Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church In PROPHECY!
The Seventh-day Adventists claim to be the Laodicean Church of Revelation 3 -- is this true? Are they, instead, one of the other six churches of Revelation 2 and 3? Who is the "Jezebel" mentioned in the message to the Thyatiran Church? What does the "sickbed" of Revelation 2:22 have to do with Ellen G. White -- past leader of the Adventist movement? Read how a PROPHETESS led a Church of God into the "deep things of Satan"; and failed to repent before YEHOVAH God!
by John D. Keyser
On November 26, 1827, twin girls were born to Eunice Harmon, wife of Robert Harmon, in the small village of Gorham, Maine -- a few miles west of Portland.
Robert, a hatter of modest means, and his wife, a pious homemaker with strong religious beliefs, moved their family into Portland when the twins were still in preschool.
At this time Portland was a picturesque New England seaport with a population of around fifteen thousand, drawing its sustenance from the West Indian maritime trade that supported the economy. Ships from Maine sailed to the Caribbean loaded with lumber or marine products, and returned filled with sugar, molasses, rum and other products of the West Indies.
Being a seaport with a ready supply of alcohol and an equally ready supply of seamen passing through, the question of drinking and other related moral issues became strong amid the local community. It was in this sort of environment that Ellen, and her twin sister Elizabeth, grew up.
At about the age of nine or ten, Ellen and Elizabeth were walking through a public park one day when a schoolmate, angry over some incident, hurled a rock at the two girls, striking Ellen squarely on the nose. Ellen fell to the ground unconscious. For three weeks she lay in a coma, totally oblivious to her surroundings, while her family and friends waited for her to die.
Her eventual recovery, along with mental and physical problems resulting from the rock throwing incident, paved the way for Ellen's emergence as the foremost religious leader of her day.
In March of 1840 William Miller, an Adventist preacher, arrived in Portland, proclaiming that the Messiah would return to earth in 1844. Ellen attended his meetings and became convinced of the truth of his convictions. As a result, she joined the Millerites and expectantly awaited the return of the Messiah. When he failed to appear in 1844, disappointment and confusion swept through the Millerites, causing many to leave the movement.
In December of this same year, while praying with friends for guidance, seventeen-year-old Ellen went into a trance -- the first of many visions during which she claimed to receive divine illumination. While in this trance she was assured that the Millerites' only mistake was in confusing the second coming of the Messiah with the beginning of the heavenly judgment which, according to the vision, had indeed begun in that year.
Two years later, in 1846, Ellen met a retired sea captain name Joseph Bates, who had broken with his former Millerite brethren and was now observing the seventh-day sabbath. Ellen subsequently received a "vision" that reinforced the importance of keeping the seventh-day sabbath; and from this time on it was one of the main tenets of her faith. Unfortunately, the Sabbath she kept was on Saturday in our pagan Gregorian calendar of today, and not based on the lunar calendar as YEHOVAH God intended!
In this same year she married an itinerant Millerite minister named James White, whom she had met during a trip to eastern Maine in 1845. Together, along with Joseph Bates, they formally created the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, during the early 1860s.
The Remnant of True Believers
During the first "vision" Ellen received in 1844, the then tiny band of Adventists were described as the REMNANT of true believers. This belief or "doctrine" of the REMNANT was carried over by the Whites into the newly formed Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Just what is this "remnant"?
Let the Seventh-day Adventist publication, Seventh-day Adventists Believe...A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines, explain:
The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the LAST DAYS, a time of widespread apostasy, a REMNANT has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This REMNANT announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. -- Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, published by the Review and Herald Publishing Assoc., Hagerstown, Maryland. 1988, page 152.
Further on, in pages 161-162, this publication elaborates on the "remnant":
What is the Remnant? In John's description of the dragon's battle with the woman and her descendants, he used the expression "the rest of her offspring" (Rev. 12:17). That expression means the "remaining ones" or "remnant" (Rev. 12:17, KJV). The Bible portrays the REMNANT as a small group of God's people who, through calamities, wars, and apostasy, remain loyal to God. This faithful REMNANT were the rootstock God used to propagate His visible Church on earth (2 Chron. 30:6; Ezra 9:14,15; Isa. 10:20-22; Jer. 42:2; Eze. 6:8, 14:22).
God commissioned the REMNANT to declare His glory and lead His scattered people throughout the world to His "holy mountain Jerusalem," "Mount Zion" (Isa. 37:31,32; cf. Rev. 14:1). Of those thus gathered together Scripture states, "These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes" (Rev. 14:4).
The book continues:
Revelation 12:17 contains a description of the last REMNANT in God's chosen line of loyal believers -- His loyal witnesses in the last days before Christ's second coming. What are the remnant's characteristics?
...The REMNANT at the time of the end cannot be easily mistaken. John describes this group in specific terms. Appearing after the 1260 years of persecution, they are made up of those "who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17).
They have the responsibility of proclaiming, just before Christ's return, God's final warning to all the world, the three angels' messages of Revelation 14 (Rev.14:6-12). These messages themselves contain a description of the REMNANT, they are "those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12).
In the second and third chapters of Revelation we read about seven churches that YEHOVAH God is specifically working with -- churches that will COEXIST during the end time leading up to the return of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God Himself!. (See my article entitled, The Four Churches of Revelation.) Do the Seventh-day Adventists claim to be one of these end time churches? Indeed they do.
Richard C. Nickels, in his book History of the Seventh-day Church of God, states:
Ellen G. White's visions consistently held that God was working ONLY through her and her church group. And as for others, "Satan has taken full possession of the churches as a body."
Her church was the only true church, and it was the end time church of the LAODICEANS: "The LAODICEAN CHURCH is the church of Christ for the period in which we live, and He has no other. Those who renounce membership in the Laodicean Church place themselves outside the fold of Christ." -- 1988, page 13.
In her book Testimonies for the Church, Ellen G. White pronounces, "The message to the Church of the Laodiceans is a startling denunciation, and is applicable to the people of God [by which term she implies the Seventh-day Adventist Church] at the present time." (Volume III, p. 252). In volume IV, page 87, she adds: "The Laodicean message applies to the people of God who profess to believe present truth [doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church]."
It is quite evident the Seventh-day Adventist Church considers itself to be the end time REMNANT or LAODICEAN CHURCH. But is this true? Is the Seventh-day Adventist Church the ONLY TRUE CHURCH on the face of the earth today?
The Seventh-day Adventists suffer from the same misconception as the Worldwide Church of God -- they both believe that the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 represent seven successive church eras, and since the Laodicean Church is at the very end of the list, it must therefore be the ONLY church extant at the return of the Messiah. This is NOT true! A CAREFUL STUDY of Revelation 2 and 3 clearly shows ALL these churches to be existing together -- side by side -- in the end time! Furthermore, the Book of Revelation shows that ONLY ONE of the seven will be protected by YEHOVAH God during the events leading up to the Messiah's return. The other six will receive CORRECTION during this tremendous time of trouble. This being the case, the '"woman'' of Revelation 12 represents THE church that is protected by YEHOVAH God during this time -- the PHILADELPHIA CHURCH! (See Rev. 3:7-13).
The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be TAKEN CARE OF FOR A TIME, TIMES AND HALF A TIME , out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to MAKE WAR AGAINST THE REST OF HER OFFSPRING [the Remnant] those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. -- Rev. 12:14-17, New International Version.
Since only the Philadelphia Church is protected by YEHOVAH God, the REMNANT of Revelation 12 must logically consist of the other SIX CHURCHES of Revelation 2 and 3!
The book of Revelation reveals that there will be SEVEN END TIME CHURCHES in existence when the Messiah returns to this earth, ONE of which will be protected by YEHOVAH God during the events leading up to the second coming of the Messiah. The claim of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be the ONLY TRUE CHURCH in the end time is NO MORE VALID than that of the Worldwide Church of God -- the Bible manifestly shows that the REMNANT is made up of SIX DIFFERENT GROUPS OR CHURCHES!!
The Message to Thyatira
An article named Why I am Not An Adventist, written by a former member, states the following:
The Bible teaches that the characteristics of "the Church of the Laodiceans" (Rev. 3:14-19) which are so abhorrent to the true witness would be manifested by the professed children of God throughout Christendom "at midnight" or in the last days of this age (See Matthew 25:113; 7:2123; II Timothy 3:15). And while the Adventists display the traits of Laodicea, they HAVE NO GROUND for claiming EXCLUSIVE right to that reproachful (though by them cherished) designation, and thereby attempting to substantiate their boast of being THE true church of the end.
How very true! The Seventh-day Adventist Church does NOT have the exclusive right to call itself the Laodicean Church! In fact, there is another one of the remnant churches that better fills this role -- the Worldwide Church of God!
To find the TRUE description of the Seventh-day Adventist Church we have to look ELSEWHERE among the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3. In the second chapter of Revelation (verses 18 to 29) we read about the apostle John's message to the Church in Thyatira:
To the angel of the Messianic community in Thyatira, write: "Here is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like burnished brass: 'I know what you are doing, your love, trust, service and perseverance. And I know that you are doing more now than before. But I have this against you: you continue to tolerate that Izevel [Jezebel] woman, the one who claims to be a prophet, but is teaching and deceiving my servants to commit sexual sin and eat food that has been sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to turn from her sin, but she doesn't want to repent of her immorality. So I am throwing her into a sickbed; and those who commit [spiritual] adultery with her I am throwing into great trouble, unless they turn from the sins connected with what she does; and I will strike her children dead! Then all the Messianic communities will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and that I will give to each of you what your deeds deserve.'" (Jewish New Testament).
The book of Revelation continues:
However, I say to the rest of you who are in Thyatira, all those who do not have this teaching, the very ones who did not get to know the "DEEP THINGS OF SATAN," as they say: I am not putting upon you any other burden. Just the same, HOLD FAST WHAT YOU HAVE UNTIL I COME. And to him that conquers and observes my deeds down to the end I will give authority over the nations, and he shall shepherd the people with an iron rod so that they will be broken to pieces like clay vessels, the same as I have received from my Father, and I will give him the MORNING STAR. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.' -- New World translation.
We see here that the Thyatiran Church is characterized as having many good works, and increasing in these good works. However, it is also characterized as having allowed members of the Church to commit spiritual and sexual fornication, and partake of feasts to idols. To get a better understanding of these traits, let us take a look at the Thyatira of John's day and see what influence it had on this Church.
The City of Thyatira
Thyatira was never a great metropolis, or a center of special political significance or importance; but was a wealthy industrial center known for its dye business, brass working, and pottery making. Reference to these trades is made by John in his letter (see verses 18 and 27). Thyatira was very near Pergamum, where Chaldean priests had emigrated -- bringing the ancient Babylonian cult or religion with them. Here they established a religious center which, in time, influenced the surrounding areas -- including Thyatira.
The population of the city was divided into TRADE GUILDS, many of which are mentioned in inscriptions unearthed by archaeologists. Each of these guilds had its PATRON GOD, its FEASTS, and its SOCIAL OCCASIONS which, at times, could become immoral parties. Economic survival in the city of Thyatira was dependent upon membership in a guild, and anyone who was not a member had a difficult time indeed.
According to A Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings, these guilds were not at all conducive to true Christianity:
The objection to the guilds from the Christian point of view was twofold. In the first place, the bond which held a guild together lay always in the common religion in which all united, and in the common SACRIFICIAL MEAL of which all partook; the members ate and drank fellowship and brotherhood in virtues of the PAGAN DEITY whom they served. In the existing state of society it was IMPOSSIBLE TO DISSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP OF A GUILD FROM IDOLATRY, and the idolatry was a kind that by its symbolism and its efficacy exerted great influence on its adherents, making them members of a unity which was essentially NON-CHRISTIAN AND ANTI-CHRISTIAN. In the second place, the common banquets were celebrated amid circumstances of revelry and enjoyment that were FAR FROM CONDUCIVE TO STRICT MORALITY....
We can see here that "things sacrificed to idols" in verse 20 of Revelation 2, refers to the COMMON SACRIFICIAL MEALS THAT WERE EATEN BY MEMBERS OF THE GUILDS -- NOT to the things sacrificed to idols in the Chaldean sanctuary outside of Thyatira! "Jezebel," therefore, was NOT the sibyl or prophetess of this sanctuary -- as the Worldwide Church of God and others would have it.
The Prophetess "Jezebel"
Just outside the city of Thyatira there was a famous Chaldean sanctuary where a sibyl or prophetess presided and some, including the Worldwide Church of God, have claimed this woman to be the "Jezebel" mentioned by John in his letter. A careful study of the conditions in Thyatira, however, will PROVE THIS PREMISE TO BE FALSE.
R. H. Charles, in his book A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John, has this to say about "Jezebel":
There is no question here of the Chaldean Sibyl at Thyatira with whom Schurer (meol. Abhandl. Weizsacker gewidmet, p. 37 sq., 1892) sought to identify her [Jezebel]. Such a personage COULD NOT have been admitted to membership of the Church in Thyatira, whereas the Jezebel in our text stands admittedly WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE CHURCH.
The fact that "Jezebel" was given the opportunity for repentance in verse 21 of Revelation 2, suggests someone FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH who had gone astray, RATHER than a female fortune teller or prophetess from the pagan world.
Who could this "JEZEBEL" be?
Both the modern eclectic or "critical" text of the New Testament -- which depends heavily upon the Alexandrian type of text -- and the Majority Text render Revelation 2:20 as follows: "Nevertheless I have a few things against you that you put up with YOUR WIFE JEZEBEL, who calls herself a PROPHETESS and teaches and beguiles My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols."
The original Greek certainly allows for this rendition. In Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, number 1135, we find the following: "Gune, goonay; probably from the base of 1096; a 'woman'; SPECIALLY A 'WIFE': wife, woman."
The Book of Revelation, by Robert H. Mounce, has this observation:
The Thyatiran Jezebel is probably some PROMINENT WOMAN within the church who, like her OT counterpart, was influencing the people of God to FORSAKE LOYALTY TO GOD by promoting a tolerance toward and involvement in pagan practices. This extended to fornication and participation in the religious feasts connected with MEMBERSHIP IN TRADE GUILDS.
According to R. H. Charles, "Zahn (see Bousset, 1906, p. 217 sq.) accepts the reading and takes her [Jezebel], to be THE WIFE OF THE BISHOP OF THE CHURCH...."
It appears, without doubt, that this "Jezebel" was a MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF YEHOVAH GOD at Thyatira and, also, THE WIFE OF ITS LEADER!!
R. H. Charles, in A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John, continues: "'The woman Jezebel.' Jezebel is here used symbolically of some INFLUENTIAL WOMAN IN THE CHURCH at Thyatira, and chosen in reference to the WIFE OF AHAB, who was guilty of whoredom and witchcraft (I Kings XVI.31; II Kings IX.22), and sought TO DISPLACE THE WORSHIP OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL by idolatrous cults introduced from other lands."
The Expositor's Bible Commentary, published by the Zondervan Publishing House, describes well the scenario as revealed by John in his letter:
This supposedly Christian woman at Thyatira had CLAIMED TO BE A "PROPHETESS," GIFTED AS SUCH BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. She must have been elevated to prominence in the church because of her UNUSUAL GIFTS. But only a small minority saw through her PIOUS DECEPTION (v.24); the rest either followed her or ignored her views without objecting to her presence in the church...As this wicked and deceptive woman in the OT [Jezebel] led Israel astray and persecuted the true prophets of God, SO THIS WOMAN WAS ENTICING THE SERVANTS OF GOD TO ABANDON THEIR EXCLUSIVE LOYALTY TO CHRIST.
If we go to verse 22 of Revelation 2 we read that the Messiah cast "Jezebel" into a "sickbed," and all those who follow her into trouble or tribulation. As we shall see this refers to a LITERAL sickbed, but also can mean a "couch," which is an indication of one of the customs at the guild-feasts:
The punishment denounced is illustrated by the nature of such guild-feasts, as shown in ancient reliefs. The members and worshippers reclined ON COUCHES at the banquet; and it is probable that the sickbed of Rev. 2:22 should be understood...as a couch...." A Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings. Vol. IV.
The next verse (23) in Revelation 2 states: "And I will kill her children with death [plaque]...." The "children" referred to here are the followers of "Jezebel" who have been seduced by her pernicious doctrines:
The word "fornication" [sexual immorality] here [verse 20] as in the previous letter, means RELIGIOUS INFIDELITY, and the woman's lovers and children are the DEVOTEES AND DISCIPLES OF HER TEACHING. This interpretation gains support from the name "Jezebel," by which John attempts to undermine her influence. For the original Jezebel earned the hatred of ELIJAH solely for attempting to seduce Israel from the worship of Yahweh to that of Baal (or more probably for attempting to COMBINE THE TWO RELIGIONS...), and it was for this alone that she was accused of harlotry. (2 Kings IX.22). -- A Commentary on the Revelation of St. John the Divine, by G. B. Caird, Harper & Row, 1966.
It is certain that this "prophetess" was promoting a sophisticated tolerance toward the many guilds of the city, and she probably argued that these patron deities of the guilds need not be taken seriously. The guild parties or "feasts" need not be condemned, since every workman, TO MAKE A LIVING, had to join one of the guilds and, she probably argued, he could take its religious rites lightly. Little did those weak in the faith realize that in so partaking in the rites of these guilds they were actually learning the "DEEP THINGS OF SATAN"! (See Rev. 2:24).
The Lord's "Messenger"
Is this Jezebel a "TYPE" of a woman who would appear on the scene in the future -- at the TIME OF THE END? Can we find, in recent Church history, a "PROPHETESS" who exerted tremendous influence within a church and who was also the WIFE OF ITS LEADER?
Indeed we can !
Ellen G. White fills this role perfectly!
In verse 20 of Revelation 2 we read: "Nevertheless, I do hold [this] against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, WHO CALLS HERSELF A PROPHETESS, and SHE TEACHES AND MISLEADS MY SLAVES TO COMMIT FORNICATION [SPIRITUAL] and to eat things sacrificed to idols."
The Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Mircea Eliade comments on Ellen G. White's perception of herself as a prophetess:
Although Ellen White preferred to style herself as "the Lord's messenger" rather than a prophetess, she CLASSED HERSELF WITH THE BIBLICAL WRITERS. "In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of PROPHETS and apostles," she wrote in 1876. "In these days he speaks to them BY THE TESTIMONIES OF HIS SPIRIT" an unambiguous reference to her OWN WORK (Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 148). Many early Adventists, INCLUDING HER OWN HUSBAND, resisted efforts to equate her writings with the Bible and to make acceptance of her inspiration a "test of fellowship." Nevertheless, by the early twentieth century Adventists churches were "disfellowshipping" members who questioned her gift, and were relying on HER VIEWS to determine the correct reading of scripture. Among the faithful the very phrase "Spirit of Prophecy" became SYNONYMOUS with Ellen White and her writings, which they regarded as authoritative not only in theology but in science, medicine, and history as well. -- Macmillan Publishing Co., N.Y., 1987.
Although Mrs. White didn't come right out and call herself a prophetess in so many words, she certainly implied it in her writings and her actions. Nor did she do anything to PREVENT her writings becoming a "test of fellowship."
Meat and Marriage
Now, what about Mrs. White teaching and misleading the people of YEHOVAH God to commit SPIRITUAL FORNICATION? Did Ellen G. White speak the truth of YEHOVAH God, or was she moved BY ANOTHER SPIRIT?
There are several ways to determine this. First, the actions of a true prophet of YEHOVAH God ARE NOT IN CONTRADICTION TO BASIC BIBLICAL DOCTRINES, but rather support and strengthen precepts already outlined . Did Ellen White's visions endorse and back up Biblical truth? No -- her visions were IN ERROR on a number of important Biblical points.
Let Richard C. Nichols, in his book History of the Seventh Day Church of God, comment on this:
[Her] visions further supported the idea of a Trinity, which early American Sabbatarians, and the Church of God, REJECTED. -- 1988, p. 16.
If Ellen G. White's visions were from YEHOVAH God, He would NOT HAVE ALLOWED her to promulgate doctrines that were AT VARIANCE with His own Word.
Further discrepancies between Ellen's visions and the TRUTH OF YEHOVAH GOD are highlighted by 1 Timothy 4: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in THE LATTER TIMES some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS: Speaking lies in HYPOCRISY; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; FORBIDDING TO MARRY, and commanding TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS, which God hath created to be received with the thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." (Verses 1-3, KJV.)
Did the fledgling Seventh-day Adventist Church, under the guidance of Ellen White's visions, command abstention from meats? Indeed it did!
The health ideas of the White Party did not come to be clearly expressed until 1860 and the formation of the Seventh Day Adventist church. They too were BASED UPON VISIONS ("testimonies") and were RIGIDLY STRESSED, at least in the early days of the movement.
Mrs. White's visions gave "positive testimony against...FLESH-MEATS...." -- History of the Seventh Day Church of God, by Richard C. Nickels. 1988, p. 15.
Ronald L. Numbers verifies this in his book:
Now that she was once again in the vegetarian fold, Ellen White joined Dr. Kellogg in fighting the apathy and hostility that many felt toward dieting reform...By far the most controversial of her plans for reviving health reforms was the so-called ANTIMEAT PLEDGE, modeled after those used in the temperance work. In a March 29, 1908, letter to Elder A.G. Daniells, then president of the General Conference, she urged that a pledge be circulated requiring TOTAL ABSTINENCE from "FLESH MEATS," tea, and coffee, and all injurious foods."...In 1872 she wrote: We bear positive testimony against tobacco, spirituous liquors, snuff, tea, coffee, FLESH-MEATS, butter, spices, rich cakes, mince pies, a large amount of salt, and all exciting substances used as articles of food. -- Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White. Pages 173, 175.
What about forbidding to marry? Was this also advocated by the Church?
As well as discouraging the eating of MEAT and milk products -- along with eggs -- Ellen White's visions DISCOURAGED MARRIAGE. "In this age of the world," she wrote, "as the scenes of earth's history are soon to close, and we are about to enter upon the time of trouble such as never was, the fewer marriages contracted, THE BETTER FOR ALL, both men and women."
Richard C. Nickels observes:
In October 1861 the Seventh Day Adventists group met at Battle Creek and selected Seventh day Adventist instead of the TRUE NAME, Church of God as their official name. THEY COMMANDED PEOPLE NOT TO MARRY (fulfilling 1 Timothy 4), as verified by ministers living (in 1926), Elder R.F. Baron of Waterbury, Vermont, and J.J. Kolvoord, Irvindale, Battle Creek. They also COMMANDED TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS which God created to be received, and LAPSED INTO FURTHER ERRORS.-- History of the Seventh Day Church of God, 1988, pages 120-121.
Isn't that incredible?
There are many other areas where Ellen's "spirit" led her away from the truth of YEHOVAH God.
Not Willing to Repent
In verse 21 of Revelation 2, we read the following: "And I gave her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her fornication." This "TIME" came in 1851 when Ellen resigned herself to being a Christian wife and mother, and for the next four years "lived in virtual exile among her own people."
Ronald L. Numbers tells the story:
A crisis over Ellen's visions also developed in 1851. In July she wrote her friends, the Dodges. "The visions trouble many. They [know] not what to make of them." The causes for this dissatisfaction are complex among the sabbatarian Adventists, some were doubtless puzzled by her changing stand on the shut door [policy], while others resented her habit of private testimonies [visions] revealing their secret sins and names. Non-believers FREQUENTLY charged that the visions were BEING ELEVATED ABOVE THE BIBLE. This criticism particularly galled James. In an effort to KEEP THE VISIONS AS INCONSPICUOUS AS POSSIBLE, he decided in the summer of 1851 NOT TO PRINT his wife's testimonies in the widely distributed Review and Herald.
Numbers further adds:
For the next FOUR YEARS Ellen White lived in VIRTUAL EXILE among her own people, being allowed to publish only seven Review and Herald articles, NONE RELATING TO A VISION...Her visions unappreciated, Ellen White again grew discouraged. THE DIVINE [?] REVELATIONS CAME LESS AND LESS FREQUENTLY, until she feared her gift was gone. Since her public ministry had DEPENDED ALMOST ENTIRELY ON THE VISIONS, she now resigned herself simply to being a Christian wife and mother...
It was at this point that YEHOVAH God gave her the opportunity to repent -- four years in which to study and pray and to "try the spirits," and determine whether her visions were from YEHOVAH God or not. But did she repent?
Let Mr. Numbers continue:
James [her husband] provided little or no encouragement [for her visions]. Over the years he had become increasingly resentful of accusations that he had made his wife's visions a "test" among the Adventist Sabbath-keepers and that his Review and Herald promoted her views. Finally, in October, 1855, he exploded. "What has the REVIEW to do with Mrs. W.'s views?" he asked angrily. "The sentiments published in its columns are all drawn from the Holy Scriptures. No writer of the REVIEW has ever referred to them [Ellen's visions] as authority on any point. The REVIEW for FIVE YEARS has not published one of them. Its motto has been, 'The Bible, and the Bible alone, the only rule of faith and duty."' It was nobody's business, he went on, whether or not he accepted his wife's testimonies.
The same issue of the Review and Herald containing this outburst ALSO ANNOUNCED that a group of Battle Creek Adventists were TAKING OVER publication of the paper, ostensibly because James White's heavy responsibilities had broken his constitution. In recent months he had come to fear that his editorial burdens were threatening his health, and he had publicly expressed a desire to relinquish his position...a short time later he was asked in the Review and Herald TO APOLOGIZE for his low estimate of his wife's gift.
With Ellen White in the shadows during the early 1850s, THE SABBATARIAN ADVENTISTS HAD NOT PROSPERED and her husband's outspokenness made him a LIKELY SCAPEGOAT. At a general meeting of sabbatarian leaders in November, 1855, his colleagues REPLACED HIM with a twenty-three year old convert, Uriah Smith. Then a committee of elders went before the assembly and sorrowfully confessed the church's unfaithfulness in ignoring God's chosen messenger. THEY MADE A SPECIAL POINT OF REPUDIATING JAMES'S POSITION ON THE VISIONS...One of Smith's first acts as the new editor was to reopen the journal's pages to Mrs. White, who HAPPILY PREDICTED that God would now smile on the church and "graciously and mercifully REVIVE the gifts." HER HUMILIATION WAS OVER; HER PROPHETIC ROLE NOW SECURE. -- Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, pages 27-29.
It is quite obvious that Mrs. White DID NOT REPENT, and was not at all willing to stop her SPIRITUAL FORNICATION.
After her four-year hiatus, this was the moment she had been waiting for:
The lessons of this experience were NOT LOST on Ellen White, who was now emerging as the DOMINANT FORCE among the sabbatarians. In the future the MERE THREAT of divine [?] displeasure helped to SUSTAIN HER INFLUENCE. "I saw that God would soon remove all light given through visions unless they were appreciated," she WARNED the Roosevelt, New York, church in 1861. Through the remainder of Ellen's life Adventist leaders COVETED her approval and SUBMITTED, in public at least, to the authority of her testimonies. Despite her occasional inconsistency and insensitivity, most members clung to the belief that she represented a divine channel of communication. To them, dramatic visions, supernatural healings, and revelations of secret sins were persuasive evidences of a true prophet. -- Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, by Ronald L. Numbers. Harper & Row, Publishers, N.Y. 1976, pages 29-30.
Into a Sickbed
With "Jezebel's" lack of repentance the Messiah exclaims, in Revelation 2:22, that He is "THROWING HER INTO A SICKBED; and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great trouble." Did this happen? Was Ellen G. White thrown into a SICKBED? Did she suffer from health problems the rest of her life? The amazing TRUTH is, YES!
Throughout the winter of 1853 she suffered miserably from a variety of complaints including heart problems, inability to breathe while lying down, recurrent fainting spells, and a cancer-like inflammation on her left eyelid. In early 1854 Ellen visited an itinerant doctor -- apparently her first consultation with a physician since her childhood.
Ronald L. Numbers relates what happened during this visit:
The doctor was most discouraging; in three weeks, he predicted, she would suffer paralysis and then apoplexy. His prognosis was not far off the mark. In about three weeks she fainted and was unconscious for a day and a half. A week later an apparent stroke left the left side of her body paralyzed, her head cold and numb, and her speech impaired. -- Page 36.
In 1860 Ellen White gave birth to her fourth child after a difficult delivery that left her with a weak back and lame legs. By 1863 her familiar fainting spells were recurring once or twice a day, and she suffered from a continual headache which seldom allowed her to get more than two hours' sleep a night. She continued to have periodic "shocks of paralysis" along with "dropsy and heart disease" which abated somewhat in 1864. In the summer of 1869 Mrs. White wrote her son Edson that she was going through the change of life and fully expected to die, as her sister Sarah had done.
I am not in good health....I have more indications of going down into the grave than of rallying. My vitality is at a low ebb. Your Aunt Sarah died passing through this critical time. My LUNGS are affected. Dr. Trall said I would probably go with CONSUMPTION in this time. Dr. Jackson said I should probably fail in this time. Nature would be severely taxed, and the only question would be, were there vital forces remaining to sustain the change of nature. MY LUNGS have remained unaffected until last winter. The FAINTING FIT I had on the cars nearly closed my life. My lungs are PAINFUL. How I shall come out I cannot tell. I suffer MUCH pain.
Somehow she survived the ordeal, which may have lasted until the mid-1870s.
Ellen G. White continued to have frequent illnesses until her death on July 16, 1915 -- five months after a broken thigh bone confined her to a wheelchair.
According to Ronald Numbers, "After a LIFETIME OF ILLNESS and frequent brushes with death she finally succumbed to chronic myocarditis, complicated by arteriosclerosis and asthenia resulting from her hip injury." (Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, page 200).
Interestingly, after the 1850s Mrs. White no longer followed her former practice of calling in the brethren to pray for her recovery from illness, because she found she was NEVER HEALED outright as a result of such prayers. She was concerned that allowing others to pray for her would only produce disappointment and skepticism, which she explained to the General Conference committee in 1890: "I NEVER YET HAVE BEEN HEALED OUT AND OUT; and that is why I do not call on any one to pray for me, because they will expect that I will be healed, AND I KNOW FROM THE PAST I WILL NOT BE HEALED; that is, I shall not have the work done right then and there..."
This is EXACTLY WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT since the Eternal God threw her into a SICKBED! He did this as a PENALTY for failing to REPENT of spiritual fornication -- and ONLY Mrs. White's repentance would lift the penalty!
What a marvelous, detailed prophecy the message to the Thyatiran Church is!!
The Deep Things of Satan
I mentioned earlier that there are several ways to determine whether a prophet speaks from YEHOVAH God or from another "spirit." Revelation 2:24 claims that "Jezebel," or Ellen G. White, got "to know the 'deep things of Satan."' Is there another way of proving whether this is true or not? Yes -- by comparing Mrs. White's physical and mental state, while in a trance, to that of mediums and spiritualists, and examples of demon possession in the Bible.
Martha Amadon, a neighbor and close associate of Mrs. White for many years, was present on a number of occasions when Ellen went into a "vision." She wrote, in what is now called Notebook Leaflets, Miscellaneous Leaflet No.2, the following:
In vision her eyes were open. THERE WAS NO BREATH, but there were GRACEFUL MOVEMENTS OF THE SHOULDERS, ARMS, AND HANDS expressive of what she saw. It was IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANYONE ELSE TO MOVE HER HANDS OR ARMS...When the vision was ended, and she lost sight of the heavenly light, as it were, coming back to the earth once more, she would exclaim with a long-drawn sigh, as she took her first natural breath, "Dark!" SHE WAS THEN LIMP AND STRENGTHLESS.
Raphael Gasson, a Spiritualist medium for many years, experienced these same phenomena himself and saw them in other mediums:
During the process of the spirit leaving the body (we will refer to this theory since it is more or less fitting to resulting facts, for the sake of clarity) the MEDIUM will breathe heavily, but will suddenly STOP BREATHING ALTOGETHER until the spirit guide enters the body to speak, which is a matter of split seconds from the time one stops breathing. The medium's body becomes COLD TO THE TOUCH, as if dead, and when the spirit speaks, it uses the vocal organs of the body which it is possessing... The medium himself is NOT CONSCIOUS OF ANYTHING THAT IS BEING SAID OR DONE...Although trance is used for different forms of physical phenomena, a more advanced state is "deep trance." This is the same as ordinary trance but intensified to a much greater degree and LEAVES THE MEDIUM FEELING COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED, rather as if one has just recovered from a severe illness leaving one weak to the point of trembling...(The Challenging Counterfeit, published by Logos International, Plainfield, N.J. 1968, pages 46-47.).
Mr. Gasson further states, on page 68 of his book: "Attempts have been made to murder some of the sitters or the medium himself, but an experienced team is, of course, fully aware of the methods of these "EVIL" SPIRITS. The team will watch the medium very carefully and as soon as he shows signs of spirit control, he will be firmly held by two or three members of the team so that he cannot struggle...THE MEDIUM WILL SHOW GREAT STRENGTH during this process of being held...."
Also, Mr. Gasson shows how the medium takes on the characteristics of the controlling spirit, just as "there were graceful movements of the shoulders, arms, and hands expressive of what she [Mrs. White] saw":
It may perhaps be mentioned here that usually when a medium is in trance and the communicating guide takes control of his body, THERE IS SOMETIMES A SLIGHT CONTORTION OF THE MEDIUM'S FACE AND BODY SUGGESTIVE OF THE CHARACTER OF THE GUIDE. This is difficult to explain, but if for instance the guide was an Ancient Egyptian, the medium's face becomes to a certain degree composed of a set expression which gives an impression of age-old learning and civilization and an amount of sternness which one would expect from such an "old" spirit. This set expression is repeated with remarkable duplication each time that particular guide comes through to speak and becomes recognizable and even familiar, as one sits in a circle regularly with that particular medium. -- Page 73.
Another phenomenon that Ellen G. White experienced, while going into a trance, was that of FALLING TO THE FLOOR: "The following February, while visiting in Exeter, Maine, Ellen received a second VISION...As Ellen sat listening to an Adventist sister express her doubts on the shut door [policy], a feeling of INTENSE AGONY came over her and she FELL FROM HER CHAIR TO THE FLOOR." (Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, by Ronald L. Numbers. Harper & Row, Publishers. 1976, page 14).
Are there parallels of this type of behavior or phenomena in the Word of YEHOVAH God? There certainly are! Notice Mark 5:14:
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an EVIL SPIRIT came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and NO ONE COULD BIND HIM ANY MORE, NOT EVEN WITH A CHAIN. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he TORE THE CHAINS APART and broke the irons on his feet. NO ONE WAS STRONG ENOUGH TO SUBDUE HIM.
We also read, in the books of Mark and Luke, these astonishing parallels:
A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is POSSESSED BY A SPIRIT that has robbed him of his speech. Whenever it seizes him, IT THROWS HIM TO THE GROUND. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and BECOMES RIGID...So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. HE FELL TO THE GROUND and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. -- Mark 9:17-18, 20.
In the synagogue there was a man POSSESSED BY A DEMON, an evil spirit..."Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon THREW THE MAN DOWN before them all and came out without injuring him. -- Luke 4:33,35.
Ellen's husband James carefully summarized her condition, while in a vision, in his 1868 book, Life Incidents; and this only CONFIRMS the DEMON-INSPIRED SOURCE OF HER REVELATIONS.
1/. She is utterly UNCONSCIOUS OF EVERYTHING TRANSPIRING AROUND HER, as has been proved by the most rigid tests, but views herself as removed from this world, and in the presence of heavenly beings.
2/. SHE DOES NOT BREATHE. During the entire period of her continuance in vision, which has at different times ranged from fifteen minutes to three hours, THERE IS NO BREATH, as has been repeatedly proved by pressing upon the chest, and by closing the mouth and nostrils.
3/. Immediately on entering a vision, her MUSCLES BECOME RIGID, AND JOINTS FIXED, SO FAR AS ANY EXTERNAL FORCE CAN INFLUENCE THEM. At the same time HER MOVEMENTS AND GESTURES, which are frequent, ARE FREE AND GRACEFUL, and cannot be hindered nor controlled BY THE STRONGEST PERSON.
4/. On coming out of vision, whether in the daytime or a well-lighted room at night, ALL IS TOTAL DARKNESS. Her power to distinguish even the most BRILLIANT objects, held within a few inches of the eyes, returns but gradually....
This last condition is paralleled in Matthew 12:22: "Then they brought him a DEMON-POSSESSED man who was BLIND and mute, and Jesus healed him so that he could both talk and SEE."
Ellen G. White, like the "Jezebel" of the Thyatiran Church, did indeed experience the "DEEP THINGS OF SATAN"!!
Heed the Warning!
The story of "Jezebel" or Ellen G. White in Revelation 2 carries a POWERFUL AND URGENT WARNING: "So I am throwing...those who commit adultery with her...into GREAT TROUBLE, unless they turn from the sins connected with what she does, and I will strike her CHILDREN dead!"
If those who follow the teachings of Ellen G. White rather than the PLAIN AND SIMPLE TRUTH OF THE BIBLE -- which is the proof of a TRUE PROPHET of YEHOVAH God -- do not REPENT of their error, they will be PURGED AND CORRECTED amidst the horrendous trials and troubles that WILL befall this earth leading up to the return of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God the Father! For those who HEED THIS WARNING AND REPENT, YEHOVAH God Almighty WILL protect them from the trials up ahead! Those who see their ERROR will be changed (1 Cor. 15:51-52) and rise up to meet the returning Messiah in the air, and will become PILLARS in the temple of their God! (Rev. 3:12) .
Will you be one of them?
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