Replacing the Spirit of Prophecy

By Vance Ferrell


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Well, you have been expecting it for years; and it has finally happened: They are starting to rewrite the Spirit of Prophecyand doing it in a way that entirely replaces them.

I am not referring to an abridged edition in her own words, which is clearly stated as such. Our own Basic Steps to Christ, which is in the front of our 1888 Great Controversy is such a production. Every basic point in the book is included, but only in her own words. This enables the reader to read the complete pathway to Christwithout making our Great Controversy over a thousand pages in length. Many have compared our Basic Steps to Christ with the complete book and no one has found any problem with it.

What I am referring to is the new book, Messiah, written by Jerry Thomas and published by Pacific Press. It is a total rewrite! Thomas, a book editor at Pacific Press for 10 years, has produced a book which, it is hoped, will be read by our peopleand everyone elseinstead of Desire of Ages.

Thomas book is being heavily promoted by Pacific Press in local Adventist churches throughout North America, with videotaped endorsements by well-known church leaders and with featured "camp-meeting" discounts.

Obviously, only her words are inspired; so such a rewrite would appear to be an attempt to get rid of one of the primary inspired books which God has given for our time in history.

More rewrites will probably follow.

The advantages of such books for our church publishing houses is that the new books provide them with clear copyright control, something they no longer have on the Spirit of Prophecy books. Pacific Press will own this book; and not even the E.G. White Estate can dictate any requirements they must follow.

The advantages for the liberals are many. This is a new step away from the books they so much dislike.

To whom should you send your protests? Friends working there in the mid-1980s told me that Pacific Press had to please the General Conference, or it could withhold permission for them to print certain books, including certain Sabbath School materials. So if you wish to write protests, it would be good to send them to the General Conference (not only to Pacific Press). The Press is a General Conference institution.

Here is Thomas rewrite of Desire of Ages, 83:4-5. Compare it with the original. His rewrite reduces two paragraphs of eight sentences to one differently worded paragraph of four sentences.

"It would be good for us to spend an hour every day thinking about the life of Jesus. We should use our imagination to put ourselves in each story, especially the stories from the last week of His life. The more we think about His great sacrifice for us, the more confidence well have in Him, and the more love we will feel. The more we study and think and talk about Jesus, the more like Him we will become." Messiah, p. 54.

In addition, not one Bible quotation in the entire book, Messiah, is from the King James Version. Add to that the fact that a very large number of Scripture quotations have been totally omitted. Her books are a treasure-house of Bible quotationsbut both must go.


"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." 1 Selected Messages, 204-205


Friends on the West Coast are concerned about a strange new teaching that is being taught by Marvin Moore. Because he is senior editor of Signs of the Times, he is in an extremely influential position, not only at Pacific Press and with everything printed in Signs, but also in his camp meeting and other lectures.

Moore is teaching that the crucial coming event will be falling meteorites!

Our leading missionary periodical, Signs of the Times, has for years been strangely silent about certain historic Adventist beliefs. Among these is its refusal to say anything negative about the Catholic Church, either in past history or today.

You may recall that, until the 1950s, Signs was our only missionary paper. It was printed weekly on low-cost newsprint and distributed in the millions by our people. I recall many sessions, in the late 1940s, at our local church, where we would hand address copies of Signs and mail them to people all over the city we lived in.

Then, in the 1950s, These Times (originally called Our Times) began being published by Southern Publishing in Nashville, as an expensive glossy monthly missionary periodical. Until the mid-1950s, Signs editor Arthur S. Maxwell (1896-1970) clearly presented our truths in the Signs. But, because he refused to be hushed up about Rome, the General Conference decreed that henceforth both missionary papers would be monthly and printed on glossy paper. This jacked up the price of the Signs immensely. By Vatican II, none of our new denominational publications said anything negative about Rome.

Now Moore is telling us that it is not the National Sunday Law, but meteorites, that the world should look forward to as the coming crisis! This is another backward step in soft-peddling the truth about Rome.

You may recall the 1989 Signs article which lavishly praised Pope John Paul II as the world leader in promoting peace and stability (Appreciating the Pope [WM207].

The situation steadily grows worse. The focus of attention is being turned from the Sunday Law crisis to the blowing of a trumpet, which Moore says will produce one or more desolating meteorites, while another writer says the great coming event will be a massive earthquake.