The following statement by Ellen White is stated by her critics as evidence that she supported a shut door on the entire world in her first vision of 1844. However, what her critics have failed to see is that the quote is stated in the past perfect tense, from the future looking past after the fact. This important fact is neither understood nor recognized by Ellen White's critics. They lack the spiritual discernment to see such. This means that when Ellen White said that it was just as impossible to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected, this speaks of all who take their eyes off the Midnight Cry Lighted Path, are just as hopeless as the wicked world after probation has closed for them. This is all past perfect tense that views a matter as a future completed action and looking back after the fact! This is just a metaphor like comparison, and has nothing to do with saying that a shut door was closed in the face of the world when this statement was written, before it was written, or after it was written except for the time-frame at which probation closes for the world.
"At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were travelling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry [See Matthew 25]. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way of, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming. The living saints, 14,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spake the time, he poured on us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God as Moses' did when he came down from Mount Sinai. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us in prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and the wicked would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another's feet, and salute the holy brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshipped at our feet [Revelation 3:9].By this time the 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem." E. G. White, Word to The Little Flock, p. 14.
Ellen White and every other Adventist associated with her and James White, knew that there certainly was not 144,000 believers or 'saints" at this time of her first vision in 1844! Thus we have irrefutably proven that by this statement she did not mean that there was a closed door on the world at all! Notice the totally futuristic context of the rest of the statement:
"By this time the 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious Star containing Jesus' new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us in prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and the wicked would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another's feet, and salute the holy brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshipped at our feet. Soon our eyes were drawn to the East, for a small black cloud had appeared about half as large as a man' hand, which we all knew was the Sign of the Son of Man." E.G. White, Word to the Little Flock, p. 14.
There can be no doubt as to the context of the above statement; that it applies to the Great and terrible day of the Lord, when probation for sinners no longer exists. It is either a sinister and satanic thrust, or ignorance to the point of pathos, that Ellen White's critics have used this statement to try to prove that she said there was a shut door on the world in 1844. Either way, what shame! what despotism! what ignorance on the part of those who try to use this statement to prove that Ellen White taught a shut door on salvation to the world in 1844! Even if Ellen White personally believed there was a shut door at the time, that is not what this vision teaches! If she believed on a shut door after this vision [and she did not] it was not the fault of the vision. She clearly stated that she did not always understand her visions at first. Neither did Daniel. Neither did Nebuchadnezzar! Neither did John the Revelator, for his visions were sealed until the time of the end! At times, in Scripture, there were those who had visions and those who were deigned by deity to interpret them. Very apparently, deity is not working through the critics of Ellen G. White, regarding this, her first vision!
Bible Support For Ellen White's First Vision and Falling Off the Path and Not Being Able to Get Back on Again
The following passage of Scripture says essentially the same thing as Ellen White's first vision concerning a shut door on all who hear, and then reject light:
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open [sin] shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." Hebrews 6:4-8.Often it is the case with Ellen White's critics, that it is a matter of who you believe; because there is no real proof. Either you believe her, or those who have chosen to hate her for one reason or another, [AS IN THE CASE WITH CANRIGHT, KELLOGG, DAMON etc.], but the beauty in this case is that the proof is inherent in the above statement! Enjoy! All who miss this inherent proof play themselves off as very non-discerning, foolish-virgins!
Enemies of Ellen White Have Pushed This Shut-door Misrepresentation Since 1844!
J. N. Loughborough, was familiar with the Advent Movement since 1843, and he maintains in his book entitled The Great Second Advent Movement, that people were trying to peddle the shut-door lie then. He says that there was a group of First-day Adventists who believed that there was a shut-door on the world, but that Ellen White never taught that, and reproved those who did! So, who do you believe? Eyewitness who were dedicated believers in the truth, or Ellen White adversaries? That is what it comes down to on every charge against Ellen White, if you review all the evidence in a thorough, prayerful manner. Here are some of Loughborough's observations:
"Having been familiar with the advent movement in 1843 and 1844, and having, since Jan. 2, 1849, proclaimed the doctrine, first as an Adventist, and since 1852 as a Seventh-day Adventist, I esteem it a pleasure to "speak the things I have seen and heard,'" ibid., first page of preface to the book.
"First-day Adventist Testimony--As to what the First-day Adventists of New England know about the extreme shut door doctrine, let the following letter testify:--
'August 5 to 9, 1891, I held a debate with Elder Miles Grant, at Brookston, a city of about 30,000 inhabitants. The debate was in the large tent, and was presided over by Mr. John Barbour, once president of the city council. This city is about twenty miles from Boston. The debate was on the Sabbath question, but Mr. Grant tried to drag into the debate the matter of Sister White's experience in this work. He charged that "she was shown, way back in 1844, that probation was passed, and there was no more mercy for sinners."
Does Scripture Support a Shut Door on Some Individuals After A Midnight Cry Call Out of Something Before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
The answer to this question is an emphatic YES! Matthew 25 speaks of a Midnight Cry, to which all ten virgins respond, but they are disappointed by a tarrying time. A most definite tarrying time ensues after the Midnight Cry to "go ye out to meet Him is announced. The ten virgins are called to "go out" of something. That something is the fallen world and fallen churches that have become so much like the world that no difference can be seen.
The Midnight Cry of Isaiah 4:1-4
All with spiritual discernment will see that Isaiah, chapters 1-4, headed in the King James Version as: "Coming of Christ's kingdom," is obviously of end-time context. In chapter 4, seven women take hold of one man, saying, "We will eat our own bread, [their own commandments; their own selected beliefs based on bias selected text proof methodology rather than calling all relative data into question, and interpreting so that nothing contradicts] and wear our own apparel [their own form of self-righteousness that consists of mouth service of belief only which is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ's especially hates, that attests dead faith without confirming and testing works, excepting works of iniquity because they do not believe in overcoming]: only let us be called by thy name, [Christian] to take away our reproach [because of their iniquity while professing to be Christian]." Isaiah 4:1.
The Lord has shown this writer that the seven women herein mentioned symbolize all organized churches (seven being God's perfect all-inclusive number) at the end-time, except the escaped Zion bride remnant which God personally leads out in the wilderness, Ezekiel 20:34-38, who are finally translated without seeing death, and the guest martyrs who give their lives during the time of trouble.
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, THEY ALL [ALL TEN] SLUMBERED AND SLEPT. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." Matthew 25:1-12.
ConclusionsEllen White did teach a correct version of a shut door. In the parable of the Midnight Cry, a door is shut in the face of the foolish virgins who did not possess oil, which is symbolic of character and overcoming, and faith that works by love. The foolish virgins never accept the correct interpretation of faith and works, and thus they are workers of iniquity. They were and are shut out of the Kingdom of God. The message to Philadelphia, Revelation 3:7-13, of which Ellen White was a member, mentions an open door. Philadelphians experience an open door because they believe the Everlasting Gospel of Revelation 14, and have "KEPT the word of my PATIENCE, which is defined in Revelation 14:12, thusly:
"Here is the PATIENCE of the saints: here are they that KEEP the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
It does not take much of a stretch of spiritual discernment to see that KEEPING the Word of His PATIENCE, is the same as KEEPING the commandments of God. The Commandments of God were given on Sinai. Malachi says that these same commandments will be restated by Elijah before the return of Jesus Christ:
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness....
"And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, and with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face o face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that TRANSGRESS [transgression is violation of the law of God] against me." Ezekiel 20:34-38.
"I have set before thee [Philadelphia in 1844] an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou has a little strength, and has kept my word, and hast not denied my name." Revelation 14:8.
Philadelphia had a door opened to her, a door of truth, showing the way into the Sanctuary of heaven. All who believed and believe Philadelphia enter that Sanctuary experience by faith. All others who have opportunity to hear about and experience that Sanctuary knowledge, but thereafter reject that "way," experience a shut door to that Sanctuary Kingdom of God.
"Many who embraced the third message had not had an experience in the two former messages. Satan understood this, and his evil eye was upon them to overthrow them; but the third angel was pointing them to the most holy place, and those who had had an experience in the past messages were pointing them the way to the heavenly sanctuary. Many saw the perfect chain of truth in the angels' messages, and gladly received them in their order, and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly sanctuary. These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God." E.G. White, Early Writings, 256.
All who reject the three angels' messages and the Sanctuary Message, reject the way into the Kingdom of God. They reject the open door to His Sanctuary. They thus experience a shut-door. There was a Midnight Cry made in 1844, that went around the world, and a tarrying time ensued that we still experience. All who have heard and understood that call, but have rejected it, will experience a shut-door on salvation.
There has been a shut-door to people of all ages who have rejected light, because to reject true light is to reject the Holy Spirit, and this constitutes grieving the Holy Spirit out of one's life, which is unpardonable sin. Of course, then, I believe Ellen White meant that all who rejected the Midnight Cry light of 1844, fell off the path and it was just as impossible for them to get back on the path as it will be for all the wicked world after it has heard the final Midnight Cry, and rejected it. That is the past-perfect tense of her first vision in Word To the Little Flock, p. 14. Ignorance of this fact would only betray one's ignorance of the English language, and I do not think any of us want to persist in playing a fool. If anyone can show me clearly where I am in the wrong on any given point, I want a spirit of thankfulness towards them and God, for using them to straightening me out. I do not want to miss out on eternal life for a lack of knowledge, and the Bible says "My people perish for a lack of knowledge." When that knowledge is furnished on a silver platter, so to speak, what folly to reject it, for in so doing we are not rejecting the mere human server of the knowledge, but the Holy Spirit and God Himself.
Ellen White said that there has been a rejection of light in every succeeding generation since Christ, and that such rejection of light on the part of ecclesiastical leaders of churches, is a sanction for leaving those churches:
"The Sanhedrin has rejected Christ's message and was bent upon His death; therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to GATHER OUT those who should carry the gospel to all nations.
Sincerely, In quest of Christ and His love,
Return to Top of Page