"We Discovered Ellen White Failed the Biblical Tests of a Prophet"

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Crushing the Opposition

How Ellen White Treated Those Who Rejected Her

By D. Anderson


Early in her prophetic career Mrs. White exhibited a trait that was to follow her through her lifetime. When someone questioned her visions she would turn on them with a vengeance. Lucinda Burdick, a minister's wife who was very close to the Whites in the 1840s, witnessed these attacks. She explains how Mrs. White reacted in New England in the 1840s when many of the Adventist people began to question why her predictions had failed:
"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.'"1
Similarities in Message?
Muhammad, the "holy prophet," of Islam
And those who believe in Allah and His messengers--they are the truthful and the martyrs, in the eye of their Lord; they shall have their reward and their light. But those who reject Allah and deny our signs, they are the companions of hell-fire.
Qu-răn, S.57, A.19

Israel Dammon

Israel Dammon was an early associate of Mrs. White during 1845 and 1846. It was during this time that Dammon witnessed Ellen White's visions where she reportedly saw the door of salvation shut. Dammon soon came to the conviction that he must take his stand upon the "Word of the Lord" alone. Prior to this decision, Mrs. White had seen Dammon "in the kingdom in an immortal state, and crowned." After his decision to stand upon the Word of God she saw Dammon "finally lost."2

Snook and Brinkerhoff

In 1860, M.E. Cornell raised up a Sabbath-keeping church in Marion, Iowa. The church adopted a covenant stating:

"...whose covenant obligation is briefly expressed in keeping the commandments of God and faith of Jesus, taking the Bible, and the Bible alone, as the rule of our faith and discipline."
Unfortunately, the harmony of the church was broken up a year and a half later when Cornell...
"...held up, publicly, some other volumes by the side of the Bible, of a recent date, and averred that these recent publications were of equal authority, and binding forever with the Bible, and urged us to adopt their teaching also, as a rule of faith and discipline."3
The church in Marion was split in two over whether to accept the writings of Ellen White on an equal basis with the Bible. Soon the president of the Iowa conference, B.F. Snook, and the secretary, W.H. Brinkerhoff, began to openly question the divine inspiration of Ellen White. On November 30, 1865, the men withdrew their membership from the Seventh-day Adventist church. The reason they gave for their departure was their inability to accept the visions of Ellen G. White. Later, they published a book revealing many errors in Mrs. White's visions.

Prior to their departure from the church, Mrs. White had only praise for Snook and his family:

"Marion, Iowa, March 18, 1861.
My Dear Children, Henry, Edson, and Willie: We are now at Bro. Snook's. This is a good home. When I see their little babe, and take it in my arms, I yearn for my own dear babe which we laid in Oak Hill Cemetery; but I will not permit one murmuring thought to arise. I enjoy the society of this family. Sister Snook is an excellent woman."
4
After their departure, Mrs. White assassinates Snook's character:
"When B. F. Snook embraced the truth, he was very destitute. Liberal souls deprived themselves of conveniences, and even of some of the necessaries of life, to help this minister, whom they believed to be a faithful servant of Christ. They did all this in good faith, helping him as they would have helped their Saviour. But it was the means of ruining the man. His heart was not right with God; he lacked principle. He was not a truly converted man. The more he received, the greater was his desire for means. He gathered all he could from his brethren, until he had been helped, through their liberalities, to a valuable home; then he apostatized, and became the bitterest enemy of the very ones who had been most liberal to him."5

H.E. Carver

In 1843, H.E. Carver heard the preaching of Millerite leader Joshua Himes and joined the 1844 movement. After the great disappointment, Carver moved to Iowa and began farming. In the early 1860s Carver heard a presentation by J.H. Waggoner in Iowa City and accepted the Sabbath. For a while Carver associated with the Seventh-day Adventists, but decided to take his stand upon the Word of God alone in the spring of 1866. He founded the Christian Publishing Association, and in 1877 published a number of highly embarrassing revelations about Mrs. White (click here to read).

Apparently an Adventist minister attempted to defend Mrs. White, and in so doing, he inadvertently gave Carver's book more publicity then Ellen White wanted. She was hoping the controversy would blow over without too much damage. She writes a stinging testimony criticizing the minister for attempting to reply to Carver:

"Your time can be better employed in having a more general interest and giving to the people food, meat that will feed them now. While your time is employed in following the crooks and turns of Preble you are not wise. You are bringing to their notice a work which has but limited circulation, and interesting minds in objections that they would never have been troubled with. You manufacture a train of quibbles and doubts for thousands of people and present his work to those who would never have seen it. This is just what they [our opponents] want to have done, to be brought to notice and we publish for them. This is what Carver wants. This is their main object in writing out their falsehoods and misrepresentations of the truth and the characters of those who love and advocate the truth."6
Apparently Mrs. White preferred the evidence about her prophetic failures be suppressed rather than discussed and defended in a public forum.

D.M. Canright

D.M. Canright, a member of the SDA Church for 25 years, was a close associate with James and Ellen White and held a trusted position of leadership in the Church. He was a high church official, an insider, whose position in the church allowed him access to very damaging information about the "prophetess" Ellen White. He left the church in the 1880s, and eventually published a book revealing the truth about Ellen White (click here to read). D.M. Canright has been attacked and vilified by Seventh-day Adventists for over a century. Not even the Pope has taken as much abuse from Seventh-day Adventists as D.M. Canright. These attacks should be no surprise, however, because believers and critics alike agree that Canright's book, with its inside account of deception and cover-up, is the most devastating book ever written about Ellen White.

In 1880, when Canright was struggling over whether to leave the SDA church, Mrs. White wrote him a letter. She was apparently terrified about the damage Canright could do if he made the truth known, so she makes an urgent appeal for him to stay away from Seventh-day Adventists:

Battle Creek, Oct. 15, 1880
Elder D. M. Canright

Dear Brother:

I was made sad to hear of your decision, but I have had reason to expect it. It is a time when God is testing and proving His people. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Only those will stand whose souls are riveted to the eternal Rock. Those who lean to their own understanding, those who are not constantly abiding in Christ, will be subject to just such changes as this. If your faith has been grounded in man, we may then expect just such results.

But if you have decided to cut all connection with us as a people, I have one request to make, for your own sake as well as for Christ's sake: keep away from our people, do not visit them and talk your doubts and darkness among them. Satan is full of exultant joy that you have stepped from beneath the banner of Jesus Christ, and stand under his banner. He sees in you one he can make a valuable agent to build up his kingdom. You are taking the very course I expected you would take if you yielded to temptation.

You have ever had a desire for power, for popularity, and this is one of the reasons for your present position. But I beg of you to keep your doubts, your questionings, your skepticism to yourself. The people have given you credit for more strength of purpose and stability of character than you possessed. They thought you were a strong man; and when you breathe out your dark thoughts and feelings, Satan stands ready to make these thoughts and feelings so intensely powerful in their deceptive character, that many souls will be deceived and lost through the influence of one soul who chose darkness rather than light, and presumptuously placed himself on Satan's side in the ranks of the enemy.

The Influence of Doubt. I do not ask an explanation of your course. Brother Stone wished to read your letter to me. I refused to hear it. The breath of doubt, of complaint and unbelief, is contagious; if I make my mind a channel for the filthy stream, the turbid, defiling water proceeding from Satan's fountain, some suggestion may linger in any mind, polluting it. If his suggestions have had such power on you as to lead you to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage--the friendship of the Lord's enemies--I want not to hear anything of your doubts, and I hope you will be guarded, lest you contaminate other minds; for the very atmosphere surrounding a man who dares to make the statements you have made is as a poisonous miasma.

I beg of you to go entirely away from those who believe the truth; for if you have chosen the world and the friends of the world, go with those of your own choice. Do not poison the minds of others and make yourself Satan's special agent to work the ruin of soul.7

A.T. Jones

At one time Ellen White endorsed A.T. Jones as God's messenger. However, her tune changed when Jones and others began to question her prophetic ministry. In 1906, a number of concerns had been raised by the brethren in Battle Creek regarding Mrs. White's prophetic ministry. Mrs. White wrote a letter to the brethren asking that their concerns be written out and sent to her, and she would respond. She wrote:

"Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people. There were present Dr. Kellogg, Elders Jones, Tenny and Taylor, Dr. Paulson, Elder Sadler, Judge Arthur and many of their associates. I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and to make plain that which seems to be intricate."8
The brethren obeyed Mrs. White's request, and sent a letter detailing their concerns. Mrs. White then contradicted herself by pronouncing it was not the Lord's will for her to answer these questions. A.T. Jones questioned why Mrs. White said the Lord would help her answer their questions, but when the questions were written out and sent to her, she refused to answer them. Mrs. White responded to this questioning by attacking Jones:
July 3, 1906 J -242- '06
Sanitarium, California
July 3, 1906
Elder A. T. Jones:

Dear Brother,

Again and again your case has been presented before me. I am now instructed to say to you, You have had a large knowledge of truth, and less, far less, spiritual understanding. When you were called to the important work at Washington, you had need of far more of the humble grace that becometh a Christian. Since the Berrien Springs meeting, your attitude and the attitude of several others has grieved the Spirit of God. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. 9

Here she writes a letter urging church members to avoid Jones and others skeptical of her calling. Apparently she is fearful of what they might say:
"A. T. Jones, Dr. Kellogg, and Elder Tenney are all working under the same leadership. They are classing themselves with those of whom the apostle writes, "Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." In the case of A. T. Jones, I can see the fulfillment of the warnings that were given me regarding him.

"I want this message to come to you before you shall make a wrong move. I do not want you to imperil your souls. Heed the message that the Lord sends, and have nothing to do with those at Battle Creek who are opposing the messages of the Spirit of God. Clear light has been given me regarding those who are thus departing from the faith."10

A.F. Ballenger

Albion Fox Ballenger was a Seventh-day Adventist minister in England. While studying the book of Hebrews he discovered that he could not establish the SDA doctrine of the Sanctuary from the Scriptures. His conscience bothered him so much that he decided not to preach on the subject again until he could explain it from the Scriptures. After spending many months studying the subject, he became convinced the SDA position was in error. After making his studies public, he was expelled from the church. In a letter to Mrs. White, Ballenger explains the difficult position he was put in, being forced to choose between the Bible and Ellen White:

"And now Sister White, what can I do? If I accept the testimony of the Scriptures, if I follow my conscientious convictions, I find myself under your condemnation; and you call me a wolf in sheep's clothing, and warn my brethren and the members of my family against me. But when I turn in my sorrow to the Word of the Lord, that Word reads the same, and I fear to reject God's interpretation and accept yours. Oh that I might accept both. But if I must accept but one, hadn't I better accept the Lord's? If I reject his word and accept yours, can you save me in the judgment? When side by side we stand before the great white throne; if the Master should ask me why I taught that 'within the veil' was in the first apartment of the sanctuary, what shall I answer? Shall I say, 'Because Sister White, who claimed to be commissioned to interpret the Scriptures for me, told me that this was the true interpretation, and that if I did not accept it and teach it I would rest under your condemnation?"11
Rather than respond to the Biblical points raised by Ballenger, Mrs. White responds by denouncing Ballenger as being "led by" Satan because he did not believe in a doctrine found throughout her writings:
"I declare in the name of the Lord that the most dangerous heresies are seeking to find entrance among us as a people, and Elder Ballenger is making spoil of his own soul."12

"I testify in the name of the Lord that Elder Ballenger is led by satanic agencies and spiritualistic, invisible leaders. Those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will turn away from these seducing spirits."13

Ellen White caught in a web of lies

Most amazingly, Ellen White blasted a Christian man for making statements about the salvation of other people:

"I know that God never gave mortal man such a message as that which Brother Nelson has borne concerning his brethren. It is not like our God. After the disappointment of 1844 there were those who would say to others, 'You are lost; you have gone too far to be saved.' Then I was brought to my feet to bid them in the name of the Lord to cease their condemnation. God has never empowered one mortal to say to another mortal, 'You are lost.'"14
In 1901, Mrs. White claimed she rose to her feet to condemn such practices. Is this an accurate representation of her position and actions after 1844? Far from it! Mrs. White was one of the foremost in condemning as lost those who rejected William Miller. In fact, in her vision of the Advent people on the path to heaven, those who decided to depart from the Advent movement were described by her as follows:
"Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. 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."15
Later she reaffirmed those who rejected Miller were lost when she wrote:
"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."16
In the following statement she writes out a vision in which she says Adventists who disagree with her shut door teaching will "die the death":
"They said the shut door was of the devil, and now admit it is against their own lives. They shall die the death."17
In fact, for the rest of her life Mrs. White maintained that those who rejected William Miller's false time-setting movement in 1844 were lost. Here is what she wrote in 1883:
"I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels' messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them. Those who did not see the light, had not the guilt of its rejection. It was only the class who had despised the light from heaven that the Spirit of God could not reach. And this class included, as I have stated, both those who refused to accept the message when it was presented to them, and also those who, having received it, afterward renounced their faith. These might have a form of godliness, and profess to be followers of Christ; but having no living connection with God, they would be taken captive by the delusions of Satan."18
QUESTION: If, as she said in 1901, God never empowered any mortal to say to another mortal, "you are lost," then who empowered Ellen White to tell those who rejected Miller that they were lost?

You are lost!

A few more examples to ponder:

"The Lord has a work for Brother Craig to do, but if he is overcome by these outbursts on the part of his wife, he is a lost man, and she is not saved by the sacrifice."19

"Unless you are a thoroughly converted man before you leave this house, I believe the Spirit of God will never make another appeal to you. It is life or death with you. You will surely be stricken down with paralysis, or the devil will drive you to suicide. I have, in the message hitherto borne to you, tried to establish you in the confidence of your brethren. [I have tried] to strengthen and settle you; but if you leave this house with the devil as your counselor, you are a lost man."20

"You are in Satan's easy chair and do not see your fearful condition and make an effort to escape. If you do not arouse and recover yourself from the snare of the devil, you must perish. The brethren and sisters would save you, but I saw that they could not. You have something to do; you have a desperate effort to make, or you are lost."21

"But there are those who despised the men and the message they bore. They have taunted them with being fanatics, extremists, and enthusiasts. Let me prophesy unto you: Unless you speedily humble your hearts before God, and confess your sins, which are many, you will, when it is too late, see that you have been fighting against God. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, no longer unto reformation and pardon, you will see that these men whom you have spoken against have been as signs in the world, as witnesses for God. Then you would give the whole world if you could redeem the past, and be just such zealous men, moved by the Spirit of God to lift your voice in solemn warning to the world; and, like them, to be in principle firm as a rock. Your turning things upside down is known of the Lord. Go on a little longer as you have gone, in rejection of the light from heaven, and you are lost."22

"While you have such a great work before you in order to become a consistent Christian, I beg of you to hold your peace upon dress. You greatly injure the cause of God by your appearance and by your course. You can effect nothing by all that you may say upon dress, but only disgust persons. You do not possess the qualifications of a Christian. You must be converted and reform or you are lost. If you believe the visions, why not act upon them? Why not control that unconsecrated tongue? Why not heed the reproof given you in regard to your lack of order, neatness, and cleanliness? Why not bridle your tongue? You have not kept truth upon your side. You talk so much. You prepare material when it is not right at hand and you exaggerate greatly. Cease talking so much and reflect more."23

"...have nothing to do with Terry; do not have him in your house. There is something about that man, black, that he did not confess at the conference. He is unclean, unholy in the sight of God and if you have him in your house you will be unclean because he is a dead body. ... He may appear to break down and be humble but it is forever too late for him. God shewed me at the conference that the last ray of light was taken from him and that He would visit him with His judgments."24

Conclusion

It is apparent that Ellen White believed herself to be the Spirit of Prophecy. This belief is apparently grounded in her visions (hallucinations) which she felt were given to her by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, anyone who questioned her visions, her teachings or her authority must be under the influence of the devil. Anyone who studied the Bible and arrived at a conclusion different from hers must be misapplying Scriptures. Anyone who rejected her authority must be lost, because they no longer accepted the "Spirit of Prophecy" (herself), and were therefore no longer a part of God's remnant church which had the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus.

Many more examples could be given. These are sufficient to show that belief in Ellen White as a prophet was considered essential for being a member of God's remnant church, and those who rejected her as a prophet were "doomed," "damned," and "lost."


NOTES

1. Miles Grant, An Examination of Mrs. White's Visions, Boston: Advent Christian Society, 1877. As cooberation of Grant's statement, after an unsuccessful visit to Paris, Mrs. White wrote: "I saw that they had not heeded the visions that God had given them, and unless they did heed them they would pass through awful trials and judgments." (Letter 3, 1851, written Aug. 11, 1851, to Harriet Hastings. Letter has not as of yet (Feb. 20, 2013) been released in its entirety to the public.)

2. Ibid.

3. Hope of Israel, Sep. 7, 1864.

4. Ellen White, An Appeal to the Youth, pp. 63,64.

5. Ellen White, Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 625.

6. Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 346.

7. Ellen White, Letter 1, 1880, published in Notebook leaflets from the Elmshaven Library, pp. 73-75.

8. Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White Biography, Vol. 6, p. 90.

9. Ellen White, Kress Collection, p. 33.

10. Ellen White, Loma Linda Messages, pp. 276, 277.

11. Albion F. Ballenger, Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, (1909).

12. Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White Biography, (The Early Elmshaven Years), vol. 5, p. 409.

13. Ellen White, Manuscript 59, 1905. Manuscript Release #760, p. 4.

14. Ellen White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 30, 1901.

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

16. Ellen White, Present Truth, Aug. 1, 1849.

17. Ellen White, Manuscript 11, 1850, pp. 3, 4, vision at Paris, Maine, December 25, 1850.

18. Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 63.

19. Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 304.

20. Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, p. 368.

21. Ellen White, Testimonies vol. 1, p. 428.

22. Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 96.

23. Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, pp. 30-31.

24. Ellen White, Letter 30, 1850. The portion quoted is on file at the White Estate but it is unreleased by the White Estate as of Feb. 20, 2013. Other portions of this letter have been released in various volumes of Manuscript Releases.


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