The Bible and Ellen G. White
by Edwin M. Cotto
We came across a list of contradictions which were put together by a former Adventist named Elder W. H. Olson. In his list, he tries to show how Ellen G. White contradicts the bible in numerous places, especially with regards to Diet and Health. We found this list in various anti-SDA websites, including culthelp.info which is were we retrieved the list from, but because we did not find a website specifically owned by Elder Olson we could not send him these responses except through the PO. Box provided at the beginning of the list.
It took us a while to put together these responses, because there were certain concepts that needed to be explained before answering many of these questions, like the concept of growing in Christ and ceasing from sin (as opposed to once saved always saved), and the concept of Present Truth. The bible concept of Present Truth, for example, was explained in full in question 37, but should be kept in mind beginning even from question 5 and onward. We believe that the only reason why many of these questions were asked was because this concept was not previously understood.
When the questions were found, they were not numbered. So we numbered them to give our readers an easier read, and to direct them to other questions when necessary. We tried not to change anything at all in Elder Olson’s original questions, so you might encounter a lot of misspellings and inaccurate placements of punctuation marks within his work. These were not done by us.
Many of the quotes brought forth by our critic were changed. Some sentences were not quoted in full, some were exceedingly shortened, some were missing words, and others had words inserted and/or changed. All this changed the intended meaning which the author meant to portray in those quotes. When we came across these, we screen-copied it directly from the website where we found it so that our readers can see that we did not do this ourselves. But this was not always done.
Most of these Ellen White quotes were also taken out and interpreted away from its original context. Some of them were given the wrong reference, so we had to look hard for those quotes. You will also find that some of the first few questions are very similar to those asked by critics Sydney Cleveland and Robert K. Sanders, of which the volunteers of www.ellen-white.com submitted responses to in 2000 and 2006 (click here to see these responses).
As we normally do, we left the original accusations in normal type, and responded in the color blue to help distinguish between our words and his. All of our verses will be taken from the King James Version of the bible. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to send us an email and let us know. God bless.
Elder W. H. Olson
References Used in This Article
KJV King James Version GC Great Controversy
LB Living Bible TM Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers
HL Healthful Living RH Review and Herald
DA Desire of Ages CH Counsels on Health
SP Spirit of Prophecy COL Christ’s Object Lessons
CS Counsel s on Stewardship ST Special Testimony to Ministers & Workers
WLF Word to the Little Flock PP Patriarchs and Prophets
CDF Counsels on Diet and Foods SM Selected Messages
AH Adventist Home SG Spiritual Gifts
EW Early Writings
3 T (Example Vol.3 Testimonies For The Church)
“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken but the prophet hath spoken presumptuously thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deut 18 :2 2)
(1) WAS THE PLAN OF SALVATION MADE AFTER THE FALL?
BIBLE NO ” For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish and without spot Who verily was for-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Pet. 1:18-20 KJV) .
BIBLE NO ” Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. (2 Tim.1:9) .
BIBLE NO “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began”. (Titus 1: 2 KJV)
BIBLE NO “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. (Eph.1 : 4 KJV).
EGW YES “The kingdom of grace was instituted immediately after the fall of man when a plan was devised for the redemption of the guilty race”
(GC 347 , 1888 ed; See also EW 126, 149-151)
For our first response, we will here quote from a friend of ours who could not have put it in better words. In this response, our friend is responding to another critic named Robert K. Sanders who brought forth this same allegation. Notice:
Sanders appears to have forgotten to check a few facts before arriving at his conclusions. For example, he should have checked what else the Bible has to say on this topic:
Before the Foundation of the World:
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” (Eph. 1:4)
“. . . as of a “lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world.” (1 Pet. 1:19, 20)
Since the Foundation of the World:
“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Mat. 25:34)
“. . . whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 17:8)
“. . . the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8)
Surely Sanders would not be so brash as to accuse the apostle John or our Savior of contradicting the Bible and making God a liar. And yet it is very true: While Paul has us being chosen before Creation, Christ and John have our names written and the kingdom prepared for us since Creation. And while Peter has Christ being ordained to die before Creation, John has Christ being slain since Creation. Thus we have the same apparent contradiction in Scripture that we find in Ellen White’s writings.
Yet we will quickly add, such apparent contradictions in Scripture are typically only apparent, never real. For example:
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (Acts 9:7)
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. (Acts 22:9)
The Greek grammar in Acts 9:7 indicates that the men with Paul heard some sort of noise, while the Greek grammar of Acts 22:9 indicates that they did not hear with understanding what the voice was saying. Thus these verses don’t contradict each other at all: The men definitely heard something, but didn’t hear with understanding.
Ellen White apparently acknowledged the very point Sanders is contending for, namely, that the plan of salvation was devised before Creation. We found a few other similar quotations that are even more plain:
“All our thoughts and imaginations will not alter in the least any part of the plan of redemption devised from all eternity.—The Signs of the Times, Feb. 5, 1894.
“. . . it was in the death of “Christ, in the cruel suffering and crucifixion, that the Son of God accomplished the very work for which he was ordained from before the foundation of the world.—Signs of the Times, Mar. 26, 1894.
“When Christ spoke these words [“It is finished”], He addressed His Father. . . . It was the fulfillment of the covenant made between the Father and the Son before the foundation of the earth was laid.” -S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1149 (1897).
The great plan, devised before the foundations of the earth were laid, was successfully carried out.” -Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, p. 426 (1898).
“We do not sympathize with God as we should in the salvation of the human race. We do not regard it in the light in which it is viewed by the universe of Heaven, as a plan devised from eternity in the mind of God.” -Bible Training School, Sept. 1, 1908.
“But how few of us regard the salvation of sinners in the light in which it is viewed by the heavenly universe,—as a plan devised from eternity in the mind of God!” -Gospel Workers, 1915 ed., p. 116.
Yet at the same time we also found the following, similar in wording to the 1894 Signs of the Times quote above, but different in meaning:
“And, altho the plan of salvation was carried forward according to the plan ordained from the foundation of the earth, yet men and women will not be saved unless they themselves exercise faith, and build on the true foundation, unless they allow God to re-create them by His Holy Spirit.” -Signs of the Times, Feb. 14, 1900.
For some reason, Ellen White believed that the plan of salvation was devised and ordained both “before” and “from” “the foundation of the world.” Some might be inclined to suggest that she grew in her understanding of this topic over the years, and thus her earlier statements tend to put the devising/ordaining after the fall while her later statements tend to place it prior to Creation. But this hypothesis appears inadequate, for after years of “before the foundation of the world” statements, we still have her placing the devising/ordaining after Creation as late as the above 1900 Signs article. And the Great Controversy statement this whole discussion started with comes from the 1911 edition of that book. Thus, we need to look for another answer.
Perhaps “devise” might have some sort of meaning that would allow it to be harmoniously used in both the contexts found in Ellen White’s writings. Perhaps sometimes “devise” could refer to the original conception of the plan of redemption, while at other times it could refer to the making known, putting into effect, or elaboration of the plan already previously thought of.
We checked out a few dictionaries, and here is what we found:
de•vise (di viz’), v., -vised, -vis•ing, n. —v.t. 1. to contrive, plan, or elaborate; invent from existing principles or ideas: to devise a method.—Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd ed., © 2001.
e•lab•o•rate . . . —v.t. 3. to work out carefully or minutely; develop to perfection. 4. to add details to; expand. 5. to produce or develop by labor.—Ibid.
de•vise . . . 1 a : to form in the mind by new combinations or applications of ideas or prinicples : INVENT . . . c : to plan to obtain or bring about : PLOT—Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate
Dictionary, 10th ed., © 2001. Devise . . . The sense-development was far advanced before the word was taken into English; O[ld]F[rench]. had the senses, ‘. . . form a plan or design,
express or make known one’s plan or will’ . . . .
† 6. a. refl. To plan, determine, resolve. Obs. . . .
† b. intr. To resolve or decide upon. Obs. . . .
† 8. trans. (or absol.) To ‘contrive’ successfully; to achieve, accomplish, ‘manage’. Obs. . . .
† 9. To prepare with skill, make ready, provide, purvey. (Also absol.) Obs. . . .
† 13. To set forth in detail, recount, describe. . . .
† b. intr. or absol. To give an account. Obs. . . .—The Oxford English Dictionary, 1969 printing.
In all honesty, it would appear to us that our hunch is correct. “Devise” has had a breadth of meaning that allowed it in days gone by to refer to both the initial thought of a plan, and its much later elaboration, expansion, appointment, making known, or decision to put into effect.
According to Ellen White, something special took place in heaven after Adam sinned. The plan of redemption was “accepted” by the Father and “made known” to the angels:
“Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost. . . . I saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse with His Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came from the Father, His person could be seen. . . . He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon. . . . Jesus also told them that they would have a part to act, to be with Him and at different times strengthen Him; that He would take man’s fallen nature, and His strength would not be even equal with theirs; that they would be witnesses of His humiliation and great sufferings; and that as they would witness His sufferings, and the hatred of men toward Him, they would be stirred with the deepest emotion, and through their love for Him would wish to rescue and deliver Him from His murderers; but that they must not interfere to prevent anything they should behold; and that they should act a part in His resurrection; that the plan of salvation was devised, and His Father had accepted the plan.” -Early Writings, p. 149-151.
We know from John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that He gave His begotten Son.” Even though the plan of salvation existed in the mind of God from eternity, the manner in which Ellen White describes it being made known reveals the fathomless depths of God’s self-sacrificing love for fallen man. The Father and Son could have nonchalantly told the angels, “Don’t worry about it. We had this figured out long ago. It’s no big deal,” but the description of the three-time struggle of the Father in consenting to give His Son is far more grand.
Similarly, we have Christ beseeching the Father three times in Gethsemane to let Him not go to Calvary. The struggle was so intense that Christ sweat great drops of blood. The more intense the three-time struggle Christ had in agreeing to go to Calvary, the greater the revelation of His self-sacrificing love.
Of course, if Gethsemane had never occurred, we wouldn’t have this grand display of Christ’s love. Even though Christ had “accepted” the plan of salvation before the foundation of the world, He still took the time to “accept” it again in Gethsemane. Likewise, in Ellen White’s view, the Father “accepted” the plan of salvation after man’s fall, even though it already existed in His mind from eternity.
Probably in some similar sense Ellen White’s words regarding the devising/ordaining of the plan of salvation should be understood.
For a further response to Sander’s allegation, visit Bob’s website by clicking HERE.
(2) AFTER THE FALL DID SATAN REPENT?
BIBLE Is silent on this matter.
EGW YES ” After Satan was shut out of heaven, with those who fell with him, he realized that he had lost all the purity and glory of heaven forever. Then he repented and wished to be reinstated in heaven. He was willing to take his proper place, or any place that might be assigned him……He and his followers repented, wept and implored to be taken back into the favor of God. But no, their sin, their hate, their envy and jealousy, had been so great that God could not blot it out. It must remain to receive it’s final punishment ” (Spiritual Gifts Vol. 1 pp 18,19).
Added details on events described in the bible do not prove a prophet wrong unless it contradicts the bible authors. There is no reason why this was not possible. Would we fault Matthew for saying there were two demoniacs at Gergesenes (Matthew 8:28), while Luke and Mark say there was one (Luke 8:27, Mark 5:2)? Of course not, Matthew is just giving us extra detail. It’s very possible that, although there were two demoniacs, both, being possessed with “legion” (many spirits acting as one) were simply treated as one by Mark and Luke.
To provide details and information about things which pertain to God is the very work of a prophet. There were many Jews who probably also reasoned this way in the times of the prophets who as a result rejected them and the light they bore, leading them into still further apostasy. This is not sound reasoning.
For the benefit of our readers, we’ll quote Ellen White’s words again, but this time including the portions Elder Olson did not include (missing portions will be bolded):
“After Satan was shut out of heaven, with those who fell with him, he realized that he had lost all the purity and glory of heaven forever. Then he repented and wished to be reinstated again in heaven. He was willing to take his proper place, or any place that might be assigned him. But no, heaven must not be placed in jeopardy All heaven might be marred should he be taken back; for sin originated with him, and the seeds of rebellion were within him. Satan had obtained followers, those who sympathized with him in his rebellion. He and his followers repented, wept and implored to be taken back into the favor of God. But no, their sin, their hate, their envy and jealousy, had been so great that God could not blot it out. It must remain to receive its final punishment.” –Signs of the Times, Volume 1, pages 18-19.
Although Satan repented, his repentance was not completely sincere, for “the seeds of rebellion were within him.” Should God have allowed him back, he could have jeopardized all of heaven. This is useful information for all those who today sympathize with Satan, and question God mercy and justice asking why he did not forgive and allow him back. Our opponents do not have to accept any extra detail, but neither does this go against what the bible says.
(3) WHY DID EVE FALL?
EGW States that “Eve erred in wandering from her husband” (S.G.Vol.1, p 20)
BIBLE “She took her husband of the fruit thereof and, did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”. (Gen.3: 6 KJV)
When Ellen Whites uses the word “erred” she is not here saying that this is the very moment when she “fell” into sin. The word “erred” can simply mean “a mistake” or to “slip up.” Although this is not a sin, it was a mistake which helped lead to her sin of eating the fruit, which is what finally made her fall. Adam and Eve were made perfect, but this did not mean they were not subject to making mistakes. The key was to remain in the Lord, as we are taught in the New Testament, that our mistakes not lead us to committing sin.
See our related articles:
(4) WHAT FURTHER ARE WE TOLD ABOUT THE PLAN OF SALVATION?
BIBLE “According as he hath chosen us before the foundation of the world “.
(Eph. 1: 4)
EGW Writing on “The Plan of Salvation ” we read, Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and the world that God created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness and death, and there was, no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus , and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon his countenance. Soon I saw him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel,” He is in close converse with the Father”. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time he came from the Father, his person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free of all perplexity and trouble, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, and through him man might find pardon. ” (EW p . l 2 6 ; SG Vol. l, p.22,23)
Were not sure of Elder Olson’s point here, but we’ll make a couple of points hoping to cover as much as we can.
In context of Ephesians 1:4, the “he” mentioned here is God himself (verse 3). Here were told God chose us “before” the foundation of the world. In context of Ellen Whites comment, it is those who dwell in heaven (“sorrow filled heaven”) who are shocked at the news that man must die. Both Jesus and God already knew this was going to happen, but there was no reason for Jesus to “plead” with the father in front of the heavenly hosts anytime before man fell into sin. Why would he have wanted them to know man was going to die? “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God…” Deuteronomy 29:29.
Since God’s creatures do not know the future as he does, he acts before them as in the present tense. Otherwise there’d be confusion. In the mind of the heavenly trio, the plan of salvation was set up before everything, from “everlasting to everlasting.” But before his creations everything is done in the present and in order. Although the Godhead knew, the angelic hosts didn’t, therefore he “made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for the lost man.” And even though Jesus and God had already decided on how to treat this unfortunate matter even “before the foundation of the world,” he… “told them (since they didn’t yet know) he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, and through him man might find pardon.”
(5) DID PAUL RECEIVE THE GOSPEL INDEPENDENT OF THE CHURCH ON EARTH?
BIBLE YES “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ. .But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace. to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood Neither went I to up Jerusalem to then which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none save James the Lord’s brother”. (Gal 1:11- 19)
EGW NO “Paul must receive instruction in the Christian faith, and move understandingly. Christ sends him to the very disciples whom he had been so bitterly persecuting, to learn of them… . . From Christ all power a mercies were to flow; but he did not give Paul an experience, in his truth, independent of his church recently organized upon the earth. The marvelous light given Paul upon that occasion astonished and confounded him. He was wholly subdued. This part of the work man could not do for Paul; but there work still to be accomplished which the servants of Christ could do. Jesus directs him to his agents in the church for further knowledge of duty. Thus he give authority and sanction to his organized church. Christ had done the work of revelation and conviction, and now Paul was in a condition to learn of those whom God has ordained to teach the truth Christ directs Paul to his chosen servants, thus placing him in connection with his church. ” (3T 430)
If only Elder Olson would have considered the context, there would have been no room for confusion. You see those five dots he placed in between sentences? That’s an indication that there are sentences missing. Below is highlighted in bold those portions missing:
“Paul sees his mistaken zeal and cries out: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Jesus did not then and there tell him, as He might have done, the work that He had assigned him. Paul must receive instruction in the Christian faith and move understandingly. Christ sends him to the very disciples whom he had been so bitterly persecuting, to learn of them. The light of heavenly illumination had taken away Paul’s eyesight; but Jesus, the Great Healer of the blind, does not restore it. He answers the question of Paul in these words: Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Jesus could not only have healed Paul of his blindness, but He could have forgiven his sins and told him his duty by marking out his future course. From Christ all power and mercies were to flow; but He did not give Paul an experience, in his conversion to truth, independent of His church recently organized upon the earth.
“The marvelous light given Paul upon that occasion astonished and confounded him. He was wholly subdued. This part of the work man could not do for Paul, but there was a work still to be accomplished which the servants of Christ could do. Jesus directs him to His agents in the church for a further knowledge of duty. Thus He gives authority and sanction to His organized church. Christ had done the work of revelation and conviction, and now Paul was in a condition to learn of those whom God had ordained to teach the truth. Christ directs Paul to His chosen servants, thus placing him in connection with His church.” –Testimonies for the Church Volume three, page 430.
Note that Ellen White mentions first the time when Paul was struck down in vision on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:6. Then she goes on to explain how he afterwards received instruction from the disciples. This is not something she made up. This is in the very context of Acts 9:6. In answer to Paul’s question, “what wilt thou have me to do?” Jesus replies by sending him to his disciples, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Who was to tell him what he must do? Who was to meet him in the city? It was the disciples!
(10) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
(11) And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
(12) And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
(19) And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
Ellen White is simply saying that the disciples were involved in his conversion experience, as does the bible. Yet she does not deny that he first encountered the Lord’s gospel on his own on the road, for in the paragraph just before those our critic here shares, she said:
“In the wonderful conversion of Paul we see the miraculous power of God. A brightness above the glory of the midday sun shone round about him. Jesus, whose name of all others he most hated and despised, revealed Himself to Paul for the purpose of arresting his mad yet honest career, that He might make this most unpromising instrument a chosen vessel to bear the gospel to the Gentiles.”
In other words, Ellen White is describing the events in order. First he encounters the Lord (Jesus… revealed himself to Paul…). Then, to receive further instruction, the Lord guilds him to his disciples. This is exactly how Acts 9, verses 4 through 19 reads.
In Galatians 1, Paul is not lying about his conversion experience, which is clearly outlined in Acts 9. When he says he did not receive it from man, nor was he taught it of man, he is speaking of his first encounter with the Lord as shown in Acts 9:4-6. He isn’t denying the instructions Jesus promised to give him through his disciples which took place afterwards.
When he says in verse 17 that he did not go up to Jerusalem “to them which were apostles before me,” it should be noted he says “apostles” and not “disciples.” For Ellen White to have contradicted Paul, she should have used the word apostles, but she didn’t. She said “disciples,” which is what Acts 9 also says. A disciple is a learner, according to the Greek definition. But an apostle is a “commissioner, ambassador of the gospel” (Strong’s G652). Jesus’ first twelve disciples became apostles after being sent worth to preach the gospel they have learned:
(1) And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
(2) Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
(3) Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
(4) Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
There is no contradiction here. Elder Olson simply didn’t read the context.
(6) CAN GOD TAKE THE SLAVE TO HEAVEN?
BIBLE YES “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” . (Gal 3 :28 KJV).
BIBLE YES “Each of us is apart of the one body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves and some are free. But the Holy Spirit has fitted us all together into one body”. (1 Cor.12: 13 LB)
BIBLE YES ” Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free” (Eph .6 : 8 KJ V) .
EGW NO “God cannot take the slave to heaven. He lets him be as though he had not been”(GC 193 , l958 ed.; EW 276)
The references provided by Elder Olson are incorrect. This quote is actually found in Spiritual Gifts Volume 1, page 193. And as will be seen, the two sentences in the quote he provided are actually separated by two other sentences which should have been placed in between them. Thus the quote is taken grossly out of context.
He should have in all fairness at least finish the entire sentence:
“I saw that the slave-master would have to answer for the soul of his slave whom he has kept in ignorance; and all the sins of the slave will be visited upon the master. God cannot take the slave to heaven, who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God, or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master’s lash, and not holding so elevated a position as his master’s brute beasts.”
According to the context, the slave:
-is kept in ignorance
-knows nothing of God
-knows nothing of the bible
According to the word of God, man, slave or free, must know God that they might be saved:
(3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Therefore Ellen White was right. The poor slave who knows nothing of God can’t enter in through the gates of heaven, because it is only through a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ that any man, whether slave or free, can go to heaven.
If Ellen White meant that anyone who is a slave can’t get to heaven, the sentence should have read… “God can not take slaves to heaven.” Yet according to the context, she is here speaking about those slaves which have not had the knowledge necessary to make a conscience decision to accept Jesus Christ into their lives. In fact, just a few pages later, she said:
“Then commenced the jubilee, when the land should rest. I saw the pious slave rise in triumph and victory, and shake off the chains that bound him, while his wicked master was in confusion, and knew not what to do; for the wicked could not understand the words of the voice of God. Soon appeared the great white cloud. On it sat the Son of man.” – Spiritual Gifts Volume 1, page 206.
The fault however is not on the suffering slave, but on the master who refused to inform his slave of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He is the one who will be punished both for his sins and the sins of his slave which could have been cleansed by the blood of Christ had he not kept back this sacred truth. This concept, of course, is biblical:
(8) When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
In continuing down the context to the next sentence, Ms. White shows that God will nevertheless show mercy towards the slave by not allowing him to suffer the 7 last plagues and making him to be as if he never was:
“God cannot take the slave to heaven, who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God, or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master’s lash, and not holding so elevated a position as his master’s brute beasts. But he does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He lets him be as though he had not been; while the master has to suffer the seven last plagues, and then come up in the second resurrection, and suffer the second, most awful death. Then the wrath of God will be appeased.”
The bible says that everyone, some how, will hear about God (Matthew 24:14), but there’s a difference between hearing the truth, and accepting the truth allowing it to transform you and convict you of your sins. A slave who might have somehow heard of God, can never overcome sin if he is not given the privilege to study the bible to learn that his lifestyle has to be changed. A slave kept from the bible will never read where it is essential to pray, to study the word, to be baptized, to obey God’s commandments (1 John 5:3) to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11); will never be warned against antichrists (1 John 2:18), the deadly Mark of the Beast, false teachings and teachers, etc. Out of love for such an one, God in his compassion does the best for him; he does not allow him, who was kept from his will, to suffer for his sins. God “lets him be as though he had not been.”
Perhaps if Elder Olson would have given the right reference people would have better understood what Ellen White truly meant.
(7) WILL KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS HELP US OBTAIN GOD ‘S FAVOR?
BIBLE NO “.. those who the depend on Jewish laws to save them are under God’s curse, for Scriptures point out very clearly, “cursed is everyone who at any time breaks a single one of these laws that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” Consequently, it is clear that no one can ever win God’s favor by trying to keep the Jewish laws, because God has said that the only way we can be right in his sight is by faith. As the prophet Habakkuk says it , The man who finds life will find it through trusting God. How different from this way of faith is way of the law which says that a man is saved by obeying every law of God, without one slip. But Christ has brought us out from under the doom of that impossible system by taking the curse for our wrongdoings upon himself. “. (Gal. 3: 10 – 13 L B) .
BIBLE NO ” We aren’t saved from sin’s grasp by knowing God’s commandments, because we cant ‘t keep them, but God put in a different plan to save us . . . ” (Rom. 8:3 LB).
BIBLE NO “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39 . KJ V )
EGW YES “To obey the commandments of God is the only way to obtain His favor” (4T 28)
First, the word “obtain” does not always mean to “earn.” To obtain can simply mean to “to get, take hold of, come into possession of).
Second, the reason why she said this, is seen in the context just a few sentences before:
“The Hebrews were weary and terrified; yet if they had held back when Moses bade them advance, if they had refused to move nearer to the Red Sea, God would never have opened the path for them. In marching down to the very water, they showed that they had faith in the word of God as spoken by Moses. They did all that it was in their power to do, and then the Mighty One of Israel performed His part, and divided the waters to make a path for their feet.”
Ellen White is trying to show, through the experience of the Israelites, that faith must be mixed with obedience. As James tells us, “faith without works is dead” –James 2:20, 26. They had to obey the Lord, in marching forward towards the Red Sea, and have faith that God would do his part in saving them from their enemies. Note what she says in the next sentence:
“The clouds that gather about our way will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Unbelief says: “We can never surmount these obstructions; let us wait until they are removed, and we can see our way clearly.” But faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things. Obedience to God is sure to bring the victory. It is only through faith that we can reach heaven.”
We can not expect God to bless us if we don’t “move forward” in obedience to his commandments, having faith that thereby he will bless us and grant us our requests:
1 John 3:22
(22) And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Notice what the wise teacher tells us:
(3) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
(4) So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
According to the bible, what is truth?
(142) Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
In other words, he who has truth, which is the law, will find favour of God. Again the wise teacher tells us:
(2) A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
According to the bible, what’s “good?” Paul tells us:
(12) Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
A good man, or one who is living in accordance with the law of God, which is good, will obtain “favour of the Lord.” But then again, how can a man be good? How can he keep the commandments? How can he remain in the truth? “The just,” says the prophet, “shall live by faith.” We must live in faith, believing that in Christ “all things are possible” -Matthew 19:26, Philippians 4:13.
Ellen White would never teach that keeping the commandments will “save” us, or even “justify” us, as those verses Elder Olson showed actually say. Instead, below is a quote showing exactly what she thought about those important matters:
“Christ only is the way, the truth, the life; and man can be justified alone through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. Man is justified freely by God’s grace through faith, and not by works, lest any man should boast. Salvation is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Many have felt their hopeless condition, and have asked in perplexity, “How shall we gain admission to the world to come? Earth lies under the curse, and is doomed to destruction; how shall we be able to enter the city of God?” We would point you to Christ, the way, the truth, the life–the mystic ladder between heaven and earth.” -Review and Herald, November 11, 1890 par. 6.
So its not that keeping the commandments saves us. Faith in Christ alone will both save and justify us. But we must, if we truly love him, keep his commandments, for only thereby will be receive of him whatsoever we ask. And what else could that mean, except that we are obtaining (yet not earning) the favour of the Lord so that he will give us our petitions?
(8) ARE WE RECONCILED TO CHRIST BY OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW?
BIBLE NO ” … we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.” (Rom. 5:10 KJV)
BIBLE NO “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us unto himself by Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 5: l8 – 2 0 KJ V)
EGW YES “He (man) must be reconciled to God through obedience to His law” . (4T 294 – 5)
Once again Elder Olson quotes a sentence of Ellen White’s only half way. Here it is in full:
“Man, who has defaced the image of God in his soul by a corrupt life, cannot, by mere human effort, effect a radical change in himself. He must accept the provisions of the gospel; he must be reconciled to God through obedience to His law and faith in Jesus Christ.” –Testimonies to the Church Volume 4, page 295.
Note she says through obedience to the law of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. She is alluding to those mentioned in Revelation 14:12:
(12) Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
As per the context, Ellen White makes it clear that man cannot, “by mere human effort, effect a radical change in himself.” According to her, man can’t live a righteous life as a sinner apart from Jesus Christ. Breaking the law is sin (1 John 3:4). Obviously Christians are not to live a life of sin (breaking the law). Therefore, we must stop sinning (breaking the law) in order to be reconciled to God. But since this is impossible through “mere human effort,” the person must accept Jesus Christ that he may be as one who “keeps the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus Christ.”
Since the carnal mind is at enmity against the law of God, the bible teaches us that the life of Jesus Christ must be manifested “through” the believer (2 Corinthians 4:10-11). Jesus’ life was a perfect life. One which never failed at keeping God’s law. If his life is being manifested through the believer, then the believer is found as one who, through Christ, keeps God’s laws. This concept is seen even in Romans 5:10, a verse our opponent quoted above. Here we read that once we are reconciled by Christ, the “life” of Christ will save us. His life, as seen, will be manifested through the true believer.
Out of love, with the life of Christ reconciling us to God, we will “keep the commandments of God” -1 John 5:3. He who does not keep the commandments of God…
“… is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” -1 John 2:4.
Notice what Ellen White says in the very next sentence:
“His life from thenceforth must be governed by a new principle. Through repentance, faith, and good works he may perfect a righteous character, and claim, through the merits of Christ, the privileges of the sons of God.”
Note the order: repentance, faith, and then Good works. There is no question that Ellen White understands how the plan of salvation works. A person must first repent, and then live a life of faith which will produce good works, for “faith without works is dead” and:
(13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
(14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify [perfect] unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
(9) DID JESUS DIE TO BRING US SALVATION?
BIBLE YES ” But God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us… ” (l Thess 5 : 9, 10 KJ V ) .
EGW NO “Christ gave his life that man should have another trial, he did not die on the cross to abolish the law of God, but to secure for man a second probation” (TM 134). NOTE The word “probation” is not found in the Bible. It appears frequently in EGW and Joseph Smiths writings.
True the word “probation” is not in the bible, but neither is Trinity or Millennium. Yet as the concept for these do exist in the Word, so does that of probation.
When Ellen White speaks of probation, she is speaking of a period of time in which man has upon this planet to make the right decisions for his salvation. Once that person dies, his probation, or opportunity to repent and come to Jesus, has ended. If he did not come to Christ, he is lost. When Jesus Christ comes the second time, probation for the earth will come to an end. The final verdict for every soul will be announced, and the fulfillment of the following verse will be realized:
(7) Behold, I come quickly…
(11) He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
In essence probation is salvation, for without an opportunity to repent, man can not choose to be saved.
(10) IS THE HEALING OF CHRIST GIVEN FREELY TO ALL WHO ASK?
BIBLE YES, ” When the he even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils and he cast out the spirits with his word, and he healed all that were sick” (Matt. 8: 16 KJV) .
BIBLE YES “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them” (Matt. 21:14 KJV).
BIBLE YES ” . . .and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all “. (Matt.12: 15 KJV) .
BIBLE YES “And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those who were lame, blind, dumb; maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them” (Matt. 15: 30 KJV).
BIBLE YES ” And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matt. 14: l 4 KJ V) .
EGW NO “PRAYER FOR THE SICK – We should first find out if the sick one has been with holding tithes or has made trouble. in the church ”
(UT as quoted in HL 237)
The chapter from which our opponent quotes from is actually divided into two sections. The first section is subtitled “Cautions.” The section is subtitled, “Instruction.” We should first read the cautions section before reading the instructions section.
In the cautions section, just four sentences before the quote in question, we read the following:
“If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us. . . . When we come to him, we should pray that we may enter into and accomplish his purpose, and that our desires and interests may be lost in his.
What word has God for those who ignore the light that is shining abroad, and then ask to be prayed for that they may be sanctified and healed? –The same word that he had for Cain: ‘If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.’”
To establish her case that sin prevents us from having our prayers heard, she provides two verses, one of which is Psalm 66:18:
(18) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
David refused to regard sin in his heart, and therefore had his prayers heard:
(19) But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
This goes for all believers. If we know we are in sin and refuse to repent of those sins, we will not have our prayers heard:
(9) He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Tithing was a direct requirement of God. To not tithe meant to steal from God (Malachi 3:4), hence not tithing has a direct link to the breaking of Gods Ten Commandment law, more specifically the eight commandment (Exodus 20:15).
The conclusion is simple. Ellen White is simply concerned if the sick person for which we are praying for is not holding back on a secret sin like tithing, so that our prayers may be heard. The healing is still free, but not if a person is in willful transgression of any of God’s requirements:
(26) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.
If for us remains “no more sacrifice for sins” if we wilfully continue in sin, how much more will our prayers not be answered if we continue to willfully break the law of God?
All those who came to Christ for healing came to him because they “believed” on him, and that he had the power to heal them. There is no indication in those texts that they were hiding secret sins. In fact, according to verses like Psalm 66:18, those individuals must have been sincere in repentance when they came to Christ, otherwise their prayers would not have been answered. Those people were very willing to “go and sin no more” after being forgiven and healed.
(11) IS IT EVER PROPER TO STAND DURING PRAYERS?
BIBLE YES, ” But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, but beat upon his chest in sorrow, exclaiming, “God be merciful to me, a sinner. ” I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home forgiven!” (Luke 18:13 LB)
BIBLE YES ” And when we stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any . . . (Ma r k l l: 2 5 KJ V) .
EGW NO “Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet praying to God? One who had been educated about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down on your knees. This is the proper position always. . . Both in public and private worship, it is our duty to bow down before God when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon God… ”
(Manuscript 84b, August 1,1897).
(Elder D.E.Robinson, one of Ellen White’s secretaries from 19O2- 1915. reported ” I have been present repeatedly at camp meetings and General Conference sessions in which Sister White herself has offered prayer with the congregation standing, and she and her self standing ” (D.E.Robinson letter, March 4,1934, as quoted in 3 SM 266) . Emphasis supplied.
There is a difference between those individuals mentioned in the verses Elder Olson brings forth and the individuals Ellen White is speaking about. In his verses those people are newly converted people, as in, people who are at that moment coming to Christ (we will address Luke 11:25 in a moment). God expects any person to come, just as they are, and in any situation, to come to him in repentance through prayer. The people Ellen White is speaking about, however, are people who have been in the faith long enough to understand the bibles teaching that It was the custom of the people of God to pray in their knees. The person she mentions, for example, had five years in the faith. In five years he didn’t learn that kneeling while praying is a requirement?
Soon after she shared this occasion, Ellen White actually quoted 10 verses to support what she had done. Elder Olson forgot to add these when he quoted her. Notice those 10 verses now:
“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed” (Luke 22:41).
“Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up” (Acts 9:40).
“They stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:59, 60).
“When he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all” (Acts 20:36).
“When we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed” (Acts 21:5).
“At the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, and said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens” (Ezra 9:5, 6).
“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker” (Ps. 95:6).
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:14).
All of the bible characters involved in these verses are people who have had years of a believing experience. They were not, as the sinner-turned believer tax collector was, unbelievers. They understood through their experience with God that God deserved more then enough reverence as to even require the bending of our knees and bowing of our heads when we approach his holy throne in prayer. There are no examples of unbelievers kneeling for prayer at repentance towards God to begin a new walk with him, for they have not previously been taught that prayer to God must be done in reverence, with our knees bowed. Their sincere prayers are accepted, for they are babes in Christ. Experienced believers who study the bible, however, should know better.
Ellen White was not, through this, saying that in every occasion we must bow our knees, but simply in “public and private worship,” that is to say, at home in privet worship or in a group meeting for worship. The White Estate committee provides a good explanation:
”That Ellen White did not intend to teach that on every prayer occasion we must kneel is made clear both by her words and her example. To her there was no time or place where prayer was not appropriate. Her family testified that in her home those at the dining table bowed their heads and not their knees. She was not known to kneel for the benediction at the close of the services she attended. The earnest counsel on kneeling would seem to have its principle application in the worship services in the house of God and in the family and private devotions at home. In public ministry there were times when she stood for prayer.” –Selected Messages book 3, page 270.
In one occasion Ellen White instructed the congregation to rise to their feet for prayer. Notice that she is making an alter call for that congregation, because they were people who have not yet come to Christ:
”Who now, I ask, will make a determined effort to obtain the higher education. Those who will, make it manifest by rising to your feet. [The congregation rose.] Here is the whole congregation. May God help you to keep your pledge. Let us pray.” –Selected Messages book 3, page 270.
Often when she did this, however, as an already converted believer she’d kneel while the others would come to the alter in response to the call for repentance (see Selected Messages book 3, page 269).
In her book Ministry of Healing, she said:
”It is not always necessary to bow upon your knees in order to pray. Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour when you are alone, when you are walking, and when you are busy with your daily labor.” -The Ministry of Healing, pp. 510, 511.
In other words, believers should always be in constant communication with God, but when in the worship hour, either in private at home or in public in front of others, we should show reverence by bowing our knees. The gentlemen to whom Ellen White spoke strongly too… was in a public worship setting in front of others . His example towards them was most important at that time.
As for Mark 11:25, we direct our readers to the greek word “steko” translated “stand” in this text. This word does not literally means “to stand” as does the greek word “histemi” translated “stand” in verses like James 2:3. Instead, steko holds more the meaning of persevering, standing firm on your beliefs, and to keep one’s standing or being stationary in your beliefs (see Strong’s and Thayer’s Greek Definitions). The word steko is found only 8 times in the Greek New Testament. As an example of how it’s used in these eight times, we quote one of them, Romans 14:4:
1 Corinthians 16:13
(13) Watch ye, stand fast [steko] in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Paul is here urging the Corinthians to stand fast, or to persevere in the faith. To literally stand [histemi] can indeed have a figurative meaning as to be one who is persevering. But in Mark 11:25 the meaning is more profound. Jesus here instructs his disciples to “have [greek: echo, meaning to hold] faith in God” –verse 22. He explains that if they continue to hold on to this faith, without doubting they can even move mountains. How they are to continue to hold on to this faith is answered in verse 25… through prayer:
(25) And when ye stand praying [or, and when ye persevere praying], forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Our faith must be one which never doubts, and always stands through prayer, forgiving others when they trespass against us.
As a side note, when Elder Olson quoted the above quotation, he included Ellen White’s words towards the gentlemen in quotation marks like this:
Calling him by name, I said, “Get down upon your knees. This is the proper position always. . . Both in public and private worship, it is our duty to bow down before God when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon God… “
Actually the only thing she told the man was “Get down upon your knees.” The end quote ends at “knees.” Maybe he forgot to add it where it should have gone, but we wanted our audience to know that those were the only words she spoke to him at that moment. The rest are part of the testimony she is sharing in her account of this incident.
(12) DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEAL NEW TRUTHS?
BIBLE YES ” Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come” (John 16 : 12 , 13 KJ V) .
BIBLE YES “….I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth…” (John 14:17 LB).
BIBLE YES “But I will send you the Comforter – the Holy Spirit, the source of all truth.. (John 15: 26 LB).
EGW NO ” It is not the office work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the truths” (SDA Bible Commentary, Vol .6, p. lO69).
“… it is not the office work of the Holy Spirit to reveal new truths…”
This is how the original quote appears when you look it up. The word “it” is not in capital, so this is not a sentence by itself as it would seems because of the way he quoted it above. Also the word “the” is actually the word “new” in the original. Why did he make this change? Because it’s evident that with the word “new” we learn she is speaking about truths that are outside the bible. Ellen White believed that while truth might be “new” to us, it really isn’t, because it’s always been taught in the bible, except it has not yet been revealed until a certain time or to a certain person or persons. Here’s the quote in its entirety:
“The Spirit Presents Truths of the Old and New Testaments.– In bringing men to repentance, it is not the office work of the Holy Spirit to reveal new truths, but to present to the mind and urge upon the conscience the precious lessons which Christ has given in the Old and New Testaments.”
All truth, while new to the one who hears it for the first time, has always been taught in the word of God. She is not teaching that the Holy Spirit does not reveal truth, but that he does not teach truths which are not found in the “Old and New Testaments.”
(26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Whatsoever “I have said unto you” includes everything of the Old and New Testament, for…
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God [greek: God-breathed]…” -2 Timothy 3:16.
It was dishonest and deceptive to change both the appearance of the quote and the words within the quote.
1 Timothy 3:2-3
(2) A bishop [or Elder] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
(3) Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.
To the leaders of God’s church who persist in such sinful behaviors a dreadful judgment is pronounced:
(1) My brethren, be not many masters [greek: instructors], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
(8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
(13) WERE SINS BLOTTED OUT AT CALVARY?
BIBLE YES “For God was in Christ restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message given us to tell others. . . (2Cor . 6: 19 LB).
EGW NO “The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sin is to be accomplished before the second advent of our Lord” (GC 4 58) .
EGW NO “At the time appointed for the judgment – the close of the 2300 days in 1844 – began the work of investigation and blotting out of sins.” (Christ in His Sanctuary 122).
I think Elder Olson meant to quote 2 Corinthians 5:19, as there is no such thing as a 2 Corinthians 6:19. Here’s the verse:
2 Corinthians 5:19
(19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
It’s quite different in the King James Version as it is in the version he quoted it from. For one, the words “but blotting them out” is absent even from the Greek. The word “blot” or “blotting” is the Greek word “exaleipho” and is translated thus in Colossians 2:14. It’s no where to be found here.
Now, God does indeed blot out our sins when we confess them and repent of them, but Ellen White is not speaking of that moment. She is speaking of the anti-type to the Day of Atonement, which is the prophecy of the 2300 day of Daniel 8:14. During this time, the heavenly sanctuary must be cleansed just as the earthly sanctuary had to get cleansed from all the record of sins symbolically placed their in the days before. The sins of the people were blotted out when they confessed their sins at anytime, even before the Day of Atonement (Psalm 51:1, 9, Isaiah 43:25, 44:22). But the final eradication of all sin, even the records thereof, will be performed on the last days, as it was performed at the last day of the Jewish Year, the Day of Atonement.
This topic, the Investigative Judgment, must be explained in detail. It can’t be shown in one or two verses. Therefore in order to truly understand what Ellen White was speaking of, one must first honestly conduct this study for themselves, studying carefully the services of the Old Testament sanctuary. For a good, bible based study on this, click HERE.
(14) CAN WE ATTAIN THE SINLESS STATE IN THIS LIFE?
BIBLE NO “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 Jo hn 1 : 8 – 10 KJ V .)
BIBLE NO “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven. . .give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins… ,”
(Luke 11: 2 ,3 KJV) .
BIBLE NO ” . . .there is no man which sinneth not ,” (2 Chron. 6 : 36 KJ V) .
EGW YES ” Those only who through faith in Christ obey all of God’ s commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression” (SDA Commentary, Vol.V I, p. 1118).
EGW YES “Everyone who surrenders fully to God is given the privilege of living without sin” (RH Sept. 27, 1906)
EGW YES “We need not retain one sinful propensity'”
(SDA Commentary, Vol. V, p.1128; ibid, Vol 7, p. 943).
EGW YES “Christ died to make it possible for you to cease to sin” (RH Aug. 28, 1894).
EGW YES “To be redeemed means to cease from sin” (RH Sept. 25, 1900).
Actually, the bible commands us to live a life free from sin:
1 John 3:2
(2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
In this verse we find the promise that God’s people “will be like him” when he comes. And how is he? The answer is in verse 5:
1 John 3:5
(5) And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
The promise is that as in him is no sin, so in us will be no sin, for he was manifested to “take away our sins.” If we remain in him, according to the next verse, we will not sin:
1 John 3:6
(6) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
And if Elder Olson persists in telling us otherwise, the next verse calls him a deceiver:
1 John 3:7
(7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
Righteousness is the law of God (Psalm 119:172). He that is righteous is one who is living in perfect obedience to the law of God, even as Jesus lived.
It is not in us to live an obedient life; but it is in Christ to cause to live that perfect life:
1 John 3:9
(9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
That seed, is Christ (Galatians 3:16). If Christ is in us, we can not sin, because in him is no sin. If we do sin, we must quickly confess and repent of them that he may cleanse us “from all unrighteousness” -1 John 1:9.
Now there is an important point we must remember. No man who lives a righteous life in Christ will ever “say” that he is sinless; that he never sins or has never sinned before. For it is God who sees the heart, not man. Our own hearts are desperately wicked, we can not know it (Jeremiah 17:9), and therefore we should never say such words. If we do, then we are far from being without sin. Here’s how Ellen White explained this:
“Those who are really seeking to perfect Christian character will never indulge the thought that they are sinless. Their lives may be irreproachable, they may be living representatives of the truth which they have accepted; but the more they discipline their minds to dwell upon the character of Christ, and the nearer they approach to His divine image, the more clearly will they discern its spotless perfection, and the more deeply will they feel their own defects.” –The Sanctified Life, page 7.
Ellen White is not alone in this. Job said the same thing:
(20) If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
(21) Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.
The more we seek to perfect our characters, the more we notice how far we are from the perfect example of Christ. Yet we are to nevertheless strive to be more like him, to “walk even as he walked” (1 John 2:6), never claiming to have yet reached that goal, because that’s for God to decide. Where ever we lack, Christ supplies (Psalm 138:8).
Now notice what Paul said:
(12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
(13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
(14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Here Paul tells the Philippians that they ought to be humbled as he is by never claiming to be perfect and yet moving forward towards “the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Yet he shows in the next verse, that even though we are not to be walking around professing to be perfect (without sin), God’s people will, in Christ, be perfect:
(15) Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
John spoke similar words:
1 John 4:17
(17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is [and he, Jesus, is perfect], so are we in this world.
The believer is saved and justified by the perfect life of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). But if he continues to live from hence forward, unlike the thief on the cross, the Lord daily teaches us how to cease from sin and live unto Christ. When Paul back in Philippians 3:12, says “but I follow after,” he is speaking of following after the same humbled example of Christ who, although he never sinned, never walked around boasting of his sinless state. Notice what Peter says about walking after Christ’s example:
1 Peter 2:21-24
(21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
(22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
(23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
(24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Here we read that we ought to follow after Christ’s example, who never sinned, “neither was guile found in his mouth.” And as Christ suffered, we ought to ourselves also arm ourselves “with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” -1 Peter 4:1. There will be a people who, like Christ, will also be found “without guile in their mouths,” being, “without fault before the throne of God” –Revelation 14:5.
All who are in Christ are commanded to overcome the world through faith (1 John 5:4). But these will never claim they are sinless, nor that they’ve never sinned in the past, for towards those who do claim this is applied the verses which Elder Olson provided for us above.
(24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Note: Ellen White was very much against the doctrine “once saved always saved” because it is a false doctrine. Reasons why are given in questions 21 and 29. Please refer there.
(15) DOES CHRIST’ S BLOOD CANCEL SIN?
BIBLE YES “That is why Jesus suffered and died outside the city, where his blood washed our sins away”
(Heb. 13 12 LB).
EGW NO “The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel sin. . . It will stand in the sanctuary until the final atonement” (PP 357).
Elder Olson changed the wording of this quote to make it say what it is not really saying. Here’s how it really reads (the parts he deleted from the quote are in bold):
“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, page 357.
As we can see, she is saying that the “record” of sin, not the actual sins themselves, would stand in the sanctuary, and the proof that she gives for this is the sanctuary type of the earthly sanctuary, which was a pattern of the real in heaven. As the blood of the repentant sinners remained in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement, so the record of sins remain in the heavenly sanctuary, to be removed on the anti-typical Day of Atonement.
When she says Christ blood does not cancel sin, she is not referring to the sins of the people which they may confess of at any moment. She is referring to the record of their sins in the real sanctuary, who’s blood will, not merely cancel, but obliterate once and for all time when all is restored in the end.
(16) DID JESUS CHOOSE JUDAS AS ONE OF HIS DISCIPLES?
BIBLE YES, ” . . .At daybreak he called his followers and chose twelve of them to be the inner circle of his disciples. (they were appointed as his “apostles”, or “missionaries”) Here are their names Simon (he is also called Peter), Andrew (Simon’s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (the son of Alphaeus), Simon (a member of the Zealots, a subversive political party) Judas (son o f James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him) ”
(Luke, 6: 13 – 16 L B) .
BIBLE YES “Jesus answered them, Have I not chosen you twelve and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son Simon for he knew it was that he would betray him, being one of the twelve ” (John 6: 70 KJ V) .
EGW NO ” While Jesus was preparing his disciples for their ordination, one who had not been summoned, urged his presence among them. It was Judas Iscariot”. (DA 293).
This quote is part of a commentary on Luke 6:13-16, the passage our opponent quotes in order to show a contradiction. Here Ellen White recognizes that Judas was part of the twelve chosen ones and in the very context she says so:
“As in the Old Testament the twelve patriarchs stand as representatives of Israel, so the twelve apostles were to stand as representatives of the gospel church.
The Saviour knew the character of the men whom He had chosen; all their weaknesses and errors were open before Him; He knew the perils through which they must pass, the responsibility that would rest upon them; and His heart yearned over these chosen ones.” –Desire of ages, pages 291-292 “He ordained Twelve.”
These sentences are found only a few paragraphs before she made the statement which Elder Olson quotes. She is not contradicting herself. Notice she used the word “summoned” and not “chosen” in the sentence our opponent quotes. As an example, a man can walk up to a group of people which he may or may not know and have himself chosen as part of that group simply because he made himself present. He was not summoned to that group, but making himself present, he was chosen. Ellen White agrees Judas was chosen by Jesus, both in this context, and elsewhere:
“When Judas was chosen by our Lord, his case was not hopeless. He had some good qualities.” –Testimonies for the Church Volume 4, page 41.
Judas was not summoned, but was chosen, is the simple explanation.
There is no contradiction here.
(17) WAS A TATTERED ROBE PLACED UPON JESUS?
BIBLE NO ” And Herod with his men of war set him at naught, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate”.
(Luke 23 : 11 KJ V)
BIBLE NO ” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they put his garments into four piles, one for each of them. But they said, “Let’s not tear up his robe, for it is seamless. Lets throw dice to see who gets it. This fulfilled the Scripture that says. “They divided my clothes among them, and cast lots for my robe” (John 19:23 LB).
EGW YES “At the suggestion of Herod, a crown was plaited from a vine bearing sharp thorns, and this was placed upon the sacred brow of Jesus; and an old tattered purple robe, once the garment of a king , was placed upon his noble form”.
(3 SP 138 ,1878 ed.)
There is no contradiction here. A robe can be both gorgeous and tattered at the same time. The word “tattered” can mean shabby or scruffy, as also indicated by the word “old” which she placed before this word. Have you ever bought a beautiful dress or suit, and after hanging in your closet for some years without being used it became old and scruffy? Does that mean that it is no longer beautiful? No, it simply means it needs a little washing and ironing, that’s all.
Ellen White is actually in agreement with Luke’s comment that it was a gorgeous robe because she said it was “once the garment of a king…” Kings garments, of course, are “gorgeous.”
We’re not sure why Elder Olson quotes John 19:23. This verse neither says the rode was gorgeous or tattered. The word “seamless” simply means it was of “one piece.” In other words, the robe was not made of more then one fabric, or more then one piece of clothing. It was simply one piece “woven from top to bottom.”
Note: The words “woven from top to bottom” are missing from John 19:23 in the Living Translation. It’s present in the Greek, and translated thus in the King James Version. Maybe this is what lead to the confusion and could have been why he mistakenly included this verse into his argument.
(18) CAN THOSE WITH SICKLY BODIES SERVE GOD?.
BIBLE YES ” Then said Job’s wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips “.( Job 2 : 9 – 1 0 KJ V)
BIBLE YES ” Ye have heard of the patience of Job”. (Jame s 5 1:1 )
EGW NO “it is a sin to be sick” (CH 37). .
EGW NO “A diseased body causes a disordered brain and hinders the work of sanctifying grace upon the mind and heart” (HL 42)
To support what she said, Ellen White quotes a verse from the book of Romans:
“A diseased body causes a disordered brain, and hinders the work of sanctifying grace upon the mind and heart. The apostle says, “With the mind I myself serve the law of God.” (Romans 7:25). If then we pursue a course of wrong which weakens or beclouds our mental powers, so that our perceptions are not clear to discern the value of truth, we are warring against our eternal interest.” –The Health Reformer, September 1, 1871.
It makes sense that, if it is with the mind that we serve the law of God, then we should protect our bodies as best we can from disease, for whatever weakens our bodies will weaken the mind which is connected to it. So what’s the case with Job then? Simple, he did not weaken his own body by his bad habits, as those Ellen White is speaking of here did. Job was weakened by the Devil by permission of God, not because he looked for it, but to test him (Job 2:3-7). As therefore it wasn’t his fault, the Lord still used him. But when we sin willfully, or neglect to do that which is good, we sin (James 4:17, Hebrews 10:26). And it is our sins which prevent us from having our prayers heard (see Psalm 66:18, Proverbs 28:9).
The tiny little quote Elder Olson shares “it is a sin to be sick” is actually a bit longer. We’ll quote it all below, along with some more context:
“It is a sin to be sick; for all sickness is the result of transgression. Many are suffering in consequence of the transgression of their parents. They cannot be censured for their parents’ sin; but it is nevertheless their duty to ascertain wherein their parents violated the laws of their being, which has entailed upon their offspring so miserable an inheritance; and wherein their parents’ habits were wrong, they should change their course, and place themselves by correct habits in a better relation to health.” –The Health Reformer, August 1, 1866.
Her comment “it is a sin to be sick,” must be understood in light of the rest of the sentence, “for all sickness is the result of transgression.” Sickness only comes from transgression (sinning). Yet, those who are sick because of the transgressions of their parents “cannot be censured” for their sins. The word “censured” means “rebuked, blamed” according to Webster’s Dictionary. And the Thesaurus says it can be translated “fault, condemn, condemnation.” In other words, although sickness is a result of sin, people can not and will not be blamed or condemned for this, for it is a result of their parents sinful habits, and the sinful habits of their parents before them, and those before them, et cetera, all the way back to the first sin committed by our first parents in the Garden.
(19) IS ALL SICKNESS THE RESULT OF TRANSGRESSION?
BIBLE NO “And the Lord said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, and one that feareth God and escheweth evil ? (J o b. 2 :3 KJV).
BIBLE NO “So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job sore with boils from the sole of his feet to his crown.”. (Job 2 :7. KJV)
BIBLE NO “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from birth. And. his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither this man sinned, not his parents, but that the works of God should be manifest in him. (John 9: 1-3 KJV) .
EGW YES “. . .all sickness is the result of transgression” (CH 37) .
As for the first two verses, the result remains the same, for Satan is transgression himself. Jesus said he was a murderer from the very beginning (John 8:44). He is the originator of sin, so although Job didn’t transgress, Satan did, and he is the one bringing the sickness Job’s way.
Interestingly enough, Ellen White explains the third verse, John 9:3, along side with the infliction placed upon Job:
“It was generally believed by the Jews that sin is punished in this life. Every affliction was regarded as the penalty of some wrongdoing, either of the sufferer himself or of his parents. It is true that all suffering results from the transgression of God’s law, but this truth had become perverted. Satan, the author of sin and all its results, had led men to look upon disease and death as proceeding from God,–as punishment arbitrarily inflicted on account of sin. Hence one upon whom some great affliction or calamity had fallen had the additional burden of being regarded as a great sinner.
Thus the way was prepared for the Jews to reject Jesus. He who “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” was looked upon by the Jews as “stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted;” and they hid their faces from Him. Isa. 53:4, 3.
God had given a lesson designed to prevent this. The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. But Israel did not understand the lesson. The same error for which God had reproved the friends of Job was repeated by the Jews in their rejection of Christ.
The belief of the Jews in regard to the relation of sin and suffering was held by Christ’s disciples. While Jesus corrected their error, He did not explain the cause of the man’s affliction, but told them what would be the result. Because of it the works of God would be made manifest. “As long as I am in the world,” He said, “I am the light of the world.” Then having anointed the eyes of the blind man, He sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam, and the man’s sight was restored. Thus Jesus answered the question of the disciples in a practical way, as He usually answered questions put to Him from curiosity. The disciples were not called upon to discuss the question as to who had sinned or had not sinned, but to understand the power and mercy of God in giving sight to the blind. It was evident that there was no healing virtue in the clay, or in the pool wherein the blind man was sent to wash, but that the virtue was in Christ.” –Desire of Ages, pages 471.
Hence there is a third option. Not only is sickness the result of our sins, and of the sins of our parents, but it can also sometimes come about by an infliction by Satan, by permission of God of course. For what purpose? “that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” –John 9:3. The blind man, therefore, had a similar experience like that of Job.
(20) WAS THE TOWER OF BABEL BUILT BEFORE THE FLOOD?
BIBLE NO “These are the families of the sons of Noah. … after the flood. And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech . And they said , Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven . . . Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth . . . ” (Gen . l0 32; l l : l – 9 KJ V) .
EGW YES “The Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with Adam after the Fall, which he taught to his descendants. This system was corrupted before the flood by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged in the building of the tower of Babel .”
(3 SG 30 l, 1864 e d ; 1 SP 266, 1870 ed)
In response to this allegation, one person noted a couple of important points. First, in the very table of contents we see exactly how Ellen White viewed the order of events. Take a look:
Spiritual Gifts…………………………………….. 9
I. The Creation……………………………………….. 33
II. The Temptation and Fall…………………………… 36
III. Cain and Abel………………………………………. 47
IV. Adam’s Life………………………………………… 50
V. Seth and Enoch……………………………………… 53
VI. Crime before the Flood…………………………….. 60
VII. The Flood…………… 64
VIII. After the Flood…………………………………….. 76
IX. Disguised Infidelity………………………………… 90
X. Tower of Babel……….. 96
XI. Abraham……………………………………………. 98
XII. Isaac……………………………………………… 108
XIII. Jacob and Esau……………………………………… 113
XIV. Jacob and the Angel…………………………….. 128
XV. Joseph and his Brethren………………………… 138
XVI. Moses……………………………………………… 180
XVII. The Plagues on Egypt………………………….. 203
XVIII. The Passover……………………………………… 222
XIX. Israel Leaves Egypt………………………………. 228
XX. Their Journeyings………………………………… 248
XXI. The Law of God………………………………….. 261
Second, in the very chapter dealing with the tower of Babel, she wrote:
“Some of the descendants of Noah soon began to apostatize… The unbelieving consulted among themselves, and agreed to separate from the faithful, whose righteous lives were a continual restraint upon their wicked course. They journeyed a distance from them, and selected a large plain wherein to dwell. They built them a city, and then conceived the idea of building a large tower to reach unto the clouds, that they might dwell together in the city and tower, and be no more scattered.” –The Spirit of Prophecy Volume 1, page 91 “The Tower of Babel”
Obviously she understood that it was the “descendants” of Noah, who were “after” the flood, which built the tower of Babel. So why does the above quote read that way? Notice how the same quote appears somewhere else:
“The Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with Adam after his fall, which he taught to his descendants. This system was corrupted before the flood, and by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God and engaged in the building of the tower of Babel.” –The Spirit of Prophecy Volume 1, page 266.
This was the first time this quote was printed (volume 1) and it originally included the word “and” in between, which makes it mean the system was corrupted both before and then after the flood by those who built the tower. The reason why it appeared without the word “and” in the third volume of “The Spirit of Prophecy” was because it was simply an editor’s typo, which the editors of the Review and Herald quickly took note of before any critic pointed this out. This is a case where the editor’s, and not the author, made a mistake, of which they will freely admit to at your request.
(21) CAN CHRISTIANS SAY THEY ARE SAVED?
BIBLE YES “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us which are saved it is the power of God, (1 Cor. 1: 18 KJV).
BIBLE YES “I have written this unto you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5 :13 LB) .
BIBLE YES “For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord , and believe in your own heart that God had raised him from t he dead, you will be saved ” (Rom. 10: 9 LB) .
BIBLE YES ” He took away all of our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved” (Eph. 1: 6, 7 LB)
BIBLE YES “And Jesus said unto him, (Zacchaeus) This day is salvation come to thine house. . . For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19: 9- l0 KJV) .
EGW NO ” Those who accept the Savior, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. . . ” (COL 15:5)
Here is the quote in context:
“Peter’s fall was not instantaneous, but gradual. Self-confidence led him to the belief that he was saved, and step after step was taken in the downward path, until he could deny his Master. Never can we safely put confidence in self or feel, this side of heaven, that we are secure against temptation. Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. God’s word declares, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.” Dan. 12:10. Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.).” –Christ’s Object Lessons, page 155, paragraph 1.
As is obvious from the context, she is not saying that a Christian cant “know” that he is saved, or that God accepts him, but that Christians should not be “taught” to say this, because there is a danger of being lead away from the principles of God and falling into temptation. Like Peter (which is the biblical example she is using), many who come to Christ believe that once they are saved they can never lose their salvation no matter what. This is very misleading. The bible teaches that we are saved only if we hold fast unto the gospel preached:
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
(2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory (Greek: hold down fast) what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Ellen White provides numerous verses to back up what she is saying in the context of this chapter, one of them being:
“Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan’s devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, page 155, paragraph 2.
Just before he tells the Corinthians that they are saved only if they abide in the gospel truth (1 Corinthians 15:1-2), he tells them that if they think they stand to “take heed lest he fall.” If you were once saved forever, without the risk of falling into sin and away from Christ and thus losing your salvation, why warn us to take heed lest we fall? Jesus taught that when we come to him, we must from hence forth “abide” in him (John 15:4, 6). Notice he said to abide “in” him. Why in? Because we are only saved “in” Christ:
2 Corinthians 5:17
(17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Notice he “is” a new creature only “in” Christ. If Jesus said to abide IN him, it is because there is a chance that a person can not abide in him. And if we are not in Christ, we will be lost!
Again, note how clear Jesus was on this subject:
(1) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
(2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Notice that every branch (person) who is IN Christ (saved) but bears no fruit (i.e. love, joy, peace, etc –Gal. 5:22) he will “take away.” We must bring forth fruit (or, grow in Christ) and our fruits must “remain” in Christ (verse 16), or else we will be lost. Simple as that.
For more on the “once saved always saved” doctrine, see question 29.
(22) WAS JESUS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY?
BIBLE YES ” For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” . (Isa . 9 : 6 KJV)
EGW. NO “The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, (SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1129)
Let’s quote the entire sentence:
“The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one.”
We are sure, that if our critic would have shared the entire sentence, it would have been clear that she was saying that Christ was not God the Father, but rather that he was God the Son, co-equal with the Father. In fact, if you read this sentence in full context, you will notice that through the entire article she repeatedly says that Jesus is God… notice:
“But although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness… Christ left His position in the heavenly courts, and came to this earth to live the life of human beings. This sacrifice He made in order to show that Satan’s charge against God is false–that it is possible for man to obey the laws of God’s kingdom. Equal with the Father, honored and adored by the angels, in our behalf Christ humbled Himself, and came to this earth to live a life of lowliness and poverty–to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet the stamp of divinity was upon His humanity. He came as a divine Teacher, to uplift human beings, to increase their physical, mental, and spiritual efficiency.
There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Yet we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -S.D.A Bible Commentary, Vol. 5 (1956). pp. 1129, 1130.
The idea that Ellen White was saying that Jesus is not God is completely absent from the entire context of what she was really talking about. We see that she was simply making a distinction between God the Father and God the Son… yet at the same time making it clear that Christ was “equal with the Father” and himself also “divine.” She clearly said that when Christ became human, “he did not cease to be God…”
Ellen White makes it clear who Christ is in this next quote:
“Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God…. In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him. -Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900.
(23) IS THE SABBATH THE SEAL?
BIBLE NO “And because of what Christ did, all you others too, who heard the Good News about how to be saved , and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit, who long ago had been promised to all us Christians. His presence within us is God’s guarantee that he really will give us all that he promised, and the Spirits seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that he guarantees to bring us to himself. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God. (Eph.1:13 LB).
EGW. YES ” The sign or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation. . . ” (8 T 117).
The Seal of God is indeed revealed in the Sabbath for several reasons. First, all the signs of a seal are present in the Sabbath commandment, including the name, tittle and territory (Lord, created, heaven and earth, see Exodus 20:11). Second, God himself says that the Sabbath is a sign between him and Israel (Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:12, 20). True Christians today are Israel, spiritually (Galatians 3:29, Romans 9:6-8). Third, the bible speaks of the law as being sealed upon God’s people, as in Isaiah 8:16. Fourth, within the very word “sabbath” is found “seal of father,” ab (or abba) meaning father and ath (or oth) meaning sign or seal.
So, would Paul contradict all this evidence? Absolutely not. We must understand that the Spirit and the Law are used interchangeably. For example, Jesus said:
(28) But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Yet Luke understood this to mean that it’s with the finger of God that Jesus casts out devils:
(20) But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
The finger of God, we know, is a symbol of the Ten Commandments, for with it he wrote the Ten Commandments upon two tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18, Deuteronomy 9:10).
Therefore both are true. Both the law of God, specifically the Sabbath, and the Holy Spirit, are together the seal of God, with the Holy Spirit being the means by which the law will be sealed upon God’s people. Obedience to God’s law will of course be the outward sign that they are sealed, while the Holy Spirit will be the inward sign; invisible to man, but visible to God.
Moreover, Ellen White is in context speaking of the last days, when the Sabbath will be a major issue in Christendom and around the world. Since most of the world will reject the bible Sabbath, the Sabbath will be a sign that those observing it are the ones standing for every one of God’s laws, and not just some or none of them, being they “which keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus” –Revelation 14:12. The bible concept of “present truth” must be kept in mind when reading her quote. Please refer to question 37 for a detailed explanation of this concept.
(24) DOES GOD REQUIRE ” TRESPASS” AND ” SIN ” OFFERINGS?
BIBLE NO ” But Christ gave himself to God for our sins as one sacrifice for all times ” (Heb. l 0 :12 LB) .
BIBLE NO ” . . .there is nor more offering for sins. ” . (Heb. l0 :18 KJ V) .
BIBLE NO ” . . For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with the corruptible things as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ”.
(1 Pet. 1 :18 KJV).
EGW YES ” Yes, He has given His blood He asks for our silver . . . ” (3T 39O) .
EGW YES ” Come to the Lord with hearts overflowing . . . bringing to Him your trespass offerings. . . ” (CS 198).
EGW YES “Neither have they come to yearly gatherings with their freewill offerings, their thank offerings and their trespass offerings . . . ” (3T 510).
EGW YES “The best you can do is to bring a trespass offering to the altar of the Lord, and he will accept and pardon you… (ST 339).
EGW YES ” . . . if a Christian has $l0,000 or $20,000, God’s claims are imperative upon him, not only to give his proportion according to the tithing system, but to present his sin offerings…to God” (4T 467)
EGW. YES ” . . . present offerings to God for the gift of His only begotten Son . . . (CS 297) .
Ellen White is using phrases such as “trespass offering” and “alter of the Lord” in a figurative way. Often, as in the context of most of these instances, she is speaking to an individual who has greedily kept back money which he could use to help the poor and advance the gospel, or who has stolen by not giving in his tithes and offerings. Connected with the eighth commandment which forbids stealing, to not tithe is to sin. Ellen White is simply using these terms, not that God require trespass offerings for the forgiveness of sins, as in the Old Testament, but that he does require us, under the New Testament, to give him our talents, time and means to benefit the gospel work (see Matthew 23:23, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Malachi 3:8).
For a response to this same accusation which we put together for critics Dirk Anderson, see our article:
(25) ARE THERE TWO THRONES IN HEAVEN?
BIBLE NO “And now (A.D.31) he sits on the throne of highest honor in heaven , next to God . . . (Acts 2: 33 LB) .
BIBLE NO ” . . .He is the one who died to cleanse us and clear our record of sin, and then (A.D.31) sat down in highest honor beside the great God of heaven.” (Heb.1: 3 LB)
BIBLE NO ” . . .when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down (A.D.3 1) on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1 :3 KJV) . (In A.D. 31 Jesus sat down on the throne of highest honor in heaven, there is no higher!)
EGW YES “End of the 2300 days (1844) I saw the Father rise from the throne and in a flaming chariot go into the holy holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. . .Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying, “Wait here; I am going to my Father to receive the kingdom . . . Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. ” (EW 54, 55) .
Our opponent contends that because his version of the bible of Acts 2:33 and Hebrews 1:3 mentions the word “highest” in relation to the throne upon which Christ sat, there must therefore be “no higher!” But isn’t it obvious that in order for there to be a “highest” there must also be at least one other throne through which one can be highest, or higher then the other? If there was only one throne in heaven, what is the need of using the word “highest?” If earth had only one mountain, for example, it can’t be the highest mountain, for there are no others. It is simply a “high” mountain. Period.
Besides the illogic, there is also the unbiblical. The bible does indeed mention the fact that there are other thrones in heaven besides the throne found in the heavenly sanctuary. For instance, in front of the throne mentioned in Revelation 4:6 there was a “sea of glass like unto crystal.” However, before the throne in the New Jerusalem which is also in heaven (which has not yet descended, of course), there is … “a pure river of water, clear as crystal…” –Revelation 22:1.
-1st throne: sea of glass before it
-2nd throne: river of water before it
A sea and a river are two different things, and so are glass and water. We here see that there exists today at least two thrones in heaven.
A study of the Hebrew sanctuary also reveals that there must be more then one throne in heaven. In all of the anti-type there was only one throne, and it was in the Most Holy Place. But, the bible tells us that Jesus sat down on the throne of God when he ascended in heaven. Why then were there not two throne in the Most Holy Place for Jesus to set next to his father? Should we suppose that Jesus squeezed himself into the throne of the Father? No indeed. Jesus is himself God, and must therefore himself have a throne. When Acts 2:30 says that God raised up Christ “to sit on his throne,” the “his” refers to Jesus’ throne next to the father. This is confirmed by verse 33:
(33) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Note Jesus sat “by” the right hand of God. The words “right hand” literally mean “right side.” And since we don’t see this in the type, this must therefore have taken place at another location in heaven, a location elevated in position much higher then that heavenly, yet temporary (Revelation 21:22) sanctuary in heaven. Even the version from which our critic quoted this verse from gives off this idea:
“And now (A.D.31) he sits on the throne of highest honor in heaven , next to God . . . (Acts 2: 33 LB) .
For more proof of the existence of multiple thrones in heaven, see our article called Jesus at the Right hand of the Father.
(26) IS THE CHURCH ON EARTH THE TRUE TABERNACLE?
BIBLE NO “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum We have such an high priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man”. (Heb. 8 :1 , 2 KJV) .
EGW. YES ” The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church. The church on earth … is the true tabernacle whereof the Redeemer is the minister “.
(Signs of Times, Feb. 14, 1900) .
There is no contradiction here; both are true in this case. Yes the heavenly sanctuary is the true tabernacle, but so is God’s church, his people:
1 Corinthians 3:16:17
(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
(3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
When the city descends, God’s people, spending 1000 years with him in heaven, will be inside. His bride is not buildings and roads; his bride is the church. They are the tabernacle because God will “dwell with them.”
To support what she said, Ellen White in the same context quotes a few verses. Here’s one of them:
(19) Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
(20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
(21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
(22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Of course Elder Olson did not include this part of the quote. In this verse we find that the people of God, the church, is also the true tabernacle, because therein does he dwell as “an habitation of God through the Spirit.” In other words, both the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 8:1) and the “fellowcitizens with the saints” are the “household of God.”
(27) WAS CHRIST’S ATONEMENT COMPLETED AT THE CROSS?
BIBLE YES ” When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished , and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost”. (John 19 :30 KJ V) .
BIBLE YES ” we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have (AD 31), received the atonement.” (Rom. 5 : 10, 11 KJ V) .
EGW. NO “As the priests entered the most holy place once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could not be benefited by His meditation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary .” (EW 253) .
EGW NO ” Now while our great High Priest is making the final atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ . (RH Nov. 30, 1888; GC 623) .
Without the proper understanding of the biblical doctrine of the investigative judgment, one will always confuse these issues. We do not teach that there was not an atonement made for us by Christ upon the cross, but rather that the atonement does not end there. For example, yes Jesus said “It is finished,” but what was that “It” which finished? It was the slaying of the lamb which took place at the alter of burnt offerings in the sanctuary type. But in the type, did the service end there? Absolutely not. The blood was then to be carried into the sanctuary and sprinkled over the furnitures therein, and once a year, this was done also in the Most Holy Place (Leviticus 16).
The main part was finished, the slaying of the lamb. Through this we may be saved. Atonement was available through the sacrifice of a lamb, in the type, even before Yom Kipper (Day of Atonement):
(20) And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.
This was done on a daily basis for the sins of the people. Likewise, Jesus is still mediating for us with the blood of his sacrifice on a daily basis (Hebrews 7:25). Hence the work continues.
But this was not the “final” atonement, for the work of the Priest did not end there. The final judgment, typified by the great Day of Atonement, is yet to take place according to Acts 17:31, 2 Peter 3:7 and Jude 1:6. This is why in the last quote provided by our critic she mentions the “final” atonement:
“Now while our great High Priest is making the final atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ.” -Review and Herald, Nov. 30, 1888.
Ellen White agrees with Moses in Leviticus and Paul in the New Testament, that a complete atonement was made on that cross:
“We are to rejoice that the atonement is complete; and believing in Christ as our complete Saviour, we may know that the Father loves us, even as he loves his Son.” –Review and Herald, November 11, 1890 par. 12.
“By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now, not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our Intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, these ascend to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, page 156.
But she also acknowledges, as do all who study the types of the Old Testament, that while this atonement was complete, there was yet another work which was to be done, the final atonement for the sanctuary as described in Leviticus 16, which cleansed it once a year. This typified God’s plan to finally end the sin problem itself (including the record of sins, the devil and his sins, and the evil angels with their sins), when he will rid the earth and all the universe (cleanse the sanctuary) of all sin once and for all time. This involves more then the covering and cleansing of our particular sins, this means eradicating sin from the entire universe that affliction may never “rise up the second time” –Nahum 1:9. All this is typified in the type, and Christ must, as the true messiah, fulfill every single aspect of the type.
(28) DO WE STAND CONDEMNED BEFORE GOD
BIBLE NO “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus . ” (Rom 8: 1 KJV) .
BIBLE NO ” For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned ..”
(John 3:17 KJ V)
BIBLE NO “Verily, verily, I (Jesus) say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life,” (John 5: 24 KLV)
EGW YES “At the time the light of health reform dawned upon us, and since that time, the questions have come home every day, Am I practicing temperance in all things? Is my diet such as will bring me in a position where I can accomplish the greatest amount of good? If we cannot answer these questions in the affirmative, we stand condemned before God, for He will hold us all responsible for the light which has shon upon our path.” (CDF 20)
Since Adventists reject the unbiblical doctrine of “once saved always saved (see why at question 29), we believe that a Christian must, when a truth from the bible is presented to them, take it as serious as it his own soul depended upon it, for it is biblical truth, which proceeds from the very mouth of God (all scripture if God-breathed -2 Timothy 3:16 “see Greek”). Jesus said man shall live by EVERY word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Out of the mouth of God, the scripture, we have the Health Message:
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
When a Christian knows to do something that is good, like live by the present truth of the Health Message as taught in the scripture, and does not do it… “to him it is sin” –James 4:17. In the above verse we find Paul, speaking to the Corinthians, who at this moment were Christians, telling them that if they defile their bodies, God shall destroy them. If he “shall” destroy them, it is because presently they are living under condemnation, knowing to do something good but doing it not.
A Christian is not under condemnation “IN” Christ, as seen Romans 8:1. To be in Christ means not only to be saved by his free grace, but also to thereafter “walk even as he walked” “grow in grace” “cease from sin” (see 1 John 2:6, 2 Peter 3:18, John 8:11, 1 Peter 4:1). If we willfully sin “after that we have received the knowledge of the truth” Paul tells us that “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin” –Hebrews 10:26. and if there remains no more sacrifice for sin for the Christian, he is no more “in” Christ, and all who are not in Christ are under condemnation.
The bible tells us that we must “be in health” (3 John 1:2), and teaches, through the Sanctuary and the Three angels Messages, that the Health Message is “present truth” for our time, and that as bad as it was to defile our bodies in the time of Paul, it is still bad to defile it today, for to defile it means that have God himself destroy us.
(29) DOES CHRIST ACCEPT US JUST AS WE ARE?
BIBLE YES “…To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved”(Eph. 1:4-6 KJV).
BIBLE YES ” But no we have a far better hope, for Christ makes us acceptable to God and now we may draw near to him” (Heb . 7: 18 , 19 LB) .
EGW NO “It is impossible for you to be saved as you are. . .there is a great work to be accomplished for you before YOU can be accepted in the sight of God”
(2T 316; 2T 84).
EGW NO “At the present time, your condition is not acceptable in the sight of God” (2T 325).
EGW NO “As you are, you would mar all Heaven. You are uncultivated, unrefined, and unsanctified. There is no place in Heaven for such a character as you now possess” (3T 465).
The first quote is two sentences, each out of context and taken from two separate parts of the book. The first is part of a letter and is from page 316. The second part is more then a hundred pages backwards on page 84, and is a letter written to a different person.
When you read these letters you’ll note she is addressing their sinful habits which, if unaddressed (confessed and turned away from), could hinder their salvation experience. Seventh Day Adventists do not believe in “once saved always saved.” We believe that once you’re saved, you are secured in Christ, but persistence in sin without the desire to change could lead a person to be lost. We are of his house (Christians) only “if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” –Hebrews 3:6. We must “hold” or “abide” in Christ (John 15:3):
(14) For we are made partakers of Christ (or, accepted with Christ), if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.
In the same letter to the Ephesians from which our opponent quotes, we read:
Ephesians 5:6, 11
(6) Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
(11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Paul is in context speaking to saved individuals (Ephesians 3; 4:1). If it were impossible for these saved ones to be lost, why warn then against being deceived and having fellowship with “the unfruitful works of darkness?” All who walk in darkness, are lost (1 John 1:6.
Peter warns of those who have been “bought with a price” (2 Peter 2:1, compare 1 Corinthians 6:20), who have “forsaken the right way, and are gone astray…” –verse 15, that they…
“… speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”
In other words, Peter is speaking of people who were once saved who lead away those who were themselves also saved (that were clean escaped…):
2 Peter 2:20-22
(20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
(21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
(22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned [returns] to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
As seen in these verses, those who have been saved, who have escaped the pollutions of this world through Jesus Christ, can, if they turn back, be “overcome.” And if we are overcome by the lusts of the world, and not rather by the grace of Christ, we will lose the privilege of entering in through the heavenly gates. Paul makes this ever so clear:
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
(2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
According to Paul, salvation is conditional. Christians are saved by the gospel of Christ, only “if” they “keep in memory what I preached unto you…” To “keep in memory” literally means “to hold down fast” (Strong’s G2722). We must “hold” unto the gospel, and not strain away, in order to be saved, for it is indeed possible to be deceived and lead away into perdition.
The other Ellen White quotes are set in the same context. Note the context of the last one:
“You take small views of matters, pick at straws, find fault, and question the course of others, when you might far better be overcoming the defects in your own character and life, working from a Christian standpoint, seeking light from God, and preparing to unite with pure angels in the kingdom of heaven. As you are, you would mar all heaven. You are uncultivated, unrefined, and unsanctified. There is no place in heaven for such a character as you now possess.” –Testimonies for the Church Volume Three, page 464.
In the next paragraph she tells this person that, “You have not advanced or improved for many years.” As Christians we should seek to grow in Christ. This person was not growing in Christ. They were pointing to the faults of others and not working through the power of Christ on the faults of their own. This person was not seeking to change his sinful ways. If one knows they ought to change, and do good, yet they do it not, it is sin (James 4:17), and people who persist in their sins without yielding to the transforming power of Christ will not be allowed into heaven. She is not teaching that Christ does not accept us “just as we are,” but that those who, once being saved, persist in their sins without desiring to be changed, will no longer be accepted, but rather rejected, as we have seen in the verses above.
(30) DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVE US THE ABILITY TO DISCERN?
BIBLE YES “When the Holy Spirit who is truth, comes, he shall guide you into all truth. . “, (John 14:17 KJ V).
BIBLE YES “But I will send you the Comforter the Holy Spirit – the source of all truth. . . ” (John 15: 26 LB) .
EGW NO “Do not feel that God has given you ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom”. (5T 691)
The quote Elder Olson provides has been altered. Here’s how it really reads (missing portions in bold):
“Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom.” –Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, page 691.
Did he think we wouldn’t look these quotes up? With the missing portion included, we see what Ellen White meant. She is in context speaking about the Testimonies, and is here rebuking those who think that God will give people discernment while they seek merely to “dissect them to suit their own ideas…” God gives us discernment, not for selfish gain, as with these people, but to honestly seek for truth.
In the next few sentences she acknowledges that the Spirit does indeed give the ability to discern:
“If the Testimonies speak not according to the word of God, reject them. Christ and Belial cannot be united. For Christ’s sake do not confuse the minds of the people with human sophistry and skepticism, and make of none effect the work that the Lord would do. Do not, by your lack of spiritual discernment, make of this agency of God a rock of offense whereby many shall be caused to stumble and fall, “and be snared, and be taken.” –Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, page 691.
Why would she teach the Spirit does not give discernment, yet in the same paragraph acknowledge that there is such thing as “spiritual discernment?”
(31) DID SATAN TEMPT CHRIST AFTER HE HAD FASTED FORTY DAYS AND NIGHTS?
BIBLE YES “And when he had fasted forty days and nights he was afterward an hungered, and when the tempter came to him he said… (Matt. 4 : 2 , 3 KJ V)
EGW NO ” As soon as the long fast of Christ commenced, Satan was at hand with his temptations…Satan told Christ…..that it was not necessary for him to endure this painful hunger and death from starvation” .(Redemption of the Temptation of Christ. (p.37, 1874 ed.)
EGW NO “As soon as Christ’s Long fast commenced, he was at hand with his temptations. (2 SP 90)
EGW NO “As soon as Christ began his fast, Satan appeared as an angel of light, and claimed to be a messenger of heaven. He told him it was not the will of God that he should suffer this pain and self-denial” (Christ Our Savior 4 5) .
Elder Olson only quotes one version of the temptation, Matthews’s version. But let’s here quote Marks version of what happened:
(12) And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
(13) And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
According to Mark, Jesus was tempted of the Devil throughout the forty days, putting him in agreement with Sister White’s comments. If there is contradiction between Matthew and Luke? Well if we accept the reasoning Elder Olson uses, then yes there is. But actually the bible student must accept both versions of the story, and find how they both coincide with each other. The best and only way to do this is by allowing the bible to explain itself “line upon line, here a little and there a little” by using other portions of scripture as our aid. Luke helps clear the confusion:
(1) And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
(2) Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
(3) And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread…
(13) And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
The possibility exists, and seems to be the only logical explanation, that Jesus was tempted all throughout those forty days (which must mean the temptation commenced right after the forty days began), and yet those three specific temptations (the stone to bread, at the high mountain, at the pinnacle of the temple) came afterwards. Ellen White explains what Satan told Christ throughout the forty days:
“As soon as the long fast of Christ commenced, Satan was at hand with his temptations. He came to Christ, enshrouded in light, claiming to be one of the angels from the throne of God, sent upon an errand of mercy to sympathize with him, and to relieve him of his suffering condition. He tried to make Christ believe that God did not require him to pass through the self-denial and sufferings he anticipated; that he had been sent from Heaven to bear to him the message, that God only designed to prove his willingness to endure.
Satan told Christ that he was to set his feet in the blood-stained path, but not to travel it, that, like Abraham, he was tested to show his perfect obedience. He also stated that he was the angel that stayed the hand of Abraham as the knife was raised to slay Isaac, and he had now come to save his life; that it was not necessary for him to endure this painful hunger and death from starvation; and that he would help him bear the work in the plan of salvation.” –The Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness, page 37.
As you can see, she never said that the three temptations mentioned in the bible began in the first few days of the forty-day temptation. She believed he was tempted with what she described above. This further puts her on par with both Matthew and Luke.
Note: Additional information about something does not necessarily mean the prophet contradicted the authors of the bible. The very job of a prophet is to reveal additional truths to God’s people. Her added information does not need to be accepted by our critics, but it does not at the same time prove her false. To prove her false, it must be shown that her added details are contrary to the testimony born by the bible prophets, which has not yet been done by any of our opponents, as is being proven with each response in this article. For more on this point, see argument number 2 above.
(32) DO WE KNOW WHEN JESUS WILL COME?
BIBLE NO ” When they therefore were come together they asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, it is not for to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his power”. (Acts. 1 : 6 , 7 KJ V)
EGW YES ” As God has shown me in holy vision . . . we heard the voice of God like many waters which gave us the day and hour of Jesus coming… (WLF 14)
The words “as God has shown me in holy vision” do not appear anywhere in the book Early Writings, which is where the last part of the quote is found. We can’t figure out why it’s necessary for Elder Olson to take a quote from a book and insert it into a different book in order to make his point.
As for the part where she heard the day and hour of the coming of Christ, she later wrote the following to a sister who was also concerned with this statement:
“Dear Sister, you state that “some claim among other things that there is dishonesty in suppressing your former writings.” Will those who say these things please give proof of their statements? I know that this has been often repeated but not proved. “Claiming that in your original testimonies, volume 1, which they have preserved, you distinctly declare that you were shown the day and hour of Christ’s second coming. Their argument is that this statement of yours will not stand the Bible test, as Christ Himself declares that no man knoweth the day or the hour, no not even the angels of God, hence [you] have withdrawn the first editions and revised them leaving out the above; also printed a tract declaring we are not a class of people who set the time. (Entitled Is The Time Near?)” –Manuscript Release Volume 16, page 175
To this charge Ellen White responded:
“Will these good friends who are troubled concerning these statements please ask the individuals who claim to have the original copy of [the] first edition to let them see the statement they claim it contains? If they have the book, they should be willing to show the statements, paragraph by paragraph. I have no book, and never have written one, containing any such statement. And any book I might send you, the parties might claim was not the one containing the said statement. But if parties claim to have such a book, certainly someone who thinks these statements correct could have access to it.” –Manuscript Release Volume 16, page 175.
Of course, no one came forth with any evidence that she wrote that statement, because she never did! She never said that she heard the day and hour of Christ’s second coming. What she did claim she heard, however, was the day and hour of another future event:
“In my first book you will find the only statement in regard to the day and hour of Christ’s coming that I have made since the passing of the time in 1844. It is found in Early Writings, pages 11, 27, and 145, 146 [pages 15, 34, and 285, present edition]. All refer to the announcement that will be made just before the second coming of Christ.
By turning to page 145 [page 285, present edition] and reading from the commencement of the chapter you will see that the statements made refer to the deliverance of the saints from the time of trouble by the voice of God. Please obtain this book if you do not have it, and read the statements therein.” –Manuscript Release Volume 16, page 176.
In her defense, she uses her same book where the same voice was heard to explain that she did not here mean she heard the day and hour of the second coming of Christ, but of the time of the deliverance of the saints “from the time of trouble…” The time of trouble will be a moment in history which will take place just before Jesus comes the second time, when God’s people will be, as was Jacob, crying out to God for deliverance from their enemies. There will be a moment when they will be delivered, and afterwards Jesus will come to take them home.
Ellen White continued by saying:
“This is a portion of the paragraph. The statements on pages 11 and 27 [pages 15 and 34, present edition], refer to the same time. They contain all that I have ever been shown in regard to the definite time of the Lord’s coming. I have not the slightest knowledge as to the time spoken by the voice of God. I heard the hour proclaimed, but had no remembrance of that hour after I came out of vision. Scenes of such thrilling, solemn interest passed before me as no language is adequate to describe. It was all a living reality to me, for close upon this scene appeared the great white cloud, upon which was seated the Son of man. But read the book itself.” –Manuscript Release Volume 16, page 176.
The reason why it would seem like she is referring to the second coming is because towards the end she said… “… close upon this scene [the time of trouble] appeared the great white cloud, upon which was seated the Son of man.” The second coming is so close to the closing stages of the time of trouble event that it almost seems like there is no time between them, even though there is.
For those who believed she was referring to the second coming which they thought she meant would take place in 1844, she wrote:
“I was a firm believer in definite time in 1844, but this prophetic time was not shown me in vision, for it was some months after the passing of this period of time before the first vision [which contained the day and hour statement] was given me. There were many proclaiming a new time after this, but I was shown that we should not have another definite time to proclaim to the people. All who are acquainted with me and my work will testify that I have borne but one testimony in regard to the setting of the time.” – Manuscript Release Volume 16, page 177.
At the conclusion of her letter she said:
“If I have failed to make this matter plain which you wish to understand, write me again and I will endeavor to make every point plain and clear. But I must plead not guilty to the charge of seeing in vision that the Lord would [come] at a definite day and hour, which has since passed by.” – Manuscript Release Volume 16, page 179.
Since the evidence is still missing today, Elder Olson’s case is dismissed.
As for the day and hour of the second coming, we don’t advocate that people will know exactly when Jesus will return, but there are a couple of points we try to keep in mind. When Jesus said “no man knoweth the day or hour” (Matthew 24:36) he also said that not even the “angels” nor “the son of man” knows this (Mark 13:32). However, for how long will this be true? Obviously the angels and Jesus will one day know “the day and the hour” for they themselves will come at that moment (Matthew 24:30-31). At one point they’ll find out, for their the one’s coming. But what about God’s people in the end times? Maybe:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
(1) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
(2) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
(3) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
(4) But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
(5) Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
(6) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
What is the “that day” Paul is here referring to? Of course, the Second Coming of Christ. What’s important however is that we begin to prepare ourselves now before that time comes.
In the context of Acts 1:6-7, the “they” are the apostles (verse 2). They, the apostles, were not to know the times and seasons. But could God sometime in the future reveal to his end-time people, who will be at that moment hiding in caves, locked in prisons, hiding from their persecutors, the hour of his coming, that they may be comforted? If this happens, they will not have time to preach it to others, for right after Jesus will come. This might not happen, but the possibility that it could exists.
(33) WAS ZIPPORAH AN ETHIOPIAN?
BIBLE YES ” And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopia woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. (Num. 12: 1 KJV)
EGW NO “Zipporah was treated with ill disguised contempt. Though called a Cushite woman, the wife of Moses was a Midianite, and thus a descendant of Abraham.” (PP 383).
A little research would have cleared up the confusion. Zipporah was indeed a Midianite, as shown in the following texts:
(15) Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
(16) Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
(17) And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
(18) And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?
(19) And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
(20) And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.
(21) And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
The land of Zipporah and her family was the land of Midian. That is where Moses met Zipporah. Ellen White is not disagreeing with Miriam and Aaron; she is simply saying that although Zipporah was called an Ethiopian, or Cushite women, her native land was Midian, as seen in Exodus 2:15-21.
As an example, in Exodus 2:19 Moses was called in Egyptian:
(19) And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
However, we know he was really a Hebrew Israelite.
(11) And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.
An American man could have been born in Mexico, but became an American citizen after living there for more then 10 years. Does this mean he is no longer Mexican? Of course not. In fact, he’s now both Mexican and American.
Zipporah was originally from Midian, but for some reason she was now recognized as in Ethiopian. That reason is explained by the Geneva Study Bible:
(a) Zipporah, Moses’ wife, was a Midianite, and because Midian bordered on Ethiopia, it is sometimes referred to in the scriptures by this name. (for reference, click HERE).
Hence both are true in this case. She was indeed a Midian, and she was indeed at the same time Ethiopian.
(34) CAN WE SANCTIFY OURSELVES?
BIBLE NO “From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth” (Thess. 2: 13 NIV).
BIBLE NO “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate” (Heb. 13:12 KJV)
BIBLE NO ” Sanctify them through thy truth thy word is truth . . .And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth”. (John. l 7 : 17, 19 KJV)
EGW YES ” . . sanctification consists in the cheerful performance of daily duties in obedience to the will of God (COL 36O)
Note Ellen White does not say that sanctification is the cheerful performance of daily duties, but that it consists of the cheerful performance of daily duties. Yes, God is the one who sanctifies his people, but they must participate with divine power in order to grow in Christ. God will not force his people to use their talents for his service, or to continue in “well doing” or “good works” (Romans 2:7, 2 Timothy 3:17). They must be willing to allow God to put in them… “both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” –Philippians 2:13.
Although at the very moment of accepting Christ we are given his life for ours and we are sanctified at that moment, if we continue living (unlike the thief on the cross) we have a process of sanctification to go through, where we through the Spirit put to death the lusts of the flesh (Romans 8:13). Notice:
(5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
1 Peter 1:2
(2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
2 Timothy 2:21
(21) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
(7) Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
There is a part we play in the process of sanctification, yet everything we do is what the Lord put in us to do. Our sanctification “consists” of well doing. And if we are truly being sanctified by his words, we will love him more every day, and he tells us through John that those who truly love him will “keep his commandments” -1 John 5:3.
For a study on what “commandments” John is in his epistles speaking about, see our study:
(35) SHOULD WIVES SUBMIT TO THEIR HUSBANDS?
BIBLE YES “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Eph. 5: 22 KJ V)
BIBLE YES ” The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent, and for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer come again together again, that Satan tempt you not for your inconsistency”. (1 Cor. 7: 4, 5 KJV)
EGW NO “If your wife feels she must submit to your animal passions without a word of remonstrance, she does not understand her duty to you or to her God. No man can truly love his wife when she will patiently submit to become his slave and minister to his depraved passions. Because you are married you think you commit no sin. These men are worse than brutes; they are demons in human form. Put to death the temptation to sin”(2T 473; AH 121-128).
This quote is taken completely out of its original context. Notice what we found as we examined each sentence:
If your wife feels she must submit to your animal passions without a word of remonstrance, she does not understand her duty to you or to her God….
Actually, the quote really reads:
If she feels that she must submit to his animal passions without a word of remonstrance, she does not understand her duty to him or to her God… (found in Adventist Home p. 128).
Was it necessary to change any words in the quote?
No man can truly love his wife when she will patiently submit to become his slave and minister to his depraved passions…
This part does not follow the previous sentence in the original. It’s actually before page 128. Its on page 126 of the same book Adventist Home.
Because you are married you think you commit no sin…
This next part does not follow the previous sentence either. It’s in a different book. In that book, which is Testimonies to the Church Volume Two page 473, the quote actually reads:
Because they are married they think they commit no sin.
Why did Elder Olson change the words they into you?
These men are worse than brutes; they are demons in human form…
This sentence is found in Testimonies to the Church Volume Two and in Adventist Home, but was grossly taken out of context. Notice the four sentences that are originally in between which he did not add (we bolded the only sections he shared):
“No man can truly love his wife when she will patiently submit to become his slave and minister to his depraved passions. In her passive submission, she loses the value she once possessed in his eyes. He sees her dragged down from everything elevating, to a low level; and soon he suspects that she will as tamely submit to be degraded by another as by himself. He doubts her constancy and purity, tires of her, and seeks new objects to arouse and intensify his hellish passions. The law of God is not regarded. These men are worse than brutes; they are demons in human form.”
It’s obvious by the context what she meant. Shouldn’t have Mr. Olson, as an Elder of a church, agreed that it’s wrong for a wife to submit to her husband if it means she must be a sexual slave who ministers to his depraved passions? This is certiantly not how Christ treats the church, his bride:
(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (see also Colossians 3:19).
The last sentence which Elder Olson quotes is found under a different subtitle in Adventist Home called “Our Bodies a Purchased Possession,” page 128.
Put to death the temptation to sin.
We’ll quote it in original setting, with the part he shares out of context in bold:
“Our Bodies a Purchased Possession. — The lower passions have their seat in the body and work through it. The words “flesh” or “fleshly” or “carnal lusts” embrace the lower, corrupt nature; the flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God. We are commanded to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? No; but put to death the temptation to sin. The corrupt thought is to be expelled. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul. The love of God must reign supreme; Christ must occupy an undivided throne. Our bodies are to be regarded as His purchased possession. The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness.”
An Elder, holding the responsible position of feeding the church of God, must be honest in all things. But taking other people out of context and changing their words in order to make a point is not honest at all. Shame on him.
With the contexts understood the obvious is evident. Ellen White is not disagreeing with Paul, but rather agreeing with him. Wives must submit to their husbands, but their husbands must treat them as Christ treats his church, with love, comfort and compassion, not as a brute and sexually driven slave masters. Ellen White, alluding to Ephesians 5:22, gave good counsel:
“The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God. It is the duty of the wife to yield her wishes and will to her husband. Both should be yielding, but the word of God gives preference to the judgment of the husband. And it will not detract from the dignity of the wife to yield to him whom she has chosen to be her counselor, adviser, and protector.” –Testimonies for the Church Volume One, page 308.
(36) IS IT A SIN FOR CHRISTIANS TO MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN?
BIBLE NO “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge”. (Heb. 13: 4 KJ V) .
BIBLE NO “Let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband”. (1 Cor. 7: 2 KJV).
BIBLE NO “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry. . . , (1Tim 4 : 1 – 3 KJ V) .
EGW YES “It was not in accord with our faith or God’s will that our missionaries should fill their hands with cares and burdens that were not essential to the work…I was shown that Brother and Sister V_______ had departed from God’s counsel in bringing into the world children. God required all there was of them in his work or the Master, but the enemy came in, and his counsel was followed… God will say to them, “Who required this at your hands?” When I learned that were to soon have an increase in your family, I knew that you were not doing the will of God, but following your own incantations to please yourselves. I have special light in regard to these things, but hardly know how to present it before our people.
“The missionaries had better set the people an example in these things that correspond with our faith. . … I am called to write testimonies to different ones in regard to their inconsistency of their going out into distant fields and at the same time bringing children into world and that will increase their cares in a large degree. I am distressed as I see the state of things among our workers. Brother and Sister E professedly, they gave themselves to the missionary work, but all the time have labored as faithfully as if the salvation of their souls depended upon how large a number of children they could bring into the world. …How much better would have been their influence if they had not married …. These had cases will illustrate all…”
“The time is and has been for years, that bringing children into the world is more an occasion of grief than joy. The very atmosphere is polluted. Satan controls these children, and the Lord has but little to do with them …If our workers were walking close to God, they would see the situation, and would feel that it was no matter of rejoicing to bring a child into the world.
“I am thoroughly disgusted with the course of our preachers and ministers. They seem to think one the most important branches of the work is first to get as many children into the world as possible; then if they can give the remnant of their thought and ability to the work, they are doing all God required of them. We shall need a voice like John the Baptist to show my people their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins”
(EGW Testimony bearing code mark DF97c; published in “God’s Love – The Remnant Church” S.A. Nagel , pp. 68, 69, (500 copies were printed by S.A. Nagel, Sr. and subsequently recalled and destroyed by the General Conference. One copy remains .)
There is doubt as to whether Ellen White really penned these words. Not only can this not be found in any of the published writings of Ellen G. White, but the way she wrote here is quite different from that of other of her writings. For example, towards the end the writer said:
“We shall need a voice like John the Baptist to show my people their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins”
However the words “show my people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins” are taken from Isaiah 58:1 and were spoken by God through the prophet Isaiah. Ellen White knew quite well who spoke those words:
“The promise of God to us is on condition of obedience, compliance with all His requirements. ‘Cry aloud,’ saith the prophet Isaiah, ‘spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.’” –Testimonies for the Church Volume Two, p. 148.
“Says the prophet [Isaiah]: ‘If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Verse 20. Again, the command is given: ‘Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.’” –Great Controversy, p. 452.
True, God will raise up people to speak similar words to those who profess to be Christians yet live a sinful life, but the quote in questions specifically said “a voice like John the Baptist…” One who knew her bible quite well wouldn’t have made this mistake.
Since our opponent provided no proof that Ellen White herself spoke or wrote these words, we can’t accept them as coming from her lips. This argument is voided out.
(37) IS VEGETARIANISM BIBLICAL?
BIBLE NO “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth”
(l Tim.4: 1-3 KJV).
EGW YES “Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods…will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetite be cleansed. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand be fore Him a perfected people,”
Here begins the questions with respect to Ellen White’s comments on vegetarianism. We will here briefly explain the bible concept of “present truth” and will remind our readers to return to this concept as explained here in some of the questions which follow.
The concept of present truth was first recognized by Adventists beginning with a single verse in the second epistle by Peter:
2 Peter 1:12
(12) Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Present truth is truth emphasized and specifically fitted for our time. This truth does not cease to be present truth as time goes by. More present truth is added. It will never cease to be truth. The present truth Peter here speaks of is seen in the previous verses:
2 Peter 1:8-11
(8) For if these things [faith, virtue, knowledge, et cetera –verses 5-7] be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
(10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
(11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The truth of having the characteristics of Christ as described in verses 5-7 inside of us, doing them that they may keep us from falling (verse 10) that we may through this enter into the gates of heaven was for that time “present truth.”
This will continue to be truth throughout the ages. When a truth however is lost sight of by the church, the Lord sends it again as a beam of light through his massagers that all may see. Martin Luther, for example, taught in his time the truth of justification by faith. This was always taught before, but it was lost sight of. When he brought it forth it became truth suitable for his time, or present truth. The people of his time were living under a works related Christianity, which does not exist in the bible. They had to obtain favor with God in order to be saved, by praying to relics, attending mass and buying indulgences. Although justification by faith is suitable for all time in all ages, it was the more suitable for a time such as this.
It’s the same with the truth with regards to baptism brought forth by another servant of God, and the truth about the Lord’s Supper, and the truth about Sola Scriptura, et cetera. All these were “present truth” for their time and they performed their special work upon the hearts of those in desperate spiritual need. If a truth as it is in the word of God is not understood, yet is revealed at that time, it becomes present truth, even though it was always truth to begin with.
We Adventists believe the Sabbath [see link], annihilation [see link] and the Investigative Judgment [see link] are present truth for our time. This includes the Healthy Diet. When in one incident, for example, we read that Elijah was given flesh meat to eat before his translation, we have in mind that the Health Message, or a Vegetarian Diet is “present truth” for our time, and must not have necessarily been revealed as present truth to God’s people in the time of this prophet. First of all, animal products back then were not as unhealthy as they are in our time. Today, animals are diseased, mal-nourished, and stimulated with chemical growth hormones which are injurious to the animal and to the consumer. Although it’s always been true that God did not from the beginning want his people living on a flesh diet, as seen in the diet given to our first parents in the Garden of Eden, he allowed it after sin as a provision, with the intent to later reveal how he wants us to return back to the original plan. (See our study The Call to Return to Eden). In the bible, “light” represents “truth.” The wise teacher tells us:
(18) But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
God reveals light, or truth, to his people “more and more” unto the “perfect day.” He does not bombard us with every light of the word at one shot, because some of us would not be able to handle it. “I have yet many things to say unto you,” Jesus said, “but ye cannot bear them now.” –John 16:12. In his wisdom he gives us first that which is essential for salvation, the knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ. He did this first in the Garden (Genesis 3:15). Yet as the people of God continue in their walk with him, in their “path,” he reveals more and more truths their way. The light on Health Reform is one of these truths, especially fitted for these last days when animal products are most diseased and detrimental to both body and mind. God knows how to lead his people, step by step, into the direction which he wants them to go. He knew also how to introduce the subject of Health Reform to his waiting people, slowly but surely, as they could bear it.
We can prove in many ways through the scriptures how God’s people in our time should indeed have a diet free of unhealthy foods such as meat and milk. Some of this will be done in the following questions. But for a deeper revelation of this fact we recommend a study of the Hebrew Sanctuary. We will have our own study of this soon, but some of it is shown in our The Call to Return to Eden link shared above.
With this in mind, we proceed with Elder Olson’s 37th objection. Here are the verses:
1 Timothy 4:1-5
(1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
(2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
(3) Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
(4) For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
(5) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Lest our opponents think these verses are speaking of Seventh Day Adventists, we note first that verse 3 says forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats. Our church does not forbid marrying. In fact, our church does not forbid any of these two, because the word translated “meat” here is the greek word “broma” which simply means “foods.” In other words, the group against which Paul is warning of forbids both marrying and the eating of foods, not specifically meat. The view here is on foods other then meats, as seen the rest of verse 3… “which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving.” God did not create animals to be eaten with thanksgiving. He created fruits and grains (Genesis 1:29), and later vegetables to be eaten with thanksgiving. Animals were given, not to be eaten, but to accompany man in inhabiting the earth. We must allow the bible to explain itself.
The next verse further proves this point:
(4) For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.
The greek word translated “creature” here is the word kitsma and according to Thayer’s and Strong’s Greek Definitions, simply means “a created thing, formation.” The verse specifically says that every “created thing” is “good, and nothing to be refused…” If Paul was here speaking about animals, then he would contradict the word of God, for not every animal is “good” for food. For example, God forbade the eating of swine (pork) in Leviticus 11:7. This fact will remain true even unto the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ:
(15) For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
(16) For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
(17) They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
We believe these verses are describing the second coming of Christ because they mention things which are also described as part of his coming in other scriptures. For example, we here read of fire, chariots and a sword. These things are also mentioned in the description of the Second coming in Revelation 19:
-fire: verses 12 and 20 (see also 2 Peter 3:10-12)
-flames of fire: verse 12 (see also 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8)
-chariots (or armies): verse 14 (see also Matthew 13:41)
-his sword: verses 15 and 21
-anger, fury upon wicked: verses 15, 20-21 (see also 1 Thessalonians 1:8)
At the second coming, God will specifically destroy those who are found eating swine’s flesh. Notice that it is still a sin to eat pork far into the future, even at the time of the coming of Christ. Therefore there are animals which are not really “good” for food, and if animals is what Paul meant then he would contradict both Moses and Isaiah the prophet.
Furthermore, human beings are also called creatures:
(18) Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
(15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Paul said “every creature” is good and nothing to be refused. He must therefore be talking about non-animal products, otherwise, in allowing the bible to interpret itself it can be said he was also promoting cannibalism.
These verses are in fact warning against those who would forbid the eating of the right articles of foods, fruits, grains and vegetables. Note that both, marriage and healthful foods have their origins in creation, where foods were created to be eaten “with thanksgiving.” At the time of creation, before sin, animals were not given as food for the diet. These verses actually warn against those who teach against the vegetarian diet.
Notice verse 5. It says that it is sanctified both by the word of God and prayer, not by prayer alone. We can’t just pray over some article of food and hope it is sanctified. It must also be sanctified by the “word of God.” The word of God shows that Pork is not to be an article of food for our diet; therefore Pork is not “sanctified by the word of God.” Rather it’s condemned as food by the Word of God. No matter how much you pray over it, both must agree, the Word, and Prayer.
We will see in the rest of the questions that the bible encourages a vegetarian diet and does not teach that we can eat whatever we’d like.
(38) IS THE “LIGHT” ON HEALTH REFORM FOR OUR SALVATION?
BIBLE NO “Neither is there salvation in any other; for none other name under heaven given among men , whereby we must be saved .”
(Act s 4: 12 KJV) .
BIBLE NO ” For mine eyes have seen thy salvation Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel “. (Luke 2 : 30 – 33 KJ V .)
EGW; YES “The light God has given on health reform is our salvation, and the salvation of the world”. (CDF 461) .
EGW YES ” A denial of appetite is salvation to you” (IT 546) .
These bible verses are teaching that Jesus is the only means of salvation. The quotes presented are not contradicting this, because their speaking of something else. Note the context of the first quote:
“Those who teach the principles of health reform should be intelligent in regard to disease and its causes, understanding that every action of the human agent should be in perfect harmony with the laws of life. The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Men and women should be informed in regard to the human habitation, fitted up by our Creator as His dwelling place and over which He desires us to be faithful stewards. “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Cor. 6:16.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 461.1.
The “salvation” she is here speaking of is that of being saved from “diseases and its causes.” Teachers of Health should be well informed of diseases that the world may be saved from them through their teachings. But there’s more as you continue reading:
“The people are in sad need of the light shining from the pages of our health books and journals. God desires to use these books and journals as mediums through which flashes of light shall arrest the attention of the people, and cause them to heed the warning of the message of the third angel. Our health journals are instrumentalities in the field to do a special work in disseminating the light that the inhabitants of the world must have in this day of God’s preparation. They wield an untold influence in the interests of health and temperance and social-purity reform, and will accomplish great good in presenting these subjects in a proper manner and in their true light to the people.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 461.3.
As clearly seen in the context, she means not only that Health reform can save people from diseases, but also that through the Health message, as taught in “our Health books and journals,” people may be lead to the light of the Third angel’s message of Revelation 14:9. The Third angel’s message is the last message of salvation to the world. If people don’t heed this message, which is connected with the First angels message who proclaims the “everlasting gospel to the world (Revelation 14:6), people will die unsaved.
Jesus himself used health to reach out to the people of his time. He healed their diseases, their disabilities and their mental anguish. He caused the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dead to rise. These acts saved them from the diseases of this world, but unless they went forward with their healing and clung unto Christ, as he said we must “abide in him” (John 15:4), they too would be lost. Christians are to follow in his example (1 John 2:6, 1 Peter 2:21). What better way to teach the world that “there is none other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved,” then through using the same method Jesus used, Health!
The context of the next quote is as follows:
“Of all men you are one to be benefited by health reform; the truth received on every point in this matter of reform will be of the greatest advantage. You are a man whom a spare diet will benefit. You were in danger of being stricken down in a moment by paralysis, one half of you becoming dead. A denial of appetite is salvation to you, yet you view it as a great privation.” –Testimonies for the Church Volume One, page 546.
The reason why Ellen White felt “a denial of appetite” would be salvation unto him is because this gentleman was a very sick individual. So much so, that half of his body was at one point paralyzed by his diseased condition. When she here tells him it would be salvation for him, she is not speaking in spiritual matters (although as seen above, Health could help lead him to the truths of the Word). She is in context telling him that a Healthful diet and lifestyle could save him from his disease and heal him.
(39) IS HEALTH REFORM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.?
BIBLE NO ” Then Jesus spake unto them saying , I am the light of the world he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life .”
(John 8: 12 KJ V) .
BIBLE NO ” I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness”. (John 12: 46 KJV).
BIBLE NO “…But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1: 5-7 KJV).
EGW YES ” God has permitted the light on health reform to shine upon us in these last days, that by walking in the light we may escape the dangers to which we shall be exposed…” (CDF 22)
EGW YES “Seventh Day Adventists are handling momentous truths. More than forty years ago the Lord gave us special light on health reform, but how are we walking in that light. How many have refused to live in harmony with the counsels of God…” (CDF 404).
The first quote was changed a bit (differences bolded):
“God has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us in these last days, that by walking in the light we may escape many of the dangers to which we shall be exposed.”
In the second quote he forgot a question mark at the end of the second sentence, and an exclamation mark at the end of the third. But there’s something obvious missing from both these quotes. None of them say that the Health message is “the light of the world.” They do say it is light for the world, but not that it is “the” light “of” the world, as the bible teaches. This is an important point. In the bible, light simply means truth. God’s people are called “lights of the world” because they bear the truth (Matthew 5:14). The gospel “of” Christ is called a light (2 Corinthians 4:4). The “law” of God is light (Proverbs 6:23). The “Word” of God is a light (Psalm 119:105). But notice this next Psalm:
(130) The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
The word of God gives light, or truth unto the people, that they may have “understanding.” In other words, Jesus is “the” light of the world, but he imparts unto his people the rays of his light, truths, like the truth about Baptism by Immersion, the truth about the Sabbath, the truth about communion, et cetera.
There is no contradiction here, because she never said that the Health message is “the” light “of the world.” She did say that it is a light of truth taught clearly to our people through the study of the Word of God.
(40) CAN MEAT EATERS BE TRANSLATED?
BIBLE YES ” . . . I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. . .And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. . .And it came to pass , as they still went on, and talked, that, behold , there appeared a chariot of fire, and parted asunder, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (1 Kings 17: 2- 6; 2 Kings 2 :11 KJV).
EGW. NO ” . . .Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven…” (CDF64 ; See also CDF 355).
The quote does not specifically respond to the question “Can meat eaters be translated?”
Her quote does not answer yes or no, because in context she is speaking of the people of the last days:
“If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 63.
Ellen White believed she was living in the last days, as we do now. To her, the Health Message was “present truth,” and is most applicable for the people of the end times. The word “translation” is in a sense different from the word “resurrection.” She had the people who will be alive when Jesus comes in mind as she wrote this, for they will not be resurrected, but translated, like Elijah. If one hears the light on health, and sees it is bible truth for our time, but willingly rejects it, as with the Sabbath truth, the salvation through Christ alone truth, et cetera, then they are rejecting truth from the word of God. Of course, anyone who rejects truth is not fitted to go to heaven, for “he that knoweth to good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” –James 4:17.
We should keep in mind this bible concept of “present truth” as detailed in question 37. Please refer there for a further response to this question.
(41) CAN MINISTERS EAT MEAT?
BIBLE YES “Then came the day of the unleavened bread when the passover must be killed. And he (Jesus) sent Peter and John saying, Go prepare us the passover, that we may eat… And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover (lamb) with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22: 7,8 ,14, 15 . KJV)
EGW NO “Let not any of our ministers set an evil example in the eating of flesh meat. Let them and their families live up to the light of health reform” (CDF 339).
Note the second sentence… “Let them and their families live up to the light of health reform.” Again the attention is directed to “present truth,” the light of Health Reform for our time. The present truth in the time of Christ was “Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” -1 Corinthians 2:2. This does not mean that this is no longer truth, or of any less important. In fact, without Jesus Christ our worrying about our bodies is vain. Present truth does not cease to be present truth as time goes by. The Lord desires to add more light to the understanding of his people, more and more “unto the perfect days” –Proverbs 4:18.
In Jesus’ time, our Lord had one mission, to preach the gospel and fulfill it upon the cross. All else, though important, is secondary. Jesus met the people where they were at; he met them at their level. Not only that, he had to keep the entirety of the ceremonial law, which including eating the Passover meal. We have no indication that this was a part of his daily diet, but simply that he kept the law at every single point.
Once the bible concept of present truth is understood and kept in mind, concerns like these will cease to exist.
(42) DID GOD PROVIDE FLESH AS FOOD FOR MAN?
BIBLE YES “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel saying these are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. (Lev; 11” 1, 2 KJV).
BIBLE YES “…thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates…according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee… , (Deut. 12: 15 KJV) .
BIBLE YES “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that that in latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer”. (1 Tim. 4: 1 – 4 K J V) .
EGW NO ” God did not provide for the flesh of dead animals to compose the diet of men. It is a gross perverted taste that will accept such food. (CDF 410).
EGW NO “Shall human beings live on the flesh of dead animals? The answer from the light God has given us is, NO, decidedly No.” (CDF 388)
EGW NO “We do not need flesh food at all. God can give us something better”. (CDF 385)
The last two quotes do not provide a yes or no answer to the question posed. The first quotes seems to say no, until the context is read:
“You may think you cannot work without meat. I thought so once, but I know that in His original plan, God did not provide for the flesh of dead animals to compose the diet for man. It is a gross, perverted taste that will accept such food.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 410.
Therefore she is not in contradiction with the verses our critic provided, because those verses are post-creation. She is speaking about the time before sin, when Adam and Eve were given, not a flesh diet, but a diet of fruits and grains:
(29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
It was in the “original” plan, before sin as outlined in Genesis 1 and 2, that “God did not provide for the flesh of dead animals to compose the diet for man.”
Our critics must learn to read her statements in their proper contexts.
(43) ARE GOD’S ” PECULIAR” PEOPLE VEGETARIANS?
BIBLE NO “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nat.ions that are upon the earth. Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. These are the beasts which ye shall eat; the ox, the sheep and the goat. The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts ye shall eat”. (Deut. 14: 2-6 KJV).
EGW YES ” . . .Will the people who are seeking to become holy, pure, refined, that they may be introduced into the society of heavenly angels, continue to take the life of God’ s creatures and enjoy their flesh as a luxury? From what the Lord has shown me, this order of things will be changed, and God’s peculiar people will exercise temperance in all things.” (CDF 381)
Please refer to question 37 for an explanation of the biblical concept of “present truth.” Time and place must considered. In the same quote, she says that this message of health will soon take place among God people; that “this order of things will change…” The verses in Deuteronomy 14 took place in the past. She is speaking in future terms.
(44) ARE MINISTERS AND CANVASSERS ALLOWED TO EAT MEAT WITH OTHERS?
BIBLE YES “After these things the Lord appointed another seventy also , and sent them two by two before his face into every city and place whither he himself would come. Therefore he (Jesus) said unto them…in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give for the Laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you” (Luke l0: 1, 2, 7, 8 KJV).
Please refer to question 37 for an explanation of the biblical concept of “present truth.” There is no Ellen White quote to be compared here. A similar question is given in question 41. The response there is relevant for this objection.
(45) ARE WE FREE TO TASTE AND TOUCH CERTAIN FOODS?
BIBLE YES “Since you died, as it were, with Christ and this has set you free from following the world’s ideas of how to be saved by doing good and obeying various rules why do you keep right on following them anyway, still bound by such rules as not eating, tasting, or even touching certain foods? Such rules are mere human teachings , for food was made to be eaten and used up . These rules may seem good, for rules of this kind require strong devotion and are humiliating and hard on the body, but they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires. They only make him proud” (Col. 2: 20 -21 LB).
EGW NO “The Lord would bring his people into a position where they would not touch taste the flesh of dead animals” . (COF 411)
In the context of the quote in question, Ms. White is once again speaking in “present truth” terms:
“The Lord would bring His people into a position where they will not touch or taste the flesh of dead animals. Then let not these things be prescribed by any physicians who have a knowledge of the truth for this time. There is no safety in the eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment-keeping people.” –Counsels on Diet and Food, page 411.
In the context of Colossians 2, Paul is speaking about the “ceremonial” laws and those added by the teachers of the law in his time.
For a study on Colossians 2, see our article: Colossians 2:16: The Sabbath a shadow? Which Sabbath?
(46) ARE YOUR PRAYERS ACCEPTED IF YOU SERVE EGGS AND MEAT TO YOUR CHILDREN?
BIBLE YES “One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter”s brother, saith unto him, There is lad here which hath five small barley loaves, and two small fishes but what are they among so many? Then He (Jesus) took the five loaves and two fishes, and looking up in heaven he blessed them, and brake , and gave them to the deciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat and were filled. .”
(John 6: 9; Luke 9: 12 17 KJ V) .
BIBLE YES “If a son asked bread of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? Or if he ask an egg will he give him a scorpion? If ye being evil know to give good things unto your children, how much more shall our heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
(Luke 11: 11- 13 KJV) .
EGW NO “You place upon your tables butter, eggs and meat , and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go?” (CDF 366).
By now we have seen that the book “Counsels on Health and Foods” is written for a certain period of time in human history, out time. This is true through the entire book, even with this part on page 366. The bible truth of “present truth” when it comes to the Health Message makes every one of these questions irrelevant and non-existent. At every point in her book she has in mind the “timing” of this message. Readers should keep that in as they read her quotes.
If one learns something to be true as it is found in the word of God, and disregards it and does the opposite, to that person he is sinning (James 4:17). The Health Message is truth for our time, and is revealed in the word of God as such. Any truth that one willingly rejects will result in having their prayers unheard:
(18) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
(9) He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
To the person she is speaking to in her context, they know the truth about the Health Message. They have heard the message and have seen the biblical evidence. These words apply only to people of this sort, who willingly reject, without further investigation, the obvious truths of the word of God, including Health Reform.
(47) WERE DANIEL AND HIS THREE COMPANIONS VEGETARIANS AFTER THREE WEEKS WERE PASSED?
BIBLE NO “In those days I Daniel was in mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all till three whole weeks were fulfilled, (Dan. 10: 2 , 3 KJ V).
EGW YES “They decided that as flesh had not composed their diet in the past, it should not come into their diet in the future, and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they determined that they would not partake of it”. (Youth Instructor, August 18, 1898, as quoted in RH December 23, 1954).
It is generally believed by both Adventists and non-Adventists alike, that the reason why Daniel and his companions held a vegetarian diet was because they were in captivity in Babylon, and, not able to keep the Passover, they learned that the best way to keep their minds sharp to the evils of the nation they were in captivity in was to protect their bodies and minds as best they can by being in Health. This is hinted even in chapter 1 of the book of Daniel, where they refused a meat based diet and desired only a vegetarian one (Daniel 1:8, 12-16).The reason why he mentioned “flesh” in Daniel 10:3 is found in the next verse, verse 4:
(4) And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
The first month was Nissan, the month of the Passover Feast (see Exodus 12). The audience to whom Daniel was here writing to needed to know that he fasted within the month of the Passover but didn’t even eat the Passover lamb (flesh) which was required to be eaten by the Jews during this time. Of course, this was not because he didn’t want to, but because this privilege of celebrating the national festival was not granted to the Jews in Babylon during this time.
Note: It’s also believed that Daniel and his companions were in captivity since they were but youths. Not ever having a chance to celebrate the Passover with the nation of Israel, it’s likely that, although they knew about it, since they could not keep it, they chose in their wisdom a better diet and lifestyle then that of their piers. This could explain their exquisite appearance, knowledge, wisdom and ability to be skilful and to teach other languages (Daniel 1:4).
(48) DID THE ISRAELITES DIE OF GLUTTONY?
BIBLE NO “While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague . . . ” (Num. 11: 33) .
EGW YES “God granted their desire, giving them flesh, and leaving them to eat till their gluttony produced a plague, from which many of them died”. (CDF 148 .)
The plague that their gluttony produced came from the Lord himself. Its not that it produced a plague inside of them; but that their sin excited the wrath of God and the Lord was the one who struck them down.
That their sin was gluttony, or lust for flesh, is brought forth by the context:
(18) And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
(19) Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
(20) But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
This is exactly how it happened. They were such gluttons that the food was even coming out of their nostrils! To say this didn’t happen is to say the word of the Lord did not come to pass. They were such gluttons that they had the food still between their teeth at the time that the Lord struck them with the plague (verse 33)!
Then we have the following verses:
(34) And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.
Lusted after what? The flesh meat. The name kibrothhattaavah literally means “graves of craving.” They were struck down because of their lustful cravings for that which the Lord was hesitant in giving them, flesh meat.
King David offers some more insight. In recapping what took place at that moment in history, he tells us the following:
(29) So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;
(30) They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,
(31) The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.
The word “well” of verse 29 in the Hebrew text literally means vehemently. Other words for vehemently are intensely, violently or vigorously. These people were vigorously filled, and it was the fattest of these that were destroyed by the plague.
For a deeper study, see our article:
(49) CAN WE LUST AFTER FLESH MEAT?
BIBLE YES “When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. If the place which the Lord hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, and thou shall kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after ” (Deut. 12: 20 KJV) .
EGW. NO “those who indulge in meat eating, tea drinking and gluttony are seeds for a harvest of pain and death . . .A diet off flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality rendering the mind incapable of understanding the truth . The word of God plainly warns us that unless we abstain from fleshly lusts the physical nature will be brought into conflict with the spiritual nature. Lustful eating wars against health and peace.” (C D F 382).
This question is answered in question 50.
(50) DID GOD COMMAND EATING OF MEAT?
BIBLE YES “These are the statutes and judgments, which he shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it , all the days that ye live upon the earth. . .and thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices , and your tithes, and heave offerings, and of your hand, and your vows and your freewill offerings, and the first lings of your herds and of your flocks, and there ye shall eat before your God. . .”
BIBLE YES ” . . . thou shall kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shall eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after” (Deut. 12: 21 KJ V) .
BIBLE YES “And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God ….the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always” . (Deut. 14: 23 KJV).
EGW NO ” I present the word of the Lord God of Israel. Because of transgression, the curse of God has come upon the earth itself, and upon the cattle, and upon all flesh. Human beings are suffering the result of their own course of action in departing from the commandments of God. The Lord will bring His people into a position where they will not touch the flesh of dead animals. There is no safety in the eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment keeping people… the Lord will not be trifled with” (CDF 411).
Please refer to question 37 for an explanation on the biblical concept of “present truth.” Note carefully that Ellen White continues to speak within this context. She says… “The Lord will bring his people into a position… in a short time the milk of cows will also be excluded from the diet…”
In the original plan, animal flesh was not part of the diet God intended for his people. We don’t find God actually giving man animal as food until after the flood, when all vegetation was destroyed (Genesis 9:1-4). But this was a provision which came with a consequence:
(5) And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
For every life of an animal taken to be eaten, their own lives would be drained from them. This turned out to be true. Once flesh was introduced into the diet, the years of mankind began to decrease. Noah died at 950 years. His line of descendents began to decrease in years until Abraham died at “an hundred, threescore and fifteen years” –Genesis 25:7. Finally, Moses dies at 120, and no one has made it past this age ever since.
This practice of meat eating was still allowed by God, even up to the time when they had entered into the Promised Land., because God was to lead his people, step by step, into the direction for which he originally designed. As outlined in question 37, God works with his people slowly, revealing to them his desire for them as they could bear it. Since animal products, although somewhat debilitating, was not as diseased and injurious as it is today, God continued to allow this practice for the moment, allowing them even to lust after it (as long as it was clean animals, or course –Leviticus 11). But we are a people who move forward in our spiritual experience, not staying stagnant in one position, but rather seeking to get closer to God and his plan for us. The message of Health is for today a beneficial tool for our physical and spiritual health. At no other time in history was such a message was more needed then in our time.
There is an object lesson to be learned in the experience of the Israelites as well. Egypt represents the world, of which the Lord desires every believer to escape. The journey of the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land has powerful meaning for us today, representing God’s desire to remove us from this world through much tribulation as they went through (see Acts 14:22), and take us into the real promised land, heaven itself. Once they left Egypt, God desired to take from them everything they were accustomed to in Egypt. One of those was meat eating (Numbers 11). If the Promised Land symbolized heaven, then we can learn through this experience that it is in God’s intentions to lead his people back to his original plan where mankind not was not only free from sin, but also free from disease which is caused not only by sin, but also by animal flesh.
(51) CAN WE BUY MEAT SOLD IN THE MARKET?
BIBLE YES “You may eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience”(1 Cor.. 10: 2 5 , 2 6 N E B) .
EGW NO ” . . . Disease is contracted by the use of meat. The diseased flesh of these dead carcasses is sold in the marketplace and disease among men is the sure result. The Lord will bring His people to a position where they will not touch or taste the flesh of dead animals. (CDF 411).
Let’s back up towards the beginning of this chapter to get some context:
1 Corinthians 10:5-6
(5) But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
(6) Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
From verse 1 Paul is describing the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt and into the wilderness. He reminds his audience of the sins which prevented many of them from entering into the Promised Land (which we can say for us symbolizes the true Promised Land, heaven), including idolatry (verse 7, Exodus 32:18-19) fornication (verse 8, Numbers 25) and murmurings (verse 10, Numbers 14:36). One of those sins… was lusting “after evil things.” What was those evil things?
(17) And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.
(18) And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.
(19) Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
(29) So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;
(30) They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,
(31) The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.
Mingled with unbelief was their lustful (evil) desire for flesh meat, something which the Lord did not at this moment want to allow them to eat. In other words, in the immediate context Paul reminds the Corinthians not to be as the Israelites were who lusted after something which God did not desire to them. Would Paul have later in this chapter change his mind and tell them to eat whatever they wanted? I don’t think so.
The key is in the word “meat market” or “shambles” as the King James Version puts it in verse 25. According to Thayer’s Greek Definitions, meat is not the only thing sold at a meat market:
1) a place where meat and other articles of food are sold, meat market
Part of Speech: noun neuter
Paul informs them that “all things are lawful (allowed) for me, but all things are not expedient (contributing or beneficial)…” –verse 23. You can eat meat all you want, but that does not mean it will benefit you. Ellen White is right when she says that diseased flesh is sold in the market place. This was discovered by many animal investigators, including the organization called Peta (peta.org). The flesh of animals today are more diseased then that of those in the time of the apostles. The present truth is that meat truly is unfit for the diet in our time. This was something the Lord tried to warn his people as soon to take place even before, but their lust got in their way.
For more on diseased animals slaughter for meat, see the video “Meet Your Meat” located at the end of our study “The Health Message.”
(52) DOES FOOD DEFILE US?
BIBLE NO ” And he (Jesus) called the multitude and said unto them, Hear ye and understand not that which goes into the mouth defileith a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man, (Matt . 15 :10-11 KJV) .
BIBLE NO “And Jesus said are ye also yet without understanding? Do ye not understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart; and defileth the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies These are the things which defile a man… “(Matt . 15 : 17 – 29 KJ V ) .
BIBLE NO “And When he (Jesus) had called all the people unto him he said unto them, harken unto me every one of you, and understand There is nothing from without a man, that entereth into him can defile him but the things which come out him, those are they that defile the man” (Mark. 7: 14,15 KJV)
EGW YES “Man is very dear to God, because he was formed in his own image. This fact should impress us with the importance of teaching by precept and example the sin of defiling, by the indulgence of appetite, the body which is designed to represent God to the world” (HL 10).
First, let’s look at the quote in its context (bolded will be the parts Elder Olson left out):
“Man is very dear to God, because he was formed in his own image. This fact should impress us with the importance of teaching by precept and example the sin of defiling, by the indulgence of appetite or by any other sinful practise, the body which is designed to represent God to the world.” –Healthful Living, page 10 (originally taken from the book Counsels on Diet and Foods page 45, and in Review and Herald, 1895).
We still don’t understand why Elder Olson deems it necessary to leave out portions of these quotes. She is clearly speaking both of the indulgence of appetite and of other sinful practices.
Note the word “indulgence.” The reason why she used this word is because she is in context speaking about over-eating, or gluttony. Notice the next two paragraphs:
“God requires of His people continual advancement. We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. With all our profession of health reform, many of us eat improperly.
We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this, the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. A clogged stomach means a clogged brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many do more than they think, to unfit themselves for receiving the benefit of its sacred opportunities.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods page 46.1.
Gluttony, or course, is a sin:
(2) And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
(21) For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
So she was right, gluttony, and any other sinful practice will defile our bodies.
The bible verses Elder Olson provided were also taken out of context. Note the bolded portions:
(17) Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
(18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
(19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
(20) These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Already we see Jesus is not speaking about eating food, but of eating food with “unwashed hands” –verse 20.
When Jesus speaks of the “defiling” of man, he is speaking about matters of “the heart” –verse 19. His focus is not on material things, but on spiritual things. Why would we believe he is speaking of literal things entering the mouth, like foods, but spiritual things leaving the body, like “evil thoughts?” If he is speaking of material things, then what leaves the body should also be material things, like feces. Excuse our reasoning, but the logic must be consistent.
Instead, Jesus is speaking of spiritual things. When he says that that which leaves the man defiles him, he means “evils thoughts,” and he gives examples: “murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
If, for example, our critics tells us that eating Pork is okay, then that is an “evil thought” coming from their hearts, because the bible prohibits the eating of Pork (Leviticus 11:9, Isaiah 66:17). Clearly Jesus is not telling us here that whatever we eat won’t defile us, because that would put him at odds with the scriptures.
The context, therefore, is on spiritual matters. Jesus is focusing on the heart, and the evils which proceed out of it, which informs us of how desperately we need our Lord’s cleansing grace.
(51) IF AN ANGEL PRESENTS ANOTHER GOSPEL CAN WE ACCEPT IT?
BIBLE NO “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel . . . But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again , If any man preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6- 9 KJV).
EGW YES ” The gospel of health is to be firmly linked with the ministry of the word. It is the Lord”s design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be of the last great effort to proclaim the gospel message. (CDF 750.
EGW YES “The gospel of health has able advocates, but their work has been made very hard because so many ministers, presidents of conferences, and others in positions of influence, have failed to give the question of health reform its proper attention”. (6T 327).
The first quote actually has a sentence which Elder Olson did not include. We’ll quote is now with the missing sentence:
“Health reform is to stand out more prominently in the proclamation of the third angel’s message. The principles of health reform are found in the word of God. The gospel of health is to be firmly linked with the ministry of the word. It is the Lord’s design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be a part of the last great effort to proclaim the gospel message.” –Counsels on Diet and Food, page 75.
If the Health Message is found in the word of God, it must somehow be part of the gospel of Christ. One need not look any farther to see this then in the ministry of Jesus Christ himself, the author of his gospel. Jesus is the great physician, and while on earth used health to reach out to the people. He healed the sick, both physically and mentally, he cast out devils, and at times even used natural things of the earth like soil and water while healing (John 9:6-7).
But most apparent is the words “the third angel’s message” which we find in both quotes:
“The gospel of health has able advocates, but their work has been made very hard because so many ministers, presidents of conferences, and others in positions of influence, have failed to give the question of health reform its proper attention… When the third angel’s message is received in its fullness, health reform will be given its place in the councils of the conference, in the work of the church, in the home, at the table, and in all the household arrangements.” –Counsels on Diet and Food, page 73
This is important, because Ellen White is with this referring to the third angel’s message of Revelation 14, which she believed to be linked up with the first and second angel’s message, comprising one important message of three angels which are to go to all the world. Notice what we find within these messages:
(6) And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
(7) Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
(8) And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
(9) And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
(10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
Ellen White is connecting the Health Message with the messages of the three angels which must go to all “them that dwell on the earth.” The reason why she calls is “gospel of Health” is because it is part of the “everlasting gospel” as found in Revelation 14.
Health is taught in each of the three angels messages and is outlined in detail at our article called The Health Message in the Three Angel’s Message. In brief, the first angel’s message calls the world to worship “him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea,” an allusion to the Sabbath commandments, which reads:
(8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy…
(11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The Sabbath also entails physical rest, an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
The Second angel warns against Babylon. Babylon is guilty of deceiving the world through her “sorcery” –Revelation 18:23. The word “sorceries” is translated from the greek word “pharmakeia” which literally means “drugs, medication, poisoning.” (Thayer/Strong’s G5331). Through the second angel we receive a warning to stay away from harmful drugs, another important part of the Health Message.
Finally, the third angel warns against not receiving the mark of the beast. Only those who have the mark of the beast will be able to “buy and sell” (Revelation 13:17). And how will you survive at this point in prophetic future without knowing how to survive on simple foods that can easily be made or grown if in hiding from the beast power? How easy will it really be to resist the mark of the beast and not be able to buy or sell for food if you can’t even control your own appetite? Those depending on government funded medications, food and so on, will find it harder to say no to the only means which could give them the food they have always been used to eating, the mark of the beast.
As we can see, Health is an important part of the “everlasting gospel,” which is the reason why she called it a gospel (literally, good news).
(52) DOES MEAT MAKE ONE LESS SPIRITUAL?
BIBLE NO “And this shall be the priests due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw. The first fruit also of thy corn of thy wine, and of thine oil and the first fleece of thy sheep shalt thou give unto him. For the Lord thy God hath him chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, and his sons forever.” (Deut. l8: l- 5 KJ V)
EGW YES “A meat diet changes the disposition and strengthens animalism. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual power is diminished proportionately. A religious life can be more successfully maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activity lustful propensities and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature”. (CDF 389) .
EGW YES ” By the use of flesh meats the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature is weakened. . (C D F 383) .
EGW YES “The more largely flesh composes the diet of teachers and pupils, the less susceptible will be the mind to comprehend spiritual things”. (CDF 395).
Please refer to question 37 for an explanation of the biblical concept of “present truth.” Because this biblical concept is not understood by our critic he will continue to find things like this.
The reason why Ellen White believed animal products will hinder our spiritual growth is very simple. Since in our time animal products are more diseased then in the time of the sanctuary priests, eating them will produce more diseases. Disease will hinder our spiritual walk because it will in turn stop us from praying or studying the bible as much as we should. When you’re sick, you sometimes don’t even feel like picking up the bible. And if you do, your sickness might cause you to have to put the book back down after probably only a few minutes. On the other hand, if we are healthy and free from sickness or diseases, we have both the time and energy needed to study the Word more and thus learn more vital truths which we most desperately need for our time. Hence it is for this reason why the eating of diseased flesh meat will help decrease our spiritual walk, because it produces diseases which will discourage us to do spiritual things.
It has been scientifically proven that the body and brain are extremely linked; to the point where however we treat our bodies will have an effect on the brain and its ability to function well. For example, without proper nutrition and exercise the blood does not circulate properly, and the heart, due to poor exercise, is not pumping sufficient blood to send the right amount of nutrients and oxygen to every part of the body, including the brain. If the brain is thus affected, so will the frontal lobe be affected, which is part of the brain. Here is where scientists know humans make moral decisions. This is, in other words, the judgment seat of the brain. Our diet and lifestyle has the ability to either make or break our ways of thinking. This is why the Health Message is so important for the people of God in our time. And this is the reason why it was believed by Ellen White, and is also believed by many other people today including even people in the medical field, that a poor diet can hinder our decision making both in spiritual and other matters.
(53) CAN MEAT EATERS ENJOY THE COMPANY OF HEAVENLY ANGELS
BIBLE YES ” So he (Jesus) asked them, “Have ye anything to eat?” They offered him a piece of fish they had cooked, which he took and ate before their eyes….Then he led them out as far as Bethany and blessed them with uplifted hands; and in the act of blessing he parted from them, (Luke 24 : . 42 , 50 – 52 NEB) .
EGW NO “How can those who are seeking to become pure and holy that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels…take the life of God’s creatures that they may consume flesh? (CDF 380)
We’ll here quote the entire quote including that which Elder Olson replaced with those three dots:
“Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God’s creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning, and themselves practice, and teach their children to practice, mercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 380.
There are two points to consider with this quote:
point 1: She is once again speaking in terms of “present truth.” Note the immediate context:
“Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods?”
point 2: Notice this sentence Elder Olson did not include in the quote:
“…continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body?”
The reason why she mentioned the companionship of angels was because those people who willingly transgress against their bodies with unhealthful foods are going against a very important principle in the bible:
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Now “to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” –James 4:17. If one knows that they are to eat healthy, especially in the times that we are living in, and cease to eat meat which they know is damaging their bodies, and yet does not do it, they are sinning against the temple of God. And if that serious that God himself will destroy them, how much more will angels, who are less then God, discontinue their fellowship with the willful transgressor of God’s law?
The story of soul is a similar case:
1 Samuel 16:14-16, 23
(14) But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
(15) And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.
(16) Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
(23) And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
Every person is assigned an angel in this world (Matthew 1810, Hebrews 1:10). Saul no doubt had one himself. But when the Spirit of the Lord left him, his angel must have left him as well, else the Evil spirit could not have tormented him. But what caused him to be deserted by the Lord? His willfully going against that which the Lord had required of him.
If one knows that in our time eating meat will hurt their body, their “temple of God,” and yet they eat meat anyway, they are sinning, for once more “he that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” –James 4:17.
(54) DO WE TRANSGRESS GOD’S LAW WHEN WE EAT FRIED FOODS?
BIBLE NO “Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering it is most holy. Every male among the priest shall eat thereof … all the meat offering that is baken in the oven, and all that is dressed in the frying pan, and in the pan shall be the priest’s that offered it “. (Lev. 7 :1, 6-9 KJV)
EGW YES “Your appetites are morbid, and because you do not relish a plain simple diet, composed of unbolted flour, vegetables and fruits prepared without spices or grease, you are continually transgressing the laws which God has established in your system (CDF 124)
EGW YES “You should keep grease out of your food. It defiles any preparation of food you may make. (CDF 354)
EGW YES “Grains and fruits free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who are preparing for translation to heaven… ,” (CDF 64) .
EGW YES ” Many healthful dishes can be prepared which are free from grease and from the flesh of dead animals.”. (CDF 407)
EGW YES “Nothing should be taken to campmeeting except the most healthful articles, cooked in a simple manner, free of all spices and grease”. (CDF 85).
Actually, the Hebrew word translated “frying pan” in verse 9 is the word “marchesheth.” This word literally means “a stew pan.”
Regardless, the laws Ellen White is speaking of are nature’s laws which God has established “in your system.” She is not saying this violates God’s law of Ten Commandments. The verse in Leviticus 7:9 is speaking of “ceremonial” laws, having to do with the priest’s sanctuary services and which met their fulfillment in Jesus Christ at the cross. This is all past. Ellen White is speaking for our present time today, because to her the Health Message is present truth.
Please refer to question 37 for an explanation of the biblical concept of “present truth.”
(55) IS CHEESE GOOD FOOD?
BIBLE YES “Then Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Mix up some pancakes! Use your best flour, and make enough for the three of them, (Angels) Then he ran out to the herd and selected a fat calf and told a servant to hurry and butcher it. Soon, taking them (angels) cheese and milk and the roast veal, he set it before the men and stood beneath the trees beside them as they ate” (Gen.18: 6-8 LB).
EGW NO “Cheese is still more objectionable it is wholly unfit for food . . .Cheese should never be introduced into the stomach” (CDF 368) .
EGW NO “The effect of cheese is deleterious. (CDF 236).
When studying the word of God, we must always look at every angle in order to determine the truth, and consider every possibility. The possibility exists, that Abraham was not given the Health Message as we have it today, and therefore believed it was good food. Also, animal products were not as injurious to the body back then as it is today. Which is why the light on Health is desperately needed for our time. Once again, the bible concept of present truth must be considered when reading verses such as these.
Please refer back to question 37 for an explanation of the biblical concept of “present truth.”
(56) ARE HOT AND COLD DRINKS DEBILITATING?
BIBLE NO “So then because thou are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot I will spue thee out of my mouth , (Rev. 3: l6 KJV)
BIBLE NO ” As cold waters to a thirsty soul , so is good news from far country” (Prov . 25: 25 KJV) .
BIBLE NO ” And whomsoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward”. (Matt 10: 42 KJ V) .
BIBLE NO ” Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? Or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be foresaken?(Jer. l8: l4 KJV).
EGW YES “Food should not be eaten very hot or very cold. If food is cold, the vital force of the stomach is drawn upon in order to warm it before digestion can take place. Cold drinks are injurious for the same reason while the free use of hot drinks is debilitating. (CDF lO6).
The entire quote itself should be understood with its immediate context… “Food should not be eaten very hot or very cold.” The verses our critic provides are not speaking of foods “very” hot nor “very” cold.
She isn’t forbidding the eating or drinking of things reasonably hot or cold. In fact, in the same page, only a few paragraphs before, she said:
“I would advise all to take something warm into the stomach, every morning at least. You can do this without much labor.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 106.
Hence she is not contradicting the bible.
(57) DOES EATING BUTTER WEAKEN SPIRITUALLY?
BIBLE NO ” Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good”. (Isa. 7 : 14, 15 KJV).
EGW. YES “Butter and meat stimulate. They have injured the stomach and perverteded the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of morals and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. (CDF 48).
Isaiah 7:15 is using the words “butter” and “honey” in a figurative way. Obviously, butter and honey can’t possibly make you “know to refuse the evil and choose the good.” Therefore these two things must represent two important aspects of the life of this child.
Butter is used to represent the words which come out of the Lords mouth:
(21) The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
This is true of Jesus. His words were indeed “smoother then butter.” His words were gentle to the hurting, yet firm to the unbelieving, and no one could ever rebuttal his responses (Luke 14:6, 20:26).
Honey represents how important and delightful his words will be:
(103) How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(13) My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
(14) So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
Honey can also represent richness, as when God used it to illustrate how abundant the Promised Land will be for the children of Israel (Exodus 3:8). Jesus’ words, of course, are rich in spirit and life (John 6:63) promising eternal riches in the life to come (Revelation 21:7).
The emphasis is on the word of God. This will train up the child Jesus and teach him wisdom to refuse evil and choose the good (Isaiah 7:15 and 16, Luke 2:52).
(16) Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Literal butter and honey do not have the power to do this.
For information on how true Ellen White was on the dangers of Butter and Milk, visit www.notmilk.com. These doctors are not Adventist yet they confirm what Ellen White taught on this subject.
(58) DOES GOD COMMAND US TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS IN THE LATTER DAYS?
BIBLE NO “Now the spirit speaketh expressly in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1Tim. 4: 1-4 KJV).
EGW YES “Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. (CDF 380) .
EGW YES “It is for their own good that the Lord counsels the remnant church to discard the use of flesh meats.” (CDF 381).
1 Timothy 4:1-4 was already explained in question 37, please refer there.
Since there is no verse our opponent can provide to prove it is “not” for the latter days, then we remain firm on the heavy weight of evidence, provided in these responses and in our articles on health (The Health Message and The Health Message in the Three Angels Messages), that it is most definitely for these last days, and should be taken seriously by every person claiming to be preparing for the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(59) SHOULD WE ACCEPT DOCTRINE WHICH CONTRADICTS THE BIBLE?
BIBLE NO “To the law and the to the testimony they speak not according to this word, it is because there is not light in them” (Isa. 8:20 KJV).
Within the objections provided by Elder Olson we have seen the dishonest change of words and the taking of quotes completely out of context. How can we trust anything our opponents bring to our attention when this is what we constantly find in their work? Because the law and the testimony forbid falsehood, Isaiah 8:20 applies rather to him, and to all those who continue to pursue this destructive course.
Furthermore, Ellen White predicted that certain individuals would purposely misinterpret and misrepresent what she had to say. Could Elder Olson and all those who have done the same thing be the fulfillment of these words?
“There will be those who will misinterpret and misrepresent. Their eyes have been blinded, and they set forth the figures and interpretations that Satan has worked out for them, and an entirely wrong meaning will be placed upon the words that Sister White has spoken. Satan is just as verily claiming to be Christ’s child as did Judas, who was on the accusing side. They have educated themselves in Satan’s school of misstating. A description of them is given in the third chapter of Zechariah. Nothing in the world is so dear to God as His church. Satan has worked upon human minds, and will continue to betray sacred trust in a spurious way.” –Selected Messages, book 1, page 57.
We’ll leave that for our readers to decide.
We pray these responses have helped our brothers and sisters see the truth behind our opponents and their so-called objections. Our response to Elder Olson’s list of contradictions will soon be sent to him in the form of a letter at the Post Office Box provided at the beginning of this article. You may contact us with any further questions or concerns.
This article was found at the following site: Cult Help and Information.
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