вторник, 2 август 2011 г.

A Concise Historical And Biblical Analysis Of The Adventicism

Mr. Valentine Velchev

Dear readers, this book is addressed not that much to the Christians, but toward the adventists. But since their leaders would never allow for such a material to appear in their bookstores, it would be good if you could share what you’ve read with your friends and relatives, members of this community. Just as the brother of the Lord James advises us: “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:19,20).

CHAPTER І

The Latin word “adventus” means coming or arrival. It is linked to the expectation of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this respect all Christians are Adventists. But now we are going to discuss a community, known under the name “Adventists of the seventh day”, its arising and specific doctrines, differing from the official Christian church’s belief.[1] [*]
What this book says will surely appear to many of them as an undisguised attack on their faith. There is a saying that claims that God hates sin, but loves the sinner. We can profess as well that we will show no tolerance toward the deceitful revelations and so we will fight them absolutely uncompromisingly, but we love all those, who are faithful to God in the Adventist churches and so we pray to Him to bring them to the light through the truth. Most of the followers of this movement have their view of Christianity only through their leaders’ sermons, or through the special books in their bookstores. Our observations disclose that they have read nearly no Christian books and know not the real position of the Christianity on the disputable questions. We sincerely hope this will help them stop “size up their own size” and attempt to judge objectively who is right from the Bible’ s point of view.

HISTORICAL APPEARANCE

What are the prerequisites, which led to the arising of the Adventist movement? There are several events that have been interpreted as preceding the Second Advent of our Savior. At the first place was the earthquake at Lisbon in 1755. 60 000 people died then and it was felt in whole Europe, North Africa and in the Eastern coast of the American continent. The next was the Solar eclipse in 1780 which overshadowed a significant part of the US territory. It lasted more than 12 hours, and the darkness was so thick that nothing of the surrounding objects could be told. A witness tells that even till dawn the full moon remained blood red. The third, the great French Revolution, which according to some Roman Catholicism adversaries, led to the end of the period of the Pope’s supremacy. The Adventists point the year of 538 to be the onset of this period, when the decree of the Emperor Justinian, in which the Roman bishop was acknowledged as the Head of the whole church, was enacted. After this decree, in their opinion, the Age of the papal supremacy began, which lasted for 1260 years, until 1798 when Napoleon’s armies took captive Saint Peter’s “right-hand man”. (They adopted the idea of some early reformers: John Wycliffe and John Husse, further developed by others, that the papal institution and many of the teachings of the Roman Catholicism represent the Antichrist, dominant in the church during this period of time – Dan. 7:24-26.)
All of these events gave grounds to a lot of biblical interpreters from Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States to suggest that they precede the Second Coming of the Son of God. The history of the Adventist church is related namely to one of them, named William Miller. He was born in 1722 in the state of Massachusetts in a religious family, but under the influence of the sceptic literature and some friends, he became a deist[2] in his youth. Later on though, he came through a spiritual breakdown, out of which he came after he made Jesus his Savior and Lord. The true turning point of Miller’s life happened in 1816 when he began studying the Bible prophecies. What most impressed him were the words from the book of Daniel 8:14: “He said to me: it will take 2300 evenings and mornings, then the Sanctuary will be reconsecrated”.
There were even in the Middle ages church meditators like Joachim De Flor, Arnold De Villanova, Nikolai Kouzanski, etc., who claimed that in this prophecy a day was equal to a year. In their opinion the “reconsecration of the Sanctuary“ meant “reconsecration of the church” or “reconsecration of the Earth through fire”. That is to say in 2300 years the Second Coming and the end of the world were to happen. But when is the beginning of this period? On the eve of the Great French Revolution the well-known German bible interpreter Johan Petri admitted that the counting of 2300 years began together with the 70 prophetic weeks, i.e. from 453 B.C. (his followers changed the year to 457 B.C.), when a decree of Artaxerxes on the reconstruction of Jerusalem was issued (Ezra 7:11-28).
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[*]The notes, marked with a figure, are placed at the end of each section. They contain additional information on the questions discussed, so it would do good to read them in parallel with the text. The notes, marked with a symbol, are given under line and point where the used quotations are taken from. All the quotations are given according to the Bulgarian publications of the books.
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Considering all of these grounds to be correct, Miller calculated that the return of Christ should happen in 1843 “Jewish year”, which, according to him, extended from March 21-th, 1843 to March 21-th, 1844. He didn’t share his conclusion with anyone for a long time, but in 1831 decided he should proclaim the great event to come. He was incessantly pushed unto action by a voice, that left him not alone, neither day nor night, but kept telling: “Go tell this to the world. Its blood will be on your head”. From this moment on Miller began eagerly preaching around the churches the message of the Son of God coming on “heavenly clouds”.
In 1833 many people in North America became witnesses to the notorious meteoric shower, during which literary the whole sky was lit by the fire traces of the burning in the atmosphere heavenly bodies. A number of Christians associated this occasion to the falling of the stars, which signified, to their opinion, the realization of our Lord’s prophecies about the beginning of the last times: “…there will be famines and earthquakes in various places”, “…the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky…”, “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to the earth…” (Matthew 24:7,29; Rev. 6:12,13).
Since 1840 till 1844 the news for the Second Coming began to spread very fast. According to Miller himself during this period the number of his followers reached 50 000 – 100 000 people (according to others – even many more). Until March 12th, 1844 though, Christ didn’t come, which caused a deep disappointment among his followers. But one of them, named Samuel Snow, paid attention to the fact that the prophetic period should begin in autumn 457 BC and last until autumn 1844 AD. Thus, a new date for the Second Coming of the Messiah was appointed – October 22nd, 1844.
We shall quote without precision an author: “With the approaching of the appointed day, a lot of people sold out all they had and gave their daily obligations up, in order to participate, in resources or in personal partake, the preaching of the Coming of Christ. The day, which the believers were in quivery waiting for, at last came. The hours kept creeping one by one, until the sun went down and the shades of night covered the earth. But a much heavier shadow laid on the hearts of all of the expectants – the shadow of disappointment and frustration. After that more than 100 000 people withdrew from the belief in God.” (This number isn’t small at all, especially when considered, that the population of the US was hardly 17 mln people.)
But the very next day one of the pioneers of the Adventist movement Hiram Edson had a vision, in which Christ was serving a High Priest in the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary (which is mentioned in Revelation 11:19) and on this day (23.10.1844) he passed to the Most Holy Place. The prophecy of Daniel was interpreted thus: in 2300 years the Heavenly Sanctuary was cleansed and Christ began the so-called “investigative judgment”. He began to look through the books, in which the works of the saints were written down, in order to see which ones of them through repentance and faith had transferred their sins to the Heavenly Sanctuary and accepted forgiveness by grace. When this judgment is over, Jesus will come to earth, bringing with the reward to repay everyone according to his deeds.
In 1844 a Baptist of the 7th day[3] , named Rachel Preston accepted the Adventist belief. She acquainted her new brothers and sisters with the Sabbath doctrine. Soon afterwards a group of 40 believers began to sanctify the Sabbath.
Two years later, in 1846, a group of Adventist preachers gathered together for a conference. Hiram Edson talked about the Heavenly Sanctuary, captain Joseph Bates pointed out the significance of the sanctification of the Sabbath day, and a woman named Ellen White told the prophecies and visions given to her by the Lord, which confirmed the truthfulness of their doctrine. Up to 1860 the Adventist groups had united and accepted the name “Church of the Adventists of the 7th day”. This organization numbers nowadays about 10 mln baptized members in more than 200 countries around the world, in more than 40 000 local assemblies. Together with the supporters from the Sabbath school, with the children and the youths, and with the friends of the church, the total number of people in it counts to at least 20 mln people. In 1983 “Christianity today” points them out as one of the fastest growing denominations. Today they own 37 publishing companies, 70 colleges and academies and about 40 resorts.[4]
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What is the attitude of the Adventists toward the events in their historical development from the point of view of the Bible? They relate “the spirit of prophecy”, which is spoken of in Revelation 19:10, to the pouring out of the Spirit of God in the last times, which had led to the arising of the movement. The Holy Spirit revealed the Adventist doctrine by their theologians, giving as well revelations and visions to certain prophets – Hiram Edson, Ellen White, etc., thus confirming their doctrines and practices.
The three messages from Revelation 14:6-11 are considered symbolically carried by angels, flying in midair and are interpreted in this way. The message of the first angel is: “Then I saw another angel flying in midair and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice: “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him, Who made the Heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water”. The Adventists say that this message concerns the time between 1831 and 1844 when Miller and his collaborators proclaimed the Coming of Christ (they concluded later, that he apparently has made some kind of mistake, i.e. that he had to preach about the “investigative judgment”). The second angelic message: “A second angel followed and said: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries”, have spread out in 1844, when a lot of the Adventists had left or had been expelled from the churches, whose members they were. These churches were named “harlots” and “the fallen Babylon” because they had rejected the first angelic message and refused God’s (i.e. Adventist) truths. The true believers ought to depart from them in order not to take part in their sins and share their ulcers (Rev. 18:4). The third angelic message says: “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “if anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or in the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the Holy Angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone, who receives the mark of his name.”
According to the Adventists this message has began to be spread out in 1846, when the ”light of the Sabbath had been accepted and ought to be preached to every nation, tribe and tongue…” At the end of times “the beast” (the Roman-Catholic church) and the “False Prophet” (the US and the segregated Protestantism in the “image of the beast”) will change God’s commandments and will impose with a decree the keeping of the Sunday (this is going to be ”the mark of the beast”) instead of the biblical Sabbath. Each one keeping the Sunday, accepts the “mark of the beast”, and the ones who keep the Sabbath will have the “Seal of God” (since the very fourth commandment of the Decalogue[5] they interpret as the seal of God). At last the unholy ones will be destroyed in the Eternal Fire, and the righteous are to inherit the renewed Earth.
Were the prophecies of the Bible about the end of the earth correctly interpreted? The natural phenomena observed, which we pointed out – the earthquake in Lisbon, the solar eclipse and the meteoric shower in the United States (see the front cover), have occurred only in particular places on earth and were not experienced by all people, so they can’t be signs of the last times. This is what D. Mitev writes about it: “If Miller and his collaborers had taken the trouble to scrutinize the character of the unusual meteoric shower in the night of 13th November, 1833; they would have understood that this is an ordinary cosmic event, repeating every 33-34 years. This is the so called by the astronomers “meteoric shower Leonides”, ocurring periodically when the earth meets the comet 55P/Temple-Tattle…There was an extraordinarily heavy meteoric shower in the sky of America on 12-13 November 1833. According to the witnesses, its intensity was about 10 000 meteorites per hour. On 13-14 November, 1866 the Leonides have poured out a meteoric shower with the intensity of 5 000 meteorites per hour over Europe and on the 17th of November 1966 California was flooded with the incredible 140 000 meteorites per hour…(And “the dark day on New England in 1780” was perhaps due to a cloud, consisting of dust and gases of volcanic origin, shading the sun and the moon for many hours – author’s note). The earthquake at Lisbon cannot be considered apocaliptic as well. It was really severe, but the big earthquakes of the 20th century excel it in violence. Three of them are extremely severe. According to the seismologists the earthquake in the Himalaya on August 15th 1950 has released an energy, equal to the explosion of 100 000 atomic bombs! On the 29th of May 1960 at the Chilean earthquake, 100 thousands square km of the coastal strip of land sinks into the ocean. At the earthquake in Gobi – Altai the maximal energy of Richter’s scale - 12 bals, was registrated!…In the opinion of the specialists,” if such an event would have taken place in an industrial region with a big population, then a territory of a width of 50-100 km and a length of 500 km (equal to Denmark and Holland together), would have been totally destroyed and the number of the human victims would have been millions”. Even these natural calamities cannot be named apocaliptic, before they are joined by other predictions of the Savior (the appearance of the Antichrist, the persecution of the church, wars and tumults, etc.).[*]
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[*] “The Adventism in a critical light”, p. 24-25. (You can find complete information about the used literature in the references).
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Did the Pope really have dominion in the church for 1260 years in the period between 538 and 1798 (i.e. nearly since the middle of the VI to the end of the XVIII century)? In the Roman Empire, Christianity was announced as an equally regarded religion in 313 by the emperor Constantine the Great, and as an official one – in 380 (according to others – in 394) by Theodossius I. In the beginning (I – IV century) there were 5 major centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople, whose churches’ heads were leading the subordinated to them bishops and clergymen. In the middle of the VI century the Roman Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople began to play leading roles in the government of the church. The western part of the Empire, including the European territories and parts of North Africa was under the influence of the Pope. The Patriarch was the Spiritual Head over the eastern part, which included the Balkan Peninsula, the Asian provinces and the rest of North Africa. There were contradictions between the two churches for several centuries concerning a number of doctrines and practices, which finally led to their official separation in XI century (1054). The Reformation, started in Germany in the beginning of XVI century, restricted the Pope’s power as well, in many countries in Central and North Europe, and later in all the other continents – Asia, North and South America, Africa, etc. In this way there is no historical period at all, when the Roman Pope has had power over the whole church.
Was the Holy Spirit (“the Spirit of prophecy”) really the one who inspired the appearance of the Adventist movement?
In first place, did God truly provoke William Miller to calculate when the Second Coming will happen? Our Savior clearly tells His disciples that: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” and “The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect Him and at an hour he is not aware of.” (Matthew 24:36,50), and not when “he knows and awaits”.
We don’t know not only the day and the hour, but also the years and times. The Apostles asked Jesus before He ascended to heaven: “So when they met together, they asked Him; “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) (An event associated with His return and glorious reign). And He answered: “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His Own authority.” (Acts 1:7). Is it possible for God not to have had understood that Miller was doing something forbidden by His Word (since He knows our thoughts and secret deeds) and to have spoken to him ”go and tell this to the world…”? Is it possible for Him to have been listening him preaching in towns and villages a false message for 13 whole years (since 1831 till 1844) and to have not corrected him?
Let us remember, for instance, the occasion in 2 Samuel, chapter 7 when David told the prophet Nathan about his eagerness to build a House to God. The latter thought this intention good and he encouraged David to do what he intended. But that very night God rejected these human decisions, by telling the prophet that not David would be the one to build His temple, but his son, coming next to him. And on the very next day Nathan told the king the will of the Almighty.
Even if Miller did not consider himself doing something wrong and was deceived by some voice, then why God didn’t send someone or other of this movement’s prophets to warn him in time that he is spreading a false message over?
According to the Adventist historians “the Spirit of prophecy” came down on William Foy in 1842. He had two visions, related to the Second Coming of Christ (none of them though, pointed out Miller’s movement wrong anywhere), which he kept incessantly repeating and was listened to in great interest until 1844. Later on, he had a third vision – of the “three steps”, which he couldn’t comprehend himself and because of this (and for some other reasons) he resigned his mission. In the summer of 1844 the prophetic gift was given another person – Hason Foss. His first vision was about the traveling of the Adventist people toward heaven. The second one – about the “three steps”, he couldn’t explain as well, so he shared it with no one. In the third vision he was told that the yoke of prophecy is taken away from him and given to “the weakest vessel”. In December, the same year, Ellen White, who was by this time only 17 and in a very poor health, accepted the anointing to prophetic ministry.[6]

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There are a few questions to be posed here. Since William Foy and Hason Foss had had prophetic visions much before the autumn of 1844, why were they not warned by God on Miller’s mistake and had not corrected him, so that the tragic events that followed and led to the withdrawal from faith of such a number of people, have been prevented? In her autobiography, Ellen White narrates that in 1843 she already had two visions after having heard the sermons of William Miller in her hometown. In the second vision, she even stood before Jesus, who told her not to be afraid and she stayed in His presence for a while.[*] Oddly enough, she had not been told anything of Miller’s fatal fallacy either. And why the “truth” about not the “reconsecration of the Heavenly Sanctuary” (when Christ would enter the Holy of Holies) should happen on October 22nd 1844, was told Hiram Edson only after this fatal event had happened? On the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost about 3 000 people were added to the number of the assembly. And the Spirit, which provoked the appearance of the Adventist doctrine led to disappointment and departure from the Christianity more than 100 000 people. Only about 40 didn’t deny it. The Adventists consider this to be the way the Lord had set apart those who were faithful to Him. But was there any occasion, when the Lord had put deceit and fallacy in the mouths of His servants in order to tempt the faithfulness of His followers? In this way it would turn out that He reaches His purposes through dishonest means, which would offend His holiness and faultlessness. How could He say about Himself then:“…I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right” – Isaiah 45:19.
Could Miller be identified with an angel, proclaiming the first message? First of all, the latter message doesn’t refer to the Second Coming of Christ, but to God’s judgment in the time of the Great Tribulation. Next to this angel two more messages appear and a number of events, which are to happen before the return of our Lord. (What the first angel said can’t be related to the “investigative judgment” either. There only the deeds of the believers in Jesus Christ are claimed to be looked over, while this concerns the ulcers that will plague all the nations, as told further on in the Revelation.)
Secondly, the Adventists attempt to explain Miller’s mistake by saying there were other unfulfilled prophecies in the Bible as well. For example, Jonah’s prophecy about the destruction of Nineveh did not come to reality. But their justification sounds too naпve. From the whole context of the book we come to understand that God had sent Jonah to call the inhabitants of Nineveh to repentance. Otherwise the town would have had to be destroyed. If God had already made up his mind to destroy Nineveh unconditionally, as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah, He wouldn’t have sent someone to warn them. The town was left untouched because its inhabitants had repented sincerely. The Adventists seem to miscalculate that their claim that the Bible contains unfulfilled prophecies beats its image down and makes a liar out of God. Another suggestion of theirs, which says that what happened on October 22nd, 1844, was in fact an exact fulfillment of what is written in Revelation 10:8-11, cannot be admitted at any rate either. “Then the voice that I had heard from Heaven spoke to me once more: “Go take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land”. So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey”. I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings”. They say that the book, which Apostle John had eaten, was a symbol of “the Day of Disappointment”. In this way the blessed hope of the Coming of the Lord was sweet as honey to all of them, who had accepted it, but when it came not to reality, their hearts were filled up with bitterness. But let’s point them out that this doesn’t concern the first angel-messenger (i.e. Miller), but quite a different angel (his description in Revelation 10:1-2). And furthermore, no angel in Revelation (and in the whole Bible) errs his message. And finally, the book eaten up by Apostle John was sweet, since it is the Word of God, and sour, since it concerns the tragic events to fall over the mankind. In the whole section there is not a hint for any mispractices by anyone. It takes quite a good imagination to associate Miller’s false calculations to any prophecy of the Bible. The history tells us about a great number of people who have determined the exact date of the Coming of Christ. What would it be if each of them did attempt to find out a biblical ground for his unfulfilled prediction?
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[*]“Autobiography” p. 18-19.
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On the third place, God prepares His servants from the very womb of their mothers for their future ministry (Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15). The moment He gives them some message, He also enables them to understand and transmit it correctly. That is why there is no occasion in the Old or the New Testament when some God’s servant did mistake the message entrusted to him.
All thus far makes us seriously doubt if Miller is the first angel from Revelation 14:6-11 and if he has received his message from God.
Is the church of Christ the “great harlot” and the “fallen Babylon”, according to the second angelic message, as the Adventists claim? The Lord calls it His Bride, pure and blameless. What are these people going to answer Him, when He comes and asks them reckoning for their words?
The Christian churches have rightly warned Miller and his followers, that according to the Word of God, nobody will be given to calculate the day of the Second Coming. After Jesus didn’t come in spring 1844, they had the right to regard Miller as a false prophet. Deuteronomy 18:22 says: “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” Then the ones, who used to share his convictions and spread them in the churches, had had to be expelled, as they threw fallacy in. What would have happened if everyone did trust them? The number of the disappointed ones in October that same year would have been much bigger and there would remain but very few in the Christian communities.
Perhaps, one of the best interpretations of the Revelation is the one of Paul Rogozin (his book “The secret of Revelation”). In his opinion, the “great harlot” is the decadent and formal religion, which appeared at the very scattering of the ancient nations after the Babylonian tower was built. It conveys a false ministry to God, since its worshipping is not before the true God, but before idols, not only hand-made, but also - human religious ideas, philosophies and desires. The Lord Jesus Christ says the enemy was going to sow his weeds in His field even (Matthew 13:24-30). This became most evident in the church only after the Christianity had become an official religion and had connected to the secular government of the state. It became possible then for the highest clergy to execute a strong power and to grab enormous riches. Many of them have really committed great abominations before God and have shed the blood of a lot of martyrs of Christ. Such people there were in all the three Christian denominations and practically they belonged to the “great harlot”. (Will the Adventists be surprised if, in times of persecution for instance, they come to discover that some of their members were formal believers too?). But there has always existed a true church of faithful followers of the Lord, defined by the Word as the “Bride of the Lamb”, which is with no stain, wrinkle, or any other blemish (Eph. 5:27). Jesus told Peter: “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18b).
The church of the Lord originates from His disciples and Apostles, did not break its existence and will last to the end. [7]
The Adventists think of themselves as “the best of the bunch” of Christianity, since they “obey the commandments of God and hold to the Testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17). The other Christians are “second hand”, because they haven’t kept the Sabbath through the ages (that’s why they aren’t the true church). Many of them will be saved though, since they have done it in negligence, but their faith had been pure-hearted. According to the followers of this movement, Jesus had to wait for 18 centuries for the appearance of His true Bride – “the Adventist church”.[8]
The third angelic message will be taken to discussion together with the critics of the Adventist eschatology[9] , in the second part of the book.
In a more general sense “the Spirit of prophecy” concerns the ministry and gifts, which Ellen White had accepted. She was specially told by God to write down all the revelations given to her. All she wrote counts about 100 000 hand-written pages. She is the author of more than 50 books and 4 000 articles in different papers and magazines. In the opinion of the Adventists all the characteristics of a true prophet were presented in her life and activity. They point out the enlisted basic biblical requirements, which she completed perfectly:
1. All her works were in complete concordancy with the Holy Scripture (Isaiah 8:20).
2. Her prophecies have been fulfilled (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).
3. She recognized Jesus Christ as come in flesh (I John 4:2).
4. She bore only good fruits in her personal life (Matthew 7:20).
5. Her physical status during the time of visions was like the one of the Old Testament prophets (Daniel 10:17; Numbers 24:4).

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Let us come through all of these aspects of her prophetic ministry. Concerning the first one we could say that Ellen White was not the author of the Adventist doctrine. Her visions have never set the beginning of any doctrine or teaching. They only have been confirming or correcting the conclusions made by their theologians “on the basis of studying the Bible”. But she used to maintain, research and attempt to explain in depth all the views of this movement in her works. Further on we’ll discuss the specific doctrines of the Adventism and this will be the best examination of her works – whether they are in keeping with the Word of God and to what extent. We shall attach a quote by an author – Nedko Nikolov, who left their church with some other members and supporters in 1980. The reason was “the lack of correspondence between the Bible and the Adventist doctrine”. What he says in his work “Adventism or …” (page 32-37) is: “There are dozens, even hundreds of mistakes in her book “Experiences and visions” only. It’s enough to deepen in her descriptions, which were and still are a manual to the Adventists, to get into the dreadful labyrinth of false doctrines, hidden under the cover of Christianity. And since the biggest part of her works is sermons on biblical stories, presented in a simple, though flamboyant way, a lot of people tend to think of her as a prophet or servant of God. Frankly, she had some touching reflections on biblical stories, which I could read just as many others written before and after. But so much for it…I would agree, she offers “a bucket of pure water, but don’t forget there are only a few drops of poison in it”. To the common people, the color and taste of this “pure water” isn’t changed, but this is not a hindrance at all for them to be poisoned. And if this is the final purpose, I would agree, that the devil wouldn’t mind serving some more fresh water, if only it would mask the poison better.
I will take the liberty to quote some of her mistakes, all out of one single book – “Experiences and visions”, which was to promote her as a prophet.
1. From “My first vision” & 4, the end: “At each river side there stood a stem of the tree (of life) and both of them of pure glittering gold”, & 5 “its fruits were wonderful, they looked like gold, mingled with silver”. What a metaled future paradise? When Apostle John describes the future, he talks about golden streets in a golden city, but never about golden trees and fruits, that would hardly be desired for food – Rev. 21:18,21; 22:2. At this we should stress strongly that this vision appears to be an addition to the book Revelation and has no background in the Bible. (The tree of life in heaven is possibly the same as the one in the Garden of Eden – Genesis 2:9, 3:24.) But in both cases it was never told to be of gold – author’s note.
2. From “My first vision” & 8, 9: “Now the mountain of Sinai was right in front of us and there was a magnificent temple on its top…This temple was supported by seven columns of pure gold, inlaid with precious pearls. Seven other hills surrounded it, covered in roses and lilies.” The last sentence is a bare plagiarism out of the apocryphal book of III Ezra 2:19: “And seven mountains too high, covered with roses and lilies. ”Let’s get back to the temple. Reading the whole paragraphs, we learn that the temple was outside New Jerusalem, because “Jesus left us and went into the city”. What the meaning and use of this temple are and what is this countryside out of the Eternal city? In “Other visions” & 1: “In the city I saw a temple which I entered.” Now White sees a second temple, this time in the city. Is this a contradiction or there really are two temples in heaven? But let us hear the Spirit of God speaking through Apostle John in Rev. 21:22: “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” Is there any use asking where the truth is? Who dares then to add anything to this Book? Can such a person stand this crucial warning: ”If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.” (Revelation 22:18).
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3. From “My first vision” &2: “Soon afterwards we heard the voice of God which was like the sound of many waters, to announce to us the day and the hour of the Coming of Jesus. ”What day and hour? She doesn’t say, but Jesus says: “No one knows about that day or hour,not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son ,but only the Father.”(Matthew 24:36). Does White know more than Jesus? He doesn’t know, while she says, “we heard”. (Ellen White was obviously pressed by some people to point the day and hour of the Coming of Christ. This is what she says in a certain place about it: “I have absolutely no idea about the time mentioned by the voice of God. I’ve heard the hour announced, but I could not recall it after the vision was over…” (“Selected news”, p.1). She is quite a strange kind of God’s prophet, who cannot recall what was told to her (we shall see other cases as well, when in order not to get compromised, she has used the same excuse)! However it is possible the rejection to the announcing of the day and hour of the Second Coming to be only a kind of prudence on her side, especially in consideration of Miller’s bitter experience. Otherwise, if the Adventists who still believed their leaders had come through a new disappointment, there would hardly remain any follower of this movement – author’s note)
4. From “The hesitation of the heavenly powers” & 1: “Then the sun, the moon and the stars will be moved from their places. They will not disappear, but will be moved from their places by the voice of God”. The prophet Isaiah 34:4, describing these events is talking about a different kind of changes: “All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved …all the starry host will fall.” The psalmist adds: “And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but You remain.”(Psalm 102:26) Let us leave an open question: Are the sun, the moon and the stars not to disappear, according to White, or they will disappear, according to the Word of God? (There are many other verses in the Bible, which also state clearly that the old heaven and earth will be destroyed and new ones will be created - Isaiah 65:17, 66:22; II Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1. It is strange why the Adventists prefer to believe their prophetess instead of the Bible, whenever contradictions appear between them. In this case, for example, on the basis of this vision, they claim that the heaven and the earth are not to disappear, but to be renewed only – author’s note).
5. From “The sealing” & 1: “I was carried to The Most Holy Place in a vision. There I saw Jesus as an Intercessor for Israel. There were bells mingled with pomegranates at the edge of His garment.” Exodus 27:33-35 - the raiment of the earthly high priests. The ringing of the bells was to be heard in the yard to convince that the service of the priest was accepted. But if he was not righteous, he was to perish. When there was no ringing heard, then the ones that served in the yard, threw him out by using a rope, tied to his foot beforehand.
Can you tell me whether it is worthy enough to dress our Great High Priest in such raiment? Aren’t we reducing Him in status? Aren’t we coming before the Consuming Fire? ”He committed no sin and no deceit was found in His mouth.” - I Peter 2:22. “Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” - Hebrews 7:26. What are we to do, if these holy statements point us guilty, if we accept the latter as right? Obviously Ellen White has forgotten (or misunderstood the meaning) of what chapters 5, 6 and 7 of the Epistle to the Hebrews and Psalm 110:4 say - that Jesus Christ is going to be a Priest for ever in the order of Melchizedek. In His flesh He didn’t belong to Levi, but to the tribe of Judah. What she described about the raiment and serving, concerns the high priests in the order of Aaron, who have passed away together with the Law (Hebrews 7:11-16) – author’s note.
6. ..........................
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7. From “A time for gathering” & 4: “I also saw that the old Jerusalem is not to be built up again any more and that satan does the best he can to deviate the thoughts of God’s children now, in the time for the gathering, thus preventing them from putting all their interest in the current work of the Lord and make them neglect the necessary preparations for The Day of the Lord”. Let us hear the voice of truth speaking again: “Run, tell that young man: “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. And I Myself will be a wall of fire around it...and I will be its glory within.” - Zechariah 2:4. But how can we understand what is the time fixed by the prophecy of Zechariah? Until 70 AD the city always had its walls. If we admit that this verse concerns the New Jerusalem, it will have walls too, with 12 gates in them. So Zechariah’s prophecy leads us doubtlessly to the fate of the city nowadays, when it has no walls for the first time. How can we explain the fact, that at the time of White it had no more than 10 thousand inhabitants and now it numbers nearly half a million? (493 500 – in 1990). Christ has also predicted this reconstruction in Luke 21:24 “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”, “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say ”Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” - Matthew 23:39. For this city and the Hebrews have a peculiar role to play in the last times - and even if someone takes the liberty to define any of the Old Testament prophecies “conditional” (see note 13 – author’s note) then the words of Christ are unconditional. Zechariah 8:23; 12:2, 3, 9, 10; 14:1-3, 12; Joel 3:1, 2; Micah 4:11,12; Isaiah 11:11, 12; 14:1; 55:5; Romans 11:24-25; For the biggest proof that Christ is the Son of God are not those more than 2000 Christian communities over the world, but Israel whose scattering and coming back (in 1948), He predicted. How White can say: “I saw”, i.e. God told me, while the Word tells us the contrary. What’s more, she went further by saying that satan used to deviate some peoples’ thoughts by making them believe in the reconstruction of Jerusalem and in the peculiar role of Israel in the final times, before the Return of the Lord.
Could the Holy Spirit have prophesied events, which White ascribes to satan? Once Jesus was accused of having thrown demons out through Beelzebub, i.e. they ascribed the power of the Holy Spirit to the devil. Then He told them: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” – Matthew 12:24-32. Doesn’t it appear to you that behind this statement of White, the unforgivable insult toward the Holy Spirit is standing? The contemporary leaders, attempting to defend White, are claiming that in this quote she had meant that Jerusalem would not be a religious and spiritual center anymore. Isn’t this city such a center today? A great number of believers and unbelievers assemble there. Tell me whether there is a city as visited as it is? It is the center of three world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All of this turns it into the spiritual and intellectual center of the world. “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” The Law will go out from Zion, the Word of the Lord of Jerusalem” - Micah 4:1, 2.
Dozens of disparities can be quoted between her statements and the Word, but this (I believe you will agree with me), is not necessary. What shall we accept as truth then, and what shall we deny? Some people have become so entangled and stuck up to her books, that it appears to them an abomination to doubt them. Then they will have to doubt the Word, not without a risk naturally. We see such incredible things thus far, which would lead everyone longing for salvation, to come through his ideas of her once again. For is it possible for a book, which is to feature Ellen White as a prophet most of all, as they say, to overflow with such glaring contradictions? Should I ask at all: what kind of spirit has helped her in her work?
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If anyone dares to speak out things, that God doesn’t speak and to claim them belonging to Him, then: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! They say ”The Lord declares”, when the Lord has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled…Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord” - Ezekiel 13:3-9; Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Colossians 2:18. What are the consequences: “they have no light of dawn” - Isaiah 8:20. No one can stand against the Word of the Lord and name himself a God’s prophet .The Lord will not allow it - “Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar” - Proverbs 30:6.
There were prophets in the early Christian church as well; Apostle Paul had had visions too, but none of them ever left anything written, though they lived in a time when the Holy Spirit was a direct leader of their activity. All of them spoke about Jesus and preached His Word. I don’t know if anyone did pay attention to his own visions. (The Adventists claim her to have had more than 2000 visions, a big part of them written down – author’s note).
There is not a prophet like White in the whole Bible and in the whole ancient and contemporary history. Was it really necessary to write 30 000 pages in order to explain the Word of God, consisting of 1300? Today still you can hear in the Adventist churches her quoted more than the living and eternal Word of God. (N. Nikolov is likely to mean only the part of her works, which can be accepted as a sort of commentary to the Bible - books, articles, etc. Beside this, over 60 000 pages have been preserved - diaries, special testimonies, private correspondence, etc. – author’s note)
Another writing of hers:
From the book “The Proverbs of Christ”, p.72-74: “Human theories and contemplations can never lead us to the complete understanding of the Word of God…Satan acts through the mind to make them believe that they can achieve wonderful knowledge apart from the Word of God…The Holy Scriptures shouldn’t be read at the faint light of people’s traditions and imaginations. In order to recognize the glory of the holy Word of God, the fading lamps of earthly wisdom are out of use. The very Word of God is Light itself. It is the revelation of the glory of God; every other light turns pale”.
Don’t you think that she disproves herself? There is no other light apart from the Word, and she is giving one herself, although calling it “a small light”, which is to lead the believers toward the “great light” – the Word! What kind of a “small light” is this, numbering 30 000 pages, which has overshadowed the “great light”, consisting 1 300 pages? What about the ones, who lived before her and never had the chance to see her “small light”?…If Ellen White leads us toward the Word, i.e. explains it to us, doesn’t it mean, that It is not clear enough and the Holy Spirit has not done His work? How come the psalmist claims then: “I gain understanding from your precepts …Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path…the unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple” - Psalm 119:104, 105, 130.
“Dear reader, I recommend to you the Word of God as a measure to your faith and deeds. Through it we shall be judged.” & verse 10 - “A time for gathering”. This appeal was written by Ellen White, and though not realized in her life, I would recommend it to myself and to you”.
As we already came to know, the revelations of their other prophets - W. Miller, H. Edson, etc. are as far away from the Bible as hers.
(At a certain place N.Nikolov notes, that the contemporary theologians of the movement, after their failure to disprove what he had written, tried to attack him on a personal basis.[*] We find this conduct to be quite undignified. The questions posed, concern their special doctrines and ought to be answered substantially.)
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[*] “Adventism or…” p. 53
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Concerning the second point, we shall say a few words about the prophecies of Ellen White, which relate to certain persons and events. The Adventist researchers of her life point out, that she used to lay bare the immoral behavior, membership in secret Mason organisations and other sinful activities of some of their high-ranking leaders. It is true, that God had given His prophets the ability to comprehend big iniquities of the people (see II Samuel, chapter 12; Ezekiel, chapter 8; Acts 5:1-11, etc.). But unfortunately one can get such information from the evil spirits as well, presenting themselves as “servants of the light”. In the books, dedicated to the notorious Bulgarian clairvoyant from the town of Petrich - Vangelia Gushterova (Vanga), many witness that she had disclosed such personal details in their lives, which no one else beside them knew, and even reminded them of long forgotten sins and misdeeds. There still are fortune-tellers, “prophets”, etc. today, who communicate with the dark powers and can do the same (even wonders and miracles). The Word says satan accuses us day and night before God (Revelation 12:10). Thus we understand, that his invisible army of fallen angels keeps an eye on every word and act of ours. So if some person brings to light certain things out of other people’s lives, we can‘t be sure whether this knowledge was given to him by God exactly.
Ellen White’s supporters admit, that there are only a few predictions of future world events in her writings. We shall quote here some of the most important ones which, according to them, ”have been completed in outstanding accuracy”: ”In 1850 when the spiritism - the movement, which proclaims relationship with the world of the dead and the spirits, had just come to appearance, Ellen White defined it as a fallacy of the last times and predicted its spreading. And though at this time the movement was definitely anti-christian, she predicted that in near future it was going to be respected by some Christians. Since then the spiritism has spread throughout the world, gaining millions of followers. Its anti-christian position has changed. It is the very reality, that many call themselves Christian spiritists, pretending that they hold to the true Christian belief and that ”the spiritists are the only religious followers, who have used the gifts, promised by Christ, through which they heal and point out the way to a future conscientious and progressive existence.” They even claim, that spiritism gives knowledge of all the great religious systems, and what is more - it gives a superior knowledge on the Christian Bible than the summary of all its commentaries. They claim the Bible was a book belonging to spiritism.”
“At the time of Ellen White, there was a huge abyss between Roman-Catholics and Protestants, which seemed to exclude any collaboration between them. Anticatholicism was reigning among the Protestants. She predicted that some basic changes in Protestantism are to lead it away from the Reformation’s belief. Later on, the differences between the Catholics and Protestants grew smaller, thus bridging the abyss, which separated them.
In the years that followed her death, one could observe the appearance of the Ecumenical movement, the creation of the World Church Council, the second Vatican conference and the indifference and even evident rejection of the Protestants toward the ideas of the Reformation about the prophetic interpretation. These enormous changes destroyed the barriers between Catholics and Protestants, thus leading to their growing collaboration.”[*]
“The optimism of the mankind in meeting the XX century is well-known. And only this old woman wrote on the very April 21st, 1890: “…There will be turmoil everywhere. Thousands of ships will sink in the depths of the sea. Military ships will sink and millions of human lives will be sacrificed. All of a sudden, fires will arise, that no human efforts will be able to extinguish. The most beautiful castles will be destroyed by fire.[10] The accidents will multiply. Chaos, conflicts and death will happen surprisingly in the great commercial routes. The end is near. The time of mercy creeps to its end…”[**]
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[*] “Seventh-day Adventists believe…” p. 209-210
[**] “History of the Christian church” p. 369
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The spiritism as a phenomenon, originates not from the middle of the XIX century, but appeared at the very dawn of humanity and since then it was spread throughout all the nations. The ancient nations’ priests have, in fact, communicated with demons (I Corinthians 10:20). At the entrance of the Israelites in the Promised Land, the Lord warned them not to walk in the steps of the native tribes: “Let no one be found among you …who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). The appearance of Christianity and its spreading decreased the number of people, involved in such things. In the New Testament there is a story about the burning of the magician books of some people who accepted the Word of God (Acts 19:19). Today the Good News has been spread to the biggest part of the nations, thus limiting strongly the development of the ocultism. That is why though the total number of the spiritists may have slightly grown, in percentage, their number keeps continuously decreasing from the time of the Apostles on.
Concerning the statement that the spiritism puts a Christian disguise on, we can only say that no church, holding strong to the Bible had accepted such people. There are a great number of communities beside them - Mormons, Jehovah’s witnesses, etc., whose members attempt to call themselves Christians, but have never been counted as such even by the common public. In other words, her prophecies about the appearance and development of spiritism, as well as its insertion in the Christianity, are not true at all.
The idea of the reducing of the abyss between the Catholics and the Protestants is not true either. The latter are not quite likely to recognize the supremacy of the Pope in the church, his infallibility on the questions of faith, as well as those of the catholic dogmas, which differ from the teaching of the Word of God. Protestants and orthodox Christians have joined the Ecumenical movement from the very beginning, while the Catholics are still apart from it. Later on, though, it was joined by members of all kinds of denominations, religious communities, cults, etc. That’s why the Christians in this movement are in danger of turning to apostasy away from the belief, since their practices completely differ from the teaching of our God and Savior (see John 14:30, II Corinthians 6:15-16; II John 1:10-11). That’s how they will fall apart from the church of Christ (Gal. 1:8-9).
Unfortunately Ellen White has never prophesied anything particularly concerning the future of the world. The twentieth century was outstandingly rich in events - the two world wars, the appearance and the ruining of the communist system, the destruction of the colonial empires, the technical revolution, the flights in the open space and many more. She did not even mention one of them. Her prophecies are only a pale reflection both of what Jesus had said about the last times and of the Revelation of the Apostle John. The “prophecies” of Nostradamus and of many other astrologists and fortune-tellers (who have used the same referent points from the Bible), can be recognized as much stronger related to reality than hers.[11]
There is still another vision, spread out by Ellen White in the second half of the twentieth century, which is false for sure: ”A group of visitors of the General Conference[12] (which has taken place in Battle Creek on 27.05.1856 – author’s note), was introduced to me. And the angel told me: Some of them will be food for the worms, the last seven ulcers will be poured over others, and a part of them will be renewed at the Second Advent” (“Testimonies”, p.1).[*]
Here are some of the statements, which she’s made on the basis of this vision:
“As the time is short, we have to work hardly and double our efforts. Perhaps our children will never have the chance to go to a college” (“Testimonies”, p.3).
“It is imprudent to create children now. The time is short and the dangers of the last days are invading, so the small children will perish before it happens” (letter 48, 1876).
“In this century the history of the earth is approaching to its end. The time of temptations is at hand, temptations that have been never seen before. The marriages should better be limited at this moment, for the men as well as for the women” (“Testimonies”, p.5).
“The hour will come and some of us, who believe today, will be alive to see the event predicted, to hear the voice of the Archangel and the sound of the trumpet of God from the mountains, the valleys and the seas, from all the parts of the planet Earth” (Review and Herald, July 31,1878[**]).
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[*] “The events of the last days” p. 26
[**] “The events of the last days” p. 26-27
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As far as we know, there is no living member of their General Conference today, for whom we could hope to survive until the 7 ulcers and the Second Coming of Jesus.[13]
The question is whether a prophet of God can have even one only false vision? Let us look at some biblical stories.
The old prophet in I Kings 13:11-18 had had no vision, he did lie of his own will. We accept that Ellen White did not lie deliberately like this man. It is true, that in her works she’s taken a lot from other authors without having quoted them (until she was rebuked), but we tend to accept her son’s explanation that she’d made it unwittingly (we shall talk about it in a while).
Many people throughout the churches tend to accept the non-biblical opinion that if a certain prophet has somehow sinned in his life, then the devil comes to him and gives him false visions. Balaam was overtaken by greed, so “he loved the wages of wickedness” (II Peter 2:15). Although he was warned by God not to go against the Israelites, he went to Balack, the king of Moab with the inward desire to curse the ascendants of Abraham in order to get the promised reward. But at the opening of his mouth, blessing came out instead of a curse (Numbers, chapters 22, 23 and 24). Apostle Paul says, that “God’s gifts and his calls are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).
The Lord would never allow his messengers to get visions by the demons as well, for people would not trust them anymore since they would talk both truths and fallacies. There is not a single case in the Bible when a servant of God had false visions. That is why a certain man is either a God’s prophet and what he says is in accordance with the Word and surely comes to reality, or is a false prophet, if he has got even one only false prophecy and we don’t have to be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:22; Ezekiel 13:3-9).[14]
According to point 3, a true prophet ought to admit that Jesus Christ did come in flesh. The Apostle John wrote his first letter at the end of the 1st century. He is pointing out toward one of the existing in this period of time heresies, later named Docetism. The Gnostics and Markion used to claim that beside his outward human appearance, Christ was in fact only a spiritual being (dokeo - look like, seem). This false teaching doesn’t admit the incarnation and denies the validity of the redemption and the resurrection in flesh. The whole context of the paragraph I John 4:1-6 (and of the whole New Testament) tells us that we have to come to the knowledge of the true Messiah through the Word, to bow before Him as Lord and Savior and to give our lives to Him. Any divergence from the right interpretation of the Scriptures leads to an understanding of another ”Jesus”, who cannot save. These false doctrines are coming, in fact, from the spirit of Antichrist. Thus John pointed out one of the fallacies but did not count it as the one and only deception of the devil. A great number of heresies exist, which admit Jesus had come in flesh - the Ebionites, the Arians, the Apollinares, the Nestorians, etc., and at the same time present other deviations from the truth. There are a number of such teachings in the Adventism itself, which distort the right biblical meaning: the human nature of Jesus was sinful, His pre-incarnation name was Archangel Michael, He is conveying an investigative judgment of the lives of the believers and so on. So it is not enough that a certain spirit should confess Christ as come in flesh, in order to admit it as coming from God. We shouldn’t forget that the Holy Spirit speaks in perfect consent with the Word of God and guides us into all truths (John 16:13).
Point 4 - “you will know them by their fruit”. Many of the Adventists magnify Ellen White, and even exalt her into a kind of a cult. That is what an author of theirs has written: “Ellen White was an extraordinarily honest and sincere woman, whose life can be regarded as an example for Christian ministry. It is out of question that she could be suspected of any kind of deceit or using her prophetic gift for achievement of her own goals. She committed her life entirely to serve people and their coming to know Jesus Christ.”[*][15] However there are some circumstances, which throw certain discredit over her life and work. We shall quote a paragraph from the letter of her son W. S. White to Le Roy Edwin Froom (the latter became secretary to the pastor department of the movement later), in order to enlighten better the accusations toward Ellen White by her critics (many of them - from the Adventists): “Concerning the reading of books by contemporary authors in the time when these materials were written down, we can say a little, because while she was writing, sister White hardly had any time for reading. Before starting to write about the life of Christ, she read some parts of the books by Hannah, Fleetwood, Farath and Gaky. I don’t know if she’d ever read Edersheim. At times she consulted Andrews, but most of all in relation to the chronology.
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[*] “A gift of light” p. 76
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Why did she read these books? The important events in the controversy of the ages, described in “The Great Controversy”, she had been seeing partly and under different circumstances. In the first vision she saw only some more general things, which have been included in the third part of the book “Early works”.
It was after a certain period of time that she was shown the great events from the age of the patriarchs and the lives of the prophets. They are now published in “Testimonies toward the church” and in a number of articles in “Review”, “Signs of times” and “Sobern Watchmen”. In this series, if you can recollect it, the lives of Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah and other prophets were described.
She was shown the great events in the life of our Lord, as well as other parts of the Great Controversy, in a scenic vision. In some of these scenes she saw quite distinctly the chronology and geography. In the bigger part of the revelation, the scenes passing like lightnings were extremely clear, but the conversations and the dialogues she heard, were not geographically and chronologically associated. That’s why sister White had to study the Bible, the history and the writings of other authors, who had written about our Lord’s life.
Another reason that made sister White read the history and “The life of our Lord and of Saint Paul”[16] , was her desire to recollect the scenes, which she had so distinctly seen in visions, but which had faded from her memory during the long years of hard work.
Many times she found in the books of Hanna, Haran and Fleetwood descriptions of scenes, which she had quite clearly seen, but already forgotten. She could describe much more than what she had read.
Beside the ability, given to her by God, to describe scenes from the lives of Jesus, the Apostles, the prophets and the reformers in a manner, much more touching than the other historians, she kept always feeling her lack of education. She used to admire the way other authors described to their readers the scenes, which she had seen. She considered it was not only pleasure, but convenience and time-saving as well, to use their phrases fully or in parts in the description of things, which she knew by revelation and wished to tell her readers ( we cannot be sure, however, that the ability to see certain scenes from the past was given her by God, since a great number of ocultists also claim to have been shown in visions some historical and/or biblical events by the spirits they communicate with – author’s note – V.V.)
She has used quotation marks in many of her manuscripts. In other cases she didn’t use them. The habit to use parts of other authors’ sentences and to insert them in her themes, was neither based on some definite plan, nor was called in question by the scribes until 1885.
When the critics pointed out this peculiarity of her manner as a reason to doubt her writing gift, she did not pay any attention to them. After a certain time, when complaints by other authors and publishers came, my mother made drastic changes – you are acquainted with them.”[*]
In other words, she can be accused of several things. First of all - of having taken many of the ideas in her books away from other authors. Her son is trying to convince the skeptics, that the scenes she had taken from their works, were already shown to her in visions before, but she had forgotten them. We cannot say whether this sounds to her supporters trustworthy, but to the sober Christian this is a total absurd. We cannot find any story in the Bible of a prophet who could not recollect the revelations given to him and who had to read them out from other people’s books. Surely, such a person can’t be any messenger, whom God had appointed to transmit in complete accuracy His Word. (There are certain things that the biblical writers have not revealed to us - II Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 10:4, etc. not because they had forgotten, but because it was forbidden to them by the Lord).
But can there be another explanation as well? W. S. White in a letter to this same person six years later, seems obviously to have forgotten what he had said in this one, as he notices that his mother had a very good memory.[**] Other witnesses also say that she was in perfect awareness to the very end of her life and could easily remember different events. If so, why did she have to take her ideas out of other places? Perhaps, it would be better to accept such an answer - that she “had always felt her lack of education” (she had passed only three grades of primary school). That is why she “considered as a convenience” to use what already had been told before her on a certain topic. So the question arises to what extent her works are authentic.
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[*] “Selected news” vol. 3, p. 396-397
[**] “Selected news” vol.3, p 399
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Beside this, just like the very Adventists confess, the Bible is the infallible Word of God, and everything necessary for our salvation was already said in it. That is why it is obligatory for all the Christian denominations to originate from it only. Then why those Adventist doctrines in the books of Ellen White which differ from the Christian ones, take their sources not from the Holy Scriptures, but from her own visions and those of their other prophets? We have already mentioned that there are dozens and hundreds of unconformities between their revelations and the texts of the Old and the New Testament. The way the other cults have appeared, was absolutely identical. Their specific doctrines do not take their sources from the Bible only, but mostly from the revelations, prophecies, the additional sacred books, etc. of their founders.
Third, is it true, that “the inspiration by God of Ellen White’s works doesn’t extend to a lesser degree compared to the one of the Holy Scriptures”[*]? Let us recall that she was identified with “the spirit of prophecy” from Revelation 19:10. The books dedicated to her, say that she had always done her best to describe in perfect accuracy the visions given to her, that an angel used to tell her what she was to leave and what to remove from her works, etc. How are we to understand then what W. S. White says about a whole army of editors working over her works, correcting the inaccuracies?[**] She, herself, had often revised what she had written too. She had even changed her mind on basic doctrinal questions (as other Adventist sources also agree). Did the authentic text of the 66 canonic books of the Old and the New Testament, inspired by God, have to be corrected thus as well? What kind of trust-worthiness can her works pretend to have altogether, when there isn’t any concrete prediction in them, which have come to reality (on the contrary - there are prophecies proved false), and her visions and teachings differ from the Bible that much. (As we have said, a great number of adventist authors, having impartially studied the works of this “prophetess”, have already rejected the myth about her inspiration by God – see the end of the fourth note).
And fourth (though not the last in significance) - a number of writers, telling biographical details about the life of Ellen White, mention that she used to preach regularly. Is this admissible from the Word’s point of view? That’s what the Apostle Paul says about it: “I do not permit a woman to teach, or to have authority over a man.” (I Timothy 2:12), “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says…If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command” (I Corinthians 14:34, 37). Her supporters attempt to justify her by saying she had not a leading position in the church, but still the question stands why she had been preaching. If she pretends to be a prophet and a spiritual person, she should confess herself that the Lord had forbidden to women to teach in the church. In the Bible women-prophetesses are mentioned indeed: Miriam - Moses’ sister; Deborah- Lappidot’s wife; Huldah - Shallum’s wife, Anna - the daughter of Phanuel, the four daughters of Philip, etc. (see Exodus 15:20; Judges 4:4; II Kings 22:14; Luke 2:36; Acts 21:9). We can understand from the general context of the Word how this gift has been practiced. People used to come to consult God through them (see Judges 4:4).[17] It is possible for some of the women to have prophesied in the church (I Corinthians, chapter 14), but in these cases the Holy Spirit did speak through them, i.e. they didn’t speak anything of themselves. It was never told that the women - prophetesses have preached or taught God’s people.[18] Do the Adventists consider this a little disobedience to the commandments of God, especially on account of its systematic character in the life of “such a great servant of God”, given to us as an example. That is why even now there are preaching women in their churches. Jesus says: “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).
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[*] “A gift of light” p. 92
[**]“Selected news” vol. 3, p. 374-401
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The last fifth point of our analysis of the prophetic gift of Ellen White is her physical status in time of vision. This is how it was described by R. Coon: “In such time a countenance of peace and beatitude used to come on her face. The visions lasted between several minutes and two hours. During this time, she didn’t breathe - a fact, confirmed by the doctors. Her eyes were open and upward looking, as if she was staring at something very interesting and important. No attempts to distract her would have succeeded. In time of vision, she used to walk slowly around the room and sometimes to narrate what she was seeing. Her movement was supple and graceful. When the vision came to its end, she used to take a deep breath. No negative consequences appeared to her health because of the visions...”[*]
Since the Adventists compare her status to the one of Daniel (Dan. 10:17) and of Balaam (Numbers 24:4), let us talk about these Old Testament prophets. Daniel’s visions used to be quite dreadful and he says he was frightened and he shivered at their sight (Daniel 4:5; 8:17; 10:10-12,19). When he saw the vision in chapter 10, pointed out by the Adventists, he became powerless and his vigor turned to smoldering (Dan. 10:8). This means that his vital processes were lowered to a certain degree, when he was hardly breathing (10:17), he had no strength left (10:8,16, 17) and he was stunned (10:9) by all he had come through. (Anyone, who has ever been through such a horror, would agree that this is the very status in it). If he had said that his strength had went out completely, we would have be right to accept that he had stopped breathing and that he was totally powerless. So when he says, “my strength is gone and I can hardly breathe” (10:17), it is not to be literally taken. The next verse says that the one, who touched Daniel, has supported him, i.e. has given him strength; but he was not said to have revived him, because he was nearly dead (10:18).[19]
If the Adventist would like to take literally the phrase “My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe”, then not only the breathing of Ellen White should have completely stopped, but she should have had no power at all as well during this time. But we already said that she had moved around in perfect fluency. She had even held once in her left hand, stretched up forth, a heavy family Bible, while pointing out different paragraphs in it with her right hand in order to explain the things she was seeing in her vision.[**] (It is quite strange however, that she had talked while she was supposed not to breathe; it is most likely that some spirit was speaking through her, by imitating (or using) her voice).
Balaam was only said to have had his eyes open, while he was in time of vision (Numbers 24:3-4, 15-16). No dreadful events were revealed in his visions (Numbers 23:7-10, 18-24 and 24:3-9, 15-24). That’s why no impair to his physiological processes had occurred, i.e. they went on normally. No supernatural changes to the vital functions of the servants of God in time of revelation is ever mentioned in the Scriptures and no such criteria exist for distinguishing between the true and the false prophets.
There are followers of the eastern religions however, who have the ability to stop not only their breathing, but their heart-beating too, for a couple of days.[20] Many of these cases were scientifically documented as well. For example, there was an experiment announced in a yogi-book, which was also published in the American “Heart Journal”: “In an issue, the data from the researches and the observations, made by some physiologists and cardiologists on the 60-year old Sathiamurty, were published. He had come to the state of anabiosis of his body through Samadhy - the last degree of the yogi training complex. His body was hermetized in a container with a volume of 1,5 cubic meter and a basic surface of 1 square meter, placed at a depth of two meters below the ground. Only the electrodes registering all changes in his organism through special medical devices were his connection to the surface.
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[*] “A gift of light” p. 82-83
[**] “A gift of light” p. 13
16

His heart frequency was normal before the sealing of the container. Then it increased gradually until it reached 250 beats per minute. Later on it began to decrease and stopped at the 19-th minute.
Five hours later the temperature of his body decreased from 36 to 25 C. Thus it went on until the morning of the eighth day.
Half an hour before the time appointed to open the container, his pulse became normal (in the beginning there was a trend to increase to 250 beats per minute, and then while the container was dehermetised, it gradually slowed down)”.[*]
In this state, many people claim (not only him), to have mystic visions, in which they often meet spiritual teachers, who reveal them the deep secrets of the sacred books of different religions and show them heavenly beauties. Some of them say they have spoken with Jesus, Who explained to them a number of doctrines and did take them to paradise. It is useless to say that these experiences go too far from the Christianity and the visions of paradise differ from what the Bible tells us about this place. A number of ocultists also claim that in time of delirium (trance), they are able to see many historical and biblical scenes, as well as future world events.
The status of Ellen White was really supernatural (we have already said that if human cells remain with no oxygen for more than 15 minutes, biological death occurs). But people can’t do miracles - some kind of spiritual power is to have a finger in this. We are warned in the New Testament that we have to test if the spirits come from God (I John 4:1). These are the criteria: if the prophet talks concrete things, which do always come to reality (Deuteronomy 18:22), and if his teaching is concordant with the Holy Scriptures (Isaiah 8:28). The true prophets are to fit them both. With Ellen White, as we have already seen, the first requirement is not met. We shall make in a while a detailed analysis of the Adventist doctrines which she had taught, in order to check if they maintain the right biblical position on the questions discussed. This will be the best test if the Holy Spirit did speak through her, or the prophecies, miracles and signs in her life are some other spirit’s work.
The Adventists owe to Ellen White the so-called “health reform”, which was conveyed in their church, too. It includes a system of rules, through which the health of the person is to be preserved - a clean home, a clean body, appropriate garments, enough movement, rest and sleep, clean and nourishing food, a good posture, healing through the air, the water, the sun and herbs, etc. Some of their authors attempt to convince us that this system is unique and ahead of its time. Will they be disappointed if we say that the peoples of India, China, Japan, etc. have been practicing for centuries the same healthy rules? There is no difference between the foods and the nutrition, recommended by the eastern religions and by Ellen White.
We see nothing wrong in the eagerness of believers to aim to preserve themselves, while this still isn’t at the expense of their ministry to God. In medical literature we can find much better and profound recommendations for healthy nutrition and way of life, as well as the diseases, which can occur at their non-observation, than the ones from the works of Ellen White. In our opinion, it is better to consult doctors, since the results from their researches are clinically proved and with the contemporary appliances, diseases can be diagnosed easily, so that the proper methods of treatment could be defined as well.
There are some things in the Adventist diets that do not meet the requirements of the teaching of the New Testament. For instance, Ellen White recommends meat not to be eaten (including chicken and fish): “Many people die because of diseases, caused by the eating of meat and nevertheless the world doesn’t seem to have grown wiser” (“Spiritual gifts”, p.4), “The susceptibility to illnesses grows tenfold with the consumption of meat” (“Testimonies toward the church”, p.2).[**]
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[*] “Yogi” p. 21-22
[**] “A gift of light” p. 38
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Jesus did eat meat - not only the lamb at the Passover, but we can suggest - from all the clean animals, according to the Law of Moses. Even after His resurrection, He ate fish (Luke 24:41-42, John 21:9-13). This leads us to the idea that, after our resurrection, when we will get new spiritual bodies (I Corinthians 15:44), we are also to eat meat in His kingdom (Luke 22:29-30). The Apostles did eat meat too - lamb, fish, etc. Jesus Himself purified all food (Mark 7:19), later confirmed by Peter after the Pentecost (Acts 10:9-16). That’s why Paul says clearly to the Gentiles, that they can eat everything, which can be found at the butcher’s (I Corinthians 10:25). It is possible that Jewish Christians have consumed only meat from clean animals for the rest of their lives, but they have kept all the rites of the Law in order not to stammer their fellow-countrymen (Acts 21:17-26).
The Law was “put in charge to lead” the Old Testament people like children are led, and through it the Lord had given them symbols of some spiritual truths. Jesus said that “man does not live on bread alone” (Luke 4:4). The clean animals used to symbolize the true teachings of the Bible, and the unclean ones - the false and heretical doctrines, i.e. the spiritual food, which can be either good or bad, can either save or destroy. Apostle Paul explains that: ”The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” and that: “everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” and “…no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean” (I Corinthians 10:26; I Tim. 4:4; Romans 14:14). i.e. all animals’ meat is not harmful for man[21] , but the conditional separation of clean and unclean ones in the Old Testament was with the purpose to teach people a certain spiritual truth.[22]
According to the Christian understanding everyone is to consume or not meat to his own mind, but without imposing to others his way of life: “One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man, who eats everything, must not look down on him, who does not, and the man, who does not eat everything must not condemn the man, who does, for God has accepted him. (Romans 14:2-3), “But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat ,and no better if we do” (I Corinthians 8:8). It is strange therefore, that the reformatory part of the Adventism doesn’t baptize those of its followers, who do eat meat. It would do good if its leaders ask themselves what do they hold to – the teaching of the New Testament or the doctrines of Ellen White? (For is it possible that these people may think they are meeting some high spiritual standards by their meat-eating denial? If so, they are likely to have lifted themselves up higher than Christ and the Apostles).[23]
The using of alcohol - wine, spirits, etc. was forbidden in the Adventist churches.[24] What does the New Testament say about this? Jesus did drink wine (Matthew 11:19), and so did His disciples (Luke 5:33). Apostle Paul advises men and women in the churches not to indulge in much wine (I Tim. 3:8; Titus 2:3). Wine is going to be in use in the kingdom of God, too (Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18, 29-30).[25] Naturally, if one cannot help himself and goes too far in drinking, it would be better for him to give up alcohol totally, for those “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21; I Corinthians 6:10). But the consumption of alcohol is never to become a condition for membership in the church - this is not biblical: “Therefore let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink…” (Col. 2:16).[26]
The most disturbing statements of Ellen White however, are those, claiming that our salvation somehow depends on the healthy diets (i.e. the rejection of some foods): “…Only a few have come to understand thus far the great relation between their nutrition and their health, character and their usefulness in this world, and last but not the least, their eternal salvation or destruction…” (Testimonies, volume 1).[*] Paul has warned: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons...they… order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth” (I Tim. 4: 1-3).
When the healthy manner of living turns into an end in itself, it may hinder our ministry in the belief. We will have to set apart a lot of our time to prepare “pure” food, keep to diets, all kind of health cares, etc. Our bodies will turn into idols, which we shall regard above all. In our ministry to God, we may have to exhaust ourselves sometimes, as the Apostles had to - in thirst or hunger, by cold and hot weather, to come through dirty jails and to eat stinky food, even to end up in disgraceful death. What shall we choose - keeping our health and long life or obeying the will of God?
We shall take the liberty to advise the Adventists the same way as Paul did with the Jewish Christians: “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.” (Hebrews 13:9).
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[*] “Concise Adventist encyclopedia” p. 66
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NOTES:
[1] The three Christian denominations – Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have a significant unity on the basic biblical doctrines. The differences concern doctrines of secondary importance, which are not crucial to the human salvation.
Since the Adventists have separated themselves from the historical Christianity and because of their substantial differences from the Word of God, they can’t be called a Christian denomination, so we shall hold to this division later on, too.
[2] The Deism is a teaching, which claims that God had created the world, but does not interfere in its development anymore.
[3] “The Baptists of the seventh day”- a religious community, which appeared in XVII century in Britain, and preaches baptizing of adults only, having its assemblies on the Sabbath-day. Later it has spread out in the United States also and today it numbers about 6 000 people. The Adventists have taken a big part of their teachings about the Sabbath from them.
[4] During the First World War (1914), some Adventists disapprove their leaders’ decision to take part in it. They have set apart and put the beginning of the so- called ”Reformatory movement”, which grew to become worldwide in 1923. Later on (1948-51), new wings appeared in it, and the total number of its followers counts about 2 mln people today. We shall quote B. Assenov : “The Adventists -reformers are notable for their extreme religious pacifism - their members carry no weapons, do no military service, and take part in no wars. They observe more strictly the sanitary reform - they use vegetarian food only, they abstain from sexual life, etc. (We shall discuss the health reform at the end of this chapter once again – author’s note). Their strict holding to the requirements of the teaching leads to their definition as more conservative and fanatic in their faith.”(“The religions and cults in Bulgaria”, p.162).
(Since the end of the fifties of the XX century until now, a number of authors from the traditional Adventist church bring forth contradictions by rejecting the inspiration by God of Ellen White. Today their supporters form the inner evangelical movement in their circles, but unfortunately the biggest part of the heretic doctrines are still held strong to in it, too.
[5] The Decalogue - the Ten Commandments, written by God on the two tables of stone (the so called “scrolls of the Covenant”), which Moses got on the mountain (Exodus 31:18; 34:1-4, 28).
[6] The vision of the “three steps” was later given to Ellen White also. But it doesn’t speak about the day of the Second Advent miscalculated by Miller.
[7] In a more general sense, all of the redeemed Old- and New-Testament believers, belonging to God, have been called a church (Acts 7:38).
[8] The followers of this movement point out as their forefathers some churches and groups of believers, which have rested on the Sabbath day since the appearance of Christianity until their arising in 1844. These communities though, did worship to God on Sunday and did not maintain their special doctrines. Because of this they cannot be admitted as the real predecessors of the Adventists.
If the ones that kept the Sabbath represented the Christian church, then it had incessantly grown smaller until the middle of the 19th century. Then quite small groups of this kind were left in some countries, counting totally less than several thousand people. The Scriptures tell us the very contrary, i.e. that from the time of its appearance on, the church is to grow bigger and bigger, until it overcomes the whole world: “…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”, “…But the Word of God continued to increase and spread” (Acts 1:8; 2:47; 12:24). Until the middle of the first century there were in Jerusalem only dozens of thousands of Jews converted (Acts 21:20). Together with the rest of the Jews and the Gentiles, the number of Christians reached even then hundreds of thousands and even millions. According to the history, in the next centuries, it was already dozens and hundreds of millions. The spreading of the belief had never stopped its victorious progress, i.e. the peoples, turned to Christ, have gradually grown more and this goes on even nowadays - Christians number more than 1 300 000 000 people today (others point about 2 milliard people - see Revelation 7:9).
[9] Eschatology - the science for the last times.
[10] As far as we know, the most beautiful castles in Europe, Asia, Africa and other parts of the world, were not consumed by fire in the XX century. Even in the time of the World Wars all of them (except for a few only), have been preserved.
[11] Now we shall open a bracket and try to explain the way the devil can tell the future also. We know from the Bible that satan calls the believers in the sight of the Lord in order to tempt them (Job 1:11, 2:5; Luke 22:31-32), and the unbelievers are “taken…captive to do his will” (II Tim. 2:26). When he gets permission by God to do something to a certain person (Job 1:12; 2:6), he can tell the ones he communicates with, about what he is to do in advance. That’s how some people can foretell the fate of others. When it concerns certain world events, satan holds to the biblical prophecies, but since he knows not the details, his predictions are usually too general, vague and obscure.

[12] The General Conference - the highest governing body of The Church of the Adventists of the Seventh Day.
[13] The defenders of the “great Adventist ministers” are continuously looking for some “biblical” justification for their prophecies, which did not come true and for their deceitful teachings. They have introduced the term “conditional prophecy” to mark the occasions, when “God predicts a certain thing, but for one or another reason, it doesn’t happen”!? In order to give us an example, they point out the seventh chapter of the book of prophet Amos, etc.
So, let us say a few words about this: The Lord really talks to Amos in the beginning about the things, He could do to His people because of their iniquities (7:1-6). But He is giving him the opportunity to intercede for them. He allowed Abraham to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah in this same way before (Genesis 18:16-38). Moses was also allowed to turn His anger away twice, when He said He was going to destroy the Israelites because of their disobedience, etc. (Exodus 32:7-14; Numbers 10: 25). God used to try these men out, in order to show us their love and faith, as He knew beforehand what He would have done (see also the cases of Abraham and his son - Genesis, chapter 22; Jesus and the apostles Andrew and Philip - John 6:5-13, etc.). But when He finally announces His decision, it is immutable (Amos 7:7-17). As it was written: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19).
Ellen White did not intercede for anyone’s sake to change what the Lord had announced He would do (as it was in the cases of Amos and Moses by example). On the contrary, she was convinced, that all of her revelations were to come true. Oddly enough, they did not.
When the Lord gives some prophecy, it contains His foreknowledge of what is going to happen for sure. He has already taken to His mind everything - His acts and the acts of the heavenly creatures, of men and living organisms, of nature and so on, and He knows for sure what the final result is going to be. So He says: “I am God and there is none like Me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come.” (Isaiah 46:9-10). There are no prophecies in the Bible, which did not come true (though there are some, which are still to happen, since the time for their realization has not come yet). After all we said, there can be no “conditional” prophecies, either. It would turn otherwise, that the Lord is not quite sure what He will do and how the events will happen, and so He would have to guess or even tell fortunes.
When He is telling the Israelites, that they will obtain great blessings if they hold to the Law, and that awful plagues will flow over them if they do not, this is not a prophecy, but a warning (Deuteronomy, chapter 28). (It is the same in many cases alike, for instance Jonah and the inhabitants of Nineveh, etc.). Since there is an opportunity for different outcomes depending on the free will of men, the warning is always conditional. It seems hard for the Adventist teachers to tell between these things.
(If we accept the doctrine of the “conditional prophecies”, there would be no further criteria to tell apart the true from the false prophets, since the latter will always find some “biblical grounds” to their predictions not fulfilled).
[14] The narration in all of Ellen White’s visions is totally identical, so we come to the conclusion, that her sources were always the same.
[15] The Adventists are quite proud with the fact, that Ellen White is placed the fourth position in the history of literature, as a female author, by the number of translations of her books and as the American author translated the most, from both sexes. But she had been translated that much only because, as we have already said, they have churches all over the world (more than 200 countries) and because her books are read and quoted equally and even more than the Bible in these churches. Outside the Adventists however, her works are completely unknown to the rest of the world. Her creations have never been of any significance for the literature critics, either. This is to show, that they are not quite up to standard (as her supporters attempt to convince us), and are quite below the masterpieces in their area.
[16] Obviously this is about the book by William Hannah “The life of our Lord” (1863).
[17] Deborah, however, never obtained a leading position among the people, as some tend to think. When a war broke out, she sent for Barak to guide the army and did not lead the Israelites like the judges, who were men (Judges 4:6).

[18] What is the ministry of women? When testifying about Jesus, women can talk to men also, which does not mean, that they are teaching them. They only tell them the Gospel then. (In Acts 18:24-26 it is said, that Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos the ways of God more clearly. Even if we accept, that Priscilla took part in this, she had only helped correcting some of the false views of Apollos, but was not his spiritual mentor. Women can also advise other women (Titus 2:3-5), bring up children into the belief (II Tim. 1:5), look after the poor ones (Acts 9:36) and so on.
[19] The vision of the Apostle John was staggering, too. So the phrase “I fell at His feet as though dead (Revelation 1:17) makes us think, that his status was like the one of Daniel.
The soldiers, who were guarding Jesus’ grave, turned “like dead men”(though they were not prophets), when they saw the angel, who rolled the stone off the entrance (Matthew 28:2-4). They are not told to have fallen, i.e. they have obviously been standing shivering, but have turned as pale as dead men at the blinding and fearful sight of the messenger of God.
[20] At the stopping of the blood flow toward the tissues, they get no oxygen and nutrients, and they can’t excrete their waste products, which are toxic, as well. If this lasts for more than 15 minutes, not only the cerebral but also all the cells are to die and an irreversible biological death of the organism takes place.
[21] Would it surprise the Adventists, if we tell that, according to some scientific studies, the pork contains the amino acids, which fit best the needs of the human organism. Its excessive use and inappropriate treatment, however, may lead to digestive problems and some diseases (but not its bad compound). Lately they talk about transplantation of pig’s organs into the human body. The rabbits and the fish with no scales were also named unclean animals (Leviticus 11:5-6; Deuteronomy 14:7,10). It is known today that their meat is very light and beneficial to us. If the adventists fear parasites - teniae, ascarides, etc. it would do good to remind them, that they can get in the body through unwashed hands, vegetables, pets and in many other ways, too. Lately the fruits and vegetables contain a larger quantity of fertilizers’ remainders (nitrates, phosphates, etc.), and poisonous preparations for plant protection as well. What are we to do then - deny them or take some precautions not to use them in a such manner?
[22] Some may think that the long life of the first people is due to their vegetarian nutrition (Genesis 1:29). (If that was truth, the vegetarians nowadays should live as long as them too). But it isn’t clear if Adam and Eve have consumed meat after they were cast away from Eden. God had killed some animals to make them leather garments to wear (3:21), Abel used to sacrifice the firstborn of his flock (4:4) and so on. Whether the meat from those sacrifices was consumed, we don’t know - it is quite likely that they did not throw it away, but ate it, after it was already sanctified as an offering to the Lord (except for the burnt offerings). And though Noah did sacrifice clean animals only (8:20), he and his heirs had the right to live on all kinds of living creatures - fish, reptiles, birds and mammals (9:24). The command of eating only clean animals was given the Israelites thousands of years afterward (Leviticus, chapter 11; Deuteronomy 14:4-13). We have already explained what did the clean and the unclean animals symbolize. By the rites and rules established, the Lord meant to reveal some spiritual truths to His people, the way small children are taught the sensory perception first. Jesus Christ revealed us the very nature of things and the need for the symbols disappeared, so did the distinguishing between the clean and unclean animals. That is why He announced all meals were clean (Mark 7:19).
(The Adventists theoretically admit, that the ceremonial Law has passed away, but concerning the food, they practically keep holding strong to it. Their leaders love to frighten them with Isaiah 66:17: “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things - they will meet their end together, declares the Lord.” If they look deeper in this verse, they could see, that this condemnation concerns some of the Old Testament Israelites, who have worshipped idols and did not obey the command of eating no unclean animals, which was to be kept literally at this time).
God is the One, who gives us life, breathing and all (Acts 17:25). He determines the life expectancy of men (Psalm 90:10) and decides how long every single man is to live (Job 1:18-21; II Kings 20:1-11; Luke 12:15-20). (According to the contemporary scientific researches the life expectancy of different kinds of organisms is genetically encoded and doesn’t depend on the nutrition. By example, the oceanic turtles are the longest living animals and they live on fish and other sea - creatures, the age of some of them is about two or three hundred years. Some kinds of vultures are at the first place among the fowls, and even though they eat only the carrion left after the prowlers, they live up to 100 - 120 years. Among the anthropoid apes, the orangutan and the gorilla are totally vegetarian, but they live only up to 25-30 years. And the chimpanzees, which eat small animals as well, live twice as much as them - about 50 years. According to the documented cases, the longest living person was an Englishman, named Thomas Parr - 152 years. Many people in the Caucasus, Japan and other countries are known to have lived more than 120 years. These people however, were neither vegetarian, nor have abstained from alcohol).
From what was said thus far, we can conclude, that the vegetarian food or the consumption of the meat from clean animals only, are not crucial for our health and length of life. We can eat all that was created for us in order to have an adequate and well balanced nourishment (naturally it would be good to hold to the healthy way of living, recommended by the doctors). But we are not to forget, that our lives are hidden in the Lord and things depend on Him only (Romans 14:17).
[23] One of their “biblical grounds” of the vegetarian diet is in the first chapter of the book of Daniel. They think that God had made the four youths - Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, wiser and more beautiful than all the others, because they did not eat any meat and did not drink wine for three years, but ate vegetables only. Let us remind, that while they were in their mother country, they did eat meat for sure - of all kinds of clean animals, some of which were sacrificed to God as well. The prophet explains that they did not want to taste the precious meals of the King of Babylon in order not to get “defiled” (Daniel 1:8), i.e. it is likely that these foods have been sacrificed to pagan gods beforehand and there was meat from unclean animals among them. So the reason God had promoted them more than the other youths was their faithfulness to Him, and not the food. He had given them knowledge and wisdom, and to Daniel was given also to interpret different dreams and visions (1:17). (The opinion, that food can make us wiser, prettier, healthier, long-living and so on, verges on idolatry, since thus it appears the creator of these faculties instead of God). After King Nebuchadnezzar had appointed them administrators over the province of Babylon, we could suggest they already have had houses of their own (or resting place in the palace - Daniel) and servants, who have prepared them food, according to the Jewish customs. Later on, Daniel tells us that during the government of King Cyrus, he had mourned for a certain time – “I ate no choice food, no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all, until the three weeks were over” (10:3). His statement shows us that he definitely had used wine and meat when he didn’t mourn.
It is well known, that the greatest creators of both art and science, are Christians. As far as we know, they were not vegetarians and ate not only the meat of clean animals. But thus far, we’ve never heard of an Adventist, who became a genius because of the diets he kept to, or the healthy way of life he led. Many of the members of this movement have developed megalomania, because of their opinion, that their church only keeps to the commandments of God (especially the one concerning the Sabbath). It is very strange then, that God decided to promote (likely to the Jewish youths) the ordinary Christians, and not them? We may sound biting at certain places, but Elijah has never been more tolerable toward the false religion of “the prophets” of Baal, either. The sarcastic phrases were used in the hope to make them see themselves the absurdity of their own teachings).
[24] The Adventists think, that in the time of Jesus, the Jews used to drink only sweet wine, which contained no alcohol. So on the Lord’s Supper, they use non -fermented grapes juice. There are, however at least three New Testament texts, which show quite distinctly, that it was not this way. John the Apostle tells the story of the wedding in Cana in Galilee (John 2:1-11). The master of the banquet rebuked the bridegroom that he was to give the good wine first (i.e. the one Jesus had made as a wonder) and then, only after the guests got drunk of it, the worse one was to be offered, so that they could not distinguish its taste anymore. Apostle Paul also claims, that Christians have used fermented wine when they gathered together (I Corinthians 11:21). In Acts 2:13,15 it is said, that even the sweet wine the Jews used to drink, contained alcohol.
[25] When Paul says: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”, he wants to note, that the important in it are the spiritual ones (Romans 14:17). There we are to eat from the tree of life and to drink from the river of life for sure - Revelation 2:7; 21:6; 22:1, 2, 14, 17).
The words by Paul in I Corinthians 6:13: “Food for the stomach and the stomach – for food - but God will destroy them both”, in the light of what was already said on this topic, are to be understood this way: God will destroy the physical body and the material food at the disappearing of the old creation. But He will give us new bodies and better food in the new world. (For more thorough interpretation of the passages in Romans 14:17 and I Corinthians 6:13 see “Believer’s Bible Commentary - New Testament” by William MacDonald).
[26] The use of alcoholic drinks was not specially mentioned. This is why we think, that what the New Testament says about the wine, concerns them also. (The scientific research has confirmed, that people who use them in moderation, have conserved their mental faculties better until good old age, than the ones, who never drank).
Apostle Paul speaks: “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine…” (Romans 14:21). In the context of the whole chapter, these words mean that we shouldn’t do anything, which can tempt some people from the church, i.e. we are not to hinder the ones, who are weaker in the belief. Even if we have our convictions, that we can eat and drink everything, we would not walk in love, if we make the ones, for whom Jesus had died, perish. (If “not to eat meat and drink wine” is the best for us in itself, then Jesus and the Apostles don’t seem to have given us the best example to follow).

(CHAPTER ІІ: http://kosmos-21.blogspot.com/2011/08/concise-historical-and-biblical_04.html)

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