Ellen G. White -- the Myth and the Truth

by Å. Kaspersen


13 -Ellen G. White and the Bible

In the plagiarized book Patriarchs and Prophets, "Ellen White" says on pp. 354-6,

"The most important part of the daily ministration was the service performed in behalf of individuals. The repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle, and, placing his hand upon the victim's head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. By his own hand the animal was then slain, and the blood was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. . . .Such was the work that went on day by day throughout the year. . . . Such was the service performed 'unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.' Hebrews 8:5." (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 354-356. Emphasis supplied.)

This statement does not square with the Bible. Nowhere does it say that the blood for the common Israelite was carried into the sanctuary. This is a fact everyone can check out for himself by some careful reading of the books of Leviticus and Numbers. The blood of sin-offering for the common Israelite was poured out at the foot of the altar of burnt-offering, and was not carried into the sanctuary. There were just two cases when the blood was carried into the sanctuary: when the anointed priest had sinned, or when the entire congregation had committed sin.

In order to save Ellen White and the Adventist teaching, it is commonly claimed that the priest should eat the flesh of the sin-offering, and thus carrying the blood into the sanctuary. There's a problem with this explanation. The Israelites, including the priest, were commanded not to eat flesh with blood in it. Whomsoever did that, were to be cut off from the congregation. The blood should be drained from the meat; then the meat should be washed out before eating it ("kosher meat"). The Jews continue this practice to this day.

It is strange that adventists, who claim to possess the "true sanctuary teaching" as one one of their cardinal doctrines, are publishing books which miss the mark on such important question in their sanctuary teaching. However, later editions of the book Patriarchs and Prophets, has an appendix where the fact is being pointed out (in small type!), eg. telling us that the book contains statements that are not in harmony with the Bible.

If the above statement is original with Ellen White, it is obvious that she had not understood the Old Testament sacrificial system well enough, then the statement of course is not inspired. It is more plausible that the statement had been borrowed from other authors who had not read their Bible carefully enough. If this is the case, the statement was copied straight into Patriarchs and Prophets with errors and all. People who claim that "God showed her what to copy and what to omit" - eg. filter away what was not correct, should think about this.. We are finding several such occurences in her writings, especially the book The Great Controversy, also in The Desire of Ages, as we have discussed in a previous chapter.

Here is another statement where Ellen White contradicts both herself and the Bible,

"He is today standing at the altar of incense, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help." (Desire of Ages, p. 568. Emphasis supplied.)

"This door was not opened until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the holy place of the sanctuary in 1844. Then Jesus rose up and shut the door of the holy place, and opened the door into the most holy, and passed within the second veil, where He now stands by the ark, and where the faith of Israel now reaches. I saw that Jesus had shut the door of the holy place, and no man can open it; and that He had opened the door into the most holy, and no man can shut it (Rev. 3:7,8)." (Early Writings, p. 42. Emphasis supplied.)

On pp. 55-6 in the same book, Ellen White says that it is Satan who at this time apparently stands in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, to which the "useless" prayers go for them who did not follow Jesus into the Most Holy in 1844.

Here we have a contradiction. In 1898 she says that Jesus today stands before the altar of incence, ministering the prayers of the saints. All well-informed SDA's know pretty well that the altar of incence was located in the first apartment, before the veil which separated the two apartments in the earthly sanctuary. In 1882, based on earlier visions, Ellen White says that Jesustoday is standing before the ark, and has left the first apartment and "shut the door" to the first apartment - and none can open it. Any well-informed adventist know that the ark was located in the Most Holy, the second apartment, within the veil. Ellen White is saying that Jesus today is standing in both apartments, in spite of what she says in Early Writings, and in her early visions, that Jesus today has left the first apartment, where the altar of incence was located, and "shut the door" to this apartment.

Apart from the SDA teaching on 1844 etc., which is unbiblical, and the concept of two distinct apartements in heaven, which most probably is equally unbiblical, Ellen White contradicts herself in these two statements. The statement in Desire of Ages is most probably borrowed from another author, and this adds to the confusion - but she approved of the stolen literary goods.

Ellen White says that she went into the New Jerusalem temple,

"I saw an angel flying swiftly to me. He quickly carried me from the earth to the Holy City. In the city I saw a temple, which I entered. I passed through a door before I came to the first veil." (Early Writings, p. 32. Emphasis supplied.)

But the Bible says,

"And I saw no temple therein [the City of God]: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it" (Rev. 21:22.)

Ellen White saw (and entered) a temple in the New Jerusalem. John says that he did not see a temple in the New Jerusalem. Who was right?

There are many similar self-contradictions in her writings, including statements which do not square with the Bible. This is not that strange, when we consider the fact that her writings are put together from Ellen White's own material, mixed up with external material from scores of other authors.

Ellen White says that she saw in a vision that both the Father and the Son were sitting on a throne in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. According to the adventist teaching, Jesus had performed a ministry in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary for 1800 years, from 31. A.D to 1844 A.D. But Ellen White also teaches that not only the Son, but also the Father was sitting on a throne in the first apartment all these years.

"In February, 1845, I had a vision of events commencing with the Midnight Cry. I saw a throne and on it sat the Father and the Son. . . . And I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming Chariot go into the Holy of Holies, within the veil, and did sit. There I saw thrones that I had never seen before. Then Jesus rose up from the throne. . . . And I saw a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, and Angels were all around it as it came where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the Holiest where the Father sat." (From the Broadside, To the Little Remnant Scattered Abroad. Emphasis supplied.)

This view can not by any means be harmonized with Scripture. For proofs, see the chapter on A.F. Ballenger

God does not love dishonest children

"The Lord loves those little children who try to do right, and he has promised that they shall be in his kingdom. But wicked children God does not love." (An Appeal to the Youth, p. 61. Emphasis supplied.)

"God loves honest-hearted, truthful children, but cannot love those who are dishonest." (Ibid, p. 42. Emphasis supplied.)

How come that God loves his enemies, which the Bible tells us, but not dishonest children?

The Bible alone

Ellen White says that God will have a people on earth who maintain the Bible and the Bible onlyas their sole basis for all doctrines (Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 413). If we are to follow this admonition, which by the way is biblical, it becomes impossible to defend the above statements (and many others) by the Bible alone.

Then, from an adventist point of view, we have been entangled into the following situation,

1. If we are to believe Ellen White's contradictory visions, we are in conflict with Bible, but not with "the Spirit of Prophecy", which adventists believe is Ellen G. White and her writings.

2. If we are not to believe Ellen White's contradictory visions, we are in conflict with "the Spirit of Prophecy", but not with the Bible.

Now the admonition from volume four of the Spirit of Prophechy is clearly in harmony with the Bible, but if we are to follow the admonition, we find ourselves in conflict with "the Spirit of Prophecy!". What it boils down to, is this: Ellen White's statement in 4SP 413 is in harmony with the Bible, but definitely not in harmony with Ellen White's visions. Then we have a plain contradiction in her book!

One has to choose between Ellen White's visions or the Bible. A compromise is impossible. Which are we to choose?

We will stick to the Bible, God's Holy Word, the infallible rule through the ages.

The Altar of incence

Regarding Ellen White's statement in Desire of Ages, where it says that Jesus today stands at the altar of incence and presents our prayers, in contradiction to the view presented in Early Writings, somebody would probably point to Paul's words in Heb. 9:3,4,

"And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant."

Here Paul says that the altar of incence in the earthly tabernacle was located in the Most Holy. All avid Bible readers are well aware that the only piece of furniture in the Most Holy, was the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat. The altar of incence was located in the first apartment,before the veil which separated the two apartments. See Exodus 40:26. All knowledgeable SDA's should probably know this. In addition to the plain teachings of the Bible, numerous sketches and drawings of the tabernacle testify to this. Of course Paul knew this fact. He was a man of learning who would not miss the mark when it came to such an important detail. What he really means by his statement, is rather unclear. Not even the voluminous SDA Bible Commentary has any reasonable explanation other than perhaps Paul placed the altar of incence in the Most Holy in a "symbolic way" inasmuch as this altar was closely connected to the Ark.

If we for the sake of argument are saying that the altar of incence was located in the Most Holy in the heavenly sanctuary, and that Ellen White therefore is correct in her statement, the whole SDA sanctuary teaching will fall like a house of cards. It is claimed that the earthly, Mosaic tabernacle was an exact replica of the heavenly sanctuary. The mosaic tabernacle was divided into two distinct apartments, separated by a veil, and the altar of incense was located before that veil, but in the first apartment. If the altar of incense in the heavenly sanctuary is located in the Most Holy, the concept of two distinct apartments in this sanctuary vanishes as dew before the sun, and give nourishment to the idea that there really are not two such apartments in the heavenly sanctuary. But then the SDA idea that Jesus performed a ministry for 1800 years in "the first apartment" and went into "the second apartment" in 1844, tumbles down - and then we have the domino-effect. No two distinct apartments in the heavenly sanctuary like the mosaic tabernacle, no SDA sanctuary teaching. It's as simple as that. Ellen White's statement in Desire of Ages stands in contradiction with statements in her early visions and in the book Early Writings.

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