Section Three - Further Information

This chapter is a reprint of a tract study by the present writer (The Secret Writers ChargePart 1-5 [WM337-341]), which was prepared in 1991; and later it was reprinted in our book, The Editions of Great Controversy, pp. 291-345.

After completing Sections One and Two in January 2000, the present writer decided to go back and find this earlier study.

Although there is some overlap, it contains enough very useful information that it is included in the present booklet.

The "secret writers charge" has been one of Satans most effective tools in destroying confidence in Great Controversy and other Spirit of Prophecy writings. The charge itself is simple enough: Others secretly added words, sentences, paragraphs to Ellen Whites writings; and they even wrote entire books under her name.

Because we were not alive back then and there is at times a suspicion of the motives of leadership, the charge is accepted by some.

But, when this theory is accepted, doubt begins to fill the mind in regard to the truthfulness of the vast majority of her writings.

But, of course, the charge requires that Ellen White either meekly went along with the ghost writers or was kept in total ignorance of what was taking place. By accepting this accusation, not only are the books destroyed but she is also!

But both possibilities are ridiculous. Ellen White was not one to meekly step aside while evil was being done; both the angels of God and many friends in the church would have told her what was happening.

The charge. The charge is never stated in much detail. The reason for that, as we will learn below, is simple enough: If the details were filled in, the whole thing would be so ludicrous the hearers would laugh at the allegation.

The charge goes something like this:

"Did you know that church leaders changed Ellen Whites writings? Somebody told me so. In fact, he says they wrote whole books and printed them under her name! He says he read it somewhere, so it must be true. The writer said he could prove it."

We are going to learn in this study that we have here a masterpiece of deception. First, it has no factual basis. Second, it has only the shallowest of evidence in support of it. Third, it ignores a variety of powerful facts. Fourth, on the surface it can appear very believable to so many who see apostasy and compromise on every side. Fifth, accepting it as true can bring such terrible results.

In our time, this charge was primarily developed by one man, Herman Hoehn. In recent years, the charge has been voiced by several others who want to gain an audience and financial support. The fundamental errors underlying the concept, and the reasons why it is so dangerous, should be carefully considered.

The prediction.

"Satan is constantly pressing in the spuriousto 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 (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of Gods remnant people in the true testimony."Letter 12, 1890 (1 Selected Messages, 48).

Ellen White must have been a genuine prophet. To begin with, what was Ellen White? She was either a deceived fool; an evil, crafty schemer; or an inspired prophet of God. There are no alternatives.

The first cannot be true, for her writings reveal too much depth of intelligence. The present writer has never found any writing, outside of the Bible, which had the clear insights; overall accuracy; and broad, close-fitting principles that her writings have.

The second cannot be true because pride, deception, and false teachings would have been blatantly revealed.

Was she a prophet of God? Her personal life and her writings perfectly match the description. She meets all the tests.

God protects the writings of His prophets. If she was an inspired prophet, then we are faced with an entirely new aspect to this matter. The writings of Gods prophets are guarded by Heaven, both in production and afterward. God would not allow other people to dilute her writingsat the time of writing or laterwith additions, subtractions, or changes. To say it could, or would, happen is to insult the Creator!

The most attacked writings in these last days. You can know for a fact that no writings produced in the 1,900 years since John finished his last book will be attacked as thoroughly as the writings of Ellen White. Her character will be assailed, her life smeared, her writings discredited. Every possible doubt and suggestion regarding the print on the pages of those books will be offered.

You can, and should, expect it to occur. It is certain to have happened in earlier decades, and is sure to happen even more in the future. When others come to you with a tale about why you should doubt the validity or genuineness of certain portions of Ellen Whites writings, recognize that this is exactly the route of attack which Satan will bring to Gods people in the last days.

The devil has something planned for everyone. To some, he whispers that her writings were too stilted, and they need to set them aside. Those standards need to be relaxed and life enjoyed more. For others, he tells them that the writings are not reliable, for they were written by other people.

Predicted that the greatest attack would come at the end. Divine prophecy foretold that the writings of Ellen White would receive the special attack of Satan, that this attack would culminate at the very end, and that it would occur within our church. So the scurrilous statements and vicious thrusts, to cause doubt in the integrity of her writings, is to be expected.


A charge against her character. It is being said that Ellen White was a shallow, weak-willed woman who let others do her writing for her. The implication of these charges is that Ellen White was such a wishy-washy person that anyone could influence her and write her letters, articles, and whole chapters in her books,and she would quietly sit back and let them do it!

Such a thing would not have been allowed; she would not have permitted it, and it did not happen! The men and women that God appoints to the prophetic role are not weak-kneed, lily-livered lackeys that can be bribed or compromised! Not one prophet in Bible times was that way, and neither was Ellen White.

A charge against God. But what if she did not know that it was being done? According to this charge, others penned some of her writings, and she either permitted it to happenor did not know that it was taking place. This is patently not true either! To say it is so is an insult to the God of heaven!

Ellen White, who was shown the smallest sins in the lives of others as well as larger apostasies that affected entire districts of the work, surely would have been told of such a terrible thing as this. If other people were writing, adding to, or changing her writings, then God would have told her this was happening; and she immediately would have put a stop to it!

A charge against the inspiration process. To say that God would allow it to happen, is to utter a most terrible charge. It brings into question the entire matter of inspiration. ALL the inspired writings thus come open to question. If the Spirit of Prophecy writings are in this way unreliable, then none of them can be considered as reliable. Any of them could thus have been partly written by uninspired men who had an ax to grind.

If God does not protect His inspired Writings, then we have no hope of salvation! Our pathway to heaven traverses the bridge of Scripture. If the integrity of that bridge be questioned, then we are lost, hopelessly lost. We have nothing reliable to go by other than our own fickle, everchangable theories, feelings, and "experience." If such be true, we surely cannot trust the words of the prophets because God is supposed to have permitted men to radically change them.

Scripture is our tried foundation,

all else is but deceiving;

we take our stand on the Word of God,

nought else is worth believing.

It is impossible to point to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy as the "Word of God," without also declaring that both have been especially protected by God at the time of writing and afterward. If they were not protected at the time of writing and afterward, then we cannot trust them and we need not obey them.

A most serious charge. Some may say I am speaking in the extreme. I am not! The charge is that ALL books written by Ellen White after 1884 may have changed, and probably were partly written, rewritten, or added to by "others." Many of her writings before 1884 are also questioned. There are some who have gone so far as to accept nothing she wrote, except "Word to the Little Flock"!

The underlying reason offered, as to why "it just has to be true," is that "our leaders are so bad."

Well, Ahab, Jezebel, Saul, Jereboam, and dozens of leaders in Bible times were even worse! If God cannot protect Ellen Whites writings from Adventist Church workers, what defense would the writings of Moses, Daniel, and John have had? None, absolutely none.

(Throughout this study, we will assume that it is possible that, at the time Ellen White was alive, some of our church leaders may not have been good people. Of course, many of our leaders have been and continue to be good, conscientious people. But good leaders would not have tried to change her writings; only the other kind. So we will focus our attention on those who opposed her, and would like to have controlled Ellen White and her writings, and we will assume that they really wanted to change or add to her books.)

The Word of God has been protected. The Word of God has received divine protection. We can be assured that such protection was given to the Bible, and that it was given to the Spirit of Prophecy. An example of this was the marvelous care the Bible manuscripts received down through the ages. Our present Bible is almost exactly the same as that which the prophets wrote down. The very earliest manuscripts we have, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, read almost exactly like our Bible today.

Inspired men wrote inspired writings. The Word of God is accurate, just as it reads. That Word includes both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. If it is accurate and reliable, then how could uninspired men have written part of it? It could be neither accurate nor reliable if they did so. Yet it is both accurate and reliable!

We must trust God to protect it. "Oh," someone says, "I dont think so. I think the critics must be right. Probably part of the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy is neither accurate nor reliable."

Well, that is your decision; you will have to live with it, and it will affect your eternal future. As for the present writerand many others with him,they accept the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy as fully accurate and reliable. Because it is, we submit my lives to it and obey it, in the strength of Christ. If it were a matter of putting our own uninspired, erring minds to the task of deciding which parts of Scripture are inspired and which are not, we might as well give up; for we well-know we are not qualified for the task. And if we cannot know which part is inspired, then we cannot know which part to trust and obey. The Lord knows this, and He has taken care of His Word so we would have Sacred Writings we could trust.

We must trust God to protect His sacred writings! He knows that we are but clay, and He does not ask that we go through the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy and try to pick and choose which part we think we should obey. Instead, in His Word, He always tells us that we are to totally trust and obey it.

There are no significant errors in Scripture. Our kind, heavenly Father protected His Wordfrom Genesis to the Spirit of Prophecy. But does not Ellen White tell us that there is error in the Bible? No, she does not. She said there were some errors in transmission, but not in the writing of the books. The Bible writings were correctly written. However, small, insignificant typographical mistakes were later made as the copyists made copies. They tried to do the best they could, but inconsequential "typos" were made. Ellen White never says that there are errors in the Bible, but she does say that a few errors were later made in transmission down through the ages. Yet those alterations were insignificant enough that we essentially have the Bible today as it was written. God protected His Word, and He has protected the Spirit of Prophecy.

A good example of the kind of "errors" in the Bible would be this: When you read an article written by the present writer, you will read exactly what he wrote,but there will be typographical errors in it. The writer did not intend that they be there, yet there they are anyway. They are not so much errors of thought nor of content, but of transmission. In the process of typing out the thoughts, the hands slipped sometimes on the keys and, not content errors, but typographical errors occurred. Do those errors affect the reading of the material? No. Can you still understand it? Yes. The errors are of the type that you can still clearly grasp the meaning of the sentences,jusst as the typographical errors in this snetence do not hinder yu from understanding itts meening.

We go by the whole, not by the part. But what about those instances in which a word was inadvertently changed in transmission? Sometimes a word change occurred, but there were enough other passages of Scripture to clarify the meaning. The point here is that neither inspiration nor salvation is a matter of a word here and there; it is the whole broad message of Scripture. Here a little and there a little. We put it all together and the message is strong and clear. Even though a sentence here or there may not be clear (which may occasionally happen), the surrounding sentences and the many repetitions of that thought elsewhere in Scripture are decisive.

A change here or there in Scripture would not be enough to damage its meaning. This is because we go by all of Scripture, not a sentence or two here and there.

For example, what if we found one sentence in the Spirit of Prophecy that did not agree with the others? No problem; we would simply go by all of Scripture, and that would explain the less understood portion. What if one portion totally disagreed with all the rest? Then we would go by the whole and not the part.

Yes, there were small "typographical errors," and some small changes in words or phrases, but not one of them was of such importance as to interfere with any basic doctrinal belief. God protected His Word through all past ages, and He has protected the Spirit of Prophecy writings also.

If you doubt that, then you are questioning God. He can only save us through our acceptance and obedience to what Scripture tells us! If Scripture is unreliable, then we are without chart and compass. Without Scripture, there are no norms, no standards, no basic beliefs. Without the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, we know not the past, present, nor future. Without His inspired Word, there is no origin, road, nor destination.

Over seven-eighths of all the Spirit of Prophecy was written after 1885, yet the charge is that all that later bulk of material is unreliable; and why? because a few critics, anxious to unsettle faith in Gods holy Word, imagine it is so.

Powerful internal evidence of inspiration. Are there passages in the Spirit of Prophecy that do not agree with the rest? Hardly any are to be found. No one EVER writes with such perfect consistency as we find in the Spirit of Prophecy! This is yet another proof, not only of its inspiration, but also that it was not tampered with by anyone!

The Spirit of Prophecy writings wonderfully agree among themselves. How can this be? For one person to write over a period of 70 years (from 1845 to 1915), and all of it to agree with itselfis astounding. It is miraculous. It is more than humanly possible. It is inspiration at work!

The fact and nature of progressive revelation. Are there exceptions to consistency, and where would they be found? They would primarily be in the very earliest writings, from 1845 to about 1852. During that time there was an ever-growing progressive revelation. Ellen White was not told everything all at once. It came little by little through visions and dreams, as the angel explained more and more to her. You will find that her very first public lectures were descriptions of her experience and what she saw in heaven. Soon the errors of certain fanatics was shown her, and she exposed them. Then she was shown the Sanctuary in heaven. Gradually, more and more was revealed. For example, she never used the phrase "investigative judgment" in the 1840s, nor did she urge dietetic reform prior to about 1855. The full health reform vision did not come until 1863.

But notice two factors here. First, that which was missing in her earlier writings, she added in her later ones. We see here a maturing of the understanding of the message from God, not changes in that message.

Second, there was, indeed, "new light,"but it always came through inspiration to the prophet, not through uninspired men.

Does "progressive revelation" exist in our church? It is found in new insights discovered in the plainly stated words of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Do not look for it in the uninspired opinions and theories of men and women, now or later.

The pathway to heaven is written in the Word of God, and we need not go to any uninspired man into order to trace any part of that crucially important road map.

Inconsistent men do not write consistent writings. If all the Spirit of Prophecy agrees with itself, part of it could NOT have been written by uninspired men! I am repeating part of the above section, but it needs to be repeated. If the Spirit of Prophecy agrees with itself, part of it could not have been written by "other people"! Some may imagine that it could be, but their thinking is jumbled; they are not facing facts. It would not be possible for Ellen Whites writings to be so exactly self-consistent, if more than one person wrote them. Yet the charge is that several people wrote, rewrote, and added to large portions of her writings! They snuck in, wrote a little when no one was looking, dodged out, and came back in and wrote some more. What a hodgepodge way to produce Desire of Ages, Ministry of Healing, Education, and a majority of those other wonderful books! Yet we are told that is how they were written. And all the while, the prophet is said to have stood back and said and did nothing to stop it.

On which side will you stand? Stop and think a minute. How should you relate yourself to this controversy? What would God have you decide about this matter? He would want you to implicitly trust your life to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy!

What would Satan want you to do about this matter? He would want you to distrust as many pages, books, and writings of the inspired prophets as possible!

Whose side are you on? Who will you bow down to and serve?

The purpose would be to change. Why would you want to add to or rewrite anything that I have ever written? Why that would be simple enough: to change it! You would not want to tamper with my writings, merely to substitute one synonym for another. You would want to change some of my concepts which you consider to be erroneous.

Why would anyone want to add to or rewrite any part of the Spirit of Prophecy writings? Simple enough: to change some of her concepts to something else!

But that was never done! We know this to be a fact, because we have the books before us and they all agree with one another. The only exception would be a few of the earliest statements.

The classic exception is her "pork" statement, given in 1 Testimonies, pages 206-207. When she wrote that, she did not yet have the light that Gods people should not eat swines flesh. But that statement was never removed or changed. That in itself is most revealing, for it shows that no one tampered with her writings. Even the problems were permitted to remain in the books.

Except for a few early exceptions, her writings fully agree. If they agree, how can anyone say that changes were made? If changes were made, then we would have disagreements within the Spirit of Prophecy; it would be in conflict with itself. But such is not the case.

"Oh," but someone will reply, "the changes were very slight; that is why the Spirit of Prophecy still agrees with itself." Such an argument is begging the question. It is will-o-the-wisp thinking, and goes something like this:

"The writings were changed, but so little that we can hardly notice what the changes were; because almost nothing was really changed. Yet it is of vital importance that you know that changes were made, so you can search them out. Otherwise you may be deceived by all the errors and be lost!"

That is utterly ridiculous. If the changes are so small, how could small, hardly noticeable changes be of any vital consequence? If the changes are large, how could changes of vital importance have been made, when all the writings so wonderfully agree with one another? It just does not add up.

Everything remains the same. There are no changed doctrines. The standards are all the same. What sense would there be to try to change the books, if the books were never changed? They all remain, uniformly, the same general Spirit of Prophecy concepts.

The book especially under attack. Since the book, Great Controversy, in one or more of its editions is especially attacked, and since this is her most important book, throughout the remainder of this report, we will frequently discuss that book.

Mysterious errors that cannot be identified. The classic example is Great Controversy. We are told "The 1884 edition is safe and reliable, but that the 1888 and 1911 editions are dangerous; for they contain error. They are not good, for they have had so many changes made in them, so are not safe to read or distribute to others."

WHAT is wrong with them? WHY are they not safe? The answer would have to be that they contain errors which are not found in the 1884 edition.

Now that we have pinned down the attack, let us examine it: What are these great "errors" in the 1888/1911 editions of that book? No one knows; no one can tell you. It is all very mysterious.

"They contain error, and you should take our word for it! You need to study for yourself and find it."

That is how the attack goes. I must say: THAT is a sneaky attack, if I have ever seen one! (1) The error is there. (2) No one knows where. (3) You need to figure it out for yourself. And the obvious conclusion: "I give up; I just wont go near the book in the 1888 or 1911 edition. How am I supposed to be able to know what the error is, if no one else can tell me?"

One hundred dollars reward. What is this great error in the 1888 and/or 1911 edition? The present writer has studied those three editions for decades,and there is no error in any of them! They are all fully inspired and trustworthy.

I hereby offer $100 for each clear-cut doctrinal error that anyone can show me in any edition of Great Controversy. Send it to me. I first made this offer in the 1987 tract edition of this chapter. It is now the year 2000, and no one has come forward and said he has such evidence, much less actually showing me anything.

Someone will ask, "But who is to decide whether it is a doctrinal error?" I will! It does not require great brilliance to recognize doctrinal error. Yet in the past 13 years, no one has even said he could find anything worth submitting.

Is God concerned with little things? Would our heavenly Father warn Ellen White that others were adding to or changing her writings? Would He even care? Of course He would care! He who watches the sparrow is concerned with the smallest affairs of life,and changing and adding to the Spirit of Prophecy would be no little matter!

While living at Elmshaven, California, Ellen White received her shortest vision, and it was about a little thing. Ellen had inquired about a missing hair net, not knowing that one of her helpers had stolen it. The girl thought to herself, "Sr. White probably has lots of them, and she will never know I took it." After inquiring about the matter several days, in an extremely brief vision one day, Ellen White was shown the incident and how the girl had destroyed the evidence by burning it in a lamp flame. She afterward confronted the girl, who admitted the theft.

If God would tell the prophet about a theft of a hair net, would He not warn her about tampering with her writings? Of course He would. God would do more; He would tell her what to do to totally stop it!

Ellen White feared no one. Our leaders feared Ellen White; for, if necessary, she would take the problems to the church members. On one occasion, the angel told her to go to the California Conference constituency meeting. Her helpers were surprised that she asked to be taken there. Arriving, she entered the auditorium, walked up to the platform, and asked to speak. No one had expected her that day. The startled officer in charge said Yes. She then told the assembled conference leaders, workers, and membership delegates that the conference president needed to be replaced. They immediately did it.

Do not underrate Ellen White. In private life she was as gentle as a lamb. But when the Lord told her to do something she did it, regardless of the amount of pain or difficulty it might bring.

Study it all you want; you will never reach the bottom of the perfection found in the Spirit of Prophecy. The present writer has worked closely with Great Controversy for 45 years, and very closely for the past 30 years. He prepared an entire series of Great Controversy radio broadcasts in 1962-1964. He prepared written analyses of it over the years (studies we still have not found time to reprint). Another series of Great Controversy radio broadcasts was prepared in 1977-1979. He typeset sections of the book and placed them in tract form (our GC tract series) in 1979-1980; then retypeset part of that (our FC series) in 1980. In addition to supervising the later typesetting of three retypings of that book (1884, 1888, and 1911), he then carefully went through the 1884 and 1888 editions, comparing them with one another; and a couple years later went through the 1888 and 1911 editions, closely comparing those two. On the basis of all that, he stands ready to tell anyone: Great Controversy is a most wonderful book in each and every edition, 1884, 1888, and 1911!

Difference between the three editions. Are all three editions uniformly good? No, the appendices in the back vary in quality. But that is no reflection on Ellen White, because she did not write the appendices in the back! (The 1884 and 1888 appendices are far better than the 1911, and the 1888 is the best of all.)

Are there any other major changes in the three books? There is only one which is of special interest: The 3-page "Satan monologue" at the beginning of the Snares of Satan chapter in the 1884 edition is not in the later editions. It is the longest direct quotation from Satan to be found anywhere in the Spirit of Prophecy. In it, he is telling his plans to destroy the Adventist Church. But keep in mind that she wrote the 1884 edition for the church, not the world. She was then told to prepare a larger edition, which should go to the world. So she left out the Satan monologue when she prepared the 1888 edition. The concept of widespread evangelism was one of those later concepts given to Ellen White. Still later, she was told that this evangelism must include the entire worldoutside of North America. She just had not been giving her attention to that earlierand no one else had either. But when she told the brethren to start sending missionaries overseas, they began doing it. The 1888 edition was written for a distinctly wider audience than the 1884. The two primary differences between the 1884 and 1888 editions are these: the second was written for those in and out of the church, and it was enlarged and more complete. The primary advantage of the 1884 edition is that it is shorter so, for some, more easily read.

What about all the other "changes" in the changeover from one Great Controversy edition to another? There was nothing of importance; surely, no doctrinal changes. The above examples involves no doctrinal change.

The closing chapters. What are the most important parts of Great Controversy? It would be the final chapters. Yet they are nearly identical in all three editions!

What are these great "changes" that "others" made in those chapters? They are not to be found. The critics tell us that the 1884 edition is "pure"written by Ellen White,and the later two editions are "corrupt" because they were heavily written by others, who inserted their whims and notions.

Yet you can carefully read through the closing chapters in all three editions, and you will find that they are all very similar! Where are those marvelous changes? Where are the whims and notions? Where are the "dangerous doctrines?" They do not exist. They are not there.

The first part of the book. What about the first part of the book: the historical sections? Those were the chapters that were sizably enlarged between the 1884 and 1888 edition. Probably the biggest single change is this: The chapter on the Scandinavian Reformation is not in the 1884 edition. What does that matter! Because it is in the 1888 and not in the 1884, therefore it constitutes "dangerous doctrine"?

There is no "error" or "dangerous doctrine" in the 1888 or 1911 editions. It never has been there; it continues not to be there. If you find any, let me know so I can send you that $100.

Quoting historians is not plagiarism. Walter Rae said that all of Ellen Whites books were largely copied from other writers. But, when you pinned him down, he said, "Well, the book of hers which, far more than any other, that she copied from other authors was Great Controversy." Then when you pinned him down still more, he admitted that the main parts of that book "which were copied" were the historical quotations from historians! Quoting historians is not plagiarism!

May our heavenly Father have mercy on these critics who are trying to convince our people that the Spirit of Prophecy writings cannot be trusted.

"Documents" against Ellen Whites veracity. Then there are the "documents."

First, there are written statements, by Adventist leaders, with which they hoped to "influence Sister White"; they feared that perhaps their opponents had "influenced her." Just as leaders do in every age, the men and their associates back at Battle Creek were continually struggling for the ascendancy. A good way to gain power was to attack the one person in Battle Creek, Ellen White, who was consistently moving straight forward doing what principle and the voice of God told her she should do.

Second, some of the statements consist of complaints to her or others about her calls for higher standards, no meat eating, strict dietary, and her urging of the people to look to God and His Word for guidancerather than to men.

Another source of strong dissatisfaction among a number of our leaders back then were her statements in support of Jones and Waggoner (rather than Smith, Butler, and the Battle Creek leaders) at the Minneapolis General Conference Session and afterward.

Later still, they expressed dislike for her many statements urging Kellogg and his associatesas well as his opponents, the General Conference leadership in Battle Creekto all repent! Her positive positions on a variety of issues aroused dissatisfaction and grumbling. The leaders wanted to lead and not have that woman around telling them what to do. The best way to reduce her influence was to spread lies which would embarrass her in the eyes of the church members.

Third, there is a statement in 1883 which mentions setting up a committee to proof her initial testimonies, prior to reprinting them in Volumes 1 to 4. We have discussed this elsewhere in this book. What the critics do not mention is that the committee was set up to correct grammatical and typographical flaws, and that it was appointed at the urging of Ellen White herself. And the critics do not mention that Ellen White carefully reviewed all changes, prior to publication.

That is the background for most of the "document" statements attacking the veracity of Ellen Whites writings. They consist of grumblings and ill-founded charges.

What she would have done. All those "documents" amount to little more than allusions, opinions, and irrelevant gripes. Would Ellen White have permitted others to change her writings, add to them, or write entirely new paragraphs, sections, or volumes? No! She would never have allowed that to happen. She was gentle among friends and Christians, but tenacious in defense of the honor of God, and quick to do His will when He instructed her. And that is why He called her to be a prophet, because she would do what He told her to do! Out of the millions of people on planet earth in the mid-1800s, God selected the one person who would humbly do as He asked.

If they had dared to tamper with her writings: (1) She would have been told in a vision or dream that it was happening. (2) She would not have been left to herself to decide what action to take, but would have been told exactly what to do to solve the problem.

You can have no doubt that, if necessary, she would have pulled all her books out of the Review, published no more through them, and would have had an independent press set up to print them. (She did something close to that in the mid-1890s when the Battle Creek leaders were so disgusted with her continual advice and general obstructions to their plans,that they threatened not to publish one of her latest books, Steps to Christ. That did not disturb her for a minute; she immediately had it printed by a non-Adventist publishing house (Fleming Revell, in New York City).

The books do not agree with the charge. Ellen White wrote strong statements about our leaders. You will find many of them in the Testimonies. Those statements are still there! They have not been changed or erased. Open the Testimonies, some of the best books you can read,and read them for yourself. They are full of such remarks. The books do not agree with the charge.

Volumes 7, 8, and 9. One set of books that the "theyve been changed" charge has been leveled against is the nine volumes of the Testimonies. It has been said that Ellen White did not write the last several volumes (Volumes 7-9) of them. (The dates for these were 1902 for Volume 7, 1904 for Volume 8, and 1909 for Volume 9.) Whole books of hundreds of pages not written by Ellen White! That is the charge.

Who then wrote those books? "Oh, the leaders did," is the elusive reply. When did they do it? How did they do it? How could they have gotten away with it, without Ellen White stepping in and putting a stop to it? Have no fears that she would not have exposed the whole scandal to the entire church, if necessary, to stop it. She would have done so! Pacific Press was under the control of friends; she could have appointed them as her new publisher, sent out a testimony through them to all the church members exposing the faked books sent out in her name, and henceforth had Pacific Press print them. This would have been easy to do.

An attack on Gods character. All these accusations underestimate the power and justice of God, to defend His inspired Writings, and the strength of will of Ellen White, to hear and obey what He told her to do.

By doing so, we destroy ourselves. The truth is that when we listen to and entertain these doubts, we are headed down the wrong road. When we start accepting these charges against Ellen White, we are placing ourselves in a position of distrusting the power of God and the veracity of His Word. In doing so, we separate ourselves from God; and, separated from Him, fear grips our hearts instead of peace and assurance. Many of our people have had their confidence in the larger portion of the writings of Ellen White destroyed by stopping to consider these false charges that others wrote her writings.

"So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:19). Israel could not enter the promised land because of unbelief. There will be those today who will not enter the heavenly Canaan because they listened to the whispered doubts of othersuntil they made those doubts their own.

It is a serious matter to question the keeping power of God or His Word.

Why do they not want the Testimonies translated? If the leaders wrote much of the Testimonies, why do the Testimonies have such strong things to say against the men who wrote them?

If large portions of the Testimonies were written by the leaders, why then have the leaders consistently refused to permit the Testimonies to be printed in foreign language editions? The answer is simple enough: The Testimonies never were changed by the leaders; they continue to tell too much. Strong statements are scattered all through them.

In fact, the Testimonies are so powerful, so revealing, that our leaders have consistently refused to permit them to be translated into any other language!

Following a lead given him by an important church worker, back in 1985 the present writer spoke by telephone with the brother of a man who accepted $10,000 from the General Conference several years ago, NOT to translate the Testimonies into Spanish! Believe it or not, it happened, and in recent times. That phone call verified the fact. Indeed, the bribe had been given and accepted. As a result, he terminated his translation work, and moved out of Texas into another state.

If "the leaders" wrote large sectionsindeed, whole books!of the Testimonies, then why do they not want them translated so our people in overseas nations can read them?

The fight to keep the 1888 edition from being published. Then there is the charge that Ellen White did not write large sections of the 1888 edition of Great Controversy.

Who did it? The charge is stated in clear-cut terms: "Uriah Smith wrote it." If Uriah Smith, the recognized power at the Review in those days, wrote the 1888 edition of that book,why then did he and his cronies at the General Conference in the late 1880s so vigorously try to keep the 1888 edition from being published? Why would he not want to print what he wrote?

We have an entire tract on this subject. Much of that tract, about the history of the writing of Great Controversy, is focused on the battle of the leaders not to print the 1888 edition.

The secret writers critics today claim that the 1884 edition is pure and the 1888 was written by other people.

Yet it was not the 1884 edition the leaders tried to keep from the people, but the 1888 edition! First, they refused to print it unless Ellen White relinquished royalties on it. Then they stalled on it for months on end. Then they said they must get out Bible Readings first. Then they said that Patriarchs and Prophets was ready for the press and that book should go ahead of Great Controversy. Then, when the 1888 edition was printed, they left it on the shelves and refused to advertise it or send it out to the people. All this is discussed in our full-length tract, The Circulation of Great Controversy, which is reprinted at the back of this book. It is filled with statements by Ellen White.

The entire story, plus much, much more is told in our book, The Editions of Great Controversy, 504 pp., $12.95 + $3.00.

The fight against that edition started and was carried on for some time before the Minneapolis crisis.

Hints, allusions, and complaints. Then there is the charge that church leaders not only wrote major sections of the 1888 edition of Great Controversy and also the Testimonies,but that they also wrote most of her other writings after 1884! So none of them can be trusted. The implication here is that, because the leaders were busily writing sections to her various books all through those years from about 1885 onward, we really cannot trust any book authored by her after that time.

It is said that all these changes can be proven from "documents." So we investigate the "documents," and find they are just hints, allusions, and wishes. Little more. Much of it consists of statements by people who disliked Ellen White and wanted to vent their disgust a little. Other "documents" are just as weak, and are just misinterpretations of statements made by people. I have just been reading through a quantity of it, and find it consists of unfounded charges and little more. All these "documents" are used as proof that "others" must have rewritten the Spirit of Prophecy.

The documents. Now let us get to the heart of this matter of "documents." They are just vague statements that can be read one way or another.

One such statement was made by W. W. Prescott. It was made in one of his typical grumbling letters. The present writer has a number of statements made by Prescott. He characteristically saw the gloomy side of life, and questioned our historic teachings as well as Ellen Whites inspiration. He was a Canright that never went into full-blown apostasy. Looking over his literary remarks, a faithful Adventist would hesitate to accept anything Prescott had to say in regard to our teachings or the Spirit of Prophecy.

The second, and primary, "document" is found in two paragraphs printed in the Review in 1883. Here it is:

"Whereas, many of these testimonies were written under the most unfavorable circumstances, the writer being too heavily pressed with anxiety and labor to devote critical thought to the grammatical perfection of the writings, and they were printed in such haste as to allow these imperfections to pass uncorrected . . and resolved such verbal changes be made as to remove the above-named imperfections as far as possible . .

"Resolved, that this body appoint a committee of five to take charge of the republication of these volumes."Statement, Review and Herald, November 27, 1883.

The above statement is one which you would normally expect of any publishing house. Yet in the earlier years of denominational publishing work, they only had a few employees; and it was with difficulty that they could keep up with all that needed to be done. Publishing is not an easy task; it involves many and varied responsibilities. In the above statement, the Review was telling its readers that they were going to try to do better proofreading, as well as watch for grammatical problems.

There is nothing sinister in the above statement. (1) If a sinister motive had been involved, they would not have publicly declared their objective. (2) If their motive had been sinister, such a statement would only have made the readers more alert to what they were going to do. (3) The Spirit of Prophecy publications themselves belie the possibility of editorial change. This is because if sinister changes had been intended and then carried out, we could tell from Ellen Whites published writings that this had occurred. More on this later in this study.

An example of a "typographical error" occurs when one letter of the alphabet is accidently written for another. (Suchh tings our tipegrafical errers.)

An example of a "grammatical error" would be when certain grammatical problems accidently occur. (Such things is an grammatical errors.)

(3) The actual meaning of the writer is unchanged by typographical and grammatical corrections; rather it is enhanced. Do you know of a viable publishing house that does NOT have such a manuscript correction department?

(4) No publishing house dares change the actual meaning of an authors manuscripts, submitted for book or magazine article publication over their name. If this is done, the writers are in a position to publicly complain and this will damage the reputation of the publishing house.

(5) Then there is the fact that it was only Volumes 1-4 of the Testimonies which were discussed in the above 1883 statement; it was only by repeated urging of Ellen White that the proofing was done.

Which is valid: her writings or the gripes? In considering this matter, what we are actually doing is placing her life and her writings on one scale of the balances and the vague statements of these men in the other. And then we are trying to "weigh" it and see which is more believable! Is God really true or those men!

Sorry, we are not interested in the vague mutterings of men. Others can place their trust in them. The writings of Ellen White far outweigh them. Her words, her life, her writings prove she was a fully inspired prophet; she was a commanding figure in defending God and His Word as any prophet of earlier ages. On the other scale are assumed possibilities, half-quoted men, and allusions to statements not given. Such is the "evidence" offered us, that she was a compromising woman who let others overpower her will and corrupt her writings.

Accepting the charges of the doubters and thereby removing our confidence in Gods sustaining, protecting power and our trust in His Word is to start on a journey of leaving God and His Word and moving over to the doubters camp of those who thoroughly distrust her books penned after 1885. And what is the result? Men and women either avoid most of the Spirit of Prophecy books or search them for evidence that they are of human origin.

Accepting the doubters charges gradually leads us away from Gods Word. God appointed Ellen White as His prophet for these last days. Her life, her physical manifestations while in vision (no breathing for an hour or so, etc.), and her writings prove that she was just that: an inspired Prophet of God for the end-time! How thankful we ought to be for that fact!

Shall we take their word against Gods Word? The heart of the matter is this: Shall we take the word of fallible, erring men as more valid than the Word of God? Ellen White was an inspired prophet of God, and her writings provide abundant evidence of the fact. Even if the charges were clear and to the pointwhich they are not, shall we take the grumblings of frail, erring human beings as evidence against her? Shall we take their word against Gods Word?

Do not let uninspired men sit in judgment on the Words of God! This is wrong! Instead, we should throw away the writings of the criticsand go directly to the Spirit of Prophecy and read them. That is where the evidence is to be found; she should be permitted to rise or fall on the basis of what she wrote, not on what her critics said.

If her writings agree with the prophets of God before her time, then we can know that they are of God. And as we read, we find that they do!

We all know that if you come to the Bible as a doubter, you are going to find much to cavil at. There are men trained in atheistic universities who have obtained Ph.D.s in the study of the Bible. They were atheists when they began and they remained so throughout their lives. How can this be? Easy; they came to the Word as doubters, determined to search in the Word for that which would feed their doubts.

Some of those who read this are already in the doubters camp. They have accepted the "secret writers" charge and they have been looking for evidence in the 1888 and 1911 Great Controversy and her later books, that the charge is indeed true. I am certain that those individuals have found what they are looking for. Because they are searching for it, Satan will whisper shallow arguments and inadequate evidence. Now they read this and they think to themselves, "Ah, but I have seen the evidence with my own eyes!" Poor souls, they are being caught in the net, and only eternity will reveal what they have lost.

Come back to trust in Gods caring power over His Word before it is too late! The present writer first found the following statement over 35 years ago, and was deeply impressed with it. Dear doubting friend, read this and consider where you are headed:

"Many wander in the mazes of philosophy, in search of reasons and evidence which they will never find, while they reject the evidence which God has been pleased to give. They refuse to walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, until the reason of its shining shall be explained. All who persist in this course will fail to come to a knowledge of the truth. God will never remove every occasion for doubt. He gives sufficient evidence on which to base faith, and if this is not accepted, the mind is left in darkness. If those who were bitten by the serpents had stopped to doubt and question before they would consent to look, they would have perished. It is our duty, first, to took; and the look of faith will give us life."Patriarchs and Prophets, 432.

God has given us abundant evidence that the Spirit of Prophecy is genuinely whole, genuinely sound, genuinely inspired! Those who have known this, and then have turned from it to feed on the husks of bitter mens skepticisms, are choosing a most terrible future. Unless they repent and return, they will be gradually led away from the path followed by the remnant. They will be attracted to sins they earlier spurned; and, gradually more and more captivated, they will be led away by the evil one.

Exchanging the books for an opportunity to fight. A basic problem here is that it is easy to get into a dangerous rut. Our first work should be to uphold our teachings and standards; and, along with this, we should protest when they are being lowered. These are God-given duties. But we dare not exchange defending God and His Wordfor "fighting men for fightings sake"! When we do this, we can be tempted by Satan to turn against Gods Word in our attempt to find more ammunition with which to carry on our fight against those men!

When a person has come to that frame of mind, all it takes is for someone to come along and say, "Did you know that the church leaders changed Ellen Whites books, and even wrote some of them?" Quickly comes the response, "Oh, I can believe that!" Only the shallowest of evidence is offered, but the lie is acceptedbecause the hearer is emotionally ready to receive it. Yet he does not realize what he is exchanging for it. He is selling the Word of God in a cheap market.

Seriously, now, isnt that a masterpiece of deception? While the new theology catches the liberals in the church, the secret writers charge is attractive to conservatives who have had their share of woes at the hands of unfaithful church officers.

There are those among us who, first and foremost, want to fight church leaders, and they will believe anything that is said against such men. Yet the great issue in life and salvation is coming to God, trusting Him and His Word, obeying it by faith in Jesus Christ our Saviour, and winning souls to God and His Word. The issue is not a matter of just fighting menwhether they be Communists, Catholics, or Adventist Church leaders.

Cutting out the pages. When I was a teenager, I first learned about the modernist churches, such as the Presbyterian, in which the pastors tell their parishioners they should cut various pages out of their Bibles because they are not inspired. I also heard about the liberal theological seminaries, such as Princeton, where the students are told about the several writers of Moses writings, the two Isaiahs, and the late date for Daniel.

At that time I determined that I was not going to cut pages out of my Bible to please any man! Years later, I was shocked to discover that men in our own church are now telling us we should cut pagesand whole chapters and booksout of the Spirit of Prophecy!

We cannot, we dare not do this! The writings are unified; the Spirit of Prophecy agrees fully with the Bible, and it stands as a whole. No one will begin cutting out part of the Spirit of Prophecy, without soon having little left but a lot of mournful blanks in his books and in his Christian experience.

If we did not need those books in these last days, God would not have given them to us. Ellen White went through a life of grief and hardship, so those writings could be made available to us.

I guarantee, if you will remain faithful to the inspired Books and let God work through you to fulfill their teachings, He will guard and care for you in the days ahead.

You and I know too much to be walking out on Gods Word.

Woe be to that man. Woe be to that man who teaches others that portions of the Spirit of Prophecy have been written by others, are unreliable, and contain error.

That man will bear a responsibility for the souls that have been lost to the kingdom. He will have to answer for it in the Judgment.

Make sure you are not such an individual. If you have been, go alone, fall on your knees, plead for forgiveness, and settle it with your heavenly Father that you will never do it again; in every way that you can, go to those to whom you have spoken such words and explain this matter from the correct standpoint. And then publicly try to pull others back from the fire which you were trying to send them toward. Repudiate your error and work to strengthen the brethren in their confidence in the Spirit of Prophecy.

What some of us are doing. What some of us are doing here is to take the weaknesses of menand call it the weakness of Gods Word! But this must not be done! Just because men are weak does not mean that Gods prophets are! Just because men may be crooked and scheming, does not mean they were given permission by the God of heaven to overpower His writings and change them! Friends, we dare not, we must not give up our faith in the integrity of the Spirit of Prophecy for an opportunity to find fault with leadership!

What the charge actually is. We have seen that what this charge actually amounts to is that, because church leaders are corrupt, therefore the Spirit of Prophecy is also! No, no! It cannot be true; it is not true!

If there is doctrinal error or lowered standards in the Spirit of Prophecy, then we should find it in the Spirit of Prophecy books themselves, not in the accusations and attacks of men against those books!

Blood money. For over six months in the early 1980s, Walter Rea pocketed over a thousand dollars a weekend in lecture fees. He was traveling around America, telling eager Adventist audiences that Ellen White was a charlatan. He was well-paid in blood money, and he will answer in the Judgment for it someday.

When Walter Rea completed a major lecture in the Walla Walla, Washington area, he started to leave the microphone, but then turned back and said, "Dont you do to the Bible what I have just done to the Spirit of Prophecy!"

It is as simple as that. Whatever charge, whatever condemnation you give to Ellen Whites writings, you have to give it to the Bible also. They all equally fit both. Ellen White and the Bible writers are solidly together. They received visions and dreams in the same pattern; they put their books together in the same way. They stand or fall together. Let none imagine that he can pick off Ellen White while leaving the Bible still standing on the field of battle.

Do you want to call her a plagiarist? No, she clearly was no plagiarist. (For more on that, see our very complete book, Ellen White Did Not Plagiarize, 84 pp., $8.00 + $1.50. It powerfully disproves that attack.)

Any attack on Ellen White can be made against the Bible writers. Inspiration operated in them the same as it did in her. Is anyone suggesting that her writings were changed by her enemies? Then he will have to say it about the Bible writings also. "That cannot be!" you will reply, "there is no evidence that others changed the Bible writings!" That is true, but there is no evidence that others changed her writings either. So, if you accept that "others" did it anyway to the Spirit of Prophecy while God abandoned those writings and did not guard and protect them from their hands, then you have to accept that the writings of the ancient prophets must have all been changed also. The enemies of God and His Word were alive just as much back then as they have been in these last days.

Continue to part 3-B