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

by Bob Pickle

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

Discern Fact from Fiction

The Investigative Judgment and Shut Door, and Their Ramifications

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#50: "Ellen G. White with prophetic authority supported both this date and the shut-door belief."—Dale Ratzlaff.

#50: She supported the shut-door-of-mercy doctrine. While she did support the date of October 22, she never had a vision supporting the shut-door-of-mercy belief:

With my brethren and sisters, after the time passed in forty-four I did believe no more sinners would be converted. But I never had a vision that no more sinners would be converted. And am clear and free to state no one has ever heard me say or has read from my pen statements which will justify them in the charges they have made against me upon this point.

It was on my first journey east [February 1845] to relate my visions that the precious light in regard to the heavenly sanctuary was opened before me and I was shown the open and shut door. We believed that the Lord was soon to come in the clouds of heaven. I was shown that there was a great work to be done in the world for those who had not had the light and rejected it. Our brethren could not understand this with our faith in the immediate appearing of Christ. Some accused me of saying that my Lord delayeth His coming, especially the fanatical ones. . . .

I never have stated or written that the world was doomed or damned. I never have under any circumstances used this language to any one, however sinful. I have ever had messages of reproof for those who used these harsh expressions.—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 74.

From this quotation it appears that she believed in no more mercy for sinners for a period of time between October 1844 and February 1845. And for part of even that short period, she had given up the idea that the "shut door" had already occurred (see #12).

As pointed out under #49, it was a vision that corrected the apostolic church and Peter's false idea that the door of mercy was shut for Gentiles. Likewise, it was the vision of February 1845 that corrected the misunderstanding of first-day Adventists. One difference though: Mrs. White was mistaken for a few months at most. Peter and the apostles, it would appear, were mistaken for a few years. They were mistaken for a much longer period of time than Mrs. White.

Despite Peter's vision, some early Christians still held onto their false concepts for years, necessitating the council of Acts 15 at least fourteen years later (Gal. 2:1). Still the idea did not die, and Paul had to write his epistle to the Galatians even later.

If a few former Millerites were likewise a bit slow in properly comprehending Mrs. White's visions on this topic, let it be remembered that some members of the early church were even slower.

Mrs. White had another vision along the same lines in 1847. In this one she was shown a large, future evangelistic thrust:

I saw that God had children, who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They had not rejected the light on it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.—Word to the Little Flock, p. 19; also in Early Writings, p. 33.

On January 5, 1849, came still another vision which taught that every case had not yet been decided for salvation or damnation. God's wrath had not been and could not be poured out upon the wicked because Christ's intercession had not yet ceased (Present Truth, Aug. 1849; Early Writings, p. 36). Over and over again, "Ellen G. White with prophetic authority" opposed "the shut-door[-of-mercy] belief."

Under "Point 27" in the documentation package, the quotation under #51 is given, but neither in it nor in its full context does Mrs. White once mention a "door of mercy," whether open or shut. No proof is given that she ever had a vision endorsing the idea that there was no more mercy for sinners.

A Response to the Video

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