Frequently Asked Questions
Answers are the opinions of Brother Anderson
ANSWER: This ministry was started in 1996 by Brother Anderson who envisioned setting up a "library" of information about Ellen White that would be accessible by Christians through-out the world in their own languages. In the mid 1990s while Brother Anderson was doing his own research into the claims of Ellen White he encountered difficulty in obtaining accurate historical information about her. While it was easy to obtain information favorable to SDA claims about Ellen White, it was much more challenging to obtain research that was unfavorable. Brother Anderson felt it was wrong for only one side of Ellen White's story to be told. He felt that withholding vital information about her prophetic claims could foster a false impression of her. If people had all the information about Ellen White available to them, he felt people could make a more accurate judgment about her claims. As Brother Anderson began acquiring material over the years, he wanted to make it available to others for their own research. Thus, this web site was born as a result of his desire to provide a full body of accurate research that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Brother Anderson wanted this information to be available to every SDA school and home so that SDAs could make a more accurate evaluation about the claims of Ellen White and the SDA sect.
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ANSWER: The best answer to that is to examine the life of Jesus and the Apostles. In addition to sharing the gospel message, Jesus and the Apostles both exposed and rebuked falsehoods and false teachers. God commanded us to "test the prophets"(1 John 4:1). If we fail to test the prophets, then we are disobeying God's word.
Consider the shepherd of the flock. He not only led his sheep to green pastures, but he also used his staff to protect his flock from the lion, bear, and thief. Part of the responsibility of Christian leadership is to not only present the gospel to people, but also to protect them from false teachings and false prophets.
In the Bible there are many examples where the methods of false prophets are revealed and condemned. Obviously, the authors of the Bible did much more than simply share the gospel. They also fought an ongoing battle against false teachers and false prophets.
Falsehood must be stopped by exposing the errors in it. Even the SDA Corporation vehemently attacks the teachings of the Catholic Church, which they deem to be false. They also criticize Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and Christian Science prophet Mary Eddy Baker. Should not Ellen White be held up to the same standard that is used to judge these other prophets?
Jesus warned us that many false prophets would arise in the last days (Matt 24:11). Christians are not to accept a prophet or teacher blindly. They are to "discern" between "good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). A mature Christian should be able to evaluate the evidence and make a judgment (or a decision) about that evidence. The Bible also tells us to prove "what is acceptable to the Lord" (Eph. 5:10). Christians need to "prove" whether or not the writings of Ellen White are truth before accepting them.
Jesus said Christians are to beware of "false prophets" (Matt. 24:24). The only way to beware of false prophets is for us to be aware of what those prophets wrote and taught. The SDA Corporation presents Mrs. White to the world in a favorable way that tends to make her appear as if she was a true prophet. The purpose of this web site is to present the full evidence, focusing on research material that is not presented by the White Estate. This includes substantial unfavorable evidence as well as evidence that many feel has been suppressed for decades. The reason for doing this is so that people can make a more educated decision regarding her prophethood.
ANSWER: Steps to Christ is a wonderful book. Brother Anderson recommends every Christian to read it. He has personally handed out over 1,000 copies of the book door-to-door. This web site was the first to put the Spanish translation of it on the Internet.
Having said that, let us examine the reasoning behind this question. It is as follows: Steps to Christ is a great Christian book, so, how could a false prophet write such a great 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. Even though it contains some quotes from Ellen White's earlier books, there is no hard evidence that Mrs. White wrote it herself. Unlike many of Mrs. White's other books, there are no handwritten pages of Steps to Christ. Elder Robert Sanders requested for the White Estate to provide examples of hand-written pages of Steps to Christ (which are available for many of her other books), and the White Estate was not able to provide even a single page (Click here to examine the evidence.)
Thus, the evidence points to Bolton as the most likely author or compiler of the book. Following Ellen White's pattern, Bolton plagiarized significant material from other authors. She copied some of Mrs. White's prior writings into the book, along with copying material from John Harris, Daniel March, Almon Underwood, and others. The book was published under Ellen White's name and there is no doubt God has used this little book to minister to people for His glory. This book can be regarded as inspired to the same degree as the writings of any other Christian author.
Writing an inspirational book does not prove a person to be a prophet. If so, then John Harris, Daniel March, and Almon Underwood should be called prophets because some of the material in the book came from their pens. If every person who wrote an inspiring book was deemed a prophet, there would be thousands of prophets, because thousands of inspirational Christian books have been written.
ANSWER: From the Ellen G. White's web site which contains all of her published writings.
One testimony that has not been published by the White Estate and yet appears on our web site is known as "manuscript 34, 1885" (designated as such by the White Estate). The probable reason it has not been released to the public is because this controversial testimony was apparently withdrawn after it caused a stir. The legitimacy of the testimony is proven by the fact it appears in document DF-360A which was published by the White Estate on July 15, 1934, and was written by her son Willie White and D.E. Robinson (Ellen White's secretary). The authors quote from the testimony as if it were a valid Ellen White testimony. We have obtained a copy of Document DF-360A and it is available from the White Estate. The controversial manuscript reads, in part:
"The time is and has been for years, that the bringing of children into the world is more an occasion of grief than joy..... Satan controls these children, and the Lord has but little to do with them. The time has come when, in one sense, that they that have wives be as though they had none." (MS 34, 1885)
ANSWER: The 'shaking' and the 'falling out' have been happening ever since Mrs. White was held up as a prophet. In fact, Joseph Bates said in 1849 that the shaking had begun. As early as 1845, people stopped associating with the Whites as they became aware of the fallacies in Mrs. White's teachings and became aware of problems with other SDA doctrines that were endorsed by her. Here is a tiny list of some who left:
Over the years, the "best and brightest" of SDA theologians, leaders, and evangelists have left the sect. The SDA sect has an astonishingly high apostasy rate (as admitted by their own Adventist Review magazine). To apply the Biblical term "shaking" to those who have left the SDA Corporation is a travesty. Many people left the sect after discovering the truth of the SDA Corporation was not entirely Bible-based, but included doctrines based on the writings of a prophet who failed the 7 Biblical Tests of a Prophet.
ANSWER: Ellen White had a "vision" in which the Advent believers were travelling up to heaven on a pathway. Some people stumbled off the path and fell down into darkness and ended up lost. As frightening as this may seem, this is not how the Bible represents salvation. Rather, it is the typical teaching of a cult. They try to frighten people into thinking they will be lost if they leave the cult. There is no truth to it. SDAs have tried to make salvation about the denomination you attend by claiming all other churches are "Babylon" and "fallen." Such a notion of salvation is foreign to the Bible which talks about "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4:5). Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, regardless of what denomination a person chooses to attend. Obviously, some denominations are more Bible-based than others, and a wise soul will choose carefully, guided by the Holy Spirit.
ANSWER: Absolutely not! Jesus said that His disciples would be known by their love for one another (John 13:35). He never said they would be known by their adherence to these two specific doctrines or by their adoption of certain health reforms. Besides, none of the unique teachings above originated with SDA's.
When deciding who has "the truth," there are many factors to consider:
ANSWER: [Brother Anderson] No, I am personally aware of many who do not believe she was a prophet. However, in many cases these pastors must profess some level of belief in her in order to retain their jobs. It forces them to live somewhat of a double life. It is a terrible situation to be in. Please pray for these pastors.
[Dale Ratzlaff] I have personally spoken with dozens of SDA pastors who do not believe in Ellen White. In addition, I have spoken with conference and general conference personnel in high offices who have told me in private that: (1) Ellen White is not "the Spirit of Prophecy"; (2) the SDA church is not the remnant church of Bible prophecy; (3) the Sabbath is not the seal of God for new covenant Christians; (4) Adventist's 1844 sanctuary doctrine is not biblical; (5) Sunday is not, nor will become, the mark of the beast. For more information on these you may want to go to: http://www.lifeassuranceministries.org/. Also, in my latest book, Adventist to Christian, I name some of the SDA leaders who held some of the above points.
ANSWER: [Brother Anderson] Sister White's writings contain many wonderful and inspiring passages. However, many SDAs and former SDAs agree that her Testimonies tend towards judgmentalism and legalism. Because her writings contain subtle errors, one must read them with caution. Here is where people start getting into trouble with EGW's writings:
Remember that much of Ellen White's writings (which SDA's regard as inspired utterances) was actually plagiarized from the pens of non-SDA authors.
[Dale Ratzlaff] As one who has read most of her writings, taught college classes on the Life of Christ from her Desire of Ages, I too, can testify that there are many good things in the writings of Ellen White. However, having said that, there are also many places where there is subtle error or in her early writings, blatant error. One will also find that trying to harmonize the large number of her statements on the gospel is impossible. She will in some places state the gospel in clear, biblical terms that would be accepted by any Evangelical Christian. However, there are other statements where she is an outright legalist, making anti-gospel statements. Sometimes she will give a correct interpretation of a Bible reference; at others she will be teaching exactly the opposite. For example, in my book Cultic Doctrine, I document places where she contradicts not only Scripture, but the very words of Jesus. I say all this to conclude that the one reads and accepts all her writings will be continually confused on some of the most important aspects of Christian doctrine. You may want to read what an employed Adventist pastor had to say about the writings of Ellen White.
ANSWER: High standards do not equate to righteousness. The Pharisees held up high standards and Christ condemned them for their wickedness. The Prophet Mohammed held up some high standards in the Qu'ran. Did his high standards prove him to be a prophet of God?
There is some indication that Sister White went beyond the Word of God into extremism with her multitude of laws on health reform, dress reform, and Christian lifestyle. It is just as wrong to go beyond the Word of God and place unnecessary restrictions upon people as it is to fail to meet the requirements of God.
ANSWER: [Brother Anderson] There is a lot of discussion as to what those fruits are. While most find her major books, such as Desire of Ages, to be inspiring, some believe that reading the Testimonies imparts a judgmental, critical, legalistic, and sectarian spirit. Some claim that Mrs. White's writings settle theological conflicts in the sect and keep the sect from splitting, thus validating Ellen White's prophetic role. I would strongly disagree. I know for a fact that much of the controversy and fighting inside the SDA sect is due to differing interpretations of Ellen White. While most Christians can find plenty to argue over in the Bible alone, SDAs add to that 100,000 pages of conflicting and contradictory Ellen White statements. It is a recipe for a raging controversy, which is exactly what you will find seething on the inside of the SDA Corporation today. One example is the controversy raging over the Nature of Christ. Groups, like the Branch Davidians, are constantly splintering off from the SDA sect. What Ellen White's writings have accomplished is to stifle investigation into the Bible, especially Biblical prophecy. The true believer in Ellen White is afraid to consider any Biblical evidence which might be contrary to what she wrote. However, whatever Biblical unity is obtained through intimidation is vastly overshadowed by the disunity brought in from her own contradictory writings.
[Dale Ratzlaff] I have ministered to many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Seventh-day Adventists. I have found that many are severely scarred by Ellen White's writings. Here are just a few examples that come to mind: (1) They have been traumatized by Ellen White's description of living in the last days without a mediator; (2) The time of trouble is worse than the most vivid imagination. This creates a crescendo of panic for those who are already paranoid of the end times when Adventists will be hunted and may have to flee to the mountains; (3) Extremes in diet. Cheese is wholly unfit for food, it is a sin to eat between meals. Those who will be translated will have given up the eating of meat; one should usually only eat two meals a day, etc. (4) Extreme rules for keeping the Sabbath. She says we are to keep it the same way the Hebrews kept it. Parents are Sabbath breakers if they allow their children, even small children, to play on the Sabbath. (5) Uncertainty in the assurance of God's acceptance. We should never say we are saved because we don't know if we will overcome and be victorious. Forgotten sins will be held against us in the investigative judgment. (6) Sexual guilt. She has warped many thousands, if not millions, in by making people feel guilty for normal, healthy sex. (7) She has caused unnecessary trauma to those leaving Adventism, prophesying that they will reject all Bible truth and become infidels. The list could go on. While there are positive fruits from the writings of Ellen White, especially as they refer to the Adventist ORGANIZATION there are many negative fruits for INDIVIDUAL Adventists.
ANSWER: That is an important consideration, but one that only God can decide. Only He can weigh the motives of the heart. While some believe that Mrs. White was either under the influence of evil spirits or was intentionally deceiving her followers, it is also possible Mrs. White honestly mistook her hallucinations to be divine revelations. It is well-documented that Mrs. White was a victim of a serious blow to the head, and a likely victim of mercury poisoning. Both of these can result in ongoing hallucinations which could have been misinterpreted by her and others to be visions from God. It is likely she meant to do well, but it is possible she was duped into believing she was a prophet by the strong personalities around her.
ANSWER: While this question has no bearing on the accuracy of the material on this web site, some are hesitant to trust a Sunday-keeper. To remove that hesitation, let me be clear that I have kept the seventh day Sabbath from sundown-to-sundown for over 55 years, and I intend to keep the Sabbath until the Lord returns. I am a pastor in the Church of God (seventh day). Let me be equally clear in stating that I am a New Covenant Sabbath-keeper. In other words, I do not believe the Sabbath-Sunday issue will be the "final test." I believe the "final test" will be whether or not a person has the character of Jesus Christ (see Matt. 25:31-46). I believe the Bible interprets the "seal of God" as the Holy Spirit, not the Sabbath (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
ANSWER: Many have studied their way out of the SDA sect with no regrets. Many have testified that their Christian experience improved tremendously after they cast off the galling yoke of what they called a "false and cultic religion." However, caution is advised. It is possible to end up unchurched, or in a worse church. It may not be the right timing for you to leave. Some SDA churches are led by godly pastors who believe and preach the Bible, not Ellen White. Consider the situation carefully and pray to God for guidance. For further information on this topic, click on the following link Why Remain in the SDA Church?
ANSWER: SDAs often paint themselves as the true remnant church that is spreading the Sabbath truth around the world and many people do not realize that there are over 500 non-SDA Sabbath-keeping organizations in the world. For a listing of non-SDA Sabbath-keeping churches: click here.
ANSWER: That is exactly how the Pharisees described Jesus. If one thinks Ellen White to be inspired, then it is only natural for them to conclude that anyone exposing her falsehoods is doing the work of Satan. So, the real problem is a false belief in Ellen White. The reason people feel so strongly about Ellen White's inspiration is because they have only been supplied with partial information about her. They have not examined 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 do not realize there are valid reasons for Christians to reject her claims to be a prophet.
For example, before World War II, the people of Germany thought Hitler was a wonderful 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.
Mrs. White frequently claimed that those who rejected her writings were led by Satanic agencies. Therefore, anyone who presents evidence showing Mrs. White was not a prophet is thought to be doing the work of Satan. Because of this, Mrs. White fits the profile of a "cult leader" who condemns as Satanic all who would dare to question her authority.
By accusing Ellen White's critics of being "satanic" her followers are guilty of breaking Christ's prohibition on passing judgment upon others, whose motives they neither know nor understand. One day they will give an account to God for their slander. The truth is that many of the researchers of Ellen White are inspired by a godly love for others, and wish to help others discover the full truth about Ellen White. They believe it is unethical to withhold vital information about her. They are being obedient to God's command to "test" the prophets (1 John 4:1). At great personal expense, they are committed to sharing with others the full evidence, including unfavorable evidence about Ellen White, so that others can make an informed decision regarding her inspiration.
ANSWER: From time to time someone will make this accusation against this web site. Some SDA thought leaders tell their followers this White lie in order to stifle investigation. They say, "She didn't really mean what she wrote. Those critics are taking her out of context!" Sadly, some people will accept this without ever investigating further to determine if this is the actual truth.
Our response to this accusation has always been: "Show us the evidence!" Of all the people who have accused us of taking Mrs. White out-of-context over the past 25+ years, not one has ever provided any documentation to substantiate their accusation. Over the years we have made a number of corrections when certain matters were brought to our attention, but there has not been a single instance when we had to correct a page because we took Mrs. White out-of-context.
ANSWER: We sometimes hear: "Okay, so she made a few mistakes. Big deal! Everyone makes mistakes, right?" Were her mistakes really minor and of little import?
Perhaps it is a matter of perception. We have a pretty high standard for someone who claims the “Holy Ghost” authored their writings and whose writings are called the "Spirit of Prophecy." Maybe you are willing to accept a few false prophecies and some falsehoods received in vision, as being an acceptable level of mistakes in books authored by the Holy Ghost, but we cannot.
The truth is that Mrs. White not only made serious errors that misled the SDA church, she also contradicted herself and the Bible scores of times. Furthermore, she failed six of the seven Biblical tests of a prophet. Her teachings about the shut door of salvation caused her followers to ignore Christ's commission to take the gospel into all the world for nearly 5 years! Think of all the lost souls who failed to hear the gospel for 5 years while the early Adventists were following Mrs. White's "shut door" visions! How anyone could call that a "minor" mistake? Prophets are supposed to expose false teachings, not propagate them for five years!
Furthermore, her sectarian teachings have led the SDA sect to focus primarily on converting other Christians into Seventh-day Adventism. Rather than working to save the lost, much time and effort is spent trying to convert other Christians into believing in SDA doctrines and adhering to Ellen White's writings.
ANSWER: Even when faced with overwhelming evidence that Mrs. White failed the Biblical tests of a prophet, it is sometimes difficult for a person to give up belief 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 vain hope that someday in the future some evidence will be discovered by someone explaining her failed prophecies and other errors. There is already enough irrefutable evidence available today to make a well-informed decision regarding her inspiration.
ANSWER: [Brother Anderson] Let's be careful not to confuse "moral failures" with "theological failures." Like us, all of the prophets sinned and had their moral failures. However, these moral failures, while they should raise concern, are not the final evidence that should be used to determine whether or not Mrs. White was a prophet. The core issue is whether or not Mrs. White failed the Biblical tests of a Prophet. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between having a moral failure and failing the tests of a prophet. The real question that we must ask is whether Mrs. White was an inspired prophet like the Biblical prophets.
It is virtually impossible for us today, living in the 21st century, to compare Mrs. White with prophets that lived thousands of years ago. We have very little evidence with which to judge the ancient prophets, other than a few Bible documents written in Hebrew that were transcribed hundreds or even thousands of years after the originals were written. We know virtually nothing about Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other Bible prophets. It is therefore incumbent upon the generation that knew these men to put them to the tests of a prophet. Earlier generations have testified that these men were prophets and we must accept their word by faith. In addition, the prophecies that have been fulfilled, such as Isaiah 53, give us confidence in their word. Finally, Jesus endorsed the prophets and quoted from them in the New Testament, giving us confidence in the veracity of their writings.
Our generation has a wealth of information about Ellen White. We have 100,000 pages of her writings, we have biographies, and countless eye-witness accounts. Future generations are depending upon us to make an accurate assessment regarding Ellen White's prophetic standing. Therefore, it is very important that we put her to the tests of a prophet.
[Dale Ratzlaff] From my years in and out of Adventism I have seen the Adventist Church continually lowering it view of Scripture to compensate for the every increasing problems that are discovered in the writings of Ellen White. Personally, my view of Scripture is much higher than when I was in Adventism. While Ellen White predicted that those who doubted her Testimonies would give up on Bible truth, many former Adventist Pastors now have a much more conservative and authoritative view of Scripture.
ANSWER: The main impetus behind 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. Why would she and her followers claim her writings were the "Spirit of Prophecy" if she were not a prophet? SDAs have claimed she had the prophetic gift for over 170 years. They claim that her prophetic gift is the identifying mark that proves the Seventh-day Adventist Corporation is 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!
ANSWER: Some claim that Mrs. White's health writings prove her prophetic claims because she was "many years ahead of science" on this subject. The same claim is put forward for Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, who received his health reform vision 30 years prior to Ellen White's. Interestingly enough, studies upon Mormons in the USA show that they outlive the average American by nearly a decade.
Just because a person receives a "revelation" upon health, and it turns out to be true, does not mean 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 vision preceeded 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 years before she ever claimed to have had a vision on health reform. In fact, many of her writings on health appear to be plagiarized from the writings of other health reformers.
Some SDAs have acknowledged that Mrs. White copied her health reforms from others, but insist that God assisted her in picking which ones to copy so that her health reforms have a higher degree of confirmation by medical science than other health reformers of her era. This is called the "higher filter" concept. While it is true that her health reform writings were "filtered" by the editorial staff of the Review, it is highly unlikely God and His angels were advising her on which subjects to include and which to disregard. Not only would this make God a party to her unethical copying activities, but the evidence simply does not support a "higher filter" mechanism. For example, while some of Mrs. White's health teachings are good, many of them are completely false (solitary vice), some are ridiculous (green tea is bad), and others are downright harmful (refusing drugs like quinine). The large degree of falsehoods in her health writings is evidence her health teachings never passed though any filter higher than the editorial staff of the Adventist Review.
ANSWER: The idea that the Great Controversy was given to Mrs. White by vision is little more than a myth. To examine the evidence about the Great Controversy, click here.
ANSWER: Not unless God is the author of confusion! Studies of the Great Controversy show Mrs. White copied historical errors right along with historical facts from the writings of Wylie. In her health writings she copied material that science has since proven wrong. Some have claimed Mrs. White put the writings of other authors through some type of a "supernatural filter" that filtered out all the wrong material and just left her with what is true and accurate. Of course, that is nonsense, as it has been shown on this web site that Mrs. White was wrong numerous times in her health writings. She may have had substantial human assistance in filtering her material, but there is no evidence that she had any supernatural guidance in choosing what to put in her books and what to leave out. For example, if God showed Sister White what to copy and what not to copy, why did she copy historical mistakes about Herod and Mary?
ANSWER: [Brother Anderson] The same could be said of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. Look at what he wrote:
"If ye have known of His goodness and have tasted of His love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceeding great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and His goodness and longsuffering towards you...and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith..." Mosiah 4:11
How beautiful, truth-filled, and inspiring!
How about the wonderful practical advice penned by the prophet Muhammad in the Koran regarding dealing with human weakness?
It is part of the mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over [their faults], and ask for forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs. Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust [in Him].
Fantastic! The writings of many modern prophets, such as Smith and Christian Science founder Mary Eddy Baker, are inspirational and contain some measure of truth. However, just because there is truth in someone's writings does not prove that person to be a prophet. Just because someone writes a book or an article that is inspirational does not prove that person to be a prophet. If so, there would be tens of thousands of prophets because many people have written inspirational material. The real issue is: does this prophet pass the Biblical tests of a prophet?
ANSWER: The same claim has been put forward by followers of the prophet Muhammad, who point to the writings of this illiterate man as evidence of divine power (note: Muhammad had secretaries just like Sister White). The idea that Mrs. White had only a 3rd-grade education is a myth. The fact of the matter is that virtually anyone could put together a series of inspiring books and articles if they could copy material from other top Christian authors and employ competent editors and writers put it together for them. The amount and eloquence of Mrs. White's writings may prove her to be a good author (or a good plagiarizer), but they in no way prove her to be a prophet. There are other people who have had little formal education who have written substantially. Does that prove these people to be prophets also?
ANSWER: The name describes a web site with information on why many Adventists are non-believers in Ellen G. White.
ANSWER: Elder Charles Dudley, a former regional conference president, published a book in 1999, named The Genealogy of Ellen Gould Harmon White. In it, Dudley contends that Ellen's mother, Eunice Gould, was black. The only "evidence" presented by Dudley is that there was a black family living in New Jersey at that time period with the same last name of Gould. However, New Jersey is hundreds of miles from Ellen Harmon's childhood home in Maine, and there is no evidence Eunice Gould ever lived in or had ancestors from New Jersey.
The SDA Church's White Estate has done genealogical research on the ancestry of Mrs. White, and all the evidence gathered to date shows she was not of mixed blood ancestry. The lines of both her father and mother trace back to Great Britain. There is simply no credible evidence to support Dudley's claims.
ANSWER: [Brother Anderson] One falsehood spread about us by our critics is that we do not believe in the Bible. Nothing is further from the truth, and illustrates just how far some Adventists will take their dishonesty in order to discredit us. We believe, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).
ANSWER: To begin, Ellen White made that "prophecy" long after others were making "of none effect" her false testimonies. Thus, it was not a prophecy at all. It was written after the fact. Of course, the rejection of Mrs. White's false writings continues to this day, so let us take a closer look at the statement.
Our critics like to point to a prediction Ellen White made in a letter in 1890, and say that our criticisms of her visions are a fulfillment of that prophecy. They typically quote from Selected Messages (book 1):
Satan is . . . constantly pressing in the spurious--to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony. (p. 48)
Did you notice anything missing? In 1980, the White Estate released the entire paragraph. Take special notice of the section in red:
The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead, and will mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them. (Manuscript Releases Vol. 10, p. 311)
Suddenly the picture changes! When read in context, it is clearly not talking about critics of Ellen White, but of visionaries who would come along with their own visions and would so disgust the Adventist people that they would discard the visions altogether. Although a number of visionists have arisen in the SDA Church over the years, none of them reached the prominence of Ellen White and her prediction has not come to pass.
As noted earlier in this FAQ, since Mrs. White first began having "visions" there have been many who, baffled by the mixture of contradictions, falsehoods, and confusion contained in the visions, have stood up to question their validity. Critics of Ellen White are not a special manifestation of the last days. If anything, she had more severe critics while she was alive than at any other time. Certainly no later critic has ever come close to equalling the damage done by D.M. Canright. Critics have been with us since her first vision, and they will continue so long as the SDA claims divine inspiration for her hallucinations.
ANSWER: Our opponents delight in describing us as "angry", "having an axe to grind", or "haters of Ellen White." They misconstrue our motives in order to blind others into distrusting the content of this web site. The truth is we are not motivated by anger or hatred toward the Adventism. Our motivation is love. We love the Adventist people and desire to show them the truth so that they can make an educated decision regarding Ellen White.
Do you think true love is shown to someone by withholding vital information from them? And yet that is exactly what some Adventist leaders have done by withholding the full truth about Ellen White from church members. We seek to save people from a life that is less than what God intended. Anyone who follows a false prophet is in danger of leading a life that is less than what God had intended for him or her.
We do not hate Adventists, the SDA Church, or Ellen White. We are disappointed in the course taken by some SDA corporate leaders, but we do not hate these brethren. We pity them for their lack of love toward the Adventist people who are paying their salaries. There is one thing, however, that we do hate. We hate falsehood. There is "a time to hate" (Eccl. 3:8). We hate deceptions that trick people into believing something that is not true. We hate myths that are foisted upon people as if they are the truth. The wise man said, "The righteous hate what is false" (Prov. 13:5 NIV). Every Christian should hate what is false. God hates falsehood. "I hate every false way" (Ps. 119:104,128). "These six [things] doth the LORD hate...a lying tongue..." (Prov. 6:16,17).
We do not hate the SDA Church or people, but we will not stand by in silence while people are being deceived as to the true nature of Ellen White. Our love for the Adventist people and Christ's "Golden Rule" compels us to act for their best interest.
ANSWER: Many Adventists are taking a second look at traditional (Uriah Smith's) teachings about the book of Revelation. Things that made sense in the mid 1800s simply do not make any sense today. It seems that everyone has a different interpretation of Revelation. A number of people have asked me what is wrong with SDA teachings on Daniel and Revelation, and what is the correct interpretation of these books. Therefore, I spent a year studying the subject in depth, and have put together an informative web site on this subject: www.amazingfiction.org.
QUESTION: Eph. 4:11-13 says prophets will be active in the church until the end, and Joel 2:28, Rev. 12:17, and 19:10 teach that 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?
ANSWER: [Brother Anderson] The question states that, based upon Eph. 4:11-13, there must be prophets in the church until the end of time. Let us look at this verse:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
The reasoning is that since we have not yet "come in the unity of the faith" then we still require the various ministries mentioned by Paul, including prophets. The implication is that the office of prophet will continue to exist throughout the ages of church history until the very end of time.
Secondly, the question implies the prophet must be in a church that keeps the Ten Commandments of the Old Covenant, which would limit it to Sabbath-keeping denominations, of which only the Seventh-day Adventist Church claims to have a prophet. Therefore, since the SDA Church is the only Sabbath-keeping church with a prophet, it must be the true remnant church, and Ellen White must be a true prophet. This question even goes so far as to suggest that if Ellen White is not a true prophet, then the Bible is false!
There are serious problems with this reasoning. First, if Adventists want us to interpret Eph. 4:11-13 as saying that prophets are going to be active in the true church until the end of time, then they should be able to name all of the true prophets between 100 A.D. and 1844 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 over 105 years ago, and there has been no "approved" prophet in the SDA church since then. Remember, according to the questioner, Eph. 4:11-13 teaches that a prophet will be in the true church until the end of time. Therefore, using this reasoning, since there has been no prophet in the SDA church since 1915, it should be safe for us to assume that their status as God's special remnant church ended in 1915!
Now, Adventists get a little uneasy when it is pointed out that they no longer have the "spirit of prophecy" in their church. However, they do have an answer to this. They say that even though Mrs. White died, she "lives on" through her writings. I'm not joking, this is what they actually say! Well, if that is the case, then the prophets of the Bible also "live on" through their writings in the Bible. Therefore, any Christian church that believes in the Bible could say they have the "spirit of prophecy" because the prophets of the Bible "live on" through their writings. Therefore, any Bible-believing church could identify themselves as the true remnant using Adventism's logic!
Now, let us discuss the assertion that Joel 2, Rev. 12:17 and 19:10 prove that the "Spirit of Prophecy" will be manifest in a Sabbath-keeping church at the end of time. First of all, there is considerable doubt as to whether these verses even apply to the end-of-time. Joel 2:28 says:
And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
When Joel said "your daughters shall prophesy" was he talking about Ellen White? Not according to the Bible. The Apostle Peter says that Joel 2:28 was fulfilled in the outpouring upon Pentecost shortly after the resurrection of Jesus:
For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:15-17)
There is also some debate, even among Adventists, as to whether Revelation 12:17 is referring to the end of time. But even if it were true that all these verses are pointing to the end of time, what are the "commandments of God" spoken of by John in Rev. 12:17 that this "end-time" church is keeping? The best way to find out what John meant is to examine the other writings of John on the commandments. In 1 John 3:22-23 John tells us exactly what the commandments of God are:
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
John specifically states that believing Jesus and loving one another are the commandments of God. Thus, using Adventism's own logic, we can assert that any church that follows the Bible prophets and believes in Jesus and loves one another qualifies as the "true remnant" church.
Adventists who use such logic to try and prove Ellen White's prophethood are using "smoke and mirrors" to get people's focus off the real method of determining who is a prophet. A person is not proven to be a prophet just because there are no better alternative prophets around at the time! Ellen White does not qualify as a prophet just because there are no better candidates among Sabbath-keepers. There is only one way to be proven a prophet. A prophet must pass the seven tests of a prophet. Careful research has shown that Ellen White failed most of the tests of a prophet.
ANSWER: Few people have the time and energy to devote to a thorough analysis of the sources Mrs. White used in her writings. Therefore, we are somewhat dependent upon the findings of Walter Rea, Dr. Fred Veltman, and other researchers. Veltman found over 30% of the Desire of Ages was copied, while Rea believed that up to 90% of certain sections of Mrs. White's writings may have been copied. On the other side of the fence, according to Roger Coon, a research project undertaken by an employee of the White Estate found that, with the exception of five of her books, Mrs. White's borrowing amounted to about 3% per book, and the uncredited copying in the Great Controversy amounted to only 5%. What is the truth? Is it 3%? 5%? 30%? 90%?
First of all, no one has ever asserted Mrs. White copied heavily in her testimonies. It is true, there were some portions of the testimonies that were copied, but for the most part, she wrote out specific testimonies written to specific individuals dealing with specific problems. The majority of the copying took place in her other books.
Secondly, there is always a little subjectivity involved in comparing source material to EGW's books. In my opinion it would be very easy for someone with a strong bias for Ellen White, such as a paid employee of the White Estate (an organization whose sole purpose for existing is to foster belief in EGW) to come up with a favorable research report, minimizing the amount of material which was said to be copied. It is akin to the Tobacco Industry scientists coming up with research reports from their own high-paid scientists promoting the health benefits of smoking tobacco!
Let it be understood that this is not an exact science. For example, one person, such as a White Estate employee, may consider copying to mean only the use of the exact words that were in the original, while another person may consider copying to include passages where the original author's thoughts were brought over into the EGW book, but the wording in the EGW book may be slightly different. So, since there is no agreement on the criteria that should be used to judge her copying, we see divergent views on how much was copied, with some saying up to 90%, and others saying 3% or 5%. From what I have personally seen, I would tend to agree with Robert Olsen, former director of the White Estate, who wrote:
"There was no question in Ellen G. White's mind about the over all inspiration of The Great Controversy, although possibly 50 percent or more of the material in the book was drawn from other sources." (Ellen G. White's use of historical sources in The Great Controversy, by Robert Olsen, Adventist Review, February 23, 1984.)
Now get this: Robert Olsen, of the White Estate said possibly 50% or more was copied. When the most ardent defender of EGW is willing to admit to us that 50% or more has been copied, then I would tend to think the real figure is probably "or more"!
ANSWER: She says she never claimed to be infallible, but at the same time, she makes fantastic claims about the inspiration of her writings. The evidence on this web site indicates her writings are fallible. The problem with a fallible prophet is that becomes difficult to differentiate between what came from God, what came from her own mind, and what was supplied by the strong personalities around her. It is best just to stick with a truly inspired book, the Holy Bible.
QUESTION: Mrs. White had a vision in 1848 about the dangers of tobacco. This was years ahead of the medical community, at a time when smoking was not condemned by medical doctors. Doesn't this prove she knew more than medical doctors? Doesn't this prove her visions came from God?
ANSWER: There is no evidence Ellen White had any more insight into tobacco than the other tobacco reformers of her day. To examine the evidence, click here.
ANSWER: The prophecy you are referring to is found in the 1851 publication Christian Experiences and Views of EGW, page 62:
I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up...
The context for this statement was that some Adventists were making pilgrimages to Jerusalem thinking that Jesus Christ was soon returning to set up his millennial kingdom in Jerusalem. This was part of the millennial fever of the era and eventually subsided. Mrs. White could not possibly have been referring to the rebuilding of the section of Jerusalem called "Old Jerusalem" because they had been rebuilt many centuries earlier. Instead, she was referring to the idea of Jesus returning to Jerusalem and establishing his millennial kingdom there. There were some Adventists advocating this theory which was known as the "Age to Come" teaching. Ellen White associates "old Jerusalem" with the "Age to Come" teaching in Letter 8, 1851, showing that she regarded the terms as interchangeable.
Now, regarding whether or not it is a true prophecy, since the fulfillment would take place at the return of Christ, it is not possible to know yet whether or not Ellen White was correct. The vast majority of biblical evidence is weighted against her because the Bible clearly indicates Jesus will return and rule and reign during the Millennium from Jerusalem (Click here to examine the evidence). Therefore, it is likely she will be proven wrong when Christ returns. However, the prophecy cannot be proven true or false until that time.
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