believe that you are. But when was the last time you really looked inside yourself and found out what you were really like? Now there are a lot of things that Mrs. White has put down on paper that will, if read seriously, perhaps cause a person to look inwardly honestly. And if you do, the true self comes out. I think I know a little more today about the real Vince Ramik than I did before I started reading the message of Ellen White, not simply her writings.”

 

Now, a very good point that he makes, and I can’t read through the whole interview here, but I’m going to jump ahead to the conclusion of the whole thing. Oh, here’s an interesting point that he makes, though, when they talk about her borrowing. He says, “And I think the first step in any accurate critique is to go back to the real original. It might be Virgil, it might be Homer, it might be the Bible, because how do you know it was the original with the predecessor? How do you know that he didn’t get it from someone else who in turn got it from someone else? Didn’t Solomon say there’s nothing new under the sun?” I mean, just fascinating. I wish I could share with you this whole interview.

 

Now here it comes to the conclusion. He says, “The bottom line is this: What really counts is the message of Mrs. White’s writing, not merely the mechanical writings, words, clauses, sentences. These theologians, I am told, distinguish here between verbal and plenary inspiration. Too many of the critics have missed the boat all together, and it’s too bad, too. I personally have been moved, deeply moved, by those writings. I have been changed by them. I think I am a better man today because of them, and I wish the critics could discover that.”

 

Review asks the question, “Attorney Ramik, how would you sum up the legal case against Ellen White as far as charges of plagiarism, piracy and copyright infringement are concerned?”

 

Ramik’s response, “If I had to be involved in such a legal case, I would much rather appear as a defense counsel than for the prosecution; there simply is no case.”

 

Now, to this day, the websites will say, “The Adventists have never answered this question,” and we’ve answered, and we’ve answered, and we’ve answered. You know, there are so many times you answer, and then you’ve just got to say, “You know what? Let them keep on saying it; we’ve got a work to do.” You understand that? The websites won’t tell you what I just read you here, but that’s a powerful testimony of a man who was initially biased against the message, against Ellen White, and reads it and says, “Wow! This has changed my life.”

 

[Audience member asks a question.] It’s on the Ellen White website. Yes, question.

[Audience member: Do you know what year it was…?] 1980-1981, during the Desmond Ford crisis. The question was, when was the…They told me to repeat the questions for the audio, and I’ve got to remember to do that. So the question is: Where can we find the article? And, when was it written? It was about 1980-81, in that time frame, and you can get it on the Ellen White Estate website or the CD-ROM, if you get the CD-ROM I told you about that’s half price over there. And I’m not getting any profit off of that. I’m selling it because I think it’s worthwhile to have for Seventh-day Adventists.

 

I told those who were here yesterday, and I’ll repeat it again today, Ed Reid said once, and I remember early on listening to him say this; it’s been years ago; I heard it on a tape or something. He said, “If you don’t have the CD-ROM with all Ellen White’s writings, go sell something insignificant, like your bed, and buy it.” So, it’s a powerful resource, and we’ll talk about more of why that is.

 

So the issue of plagiarism has been dealt with. We’ve given an answer. It’s just that, you know, the critics won’t allow for the answer. Well, what can we do about that? Christ is the originator of truth; that’s what it says on the top of page four. And the basic idea you’re going to find there is that Jesus inspired the truth, as I already said. Then if He wants to lead His messenger to go to that truth and use it again, then it’s His right to do so. And in Ellen White’s borrowing, there was never anything she used that was done illegally or unethically. I mean, there’s no case, Ramik said.

 

And Ramik also add that anything that she did borrow, because he had the original books…Well, let me give you this one. Ellen White, one of the books she loved was the book by Farrar called The Life of Paul. She used portions of that in her book Sketches from the Life of Paul and later developed into Acts of the Apostles. And she also recommended that book to Adventists. Now, who plagiarizes from an author and wants to pass it off as their own and then says, “Oh, yeah, and by the way, read the book I plagiarized from”? I mean, it was very evident that she wasn’t hiding anything. And what Ramik said is, “In every case where she borrowed something and put it in her writings, she put it in a setting that always made it better, infinitely better.”  In other words, the Lord took pieces of truth that He had given to others, and He put it in the framework of truth.

 

So that’s the plagiarism charge. Let’s look at some other things. Bottom of page four: The shut door. Now, I have a text there, Matthew 25, because this is where the Seventh-day Adventists, well, they weren’t Seventh-day Adventists at the time. Seventh-day Adventists came about in 1863; that’s when we were organized with that name. But the Advent believers, after the Disappointment in 1844, they were reading in connection with the parable of Matthew 25, and it says there were wise and foolish virgins, and the one that were ready went in. And when they went in with the bridegroom, what happened? The door was shut, right? And the others were left outside, and when they came knocking later, the response was, “Hey, I don’t know you.” And the belief of the early Adventists was that, after the rejection of the 1844 message, the door of mercy was shut. The door was shut, and their interpretation of that was the door of mercy is shut to the world. Ellen White shared that viewpoint.

 

Now here’s what the critics will do. The critics will say that Ellen White believed the door of mercy was shut, and God showed her that in a vision. And then later on, she changed her mind, and God showed her that in a vision. And so her vision said one thing, and then a vision said another thing. The reality of the situation is this: Ellen White’s understanding of the door being shut was before she ever had a vision. She had the common understanding with the rest of Advent believers, and it wasn’t just the Advent believers.

 

Top of page five, I want you to notice a statement here. There’s a few that I’ve included, but we’re going to look at number three there at the top of page five. This is quoted in The Great Controversy, by the way. It says: A writer in The Religious Telescope testified, “We have never witnessed to such a general declension of religion as at the present. Truly the church should awake and search into the cause of this affliction, for as an affliction, everyone that loves Zion must view it. When we call to mind how few and far between cases of true conversion are, and the almost unparalleled impertinence and hardness of sinners, we must involuntarily exclaim, ‘Has God forgotten to be gracious?’ or, ‘Is the door of mercy closed?’”

 

Now, this was a popular religious paper in that time period, and you’ll read other statements there, the two above that, where the general understanding in the religious world was, “Wow, there is this spiritual dearth among the people. Nobody seems to be interested in spiritual things anymore.” And they really thought, because of that the door of mercy was closed. And let me emphasize something here that’s very important. Why do you think in 1844, after the Disappointment, there was such a religious dearth among the people? What happens when a person rejects light? God had heralded the message of 1844 to the world, and most of the churches have rejected it. Are you going to be a thriving Christian when you’ve rejected light? No, that’s evidence right there of the religious climate. The message that was preached in 1844 was God’s message.

 

And the ministers, well, they wouldn’t allow for that. These are minsters of other churches. As you read these quotes, the two above it as well. They’re looking and they’re saying, “Wow. People just aren’t interested in spiritual things anymore.” Well, the early Advent believers felt, like the others, maybe the door of mercy is shut. It’s Matthew 25; it’s come to pass. The door of mercy is closed.

 

Now the critics will say that Ellen White saw that in a vision. The reality is, section B there, and I’m not going to read through all of it, but let’s look at the first part under section B on page five, Ellen White says, “It is claimed that these expressions prove the shut-door doctrine,” and she comments on some of the things she said, “and that this is the reason of their omission in later editions. But, in fact, they teach only that which has been held and is still held by us as a people as I shall show. For a time after the Disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the Advent body that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me; it was the light given me of God that corrected our error and enabled us to see the true position.”

 

So this accusation was there in Ellen White’s day, and she answered it, and we’ve been answering it since, that Ellen White’s view of the door of mercy being shut was not something God showed her. See, the critics say God showed her this, and then she changed her message. God didn’t show her that. She took the position that the door of mercy was closed from the tenor of not only the religious world but then the Advent believers and what they understood until God corrected the view by a vision. So, far from a vision showing Ellen White that God had no more mercy for sinners and then she changed her mind by another convenient vision – that’s what the critics say – the fact is that the vision corrected her erroneous view.

 

Now, some of you maybe even listening to this are thinking, “Hey, there’s a story in the Bible. There’s something in the Bible very similar,” and that is the story in Acts with Peter and the sheet that was brought down from heaven because Peter, three-and-a-half years after Christ’s ascension to heaven, still believed that the Gentiles, the door of mercy was shut to the Gentiles, did he not? He believed the door of mercy was shut to the Gentiles. Now, incidentally, the fact that he believed that, did that make him a false apostle? No. No. And while he was having that understanding, God gives him a vision, and in that vision, God corrects Peter’s understanding, and Peter finishes up that whole section of Acts 10 and 11 by saying, “The Lord has shown me that I should not call any man unclean,” right?

 

And so, Peter held an erroneous view that God corrected by vision just like Ellen White held an erroneous view that God corrected by vision. So, if Ellen White’s a false prophet for it, then so is Peter a false apostle, and then we’ve got to start questioning the Scripture. You understand that? So, what the critics say is, “Oh, Ellen White had this vision of the shut door, and then later on she changed her vision,” and, of course, the story goes on from there that the Adventists then have suppressed Ellen White’s writings in regard to the shut door.

 

Now, I’ve got a couple pages on the shut door, and you can read through that, but I want you to jump to the top of page…go to page six with me, and this goes along with that letter D on page six. Letter D talks about suppressed writings. And you’ve got a statement where Ellen White again in her day addressed this idea of suppressed writings. I have to share something with you here, and I apologize; I’m shuffling different papers that I have. I’ve copied different papers off the internet with some of these things, and there’s one that I really got a kick out of. I got on the internet, and I don’t recommend you do it, by the way, just because it’s such a colossal waste of time, but this is what I got. Now, this is from the Ellen White…and they changed it, EllenWhite.org and the church had to move their website, and I just printed this off.

 

These are the suppressed writings of Ellen White, and all the stuff we “hid.” You know, Ellen White’s writings that we “hid,” so people couldn’t find out the truth? That’s what they say. And listen, in this inset right here, this is what it says, “Ever wonder why you could never buy a copy of A Word to the Little Flock in an Adventist book store for 150 years? You would think the early writings of a prophet would be a priceless treasure to the whole church that they would want to read. Read these documents and find out why they were suppressed.”

 

The fact of the matter is, too many Adventists don’t know their history, and they read this stuff, and they’re “Whaaa?! Wow! They hid…You couldn’t buy A Word to the Little Flock for 150 years.” And I was leafing through my books, and I found this little book, A Word to the Little Flock, and I bought it at the ABC. And I thought to myself, I’m going to get on eBay. I mean, if they can sell a piece of toast or grilled cheese that looks like the Mother Mary’s on it, I could sell this thing for thousands of dollars. It hasn’t been available for 150 years. But then you can imagine how disappointed I was to go into the ABC and find out they do still sell A Word to the Little Flock, the “suppressed” writing.

 

But let’s just say they didn’t, okay? You read on the internet, and, oh, we’re hiding…The implication is we’re hiding these writings of Ellen White because she changed her tune, and we don’t want anybody to know it. Now let’s just say you couldn’t get this in the book store. That’s okay because you have the Ellen White CD-ROM that I’ve been telling you about that has all of Ellen White’s published writings, including A Word to the Little Flock, and you can go and research them. How’s that for suppressed writings? Including all these other “suppressed” writings.

 

Now, let’s just say, “Okay, the Adventist Church is trying to make money off of me.” If you don’t want to spend the money on it, you can just go to the Ellen White website (www.whiteestate.org), and you can search it for free! They don’t tell you that on the websites, by the way; the internet critics don’t tell you that. This is the type of thing that we deal with on the internet, and it doesn’t take much time to start looking through it and find out that there’s such blatant dishonesty. You know, I told you not to get on it because it’s a colossal waste of time. Also, it will probably just make you angry. It just makes me frustrated when I get on there, and I read them, because you know the stuff is not true.

 

So, you’ve got the “suppressed writings,” that’s on page six. I want to jump ahead; I want to go to top of page seven. I just want to touch on a couple things here, and I’m going to move on. We’ve already covered this the other day, yesterday: Unfulfilled prophecies. There’s the “food for worms” vision that we talked about yesterday, and, you know, people say, “Ellen White said certain things that were going to happen, and they didn’t happen.” They just don’t understand or allow for conditional prophecies. And I give a number of examples there, and we talked about this yesterday, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it, but look at the statement there.

 

If you go down toward the bottom of page seven, you’ve got subpoint 1, 2, 3, 4A, and there’s a quote from First Selected Messages, page 67. Ellen White says this in regard to the coming of Christ. She says, “The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional.”

 

And the fact of the matter is, and you see a couple…those points above that, one, two, three, and four, are just Bible examples of prophecies that were conditional. A lot of times people will say, “Ellen White was a false prophet because she said this, and it didn’t come to pass,” simply because it was a conditional prophecy, and the condition wasn’t met. We’ve touched on that one already, and if you look there, point number two toward the bottom of the page, right above letter B: Other false and unfulfilled visions such as the astronomy vision, civil war predictions, etc., refer to Francis Nichol’s book Ellen White and Her Critics, etc. You can read up on that, but the idea is, most of those things are conditional prophecies that were dealt with.

 

Now, I want to get into…on the bottom of the page, some of the other types of things you find on the internet, alleged Bible contradictions. Notice the allegations are from the critics. My comments appear in italics. These are the types of things, and I’ve got pages, like these here that I copied off the internet, and they’re like, “The Bible says this, but Ellen White says this,” “The Bible says this, but Ellen White says this,” and these are the types of things you find. I just want to go through a few so you can kind of get the idea of what’s happening in these statements.

 

Bottom of page seven, the first one there: “Adam was with Eve,” this is how it’s stated on the website on the particular point of contradiction. They list all these places where Ellen White contradicts the Bible. For example, “Adam was with Eve when she was tempted in the Garden,” then they quote Ellen White, “The angels had cautioned Eve to beware of separating herself from her husband while occupied in their daily labor in the Garden. With him, she would be in less temptation than if she were alone. But absorbed in her pleasing task,” top of page eight, “But absorbed in her pleasing task, she unconsciously wandered from his side. On perceiving that she was alone, she felt apprehension of danger. Soon she found herself gazing with mingled curiosity and admiration upon the forbidden tree.”

 

And, incidentally, this came up…I went to an Ellen White symposium at Andrews University, and there was an Adventist man in the crowd that, toward the end of it, spoke up, and he said, “Well, what about Ellen White and being at the tree? How can Ellen White be a true prophet because she said that Eve and Adam, and Adam not being there at the tree?” He said, “How can Ellen White be a true prophet if she said that Adam wasn’t at the tree,” and then they compare what it says in the Scripture there. And this is what it says in Genesis 3:6; this is how the NIV renders it, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some of it and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

 

Now, you’ll find, if you’ve done any study, that the NIV is the only one that reads it this way. I can’t say the only one. The King James says accurately the “with her,” was something that they kind of…how they’ve interpreted it, but the way the King James reads is, “She gave to her husband with her, and he ate,” and that could mean two different things in the Hebrew. That could mean he was standing there with her, or that can mean that he, along with her, ate the fruit, not necessarily at the same time, okay? Either one is allowed.

 

Now, I want you to know what John Wesley…John Wesley was one of the founders of the Methodist Church, so he wasn’t reading Ellen White and trying to defend her. And John Wesley’s not the only one who came up with this type of…I’ve got Wesley’s quote included here. Now, first is my comment, and then Wesley’s. This is my answer to this, in italics, “The NIV seems to make it crystal clear that Adam was with her. Unfortunately, the translators of the NIV took some liberties here and added to the text. I’m wondering why the critics didn’t call them on that. The original text said, ‘She gave to her husband with her.’ The phrase has been understood by scholars to simply state that, ‘Along with Eve, Adam ate the fruit.’” John Wesley insightfully comments, quote, in the bottom there, “Tis likely he was not with her when she was tempted. Surely if he had been, he would have interposed to prevent the sin.”

 

Now, think about this for a minute. The critics are saying, “Well, Adam was with there; it’s obvious. The NIV said Adam was with her. Ellen White says he wasn’t with her, and, therefore, she’s a false prophet.” Can you picture Adam, and, incidentally, and I have to say it this way, there are a lot of spineless Christian men today who aren’t leaders in their homes, and it’s a shame, but Adam was not that kind of man who would sit there with his mouth shut while his wife was being deceived by the devil. [Audience: Amen.] The idea that he was with Eve is absolutely ludicrous, and this is what Wesley is saying. “It’s not likely that Adam would have been with her. Surely if he had been, he would have interposed to prevent the sin. But he came to her when she had eaten and was prevailed by her to eat likewise. She gave it to him, persuading him with the same arguments that the serpent had used, adding this to the rest that she herself had eaten of it and found so far from deadly, it was extremely pleasant, and, grateful, he did eat.”

 

And my comment there following, “Further, the Bible tells us that Adam was not deceived but only Eve in 1 Timothy 2:14. Now, how could Adam not be deceived and Eve was deceived, and they were both standing there. The implication of that in 1 Timothy 2:14 is that Adam wasn’t present when the serpent was deceiving the woman.”

 

And so, you read these types of things on the internet, and it looks, “Oh, wow,” and then they quote from the NIV, and you look at it, and you say, “Oh, wow, look, she contradicts the Bible.” But if you do a little more reading and thinking, you realize that she doesn’t at all. She doesn’t at all. In fact, it makes a lot less sense that Adam would be standing there while she was being tempted than he would have been away. Do you follow that?

 

Okay, next point there, number two: Satan deceived Adam. This is how they read on the critique here. This is what Ellen White says, “Satan, who is the father of lies, deceived Adam in a similar way, telling him that he need not obey God, that he would not die if he transgressed the law.” Bible, “And Adam was not the one deceived. It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”

 

And my response to that is, “Who would honestly argue that Satan didn’t deceive Adam?” These two statements are speaking of different experiences. Eve was deceived at the tree with the fruit, Adam was not, but Adam was deceived into believing that if he put his wife before God, somehow God would overlook it. I mean, deception was involved in both cases. Are you following what I’m saying? You know, just because Adam was…Now, Adam was not present there at the tree for the deception, but Adam was still deceived into sin. And I’m reading these things on the internet and thinking, “Are you serious? This is your argument.”

 

Now they get better. Look at this next one: Persecution of the saints. “Ellen White says, ‘Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs,’ but the Bible says, ‘I tell you, in that night, there will be two men in one bed; the one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding; the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in a field…’” And their accusation is that Ellen White says the saints are going to have to flee, but the Bible says they’re not fleeing anywhere; they’re in a house, they’re in their beds, etc. My response is, “It would have been extremely beneficial if the critic had just read three verses before where Christ had said, ‘In that day, he who was in the housetop, and his goods are in his house, let him not come down to take them away. And, likewise, The one who was in the field, let him not turn back.’ And similarly in Matthew 24 where you have a parallel passage, Jesus said, ‘Then let those who are in Judea do,’” (what?), “‘flee to the mountains, and let him who is in the housetop not go back,’” etc., etc.

 

So, people get on, and they read these arguments, and they say, “Ellen White contradicts the Bible,” and if they would just read the passages in context and realize what’s being said, you’re actually finding fault that Ellen White says we have to flee, just like Jesus said we have to flee? These are the types of things that you’re getting on some of these internet critiques. Things taken out of context, things that are twisted around.

 

The next one: Assurance of salvation. We talked about this one a little bit. “Ellen White says, ‘Those who accept the Savior, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or feel that they are saved.’ But the Bible says, ‘These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.’” Now, we talked about this yesterday, that the context of Christ’s Object Lessons, 155, is the idea of the once-saved-always-saved mentality. That’s what she was speaking against.

 

It wasn’t speaking against having assurance in Christ, because she herself, in the book Desire of Ages, we’re going to see that these are not all her comments, read the italics, “If the critics had read carefully, they would have noticed that the next sentence in Christ’s Object Lessons reads,” quote, “‘This is misleading. Everyone should be taught to cherish hope and faith, but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not,’” (what?), “‘beyond the reach of temptation.’” That was the point she was making. You’re never so saved that you can’t make a choice to be lost.

 

“She was clearly addressing a once-saved-always-saved attitude of overconfidence in self rather than an assurance of salvation for those who trust in Christ. In fact, in her book Desire of Ages published two years earlier, she wrote,” quote, “‘Those who see Christ in His true character and receive Him into the heart have everlasting life.’” And so, you know, if you read all that the prophet has spoken, which we talked about yesterday, you come to the conclusion that she didn’t mean what the critics are trying to make her mean. You can take anybody out of context and make them say something they didn’t intend. And, again, we talked about this yesterday. Ellen White herself said, “Some people take things that I’ve written, and it becomes so perverted, it’s new and strange to me.”

 

Look at this next one. This is one of my favorites here: Slavery, a sin. “E.G. White, ‘God is punishing this nation,’” this was at the time of the Civil War, “‘God is punishing this nation for the high crime of slavery. He has the destiny of the nation in His hands; He will punish the South for the sin of slavery.’ But the Bible says, ‘And as for your male and female slaves who you may have from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves,’” etc., etc.

 

And then they comment, and here’s the note on their website, the bottom of the page, “The Bible never says slavery is a wise or good practice, and after thousands of years of slavery, during the last 150 years, mankind seems to have finally come to the realization that slavery is a bad practice. However, we need to differentiate between a bad practice and sin. In order for slavery to qualify as a sin, it must be a transgression of God’s Law, which is the Ten Commandments.” Somebody’s not reading the Law spiritually, very clearly. “However, the Bible allowed for Israel to practice slavery and never condemned it as,” top of page 10, “sin. While slavery may correctly be defined as a bad practice, it is not a transgression of God’s Law; therefore, it cannot be classified as sin.” Now, this is what the website said.

 

My response, “We must really question the motives of any professed Christian who would seek to defend the slavery of the South in order to defraud Ellen White. There is no comparison, incidentally, between the slavery of the South and the servitude of Hebrew slaves among their own people as is evidenced if you continued to read that text. God says, ‘You shall not rule over one another with rigor.’ The type of servanthood He had there was a totally different thing than slavery in the South, which was a rigorous slavery that God in no way could sanction.”

 

It’s more like a house servant than a slave if you’re talking about the Hebrew economy. To try to compare that and then condemn Ellen White – Uh! Are you with me on that? Doesn’t that sound crazy?! These are the types, just to defraud Ellen White. I mean, somebody’s trying to get around truth here.

 

Now here are some fun ones. These are where they take Ellen White, some of her quotes, where she expounds on some of the Bible messages or experiences or situations. Christ in Gethsemane: “Ellen White, ‘His form swayed as if He were about to fall. Upon reaching the Garden, the disciples looked anxiously for His usual place of retirement, that their Master might rest. Every step that He now took was with labored effort. He groaned aloud as if suffering under the pressure of a terrible burden. Twice his companions supported Him, or He would have fallen to the earth.’” Their response, “The Bible says nothing about Jesus staggering and groaning as He walked through Gethsemane or needing the disciples to prop Him up, so she must be a false prophet.”

 

My response: “Jesus cried out, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.’ The Scripture says His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Is it out of the realm of possibility, if not probability, that Jesus staggered and groaned aloud?” Just because it’s not there in the text…if a person hadn’t read Desire of Ages, isn’t it likely that they would have come up with a similar mental picture upon the reading of the Scripture? Yes or no? This is such a stretch.

 

The next one: Christ’s arrest. These are all very similar. Christ’s arrest. “Ellen White: ‘No traces of His recent agony were visible as Jesus stepped forth to meet His betrayer. Standing in advance of His disciples, He said, “Whom seek ye?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” He replied, “I am He.” As these words were spoken, the angel who had lately ministered to Jesus moved between Him and the mob. A divine light illuminated the Savior’s face, and a dove-like form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throne could not stand for a moment. They staggered back,’” etc. Bible: “The Bible says nothing about a supernatural intervention by an angel, a divine light, or a dove-like form. If merely says, ‘As soon as He had said unto them, “I am He,” they went backward and fell to the ground.’”

 

My response: “And the mob fell back because?” I mean is that out of the realm of possibility there was divine intervention there?

 

Christ on Trial, look at the next one, bottom of page 10, “But as Caiaphas now looked upon the prisoner, he was struck with admiration for His noble and dignified bearing. A conviction came over him that this Man was akin to God. In the next instant, he scornfully banished the thought.” Bible: “The Bible says nothing about Caiaphas admiring Jesus or being convicted.”

 

My response: “Would anyone really argue that it is entirely out of the realm of possibility, if not inherent, in the passage of Scripture itself that Caiaphas was awed by the demeanor of Christ and convicted by his own ungodliness and the Lord of glory?” I mean, these things are foolishness, really.

 

 Now there are some others here, and I don’t have time to go through all of them. One of the questions, these are some of the other criticisms, they ask…I have to go over this one, “Don’t Mrs. White’s health writings prove she was a prophet?” You know, somebody asked a website, “Hey, how could she know so much about…” This was their response: Answer: “Just because a person receives a revelation upon health,” and they put it in the italics because they don’t believe it was a revelation, “and it turns out to be true, does not mean that that person is a true prophet. If so, then Joseph Smith is just as much a prophet as Ellen White because his health teachings were very similar to the core of Ellen White’s teachings, and his visions preceded hers. The truth is that most, if not all, of Mrs. White’s teachings on health were in existence and being taught by popular health reformers many days before she ever claimed to have a vision on health reform.”

 

Now let me just tell you something. That’s blatantly false. The regular internet reader is not going to realize that. Joseph Smith’s teachings on health were nothing like it. Look at the quote in the bottom, the quote following, “This sounds very convincing, but consider the testimony of Dr. Clive McCay, professor of nutrition at Cornell University in the late ‘50s, commenting on the wide array of nutritional opinions in Ellen White’s day, he said,” quote, “‘Most of these works are a curious mixture of truth and error, a bewildering array of new health views, good and bad, were being promoted, but the modern science of nutrition, which helps us to check on views and theories had not yet been born.’” So he says there are all kinds of ideas on health, good and bad. “Two of our Adventist leaders met with Dr. McCay for an interview,” quote, “‘More than once during the interview, or during the evening, he returned to the question, “How do you explain the fact that Mrs. White, with very little formal education and no special training, so accurately set forth nutritional principles that are only now scientifically established?” He ruled out as wholly unsatisfactorily the answer sometimes casually given, “Mrs. White simply borrowed her ideas from others.” He observed that such an answer simply raises another question, how would Mrs. White know which ideas to borrow and which to reject out of the bewildering array of theories and health teachings during the 19th century?’”

 

See, the critics would have you think that everybody was teaching her health message, but the reality is, they were teaching all kinds of lunacy, and a nutrition expert like McCay said, “How would she know which stuff to take, because she only took the accurate information?” And so, the critics are giving you this answer, and people read it, and they don’t know the background, and so they get a whole different understanding.

 

Go to page 12, and I want to finish up with one more thing that we will touch on here. Obviously, there’s more that could be looked at. You know, I’ve got to address another question that’s on the previous page because it’s a good question. Number 11, page 11, bottom of the page, question: “Ephesians 4: 11-13 says prophets will be active in the church until the end, and Joel 2:28, Revelation 12:17 and 19:10 teach the prophecy will be an identifying mark of the remnant who keep the commandments of God. If Ellen White was not a true prophet, who else could it be? Is the Bible wrong?” Now that’s a question they’ve been asked by a person who believes in Ellen White, and they’re response is this: “There are serious problems with this reasoning. First, if Adventists want us to interpret Ephesians 4:11-13 as saying the that prophets are going to be active in the true church until the end of time, then they should be able to name all the true prophets between 100 A.D. and 1844 A.D. when Ellen White received her calling. We will not be holding our breath while the SDA Church compiles that list. More importantly, however, Ellen White died nearly 100 years ago, and there has been no approved prophet in the SDA Church since.

 

Now, my answer, I say we’ve already addressed this in our lesson, “The Law of the Prophets in the Advent Movement.” That’s a lesson you did not get. You can find that online at the ARISMichigan.org website. I don’t know if it’s up there now, but it will be. But the basic point in that is that there was a period of time during the Dark Ages where God’s people, as they had turned from the Law of God and they were dwelling in darkness, the church, because the visible church during the time of the Dark Ages was a church that was in apostacy, the gift of prophecy had been removed. And I would encourage you to look for that lesson online. I may even just give it to AudioVerse; I think I have a copy with me, so that you can hear that. We just didn’t have time to go over it here, but I want you to notice the rest of the comment: “The question remains, if Ephesians 4:11-13 isn’t saying that all the gifts will continue in the church until we reach the measure of the stature of fullness of Christ, then what does it mean?”

 

I mean, listen, they still believe, other Christians still believe in the apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers, why do they not believe that prophets still exist in the church when all the rest of the gifts do? They don’t give an answer here. They’re trying to get around the obvious. And 100 years, the fact that we don’t have a prophet in the church today, some people talk about that. Let me tell you something. We started our series with Hosea 12:13, “By a prophet the Lord led Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved.” Who is that prophet? Moses. Did he go into the promised land with them? No, but his writings guided them into the Promised Land, isn’t that right? Well, we’re just fitting a biblical parallel.

 

Question on page 12: Doesn’t the book Steps to Christ prove Ellen White was inspired?  Answer: “The reasoning behind this question is as follows: Steps to Christ is a great soul-winning book; how could a false prophet write such a great, soul-winning book? The reality is that Mrs. White did not write the book herself. Mrs. White’s secretary, Fannie Bolton, claimed to have written the book, and I have no reason doubt that.”

 

Well, let me just tell you very briefly, Fannie Bolton was in and out of mental institutions at least three times, okay? They won’t tell you that on the internet. “We have no reason to doubt that she wrote the book.” There’s plenty of reason to doubt for it. Furthermore, because the book Steps to Christ was largely compiled from writings Ellen White had put together prior to ever knowing Fannie Bolton, and you’ll find that in the answer there. I’m not going to take time to read it. These are the types of things that you find on the internet, and there is not end to them.

 

The bottom line is that when you understand how God gave the gift of prophecy, you understand conditional prophecies, you understand context, and some of the things we’ve talked about in reading and interpreting, you’re not going to get tripped up by these things. If you follow the counsel of Vince Ramik and focus not on the writings of Ellen White but the messages of the writings, brothers and sisters, you’re going to be solid in the time that we live in. Ellen White herself says, and we’re going to get into this in our next session, that the very last deception of Satan will be to make of no effect the writings of Ellen White among God’s people. That’s what’s happening. He’s trying to destroy our confidence in the Spirit of prophecy because if he does, he’s taken away the one safeguard God’s given His church for the time of the end.

 

Question. [Audience member asks a question: When you do a prophecy seminar and talk about the gift of prophecy, would you spend any time addressing what the critics say about Ellen White? If so, which things would you address?] When I’ve done a series/seminar, I generally will just point out, because it depends, but typically people have already gone on the internet or they’ve heard from friends, and I just go over Revelation 12:17, and I say, “What are the identifying characteristics? The dragon’s going to be wroth with the woman. He’s enraged with the church that keeps the commandments of God and has the gift of prophecy. And so you’re going to find negative information about my church that ought to convince you that this is the right place.”

 

And I’ll say, you know, I’ll basically tell them that we’ve studied here…The gift of prophecy comes at the end of the Revelation series or Prophecy series, evangelistic series, and I’ll say, “Look, you’ve been here every night.” And people will say, “Well, they’ve got this false prophet, and they take everything from a false prophet.” I ask them, “What have we studied from every night?” The Bible. “Where have you seen the truth from?” The Bible. “Where did you learn about the Sabbath from?” The Bible. “Where did you learn about the state of the dead from?” The Bible. “Incidentally, Ellen White agrees with all those things in the Bible that you just learned that nobody else is teaching. That ought to give you confidence in her gift.”

 

So, that’s the short answer. I mean, I don’t go into it at great length. I’ll work with people afterwards and go through this material or give them the material somehow or the other. And you can ask me more about that later. We’re kind of out of time here. We’re definitely out of time.

 

I’ll take one more question. [Audience member asks a question.] Well, let me tell you. The question is: When a person’s getting baptized, then you believe that Ellen White is a true prophet. From Ellen White’s own pen, the answer is no. Ellen White says people have to be…Number one, they have to believe that the gift of prophecy is in God’s church, that it’s an identifying characteristic of the Last-Day church, and that, as far as they can understand, they accept Ellen White in that position. But she says people have got to be given time to investigate. You can’t force somebody to say, “I have full confidence in something I’ve just been introduced to.” At the same time, she says if people are found fighting against the visions, then they need to be labored with.

 

So, I can expound on that more during the break; I just don’t want to take more time because we’re over time. And I appreciate your time today. And our next session is going to be on some of the attacks on Ellen White within the church.

 

I’m going to ask if you’ll bow your heads with me. Heavenly Father, I thank You for the time that we’ve had here. And, Father, I pray that the time that we have had and some of the things that we’ve looked at will help each one here to see that the enemy is grasping at straws as he’s trying to fight against the gift You’ve given to this church to guide us into the Homeland. I pray that Your Spirit will be each one of us as we seek to know for ourselves what is truth. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

This media was produced by AudioVerse for GYC, Generation of Youth for Christ. If you would like to learn more about GYC, please visit www.gycweb.org. Or, if you would like to listen to more free online sermons, please visit www.audioverse.org.

 

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