Pickle Publishing Critique: Intro-#20 Research Papers

Return to http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/video-1.htm.

A Critique of the Jeremiah Films Video:

Seventh-day Adventism - The Spirit Behind the Church

Introduction, Indexes, Points #1-#20

by Bob Pickle

This is a critique of a video on Seventh-day Adventism which I saw in October of 1999.

Repeatedly the video seemed to try to lead the viewer to look upon Adventism as a cult or as less than Christian. Having studied into a lot of the areas covered by the video, it wasn't difficult for me to see that many of the points covered, if not all, were just not valid. It was absolutely shocking how much misinformation the video contained, all put together in a very convincing way.

I spent three months trying to dialog with Jeremiah Films as well as the author of the script (Lorri MacGregor of MacGregor Ministries), and two of the former pastors featured on the video (Dale Ratzlaff and Mark Martin). These attempts went nowhere. So the next step I felt was to provide to the public exactly where the video falls short.

This critique covers a total of 239 points for a video that is about 50 minutes long. Of these 239 points, 232 also relate to the slightly shorter edition of the video, which runs about 45 minutes long. Thus we have an average of about 4 or 5 disputed points per minute of footage.

The document has extensive hyperlinks. Look for buttons and hyperlinked text (typically in a different color and underlined).

Also notice that any emphasis I have supplied in my responses will always be both bolded and italicized, and that the Bible version used for quotations, unless otherwise noted, is the King James Version.

The reader will find repeated references to a Documentation Package which is offered at the end of the video to those wanting proof that the allegations on the video are true. It is copyrighted 1999 by MacGregor Ministries, and is analyzed along with the video in this critique.

Sometimes the video confuses Millerite Adventists and First-day Adventists with Seventh-day Adventists. I have therefore attempted in my discussion to make clear which group is being referred to.

All the video's disputed points found in the critique are listed in a table of contents which immediately follows this introduction. They are also listed in a topical index which has the points categorized in the following categories: Major Factual Errors (a total of 86 points); Lesser Inaccuracies: Less Important Than "Major Factual Errors" (65 points); Bad Quotations: Non-Existent, Rearranged, or Context Removed (12 points); Bad Pictures: Pictures That Grossly Misrepresent the Facts (4 points); Oversimplifications: More Detail Would Neutralize Point (18 points); Straw-Man Arguments: Arguments Against Points That Are Basically Irrelevant (19 points); Arguments That Essentially Attack the Bible and Its Teachings (20 points); Statements That Beg the Question: That Assume To Be Fact What Needs to Be Proven (4 points); Contradictions: Arguments or Statements that Demolish Other Arguments or Statements (9 points); and Arguments That Essentially Attack Prominent Christian Leaders of Old (2 points).

In categorizing the various points, a bit of subjectivity entered, as would be expected. For example, was the point a major error or a minor inaccuracy? To help determine this, I took into consideration the magnitude of the error, the gravity of the accusation, and the ready availability of correct information concerning the point. Still, some would probably categorize the points differently.

Any errors, typographical or otherwise, that are found I would greatly appreciate being brought to my attention.

I am deeply indebted to the Words of the Pioneers CD-ROM from Adventist Pioneer Library, to The Published Ellen G. White Writings on Compact Disk from the White Estate, to the commentaries found on the Online Bible CD-ROM, and to the Master Christian Library from Ages Software. These reference tools provided a good bit of the material and facts found below.

Lastly, let me mention who I have chosen to dedicate this critique to. Near the end of the video is this statement:

You really just have to search for it yourself, and if you, if you love the Lord, if you really do, then you really want to know the truth. (Kim Marshall)

For all such who "really want to know the truth," this critique is sincerely dedicated.

       Table of Contents    
To Topical Index

This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.


Table of Contents

  1. All quotes of Ellen White in video are from official sources. False. Some quotes just don't exist at all, or don't exist in the form portrayed on the video.
  2. Adventism is based around the teachings and philosophies of Ellen White. False. Most Seventh-day Adventist doctrines had been discovered in the Bible and accepted before she wrote them out.
  3. Ellen White was the founder of the Adventist Church. She was not the sole founder.
  4. William Miller was a powerful preacher. Oversimplification. Miller was a Baptist preacher, and but one of 200 preachers and 500 lecturers from many denominations all preaching about the same thing.
  5. Miller taught that Christ would return in 1843. Oversimplification. His major point of difference with the theology of the times was not the date, but his conviction that Christ would come visibly and literally before the millennium instead of after.
  6. Miller taught that Christ would return on October 22, 1844. False. As of October 21, he had not yet accepted the date of October 22, much less taught it.
  7. October 22 was not the Day of Atonement in 1844 False. Biblically speaking, it was the Day of Atonement for that year.
  8. Miller's meetings were marked by emotionalism and hysteria. False. Miller and his associates suppressed all such things.
  9. Picture depicts radical fanaticism of Miller's meetings. False. Picture is actually of a critic's description of a post-1844 meeting that Miller was not present at.
  10. When Christ did not return, Ellen White said she was in a "hopeless condition for months." She said no such thing.
  11. Ellen White was depressed when Christ did not return on October 22. False. The record indicates that she was not.
  12. Ellen White could not admit her mistake of expecting Christ to return in 1843 or 1844. False. She first admitted what she thought was a mistake, and then admitted that she had made a mistake in identifying the wrong mistake.
  13. Miller admitted his mistake of expecting Christ to return in 1843 or 1844. Oversimplification. He did not admit a mistake in his interpretations of the prophecies. Rather, he thought there must be a mistake in the chronologies used by historians, which might throw his calculations off a little.
  14. Ellen White's first vision said that the 1843 chart should not be altered. False. Her first vision was in December 1844. This one was on September 23, 1850.
  15. Ellen White claimed God hid the mistake. Bad quotation. The last clause that was omitted explains that her words meant that God was not revealing the mistake to the people, rather than hiding it.
  16. Ellen White claimed God had made the mistake. False. She made no such claim.
  17. Ellen White's vision was controversial. False. There was nothing controversial about it.
  18. Ellen White's vision forced readjustment of many Adventist dates and doctrines. False. Many dates and doctrines were not readjusted as the result of either her first vision or the vision of 1850.
  19. Ellen White's vision readjusted the 1843 date to 1844. False. It was already readjusted months before she had her first vision.
  20. The 1844 date was still an error. Cannot be presently proven. No better interpretation of the prophecies in question has ever been found.
  21. Ellen White became the absolute authority figure. False. She never has been the absolute authority figure.
  22. Her writings grew to be seventeen times larger than the Bible. So? Luther, Wesley, and Spurgeon wrote a lot too.
  23. Adventists view her writings as inspired as the Bible. So? Adventists believe in degrees of authority, but not in degrees of inspiration. One prophet is not more inspired than another, but the prophets of the Bible have the final say.
  24. Church publications use her writings as the last word on doctrine. False. The Bible is the last word.
  25. Twenty-seven Fundamental beliefs say that the Bible is a source of authority. False. They state that the Bible is the source of authority.
  26. Ellen White's writings are an authoritative source of truth. So? The Adventist quote referred to ends by saying that the Bible is to be the standard by which Ellen White's writings are tested.
  27. Some of Ellen White's writings are unavailable, locked in a vault. False. All published writings are available on CD-ROM. Unpublished writings are available at 15 locations, and are only locked away after hours.
  28. Her more embarrassing writings are unavailable. Oversimplification. What makes them embarrassing is that sometimes she had to rebuke people's problems, like adultery.
  29. She claimed an angel stood by her bed. So? Angels came to visit Bible writers too.
  30. History shows that Ellen White's prophecies did not come true. Not one sound, clear-cut example is given.
  31. She said Jerusalem would never be built up. The phrase "built up" had a different meaning at times back then.
  32. Ellen White said she would be alive and would be caught up in the air to meet Jesus. This undermines faith in the Bible, for the apostle Paul said the same thing.
  33. She said the second coming was only months away. False. She said no such thing.
  34. At a conference in 1856, she said that some present would be food for worms and that some would be alive when Jesus came. Oversimplification. The video omits an immediate fulfillment in which a woman actually present at the conference was impressed that she would "food for worms." She was dead within three days.
  35. Ellen White would have been stoned in Bible times for being a false prophet. Then so would the biblical prophets Jonah and Huldah. Some prophecies are conditional, as Jeremiah tells us.
  36. She predicted the downfall of the United States. False. She predicted defeat if certain conditions didn't change.
  37. She made false predictions during the Civil War. This quotation from Ellen White has been rearranged.
  38. Ellen White predicted England would declare war on the United States. False. She never said England would declare war.
  39. She predicted world war during the Civil War. False. She never said there would be world war at that time.
  40. Ellen White predicted the humbling of the United States in defeat. False. She predicted the nation's humbling, which came to pass, but she never said the nation would be defeated.
  41. She claimed to travel to other planets in vision. So? John, Ezekiel, and Paul as well tell us about their supernatural journeys in the Bible.
  42. Ellen White said animals and people crossed sexually. False. She said no such thing.
  43. The picture indicates that Ellen White believed that the crossing of people and animals produced the black race. Ellen White never said if she was talking about Blacks, Whites, or Asians. There is no basis for the use of such a picture.
  44. Her visions are unbiblical. This begs the question, for not one unbiblical aspect of her visions has been shown.
  45. Adventists say her writings are as inspired as the Bible. This straw man is answered already under #23. The Documentation Package's documentation for this point makes it clear that Adventists believe the Bible is the final authority, not Ellen White.
  46. The investigative judgment doctrine was a reinterpretation. Not really, for Miller had been teaching for over a decade prior to 1844 that the judgment was about to begin.
  47. Miller's prediction of October 22, 1844, failed. As mentioned under #6, Miller didn't make this prediction or even accept it. As far as his calculations go, his most learned opponents, like Dr. George Bush, could find no fault in them, and the greatest scholars of several centuries had come to similar conclusions.
  48. Adventists believed that the door of mercy was shut on October 22. It's not hard to see why they believed this for a short time.
  49. Adventists believed that the door of mercy was shut on October 22. Peter and the apostles thought the door of mercy was closed to the Gentiles. Should we reject them as being part of a cult?
  50. With prophetic authority Ellen White supported the shut-door-of-mercy doctrine. False. She never did.
  51. Her first vision taught the shut-door-of-mercy doctrine. False. Her first vision taught that there would have to be a lot of evangelism yet before Christ returned.
  52. The preface to the reprinting of her first vision said there was no change in idea or sentiment. It said no such thing. Instead, the preface said that a portion was left out.
  53. The other shut-door-of-mercy passages were dropped after 1851. False. There were no other shut-door passages.
  54. The other shut-door-of-mercy passages were reinterpreted after 1851. False. Besides there being no other shut-door passages, the "reinterpretations" came well before 1851.
  55. Adventists never admitted their error regarding expecting Jesus to come in 1844. False. Adventists freely admitted their error.
  56. Ellen White immediately put God's endorsement on Edson and Crosier's conclusions. Oversimplification. She put God's endorsement on their conclusions before she had heard about them.
  57. All doctrines were soon adjusted to fit the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment doctrines. The doctrines identified do not fit this description.
  58. The shut door was opened. Oversimplification. As in the apostolic church, God opened the door of opportunity to reach others with the truths of His Word. This had nothing to do with the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment doctrines.
  59. Soul sleep was introduced because of the investigative judgment doctrine. False. Soul sleep was introduced before October 22, 1844, while the investigative judgment was formulated afterwards.
  60. The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation were reinterpreted to fit the investigative judgment. The basic interpretations of Daniel and Revelation were already worked out before Edson and Crosier published their findings on the cleansing of the sanctuary in 1846, and before the doctrine of the investigative judgment was crystallized in 1857.
  61. It was a time of doctrinal reversal. Neither the video nor its documentation provides evidence that that time was characterized by doctrinal reversal.
  62. The idea that an angel is recording everything we do, and that we will be judged by such a record, is harsh. But that's what the Bible clearly teaches in Matthew, Revelation, Daniel, and Ecclesiastes.
  63. Ellen White taught that we would be judged for trying to have some leisure time. False. She taught that we must have leisure time in order to be balanced people.
  64. The investigative judgment doctrine is unique to Seventh-day Adventists. Not quite. Nearly every basic aspect of this doctrine has been taught by prominent scholars of other faiths.
  65. The investigative judgment doctrine cannot be supported by the Scriptures. False. It can be supported by the Scriptures.
  66. The investigative judgment doctrine states that a believer's works determines their salvation. Not quite. The investigative judgment doctrine does not teach that the believer's works determine his salvation in the sense meant by the typical evangelical when he says, "I'm saved."
  67. The investigative judgment doctrine is blatantly unbiblical. False. This point is similar to #65, but more Scriptures are added under this number to show that it is biblical.
  68. Seventh-day Adventism is not a legitimate Christian denomination. This point plainly begs the question, for it assumes what must be proven.
  69. The investigative judgment doctrine teaches that believers will be lost if they have unconfessed sins. The Bible says that we can only be forgiven if we confess our sins. Is the video saying that the Bible is wrong?
  70. The investigative judgment doctrine teaches that believers will be lost if they have forgotten sins. Not even the Documentation Package could find a quotation to substantiate this wild charge.
  71. The investigative judgment doctrine requires perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments. But the New Testament plainly says that adulterers, fornicators, thieves, and murderers cannot enter heaven.
  72. The investigative judgment doctrine teaches that all believers will be lost if they do not keep the Fourth Commandment. False. Both Ellen White and the New Testament teach that God does not hold what we do not know and could not know against us.
  73. The investigative judgment doctrine is diametrically opposed to the gospel of grace. The points being objected to by the video are the very essence of the gospel and of the New Covenant.
  74. Seventh-day Adventism is a man-made religion. This is another point that begs the question, that assumes what needs to be proven.
  75. Seventh-day Adventists have their own version of the Bible. Not so. Jack Blanco's paraphrase is not in any sense an official Seventh-day Adventist version. I do not own a copy and have no present intention to get one.
  76. This Seventh-day Adventist version is known as The Clear Word Bible. Not any more. Quite a few quickly realized that something like this might come up one day, so the second edition carries only the title, The Clear Word. The contributors to the video knew this.
  77. In The Clear Word, the words and ideas of Ellen White are inserted into the biblical text. False. The words and ideas of theologian and college professor Jack Blanco, not Ellen White, are inserted.
  78. 300 words have been added to Daniel 9 in The Clear Word. Straw man. As the video admits, it's an expanded paraphrase, and the interpretations utilized have been held for centuries.
  79. Daniel 8:14 is a blatant example of alteration of the biblical text. Straw man. Paraphrases by their very nature insert interpretations into the text.
  80. It's called The Clear Word Version. Why did the makers of the video change the title of Jack Blanco's paraphrase? It's not called The Clear Word Version.
  81. The Clear Word was written to support their prophetess. The Clear Word contains the words and ideas of Jack Blanco, not Ellen White, and was not written to support "their prophetess."
  82. The Clear Word manipulates and distorts Scripture. Again, paraphrases contain, by their very nature, the inclusion of interpretations into the text.
  83. Seventh-day Adventists have also published their Study Bible. Contradictory argument. If The Clear Word is the Seventh-day Adventist version, why is the Study Bible a King James Version instead of The Clear Word?
  84. The Study Bible is "theirs." False. It was published by a private organization, not the denomination, so it cannot be said to be "theirs."
  85. The Study Bible of Seventh-day Adventists contains Ellen White quotes. So? Lots of Bibles contain footnotes and study helps.
  86. Adventists teach that Christ's atonement on the cross was incomplete. This is blatantly false. Christ's atonement on the cross was complete.
  87. Adventists teach the heresy that Michael is Christ. This charge makes Charles Spurgeon and Matthew Henry heretics. And the 1599 Geneva Bible must have been put out by heretics too.
  88. Adventists teach that there is no hell. This is blatantly false. Adventists consistently teach that there is a hell.
  89. Adventists taught doctrines contrary to tradition. So has every other Protestant group. The Bible, not tradition, is (supposed to be) the authority of Protestants.
  90. Many of the doctrines of Adventists are similar to Jehovah's Witnesses. This is no more true than the statement that "many" doctrines of other denominations are similar to Jehovah's Witnesses.
  91. N. H. Barbour was an early Adventist. False. The impression is left that Barbour was a Seventh-day Adventist, and there is no evidence that he ever was.
  92. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists teach the heresy of soul sleep. Guess that makes Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and a host of Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans, and Presbyterians all heretics. Guess that even makes the apostle Peter himself a heretic.
  93. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists teach the heresy that Michael is Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that there is an "angel" sent from God who Himself is called God. If it isn't Christ, who is it? If it isn't Christ, must we conclude that the Bible endorses polytheism, that there is a mere angel who is God as well as the Father, Son, and Spirit?
  94. Uriah Smith and James White denied the deity of Christ like the Jehovah's Witnesses. False. They were always firm believers in the deity of Christ.
  95. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists have produced altered versions of the Bible. False. The New World Translation is a translation produced by the Watchtower Society. The Clear Word is an expanded paraphrase put out by a private individual.
  96. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists have set dates for Christ's return. False. Jehovah's Witnesses have set dates, but not for Christ's return. And Sabbatarian Adventists early on took a strong stand against date-setting. Ellen White opposed such as early as 1845, even before becoming a Sabbatarian. Seventh-day Adventists as such did not exist in 1844.
  97. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists claim to be the only remnant church. False. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that, as of 1991, 99.9169% of Jehovah's Witnesses are not the remnant.
  98. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists plagiarized. No attempt is made by the video or Documentation Package to prove that Russell or any Jehovah's Witness ever read J. A. Brown's book.
  99. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists were "guilty" of plagiarism. J. A. Brown published his book in Britain. Since there was no copyright in America at the time on British books, neither Russell nor anyone else could be said to be "guilty," even if they had copied it.
  100. Walter Rea's The White Lie was dedicated to those who would rather believe a bitter truth than a sweet lie. Oversimplification. The bitter "truth" both declared and implied by The White Lie is totally repugnant to evangelicals who believe in the final authority of Scripture.
  101. Ellen White's inspiration was borrowed from others without credit. This argument directly undermines the authority of the Scriptures, for the Bible writers did the same.
  102. Ellen White's major books contained "stolen" material. What she did cannot be called "stealing" since the words she took did not belong to the original writers.
  103. Sketches from the Life of Paul was plagiarized in its entirety. False. The books are different, as anyone who peruses them can plainly see.
  104. This resulted in a lawsuit. False. Such a lawsuit would have been a legal impossibility.
  105. Because of this, the book was quickly taken out of print. False. Published in 1883, the book was promoted in Signs of the Times through 1885, advertised in Great Controversy through 1887, and included on the title page of Great Controversy until 1907 in England, homeland of the authors who were "stolen" from.
  106. The evidence is irrefutable that Ellen White "stole" her inspiration from others. False. It has already been demonstrated in this critique that the evidence is anything but irrefutable.
  107. The main line of defense in the book The White Truth is that there were no copyright laws back then. False. Out of the six chapters in this 98-page book, one deals with plagiarism. Out of 16 pages in that chapter, only 4 deal with what copyright laws were like back then.
  108. The White Truth says that there were no copyright laws back then. False. Page 32 says that the first American copyright law was passed in 1790.
  109. The White Truth sidestepped the issue by concentrating on the legal question. False. The video is confusing the two allegations: 1) Ellen White was "guilty" of theft. 2) Ellen White got her inspiration from others. The White Truth deals with both allegations, as well as other points.
  110. The Adventist hierarchy has been unable to respond to Rea's challenge: Prove that 20% of Ellen White's writings are original. False. The "hierarchy" responded to his challenge 31 years before his book was written.
  111. Prove that 20% of Ellen White's writings are original. Such a challenge doesn't make sense, for it would require infinite knowledge to prove that 20% of her writings are original. It makes more sense to say, Prove that 80% of her writings are not original.
  112. Her visions which she claimed came from God were shaky. One thing the video doesn't touch with a ten-foot pole is the fact that she didn't breathe and had supernatural strength during her public visions.
  113. The Seventh-day Adventist ministry is not a Christian ministry. This begs the question, assuming what must be proved. Besides, Dan Snyder admits under #232 that he was a Christian while being an Adventist minister!
  114. Ellen White's early health documents produce a rude awakening because of their fixation on moral issues. A minor portion of her early health documents dealt with moral issues.
  115. Most of her health advice dealt with suppressing the male sexual urge. Absolutely ludicrous(!), as anyone who has read her books knows.
  116. Most of her health advice dealt with suppressing the male sexual urge, which she thought was excessive. Technically, she was against the excessive indulgence of sexual urges by both men and women.
  117. [Not in all editions of the video.] Mrs. White felt she had been given special light on the subject of masturbation. That this was the opinion of her grandson the Documentation Package proves, but no evidence is ever given to substantiate that Ellen White herself felt she had been given special light.
  118. [Not in all editions of the video.] Mrs. White (apparently) gives a list of diseases caused by masturbation. Actually, the quotation is not accurate. The video combines a statement by Mrs. Gove with the views of Dr. Deslandes. The video adds words, and omits words and quotation marks without using an ellipsis.
  119. [Not in all editions of the video.] Mrs. White (apparently) said kids who masturbate will get green skin. These are the words of Dr. E. P. Miller, not Ellen White.
  120. Ellen White said that meat inflames the passions. The quotation leaves this impression only because it is out of context.
  121. Ellen White said rich and highly seasoned foods act as aphrodisiacs. Medical science has neither proven nor disproven what she said. It's like when she said that cancer is caused by a germ. She said this five years before a maverick scientist proposed the idea. After being ridiculed by the scientific community, this scientist years later won the Nobel Prize for being right.
  122. Ellen White (apparently) said, "Sip no more the beverage of China, no more the drinks of Java." These are the words of Professor O. S. Fowler, not the words of Ellen G. White.
  123. Ellen White advised skipping all suppers in order to bring the male sexual appetites under control. False. Professor Fowler said this, not Ellen White. She consistently said that some people need a third meal (though two meals are better for most), and even called for Avondale College to begin to serve suppers.
  124. [Not in all editions of the video.] Ellen White (apparently) said the use of feather beds led to masturbation. False. Dr. E. P. Miller, not Ellen White, is quoted. He was against sleeping on feather beds in small, unventilated rooms, not against sleeping on feather beds per se.
  125. [Not in all editions of the video.] Ellen White used a feather bed against her own advice. False. There is no evidence that she ever used a feather bed in an unventilated, small room, which would have been against Dr. E. P. Miller's advice, not her own. She was strongly opposed to unventilated rooms.
  126. [Not in all editions of the video.] The Battle Creek Sanitarium used hydrotherapy to treat secret vice. Actually, hydrotherapy treatments stimulate the immune system and increase the white blood cell count. They have been used successfully to treat a variety of ailments.
  127. [Not in all editions of the video.] The picture illustrating the last point, showing a shivering man with his feet in boiling water over a camp fire, depicts Battle Creek's hydrotherapy treatment. False. The quote the picture is illustrating says that you must not get chilled. Also, the heat source for a hot foot bath is never under the basin of water, which is never boiling. The picture is totally inaccurate.
  128. Ellen White controlled her female followers through directives on dress. False. She was opposed to anyone forcing convictions about dress on people.
  129. Ellen White was against wearing any kind of wig. False. The context of her statement clearly shows that she was not talking about simple wigs. Her published and released writings do not contain the word "wig" at all.
  130. The picture of a skeleton looking through a window at a woman who is presumably putting on a simple wig. The picture doesn't illustrate at all the heavy monstrosities Ellen White was talking about.
  131. After Ellen White dealt with wigs, she introduced the reform dress. False. The reform dress was introduced more than six years before her counsel against heavy hairpieces.
  132. Ellen White tried to force the reform dress on people. False. As pointed out under #128, she was against forcing the reform dress on anyone.
  133. The reform dress was hot. False. Far from being hot, it was comparatively light. The dress was designed as a healthful alternative to the too-heavy, too-long, multiple skirts typically worn by women in those days.
  134. The reform dress was uncomfortable. False. This light dress was designed for comfort as well as for health.
  135. The reform dress was bulky. False. Nor was this light dress bulky.
  136. The reform dress was long. False. It was not long. Besides being called the "reform dress," it was also called the "short dress."
  137. Faithful sisters struggled with the reform dress. False. Problems arose when these so-called "faithful sisters" did one of the following: a) wouldn't quit complaining about not being fashionable, b) pushed the dress on others contrary to Ellen White's expressed counsel, or c) constructed it distastefully.
  138. The reform dress was cumbersome. False. This light dress was not cumbersome.
  139. Ellen White gave no explanation for why she quit wearing her reform dress. False. She explained the matter well.
  140. Ellen White said those who aren't vegetarians when Jesus comes can't go to heaven. False. She never made such an extreme statement.
  141. Ellen White taught that you have to keep the letter of the law to put yourself on the road to salvation. False. She taught that you are totally incapable of obeying God's commandments until you have come to Christ.
  142. Ellen White had no patience with those who say, I am saved. The quotation has been rearranged and has had the context removed.
  143. Ellen White had no patience with Christians who say, I am saved. Ellen White was not denouncing the doctrines of justification and righteousness by faith. The first quotation is not talking about those who mean, "I have been justified." The second quotation is referring to those who believe they can continue to murder and steal and sell dope, and still go to heaven.
  144. Adventists believe that Jesus made the down payment for our salvation. Thus the speaker contradicts the point he made under #141. If Jesus made the down payment, then we don't have to work to put ourselves on the road to salvation.
  145. Adventists believe that Jesus made the down payment for our salvation, but we must make the monthly installments. Thus it is suggested that Adventists believe we partially earn our salvation. This is false.
  146. Adventists do not rely upon the grace of God alone. Ellen White repeatedly said we must rely upon the grace of God alone.
  147. Adventists are striving to be rigidly obedient. False. Many Adventists will tell you that the Adventist Church has grown a bit lax.
  148. Adventists are inflexible, guilt-ridden legalists. False. While it is true that every faith has its legalists, the vast majority of Adventists are opposed to legalistic concepts. Legalism is generally not the cause of guilt but a faulty method of trying to get rid of the guilt brought on by a conviction of sin. Therefore the discovery of a genuinely guilt-ridden legalist would indeed be a rare find, regardless of his or her religious affiliation.
  149. Ellen White was wrong when she said that believers must keep the law of God. Thus the video condemns not only Ellen White, but Paul, John, Peter, Jude, James, and Jesus.
  150. We don't have to worry about obeying the law, since we are under the New Covenant now, not the Old Covenant. A popular antinomian argument, this doesn't really make sense in the light of the only New Testament passage describing the New Covenant.
  151. We don't have to worry about obeying the law, since Christ is the end of the law. Since James 5:11 talks about the "end of the Lord," we know that sometimes "end" must mean something other than a cessation of existence. Christ is "the end of the law" because the law leads sinners to Christ for release from guilt (Gal. 3:24), not because the Ten Commandments don't exist anymore.
  152. We are not under the tutorship of the law, so we don't have to worry about obeying the law. This inaccuracy ignores what Paul meant by the phrase "under the law."
  153. Christians will keep God's commandments out of love. Thus Mr. Martin destroys the force of much of his whole argument thus far: We don't have to keep God's law, but if we love God we will gladly keep His law. The simple conclusion from his words is that if we don't keep God's law, it shows that we don't really love God.
  154. Being under the law leads to sin. Actually, according to the New Testament, it seems more natural to say that sinning leads to being under the law, rather than that being under the law leads to sinning.
  155. Being under grace leads to holiness. Mr. Martin contradicts himself again, for if we don't have to obey the law, why would the grace of God lead to holiness?
  156. A pre-advent judgment of works is incompatible with the gospel of grace. But this makes the apostle Paul contradict Revelation 14:6, 7.
  157. Soul sleep was introduced because of the investigative judgment doctrine. False. Soul sleep was introduced before 1844, and the video makes it clear that the investigative judgment doctrine came after 1844.
  158. The doctrine of soul sleep is unbiblical. Not so. Tyndale, Luther, Wycliffe, and many others came up with this idea just from studying the Bible. Besides, saying that our souls are immortal undermines the necessity of 1) the gospel, 2) the resurrection, and 3) the second coming.
  159. Conditional immortality flies in the face of two Scriptures. Actually, it doesn't, unless we want to say that the Bible contradicts itself. Martin's interpretation of these two texts in actuality flies in the face of hundreds of Bible texts from Genesis to Revelation.
  160. Adventists do not teach the biblical doctrine of hell. Actually, Seventh-day Adventists do teach the biblical doctrine of hell, and always have.
  161. The Adventist view that Sabbath keeping is a mark of true loyalty to God is severe. But the speaker basically already admitted that Sabbath keeping is a mark of true loyalty to God.
  162. Ellen White obliged by conveniently having a vision. Ellen White could not pretend to have a vision. Because of the definitely supernatural characteristics of her visions, they could not be faked.
  163. Her vision about the Sabbath introduced the Sabbath to her followers. The Sabbath was already well introduced among Millerites before this vision of April 3, 1847.
  164. Adventists weren't following what the Bible says about beginning the Sabbath at sunset. The Bible "says" to keep the Sabbath from "even to even." It doesn't "say" to keep the Sabbath from sunset to sunset. Therefore these Adventists were not blatantly disregarding the Bible during the time they were unclear about the true meaning of "even."
  165. Ellen White decided to have another vision. As mentioned before, for her to decide to have a vision was an absolute impossibility.
  166. The vision was intended to settle the matter with the dissenters. According to one account, there were only two dissenters: Joseph Bates and Ellen White. Does it not sound a bit preposterous that since Ellen White wanted to convince herself, she decided to have another vision? And this vision didn't mention sunset at all or anything not contained in the previous vision, except that they should study the Bible to find out what "even" really meant.
  167. A delegate reported that "After the conference, November 20th, the vision was given, establishing those undecided on the sunset time." The use of this quotation is devastating to these criticisms, for it comes from a pamphlet that demolishes every argument in this part of the video.
  168. Adventists continued to ask questions. False. It wasn't Seventh-day Adventists per se who were asking questions. It was their opponents.
  169. Mrs. White had visions saying that the Sabbath should be kept from 6pm to 6pm. False. Ellen White never had a single vision saying to commence the Sabbath at 6pm, or at any other time than the biblical "even unto even."
  170. It required another vision. False. The vision quoted from is not even another vision. It's the same November 20, 1855, vision.
  171. In her vision Ellen White promised to question the angel. False. It was the angel that made a promise, not Ellen White.
  172. According to Spiritual Gifts, Ellen White promised that they would find out why the visions had first said to keep the Sabbath from 6pm to 6pm. Out of context big time. Only two sentences after the quotation used, Ellen White denies ever seeing in vision that the Sabbath should begin at 6pm!
  173. Ellen White died without ever giving the promised explanation. This charge implies that Ellen White was supposed to, but she was never told by the angel who would give the promised explanation. The angel never said who.
  174. The promised explanation was never given. Actually, the promised explanation was given by 1868, 47 years before Ellen White's death.
  175. After the change of time for keeping the Sabbath, the Sabbath came to be understood as the seal. False. The Sabbath was understood to be the seal at least six years before the change to sunset time.
  176. The Sabbath was seen to be of prime importance in determining who would be saved and who wouldn't. The average viewer, uninformed about Adventist beliefs, will think that Adventists believe Sunday keepers now have the mark of the beast while Sabbath keepers have the seal. This is false.
  177. The Great Controversy supports the idea that people have already gotten the mark of the beast by keeping Sunday. The viewer tends to arrive at this conclusion because of the speaker's choice of verb tenses, and the missing context of the quotation.
  178. Adventists believe that failing to keep the Sabbath resulted in one's receiving the mark of the beast and losing one's eternal life. False. Adventists do not believe that this is a present reality. The use of the past tense verb "resulted" in describing a future event is an error.
  179. The Adventist view today about the mark of the beast is severe. How can it be severe to believe that Christians ought to obey the commandments of God? What does this say about what Jesus said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments"?
  180. Adventists teach that Sunday keeping is a mark of rebellion. Gross oversimplification. Given the standard Protestant interpretations about the beast at the time Adventism arose, and given some of the strong statements Catholics have made about Sunday keeping, it's no wonder that Adventism arrived at the interpretations that it did.
  181. Even today, Seventh-day Adventists have made salvation ultimately dependent on which day of the week one worships. False. Adventists for the last century and a half have taught that there are Sunday keepers who are bound for heaven and Sabbath keepers who are bound for hell.
  182. Even today, Seventh-day Adventists have made salvation ultimately dependent on which day of the week one worships. False. Adventists for the last century and a half have taught that the reception of the mark of the beast is a future event, not a present reality. And again, the use of the present tense for "worship" is an error.
  183. The New Testament says that the seal of God is the work of the Holy Spirit, not the keeping of the Sabbath. It isn't that simple. The New Testament indicates that the last-day seal does have something to do with the fourth commandment.
  184. Ellen White has no support at all for identifying the Sabbath as the seal of God. False. She has all kinds of support . . . from the Bible.
  185. Christ's resurrection day is the Lord's Day. False. The Bible is crystal clear that 1) Jesus rose on the first day of the week, and 2) the Lord's Day is the seventh day of the week. One must wait over a hundred years after the resurrection before one finds a document calling the resurrection day the Lord's Day.
  186. Christ's followers met regularly on the resurrection day for their worship. There is no Bible evidence for this statement. In all the New Testament, we have only one explicit instance of the disciples meeting on the first day of the week for worship. In that one instance, they met on what we call Saturday night.
  187. Christ's followers did not meet regularly on the Sabbath for worship. False. This statement disagrees with the book of Acts.
  188. The resurrection day was when the disciples usually broke bread. False. Acts 2:46 says that they broke bread daily, not just on Sabbath or on Sunday.
  189. They did not break bread on the Sabbath. False. If they broke bread daily, they must have done it on the Sabbath as well.
  190. The Sabbath is Jewish. False. Jesus Himself said that He made the Sabbath for both Adam and all his descendents.
  191. Adventists teach that Satan becomes the sin-bearer. False. Ellen White taught, and Adventists teach, that Jesus is our only sin-bearer.
  192. Thus, Adventists differ from the plain teaching of Scripture that Christ bore our sins on the cross. Straw man. A Bible verse referring to the cross is used here to prove who the scapegoat can and cannot be after the atonement is finished.
  193. Adventists strive to be included as mainline evangelical Protestant Christians. Not really. We don't have to strive. The largest church in the world says that we are the most fundamental of the fundamentalists, and "the only consistent Protestant."
  194. An Adventist pastor supplied the following five marks of a cult. But the letter these five marks came from says that the co-producers and script writer of the video have been supplying false information about Seventh-day Adventists for 14 years! The video's credibility is thus called into question.
  195. There is a "total reliance" by Seventh-day Adventists on Ellen White. False. For Seventh-day Adventists, the Bible is the final authority.
  196. Ellen White is revered by all Seventh-day Adventists. False. This is far from the case, as the video later admits.
  197. Ellen White's comments overshadow the teachings of the Bible. False, and the Documentation Package proves it.
  198. Adventists consider Ellen White's comments on the Scriptures to be more authoritative than tradition. Of course! We are Protestants, and for Protestants tradition is supposed to be subordinated to the Holy Scriptures. An inspired prophet would be next in line in authority to the Bible, and tradition would have to be less authoritative than that.
  199. Ellen White pressured people into submission. False. She was against pressuring people into submission.
  200. Ellen White publicly aired reproofs sent to people. False. When some of them were printed for the benefit of individuals having similar problems, she almost always left out the name and address of the guilty.
  201. Usually the person conformed under the pressure. Oversimplification. One instance being cited in the Documentation Package essentially makes a joke out of this whole section in the video.
  202. Usually the person conformed under the pressure. The incident just cited reveals a lack of pressure on Ellen White's part.
  203. The type of pressure Ellen White used is one of the marks of a cult. Rather ludicrous. If such an idea be true, then the prophets of the Bible were just as cultic as Ellen White.
  204. Acceptance and fellowship are very often withheld today. The evidence indicates that this is false.
  205. Withholding of acceptance and fellowship for questioning doctrine is a characteristic of a cult. Questioning is one thing. Attacking is another. Biblically, the church must deal with members who practice grievous sins and teach false doctrines.
  206. Adventists originally denied the deity of Christ. False. An 1853 Advent Review said, "Warn those who deny the divinity of the only Saviour, that they must perish everlastingly if they go on rejecting him, for it is fearful and blasphemous to reject him."
  207. Adventists must discontinue the doctrine that Michael is a name for Christ. This can't be done while remaining true to Scripture.
  208. "Michael" being a name for Christ contradicts Hebrews 1:13. False. Scripture uses the term "angel" in a number of ways. Sometimes it refers to the uncreated Being who is simultaneously called the "Angel of the LORD," God, and Yahweh, and sometimes it refers just to the created angelic beings, as in Hebrews 1:13. There is no biblical justification whatsoever for insisting that Michael cannot be the divine "Angel of the LORD" and must therefore be a created being.
  209. Adventists can't discontinue the doctrine that "Michael" is a name for Christ without admitting that Ellen White made a mistake. Oversimplification. Adventists would have to admit that Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, John Gill, and a host of others made a mistake too.
  210. It is impossible to accommodate both doctrines, that Christ is divine, and that Michael is Christ. False, as can be seen from #93.
  211. Adventists have added the investigative judgment to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. False. According to the New Testament, to omit the judgment would be to delete it from the gospel.
  212. Adventists have added Sabbath keeping to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. False. Omitting Sabbath keeping from the New Covenant is to delete it from Christ's will. It is illegal to alter a will after the one who made the will dies.
  213. Adventists have added obedience to the Ten Commandments as requirements for salvation. False. Obedience is not a requirement for justification or conversion. To omit obedience from requirements for glorification is to effectively preach another gospel than the gospel Paul and Jesus preached.
  214. Adventists have added obedience to other Old Testament laws as requirements for salvation. But both the New Testament and Old Testament prophecies about New Testament times indicate that believers should still abstain from blood and unclean animals, and should return the tenth to God.
  215. Adventists believe that the world's sins have been placed upon Satan. False. Adventists believe that no sins have been placed upon Satan.
  216. Adventists believe that the world's sins have been placed upon Satan rather than upon Christ. False. Adventists do not believe that Satan bears our sins instead of Christ. Christ is the only Sin-bearer.
  217. Adventists believe that Christians must stand before God without Christ as their mediator. Straw man. Every Bible-believing Christian who has studied the matter knows that Christ's mediatorial work must cease just before He returns.
  218. This contradicts Hebrews 7:25. Straw man. Hebrews 7:25 is talking about the present. It is not talking about eternity, when we will no longer need a mediator.
  219. Adventists believe that salvation comes by placing sin upon Satan. Utterly false. Adventists believe that salvation comes through our Sin-bearer, Jesus Christ. The sins are only placed upon Satan after salvation is completely finished. That event is future.
  220. The Adventist view of salvation, placing sin upon Satan, is not the salvation taught in the Bible. Straw man. Since this is not the Adventist view of salvation, the point is totally irrelevant.
  221. Four of the five marks of a cult apply to Seventh-day Adventists. False. None of the five marks apply to Seventh-day Adventists.
  222. These five marks of a cult are very important. If Jeremiah Films really believes this, why don't they make a video about a much larger church that clearly does fit these marks?
  223. Adventist leaders deceptively espoused the view of salvation by grace alone in the 1950's. False. Adventists had been teaching "grace alone" long before the 1950's. For instance, Ellen White wrote that "by grace alone can they be saved" in 1890. And in 1869 she wrote, "It is through his grace alone that Satan can be successfully repulsed."
  224. Many followers felt betrayed by such an espousal of salvation by grace alone. False. Some conservative members felt betrayed because M. L. Andreason, a prominent theologian, said that the book Questions on Doctrine contained capitulations on some finer points of Adventist theology.
  225. Those who felt betrayed began searching for themselves, and made lurid discoveries. False. The conservative element who felt betrayed did not do the searching referred to. The liberal element who did not feel betrayed engaged in "searching" into other issues, and in consequence ultimately abandoned a number of crucial teachings found in Scripture, including the teaching that Scripture must be the final authority!
  226. "The Adventist Church had deceived me." If the (mis)information the preacher told you was anything like what is on this video, then it was he who deceived you, not the Adventist Church. At least, he didn't know what he was talking about.
  227. "I was never presented with [Ellen White's copying] in the [elementary] school system." Seems like 1st or 5th grade might be a bit early to deal with Peter or Jude copying from each other. Though these are obviously not issues for elementary school students to grapple with, I wouldn't be surprised if some 7th or 8th grades do touch on it.
  228. ". . . all these writings she had . . . plagiarized, . . . I felt . . . lied to." Do you feel lied to because between Matthew, Mark, and Luke, two copied from the other? Do you feel lied to because John copied from others when he put together the book of Revelation? Even though they copied, can you prove that Ellen White, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and Jude are guilty of "plagiarism"?
  229. ". . . the [Adventist] Church was inconsistent theologically and politically." Straw man. Jesus said it would be this way.
  230. ". . . the [ Adventist] Church was inconsistent theologically and politically." This argument is what many use to excuse themselves from becoming Christians. The Bible characters were woefully inconsistent too. Does that make them members of a cult?
  231. "When expedient, they . . . contradicted Ellen G. White. . . ." The truth is out! Adventists don't follow Ellen White after all.
  232. "The last three years have been the most spiritually rewarding of my thirty-one years as a Christian." This key witness thus declares that he was both a Christian and an Adventist for 28 years, part of which time he was an Adventist minister as well. Despite all what the video says, according to this speaker, Adventists are Christians, and Adventist ministers are Christian ministers.
  233. The Adventist Church does not uphold the Bible as the sole authority of both faith and practice. If this is true, which it isn't, why does everyone who becomes a member of the Adventist Church have to vow before God that they "believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that it constitutes the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian"?
  234. "Jesus saves us not by our deeds. . . ." Straw man, since this is precisely what Seventh-day Adventists believe.
  235. "Because you're not going to be able to get this information from your church." It would be a rare church that could produce this much misinformation single-handed.
  236. The Documentation Package substantiates the information contained in the video. The Documentation Package substantiates hardly anything. Sometimes it proves that the information on the video is erroneous.
  237. A number of former high-ranking Adventist Church leaders are featured on the video. Based on the information in the video, not one former high-ranking leader is featured.
  238. The video contains answers based on the best scholarship. If this video contains answers based on the best scholarship, what would the worst scholarship be like?
  239. The video contains answers based on firm adherence to the truths of God's Word. In actuality, the video undermines faith in the authority and teachings of God's Word in a number of subtle ways.

       Topical Index    
To T.O.C

This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.


Major Factual Errors

  1. (#1) All quotes of Ellen White in video are from official sources. False. Some quotes just don't exist at all, or don't exist in the form portrayed on the video.
  2. (#7) October 22 was not the Day of Atonement in 1844 False. Biblically speaking, it was the Day of Atonement for that year.
  3. (#8) Miller's meetings were marked by emotionalism and hysteria. False. Miller and his associates suppressed all such things.
  4. (#14) Ellen White's first vision said that the 1843 chart should not be altered. False. Her first vision was in December 1844. This one was on September 23, 1850.
  5. (#16) Ellen White claimed God had made the mistake. False. She made no such claim.
  6. (#18) Ellen White's vision forced readjustment of many Adventist dates and doctrines. False. Many dates and doctrines were not readjusted as the result of either her first vision or the vision of 1850.
  7. (#19) Ellen White's vision readjusted the 1843 date to 1844. False. It was already readjusted months before she had her first vision.
  8. (#25) Twenty-seven Fundamental beliefs say that the Bible is a source of authority. False. They state that the Bible is the source of authority.
  9. (#27) Some of Ellen White's writings are unavailable, locked in a vault. False. All published writings are available on CD-ROM. Unpublished writings are available at 15 locations, and are only locked away after hours.
  10. (#50) With prophetic authority Ellen White supported the shut-door-of-mercy doctrine. False. She never did.
  11. (#51) Her first vision taught the shut-door-of-mercy doctrine. False. Her first vision taught that there would have to be a lot of evangelism yet before Christ returned.
  12. (#53) The other shut-door-of-mercy passages were dropped after 1851. False. There were no other shut-door passages.
  13. (#55) Adventists never admitted their error regarding expecting Jesus to come in 1844. False. Adventists freely admitted their error.
  14. (#59) Soul sleep was introduced because of the investigative judgment doctrine. False. Soul sleep was introduced before October 22, 1844, while the investigative judgment was formulated afterwards.
  15. (#70) The investigative judgment doctrine teaches that believers will be lost if they have forgotten sins. Not even the Documentation Package could find a quotation to substantiate this wild charge.
  16. (#75) Seventh-day Adventists have their own version of the Bible. Not so. Jack Blanco's paraphrase is not in any sense an official Seventh-day Adventist version. I do not own a copy and have no present intention to get one.
  17. (#77) In The Clear Word, the words and ideas of Ellen White are inserted into the biblical text. False. The words and ideas of theologian and college professor Jack Blanco, not Ellen White, are inserted.
  18. (#81) The Clear Word was written to support their prophetess. The Clear Word contains the words and ideas of Jack Blanco, not Ellen White, and was not written to support "their prophetess."
  19. (#86) Adventists teach that Christ's atonement on the cross was incomplete. This is blatantly false. Christ's atonement on the cross was complete.
  20. (#88) Adventists teach that there is no hell. This is blatantly false. Adventists consistently teach that there is a hell.
  21. (#90) Many of the doctrines of Adventists are similar to Jehovah's Witnesses. This is no more true than the statement that "many" doctrines of other denominations are similar to Jehovah's Witnesses.
  22. (#91) N. H. Barbour was an early Adventist. False. The impression is left that Barbour was a Seventh-day Adventist, and there is no evidence that he ever was.
  23. (#94) Uriah Smith and James White denied the deity of Christ like the Jehovah's Witnesses. False. They were always firm believers in the deity of Christ.
  24. (#95) Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists have produced altered versions of the Bible. False. The New World Translation is a translation produced by the Watchtower Society. The Clear Word is an expanded paraphrase put out by a private individual.
  25. (#96) Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists have set dates for Christ's return. False. Jehovah's Witnesses have set dates, but not for Christ's return. And Sabbatarian Adventists early on took a strong stand against date-setting. Ellen White opposed such as early as 1845, even before becoming a Sabbatarian. Seventh-day Adventists as such did not exist in 1844.
  26. (#97) Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists claim to be the only remnant church. False. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that, as of 1991, 99.9169% of Jehovah's Witnesses are not the remnant.
  27. (#99) Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists were "guilty" of plagiarism. J. A. Brown published his book in Britain. Since there was no copyright in America at the time on British books, neither Russell nor anyone else could be said to be "guilty," even if they had copied it.
  28. (#102) Ellen White's major books contained "stolen" material. What she did cannot be called "stealing" since the words she took did not belong to the original writers.
  29. (#103) Sketches from the Life of Paul was plagiarized in its entirety. False. The books are different, as anyone who peruses them can plainly see.
  30. (#104) This resulted in a lawsuit. False. Such a lawsuit would have been a legal impossibility.
  31. (#105) Because of this, the book was quickly taken out of print. False. Published in 1883, the book was promoted in Signs of the Times through 1885, advertised in Great Controversy through 1887, and included on the title page of Great Controversy until 1907 in England, homeland of the authors who were "stolen" from.
  32. (#107) The main line of defense in the book The White Truth is that there were no copyright laws back then. False. Out of the six chapters in this 98-page book, one deals with plagiarism. Out of 16 pages in that chapter, only 4 deal with what copyright laws were like back then.
  33. (#108) The White Truth says that there were no copyright laws back then. False. Page 32 says that the first American copyright law was passed in 1790.
  34. (#109) The White Truth sidestepped the issue by concentrating on the legal question. False. The video is confusing the two allegations: 1) Ellen White was "guilty" of theft. 2) Ellen White got her inspiration from others. The White Truth deals with both allegations, as well as other points.
  35. (#110) The Adventist hierarchy has been unable to respond to Rea's challenge: Prove that 20% of Ellen White's writings are original. False. The "hierarchy" responded to his challenge 31 years before his book was written.
  36. (#115) Most of her health advice dealt with suppressing the male sexual urge. Absolutely ludicrous(!), as anyone who has read her books knows.
  37. (#123) Ellen White advised skipping all suppers in order to bring the male sexual appetites under control. False. Professor Fowler said this, not Ellen White. She consistently said that some people need a third meal (though two meals are better for most), and even called for Avondale College to begin to serve suppers.
  38. (#128) Ellen White controlled her female followers through directives on dress. False. She was opposed to anyone forcing convictions about dress on people.
  39. (#129) Ellen White was against wearing any kind of wig. False. The context of her statement clearly shows that she was not talking about simple wigs. Her published and released writings do not contain the word "wig" at all.
  40. (#132) Ellen White tried to force the reform dress on people. False. As pointed out under #128, she was against forcing the reform dress on anyone.
  41. (#133) The reform dress was hot. False. Far from being hot, it was comparatively light. The dress was designed as a healthful alternative to the too-heavy, too-long, multiple skirts typically worn by women in those days.
  42. (#134) The reform dress was uncomfortable. False. This light dress was designed for comfort as well as for health.
  43. (#135) The reform dress was bulky. False. Nor was this light dress bulky.
  44. (#136) The reform dress was long. False. It was not long. Besides being called the "reform dress," it was also called the "short dress."
  45. (#137) Faithful sisters struggled with the reform dress. False. Problems arose when these so-called "faithful sisters" did one of the following: a) wouldn't quit complaining about not being fashionable, b) pushed the dress on others contrary to Ellen White's expressed counsel, or c) constructed it distastefully.
  46. (#138) The reform dress was cumbersome. False. This light dress was not cumbersome.
  47. (#139) Ellen White gave no explanation for why she quit wearing her reform dress. False. She explained the matter well.
  48. (#141) Ellen White taught that you have to keep the letter of the law to put yourself on the road to salvation. False. She taught that you are totally incapable of obeying God's commandments until you have come to Christ.
  49. (#143) Ellen White had no patience with Christians who say, I am saved. Ellen White was not denouncing the doctrines of justification and righteousness by faith. The first quotation is not talking about those who mean, "I have been justified." The second quotation is referring to those who believe they can continue to murder and steal and sell dope, and still go to heaven.
  50. (#145) Adventists believe that Jesus made the down payment for our salvation, but we must make the monthly installments. Thus it is suggested that Adventists believe we partially earn our salvation. This is false.
  51. (#146) Adventists do not rely upon the grace of God alone. Ellen White repeatedly said we must rely upon the grace of God alone.
  52. (#157) Soul sleep was introduced because of the investigative judgment doctrine. False. Soul sleep was introduced before 1844, and the video makes it clear that the investigative judgment doctrine came after 1844.
  53. (#160) Adventists do not teach the biblical doctrine of hell. Actually, Seventh-day Adventists do teach the biblical doctrine of hell, and always have.
  54. (#162) Ellen White obliged by conveniently having a vision. Ellen White could not pretend to have a vision. Because of the definitely supernatural characteristics of her visions, they could not be faked.
  55. (#163) Her vision about the Sabbath introduced the Sabbath to her followers. The Sabbath was already well introduced among Millerites before this vision of April 3, 1847.
  56. (#165) Ellen White decided to have another vision. As mentioned before, for her to decide to have a vision was an absolute impossibility.
  57. (#168) Adventists continued to ask questions. False. It wasn't Seventh-day Adventists per se who were asking questions. It was their opponents.
  58. (#169) Mrs. White had visions saying that the Sabbath should be kept from 6pm to 6pm. False. Ellen White never had a single vision saying to commence the Sabbath at 6pm, or at any other time than the biblical "even unto even."
  59. (#170) It required another vision. False. The vision quoted from is not even another vision. It's the same November 20, 1855, vision.
  60. (#171) In her vision Ellen White promised to question the angel. False. It was the angel that made a promise, not Ellen White.
  61. (#173) Ellen White died without ever giving the promised explanation. This charge implies that Ellen White was supposed to, but she was never told by the angel who would give the promised explanation. The angel never said who.
  62. (#174) The promised explanation was never given. Actually, the promised explanation was given by 1868, 47 years before Ellen White's death.
  63. (#178) Adventists believe that failing to keep the Sabbath resulted in one's receiving the mark of the beast and losing one's eternal life. False. Adventists do not believe that this is a present reality. The use of the past tense verb "resulted" in describing a future event is an error.
  64. (#182) Even today, Seventh-day Adventists have made salvation ultimately dependent on which day of the week one worships. False. Adventists for the last century and a half have taught that the reception of the mark of the beast is a future event, not a present reality. And again, the use of the present tense for "worship" is an error.
  65. (#184) Ellen White has no support at all for identifying the Sabbath as the seal of God. False. She has all kinds of support . . . from the Bible.
  66. (#185) Christ's resurrection day is the Lord's Day. False. The Bible is crystal clear that 1) Jesus rose on the first day of the week, and 2) the Lord's Day is the seventh day of the week. One must wait over a hundred years after the resurrection before one finds a document calling the resurrection day the Lord's Day.
  67. (#186) Christ's followers met regularly on the resurrection day for their worship. There is no Bible evidence for this statement. In all the New Testament, we have only one explicit instance of the disciples meeting on the first day of the week for worship. In that one instance, they met on what we call Saturday night.
  68. (#187) Christ's followers did not meet regularly on the Sabbath for worship. False. This statement disagrees with the book of Acts.
  69. (#188) The resurrection day was when the disciples usually broke bread. False. Acts 2:46 says that they broke bread daily, not just on Sabbath or on Sunday.
  70. (#189) They did not break bread on the Sabbath. False. If they broke bread daily, they must have done it on the Sabbath as well.
  71. (#190) The Sabbath is Jewish. False. Jesus Himself said that He made the Sabbath for both Adam and all his descendents.
  72. (#191) Adventists teach that Satan becomes the sin-bearer. False. Ellen White taught, and Adventists teach, that Jesus is our only sin-bearer.
  73. (#195) There is a "total reliance" by Seventh-day Adventists on Ellen White. False. For Seventh-day Adventists, the Bible is the final authority.
  74. (#197) Ellen White's comments overshadow the teachings of the Bible. False, and the Documentation Package proves it.
  75. (#200) Ellen White publicly aired reproofs sent to people. False. When some of them were printed for the benefit of individuals having similar problems, she almost always left out the name and address of the guilty.
  76. (#206) Adventists originally denied the deity of Christ. False. An 1853 Advent Review said, "Warn those who deny the divinity of the only Saviour, that they must perish everlastingly if they go on rejecting him, for it is fearful and blasphemous to reject him."
  77. (#208) "Michael" being a name for Christ contradicts Hebrews 1:13. False. Scripture uses the term "angel" in a number of ways. Sometimes it refers to the uncreated Being who is simultaneously called the "Angel of the LORD," God, and Yahweh, and sometimes it refers just to the created angelic beings, as in Hebrews 1:13. There is no biblical justification whatsoever for insisting that Michael cannot be the divine "Angel of the LORD" and must therefore be a created being.
  78. (#210) It is impossible to accommodate both doctrines, that Christ is divine, and that Michael is Christ. False, as can be seen from #93.
  79. (#215) Adventists believe that the world's sins have been placed upon Satan. False. Adventists believe that no sins have been placed upon Satan.
  80. (#216) Adventists believe that the world's sins have been placed upon Satan rather than upon Christ. False. Adventists do not believe that Satan bears our sins instead of Christ. Christ is the only Sin-bearer.
  81. (#219) Adventists believe that salvation comes by placing sin upon Satan. Utterly false. Adventists believe that salvation comes through our Sin-bearer, Jesus Christ. The sins are only placed upon Satan after salvation is completely finished. That event is future.
  82. (#221) Four of the five marks of a cult apply to Seventh-day Adventists. False. None of the five marks apply to Seventh-day Adventists.
  83. (#223) Adventist leaders deceptively espoused the view of salvation by grace alone in the 1950's. False. Adventists had been teaching "grace alone" long before the 1950's. For instance, Ellen White wrote that "by grace alone can they be saved" in 1890. And in 1869 she wrote, "It is through his grace alone that Satan can be successfully repulsed."
  84. (#236) The Documentation Package substantiates the information contained in the video. The Documentation Package substantiates hardly anything. Sometimes it proves that the information on the video is erroneous.
  85. (#237) A number of former high-ranking Adventist Church leaders are featured on the video. Based on the information in the video, not one former high-ranking leader is featured.
  86. (#238) The video contains answers based on the best scholarship. If this video contains answers based on the best scholarship, what would the worst scholarship be like?

Lesser Inaccuracies: Less Important Than "Major Factual Errors"

  1. (#2) Adventism is based around the teachings and philosophies of Ellen White. False. Most Seventh-day Adventist doctrines had been discovered in the Bible and accepted before she wrote them out.
  2. (#3) Ellen White was the founder of the Adventist Church. She was not the sole founder.
  3. (#6) Miller taught that Christ would return on October 22, 1844. False. As of October 21, 1844, he had not yet accepted the date of October 22, much less taught it.
  4. (#11) Ellen White was depressed when Christ did not return on October 22. False. The record indicates that she was not.
  5. (#12) Ellen White could not admit her mistake of expecting Christ to return. False. She first admitted what she thought was a mistake, and then admitted that she had made a mistake in identifying the wrong mistake.
  6. (#17) Ellen White's vision was controversial. False. There was nothing controversial about it.
  7. (#20) The 1844 date was still an error. Cannot be presently proven. No better interpretation of the prophecies in question has ever been found.
  8. (#21) Ellen White became the absolute authority figure. False. She never has been the absolute authority figure.
  9. (#24) Church publications use her writings as the last word on doctrine. False. The Bible is the last word.
  10. (#30) History shows that Ellen White's prophecies did not come true. Not one sound, clear-cut example is given.
  11. (#31) She said Jerusalem would never be built up. The phrase "built up" had a different meaning at times back then.
  12. (#33) She said the second coming was only months away. False. She said no such thing.
  13. (#36) She predicted the downfall of the United States. False. She predicted defeat if certain conditions didn't change.
  14. (#38) Ellen White predicted England would declare war on the United States. False. She never said England would declare war.
  15. (#39) She predicted world war during the Civil War. False. She never said there would be world war at that time.
  16. (#40) Ellen White predicted the humbling of the United States in defeat. False. She predicted the nation's humbling, which came to pass, but she never said the nation would be defeated.
  17. (#42) Ellen White said animals and people crossed sexually. False. She said no such thing.
  18. (#46) The investigative judgment doctrine was a reinterpretation. Not really, for Miller had been teaching for over a decade prior to 1844 that the judgment was about to begin.
  19. (#47) Miller's prediction of October 22, 1844, failed. As mentioned under #6, Miller didn't make this prediction or even accept it. As far as his calculations go, his most learned opponents, like Dr. George Bush, could find no fault in them, and the greatest scholars of several centuries had come to similar conclusions.
  20. (#54) The other shut-door-of-mercy passages were reinterpreted after 1851. Besides there being no other shut-door passages, the "reinterpretations" came well before 1851.
  21. (#57) All doctrines were soon adjusted to fit the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment doctrines. The doctrines identified do not fit this description.
  22. (#60) The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation were reinterpreted to fit the investigative judgment. The basic interpretations of Daniel and Revelation were already worked out before Edson and Crosier published their findings on the cleansing of the sanctuary in 1846, and before the doctrine of the investigative judgment was crystallized in 1857.
  23. (#61) It was a time of doctrinal reversal. Neither the video nor its documentation provides evidence that that time was characterized by doctrinal reversal.
  24. (#63) Ellen White taught that we would be judged for trying to have some leisure time. False. She taught that we must have leisure time in order to be balanced people.
  25. (#65) The investigative judgment doctrine cannot be supported by the Scriptures. False. It can be supported by the Scriptures.
  26. (#67) The investigative judgment doctrine is blatantly unbiblical. False. This point is similar to #65, but more Scriptures are added under this number to show that it is biblical.
  27. (#72) The investigative judgment doctrine teaches that all believers will be lost if they do not keep the Fourth Commandment. False. Both Ellen White and the New Testament teach that God does not hold what we do not know and could not know against us.
  28. (#76) This Seventh-day Adventist version is known as The Clear Word Bible. Not any more. Quite a few quickly realized that something like this might come up one day, so the second edition carries only the title, The Clear Word. The contributors to the video knew this.
  29. (#80) It's called The Clear Word Version. Why did the makers of the video change the title of Jack Blanco's paraphrase? It's not called The Clear Word Version.
  30. (#82) The Clear Word manipulates and distorts Scripture. Again, paraphrases contain, by their very nature, the inclusion of interpretations into the text.
  31. (#84) The Study Bible is "theirs." False. It was published by a private organization, not the denomination, so it cannot be said to be "theirs."
  32. (#98) Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists plagiarized. No attempt is made by the video or Documentation Package to prove that Russell or any Jehovah's Witness ever read J. A. Brown's book.
  33. (#106) The evidence is irrefutable that Ellen White "stole" her inspiration from others. False. It has already been demonstrated in this critique that the evidence is anything but irrefutable.
  34. (#114) Ellen White's early health documents produce a rude awakening because of their fixation on moral issues. A minor portion of her early health documents dealt with moral issues.
  35. (#116) Most of her health advice dealt with suppressing the male sexual urge, which she thought was excessive. Technically, she was against the excessive indulgence of sexual urges by both men and women.
  36. (#117) Mrs. White felt she had been given special light on the subject of masturbation. That this was the opinion of her grandson the Documentation Package proves, but no evidence is ever given to substantiate that Ellen White herself felt she had been given special light.
  37. (#131) After Ellen White dealt with wigs, she introduced the reform dress. False. The reform dress was introduced more than six years before her counsel against heavy hairpieces.
  38. (#140) Ellen White said those who aren't vegetarians when Jesus comes can't go to heaven. False. She never made such an extreme statement.
  39. (#147) Adventists are striving to be rigidly obedient. False. Many Adventists will tell you that the Adventist Church has grown a bit lax.
  40. (#148) Adventists are inflexible, guilt-ridden legalists. False. While it is true that every faith has its legalists, the vast majority of Adventists are opposed to legalistic concepts. Legalism is generally not the cause of guilt but a faulty method of trying to get rid of the guilt brought on by a conviction of sin. Therefore the discovery of a genuinely guilt-ridden legalist would indeed be a rare find, regardless of his or her religious affiliation.
  41. (#152) We are not under the tutorship of the law, so we don't have to worry about obeying the law. This inaccuracy ignores what Paul meant by the phrase "under the law."
  42. (#154) Being under the law leads to sin. Actually, according to the New Testament, it seems more natural to say that sinning leads to being under the law, rather than that being under the law leads to sinning.
  43. (#158) The doctrine of soul sleep is unbiblical. Not so. Tyndale, Luther, Wycliffe, and many others came up with this idea just from studying the Bible. Besides, saying that our souls are immortal undermines the necessity of 1) the gospel, 2) the resurrection, and 3) the second coming.
  44. (#159) Conditional immortality flies in the face of two Scriptures. Actually, it doesn't, unless we want to say that the Bible contradicts itself. Martin's interpretation of these two texts in actuality flies in the face of hundreds of Bible texts from Genesis to Revelation.
  45. (#161) The Adventist view that Sabbath keeping is a mark of true loyalty to God is severe. But the speaker basically already admitted that Sabbath keeping is a mark of true loyalty to God.
  46. (#166) The vision was intended to settle the matter with the dissenters. According to one account, there were only two dissenters: Joseph Bates and Ellen White. Does it not sound a bit preposterous that since Ellen White wanted to convince herself, she decided to have another vision? And this vision didn't mention sunset at all or anything not contained in the previous vision, except that they should study the Bible to find out what "even" really meant.
  47. (#175) After the change of time for keeping the Sabbath, the Sabbath came to be understood as the seal. False. The Sabbath was understood to be the seal at least six years before the change to sunset time.
  48. (#176) The Sabbath was seen to be of prime importance in determining who would be saved and who wouldn't. The average viewer, uninformed about Adventist beliefs, will think that Adventists believe Sunday keepers now have the mark of the beast while Sabbath keepers have the seal. This is false.
  49. (#181) Even today, Seventh-day Adventists have made salvation ultimately dependent on which day of the week one worships. False. Adventists for the last century and a half have taught that there are Sunday keepers who are bound for heaven and Sabbath keepers who are bound for hell.
  50. (#193) Adventists strive to be included as mainline evangelical Protestant Christians. Not really. We don't have to strive. The largest church in the world says that we are the most fundamental of the fundamentalists, and "the only consistent Protestant."
  51. (#196) Ellen White is revered by all Seventh-day Adventists. False. This is far from the case, as the video later admits.
  52. (#199) Ellen White pressured people into submission. False. She was against pressuring people into submission.
  53. (#202) Usually the person conformed under the pressure. The incident just cited reveals a lack of pressure on Ellen White's part.
  54. (#204) Acceptance and fellowship are very often withheld today. The evidence indicates that this is false.
  55. (#207) Adventists must discontinue the doctrine that Michael is a name for Christ. This can't be done while remaining true to Scripture.
  56. (#211) Adventists have added the investigative judgment to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. False. According to the New Testament, to omit the judgment would be to delete it from the gospel.
  57. (#212) Adventists have added Sabbath keeping to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. False. Omitting Sabbath keeping from the New Covenant is to delete it from Christ's will. It is illegal to alter a will after the one who made the will dies.
  58. (#213) Adventists have added obedience to the Ten Commandments as requirements for salvation. False. Obedience is not a requirement for justification or conversion. To omit obedience from requirements for glorification is to effectively preach another gospel than the gospel Paul and Jesus preached.
  59. (#214) Adventists have added obedience to other Old Testament laws as requirements for salvation. But both the New Testament and Old Testament prophecies about New Testament times indicate that believers should still abstain from blood and unclean animals, and should return the tenth to God.
  60. (#224) Many followers felt betrayed by such an espousal of salvation by grace alone. False. Some conservative members felt betrayed because M. L. Andreason, a prominent theologian, said that the book Questions on Doctrine contained capitulations on some finer points of Adventist theology.
  61. (#225) Those who felt betrayed began searching for themselves, and made lurid discoveries. False. The conservative element who felt betrayed did not do the searching referred to. The liberal element who did not feel betrayed engaged in "searching" into other issues, and in consequence ultimately abandoned a number of crucial teachings found in Scripture, including the teaching that Scripture must be the final authority!
  62. (#226) "The Adventist Church had deceived me." If the (mis)information the preacher told you was anything like what is on this video, then it was he who deceived you, not the Adventist Church. At least, he didn't know what he was talking about.
  63. (#233) The Adventist Church does not uphold the Bible as the sole authority of both faith and practice. If this is true, which it isn't, why does everyone who becomes a member of the Adventist Church have to vow before God that they "believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that it constitutes the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian"?
  64. (#235) "Because you're not going to be able to get this information from your church." It would be a rare church that could produce this much misinformation single-handed.
  65. (#239) The video contains answers based on firm adherence to the truths of God's Word. In actuality, the video undermines faith in the authority and teachings of God's Word in a number of subtle ways.

Bad Quotations: Non-Existent, Rearranged, or Context Removed

  1. (#10) When Christ did not return, Ellen White said she was in a "hopeless condition for months." She said no such thing.
  2. (#15) Ellen White claimed God hid the mistake. Bad quotation. The last clause that was omitted explains that her words meant that God was not revealing the mistake to the people, rather than hiding it.
  3. (#37) She made false predictions during the Civil War. This quotation from Ellen White has been rearranged.
  4. (#52) The preface to the reprinting of her first vision said there was no change in idea or sentiment. It said no such thing. Instead, the preface said that a portion was left out.
  5. (#118) Mrs. White (apparently) gives a list of diseases caused by masturbation. Actually, the quotation is not accurate. The video combines a statement by Mrs. Gove with the views of Dr. Deslandes. The video adds words, and omits words and quotation marks without using an ellipsis. The average viewer cannot tell that Ellen White never wrote this.
  6. (#119) [Not in all editions of the video.] Mrs. White (apparently) said kids will get green skin. These are the words of Dr. E. P. Miller, not Ellen White.
  7. (#120) Ellen White said that meat inflames the passions. The quotation leaves this impression only because it is out of context.
  8. (#122) Ellen White (apparently) said, "Sip no more the beverage of China, no more the drinks of Java." These are the words of Professor O. S. Fowler, not the words of Ellen G. White.
  9. (#124) [Not in all editions of the video.] Ellen White (apparently) said the use of feather beds led to masturbation. False. Dr. E. P. Miller, not Ellen White, is quoted. He was against sleeping on feather beds in small, unventilated rooms, not against sleeping on feather beds per se.
  10. (#142) Ellen White had no patience with those who say, I am saved. The quotation has been rearranged and has had the context removed.
  11. (#172) According to Spiritual Gifts, Ellen White promised that they would find out why the visions had first said to keep the Sabbath from 6pm to 6pm. Out of context big time. Only two sentences after the quotation used, Ellen White denies ever seeing in vision that the Sabbath should begin at 6pm!
  12. (#177) The Great Controversy supports the idea that people have already gotten the mark of the beast by keeping Sunday. The viewer tends to arrive at this conclusion because of the speaker's choice of verb tenses, and the missing context of the quotation.

Bad Pictures: Pictures That Grossly Misrepresent the Facts

  1. (#9) Picture depicts radical fanaticism of Miller's meetings. False. Picture is actually of a critic's description of a post-1844 meeting that Miller was not present at.
  2. (#43) The picture indicates that Ellen White believed that the crossing of people and animals produced the black race. Ellen White never said if she was talking about Blacks, Whites, or Asians. There is no basis for the use of such a picture.
  3. (#127) [Not in all editions of the video.] The picture illustrating the last point, showing a shivering man with his feet in boiling water over a camp fire, depicts Battle Creek's hydrotherapy treatment. False. The quote the picture is illustrating says that you must not get chilled. Also, the heat source for a hot foot bath is never under the basin of water, which is never boiling. The picture is totally inaccurate.
  4. (#130) The picture of a skeleton looking through a window at a woman who is presumably putting on a simple wig. The picture doesn't illustrate at all the heavy monstrosities Ellen White was talking about.

Oversimplifications: More Detail Would Neutralize Point

  1. (#4) William Miller was a powerful preacher. Miller was a Baptist preacher, and but one of 200 preachers and 500 lecturers from many denominations all preaching about the same thing.
  2. (#5) Miller taught that Christ would return in 1843. His major point of difference with the theology of the times was not the date, but his conviction that Christ would come visibly and literally before the millennium instead of after.
  3. (#13) Miller admitted his mistake of expecting Christ to return in 1843 or 1844. He did not admit a mistake in his interpretations of the prophecies. Rather, he thought there must be a mistake in the chronologies used by historians, which might throw his calculations off a little.
  4. (#28) Her more embarrassing writings are unavailable. What makes them embarrassing is that sometimes she had to rebuke people's problems, like adultery.
  5. (#34) She said some would be food for worms and some would be alive when Jesus came. The video omits an immediate fulfillment in which a woman actually present at the conference was impressed that she would "food for worms." She was dead within three days.
  6. (#56) Ellen White immediately put God's endorsement on Edson and Crosier's conclusions. She put God's endorsement on their conclusions before she had heard about them.
  7. (#58) The shut door was opened. As in the apostolic church, God opened the door of opportunity to reach others with the truths of His Word. This had nothing to do with the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment doctrines.
  8. (#64) The investigative judgment doctrine is unique to Seventh-day Adventists. Not quite. Nearly every basic aspect of this doctrine has been taught by prominent scholars of other faiths.
  9. (#66) The investigative judgment doctrine states that a believer's works determines their salvation. Not quite. The investigative judgment doctrine does not teach that the believer's works determine his salvation in the sense meant by the typical evangelical when he says, "I'm saved."
  10. (#100) Walter Rea's The White Lie was dedicated to those who would rather believe a bitter truth than a sweet lie. The bitter "truth" both declared and implied by The White Lie is totally repugnant to evangelicals who believe in the final authority of Scripture.
  11. (#112) Her visions which she claimed came from God were shaky. One thing the video doesn't touch with a ten-foot pole is the fact that she didn't breathe and had supernatural strength during her public visions.
  12. (#121) Ellen White said rich and highly seasoned foods act as aphrodisiacs. Medical science has neither proven nor disproven what she said. It's like when she said that cancer is caused by a germ. She said this five years before a maverick scientist proposed the idea. After being ridiculed by the scientific community, this scientist years later won the Nobel Prize for being right.
  13. (#126) [Not in all editions of the video.] The Battle Creek Sanitarium used hydrotherapy to treat secret vice. Actually, hydrotherapy treatments stimulate the immune system and increase the white blood cell count. They have been used successfully to treat a variety of ailments.
  14. (#164) Adventists weren't following what the Bible says about beginning the Sabbath at sunset. The Bible "says" to keep the Sabbath from "even to even." It doesn't "say" to keep the Sabbath from sunset to sunset. Therefore these Adventists were not blatantly disregarding the Bible during the time they were unclear about the true meaning of "even."
  15. (#180) Adventists teach that Sunday keeping is a mark of rebellion. Gross oversimplification. Given the standard Protestant interpretations about the beast at the time Adventism arose, and given some of the strong statements Catholics have made about Sunday keeping, it's no wonder that Adventism arrived at the interpretations that it did.
  16. (#183) The New Testament says that the seal of God is the work of the Holy Spirit, not the keeping of the Sabbath. It isn't that simple. The New Testament indicates that the last-day seal does have something to do with the fourth commandment.
  17. (#201) Usually the person conformed under the pressure. One instance being cited in the Documentation Package essentially makes a joke out of this whole section in the video.
  18. (#209) Adventists can't discontinue the doctrine that "Michael" is a name for Christ without admitting that Ellen White made a mistake. Adventists would have to admit that Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, John Gill, and a host of others made a mistake too.

Straw-Man Arguments: Arguments Against Points That Are Basically Irrelevant

  1. (#22) Her writings grew to be seventeen times larger than the Bible. So? Luther, Wesley, and Spurgeon wrote a lot too.
  2. (#23) Adventists view her writings as inspired as the Bible. So? Adventists believe in degrees of authority, but not in degrees of inspiration.
  3. (#26) Ellen White's writings are an authoritative source of truth. So? The Adventist quote referred to ends by saying that the Bible is to be the standard by which Ellen White's writings are tested.
  4. (#29) She claimed an angel stood by her bed. So? Angels came to visit Bible writers too.
  5. (#41) She claimed to travel to other planets in vision. So? John, Ezekiel, and Paul as well tell us about their supernatural journeys in the Bible.
  6. (#45) Adventists say her writings areas inspired as the Bible. This straw man is answered already under #23. The Documentation Package's documentation for this point makes it clear that Adventists believe the Bible is the final authority, not Ellen White.
  7. (#48) Adventists believed that the door of mercy was shut on October 22. It's not hard to see why they believed this for a short time.
  8. (#78) 300 words have been added to Daniel 9 in The Clear Word. As the video admits, it's an expanded paraphrase, and the interpretations utilized have been held for centuries.
  9. (#79) Daniel 8:14 is a blatant example of alteration of the biblical text. Paraphrases by their very nature insert interpretations into the text.
  10. (#85) The Study Bible of Seventh-day Adventists contains Ellen White quotes. So? Lots of Bibles contain footnotes and study helps.
  11. (#111) Prove that 20% of Ellen White's writings are original. Such a challenge doesn't make sense, for it would require infinite knowledge to prove that 20% of her writings are original. It makes more sense to say, Prove that 80% of her writings are not original.
  12. (#125) [Not in all editions of the video.] Ellen White used a feather bed against her own advice. There is no evidence that she ever used a feather bed in an unventilated, small room, which would have been against Dr. E. P. Miller's advice, not her own. She was strongly opposed to unventilated rooms.
  13. (#192) Thus, Adventists differ from the plain teaching of Scripture that Christ bore our sins on the cross. Straw man. A Bible verse referring to the cross is used here to prove who the scapegoat can and cannot be after the atonement is finished.
  14. (#217) Adventists believe that Christians must stand before God without Christ as their mediator. Straw man. Every Bible-believing Christian who has studied the matter knows that Christ's mediatorial work must cease just before He returns.
  15. (#218) This contradicts Hebrews 7:25. Straw man. Hebrews 7:25 is talking about the present. It is not talking about eternity, when we will no longer need a mediator.
  16. (#220) The Adventist view of salvation, placing sin upon Satan, is not the salvation taught in the Bible. Straw man. Since this is not the Adventist view of salvation, the point is totally irrelevant.
  17. (#227) "I was never presented with [Ellen White's copying] in the [elementary] school system." Seems like 1st or 5th grade might be a bit early to deal with Peter or Jude copying from each other. Though these are obviously not issues for elementary school students to grapple with, I wouldn't be surprised if some 7th or 8th grades do touch on it.
  18. (#229) ". . . the [Adventist] Church was inconsistent theologically and politically." Straw man. Jesus said it would be this way.
  19. (#234) "Jesus saves us not by our deeds. . . ." Straw man, since this is precisely what Seventh-day Adventists believe.

Arguments That Essentially Attack the Bible and Its Teachings

  1. (#32) Ellen White said she would be alive and would be caught up in the air to meet Jesus. This undermines faith in the Bible, for the apostle Paul said the same thing.
  2. (#35) Ellen White would have been stoned in Bible times for being a false prophet. Then so would the biblical prophets Jonah and Huldah. Some prophecies are conditional, as Jeremiah tells us.
  3. (#49) Adventists believed that the door of mercy was shut on October 22. Peter and the apostles thought the door of mercy was closed to the Gentiles. Should we reject them as being part of a cult?
  4. (#62) The idea that an angel is recording everything we do, and that we will be judged by such a record, is harsh. But that's what the Bible clearly teaches in Matthew, Revelation, Daniel, and Ecclesiastes.
  5. (#69) The investigative judgment doctrine teaches that believers will be lost if they have unconfessed sins. The Bible says that we can only be forgiven if we confess our sins. Is the video saying that the Bible is wrong?
  6. (#71) The investigative judgment doctrine requires perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments. But the New Testament plainly says that adulterers, fornicators, thieves, and murderers cannot enter heaven.
  7. (#73) The investigative judgment doctrine is diametrically opposed to the gospel of grace. The points being objected to by the video are the very essence of the gospel and of the New Covenant.
  8. (#89) Adventists taught doctrines contrary to tradition. So has every other Protestant group. The Bible, not tradition, is (supposed to be) the authority of Protestants.
  9. (#93) Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists teach the heresy that Michael is Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that there is an "angel" sent from God who Himself is called God. If it isn't Christ, who is it? If it isn't Christ, must we conclude that the Bible endorses polytheism, that there is a mere angel who is God as well as the Father, Son, and Spirit?
  10. (#101) Ellen White's inspiration was borrowed from others without credit. This argument directly undermines the authority of the Scriptures, for the Bible writers did the same.
  11. (#149) Ellen White was wrong when she said that believers must keep the law of God. Thus the video declares wrong not only Ellen White, but also Paul, John, Peter, Jude, James, and Jesus.
  12. (#150) We don't have to worry about obeying the law, since we are under the New Covenant now, not the Old Covenant. A popular antinomian argument, this doesn't really make sense in the light of the only New Testament passage describing the New Covenant.
  13. (#151) We don't have to worry about obeying the law, since Christ is the end of the law. Since James 5:11 talks about the "end of the Lord," we know that sometimes "end" must mean something other than a cessation of existence. Christ is "the end of the law" because the law leads sinners to Christ for release from guilt (Gal. 3:24), not because the Ten Commandments don't exist anymore.
  14. (#156) A pre-advent judgment of works is incompatible with the gospel of grace. But this makes the apostle Paul contradict Revelation 14:6, 7.
  15. (#179) The Adventist view today about the mark of the beast is severe. How can it be severe to believe that Christians ought to obey the commandments of God? What does this say about what Jesus said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments"?
  16. (#198) Adventists consider Ellen White's comments on the Scriptures to be more authoritative than tradition. Of course! We are Protestants, and for Protestants tradition is supposed to be subordinated to the Holy Scriptures. An inspired prophet would be next in line in authority to the Bible, and tradition would have to be less authoritative than that.
  17. (#203) The type of pressure Ellen White used is one of the marks of a cult. Rather ludicrous. If such an idea be true, then the prophets of the Bible were just as cultic as Ellen White.
  18. (#205) Withholding of acceptance and fellowship for questioning doctrine is a characteristic of a cult. Questioning is one thing. Attacking is another. Biblically, the church must deal with members who practice grievous sins and teach false doctrines.
  19. (#228) ". . . all these writings she had . . . plagiarized, . . . I felt . . . lied to." Do you feel lied to because between Matthew, Mark, and Luke, two copied from the other? Do you feel lied to because John copied from others when he put together the book of Revelation? Even though they copied, can you prove that Ellen White, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and Jude are guilty of "plagiarism"?
  20. (#230) ". . . the [ Adventist] Church was inconsistent theologically and politically." This argument is what many use to excuse themselves from becoming Christians. The Bible characters were woefully inconsistent too. Does that make them members of a cult?

Statements That Beg the Question: That Assume To Be Fact What Needs to Be Proven

  1. (#44) Her visions are unbiblical. This begs the question, for not one unbiblical aspect of her visions has been shown.
  2. (#68) Seventh-day Adventism is not a legitimate Christian denomination. This point plainly begs the question, for it assumes what must be proven.
  3. (#74) Seventh-day Adventism is a man-made religion. This is another point that begs the question, that assumes what needs to be proven.
  4. (#113) The Seventh-day Adventist ministry is not a Christian ministry. This begs the question, assuming what must be proved. Besides, Dan Snyder admits under #232 that he was a Christian while being an Adventist minister!

Contradictions: Arguments or Statements that Demolish Other Arguments or Statements

  1. (#83) Seventh-day Adventists have also published their Study Bible. If The Clear Word is the Seventh-day Adventist version, why is the Study Bible a King James Version instead of The Clear Word?
  2. (#144) Adventists believe that Jesus made the down payment for our salvation. Thus the speaker contradicts the point he made under #141. If Jesus made the down payment, then we don't have to work to put ourselves on the road to salvation. It can't be both ways.
  3. (#153) Christians will keep God's commandments out of love. Thus Mr. Martin destroys the force of much of his whole argument thus far: We don't have to keep God's law, but if we love God we will gladly keep His law. The simple conclusion from his words is that if we don't keep God's law, it shows that we don't really love God.
  4. (#155) Being under grace leads to holiness. Mr. Martin contradicts himself again, for if we don't have to obey the law, why would the grace of God lead to holiness?
  5. (#167) A delegate reported that "After the conference, November 20th, the vision was given, establishing those undecided on the sunset time." The use of this quotation is devastating to these criticisms, for it comes from a pamphlet that demolishes every argument in this part of the video.
  6. (#194) An Adventist pastor supplied the following five marks of a cult. But the letter these five marks came from says that the co-producers and script writer of the video have been supplying false information about Seventh-day Adventists for 14 years! The video's credibility is thus called into question.
  7. (#222) These five marks of a cult are very important. If Jeremiah Films really believes this, why don't they make a video about a much larger church that clearly does fit these marks?
  8. (#231) "When expedient, they . . . contradicted Ellen G. White. . . ." The truth is out! Adventists don't follow Ellen White after all.
  9. (#232) "The last three years have been the most spiritually rewarding of my thirty-one years as a Christian." This key witness thus declares that he was both a Christian and an Adventist for 28 years, part of which time he was an Adventist minister as well. Despite all what the video says, according to this speaker, Adventists are Christians, and Adventist ministers are Christian ministers.

Arguments That Essentially Attack Prominent Christian Leaders of Old

Some of the other arguments could have been put here as well, but I only put those here which could not be put in another place.

  1. (#87) Adventists teach the heresy that Michael is Christ. This charge makes Charles Spurgeon and Matthew Henry heretics. And the 1599 Geneva Bible must have been put out by heretics too.
  2. (#92) Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists teach the heresy of soul sleep. Guess that makes Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and a host of Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans, and Presbyterians all heretics. Guess that even makes the apostle Peter himself a heretic.

       "Accurate Quotes"    
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Factual
Error

This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.

#1: "The quotes of Ellen G. White which appear in this program are taken from official Seventh-day Adventist publications. Page numbers are in reference to standard hardback editions." (Text appearing immediately before the program begins.)

All quotes of Ellen White are from official SDA publications. The truth is that some of the "quotes of Ellen G. White" referred to in the video either 1) do not exist at all, 2) are by someone else, or 3) have been altered.

As stated under #10 below, David Snyder states that Mrs. White, in her own words, said that she was in "this hopeless condition for months" after Christ did not come when expected. No such quotation can be found. The Documentation Package offered at the end of the video gives only a single reference from one of Ellen White's books which the context clearly shows is talking about Almira Pierce, not Ellen White.

As stated under #37 below, the quotation Sydney Cleveland uses to show that Mrs. White predicted the downfall of the United States has been rearranged. A sentence appearing six sentences before the rest of the quote is put at the end of the quote, and the intervening five sentences have been deleted. These five sentences neutralize the point being made on the video by Mr. Cleveland.

As stated under #52 below, Dale Ratzlaff refers to a quote from a preface in the July 21, 1851, issue of the Review. A picture of this issue appears on the video. However, the quotation is totally non-existent.

As stated under #118 below, many viewers are left with the impression that Ellen White gave the list of diseases quoted. However, the list quoted is not from Ellen White but is actually a fusion of comments made by a Mrs. Gove and a Dr. Deslandes. Words and quotation marks have been deleted without the use of an ellipsis, and words have been added without the use of brackets.

As stated under #119 below, many viewers are left with the impression that Ellen White said that kids who practice secret vice will get green skin. However, the quotation is from E. P. Miller, M.D., not Ellen White.

As stated under #122 below, many viewers are left with the impression that Ellen White said, "Sip no more. . . ." However, these are the words of Professor O. S. Fowler, not Ellen White.

As stated under #124 below, many viewers are left with the impression that Ellen White said not to sleep on feather beds. However, the quotation is from E. P. Miller, M.D., not Ellen White.

As stated under #142 below, the quotation given is actually a fusion of two different quotes from two different journals from two different continents written seven years apart. Enough context is removed to leave the impression with the viewer that Ellen White was condemning the doctrine of justification by faith, which she was not.

Quotations that have had critical context removed also occur under #15, #120, #172, and #177.

    "Based on Ellen White's Teachings"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Inaccuracy

Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Inaccuracy

#2 & #3: "Based around the teachings and philosophies of its nineteenth-century founder, prophetess Ellen G. White, Seventh-day Adventism exhibits tremendous influence world-wide."
(Narrator)

#2: Based around Ellen White's teachings. This is not correct. Seventh-day Adventism is not based around the teachings and philosophies of Ellen White. Generally, the doctrines found in her writings did not originate with her and were held and taught by Seventh-day Adventists before she wrote them out.

In materials prepared for the general public, we quote Scripture to substantiate our beliefs, for they are based on Scripture. For material prepared for use by our own members, since her books are held in high esteem by most members, they as well as the Bible are often quoted from, giving an appearance that the charge is true when it is not.

Much of what Seventh-day Adventists believe was hammered out in the Sabbath Conferences of 1848. Ellen White, to her chagrin, could not understand the topics under discussion. The only exception was when she was in vision, which occurred when the brethren could not come to agreement on their own about what the Bible said about a particular point. She wrote:

During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principal points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God. (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 207)

Since much of our beliefs were arrived at in meetings where Ellen White couldn't understand what was being discussed, how then can it be said that Seventh-day Adventism is based around her teachings and philosophies?

So Seventh-day Adventism is based around the teachings and philosophies of the Word of God, or at least that is our honest conviction, a conviction supported by the incidents from our history just described.

The Documentation Package offered at the end of the video gives no documentation for this point.

#3: Ellen White was the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It would appear that this video is intended to be primarily an attack upon Ellen White, as well as upon the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It seems to lead the viewer to believe that Ellen White was the sole or primary founder of the church. This is simply not true.

Though a number of others played important parts in the forming of Seventh-day Adventism, there are three who are considered the founders: Joseph Bates, James White, and Ellen White. Sometimes Hiram Edson and perhaps others are added to the list.

Narrowing down responsibility for an incident or teaching to a single individual makes that incident or teaching less credible to the average mind. Likewise, having many people say the same thing makes an incident, teaching, or allegation seem more credible.

The Documentation Package offered at the end of the video gives no documentation for this point.

    "Miller Was a Powerful Preacher"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next
Oversimplif.

#4: "Her Methodist family came under the influence of William Miller, a powerful preacher." (David Snyder)

Miller, a powerful preacher. In this oversimplification, the whole Millerite Movement is reduced to a single individual described only as a powerful preacher. Such an oversimplification made necessary the factual error found under #6.

Miller was a licensed Baptist preacher, and but one of two hundred ministers and five hundred lecturers in the U.S. and Canada. These seven hundred ministers and lecturers, from many denominations, were all teaching practically the same thing: that Jesus would return visibly and literally before the millennium instead of after, and that the entire world's conversion would never take place.

The video is intended to attack Seventh-day Adventists, not Baptists and Congregationalists and Presbyterians. Neither Miller's denominational affiliation nor the widespread nature of this massive ecumenical movement is mentioned.

Miller was the recognized leader of the movement, at least the American phase of the movement. He lived in Low Hampton, New York, not near Ellen White's family in Maine.

Miller and his associates called for genuine commitment to the Lord Jesus, resulting in a multitude of infidels being converted. Miller wrote in July 1845:

In nearly a thousand places, Advent congregations have been raised up, numbering as nearly as I can estimate, some fifty thousand believers. On recalling to mind the several places of my labors, I can reckon up about six thousand instances of conversion from nature's darkness to God's marvelous light, the result of my personal labors alone; and I should judge the number to be much greater. Of this number I can recall to mind about seven hundred, who were, previously to their attending my lectures, infidels; and their number may have been twice as great. Happy results have also followed from the labors of my brethren, many of whom I would like to mention here, if my limits would permit. (Memoirs of William Miller 327, 328)

Miller gave a course of lectures in Portland, Maine, where Ellen White's family resided, in March 1840. Elder L. D. Fleming, pastor of the Christian Church in Portland, had invited him. Elder Fleming described the effects of Miller's lectures in April, one month later:

At some of our meetings since Br. Miller left, as many as 250, it has been estimated, have expressed a desire for religion, by coming forward for prayers; and probably between one and two hundred have professed conversion at our meeting; and now the fire is being kindled through this whole city, and all the adjacent country. A number of rum-sellers have turned their shops into meeting-rooms, and those places that were once devoted to intemperance and revelry, are now devoted to prayer and praise. Others have abandoned the traffic entirely, and are become converted to God. One or two gambling establishments, I am informed, are entirely broken up. Infidels, Deists, Universalists, and the most abandoned profligates, have been converted; some who had not been to the house of worship for years. Prayer-meetings have been established in every part of the city by the different denominations, or by individuals, and at almost every hour. Being down in the business part of our city, I was conducted into a room over one of the banks, where I found about thirty or forty men, of different denominations, engaged with one accord in prayer, at about eleven o'clock in the day-time! In short, it would be almost impossible to give an adequate idea of the interest now felt in this city. There is nothing like extravagant excitement, but an almost universal solemnity on the minds of all the people. One of the principal booksellers informed me that he had sold more Bibles in one month, since Br. Miller came here, than he had in any four months previous. A member of an orthodox church informed me that if Mr. Miller could now return, he could probably be admitted into any of the orthodox houses of worship, and he expressed a strong desire for his return to our city. (Ibid. 17, 18)

The movement elsewhere in the world was largely unconnected to Miller, but was much the same in its general characteristics.

In Sweden it was against the law to preach that Christ was coming soon. Yet prophecy foretold that a message announcing the soon-coming judgment had to be given before the return of Christ (Rev. 14:6, 7, 13-16). The Holy Spirit therefore came upon children who would then preach, and could not be made to refrain from preaching. Their sermons called upon the people to forsake card playing, drunkenness, dancing, and frivolity. It was sobering to those who heard.

The reports of the times give the ages of the large number of children involved as being six, eight, ten, twelve, sixteen, and eighteen.

A brief account of the Swedish child preachers can be found in Great Controversy pp. 366, 367. For a fuller account, complete with references to Swedish sources, most of which were written by opposers to the phenomena, see Leroy Froom's Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 3, pp. 670-686.

    "Taught That Christ Was Coming in 1843 and on Oct. 22, 1844"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next
Oversimplif.


Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Inaccuracy

#5 & #6: "He taught that Christ would return first in 1843, and then on October 22, 1844, supposedly the Jewish Day of Atonement for that year."
(Ibid.)

#5: Miller taught Christ would return in 1843. This is an oversimplification. As alluded to in #4, the major thrust of Miller's preaching, and that which aroused so much opposition, was not the fact that Miller preached that the judgment would begin and Christ would come about the year 1843, but that he taught that Christ would come soon.

It sounds strange today, but at the time the churches in general taught that Christ would not come soon, and that He would not return until after a thousand years of peace on earth, during which thousand years the whole world would become converted. They taught that prophecies about the second coming and the resurrection would not be literally fulfilled. These doctrines were popularized by Daniel Whitby, an Englishman who died in 1726.

Miller and his associates taught most definitely that the whole world would not become converted, and that Christ would come personally and visibly before, not after, the thousand years. The date of 1843 only brought to a head these major points of theological difference.

Most churches, it seems, now believe what Miller taught about the second coming of Christ. They can thank William Miller, in part, for this correction in their theology.

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, lists in its index as "Point 4" Miller's teaching that Christ would come in 1843. However, when one turns to "Point 4," no evidence is given to substantiate that Miller ever taught this.

It is true, though, that Miller, as of December 1842, taught that Christ would come in 1843, more than eleven years after he gave his first sermon on the soon return of Christ. Previous to December 1842, Miller had consistently said Christ would come "about the year 1843" "if there were no mistake in my calculation" (Memoirs of William Miller 329).

Being censured by some of his associates in 1842 for constantly including the "about" and the "if," and not finding any error in his calculations, and being falsely accused by the public press of having set the date of April 23 for Christ's return, Miller decided to remove the "about" and the "if" in December 1842. From then until March 21, 1844, he taught Christ would come in the Jewish year of 1843 (Ibid.).

#6: Miller taught Christ would return October 22, 1844. This is not true.

Miller and Joshua V. Himes were preaching in the west the summer of 1844. When they returned east they found everyone afire with the idea that Christ would come on October 22, the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month. This fast-spreading message, initiated by Samuel S. Snow around mid-July 1844, became known as the "seventh-month movement."

Miller, as well as the other principal Millerite leaders, resisted for awhile the idea of predicting the return of Christ on a particular day, something they had always shunned. Miller's opposition can still be seen in his letter dated September 30, 1844, written soon after his arrival back home from his extended preaching tour.

Unable to explain what was so evidently to him the work of the Holy Spirit reforming and converting people's lives, Miller for the first time began to capitulate on October 6. In a letter written on that date, published in the October 12, 1844, issue of Midnight Cry, Miller said he would be disappointed if Christ did not return "within twenty or twenty-five days," which means he was looking toward October 26 or 31 as being the limit, not October 22.

The data from the letter is this, in the order that it appears: ". . . Christ will come in the seventh month. . . ." "If he does not come within 20 or 25 days, I shall feel twice the disappointment I did this spring." ". . . it must and will come this fall." ". . . I see no reason why we may not expect him within twenty days." ". . . just so true will redemption be completed by the fifteenth day of the seventh month. . . ." "I am strong in my opinion that the next [Oct. 13] will be the last Lord's day sinners will ever have in probation; and within ten or fifteen days from thence, they will see Him. . . ."

As can be clearly seen, Miller had fixed on no specific day in October 1844 for the Lord to come. He was convicted that Christ would come that month, but not necessarily on the 22nd. His words most often suggest that Christ would come by the 26th, but they also suggest that Christ would return by the 23rd, by the 27th, by the 28th, and by the 31st, all in the same letter. Not once does he pinpoint the 22nd, even though he twice refers to the typical Day of Atonement being on the tenth day of the seventh month in Old Testament times.

If Miller was ever going to teach "that Christ would return . . . on October 22, 1844," he was definitely running out of opportunities that October 6th.

Miller's first letter to Himes after October 22 is dated "November 10th," and expresses his disappointment. This date, November 10, was the date of the astronomical new moon, which in Miller's mind would have marked the end of the Jewish seventh month according to the Karaite lunar calendar.

The fact that Miller waited until the new moon before expressing his disappointment is further confirmation that he felt Christ would come in the seventh Jewish month, but not necessarily on the tenth day of that seventh Jewish month.

In a letter to J. O. Orr of Toronto, Canada West, on December 13, 1844, Miller wrote:

The ninth day [of the seventh month, or October 21] was very remarkable. We held a meeting all day and our place of worship was crowded to overflowing with anxious souls apparently. In the evening I told some of my [brethren] Christ would not come on the morrow [October 22]. Why not? said they. Because he cannot come in an hour they think not, nor as a snare.

Clearly, even on October 21, Miller had not yet accepted the date of October 22, much less taught it.

By leaving the impression that the date of October 22 is based on Miller, the video can more easily attack Millerite Adventists, since views proposed by single individuals appear to have less credibility.

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, lists in its index as "Point 4" Miller's teaching that Christ would come on October 22, 1844. However, when one turns to "Point 4," no evidence is given to substantiate the claim that Miller ever taught this.

    "Oct. 22 Was a Month Off"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Factual
Error

#7: "...October 22, 1844, supposedly the Jewish Day of Atonement for that year. However, using information from the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia we find that in 1844, the Day of Atonement began after sundown, September 23rd, not October 22nd. So this crucial date in Adventism was flawed, incorrect, from the very beginning." (Ibid.)

October 22 was not Jewish Day of Atonement. Samuel S. Snow never identified October 22 as being the "Jewish" Day of Atonement per se. He knew better, as did other Millerites. And neither was September 23 the "Jewish" Day of Atonement. But in all truth it can be said that October 22 was the true "biblical" Day of Atonement. The explanation for these puzzling statements follows.

There are many different sects of Judaism, and one prominent sect, the Karaites or Caraites, regularly differed from Rabbinical Judaism in how they would begin the year. This meant that the Karaite Jews usually kept the Jewish feasts a month later than the Rabbinical Jews. Thus usually there was more than one "Jewish" Day of Atonement per year. When this happened, no one date could be called the "Jewish" Day of Atonement.

The Rabbinical Jews accepted oral traditions in addition to the Word of God, but the Karaite Jews rejected all such traditions and relied only on the Bible. They were therefore a fundamentalist movement within Judaism.

A modern-day Karaite Jewish leader in Israel, Nehemiah Gordon, informs us that in 1999, the biblical Day of Atonement was on October 20, not in September like most other Jews thought.

The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. Its months are but 29 or 30 days each. That's about 354 days to a year. To keep the calendar synchronized with the seasons, a thirteenth month is added about seven times every nineteen years.

When and under what circumstances should the thirteenth month be added? The Rabbinical method uses merely mathematical calculations. The Karaite method uses observation of the barley crop in Palestine. Biblically speaking, the Karaites are correct.

The day after the sabbath after the Passover, a sheaf of barley grain was to be waved before the Lord (Lev. 23:10-15). If the barley wasn't ripe enough, this could not be done. This is why the Karaites would often have their year start one month later than other Jews, so that the barley would be ripe enough. (Even the name of the first Jewish month, Abib, refers to the barley being in a certain stage of growth.)

Some critics of Seventh-day Adventism cite Nehemiah Gordon to show that Karaites in 1844 in Palestine had long before adopted Rabbinical reckoning. However, the point is not what the Karaites were doing in 1844, but what the Bible says they should have been doing. If the barley was not ripe enough, then biblically the year could not begin, regardless of what any Karaite or Rabbi said.

In actuality, Nehemiah Gordon provides evidence indicating that the Karaites utilized Rabbinical reckoning "for some time" before 1860, but it does not prove what they were doing in 1844. This can readily be seen by turning to "Point 5" in the Documentation Package offered at the end of the video, where some of Nehemiah Gordon's comments can be found. (Large portions of this selected document in the Documentation Package were deleted, so the reader cannot tell that Nehemiah Gordon was the one writing the comments. The full document clearly shows that he is the writer, though.)

The April 1840 issue of American Biblical Repository contained a letter written in 1836 by E. S. Calman, a missionary in Palestine who was a converted Jew. He states that the Karaite Jews were generally keeping the feasts a month later than the Rabbinical Jews in his day:

But, at present, the Jews in the Holy Land have not the least regard to this season appointed and identified by Jehovah, but follow the rules prescribed in the oral law, namely, by adding a month to every second or third year, and thus making the lunar year correspond with the solar. And when the 15th day of Nisan (nisan), according to this computation, arrives, they begin to celebrate the above-mentioned feast, although the chedesh haabib may have passed, or not yet come. In general the proper season occurs after they have celebrated it a whole month, which is just reversing the command in the law, which directs that the chedesh haabib precede the festival, and not the festival the chedesh haabib. Nothing like ears of green corn have I seen around Jerusalem at the celebration of this feast. The Caraite Jews observe it later than the Rabbinical, for they are guided by Abib, abib, and they charge the latter with eating leavened bread during that feast. I think, myself, that the charge is well founded. If this feast of unleavened bread is not celebrated in its season, every successive festival is dislocated from its appropriate period, since the month Abib, abib, is laid down in the law of God as the epoch from which every other is to follow. (pp. 411, 412) (Hebrew transliterated)

According to this letter, Karaite Jews in Palestine were keeping the annual feasts generally one month later than the Rabbinical Jews in 1836. The conclusion of the critics that the Karaites had given up their special form of reckoning long before the nineteenth century is therefore unfounded. More importantly, the letter affirms the fact that the Rabbinical Jews were not calculating the times of their feasts to harmonize with the Bible's requirements.

An additional inadequacy in the Documentation Package is that it does not even attempt to substantiate the correctness of the Rabbinical date of September 23rd for the Day of Atonement in 1844. Instead, it quotes Nehemiah Gordon as saying, "While late September may or may not have been the correct month in which to celebrate Yom Kippur. . . ." This gives away the whole point the video was trying to make. If late September "may not have been" "the correct month" for the Day of Atonement, then late October may have been "the correct month" after all.

S. S. Snow popularized the October 22 date the summer of 1844, but he didn't come up with the idea of using Karaite reckoning. Karaite reckoning was the acceptable thing for a year or more prior to this.

Miller's associates, though not himself, decided that the Jewish year 1843 began on April 29 and ended on April 17, 1844. In doing so, they used the Karaite form of reckoning, as stated in the June 21, 1843, issue of The Signs of the Times, p. 123.

Now there is a dispute between the Rabbinical, and the Caraite Jews, as to the correct time of commencing the year. The former are scattered all over the world, and cannot observe the time of the ripening of that harvest in Judea. They therefore regulate the commencement of the year by astronomical calculations, and commence with the first day of the new moon nearest the vernal equinox, when the sun is in Aries. The Caraite Jews on the contrary, still adhere to the letter of the Mosaic law, and commence with the new moon nearest the barley harvest in Judea; and which is one moon later than the Rabbinical year. The Jewish year of A.D. 1843, as the Caraites reckon it in accordance with the Mosaic law, therefore commenced this year with the new moon on the 29th day of April, and the Jewish year 1844, will commence with the new moon in next April, when 1843 and the 2300 days, according to their computation, will expire. But according to the Rabbinical Jews, it began with the new moon the first of last April, and will expire with the new moon in the month of March next.

Six Jewish months and ten days after the new moon of April 1844 takes us to October 22. So, biblically speaking, the date of October 22 was correct.

    "His Meetings Were Marked by Hysteria"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Factual
Error

#8: "William Miller's meetings were marked by much emotionalism and a great deal of hysteria over Christ's imminent return." (Ibid.)

His meetings were marked by emotionalism and hysteria. This is not true. The fact is that Miller and his associates sought to suppress all such manifestations.

In an ecumenical movement like the Millerite Movement, many people of many beliefs and worship styles come together. There were those in the movement who would have felt comfortable in the more emotional services of some modern Pentecostal and charismatic churches, but Miller and his associates consistently sought to repress such things and called them fanaticism.

The eyewitness account of Pastor L. D. Fleming of Portland, Maine, has already been cited where he said, "There is nothing like extravagant excitement, but an almost universal solemnity on the minds of all the people." Let us also read the account of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Unitarian minister A. P. Peabody:

If I am rightly informed, the present season of religious excitement has been to a great degree free from what, I confess, has always made me dread such times, I mean those excesses and extravagances, which wound religion in the house of its friends, and cause its enemies to blaspheme. I most cheerfully express my opinion, that there will be in the fruits of the present excitement far less to regret, and much more for the friends of God to rejoice in, much more to be recorded in the book of eternal life, than in any similar series of religious exercises, which I have ever had the opportunity of watching. "Sermon on Revivals")

Joshua V. Himes, Miller's closest associate and ardent publicist, testified in 1853:

As the public learn to discriminate between the actual position of Mr. Miller and that which prejudice has conceived that he occupied, his conservativeness and disapprobation of every fanatical practice will be admitted, and a much more just estimate will be had of him. (Memoirs of William Miller iv)

Miller himself wrote on January 1st, 1843:

I beseech you, my dear brethren, be careful that Satan get no advantage over you by scattering coals of wild-fire among you; for, if he cannot drive you into unbelief and doubt, he will try his wild-fire of fanaticism and speculation to get us from the word of God. (Ibid. 173)

Himes makes some comments regarding a lecturing tour in September and October 1843. He writes:

During this tour, Mr. Miller was much pained by witnessing a tendency to fanaticism on the part of some who held to his views. As he had no sympathy for anything of the kind, and has been unjustly identified with it in the minds of the public, it becomes necessary to show its origin, that its responsibility may rest where it rightly belongs. (Ibid. 229)

Himes then proceeds to describe the origin of these things. A Mr. John Starkweather, an Orthodox Congregationalist, was called to be an assistant pastor at Himes's church, since Himes was often on the road with Miller. According to Himes, Starkweather "taught that conversion, however full and thorough, did not fit one for God's favor without a second work; and that this second work was usually indicated by some bodily sensation" (Ibid. 232).

Starkweather came in October 1842. Near the end of April 1843, things were such that Himes felt the matter had to be addressed. Himes addressed the congregation about the dangers of fanaticism, to which address Starkweather gave a vehement reply. So Himes gave another address.

This so shocked the sensibilities of those who regarded them as the "great power of God," that they cried out and stopped their ears. Some jumped upon their feet, and some ran out of the house. "You will drive out the Holy Ghost!" cried one. "You are throwing on cold water!" said another.

"Throwing on cold water!" said Mr. Himes; "I would throw on the Atlantic Ocean before I would be identified with such abominations as these, or suffer them in this place unrebuked."

Starkweather immediately announced that "the saints" would thenceforth meet at another place than the Chardonstreet Chapel; and, retiring, his followers withdrew with him.

From this time he was the leader of a party, held separate meetings, and, by extending his visits to other places, he gained a number of adherents. He was not countenanced by the friends of Mr. Miller; but the public identified him and his movement with Mr. Miller and his.

This was most unjust to Mr. Miller; but to this day the Romanists identify, in the same manner the fanaticism consequent on the Reformation, with Luther and those who repudiated the doings of Munzer, Storch and others.

While Starkweather was thus repudiated, he persisted in forcing himself, wherever he could, upon the public, as a religious teacher and lecturer on the Advent.

On the 9th of August, 1843, a camp-meeting commenced at Plainfield, Ct., at which Starkweather was, and some manifestations were exhibited which were entirely new to those present, and for which they could not account. Another meeting was held at Stepney, near Bridgeport, on the 28th of the same month, where the developments were more marked. A few young men, professing to have the gift of discerning spirits, were hurried into great extravagances.

Elder J. Litch [another very prominent Millerite leader] published a protest against such exhibitions, in which he said:

"A more disgraceful scene, under the garb of piety, I have rarely witnessed. For the last ten years I have come in contact nearly every year, more or less, with the same spirit, and have marked its developments, its beginning, and its result; and am now prepared to say that it is evil, and only evil, and that continually. I have uniformly opposed it wherever it has made its appearance, and as uniformly have been denounced as being opposed to the power of God, and as resisting the operations of the Spirit. The origin of it, is the idea that the individuals thus exercised are entirely under the influence of the Spirit of God, are his children, and that he will not deceive them and lead them astray; hence every impulse which comes upon them is yielded to as coming from God, and, following it, there is no length of fanaticism to which they will not go." - Midnight Cry, Sept. 14, 1843.

This fanaticism was the result of Starkweather's teaching that "gifts" were to be restored to the church. Even he seemed at first amazed at the results. (Ibid. 233, 234)

One last comment from Himes:

Not only Mr. Miller, but all who were in his confidence, took a decided position against all fanatical extravagances. They never gave them any quarter; while those who regarded them with favor soon arrayed themselves against Mr. Miller and his adherents. Their fanaticism increased; and though opposed by Mr. Miller and his friends, the religious and secular press very generally, but unjustly, connected his name with it; - he being no more responsible for it than Luther and Wesley were for similar manifestations in their day. (Ibid. 239)

After calling vocal utterances during meetings fanaticism (the one example given is "Bless God"), Miller wrote, "I have often obtained more evidence of inward piety from a kindling eye, a wet cheek, and a choked utterance, than from all the noise in Christendom" (Ibid. 282).

Regarding the seventh-month movement in particular, when beginning with the summer of 1844, most Millerites expected Christ to return on October 22, Miller testified:

There is something in this present waking up different from anything I have ever before seen. There is no great expression of joy: that is, as it were, suppressed for a future occasion, when all heaven and earth will rejoice together with joy unspeakable and full of glory. There is no shouting; that, too, is reserved for the shout from heaven. The singers are silent: they are waiting to join the angelic hosts, the choir from heaven. (Ibid. 270, 271)

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, gives no documentation for this point whatsoever.

    "See This Picture?"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Bad Picture


#9: The picture used to illustrate #8.

Picture of one of Miller's meetings before 1844. This picture is not of one of Miller's meetings at all. It was drawn to illustrate a critic's description of a meeting occurring after 1844, yet the video uses it to illustrate a pre-October 22 meeting.

Ellen White is shown having a vision, in the way the critic described, but she had no visions before October 22, 1844. Her first vision came in December 1844.

James White is shown behind her. While he remembered meeting her prior to October 22, she recounted meeting him for the first time a bit later. Not until 1845 did they labor together. He could not have stood behind her in this manner, therefore, until the following year.

    "Ellen White Was in Deep Depression Afterwards"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Bad Quote

Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Inaccuracy

#10 & #11: "Ellen Harmon was a willing participant, though when Christ did not return when Miller predicted, she dissolved into tears and prayers and remained, as she said, in this hopeless condition for months."
(Ibid.)

#10: She said she was in a hopeless condition for months. There is no such statement anywhere in her writings.

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, lists this as "Point 6." "Point 6" mistakenly provides page 293 of Life Sketches 1880 edition: "My wife has for many years been subject to occasional, and sometimes protracted, seasons of the most hopeless despair." This same wording is found in the 1888 edition, as well as page 169 of the second volume of Spiritual Gifts. The immediate context clearly shows that this was written by Stephen Pierce about his wife, Almira Pierce. It isn't about Ellen White at all!

Page 190 of Life Sketches clearly says: "We were disappointed but not disheartened."

"Point 6" also quotes from Spectrum magazine, a theologically liberal journal that does not support the idea of the infallibility of the Bible and does support the theory of evolution. The quotation from Spectrum speculates that when Ellen White later wrote about others, she was in fact writing about herself. By no stretch of the imagination can this be used as proof that she ever said she was "in this hopeless condition for months."

#11: Ellen White felt in a hopeless condition for months because Christ did not return on October 22. This is not true.

Like most young people, she was depressed at times. For instance, she felt in despair for a period of months around 1840, when she was but twelve years old (Selected Messages 3:324, 325). This was just prior to her conversion. However, it should be pointed out that this is how many have felt just prior to their own conversion, as they realize the depth of their sin and their need of a Savior.

In 1842 she was convicted that the Lord wanted her to pray publicly, but she didn't want to, and stopped praying altogether. This resulted in a state of melancholy and despair that lasted three weeks or a little longer, until she followed through with what she believed was her duty. (Spiritual Gifts 2:15-20).

After her second vision, soon after the first one of December 1844, she was troubled. With her frail health and being so young, she shrank from the duty of traveling to share what God had revealed, which duty had been expressed to her in that vision. She dreaded the scoffs, sneers, and opposition she would surely meet. She wrote:

I really coveted death as a release from the responsibilities that were crowding upon me. At length the sweet peace I had so long enjoyed left me, and my soul was plunged in despair. (Life Sketches 195, 1880 ed. See also Testimonies for the Church 1:63)

These words indicate that she had no episodes of despair between the previous incident in 1842 and her second vision a few months after October 22, 1844. So Ellen White was not "in a hopeless condition" for months after October 22, and had no depression after Christ did not return when expected.

    "She Couldn't Admit Her Mistake, But Miller Did"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Inaccuracy

Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next
Oversimplif.

#12 & #13: "Ellen White just could not accept the fact that Christ did not return in 1843 or 1844. She could not admit her mistake. Interestingly enough, William Miller did." (Ibid.)

#12: Ellen White didn't admit her mistake. This is not true. Both Ellen White and William Miller freely admitted that they were mistaken in thinking that Christ would return in 1843 or 1844. Yet they explained their mistake quite differently.

Ellen White first admitted what she thought was a mistake, and then she admitted a different mistake.

In 1847 her husband wrote, "When she received her first vision, December, 1844, she and all the band [the group of Advent believers] in Portland, Maine (where her parents then resided) had given up the midnight cry, and shut door, as being in the past." Ellen White wrote the same year, "At the time I had the vision of the midnight cry [December, 1844], I had given it up in the past and thought it future, as also most of the band had" (Ellen G. White: The Early Years 61).

What the above two statements mean is this: During the seventh-month movement, the prophecies of Daniel 8 and 9 were connected to a number of other Scriptures, particularly the parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25.

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (Mat. 25:6-12)

At the conclusion of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, it was expected that the bridegroom would come, the wedding between Christ and his people would begin, and the door would be shut, whatever that means. The term "midnight cry" used in the quotations from The Early Years is taken from the parable, for a cry goes out at midnight: "The Bridegroom cometh. Go ye out to meet Him."

By Ellen White initially giving up the idea that the midnight cry and the shut door were past, she was giving up the idea that the 2300 days had really ended on October 22, 1844, an easy enough conclusion for she and many other Millerites to reach.

After her first vision, she realized that she had made a mistake in calling the October 22 date a mistake. The real mistake she and the 50,000 other Millerites had made was in thinking that the beginning of the judgment and the ending of the 2300 days was synonymous with the second coming of Christ.

Daniel 8:14 had declared that the 2300 days would end with the cleansing of the "sanctuary." The popular belief among both Millerites and non-Millerites was that this "sanctuary" was the earth or some part of it. The Millerites felt that the predicted cleansing of the sanctuary was Christ's cleansing of the earth by fire at His second coming.

The Millerites were mistaken that this was the predicted event of the prophecy, and this mistake Ellen White was always willing to freely admit:

As the disciples were mistaken in regard to the kingdom to be set up at the end of the seventy weeks, so Adventists were mistaken in regard to the event to take place at the expiration of the 2300 days. In both cases there was an acceptance of, or rather an adherence to, popular errors that blinded the mind to the truth. (Great Controversy 353)

Christ's disciples thought He would set up the kingdom of glory at His first coming, in which kingdom the Jews would rule the world and the Romans. Shall we reject their teachings, since they had mistaken views about prophecy, even as late as at the time of Christ's ascension (Acts 1:6)?

There are a number of mistakes in this video. Will those responsible for these mistakes freely admit them to the Christian community?

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, offers no documentation for this point whatsoever.

#13: Miller admitted his mistake. This is an oversimplification. To explain what Miller really admitted to would make the inclusion of this point in the video appear silly.

In a statement dated August 1, 1845, Miller specified what mistake he was admitting to:

But while I frankly acknowledge my disappointment in the exact time, I wish to inquire whether my teachings have been thereby materially affected. My view of exact time depended entirely upon the accuracy of chronology; of this I had no absolute demonstration; but as no evidence was presented to invalidate it, I deemed it my duty to rely on it as certain, until it should be disproved. Besides, I not only rested on received chronology, but I selected the earliest dates in the circle of a few years on which chronologers have relied for the date of the events from which to reckon, because I believed them to be best sustained, and because I wished to have my eye on the earliest time at which the Lord might be expected. Other chronologers had assigned later dates for the events from which I reckoned; and if they are correct we are only brought into the circle of a few years, during which we may rationally look for the Lord's appearing. As the prophetic periods, counting from the dates from which I have reckoned, have not brought us to the end, and as I cannot tell the exact time that chronology may vary from my calculations, I can only live in continual expectation of the event. I am persuaded that I cannot be far out of the way, and I believe that God will still justify my preaching to the world.

Thus the mistake that he admitted to was not the way he had interpreted and calculated the time prophecies of Scripture, but the dates of the human chronologers he had used to begin those time prophecies with.

The book shown in the video to illustrate the point that William Miller admitted his mistake is that of Sketches of the Christian Life and Public Labors of William Miller, written by James White and published in 1875.

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, lists this point as "Point 7." Under "Point 7" is given a page of a research paper which is dealing with the Albany Conference of April 1845. The page allegedly describes what was voted at that Conference, but says nothing about whether Miller was in harmony with the vote or not. It also says nothing about what mistakes Miller allegedly admitted to making.

If one compares what was actually voted at the Albany Conference with the page of the research paper found in the Documentation Package, one will find that they do not agree. Hence I used the word "allegedly" in the previous paragraph. The person compiling the Documentation Package must not have verified the accuracy of the page from the research paper.

    "Her First Vision"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Factual
Error


Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Bad Quote

#14 & #15: "Instead she claimed she had a vision from God, the first of many. 'I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them, that His hand was over, and hid a mistake in some of the figures...' Early Writings p. 74."
(Ibid.)

#14: This was her first vision. This is not true. The statement quoted from Early Writings is from a vision that occurred on September 23, 1850. However, Ellen White's first vision occurred in December 1844.

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, gives no documentation for this point whatsoever.

#15: God hid the mistake. The context has been removed to apparently leave the impression that this is what Ellen White meant. However, the last clause of the sentence that was omitted says: ". . . so that none could see it, until His hand was removed." This shows that rather than God hiding the mistake, He was instead not bringing the mistake to the notice of the people. There is a difference.

This is elaborated upon under the next section.

    "She Said God Made the Mistake"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Factual
Error

#16: "Rather than admit she was in error, Ellen Harmon claimed that God was the one who had made the mistake, and had covered it up Himself."
(Narrator)

Ellen White said God made the mistake. This is not true. She never said that God made a mistake at that time or at any other time. God makes no mistakes.

Early Writings 74 is used on the video to substantiate this strange claim:

I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them; that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until His hand was removed.

Have you ever made a mistake? Why didn't you see it was a mistake earlier? Why didn't God show it to you earlier? Because God didn't show you your mistake earlier, does that mean God made the mistake?

What Ellen White is talking about here is not about October 22 at all. Miller and his many associates began the 2300 days in 457 BC. Subtracting 457 from 2300 gives 1843. Thus they thought that the 2300 days would end in the Jewish year 1843, which they felt began in the spring of 1843 and ended in the spring of 1844. But there is a major mistake here in our math.

There is no 0 BC or 0 AD, unlike a conventional number line. Hence the spring of 457 to the spring of 1843 is only 2299 years, not 2300. This no one realized until after the Jewish year of 1843 had already passed.

Of course, God knew that their math was off, and He permitted them to understand this after the fact.

No mistake about the validity of the October 22 date is even suggested in the quoted statement.

But Ellen White's words indicate that there was some sort of divine purpose in the mistake about there being no 0 year. Perhaps the experience of the disciples can illuminate our understanding.

The disciples of Christ were tested severely at two different times, both relating to mistaken views about prophecy. John 6:66 says that many of Christ's disciples just up and left Him when He cryptically told them that His kingdom was a spiritual kingdom, not a kingdom in which they would rule the Romans. This was the first test, and it was hard. The second one came at the crucifixion, when all the hopes and dreams of the disciples for an earthly kingdom of power were dashed to pieces.

If the first and only test had been at the crucifixion, and if it had been then when the majority of Christ's followers forsook Him, the test would have been much more overwhelming for the disciples. Having the previous test strengthened the disciples for the later test.

Did God make the mistake about prophecy found in John 6? No, but He permitted it for a reason.

Likewise the Millerites were tested twice. The former test strengthened them for the latter test. God did not make the mistake (and Ellen White never said He did), but He permitted it for a reason.

The Documentation Package, offered at the end of the video, gives no evidence that Ellen White ever said that God made any mistake. It merely repeats the quote from page 74 of Early Writings, and shows a picture of the 1843 chart Ellen White was referring to in that quote.

    "Controversial Vision Changes Dates and Doctrines"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Inaccuracy

Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Factual
Error

#17 & #18: "Ellen's controversial vision forced the readjustment of many Adventist dates and doctrines."
(Ibid.)

#17: Ellen White's vision was controversial. Neither her first vision nor her vision of September 23rd, 1850, should have been considered controversial at the time. Both should have appeared either reasonable or middle-of-the-road to their targeted audiences.

After October 22, 1844, there were two major and opposite divisions of thought: 1) The 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 had not ended yet and Christ's literal and visible coming was yet future. 2) The 2300 days had ended and Christ had already returned in a spiritual way.

In contrast, Ellen White's first vision taught that the 2300 days had ended, but Christ's return was yet future and would be literal and visible as the Bible says. Thus it promoted a middle-of-the-road position between the two major camps.

50,000 Millerites had felt moved by the Spirit of God during the seventh-month movement. The vision taught that that movement was indeed of God. Thus this point too should have been considered non-controversial.

The 1850 vision the video quoted from taught that:

  1. It was proper to print a periodical to proclaim the truth.
  2. The word "sacrifice" in Daniel 8:12 was not in the original, but had been added by the translators (which is a fact that is readily apparent).
  3. "Time . . . will never again be a test." In other words, there should be no more setting of dates for Christ's return.
  4. It was wrong to spend lots of money to send people over to Jerusalem, thinking that somehow this would help fulfill prophecy. (Advent Review 11/1/1850; Early Writings 74-76)

What was so controversial about this vision? Some who wanted to go to Jerusalem probably didn't like what Ellen White was shown, but even point 4 harmonized with what the 50,000 Millerites had believed and taught.

The Millerites did not believe that the Bible foretold a restoration of literal Israel. They felt that Israel today is composed of all believers, as the apostle Paul indicates:

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (Rom. 2:28, 29)

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. . . .

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:7, 29)

This teaching may be controversial today, but it wasn't controversial in 1844.

Some who were into setting dates might have thought that point three of the 1850 vision was controversial, but she had already been pushing this idea for five years by that time (see Testimonies for the Church 1:72, 73).

No documentation whatsoever is given for this point in the Documentation Package.

#18: Readjustment of many dates and doctrines. No dates were readjusted by either vision. The first vision didn't really introduce any new doctrines. The 1850 vision called for a moratorium on date setting, but that wouldn't constitute a readjustment of many doctrines, especially since she had already been calling for such a moratorium for five years.

Going to Jerusalem not being a fulfillment of prophecy was already a standard Millerite doctrine, so this doctrine was not readjusted either.

No documentation whatsoever is given for this point in the Documentation Package offered at the end of the video.

    "1844 Was the Wrong Date"  
Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Factual
Error

Back to T.O.C.
To Topical Index
Next Inaccuracy

#19 & #20: "Even though the 1843 date
had now been adjusted to 1844, it was still an error." (Ibid.)

#19: 1843 date adjusted to 1844. Neither Ellen White's first vision of December 1844 nor her 1850 vision had anything to do with the change of date from 1843 to 1844. The simple proof of this is the fact that the date was already adjusted before she had either of these visions.

Once again, here is the history: Samuel S. Snow, as described before, provided the biblical evidence and chronological evidence to show that the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 ended on October 22, 1844. He provided this evidence in a powerful way in the Boston Tabernacle on July 21, 1844. Then in August he presented his material at a camp meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire. After that the idea spread like wild fire. By October 22, 50,000 Millerites had accepted the idea, a couple months before Ellen White had her first vision.

No documentation whatsoever is given for this point in the Documentation Package offered at the end of the video.

#20: 1844 date still an error. No documentation whatsoever is given for this point in the Documentation Package offered at the end of the video. The reason is simple: The theological understandings of those of any and every persuasion have yet to produce any valid objections to the basic interpretations of Scripture that lead to this date. No better date has been arrived at.

If the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 did not end in 1844, when did they end? Actually, this question is premature. A better question to start with is, When did the 490 days of Daniel 9 end?

Linguistically, Daniel 8 and 9 are tied together. In chapter 8, Daniel says that "none understood" the "vision," even though Gabriel had already explained every part of the vision to Daniel except for the 2300 days of verse 14.

Actually, there are two different Hebrew words translated "vision" in chapter 8: mar'eh and chazown. Chazown occurs in verses 2, 13, 15, 17, and the last half of 26. Mar'eh occurs in verse 16, the first half of 26, and 27.

When Gabriel says in verse 26 that the "vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true," he provides the key to our understanding the difference between the chazown and the mar'eh. Literally, the Hebrew for "2300 days" in verse 14 is "2300 evening-morning." So the vision or mar'eh of the evening-morning must specifically refer to the 2300 days, while the chazown refers to the entire vision.

Thus when Daniel said none understood the vision or mar'eh, he was correct, for Gabriel had not gotten to explain the mar'eh of the 2300 days yet. But in verse 16 Gabriel had been assigned the special task of making Daniel "to understand the vision," or mar'eh, of the 2300 days.

In chapter 9 Gabriel returns, "the man" "whom I had seen in the vision" or chazown (vs. 21). Gabriel tells Daniel, "Consider the vision," or mar'eh, the 2300 days. The rest of what he says to Daniel in the chapter is connected to a time prophecy, the prophecy of the 70 weeks, or 490 days.

One troublesome problem in chapter 8 is that there is no starting point given for the beginning of the 2300 days. This problem is removed in chapter 9: These time prophecies begin with the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.

Nearly everyone agrees that the first 483 days of the 490 days of Daniel 9 end at some point in the ministry of Christ. Each day represents a year (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34).

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks. (Dan. 9:25)

Seventh-day Adventists begin the 490 years with the seventh year of Artaxerxes, or 457 BC. In that year the Jews' autonomy was restored to the point that they could even execute the death penalty against violators of God's law (Ezra 7:7, 8, 26). Adventists begin the last seven years of the prophecy with Christ's baptism in 27 AD, when He was anointed with the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in the form of a dove (Luke 3:1, 22; Acts 10:38). Since the Hebrew word for "Messiah," and the Greek word for "Christ" both mean "the anointed one," it seems most logical to identify the coming of the Messiah of Daniel 9:25 with the baptism of Jesus.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. (9:27)

When Christ died after a ministry of 3˝ years (31 AD), the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom (Mat. 27:51). Thus Christ showed that the sacrifices were to cease, since the true sacrifice for sin had been offered.

This leaves but half a week left of the prophecy, 3˝ years, stretching to 34 AD. In Acts 7 we find Stephen being stoned as the first Christian martyr. Immediately after this the gospel started going to non-Jews: Samaritans, the Ethiopian eunuch, and the Roman centurion Cornelius, along with his household. Since Gabriel said that the 70 weeks were especially for Daniel's people, the Jews, it seems most logical to end the 70 weeks with the stoning of Stephen. For one week (7 years) the gospel, the new covenant, was confirmed with many, the Jewish nation: 3˝ years during the ministry of Christ, and 3˝ years after his resurrection.

The first 490 days of the 2300 thus ended in 34 AD. The remaining 1810 years can be added to 34 AD to arrive at 1844 AD.

Before it can be said emphatically that 1844 is "an error," a better interpretation than the above must be found. None has been found to date.

The most popular alternative interpretation today is the following, which is more complex than what was above, which should tell you something: The first 69 weeks stretch from Artaxerxes's supposed twentieth year in 445 BC to about the death of Christ, and the seventieth week is yet future.

Sir Robert Anderson proposed multiplying the 69 weeks, or 483 days, by 360 days to the year, and then dividing this product by 365.25 days per year. By this method he reduced the 483 years to just over 476 years, a total of 173,880 days. But he mistakenly added three leap days too few, owing to the difference between the Julian and the Gregorian calendars. He then began the time period on March 14, 445 BC, what he supposed was the first day of the first Jewish month of Nisan that year. Then he ended it with April 6th, 32 AD, what he supposed was Nisan 10, Palm Sunday, the week Christ was crucified.

The seventieth week of Daniel 9 Anderson's puts off into the future to a yet unknown time.

Besides the problem of mistakenly adding three leap days too few (his ending date should really have be Thursday, April 3 instead of Sunday, April 6), there are other problems with Anderson's theory:

  1. Nisan 10 could not have been earlier than Wednesday, April 9 in 32 AD. Thus it could not have been April 6.
  2. Nisan 14, the Passover, when Christ would have died, would have been on a Sunday or Monday in 32 AD, not on a Thursday as Anderson supposed.
  3. The Jews of Elephantine used accession-year reckoning for Artaxerxes. In other words, his first year was his accession year, and his second year was called his "first year." This would make his twentieth year really 444 BC, not 445 BC. So Anderson's starting date was a year off.
  4. While we have record of a decree from Artaxerxes's seventh year (457 BC) in the seventh chapter of Ezra, we do not have record of a decree from his twentieth year.
  5. Putting the seventieth week of Daniel 9 into the future ignores the linguistic ties between chapters 8 and 9, and the resulting connection between the 2300 days and the 490 days.
  6. The method of reducing the 69 weeks of 483 years to only 476 years ignores the Jewish seven-year cycle.

Number 6 needs a little more explanation: The Israelites were to work their fields for six years, and then let the land keep a sabbath for the seventh year (Lev. 25:2-7). It is easy to see an allusion to this practice in Daniel 9's "70 weeks," "7 weeks," "62 weeks," and "1 week." In fact, many scholars of various persuasions have recognized such a connection.

The Adventist way of reckoning the 70 weeks begins them in 457 BC and ends them in 34 AD. 457 BC was the first year of a seven-year cycle, and 34 AD was the seventh year of a seven-year cycle. Thus, when 31 AD is identified as the date for Christ's crucifixion, the middle of the last week of seven years, it truly is the precise middle of a seven-year cycle.

Back to the original point: Until a better interpretation is found that fits all the data, it cannot really be emphatically stated that the 1844 date is an error.


The above page was found at http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/video-1.htm on October 18, 2017.

© 2004
Pickle Publishing