Information - Part 2
What the Jesuit agent said. The following letter
was sent to us from one of our readers several years ago. We printed it
in our tract, More About Secret Agents [MB52].
"Father was pastor of the Oakland, California,
[Adventist] Church when the Pacific Press was located there. [The
Pacific Press was located in Oakland from 1875 to 1904; following that
date it was located in Mountain View, California, until the mid-980s.]
Father was a very friendly person and if possible made friends with all
the clergy including the Catholic priests.
"One Catholic priest was also very friendly, and
he had many talks with father.
"One day he came to father and said, Rev.
Gardner, Ive got something interesting to tell you!
"Father replied, Tell me about it!
"So he said, You know, we had rather a big
meeting this week, and we discussed your church.
"And then he continued: We discussed other
denominations also. We discussed how we could infiltrate each of the
denominations with the Jesuits, our priests.
"And then he said: One of our priests arose
and said, There is no problem in infiltrating all the
denominationsexcept one. Thats the Seventh-day Adventists. The
reason we cannot do it, is that as long as their prophetess is
aliveshe will put her finger on our men, as soon as we make the first
step in that direction.
"Then he said, So we made no plans farther in
"I thought you would be interested in this true
story."Northeastern United States.
If God would reveal this.
Now, seriously, how can
anyone imagine that God would reveal the name and location of every
Jesuit infiltrator in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to Ellen
White,and yet He would not tell her that men were changing her
writings, and even writing whole chapters and books in her name!
The attack on Ellen White is part of a master plot by
Looking down at the last days, when so many deceptions and
apostasies would be rife, the God of the universe decided in His wisdom
to send us a prophet. Particularly important would be the writings of
that prophet, for they would have to guard His remnant all the way to
the end of time. Without them, they would not survive to the end.
Satan is determined to overthrow Seventh-day
Adventists. The simplest way to do this is to cause them to apostatize.
The best way to do that is to separate them from the Spirit of Prophecy.
Linking her to the leadership apostasy.
already enough evidence that many of our leaders in the 1880s and 1890s
were disgruntled sourpusses, anxious to sidestep the Spirit of Prophecy;
they were disgusted with her domination of the church in regard to
religious principles, doctrines, and standards. In a search for still
more evidence against them, some of our people are willing to destroy
the character of Ellen White to achieve their goal.
To understand this better, let us change the setting.
Even if she had been an uninspired atheist working as a leading writer
for General Motors Corporation, how could General Motors put out a raft
of books under her name, without her finding out about it! The whole
charge is ridiculous, when you stop to think of it!
Obviously, it could be done in only one way: She
would have had to be in collusion with them. One charge is that she did
not write Volume 7 of the Testimonies. Yet as soon as it
came off the presses at Battle Creek, her friends at Elmshaven would
come up to congratulate her. "Sister White, I have just purchased a
copy of Volume 7, your latest book, and I appreciate it so
It would be impossible for church leaders to write
books in her name, as claimed, without her knowing about it!
So to accept the charge means to eventually depart
from the Spirit of Prophecy entirely. For the charge is really saying
that Ellen White was a bad person.
The writings reveal the character.
Anyone who has
written a lot is revealed in his writings. His character, his life, his
aspirations, his goals, his standards, his morals; it is all reflected
Ellen White is clearly portrayed in her books. And
the portrayal reveals that those books are clearly revelations from God
for our time in history. I will here say that anyone, well-acquainted
with her books, who dares to say that she was a bad person, is in the
process of committing the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost. That
is a solemn statement, but it is true.
What is in the last three?
What is in Volumes 7,
8, and 9 of the Testimonies? Those are three of the books which,
according to the charge, Ellen White definitely did not write. Well, if
other people with underhanded intentions stealthily wrote them, those
pages must be as unprincipled as the lives of those who wrote them.
Let us consider Volume 7:
Volume Testimonies, Volume 7 was published in 1902 and covered
material written and events that occurred during 1900 to 1902. In that
book, she urges the very things that the leaders were not interested in
The need for self-supporting workers to not wait
for the pastors to lead out, but go themselves into rural areas and do
The importance of doing evangelistic work in the
big cities, something else the leaders fought throughout that entire
The importance of family worship and integrity in
our sanitarium workers.
The call to get out of the cities and Adventist
centers and move out into the country.
The need to start medical missionary treatment
rooms and health restaurants in the cities, as well as the manufacture
of health foods.
The problems of our poorly operated publishing
houses and how they should be improved.
The urgent need to produce more missionary
literature and books, as well as translations for overseas.
Our publishing houses were not to take commercial
work. They were charging the wrong prices for their books. Our
publishing houses should not consolidate, as leadership wanted them to.
Canvassers were needed, and authors should be
paid royalties (even though the publishing houses did not want to do
The church members should avoid improper reading
The neglected work in the Southern States should
be taken up, even though our leaders at Battle Creek were unitedly
The blacks needed to be helped and no longer
ignored by church leaders.
Ministers should not run business meetings.
Committee meetings were not being conducted right
in several ways.
Ministers should not be lazy, but should work
more earnestly and draw closer to God.
Those who attend board meetings were eating too
much; and, because of it, they could not make wise decisions.
Our church schools and teachers were being
neglected; they needed more help from our leaders and members.
Our young people should not wait to be called
into the ministry, but should "gather a stock of knowledge"
and go out and get started without the help of the leaders.
Leadership ought to pay decent retirement to
older workers instead of ignoring them.
Our older workers should be cared for instead of
being left in poverty and sickness.
Well, it takes ones breath away! A book filled
with counsel which the leaders in her time did not like! And the
charge is being made today that the leaders wrote that book!
Conditions at the turn of the century.
1901, and 1902, our leaders in Battle Creek were rapidly dividing into
warring camps: the General Conference and publishing house on one side,
and the Sanitarium and medical leaders on the other. Few were concerned
about the needs out in the field, and even less appreciated the kind of
things penned in Volume 7. Three times in that volume, in three
different chapters, she told them it was time to put away meat eating.
The tip of the pantheism iceberg was about to show itself. Ellen White
returned from Australia in April 1901. On February 18, 1902, the Battle
Creek Sanitarium burned to the ground.
Who wrote Volume 7?
It is laughable to imagine
that Uriah Smith wrote it, or any of his associates in the Review or the
General Conference buildings. And Kelloggs crowd over in the
Sanitarium surely did not produce it.
Please, do not let men sell you a bill of goods. GOD
guided His servant, Ellen White, in the writing of Volume 7 of
the Testimonies! There was no person living that could have
written such wise, earnest counsels. Read the book again. You will find,
scattered all through it, some of the sweetest, most precious messages
about Gods love and how to come to Him and remain by His side.
Conniving men did not write such counsels as you find in that book.
Thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy! Thank God for every page of it!
Refuse to cut any of them out.
Go on and examine Volumes 8 and 9. We could
have summarized its essential points as we did with Volume 7, and
they would be just as striking. There you will find, among other things,
the Review fire, the Pantheism crisis, and the Ballenger crisis.
Throughout it all, it was Ellen White who led out in the reforms, not
the officers of the church. Ellen White was indeed an individualist who
stood alone among our leaders in regard to a variety of matters. This
quality first revealed itself in 1848, and continued in a more and more
pronounced manner throughout her life. Her writings are filled with it.
Analysis of special charges against Great
A majority of the data for the charge that Ellen
White did not author most of her own books comes from the speculations
of one man. He spent years developing his theories, which we call the
"secret writers" charge. In his writings, he frequently
mentions that his special attention in his study has been directed at
the flaws in the book, Great Controversy. He prides himself on
his supposed ability to find things wrong with that magnificent volume.
Indeed, he says, it is full of "thousands" of mistakes.
Yet Ellen White told us that it was her most
important book, and she commended all three of those editions to the
reader. We will now examine several of these charges.
The book especially attacked.
Far and away, above
all the other books, stands Great Controversy as the focus of attack.
Every concerted attack on the Spirit of Prophecy, whether it be Spectrums,
Walter Reas, Herman Hoehns, Charles Wheelings, or this
"secret writer" chargeis always focused on the supposed
"errors" of the book, Great Controversy. That is always
the subject of special attack against Ellen Whites writings!
But this is to be expected. It was only when Ellen
White initially prepared to write that book, that Satan tried to kill
her. He hates that book more than any book in modern history!
like the rest of the Spirit of
Prophecy and the Bible, is like a great cube of granite. The critics
cannot smash it; they cannot injure it. All they can do is huff and
puff, and finally tip it over. But they have accomplished nothing: it is
still right-side up, just as solid and powerful as ever.
We will now examine some of these charges against
1 - It is said that Uriah Smith led out in the
changes in the books, and was the principle author of most of the
Great Controversy editions.
Where is his proof for that
assertion? Only a vague committee statement, in 1883, that there was
need for better typographical and grammatical error correction in the
books, magazines, and missionary papers published by the Review! There
is nothing wrong in such a statement! You would expect a concern for
printing excellence in any worthwhile printing house. Should not the
typographical errors be removed? Of course they should. Such a statement
is no evidence that an attempt was made to change her writings.
What evidence is there that Smith rewrote Great
Controversy before the 1888 edition was published? Only one mans
imagination, and little more. The truth is that Uriah Smith fought that
edition! (See the A. L. White paper, The Circulation of Great
Controversy, which is reprinted at the back of this book.) Uriah
Smith tried to block the way so the 1888 edition would not be released
to the people, and Ellen White opposed what he and the managers at the
Review were doing.
2 - It is said that there are "unreliable
historical records" in Great Controversy, because Smith put
There are no "unreliable historical records"
in Great Controversy! The president of Southwest Adventist
College (Donald R. McAdams) was one of the first to claim that Ellen
Whites historical statements in Great Controversy were
inaccurate. When challenged by Bill May (see our tract, Give the
Trumpet a Certain Sound (FF33]), he admitted that historians will
frequently disagree among themselves as to how a given event occurred.
Some historians will put it one way and others another way. He also
admitted that in each case of variation, some historians say it the same
way Ellen White does in Great Controversy. But he had concluded
that she was historically inaccurate because she did not give it the way
that the conflicting historians thought it should be! That is begging
the question. To use that definition of "historical accuracy"
would rule out the work of every historian who has ever lived! Any
historian who took a position on any controverted historical event would
immediately be branded as producing "an unreliable historical
record." The only safe rule would be to never write anything about
past history! The fact is that some historians agreed with everything
she wrote about past events in Great Controversy.
The only exception, of course, would be those
instances in which she wrote about something that no historian had ever
mentioned. There are historians in that category also. Our only detailed
source for the A.D. 66-70 Jewish War is Josephus, who lived through it.
Ellen White also writes about topics that no one else can, because she
personally witnessed them. Among other events, this would include
chapters 36-42 of Great Controversy. Other than Daniel, John the
Revelator, Ellen White, and some other Bible writers, no one else could
correctly write about those events because they have not yet taken
3 - It is said that part of the doctrinal chapters of
Great Controversy were very similar to earlier doctrinal studies
by Smith, and therefore must have been copied from him.
(1) That does not prove they were copied from his
(2) Smiths studies could indeed have been used as
a convenient reference source in preparing her studies on the state of
the dead, punishment of the wicked, etc. Ellen White was told by the
angel that she would be able to read other writings and be guided to
select from them what was true. There would be nothing wrong in her
using doctrinal summaries earlier prepared by Smith. All the Bible texts
would be there together. That would be very helpful, and such
utilization would not be improper.
The fact is that some people are trying to find
something to doubt. They seem to obtain an emotional lift by attacking
the precious things given us by the God of heaven.
(3) Keep in mind that most of our basic doctrinal
positions were given us through Spirit of Prophecy visions during
the Sabbath conferences of 1848. Our other doctrines were later given
through her or approved by her. There would be nothing wrong with the
Lord guiding her in the selection of a useful doctrinal summary on the
state of the dead, written by Smith. Her earlier approval or visions
were the basis of all those doctrinal studies anyway.
4 - It is charged that Uriah Smith invented the
It is marvelous how men can turn against our historic
beliefs in order to vent their rage against the Spirit of Prophecy.
Their consciences are kicking against the pricks. The charge is even
made that our Sanctuary belief is wrong. Why?because it is the
opinion of one critic that Uriah Smith invented it! Men treacherously
try to change past history, in an effort to justify their rebellion
You will find that Ellen White wrote about the
Sanctuary message all through her writings, not just in Great
5 - It is said that Smith put so much error into Great
Controversy that the General Conference Daniel and Revelation
Committee had to meet in order to try to straighten out our doctrines!
The Daniel and Revelation Committee did not begin
meeting until the 1960s. If the above charge is true, then our copies of
Great Controversy, printed after the 1960s, would be different.
Yet every word and page remains exactly the same.
Regarding the D&R Committee, it has met on and
off since the mid-1960s, and was convened in an attempt to solve the
"consensus problem"not any Great Controversy problem!
Few of our college Bible teachers had doctorates back
in the 1950s. Knowing that this was the fast doorway into a nice Bible
teaching job, by the 1960s they were getting them. If they had a Ph.D.,
they could teach liberal theology with little fear of being fired, since
their doctorates were needed to help our colleges and universities
maintain approval by worldly accreditation associations. Having received
their doctoral training under liberal and atheist professors in outside
universities, by the mid-1960s a growing number of our Bible teachers no
longer believed our historic beliefs, especially those mentioned in the
books of Daniel and Revelation. That is why the D&R Committees were
convened, not because of "errors" in Great Controversy, as
It would be good to identify the "changed
beliefs" of our "Bible scholars" in the past couple
decades. Knowing what they are, we can see if those new beliefs have
been written into Great Controversy or any other Spirit of
Five special areas, discussed in Great
Controversy, are included: (1) The importance of obedience to the
law of God was being underrated (Dan 2, 6, 8; Rev 11-14). (2) The
prophecies pointing to the papacy were being denied (Dan 7, 8; Rev
12-18). (3) Our Sanctuary message was being rejected (Daniel 8 and 9;
Rev 4, 11). (4) The time periods were being changed (Dan 7-9; Rev
11-13). (5) Concern over eventual Sunday legislation was being toned
down (Dan 7; Rev 13 and 14).
Switching the blame. The secret writer critics
declare that Great Controversy and many other Spirit of Prophecy
books are poison to the mind. The truth is that the danger lies in what
is being taught by many workers, teachers, and leaders. The Spirit of
Prophecy is perfectly safe. Yet the critics urge us to flee from those
holy books, lest we become contaminated by mysterious, unnamed errors.
You would do well to avoid the writings and tapes of
anyone who accuses any part of the Spirit of Prophecy books, as having
false doctrine,instead of where the real problem lies: the liberals
and the Spirit of Prophecy critics in our church.
6 - It is said that others totally changed Great
Controversy at the time of its 1911 revision.
That is not true. Take a standard copy of the 1911
edition of Great Controversy. This will be a book with standard
paging, such as is found in the regular $9.95 red or black cloth
edition. Then, take a copy of the original 1888 edition or an 1888
reprint which has standardized pagng (such as ours has). Next, compare
the two (the 1888 and 1911) on any given page.
You will find that they are nearly identical in every
waybut five. In the 1911 edition: (1) words referring to the Godhead
are placed in initial caps. (They are in caps in our editions of the
1884 and 1888 editions). (2) Bible references are placed in the text
instead of footnotes. (In our editions, they have also been placed in
the text). (3) References to historical quotations have been added. (4)
Different historical quotations were at times used.
That fourth item is the only essential difference
between the 1888 and 1911 editions. Obtain a copy of each and compare
themand see for yourself! In the 1884 and 1888 editions, Ellen White
did not include source references in her quotations from historical
writers. So in preparing the 1911 edition, it was decided to include the
references. But not all of the original quotations used in the 1888
edition could be found. So they substituted other quotations that
covered the point in about the same amount of space. But, aside from the
quotations, that which she wrote in the 1888 edition is almost identical
to what you will find in the 1911 edition. Hoehn is wrong; the 1911
edition was not a radical change.
(5) The 1911 appendix is different, but Ellen White
did not write the appendices. The present writer considers the 1884 and
1888 appendices to be good; the 1888 somewhat more complete, however.
(You will find it in the back of our 1888 reprint; our 1884 edition has
the 1884 appendix, if you want to read that one.) The original 1911
appendix was fairly good also,but it was the last good one. When the
appendix was revised in the 1940s, it was transformed into our current
1911 Great Controversy, obtainable in our ABCs: just a
bibliography to a lot of old books which no one could find, without
going to a place like the Harvard Divinity School Library. In contrast,
the earlier appendices gave valuable historical information.
7 - These critics spend their time trying to convince
readers that Great Controversy is full of errors.
The evidence they use against that sacred book comes
from their imagination. Whenever they see something different in wording
between either of the three editions, they try to see a sinister motive
for the change. What a miserable way to read Great Controversy!
Instead of enlarging the 1884 edition by adding to
it, Ellen White used an alternate method: she rewrote it. This is why
the 1884 and 1888 editions are so different. This is an effective
writing technique. If the present writer was faced with the same
taskto produce a greatly enlarged edition of a book he had earlier
written (for example, Beyond Pitcairn)he probably would do the
same thing. It will take more work to write it all out again in the
process of expanding it; but the end result will be a far more
satisfactory, more readable, book. Ellen White went to the extra work to
turn out a better book, and we should be thankful for It. The 1884
edition gives a good, compact coverage of the subject. The 1888 edition
is also a good book; but, primarily in the earlier (historical)
chapters, it provides a larger, more detailed coverage. Both are
excellent books, and the essential principles remain the same in both.
Keep that in mind: The principles were not changed! Not one of them. The
editions of Great Controversy may vary in arrangement and the
amount of details, but that is all.
8 - In order to prove his position that Great
Controversy is full of errors, one critic of Ellen White quotes from
articles in liberal Adventist journals
which vigorously attack Ellen
Whites writings, impugns her motives, and call her historical
The very fact that the critics must use journals,
such as Spectrum, to support their attacks, is very revealing. It
shows the camp they are actually in. Once a man begins questioning
Gods Word, there is no length he will not finally go. He is
committing the unpardonable sin, and his conscious no longer disturbs
9 - A secret writers critic says that "Great
Controversy" is the wrong name for the book, and that it should
be "Spirit of Prophecy."
But "great controversy" is the key phrase
found all the way through the book! The entire volume is about the great
controversy between Christ and Satan, as fought in the Christian church
and the world from Christs time on down to our own.
Is it safe to read, with interest or sympathy, the
writings of such men who attack both the veracity of the Spirit of
Prophecy and those who defend that veracity? You do well to avoid the
writings of such men. They will only destroy your confidence in the
Spirit of Prophecy.
Such men as Herman Hoehn and Vern Bates are like
Walter Rea. Rea was an unknown church worker who, by his own admission
never gave up meat eating, but who finally found fame when he declared
that Ellen Whites writings were no good. Herman Hoehn was a
woodcutter, in Western Canada, who has gained wide recognition for
having dreamed up dozens of ways in which most of Ellen Whites
writings are supposed to be worthless.
Some get their heaven now; others get it when Jesus
returns. May God have mercy on the rejecters of the Spirit of Prophecy.
Some are, right now, preparing for hellfire.
10 - The critic says that another "error"
in the book is the fact that Ellen White omits "I saw," from
the 1888 edition, and changes some passages from present to past
Is there a problem to that? No, there is none. She
recognized that the book must be given a wide distribution; and, because
of the existence of false prophets in these last days, she should not
make an issue of her prophetic role. The principles in the books should
stand on their own merits, and this is what they do.
11 - Referring to the expansion of the French
Reformation chapter from 3 pages in the 1884 edition to 25 pages in the
1888, Hoehn says this should not have been done!
What right does he have to tell Ellen White how she
should have written her books? What right does he have to tell God that
He did wrong in impressing Ellen to put so much additional information
in the 1888 revision of that chapter?
Gods faithful ones wish that Great Controversy
was ten times longer, not shrunk down to something much shorter!
These critics have the ability to make something evil
and sinister out of the most innocent things in the Spirit of Prophecy.
Men who dare to attack Gods holy Word can become so daring. Nothing
is sacred to them.
12 - The critics charge that some of the titles, in
the 1884 edition, were changed when the 1888 was prepared.
That is true. Anything wrong with that? For your
information, Ellen White rarely gave titles to her books, chapters, and
articles. She also did not write the publishers prefaces, indexes,
appendices, footnotes, boxes, or bracketed comments in her books. But we
know that she did name The Desire of Ages. The Great
Controversy between Christ and Satan, and The Ministry of
Healing. (In addition, when she sent out her first messages to the
church, she standardly called them testimonies, and the name stuck
through all nine volumes.)
13 - The critic says the three angels messages are
in the 1884 edition, but not in the later editions.
That is not true either! Turn in the 1888 edition or
the 1911 edition to chapter 25 (pages 433-450 in the standardized paging
edition) and read it carefully. Especially notice pages 435-438,
445-446, and 449-450. It is clear that the entire chapter constitutes a
careful study of the messages of the three angels, as applied to the
crisis revealed in Revelation 13 and 14.
Desmond Ford brings apostasy into the church through
the front door; Robert Brinsmead brings it in through the side door.
These critics, who tell us the Spirit of Prophecy is wrongly written,
bring it in through the backdoor. Satan is leading all these camps to
Stay away from those who insinuate doubt in the Bible
or Spirit of Prophecy.
What about additions or subtractions?
spoken about the possibility of changes in these books, and have
concluded that changes would have introduced strange, new
doctrinesbut that did not happen. All of the Spirit of Prophecy books
match one another. But what about the possibility that things were just
added, merely words and phrases here and there.
If men attempted to do that,it would only be done
to change meanings! If meanings were changed, we would catch it
What about the possibility that words were dropped
out here and there. Once again, it would only be done in order to change
the meaning of the sentence. A non-Spirit of Prophecy concept would be
the result, and it would be easily noted. Yet all these years of reading
in those books, you and I have never found such passages.
Oh, yes, footnotes have been added to some books, but
they only prove our point. (1) The footnotes in Spirit of Prophecy books
were not penned by Ellen White. (2) Those footnotes at times teach
non-Spirit of Prophecy concepts. This is obvious and we are quick to
note it. That is but another proof that things inserted in the Spirit of
Prophecy by others would be quickly noted.
Here is an example: The following note has been
inserted at the front of paperback editions of Ministry of Healing by
two different publishers:
"Some of the references to dress and customs of
that day are much different today. The drugs, e.g., morphine,
strychnine, calomel, arsenic, etc., used by the doctors at that time
should not be confused with the beneficial medicines of today."
That is obviously a false statement. We immediately
recognize it as such. (1) The Spirit of Prophecy definition of a
"drug medication" is "a poisonous substance of a foreign
nature" which has an immediate or eventual harmful effect on the
body. According to that definition, all our modern medicinal drugs would
fall under that category; for they all have damaging, and often very
dangerous, side effects. (2) It is a known fact, easily confirmed in
drug directories (the present writer did it several years ago), that
every single named drug in the Spirit of Prophecy is still being widely
That is an example of how quickly you can recognize a
non-Spirit of Prophecy concept. If there were errors in the Spirit of
Prophecy, you would recognize them!
Reviving the 1881 error.
Prior to 1881, the
brethren in Battle Creek were fuming in disgust because they could not
control Ellen White. She seemed like such a gentle soul, and therefore
they erroneously concluded she was very impressionable and could be
manipulated by a strong-willed person. They decided that, since they
could not get her to do what they wanted, James White must be the
problem! If James were just out of the way, they could get her to do
whatever they wanted.
But not so. On August 6, 1881, James White died after
a sudden, short illness. It was then that the brethren made a profound
discovery. It was Ellen White who had the strength of character to
resist the compromising pleas of leadership. She stood firm as a rock
after the death of her husband, just as she had done before.
It was the same with Jesus as a youth. He was so
kindly and helpful, yet obviously brilliant, that the youth around
Himand later the religious leaderstried to influence him, but all
All that is safe to read.
If you accept the
"secret writers" charge of Hoehn and fellow travelers, you can
only safely read Ellen Whites 1846-1847 broadsidesSigns;
Review; Sabbath School Worker articles, up to 1883; Christian
Experience and Views (1851) and the 1854 supplement to it; Early
Writings; Spiritual Gifts, Vols. 1-4; Spirit of Prophecy, Vols. 1-3;
Testimonies, Vols. 1-3; articles in "Health Reformer" and
"Good Health"; and Appeal to Mothers (1869).
If you listen to those folk, you will throw away most
of the Spirit of Prophecy books now on your shelves. Herman Hoehn has
arranged it so that it is so hard to figure out where the error
isunless you have him to point it out to you. He can find bad things
in the finest passages in the Spirit of Prophecy. Personally, I think
that devils help him locate all his picky little doubts in those
Listening to his suspicions and accusations, you will
need to throw out the following: AA, AH 1 BC, CDF, CG, CH, ChS, CM COL,
CS, CSW, CT, CWE, DA, Ed, Ev, FE, GC, GW, TMK, most of LS, Mar, MB, MH,
MLT, MM, MYP, PK, PP, AG, SC, SDG, SL, 1SM, 2SM, 3SM, TDG, TM, UL, WM,
and 7-A BC.
A key to unraveling it all.
Admittedly, this is
not an easy charge to refute. What if I told you that Abraham Lincoln
was a secret Jesuit priest, before he became president. You would say,
"Impossible! How could this be so!" And you would be right. So
much was known about his pre-presidential life, his presidential years,
his speeches, and his writings.
But, then, you might begin wondering. That was a
hundred years ago. Maybe it was so. A good manipulator of words and
facts, skilled at twisting one thing to look like another, could
probably present a case that Lincoln was a secretly trained Jesuit
agent, and the Catholics got him elected so he would start the Civil War
and help Rome take over America!
That kind of "conspiracy analysis"
accomplishes great things in newsletters. How can anyone answer such a
charge? The answer is simple: If Lincoln was doing secret Jesuit-agent
work, then he was a deceptive, evil man; and it would show in his talks,
writings, and all he did.
So then, how can we answer the "secret
writers" charge against Ellen White? She wrote many years before
our time. The answer is equally simple: If Ellen White permitted others
to write books in her name, then she would also have been a deceptive,
evil person; and it would have shown itself in her talks, writings, and
all she did.
In addition, those presumed changes, additions, and
add-on chapters and books would have been written for a purpose: to
change the thinking of Seventh-day Adventists in regard to certain
matters. The changed concepts would be there for us to find today in her
We can KNOW
Ellen White is the author of her writings by the writings themselves.
How can anyone today actually know what went on back
then? No one can; neither you nor I nor anyone else. That is what makes
the charge so powerful. But we can KNOW
what is in those writings! We have the books with us right now. And we
can know the purposes and objectives in those books. And we can know the
principles stated in those books. Do not doubt your ability to
understand these things; you can taste and see, and KNOW
that the Spirit of Prophecy writings are safe. It is self-evident as you
The issue is not the charge but the writings.
issue is not the charge, but the writings and what we do with them.
Were changes made? If changes were made, they were of
no consequence. We can see that from the writings themselves. God wants
us to bring our reasoning powers to His Word. As we do so, we see
clearly that the Spirit of Prophecy writings are from God. The
principles are astounding. So fresh, so clear: they breathe of
The Spirit of God witnesses with our spirit that
these are holy writings, and we dare not set them aside.
There is a terrible danger here. The Holy Spirit has
convicted us that the writings are of God, and if we choose to believe
the proud accusings of the critics,we are in danger of losing our
To accept the suggestion means to reject not only the
Holy Spirits conviction, but also to question whether we have been
thinking right! The result is confused minds.
The present writer has spoken with a number of souls
who have accepted the doubt and now do not know what to think. They fear
to read the books, lest they be caught up in error. Yet they have hardly
any idea what error they are supposed to be looking for! This thing
becomes a satanic bewitchment! Always before they knew how to recognize
truth from error; but, after accepting the "secret writers"
charge, they no longer seem to know how to.
This is because they are now looking for errors in
the Spirit of Prophecy writings and cannot find them; but since they
have chosen to believe error is supposed to be there,they have come
to doubt the ability of their own minds to recognize truth from error!
The bedrock issue.
The bedrock issue is that we
must read the Spirit of Prophecy writings with confident, submissive
obedience. In doing so, we are preparing our lives for heaven.
Not to read them with confidence is to read them with
disbelief. Soon we will not be reading them at all.
One of the most dangerous temptations that came to
Ellen White was back in 1845, when she was told by others that her
visions came from mesmerism. Shortly afterward, when she was about to be
taken into vision, she began to resist, thinking it might be some type
of hypnotic spell. As a result, God rebuked her severely. What she had
done was to doubt Gods Holy Spirit!
When you and I, who have drunk deeply in the
thirst-quenching waters of the Spirit of Prophecy, are then willing to
accept the charge that we should now read them with caution and
disbeliefwe are treading on the same ground Ellen White trod on so
many years before! We are questioning that which we have clearly known
to be the writings of the Spirit of God,and instead searching for
evidence that they are the writings of men! That is very close to the
pathway into the sin against the Holy Spirit!
Please! Please! Think about what I am saying!
Have alterations been made? Have some changes been
made? Perhaps you suspect that some have. Leave that to God to take care
of! Your work is to trust and obey, not to proofread with doubt. To
continue to do so will destroy you.
"Oh," someone will say, "one word here
was changed to another word!" Leave it alone! You have a whole
ocean of truth in the Spirit of Prophecy. You dare not let your mind
dwell on the possibility. Do not exchange an ocean of truth for a cupful
The concepts and principles
in the Spirit of Prophecy are invaluable. They are so uniformly
consistent! How can this be if a variety of authors wrote those books?
The principles stated in the Spirit of Prophecy
attest to, and prove, their genuineness. His children hear the true
Shepherds voice in them, and they follow Him. They go by the
principles stated in His Word. They value His Word; they trust their
lives to it.
Ellen White wrote articles and books, and later
revised them into other articles and books. Rearrangements and word
replacements occurred in the process, but the principles remained
unchanged. The same principles are in the 1884 Great Controversy as
are to be found in the 1888 and 1911 editions. Those principles are not
hidden; they stand right out! They are there today as you open and read
in her books! They are emblazoned on every page. Clear-cut
principlesprinciples of heaven to lead us to heaven.
When you read in the Spirit of Prophecy, ask
yourself, "What is the underlying principle?" Find the
principle and obey it. Those principles are right. They run all through
those books, and no counter or opposing principles are there.
The total wholeness of those writings rebukes all
efforts to attribute their authorship to "secret writers."
Rejecting the seed.
Do not forget the forgetful
hearers in the parable of the sower (Mark 4:3-20 and Luke 8:5-15). This
parable is filled with deep meaning. Read it in the light of the
insights given in Christs Object Lessons (pages 33-61). Some
hearers let themselves become hardened; others permit problems and cares
to choke out the precious seed. Still others let the birds come in and
take the seed away. Do not let the birds take away the seed out of your
life! Please! You dare not let that happen! Do not let others tell you
that the seed of Gods Word is corrupt. Let your roots go deep. Keep
the ground moistened. Let confidence and obedience to the inspired
Writings mark your days. It is better to be a humble servant of God than
a wise scoffer of His Word.
The kind of messages the "others" would
We can with certainty know that Great Controversy is
not the product of the leaders at Battle Creek! We can know by the
messages given in the book. They are not the messages those men would
Leaders, whether church or governmental, tend to be
political. They are tempted to be excessively more concerned with
holding their jobs, advancing to higher positions, gaining more control
over the workers, and maintaining subservient rank and file members.
This problem, which we observe at times in church leaders, has been with
us in the past.
What then would have been the objectives of leaders,
if they had been permitted by Heaven to rewrite or add sentences,
paragraphs, chapters, or entire books to the Spirit of Prophecy? We
would find authority and control to be principal concerns.
Simply by reading in the Spirit of Prophecy books we
have today, we can not only know that alternate views are not to be
found in those writings,but we can know what those alternate views
would have been!
Open Great Controversy, any edition. The first
half of the book can be summarized in this triumphant statement of Peter
before the crafty leaders of his time: "We ought to obey God rather
than men" (Acts 5:29). That is the message of Great Controversy:
obedience to God. We are told that we only obey Him when we study
and obey His Written Word.
You will find that to be the theme all through the
historical chapters of Great Controversy. But that theme is also
the basis of everything in the latter part of the book as well.
That theme would not be there if Uriah and his
associates had written any part of that book, had changed any part of
that book, or had added to any part of that book. If additions had been
made by "secret writers" to Great Controversy, certain
wrong concepts would also be in that book. They would be these:
"It is important that we reverence our leaders.
It is important that we submit to the better judgment of our leaders.
They are wiser than the laymen ever can be. We are far more likely to
reach heaven by obeying their dictates than in trying to decide for
ourselves how we should serve God. Our leaders understand Scripture
better than we do; for they have had far better training in the
seminaries, as well as years of experience in managing the work. Only by
counseling with them and submitting to their judgment will the people of
God be saved from problems and errors."
Read again the chapters on Persecution in the
First Centuries and The Apostasy. Scan through the chapters
on the conflict of Bohemian, German, Swiss, French, and English
Christians with religious authorities. Uriah and his friends would not
have written that!
Although he was not able to change the 1888 edition,
he tried to keep it from being published. (See The Circulation of
Great Controversy, which is reprinted at the back of this book.)
Read again pages 42-43, 45:2-46:1, 48:3, and the
chapters that follow.
Read again a section not found in the 1884 edition:
pages 289-290. Uriah did not write that!
Read again the chapter entitled, The Scriptures, a
Safeguard. That chapter is powerful! It was in the 1884 edition;
and, like all the closing chapters of Great Controversy, it is in
all the later editions of that book. Church leaders did not write that
chapter! They did not add to it, they did change it, they were not
permitted to blot it out.
A statement by M. L. Andreasen.
Here is a
statement by M. L. Andreasen to help you see the thinkingand
worryingof leadership back in those days. You will quickly note
several facts: (1) The leaders wanted to control Ellen White. They
thought she should be under their authority. (2) They simply could not
get her to obey them. (3) At Minneapolis in 1888, they stood solidly in
opposition to Jones and Waggoner especially because of the fact that
she was on the other side. (4) They had hoped that Minneapolis would be
the place where they would get her to yield to their authority. (5)
Eight years later, in 1896, they were still disgusted because she
resolutely was independent of their authority.
"With the establishment of Union College and
also the Nebraska Sanitarium at College View, the place became a kind of
center for various activities, and a convenient location for ministers
to have their meetings and councils. It was only a matter of eight years
since the famous 1888 Conference in Minneapolis, and the conference was
frequently the subject of discussion.
"Old Elder J. H. Morrison, father of Prof. H. A.
Morrison, lived in Lincoln. He had taken a prominent role in the
discussions at Minneapolis and had written a book on the subject . . It
was largely through the kindness of old Brother Morrison that I was
permitted to attend the discussion. Of course, I was there to listen and
not to talk. And I did not talk, But I learned much. In fact, it was
wonderful school. I only wish I had notes.
"They paid little attention to me, but plunged
right into a subject of which I knew nothing. But I soon caught on, and
was astonished at the freedom with which they discussed personalities.
Most of the older men who had known Elder [James] White were not
endeared to him, it appeared. In their opinion, he was too strongheaded
to work well with others.
"Sister Whites situation was not an easy one.
As the wife of the president of the denomination, she gave support to
him in his work. But at times word would come from the Lord that made it
necessary for her to bear messages of reproof to him. And Elder White
sometimes questioned in his own mind if she spoke to him from the Lord.
On some occasions this brought on tension.
"This was at times the case when it became her
duty to counsel others. While many to whom testimonies were written
accepted them with gratitude, others turned against her. No wonder that
she said that if she had her choice of having a vision or dying, she
would choose the latter . .
"A few of the leaders were waiting for the day
when there would be a change in the way the church was run. They thought
at the Minneapolis meeting such a change might be made.
"I have heard many versions of what took place
at Minneapolis. Someday, if I ever get time, I would like to tell the
story as I heard it recounted at the meetings held in College View by
the men who were the leaders in opposition to Sister White. They did not
consider the message of Jones and Waggoner to be the real issue. The
real issue, according to my informers, was whether Sister White was to
be permitted to overrule the men who carried the responsibility of the
work. It was an attempt to overthrow the position of the Spirit of
Prophecy. And it seemed [at Minneapolis] the men in opposition carried
the day. Eventually she left for Australia, where she stayed nine years.
It was there that a plan of organization which called for union
conferences was made that received her blessing, and that in 1901 was
implemented on the General Conference level. As interpreted by some, the
Minneapolis conference was a revolt against Sister White. If that is so,
it throws some light on the omega apostasy."Diary of M. L.
Andreasen, quoted in Virginia Steinweg, Without Fear or Favor (1979),
42-44 [italics ours].
Does that eye-witness report from 1896 give the
impression that Ellen White was a person that people could step on? Were
the leaders giving the orders and she was meekly following? There is no
doubt that they wanted it to happen, but there is no doubt that it did
The Scriptures, a Safeguard chapter.
chapter in Great Controversy. It is essentially the same in the
1884, 1888, and 1911 editions. In this way you can see for yourself the
lack of significant changes in this crucial chapter, The Scriptures, a
That chapter is a most powerful call to cast off all
human authority when it conflicts with obedience to God and His Written
In the original 1884 paging, you will find it on
pages 411-420. In our edition of the 1884, it is on pages 364-371.
In the original 1888 edition, it is on pages 593-602.
In our paperback edition of that book, it is on pages 630-639.
In the 1911 edition, it is on pages 593-602.
I can assure you: If the secret writers wanted to
change anything in that book, it was the scriptures, a Safeguard
chapter! Let us then carefully examine itand see if anything was
As you read the chapter, Scriptures, a Safeguard, you
will discover that all three editions read almost the same, except: (1)
The phrasing has been improved in some sentences, but most of the time
it remains identical to the 1884 edition. (2) Certain paragraphs, not in
the 1884 edition, are in the 1888 and 1911. These are totally
unproblematic additions, and are as follows (1911 paging):
(1) The first added paragraph is page 596:3. Herman
Hoehn says the 1888 and 1911 editions are no good. Does the following
paragraph sound bad to you?
"The Roman Church reserves to the clergy the
right to interpret the Scriptures. On the ground that ecclesiastics
alone are competent to explain Gods Word, it is withheld from the
common people. Though the Reformation gave the Scriptures to all, yet
the selfsame principle which was maintained by Rome prevents multitudes
in Protestant churches from searching the Bible for themselves. They are
taught to accept its teachings as interpreted by the church; and
there are thousands who dare receive nothing, however plainly revealed
in Scripture, that is contrary to their creed or the established
teaching of their church."1888 and 1911 Great Controversy,
page 596:3 in the 1911 (italics hers).
But does the above paragraph, in the 1888 and 1911
editions, but not in the 1884, sound like something conniving leaders
would want to add?
(2) The second added paragraphs in the 1888 and 1911
edition extends, in the 1911 paging, from the second sentence on page
597:2 (in the 1911 edition) to the end of 598:1.
"Many claim that it matters not what one
believes, if his life is only right. But the life is molded by the
faith. If light and truth is within our reach, and we neglect to improve
the privilege of hearing and seeing it, we virtually reject it; we are
choosing darkness rather than light.
" There is a way that seemeth right unto a
man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 16:25.
Ignorance is no excuse for error or sin, when there is every opportunity
to know the will of God. A man is traveling and comes to a place where
there are several roads and a guideboard indicating where each one
leads. If he disregards the guideboard, and takes whichever road seems
to him to be right, he may be ever so sincere, but will in all
probability find himself on the wrong road.
"God has given us His Word that we may become
acquainted with its teachings and know for ourselves what He requires of
us. When the lawyer came to Jesus with the inquiry, What shall I do
to inherit eternal life? the Saviour referred him to the Scriptures,
saying: What is written in the law? how readest thou? Ignorance
will not excuse young or old, nor release them from the punishment due
for the transgression of Gods law, because there is in their hands a
faithful presentation of that law and of its principles and claims. It
is not enough to have good intentions; it is not enough to do what a man
thinks is right or what the minister tells him is right. His souls
salvation is at stake, and he should search the Scriptures for himself.
However strong may be his convictions, however confident he may be that
the minister knows what is truth, this is not his foundation. He has a
chart pointing out every waymark on the heavenward journey, and he ought
not to guess at anything."1888 and 1911 Great Controversy,
page 597:2, sentence 2, to 598:1 in 1911 paging.
Does that sound like something selfish men would have
sneaked into Great Controversy? It is not enough to do what a man
thinks is right or what the minister tells him is right. His souls
salvation is at stake, and he should search the Scriptures for himself.
(3) The third added paragraph is page 600:1, in the
1911 edition, and consists of two Bible quotations: John 14:26 and Psalm
119:11. There is no problem here.
(4) The fourth and fifth added paragraphs are the
last paragraphs in the chapter (602:2-3), and consist of four Bible
quotations: Psalm 119:99, 104; Proverbs 3:13; and Jeremiah 17:8. Again
Apart from the above additions, essentially all of
chapter 37 (Scriptures, a Safeguard) are essentially the same in
all three editions.
Yet we saw from the Andreasen quotation that chapter
37 would have been a target for change if the leaders back then had
their way. It would have been radically altered. Instead, the concepts
in it were strengthened in the later editions!
If you want another powerful chapter to ponder, read 5
Testimonies, 62-84. That chapter was written in the very midst of
the time when the critics declare that leading brethren were controlling
her writings (about 1887-1888). Yet it constitutes a most powerful
indictment of our leaders in Battle Creek!
to Part 4