The Apostle John commands us to test the prophets:
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1).
The reason John gives for us to test the prophets is because there are many false prophets. Jesus also warned of false prophets in the last days:
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24).
Jesus says that false prophets will arise who appear so much like true prophets that even the very elect will be in danger of being deceived by them! Therefore, it is critically important that we test the prophets and prove whether or not they are of God.
TEST #1: Prophecies must be fulfilled
THE False Prophecy of 1856
Mrs. White made a SPECIFIC prediction of a future event. Probably her most famous failure was made in 1856. While attending a conference she predicted that some of those attending would be "translated" without seeing death. Obviously, all the participants at that conference are all dead now, thereby making the prophecy false. This prophecy is unique because most of Mrs. White's references to future events are couched in vague generalities.
"I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." (Testimonies, Volume 1, p.131).
Did the Angel lie?
Notice that only the Father knows the day and the hour He is returning:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:36).
Notice that the angels do not know the day and the hour of Christ's return! If the angels do not know this information, how could they tell Ellen White that some of those present at the 1856 conference would be translated?
Think about this:
God is omniscient. He is all-knowing. He knows the future. God knows the exact day and the exact hour He is returning to earth. ( Matthew 24:36 ). He has known that exact day and exact hour since before the world was created.
God cannot lie. ( Titus 1:2 ). Therefore, it is an absolute impossibility that God could have told His angels He was returning within the life span of the people at the 1856 conference. If He had told his angels that he was returning in the 1800's, while knowing all along that the day and hour were yet far into the future, He would be a liar.
Why would God, who knows the exact time of His return, allow His angel to tell His prophet something which He knew all along was NOT going to happen?
"But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 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 it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:20,22).
Some have suggested that predictions written out in the Great Controversy, such as the United States in prophecy and enforced Sunday observance, appear to be coming to pass, and this proves Mrs. White to be a prophet. The idea of Sunday observance being the "Mark of the Beast" was first advanced by Joseph Bates in the 1840's before he even met the Whites. The United States in prophecy, the "mark of the beast," the "image to the beast," had all come out earlier in James White's book , "Life Incidents", published in 1875. Comparison shows that words, sentences, quotations, thoughts, ideas, structures, paragraphs, and even total pages were taken from it and put in Great Controversy .
TEST #2: Cannot have falsehood in their visions
"Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 23:32).
In the period of 1844-1850, a time when Mrs. White was receiving frequent public visions, she claimed on a number of occasions to have seen in vision the door of salvation shut for all those who were not part of the 1844 Millerite movement. This was an absolute falsehood , and this doctrine was eventually discarded by the Adventists in the early 1850's. Mrs. White's visions were successful in convincing a few early believers that the door of salvation was shut. In other words, Mrs. White's visions convinced her followers to believe a false doctrine!
TEST #3: Cannot steal writings from others
The Bible identifies false prophets as those who steal their writings from others:
"I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. herefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour." (Jeremiah 23:21,30).
Much has been written on Mrs. White's extensive plagiarism of the writings of others. Prior to the publication of Walter Rea's, The White Lie, in 1983, Adventists maintained that 8% to 10% of Mrs. White's work was copied. The SDA church hired Adventist scholar Dr. Fred Veltman to examine the Desire of Ages and he found 30% or more , depending upon the chapter examined. After great expense and almost eight years of research, Veltman confirmed what other studies showed, that depending upon the material examined, the copy work could be as much as 90% . Dr. Veltman noted:
"Implicitly or explicitly, Ellen White and others speaking on her behalf did not admit to and even denied literary dependency on her part."
"I must admit at the start that in my judgment this is the most serious problem to be faced in connection with Ellen White's literary dependency. It strikes at the heart of her honesty, her integrity, and therefore her trustworthiness ." (Ministry, December 1990, pp.11,14).
Dr. Don McAdams, an SDA scholar, stated in the 1980 Glendale meeting:
"If every paragraph in the book Great Controversy , written by Ellen White, was properly footnoted, then every paragraph would have to be footnoted."
TEST #4: Cannot contradict the Word of God
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
A close examination of Mrs. White's writings shows:
Mrs. White's writings contradict the Bible more than 50 times.
Some of Mrs. White's doctrines, such as the Investigative Judgment , cannot be supported from Scripture.
Mrs. White goes beyond the Word of God and sets up requirements not found in the Bible.
Notice other portions of this book and examine the evidence.
TEST #5: Must acknowledge Paul's writings as God's Commandments
"If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." (1 Corinthians 14:37).
Did Mrs. White follow Paul's commandments? Because this is very controversial, let us allow the Word of God to speak for itself. Just three verses earlier Paul gives a commandment to the church:
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).
"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." (1 Timothy 2:11-12).
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