Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Ellen G. White -- Messenger or Medium?
Ellen G. White called herself "the Lord's messenger." Her followers claimed she was a prophetess whose writings were a necessary aid to Bible understanding. Were Mrs. White's visions from YEHOVAH God, or were they from the spirits of darkness? How can we tell? What about the trances she frequently succumbed to and the amazing strength she exhibited during them? Were her "out of body" experiences and frequent "fainting spells" signs of a servant of YEHOVAH God -- or was she simply a medium through whom the powers of darkness made themselves known?
by John D. Keyser
Ellen G. White, the well-known leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 60 years, liked to be known as "the Lord's messenger." Although she refrained from coming right out and claiming to be a prophetess, her followers claimed that she was, and made her prophecies a "test of fellowship" within the Church.
In the Review and Herald, dated October 4, 1928, the editor made this pronouncement: "As Samuel was a prophet to Israel in his day, as Jeremiah was a prophet to Israel in the days of his captivity, as John the Baptist came as a special messenger of the Lord to prepare the way for Christ's appearing, SO WE BELIEVE THAT MRS. WHITE WAS A PROPHET TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST TODAY."
Although she didn't call herself a prophetess, Ellen G. White did, however, class herself along with the Biblical prophets. "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" -- a PLAIN REFERENCE to her own work (Testimonies, vol.4, p.148).
Was, then, Ellen G. White a prophetess or "MESSENGER" of YEHOVAH God or-- as some have supposed -- a MEDIUM of the spirit world? Psychic mediums claimed to be guided by an invisible power, but so did Ellen G. White. Was there really a difference? Is there a possibility-- no matter how remote -- that she may have been influenced by the same forces that controlled the mediums of her day -- and those of today as well?
Let us study the life of this enigmatic woman and REVEAL THE FACTS concerning her role in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The final arbiter in this study will be -- and MUST be -- the Word of YEHOVAH God, the Bible.
Credentials of a True Prophet
To fulfill and qualify for the role of prophet or "messenger," a number of requirements must be met. Since the occult covers a vast field of activities, expecting to find one single Bible text to cover all psychic phenomena would be asking too much. Yet there are a number of very fundamental TESTS that beg for attention. We need a FOOLPROOF method for discerning whether Mrs. White was a messenger or a medium, and one that will stand the test of time -- whether it be in Ellen G. White's age or our own.
There are, basically, three essentials for establishing the credentials of a TRUE prophet. These, as given through Moses, are as follows:
1/. The true prophet should speak in YEHOVAH's name.
2/. The things foretold will come to pass.
3/. His (or her) prophesying must promote TRUE WORSHIP and be in HARMONY with YEHOVAH's revealed word and commandments.
Every prediction made MUST BE RELATED to YEHOVAH's will, purpose, standards or judgment. To be even more precise, the actions of a true prophet are not in contradiction to basic Biblical doctrines, but rather SUPPORT AND STRENGTHEN precepts already outlined. It should be mentioned that a TRUE prophet NEVER makes predictions simply to satisfy human curiosity or wield control over others. Remember this!
It must also be stated that Satan and his minions can COUNTERFEIT some of these essentials! They can, for example, claim to be speaking in YEHOVAH God's name, and have convincingly done so. They also have an insight into the future, and CAN foretell future events. We cannot be ignorant of the fact that Satan does have an understanding of scripture -- including prophecy -- and can quote it at will to suit his own purposes.
We see an example of this in the temptation of Yeshua: "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.' Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down. FOR IT IS WRITTEN: ''He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.''' Jesus answered him, 'It is also written: "Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
Here we see a verbal exchange or "battle" going on between the Messiah and Satan, with Satan QUOTING SCRIPTURE! Satan's quotation came right out of Psalm 91:11-12.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE SATAN! He can take scripture and throw it right back at you, or he can subtly change and twist scripture to mislead and ensnare. Remember that!
Now we come to the last of the three essentials for establishing the credentials of a true prophet: His (or her) prophesying must promote TRUE WORSHIP and be IN HARMONY with YEHOVAH's revealed word and commandments. "Aha," you might say, "we are safe here!" DON'T BE TOO SURE! Satan can even promote TRUE WORSHIP in pursuit of his evil designs -- and has certainly done so in the past!
"How, then, can we tell if a prophet is of YEHOVAH God or Satan?" you might ask. By carefully taking ALL the prophecies over a PERIOD OF TIME and comparing them with YEHOVAH's Word. Satan might, on one point of doctrine, promote the truth -- but he WILL NOT promote it on ALL points of doctrine. It is, after all, Satan's ultimate goal to WEAN you from YEHOVAH's truth -- whether you realize it or not. If he can accomplish that by throwing out a few pearls of truth as bait, like cheese to a mouse, then that's the way he will do it!
Raphael Gasson -- a onetime medium -- understands this well:
Although the spirits utter great words of truth, SUGGESTIONS OF PERVERSION ARE CAREFULLY INTERMINGLED, and result in the denial of the necessity of either regeneration or the building up of the spiritual side of the believer. The powers of darkness are NOT AFRAID OF WORDS OF TRUTH, the gospel, or the mention of the Blood of Jesus, if there is no power behind the words. THEY ARE EVEN PREPARED TO ALLOW SOME OF THE GOSPEL TRUTHS TO BE TAUGHT, providing there is no real conviction behind the actual teaching. -- The Challenging Counterfeit, 1968, p. 52.
With these thoughts in mind, let's analyze some of the prophecies and information that Ellen G. White received over a period of time while in a "trance" or "vision," and CAREFULLY COMPARE ALL POINTS with the Bible.
Doctrine of the Sabbath
The doctrine of the Saturday Sabbath was first brought to the attention of the Adventists in Washington, New Hampshire by a Seventh Day Baptist woman -- Rachel Oakes Preston. It was accepted by a few of the Adventists around the time of the October, 1844 disappointment.
Early the following year, an article on the Sabbath appeared in The Hope of Israel, and was read by Joseph Bates who quickly realized the binding claims of the fourth commandment. He accepted the arguments in the article written by T.M. Preble, and immediately began teaching it to others.
Arthur L. White, in his book Ellen G. White: Messenger to the Remnant, picks up the story:
Ellen Harmon, with her sister and James White, was in New Bedford early in 1846. Elder Bates urged his Sabbath views upon them, but they did not accept his teachings.
"I did not feel its importance, and thought that he erred in dwelling upon the fourth commandment more than the other nine." (Ellen G. White, "Life Sketches", p. 95)
In August, 1846, Joseph Bates published his forty-eight-page tract, "The Seventh-day Sabbath a Perpetual Sign." James and Ellen White received a copy of this about the time of their marriage. From the Scriptural evidence presented, they took their stand. "In the autumn of 1846 we began to observe the Bible Sabbath, and to teach and defend it." ("Testimonies," vol. I, p. 75)...0n the first Sabbath in April, 1847, some seven months after the Whites commenced keeping and teaching the Sabbath, the Lord gave A VISION STRESSING ITS IMPORTANCE.
After receiving this vision, Mrs. White sent a letter to Joseph Bates describing the scenes of this Sabbath "revelation." In the letter, dated April 7, 1847, Mrs. White claims to have been TRANSPORTED TO HEAVEN and conducted through the heavenly sanctuary. In the Holy of Holies she saw the ark containing the law, and was amazed to note that "the fourth, the Sabbath commandment, shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God's holy name. The holy Sabbath looked glorious -- a halo of glory was all around it."
YEHOVAH God did set aside the 7th day for His holy Sabbath. But remember, Satan can throw out pearls of truth -- if we stop our research right here, we could be in trouble! While YEHOVAH's Sabbath day is indeed the seventh day of YEHOVAH's week, can we know for sure which day of the week in today's pagan Gregorian calendar it falls on? While the Sabbath can fall occasionally on Saturday, it can also fall on any of the other days of the week! Why? Because YEHOVAH God's week is tied to the phases of the moon -- it is a lunar week! For more information read our articles From Sabbath to Saturday: The Story of the Jewish Rest Day, A Lunar-Based Sabbath in Biblical Texts, Have We Been Observing the Sabbath At the Wrong Time All These Years?, The New Moon and the Weekly Sabbath -- Side-By-Side! and Sabbath Truth Postponed. Right here Satan carried out what is probably his greatest coup in deceiving the early Seventh-Day Adventists -- including Mrs. White -- over the Sabbath day.
Let's continue on and examine OTHER revelations Ellen G. White received during her lifetime, and see if they are "in HARMONY with YEHOVAH God's revealed word and commandments."
A Change of Plan?
In her book Early Writings, Mrs. White records another vision:
Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost...I saw the lovely Jesus, and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father ....Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father....He THEN made known to the Angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them He had been PLEADING with His Father, and had offered to give His life for a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon.
Does this "square" with the Bible? Did YEHOVAH God suddenly realize His plan was doomed to fail and had to suddenly find a way to RECOUP HIS LOSSES AND COME UP WITH A NEW PLAN? Did Yeshua the Messiah PLEAD with His Father to let him take on the role of a ransom in order to SALVAGE his Father's error in judgment? I THINK NOT! Note what the apostle Peter has to say: "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were REDEEMED from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. HE WAS CHOSEN BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, but was revealed in these last times for your sake."
How PLAIN that is!
In the second chapter of Acts we read: "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you BY GOD'S SET PURPOSE AND FOREKNOWLEDGE; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross." (Acts 2:22-23)
A former member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in an article entitled Why I Am Not An Adventist, makes this comment:
The teaching that Christ, the Son, was the originator of the plan of redemption, DENIES not only the sovereignty and prescience of God the Most High, but it reflects, also, upon His greatest attribute, which is love. Did Isaac "PLEAD"...to be sacrificed?...a type.
The plan of redemption was not an AFTERTHOUGHT REMEDY for an unforeseen evil, but part of God's eternal scheme which from Everlasting, is one, in its end and purpose (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:9-11). And not only was Christ "FOREORDAINED before the foundation of the world" to die as the Redeemer of mankind but God chose "His own" in Christ BEFORE the foundation of the world.
YEHOVAH God planned this in advance -- it was no LAST DITCH EFFORT to save an erring mankind. YEHOVAH is the MASTER PLANNER!
Read what the prophet Isaiah says: "O Lord, Thou art my God, I will exalt Thee; I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast wrought marvels; PLANS DETERMINED LONG AGO ARE STEADFAST AND RELIABLE." (Isaiah 25:1)
Right here Mrs. White FAILED the test of a prophet of YEHOVAH God!
The Homeless Jews!
But let's be fair, let's not rest on our laurels and dismiss Ellen G. White's claims on the basis of one example. Let's dig deeper and look at some more examples.
In the November, 1939 issue of the Signs of the Times, it was stated that "As a people, the Jews have long CEASED to have any significance." And therefore, "Palestine will NEVER become their home!" This statement was based on a vision recorded in the Early Writings of Mrs. White: "I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem; and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes...I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing...I also saw that OLD JERUSALEM NEVER WOULD BE BUILT UP; and Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now in the gathering time" (page 75).
Anyone with a passing knowledge of history will realize the fallacy of this revelation -- the nation of Israel came into existence in May of 1948, and the Jews took over complete control of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. Since that time the Jews have been "significant" indeed and are continually at the FOCUS of world attention!
Ellen G. White FAILED the test again!
A Thousand Years of Desolation
In the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe..., published by the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the following tenet is outlined:
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints IN HEAVEN between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be UTTERLY DESOLATE, WITHOUT LIVING HUMAN INHABITANTS, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close CHRIST WITH HIS SAINTS and the Holy City will DESCEND from heaven to earth (page 362).
This, of course, is also based on a vision Mrs. White received:
At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth, consumed with the spirit of His mouth, and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the city of God, THE EARTH IS EMPTIED of its inhabitants. The whole earth appears like a DESOLATE WILDERNESS...The revelator (Rev.20:13) foretells the banishment of Satan, and the CONDITION OF CHAOS AND DESOLATION TO WHICH THE EARTH IS TO BE REDUCED; and He declares that this condition WILL EXIST FOR 1000 YEARS...The expression "bottomless pit" represents the earth in a state of confusion and darkness...Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for 1000 years. -- The Great Controversy, pp. 657-659.
We are going to have a field day with this one -- there is so much ERROR incorporated here that it's difficult to know where to start!
Ellen G. White claims "the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. The whole earth appears like a desolate wilderness...The revelator foretells...the condition of chaos and desolation to which the earth is to be reduced; and he declares that this condition will exist for 1000 years..." What nonsense! YEHOVAH God and the Messiah are not going to rule an empty, chaotic wilderness! True, some massive destruction will take place just prior to their return, but YEHOVAH God, the Messiah and the saints will set about RESTORING THIS EARTH to a condition not seen since the Garden of Eden!
Following the arrival of the Messiah, the resurrection of "the dead in Christ," the return of YEHOVAH God Himself and the binding of Satan, a new age will dawn. YEHOVAH God will set His hand to bring about the "restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21). This verse in Acts shows that the heavens have received Yeshua the Messiah UNTIL -- not permanently, just UNTIL a certain time -- the time when he returns to this earth. He will then help RESTORE the government of YEHOVAH God and peace will break out all over the globe.
The Bible is REPLETE with verses showing the fantastic condition of the earth during the Millennium. Perhaps no prophet captured the vision of conditions on this earth during the 1000 years better than did Isaiah. Inspired by YEHOVAH's spirit he wrote in glowing terms of the time when "the wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom..." (Isaiah 35:1).
The Millennium will be a time of rest -- a thousand-year sabbath for mankind. It will be a time of RESTORING, BUILDING, GROWING and undoing the incredible damage left in the wake of six thousand years of human misrule. It will NOT, however, be a 1000 year period of utter desolation pictured by Ellen G. White.
What the Millennium Will Really Be Like
Let Isaiah show what the Millennium will REALLY be like:
Now it shall come to pass in the LATTER DAYS that the mountain [government] of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains [governments, nations], and shall be exalted above the hills [nations]; and ALL NATIONS shall flow to it. Many people come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in his paths." FOR OUT OF ZION SHALL GO FORTH THE LAW, AND THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM. HE [YEHOVAH God] SHALL JUDGE BETWEEN THE NATIONS, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, neither shall they learn war anymore. -- Isaiah 2:24.
And again, in Isaiah 11:
A twig shall shoot forth from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch [the Messiah] from his roots shall bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the reverence of the Lord; and His delight shall be in the reverence of the Lord. He shall not JUDGE by what His eyes see, or decide by what His ears hear; but with justice shall He JUDGE THE POOR, and with fairness shall He decide for the meek of the land. He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and the wicked He shall slay with the breathe of His lips. Righteousness shall be the girdle of His waist, and faithfulness the belt for His loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down beside the kid; the calf, the young lion, and the beef cattle together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow shall graze with the bear; their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the asp's hole, and the weaned child shall reach its hand in the snake's nest. They shall not hurt or destroy on all My holy mountain; FOR THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD [YEHOVAH God] as the waters cover the sea. In that day [Millennium] THE NATIONS shall seek after the root of Jesse [the Messiah], who shall STAND AS A BANNER for the peoples, and His resting place shall be glorious. -- Isaiah 11:1-10.
What a wonderful time this pictures! Does this sound like a "desolate wilderness...emptied of its inhabitants?" NOT AT ALL! YEHOVAH God the Father and the Messiah will be ON THIS EARTH, WITH THEIR SAINTS, ruling the nations and RESTORING the people to their former estates -- now bursting at the seams with the ABUNDANCE of YEHOVAH God's blessings.
See how Joel paints this period of time:
For the Day of the Lord is near, in the Valley of Judgment. The sun and moon will be darkened and the stars withdraw their light. THE LORD [YEHOVAH God] SHOUTS FROM HIS TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM and the earth and sky begin to shake. But to His people Israel, the Lord will be very gentle. He is their refuge and strength. "Then you shall know at last that I am the Lord your God IN ZION, MY HOLY MOUNTAIN. JERUSALEM SHALL BE MINE FOREVER; the time will come when no foreign armies will pass through her any more. Sweet wine will drip from the mountains, and the hills shall flow with milk. Water will fill the dry stream beds of Judah, and a fountain will burst forth from the temple of the Lord to water Acacia Valley...But Israel will prosper forever, and Jerusalem will thrive as generations pass...FOR MY [YEHOVAH's] HOME IS IN JERUSALEM WITH MY PEOPLE." -- Joel 3:16-21
How much plainer can Joel be?
If you still have doubts, turn to Zechariah for more proof:
Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming soon!...That day HIS [YEHOVAH's] FEET WILL STAND UPON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, to the east of Jerusalem; and the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a very wide valley running from east to west; for half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south...and the Lord my God [YEHOVAH] SHALL COME, AND ALL HIS SAINTS AND ANGELS WITH HIM...Life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half towards the Dead Sea and half towards the Mediterranean, flowing continuously both in winter and summer. AND THE LORD [YEHOVAH GOD THE FATHER] SHALL BE KING OVER ALL THE EARTH. In that day there shall be one Lord His name alone will be worshipped. -- Zechariah 14:1,4,5,89
If you are still not convinced, look at Zechariah 8:38:
Now I am GOING TO RETURN TO MY LAND AND I [YEHOVAH GOD], MYSELF, WILL LIVE WITHIN JERUSALEM; and Jerusalem shall be called "The Faithful City," and "The Holy Mountain," and "The Mountain of the Lord of Hosts." The Lord of Hosts declares that Jerusalem will have peace and prosperity so long that there will once again be aged men and women hobbling through her streets on canes; and the streets will be filled with boys and girls at play. The Lord says, "This seems unbelievable to you -- A REMNANT, small, discouraged as you are but it is no great thing for Me. You can be sure that I will rescue My people from east and west, wherever they are scattered. I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, just and true and yet forgetting them their sins!
A Few Good Men!
To justify their belief in the "desolate earth" theory, the Seventh-day Adventist Church turns to Isaiah 24, however a CAREFUL EXAMINATION of these verses shows they missed something very important:
Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and SCATTERS ABROAD its inhabitants. And it shall be: as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor. The LAND shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, for the Lord has spoken this word.
The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away; the HAUGHTY PEOPLE of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and THOSE WHO DWELL IN IT are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, AND FEW MEN ARE LEFT.
We can see here that there are a few KEY words and phrases -- such as "scatters abroad," "those who dwell in it," and "few men left" -- in this passage that clearly show there are still SOME PEOPLE LEFT on the earth after the carnage of the Day of the Lord. And as far as the destruction and desolation goes -- the cities and towns will be REBUILT DURING THE MILLENNIUM!
Notice what the prophet Amos says:
Then at that time, I [YEHOVAH God] will REBUILD the City of David [Jerusalem], which is now lying in ruins, and RETURN IT TO ITS FORMER GLORY, and ISRAEL WILL POSSESS what is left of Edom, and of ALL THE NATIONS THAT BELONG TO ME." For so the Lord, who PLANS IT ALL, has said.
The time will come when there will be such ABUNDANCE OF CROPS, that the harvest time will scarcely end before the farmer starts again to sow another crop, and the TERRACES OF GRAPES upon the hills of Israel will drip sweet wine! I will RESTORE THE FORTUNES of My people Israel, and they shall REBUILD THEIR RUINED CITIES, and live in them again; and they shall plant vineyards and gardens and eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there upon the land that I have given them; they shall not be pulled up again," says the Lord your God. -- Amos 9:11-15.
The many Old Testament prophecies found in the Psalms, and from Isaiah to Malachi, give a GRAPHIC PREVIEW of conditions as they are to exist on the earth during the Millennium. These prophecies CANNOT possibly be harmonized with the "1000 years' desolation-of-the-earth" vision of Ellen G. White.
The teaching of the Bible and the teaching of Mrs. White stand in POSITIVE ANTAGONISM toward each other. The Bible PLAINLY asserts that "every nation under heaven, and all their power, shall BE GIVEN TO THE PEOPLE OF YEHOVAH GOD; they shall rule ALL THINGS FOREVER, and ALL RULERS shall serve and obey them" in a RESTORED and ABUNDANTLY BLESSED EARTH.
"No prophetic truth is more explicitly set forth in the Word of [YEHOVAH] God than is the teaching that the Kingdom which Christ is to establish is not only to be an EARTHLY DOMINION, but that it is to be set up before much more time shall pass -- when, as the Deliverer and long-awaited King of Israel, He returns TO THE EARTH" (Why I AM Not An Adventist, by a former member, page 21).
The Saints in Heaven?
Ellen G. White claims that: "The millennium is the thousand-year reign of the Messiah with his saints IN HEAVEN between the first and second resurrections." How does this stack up with the Bible?
We have already seen that YEHOVAH God the Father, the Messiah and the saints will be RULING ON THE EARTH. Yeshua did NOT say that we should go up to heaven, to be with him there. Instead, he PLAINLY said in John 3:13: "NO ONE has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven -- the Son of Man."
Now that's clear enough, isn't it? The Messiah went, after his death, to heaven. But he said, in John 8:21, "I am going away [to heaven], and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. WHERE I GO, YOU CANNOT COME. This made the Jews ask, 'Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'WHERE I GO, YOU CANNOT COME?' But he continued, 'YOU ARE FROM BELOW; I AM FROM ABOVE. YOU ARE OF THIS WORLD; I AM NOT OF THIS WORLD.' "
The Messiah reiterates this in John 13:33: "My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: WHERE I AM GOING, YOU CANNOT COME." Yeshua also said: "Blessed are the meek, FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH" (Mat. 5:5).
Did you get that? "Inherit" what? "Inherit the EARTH" NOT heaven! As we have already seen, Yeshua plainly said, "NO ONE HAS EVER GONE TO HEAVEN..." And nobody EVER WILL!!
King David of ancient Israel was a MAN AFTER YEHOVAH'S OWN HEART. David has the promise of being in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, ruling over Israel under the Messiah and YEHOVAH God at that time when YEHOVAH will be RULING ALL NATIONS. But, on the day of Pentecost when the New Testament Church began, the apostle Peter, inspired by YEHOVAH's spirit, plainly said: "For David DID NOT ascend to heaven..."
Heaven is NOT the reward of the saved! When the Messiah RETURNS to this earth to gather up his elect, he is NOT going to transport them to heaven to rule from there -- the Messiah and the saints will be RULING ON THIS EARTH!
The "Bottomless Pit"
Mrs. White's statement that the expression "bottomless pit" represents the earth in a state of confusion and darkness has no basis whatsoever in the Bible or philology, and is another proof of her lack of inspiration!
"Bottomless pit" is one of the translations of the Greek word "a'bys.sos." In the Greek this word is formed by the intensifying prefix "a" and bys.sos', the Ionic form of by.thos', meaning "depth" or "extent." It means "very or exceedingly deep" according to Parkhurst, or "unfathomable, boundless" according to Liddell and Scott. The Septuagint translation uses it regularly to translate the Hebrew tehohm' (watery deep), as at Genesis 1:2; 7:11. Another interesting meaning assigned to the word a'bys.sos in Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon is "THE INFINITE VOID." There is no indication at all that the word refers to the earth at large.
The Aid to Bible Understanding has this to say about the "bottomless pit":
It is noteworthy that the Septuagint DOES NOT use a'bys.sos to translate the Hebrew sheohl', and, in view of the fact that spirit creatures are cast into it, it CANNOT properly be limited in meaning to Sheol or Hades, inasmuch as these two words clearly refer to the common earthly grave of mankind. (Job 17:1316.) It does not refer to the "lake of fire," since it is AFTER Satan's release from the abyss that he is thereupon hurled into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:13, 7-10)...
This book further explains:
Romans 10:6,7 aids in clearing up the meaning of the "abyss" in stating: "But the righteousness resulting from faith speaks in this manner: 'Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" that is, to bring Christ down; or, "Who will descend into the abyss?" that is, to bring Christ up from the dead."' (Compare Deuteronomy 30:1113.) It seems evident that the "abyss" here refers to the place in which Christ Jesus spent...[three days and three nights]...and from which place his Father resurrected him. (Compare Psalm 71:19,20; Matthew 12:40.) Revelation 20:7 refers to the abyss as a "PRISON," and the confinement of ABSOLUTE restraint resulting from death certainly harmonizes with this.
Since the word abyss can mean "unfathomable," it is of more than passing interest to read the following statement in Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (1913, Vol. I, p. 54): "The impression conveyed by St. Paul's language [in Romans 10:6,7] is of the VASTNESS of that realm, as of one that we should VAINLY attempt to explore." Paul CONTRASTS THE INACCESSIBILITY of "heaven" and of the "abyss" with the accessibility of righteousness by faith. Therefore, in harmony with Romans 10:6,7, the place that is represented by the "abyss" would also evidently imply being OUT OF REACH of anyone but YEHOVAH God or His appointed angel with the "key of the abyss" (Rev. 20:1).
Putting all this together, it is evident that the "BOTTOMLESS PIT" refers to a PLACE OF ABSOLUTE RESTRAINT away from mankind -- possibly somewhere out in "THE INFINITE VOID." THERE IS NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THAT THE EARTH IS THAT PLACE OF RESTRAINT!
Mrs. White -- you failed again!
Now that we have examined a number of Ellen G. White's visions and found them wanting and NOT "in harmony with YEHOVAH God's revealed word and commandments," let us take a close look at her "visions" or "trances" themselves, and see if they resemble those received by TRUE prophets of YEHOVAH God in the Bible.
A Blow to the Head
Jacob Brinkerhoff, a Church of God leader and one time editor of the Bible Advocate, commented that Mrs. White's visions "were the product of an unhealthy mind and body." There is something to that.
According to Richard Nickels, in his book A History of the Seventh Day Church of God, there is a definite link: "From her childhood, when she was struck in the head by a rock and was in a coma for days, until later life, Mrs. White suffered nervous and physical disorders. Later, when her HEALTH IMPROVED, her visions were LESS FREQUENT and not as intense" (1988, page 13).
We find a similar experience in another enigmatic woman -- British born Dorothy Eady, later known by the Egyptian name of Omm Sety. In 1907, when she was three years old, Dorothy Eady fell down a flight of stairs in the family's flat in the London suburb of Blackheath. She careened down the steps, ending up motionless on the floor below. "Rushing down after her, Mrs. Eady lifted up her daughter -- her only child -- and saw she was UNCONSCIOUS. The frantic mother immediately sent for the doctor, who examined the girl with a stethoscope, HELD A MIRROR, THEN A FEATHER UP TO HER MOUTH, AND PRONOUNCED HER DEAD" (The Search for Omm Sety: Reincarnation and Eternal Love, by Jonathan Cott. New York, 1987, pages 11-12).
The doctor left the home to get a death certificate, and upon his return went straight to Dorothy's bedroom. "Instead of finding a corpse, however, [he] saw a fair-haired, chocolate-smeared child, sitting up and playing on her bed...Soon after the accident Dorothy began to have RECURRING DREAMS in which she saw a huge building with columns, a garden filled with fruits and flowers, and tall trees nearby" (The Search for Omm Sety).
One day the following year -- when Dorothy was four -- her parents and one of her mother's sisters took her to the British Museum, where a frightening occurrence took place:
Upon entering the Egyptian galleries...Dorothy suddenly let go of her parents' hands and went running crazily through the rooms, kissing the feet of all the statues that she could reach...the little girl walked right up to a mummy in a glass case, sat down on the floor beside it, and refused to budge...When they returned a half hour later to the mummy room and called out to Dorothy that it was time to go, she just remained where she was, IMMOBILE AND OBLIVIOUS TO THEIR VOICES...Mrs. Eady bent down to pick her up. As she did so, the girl grabbed the side of the glass case and, IN AN UNRECOGNIZABLE VOICE THAT SOUNDED TO HER MOTHER EERILY LIKE THAT OF A STRANGE OLD WOMAN RATHER THAN THAT OF A LITTLE GIRL, announced: "Leave me...these are my people!" Mrs. Eady was so surprised and horrified that she immediately dropped the child, who had to be removed from the museum kicking and screaming...(The Search for Omm Sety: Reincarnation and Eternal Love, by Jonathan Cott, pages 12-13).
After this experience, Dorothy's parents undoubtedly realized that their daughter's accident had affected her in some unknown and strange way.
Let's look at another case -- that of little Doris Fisher. Her story is to be found in the transcripts of her conversations with Dr. Walter F. Prince, published in Volumes 9 and 10 of the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1915: "Doris' story began when she was a three-year old girl and was torn out of her mother's arms by her drunken father and THROWN FIERCELY TO THE FLOOR. From that time on Doris began to have a 'multiple personality.' Her personalities were AT ODDS with each other; sometimes she was quiet and withdrawn, then suddenly she became outgoing, energetic, even mischievous..."
When her psychiatrist, Dr. Prince, died, she retreated into TOTAL LONELINESS AND DESPAIR. She was plagued by VISIONS of hostile spirits and HORRIBLE NIGHTMARES until she died insane in a sanitarium in 1935.
There is a definite similarity between these three people -- Ellen G. White was hit in the face with a rock and started having "visions"; Dorothy Eady (Omm Sety) fell down the stairs and probably hit her head, shortly thereafter having "strange dreams" and nightmares; and Doris Fisher was thrown to the floor with multiple personalities appearing almost immediately.
The Shiekhs of Egypt
What does this indicate?
At the age of 14 Dorothy Eady tried to get to the root cause of her recurring dreams and nightmares, and consulted with SPIRITUALISTS about her perplexing feelings. The spiritualists suggested that at the moment of her "death," when she fell down the stairs, an ancient SPIRIT possibly ENTERED HER BODY AND POSSESSED HER. There are traditions of this in Egypt, which Jonathan Cott mentions in The Search for Omm Sety:
From the point of view of the still existing traditional life of the Egyptian peasants and villagers, there was NOTHING UNUSUAL about coming across people who were supposed to be "possessed" by shiekhs who were said to live underneath the earth. "For instance," W.S. Blackman writes in 'The Fellahin of Upper Egypt,' "I was told that a woman coming after dark down the stairs which lead from the roof of a house to the ground floor, and carrying no light with her, MAY BECOME FRIGHTENED AND FALL, IN WHICH CASE A SHIEKH WILL COME INTO HER AT ONCE" (page 219).
Can we prove that these women -- including Ellen G. White -- experienced similar phenomenon in their lives, and were therefore POSSESSED BY DEMONS? I believe we can. Let's start with Mrs. White.
"Out of Body" Experiences
On a wintry day in December, 1844, seventeen-year old Ellen Harmon [White] met with four friends in the Portland, Maine home of a Mrs. Haines to pray for divine guidance.
Let Ronald L. Numbers pick up the story:
As the women knelt in a circle, the "Holy Spirit" rested upon Ellen in a new and dramatic way. BATHED IN LIGHT, SHE SEEMED TO BE "RISING HIGHER AND HIGHER, FAR ABOVE THE DARK WORLD." From her vantage point she saw the Advent people traveling a straight and narrow path toward the New Jerusalem, their way lighted by the October 22 message [vision of Hiram Edson].
A SPECIAL ANGEL always guided Ellen on her HEAVENLY TOURS, DIRECTING HER ATTENTION TO EVENTS PAST AND FUTURE, CELESTIAL AND TERRESTRIAL...
Let Dorothy Eady relate similar experiences she had:
One night His Majesty [Sety I] sent this YOUNG PRIEST named Ptahmes to fetch me -- that is to fetch my ASTRAL BODY. I was asleep and awoke suddenly and saw this PRIEST standing in my room. He beckoned to me. I sat up, and he said something in ancient Egyptian that I didn't quite follow, except for the words "Our Lord wants you." I had three cats then, and the moment this fellow appeared, all of them put up their backs and spat and ran out of the room. I felt a queer kind of sensation, as if I were sort of expanding. I got up and felt most beautifully light. I LOOKED DOWN ON THE BED, AND THERE WAS MY BODY, lying there with my flannel night gown on, and appearing most unwholesome and unappetizing! And here was I, stark naked, but feeling gloriously light; and this chap said to me, "Come!" and we walked out, as if on air, and I LOOKED DOWN TO SEE THE PYRAMIDS FAR BELOW US. We passed through a patch of blackness, like thick fog.
Dorothy Eady continues:
On coming out of this fog, we found ourselves in front of a palace door, and the guards challenged us. We went in, and Ptahmes the YOUNG PRIEST led me through a passage into a big L-shaped room...And then, after a while, before dawn, Ptahmes came back into the room to take me home. Every time that Ptahmes appeared again to take me to Amenti, the cats always spat and fled. But I can't describe to you the marvellous feeling of freedom and lightness when one's rid of one's body! The SPIRITUALISTS say that when people go out in their ASTRAL BODIES there's a silver cord joining them to their earthly bodies. In my case there was no silver cord.
These experiences of Ellen G. White and Dorothy Eady were not uncommon in the early part of the nineteenth century. At that time America abounded with "prophets" of every description, from little-known frontier seers in Ellen Harmon's own Methodist church, to prominent sectarian leaders.
According to Ronald L. Numbers, "Mother Ann Lee of the Shakers had long since passed away, but her devoted followers perpetuated her reputation as the female Messiah. In the 1830s an EPIDEMIC OF VISIONS spread through the Shaker communes as YOUNG girls 'began to sing, talk about angels, and DESCRIBE A JOURNEY THEY WERE MAKING, UNDER SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE, TO HEAVENLY PLACES.' Frequently those afflicted 'would be STRUCK TO THE FLOOR, WHERE THEY LAY AS DEAD, OR STRUGGLING IN DISTRESS, until someone near lifted them up, when they would begin to speak with great clearness and composure."' (Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, pages 15-16.)
William Sargant, in The Mind Possessed, states that "Quite early on, subjects in hypnotic trance not only experienced the phenomenon of POSSESSION BY DEMONS, or by God [?] or the DEVIL, but, as today, ALSO TRAVELLED THROUGH SPACE ON TREMENDOUS IMAGINARY JOURNEYS." (J. B. Lippincott Co., Phila. & New York. 1974, p. 41.)
"Mesmeric space exploration" was, in fact, all the rage in the early 1800s. In November, 1813, we read of a girl of fifteen, daughter of a Mr. Romer, seized with CONVULSIVE ATTACKS, followed by catalepsy. According to the report "she became somnambulic, prescribed for her own ailments and those of her father and other persons, rejecting all other medical treatment than her own." Her father asserted "that she displayed in the trance knowledge which she could NOT possibly have acquired from normal sources...further, SHE WAS CONDUCTED, SOMETIMES BY A DECEASED RELATIVE, BUT MORE FREQUENTLY BY THE SPIRIT OF A STILL-LIVING COMPANION, one Louise, TO THE MOON."
We can see that Ellen G. White's "out of body" experiences were NOT AT ALL UNIQUE; and, in fact, records of similar experiences have been found on ancient Egyptian monuments.
You probably noticed that Ellen G. White, Dorothy Eady, the Shakers, and Mr. Romer's daughter all had HELPING SPIRITS OR "GUIDES" to accompany them during their "out of body" experiences. It is interesting to note that Anthropologists have often pointed out that shamans and SHAMANESSES [medicine men, witch doctors] draw on a special and personal power that is generally supplied by a GUARDIAN SPIRIT, known variously as a "nagual," a "familiar [spirit]," or, simply, a "friend" or "companion."
The Bible has quite a bit to say about "familiar spirits". In Leviticus 19:31 YEHOVAH God thunders out this warning: "Give no regard to MEDIUMS and FAMILIAR SPIRITS; do not seek after them, to be DEFILED by them: I am the Lord your God." Further, in the next chapter: "And the person who turns after mediums and FAMILIAR SPIRITS, to PROSTITUTE himself with them, I WILL SET MY FACE AGAINST THAT PERSON AND CUT HIM OFF FROM HIS PEOPLE." (Lev. 20:6.)
The penalty for such behavior is great: "A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has FAMILIAR SPIRITS, shall surely be put to DEATH; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them." (Lev. 20:27.)
It is quite obvious where Ellen G. White's inspiration was coming from -- her visionary experiences were NOT OF YEHOVAH GOD BUT FROM THE DEMON WORLD!
Struck to the Ground
When the early Shakers were about to undertake their "astral voyages" they would frequently "be STRUCK TO THE FLOOR, WHERE THEY LAY AS DEAD, or struggling in DISTRESS, until someone near lifted them up..." Was there a similar pattern in Mrs. White's visionary experiences? Indeed there was!
Let Ronald L. Numbers explain: "One evening, while prayer was being offered in her behalf, 'a ball of fire' struck her over the heart, KNOCKING HER TO THE FLOOR HELPLESS." (Prophetess of Health, p. 22.)
Then again, on another occasion, while visiting in Exeter, Maine: "As Ellen sat listening to an Adventist sister express her doubts on the shut door [doctrine], a feeling of INTENSE AGONY came over her and she FELL FROM HER CHAIR TO THE FLOOR." (Prophetess of Health, p. 14.)
John Wesley, the founder of the religious movement of that name, made these comments in Volume II of his personal Journal:
1739, MONDAY, JAN.lst. Mr. Hall, Kinchin, Ingham, Whitefield, Hutchins, and my brother Charles were present at our lovefeast in Fetter Lane, with about sixty of our brethren. About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God[?] came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy, AND MANY FELL TO THE GROUND...While I was speaking one before me DROPPED DOWN AS DEAD, and presently a second and a third. Five others SANK DOWN in half an hour, most of whom were in VIOLENT AGONIES. The "pains" as "of hell came about them, the snares of death overtook them."
MARCH 2ND, 1739. One of the most surprising instances of His[?] power which I ever remember to have seen was on the Tuesday following, when I visited one who was above measure enraged at this NEW WAY, and zealous in opposing it...I broke off the dispute, and desired we might join in prayer, which she so far consented to as to kneel down. In a few minutes she FELL IN AN EXTREME AGONY, both of body and soul, and soon after cried out with the utmost earnestness, "Now I know I am forgiven for Christ's sake"...And from that hour God hath set her face as a flint to declare the faith which before she persecuted.
APRIL 26TH, 1739. While I was preaching at Newgate on these words, "He that believeth hath everlasting life!"...IMMEDIATELY ONE, AND ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER SUNK TO THE EARTH; THEY DROPPED ON EVERY SIDE AS THUNDER STRUCK.
Later on, according to his Journal, John Wesley was forced to wonder whether some of these manifestations were the WORK OF THE DEVIL rather than the holy spirit.
The fourth-century A.D. author, Cyril of Jerusalem, had little doubt about similar manifestations: "The UNCLEAN DEVIL, when he comes upon the soul of a man...comes like a wolf upon a sheep, ravening for blood and ready to devour. His presence is most cruel; the sense of it most oppressive; THE MIND IS DARKENED; his attack is an injustice also, and the usurpation of another's possession. For he tyrannically uses another's body, another's instruments, as his own property; HE THROWS DOWN HIM WHO STANDS UPRIGHT...he perverts the tongue and distorts the lips. Foam comes instead of words; THE MAN IS FILLED WITH DARKNESS; his eye is open yet his soul sees NOT through it..."
What does the Bible have to say about this particular phenomena? Let's turn to Luke 4:33,35: "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."
We read of another incident in Mark 9: "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 [in]. 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." (Verses 17-18, 20.)
Can there BE ANY DOUBT what agency threw Ellen G. White to the ground? It certainly wasn't the spirit of YEHOVAH God! The spirit of YEHOVAH DOES NOT exercise the POWER OF DEMONS -- Corinthians 14:32 PLAINLY SAYS, "The spirits of prophets ARE SUBJECT TO THE CONTROL OF PROPHETS. For God is not a god of disorder BUT OF PEACE."
YEHOVAH's spirit DOES NOT FORCE; IT LEADS, and one must FOLLOW WILLINGLY -- or not at all! It is Satan the Devil, and his minions, who wish to "POSSESS" the mind and will -- not YEHOVAH God! YEHOVAH GOD DOES NOT FORCE MEN TO DO WHAT THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO!!
A State of Exhaustion
Let's return to Dorothy Eady for a moment. She related, to a friend, how she felt when her spirit lover (Sety I of Egypt) visited her:
...he [Sety] was still not allowed to "materialize"...that is to say, to come to me in solidified form without my personal consent. On the visit to Amenti [previous astral travel], I gave my consent, because without having done so I would never have been able to see or touch him: My personal consent was indispensable because, he had naturally to TAKE SOME OF MY SEKHEM [SPIRITUAL POWER]. A certain portion of my PHYSICAL FORCE was also involved in the matter. You see, after each meeting in which His Majesty presents himself in the solidified form however long or short our encounter I ALWAYS FEEL SOME SORT OF PHYSICAL FATIGUE after he leaves me. Sometimes, when I'm tired or slightly indisposed or ill, I FEEL EXHAUSTED OR EXTREMELY RUN DOWN after His Majesty goes away. -- The Search for Omm Sety: Reincarnation and Eternal Love, pgs. 64-65.
In the year 1892, a certain Mr. Tout took part with some neighbors, in a series of SPIRITUALISTIC SEANCES. He kept a record of each encounter, which we will draw from.
On one occasion Mr. Tout, having under the influence of music given various impersonations, was finally oppressed by a feeling of coldness and loneliness. His discomfiture and misery were great; and he was only kept from FALLING TO THE FLOOR by some of the other people at the seance.
"I began to be DISTRESSED IN MY LUNGS, and should have fallen if they had not held me by the hands and let me back gently upon the floor. As my head sank back upon the carpet I experienced DREADFUL DISTRESS IN MY LUNGS AND COULD NOT BREATHE. I made signs to them to put something under my head. They immediately put the sofa cushions under me, but this was not sufficient -- I was not raised enough yet to breathe easily -- and they then added a pillow. I HAVE THE MOST DISTINCT RECOLLECTION OF A SIGH OF RELIEF I NOW GAVE AS I SANK BACK LIKE A SICK, WEAK PERSON UPON THE COOL PILLOW." (The Mind Possessed, pgs. 37-38.)
Did Ellen G. White have similar experiences? What do you think?
During these trances, which came five or ten times a year and lasted from a few minutes to several hours, Ellen frequently described the colorful scenes she was seeing. One eyewitness recalled that she often uttered words singly, and sometimes sentences which expressed to those about her the nature of the view she was having, either of heaven or of earth...When the vision was ended, and she lost sight of the heavenly light, as it were, coming back to 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, AND HAD TO BE ASSISTED TO HER CHAIR...(Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, pgs. 18-19.)
It must be obvious by now which spirit Ellen G. White was SUBSERVIENT to!
The 18-Pound Bible!
We have learned that at the end of a vision Mrs. White was almost DEVOID OF STRENGTH; and similarly MEDIUMS suffered from the same exhaustion at the conclusion of a SEANCE. Now, what about DURING her visions? Did she receive EXTRA OR SUPER-STRENGTH?
Eyewitness reports reveal that during a vision she would "...[sink] to the floor in a swoon. After a short time in this deathlike state, NEW POWER flowed through her body, and she rose to her feet. On occasion she POSSESSED EXTRAORDINARY STRENGTH, once reportedly holding an EIGHTEEN-POUND Teale Bible in her outstretched hand for ONE-HALF HOUR." (Prophetess of Health, p. 18.)
Ronald L. Numbers notes that "Although she was able to move about [during a vision] with complete freedom, not even the STRONGEST MEN could forcibly BUDGE HER LIMBS."
It has also been noted that the "Manifestation of SUPER STRENGTH that would ordinarily be BEYOND A PERSON'S POWER is sometimes another POSSESSION SYMPTOM." (The Ultimate Source of All Supernatural Phenomena, by Ronald R. Wlodyga, p. 292.)
The account in Mark 5 of the man who lived among the tombs backs this up: "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." (Verses 24.)
This further supports the FACT that Ellen G. White was under the influence of DEMONS during her visions or trances.
Cast into a Sickbed
Jay Van Booth points out in his book Spiritual Exorcism that anyone who has SUICIDAL tendencies and gloomy moods, affairs, jealousy, infatuations, hate, and even a person who is accident-prone may be possessed or influenced. A person who has a CONSTANT FLOW OF CHANGING PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL ILLNESSES, who has persecution complexes, PHYSICAL ILLNESSES WITHOUT APPARENT CAUSES all hint at POSSESSION. Booth noted that Arthritis and Epilepsy are problems that can typically be induced.
Ellen G. White's entire life was a CONSTANT onslaught of physical afflictions and mental disorders. She began her public ministry in 1844 with SHATTERED NERVES AND BROKEN BODY; "and to all appearances had but a short time to live."
Ronald L. Numbers mentions that "Her lungs were racked with consumption, her throat so sore she could barely speak above a whisper. On her extended travels through New England she FREQUENTLY FAINTED AND REMAINED BREATHLESS 'SEVERAL MINUTES.' Her mind on one occasion wandered aimlessly for two weeks."
Shortly after her marriage to James White in 1846, she became so VIOLENTLY ILL for three weeks that "every breath came with a groan." While she lay ill in her bed, friends gathered around her to pray for divine healing. As one young man, Henry Nichols, pleaded with YEHOVAH God on her behalf, a supernatural power seemed to POSSESS HIM. Ellen described what occurred next: "He rose from his knees, came across the room, and laid his hands upon my head, saying, 'Sister Ellen, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole,' and FELL BACK prostrated by the power of God." (Prophetess of Health, pp. 31-32.)
We have to be VERY CAREFUL here!
Several cases in the Bible show that when a person is under DEMONIC INFLUENCE, he always "FALLS AWAY BACKWARD," when confronted by the influence of YEHOVAH GOD, or in the presence of an ANGELIC MESSENGER.
Supporters of Mrs. White point to this incident to prove her heaven-sent powers -- but let's not jump to conclusions!
Notice something in Matthew 12:27. Here Yeshua tells us that the Pharisees could actually cast out demons through a ritualistic type of exorcism -- much like Roman Catholic priests have been known to do. Yeshua said to them, in answer to an accusation, "And if drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out?" "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire" he told the Pharisees earlier. (John 8:44.)
This shows that SATAN CAN CAST OUT SATAN! Remember, Satan will stop short of nothing to ensnare and trap those without discernment! "Satan can cast out Satan through his false ministers to make them look like ministers of Christ; but in actual fact deceive people by a clever 'brer rabbit' trick. Let us be aware of Satan's clever devices (II Cor. 2:11). Remember, the Apostle Paul warned us that Satan's ministers would appear as 'MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS' (II Cor. 11:15)." (Ultimate Source of All Supernatural Phenomena, by Ronald R. Wlodyga, p. 296.)
The following day, while neighbors inquired about funeral arrangements, Ellen rode 38 miles through a storm to the town of Topsham.
During the winter of 1853 Ellen suffered miserably from a variety of complaints that included heart problems, inability to breathe while lying down, RECURRENT FAINTING SPELLS (as much as twice a day), and a cancer-like inflammation on her left eyelid.
The following winter she FAINTED and was unconscious for a day and a half. A week later an apparent stroke left her left side paralyzed her head cold and numb and her speech impaired.
In the latter years of her life -- especially during her first year in Australia -- she suffered tremendously from frequent bouts of RHEUMATISM. The attack she had in Australia lasted for about eleven months, and left her wondering why she had ever moved to this land.
These recurrent illnesses are another PROOF of her SATANIC INSPIRATION, and show graphically the result of being "cast into a sickbed" (Rev. 2:22).
Satan Will Not Let Go Easily
Early in her ministry, Ellen G. White even doubted the SOURCE of her own visions. She asked herself if they were possibly the effect of mesmerism or, worse yet, a SATANIC DELUSION.
Ronald Numbers once again relates the story:
She was somewhat comforted by her discovery that the visions continued even when she retreated to a secluded spot away from any human influence. But the doubts continued to haunt her. One morning as she knelt for family prayers, she felt a vision coming on. FOR AN INSTANT SHE WONDERED IF THIS COULD BE A MESMERIC FORCE and was immediately STRUCK DUMB. As divine [?] punishment for questioning, she was unable to utter a word for twenty-four hours and had to communicate by means of a pencil and slate...The next day her speech returned, and NEVER AGAIN did Ellen doubt the source of her visions. -- Prophetess of Health, p. 23.
If she had continued to doubt, HER LIFE COULD HAVE BEEN IN JEOPARDY!
Ralph Gasson, as he was attempting to leave the clutches of spiritualism and mediumship, had a similar experience that almost led to his death!
Just after...[a]...conversation with the pastor, I attended what turned out to be my last seance, of which I was the ACTING MEDIUM, and during this event the controlling spirits ATTEMPTED TO TAKE MY LIFE. I could not understand this at the time, but it has become evident since that THEY KNEW I WAS ON MY WAY OUT OF THEIR CONTROL and into a life controlled only by Christ...After receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, openings arose to testify in various assemblies and it was then that I came to realize the terrible strength of the Enemy of our souls. Evidently HE HAD NO INTENTION OF LETTING GO HIS HOLD UPON ME as easily as I had thought. Each time I testified, ATTACKS CAME IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER. Beforehand, dizzy spells made me so weak that I had to clutch something to remain standing up, let alone speak. After I had testified and had returned home, SLEEPY SPELLS made me almost unconscious and my once FAMILIAR SPIRITS attempted to get me into a deep trance again, against my will -- a thing they did not reckon to do, normally speaking. Several times they succeeded in USING MY OWN HANDS to attempt to strangle me. It was only by my standing upon the promises of God -- defying Satan to do his worst -- and by pleading the power of the Blood of Christ and by much intercessory prayer being given by the saints, that these evil spirits were eventually overcome. -- The Challenging Counterfeit, pages 10-12.
The Bible testifies to this behavior of the demons when they perceive their desires to possess and control are being challenged: "When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 'Lord have mercy on my son,' he said. 'He is an epileptic and is suffering greatly. HE OFTEN FALLS INTO THE FIRE OR INTO THE WATER. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.'...Jesus rebuked the DEMON, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment." (Mat. 17:14-16,18.)
A Comparison of Visions
An early witness to Ellen G. White's visions, J. N. Loughborough, likened her experiences to that of the prophet Daniel, and attempted to point out similarities in their behavior while in a trance:
Her condition as to BREATHING, LOSS OF STRENGTH, and BEING MADE STRONG as the angel of god touches her, all agree perfectly with the description given by the prophet Daniel of his own experience in vision when he says: "Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great VISION, and there REMAINED NO STRENGTH IN ME: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I RETAINED NO STRENGTH." "For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained NO STRENGTH IN ME, NEITHER IS THERE BREATH left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he STRENGTHENED ME, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee; be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I WAS STRENGTHENED, and said, Let my Lord speak; for thou hast STRENGTHENED ME." -- The Great Second Advent Movement, p. 204.
The scripture above is found in Daniel 10.
To use these scriptures to validate Ellen G. White's state during a vision is really STRETCHING THE CREDULITY of the serious Bible student, and is certainly reading into scripture what IS NOT THERE!
Let's take Daniel 10, in modern English, and determine what it REALLY says:
In the third year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia, Daniel had another VISION...When this vision came to me (Daniel related later) I had been in mourning for THREE FULL WEEKS, All that time I tasted NEITHER WINE NOR MEAT; and of course I WENT WITHOUT DESSERTS...When I saw this FEARFUL VISION [of an angelic being] MY STRENGTH LEFT ME; AND I GREW PALE AND WEAK WITH FRIGHT. Then he spoke to me, and I FELL TO THE GROUND FACE DOWNWARD IN A DEEP FAINT...Then he [the angelic being] said, "Don't be FRIGHTENED, Daniel, for your request has been heard in heaven and was answered the very first day YOU BEGAN TO FAST before the Lord and pray for understanding; that very day I was sent here to meet you...All this time I was looking down, UNABLE TO SPEAK A WORD. Then someone -- he looked like a man -- touched my life and I could talk again; and I said to the messenger from heaven, "Sir, I AM TERRIFIED BY YOUR APPEARANCE AND HAVE NO STRENGTH. How can such a person as I even talk to you? FOR MY STRENGTH IS GONE AND I CAN HARDLY BREATHE." Then the one who seemed to be a man touched me again, and I FELT MY STRENGTH RETURNING. "God loves you very much," he said; "DON'T BE AFRAID! CALM YOURSELF; be strong yes, strong!" Suddenly, as he spoke these words, I felt STRONGER and said to him, "Now you can go ahead and speak, sir, for you have STRENGTHENED me." -- Daniel 10.
There are a number of things in this chapter that need to be addressed. Firstly, notice that Daniel -- prior to his vision -- had been FASTING FOR THREE FULL WEEKS (Dan. 10:2; 10:12). So, needless to say, Daniel was already in a WEAKENED STATE.
Secondly, in verse 8, he states: "When I saw this FEARFUL VISION my strength left me; and I grew pale and weak WITH FRIGHT." Why did Daniel loose what little strength he had after fasting? Because of FEAR -- it was a FEARFUL VISION he was seeing. Have you ever been so frightened you could hardly move? That's not at all uncommon! Fear was NOT MENTIONED as being part of any of the visions Ellen G. White, Dorothy Eady, or the others experienced. They always saw "guides" or "familiar spirits"; whereas Daniel was confronted with an angelic being -- probably one of the archangels! I would probably be scared strengthless myself!
Thirdly, Daniel was also scared "speechless": "All this time I was looking down, UNABLE TO SPEAK a word...'Sir, I am TERRIFIED by your appearance and HAVE NO STRENGTH. How can such a person as I even talk to you? For my STRENGTH IS GONE AND I CAN HARDLY BREATHE."' His fear was SO GREAT that he couldn't speak and could hardly breathe.
Do you see the differences? There is no indication that the phenomena associated with Mrs. White's visions were the result of fear.
Fourthly, verse 9 of Daniel 10 relates that Daniel "fell to the ground face downward in a deep faint." Why? Because of FEAR once again. "But a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees...Then he [the angelic being] said, 'Don't be FRIGHTENED, Daniel...'"
Satan even COUNTERFEITS the resurgence of strength: "'God loves you very much,' he [the angelic being] said; 'don't BE AFRAID! CALM YOURSELF; BE STRONG [in the sense of "courageous"] yes, STRONG!' Suddenly, as he spoke these words, I FELT STRONGER and said to him, 'Now you can go ahead and speak, sir, for you HAVE STRENGTHENED ME"'
Please note that he was "strengthened," NOT given SUPER-STRENGTH! There is a difference! Daniel was so weak from fasting and from fear that the angelic being, in the vision, had to strengthen him before proceeding with the prophecies.
Fifthly, consider WHY Daniel had been fasting for three weeks prior to the vision. He was fasting and praying because he was SEEKING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING FROM YEHOVAH GOD! Notice verse 12: "Then he said, 'Don't be frightened, Daniel, for YOUR REQUEST has been heard in heaven and was answered the very first day you began to FAST BEFORE THE LORD AND PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING..."' This was NEVER a factor in Ellen G. White's visions -- or in any of the others we examined.
Notice, now, the SEQUENCE OF EVENTS in Daniel's vision:
1). Fasting and prayer for three weeks prior to the vision.
2). The angelic being appears to Daniel.
3). Daniel's strength leaves him because of fear.
4). He falls, face down, to the ground in a faint because of fright.
5). Daniel is lifted up, by the angelic being, to his hands and knees.
6). Loss of voice and difficulty in breathing because of fear.
7). Strengthened by the angelic being.
Let's compare this with the sequence of events in Mrs. White's visions:
1). SUDDENLY struck to the ground, falling backward.
2). Remains on floor -- often in GREAT AGONY -- until filled by a SUPERPOWER and strength.
3). Loss of breath.
4). Almost total exhaustion at END of vision -- help needed to return to chair.
Notice the DIFFERENCES, and notice how CUNNING Satan really is! At face value, the events of Ellen G. White's visions APPEAR to be similar to those of Daniel's vision in Daniel chapter 10. However, FURTHER INVESTIGATION reveals major differences -- not only in the sequence of events, but also in the NATURE of the events.
The main thing we must remember is: YEHOVAH God LEADS and only works with someone who is DILIGENTLY seeking Him; Satan STRIKES SUDDENLY, and uses someone against their will, deceiving them and impersonating the power of YEHOVAH God.
A Sufficient Guide to Salvation
In this article we have covered some of the doctrines revealed to Mrs. White in her visions, and found them to be CONTRADICTORY to the Word of YEHOVAH God. We have taken a close look at the mechanics of her visions and compared them to those of mediums and founders of other so-called "Christian" religions -- and found them all to be almost identical.
The ONLY possible conclusion we can come to is that Ellen G. White was indeed a MEDIUM, and had close contact with the SPIRITS OF DARKNESS throughout her long and colorful life!
Even the early history of the growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church shows this. The Ambassador College Correspondence Course notes:
In its [Seventh-day Adventist Church] early days the SUPERNATURAL POWER OF DEMONS WAS MANIFEST. For example, in Norway and Sweden, children too young to have yet experienced TRUE conversion were INFLUENCED to preach and spread the church's doctrines. Some of them were no more than 6 or 8 years old (E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 366).
Notice how one of these poor, deluded, misused children later described his experiences: "Preached! Yes, I HAD to preach. I HAD NO DEVISING IN THE MATTER. A POWER CAME UPON ME, and I uttered what I WAS COMPELLED by that power to utter.
Another, who was 15 years old when these events occurred, related: "As soon as we were SEIZED by this heavenly power[?] we began to speak to the people, and to proclaim with a loud voice that the judgment hour had come" (Emma Howell Cooper, The Great Advent Movement, pages 22-23). -- Lesson 53, 1969, p. 10.
The astute observation was made that the career of a prophetess was in some ways similar to that of a SPIRITUALIST MEDIUM; and, as R. Laurence Moore pointed out in his book, MEDIUMSHIP was "one of the few career opportunities open to women in the nineteenth century." (The Spiritualist Medium: A study of Female Professionalism in Victorian America.)
The source of Ellen G. White's revelations has been laid bare; and the deceitfulness of the Great Counterfeiter exposed. We should learn from this and realize that the BIBLE ITSELF is a sufficient guide to salvation. As Paul told Timothy, "from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are ABLE TO MAKE YOU WISE UNTO SALVATION." In other words, the Word of God is altogether a sufficient guide to salvation! It DOES NOT require the "private interpretation" of difficult passages in order that you may gain salvation. The only thing required is a LOVE of the truth, and the INTERPRETATION WHICH IS PROVIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. The scriptures are the "Mind of Christ." They contain all that we need.
To declare that "the spirit of prophecy," as claimed by Ellen G. White, is the ONLY infallible interpretation of Bible principles is SHEER FOLLY and Satan inspired.
Ellen G. White was a MEDIUM, not a messenger!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Taking the Lead in the Search for Truth!
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