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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and
Others

Discern Fact from Fiction


Her Predictions and Views

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#44 & #45: "Despite the unbiblical nature of her visions, her followers continue to accept her as God's messenger and her writings as inspired as the Bible."—Narrator.

#44: Her visions are unbiblical. The video is begging the question here. So far not one aspect of her visions has been proven to be unbiblical. Visited by angels? Transported to heaven? So were the Bible writers.

One aspect of her visions that the video does not mention at all is the physical phenomena that occurred during them. Consider what Daniel wrote regarding a vision he had: "For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me" (Dan. 10:17). Daniel while in vision did not breathe. Likewise, Mrs. White while in vision did not breathe. These visions would last from fifteen minutes to three hours. She was examined by physicians on several occasions while in vision, and their opinion was that she was not breathing. Consider this eyewitness account:

The first is from M. G. Kellogg, M. D., who refers to the first vision given in Michigan, May 29, 1853, at a meeting held in the barn of Wm. Dawson, in Tyrone, Livingston Co. He says:—

"Sister White was in vision about twenty minutes or half an hour. . . . Brother White arose and [p. 40] informed the audience that his wife was in vision. After stating the manner of her visions, and that she did not breathe while in vision, he invited any one who wished to do so to come forward and examine her. Dr. Drummond, a physician, who was also a first-day Adventist preacher, who [before he saw her in vision] had declared her visions to be of mesmeric origin, and that he could give her a vision, stepped forward, and after a thorough examination, turned very pale, and remarked, 'She doesn't breathe!'

"I am quite certain that she did not breathe at that time while in vision, nor in any of several others which she had when I was present. The coming out of vision was as marked as her going into it. The first indication we had that the vision was ended, was in her again beginning to breathe. She drew her first breath deep, long, and full, in a manner showing that her lungs had been entirely empty of air. After drawing the first breath, several minutes passed before she drew the second, which filled the lungs precisely as did the first: then a pause of two minutes, and a third inhalation, after which the breathing became natural." Signed, "M. G. Kellogg, M. D., Battle Creek, Mich., Dec. 28, 1890."—General Conference Daily Bulletin, Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 1893, pp. 59, 60.

While this aspect of her visions was very biblical, it must be pointed out that such phenomena do not prove that a prophet or vision is from God. They merely prove the supernatural character of those visions. The Bible tests of a prophet must then be applied to determine whether that supernatural source is God or Satan. This is a vital point, for Revelation 16:14 explicitly tells us that the devil can work miracles, and will work many at the end of time.

#45: Adventists claim her writings are as inspired as the Bible. The irrelevancy of this charge was already pointed out under #23.

Under "Point 26" the documentation package has an article from the December 23, 1982, issue of the Review to prove that Adventists believe that "her writings are as inspired as the Bible." But the article's ten affirmations and ten denials actually negate what the video is trying to prove:

Affirmations

  1. We believe that Scripture is the divinely revealed Word of God and is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  2. We believe that the canon of Scripture is composed only of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.
  3. We believe that Scripture is the foundation of faith and the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.
  4. We believe that Scripture is the Word of God in human language.
  5. We believe that Scripture teaches that the gift of prophecy will be manifest in the Christian church after New Testament times.
  6. We believe that the ministry and writings of Ellen White were a manifestation of the gift of prophecy.
  7. We believe that Ellen White was inspired by the Holy Spirit and that her writings, the product of that inspiration, are applicable and authoritative especially to Seventh-day Adventists.
  8. We believe that the purposes of the Ellen White writings include guidance in understanding the teaching of Scripture and application of these teachings, with prophetic urgency, to the spiritual life.
  9. We believe that the acceptance of the prophetic gift of Ellen White is important to the nurture and unity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
  10. We believe that Ellen White's use of literary sources and assistants finds parallels in some of the writings of the Bible.

Denials

  1. We do not believe that the quality or degree of inspiration in the writings of Ellen White is different from that of Scripture.
  2. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are an addition to the canon of Sacred Scripture.
  3. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White function as the foundation and final authority of Christian faith as does Scripture.
  4. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White may be used as the basis of doctrine.
  5. We do not believe that the study of the writings of Ellen White may be used to replace the study of Scripture.
  6. We do not believe that Scripture can be understood only through the writings of Ellen White.
  7. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White exhaust the meaning of Scripture.
  8. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are essential for the proclamation of the truths of Scripture to society at large.
  9. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are the product of mere Christian piety.
  10. We do not believe that Ellen White's use of literary sources and assistants negates the inspiration of her writings.

Pretty clear, isn't it? The contributors to the material in the video really ought to read this part of the documentation package. It would answer a lot of their questions.

A Response to the Video

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