Excuses, Excuses, Excuses...

By Dirk Anderson, 2004

excuse: something offered as justification. (Webster's Dictionary)

When presented with evidence indicating that Ellen White was not a prophet of God, believers in her prophetic gift respond in a variety of ways. This article will examine the validity of the most frequent responses made by Ellen White’s followers in order to justify their belief in her gift.

1. Critics of Ellen White are inspired by Satan

The first response is exactly how the Pharisees described Jesus. Because Jesus shook up their belief systems the Pharisees claimed He had a demon.1 This response attacks the messenger rather than the message itself. The Pharisees understood that if people can be convinced that the messenger is Satanic, then they will dismiss the message without giving it consideration. Ellen White apparently recognized this fact also, and she often described her critics as "lost" or under Satan's control. She started this practice while yet a teenager. Lucinda Burdick, who witnessed some of her earliest visions, explains how Mrs. White described the characters of various people she claimed to see while in vision:

Some she declared were right with God while others had spots upon their garments. It was noticeable that the spotted ones were those who rejected her visions or hesitated to accept them fully.2

People in all the churches soon began to get their eyes open, and came out decidedly against her visions; and, just as soon as they did so, she used to see them 'with spots on their garments,' as she expressed it. I was personally acquainted with several ministers, whom she saw landed in the kingdom with 'Oh! such brilliant crowns, FULL of stars.' As soon as they took a stand against the visions, she saw them 'doomed, damned, and lost for ever, without hope.' 3

If someone is "lost" then they are under the influence of the enemy, so anything that person says can be dismissed without serious consideration. A good example of this is the highest church official to ever depart the church: D.M. Canright. Canright was demonized by the church, and to this day, some Adventists refuse to read his book about Ellen White for fear of being deceived by the enemy.

The reason people feel so strongly about Ellen White's inspiration is that they have only been supplied with partial information about her. Often new Adventists only hear those stories which tend to reinforce belief in Ellen White’s prophetic gift. They are often totally unaware that there is significant evidence to the contrary. They never had the opportunity to examine the full evidence regarding her ministry and they are not aware that she made predictions which failed, saw things in vision which were falsehoods, and contradicted the Bible many times. They are unaware that there are valid reasons for Christians to question her claims to be a prophet.

It is easy to be deceived about a person when you are only supplied with partial information. For example, during Adolf Hitler's reign in Germany, many Germans thought he was a great leader. Most did not know how cruel and depraved he was until the truth about the holocaust of the Jews became known after the war. The people had a mistaken belief regarding Hitler based upon partial information.

By accusing Ellen White researchers of being "satanic" her followers are guilty of breaking Christ's prohibition on passing judgment upon others, whose motives they neither know nor understand. Some Adventists react the same way Catholics did centuries ago when Martin Luther told the truth about the pope. They attack the messenger rather than the message. The truth is that many of the critics of Ellen White are inspired by a godly love for others, and wish to help others discover the full truth about Ellen White. They conscientiously believe that they are being obedient to God's command to "test" the prophets (1 John 4:1). They are committed to sharing with others the full evidence about Ellen White so that others can make an informed decision regarding her inspiration.

2. If Ellen White is read in context, all the difficulties vanish

This response seeks to sweep all the dirt under the rug with one all-encompassing statement. This response implies that if one spent the time and energy to examine every statement ever made by Ellen White upon a particular subject, it would be seen that she was in perfect harmony with the Bible. The hidden purpose of this response is to stifle investigation. Few people have the time or energy to thoroughly examine all of Mrs. White’s writings. It is far easier to trust in a pastor or church leader than it is to go and dig through all of Mrs. White’s writings. Sadly, some people will make this response and make no further investigation into the evidence.

They say, "I don’t have time to do all this research! My pastor has spent the time studying this, and I will take his word that the difficulties with her writings are due to her critics taking her statements out-of-context."

In this response Adventists follow in the footsteps of the Catholics they so harshly criticize for taking the word of their priests without bothering to examine the evidence for themselves.

The truth is that many of the difficulties do not vanish when taken in context. Many times the context does not alleviate the problem at all. For example, there is a statement Mrs. White made in 1864 that the results of amalgamation between man and beast could be seen in "certain races of men."4 For over 80 years Adventists--including the White's friend Uriah Smith--defended this statement on the basis that she was talking about the sexual union of man with beast. Finally, in 1947, biologist Frank Marsh convinced SDA leaders of what scientists had known for decades, that it is biologically impossible for the union of man and beast to produce offspring. The church accepted Marsh’s new explanation and began claiming that Mrs. White was talking about interbreeding between humans rather than between man and animal. However, the textual evidence itself and every testimony we have from every witness that knew Mrs. White, including Uriah Smith, James White, W.C. White (her son), and D.D. Robinson (her secretary), all confirm that Mrs. White was talking about interbreeding of man with animal. Amazingly we find that the same people decrying the critics for taking Ellen White "out-of-context" are themselves taking her "out-of-context" because her ludicrous amalgamation statement cannot be made to corroborate with scientific evidence!

This response raises an additional problem which is the stark contradictions between some of Mrs. White’s statements. For example, one testimony says pork-eating is okay, and a later statement says it is wrong.5 According to the defenders of Ellen White, one must take all the statements she made on a particular subject, weigh them carefully, and then determine what her opinion on a particular subject was. That is a good strategy, except that it introduces one significant problem. Mrs. White claimed that her testimonies came from God.6 If they came directly from God, then there would be no confusion. Either pork-eating is right or it is wrong. God does not say pork eating is right and then change his mind a few years later and say it is wrong.7 On the contrary, the Word of the Lord is perfect. No one ever has to go back and correct the Word of the Lord. It is correct the first time it is given, and it is correct for all time. God's true Testimonies never change. No one ever has to go back later and revise them:

Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. (Psalm 119:152)

Circumstances may change, but the Word of the Lord does not change:

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. (1 Peter 1:24,25)

It is therefore apparent that not all of Ellen White's testimonies are the Word of the Lord. Therefore, Adventists are left guessing which ones came from God and which ones came from Ellen White’s mind. This is not a recent phenomenon. This situation was happening even back in Mrs. White’s time. One church leader decided to use his own judgment over Ellen White's testimonies and she responded as follows:

I plead with you, Elder Reaser, to take your stand wholly on the right side. ... If you will take your position firmly to counterwork the influence you have exerted against the Testimonies of the Spirit of God, then the Lord can accept you. But while you remain in an unsettled condition, having more confidence in your own judgment than you have in the counsel of the Lord, you are doing a work to undermine the confidence of the people in the work of the Lord. 8

So, Adventists are finally left with the option of either accepting all of Mrs. White’s testimonies, including the contradictions, or rejecting all of them.9

How do you read Mrs. White in-context? It is more difficult than it first appears. In fact, even the SDA church finds it more convenient to take her out-of-context at times. If one is willing to take the time and make the effort to read Mrs. White in-context they are likely to find that many of the difficulties are not cleared up at all. In fact, new difficulties are presented, such as how to resolve contradictory statements.

3. Mrs. White's mistakes are minor

"Okay, so she made a few mistakes. Big deal! Everyone makes mistakes, right?"

The implied message of this response is that her mistakes were so trivial and minor that they are not worth wasting the time it would take to investigate them. Like the previous response, this response is very subjective. Who is to decide whether a mistake is trivial or significant?

Perhaps it is a matter of perception. Personally speaking, I have a pretty high standard for any person who makes these claims about their writings:

The Holy Ghost is the author of the Scriptures and of the Spirit of Prophecy.10

If someone is going to claim their writings are the "Spirit of Prophecy," then they ought to be held to a standard as high as heaven itself. Are you willing to accept a few false prophecies, a falsehood received in vision, and over 50 contradictions to the Bible in books authored by the Holy Ghost?11 Is this an acceptable level of mistakes to be found in books authored by God Himself? If we can allow this many falsehoods, errors, contradictions, and mistakes in a prophet's writings, then we are opening up the gates of prophetdom to the likes of Mormon Joseph Smith and Christian Scientist Mary Eddy Baker!

Mormon founder Joseph Smith was also called the "Spirit of Prophecy." If we are going to overlook Ellen White’s prophetic blunders, why not also overlook the prophetic blunders of Joseph Smith? There has to be some guide that will help us determine whether or not a prophet made significant enough mistakes to disqualify them from being considered as a prophet. Joseph Smith had failed visions. So did Ellen White. Are we to say that Mr. Smith’s failures are significant while Mrs. White’s failures are insignificant? Who is to decide whether or not a failure is significant?

Let us take a closer look at the significance of Mrs. White’s failures. Besides making serious errors that misled the SDA church, besides contradicting herself and the Bible scores of times, the single most devastating point to consider is that Mrs. White failed nearly every Biblical test of a prophet.12 We do not have space here to examine Mrs. White's performance on all of the Biblical tests, but we will touch on the most blatant failure. This failure happened during her early career when she was receiving frequent visions. Mrs. White saw the door of salvation was shut to all non-Adventists in vision on more than one occasion13.

The evidence indicates James and Ellen held this doctrine for more than five years—long after other Adventists without prophetic guidance had discarded it as rubbish. This teaching resulted in her followers ignoring Christ's commission to take the gospel into all the world for nearly 5 years! Their first non-Christian convert was a man named Herman Churchill who was converted in August of 1850.14 Think of the enormity of this situation for a moment! Mrs. White claimed the door of probation had shut on all the nominal churches, God had departed from them, and was now working through His chosen remnant, the Adventists.15 Incredibly enough, it was the non-Adventists who were sending missionaries out and spreading the gospel message for five years while God's prophetess was going around having visions convincing other Adventists, such as Brother Stowell and Sister Durben, that the lost could not be saved because the door of salvation was shut.16 Think of all the lost souls who failed to hear the gospel for five years while the early Adventists were disobeying Christ by following Mrs. White's "shut door" visions! How could anyone call ignoring the gospel commission a "minor" mistake?

4. Yes, there are perplexities in her writings, but God will one day explain them to us

Even when a person is faced with overwhelming evidence that Mrs. White failed most of the Biblical tests of a prophet, it is sometimes difficult to give up faith in someone they have believed in for many years. However, it is a mistake to ignore the current evidence, which is quite substantial, in order to hold out a whimsical hope that someday in the future some evidence might be discovered by someone explaining her failed prophecies and other errors. The truth is that there is a mammoth amount of irrefutable evidence available today to make a solid decision regarding her inspiration. There is no need to hold out for some future revelation. There is plenty of evidence available right now to make an educated decision.

5. Mrs. White did not understand her own visions

It is said that sometimes Biblical prophets do not fully comprehend their own visions. For example, the prophet Daniel may not have fully understood all the visions he had received from God covering hundreds of years of future events. John the Baptist was apparently unaware of the exact role that Jesus was to play as the Messiah. Adventists reason that perhaps Ellen White misunderstood her visions, particularly her early visions, such as the shut door visions.

Mrs. White claimed:

I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision - the precious rays of light shining from the throne.17

The dilemma is that the visions Mrs. White wrote out clearly indicate a shut door of salvation. It is not a matter of misunderstanding the vision. The visions are not fuzzy. They are very clear. They specifically show the door of salvation shut. In fact, at one point we find Ellen White quoting her angel verbatim. In 1849 Ellen White and her angel discuss the lost situation in the Christian churches:

The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth; but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart, had only wrapt about them a religious garb, which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God's people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever. My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past.18

How could such a direct communication be misconstrued? The angel said "the time for their salvation is past." Could it be any plainer?

One would wonder why God had such difficulty communicating a concept so fundamental as the shut door of salvation, while at the same time he could communicate so effectively to Ellen White on a wide variety of other topics, some of which had seemingly little importance in comparison.

This problem of not understanding her own visions seems to contradict another Adventist claim that Ellen White’s visions were only given to confirm or reject what the brethren had already studied out with Scripture. Mrs. White herself admits in two instances that it was her own visions which confirmed others in the shut door teachings.19 If this is the true reason why the visions were given, then how could it be that Mrs. White misunderstood them? If the purpose of the visions was to confirm or reject points of study, how could God fail to make His message of acceptance or rejection clear to His prophet? What good is a vision given to confirm a point of truth if the vision is beyond understanding? How could an omnipotent and omniscient God fail to effectively communicate His confirmation or rejection of a point to His prophet?

The situations that arose in Mrs. White’s life are altogether different from those faced by John the Baptist. As far as we know, John never received a vision showing Jesus was going to be a temporal ruler. In fact, we do not know that John ever received a vision at all. On the contrary, Mrs. White claimed to have received many direct communications from God, including visions confirming the shut door of salvation. Unlike Daniel, who admitted he could not understand his vision, Mrs. White proclaimed her visions as if she understood them fully. The truth is that the failed visions of Ellen White cannot be pawned off as a case of a simple misunderstanding. Her failed visions were significant failures of prophecy which disqualified her for the role of prophet (see Deut. 18:22).

6. The Biblical prophets made mistakes too!

First, let us be careful not to confuse "moral failures" with failing the "tests of a prophet." There is no prophetic test that says a prophet can never sin. Balaam and Saul prophesied in the name of the Lord, and yet we are well aware of their failures.20 Therefore, there is no basis for rejecting a prophet merely on the basis of a moral shortcoming.

Second, there are other instances recorded in Scripture where prophets have made what appears to us today to be mistakes or failures. Nathan apparently spoke to David without consulting God first when telling David he could build a temple.21

Third, there are instances in Scripture where the prophet did not fully understand their mission. Jonah apparently did not understand, or perhaps did not want to understand, that the message of destruction he was delivering to Ninevah was conditional. Therefore, it is not required of a prophet to completely understand his mission in order for him to fulfill the role of a prophet.

Finally, Bible critics point to a number of Old Testament prophesies that seem to them to have failed.22 Here are a few examples:

  • The drying of the River Nile - Isaiah 19:5-7
  • The utter destruction of Damascus - Isaiah 17:1-2
  • Prophecy of the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar - Ezek. 26:7-14.
  • The desolation of Egypt - Ezekiel 29:8-12
  • Nebuchadnezzar would conquer Egypt - Ezekiel 29:20
  • A Davidian king will always sit on Israel's throne, and the Levites will offer sacrifices continually - Jeremiah 33:17-26
  • Jehoiakim will have no successor - Jeremiah 36:30

Thus, the Bible record indicates some of the prophets made mistakes, sometimes did not fully understand their mission, and had prophecies which appear to those of us living thousands of years later to have failed.

Here is the difficulty. While it may be possible for us to apply one or two of the "tests of a prophet" to the Bible prophets, we are so far removed from them in history, it is difficult for us to apply all the tests of a prophet to them. Perhaps it appears to us they failed one test, but there may be other factors that we are unaware of, facts that have been lost in history or language or translation, that would explain the supposed failure. If a Bible prophet appears to have failed one test, and yet has passed all the other six tests, can we honestly say they failed the tests of a prophet?

The people who knew the Bible prophets personally or who lived in the same generation or shortly thereafter are the best ones to judge whether or not they passed the tests. At this point in history, we pretty much have to accept by faith that these men were inspired based upon the following:

  1. The testimony of those who knew them at that time
  2. The wisdom and knowledge of those who assembled the holy writings and decided which ones were canonical and which were not
  3. Comparison of prophecies to historical events demonstrating a high degree of accuracy predicting events years or centuries before they happened
  4. Later endoresement by Jesus and the Apostles who quoted their writings

These people were in a far better position to judge the prophets and we should respect their judgments. Being removed from the Bible prophets by thousands of years of history and language and cultural differences makes it very difficult for us to sit as their judges. There is just too much information that we simply do not know about them.

As far as we can tell, Jesus never cast doubt upon the prophets of the Old Testament, but his testimony indicates he upheld them as authoritative, saying he did not come to "destroy the law, or the prophets" (Matt. 5:17). Jesus used the law, the psalms, and the "prophets" as evidence to convince the men on the road to Emmaus that His death and His mission were legitimate (Luke 24:44). Would Jesus have used the writings of the prophets as evidence of His mission if He did not believe they were authoritative?23

Now, let us contrast this to Ellen White. It is incumbent upon the generations that personally knew Ellen White or who lived shortly thereafter to put her to the test (1 John 4:1). That is the duty proscribed to us in Scripture. We would be failing our duty if we did not put Ellen White to the test. Unlike the Bible prophets of long ago, we have a wealth of information and personal testimonies about Ellen White, we share her language, and to a large degree, her culture. Therefore, we are in a strong position to judge her claims to prophethood. Future generations will depend upon the accuracy of our judgment.

There are followers of Joseph Smith and Mary Eddy Baker who, when pointed to the failures of their prophets, point back to the Bible and say, "there are errors in the Bible also." Their reasoning is this: If the Bible prophets made mistakes and are still considered prophets, then it is okay for our prophet to make mistakes. Such reasoning is flawed, and can be used to a make a prophet out of anyone, such as Branch Davidian David Koresh. We cannot use supposed failures of Bible prophets as an excuse for our own prophet's failures because as already noted, we are not capable of evaluating the Bible prophets to the degree that we are able to evaluate the prophets of our generation.

There must be an objective set of criteria that can be applied to every person claiming to be a prophet; otherwise, everyone and his brother could be a prophet! That criteria exists as 7 Biblical tests, and it should be applied by those living in the same era as the prophet, who have access to testimonies and evidence regarding that prophet. None of the Bible tests is in regard to a "moral" failure. That is a separate issue. We have all sinned and gone astray. The real issue is whether or not Mrs. White failed the Biblical tests of a Prophet. When one candidly examines all the evidence, one will find sufficient evidence to make an educated decision regarding the prophetic calling of Ellen White.

7. Mrs. White did not really claim to be a prophet

The main thrust of this question is that we do not need to hold Mrs. White up to the Biblical tests of a prophet because she never claimed that title. Was she a prophet or simply a messenger? The truth is that Mrs. White claimed to be more than a prophet:

"Early in my youth I was asked several times, Are you a prophet? I have ever responded, I am the Lord's messenger. I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. My Saviour declared me to be his messenger. 'Your work,' he instructed me, 'is to bear my word. ... It is not you that speaketh: it is the Lord that giveth the messages of warning and reproof. Never deviate from the truth under any circumstances . Give the light I shall give you. The messages for these last days shall be written in books, and shall stand immortalized, to testify against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.' Why have I not claimed to be a prophet?--Because in these days many who boldly claim that they are prophets are a reproach to the cause of Christ; and because my work includes much more than the word 'prophet' signifies.

"My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there."24

Why would she claim her writings were the "Spirit of Prophecy" if she were not a prophet? Does the Adventist church claim they have the "Spirit of Messages?" No! They claim to be the remnant with the identifying mark of the "Spirit of Prophecy." Even the Conflict of the Ages series was at one time published under the title "Spirit of Prophecy."

The truth is that she and her associates claimed she had the prophetic gift for nearly 70 years. They claimed that her prophetic gift was evidence that the Seventh-day Adventist church was the true remnant church of Revelation 12:17 and 19:10. There is no way to excuse her from the scrutiny of the Biblical tests of a prophet by claiming she was just a "messenger." If she claimed to be more than a prophet, then she needs to be held to an even higher standard than the prophets!

8. She Sometimes Misinterpretted her Own Visions

A perfect example of this fallacy is found in Clifford Goldstein's recent book Graffiti in the Holy of Holies. In this book, Goldstein quotes Ellen White's infamous first vision in which she describes those who fell off the path to heaven:

"The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected."25

To his credit, Goldstein recognizes this as a serious problem, but instead of acknowledging the fact that Ellen White taught a shut door of salvation from her visions, he blames the error upon Mrs. White's misinterpretation of the vision:

"At most, what happened here is that she might have read some things into her interpretation of the vision which were not specifically taught by the vision. ... That she could have read more into the vision than was warranted, or even that she might have misinterpretted the vision--particularly since it was her first one--is far different from specifically saying that she was shown something by God. ... Thus whatever Ellen White was shown in that first vision, she could have simply read more into it than was there."26

How convenient! Mrs. White sees a falsehood in a vision and Goldstein simply writes it off as a misinterpretation! How would it ever be possible to test Ellen White's prophetic claims, or for that matter, any other prophet's claims, if that prophet's followers could simply dismiss every mistake their prophet made by saying the prophet misinterpretted their own vision? How does Goldstein know she misinterpretted her own vision? Was he there when she wrote it out? Of course not. He could not possibly know! It is little more than wishful thinking.

If one were to follow Goldstein's reasoning to its logical conclusion, then if Ellen White misinterpretted her vision in this one instance, then how many of her other visions did she also misinterpret? So who is now going to tell us which visions to believe and which ones to dismiss? Goldstein? First we had Ellen White, the interpretter of the Bible. Now we have Goldstein, the intepretter of Ellen White! Where does it end?

Goldstein's view of Ellen White is refuted by the prophetess herself. She specifically said she was dependent upon the Spirit of God in not only receiving her visions, but in writing them out:

"I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision, as in having the vision. It is impossible for me to call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before me at the time that He is pleased to have me relate or write them."27

It is an insult upon our intelligence to dismiss Ellen White's failures based upon the "wishful thinking" that she might have misinterpretted what she saw. If we could dismiss failures on these grounds, then SDAs should retract all of their criticisms of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and other so-called prophets, because, after all, perhaps they just misinterpretted the visions God gave them!


1. John 8:48.

2. Notarized statement from Lucinda Burdick, Sep. 26, 1908.

3. Lucinda Burdick Statement published in: Miles Grant, An Examination of Mrs. White's Visions, (Boston: The Advent Christian Publication Society, 1877).

4. Ellen White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 75.

5. See Testimonies Vol. 1, p. 206 versus Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 93.

6. See for example, Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 298, Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 30, Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 148; Vol. 5., p. 661, p. 217, pp. 63-67.

7. The defender of Ellen White might suggest that perhaps the people were not ready for health reform. Is there any evidence the people were not ready for health reform? It is difficult to ascertain. Brother Curtis (the man addressed by Ellen White's testimony) was very interested in health reform, and it is likely that others were also interested. There had been other Adventist health reformers in the 1840's and early 1850's who had promoted a vegetarian diet. However, it is still a remote possibility the people were not ready for health reform. In such a case, one would expect the prophet to say as much. An examination of the testimony will reveal that Mrs. White makes no statement regarding the readiness of the Adventist people for health reform. She does not suggest a slow and careful examination of Scripture be undertaken. The thrust of her testimony is that if God has new truth for His church, then He will present that truth to more than just one person, implying that new truths will come from the Whites, not brother Curtis.

8. Ellen White, Loma Linda Messages, p. 334.

9. This "all or nothing" approach to the Testimonies seems to be in stark contrast to the apostle Paul’s admonition to "Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thes. 5:20,21) Fortunately, in practice, most Adventists reject Mrs. White’s extreme testimonies (like not seeing physicians, not purchasing life insurance, etc.) and only follow the ones they deem to be from God. In so doing, they put themselves in the same position as elder Reaser in placing their personal judgment above the Testimonies.

10. Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 30.

11. Evidence of the failed predictions, false visions, and Bible contradictions can be found at http://egw.nonsda.org.

12. Biblical tests can be found in Deut. 18:22, Jer. 23:32, Jer. 23:25,30, 1 Tim. 6:3-5, Matt. 7:15,16, 1 Cor. 14:34-37.

13. See for example, A Word to the Little Flock, p. 14.

14. In August, 1850, is the first recorded incidence of a person who was unconverted during the 1844 movement being accepted into the Adventist church. James White wrote: "One brother [Herman Churchill], who had not been in the Advent, and had made no public profession of religion until 1845, came out clear and strong on the whole truth. He had never opposed the Advent, and it is evident that the Lord had been leading him, though his experience had not been just like ours. Such, who come into the truth at the eleventh hour, may expect great trials." --James White, AR, August, 1850. (Early Years, p. 191) Here is what General Conference president George Butler wrote in the April 7, 1885, Review and Herald: "His was one of the very first cases of conversion from the world to the present truth, which occurred after 1844. . . . I remember him well as he came to Waterbury, Vermont, and attended meeting in my father's house, where a few met from time to time. They were quite surprised at first that one who had been an unbeliever should manifest an interest in the Advent doctrine. He was not repulsed but welcomed. He was earnest and zealous, and as they discerned in him sincerity, they accepted him as a true convert."

15. See Early Writings, pp. 229-249.

16. See Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, p. 93,97.

17. Ellen White, Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 63-67.

18. Ellen White, Present Truth, August 1849.

19. See Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, p. 93,97.

20. See Numbers 23, I Samuel 10:11, 19:24. The Psalms of David are also said to be prophetic (eg. Psalm 22), and yet David sinned ("Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin [is] ever before me." Ps. 51:2,3).

21. 2 Samuel 7.

22. See James Buckner, "Tough Questions for the Christian Church", part II. "Why wasn't Tyre destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar as prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 26)? When it was destroyed by Alexander the Great, why didn't it remain desolate as prophesied by Ezekiel? How can it be that Isaiah prophesied a temporary destruction of Tyre, while Ezekiel prophesied a permanent destruction (Ezekiel 26:14,21; 27:36; 28:19 versus Isaiah 23:13-18)? Why wasn't there a 40-year period in Egypt's history when the whole land was devoid of people and animals, as prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 29:11-12)?"

23. There is always a debate as to what the canon of Scripture was during the life of Christ, but there is some evidence from Josephus and others that the 39 books that make up our current Old Testament were recognized and set apart by the Jews before the time of Christ.

24. Ellen White, Review and Herald, July 26, 1907; Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 36, 1906.

25. Ellen White, A Word to the Little Flock, 1847.

26. Clifford Goldstein, Graffiti in the Holy of Holies, pp. 160-161, (2003).

27. Ellen White, Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, pp. 292, 293.

Category: Commentary
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