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Ellen White's Claims

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Claims for her writings

"We must follow the directions given through the Spirit of Prophecy [Mrs. White's writings]. ... God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the Testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy." (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 298)

Similarities in Message?
Muhammad, the "holy prophet," of Islam

Your companion [Muhammad] is neither astray nor being misled, nor does he say aught of his own desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by one Mighty in Power... So did Allah convey the inspiration to His servant--conveyed what He meant to convey. The Prophet's heart in no way falsified that which he saw. Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he saw?
Qu-răn, S.53, A.2-5, A.10-12

Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science Prophet

Mrs. Eddy said she would blush to praise her book Science and Health as she had "were it of human origin, and were I, apart from God, its author."
(Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Trial, p. 279)

Joseph Smith, Mormon Prophet

"...the Book of Mormon ... contains the truth and the word of God..."
Doctrine and Covenants 19:26

"The Holy Ghost is the Author of the Scriptures and of the Spirit of Prophecy." (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 30)

"God has outlined His plan in His Word, and in the Testimonies He has sent to His people." (Battle Creek Letters, p. 74)

"The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from His word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217)

"If you lessen the confidence of God's people in the testimonies he has sent them, you are rebelling against God as certainly as were Korah, Dathan and Abirum" (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 66).

"If you lose confidence in the testimonies you will drift away from Bible truth." (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 98)

"These books contain clear, straight, unalterable truth and they should certainly be appreciated. The instruction they contain is not of human production." (Letter H-339, Dec. 26, 1904)

"These books, giving the instruction that the Lord has given me during the last sixty years, contain light from heaven, and will bear the test of investigation." (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 35, 1906)

"When I went to Colorado, I wrote many pages to be read at your camp meeting. . . God was speaking through clay. You might say this communication was only a letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I write, . . . 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" (Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 63-67).

"How many have read carefully Patriarchs and Prophets, The Great Controversy, and The Desire of Ages? I wish all to understand that my confidence in the light that God has given stands firm, because I know that the Holy Spirit's power magnified the truth, and made it honorable, saying: 'This is the way, walk ye in it.' In my books, the truth is stated, barricaded by a 'Thus saith the Lord.' The Holy Spirit traced these truths upon my heart and mind as indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God, upon the tables of stone..." (Letter 90, 1906)

"I am thankful that the instruction contained in my books establishes present truth for this time. These books were written under the demonstration of the Holy Spirit." (Letter 50, 1906)

"After the passing of the time in 1844 we searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with the brethren, and we studied and prayed earnestly... When they came to the point in their study where they said, 'We can do nothing more,' the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me. I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, his mission, and his priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me." (Review and Herald, May 25, 1905)

"I beg of you for Christ's sake to consider what I say; for I say it not of myself. It is the word of God to you." (Letter 25b, 1895, pp. 1-3, to Brother and Sister Hare, April, 1895)

"In the night season the Lord gives me instruction in symbols, and then explains their meaning. He gives me the word, and I dare not refuse to give it to the people." Ms. 22, 1890. {VSS 398.2}

"At times I am carried far ahead into the future and shown what is to take place. Then again I am shown things as they have occurred in the past. After I come out of vision I do not at once remember all that I have seen, and the matter is not so clear before me until I write, then the scene rises before me as was presented in vision, and I can write with freedom. Sometimes the things which I have seen are hid from me after I come out of vision, and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a company where that vision applies, then the things which I have seen come to my mind with force. 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." (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, pp. 292, 293)

"I testify the things which I have seen, the things which I have heard, the things which my hands have handled of the Word of life. And this testimony I know to be of the Father and the Son. We have seen and do testify that the power of the Holy Ghost has accompanied the presentation of the truth, warning with pen and voice, and giving the messages in their order. To deny this work would be to deny the Holy Ghost, and would place us in that company who have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits." (Selected Messages vol. 2, p. 388)

"It has been presented to me that, so far as possible, I am to impart instruction in the language of the Scriptures; for there are those whose spiritual discernment is confused, and when their errors are reproved, they will misinterpret and misapply what I might write, and thus make of none-effect the words of warning that the Lord sends. He desires that the messages He sends shall be recognized as the words of eternal truth." (Letter 280, 1906, p. 4.)

Ellen White's Words More Inspired than the Bible!
Ellen White's Words Are Inspired
Bible's Words are NOT Inspired
"The Spirit of God works upon my mind and gives me appropriate words with which to express the truth."
(Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 51; Letter 90, 1907)

"When writing these precious books, if I hesitated, the very word I wanted to express the idea was given me."
(Selected Messages, Book 3, pp. 51-52; Letter 265, 1907)

"It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man's words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind." (Selected Messages Book 1, p. 21; Manuscript 24, 1886)

"I saw the state of some who stood on present truth, but disregarded the visions--the way God had chosen to teach in some cases, those who erred from Bible truth. I saw that in striking against the visions they did not strike against the worm--the feeble instrument that God spake through--but against the Holy Ghost. I saw it was a small thing to speak against the instrument, but it was dangerous to slight the words of God. I saw if they were in error and God chose to show them their errors through visions, and they disregarded the teachings of God through visions, they would be left to take their own way, and run in the way of error, and think they were right, until they would find it out too late. Then in the time of trouble I heard them cry to God in agony, 'Why didst Thou not show us our wrong, that we might have got right and been ready for this time?' Then an angel pointed to them and said, 'My Father taught, but you would not be taught. He spoke through visions, but you disregarded His voice, and He gave you up to your own ways, to be filled with your own doings.' (Broadside, To Those Who Are Receiving the Seal of the Living God, Jan. 31, 1849. Selected Messages Book 1, p. 40)

"The carnal mind is at enmity with God. I entreat the church at Battle Creek to heed the Testimonies of the Spirit of God. Do not say, 'I believe them,' and then contradict them in your daily life, refusing to walk in accordance with them." (Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, p. 11)

Ellen White Holy Bible
"In ancient times God spoke through the mouths of prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the Testimonies of his Spirit."
(Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 148; Vol. 5., p. 661)
"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." (Heb 1:1,2 NIV)

"The question is asked, How does Sister White know in regard to the matters of which she speaks so decidedly, as if she had authority to say these things? I speak thus because they flash upon my mind when in perplexity like lightning out of a dark cloud in the fury of a storm. Some scenes presented before me years ago have not been retained in my memory, but when the instruction then given is needed, sometimes even when I am standing before the people, the remembrance comes sharp and clear, like a flash of lightning, bringing to mind distinctly that particular instruction. At such times I cannot refrain from saying the things that flash into my mind, not because I have had a new vision, but because that which was presented to me, perhaps years in the past, has been recalled to my mind forcibly." (Manuscript 33, 1911)

Claims for her self

"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." (Review and Herald, July 26, 1907)

"My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there." (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 36, 1906)

"Some are ready to inquire: 'Who told Sister White these things?' They have even put the question to me: 'Did anyone tell you these things?' I could answer them: 'Yes; yes, the angel of God has spoken to me.' But what they mean is: 'Have the brethren and sisters been exposing their faults?' For the future, I shall not belittle the testimonies that God has given me, to make explanations to try to satisfy such narrow minds, but shall treat all such questions as an insult to the Spirit of God. God has seen fit to thrust me into positions in which He has not placed any other one in our ranks. He has laid upon me burdens of reproof that He has not given to any other one." (Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 314, 315)

"God does nothing in partnership with Satan. My work for the past thirty years bears the stamp of God or the stamp of the enemy. There is no halfway work in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil. In arraying yourself against the servants of God you are doing a work either for God or for the devil.” (Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 230)

"One stood by my side, and said: 'God has raised you up, and has given you words to speak to people and to reach hearts, and He has given to no other one.'" (Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 667)

"God has set me as a reprover of His people; and just so surely as He has laid upon me the heavy burden, He will make those to whom this message is given responsible for the manner in which they treat it. God will not be trifled with, and those who despise His work will receive according to their deeds." (Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 679)

Visions Establish SDA Doctrines and Beliefs

"In the early days of the message, when our numbers were few, we studied diligently to understand the meaning of many Scriptures. At times it seemed as if no explanation could be given. My mind seemed to be locked to an understanding of the Word; but when our brethren who had assembled for study came to a point where they could go no farther, and had recourse to earnest prayer, the Spirit of God would rest upon me, and I would be taken off in vision, and be instructed in regard to the relation of Scripture to Scripture. These experiences were repeated over and over again. Thus many truths of the third angel's message were established, point by point." (Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 38)

"Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, "We can do nothing more," the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me." (Testimonies for the Church Containing Letters to Physicians and Ministers, pp. 56-57)

Her own opinions not expressed in her writings

"Many times in my experience I have been called upon to meet the attitude of a certain class, who acknowledged that the testimonies were from God, but took the position that this matter and that matter were Sister White's opinion and judgment. This suits those who do not love reproof and correction, and who, if their ideas are crossed, have occasion to explain the difference between the human and the divine. If the preconceived opinions or particular ideas of some are crossed in being reproved by testimonies, they have a burden at once to make plain their position to discriminate between the testimonies, defining what is Sister White's human judgment, and what is the word of the Lord. Everything that sustains their cherished ideas is divine, and the testimonies to correct their errors are human--Sister White's opinions. They make of none effect the counsel of God by their tradition." (Manuscript 16, 1889)

"In the testimonies sent to Battle Creek, I have given you the light God has given to me. In no case have I given my own judgment or opinion. I have enough to write of what has been shown me, without falling back on my own opinions. You are doing as the children of Israel did again and again. Instead of repenting before God, you reject His words, and attribute all the warnings and reproof to the messenger whom the Lord sends." (Testimony for the Battle Creek Church, pp. 50-58 (1882))

"It is discouraging to me to have them pick out portions in the testimonies that please them which they construe to justify their own course of action and give the impression that that portion they accept as the voice of God, and then when other testimonies come that bring rebuke upon their course, when words are spoken that do not coincide with their opinions and judgment, they dishonor God's work by saying, 'Oh, this we do not accept--it is only Sister White's opinion, and it is no better than my opinion or that of anyone else.'" (Letter 3, 1889)

"You have talked over matters as you viewed them, that the communications from Sister White are not all from the Lord, but a portion is her own mind, her own judgment, which is no better than anybody else's judgment and ideas. This is one of Satan's hooks to hang your doubts upon to deceive your soul and the souls of others who will dare to draw the line in this matter and say, this portion which pleases me is from God, but that portion which points out and condemns my course of conduct is from Sister White alone, and bears not the holy signet." (Letter 16, 1888)

"I have my work to do, to meet the misconceptions of those who suppose themselves able to say what is testimony from God and what is human production. If those who have done this work continue in this course, satanic agencies will choose for them. . . Those who have helped souls to feel at liberty to specify what is of God in the Testimonies and what are the uninspired words of Sister White, will find that they were helping the devil in his work of deception." (Letter 28, 1906)

"Yet now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You have thereby insulted the Spirit of God." (Testimonies for the Church Vol. 5 (1882-1889), p. 64)

"Now if those to whom these solemn warnings are addressed say, 'It is only Sister White's individual opinion, I shall still follow my own judgment,' and if they continue to do the very things they were warned not to do, they show that they despise the counsel of God, and the result is just what the Spirit of God has shown me it would be--injury to the cause of God and ruin to themselves. . . . And now, brethren, I entreat you not to interpose between me and the people, and turn away the light which God would have come to them. Do not by your criticisms take out all the force, all the point and power, from the Testimonies. Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom. If the Testimonies speak not according to the word of God, reject them. Christ and Belial cannot be united." (Testimonies for the Church Vol. 5 (1882-1889), pp. 687, 688, 691)

"God sets no man to pronounce judgment on His Word, selecting some things as inspired and discrediting others as uninspired. The testimonies have been treated in the same way; but God is not in this." (Letter 22, 1889. Selected Messages Book 1, p. 23)

Infallibility

"In regard to infallibility, I never claimed it; God alone is infallible. His word is true, and in Him is no variableness, or shadow of turning." (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 37)

"There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people is not a proof that our ideas are infallible... We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, will be disappointed..." (Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 35-39)

Ellen White's Denials

"I did not read any works upon health until I had written Spiritual Gifts, volumes 3 & 4, Appeal to Mothers, and had sketched out most of my six numbers of How to Live" (Review and Herald, Oct. 8, 1867)

"My views were written independent of books or of the opinions of others." (Manuscript 7, 1867)

"And here I would state that although I am dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation." (Review and Herald, Oct. 8, 1867)

"I have not been in the habit of reading any doctrinal articles in the paper, that my mind should not have any understanding of anyone's ideas and views, and that not a mold of any man's theories should have any connection with that which I write." . (Letter 37, 1887, p. 1. To E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones, Feb. 18, 1887; 3SM p. 63.)

"If Mrs. White has gathered the facts from a human mind in a single case she has in thousands of cases, and God has not shown her these things which she has written in these personal testimonies." (James White, Life Sketches (1880), p. 328)

Claims made by the SDA Church about Ellen White

"The perpetuity of the [spiritual] gifts is one of the fundamental points in the belief of this people and with those who differ with us here we can have union and fellowship to no greater extent than we can have with those who differ with us in the other important subjects of the coming of Christ, baptism, the Sabbath, etc. . . . It is a fact that those who reject the gifts do not have true union with the body. From the very nature of the case, they cannot have it." (Uriah Smith, Review, January 14, 1862)

"Nothing is surer than this, that this message and the visions [of Mrs. White] belong together, and stand or fall together." (Review and Herald, Supplement, August 14, 1883)

"The writings of Mrs. E. G. White were never designed to be an addition to the canon of Scripture. They are, nevertheless, the messages of God to the remnant church, and should be received as such, the same as were the messages of the prophets of old." (Review & Herald, October 4, 1928)

"As Samuel was a prophet to Israel in his day, as Jeremiah was a prophet to Israel in the day of captivity, as John the Baptist came as a special messenger of the Lord to prepare the way of Christ's appearing, so we believe that Mrs. White was a prophet to the church of Christ today. And the same as the messages of the prophets were received in old days, so her messages should be received at present times." (Ibid.)

On page 78 of the first SDA Church Manual one of the questions asked to prospective baptisimal candidates is: "Do you believe the Bible doctrine of 'spiritual gifts' in the church, and do you believe in the gift of the Spirit of prophecy which has been manifested in the remnant church through the ministry and writings of Mrs. Ellen G. White?" (1932)

"As God's messenger, Ellen White spoke with decision and authority. 'I speak that which I have seen, and which I know to be true.'­ Letter 4, 1896. 'I implore you [the church members] not to treat this matter with your criticisms and speculations but as the voice of God to you.'-Letter 36, 1890. The messages were not to be parried..." (Ellen G. White: The Human Interest Story, Arthur L. White)

"Ellen White's writings cannot be on the same level with the Bible's authority, even though her inspiration is qualitatively the same. ... As a postcannonical manifestation of the prophetic gift, then, Ellen White merits full obedience...the canon of Scripture is the highest authority and Mrs. White's postcannonical writings are a lesser authority, but the obedience both deserve is the same." (Jud Lake, Ellen White Under Fire, pp. 160-161)

SDA Church Claims Ellen White is an inspired guide to the Scriptures

"The Bible is an infallible guide but it needs to be infallibly interpreted, to avoid confusion and division. When will the people of God cease trusting in their own wisdom? When will they come to the place where they will cease to measure, construe, and interpret by their own reason what God says to them through His appointed channel? When we come to the place where we place no trust in man or in the wisdom of man, but unquestionably accept and act upon what God says through this gift, then will the spirit of prophecy as set before us in the Bible and confirmed among us and become in fact a counselor, guide and final court of appeal among God's people". (Adventist Review, June 3. 1971, p, 6, "The Source of Final Appeal," By Roderick S. Owen)

"How advantaged the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to have a modern inspired interpreter of both the Old and New Testaments! Surely there is every logical reason to give the inspired interpretation top priority in arriving at our understanding of the world today." (Sabbath School Quarterly, April-June 1976, p. 92. Lesson Author Gordon M. Hyde, Editor W. Richard Lesher)

“It is from the standpoint of the light that has come through the Spirit of Prophecy [Mrs. White’s writings] that the question will be considered, believing as we do that the Spirit of Prophecy is the only infallible interpreter of Bible principles, since it is the Christ, through this agency, giving real meaning of his own words.” (G. A. Irwin, General Conference President, from the tract The Mark of the Beast, p. 1)


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