Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Sunday, February 26, 2006

More from the Ellen White Summit presentations

Moderator’s question:
“How do you respond to people who use Deut. 18:21 to disqualify Ellen White in the light of her vision where an angel told her that some present at Battle Creek would not die before Christ returned?”

George Knight response:
“That’s one I want to take. We’re finding a lot of people are finally realize that Ellen White had a lot of prophecies that never come.. came true. And we used to teach …Deuteronomy that when a prophets prophecy did come true then you know they were a true prophet. What these people fail recognize is the Bible is full of unfulfilled prophecies. You take a look at the old testament woooph most of the prophecies in the huh prophets are unfulfilled. Why? Ellen White gives the answer in Manuscript 4 1883. That all of God’s prophecies are conditional. If Israel would have behaved itself and done God’s will then those old testament prophecies would have been fulfilled. And I personally believe if God’s Church would have done God’s will we wouldn’t be here. But all prophecy and this is Ellen White herself, all prophecy is conditional prophecy and maybe the best article in all the articles of the 7 volumes of the SDA Bible Commentaries in volume 4 on conditional prophecy. Read it. That is a jewel.”
--Question and answer period (part 8) 2005 Ellen White Summit beginning at 24 minutes into session.

When you hear this statement of George Knight you realize why elsewhere he said that he did not hold to any old tests for a prophet.

“You know why I believe Ellen White’s a prophet I don’t go for any of the old tests number one she points me to Jesus number two she points me to the Bible. That’s it! She never points to herself…I can’t get off on that.”
--From Using and Interpreting Ellen White by George Knight {Part2} 2005 Ellen White Summit 33 minutes in

George Knight’s position is not much different from the White Estate’s position. First let us refresh our memory about what Ellen White actually said:

“But we were yet to pass through another severe trial. At the conference a very solemn vision was given me. I saw that some of those present would be food for worms, some subjects for the seven last plagues, and some would be translated to heaven at the second coming of Christ, without seeing death. Sr. Bonfoey remarked to a sister as we left the meeting-house, “I feel impressed that I am one that will soon be food for worms.” The conference closed Monday. Thursday Sr. B. sat at the table with us apparently well. She then went to the Office as usual, to help get off the paper. In about two hours I was sent for. Sr. B. had been suddenly taken very ill. My health had been very poor, yet I hastened to suffering Clara. In a few hours she seemed some better. The next morning we had her brought home in a large chair, and she was laid upon her own bed from which she was never to rise. Her symptoms became alarming, and we had fears that a tumor, which had troubled her for nearly ten years, had broken inwardly. It was so, and mortification was doing its work.” Vol. 2 Spiritual Gifts p. 208

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.” Vol. 1Testimonies p. 131

When EGW saw her prophecies fail she created the idea of all prophecy as conditional:
Selected Messages Book 1, page 67, paragraph 8

Chapter Title: An Explanation of Early Statements

“The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional.”


Now the White Estate has published a response to those who bring up this quote. They say that if people had truly repented and followed God, He would have come and fulfilled the prophecy, but since they didn’t God in mercy extended time. However where do we get the information that if they had followed God, He would have come? We get it from Ellen White, thus she is allowed to explain why her false prophecy was not correct. This is complete circular reasoning. If you allow a so called prophet to explain away why their predictions do not come to pass, there will never be anyway to test any predictive prophecies. In fact we will be forced to hold to scores of today’s so called prophets because we have no way to test a prophet anymore. We will be reduced to saying that person must be a prophet because he or she points to the Bible and points to Jesus. Yet it is questionable with Ellen Whites presentation that all prophecy is conditional that she is pointing to the Bible at all since she is actually refuting such verses as Deuteronomy 18:20-22.

Is it wise to put the Biblical principles against those of Ellen White. If God had ever truly meant for all prophecy to be conditional why would the statement in Deuteronomy even have needed to be recorded. The Bible record would have to be held responsible for the rejection of prophets who were merely giving conditional prophecies.
“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”(Deu 18:20-22 NIV)

Yet the Bible instead of treating all prophecy as conditional gives the principles that create some prophecy as conditional. A useful illustration is found in Jeremiah:

“If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” (Jer 18:7-10 NIV)

Another is found very early in the Biblical record when Israel was offered the choice between blessing and curses.
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse-- the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NIV)

Jeremiah who had his own struggle with false prophets does not produce the idea that all prophecy is conditional but he notes that since bad things happen all the time someone predicting bad things will be right quite often but it is only God’s prophets who are able to predict the good things also. Ellen White’s prediction of being translated would in most anyone’s estimation be considered a good future prediction.
Jeremiah 28:8-9 says:
“From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true.” (NIV)

There is not any better prophecy of peace than to be with Jesus at His coming.

Determining the accuracy of a professed prophet is part of the Biblical tests of a prophet. Unfortunately many SDA’s don’t want people to use that test. Many will quote Ellen White saying that Christ would have come ere this if only the people had done their work. So using the ever present circular reasoning they completely destroy the Biblical test by saying if what the supposed prophet says does not come to pass, then the supposed prophet is allowed to give an explanation as to why the prophecy did not come to pass. If you allowed the supposed prophet this ability there is not ever going to be a prophet anywhere or any time with a false of presumptive prophecy because they will simply explain it away. However the Bible does not offer up that option, so we can be objective about testing a prophet. Finally if all prophecy is conditional maybe God is not preparing a place for us, maybe Jesus is not going to return. Maybe even the condition of God’s love and acceptance will not be met and the whole Gospel is meaningless because we have not met some unlisted conditions.
--Ron

4 comments:

Michael said...

Ron, are you a Seventh-day Adventist? I'm just trying to figure out where you are coming from. The title of your blog suggests that you are, but after a year's hiatus, your posts suggest otherwise...

Please give us a clue...

Michael

answer-man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ron Corson said...

Yes Michael I am still an SDA. Unfortunately many SDA's think that if you don't accept the Churches view of EGW you cannot be an SDA.

But when you see the kind of sad apologetics the the SDA church uses to support their belief it just begs for comments. Comments that the church will always sweep under the rug.

edwardtaft9901560405 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.