Further 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 that direction.

"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 Satan. 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. There is 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 much!"

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 there.

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: Testimonies, 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 doing:

The need for self-supporting workers to not wait for the pastors to lead out, but go themselves into rural areas and do missionary work.

The importance of doing evangelistic work in the big cities, something else the leaders fought throughout that entire decade.

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 so).

The church members should avoid improper reading materials.

The neglected work in the Southern States should be taken up, even though our leaders at Battle Creek were unitedly stonewalling it.

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. In 1900, 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 Controversy. 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!

Great Controversy, 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 this book:

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 them there. 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 place.

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 writings.

(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 Sanctuary doctrine.

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 against God.

You will find that Ellen White wrote about the Sanctuary message all through her writings, not just in Great Controversy.

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 is charged.

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 Prophecy books.

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 research sloppy.

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 him.

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 tense.

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 perdition.

Stay away from those who insinuate doubt in the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy.

What about additions or subtractions? We have 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 immediately!

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 used today!

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 without success.

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 precious books.

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 books.

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 read them.

The issue is not the charge but the writings. The 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 heavens air.

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 souls.

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 of suspicion.

Astounding concepts. 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 have inserted. 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 have given!

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 not occur.

The Scriptures, a Safeguard chapter. Read that 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 Safeguard.

That chapter is a most powerful call to cast off all human authority when it conflicts with obedience to God and His Written Word!

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 changed.

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 no problem.

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!


Continue to Part 4