The Truth About Samuele Bacchiocchi Part III
Reply to Bacchiocchi’s #86-89 Attack —3
DID THE WALDENSES KEEP THE SABBATH?
Bacchiocchi starts this complaint in this way:
“A second example of existing inaccuracies in the Great Controversy, is the reference to the observance of the Sabbath by the Waldenses.”—Endtime Issues, #87, p. 17.
Bacchiocchi then quotes these two sentences:
“Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath. Under the fiercest tempests of opposition they maintained their faith.”—Great Controversy, 65.
Bacchiocchi then mentions an inconsistency in what she wrote in that book:
“This statement suggests that Sabbathkeeping was common among the Waldenses. Most likely Ellen White believed that only some of the Waldenses kept the Sabbath, because later she writes about them saying: ‘Some of whom were observers of the Sabbath.’ ”—Endtime Issues, #87, p. 17; quoting Great Controversy, 577 [Italics his].
Once again, Bacchiocchi is wrong and Ellen White is right. In her first statement, she says “there were Waldenses . . who kept the true Sabbath.” Her second says the same thing: “Some of whom were observers of the Sabbath.”
Earlier, we mentioned life at the Gregoriana. Keep in mind that it was a Jesuit priest’s seminary that Bacchiocchi attended. We cannot expect Bacchiocchi and his writing team at the Vatican to know the truth about the Waldenses. If you want a low-grade education, attend the Pontifical Gregorian University or a nearby Catholic university. The true history of the early centuries has been eradicated from the archival materials on which their textbooks are based. Each generation of Catholic professors is taught error by teachers who learned it from the preceding generation of misled instructors. Catholic teachings are a hodgepodge of human opinions, theories, and decrees—designed to protect those teachings. The first great Babel, a monument to the greatness of men, collapsed long ago; Revelation 17 tells us that, erelong, its spiritual daughters will also fall.
But, returning to the Waldenses, some of them did keep the Bible Sabbath.
“They [the Picards, or Waldensian Brethren] do not celebrate the feasts of the divine Virgin Mary and of the Apostles; some [observe] only the Lord’s day. Some indeed celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews.”—J.J. Ignatio von Dollinger, ed., Beitrage zur Sektengeschiechte des Mittelalters, Vol. 2, p. 662; quoted in SDA Source Book, p. 897.
Immediately after the above quotation, the Source Book editors make this comment:
“The Picards, representing a fusion of certain old-line Waldensian elements with the Hussites in Bohemia and Moravia, were called also Waldensian Brethren or simply Waldensians. Today a prevalent misconception limits the name Waldenses to a people still living in the Italian Alps. These Waldensians are merely the modern remnant of a medieval movement that once included evangelical dissenters of many names in many parts of Europe . . This source document furnishes contemporary proof that some of the Waldenses observed the Sabbath.”—Ibid.
Rome is determined to blot out all record of Sabbathkeeping in the early centuries. Their boy, Samuele, is doing what he can to help them.
SABBATHKEEPERS OR SANDAL WEARERS
The papacy is deeply anxious to discredit, not only their Sabbathkeeping, but also the fact that they extend back to the fourth century and beyond.
So Bacchiocchi brings forth an error that has been tossed around from time to time. It is known that some ancient writings refer to the Waldenses as the insabbati. But Bacchiocchi says “the term has no connection to Sabbathkeeping” (#87, p. 17). He quotes another Andrews’ theologian as evidence that “sandal” (loose-fitting shoe) is sabbatum in Latin, and sabot in French.
“ ‘The sandals were an outward sign of their being imitators of the apostles in living the vita apostolica [apostolic life] and the justification of their preaching the gospel’ (Daniel Augsburger, “The Sabbath and the Lord’s Day during the Middle Ages,” in The Sabbath in Scripture and History, p. 154). In other words, the Waldenses were often called insabbati (sandal wearers) because many of them wore sandals.”—Endtime Issues, #87, p. 17.
“In the past, some uninformed readers have taken this term [insabbati] to mean that the Waldenses were Sabbathkeepers. It is possible that Ellen White was influenced by this old interpretation.”—Ibid.
Seriously, now, this is a little ridiculous. The idea that the Waldenses wanted to show off their humility and self-righteousness by wearing sandals is the kind of imaginative fabrication the Jesuits would ascribe to the heretics. In the Dark Ages, they told people that the Waldenses had pointed teeth and ate their children.
In order to embroider the story even more, it is said (and believed by Augsburger and Bacchiocchi) that the Waldenses were very anxious that everyone recognize them when they walked down the street; so they cut away part of the front top of the sandals and inserted a design like a shield which told everyone their identity. This was done to show their holiness.
What were the Waldenses really like? Read chapter 4 in Great Controversy. They were sincere people who, from childhood, were trained to be guarded, not reveal their identity, and search for souls. Here is the truth of the matter:
“To have made known the object of their mission would have ensured its defeat; therefore they carefully concealed their real character . . With naked feet and in garments coarse and travel-stained as were those of their Master, they passed through great cities and penetrated to distant lands.”—Great Controversy, pp. 71-72.
Now for more facts: The Latin words for “sandals” are crepida and solea, not sabbatum. The Latin word for “Sabbath” is sabbatum.
You will not find sabbatum as the Latin word for “shoe” or “sandal” in Lewis and Short’s exhaustive Latin Dictionary. Instead you will find sabbatum (“Sabbath”) and variations of it (“Sabbathkeeping,” etc.).
The French sabot comes from Old French bot, bote (“boot”), and Middle French savate, “old shoe” (Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology). It is of interest that zapata is “shoe” in Basque, which linguists recognize to be a totally unique and extremely ancient language. That may be the origin of sabot.
The Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible translates “Sabbath” as sabbati. Rome was persecuting the sect called Insabbati at that very time.
Commenting on this Catholic legend, J.N. Andrews quotes a historian, Robinson, who refutes the sandal theory:
“They were [said to be] called so from Sabot or zabot, a shoe, because they distinguished themselves from other people by wearing shoes marked on the upper part with some peculiarity. Is it likely that people who could not descend from their mountains without hazarding their lives through the furious zeal of the inquisitors should tempt danger by affixing a visible mark on their shoes?”—Robinson, Ecclesiastical Researches, pp. 303-304; quoted in J.N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, p. 408.
Desperate to avoid the truth that the Waldenses kept the Bible Sabbath, another Catholic legend was that insabbati meant that they circumcised their children.
They were called “Insabbati, not because they were circumcised, but because they kept the Jewish Sabbath.”—Goldstatus (1576-1635); quoted in ibid., p. 410. [The original is in Latin, and says “they were called insabbati (qui aliis Insabbati) . . “because they kept the Jewish Sabbath” (Sabbato judaizarent)].
Writing about the Waldenses, Usher said:
“Many early writers asserted the observance of ‘the Saturday for the Lord’s day’ by the people who were called Sabbati.”—Archbishop Usher; quoted in ibid., pp. 410-411.
DO THE WALDENSES GO BACK
TO THE FOURTH CENTURY?
Bacchiocchi to the attack again:
Another inaccurate statement about the Waldenses is found in the Great Controversy, pp. 65-66:
“Behind the lofty bulwarks of the mountains . . the Waldenses found a hiding place. Here the light of truth was kept burning amid the darkness of the Middle Ages. Here for a thousand years, witnesses for the truth maintained the ancient faith.’ The problem with this statement is that the Waldensian movement was established by Peter Valdes [Waldo] in 1173. This means the Waldenses did not exist for ‘a thousand years.’ ”—Endtime Issues, #87, p. 17.
The furthest back in history to which we can trace the people, later known as the “Waldenses,” was the fourth century; this would be the time of Constantine and Bishop Sylvester I of Rome. They were faithful believers who not only protested the apostasy, but separated from it.
“In the fourth century, Helvidius, a great scholar of northern Italy, accused Jerome, whom the pope had empowered to form a Bible in Latin for Catholicism, with using corrupt Greek manuscripts (Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 6, p. 338).
“How could Helvidius have accused Jerome of employing corrupt Greek manuscripts, if Helvidius had not had the pure Greek manuscripts?
“And so learned and so powerful in writing and teaching was Jovinian, the pupil of Helvidius, that it demanded three of Rome’s most famous ‘fathers’—Augustine, Jerome, and Ambrose—to unite in opposing Jovinian’s influence. Even then, it needed the condemnation of the pope and the banishment of the emperor to prevail.
“But Jovinian’s followers [the Waldenses] lived on and made the way easier for Luther.”—Benjamin Wilkinson, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, p. 33.
Pilichdorf, a thirteenth-century writer, wrote:
“The persons who claimed to have thus existed from the time of Pope Sylvester were the Valdenses.”—Pilichdorf, Contra Valdens (Against the Waldenses), quoted in Biblitheca Patrilogia, Vol. VIII, p. 312; quoted in George S. Faber, History of the Ancient Valdenses and Albigenses, p. 275.
Sylvester I (Jan 314-Dec 335) was pope during most of Constantine’s reign and directly involved in getting him to enact his six Sunday laws.
“The Valdenses of Piedmont derived themselves from a person named Leo; who, in the time of the Emperor Constantine, execrating the avarice of Pope Sylvester and the immoderate endowment of the Roman Church, seceded from that communion, and drew after him all those who entertained right sentiments concerning the Christian religion.”—Faber, ibid., p. 276.
“The standing belief of the Vaudois [is] that their Communion descends in a direct, unbroken line from the Apostles.”—Ibid., p. 277.
The Waldensians (or Waldenses), also known as the Vaudois (the French word for them; pronounced “VAW-doh”), were a distinct group of earnest Christians, with their own Bible, as early as the early part of the fourth century, in the time of Constantine.
“The [manuscript] Nobla Leyçon, which dates from the year 1100, goes to prove that the Waldenses of Piedmont did not owe their rise to Peter Waldo of Lyons, who did not appear till the latter half of that century (1160) . . Their greatest enemies, Claud Seyssel of Turin (1517) and Reynerius the Inquisitor (1250), have admitted their antiquity, and stigmatized them as the most dangerous of all heretics, because the most ancient.”—J.A. Wylie, History of the Waldenses, pp. 3-4.
Here is a parallel passage:
“There are modern writers who attempt to fix the beginning of the Waldenses from Peter Waldo, who began his work about 1175. This is a mistake. The historical name of this people, as properly derived from the valleys where they lived, is Vaudois. Their enemies, however, ever sought to date their origin from Waldo . .
“There remains to us in the ancient Waldensian language, The Noble Lesson (La Nobla Leyçon), written about the year A.D. 1100, which assigns the first opposition of the Waldenses to the Church of Rome to the days of Constantine the Great, when Sylvester was pope . . Thus, when Christianity, emerging from the long persecutions of pagan Rome, was raised to imperial favor by the Emperor Constantine, the Italic church in northern Italy—later [called] the Waldenses—is seen standing in opposition to papal Rome.
“Their Bible was of the family of the renowned Italia. It was that translation into Latin which represents the Received Text. Its very name, ‘Italia,’ is derived from the Italic district, the regions of the Vaudois.
“Of the purity and reliability of this version, Augustine, speaking of different Latin Bibles (about A.D. 400) said:
“ ‘Now among translations themselves the Italian (Italia) is to be preferred to the others, for it keeps closer to the words without prejudice to clearness of expression.’
“The old Waldensian liturgy which they used in their services down through the centuries contained ‘texts of Scripture of the ancient version called the Italick.’ ”—Wilkinson, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, pp. 34-35.
It was the Waldensian faith and their Bible which laid the foundation for the later Protestant French Bible. Leger said that Olivétan’s French Bible of 1537 was “entire and pure,” because its ancestry was not a papal production, but the Waldensian Bible—dating back to the earliest times.
“I say ‘pure’ because all the ancient exemplars, which formerly were found among the papists, were full of falsifications, which caused Bèza to say in his book on Illustrious Men, in the chapter on the Vaudois [the French word for “Waldenses”], that one must confess it was by means of the Vaudois of the Valleys that France today has the Bible in her own language.
“This godly man, Olivétan, in the preface of his Bible, recognizes with thanks to God, that since the time of the apostles, or their immediate successors, the torch of the Gospel has been lit among the Vaudois, and has never since been extinguished.”—Leger, General History of the Vaudois Churches, p. 165.
The Waldensians existed from the earliest times in the territory now known as northern Italy. But we are told that, when intense persecution came to them, some apostatized, others moved farther into the Italian Alps, while still others carried the faith to foreign lands.
“Some claimed Claude, Bishop of Turin (A.D. 822-839), as their founder; others held that they were the successors of a small group of good men who had protested against the degradation of the Church in the days of Sylvester and Constantine. Later historians think the nucleus of the Italian Waldensians was the False Humiliati while still others have connected them with the followers of Arnold of Brescia. It is certain, at all events, that the later Waldensians of Piedmont were a fusion of various sects and that they were a formidable group.”—Ellen Scott Davison, Forerunners of Saint Francis and Other Studies, pp. 252-253.
“They are called Vaudois, not that they descended of Peter Valdo of Lyons, but because they are original inhabitants of the valleys. For the word, Vaudois, or Valdenses comes from the word val, which signifies a valley.”—Perrin, p. 288.
REVISION OF GREAT CONTROVERY NEEDED
In his Endtime Issues, #86-87, Bacchiocchi has tried to rip to pieces several teachings of historic Adventism while destroying our confidence in the book, Great Controversy. Here are a few of his charges:
• The antichrist is primarily Islam, not just the papacy as given in Great Controversy.
• The 1260 years did not start in A.D. 538 and end in 1798, as stated in Great Controversy. Indeed, the time span is symbolic of “half of perfection.”
• Contrary to what Great Controversy says, the earliest Christians, after the time of John, kept Sunday.
• The later Catholic councils did not condemn Sabbathkeeping.
• The Waldenses never kept the Sabbath, liked to walk around in fancy shoes to show off their humility, and originated only a few centuries before the time of Luther.
In view of all the purportedly terrible errors in Great Controversy, which Bacchiocchi has uncovered, he tells us:
“The sample of statements we have just examined, suffice to show that there are still inaccuracies in the Great Controversy that ought to be corrected. A new revision would enhance its credibility among knowledgeable readers and would strengthen its evangelistic effectiveness.”—Endtime Issues, #87, p. 17.
Bacchiocchi and his associates would just love to get their hands on Great Controversy, and be placed in charge of carrying out that revision. He then says:
“The examples of inaccuracies, discussed so far, have been of a historical nature . . After all, Adventists are committed to search and proclaim truth, and not to cover up traditional inaccurate interpretations.”—Ibid., p. 18.
The points Bacchiocchi has attacked so far are not merely “historical incidents.” They are major Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. He next attacks other doctrinal beliefs.
CHANGING COLOSSIANS 2:14
Bacchiocchi wipes out our historical position on this important verse.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.”—Colossians 2:14.
And he says he first wrote his theory about this verse in his Gregorian thesis, published in 1977 before he was hired by Andrews. Yet they still hired him!
“The very first challenges I faced when my dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday came off the press, had to do with my interpretation of Colossians 2:14.”—Endtime Issues, #87, p. 18.
Bacchiocchi declares that the “handwriting of ordinances” was not the ceremonial law, but the record book containing our sins!
“What was nailed to the Cross was . . the record-book of sin, or the certificate of sin-indebtedness.”—Ibid., p. 19.
“By this daring metaphor, Paul affirms that through Christ, God has ‘cancelled,’ ‘set aside,’ ‘nailed to the cross’ ‘the written record of our sins which because of the regulations was against us’ . . What God destroyed on the Cross was not the legal ground (law) for our entanglement in sin, but the written record of our sins.”—Ibid. [empasis his].
“The function of the metaphor of the nailing to the Cross the record of our sins, is simply to reassure believers of the totality of God’s forgiveness . . Christ has provided complete redemption and forgiveness.”—Ibid.
Astounding! And we have let him teach such to our future pastors since 1977?
“Initially, this interpretation was challenged by concerned Adventists . . Over the years, however, the resistance has subsided. Today, I do not know of a single Adventist scholar who still holds to the traditional interpretation of this text.”—Ibid.
That last sentence leaves us breathless. Obviously, if the books of record in heaven were destroyed in A.D. 31, then there can be no judgment afterward! Everyone—past, present, and future—will be saved!
The Bible frequently speaks of the books of record in heaven and Great Controversy, 482-487, mentions those books well-over a dozen times. You need to read it for yourself.
To do away with the record of sins—has the same effect as doing away with the necessity of obedience to God’s holy Ten Commandment law! If no records are kept anymore, you can do as you like. Indeed, according to Bacchiocchi’s view, all the records going back to Adam and Cain have also been blotted out!
Bacchiocchi sounds like a true Southern Baptist. Yet that is understandable; Jesuits penetrated them long ago.
Bacchiocchi’s conclusion is a premonition of how his later attacks against the Spirit of Prophecy will be structured. He eliminates not just a paragraph here and there; Bacchiocchi eliminates the authority of all her writings. In studying out any point of belief, as far as he is concerned, the Spirit of Prophecy is of no value. Bacchiocchi’s mind and conclusions can be trusted, but not what Ellen White says.
“Respect for Ellen White’s recognition of the exclusive and normative authority of the Bible demands that any investigation that attempts to understand more fully the teachings of the Bible should be tested by its faithfulness to the Biblical text, not by EGW’s statements regarding the subject.”—Ibid., p. 20.
It is a wonderful thing that Bacchiocchi, a frail, fallible human can sit in judgment on the Inspired Writings of Ellen G. White and considers himself very able to judge the proper meaning of a Bible passage. He totally rejects the possibility that her books could explain the meaning of the Bible as well as he can. Because Ellen White’s writings are not reliable, we must stick with his interpretations of both the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible.
Regarding the supposed “errors” in the Spirit of Prophecy, he adds:
“We have found that the corrections were not ‘peripheral,’ but significant. Furthermore, there are still [other] glaring mistakes that need to be corrected. In the light of this fact, it is unwise to criticize [Bacchiocchi] an Adventist scholar who proposes a new interpretation of the 1260 days that could ultimately make our Adventist interpretation more credible and defensible.”—Ibid.
Bacchiocchi is telling his readers that, since there are such a multitude of “glaring mistakes” in the Spirit of Prophecy, they should not fuss with him for trying to new-model our doctrinal teachings.
Bacchiocchi teaches that the Inspired Writings (both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy) are to be tested by scholars with Ph.D.s. He believes he is qualified to critically evaluate both Great Controversy and Colossians 2:14—and arrive at theories entirely different than our historic beliefs.
The truth is that God gave us the Spirit of Prophecy so we would have an Inspired commentary on the Bible. He knew that so many winds of false doctrine would be blowing in these last days that we would need this help! Are we humble enough to accept it? Are we willing to submit our theories to the test of what is plainly written in the Word of God? If not, erelong we will stumble and wander off into darkness.
Do not, I beg you, join the Bacchiocchi camp of doubters and speculators! It is not worth it. Your soul’s salvation is too important.
SUBTLE ATTACKS ON THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY
Bacchiocchi uses the same “they’re picking on me,” and “divide and conquer” techniques that Lucifer used in heaven, in order to win as many angels as possible over to his side.
Bacchiocchi tries to frighten the reader with fears he never had before:
“If Biblical research can only be conducted in strict adherence to the interpretations found in Ellen G. White’s writings, then no original investigation of Scripture is possible in the Adventist Church.”—Endtime Issues, #88, p. 1.
He says we need to stand up for our rights, for we will lose them if we unswervingly believe in the Spirit of Prophecy:
“Are Ellen G. White’s writings to be used as a helpful guide in the study of the Bible or as a straightjacket to ensure that no deviation occurs from historical interpretations? Are we as Adventists free to investigate the Scriptures or are we boxed into a system of beliefs that admits no independent Biblical research?”—Endtimes Issues, #88, p. 1.
Because of confidence in her writings, we are in danger of falling over a theological cliff.
We are locked-in to a collection of mere “traditional interpretations” carrying no weight at all (ibid.). We must “address the critical and serious question of the role of Ellen White in resolving doctrinal and historical disputes” (#88, p. 2). We have elevated her to “a kind of Madonna, similar to the veneration of Mary in the Catholic Church” (#88, p. 4). “A significant number of our Adventist fellow believers still hold to an idealized and glorified view of Ellen White” (#88, p. 3). There is “a significant number of our Adventist fellow believers” who are “taking extreme positions” (#88, p. 3).
Bacchiocchi says that if he accepts her writings as fully inspired, he will have no “right to conduct a new investigation of these texts” (#88, p. 1). According to that, if you accept the New Testament as fully inspired, you dare not think about a passage in the Old Testament. “We have brilliant Adventist scholars today who are not free to examine Scripture because of the constraints of the Spirit of Prophecy” (#88, p. 26). Notice the word, “brilliant.”
According to Bacchiocchi, our Statement of Fundamental Beliefs is wrong because “our church wishes to affirm two conflicting beliefs” (#88, p. 26). These would be Fundamental Beliefs #1 and #17 (#88, p. 26).
Bacchiocchi thinks it is terrible that hundreds of thousands of believers are happily reading their Bibles with the Spirit of Prophecy and finding instruction, peace, and encouragement.
He explains that there is an evil plot, “a policy of concealment” (#88, p. 24), to keep believers from learning “the truth about Ellen White” (#88, pp. 9, 29, 30). This conspiracy theory is repeatedly mentioned (#88, pp. 3, 4, 9, 24, 29, 30; #89, pp. 4, 6, 9).
If the Adventist denomination chooses to stick with the Spirit of Prophecy, it is superstitious and blind. “Any religion that discourages fresh investigation and settles all differences by silencing differing viewpoints ultimately becomes victim of superstition and blind credulity” (#88, p. 7). Since such a faith should be abandoned, he needs to pack up and get out.
Well, now you have had an opportunity to see what this graduate of Jesuitism is really like. You now know the dark undercurrent beneath his years of smiles, back pats, and flattery. Bacchiocchi has an agenda. He is determined to separate our people from the Spirit of Prophecy writings.
For 23 years, he worked earnestly at Andrews University, to mold students and fellow teachers into an anti-Ellen White attitude. As we have observed in the quotations above, he has used tactics he learned at the Gregoriana—fear, pride, and deceit—to instill objectives he was taught at Rome.
The Vatican fears Seventh-day Adventists more than any other group in the world. In their literature, they openly declare that all Protestants, except the Adventists, are little more than half-baptized Catholics.
It is the Adventists that must be infiltrated and compromised. It is they who must have their doctrines safely diluted. Rome well-knows that this can only be done if our reliance on the Spirit of Prophecy writings is eliminated.
Back in 1982, the present writer received a handwritten letter from a believer in southern California. Having read some of our tracts about the Jesuits, she wrote to tell us her father’s experience.
He was a Seventh-day Adventist minister who worked in southern California back in the 1920s. It so happened that he had a close friend who was a Roman Catholic priest. One day, the priest told him that his church had been trying to penetrate the Adventist Church with agents for years; but that our prophet, Ellen White, would always finger them. She would identify them to our leaders, and they would be discharged or not hired.
But then, the priest added: Since Ellen White died, we have been able to slip them in. It was only because of an extremely warm friendship, that such an incredible disclosure could be made. The priest knew he would not get in trouble for having told it.
For over 450 years, the Jesuits have made it their studied objective to infiltrate every court, legislature, college, university, and denomination. Steadily this work has been carried on.
There are those among us who laugh at the possibility that the Jesuits have penetrated us. But the evidence is not difficult to see. Every compromised organization relaxes its verbal attacks on Rome. It begins talking about the need for closer contacts with the Vatican. The unique doctrines are smoothed off and become insipid. “Acceptance,” “toleration,” and “loyalty to the church” become key words, replacing “standards,” “historic beliefs,” and “loyalty to God’s Word.”
This has been our experience for a number of years now.
Bacchiocchi has done his best to further the cause, and the Vatican must surely appreciate their Protestant student. But they early recognized his intensity of dedication and ability to use patient subtlety; or, unlike other Gregorian University students, they would not have had the pope give him a gold medal.
But in order to accomplish the needed goal, confidence in Ellen White must be eradicated.
THE 1919 BIBLE CONFERENCE
I will not take the space to here to discuss the 1919 Bible Conference. You will find a write-up on it in my tract study, Analysis of the 1919 Bible Conference [WM–537-539]. Ellen White had died four years earlier, and W.W. Prescott and A.G. Daniells felt it safe to express some skepticism of her; they tried to induce skeptical comments from the others present at that meeting.
Keep in mind that Daniells was the one who refused to stop eating meat; he told P.T. Magan that Ellen White was wrong in saying our people should not live in the cities. He was the mastermind behind the push to get Loma Linda accredited. As for Prescott, he was continually writing skeptical letters about her, from about the turn of the century onward.
Ellen White denounced sin while exalting overcoming faith in Christ and obedience to the law of God. Those who did not like those messages did not like her. So it is today.
In conclusion, Bacchiocchi wishes to assure you that he and his associates have labored earnestly at Andrews University to teach students—the men who are now in charge of our church—the same things he is now trying to tell you.
“What I wrote in the last newsletter about the nature of Ellen White’s inspiration and the limitation of her authority on historical and doctrinal questions is essentially what our Adventist church has been trying to communicate during the past 20 years.”—Endtime Issues, #89, p. 4.
“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization.
“Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.
“The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.
“The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
“Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?”—1 Selected Messages, 204-205.
“When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained.
“Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth.
“One will arise, and still another, with new light, which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit.
“A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat, and repeat till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard bearers who have fallen in death are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.
“We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.”—1 Selected Messages, 161.
“Satan is . . constantly pressing in the spurious—to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’ (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.”—1 Selected Messages, 48 [see 2 SM 78 for context].
“There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.”—1 Selected Messages, 48.
“We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith.”—Counsels to Writers and Editors, 32.
“It does not become anyone to drop a word of doubt here and there that shall work like poison in other minds, shaking their confidence in the messages which God has given, which have aided in laying the foundation of this work, and have attended it to the present day, in reproofs, warnings, corrections, and encouragements. To all who have stood in the way of the Testimonies, I would say, God has given a message to His people, and His voice will be heard, whether you hear or forbear. Your opposition has not injured me; but you must give an account to the God of heaven, who has sent these warnings and instructions to keep His people in the right way. You will have to answer to Him for your blindness, for being a stumbling block in the way of sinners.”—1 Selected Messages, 43.
“When you find men questioning the testimonies, finding fault with them, and seeking to draw away the people from their influence, be assured that God is not at work through them . . They find fault, and condemn the very means that God has chosen to fit up a people to stand in the day of the Lord.”—1 Selected Messages, 45.