In Defense of Ellen G White
Since the Internet has arrived on the scene, some individuals have taken it upon themselves to discredit and smear the name and works of the prophetess Ellen G. White. Their goal seems to be to convince people that she was a false prophet. Little do they know that they are supporting the cause of darkness. Neither do they know the truth about her. They get their information from files readily available from the White Estate and from people who have written about her with malevolent intentions and an unholy agenda. They spend much time and effort in researching her writings with only one goal in mind-to try and disprove her as a fraud and phony. As the saying goes, "you will find what you are looking for." How sad it is that some with a vendetta against her writings totally ignore the wealth of beautiful and inspirational material, itself inspired from above.
The most damaging book ever written about Ellen White, "The White Lie," by Walter Rea, is now on the Internet for all to see. Maybe this is a good thing, for now we know how and where the enemy is attacking, which puts us in a position to counterattack. This article is the first of two or three that is sounding a warning in defense of the Spirit of Prophecy as revealed primarily through Ellen White. But there are other individuals called by the Lord who are also being maligned. It is to be expected that the Lord's true chosen messengers in this time of earth's history would be viciously attacked as they proclaim the truth.
Was Ellen White a true or false prophet? This is the question we hope to answer. This is the bottom line. If she is a true prophet, it is to the reader's eternal benefit to explore the wealth of heavenly light given to her. If the Lord in love and mercy did not deem this light important, it certainly would not have been given. On the other hand if she is not the Lord's messenger, then we should not waste our time reading her lies. She was either from the Lord or she wasn't. The purpose of this article and the ensuing ones, is to present information about Ellen White, her life, and experience, which will make it possible for the reader, to come to an honest conclusion.
To date, most of what is available is only against her. We will present the other side,-tell "the rest of the story"- as Paul Harvey, radio commentator says. By the way, he is a believer in Ellen White and her gift, and has several times openly and warmly spoken about her on the radio.
A big problem of Ellen's detractors and accusers is that they have failed to recognize the difference between Ellen White THE PROPHET and Ellen White THE AUTHOR. Neither have they recognized the difference between Ellen White THE PROPHET and Ellen White the woman, wife, mother, and friend. In short her human side. They have tried to dehumanize her, painting her as something she is not. Making her out to be an ugly woman with malevolent intentions. This is character assassination, not unlike what was done with the Jews during World War 2 in Germany.
There are important differences between these three roles. To try to judge a prophet by either of the last two roles means you will find discrepancies, flaws and errors. After all, being part of the human race does have its limitations, even for Prophets. They are subject to the same emotions, frailties and thought processes as anyone else.
The late author and writer René Noorbergen wrote a book in 1973 about Ellen White (as well as several others, including one about Jean Dixon, Clairvoyant) called "Ellen G. White, Prophet of Destiny." In his years of researching for this book, he learned as much and probably far more about Ellen White than her detractors and accusers. Noorbergen was an experienced research writer with years of experience. He always tried to be objective in his writing. He was not looking to find fault with Ellen, but rather to look for evidence that either proved or disproved her special gift.
Eight years later, on November 29 of 1981, he wrote a letter to a lady, Ms. Herbey, in response to her question about whether he was going to write another book about Ellen White. The reason she asked was because, since he had published his original book "Prophet of Destiny," in 1973, Walter Rea, ex-Adventist minister had seven years later published a book "The White Lie." Charges of plagiarism were leveled at Ellen's writings, which was ridiculous, for in her day, there were no laws regarding using other peoples material. If somebody's work added to what was being written, it was used. Yes, they often did give credit to the person, but that was not a requirement. Another consideration is that many of Ellen's books were highly worked over by a staff of helpers, as she only had a 3rd grade education. It is possible that she may not have even been totally aware of what was going on.
When Rea's book came out, Noorbergen, being the researcher that he was, went to visit Rea. What he had to say delineates clearly the points of confusion about not only Ellen White, but also every prophet that has ever lived from Old Testament times on.
This is a quote from his November letter: ".... I do wish the White Estate had been more open with me and given me access to the original sources instead of giving me only what they wanted me to use for 'Prophet of Destiny,' for I do feel that I have not been given the correct information in many instances, and I do deplore this sort of information manipulation.
"As to the Walter Rea's research material-that is a different story. I have seen most of it at his home at my own request, and am astounded at the tremendous collection of material he has gathered. It has strengthened my developing conviction that we should 'divide' EGW into EGW the Prophet, and EGW the Author. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT GOD USED HER AS A PROPHET TO GUIDE AND DIRECT THE CHURCH IN ITS FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT, (emphasis added) and that her inspired counsel was extremely valuable for the early SDA Church. On the other hand, she was also a woman with a third grade education - no more. Yet, because of her connection with God she became deeply concerned about people and wanted to share her convictions in books-something she was unable to do with her limited education. As a result, she gathered around her a number of people who, as editors and secretaries, helped her in the construction of these books. But-she made mistakes. We should never forget that much of what was written by her was the result of thought inspiration, NOT THOUGHT INSPIRATION ITSELF. Other areas were plainly borrowed, rewritten, rephrased, etc. Yet in the end it turned out to be good Christian literature with a good solid message, but, in my opinion, not necessarily written by Ellen G. White the Prophet, but by Ellen G. White the Author. Do I make myself clear?
"Walter Rea's research points out some of the tremendous mistakes that have been made in the compilation of some of the manuscripts, but THIS DOES IN NO WAY DIMINISH THE IMPORTANCE OF EGW AS A PROPHET. (Emphasis added) David was a man 'after God's own heart,' yet look what he did! We have to make allowances for the fact that she was a normal human being, making the same mistakes all of us make. The big problem lies with the White Estate. They have known all this for years but never admitted any of it. Now it is left to the highly critical book by Walter Rea to tell the world about it. If our church had not "sainted" Ellen G. White all these years but had treated her as a prophet, and an author, and had made a sharp distinction between the two, and allowed her to make the normal mistakes any author can make, there would never have been a book by Walter Rea. I hope you can see my point. I STILL BELIEVE IN EGW AS A PROPHET OF GOD (emphasis added) for the SDA Church, but I do not believe in the right of the SDA Church to concoct such a tremendous cover-up. SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE APPROVED OF IT EITHER-OF THAT I AM SURE. (emphasis added) "... In writing this, I have said more than I intended to, for I seldom express my opinions about this subject. I do hope that you can understand my position. As to the future-I am sure Walter's book will send shock-waves throughout the Church, but the positive effects of it will be that it will turn the members back to studying the Bible instead of hiding behind Ellen G. White quotations. We have to be able to live as Christians, basing our entire faith on the Bible alone, and use EGW as an additional guideline- no more and no less. The Bible still has to remain the guiding rule of our faith." Sincerely yours, René Noorbergen.
Having said this, I would like to share with you a few quotes from Noorbergen's book- a little of what he found that convinced him Ellen White was a true prophet of God. The flyleaf of the book puts it succinctly: "Around the turn of the century, and in some cases more than one hundred years ago, Ellen G. White warned:
Today, these and so many other Ellen G. White prophecies have either been proved true or are on their way toward becoming accepted facts of life....
The extent of her prophecies-coming true is awesome. She warned of the dangers of tobacco in 1864, at a time when some doctors were actually prescribing smoking as an aid for lung disease! She spoke out against a diet overly heavy in fats and sugar long before medical authorities became aware of their detrimental effects on the human body. In the 1860's she wrote about cancer in ways which foreshadowed today's research discoveries. In 1906 she recognized the dangers of excessive use of X-rays. These and other concepts were made known to her through more than 2,000 visions, which she received for over 60 years throughout her lifetime.
Some of her forecasts in the 1850's and 1880's, of developments to take place in the religious world (like the coming Sunday law) are just now being fulfilled with astounding accuracy.
Mrs. White's achievements are all the more amazing when one reads of the overwhelming obstacles, which confronted her throughout her life. Born in 1827, she suffered an accident when she was nine years old, which forced her to discontinue formal schooling. Perhaps it was this, which subsequently led her to depend upon spiritual values so heavily, and ultimately to become so great a force for humanity.
Ellen G. White experienced her first vision at age seventeen and continued her spiritual counseling and writings for seven decades, until her death in 1915.
With James White, whom she married in 1846, Mrs. White had four sons, two of whom died before reaching adulthood. It was her experience as wife and mother, which enriched and gave special meaning to her writings on home life, parenthood and the unique importance of prenatal influence and care, concepts, which are recognized today as having substantial validity.
With her husband, she helped to establish the Seventh-day Adventist Church which (as of 1973 when Noorbergen's book was published) spread-eagles throughout the world, encompassing 48 publishing houses, 4,000 elementary schools, 460 high schools and colleges, two universities, 300 hospitals, clinics and a medical school. Her work was mainly in the United States crossing and criss-crossing the land by carriage, sleigh and ultimately steam trains, though she spent two years in Europe and almost a decade in Australia and New Zealand, lecturing, writing, building and counseling.
Her body of writing, of books in print, makes her perhaps one of the biggest, best selling authors in the world literature; and perhaps one of the least known by popular standards. (Paul Harvey commented on the radio that Ellen White was the most prolific woman writer of all time. Her book and written material, all written in long hand, stacked up on the floor reach up 8 feet to the ceiling.)
Ellen G. White died in 1915, in her eighty-eighth year. Her legacy to the world speaks for itself.
With this introduction to Ellen White, let us now consider a few specifics.
From the Beginning:
From the very beginning Ellen White had her detractors, those who called her a fraud, charlatan, a spiritualist, medium, psychic, hypnotist, etc. These attacks went on throughout most of her life.
The reasons for this are obvious when one reads what she wrote. The Bible says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the forces of darkness. What was shown to Ellen White was information that Satan did not want the world to know, for it uncovered, not only his past and present activities, but also his future plan for world conquest and his final encounter and defeat at the hand of Jesus his arch rival.
The one most important book she ever wrote was called "The Great Controversy." This book, for the first time, showed the behind the scenes of a battle being waged between Christ and Satan. The Lord revealed these things to her for many years, and then in 1858 she was told to write this book, and that it would be circulated around the world. To date, millions of copies of this book, under different titles, have been sent out to the whole world. Copies have been sent to every municipal, county, city, state, and government official, in the United States. It has been sent to every minister and lawyer also, as well as many leaders in other countries. Millions have been dispersed in every major city in the USA as well as in many rural areas around the world. Thus the Lord's message to Ellen almost 150 years ago has been and is being fulfilled to the letter.
This is a remarkable achievement in itself, and may be the primary reason that Ellen White is presently being so vehemently attacked. When she was told to write this book, the enemy became very alarmed and tried his best to keep this from happening. This one book, more than any other, aside from the Bible, blew his cover, unmasking him for who he was and is, and the methods he has and was using to deceive and draw the world into his net.
The circumstances surrounding the major vision of Ellen's life, and especially what happened to her during the writing of this book (The Great Controversy), clearly shows that Satan was very anxious to keep this information from getting out. It is without question the reason why she was in life attacked and berated, and now in death maligned and discredited. But let us back up a bit and go to page 128 of Noorbergen's book "Prophet of Destiny." He states his case well.
"To be a prophet-dealing with unerring guidelines projected by the Author of Prophecy (God)--must be awe-inspiring, for it enables a mere mortal to peek across the threshold of the future and observe God arranging history in advance...
The record of Ellen White as a prophet is not one based purely on the fulfillment of prediction, yet even though she never laid boastful claim to being a prophet, she most definitely did the work of one, and more. Her medical insight was faultless in every way; her spiritual foresight was just as broad and grand in scope, for her prophetic warnings were strong and far-reaching. From the moment of her first vision, Ellen White openly claimed that it was the power of God, which spoke through her as He had done through other prophets in ages past.
Whether God required her to have reached a certain mental maturity before giving her the most important vision of her entire life, is something we do not know. But it was not until 1858, the year, which ushered in her thirty-first birthday, that the wondrous event occurred.
It was the weekend of March 13 and 14 that Ellen and her husband attended a series of religious meetings in Lovett's Grove near Bowling Green, Ohio. The regular meetings were interrupted during the day of the fourteenth when it was decided to conduct a funeral service in the little schoolhouse, which also served as a meeting hall. Delighted to have the Whites with them, those present asked James to address the small congregation. No sooner had he concluded his remarks than Ellen stood up, desiring to add a few words of comfort. After her first few words, she faltered...and stopped in the middle of a sentence. Then it happened. A moment of pregnant silence followed, when suddenly she shouted triumphantly, as if forcing her way through a dark cloud.
"Glory to God...Glory to God...GLORY TO GOD!" this time not fading out as was the usual case when she was taken into vision, but shouted with increasing emphasis.
Startled, the audience tensed and looked questioningly at both Ellen and her husband. Slowly, James White got up from his chair and ever so quietly walked over to his wife, and while her face took on an expression of intense concentration, with eyes gazing unblinkingly into the distance, he faced the congregation.
"She is in vision...my wife is in vision..." he whispered softly to the hushed audience. Cognizant of the fact that he was addressing a number of people to whom Ellen's Gift of Prophecy was not known, he reverently explained how, since her seventeenth year, his wife was often called into vision, and that each time this happened, she was completely detached from her surroundings. His claim that her breathing ceased while in this condition caused many of them to press forward and crowd around her.
"Bring a mirror," James asked in a low tone, and while holding it close to her mouth, he carefully pointed out that the total absence of condensation on the glass proved that her breathing had stopped. A second test, this time with a burning candle held only inches from her nose and mouth, was made, but not a flicker of moving air disturbed the tranquillity of the flame. Stunned, aghast by this unusual phenomenon, the onlookers watched as Ellen slowly made her way through them, gracefully moving her arms, occasionally smiling, and more often giving the impression of staring at scenes transpiring beyond mortal vision, watching secrets that were solely intended for her.
For two long hours she remained in vision, sometimes moving, other times just standing, staring, listening, observing with her spiritual eyes what was being revealed to her. Then came her first deep breath which always signified the beginning of her return to consciousness. Another followed...and then another...slightly bewildered, she glanced at the anxious faces about her and as the memory of her vision became clear, she realized once again that she had been taken into Supreme confidence.
Writing of this vision two years later, she said:
In the vision at Lovett's Grove, most of the matter which I had seen ten years before concerning the great controversy between Christ and Satan, was repeated, and I was instructed to write it out. I was shown that while I should have to contend with the powers of darkness, for Satan would make strong effort to hinder me, yet I must put my trust in God, and angels would not leave me in the conflict." Scores of visions had passed before her; however, this time Ellen was transported into the undeniable dimension of time before and beyond that of recorded history and was made witness to the War in Heaven, the rebellion and fall of Lucifer. Watching the tragedy unfold, she stood appalled and shocked at the infidelity of one who was once an exalted angel.
The files of the Ellen G. White Estate contain all of her recollections of that famous vision, with many passages expressing her emotions of sadness and astonishment as her mind's consciousness locked in on the prophetic impulses of God."
Note: Noorbergen then goes on for several pages quoting Ellen White and what she saw, starting with scenes in heaven before Lucifer fell and became Satan. Finishing her quotes he then continues with the narrative.
"In rapid sequence, the crowning events of Biblical history passed before Ellen's mind. In quiet amazement she observed the ancient patriarchs and consecrated prophets lead the people of Israel; she saw Moses receive the Ten Commandments on the Mount of Sinai and recoiled in horror as she heard the singing of the apostate Israelites and watched them dedicate the golden calf. On and on her perception went, and her mental anguish became more consuming as she personally witnessed the birth of Christ, only to see it end on a cross, seemingly ignored by heaven. Via the apostolic times, she gazed with abhorrence at the massacres of the early Christians, then proudly viewed the work of the reformers. She was slowly brought back to her own times, watching current history evolve; then transported again-this time into the future-to the events leading up to the Second Coming of Christ, and was grieved by the heart-tearing scenes of the final judgment of man.
It was indeed a prophetic vision unequaled in both scope and magnitude. She had been taken into full confidence...now it was up to her to act.
The following day, homeward bound on the train, Ellen discussed with James her vision at length and formulated her plans for the writing of the book covering the great conflict as it was shown to her. Her health was reasonably good at the time, and there seemed to be nothing that would prevent her from carrying out this new challenge. It was Ellen who suggested, while passing through Jackson, Michigan, en route to their home in Battle Creek, to make a stop at the home of Daniel Palmer, an old friend. Scarcely had they arrived at the Palmers', when Ellen underwent a frightening sensation.
"...My tongue refused to utter what I wished to say, and seemed large and numb," she recalled. "A strange cold sensation struck my heart, passed over my head and down my right side. For a time I was insensible, but was aroused by the voice of earnest prayer. I tried to use my left limbs, but they were perfectly useless."
Suffering from a severe stroke, she lost all hope of recovery. However, with her slowly returning strength and renewed faith in her mission, she began to rally and immediately started writing the manuscript, relaying her experiences while in vision at Lovett's Grove. In June, as she was in the completion stage of her book, she received light concerning what she had undergone at the Palmers' home.
'I was shown in vision that in the sudden attack at Jackson, Satan intended to take my life, in order to hinder the work I was about to write.' she pointed out, "but the angels of God were sent to my rescue.' It was not until September of that same year that her work was finished and the 219-page Spiritual Gifts-The Great Controversy-was ready for distribution.
Since she witnessed the origin of the struggle for eternal survival, it is no wonder that most of the writings of Ellen White dealt with fundamentally the same subject: that of guiding people out of this degrading dilemma that originated in heaven....
...Whereas her vision of 1863 can be regarded as the most important health-reform vision she had ever received, the 1858 revelation has often been called the most comprehensive vision, covering both the fall of man and the great plan of escape. Of all her two thousand revelations, none are comparable in overall significance to this one."
We will say much more about the life, times, and visions of Ellen White in future articles, but the point is already very clear for anyone who wants to know and accept the truth. Just as Satan attacked Ellen White when she started to write The Great Controversy, so today he is continuing his attack to discredit her and this book, which is being so widely distributed. This book outlines how the enemy worked to develop his religious counterfeit kingdom as represented by the papal system of Rome (not individuals). Indeed, some of those presently attacking Ellen White and her testimony on the Internet are known Catholics. But know this, the Lord has very many of His own still in the Catholic Church. They love the Lord with all their hearts.
The Lord in tender love and mercy is warning the world through this book that cataclysmic events will soon, much sooner than any expect, burst upon this Old World. He has identified all the leading players involved in this last great drama. As Jesus said "a time of trouble such as has never been since there was a nation." We are the NOW generation that will see this happen. The ONLY generation in the history of the world who will witness the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. We are the LAST generation, which will experience the very last death throes of planet earth and its inhabitants.
According to what the Lord showed Ellen, the next big spiritual event to come will be the Sunday law and receiving the mark of the beast or 666. Time will soon tell who is on what side. When Ellen's detractors find out that they were fighting God, how will it be with them? What will they have to say then?
If Ellen's messages were not from the Lord, they would not agree with the Word of God. But they do agree 100%. Then too if her messages were not from God, why was it that Satan tried so hard to keep her from writing, and now trying to discredit her and get people to disbelieve her writings?
It is obvious to anyone who wants to know the truth that Ellen was given a heavenly gift of dreams and visions for over 60 years. It should also be recognize that there are not only true prophets but also false ones who today comprise the vast majority.
The reader should be able to recognize by now that the basic problem is understanding. When accusers try to validate a prophet in terms of the prophet's human traits of character, they cannot be objective. Being a prophet does not make them superhuman. Adding to Noorbergen's differentiation between EGW the Prophet, and EGW the author, we can add yet a third distinction to this-EGW as part of the human race. Just because a prophet (often called "messenger") is communicated with from heavenly sources, this does not make them any less human or immune to all the frailties and emotions of humanity.
There is not a single Bible prophet who did not at some time in their life display their human side. In fact some (like Isaiah and Jeremiah) gave their lives for bringing messages that were unpopular with the people. Prophets bore a terrible responsibility, placed upon them by God. When God told them to do something they had to obey.
Often a messenger's human side is overlooked. They are either set up on a pedestal by people who almost worship them, or they are hated and abused, called phonies and frauds, etc. They are either looked upon as some sort of guru whose every word is inspired, or accused of being a false prophet. The lot of a prophet is a hard one. Then there are those who cling to every word that proceeds out of their mouth as if it came from God. No room here for human thoughts and ideas. This sad state of mind is grossly unfair to the messenger. For the messenger is encouraged by these actions to say things that are their own thoughts, but which they begin to believe is of heavenly origin. Thus enters the element of pride, which sometimes causes the prophet to fall.
The detractors, in an effort to discredit the messenger, focuses on the human side of the person, finding faults to tear the person apart, thus hoping to prove that the person is a false prophet. This is exactly what some are trying to do with Ellen White and her testimony. Thus they hope to convince others that the prophet could not be a true prophet, for they would not have said or acted as they have.
In the beginning of this article, I made the statement that this is a spiritual battle, which will soon reach a fearsome climax. The battle between Christ and Satan is now approaching the point where it will become very visible. The impugning of both the messenger and his or her message is just the beginning. The enemy has many willing workers in the form of men doing his dirty work. The enemy has pulled out all the stops in one last desperate effort to drag down as many with him as he can, to cause them to lose eternal life. We are living in the end of time, and are approaching the last great Battle of Armageddon, which will be worldwide, and both a spiritual and physical battle.
The forces of darkness are aligning against the forces of light. Soon it will be very visible. We are as it were in the calm before the storm. Soon Jesus will step out of the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary just as Ellen White was shown. When that happens he will put on his garments of vengeance and the seven last plagues will begin to fall. Soon we will see the sign of the Son of God in the heavens. The stars will fall, the sun will be darkened and the moon will be as blood. This is the sign that will indicate that the judgment of the living has ceased, and that the seven last plagues are about to fall. Where will you be dear reader? Will you be ready to meet the Lord? Or will you be with those who are against God. There is only one thing that should concern you-your relationship with Jesus. He wants all of your heart now. His Holy Spirit is trying to prepare you by fitting you with a wedding garment (the robe of Christ's righteousness). Only the relationship you establish now with God will count in the days ahead. An intimate, personal, love relationship with the Lord Jesus will insure our survival in the days ahead. We at the Bible Revelations web site hope you will seek the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. Seek the truth as it is in Jesus.
There are ravening wolves out there that will seek to seduce and deceive you. But if you are anointed with the Holy Spirit, he will teach you all things, which is the truth and does not lie (1 John 2:26-27).