Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The need for Relationships and the church of refuge

Last week the Adventist Review had a pretty good article on dealing with young people in the church. The article entitled “Like Water Between Our Fingers” Here are a couple of quotes:

Reality says that one in every five Adventist churches in North America doesn’t have a single child or teenager—much less anyone my age. In fact, the median age in these churches is nearly 60—20 years older than the average American.2

Reality says that as a baptized Adventist since my midteens, there’s a 50 percent chance that I’ll drop out of the church completely by the time I’m 25.3

The fifth key—tied unequivocally to the other four—is quite simple, yet remains the single most important factor in retaining young adults and reclaiming those who have drifted away: whether with a middle-aged couple or spirited pastor, energetic peer or elderly grandma, if they are going to stay, young adults must have genuine relationships inside their church family.

It’s all about relationships.

In his analysis of reasons why young Adventists drop out of church, Roger Dudley found that one “major theme shared by dropouts was that they felt unaccepted.”6 Further-more, a study by Rainer and Rainer of 1,000 young adults who left the church yielded the second highest motivation for leaving: “church members seemed judgmental or hypocritical.”7

I point this out because I have battled and lost on this issue in my local church. I addressed the issue with the young people’s ministry people as well as the head elder and received nothing from them. The answer it seems in the traditional Adventist world is to ignore these things and they will go away. Indeed they do go away our young people leave the church.

Since most of our local churches are like mine and they think that traditional doctrines are more important than relationships the above article introduced an idea called Church of Refuge. Here is another quote from the article:

The mission of COR is to “help churches provide meaningful and relevant young adult ministry with the goal of keeping Adventist young adults in the church while also reaching out to those who are not currently participating in an Adventist congregation.”11 This support ministry is dedicated to helping Adventist churches better meet the all-around needs of young adults.

“Churches of Refuge care about the spiritual needs of young adults,” said Ron Whitehead, executive director for the Center for Youth Evangelism. “But they also care about their physical and social well-being.”

Are there Adventist churches ready to open themselves to relationships? We can hope. However checking out the Church of Refuge Website I don’t see any churches listed yet. Hopefully that is because it is a new program. Possibly the call of a church wide organization can cause some churches to do what all churches should be doing. My experience says it won’t but then sometimes I am too cynical. If my cynicism had not be proven correct so many times maybe I could outgrow it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Judged by the ten commandments?

I was about to continue my review of the book It is "Okay not to be a Seventh-day Adventist" when I read this part from the book where the authors talk about the Pillars of Adventist beliefs. I was not originally going to say much about this section of the book because it is just one interpretation over another interpretation. Not much point in that unless they provide something new and startling that we have never heard before. In the section on the Investigative Judgment the authors write:

Seventh-day Adventists Believe… records that obedience to the law is vital to our salvation, sets the standard for righteousness and that we will be judged by them. The footnote is to page 237 of Seventh–day Adventists believe.

Here is what the book Seventh–day Adventists believe…says writing about the 10 commandments in the chapter on the Law of God:

It Functions as the Standard of Judgement. Like God, His "commandments are righteousness" (Ps. 119-172). The law, therefore, sets the standard of righteousness. Each of us will be judged by these righteous principles, not by our consciences. "Fear God and keep His commandments," Scripture says, ". . . for God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil" (Eccl. 12:13, 14; cf. James 2:12).

Human consciences vary. Some consciences are "weak," while others are "defiled," "evil," or "seared with a hot iron" (1 Cor. 8:7, 12; Titus 1:15; Heb. 10:22; 1 Tim. 4:2). Like a watch, however well they may work, they must be "set" by some accurate standard to be of value. Our consciences tell us that we must do right, but they do not tell us what is right. Only consciences set by God's great standard—His law—can keep us from straying into sin.9

There are so many things wrong with this quote, more then just the absurdity of saying “Commandments are righteousness” and references a bit more then 50 Psalms chapters. But if you are judged by the 10 commandments than you are not saved by faith. The law points out your sin but if it is to be used to judge you then you will fail, we all fail. Now the book acknowledges the idea that it leads us to see our sinful condition by saying:

It Points Out Sin. Without the Ten Commandments people cannot see clearly God's holiness, their own guilt, or their need to repent. When they do not know that they are in violation of God's law, they do not sense their lostness or their need of the atoning blood of Christ.

To help people see their true condition, the law functions like a mirror (see James 1:23-25). Those who "look" into it see their own character defects in contrast to God's righteous character. Thus the moral law demonstrates that all the world is guilty before God (Rom. 3:19), making everyone fully accountable to Him.

"Through the law we become conscious of sin" (Rom. 3:20, NIV) because "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4, KJV). Indeed, Paul said, "I would not have known sin except through the law" (Rom. 7:7).


Convicting sinners of their sin, it helps them realize that they are condemned under the judgment of God's wrath and that they are facing the penalty of eternal death. It brings them to a sense of their utter helplessness.

Pretty depressing isn’t it they tell you that you are judged by the 10 commandments and that all the world is guilty and under the wrath of God facing the penalty of eternal death. Did you notice that they did not put any text in there to support the idea that we are under the wrath of God facing the penalty of eternal death. Obviously the Bible never says that but it is a common Christian belief. At least the wrath of God part, not the idea that we are judged by the 10 commandments.

I would guess they are not referring to God’s judgment of salvation, I am sure somewhere in the book they will acknowledge we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. So putting the best spin on the above quote we would have to say that they mean we are all judged to be sinners by the law of God. Of course then we would have to ignore the part of the quote that says: Scripture says, ". . . for God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil" (Eccl. 12:13, 14; cf. James 2:12).

Interestingly they use Ecclesiastes which has no concept of a judgment after life, no concept of life after death though it appears to open inquiry in that regard. Then they cross reference James and misapply the royal law with the 10 commandments.

James 2:12-13 NIV Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

That royal law being:

James 2:8 NIV If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

James 2:13 is saying that God judges using the royal law, thus mercy triumphs over judgment.

I actually doubt there are very many Adventists who think they are to be judged by the 10 commandments. But I may be wrong that book was written in 1980 or ‘81 and I don’t recall any articles about this section of the book or any discussions on the idea of being judged by the 10 commandments. Well aside from the Last Generation theology perfect generation folks. But their theology is so weird it makes no sense anyway.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All Christians are prophets

This is how our lesson study guide begins for the week of Feb. 15 2009:

Memory Text: “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21, NKJV).

All through the Bible, a theme recurs: God talks to people through His prophets, and the people either accept or reject what’s being said. Of course, by rejecting the words of the prophets, they’re not rejecting the prophets; they’re rejecting the One who sent them.

It’s a very serious thing, then, to claim to speak in the name of God. If you claim it, and are, then you are a mouthpiece for the Creator of the universe, no small responsibility. People have been delegated authority to speak for the boss of the company, or the president or prime minister—but to speak for the Lord? That’s heavy. Unfortunately, much of biblical history is a story of God speaking through His prophets and of people rejecting what was said. How careful we need be not to make the same mistake today.

What strikes me about this is how they have taken the New Testament statement on prophets and applied it to Old Testament prophets. I think that perhaps they are right and also wrong. Right in that the text used is applicable to everyone. Read the text :

(1 Th 5:16-22 NIV) Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

God communicates with His followers but they have to test what they think God reveals to themselves and others. It is common sense isn’t it? Wrong however in assuming the ultimate authority of prophets. The lesson goes on to say that Moses was God’s spokesman as if God was speaking to Aaron and Pharaoh. This is very similar to the New Testament where Paul says:

(2 Cor 5:20 NIV) We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

The prophets are God’s ambassadors; Christ’s followers are God’s ambassadors. We are just as much prophets as Moses and Elijah, but of course we don’t live under a Theocracy where a prophet acts as a ruler who sets up kings and declares what to do in a battle with an enemy nation. Time and circumstances change and we simply cannot carry forward into our time the things of thousands of years ago.

So let’s say a prophet receives a message from God, does it have to be new and original to him or can God give multiple times the same message to prophets. Well that is pretty easily answered because the Old Testament is filled with prophecy which are basically the same thing that Moses first gave. Repent and follow God or trouble will follow. So prophecy does not have to be novel. Can a prophecy be derived from something previously said by God? Again I think the Old Testament has frequently shown to have prophets using what other prophets have said and applying the message to their times.

So far we have seen prophets to be simply followers of God, the messages are pretty straight forward in that they usually relate to obedience to some command or other that God through some other prophet had given. For the most part dealing with the nation of Israel with the later prophets dealing a lot more with ideas such as justice and mercy, yet they were still centered upon the nation. So it was not too hard to test these prophets; as they were pretty consistent in telling people to return to God in one way or another. If as in Jeremiah you have a prophet going about saying how well you all are doing and how pleased God is with you, you probably don’t have a real prophet, probably not someone who really is a follower of God. Now back to Paul:

(1 Cor 14:29-33 NIV) Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

The spirit of the prophets appears to be what the intent of the prophet is. That is he/she is in control of the things he/she does and says. What is there motivation is probably as important as what they said. John says:

(1 John 4:1 NIV) Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

So not everyone who claims to be a prophet is one and not everyone who claims to be a follower of God is a follower of God. We have to test not only what they say but their motivation. So clearly the idea of the authority of a prophet is becoming pretty dicey. We can’t simply trust them we have to test them carefully. We are no longer dealing with a nation and what happens to a nation but to people living out in multitudes of nations. The common factor is that they are followers of God not because they are part of a chosen nation for some specific purpose.

Martin Luther wrote:

But why does he say: “We have a sure prophetic Word”? Answer: I believe indeed that henceforth we shall not have prophets like those the Jews had in times past in the Old Testament. But a prophet must really be one who preaches about Jesus Christ. Therefore although many prophets in the Old Testament foretold future things, they really came, and were sent by God, to proclaim the Christ. Now those who believe in Christ are all prophets; for they have the real and chief qualification prophets should have, even though they do not all have the gift of foretelling the future. For just as through faith we are brothers of the Lord Christ, kings, and priests, so we are also all prophets through Christ. For we can all state what pertains to salvation, God's glory, and a Christian life. In addition, we can also talk about future events insofar as it is necessary for us to know about them. For example, we can say that the Last Day will come and that we will rise from the dead. Furthermore, we understand all Scripture. Paul also speaks about this in 1 Cor. 14:31: “For you can all prophesy one by one.”4 [Martin Luther, (1999, c1967). Vol. 30: Luther's works, vol. 30 : The Catholic Epistles (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (vol. 30, page 164). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.]

So we being good protestants can agree with Luther here, the importance of a prophet is to be declaring Jesus Christ. What about this predicting stuff. Were the Old Testament prophets particularly good at it? No, they did not even predict the coming of the Messiah so anyone could really notice it. There are scores of unfulfilled predictive prophecies in the Old Testament. So we say they are conditional prophecies designed to lure the nation into following God which of course as all the other prophets reiterated the nation did not follow God. So we end up with prophecies that did not come to pass and it is highly likely that God knew they would never come to pass. We see this in the New Testament where the Apostles clearly thought and taught the soon return of Christ. No doubt for the purpose of making the expectation of something better in life more immediate. Because saying that in 2000-4000 years Jesus would return would put a heavy damper on the idea of spreading the gospel. Of course one of the techniques people use to attempt to shore up the Old Testament unfulfilled prophecies is to move the fulfillment to some time yet in the future.

All in all with predictive prophecy which can be conditional or can be transferred way beyond what it originally appeared to suggest there is very little one can do to test it. We end up with saying here is a prediction that did not come true thus they are not a prophet, we can do that with a modern authoritative prophet such as Ellen White but it can be done with Isaiah or Ezekiel also. But we have to do it with the Old Testament Prophets because we are still reasonably instructed that we have to test all prophets. Just because something is in the Bible does not make it true, does not make it the express instructions of God or a correct understanding of God.

Adventists I think are currently at the crossroads in understanding both how to interpret the Bible and how do deal with the prophecies of God. We made the fundamentalist mistake of making Ellen White an authoritative Old Testament prophet of the nineteenth century. It has proven to be a disaster for our church; it keeps our church stuck in nineteenth century eschatology and a self importance based upon wrongly interpreting the Bible from Miller to the SDA formation. Maybe all we had to do was open our minds to what a prophet is they way Martin Luther describes it; someone who directs the attention of others to Jesus Christ because that is where the authority is not in the prophet.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Another SDA Prophet?

My last post dealt with how the Adventist church has removed any semblance of reason when they purport to analyze Ellen White as a prophet. It is rather telling that in the last weeks lesson they address the fulfillment of prophecy yet don’t give a single prophecy that Ellen White gave that was fulfilled and address a false prediction explained away by saying it was conditional and that God would have come if people did what they were supposed to do; in essence making the testing of a prophet meaningless. So what is the effect of the traditional Adventist teaching doing to traditional Adventists?

I just saw some discussion of a new prophet in the Adventist church someone named Ernie Knoll. He as a website entitled On the site is a commission of anonymous people who as an anonymous group sought to investigate whether Knoll was a prophet or not. Here are a few excerpts with a few comments I inserted in red:

With this document we want to share the united opinion of many who have studied and compared the dreams of Ernie Knoll against the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. However, a little background on who we are and the process is in order.

Does the Bible ever suggest that we test a prophet by the writings of Ellen White (Spirit of Prophecy being the euphemism for EGW’s writings)? Hardly but what this so called commission has done is to elevate EGW to the level of the Bible.

It was also decided as we studied to keep our findings to our self as to not promote a fore or against decision. As time went and additional dreams came we decided to broaden our group study. Invitations were sent out to 'select' individuals to participate in an in depth study of the dreams. The stipulation was set forth that the invited individual would remain anonymous along with the rest of the established group and that their name would never be shared.

Did you get that “never be shared” we have a truly forever and always anonymous select commission. Sounds promising doesn’t it?

As the group grew the group moved to an email discussion in a closed online forum. The men in this now large study group are made up of the following individuals. Active and retired pastors from the General Conference. Select leaders from different Unions. Active and retired pastors from select Seventh-Day Adventist churches. Active and retired teachers and professors from different academies, colleges and universities. Literature evangelists. Attorneys from private as well as firm based. Select ardent students of the Bible. It was this large group that we began an ardent and exhaustive study of the dreams of Brother Ernie Knoll.

Did you catch that part? “The men” only men are involved, and now it is a large group of ardent students of the Bible cowering in a group who is promised they will remain anonymous. You get the feeling right away that you can trust this group don’t you?

We set forth to either prove or disprove these messages. They were either from God or from Satan. It was decided early on that we would not rush forward with our findings. We have seen many others who have done this and we as a group will address these as well.

Either God or Satan, no other possibility, similar to claims by EGW that her writing are either inspired by God or Satan. She can’t fit any opinions in there, none of her own thoughts…well that is until people start looking at comments about amalgamation of man and beast and coal fired volcanoes etc. Anyway this group of anonymous people or person because how do we know there is really more than one person involved, is not going to rush their anonymous findings.

They begin the test by tracking down the person who was a former prostitute who life was changed. They tracked her down and witness some prophetic miracles and conclude:

At the end of the meeting Candace requested that the three pastors never disclose where she lives nor her real name. On behalf of the group that sent the three pastors a request was made that she not disclose the names of the three pastors.

Impressive the anonymous commission tracks her down and she requests to be anonymous and the three pastors who visit her remain anonymous. How convenient, but apparently very convincing to the commission of anonymous Adventist leaders both former and current.

They then deal with some critics of Knoll:

…Not long after this comment Brother Wohlberg states that 1st John 4 1-3 is not a valid test. The entire study group had a problem with this comment from brother Wolhberg. Another item was the fact that he denies that Jesus came in the flesh as Adam after sin without the propensity to sin. This setup another red flag to the study group as to the validity of his thinking. When we studied in the April 12, 2008 dream titled Love and Rebuke, we quickly realized that this was addressing Steve Wolhberg and White Horse Media.

That verse is summed up:

(1 John 4:2 NIV) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

It can hardly be a valid test if anyone accepts that even the Devil can appear as an angel of light, funny also because Adventist history says the Pope is anti-Christ yet they all agree that Jesus came in the flesh. It might work as a test to winnow down the possible prophets if they did not Believe Jesus Christ came in the flesh but not much else. Then we see the thinking of the group because they can’t trust Wolhberg because he does not believe in their Post lapsarian view. So now we can see what kind of people make up this select group of ardent and anonymous students of the Bible. They then interpret a really vague dream as a prophecy of financial trouble to Steve Wolhberg’s ministry. As if there is not enough ministries out there in fear of loss of funds.

I will let those of you read the Great Commission Council findings (yes that is really what they call themselves) and you can see the type of strangeness that traditional Adventism can produce. By the way this all seems to be summed up in the need for Adventist to read the old book by Joe Crews "Creeping Compromise". Only now it is directly a message from God. I think that is one of the books my church has in the foyer. One of those books of the last generation perfectionists who are a bane to the Adventist church, the predecessor of Doug Batchelor.

Garbage in Garbage out!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ellen White Food for worms, is it conditional

I am going to interrupt the review of the book previously mentioned because this weeks Lesson Study Guide is designed to counter the type of criticism mentioned in my last post review of It’s Okay Not To Be A Seventh-day Adventist. Specifically I will deal with February 3 lesson because unlike many other lessons in our history this lesson deals with a specific statement of Ellen White which many cite as a false prophecy. Here is what the lesson says:

The fulfillment of most prophecies (exceptions are the end-time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation) is dependent on the actions and attitudes of the people concerned. Jonah made the clear-cut statement, given him from God, that in 40 days Nineveh would be “overturned” (Jonah 3:4, NIV). Yet, it never happened. Was Jonah a false prophet? Of course not. Instead, the prophecy was conditional; its fulfillment depended upon how the people responded to the message God had given them.

This principle may explain why a particular prophecy made by Ellen White in 1856 did not come to pass. In 1856, Mrs. White declared: “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 for the Church, vol. 1, p. 131, 132.

All who were alive way back then are now, of course, dead. How do we explain this? The answer is conditional prophecy. We must remember that she was told God’s kingdom could have come in her lifetime. In 1896 she wrote: “If those who claimed to have a living experience in the things of God had done their appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would have been warned ere this, and the Lord Jesus would have come in power and great glory.”—Review and Herald, Oct. 6, 1896.

In the last volume of the Testimonies for the Church, published in 1909, she wrote, “If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 29. If we apply the principle of conditionality to her 1856 vision, the problem disappears. See also Friday’s lesson.

First of all does overturned in Jonah 3:4 mean destroyed? If we look up the word overturned in a lexicon we see this definition:


  1. to turn, overthrow, overturn
    1. (Qal)
      1. to overturn, overthrow
      2. to turn, turn about, turn over, turn around
      3. to change, transform
    2. (Niphal)
      1. to turn oneself, turn, turn back
      2. to change oneself
      3. to be perverse
      4. to be turned, be turned over, be changed, be turned against
      5. to be reversed
      6. to be overturned, be overthrown
      7. to be upturned
    3. (Hithpael)
      1. to transform oneself
      2. to turn this way and that, turn every way
    4. (Hophal) to turn on someone

So even if Jonah thought, or hoped Nineveh would be destroyed; to turn away, turn from, to change or reverse their course are all legitimate meanings for the word used. Jonah may have thought his prophecy failed but that would only be if a certain meaning is used to the exclusion of other meanings. The story is pretty clear that Jonah wanting the city to be destroyed even if God did not. There are also the other problems with the book of Jonah used to compare to Ellen White’s food for worms quote. First there are only 8 words recorded of Jonah’s message. If we assume that those were the only 8 words then we have a problem logically because why would anyone listen to a stranger in town repeating those words. At some point you would have to assume he identifies who he is and who his God is. The other problem with using Jonah as a comparison is that there is a pretty even split between Biblical scholars whether the book is supposed to be literal history or an analogy; a parable to demonstrate the grace of God over the nation of Israel’s tendency to self importance. Since there has never been any evidence that Nineveh worshiped the God of Israel I tend to think it is meant as a parable.

Next there is the possibility of conditional prophecies, but they are not all conditional and simply saying the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are not conditional because they say so is pretty poor reasoning. In any case the verse which is most applicable to Jonah’s prophecy is found in Jeremiah as the lesson study guide mentioned:

Jeremiah 18:6-10 (New International Version)

6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 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.

Is that applicable to Ellen White statement where she said:

I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said (132) the angel: "Some food for worms, [SISTER CLARISSA M. BONFOEY, WHO FELL ASLEEP IN Jesus ONLY THREE DAYS AFTER THIS VISION WAS GIVEN, WAS PRESENT IN USUAL HEALTH, AND WAS DEEPLY IMPRESSED THAT SHE WAS ONE WHO WOULD GO INTO THE GRAVE, AND STATED HER CONVICTIONS TO OTHERS.] some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." {1T 131.3}

Solemn words were these, spoken by the angel. I asked the angel why so few were interested in their eternal welfare, so few preparing for their last change. Said he: "Earth attracts them, its treasures seem of worth to them." They find enough to engross the mind, and have no time to prepare for heaven. Satan is ever ready to plunge them deeper and deeper into difficulty; as soon as one perplexity and trouble is off the mind, he begets within them an unholy desire for more of the things of earth; and thus their time passes, and, when it is too late, they see that they have gained nothing substantial. They have grasped at shadows and lost eternal life. Such will have no excuse. {Vol 1 Testimonies to the Church p. 132.1}

Clearly the angel gives no conditions in fact Ellen White asks the angel why people are not preparing for their last change and makes it clear there is no excuse if they are not ready and lose eternal life. It is quite the opposite of a conditional prophecy. The lady mentioned here and in Ellen White’s book “Spiritual Gifts” certainly did not think it was conditional as Ellen White writes:

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. 208.2}

Jeremiah’s statement is specifically for a “nation or kingdom” Ellen White is addressing a group of people at a conference, not even the SDA church because they did not exist yet. Jeremiah also says that if someone prophesies something good then you really know they are true because it is too easy to prophecy troubles:

(Jeremiah 28:8 NIV) From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms 9. But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true."

Ellen White’s food for worms prophecy also includes the very best news; “translated at the coming of Jesus”. Ellen White’s statement fails to meet any of the conditions of Jeremiah’s statements.

What about the method the Lesson Study guide uses, it is the same method the White Estate uses when it quotes Ellen White’s explanation that if people had done their duty Christ would have returned before the time she made the statement. How would we verify the accuracy of that statement? If we allowed that type of reasoning then it would be impossible to ever show anyone to be a false prophet. All that so called prophet would have to do is give an excuse why their prophecy did not occur (the excuse being in the form of another prophetic statement). Rather like the Jehovah’s Witnesses saying that Armageddon and the consummation of the age would occur in 1914. When Armageddon did not occur it became the invisible return of Christ and began to rule in heaven. Click here for more.

There is no doubt if Jeremiah’s conflict with the false prophet Hananiah had used the rules as interpreted by the Lesson Study guide above prophets would have lost all meaning as what they said could or could not happen and their would be no consequence either way. Any so called prophet can prophesy their way out of any failed prophesies.

Ultimately it makes prophecy meaningless and testing of prophets worthless.