Biblical Inspiration and Ellen G. White

When taught as a unit, Seventh-day Adventists indirectly teach that Christ is the Anti-Christ little horn of Daniel 8:9-14 who defiled the sanctuary by transferring sin into it. See page one and chapter 4.

Chapter Three


Spell-corrected 11-2015

1976: “That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice.” Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 1976, page 32.

— compare with —

1980: “The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revelator of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history.” From the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.

1989: “Seventh-day Adventists recognize in Ellen G. White an authority in doctrine and life that is second only to that of the Scriptures. … The Seventh-day Adventist church holds the writings of Ellen G. White in the highest regard as a source of doctrinal understanding. … Some Adventists have inferred that in Dr.Desmond Ford’s view Ellen White’s authority does not extend to doctrinal issues. On this point the Seventh-day Adventist position is that a prophet’s authority cannot justifiably be limited in that way.” Doctrine of the Sanctuary, Biblical Research Committee, 1989, 223-224.

The first two statements above would be accepted in almost any conservative Christian church. They read very well. They appear to place Seventh-day Adventism securely within the boundary of orthodox Christianity and away from false Christian cultism.

However, when comparing the two statements, an obvious, not-even-very-subtle, change has taken place. SDAs have deleted their older statement that the Scriptures are the “all-sufficient” revelation of God’s will. They have also deleted their older statement that the Scriptures are “the only unerring rule of faith and practice.” Next, they have added the statement that the Scriptures are given by “divine inspiration through holy men.”

There is a subtle, yet obvious, reason for these changes! And that reason is Ellen G. White, the prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who died in 1915. When SDAs state that the Scriptures were “given by divine inspiration through holy men of God” and are “the infallible revelation of His will” (1980 statement), they include Ellen G. White because they hold her writings in the “highest regard as a source of doctrinal understanding” and because “a prophet’s authority cannot justifiably be limited” to exclude doctrine (1989 statement). They regard her as a full-fledged prophet on equal standing with biblical prophets. The Biblical Research Committee represents the unofficial highest level of leadership within the church. When it rebutted Dr. Ford, it was forced to admit that Ellen White’s prophetic authority extended to doctrinal correctness.

“One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested” [#17 of the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists].

The above statement sounds like First Timothy 3:15-17. SDAs try to have it both ways as is clear from the last sentence of the statement. When Ellen White is quoted, she has a rubber nose and this helps Adventist leaders who take a Roman Catholic approach which discourages personal interpretation. They often seem to convey the idea that they are the only ones qualified to properly interpret her writings. When non-Adventists and ex-Adventists quote Ellen White, their quotations are usually passed off as out of context.

Ellen G. White has a rubber nose inside and outside of Seventh-day Adventism. She has written so much that statements can be found from her that can be made to either support or oppose many positions. This is especially true about her level of inspiration. Read her following quotations and decide for yourself whether or not she considered herself on the same level with the prophets of God’s Word.

The following quotations are from Ellen White’s own words from the Introduction to her book, The Great Controversy, the most prolific book distributed for free at evangelistic meetings.

GC v: God has communicated with men by his Spirit and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations to His chosen servants. (Quotes 2 Peter 1:21)

GC vii: Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit.

GC vii: Great reproach has been cast on the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the Word of God.

GC viii: In harmony with the word of God, His Spirit was to continue its work throughout the period of the gospel dispensation. … And mention is made of prophets in different ages of whose utterances nothing is recorded. In like manner, after the close of the canon of the Scripture, the Holy Spirit was still to continue its work to enlighten, warn and comfort the children of God.

GC ix: [quotes prophets Paul, Peter and Joel] In all ages the wrath of Satan has been manifested against the church of Christ; and God has bestowed His grace and Spirit upon His people to strengthen them to stand against the power of the evil one.

***GCx: At this time the special endowment of divine grace and power is not less needful to the church than in apostolic days.

***GCx: Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued conflict between good and evil have been opened to the writer of these pages. From time to time I have been permitted to behold ….

***GCxi: As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of His word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others that which has been revealed B to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially so to present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future.

GCxi: Regarding them [her collection of history] in the light of God=s word, and by the illumination of His Spirit, we may see unveiled …..

In this introduction Ellen G. White carefully and slowly eased into her declaration that she is an essential last-day prophet. She wrote that God had illuminated her and opened her eyes with scenes of the past and future. God has instructed her to present the content of this book, The Great Controversy (with scores of quotations from non-SDA church historians).

Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White was inspired by God in exactly the same way that the biblical prophets were inspired, and, as such, her writings are exactly as authoritative and unerring as those of God’s Word. In their reasoning, since the Bible authorizes the continuing prophetic gift, especially in the last-day, or “remnant” church, then that is why they added that the Word was given by divine inspiration through holy men.” However, they do not normally admit this to new converts, such as myself or to the inquisitive.

Isa. 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Rev. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

SDAs call Ellen G. White’s writings “the Spirit of Prophecy.” The three texts, Revelation 12:17; 19:10 and Isaiah 8:20 are quoted by SDAs to prove that the last-day remnant church must also have last-day prophetic guidance. However, there are several problems caused by using these texts.

First: Isaiah 8:20 is only a test for Old Covenant prophets because it refers to all of the Mosaic Law, or Old Covenant. However, like most Christians, even SDAs teach that the ceremonial worship statutes (ordinances) and civil legal judgments are no longer valid for their church. Therefore, they disqualify themselves by rejecting two thirds of the entire Law. Yet SDAs use this as a proof text to demonstrate that EGW is a true prophet — and her writings are strongly defended as being essentially without error. However, they will not give audience to those who desire to point out her many errors!

Second: “Keep the commandments” in Revelation 12:17 does not refer to the Ten Commandments, but to love and obedience to what Jesus taught specifically for His New Covenant church. The Apostle John did not use “commandments” in the narrow sense of “Ten Commandments” (Compare John 14:21-23; 15:10-12; 1 Jn. 2:3-10; 3:22-24; 2 Jn. 6:5-6.)

Third: Many believe that 12:17 refers, not to the church, but to the believing Israelites of chapters 7 and 14. The remnant is the remnant of restored national Israel.

Fourth: The phrase “testimony of Jesus” is also applied by SDAs as an unofficial title for Ellen G. White. Many of her writings are called “Testimonies.” However, it merely refers to the fact that the biblical prophets testified, or gave witness, to Jesus Christ.

Fifth: If it is essential for the last-day remnant church to have (to quote their own article #17) “continuing and authoritative source of truth,” then why has there not been a successor to Ellen G. White?  She died in 1915 and has not been replaced. In fact, the infamous late David Koresh of the Branch Davidian, Seventh-day Adventists (an unrecognized offshoot) claimed to be the legitimate successor to Ellen G. White. Will future claimants be tested for authenticity?

Rev. 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.

Finally, Seventh-day Adventists point out that the Latin inscription on the pope’s tiara (vicar of the son of God) totals 666 when added vertically in Latin (although it does not if correctly added horizontally).* Yet, to their shock, the name, Ellen Gould White, also totals 666 when added vertically! See Revelation 13:18. Note that in Roman Numerals: “I” is 1; “U” or “V” is 5; “X” is 10; “L” is 50; “C” is 100; “D” is 500; “W” is “double- U,” or “V V” which is 10.