Ellen White Attacks Ballenger
Ellen White letter to A.F. Ballenger, 1905
Editorial Note: Observe in the following letter that Mrs. White does not provide a single Bible verse to refute the Biblical evidence Ballenger presented in his letter. Rather, she claims he needs to put his faith in the "demonstrations of the Spirit" [her visions] rather than the Word of God.
Mrs. White's letter to A.F. Ballenger
When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light, which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat, and repeat till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard bearers who have fallen in death are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.
We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God's word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.
Elder G's proofs are not reliable. If received, they would destroy the faith of God's people in the truth that has made us what we are.
We must be decided on this subject; for the points that he is trying to prove by Scripture, are not sound. They do not prove that the past experience of God's people was a fallacy. We had the truth; we were directed by the angels of God. It was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the presentation of the sanctuary question was given. It is eloquence for every one to keep silent in regard to the features of our faith in which they acted no part. God never contradicts Himself. Scripture proofs are misapplied if forced to testify to that which is not true. Another and still another will arise and bring in supposedly great light, and make their assertions. But we stand by the old landmarks.
I am instructed to say that these words we may use as appropriate for this time, for the time has come when sin must be called by its right name. We are hindered in our work by men who are not converted, who seek their own glory. They wish to be thought originators of new theories, which they present claiming that they are truth. But if these theories are received, they will lead to a denial of the truth that for the past fifty years God has been giving to His people, substantiating it by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. (Letter 329, 1905. Selected Messages Book 1, pp. 161-162)
Two Questions for Mrs. White
Multiple times in the above letter Mrs. White asks Ballenger to believe in the "demonstrations of the Holy Spirit" rather than the evidence Ballenger discovered in the Word of God.
QUESTION 1: Is it wise to trust in spiritual demonstrations instead of the plain Word of God?
"And to take the place of the word of God he [Satan] holds out spiritual manifestations. Here is a channel wholly under his control; by this means he can make the world believe what he will. Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 557
QUESTION 2: What about the great Protestant Reformers Mrs. White wrote about in the Great Controversy? Did they trust in spiritual demonstrations to establish their truth?
The great movement that Wycliffe inaugurated, which was to liberate the conscience and the intellect, and set free the nations so long bound to the triumphal car of Rome, had its spring in the Bible. Here was the source of that stream of blessing, which, like the water of life, has flowed down the ages since the fourteenth century. Wycliffe accepted the Holy Scriptures with implicit faith as the inspired revelation of God's will, a sufficient rule of faith and practice. He had been educated to regard the Church of Rome as the divine, infallible authority, and to accept with unquestioning reverence the established teachings and customs of a thousand years; but he turned away from all these to listen to God's holy word. This was the authority which he urged the people to acknowledge. Instead of the church speaking through the pope, he declared the only true authority to be the voice of God speaking through His word. And he taught not only that the Bible is a perfect revelation of God's will, but that the Holy Spirit is its only interpreter, and that every man is, by the study of its teachings, to learn his duty for himself. Thus he turned the minds of men from the pope and the Church of Rome to the word of God. Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 93
Category: Visions Examined