A Response to: Ellen White contradicts the Bible over fifty times

Ellen G White

A Response to: Ellen White contradicts the Bible over fifty times
by By the volunteers at Ellen-White.com,
Edited by Pastor L. Kevin Morgan, M.A.
Minor graphics and style edits by Edwin M. Cotto.



The answers that follow were originally researched and compiled by volunteers at
www.Ellen-White.com in the spring of 2000. The original response was edited via
feedback from readers, in 2006, and then further edited, in 2018, by pastor and
editor Kevin Morgan. The creators of the original list sent a rebuttal, quietly replacing
two of the alleged contradictions and also adding new alleged contradictions. There
should be enough evidence in the answers provided for the honest seeker after truth
to prayerfully decide about the alleged contradictions. We extend to THE LIST
MAKERS the benefit of the doubt that they were simply unaware of the
information here provided. We pray for them and invite you to pray for them too.

As you review our answers to the alleged contradictions, we encourage you to
claim John 16:13—“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide
you into all truth.” In a great many of the instances, you will find the answers to
the allegations by simply reading on in the passage quoted.
—The volunteers at Ellen-White.com

Explanation of the Exhibit Below

Numbered below, in bold/underlined, are the alleged contradictions, each
followed by a response. The alleged contradictions have been updated to coincide
with the list of contradictions currently available. The two replacement allegations
are designated 9R and 21R, the updated allegation as 21U, and additional
allegations, added after the original list, as 54A, 55A, and 1A15A. All allegations
are as originally written except for the correction of quoted material. Unless
otherwise identified, all scriptures quoted are from the King James Version.
The basis for the alleged contradictions can be grouped in at least one of
seven categories. For the sake of simplicity, the category listed is the primary
issue (see the first line of the response following each alleged contradiction).
Undoubtedly there can be more than one way to see the issues in each item. The
seven categories are given below with examples and are listed according to the
increasing complexity of the issue. A chart that gives a visual representation of
the relative number of each follows.

    the implication that the Tower of Babel was built before the Flood (no. 7)—
    corrected in The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 1 (1870); four allies total
    rather than four allies in addition to Chedorlaomer (no. 55A)—corrected in
    From Eternity Past (1983) and The Beginning of the End (2007); two
    different Herods (no. 6A)—corrected in Sketches from the Life of Paul.
    Moses’ wife’s being called a Cushite (no. 9)—retracted; Israel’s being
    destroyed for gluttony (no. 10); Christ’s being tempted for 40 days (no.
    21)—retracted; John’s surviving being boiled in oil (no. 5A).
  3. OVERLOOKED CONTEXT. Four examples are whether the plan of
    redemption existed before the Fall (no. 1), the application of blood in daily
    sacrifices (no. 13), and whether sickness is sin (no. 45).
  4. SEMANTICAL ARGUMENT. Examples include the use of phrases like
    “with her” (no. 2), “like other children” (no. 14), Christ’s being “truly God”
    (no. 15), who “chose” Judas (no. 17), the difference between “visited
    upon” and “transferred to” (no. 32), and whether Judas had a conviction to
    confess his sin (no. 4A).
    humankind’s second probation (or chance for life) through Christ (no. 24)
    and that we must be perfect before Christ will accept us (no. 38).
  6. DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCE. Examples include differences concerning the
    Sabbath as the seal of God (no. 42), the Investigative Judgment (nos. 25,
    27), and eschatology (no. 46).
  7. NEW DETAILS. Two examples are dogs eating Judas’ remains (no. 18)
    and Mary’s being led away from the cross (no. 22).


EGW: YES. “The kingdom of grace was instituted immediately after the fall of
man, when a plan was devised for the redemption of the guilty race” (The Great
Controversy, p. 347).
BIBLE: NO. 1 Pet 1:18-19 (NIV) 18 For you know that it was not with
perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty
way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious
blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
BIBLE: NO. Eph 1:4 (NIV) 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the
world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Note: The Gospel of salvation through grace by faith in Jesus Christ was
already in existence before the creation of this world. EGW contradicts the Bible
by claiming the plan of salvation was devised after the fall of Adam and Eve.


In this allegation, THE LIST MAKERS have failed to quote the end of Ellen
White’s statement: “It [that is, “the kingdom of grace”] then existed in the
purpose and by the promise of God; and through faith, men could become its
subjects. Yet it was not actually established until the death of Christ” (The
Great Controversy, pp. 347, 348, emphasis added). Thus, she is saying, at the
time the kingdom of grace “was instituted” by the first gospel promise after Adam
and Eve sinned (see Review and Herald, Feb. 24, 1874), it already existed in the
purpose of God, and the kingdom of grace would be established by Jesus’ death
on the cross. For a balanced view of what Ellen White said about this issue, in its
proper context, we recommend the chapter, “The Plan of Redemption,” in the
book Patriarchs and Prophets.

THE LIST MAKERS also chose to ignore Ellen White’s statements that make
clear how the plan existed in the purpose of God long before the Fall. For
example, Ellen White wrote in The Desire of Ages, p. 22: “The plan for our
redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of
Adam. . .” Also, in The Desire of Ages, p. 147, she wrote: “. . . every act of
Christ’s life on earth was in fulfillment of the plan that had existed from the
days of eternity
.” There are numerous statements like these in her writings,
showing that she clearly understood that the plan of redemption predated the

Ellen White’s statement in The Great Controversy does not contradict what the
Bible says about when it was that God planned humankind’s redemption. She
affirms that the plan of redemption was already in the purpose of God. The
contradiction is not in Ellen White’s statement but, rather, in the inability of the
finite mind to grasp how a God who knows the future ever “plans” anything in
anticipation of His actions. After all, no matter what He does, He already knew
He was going to do it. So when did He really decide to do anything? God’s ways
are “past finding out” (Job 9:10); the paradox of how Omniscience works is
beyond the human mind to comprehend. There are many examples in the Bible
of God’s doing things that it seems that He had not originally “planned” to do.
But, of course, knowing all things, He certainly had them in mind. Consider the
following sampling of actions that were seemingly decided at some point in time:

— Michael’s casting the once loyal Satan out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-9)
— God’s deciding to destroy the earth with a flood (Gen. 6:6)
— God’s rejection of King Saul (1 Sam. 16:1)
— God’s planning how to get King Ahab to perish at Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings
— God’s allowing King Hezekiah to live an additional 15 years after
announcing his impending death (2 Kings 20:1-6)
— God’s deciding not to do what He had originally planned to do to the evil
man or nation who repents (Jer. 26:3; 18:8)
— God’s deciding to answer the prayers of those who persevere in their
petitions (Luke 18:7, 8; 11:5-9).

So, when was it that these plans were “devised”? Did God not know “from the
days of eternity” exactly what He was going to do and when He was going to do it?
Returning to the plan of salvation, we conclude that it is beyond the ability of the
human mind to understand how God can “make” a plan while already perfectly
knowing the future. The paradox is due to our inability to comprehend
omniscience. Ellen White’s statements reflect the two perspectives of God’s
actions: what He foreknew and how He acted on that knowledge.
For an additional analysis of this alleged contradiction, go to


EGW: NO. “The angels had cautioned Eve to beware of separating herself
from her husband while occupied in their daily labor in the garden; with him she
would be in less danger from temptation than if she were alone. But absorbed in
her pleasing task, she unconsciously wandered from his side. On perceiving that
she was alone, she felt an apprehension of danger . . . . Unmindful of the angels’
caution, she soon found herself gazing with mingled curiosity and admiration
upon the forbidden tree” (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 53, 54).
BIBLE: YES. Gen 3:6 (NIV) 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree
was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining
wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was
with her, and he ate it.


This allegation is based on interpreting the words, “with her” to mean that
Adam was with Eve while she was at the tree of knowledge of good and evil,
ignoring the context. It would mean that Adam stood idly by while his wife did all
the talking with the serpent. Translated literally, the text reads:
“And when saw the woman that [was] good the tree for food and that pleasant
it [was] to the eyes and desirable a tree to make wise, and she took of its fruit
and ate, and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate.” (Gen. 3:6,
Interlinear Bible, available at https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/3.htm).
The “with her” appears at nearly the end of the description. It was apparently
included because the dialog between the woman and the serpent shows that
Adam was not then present. For her to give the fruit to her husband, he needed
to be “with her,” which he was—after she first spoke with the serpent. Yet, the
facts point to Eve’s approaching the tree of knowledge of good and evil apart
from Adam:

— In the serpent’s conversation with Eve, he never acknowledged Adam’s
supposed presence (Gen. 3:1-5), and Adam’s opinion of Eve’s decision is
never mentioned until after he had eaten. The only comment about Adam in
the narrative in Genesis is that Adam “did eat” (verse 6).

— When confronted by God, Adam did not blame the serpent but, rather, cast
blame on Eve (verse 12). Had he been with Eve at the tree, the two would
logically have blamed the serpent together.

— When confronted by God, Eve did not say, The serpent beguiled us, and
we did eat, but rather, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (verse 13).

Thus, the passage provides no evidence to indicate that Adam was present
when Eve had the conversation with the serpent. Adam is only described as
being “with her” after she had eaten of the fruit—not when she was talking to the
serpent. Many Bible scholars agree that Eve was alone with the serpent at the
tree. We conclude that Ellen White’s account makes the most sense of the
biblical evidence.


EGW: YES. “Satan, who is the father of lies, deceived Adam in a similar way,
telling him that he need not obey God, that he would not die if he transgressed
the law” (Evangelism, p. 598).
BIBLE: NO. 1 Tim 2:14 (NIV) 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was
the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
Note: Who showed E. G. White that Satan deceived Adam, when the Bible says
Adam was not deceived? So who is deceiving us?


Interestingly, the text mentioned above—1 Timothy 2:14—helps make the
case against alleged contradiction number 2. It was Eve who was at the tree. It
was she who was “deceived,” and it was her downfall that then led to Adam’s.
When we read Ellen White’s comments about the fall of Adam, we see that the
statement in Evangelism (written in 1900) is a comparison between the way that
Satan brought down the head of the human race and the way that “false
shepherds” get others to violate the commandments by asserting: “The Lord has
told them that they need not keep the Ten Commandments.” The statement says
that Satan “deceived Adam in a similar way.” Adam accepted the serpent’s
suggestion—through Eve—that he need not obey God’s command. Who
disagrees with that? In Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 56, 57, however, Ellen White
makes it clear that Adam was not deceived in the same way as Eve. He
concocted his own deceptive rationale for violating God’s command against
eating from the tree—that is, to not lose his wife—convincing himself that the
words of the serpent, regarding not dying, might indeed be true. Adam also had
to be “deceived” in some manner, for, had he not been, he never would have
eaten the fruit. Ellen White’s statement acknowledges how Adam accepted the
deception of the Satan that his disobedience would not bring death.
Responding to this allegation is like trying to explain whether or not the
Pharisees were “deceived” when they crucified Christ. In one sense, they were
not. They knew full well that they were killing an innocent man who fit every
biblical description of the Messiah, which is why God holds them accountable for
their sin. Yet, in another sense, because they hardened their hearts against
Jesus, they became self-deceived. As Hebrews 3:13 describes, all sin is in some
way deceitful. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of
you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

EGW: ANGEL. “Through an angel messenger the divine warning was
conveyed: ‘If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?’ “ (Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 74).
BIBLE: Gen 4:6-7, (NIV) 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry?
Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?
But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have
you, but you must master it.”
Note: It is the Lord speaking to Cain in Gen 4:6, 7, 10, 13, 15-16 not an angel
messenger. SDAs often try to reconcile this contradiction by claiming the Lord
spoke to Cain through an angel. If so, then why didn’t the Bible tell us the truth?
When Moses wrote this account, why didn’t God tell Moses He spoke to Cain
through an angel? Why would our omniscient God let Moses write down the
wrong thing? And, if EGW is right, then Jesus was wrong when He said in John
17:17, “Your word is truth.” For EGW to be right, the Bible, Moses, and Jesus
Christ all have to be wrong!
THE LIST MAKERS left out the sentence in Patriarchs and Prophets just
before the sentence they quoted, which says: “And the Lord said unto Cain, ‘Why
art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?’ “
The issue here is whether an angel messenger communicated for God or
whether God communicated directly. The Bible contains many instances that
establish the pattern of the “Angel of the Lord” speaking for and even as God.
Consider the following texts. In the first two, it is “the angel of the LORD” who
finds Hagar, though Hagar identifies the one who spoke to her as “the LORD.”
And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness,
by the fountain in the way to Shur. (Gen. 16:7)
And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest
me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? (Gen.
In the next text, it is “the angel of the LORD” who tells Abraham, in the name
of the LORD, that all nations would be blessed through his seed. Then, in Acts, it
says that it was God who spoke to Abraham.
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second
time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou
hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in
blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars
of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed
shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of
the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Gen. 22:15-18)
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made
with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds
of the earth be blessed. (Acts 3:25)
In the next passage, “the angel of God” identifies himself as “the God of Bethel.”
And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said,
Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which
leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all
that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst
the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out
from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred. (Gen. 31:11-13)
In the next, Jacob uses “God” and “the Angel” interchangeably.
And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham
and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The
Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be
named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let
them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. (Gen. 48:15, 16)
In the final passage, Joshua is standing before “the angel of the LORD,” with
Satan at his right hand, yet it is “the LORD” who, without explanation, addresses
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the
LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said
unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath
chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
(Zech. 3:1-3)
(See other examples in Exod. 3:2-6, 7:30-32; Num. 22:21-23:5; Judges 6:11-
40; 13:3-22; see also Exodus 23:20, 21.)
THE LIST MAKERS have rejected this explanation, insisting that, because
Genesis says, “the Lord,” God could not have spoken through a messenger. The
biblical examples we have listed above would argue otherwise. Ellen White was
aware of God’s pattern of communication in the Bible.

EGW: YES. “But if there was one sin above another which called for the
destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of
man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion
everywhere” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 64).
EGW: YES. “Every species of animal which God had created were preserved
in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result
of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been
amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties
of species of animals, and in certain races of men” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 75).
BIBLE: NO. Gen 1:24-25 (NIV) 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living
creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the
ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made
the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds,
and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And
God saw that it was good.
Note: Five times in these two verses God states that animals can only
reproduce according “to their own kinds.” Horses cannot mate with birds and
produce offspring—neither can humans mate with monkeys and produce offspring.
Even SDA scientists and the Ellen White Estate admit EGW was simply wrong.
Seventh-day Adventists have speculated for years about what Ellen White
meant in the statements quoted above. These two statements and their repetition
in The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, are the only instances in all of her writings in
which Ellen White addressed the issue of amalgamation of species. The
“confused species that God did not create,” which were destroyed by the flood,
are contrasted in the statement with the “species of animal” that were preserved
in the ark (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 75). This indicates that the “confused species”
were animals. Ellen White did not describe how the amalgamation took place.
Today artificial species can be produced through “genetic modification.” Genesis
says, “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh
had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Gen. 6:12), not just humans.
As to whether amalgamation produced new races (as in the allegation), it
should be noted that Ellen White makes no mention of inferior races of humans
before the Flood but only of a single “long-lived race that had corrupted their
ways before him.” Within the context, corruption of “the race” (the term used in
the statement quoted by THE LIST MAKERS) resulted when “the sons of God
mingled with the sons of men” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 64, emphasis).
Amalgamation is the mingling of two dissimilar things. It is most often used to
describe the mixing of two different metals. The human race was corrupted
through the mingling and intermarriage of the “descendants of Seth” with the
“race of Cain” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 60). Ellen White would later re-emphasize
that it was the mingling of the faithful line with the unfaithful that was the
underlying cause of the Flood:
The Scriptures briefly state the reason for the prevailing iniquity in Noah’s
day. The sons of God married the daughters of men. Those who still
cherished the knowledge of God united themselves with the ungodly and
corrupt, and as a result became assimilated to them in character. (The Signs
of the Times, Feb. 16, 1882)
Ellen White would describe this mingling as a “great crime,” a term much like
her earlier description of “base crime” in Spiritual Gifts.
The great crime in the marriages of the days of Noah, was that the sons of
God formed alliances with the daughters of men. Those who professed to
acknowledge and revere God, associated with those who were corrupt of
heart; and without discrimination, they married whom they would. (Review
and Herald, Sept. 25, 1888, emphasis added)
In asserting, “The Ellen White Estate admits EGW was simply wrong,” THE
LIST MAKERS show that they have not read the amalgamation web page at the
Ellen G. White Estate’s website: http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/amalg.html.
There was only one race before the Flood. The different races of humans
came about after the Flood, and Ellen White recognized the real humanity of all
the races.
No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God.
He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all
are one through redemption. (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 386)
Even before the end of slavery, Ellen White would write:
All heaven beholds with indignation, human beings, the workmanship of
God, reduced to the lowest depths of degradation, and placed on a level with
the brute creation by their fellow men. And professed followers of that dear
Saviour whose compassion was ever moved as he witnessed human woe,
heartily engage in this enormous and grievous sin, and deal in slaves and
souls of men. Angels have recorded it all. It is written in the book. The tears
of the pious bond-men and bond-women, of fathers, mothers and children,
brothers and sisters, are all bottled up in heaven. Agony, human agony, is
carried from place to place, and bought and sold. God will restrain his anger
but a little longer. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, pp. 191, 192)
Christ died for the whole human family, whether white or black. God has
made man a free moral agent, whether white or black. (Testimonies for the
Church, vol. 1, p. 358)

EGW: ANGEL. “An angel is seen by the scoffing multitude descending from
Heaven clothed with brightness like the lightning. He closes that massive outer
door, and takes his course upward to Heaven again” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 68,
published in 1864).
EGW: GOD. “. . . God had shut it, and God alone could open it” (Patriarchs
and Prophets, p. 98, published in 1890).
BIBLE: GOD. Gen 7:16 (NIV) 16 The animals going in were male and female
of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
Note: The Bible says the Lord shut Noah in, EGW disagreed in 1864 saying it
was an angel who shut the door. Then twenty-six years later in 1890, she
changed her mind and wrote that it really was God who shut the door. First she
contradicted the Bible and then she contradicted herself. SDAs try to reconcile
EGW with the Bible by saying, “Oh, God used an angel to shut the door.” If so,
then why doesn’t the Bible tell us that? Why is it that none of the Bible prophets
knew God “used an angel”? Why was this information only available to Christians
through EGW? And why does her information contradict every one of the Bible
writers? If the OT Bible record was wrong, then why did Jesus say the Bible is
“truth” (John 17:17)? For EGW to be right, the Bible, Moses, Jesus and Ellen
White have to be wrong!
Ellen White interchanges “angel” and “God” as closing the door. Patriarchs
and Prophets says, “The massive door, which it was impossible for those within
to close, was slowly swung to its place by unseen hands.” The repeated
evidence of Scripture is that God works with humans through the angels, his
“ministering spirits” (Psalm 104:4; Heb. 1:7, 14; see the texts in the answer to
number 4 above). If we classified as a contradiction every example of a prophet
calling the actions of an angel an act of God, it would undermine the very
inspiration of the Bible. Ellen White’s comment takes into account the way that
God accomplished things throughout the Old Testament.

EGW: YES. “This system was corrupted before the flood by those who
separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged in the
building of the tower of Babel” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 301).
BIBLE: NO. Gen 9:28, 11:4 (NIV) 28 After the flood . . . they said, “Come, let
us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we
may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole
Note: This was one of the first EGW contradictions that SDAs found and
corrected. They claimed it was just a typographical error, forgetting that EGW
claimed the “very word” she wrote came from God!
“When writing these precious books, if I hesitated, the very word I wanted to
express the idea was given to me” (Letter 265, 1907, in Selected Messages,
book 3, pp. 51, 52).
“I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing the
vision as in having the vision” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 293).
Why is it that the statement in Spiritual Gifts, published in 1864, seems to
indicate that the tower was built before the Flood? It is obviously a typographical
error. It should have read: “This system was corrupted before the flood, and by
those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged
in the building of the Tower of Babel.” That is how the statement was corrected to
read when it was reprinted in 1870 in The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 1. In 1866,
the editor of The Review and Herald, Uriah Smith, explained to his subscribers
the typo and the needed correction, thus clearing up the whole issue before
republication of the statement in 1870. Thus, the typographical error was caught
by the editors long before THE LIST MAKERS brought it up. (The “system” that
they corrupted was the system of sacrifice ordained by God.)
One need only look at the table of contents in Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, the book in
which the statement quoted above appears, to see that Ellen White knew that the
tower of Babel was built after the Flood. Note the chapter titles and their order:
VI. Crime Before the Flood
VII. The Flood
VIII. After the Flood
IX. Disguised Infidelity
X. Tower of Babel
XI. Abraham
In the chapter entitled “Tower of Babel,” Ellen White declared: “Some of the
descendants of Noah soon began to apostatize. . . . They built them a city, and
then conceived the idea of building a large tower to reach into the clouds . . .”
Accepting this clear statement as it reads together with the order of the
chapters, it is apparent that Ellen White understood when the Tower of Babel
was built. The evidence speaks for itself: in light of all that was written about the
Flood and the tower of Babel in Spiritual Gifts, it is unreasonable to think that
Ellen White, in one sentence, nullified the rest of the book.
Ellen White never claimed to be infallible or that her every word came directly
from God. She acknowledged her dependence on God to remember what she
had seen in vision. Her comment in 1907 that God helped her to find “the very
word” that she needed to express “the idea” given to her is proof itself that she
did not claim that God had dictated her messages word for word. Her son W. C.
White explained: “Mother has never laid claim to verbal inspiration” (Ellen G.
White: The Later Elmshaven Years, 1905–1915, p. 332). Early Adventist editor
Uriah Smith wrote: “The words may not be inspired, while at the same time the
ideas, the facts, the truth, which those words convey, may be divinely
communicated” (“Which are Revealed, Words or Ideas?” Review and Herald,
March 13, 1888, p. 169). For a fuller treatment of Ellen White’s view of
inspiration, see Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 21.

EGW: YES. “The dwellers on the plain of Shinar disbelieved God’s covenant
that He would not again bring a flood upon the earth. Many of them denied the
existence of God and attributed the Flood to the operation of natural causes. . . .
One object before them in the erection of the tower was to secure their own
safety in case of another deluge. By carrying the structure to a much greater
height than was reached by the waters of the Flood, they thought to place
themselves beyond all possibility of danger. And as they would be able to ascend
to the region of the clouds, they hoped to ascertain the cause of the Flood”
(Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 119).
BIBLE: NO. Gen 11:4 (NIV) 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a
city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for
ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (1).
It is not a contradiction to give more information or details than a previous
inspired account. Giving additional details is, in fact, one of the tasks of a prophet
of God. Verse 4 states that the antediluvians built the tower to reach the heavens
to give themselves renown, an act of rebellion against God. Verse 6 implies that
God confused their speech to curb their rebellion. Ellen White in no way denies
or contradicts what the Bible says, but merely provides another “object” in the
rebellious construction of such a tall structure: namely, to give the people an
advantage in the event of a future flood. All subsequent prophets who added
information after Moses would “contradict” the Torah if judged in the way Ellen
White is being judged in the allegation.

[This is THE LIST MAKERS’ original allegation number 9, which they later
EGW: YES. “Miriam . . . complained of Moses because he married an
Ethiopian [Cushite] woman” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4, p. 19).
EGW: NO. “Though called a ‘Cushite woman’ (Numbers 12:1, R.V.), the wife
of Moses was a Midianite, and thus a descendant of Abraham” (Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 383).
BIBLE: YES. Num 12:1 (KJV) 1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses
because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an
Ethiopian woman.
In this instance, Ellen White even quotes the Bible, which confirms that Miriam
had accused Moses of marrying an Ethiopian, or “Cushite,” woman. Obviously
she is not trying to hide a contradiction. She is saying that Zipporah was called a
“Cushite,” even though she was from Midian. The Bible itself agrees that she was
a Midianite. Exodus 2:15, 16; 3:1; 18:1 says that her father was “priest of Midian,”
confirming that Zipporah was raised in Midian. There is no contradiction between
the two points. Ellen White’s statements take all the Biblical evidence into
account instead of just one reference or another.
[This is THE LIST MAKERS’ replacement number 9 after reading our
EGW: THE SERPENT. “The serpent plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree and
placed it in the hands of the half-reluctant Eve” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 55).
EGW: EVE. “Without a fear she [Eve] plucked and ate” (Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 56).
BIBLE: EVE. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for
food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took
some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6).
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (2).
The Bible simply says that Eve “took some and ate it,” as THE LIST MAKERS
correctly pointed out. The alleged contradiction makes it appear that Ellen White
contradicted herself by saying in one place that the serpent plucked the fruit for
Eve and in another that Eve took the fruit herself. One can see by the references
that both quotations come from Patriarchs and Prophets, with the serpent picking
the fruit first and Eve taking it from him, and then Eve plucking additional fruit.

EGW: YES. “God granted their desire, giving them flesh, and leaving them to
eat till their gluttony produced a plague, from which many of them died”
(Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 148).
BIBLE: Num 11:4-6 (NIV) 4 The rabble with them began to crave other food,
and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!
5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons,
leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see
anything but this manna!”
Num 11:31-34 (NIV) 31 Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in
from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above
the ground, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. 32 All that day and night and
all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less
than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. 33 But while
the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the
anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe
plague. 34 Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they
buried the people who had craved other food.
Note: EGW says the Israelites died because their gluttony produced a plague.
The Bible says God struck them with a “severe plague” because they “craved
other food” (Numbers 11:4, 31-35).
SDAs try to justify EGW’s error by appealing to Psalm 105:40 which says:
“They asked, and he brought them quail and satisfied them with the bread of
heaven.” However, Psalm 105:40 refers to the first time God gave His people
quail to eat at the same time He began giving them manna (Exodus 16:11-13).
There’s nothing in Exodus 16:11-13 or Psalm 105:40 about gluttony or people
dying because they ate too much meat or manna. Anyone thinking EGW was
referring to Exodus 16:11-13 has to admit she contradicted the Bible by saying
people died from gluttony when there was no gluttony and no one died from
eating quail!
The fact is Ellen White was referring to the second time God sent quail
(Numbers 11:13, 18-23, 31-34). God told them He would give them enough meat
to eat for a month—enough to eat until it “came out their nostrils!” The Bible says
a wind from God blew quail into the camp until they were piled three feet deep all
around the camp. And the Bible says the people went out and gathered quail all
day, all night, and all another day. The Bible says after they gathered it, and
spread it around the camp, the “anger of the Lord burned against the people, and
he struck them with a severe plague” “when the meat was still within their teeth.”
EGW plainly contradicted the Bible by claiming they died from gluttony when no
gluttony occurred in either incident!
It is puzzling how THE LIST MAKERS would think that Ellen White’s statement
and the Bible account are contradictory. THE LIST MAKERS claim that no one
had eaten or swallowed any food when God destroyed them, so their gluttony
couldn’t have been what angered God. According to the biblical description, the
plague came when the meat was “still between their teeth.” Did over a million
people practice synchronized eating, starting and stopping eating at precisely the
same time? Is it not reasonable to think that some people had just begun to eat,
while others may have already had seconds and thirds? THE LIST MAKERS
point out that God promised to give them “enough meat to eat for a month” until it
would come out of their nostrils (Num. 11:20). The Bible says that, after they had
each gathered no less than ten omers of quail apiece, God struck them with a
plague “before” the meat “could be consumed.” This means that, as a group, they
were still eating when God struck them down; the meat was “still between their
teeth.” Does that not sound like a judgment for gluttony?
In case there may still be some doubt, there is another biblical account of the
incident. Psalm 78:26-31, which is a cross reference in many Bible versions,
including the New American Standard version, reveals just how much they had
He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought
in the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered
fowls like as the sand of the sea: And he let it fall in the midst of their camp,
round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled: for he
gave them their own desire; they were not estranged from their lust. But
while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon
them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of
Israel. (Psalm 78:26-31)
In their rebuttal, THE LIST MAKERS brought up Psalm 105:40, to which we
did not “appeal” in our response, but failed to address the facts in Psalm 78, a
passage that clearly refers to the second giving of quail and points out that they
“were well filled” and were following “their lust” in gorging themselves with quail.
Re-reading Ellen White’s account, we see that she brought all the evidence
together in a single verbal picture, describing the gluttony that occasioned God’s

EGW: NO. “There He honored Elijah by sending food to him morning and
evening by an angel of heaven” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 288,
written in 1873).
EGW: YES. “He who fed Elijah by the brook, making a raven His messenger”
(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 253, written in 1876).
BIBLE: YES. 1 Kin 17:4, 6 (NIV) 4
. . . I have ordered the ravens to feed you
there. . . . The ravens brought him bread and meat . . . .
Note: In 1873 EGW contradicted the Bible when she said Elijah was fed by an
angel. Then three years later in 1876 she changed her mind and agreed with the
Bible that it really was a raven. Then, a year after her death, her editors tried to
smooth things over by omitting any reference to either an angel or a raven—they
changed EGW’s words to say Elijah was just “miraculously provided with food”
(Prophets and Kings, p. 129, published in 1916).
The allegation that Ellen White “changed her mind” in 1876 after her 1873
statement is mistaken. She had written in 1851 that God sent ravens to feed
Elijah. Thus, she had already acknowledged God’s use of ravens before issuing
the “angel” statement. In fact, eight out of ten instances that she described Elijah
being fed, it is by ravens. These instances include: (1) A Sketch of the Christian
Experience and Views of Ellen G. White (1851), p. 45; (2) Testimonies for the
Church, vol. 4 (1876), p. 253; (3) Early Writings (1882], p. 56; (4) Thoughts from
the Mount of Blessing (1896), p. 110; (5) Review and Herald, Oct. 22, 1901; (6)
The Signs of the Times, Nov. 4, 1903; (7) Review and Herald, Aug. 14, 1913;
and (8) Prophets and Kings (1917), p. 123. Ellen White’s only mention of God’s
feeding Elijah by “angels of heaven” is in (9) Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3
(1873), p. 288, which was taken from (10) Review and Herald, Oct. 7, 1873. In
her 1876 statement, quoted by THE LIST MAKERS, she used the term
“messenger” to describe the ravens who brought food to Elijah. The terms
“messenger” and “angel” are synonymous. It can truthfully be said that the
ravens God used to feed Elijah were His heavenly “messengers,” or “angels.”
The further allegation that the editors tried to smooth things over by changing
Ellen White’s words after her death is also mistaken for three reasons: (1) the
statement in Prophets and Kings, p. 129, is not an adaptation of a previous
statement; (2) Prophets and Kings, p. 123, includes God’s statement about
commanding the ravens to feed Elijah; and (3) nothing would be gained by
saying that Elijah was “miraculously provided with food” when Ellen White had
previously and repeatedly acknowledged the role of the ravens.
So, why would Ellen White say that God used “angels” to feed Elijah? Ravens
don’t naturally bring food to people, and they certainly would not bring “bread and
meat” without a miracle. Therefore, either angels had a part in carrying out the
miracle, as in other miracles, or Ellen White considered the ravens to be God’s
heavenly messengers, His “angels.”

EGW: YES. “A young woman dwelling in the Philistine town of Timnath
engaged Samson’s affections, and he determined to make her his wife. . . . The
parents at last yielded to his wishes, and the marriage took place. . . . The time
when he must execute his divine mission—the time above all others when he
should have been true to God—Samson connected himself with the enemies of
Israel. . . . He was placing himself in a position where he could not fulfill the
purpose to be accomplished by his life. . . . The wife, to obtain whom Samson
had transgressed the command of God, proved treacherous to her husband . . .”
(Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 562, 563).
BIBLE: NO. Judg 14:3-4 (NIV) But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me.
She’s the right one for me.” 4
(His parents did not know that this was from the
LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time
they were ruling over Israel.)
No reasonable student of the Bible would deny that Samson had indeed
“transgressed the command of God” in seeking a wife from among the Philistines
when God was quite clear in commanding the people of Israel to avoid such
unions (see Exod. 34:11-16; Deut. 7:1, 4; Judges 3:5-6). The Lord’s concern was
that, by continual association with the Philistines (particularly with their women),
Samson would fall far short of the divine purpose for him. THE LIST MAKERS
omitted from verse 3 the remonstrance of Samson’s parents, which alludes to
God’s command, “Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”
(NIV). God did not tell Samson to marry the Philistine woman. Samson saw her
and wanted her. Yet, God used Samson’s disobedience to carry out His will.
He did something similar with Pharaoh’s rebellion. Was Pharaoh fulfilling
God’s will by not letting Israel go? Yes and no. He was not in harmony with God’s
will when God clearly told him through Moses to “let My people go.” However, the
delay was God’s will (see Exodus 4:21) in that God knew that Pharaoh would
harden his heart and, through his continued resistance, would bring greater glory
to God in Israel’s ultimate release.
Did God tell Joseph’s brothers to sell Joseph into slavery? Was this His will?
Well, yes and no. It was ultimately God’s plan to have Joseph in Egypt and
promote him to second in command after the Pharaoh, but this ultimate plan in
no way lessened the brothers’ guilt in selling Joseph into slavery. It was still
wrong on their part, and they were held accountable for violating God’s will in
their treatment of their brother. Without the treacherous “help” of Joseph’s
jealous brothers, God would have fulfilled his purpose for Joseph’s life in some
other way. The same holds true for Samson.
Most would admit that, although Samson is listed in faith’s hall of fame
(Hebrews 11), his weaknesses caused him much unnecessary hardship and
misery. Had Samson remained faithful to God, he never would have been
captured by the Philistines and had his eyes put out. Nevertheless, God turned
even this pitiful situation into a victory through the strong man’s final act of pulling
down the pillars of the house of Dagon and killing more in his death than in his
entire life.
THE LIST MAKERS failed to include the first part of Ellen White’s statement,
“He did not ask whether he could better glorify God when united with the object
of his choice, or whether he was placing himself in a position where he could not
fulfill the purpose to be accomplished by his life.” The omitted portion, which is in
italics, summarizes Samson’s rebellion in seeking a Philistine woman. Note how
differently the entire statement reads when these words are included. As with
most of the alleged contradictions, one can understand the point that Ellen White
was making when the statement is read in its context without omission.

EGW: YES. “The most important part of the daily ministration was the service
performed in behalf of individuals. . . . By his own hand the animal was then
slain, and the blood was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled
before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had
transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in
figure to the sanctuary” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 354).
BIBLE: NO. Apart from the annual Day of Atonement, the priest only sprinkled
blood “before the veil” in the Holy Place on two occasions: (1) when a priest
sinned (Leviticus 4:3-12); (2) when the whole Israelite community sinned
(Leviticus 4:13-21). Blood was never taken into the Holy Place on a daily basis
when a leader sinned (Leviticus 4:22-26), nor when an individual sinned
(Leviticus 4:27-35).
Note: Thus EGW contradicted the Bible by saying the sins of the individual
were “transferred in figure to the [Holy Place of the] sanctuary” “through the
blood” sacrificed on a daily basis.
As THE LIST MAKERS have pointed out, there were different actions to be
taken regarding the blood of a sacrifice for (1) a priest, (2) a leader, (3) a citizen,
and (4) the congregation in general. The first three of these were “individuals.”
Two of the four required the blood to be sprinkled before the veil in the Holy
Place, and two required the meat to be eaten so that the sins confessed would
be transferred in figure through the priest’s body into the Holy Place. These were
sacrifices occasioned by sin and were part of the “daily ministration,” as opposed
to the “yearly ministration,” which was carried out but once a year. Yet, when
such sacrifices were offered was dependent on when the individuals sinned.
THE LIST MAKERS imply that, by “the service performed in behalf of
individuals,” Ellen White meant an individual citizen as opposed to a leader or a
priest or the congregation as a whole. Yet, if one reads the preceding two pages,
it becomes clear that she was contrasting the sacrifice for “individuals”—whether
a leader, a priest, or a common citizen—with the regular and ongoing morning
and evening sacrifices, with their accompanying incense and shewbread. The
sacrifices and ceremonies performed every morning and evening were different
from the sacrifices offered for the sins of a priest, leader, common citizen, or
The very next sentence, which THE LIST MAKERS left out, shows that Ellen
White was not confused about the distinctions of the offerings. It is unfortunate
and confusing for readers that this statement was left out. The statement, for all
to read, says: “In some cases the blood was NOT taken into the holy place;
but the flesh was then to be eaten by the priest, as Moses directed the sons
of Aaron, saying ‘God hath given it to you to bear the iniquity of the
congregation.’ Leviticus 10:17. Both ceremonies alike symbolized the
transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary” (Patriarchs and
Prophets, pp. 354, 355).
Could she have stated this any more clearly? Ellen White emphasized “the
most important part” of the “daily” service—the method used for half of the four
situations, which most clearly pointed to Jesus’ blood. Yet, she did not neglect to
mention that this was not done in all cases. Her clear and insightful statement,
within the context of the entire chapter, shows that Ellen White by no means
contradicted the Bible. Her stating that, in some cases, the blood was not
sprinkled before the veil, demonstrates that she full well knew when it was. Her
description is in perfect harmony with the Bible.

EGW: YES. 1896 “He was to be like those who belonged to the human family
and the Jewish race. His features were to be like those of other human beings,
and he was not to have such beauty of person as to make people point him out
as different from others” (Christ Our Saviour, p. 9, 1896 edition).
EGW: NO. 1898 “No one, looking upon the childlike countenance, shining with
animation, could say that Christ was just like other children” (Questions on
Doctrine, p. 649, published in 1957).
BIBLE: YES. Isa 53:2 (NIV) 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and
like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Of course, Christ, as a child, was like other children in some ways and unlike
them in others. In the first statement, Ellen White is describing how Jesus was
like other children. He did not have any “beauty of person” in His facial features
that made Him stand out (see Isaiah 53:2). In the second statement, she pointed
how his countenance was unlike that of other children, whose countenances
often revealed scowls at having to do chores and disclosed anger and jealousy.
Christ’s countenance, on the other hand, was always a picture of cheerfulness
and heavenly love for those around Him. Herein is the contrast: though His facial
features were no more handsome than that of other children, His countenance
was always kind and “shining with animation.” The statement, which comes from
The Youth’s Instructor, Sept. 8, 1898, was written to encourage young people to
follow Jesus’ example. Here is the whole statement, with the portion quoted by
THE LIST MAKERS in italics:
No one, looking upon the childlike countenance, shining with animation, could
say that Christ was just like other children. He was God in human flesh. When
urged by his companions to do wrong, divinity flashed through humanity, and
he refused decidedly. In a moment he distinguished between right and wrong,
and placed sin in the light of God’s commands, holding up the law as a mirror
which reflected light upon wrong. It was this keen discrimination between right
and wrong that often provoked Christ’s brothers to anger. Yet his appeals and
entreaties, and the sorrow expressed in his countenance, revealed such a
tender, earnest love for them that they were ashamed of having tempted him
to deviate from his strict sense of justice and loyalty. (The Youth’s Instructor,
Sept. 8, 1898)
Ellen White’s picture of Jesus as a child calls attention to the character qualities
He exhibited that made Him stand out among His peers.

EGW: NO. “The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty” (Letter 32,
1899, quoted in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1129).
BIBLE: YES. Isa 9:6 (NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and
the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful
Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
BIBLE: YES. Rev 1:7-8 (NIV) Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every
eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth
will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’
says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
BIBLE: YES. Phil 2:9 (NIV) Therefore God exalted him [Jesus] to the highest
place and gave him the name that is above every name.
Seventh-day Adventists teach and Ellen White taught that Jesus was fully God
even though He became a real man. They disagree with certain denominations
that claim that Jesus was a “lesser God” created by the Father. They maintain
the view and Ellen White continually expressed the view that Jesus was one with
the Father from eternal ages past. The statement quoted above needs to be
considered in its context:
Christ left His position in the heavenly courts, and came to this earth to live
the life of human beings. This sacrifice He made in order to show that Satan’s
charge against God is false—that it is possible for man to obey the laws of
God’s kingdom. Equal with the Father, honored and adored by the angels, in
our behalf Christ humbled Himself, and came to this earth to live a life of
lowliness and poverty—to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet
the stamp of divinity was upon His humanity. He came as a divine Teacher,
to uplift human beings, to increase their physical, mental, and spiritual
efficiency. There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of
Christ. Yet we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among
men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and
the Father are one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of
Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that “God so loved the world, that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life.” (Letter 32, 1899)
Notice that Ellen White’s statement, taken in context, makes it quite clear that
Jesus was totally equal with the Father when He came to the earth. So what did
she mean in saying that Jesus was not “Lord God Almighty”?
The key is the word “Almighty,” not whether or not Jesus was “truly God,” as
the heading of this allegation suggests. Before Jesus became a human, He was
“the brightness of [the Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person, and
upholding all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3). However, when He
came to the earth, He “emptied Himself” of these prerogatives. He “made himself
of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the
likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). He said, “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John
5:30). He was dependent upon the Father. As a human, His knowledge and
power were restricted. He told His disciples that He did not know the day or the
hour of His second coming, but only the Father knew (Mark 13:32).
Jesus did not count equality with the Father a thing to be “grasped” or clung to.
Out of love for fallen human beings, He willingly “gave Himself” to became a
human being and suffer the death of the cross (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:6-8). Ellen
White acknowledged the distinctness in personhood between the Father and the
Son, while affirming specifically that Jesus is “truly God.” She wrote:
The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in
infinity, but not in personality. (Manuscript 116, 1905, December 19, in The
Upward Look, p. 367)

EGW: YES. “As soon as the long fast of Christ commenced in the wilderness,
Satan was at hand with his temptations. He . . . tried to make Christ believe that
God did not require Him to pass through self-denial and the sufferings He
anticipated. . . . Satan . . . also stated he was the angel that stayed the hand of
Abraham as the knife was raised to slay Isaac . . .” (Selected Messages, book 1,
p. 273).
Note: You may read the Bible from cover to cover and you will not find any
evidence to validate this supposed conversation between Christ and Satan.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (3).
Here THE LIST MAKERS include no texts to back their accusation of
contradiction, for there is no contradiction that could be noted. Ellen White has
merely supplied more detailed information. As with other supposed
contradictions, THE LIST MAKERS have assumed that giving additional details
means that Ellen White has contradicted the Bible. To insist that new details are
a contradiction would undermine all further revelation of details in Scripture. Even
atheists who try to tear the Bible apart do not fault the Scriptures in this manner.
Consider the additional details in Jude 9: “Yet Michael the archangel, when
contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring
against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” Now let us
employ THE LIST MAKERS’ argument in this instance: “You may read the Old
Testament from Genesis to Malachi and you will not find any evidence to validate
this supposed conversation between Michael and Satan.” However, Jude in no
way contradicts the Old Testament, even though the contention over the body of
Moses is never mentioned in the Bible previous to this text. Jude also speaks of
Enoch’s prophesying about the Lord’s coming “with ten thousands of his saints,
to execute judgment upon all” (verses 14-16). There is no record, in the writings
of Moses, of Enoch’s saying any such thing, yet we accept Jude’s testimony as
the truth. Ellen White’s additional details significantly link the testing of Abraham
on Mount Moriah with the testing of God’s Son in the wilderness of temptation.

EGW: CHRIST CHOSE JUDAS. “When Judas was chosen by our Lord, his
case was not hopeless” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 41).
EGW: DISCIPLES CHOSE JUDAS. “The disciples were anxious that Judas
should become one of their number. . . . They commended him to Jesus” (The
Desire of Ages, p. 294).
EGW: JUDAS CHOSE HIMSELF. “While Jesus was preparing the disciples
for their ordination, one who had not been summoned urged his presence among
them. It was Judas Iscariot, a man who professed to be a follower of Christ. He
now came forward soliciting a place in this inner circle of disciples. . . . He hoped
to experience this through connecting himself with Jesus” (The Desire of Ages,
pp. 293, 717).
BIBLE: JESUS CHOSE JUDAS. Luke 6:13-16 (NIV) 13 When morning came,
he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also
designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot,
who became a traitor.
John 6:70-71 (NIV) 70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the
Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot,
who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
John 15:16 (NIV) 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed
you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you
whatever you ask in my name.
Ellen White presented the matter from the different points of view of the
participants. From Judas’ point of view, she noted that Judas sought out Jesus in
hopes of becoming one of His disciples. She did not say that he chose himself.
She called attention to Matthew 8:19, 20, which depicts the one who came to
Jesus saying, “Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” As a side
point, THE LIST MAKERS unfortunately clipped the sentence from The Desire of
Ages, p. 717, which reveals Judas’s higher ambitions: “He felt a desire to be
changed in character and life, and he hoped to experience this through
connecting himself with Jesus.”
From the other disciples’ point of view, she noted that, in hearing Judas
offering his services and in recognizing his abilities, they “commended him” to
Jesus. She did not say that they chose him. Judas would not have become a
disciple without Jesus’ choosing him.
Lastly, from Jesus’ point of view, she wrote that Jesus chose Judas as one of
His disciples, even though He knew where that choice would lead, as we see in
His statement in John 6:70, in which Jesus identified Judas as “a devil” long
before the betrayal.

EGW: YES. “His weight had broken the cord by which he had hanged himself
to the tree. In falling, his body had been horribly mangled, and dogs were now
devouring it. His remains were immediately buried out of sight . . . .” (The Desire
of Ages, p. 722).
BIBLE: NO. Mat 27:5 (NIV) So Judas threw the money into the temple and
left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
Acts 1:18 (NIV) With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a
field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.
Note: The Scripture is very plain, no dogs were involved in feasting on Judas’
remains. This is more of EGW’s, “precious light from the throne.”
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (4).
To have a contradiction, there must be conflicting accounts, yet the Bible says
nothing that would cause us to think that dogs that roamed the city (as we see in
1 Kings 14:11 and 2 Kings 9:36) did not find Judas’ body after it fell and burst
Ironically, skeptics sometimes cite Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18 to fault the Bible
for a supposed contradiction. The first passage says that Judas “hanged himself”;
the second says that he bought a field and “fell headlong, his body burst open and
his intestines spilled out.” The supposed contradiction is that Acts 1:18 makes no
mention of his hanging himself (though he had to fall from some distance to burst
open), and Matthew 27:5 makes no mention of his intestines spilling out. On the
surface, these appear to be two different accounts of Judas’ death. However, nonskeptics would point out that the two accounts are not contradictory but simply
provide complementary details. The same can be said of Ellen White’s description
of what took place with Judas. Her narrative of Judas’ despair and demise gives us
a vivid reminder of where wrong choices can take us.

EGW: YES. “At the suggestion of Herod, a crown was plaited from a vine
bearing sharp thorns, and this was placed upon the sacred brow of Jesus; and
an old tattered purple robe, once the garment of a king, was placed upon his
noble form . . .” (Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, p. 138). “Behold Him clothed in that
old purple kingly robe” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 241).
BIBLE: NO. Luke 23:11 (NIV) Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and
mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.
Note: Was it a tattered robe or an elegant robe that was placed on Jesus?
Why would God give Ellen a different picture than the one given in Scripture?
The word rendered “elegant” in the NIV, is the word lampros. In the KJV, it is
twice rendered “bright,” twice “goodly,” twice “white,” once “gay,” once “clear,”
and once (in this instance) “gorgeous.” It is doubtful that the mocking Herod
would have lent one of his own new robes for such shameful treatment,
especially when Jesus would be sent “back to Pilate” wearing the robe. If the
same robe was put back on Jesus after Pilate had Him scourged, then it was a
robe of a royal color—either scarlet (Matt. 28:28) or purple (John 19:29). Ellen
White took these factors into account, describing the robe as “once the garment
of a king.” As such, it was probably made of fine linen died royal scarlet or
purple, a once elegant robe that had become tattered with use. No source
describes it as a commoner’s robe. Ellen White’s solution, that it was once a robe
of elegance, makes the most sense of the circumstances.

EGW: YES. “He was weak and feeble through pain and suffering, caused by
the scourging and blows which he had received, yet they laid on him the heavy
cross upon which they were soon to nail him. But Jesus fainted beneath the
burden. Three times they laid on him the heavy cross, and three times he fainted”
(Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 57).
BIBLE: NO. Matt 27:32 (NIV) As they were going out, they met a man from
Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
BIBLE: NO. Mark 15:21 (NIV) A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of
Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they
forced him to carry the cross.
BIBLE: NO. Luke 23:26 (NIV) As they led him away, they seized Simon from
Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and
made him carry it behind Jesus.
Note: Nowhere in the Bible is there a single statement that Jesus fainted even
once, much less three times! The Bible writers were careful to mention that there
were three people crucified that day, but somehow they didn’t see Jesus faint
three times!
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (5).
Once again, THE LIST MAKERS assume that additional details are
contradictions. However, the verses cited do not deny that Jesus fainted. They
simply describe Simon’s being compelled to carry the cross. Certainly there was
a reason that the Romans found it necessary to compel Simon of Cyrene to carry
Jesus’ cross “as they led Him away” (Luke 23:26). That Jesus had multiple
faintings as a result of the loss of blood from scourging furnishes such a reason.
Ellen White’s additional details help put the story together.

[Quietly removed.]
EGW: NO. “As soon as the long fast of Christ commenced, Satan was at hand
with his temptations . . . Satan told Christ . . . that it was not necessary for him to
endure this painful hunger and death from starvation . . .” (Redemption: or the
Temptation of Christ, p. 37, published 1874).
EGW: NO. “As soon as Christ began his fast, Satan appeared as an angel of
light, and claimed to be a messenger of heaven. He told him it was not the will of
God that he should suffer this pain and self-denial” (Christ Our Saviour, p. 45;
see also Selected Messages, book 1, p. 273).
EGW: NO. “Forty days He was tempted of Satan” (Early Writings, p. 155).
EGW: YES. “When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the
Father’s glory. . . . But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with
temptation. . . . For forty days he fasted and prayed. . . . Now was Satan’s
opportunity. Now he supposed he could overcome Christ” (The Desire of Ages,
p. 118).
BIBLE: YES. Matt 4:2 (NIV) After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was
Matt 4:3 (NIV) The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God,
tell these stones to become bread.”
Another example how E. G. White contradicts the Bible and confuses the
mind. The Bible says nothing about Satan coming to tempt Jesus before his fast
or tempting him for forty days, but after fasting forty days the tempter came to
THE LIST MAKERS only quoted from the Gospel of Matthew; they neglected
the testimony of the other Gospels. Mark simply says: “And he was there in the
wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the
angels ministered unto him” (Mark 1:13). John does not mention the encounter at
all. As in the fourth of Ellen White’s statements, Matthew simply focused on the
three major temptations, which are also listed by Luke. Luke declares: “And
Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit
into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days
he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the
devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be
made bread” (Luke 4:2, 3). Luke’s testimony provides a compelling example of
why this type of allegation does not prove a contradiction. In Ellen White’s third
statement, quoted by THE LIST MAKERS, she quoted Luke almost word for
word. If Matthew’s account is the only one that is correct and inspired, then both
Luke’s and Ellen White’s are not. A better solution to the apparent contradiction
is that Luke and Ellen White have simply provided a more detailed account of
what happened, revealing that some temptations began during, and not just at
the end of, the 40 days of fasting. Ellen White made use of all the Gospel
accounts in her narrative.
[This is THE LIST MAKERS’ replacement allegation number 21 and our
EGW: NO. “There stood the Son of God, wearing the robe of mockery and the
crown of thorns. Stripped to the waist, His back showed the long, cruel stripes,
from which the blood flowed freely. His face was stained with blood, and bore the
marks of exhaustion and pain; but never had it appeared more beautiful than
now. The Saviour’s visage was not marred before His enemies. Every feature
expressed gentleness and resignation and the tenderest pity for His cruel foes”
(The Desire of Ages, p. 735).
BIBLE: YES. Isa 52:14 (NIV) 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at
him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form
marred beyond human likeness—
Matt 27:29-31 (NIV) 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it
on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and
mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the
staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked
him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him
away to crucify him.
Note: Isaiah’s prophecy tells us that Jesus was to be disfigured beyond that of
any human likeness. Matthew tells us that Jesus had a crown of thorns placed on
his head and his head was struck several times with a staff. No doubt with the
staff hitting the thorns blood would be streaming down the face of Jesus and the
pain from the blows and the thorns would be excruciating.
EGW does not contradict the Bible text when she said that “His face was
stained with blood, and bore the marks of exhaustion and pain;” but she does
contradict the text when she says, “The Saviour’s visage was not marred
before His enemies,” when in fact it was. Jesus did have compassion for his
enemies, but that does not offset the pain that was reflected in his face from his
THE LIST MAKERS’ assertion, “EGW does not contradict the Bible text,” is a
good summary for this allegation as well as for the rest. THE LIST MAKERS
effectually answered their own allegation by showing that Ellen White
acknowledged the physical condition of Christ in the crucifixion as being bloody
and exhausted. When Ellen White wrote, “The Saviour’s visage was not
marred before His enemies,” she was referring to the look on Jesus’ face and
not to the physical marring of His face. In her writings, Ellen White referred in 34
instances to Christ’s “visage” and its being “marred.” In all but one of these
instances, she is describing either the physical bloodiness of his scourging and
crucifixion or His painful agonizing in the wilderness of temptation or in the
Garden of Gethsemane. In saying His “visage was not marred,” she referred to
the gentleness and pity and the “strength and dignity of long-suffering” that was
expressed in His visage “before His enemies.” Did not one of the attending
soldiers recognize His godly demeanor through this ordeal? (See Matt. 27:54;
Mark 15:39.) Some may imagine Christ as not displaying these noble
characteristics upon his beaten and bloody face when facing His enemies, yet
Ellen White’s statement is in perfect harmony with His righteous character. It
does not refer at all to His physical condition, for, in the previous sentence, Ellen
White described as THE LIST MAKERS correctly noted, His face’s being stained
with blood and bearing the marks of exhaustion and pain.
THE LIST MAKERS also correctly noted, “Jesus did have compassion for his
enemies, but that does not offset the pain that was reflected in his face from his
beating.” It seems odd that Ellen White can be accused of being a false prophet
for adding to the Bible in describing what “was reflected in His face,” while THE
LIST MAKERS present as fact what they conjecture was “reflected in His face” at
the moment He was standing next to Barabbas—even though the Bible says
nothing about an expression of pain at that very moment as opposed to an
expression of “gentleness and resignation and the tenderest pity for His cruel
foes.” Considering all that we know about Christ and His tender pity toward
human beings in our sinfulness, we believe that Ellen White’s description of His
expression is more accurate than the competing image in THE LIST MAKERS’
Ellen White’s statement does not contradict the Bible. She plainly and
consistently quoted Isaiah 52:14 regarding the marring of the Messiah’s physical
visage, while calling attention to His expression of divine compassion that was
“never . . . more beautiful “ toward the “cruel foes” who were mistreating Him so.
[This is THE LIST MAKERS’ updated number 21, which they posted after
considering the evidence against both the original and the replacement number
In this case EGW agrees with the Bible record that Jesus was tempted at the
beginning of the forty day fast. But makes heretical statements.
EGW: Start of forty days. “As soon as the long fast of Christ commenced in
the wilderness, Satan was at hand with his temptations. He came to Christ,
enshrouded in light, claiming to be one of the angels from the throne of God, sent
upon an errand of mercy to sympathize with him, and to relieve him of his
suffering condition. He tried to make Christ believe that God did not require him
to pass through self-denial and the sufferings he anticipated; that he had been
sent from Heaven to bear to him the message that God only designed to prove
his willingness to endure. Satan told Christ that he was only to set his feet in the
blood-stained path, but not to travel it. Like Abraham he was tested to show his
perfect obedience. He also stated that he was the angel that stayed the hand of
Abraham as the knife was raised to slay Isaac, and he had now come to save his
life; that it was not necessary for him to endure the painful hunger and death from
starvation; he would help him bear a part of the work in the plan of salvation”
(Review and Herald, August 4, 1874).
Note: Where in the Bible does it teach that Satan offered to help Jesus with
the plan of salvation? If you accept this heresy, then you will not have any
problem accepting the rest of EGW’s claims that Satan made.
— sent upon an errand of mercy to sympathize with him, and to relieve him of
his suffering condition;
— God did not require him to pass through self-denial and the sufferings he
— sent from Heaven to bear to him the message that God only designed to
prove his willingness to endure.
— He also stated that he was the angel that stayed the hand of Abraham as
the knife was raised to slay Isaac, and he had now come to save his life;
— that it was not necessary for him to endure the painful hunger and death
from starvation.
EGW: Start of forty days. “As soon as the long fast of Christ commenced,
Satan was at hand with his temptations . . . Satan told Christ . . . that it was not
necessary for him to endure this painful hunger and death from starvation”
(Redemption: or the Temptation of Christ [1874], p. 37).
Note: Where does the Bible teach about Satan telling Jesus, “that it was not
necessary for him to endure this painful hunger and death from starvation”?
EGW: Start of forty days. “As soon as Christ began his fast, Satan appeared
as an angel of light, and claimed to be a messenger of heaven. He told him it
was not the will of God that he should suffer this pain and self-denial” (Christ Our
Saviour, p. 45; see also Selected Messages, book 1, p. 273).
Note: Where does the Bible teach about Satan telling Jesus, “it was not the
will of God that he should suffer this pain and self denial”?
EGW: Start of forty days. “Forty days He was tempted of Satan” (Early
Writings, p. 155).
EGW: After Fast. “When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the
Father’s glory. . . . But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with
temptation. . . . For forty days he fasted and prayed. . . . Now was Satan’s
opportunity. Now he supposed he could overcome Christ” (The Desire of Ages,
p. 118).
BIBLE: After Fast. Matt 4:1-4 (NIV) 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the
desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he
was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell
these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not
live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “
BIBLE: Start of forty days. Mark 1:12-13 (NIV) 12 At once the Spirit sent him
out into the desert, 13 and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by
Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
BIBLE: Start of forty days. Luke 4:1-2 (NIV) 1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,
returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty
days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the
end of them he was hungry.
Luke then records Satan’s three temptations at the end of the forty days.
Verses 3-13 to make bread out of stones, given kingdoms to worship Satan and
to prove he is the Son of God by jumping off of the Temple.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (6).
THE LIST MAKERS appear not to understand the nature of Satan’s
temptations in twice questioning Jesus’ divinity and then finally showing Him the
kingdoms of the earth and promising, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt
fall down and worship me” (Matt. 4:9). An appeal to gain worldly dominion as
would be attractive to most earthly rulers would not have been attractive to
Jesus. Ellen White’s additional details only complement the story; they do not
contradict it.
THE LIST MAKERS ask where Satan told Jesus “that it was not necessary for
him to endure this painful hunger and death from starvation.” That is the direct
implication of his suggesting that Jesus turn stones into bread to assuage His
hunger. THE LIST MAKERS ask, “Where in the Bible does it teach that Satan
offered to help Jesus with the plan of salvation?” The answer is that it is implied
in Satan’s statement, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and
worship me” (Matt. 4:9). He was enticing Jesus to circumvent a life of difficulty
and a painful death. Thankfully, Jesus rejected his suggestions.

EGW: YES. “The mother of Jesus was agonized, almost beyond endurance,
and as they stretched Jesus upon the cross, and were about to fasten his hands
with the cruel nails to the wooden arms, the disciples bore the mother of Jesus
from the scene, that she might not hear the crashing of the nails, as they were
driven through the bone and muscle of his tender hands and feet” (Spiritual Gifts,
vol. 1, p. 58, published in 1858).
EGW: NO. “She saw His hands stretched upon the cross; the hammer and the
nails were brought, and as the spikes were driven through the tender flesh, the
heart-stricken disciples bore away from the cruel scene the fainting form of the
mother of Jesus” (The Desire of Ages, p. 744, published in 1898).
BIBLE: NO. Luke 23:27, 49, 55 (NIV) A large number of people followed him,
including women who mourned and wailed for him. . . . All those who knew him,
including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance,
watching these things [the crucifixion]. The women who had come with Jesus
from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.
BIBLE: NO. John 19:25 (NIV) Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his
mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
BIBLE: NO. John 19:36 (NIV) . . . These things happened so that the scripture
would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”
Note: There is no Bible record of Mary being led from the scene so she
wouldn’t hear the crashing of the nails through his bones. The Bible says she
stood nearby with the other women watching the crucifixion and then followed the
burial party to watch his interment in the tomb. The Bible tells us that Jesus, as
symbolized by the Passover Lamb, was not to have any of his bones broken:
Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20. When EGW compiled The Desire of
Ages, 40 years after she first wrote that the nails were driven through his “bone
and muscle,” she changed her account to read: the nails were driven “through
the tender flesh.”
There are two issues that must be addressed in this allegation:
Issue 1. Whether Mary was led away from the cross.
It is true that the Bible does not say that Mary was led away from the scene,
but neither does it say that she stayed near the cross for every part of the
heartbreaking drama. THE LIST MAKERS use John 19:25, which says, “Near the
cross of Jesus stood his mother,” to validate their view that she was never taken
away from the cross for even a moment, even though what John is describing is
what took place while Jesus was hanging on the cross. The very text that THE
LIST MAKERS have cited says that all those who knew Him “stood at a distance”
(KJV “afar off”) as the soldiers crucified Jesus. Ellen White described Mary’s
being taken away to spare her of seeing and hearing the pounding of the nails
through Jesus’ flesh. Yet, she added that Jesus’ mother could not remain away
from her Son, so John brought her back to the cross (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 59;
The Desire of Ages, p. 752). Her description of a mother’s love fits the evidence
that they were “at a distance” as He was being crucified but that they were “near
the cross” as He hung upon it.
Issue 2. Whether Jesus’ bones were “broken.”
Ellen White indicated that the nails were “driven through the bone and muscle
of his tender hands and feet.” Does anyone question this? Ellen White certainly
did not originate the notion of His having nails driven through the flesh and bones
of His hands and feet. Though some insist that, on the basis of archaeological
evidence and not on the linguistic evidence in the Gospels, the nails were
actually driven through the wrists, even if this were true, it would still require that
the nails pass “through” the bone. Jesus corroborated this view when He
appeared after the Resurrection before the disciples in hiding. They feared that
He was a ghost, and He said, “Behold my hands and my feet,” and then He
“shewed them his hands and his feet” (Luke 24:39, 40).
Some may claim that this was not to show them the nail prints but rather to
show that He had real flesh and blood and was not a disembodied ghost. If this
were the case, why would He have emphasized “his hands and his feet”?
Besides, we must not forget what Thomas, who was not present for that first
encounter, said after he heard about Jesus’ appearance to the other disciples:
“Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the
print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John
20:25). Where did he get that idea if it was not from the other disciples who had
told Him that they had seen the nail prints in Jesus’ hands and feet. When Jesus
appeared to Thomas, a week after the first visit with the disciples, He told
Thomas to examine His hands (for the nail prints) and side (for the scar from the
spear thrust), which Thomas did examine, and then he believed (John 20:27).
(See also the prophecies about this in Isaiah 49:16; Psalm 22:16; Zech. 12:10.)
Having established from the evidence that Jesus had nails through His hands
and feet, we must ask if the nails went “through” the bone. No matter where the
nails were driven, they must have encountered bone, and, therefore, in some
way, passed “through” the bone to fasten Jesus to the cross. The Bible does not
say what happened biologically when the nails were driven through His hands
and feet. Even if God miraculously preserved the bones in Christ’s hands and
feet, it doesn’t change the biblical fact that the nails went “through” them. To
deny this is merely a matter of semantics. Ellen White says “through”; the Bible
says “pierced” (Psalm 22:16). According to Webster’s dictionary, the word
“pierce” means:

a: to run into or through as a pointed weapon does: STAB
b: to enter or thrust into sharply or painfully;

to make a hole through: PERFORATE;

to force or make a way into or through.
John 19:31-36 clarifies what is meant by the prophecy that not one bone would
be broken (Psalm 34:20). When the soldiers came around to break the leg bones
of those who had been crucified that day, they did not break Christ’s bones, for
He was already dead. Ellen White never said that Christ’s bones were broken. In
stating that the nails went “through” His hands and feet, she was in perfect
harmony with both the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament
THE LIST MAKERS claim that Ellen White “changed her account” about what
the nails did when she later wrote concerning the crucifixion in The Desire of
Ages. But, why would she need to change something that was in harmony with
Scripture in the first place? Ellen White’s touching portrayal is both moving and
memorable. It describes a loving mother, who treasured early memories of her
Son (Luke 2:19, 51), being spared the agonizing sight and sound of nails being
pounded through the tender flesh of her Son, yet being unable to stay away from
her Son’s suffering side!

EGW: YES. “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Men need
to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary”
(Manuscript 153, 1898, quoted in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 7, p. 907).
EGW: NO. “The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary”
(Manuscript 140, 1903, quoted in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 5, page 1129).
BIBLE: YES. 1 Thess 4:14 (NIV) We believe that Jesus died and rose again.
Note: The Bible repeatedly states that Jesus, the total Person, died on the
cross. Four of the first heresies Christianity faced (Apollinarianism, Arianism,
Docetism and Nestorianism) denied that Jesus was fully human and fully Divine
as a person. Orthodox Christianity maintained the complete unity of Christ’s
nature in both His life and death. Thus Ellen White not only contradicted the Bible
and orthodox Christianity, she also contradicted herself.
Let us consider both of Ellen White’s statements in their contexts. Here is the
“In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Men need to
understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary.
Yet Jesus Christ whom God gave for the ransom of the world purchased the
church with His own blood. The Majesty of heaven was made to suffer at the
hands of religious zealots, who claimed to be the most enlightened people
upon the face of the earth. (Manuscript 153, 1898, in The Seventh-day
Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 907)
Here Ellen White is referring to what happened to Christ’s deity. Although the
“fulness of the Godhead” dwelt in the Son “bodily,” it was He only who had to sink
under the agonies of Calvary. Notice that she did not say that “the Deity” died,
which she carefully denied in the other statement, but that it “suffered and sank.”
In another statement she wrote:
When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not
sink and die; that would have been impossible. (Letter 280, 1904, in The
Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1113)
Ellen White declared, in Manuscript 153, 1898, that Jesus “purchased the
church with His own blood” and suffered “at the hands of religious zealots.” The
Father likewise suffered, yet He did so in a different way: He watched His
beloved Son die helplessly on the cross.
Now let us consider the next statement in its entirety:
There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Yet
we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man
Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are
one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it
is nonetheless true that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.” (Manuscript 140, 1903, quoted in The Seventh-day Adventist
Bible Commentary, vol. 5, page 1129)
Here she uses “the Deity” as a term to describe the Godhead—“Christ and the
Father” (and the Holy Spirit, of course). She is saying that, although Jesus and the
Father are one, the entire Godhead did not sink under the torture of the cross.
Christians understand that, when Jesus died, God the Father did not also die. The
other two Persons of the Godhead, or Trinity, were still very much alive. It was the
Son who died in our stead, not the entire Deity. Ellen White is declaring that,
although “the Deity” (which included the Father and the Spirit) did not suffer and
die on the cross, nevertheless God the Father gave His Son to die for us, and what
agony that must have been—watching His Son die. Here Ellen White is clearly
contrasting the role of the Son with that of the rest of the Godhead, and it is the
Godhead to which the term “the Deity” refers in this instance.
So, did Jesus possess deity? Yes, He did. Did He sink on the cross? Yes, He
did. Do the Father and the Holy Spirit possess deity? Yes, they do. Did they sink
on the cross? No, they did not. Thus, “the Deity” did not die on the cross. This is
simply a case of a term being used in different ways (as the word “law” is used in
different ways in different contexts in the New Testament). Ellen White’s
statements make sense of the love of God in Christ’s great condescension.

EGW: YES. “Death entered the world because of transgression. But Christ
gave his life that man should have another trial. He did not die on the cross to
abolish the law of God, but to secure for man a second probation” (Testimonies
to Ministers, p. 134).
BIBLE: NO. 2 Cor 6:2 (NIV) . . . I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now
is the day of salvation.
BIBLE: NO. Heb 2:3 (NIV) How shall we escape if we ignore such a great
BIBLE: NO. Heb 9:27-28 (NIV) Man is destined to die once, and after that to
face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many
people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to
those who are waiting for him.
Note: The Bible clearly teaches that there is no second chance for salvation.
Everyone living before Christ was saved exactly the same way as everyone living
after Christ—during their lifetime everyone accepts either God’s gift of salvation
through Christ or is excluded from eternal life. Jesus’ death on the cross was not
an afterthought, not a second probation and not a second chance.
The three Bible texts in this alleged contradiction are wonderful truths about
the gospel, yet they do not address nor refute the issue in Ellen White’s
statement. Here are four other statements that support what she said about
humankind’s second chance through Christ after Adam’s failure:
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the
dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
(1 Cor. 15:21, 22)
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also
vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have
testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that
the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if
Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they
also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (1 Cor. 15:14-18)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life
in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what
the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending
his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin
in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom. 8:1-4)
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death
of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And
not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom
we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered
into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that
all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed
when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even
over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression,
who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is
the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the
grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath
abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for
the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many
offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by
one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift
of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by
the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by
the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of
life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by
the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:10-19)
What these texts say is exactly what Ellen White was saying, and it is the
foundation of Christianity. Adam, the original head of humanity, failed miserably.
Jesus’ death on the cross purchased humanity a second chance to have life—a
chance that not all accept. Ellen White wrote in 1899: “It is because He [Christ]
has borne the punishment in His own body on the cross that man has a second
probation. He may, if he will, return this loyalty” (Manuscript 28, 1899, March 19,
1899, in This Day with God, p. 87).
As a side note, it is interesting that THE LIST MAKERS used Ellen White’s
wording from The Desire of Ages (see answer 1) about Jesus’ death on the cross
not being “an afterthought.” On this point, they are in agreement with Ellen White.

EGW: NO. “Instead of . . . Daniel 8:14 referring to the purifying of the earth, it
was now plain that it pointed to the closing work of our High Priest in heaven, the
finishing of the atonement, and the preparing of the people to abide the day of
His coming” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 58).
EGW: NO. “Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly [sanctuary], at the
end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who
could be benefited by His mediation” (Early Writings, p. 253).
EGW: YES. “He [Christ] planted the cross between Heaven and earth, and
when the Father beheld the sacrifice of His Son, He bowed before it in
recognition of its perfection. ‘It is enough,’ He said. ‘The Atonement is complete’ ”
(Review and Herald, Sept. 24, 1901).
BIBLE: YES. John 19:30 (NIV) When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It
is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
BIBLE: YES. Rom 3:21-25 (NIV) But now a righteousness from God, apart
from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This
righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus to all who believe. There is
no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are
justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.
BIBLE: YES. Rom 5:9-11 (NIV) Since we have now been justified by his
blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if,
when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of
his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his
life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Note: The Bible totally rejects EGW’s idea of the 2300 days and an
investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary beginning in 1844. Notice how
the Bible texts quoted above were all written less than thirty years after Jesus’
resurrection, and all clearly state that Christians living then were already fully
justified, redeemed, sanctified and reconciled to God through Christ’s death on
the cross. As cult-watchers, Martin and Barnhouse stated: “The [SDA sanctuary
doctrine] is the most colossal, psychological, face-saving phenomenon in
religious history! We personally do not believe that there is even a suspicion of a
verse in Scripture to sustain such a peculiar position. And we further believe that
any effort to establish it is stale, flat, and unprofitable.”
Again, the texts chosen by THE LIST MAKERS present wonderful truths, but
they do not address what our High Priest is doing for us in heaven at this
moment. Of the four texts they have quoted, the first one deals with Jesus’
statement about the work His Father gave Him to do being finished! At the time
He said this, He had lived a perfect life and was about to yield up that life as a
perfect sacrifice. John made this point just two verses earlier, though there the
Greek word for “finished” (teleō) is rendered “accomplished.” John wrote: “After
this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture
might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” (John 19:28, emphasis added). Two chapters
before, He used the same word teleō to say that He had finished the work given
Him before He went to the cross: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have
finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4, emphasis added).
Each time, Jesus had finished a portion of the plan of salvation—first, He had
glorified the Father, and, then, He was dying for the human race. But, was there
no further work for Him to do on behalf of humanity once he went to heaven?
Hebrews says: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that
come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them”
(Heb. 7:25). This verse declares that He is able to save because He is now
making intercession for those who come to God by Him.
The second text quoted by THE LIST MAKERS says that we are justified
freely and that Jesus was a sacrifice of atonement. This is the only text of the
four that uses the word “atone” or “atonement.” Ellen White was in total
agreement that Jesus was the sacrifice of atonement. “Listen as he makes plain
the work of the Redeemer as the great high priest of mankind—the One who
through the sacrifice of His own life was to make atonement for sin once for
all, and was then to take up His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary” (The Acts of
the Apostles, p. 246).
The third and fourth texts that THE LIST MAKERS have quoted say that we
have been reconciled to God through Jesus. No one should ever question that
All of these facts are embraced by Ellen White in her writings and have been
embraced by Seventh-day Adventists in their beliefs. They are in perfect
harmony with the Investigative Judgment (starting in 1844). The subject of the
Investigative Judgment in no way contradicts the Bible. However, it is a Bible
study all in itself. So, for sake of space, we will not go through that entire study
here. Suffice it to say, investigation preceding execution of judgment is God’s
pattern throughout Scripture. Before Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden,
God conducted an investigation; before the destruction of the Flood, God
conducted an investigation; before destroying the Tower of Babel and confusing
the languages of its builders, God conducted an investigation; before Judah went
into captivity, God conducted an investigation; before Ananias and Sapphira
died, God conducted an investigation; before Jesus will give His reward at His
second coming, He will have conducted an investigation, for we read in
Revelation 22:12: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to
give every man according as his work shall be.” Such investigation shows that
God is a just judge—He does not act precipitously, but carefully reviews the facts
before acting in judgment.
The “atonement” that comes by Jesus’ taking our sins from us when we
confess them and by His cleansing us with His blood is indeed complete. Ellen
White taught this very point (see Review and Herald, Nov. 11, 1890, and The
Youth’s Instructor, Sept. 20, 1900, for two examples). Yet, God has a plan to end
the “sin problem” forever, which involves more than blanket forgiveness for all
sin. Christians readily acknowledge that Jesus’ work for us isn’t “finished” in
every sense, for the Bible says that He still makes intercession for us on a daily
basis (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34); He still has a judgment to perform (Acts 17:31;
Rom. 14:10); and He still must rescue His faithful children from a dying planet by
returning to earth (John 14:3; Matt. 24:30). What Jesus does with the record of
our sins is completely His business, and it is foreshadowed in the sanctuary
service of the Old Testament, particularly the Day of Atonement.
For more information on the connection of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 with
1844, we recommend Clifford Goldstein’s book 1844 Made Simple.

EGW: NO. “The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner
from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel sin . . . it will stand in the
sanctuary until the final atonement” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357).
BIBLE: YES. Eph 1:7 (NIV) In him we have [“have” is present tense]
redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.
BIBLE: YES. 1 John 1:7 (NIV) And the blood of Jesus, his son purifies us from
every sin.
BIBLE: YES. Rom 4:7-8 (NIV) Blessed are they whose transgressions are
forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will
never count against him.
Note: To forgive means to pardon, give up all rights to punish, to forever
cancel a debt. Jesus did all that for us when He shed His blood for us. The Bible
says that forgiven sins are never counted against an individual. However Ellen
White contradicts the Bible by claiming God stores up our sins and later punishes
us for them if we do not measure up to His standard before the final atonement.
This idea causes millions of SDAs agony as they question whether or not they
will be saved.
This allegation is a re-wording of the last one and, therefore, calls for careful
study to understand the validity of the Investigative Judgment and how it works.
A few isolated quotations will not shed much light on the issue.
The Day of Atonement was a wonderful shadow of the conclusion to God’s
plan of salvation. Any Bible student will be blessed in studying this service. The
texts that THE LIST MAKERS offer simply say that we have redemption through
His blood (present tense) and that, if we confess our sins, we have forgiveness
and cleansing (present tense) through Jesus. These are two of the favorite
themes of Ellen White and Seventh-day Adventists. Those who believe in “once
saved always saved” say that forgiveness is a blank check, that it really does not
require confessing one’s sins since any sin that one who has been saved
commits is immediately cancelled. Ellen White and Seventh-day Adventists,
however, recognize that the promise of forgiveness is to those who acknowledge
and confess their sins (1 John 1:9; Prov. 28:13).

EGW: YES. “As the sins of the people were anciently transferred in figure, to
the earthly sanctuary by the blood of the sin-offering, so our sins are, in fact,
transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ” (The Spirit of
Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 266, 1884 edition).
EGW: YES. “As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the
sin offering and through its blood transferred in figure to the earthly sanctuary so
in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and
transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary” (The Great Controversy, p. 421,
1911 edition).
BIBLE: NO. 1 John 1:7 (NIV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we
have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us
from all sin.
Eph 1:7 (NIV) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of
sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Note: There is no Scripture to support E. G. White’s teaching that confessed
sins are transferred to the heavenly sanctuary “by the blood of Christ” in 1886
and she changed it to read, “by faith placed upon Christ” and transferred to the
heavenly sanctuary to be dealt with at a later date in an Investigative Judgment.
The Bible teaches our confessed sins are completely covered by the blood of the
Ellen White’s statement in this allegation deals with another aspect of the
Investigative Judgment. It is ironic that the texts that THE LIST MAKERS have
used to refute Ellen White actually support what she is saying in the quotations
above them. The cleansing role of Jesus’ blood is ongoing. In 1 John 1:7, John
declared: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one
with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth [present tense] us
from all sin.” Peter revealed that the objective in God’s choosing a person is for
that person to walk in obedience under the sprinkling of Jesus’ blood. In 1 Peter
1:2, Peter declared: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of
Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” Where is the blood
sprinkled? In the daily atonement of Leviticus 4, the blood was sprinkled in the
Holy Place, not on the sinner. It is by the blood of Jesus that we can enter the
presence of God. Hebrews 10:19 declares: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness
to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” (The term for “holiest” in Greek is
ta hagia—“the holies,” which is the term to describe the two-apartment
sanctuary.) Ellen White recognized the meaning of the blood of the Old
Testament sanctuary. And that is why Jesus’ ministry in heaven is by virtue of
His shed blood.

EGW: SATAN. “It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ
as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the
scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly
penitent will finally be placed. . . . Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, . . .
so Satan, . . . will at last suffer the full penalty of sin” (The Great Controversy, pp.
422, 485, 486).
BIBLE: JESUS. 1 Pet 2:24 (NIV) He himself [Jesus Christ] bore our sins in his
body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his
wounds you have been healed.
The statement in this alleged contradiction deals with another aspect of the
Investigative Judgment—its end. If people reject the Investigative Judgment (or
other doctrines taught by Seventh-day Adventists, such as the Sabbath,
unconsciousness in death, and the literal Flood), they will judge many of Ellen
White’s statements to be “wrong,” even though she supported her views from
Scripture. Ellen White believed that Jesus paid the price for our sins, bearing our
sins on the cross, as we find in statements of hers such as the lengthy but
beautiful thought below:
The Lord Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, gave his own life to
save perishing man, and, oh, what light, what power, he brings with him! In
him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, bodily. What a mystery of
mysteries! It is difficult for the reason to grasp the majesty of Christ, the
mystery of redemption. The shameful cross has been upraised, the nails have
been driven through his hands and feet, the cruel spear has pierced to his
heart, and the redemption price has been paid for the human race. The
spotless Lamb of God bore our sins in his own body upon the tree; he carried
our sorrows. Redemption is an inexhaustible theme, worthy of our closest
contemplation. It passes the comprehension of the deepest thought, the
stretch of the most vivid imagination. Who by searching can find out God?
The treasures of wisdom and knowledge are opened to all men, and were
thousands of the most gifted men to devote their whole time to setting forth
Jesus always before us, studying how they might portray his matchless
charms, they would never exhaust the subject. Although great and talented
authors have made known wonderful truths, and have presented increased
light to the people, still in our day we shall find new ideas, and ample fields in
which to work, for the theme of salvation is inexhaustible. The work has gone
forward from century to century, setting forth the life and character of Christ,
and the love of God as manifested in the atoning sacrifice. The theme of
redemption will employ the minds of the redeemed through all eternity. There
will be new and rich developments made manifest in the plan of salvation
throughout eternal ages. (Review and Herald, June 3, 1890)
Nevertheless, Ellen White also recognized that Satan is responsible for tempting
us to sin. If Jesus wants Satan to pay a price for his role in causing us to sin, that
is His decision. Satan’s ultimate accountability for deceiving humankind is
portrayed in the symbolism of Revelation. After 1000 years in exile (Rev. 20:2-7),
paralleling the exile of the scapegoat in the sanctuary service, Revelation says,
“the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where
the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for
ever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).
Again, we suggest that readers study the Day of Atonement in Scripture and
read Clifford Goldstein’s book 1844 Made Simple.

EGW: YES. “You cannot make every case right, for some whom you have
injured have gone into their graves, and the account stands registered against
you. In these cases the best you can do is to bring a trespass offering to the altar
of the Lord, and He will accept and pardon you” (Testimonies for the Church, vol.
5, p. 339).
BIBLE: NO. 1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and
will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Note: Sins are forgiven by having faith in Jesus.
Mark 2:5 (NIV) 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son,
your sins are forgiven.”
EGW contradicts the Bible by telling you to bring a trespass offering in order to
be pardoned.
The statement in this alleged contradiction is about making restitution, and it is
the only place in Ellen White’s writings that she connects a “trespass offering”
with pardon. We recommend reading the entire section of the Testimonies for the
Church, vol. 5, from which the quotation was taken to understand the setting.
Ellen White was writing to a man who had a problem with the dishonest use of
finances. Apparently he had wronged some people financially, and, over the
years, some of those he wronged had died. In addressing the man, Ellen White
referred to Zacchaeus and his vowing to pay back fourfold of all that he had
wrongfully gained in collecting taxes.
Certainly, if any of us has gotten financial gain by taking advantage of others
and has broken God’s law in the process, then we should restore to those whom
we have defrauded all that we have taken. And if those who were defrauded and
their relatives are no longer living, then we should restore the money to God. It is
not right to steal from others, ostensibly accept Christ, and then continue living the
“good life” on money wrongfully acquired. Ellen White’s point is that the money
should, first and foremost, go to those who have been wronged. However, if that is
no longer possible, then we should turn the money over to God. A reading of the
entire section would clear up any confusion as to what Ellen White meant.
THE LIST MAKERS quote 1 John 1:9, which declares that God forgives us if
we confess our sins. Nonetheless, confessing one’s sins does not substitute for
making amends for wrong. THE LIST MAKERS concluded:
“God tells you to confess your sins and you will be pardoned and purified.
EGW contradicts the Bible by telling you to bring a trespass offering in order
to be pardoned.”
This is a misrepresentation of her counsel. Ellen White is not telling “you”—
that is, each and every person reading the testimony—to bring a trespass
offering in order to be pardoned. She was addressing a particular individual with
a particular problem. By no means was she saying that this is the way that all are
to come to Christ—by making a financial offering. In her classic devotional on the
life of Christ, The Desire of Ages, she recognized that pardon is a free gift:
But there is a brighter side to the picture. “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they
are remitted.” Let this thought be kept uppermost. In labor for the erring, let
every eye be directed to Christ. Let the shepherds have a tender care for the
flock of the Lord’s pasture. Let them speak to the erring of the forgiving mercy
of the Saviour. Let them encourage the sinner to repent, and believe in Him
who can pardon. Let them declare, on the authority of God’s word, “If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse
us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. All who repent have the
assurance, “He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our
iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Micah 7:19. (The Desire of Ages, p. 806, emphasis added)
Ellen White also affirmed that salvation is a free gift:
If any man can merit salvation by anything he may do, then he is in the same
position as the Catholic to do penance for his sins. Salvation, then, is partly of
debt that may be earned as wages. If man cannot, by any of his good works,
merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man as a sinner
because he receives and believes in Jesus. It is wholly a free gift.
Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy. And all this controversy is
ended, as soon as the matter is settled that the merits of fallen man in his
good works can never procure eternal life for him. (Manuscript 36, 1890, in
Faith and Works, p. 19, emphasis added)
For more of what Ellen White has written on forgiveness, see Steps to Christ,
pp. 23, 52, 53, 59, and 65.

EGW: NO. “Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion,
should never be taught to say or feel that they are saved. . . . Those who accept
Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to
themselves” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 155).
BIBLE: YES. 1 John 5:13 (NIV) I write these things to you who believe in the
name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Let us consider the statement in this alleged contradiction in its context (the
words quoted by THE LIST MAKERS are in italics). The statement is long but
very Christ-centered, and it is worth the reading:
Peter’s fall was not instantaneous, but gradual. Self-confidence led him to
the belief that he was saved, and step after step was taken in the downward
path, until he could deny his Master. Never can we safely put confidence in
self or feel, this side of heaven, that we are secure against temptation.
Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should
never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading.
Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we
give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not
beyond the reach of temptation. God’s word declares, “Many shall be
purified, and made white, and tried.” Dan. 12:10. Only he who endures the
trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.)
Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are
in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness
and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for
Satan’s devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very
depths of sin. We are admonished, “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take
heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of
self, and dependence on Christ. (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 155)
This passage places self where it belongs—in the dust—and it reminds us of
our constant need of Jesus. The experience of Peter provides, as Ellen White
declared, a perfect example of what happens when people take for granted that
they are beyond falling. It is quite possible to know that our relationship is right
with God today and yet not recognize our weaknesses or wherein we could fall or
turn against God (see Jer. 17:9). However, we should hold onto the assurance
that, if we were to die today we would be saved, as 1 John 5:13 proclaims: “I
write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you
may know that you have eternal life.” There is nothing wrong—and everything
right—about having assurance in the acceptance of Jesus’ free gift of eternal life,
for this is the very assurance that we need. We should “cherish hope and faith.”
Yet, 1 John 5:13 does not say that we should go out proclaiming that we cannot
fall, as Peter did (Matt. 26:33). Moreover, boldly announcing that we are saved,
regardless of what we do, is the doctrine of “once saved always saved,” which lends
itself to ignoring sanctification and obedience. It is this doctrine that Ellen White was
warning against because it goes against the Scriptures that require holding fast by
faith until the end (Matt. 24:13; Mark 13:13; Heb. 3:6; 4:14; 10:23, 38, 39).
Believing in the name of the Son of God does not substitute for loving, trusting
obedience. In the same chapter as the promise of assurance, John wrote: “By
this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his
commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:2, 3). John understood that
real faith is the basis for obedience, that we must “trust and obey.” Paul also
warned believers to take heed about thinking that we are standing, lest we fall (1
Cor. 10:12). And Jesus Himself said that some of the “branches” that once
“abided” in Him would be cut off and burned if they do not bear fruit (John 15:1-
6). He also described a class of people who will come to Him, convinced that
they are saved, yet to whom He will say, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:21-23).
While claiming to be Christ’s followers, they have looked to themselves, and
acted apart from Him. That is always a big mistake.
The point of all this is not that we should doubt God or His ability to save, but
rather that we should put no confidence in ourselves and our ability to overcome
sin and do that which is good in our own strength. We are not strong enough to
overcome by ourselves. Only Jesus through us can overcome. Paul wrote:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil. 4:13)
Ellen White recognized that constant awareness of our weakness and
constant reliance on God’s grace for our time of need (Heb. 4:16) are the only
safeguard against presumption and choosing sin over Jesus. That is what she is
addressing when she counseled believers not to claim that they are saved.

EGW: YES. “I know that some questioned whether the little children of even
believing parents should be saved, because they have had no test of character
and all must be tested and their character determined by trial. The question is
asked, ‘How can little children have this test and trial?’ I answer that the faith of
the believing parents covers the children” (Selected Messages, book 3, p. 313).
BIBLE: NO. Eze 14:17-20 (NIV) . . . If I bring a sword against that country . . .
and I kill its men and their animals, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign
Lord, even if these three men [Noah, Daniel and Job] were in it, they could not
save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. Or if I send a
plague into that land and pour out my wrath upon it . . . even if Noah, Daniel and
Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only
themselves by their righteousness.
BIBLE: NO. Eze 18:20 (NIV) The soul who sins is the one who will die. The
son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the
son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the
wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.
BIBLE: NO. Eze 33:20 (NIV) . . . I will judge each of you according to his own
The three texts quoted above are not referring to little children who are not yet
accountable, as in Ellen White’s statement. Even the first text that says “son or
daughter” does not specify little children who do not yet know right from wrong.
Below are texts that deal with accountability regarding light given:
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
(James 4:17)
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye
say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41)
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all
men every where to repent: (Acts 17:30)
And what about promises regarding the salvation of our children?
But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken
away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him
that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. (Isaiah 49:25)
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,
and thy house. (Acts 16:31)
Though these texts do not teach that an accountable person has a blanket of
forgiveness based on a relative’s faith, they are no more contradictory or
confusing than the statement of Ellen White in question. It would not be logical to
believe that God judges adults by the light that they have yet condemns little
babies who know nothing. God “winks” at their ignorance because “ignorant” is
all they are. Do the prayers and faith of the parents make a difference to God
until the child is old enough to make his or her own decision about God? The
Bible says that those prayers and faith do make a difference (see James 5:16).
As for what happens to babies who die with wicked parents, we do not know how
all that works, and it is not our business to judge. Fortunately, God alone is the
judge, and we can be sure that He will be fair.
We are not sure how anyone can conclude from our response to this alleged
contradiction that either Ellen White, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, or we
who wrote the response believe that “children must have a test of character and
trial before they can be saved” when the entire point of the response and of all
the quotations was just the opposite. Nevertheless, that is what we are accused
of teaching. We stand by our original answer. Ellen White rightly recognized that
the faith of a child’s parents sustains them until they are morally able to exercise
faith on their own, a faith that must be tested to determine if it is genuine.

EGW: YES. “I saw that the slave master will have to answer for the soul of his
slave whom he has kept in ignorance; and the sins of the slave will be visited
upon [transferred to] the master” (Early Writings, p. 276).
BIBLE: NO. Eze 33:20 (NIV) I will judge each of you according to his own
BIBLE: NO. Eze 18:20 (NIV) The righteousness of the righteous man will be
credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.
There are other biblical passages about a person’s responsibility to others:
When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost
not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his
iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (Eze. 33:8)
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he
cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. (Luke
The Greek word for “offend” in Luke 17:2 means “to cause to stumble or sin,” as
the NIV, NASB, RSV, Darby, Amplified, and other versions render it. Although this
text is talking about causing someone to stumble, as opposed to preventing them
from knowing truth—as in the case of the slave—nonetheless, the text supports the
fact that God does require us to answer for our influence on the sins of others.
Ezekiel 33:8 clearly states that, if we do not “warn the wicked of his way,” then his
blood will be required at our hands, although he dies for his own iniquity.
THE LIST MAKERS have mistakenly interpreted Ellen White’s words “visited
upon” to mean “transferred to.” However, there is a biblical precedent for “visited
upon” having a different meaning. In the second commandment, God Himself
says: “. . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third
and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Exodus 20:5). God is not here
saying that He will literally transfer a man’s sins onto his children and
grandchildren to the fourth generation. The father and grandfather will indeed die
for his own sin, yet his sins will have produced a continuing effect. Thus,
“transferred to” is a mistaken interpretation of Ellen White’s words. In her
statement, she is supporting the principle of Ezekiel 33:8 and using a phrase
from the second commandment to describe it. Would God welcome into heaven
with open arms a slave owner who has intentionally kept the gospel from his
slaves? Since God loves slaves as much as He loves the slave owner, keeping
the gospel away from slaves would no doubt sadden and anger Him. God loves
all of His children equally and will certainly hold masters accountable for keeping
slaves in sinful ignorance.

EGW: NO. “God cannot take to heaven the slave who has been kept in
ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God or the Bible, fearing nothing
but his master’s lash, and holding a lower position than the brutes” (Early
Writings, p. 276).
BIBLE: YES. “The true light [Jesus] that gives light to every man was coming
into the world” (John 1:9).
A few pages after this statement, Ellen White wrote: “I saw the pious slave rise
[in the resurrection] in triumph and victory” (p. 286). Thus, she is quite clear in
her writings that many slaves will be saved.
Ellen White is not describing just any “ignorant” slave. She is talking about the
slave whose sins are to be “visited upon” his master. God “winks” at ignorance.
Yet, He will not ignores evil characteristics that are the result of choice. If a
person disobeys God’s counsel while ignorant of that counsel, God winks at it.
However, if any person (including an ignorant slave) harbors an evil spirit and
chooses to go against the little light that has shone upon his conscience, then he
will be held accountable for his choice, though his consequences will be different.
Ellen White lays out what those consequences will be in saying that God “does
the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He permits him to be as
if he had not been, while the master must endure the seven last plagues and
then come up in the second resurrection and suffer the second, most awful
death. Then the justice of God will be satisfied” (Early Writings, p. 276; Spiritual
Gifts, vol. 1, p. 193). In other words, although the slave will not be saved, neither
will he face the punishment of the lost. He will simply stay “asleep” for all eternity,
while the slave master will suffer in the lake of fire before being consumed.
Ironically the very text that THE LIST MAKERS used to argue against Ellen
White is the one that helps her case. John 1:9 says: “The true light [Jesus] that
gives light to every man was coming into the world.” This light, which is given to
every man, was in the conscience of the slave. Yet, the slave’s master kept him
from the Bible and from God, so the slave’s hateful attitude and other sins were
never pointed out and overcome. Nonetheless, God will not punish the slave in
his ignorance.
The question that heads the alleged contradiction is inaccurate. The issue is
not whether or not an “ignorant” slave can be saved. It is whether one who has
not lived up to the light that he has can be saved. The thing that breaks God’s
heart is knowing what would have happened had that hardened slave been able
to read the Bible. That is the reason the slave master will be held accountable for
withholding it.
Because of John 5:28, 29, which states that all who are in their graves will
come forth, some object to the idea of people remaining in the grave. Yet, the
Bible includes several instances of all-inclusive language in end-time events that
nonetheless have restrictions. The best example of this is found in Revelation
6:15, 16, which says that, at the Second Coming, “every bondman [slave] and
every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
and said to the mountains and rocks Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him
that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” If taken in an allinclusive sense, no slave will be saved, and THE LIST MAKERS’ argument is
bogus. The all-inclusive language notwithstanding, obviously not every slave and
every free person will be lost at the Second Coming.
Another example of all-inclusive language that actually has restrictions is John
12:32, in which Jesus declares: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all
men unto me.” His being lifted up in crucifixion certainly did not draw to Him all
those who wanted Him dead, and it certainly has not drawn everyone since that
time because people can still exercise their choice and turn away.

EGW: YES. “Christ died to make it possible for you to cease to sin, and sin is
the transgression of the law” (Review and Herald, August 28, 1894, p. 1.)
EGW: YES. “To be redeemed means to cease from sin” (Review and Herald,
vol. 77, No. 39, p. 1, September 25, 1900).
EGW: YES. “Those only who through faith in Christ obey all of God’s
commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived
before his transgression. They testify to their love of Christ by obeying all his
precepts” (Manuscript 122, 1901, quoted in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible
Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1118).
EGW: YES. “To every one who surrenders fully to God is given the privilege of
living without sin, in obedience to the law of heaven. . . . God requires of us
perfect obedience. We are to purify ourselves, even as he is pure. By keeping his
commandments, we are to reveal our love for the Supreme Ruler of the universe”
(Review and Herald, September 27, 1906, p. 8).
BIBLE: NO. 1 John 1:8-9 (NIV) The blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from
all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in
us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and
purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him
out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
BIBLE: NO. Eph 2:8-9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no
one can boast.
We will answer the question raised in this allegation—“Can we legitimately
say ‘I have ceased to sin’?” by carefully considering the evidence presented.

Not one of Ellen White’s statements quoted by THE LIST MAKERS tells
us to say that we have ceased to sin. What is more, Ellen White has
addressed this issue in other places. Following is a sample of what she wrote on
the matter:
Those who are really seeking to perfect Christian character will never
indulge the thought that they are sinless. Their lives may be
irreproachable, they may be living representatives of the truth which they
have accepted; but the more they discipline their minds to dwell upon the
character of Christ, and the nearer they approach to His divine image, the
more clearly will they discern its spotless perfection, and the more deeply will
they feel their own defects. (The Sanctified Life, p. 7)
Those who take pains to call attention to their good works, constantly
talking of their sinless state and endeavoring to make their religious
attainments prominent, are only deceiving their own souls by so doing.
(The Sanctified Life, p. 12)
But we shall not boast of our holiness. As we have clearer views of
Christ’s spotlessness and infinite purity, we shall feel as did Daniel, when he
beheld the glory of the Lord, and said, “My comeliness was turned in me into
corruption.” (Selected Messages, book 3, p. 355)
Why is it that so many claim to be holy and sinless? It is because they
are so far from Christ. (Manuscript 5, 1885, quoted in Selected Messages,
book 3, p. 354)
The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your
own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen
in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature. This is evidence that
Satan’s delusions have lost their power; that the vivifying influence of the
Spirit of God is arousing you. (Steps to Christ, pp. 64, 65)

Not one of the Bible texts quoted tells us that we cannot overcome, by
God’s grace (which is all that the Ellen White statements are claiming).
The first text, 1 John 1:8, 9, simply says that, if we claim that we have not
sinned, God’s word has no place in us, and we are in error. Ellen White
consistently expressed this view, as we see in the statements THE LIST
MAKERS quoted above.
The second text, Ephesians 2:8, 9, simply says that we are saved by grace
and not by works. Again, Ellen White consistently affirmed this view.
When men learn they cannot earn righteousness by their own merit of
works, and they look with firm and entire reliance upon Jesus Christ as their
only hope, there will not be so much of self and so little of Jesus. Souls and
bodies are defiled and polluted by sin, the heart is estranged from God, yet
many are struggling in their own finite strength to win salvation by good
works. Jesus, they think, will do some of the saving; they must do the rest.
They need to see by faith the righteousness of Christ as their only hope
for time and for eternity. (Ms. 30, 1890, “Danger of False Ideas on
Justification by Faith,” in The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 818)
Nearly every false religion has been based on the same principle—that man
can depend upon his own efforts for salvation. (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.
73; see the same thought in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 163;
Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 117; Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 97, 456; Steps
to Christ, p. 61; Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 372; Evangelism, p.
596; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 431, 432; Acts of the Apostles, pp. 298,
553, 563; and The Sanctified Life, p. 87)
Thus, we see that Ellen White fully supported what the Bible teaches about
salvation coming by grace through faith. Yet, is there not also biblical support for
what she said about overcoming? With no additional commentary, consider the
following texts in light of the statements of Ellen White quoted by THE LIST
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the
transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away
our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:
whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1 John 3:3-6)
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
(Galatians 5:16)
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you
faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 1:24)
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also
overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

EGW: YES. “To obey the commandments of God is the only way to obtain
[earn] His favor” (Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 28).
BIBLE: NO. Isa 64:6 (NIV) All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.
BIBLE: NO. Gal 3:11 (NIV) Clearly no one is justified before God by the law,
because, “The righteous will live by faith.”
Notice that the word “earn,” which has been inserted into the statement, is not
Ellen White’s word. Rather, it is THE LIST MAKERS’ interpretation of Ellen
White’s word “obtain.” To obtain does not always mean to “earn” something.
“Obtain” can simply mean to “come into possession of.” After reading the
passage in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, we discover that Ellen White was
contrasting those who obey God by stepping out in faith with those who wait in
doubt until “all is made clear and plain before them” (Testimonies for the Church,
vol. 4, p. 27). The issue is choosing whether to doubt God or to obey Him in faith.
But what about the phrase, “obtain His favor”? We find in the Proverbs: “For
whoso findeth wisdom findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that
sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death”
(Proverbs 8:35). Here not only is the same expression used, but the same
principle is set forth. Finding wisdom and, according to this text, obtaining the
favor of the Lord, is contrasted with sinning, which is transgression of God’s law
(1 John 3:4). If the Bible uses language like this, can we fault Ellen White for
using the same? Ellen White says just what Solomon did, and few would
question his wisdom and inspiration.
What biblical examples are there of people obtaining God’s favor and under
what circumstances do they obtain it? Consider the following texts:
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (Gen 6:8) [while the rest of
humanity “had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Gen. 6:12)]
And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give
unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the
earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my
charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Gen. 26:4, 5)
Moses said to the LORD, “See, thou sayest to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but
thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, ‘I
know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ ”
(Exodus 33:12)
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not
found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this
testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)
So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God. (Acts
7:45, 46)
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his
commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1
John 3:22)
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor
with God.” (Luke 1:30)
Ellen White recognized that obedient children of God walk in His favor.

EGW: YES. “Man, who has defaced the image of God in his soul by a corrupt
life, cannot, by mere human effort, effect a radical change in himself. He must
accept the provisions of the gospel; he must be reconciled to God through
obedience to his law and faith in Jesus Christ” (Testimonies for the Church, vol.
4, p. 294).
BIBLE: NO. Eph 2:8, 9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no
one can boast.
BIBLE: NO. Col 1:21-22 (NIV) Once you were alienated from God and were
enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled
you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight,
without blemish and free from accusation.
The first sentence in Ellen White’s statement speaks for itself: “Man . . .
cannot, by mere human effort, effect a radical change in himself.” Her
language seems quite clear. The statement then goes on to say: “He must
accept the provisions of the gospel . . .” The “provisions” of the gospel are what
reconcile us to God, and an important part of those provisions is the
empowerment to obey God’s law. The full gospel provides both forgiveness and
sanctifying power, as we see in several Scriptures:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace. (Eph. 1:7)
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might
be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Rom. 6:6)
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto
life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory
and virtue. (2 Peter 1:3)
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto
unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart
fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile
all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things
in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind
by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through
death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
(Col. 1:20-22)
Thus, we see that Ellen White is not alone in connecting the gospel with

EGW: YES. “At the time the light of health reform dawned upon us, and since
that time, the questions have come home every day, ‘Am I practicing true
temperance in all things? ‘ ‘Is my diet such as will bring me in a position where I
can accomplish the greatest amount of good?’ If we cannot answer these
questions in the affirmative, we stand condemned before God” (Counsels on Diet
and Foods, pp. 19, 20).
BIBLE: NO. Rom 8:1 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those
who are in Christ Jesus.
BIBLE: NO. John 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world
to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in
him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already
because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
BIBLE: NO. John 5:24 (NIV) I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and
believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has
crossed over from death to life.
THE LIST MAKERS correctly call attention to two of the conditions for humans
to avoid condemnation: (1) they need to “believe” in Christ and the Father, and
(2) they need to be “in Christ Jesus.” Yet, what does it mean to “believe” and to
be “in Christ Jesus”? To “believe” is to exercise faith, and to be “in Christ Jesus”
is to have the connection that enables Christ’s good works in us, glorifying God in
all we do:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath
before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:8-10)
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of
God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
Yet, we must point out that Ellen White’s statement had to do with health. The
Bible says: “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the
temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3:17). This command is clear.
Based on this New Testament truth, Seventh-day Adventists believe that it is a
sin to destroy the body through intemperance (smoking, drinking, destructive
eating habits, etc.). This New Testament truth is based upon the sixth
commandment, which says, “Thou shalt not kill,” and upon other scriptures which
point out we can do ourselves harm. Thus, the Bible promotes health for the
Christian, which would be a study all in itself. Yet, we must ask: In light of
1 Corinthians 3:17, are people still “in Christ” if they are intentionally defiling the
temple of God? Believing that they are goes back to the doctrine of “once saved
always saved,” which is not supported by the Bible. Christ Himself taught that, at
His coming, there will be people who were at one time “in Christ” but who have
chosen not to maintain their relationship with Him (see John 15:1-5; Matt. 7:21-
23; Ezek. 18:24; Rev. 22:19). A relationship with Christ is not a matter of a onetime decision; it must be maintained daily (see 1 Cor. 15:31).
For many Christians, the word “believe” takes in far too little. The Scriptures
tell us that even the devils “believe” and tremble (James 2:19), but the devils are
eternally lost! God isn’t asking us to merely believe that He is real or that Jesus
was crucified 2,000 years ago. He wants us to believe “every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Do we believe that Jesus is able
to empower us to live faithful and obedient lives? (See Jude 24, 1 Cor 10:13;
2 Cor 10:5.) That is the question. If we believe that He is able, then He will
empower us; if we do not, then it will become apparent that we do not have faith
and do not really “believe” (Matt. 9:29). The matter is quite simple. It is not for us
to decide which portions of God’s promises we will believe and which portions we
will doubt. The condition that keeps us from condemnation is believing—believing
everything that God says. Ellen White recognized and taught this biblical truth.

EGW: YES. “From what was shown me, there is a great work to be
accomplished for you before you can be accepted in the sight of God”
(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 84).
EGW: YES. “You have a great work to do. . . . It is impossible for you to be
saved as you are” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 316).
EGW: YES. “As you are, you would mar all heaven. You are uncultivated,
unrefined, and unsanctified. There is no place in heaven for such a character as
you now possess. . . . You are further today from the standard of Christian
perfection . . . than you were a few months after you had received the truth”
(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 465).
BIBLE: NO. Eph 2:4-5 (NIV) 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who
is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in
transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
BIBLE: NO. Rom 15:7 (NIV) 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ
accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
BIBLE: NO. Acts 15:8-9 (NIV) 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he
accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He made
no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
THE LIST MAKERS’ question is: “Must I be perfect before Christ will accept
me?” Of the three statements of Ellen White they have listed, only one contains
the word “perfection,” and that one statement says nothing about perfection
being a condition before Christ will accept us. The other two quotations are not
about perfection; they deal with conditions that will become apparent when we
consider the quotations in context.
Time and again Ellen White repeated the fact that we cannot change
ourselves and that we need to come to Christ just as we are for any changes to
take place. She even said we do not need to repent before coming to Christ, for
it is Christ who gives us repentance (see Steps to Christ, pp. 26, 27). She wrote
that many err by thinking that they cannot come to Christ until they repent. Then,
a few pages later, she wrote: “If you see your sinfulness, do not wait to make
yourself better . . . There is help for us only in God” (p. 31). On the same page,
she also wrote that, if we wait to be “good enough” to come to Jesus, we will
never come. We are to come as we are. There are many other statements like
this. Anyone who has read Ellen White’s writings knows her position on this.
In all three cases, quoted by THE LIST MAKERS, Ellen White is talking to
individuals in their own particular situations. Without understanding each
situation, the abbreviated quotations will not make proper sense.
In the first quotation, she wrote: “From what was shown me, there is a great
work to be accomplished for you before you can be accepted in the sight of God”
(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 84). She goes on to tell the person, “Self is
too prominent. You possess a hasty, passionate temper, and are arbitrary and
overbearing in your family.” Does Christ abide in us if self is prominent? Can we
serve two masters? Does Christ consider a selfish heart, which was the essence
of Satan’s problem, “acceptable,” or does such a person need a “great work to be
accomplished” for him by Christ? Did Ellen White say, “You have a lot of work to
do before you can go to Jesus”? No, she did not. Who does the work for us? Jesus
does. This is in perfect harmony with the Bible. Not one person is “acceptable to
Christ” in a selfish, overbearing condition. Only Universalists would debate that
point. Did a “great work” need to be done for King Nebuchadnezzar before he was
“accepted” by God, or was he just fine when he was setting up an image for
worship and trying to burn God’s faithful servants? The “great work” was
accomplished for him by God in Daniel chapter 4.
In the second quotation, she wrote: “You have a great work to do. . . . It is
impossible for you to be saved as you are” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p.
316). On the same page, she clearly laid out the “great work” the couple she was
addressing needed. It was not to save themselves. No, it was quite the opposite:
“Now Jesus invites you to come to Him, and to learn of Him, for He is meek and
lowly in heart.” When did Ellen White say they should go to Christ? She said,
“Now.” How much clearer could she be? Listen to something else on that same
page: “Oh, how important that you see the work to be done for you, before it shall
be forever too late!” We do have a work in our salvation—coming to Christ and
keeping our eyes on Him; He won’t do that for us; He never forces the will. Without
a doubt, all growth and victories in our lives come directly from Him. Ellen White
continues: “The promise He has given you is sure, that you will find rest in Him.”
This hardly sounds like she is instructing them to work their way to perfection
before going to Jesus! Moreover, the statement, “It is impossible for you to be
saved as you are,” has nothing to do with perfection, but, rather, it is in support of
the biblical teaching, “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts”
(Hebrews 3:15). It was impossible for the Pharisees to be saved as they were;
they needed Christ desperately. It was impossible for Saul (later known as Paul) to
be saved as he was; he needed Christ desperately. It was impossible for you or
me to be saved as we were before Christ, for all of our righteousness is as filthy
rags (Isaiah 64:6). Ellen White’s teaching is in perfect harmony with the Bible.
In the third quotation, she wrote: “As you are, you would mar all heaven.
You are uncultivated, unrefined, and unsanctified. There is no place in heaven for
such a character as you now possess. . . . You are further today from the
standard of Christian perfection . . . than you were a few months after you had
received the truth” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 465). With this
quotation, the subject changes from “Christ accepting me” to “perfection,” or
victory over sin. Here Ellen White is talking about the transformation of character
that comes along after a person has come to Christ and become a new creature
(2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus clearly taught that those who come to Him, even if they
abide in Him for a while but do not continue abiding in Him, will ultimately be lost
(John 15:2, 6). Peter talks about those who accept Christ and then turn away. He
says that it would have been better for them if they had never known the truth,
and he likens them to a dog returning to his vomit (see 2 Peter 2:20-22). Jesus
Himself talked about being “perfect,” that is, acting as the Father acts toward
others. He said: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in
heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48) Paul wrote about being perfect: “Finally, brethren,
farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the
God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11); “Till we all come in the
unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Eph. 4:13); “Not as
though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if
that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. . . .
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye
be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” (Phil. 3:12, 15).
James also wrote about perfection: “But let patience have her perfect work, that
ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4). And Peter wrote
about it too: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory
by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).
Adventist and non-Adventist Christians alike have debated just what these
statements mean, but none denounce Jesus, Paul and Peter as false prophets
for using the language of perfection. And no one in Adventism, including Ellen
White, has ever taught that one must be perfect before coming to Christ. No such
statement exists.
The issue in the third quotation is victory over sin and the perfection of
character that Christ works out in His children—not what we ourselves do. But
with this quotation—as with the two previous ones—it is clear that, if one reads
the whole passage, Ellen White was teaching that our help comes from Christ
and not from ourselves.
In light of all that Ellen White wrote about how one comes to Christ, there is no
more reason to attack her on these statements than there is to call Paul a false
prophet for admonishing us to “work out our own salvation with fear and
trembling” (Phil. 2:12) or for adding, “For it is God which worketh in you both to
will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Before a person concludes that
Paul contradicted the rest of Scripture, we need to look at all that Paul said on
the subject.
Since writing our original response, we recalled an interesting text—the one in
which Moses reported God’s saying to Cain: “If you do what is right, will you
not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your
door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Gen. 4:7). We realize
that this statement is not a description of the complete process of salvation and
that a person should look at everything the Bible says on any given topic of
study. Nonetheless, if someone were using this statement as a test for Moses, as
THE LIST MAKERS are of Ellen White’s statement for Ellen White, it might seem
that he would be saying that God requires people to “do what is right” before
they are “accepted” by God. With Moses, as with Ellen White, we need to
consider a person’s statement in context and in conjunction with their other

EGW: NO. “I was shown that . . . the door was opened in the most holy place
in the heavenly sanctuary, where the ark is, in which are contained the ten
commandments. This door was not opened until the mediation of Jesus was
finished in the holy place of the sanctuary in 1844. Then Jesus rose up and shut
the door of the holy place, and opened the door into the most holy, and passed
within the second veil, where he now stands by the ark” (Early Writings, p. 42).
BIBLE: YES. Heb 8:1-2 (NIV) The point of what we are saying is this: We do
have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up
by the Lord, not by man (Hebrews 8:1, 2, written in 60 AD).
BIBLE: YES. Heb 9:12 (NIV) He did not enter by means of the blood of goats
and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood,
having obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12, written in 60 AD).
Note: Both these Bible texts were written in 60 A.D., and they both state Jesus
was already ministering in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary at least
1,824 years before 1844. Ellen White’s 1844 scenario simply contradicts the
clearest Scriptures!
Hebrews 8:1, 2 says nothing about Jesus’ entering the Most Holy Place. It
merely says that Jesus was seated at God’s throne, serving in the sanctuary in
heaven. God’s throne can be wherever He wants to put it. (Can you really
imagine God ever being confined to any one place?) The throne is movable and
is described as having “wheels” (Dan. 7:9). Revelation, the last book of the New
Testament, portrays Jesus’ appearance before God’s throne after He was slain
for humankind (Rev. 5:6). The throne is before the lamps of fire, which are in the
first apartment of the sanctuary (Rev. 4:1, 5). It was not until several chapters
later that John saw the second apartment opened, with the ark of the testimony
(Rev. 11:19). (The “testimony,” by the way, is the Ten Commandments.) Even in
the Old Testament sanctuary, God’s presence was not just manifest in the Most
Holy Place; it was seen beside the outer door of the Holy Place with Moses (see
Exod. 33:8-11). For THE LIST MAKERS’ assertion about Jesus’ ascending
directly into the Most Holy Place to be true, there would need to be a text that
declares that God the Father was and always is in the Most Holy Place
apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. However, no such text exists.
In Hebrews 9:12, the New International Version of the Bible renders as “Most
Holy Place” the Greek term that the King James translates as “Holy Place.” So,
what does the Greek actually say? It says ta hagia, which literally means “the
holies.” In Hebrews 8:2, which was quoted by THE LIST MAKERS, ta hagia is
translated “the sanctuary.” A plural noun is used in Greek because the sanctuary
is plural—it has two apartments. The fact that it is plural is reflected in Hebrews
9:24 where ta hagia is translated literally and correctly, in the KJV, as “holy
The only instance in which the book of Hebrews speaks of the second apartment
specifically—that is, the Most Holy Place—rather than of the sanctuary as a whole,
is in Hebrews 9:3. There it uses the Greek term, hagia hagiōn, translated “the holiest
of all,” but literally meaning “holy of holies.” Hebrews 9:3 does not say that Jesus
went into “the holiest of all” at His ascension; it simply describes the apartments of
the earthly sanctuary with their contents. Nowhere does Hebrews use hagia hagiōn
to refer to the place Christ is in heaven. If He entered into the hagia hagiōn, then
why did Hebrews not mention the fact even once?
Again, we suggest Clifford Goldstein’s book 1844 Made Simple for a more indepth look at the Investigative Judgment and for answers to other charges
against it.

EGW: YES. “The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner
from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on
record in the sanctuary until the final atonement . . . In the great day of final
award, the dead are to be ‘judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their works.’ Revelation 20:12. Then by virtue of the atoning
blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of
heaven” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357).
BIBLE: NO. Heb 8:12 (NIV) For I will forgive their wickedness and will
remember their sins no more.
BIBLE: NO. Isa 43:25 (NIV) I, even I, am he who blots out your
transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
Note: The Bible is very certain that the moment God forgives our sins they are
forever removed, blotted out, canceled and forgotten. First John 1:9 tells us the
instant we confess our sins we receive God’s forgiveness through his grace. By
contradicting these Scriptures EGW turns God’s overwhelming mercy into a
sham. God is re-created into a lying, malevolent, heavenly bookkeeper who
manipulates divine records to make it only appear that we are forgiven. For
EGW, our forgiveness does not depend upon God’s grace, but upon our “works.”
In the cycle of sacred festivals in ancient Israel, there were two groups of
symbolic celebrations. In the spring, there were Passover, the Feast of
Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and the Feast of Weeks. These were fulfilled
during the “spring” of the gospel era in Christ’s death and resurrection and in the
outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost. In the fall, there were Trumpets, the Day of
Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These were to be fulfilled during the
“fall” of the gospel era, as Christ’s work on earth and in heaven comes to its
conclusion. So, just as Passover, in Old Testament times, foreshadowed Christ’s
atoning work on Calvary, the Day of Atonement, foreshadowed Christ’s work in
the Investigative Judgment. The Bible, Ellen White, and Adventism are all correct
in proclaiming this doctrine.
Once again, THE LIST MAKERS use texts that do not prove Ellen White’s
statement to be false. It is true that the texts declare that God will forgive us and
remember our sins no more. Forgiveness is indeed ours when we come to Christ
(1 John 1:9). However, God does not wipe out the memory of our sins until after
the close of probation. If we consider the verse just before Hebrews 8:12, we
read: “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying,
‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the
greatest” (Heb 8:11, NIV). This indicates that the provisions of the new covenant
are not instantaneous, for teaching is an ongoing and essential part of the spread
of the gospel (Matt. 28:19, 20). Similarly, God’s promise that He will “remember
their sins no more” describes what will ultimately take place and not what has
already taken place.
The texts quoted by THE LIST MAKERS say nothing about when the memory
of sins will be erased. Proof that their memory has not yet been blotted out is
found in the existence of the Bible stories themselves. Has David’s sin with
Bathsheba been wiped from existence? Millions of people read about it in
Scripture every year. For humans to be able to remember something that God
supposedly cannot, would mean that humans possess knowledge that is
unavailable to God. That cannot be!
Nonetheless, when the great controversy between Christ and Satan finally
ends, God will, for all eternity, remember our sins no more; they will be wiped
from existence. They won’t come up again. As stated previously, what Jesus
does with those sins in the meantime is His business. We just need to give them
to Him now.
When God says in Scripture that He will remember our sins no more, He
means that He has chosen, through the perfect life and sacrifice of Jesus, to treat
us as if we had always been loyal to Him. We are accepted in the Beloved.
Remembering our sins no more is a conscious choice on God’s part—not
amnesia or the erasing of our sins. Salvation is reconciliation—at-one-ment with
God. If people could be saved without being brought into loving loyalty and
obedience to God, salvation would be—to use THE LIST MAKERS’ words—
merely the manipulation of divine records.

EGW: YES. “Paul must receive instruction in the Christian faith and move
accordingly. Christ sends him to the very disciples whom he had been so bitterly
persecuting, to learn of them. . . . Now Paul was in a condition to learn of those
whom God had ordained to teach the truth. Christ directs Paul to His chosen
servants, thus placing him in connection with His church. The very men whom
Paul was purposing to destroy were to be his instructors in the very religion that
he had despised and persecuted” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 430).
BIBLE: NO. Gal 1:11-12 (NIV) I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I
preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man,
nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
BIBLE: NO. Gal 1:16-19 (NIV) . . . to reveal his Son in me so that I might
preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to
Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately
into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to
Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw
none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. I assure you before
God that what I am writing you is no lie.
Ellen White’s statement, quoted above, says nothing about Paul’s learning the
gospel from the church. In context, it comes just after Ellen White had recounted
the biblical events of Paul’s being struck blind on the road to Damascus. Listen to
how the Bible describes this event: “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord,
what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the
city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). This statement is
never mentioned by THE LIST MAKERS. Ellen White was correct in saying that
Christ told Paul to go to the Christians so that they could help instruct him, telling
him what to do.
In the proof text given by THE LIST MAKERS, Paul is saying that the gospel is
of divine—and not human—origin and that he received it “by revelation from
Jesus Christ.” Does Ellen White deny this? No, she does not. On the same page
from which THE LIST MAKERS quoted, she wrote:
Jesus directs him [Paul] to His agents in the church for a further knowledge of
duty. Thus He gives authority and sanction to His organized church. Christ
had done the work of revelation and conviction, and now Paul was in a
condition to learn of those whom God had ordained to teach the truth. Christ
directs Paul to His chosen servants, thus placing him in connection with His
church. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 430)
Notice that she said that Christ had done a work of “revelation and
conviction.” Ellen White and Paul are in perfect harmony concerning the truth of
what Christ and the Holy Spirit revealed to Paul. They revealed the gospel. Ellen
White did not say that Paul learned the gospel from the disciples but that Christ
sent Paul to the organized church, which he had been fighting, to “receive
Can God’s human messengers, who get revelations directly from the Holy
Spirit, receive instruction from other humans? Of course they can. Eli learned
from Samuel, David from Nathan, and Moses from his father-in-law. Even Peter
was corrected by Paul on one occasion. In Galatians 1, Paul is describing how
he became acquainted with the gospel, making it clear that he was not duped by
the fables of men. His knowledge of Jesus was given to him supernaturally by
the Holy Spirit, beginning with his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus.
Does that mean that he received no instruction from the early church regarding
practical matters and the mission of the church? Jesus could have healed Paul of
his blindness just moments after afflicting him. He could have told him everything
he needed to know right then and there, bypassing the early church. Yet, He did
not do this. He wanted to connect Paul with the church as soon as possible, and
He did so by using Ananias to restore Paul’s sight. If one reads the pages before
and after the passage quoted from Testimonies for the Church, volume 3, this
becomes quite plain.
THE LIST MAKERS left out two important pieces of evidence: (1) Ellen White’s
statement about Paul’s receiving revelation and conviction by Jesus Himself, and
(2) the text of Scripture—Acts 9:6—which reveals that Christ told Paul to go into
the city to learn from the believers what he should do next. There is no
contradiction when these pieces of evidence are included.

EGW: SABBATH. “The enemies of God’s law, from the ministers down to the
least among them, have a new conception of truth and duty. Too late they see
that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God” (The
Great Controversy, p. 640).
BIBLE: HOLY SPIRIT. Eph 1:13 (NIV) And you also were included in Christ
when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed,
you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
BIBLE: HOLY SPIRIT. Eph 4:30 (NIV) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of
God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Most Bible translations, other than the NIV, have Ephesians 1:13 in agreement
with Ephesians 4:30. Both verses point to the Holy Spirit as the agent of the
sealing. Adventists use these texts all the time in Bible studies, for they help
explain what the seal is and who it is that does the sealing. God’s seal involves
the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, the formation of Christ’s character within,
and the placement of God’s name in our “foreheads,” or minds (see Eph. 1:13;
4:30; Col. 1:27; Rev. 7:3; 14:1). When the mark of the beast is enforced, those
who have these three aspects of sanctification will choose to obey the Word of
God rather than the laws of men—even in the face of death (see Isa. 24:1-6;
Psalm 119:126; Rev. 12:11). God’s “saints,” God’s faithful ones, keep the
commandments of God and worship the Creator of heaven and earth (Rev. 14:7,
12). These two “crosshairs” of practice bring the observance of the Creator’s
Sabbath into sharp focus. Faithfully worshiping the Creator as He stipulated
makes the Sabbath the special “seal of God.” The texts listed by THE LIST
MAKERS do not disprove the Sabbath’s being God’s seal in the final days.
Ellen White summed up the relationship of the Holy Spirit and the seal of God
as follows: “The sanctification of the Spirit signalizes the difference between
those who have the seal of God and those who keep a spurious rest day” (Lt. 12,
1900). Those who have received the New Covenant have God’s laws written in
the heart and mind (Heb. 8:10; 10:16). God says, in Isaiah 8:16, “Bind up the
testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” The Ten Commandments are the
“testimony,” which is why the ornate box containing the Ten Commandments was
called “the ark of the testimony” (Exod. 25:16). Thus, the “law” that is sealed
among God’s disciples is the Ten Commandments. It only makes sense that
faithfully keeping all the commandments of God would be the seal of those who
“are his” as they “depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19).

EGW: YES. “Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should
stand upon their feet praying to God? One who has been educated about five
years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should
speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his
lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give
him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down on your knees! This
is the proper position always” (Selected Messages, book 2, p. 311).
EGW: YES. “Both in public and private worship, it is our duty to bow down
before God when we offer our petitions to Him” (Selected Messages, book 2, p.
EGW: YES. “To bow down when in prayer to God is the proper attitude to
occupy” (Selected Messages, book 2, p. 312).
EGW: NO. “We need not wait for an opportunity to kneel before God. We can
pray and talk with the Lord wherever we may be” (Selected Messages, book 3, p.
EGW: NO. “It is not always necessary to bow upon your knees in order to
pray” (Selected Messages, book 3, p. 267).
BIBLE: NO. Luke 18:13 (NIV) But the tax collector stood at a distance. He
would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God have mercy
on me, a sinner.
BIBLE: NO. Mark 11:25 (NIV) And when you stand praying, if you hold
anything against anyone, forgive him so that your Father in heaven may forgive
you your sins.
Note: This is just another example of EGW contradicting herself and the Bible.
Elder D. E. Robinson, EGW’s secretary from 1902-1915 said he had been
present “repeatedly at camp meetings and General Conference sessions in
which sister White herself has offered prayer . . . standing’ ” (Selected Messages,
book 3, p. 266).
In the “YES” quotations, Ellen White is referring to corporate and private
worship. In the “NO” quotations, she is referring to praying as we go about our
daily business. The apostle Paul admonished us to “pray without ceasing” (1
Thess. 5:17). Clearly he meant that we should have a prayerful frame of mind,
even when walking, working, or doing anything else in life. We do not have to be
on our knees every second of the day. This is what Ellen White meant in the
“NO” references.
One reason Ellen White gave for the necessity of kneeling in prayer in worship
is that of Bible examples. In Selected Messages, book 2, p. 311, Ellen White
gave eight examples from both the Old and New Testament of people kneeling to
pray. She could have listed many others (see Psalm 95:6; Eph. 3:14; Dan 6:10; 2
Chron. 6:13; 7:3; 29:29; Matt. 8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 17:14; Luke 22:41; Acts 20:35,
36, etc.).
Some argue that Ellen White herself stood many times when offering prayer at
church. Let us consider one example of this that is usually cited and see if we
can understand why Ellen White stood with the people on that occasion.
Ellen White and Audience Standing for Consecration Prayer.—Who now,
I ask, will make a determined effort to obtain the higher education. Those who
will, make it manifest by rising to your feet. [The congregation rose.] Here is
the whole congregation. May God help you to keep your pledge. Let us pray.
(Selected Messages, book 3, p. 269)
Can we not see a difference between what Ellen White did on this occasion
and the actions of the minister who casually prayed standing? Ellen White was
asking the people to stand to make a pledge before the Lord. When they stood,
she remained standing with them and prayed that the Lord would help them fulfill
their pledge.
The Bible gives a number of examples of people kneeling in prayer. How are
we to understand these in light of the two texts THE LIST MAKERS offered?
In the first of the two texts, the tax collector not only stood but also “beat his
breast.” Was Jesus giving a discourse on the proper way to pray during worship?
If He was, we need to beat our breasts when praying. No, this wasn’t a discourse
on the proper way to pray. Jesus was contrasting the self-righteous attitude in the
prayer of one worshipper with the recognition of unworthiness in the prayer of
In the second text, the Greek word rendered “stand”—stēko—is used in every
other instance it is used in the Bible as a metaphor for being firm or persevering
(such as, “stand fast in the Lord,” Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 3:8). The Greek word that
was used to depict people literally on their feet (as opposed to sitting) is a
different word—histēmi. People do not always kneel when praying to God in the
Bible. In Mark 11:25, Jesus said: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have
ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your
trespasses.” Here Jesus is not referring to a physical position. If He were, then
His instructions would not apply to believers when they kneel in prayer.
Obviously Christ was referring to what we are to do whenever we pray.
There is no question but that worship services in most denominations today
are becoming far less reverent than in past generations. This has to do with what
people wear, how they act, what they say, which includes common chitchat, and
what attitude they have in general. Ellen White wished to reverse this casual
tendency for worship, wherever it exists, by promoting the biblical concept of
respect through reverent kneeling in the house of worship. In light of the trends in
churches today, we could benefit from her advice. Ellen White and all of the
examples of praying from Scripture correctly point to kneeling as a proper way to
express humility before God. Yet, they do not make this stance an absolute
standard for all circumstances.

EGW: YES. “The loss of some souls at last will be traced to the untidiness of
the minister” (Selected Messages, book 3, p. 251).
BIBLE: NO. Eze 33:20 (NIV) I will judge each of you according to his own
BIBLE: NO. Eze 18:20 (NIV) The soul who sins is the one who will die. The
son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the
son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the
wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.
Does Ellen White say here that people are lost strictly because of the
minister’s untidiness—even if they have a close relationship with the Lord? Of
course not. Ellen White is not suggesting that, on judgment day, anyone would
say, “I am lost solely because my pastor was untidy.” The context reveals that
she was talking about ministers who were preaching to those who are not yet a
part of the church. Here is her statement in context:
A minister negligent of his apparel often wounds those of refined sensibilities
and good taste. Those who are backward in this respect, should correct their
errors and be more circumspect. The loss of some souls at last will be traced
to the untidiness of the minister. The first appearance affected the people
unfavorably because they could not link his appearance in any way with the
truths he presented. His dress was against him; and the impression given,
was, that they were a careless set anyhow; we see that they do not care
anything about their dress, and we do not want anything to do with such a
class of people. (Review and Herald, May 30, 1871, quoted in Selected
Messages, book 3, p. 251)
Her point is that making a good first impression is very important and that
some people, because of the untidy appearance of a minister, may not want to
come back to hear the minister preach. The decision to leave is certainly theirs,
but, had the minister not been so unkempt and ungroomed, they would not have
left the meeting and missed what more he had to say. Ellen White’s point is only
that the loss of this soul would be “traced” to that minister’s untidiness. She never
said that he would be the sole cause of their lost condition. Ellen White is
addressing the issue of being a stumbling block to others, as did Paul (1 Cor. 8)
and as did Jesus (Matt. 18:6). Sound bites from Ellen White’s writings, devoid of
their context, often misrepresent the thought that she was communicating.

EGW: YES. “It is a sin to be sick; for all sickness is the result of transgression”
(Counsels on Health, p. 37).
BIBLE: NO. Job 2:7 (NIV) So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD
and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his
head. Job 2:10 (NIV) 10. . . In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Note: It is a matter of record that Ellen White was sick a lot—does that mean
she sinned a lot?
Here are the very next sentences after Ellen White’s statement above: “Many
are suffering in consequence of the transgression of their parents. They cannot
be censured for their parents’ sin” (Counsels on Health, p. 37). This sentence
clears up any notion that everyone who gets sick is simply paying the price for
their own sins. There are many instances in which disease comes from sources
beyond a person’s control. For example, if a person’s parents and ancestors
abused their health, such as a pregnant mother on drugs or alcohol, the person
will often end up affected by it, whether or not it is fair. The child’s state of health
is still the result of the violation of nature’s laws, which are God’s laws of health.
Truth be told, there would be no sickness if Adam and Eve had not sinned in the
first place. God did not invent sickness; it is the result of living in a sinful world,
and it is amplified by our own unhealthful practices. That is what Ellen White
meant in calling it “sin.” As we saw in her very next sentence, she did not mean
that by getting sick one has committed a sin. No honest person would deny that
human health problems, tending toward death, are the result of sin and the
accumulated violations of the laws of health. The Bible says: “Wherefore, as by
one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon
all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). The Proverbs express the
common-sense principle of cause and effect in saying: “The curse causeless
shall not come” (Prov. 26:2).
The text that THE LIST MAKERS quote—Job 2:7, 10—recounts how Satan
inflicted Job with sores. Obviously this was not Job’s fault. If Ellen White were
saying what THE LIST MAKERS interprets her to be saying, then this text (along
with many others) would prove her wrong. However, the truth is that she does not
connect all sickness directly to a person’s own sin.
THE LIST MAKERS added: “It is a matter of record that Ellen White was sick a
lot—does that mean she sinned a lot?” Part of Ellen White’s poor health
throughout her life was the result of the tragic and nearly fatal accident she
suffered as a child and the subsequent illness that affected her lungs thereafter.
When young Ellen was struck in the nose by a stone thrown by an angry
schoolmate, blood and secretions from her nose could have drained into her
lungs, giving rise to pneumonia. Ellen White’s husband, James, described her
health in her early years: “When she had her first vision she was an emaciated
invalid, given up by her friends and physicians to die of consumption” (James
White, Life Incidents, in Connection with the Great Advent Movement, vol. 1,
1868, p. 273, emphasis added). “Consumption” was what they then called
tuberculosis. “If Ellen had inactive tuberculosis at the time of her injury, blood
loss and pneumonia could easily have developed into pulmonary tuberculosis.
This would explain why she says that as a young woman her lungs were
diseased and why one physician diagnosed her as having ‘dropsical
consumption’—a nineteenth century term for tuberculosis” (Donald I. Peterson,
MD, “Was Ellen White the Victim of Epilepsy?”
Part of her poor health was due to their diet. Ellen White described the pork
and other animal fats that she and other Adventists ate before she was given the
health vision. As a result of the vision she and the other Adventists steered
toward a preventive health emphasis.
Before accusing a person of being a hypocrite or of contradicting the Bible,
should we not seek to understand what that person means by taking the person’s
statements in context?

EGW: YES. “God would not suffer [allow] the wicked to destroy those who
were expecting translation and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or
receive his mark. I saw that if the wicked were permitted to slay the saints, Satan
and all his evil host and all who hate God, would be gratified. . . . [T]he swords
that were raised to kill God’s people broke and fell powerless as a straw. Angels
of God shielded the saints” (Early Writings, pp. 284, 285).
BIBLE: NO. Rev 20:4 (NIV) I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not
worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads
or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The issue here is not a biblical contradiction but a difference in eschatology
and beliefs about last-day events and their timing. Seventh-day Adventists
believe in the close of probation before Jesus returns. Once probation closes, the
death of God’s faithful ones will serve no purpose, for after probation has closed
no one lost will return to loyalty to God and be saved. This is the very definition of
“probation.” Ellen White’s statement about God’s protecting His faithful ones from
being slain by the wicked is correct, for the setting of the statement is after the
close of probation. The martyrs described in Revelation 20:4 are those who will
have been killed before the close of probation (see Manuscript 39, 1906, in
Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 14). After probation closes, the blood of martyrs
would sow no seed for the gospel, for it will change no minds (see The Great
Controversy, p. 634). Revelation describes those afflicted by the seven last
plagues as growing only more recalcitrant (Rev. 9:20, 21). By that point, the last
opportunity for repentance will have passed, and God will keep the faithful from

EGW: YES. “The plagues were falling upon the inhabitants of the earth. Some
were denouncing God and cursing Him. Others rushed to the people of God and
begged to be taught how they might escape His judgments [repentance]. . . .
Those who had not prized God’s Word were hurrying to and fro, wandering from
sea to sea, and from the north to the east, to seek the Word of the Lord
[repentance]. . . . What would they not give for one word of approval from God
[repentance]! But no, they must hunger and thirst on” (Early Writings, p. 281).
BIBLE: NO. Rev 16:9-11, 21 (NIV) 9 They were seared by the intense heat
and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they
refused to repent and glorify him. 10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the
throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed
their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains
and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. 21
. . . And they
cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
Note: Once again, the “vision” Ellen White saw is contrary to the Bible record.
Notice that THE LIST MAKERS have inserted the word “repentance” three
times, and they seem not to recognize that Early Writings is not describing
sincere repentance. Rather, it is describing people who are trying to escape
consequences that their choices have brought upon them. Scripture describes
Esau as being in a similar position to those in the statement in Early Writings,
finding “no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears”
(Heb. 12:17). Judas also sought repentance when he saw that Christ was not
going to deliver Himself from condemnation (Matt. 27:3, 4). But all he could
muster was bitter remorse. “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw
that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of
silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed
the innocent blood” (Matt. 27: 3, 4). This is the same false repentance that the
lost will experience after the close of probation (see Amos 8:11, 12; Matt. 25:11,
THE LIST MAKERS quote from Revelation 16:9-11, 21, which depicts the lost
cursing God because of the plagues, though it does not rule out the millions of lost
ones crying “crocodiles’ tears” as they see their punishment coming. Such is
human nature.

EGW: YES. “Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of
God. I saw them [Christians] look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us Thy
Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence . . .” (Early
Writings, p. 56).
BIBLE: NO. Matt 7:11 (NIV) If you, then, though you are evil, know how to
give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give
good gifts to those who ask him!
BIBLE: NO. Matt 18:19 (NIV) Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree
about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
Note: The idea that Satan answers prayers addressed to our heavenly Father
not only contradicts the Bible—it also makes a complete mockery of the power of
God. Ellen White’s “god” is so impotent that Satan can take His place!
No one would like to think that his or her prayers have ever be answered by
Satan instead of God. Yet, Jesus said: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess
unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt.
7:22, 23). Those who perform such miracles apparently believe all along that
God is answering their prayers. However, if Jesus Himself claims that He “never
knew them” while they have been casting out devils and doing wonderful works
in His name, by whose power are they performing miracles? David declared: “If I
regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). So who is
hearing them? Satan has no objection to answering the prayers of those who
regard iniquity in their hearts, for their hypocrisy serves his purposes. Revelation
describes the miracles of the “beast” power that received its power from Satan
(Rev. 13:4): “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down
from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Rev. 13:13). This “beast” power is
a religious power that calls the world to worship. To whom is the “beast” power
“praying” when these “great wonders” occur?
Earlier Paul wrote: “Even him [the anti-christ “beast” power], whose coming is
after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with
all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they
received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they
all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:9-12).
Those who go along with the “beast” power receive “strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie.” This means that they actually believe that they are
worshiping and praying to the true God and that He is answering their prayers
with marvelous signs and wonders. Jesus warned His followers about the
persecution of religious people: “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea,
the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God
service” (John 16:2). Do you suppose these sincerely deceived individuals ever
pray while they are persecuting? Who hears and answers their prayers if it is not
the one who helps them persecute the faithful ones?
THE LIST MAKERS add: “The idea that Satan answers prayers addressed to
our heavenly Father not only contradicts the Bible—it also makes a complete
mockery of the power of God.” The Bible teaches that, when Revelation 13 is
fulfilled, Satan will answer many prayers miraculously. Paul wrote: “And no
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no
great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;
whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:14, 15). These
masquerading ones are thought to be “ministers of righteousness,” and yet they
are actually Satan’s ministers. If they are the ministers of Satan, who is
answering their prayers?
THE LIST MAKERS have included two texts that describe God’s answering of
prayers, which we readily affirm, and Ellen White consistently affirmed and
taught. Yet, as uncomfortable as it is to consider it, the Bible indicates that Satan
does hear prayers and respond to them by sending false miracles upon selfdeceived Christians who receive not the “love of the truth.”

EGW: YES. “As God has shown me in holy vision . . . we heard the voice of
God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming” (Early
Writings, pp. 15, 34, 285).
BIBLE: NO. Matt 25:13 (NIV) Therefore, keep watch, because you do not
know the day or the hour.
BIBLE: NO. Matt 24:36 (NIV) No one knows about that day or hour, not even
the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
While Jesus was on earth, he declared that neither He nor His angels knew the
“day or the hour” of His return to earth (Matt. 24:36). Yet, that will have most
certainly changed by the time He leaves heaven for His second advent. In the
statement THE LIST MAKERS quoted above, Ellen White is simply stating that
God will reveal this same information to His “sealed” servants during the time of
trouble as a way of giving them comfort that their deliverance is near. No Bible
texts say that the redeemed will never know the day and the hour of the Second
Coming after the close of probation any more than they say that Jesus and the
angels who are coming with Him will never know when this blessed even will
(Please note that THE LIST MAKERS have misidentified the source of Ellen
White’s statement. It is not in Early Writings. The first part, which reads, “As God
has shown me in holy vision,” is found in Ellen Harmon’s letter to Bro. Jacobs,
dated Dec. 20, 1845, in The Day-Star, Jan. 24, 1846; in the broadside, “To the
Little Remnant Scattered Abroad,” April 6, 1846; and in the pamphlet, “A Word to
the Little Flock Scattered Abroad,” 1847, p. 14. The rest of the quotation is found
in Review and Herald, July 21, 1851; A Sketch of the Christian Experience and
Views of Ellen G. White, 1851, p. 10; Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 59;
and Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 30.)

EGW: YES. “It was at midnight that God chose to deliver his people. As the
wicked were mocking around them, suddenly the sun appeared, shining in his
strength, and the moon stood still” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 205).
BIBLE: NO. Matt 25:13 (NIV) Therefore, keep watch, because you do not
know the day or the hour.
BIBLE: NO. Acts 1:7 (NIV) It is not for you to know the times or dates the
Father has set by his own authority.
This statement does not contradict Scripture. In it, Ellen White is not predicting
the declaration of the day and hour of Jesus’ return in any way that it would let
His “sealed” servants know a specific time to plan for Jesus’ return. It gives no
clue as to the precise time that Jesus will come—something Ellen White
repeatedly warned against trying to figure out in keeping with the warnings of
Christ. We need to understand the significance of “midnight.” “Midnight” was
when the destroying angel went through Egypt during the tenth plague, killing all
the firstborn without blood on their doorposts (Exod. 11:4; 12:29). In Christ’s
parable of the ten virgins, midnight is when the cry is heard: “Behold the
bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (Matt. 25:6). At midnight, five of the
virgins are unprepared. Job says: “In a moment shall they die, and the people
shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken
without hand” (Job 34:20). Prophecies such as these, using similar symbolic
language, are scattered throughout Scripture.
We need to understand “midnight” as having deeper significance than just 12
AM in a certain time zone. First of all, if Ellen White meant literal “midnight,” then,
which time zone did she mean? When it is midnight in Battle Creek, it is only nine
o’clock in St. Helena, and it is noon on the other side of the world. If we really
want to be technical, it is always the middle of the night somewhere on the
earth—no matter when Jesus comes. Logically, Ellen White is using “midnight” in
a non-literal sense.
Amos described the end of the world like this: “And it shall come to pass in that
day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will
darken the earth in the clear day” (Amos 8:9). Amos’s use of “noon” is similar to
the way that Ellen White used it. When Jesus returns to earth with all the holy
angels, our whole world will be thrown into such chaos that the sun and moon will
not be reliable in giving the time of day. The entire earth will be shaken and
“turned upside down” (see Isaiah 24:1-6).
Ellen White’s statement in Spiritual Gifts prophesies in a metaphorical form.
There are similar statements in Early Writings and The Great Controversy, giving
evidence that Ellen White is referring to deliverance from darkest of moments
when the death sentence is to be carried out—were it not for God’s
intervention—and not to the precise time that Jesus returns to the earth. The
description of what God’s intervention at this dark “hour” in no way sets the day
or hour of the Second Coming.

EGW: YES. “We gathered about Jesus, and just as He closed the gates of the
city, the curse was pronounced upon the wicked. The gates were shut. Then the
saints used their wings and mounted to the top of the wall of the city” (Early
Writings, p. 53).
BIBLE: NO. Phil 3:21 (NIV) Who, by the power that enables him to bring
everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be
like his glorious body.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (7).
Paul wrote: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the
heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor.
2:9). David wrote: “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the
desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4). Clearly God has things in store for His
children that we may not now conceptualize.
While it is true that the redeemed will be transformed to possess bodies like
that of Christ, yet that does not rule out the possibility of having wings. Paul was
quite clear in his first letter to the Corinthians that the things that God has
prepared for us are beyond our limited imagination. Can we imagine, watching
angels fly up to the top of the wall of the New Jerusalem—the same angels who
are described in Scripture as having looked like humans when they visited men
and women—and knowing that we too will be able to do the same? Isaiah wrote:
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and
not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Not until the other side of the Second Coming will we know whether this text is
symbolic or literal. Until then, there is nothing in the Bible that rules out the
possibility of someday having wings to fly.

EGW: NO. “The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope
did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of
the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice” (The Desire of Ages, p. 753).
BIBLE: YES. Luke 24:7 (NIV) The Son of Man must be delivered into the
hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.
John 2:19 (NIV) Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it
again in three days.”
John 10:17, 18 (NIV) The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my
life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own
accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This
command I received from my Father.
BIBLE: YES. Matt 26:64 (NIV) “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say
to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of
the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Note: E. G. White tells us Jesus could not see through the portals of the tomb
and yet he told his followers what would happen after his death, He would rise up
after three days. Jesus also told Caiaphas, “In the future” he would return. Who is
telling the truth, Jesus or EGW? Who or what prompted Mrs. White to tell us this
The scriptures that THE LIST MAKERS have referenced are Jesus’
predictions that He would rise again from the dead and not descriptions of what
Jesus perceived while on the cross. It is true that, before the cross, Jesus knew
what the outcome of His ministry would be. That is not the issue. Yet, as Jesus
was suspended from the cross, Satan so fiercely tempted Him beyond anything
that any other human has ever experienced that the Savior cried out, “My God,
My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Does this sound like Jesus was able to
see beyond the darkness of what He was experiencing? We should remember
that when He became a human being, He suspended some of His abilities. He
told the disciples that He did not know the time of His own return to earth but that
the Father alone knew when it would be (Mark 13:32). This in no way lessens His
continuing to be, at that moment, God on earth.
When Jesus hung on the cross, His human feelings were telling Him that sin
was so offensive to God that He might not come out of the tomb again. In His
own words, He felt totally “forsaken” by the Father. Sin separates the soul from
God (Isaiah 59:2). Yet, Jesus went through with the plan of redemption because
He knew that abandoning it would guarantee humanity’s eternal loss. There is
great beauty in this dark picture—the beauty of Jesus’ willingness to die for us
while not being able to see through the tomb. He loves us that much!
To explain what Jesus was going through at that moment would be like trying
to explain in crystal clear terms how God never had a beginning. What Jesus
went through for us is more than we can ever grasp, yet Jesus’ cry of feeling
abandoned lets us know that there was a terrible battle going on within Him, and,
to our benefit, He stayed faithful in spite of how terrible it was.
Christ had to die the death that all sinners should die—the same death that the
lost will die at the end of time. At the end of time, will the lost have a sense that
their death will only be temporary and that they will soon be resurrected again?
Or will they not, rather, have a strange and horribly painful sense that they are
being eternally separated from the Life Giver? If Jesus was truly dying the death
of humanity—including the death of the lost—then He had to experience all that
humans will have to experience and nothing less.
We stand behind the belief of Ellen White and of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church that Christ could not at that moment see through the portals of the tomb.

EGW: YES. “He [Enoch] did not make his abode with the wicked. He did not
locate in Sodom, thinking to save Sodom. He placed himself and his family where
the atmosphere would be as pure as possible. Then at times he went forth to the
inhabitants of the world with his God-given message. Every visit he made to the
world was painful to him. He saw and understood something of the leprosy of sin.
After proclaiming his message, he always took back with him to his place of
retirement some who had received the warning. Some of these became
overcomers, and died before the Flood came. But some had lived so long in the
corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness” (Manuscript 42,
1900, quoted in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1087).
BIBLE: NO. This statement contradicts the Bible, as there is no reference to
Sodom existing before the flood. The first reference to Sodom is after the flood.
There is no Bible truth that Enoch was thinking about saving Sodom when it did
not exist in Enoch’s day. Why did the publishers of Maranatha, leave out all EGW
references to Enoch and Sodom? “He [Enoch] did not make his abode with the
wicked. . . . He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as
pure as possible. Then at times he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with
his God-given message. . . . After proclaiming his message, he always took back
with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning”
(Maranatha, p. 184).
Contrary to THE LIST MAKERS’ claim, nothing in Ellen White’s statement
suggests that Enoch was thinking about even figuratively saving Sodom. The
statement says just the opposite: “He did not locate in Sodom, thinking to save
Sodom.” Ellen White used the term “Sodom” metaphorically as one will note by
reading the rest of the passage. She wrote that Enoch “went forth to the
inhabitants of the world [not to the inhabitants of Sodom] with his God-given
message. Every visit he made to the world [not to the inhabitants of Sodom] was
painful to him.”
What is more, Ellen White showed in Patriarchs and Prophets (1890) and
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1 (1858), that she knew long before writing the statement in
question that Enoch lived long before the existence of the literal Sodom. As with
allegation number 7, regarding the “Tower of Babel,” we must ask ourselves:
Would Ellen White negate with a single sentence all that she had previously
written in great detail about Sodom and Enoch? After years of commenting on
the book of Genesis, did she somehow suddenly decide to put the literal city of
Sodom before the Flood? This makes no sense.
Before this, Ellen White wrote about the shortsightedness of Lot in choosing to
locate in Sodom: “When Lot entered Sodom he fully intended to keep himself
free from iniquity and to command his household after him. But he signally failed”
(Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 168). Sodom became, for Ellen White, a metaphor
for sinful, pleasure-loving cities. It had already been used as a metaphor in the
book of Revelation: “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city,
which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified”
(Revelation 11:8). John wrote this thousands of years after the destruction of
literal Sodom.
The manuscript from which the 1900 statement is taken is counsel as leaders
were considering where to build a sanitarium. Before drawing from the
experience of Enoch in the manuscript, Ellen White wrote:
It is not necessary for man to degrade himself with the wicked associations of
society around him. He who is compelled by circumstances he cannot
control—to be where wickedness, deep and pronounced, is all around him—
may remember that God and the angels are with him.
Her counsel was to not place the health facility they contemplated where
workers would be subject to unnecessary temptation. In another statement that
same year, she also used “Sodom” metaphorically, only this time it was about
where not to locate Adventist homes. “Let it be your study to select and make
your homes as far from Sodom and Gomorrah as you can. Keep out of the
large cities. If possible make your homes in the quiet retirement of the country,
even if you can never become wealthy by so doing. Locate where there is the
best influence” (Manuscript 42, 1900, in Adventist Home, p. 139).
Considering (1) Ellen White’s previous books which detail Enoch and Sodom
in their correct chronological order, (2) the Bible’s symbolic use of the word
“Sodom,” and (3) her symbolic use of the word “Sodom” elsewhere in her
writings, it seems logical that Ellen White understood that Enoch did not exist
during the time of Sodom’s existence. Thus, her statement does not contradict
the Bible.
So, why did the publishers of the devotional book, Maranatha, omit this
statement? The reason has nothing to do with the validity of Ellen White’s
writings. Neither does it prove that the publishers were being deceptive. The
publishers omitted the statement because it is confusing on the surface—
especially to those who may not have read Ellen White’s other symbolic
references to Sodom. However, the fact that this statement was selected for
inclusion in the widely read Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (1953) and
in the devotional Christ Triumphant (1999) shows that the church has never tried
to conceal it.
EGW: YES. At the very first expression of penitence, Christ presents the
humble suppliant’s petition before the throne as his own desire in the sinner’s
behalf. He says, “I will pray the Father for you” (Youth’s Instructor, Jan. 16, 1896
par. 4; see also Review and Herald, May 18, 1876, par. 38).
BIBLE: NO. John 16:26-27 (NIV) In that day you will ask in my name. I am not
saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you
because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
Taking a single verse by itself without considering other related texts will often
lead to false conclusions. THE LIST MAKERS missed Jesus’ statement in John
14:16: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that
he may abide with you for ever.” In light of this verse, it is obvious that Christ was
not saying in John 16:26 that He would never “pray the Father” for them. He most
certainly intercedes “in the sinner’s behalf” in heaven, as we see in Romans 8:34:
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again,
who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” In
saying, “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will
pray the Father for you” (John 16:26), Jesus was saying that He did not need to
persuade the Father to answer His disciples’ prayers, “for the Father himself
loveth you” (John 16:27). John reiterated this point in his first epistle when he
wrote: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing
according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us,
whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him”
(1 John 5:14, 15).
Though Ellen White used the words of John 16:26, Jesus most certainly did
tell His disciples that He would pray the Father that His disciples might receive
the Holy Spirit (John 14:16), and it is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies, as Ellen
White pointed out in another statement.
A brother said he felt thankful that God was a prayer-hearing and prayeranswering God. He knew that his Spirit was here. He rejoiced in his love. He
rejoiced that Jesus lives; he has said, “I will pray the Father for you.” He
had prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” He rejoiced in
the light of that truth. . . . (Review and Herald, May 18, 1876, par. 38)
EGW: “Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, had invaded Canaan fourteen years
before, and made it tributary to him. Several of the princes now revolted, and the
Elamite king, with four allies, again marched into the country to reduce them to
submission” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 134, emphasis added).
Bible: Gen 14:8-9 (NIV) Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the
king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched
out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim against Kedorlaomer
king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of
Ellasar—four kings against five.
Gen 14:2 (NIV) Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of
Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
The Bible itself explicitly summarizes the number of allies for us as “four kings
against five” (verse 9), the four being foreign, and the five being local. We are not
to consider the occurrence of ‘four’ in verse 11 in the NIV, as that isn’t the original
wording. In any case, it is obvious that Kedorlaomer had three allies.
So much for inspiration and visions of the great controversy! The visions seem
to have been somewhat blurred.
Key issue: A FACTUAL MISTAKE (1).
Ellen White’s statement mistakenly describes Chedorlaomer as attacking with
four allies instead of attacking as part of four allies. Patriarchs and Prophets is
the only reference in Ellen White’s writings to Chedorlaomer’s having “four allies.”
There are no other mentions in her writings of Abraham’s rescue of Lot, nor are
there any extant manuscripts for the chapter to verify the words she used. Marian
Davis edited Patriarchs and Prophets, Ellen White’s expansion of the account of
the period of the patriarchs in The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 1. It was Marian
Davis’ job, as editor of Patriarchs and Prophets, to catch such a mistake.
The great controversy visions were panoramic representations of the war
between Christ and Satan, starting with Lucifer’s fall from heaven, down to
Christ’s glorious final triumph over evil. These visions did not supply all the
details of the conflict included either the Spirit of Prophecy series or in the
Conflict of the Ages series, which tell the story of the great controversy—
especially when those details are available through the Bible itself. Ellen White’s
son W. C. White wrote: “The great events occurring in the life of our Lord were
presented to her in panoramic scenes as also were the other portions of The
Great Controversy [which would include the Old Testament histories]. In a few
of these scenes chronology and geography were clearly presented, but in the
greater part of the revelation the flashlight scenes, which were exceedingly vivid,
and the conversations and the controversies, which she heard and was able to
narrate, were not marked geographically or chronologically, and she was left to
study the Bible and history, and the writings of men who had presented the life
of our Lord, to get the chronological and geographical connection” (Letter to L. E.
Froom, Jan. 8, 1928, cited in Selected Messages, book 3, pp. 459, 460).
Carefully reviewing the details of Scripture, we see that the conflict was four
kings against five, that Chedorlaomer was one of the four, and that Abraham and
his men vanquished the four. The mistake has been corrected in the condensed
version of Patriarchs and Prophets, entitled From Eternity Past (1983), and in the
modernized version, The Beginning of the End (2007).
Additional Ellen G. White Expansions on Scripture
Since compiling the original list of allegations, THE LIST MAKERS added
additional points. Several of these provide unique details and insights, pointing to
Ellen White’s eyewitness advantage in providing perspective, spiritual insight,
and eyewitness color to the biblical events that Ellen White recounted. These
eyewitness details also validate her independence from possible literary sources.
EGW: YES. “After Satan was shut out of heaven, with those who fell with him,
he realized that he lost all the purity and glory of heaven forever. Then he repented
and wished to be reinstated in heaven. He was willing to take his proper place, or
any place that might be assigned him. . . . He and his followers repented, wept and
implored to be taken back into the favor of God. But no, their sin their hate, their
envy and jealousy, had been so great that God could not blot it out. It must remain
to receive its final punishment” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 18, 19).
Note: Not Biblical. But, in Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus told Peter to forgive
seventy times seven (490 times). If Ellen White was right, then it is strange that
God expected more from Peter than He was willing to do Himself by refusing to
forgive Satan! Wouldn’t Christ have been willing to die in Satan’s place—had
Satan repented? Is God really unmerciful and unforgiving?
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (8).
The Bible provides the barest of details about the fall of Lucifer in Isaiah 14
and Ezekiel 28. The description of his being cast out of heaven is mentioned in
Revelation 12:9 and Luke 10:18. The portion of Ellen White’s statement that THE
LIST MAKERS chose to omit (see boldfaced type) explains why God could not
forgive and reinstate Satan:
After Satan was shut out of heaven, with those who fell with him, he realized
that he had lost all the purity and glory of heaven forever. Then he repented
and wished to be reinstated again in heaven. He was willing to take his proper
place, or any place that might be assigned him. But no, heaven must not be
placed in jeopardy. All heaven might be marred should he be taken
back; for sin originated with him, and the seeds of rebellion were within
him. Satan had obtained followers, those who sympathized with him in
his rebellion. He and his followers repented, wept and implored to be taken
back into the favor of God. But no, their sin, their hate, their envy and
jealousy, had been so great that God could not blot it out. It must remain to
receive its final punishment. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, pp. 18, 19, emphasis
The paragraph after this shows that Satan’s feigned repentance was only to
rescue what he knew he had lost.
When Satan became fully conscious that there was no possibility of his being
brought again into favor with God, then his malice and hatred began to be
manifest. He consulted with his angels, and a plan was laid to still work against
God’s government. When Adam and Eve were placed in the beautiful garden,
Satan was laying plans to destroy them. A consultation was held with his evil
angels. In no way could this happy couple be deprived of their happiness if they
obeyed God. Satan could not exercise his power upon them unless they should
first disobey God, and forfeit his favor. They must devise some plan to lead
them to disobedience that they might incur God’s frown, and be brought under
the more direct influence of Satan and his angels. It was decided that Satan
should assume another form, and manifest an interest for man. He must
insinuate against God’s truthfulness, create doubt whether God did mean as he
said, next, excite their curiosity, and lead them to pry into the unsearchable
plans of God, which Satan had been guilty of, and reason as to the cause of his
restrictions in regard to the tree of knowledge. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, pp. 19, 20;
republished in Early Writings in 1882)
EGW: YES. “As Adam came forth from the hand of his Creator. . . . He was
more than twice as tall as men now living upon the earth. . . . Eve was not quite
as tall as Adam. Her head reached a little above his shoulders” (Spiritual Gifts,
vol. 3, p. 34).
EGW: YES. “Adam’s height was much greater than that of men who now
inhabit the earth. Eve was somewhat less in stature” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.
Note: Not Biblical. The Bible does not tell us the height of Adam and Eve, but
Ellen does not leave us in doubt as to their height.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (9).
Evidence from geology shows that many plants and animals before the Flood
were much larger than those same plants and animals are today. Genesis calls
attention to the greater stature of humans before the Flood (Gen. 6:4).
EGW: YES. “I saw that some were quickly destroyed, while others suffered
longer. . . . Some were many days consuming, and just as long as there was a
portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering was there” (Spiritual Gifts,
vol. 1, p. 217).
Note: Not Biblical. What if their brain is consumed first; will they still feel
pain? Can a finger feel pain after the rest of the body is destroyed? Where is a
Bible text to support this error?
It should be noted that the phrase “one piece of flesh” is from THE LIST
MAKERS and not from Ellen White. Certainly Ellen White understood that a
functioning brain is required to feel and to think. In Fundamentals of Christian
Education, p. 225, she wrote: “Brain power is required to think . . .” However, the
basis for longer punishment for some of the rebellious than for others is from the
teachings of Jesus:
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither
did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew
not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to
whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke
12:47, 48)
The biblical statements about the torment of the rebellious use the biblical
“forever” (Rev. 20:10), which means a relatively long time (see Exod. 21:6; Isa.
34:10; Jonah 2:6). In 1884, Ellen White wrote: “Some are destroyed as in a
moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished ‘according to their
deeds’ ” (The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 488). The phrase “according to their
deeds” is used in various passages of the Old Testament dealing with God’s
meting out of recompense:
Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of
their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their
desert. (Psalm 28:4)
According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his
adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay
recompence. (Isa. 59:18)
For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and
I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the
works of their own hands. (Jer. 25:14)
In the New Testament, Revelation 20:13 says: “And the sea gave up the dead
which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:
and they were judged every man according to their works.”
EGW: YES. 1898 “When the Saviour’s hands were bathing those soiled feet,
and wiping them with the towel, the heart of Judas thrilled through and through
with the impulse then and there to confess his sin” (The Desire of Ages, p. 645).
EGW: NO. 1902 “As Christ celebrated this ordinance with His disciples,
conviction came to the hearts of all save Judas” (Evangelism, p. 275).
Note: Mrs. White said yes in 1898 and God and Ellen changed their minds in
1902 and said no. This kind of inspiration is very hard to keep up with. I am
thankful that the prophets of the Bible did not have this problem.
Neither of the quoted statements says that Judas had a conviction. Ellen White
carefully worded the statement in The Desire of Ages, calling that which stirred in
Judas an “impulse” rather than a “conviction.” Therefore, there is no contradiction
with her 1902 statement in which she said that “conviction” did not come to the
heart of Judas. Ellen White’s statement about Judas’ impulse to confess his sin is
validated by his belated and remorseful confession to the Sanhedrin, “I have
sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matt. 27:4).
EGW: YES. “John was cast into a caldron of boiling oil; but the Lord preserved
the life of His faithful servant even as he preserved the three Hebrews in the fiery
furnace. By the emperor’s decree John was banished to the Isle of Patmos” (Acts
of the Apostles, p. 570).
Note: Not Biblical. The miracles of life preservation have been recorded in
Scripture to glorify God and to give us confidence in God’s mercies. It seems
strange that John chose not to glorify God with this miracle as Paul did when
God delivered him and as recorded in Daniel of the fiery furnace and Daniel in
the Lion’s den. If this miracle happened to me, being delivered from boiling oil, I
would be shouting it from the housetops. It took God 2000 years to get this
information to us by way of Ellen G. White. Why was it important for the Seventhday Adventist Church to know about this miracle and not to have it recorded in
Scripture for the encouragement of the Saints that went through persecutions?
To believe this, one must have tremendous faith or be a deluded individual.
THE LIST MAKERS are correct in saying that this statement is not biblical.
The information does not come from the Bible but from another account written in
the second century of which THE LIST MAKERS are apparently unaware.
Tertullian wrote: “John was plunged into fiery oil without hurt!” (Liber de
praescriptione haereticorum [The book of prescription of heretics] available at
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14520c.htm, accessed 3/15/18).
E. G. White was under the impression that the Herod that took part in Jesus’
trial was the same Herod that took the life of James. She did not realize that it
was Herod Antipas who took part in Jesus’ trial and Herod Agrippa I who put
James to death. This mistake was due to her ignorance of the Bible and Bible
Writing under inspiration; E. G. White wrote in 1858 that, “Herod’s heart grew
still harder, and when he heard that JESUS had arisen, he was not much
troubled. He took the life of James; and when he saw that this pleased the Jews,
he took Peter also, intending to put him to death” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 71).
Note: The cover-up. This error was never corrected in the revisions of Early
Writings. But when the error was discovered the authors tried to fix it by a
footnote on page 185 of Early Writings saying it was “the same Herodian spirit
only in another personality.” Notice Ellen was talking under inspiration about an
individual, Herod, not the spirit of an individual or their attributes. Jesus certainly
knew the difference between the Herods and the reason Ellen did not, was that
she was not inspired and did not have the gift of prophecy.
Key issue: A FACTUAL MISTAKE (2).
In her early 1858 book, Ellen White did indeed see as the same individual the
two rulers in Luke 23:11 and Acts 12:1 who were designated by the title of
“Herod.” (She did not use the identifying names of “Antipas” or “Agrippa.”) Yet,
we must ask: How would she know from studying Scripture that the first “Herod”
was Antipas and that the second “Herod” was Agrippa? The Scriptures do not
distinguish the two by name and do not mention a change of rulers. Notice the
texts that mention the two rulers who went by the name “Herod”:
“And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he
said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty
works do shew forth themselves in him.” (Mark 6:14)
“And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and
arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.” (Luke 23:11)
“For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both
Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were
gathered together.” (Acts 4:27)
“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain
of the church.” (Acts 12:1)
The name “Antipas” never appears in Scripture. The name “Agrippa” does not
appear until Acts 25:13. The last appearance of the title “Herod” is in Acts 23:35,
and it is not in connection with the name “Agrippa.” Luke, who wrote the Gospel
of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, never used “Herod” with “Agrippa.” Thus,
the confusion of the two Herods is an easy mistake to make—especially when
Luke connected the “Herod” of Acts 4 (which would have been Antipas) with
Pontius Pilate, as in the Gospel of Luke, and then gave no intervening note of
explanation that a new Herod filled the post in 44 AD before referring again to
“Herod” in Acts 12. Commenting on Acts 12:1, A. T. Robertson relied on
Josephus to distinguish which “Herod” was meant:
About that time. (kat’ ekeinon ton kairon). Same phrase in Rom. 9:9. That is,
the early part of A.D. 44 since that is the date of Herod’s death. As already
suggested, Barnabas and Saul came down from Antioch to Jerusalem after
the persecution by Herod at the end of 44 or the beginning of 45.
Herod the king. (Hērōidēs ho basileus). Accurate title at this particular time.
Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great, was King of Palestine A.D. 42
to 44; only for these three years was a Herod king over Palestine since the
death of Herod the Great and never afterwards. Archelaus never actually
became king though he had the popular title at first (Mat. 2:22). . . .
Herod Agrippa I was an Idumean through his grandfather Herod the Great
and a grandson of Mariamne the Maccabean princess. He was a favourite of
Caligula the Roman Emperor and was anxious to placate his Jewish subjects
while retaining the favour of the Romans. So he built theatres and held games
for the Romans and Greeks and slew the Christians to please the Jews.
Josephus (Ant. XIX. 7, 3) calls him a pleasant vain man scrupulously
observing Jewish rites. Here we have for the first time political power (after
Pilate) used against the disciples.
While it is true that, in her earliest account, Ellen White did confuse the two
Herods, after giving study to the period via Conybeare and Howson’s Life and
Epistles of the Apostle Paul, she properly distinguished them in Sketches from
the Life of Paul (1883), where she wrote:
Did the mind of Agrippa at these words revert to the past history of his family,
and their fruitless efforts against Him whom Paul was preaching? Did he think
of his great-grandfather Herod, and the massacre of the innocent children of
Bethlehem? of his great-uncle Antipas, and the murder of John the Baptist?
of his own father, Agrippa I., and the martyrdom of the apostle James?
Did he see in the disasters which speedily befell these kings an evidence of
the displeasure of God in consequence of their crimes against his servants?
Did the pomp and display of that day remind Agrippa of the time when his
own father, a monarch more powerful than he, stood in that same city, attired
in glittering robes, while the people shouted that he was a god? Had he
forgotten how, even before the admiring shouts had died away, vengeance,
swift and terrible, had befallen the vainglorious king? Something of all this
flitted across Agrippa’s memory; but his vanity was flattered by the brilliant
scene before him, and pride and self-importance banished all nobler
thoughts. (Sketches from the Life of Paul, p. 255)
Also, in The Desire of Ages (1898) and in The Acts of the Apostles (1911), she
distinguished Antipas and Agrippa by name.
John the Baptist had been first in heralding Christ’s kingdom, and he was first
also in suffering. From the free air of the wilderness and the vast throngs that
had hung upon his words, he was now shut in by the walls of a dungeon cell.
He had become a prisoner in the fortress of Herod Antipas. In the territory
east of Jordan, which was under the dominion of Antipas, much of John’s
ministry had been spent. Herod himself had listened to the preaching of the
Baptist. The dissolute king had trembled under the call to repentance. “Herod
feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy; . . . and when he
heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.” John dealt with him
faithfully, denouncing his iniquitous alliance with Herodias, his brother’s wife.
For a time Herod feebly sought to break the chain of lust that bound him; but
Herodias fastened him the more firmly in her toils, and found revenge upon the
Baptist by inducing Herod to cast him into prison. (The Desire of Ages, p. 214)
“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain
of the church.” The government of Judea was then in the hands of Herod
Agrippa, subject to Claudius, the Roman emperor. Herod also held the
position of tetrarch of Galilee. He was professedly a proselyte to the Jewish
faith, and apparently very zealous in carrying out the ceremonies of the Jewish
law. Desirous of obtaining the favor of the Jews, hoping thus to make secure
his offices and honors, he proceeded to carry out their desires by persecuting
the church of Christ, spoiling the houses and goods of the believers, and
imprisoning the leading members of the church. He cast James, the brother of
John, into prison, and sent an executioner to kill him with the sword, as another
Herod had caused the prophet John to be beheaded. Seeing that the Jews
were well pleased with these efforts, he imprisoned Peter also. (The Acts of the
Apostles, p. 143)
In all honesty, how would anyone recognize that there were two different
Herods in Luke 23 and Acts 12 if they had not read THE LIST MAKERS’ allegation
against Ellen White or studied it out in history or read the explanatory note in Early
Writings, p. 185? Apparently Ellen White had only read the Bible record before
writing Spiritual Gifts, volume 1. Yet, when she recognized her mistake, she
corrected it in Sketches from the Life of Paul. The prophetic gift does not make a
person omniscient. They have to learn details from reading other sources, just like
anyone else. The prophet Daniel wrote: “In the first year of his reign I Daniel
understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD
came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the
desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:2). Prophets can also make mistakes and
correct them. The prophet Nathan, who first told David that he could build the
temple and then learned from God that this was not to be, so he and had to go
back and correct his original statement (2 Sam. 7:3–17).
Ellen White wrote her early account using just the Bible, which does not
distinguish the two Herods. Later she discovered that there were two Herods and
that she had conflated the two (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 71). Ever after that she
made sure to distinguish the two Herods when she referred to them.
EGW: YES. “He knew that when Jesus should establish himself as a teacher,
he must die” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 29).
Note: Not Biblical. There is no Bible record of John knowing when he was
going to die.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (10).
Additional details are not contradictions.
EGW: YES. The Feast At Simon’s House. “Simon had led into sin the woman
he now despised. . . . It was Mary who poured upon His head the precious
anointing oil, and bathed His feet with her tears. Mary was first at the tomb after
the resurrection” (The Desire of Ages, pp. 566, 568).
Note: Mary, the sister of LAZARUS is never identified as Mary Magdalene, nor
is it ever suggested from the Bible that Simon led Mary into sin and despised her.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (11).
Ellen White’s comment knits together the evidence regarding the woman who
washed Jesus’ feet in the various Gospels.
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that
Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of
ointment. And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his
feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his
feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (Luke 7:37, 38)
(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet
with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) (John 11:2)
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed
the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled
with the odour of the ointment. (John 12:3)
The only way that the woman in Luke 7 who anointed Jesus’ feet is not Mary
of Bethany is if Luke is describing a different event with another woman washing
Jesus’ feet. Otherwise, the woman is indeed “Mary,” the sister of Lazarus, who
lived in Bethany. In Matthew, “Magdalene” is only connected with the name
“Mary “ in chapters 27 and 28 (27:56, 61; 28:1); in Mark, it is only connected with
the name “Mary” in chapters 15 and 16 (15:40, 47; 16:1, 9); in Luke, the name
appears in chapter 8 (8:2) with a description of how she was freed of demons,
and in chapter 24 (24:10); in John, the name only appears in chapter 19 and 20
(19:25; 20:1, 18). The rest of the Gospel of John only refers to “Mary.” So, the
name “Magdalene” is only used at the end of the Gospels, except for the Gospel
of Luke, which uses the name immediately after the story about the woman
who anointed Jesus’ feet. Regarding the relation of Simon to the woman
washing Jesus’ feet, in the account in Luke 7, Simon somehow knew who the
woman was. Ellen White simply makes the positive identification.
EGW: YES. “All this displeased His brothers. Being older than Jesus, they felt
that He should be under their dictation. His brothers, as the sons of Joseph were
called, sided with the rabbis. They insisted that the traditions must be heeded, as
if they were the requirements of God” (The Desire of Ages, pp. 86, 87).
Note: Not Biblical. Ellen G. White adds to the Bible the same way that
Joseph Smith does in the “Book of Mormon”. How can Adventist claim that the
Bible is the source of their faith and accept this as “the truth”, and do it with a
straight face?
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (12).
In contrast to Joseph Smith, who called himself “God’s Oracle” (Journal of
Discourses, vol. 2, preface), believed he had a right to “correct” Scripture, and
made his own translation of the Scriptures, Ellen White never set herself up as
the final arbiter of biblical interpretation and saw her role as directing people to
the unfailing standard of Scripture. She wrote: “Little heed is given to the Bible,
and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light”
(Review and Herald, Jan. 20, 1903).
In the instance cited by THE LIST MAKERS above, there are biblical facts that
suggest what Ellen White concluded. Jesus did have brothers (cf. John 2:12),
who were interested in guiding His activities, as the Gospels indicate: “His
brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy
disciples also may see the works that thou doest” (John 7:3; see also Luke 8:20;
Matt. 12:46; Mark 3:31). For this reason, it is likely that they were older. Until
Jesus was born, Mary had no sexual relations with Joseph (Matt. 1:25), so any
older brothers would have been from a previous marriage of Joseph. Jesus
responded to the news that his brothers and mother were waiting to talk to Him,
saying: “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and
do it” (Luke 8:21). This statement could imply that His mother and brothers
questioned what Jesus was doing and that that is why they sought Him. Because
Joseph is not mentioned as part of Jesus’ family when Jesus began His ministry,
it is likely that he was somewhat older than Mary and had already died (Mark
EGW: YES. “All angels that are commissioned to visit earth hold a golden
card, which they present to the angels at the gates of the city” (Early Writings, p.
Note: Not Biblical. If this statement came from Joseph Smith would you
accept it? No, because it is not found in the Bible. Then using the same principle
for defining your faith how can you believe EGW’s nonsense as truth? Does God
who can number the hairs on our head, need a gold card to identify the angels?
Why have angels at the gate when an ATM machine would work just as well?
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (13).
THE LIST MAKERS have no way of knowing whether or not the angels of heaven
use a golden card when they go out and come back from ministry on planet Earth.
Originally, Ellen White mentioned the golden card two times in an article in The
Present Truth, August 1, 1849. The statements are duplicated in other works.
Besides the one quoted above, the other instance reads:
Then my attending angel directed me to the City again, where I saw four
angels winging their way to the gate of the City, and were just presenting the
golden card to the angel at the gate. Then I saw another angel swiftly flying
from the direction of the most excellent glory, and crying with a loud voice to
the other angels, and waving something up and down in his hand. (The
Present Truth, Aug. 1, 1849)
THE LIST MAKERS have omitted the last phrase in the first statement in Early
Writings (see boldfaced)—“. . . which they present to the angels at the gates of
the city as they pass in and out.” Marcos Torres astutely observed:
Ellen White does not actually tell us what the golden card is for. Most people
automatically assume it is an access card to enter heaven. However,
according to the second quotation, the angels present the card “as they pass
in and out.” In addition, in the first quote Ellen White says, “. . . I saw four
angels winging their way to the gate of the city. They were just presenting the
golden card to the angel at the gate, when I saw another angel flying swiftly
from the direction of the most excellent glory”. Notice that in this statement
Ellen White sees four angels at the gate, but only one card. The group of
angels, rather than producing multiple cards only produces one. If the golden
card were an access card or an ID then all of the angels would have had to
present their individual ID’s. Instead, only one card is shown in behalf of the
four angels. Whatever the function of the card is then, it cannot be said with
certainty that it is an ID that is meant to prove you are a good angel. Perhaps
the card is used to keep a perfect record of angelic activities kind of like a
logbook. The Bible itself speaks of a book of remembrance that is used to
keep a record of individual human works and experiences (Malachi 3:16;
Psalm 56:8; Revelation 20:12). However, I am not suggesting what the card is
really meant to do for, as I already stated, we are not told what its function is
and apparently neither was Ellen White.
THE LIST MAKERS’ facetious comment about an ATM machine reveals that
their difficulty is not a direct contradiction of that which has been revealed in
Scripture but is, rather, their difficulty in picturing angels using a golden card for
any purpose.
EGW: YES. “The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given
me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and
glorious” (Early Writings, p. 39).
Note: Not Biblical. No Bible prophet was ever given wings at any time. Why
were wings given to Ellen White in her vision? In vision they would not be
necessary for travel. She certainly had a vivid imagination.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (14).
The wings she received—like those of the angels—are a means of flight,
though certainly not like the wings of a bird, which require a heart and lungs
made for flight. It is true that no prophet is said to have had wings, but Scripture
tells us that Philip did miraculously transport away from the Ethiopian eunuch
(Acts 8:39).
EGW: YES. In 1885 EGW wrote, “In this age of the world, as the scenes of
earth’s history are soon to close and we are about to enter upon the time of
trouble such as never was, the fewer the marriages contracted, the better for all,
both men and women” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 366).
Also in 1885, “The time has come when, in one sense, they that have wives be
as though they had none” (Ellen G. White, Manuscript 34a, 1885, quoted in Are
Seventh-Day Adventists False Prophets? p. 29, by Wallace D. Slattery).
Note: Not Biblical. To my knowledge, Adventist pastors today have not been
discouraging any marriages. This is evidence that they do not accept this
teaching. The Bible was written for us and it does not ever discourage Christian
marriages. The Bible does speak about marriage in the last days, calling those
that forbid marriages, “liars.”
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and
follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come
through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot
iron They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods,
which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and
who know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3, NIV)
THE LIST MAKERS miss the fact that Manuscript 34a, 1885, quotes from 1
Corinthians 7:29, where Paul says: “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it
remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.” In
condemning Ellen White, THE LIST MAKERS are condemning Paul. One should
note that Ellen White’s statement contains a qualifying phrase—“in one sense”—
signifying that she was using the biblical mandate in a specialized sense.
EGW: NO. 1862 “If Satan can so befog and deceive the human mind as to
lead mortals to think that there is an inherent power in themselves to accomplish
great and good works, they cease to rely upon God to do for them that which
they think there is power in themselves to do” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1,
p. 294).
EGW: YES. 1870 “We all have a warfare before us, and must stand in a
position to resist the temptations of Satan; and we want to know that we possess
the power in ourselves to do this (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 169).
Since THE LIST MAKERS offer no Scripture in this instance, they are
apparently only pointing out a supposed inconsistency in Ellen White’s writings.
Yet, they have clipped the context of the statement in Counsels on Diet and
Foods (taken from Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 374). The statement is
about the power we each have to take personal responsibility for our choices.
Notice the boldfaced elements within the statement:
Some of you feel as though you would like to have somebody tell you
how much to eat. This is not the way it should be. We are to act from a
moral and religious standpoint. We are to be temperate in all things, because
an incorruptible crown, a heavenly treasure, is before us. And now I wish to
say to my brethren and sisters, I would have moral courage to take my
position and to govern myself. I would not want to put that on some one
else. You eat too much and then you are sorry, and so you keep thinking
upon what you eat and drink. Just eat that which is for the best and go right
away, feeling clear in the sight of Heaven, and not having remorse of
conscience. We do not believe in removing temptations entirely away from
either children or grown persons. We all have a warfare before us, and must
stand in a position to resist the temptations of Satan; and we want to know
that we possess the power in ourselves to do this. (Counsels on Diet and
Foods, pp. 168, 169)
Thus, the “power” we possess is the power to respond to conscience and
choose the right. We have a personal responsibility in this. James wrote:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from
you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye
sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:7, 8)
EGW: YES. “Prayer For the Sick. We should first find out if the sick one has been
withholding tithes or has made trouble in the church” (Healthful Living, p. 237).
Note: Not Biblical. This teaching would prohibit praying for sick non-Christian
friends and relatives as well as Christians of other faiths that are sick that do not
believe tithing is a requirement for the Christian Church. I could not find any
example of Jesus or the Apostles checking on anyone’s tithing performance before
they healed them. I have never seen any Adventist Pastor follow Ellen’s “inspired”
[counsel] on this teaching. If you really believe that Ellen G. White is a prophetess
then you will have to check and see if the sick is a tithe payer before you pray for
them. Put your faith to the test, are you going to follow Jesus or Ellen?
In his New Testament counsel about prayer for the sick, James refers to
receiving forgiveness for sin. This assumes that the person is aware of his moral
failures before calling for the elders. The passage says:
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them
pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer
of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have
committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:14, 15).
“Withholding tithes” means that a person has made a covenant to tithe and
then has decided to break that covenant by withholding the tithe. This would be
akin to the sin of Ananias and Sapphira, who “kept back” a part of the price of the
sale of their property when they said they delivered the whole (Acts 5:1-5). Peter
told Ananias and Sapphira that they were lying to the Holy Ghost, and the book
of Acts reveals what happened to them. Withholding tithes means reneging on a
commitment to God.
Anyone can choose to tithe in recognition of God’s material blessing. Abraham
tithed (Gen. 14:20); Jacob tithed (Gen. 28:22). Jesus commended tithing (Matt.
23:23; Luke 11:42). Malachi 4 says that those who hold back tithes and offerings
are robbing God. The reminder to faithfully tithe in Malachi 4 transitions into a
promise of release from “the devourer,” which generally means insect pests, but
it can also mean disease. Malachi wrote:
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine
house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open
you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not
be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast
her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts” (Mal. 4:10, 11).
How can people expect God to rebuke their illness, if they are “keeping back”
that which they have previously covenanted to give Him?
EGW: YES. “The vacancies made in heaven by the fall of Satan and his
angels will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord” (Review and Herald, May 29,
1900, par. 12).
EGW: YES. “It was God’s purpose to repopulate Heaven with the human race,
if after the test and trial they proved to be loyal to Him” (The Signs of the Times,
May 29, 1909).
Note: Not Biblical. The Bible never mentions that the redeemed will take the
place of Satan and the fallen Angels nor does Scripture say that it is God’s
purpose to repopulate heaven with the human race. The Scripture does say that
God is creating a New Earth for the redeemed. See Revelation 21:1.
Key issue: NEW DETAILS (15).
It is encouraging that THE LIST MAKERS have recognized from the book of
Revelation that God’s ultimate plan for humanity is the inhabitation of the New
Earth. Revelation also reveals that, after the millennium, God will make His
dwelling on earth (Rev. 21:3). Yet, the book of Revelation affirms that Satan waged
war in heaven and took a third of the stars, or angels, with him from heaven (Rev.
12:4, 7; cf. Rev. 1:20). Paul calls these fallen angels “principalities and powers”
(Eph. 3:10; Col. 2:15); he, Jesus, James, and John call them “devils” (1 Tim. 4:1;
Luke 11:20; James 2:19; Rev. 16:14; 18:2). When they left heaven, it created
vacancies. Jesus told His disciples that there are mansions (Greek, monē,
“dwellings”) in the Father’s house (John 14:2). These mansions were either the
dwellings that were vacated by Satan and his angels or they are dwellings that
were built since that time but before Jesus made the promise to His disciples.
Revelation also points to those who were redeemed from great tribulation as
standing before the throne of God, serving Him day and night in His temple (Rev.
7:14, 15). It calls them “redeemed from the earth” and “redeemed from among
men” (Rev. 14:3, 4). That certainly sounds as if redeemed humans are doing, in
heaven, work that angels would have done.
Ellen White once stated: “The Bible must be your counselor. Study it and the
testimonies God has given; for they never contradict His Word” (Selected
Messages, book 3, p. 32). From the evidence you have seen, do you think Ellen
White’s writings (“testimonies”) “never contradict” God’s Word? Isn’t it clear that
even by denying that she contradicts the Bible, she is simply proving that she
cannot be trusted?
We heartily agree with Ellen White’s statement that the Bible must be our
counselor! She also notably wrote in The Great Controversy, p. 595: “But God
will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the
standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms.” She meant what she wrote
and insisted that Seventh-day Adventists look to the Bible for all doctrines and for
the principles upon which to base all reforms, whether they be reforms in health,
in dress, in Sabbath observance, or in education. Ellen White’s counsels don’t
supplant the Scriptures; they support them.
As charitably as we can, we have pointed out in each example how the
supposed contradictions only appeared to be so as a result of the critics’ (1)
assuming that a prophet cannot provide more details than an earlier inspired
account, (2) failing to consider the context, (3) judging a statement by a
preconceived theological idea, (4) judging a statement as contradicting the Bible
based on what one reads into a passage, (5) dismissing an “eyewitness” view of
the scene because of one’s own mental image of the scene, ignoring the biblical
evidence that would support that view, and (6) judging a statement by one’s own
interpretation of a word or phrase, regardless of the facts. When the examples of
supposed contradictions are properly understood, we find just two instances in
which Ellen White actually made a mistake, as all humans do (Rom. 3:23).
However, human error does not make her a false prophet.
We welcome your comments. Please send them to Contact@Ellen-White.com.

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About The Author

Edwin Cotto

With over 13 years of experience in apologetics, evangelism and youth directing, Edwin has worked with various ministries both in English and Spanish. Having had the opportunity to travel to various states in the USA, and also to Venezuela and Mexico, he has enjoyed the privilege of conducting evangelistic meetings and apologetics seminars. His education includes training in the Medical Field, Adult Education at Valencia College, Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, and Evangelism with Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He is furthering his academic studies in theology while also working as a bible worker for the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Ordained as an elder, Edwin's passion for ministry begins first at home with his wife and kids.

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