Reply to 'Three Responses to a Testimony'
OF PUBLICATION: FEBRUARY 1995
months ago, Luis Munilla (Charles Wheeling's corporate treasurer until
recently) declared that Wheeling was using dedicated funds, which came in
for Great Controversy distribution, to mail out cassettes and papers
attacking the Spirit of Prophecy.
The papers are still
being sent out.
In January 1995, hundreds or thousands of the faithful received a large mailing of Three Responses in the mail. It is a full-fledged attack on the Spirit of Prophecy. This present article is a reply to it.
Three Responses to a Testimony is a fifteen-page collection of accusations by three men who did not like Ellen White. Here is some background on this:
By the mid-1890s, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was rapidly gaining control of a large portion of the work in Battle Creek, our world headquarters at that time.
Gradually, he had been developing strange new theories about the nature of God, salvation, and Inspiration. When a man begins delving into such matterswhich no man has authority to touch,he becomes a polished instrument in the hands of Satan.
By the turn of the century, Kellogg was gaining a hypnotic influence over those who associated with him. The crisis bore full fruit in the first decade of the 20th century. Here are several pertinent statements:
Pantheistic theories are not sustained by the Word of God . . Darkness is their element, sensuality their sphere. They gratify the natural heart, and give leeway to inclination. Review, January 21, 1904.
The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit. Letter 211, 1903.
My soul is so greatly distressed as I see the working out of the plans of the tempter that I cannot express the agony of my mind. Is the church of God always to be confused by the devices of the accuser, when Christ's warnings are so definite, so plain? Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p. 23.
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. 1 Selected Messages, p. 204.
The contest will wax more and more fierce . . Mind will be arrayed against mind, plans against plans, principles of heavenly origin against principles of Satan . . There are men who teach the truth, but who are not perfecting their ways before God, who are trying to conceal their defections, and encourage an estrangement from God. Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 11, pp. 5-6.
In the very midst of us will arise false teachers, giving heed to seducing spirits whose doctrines are of satanic origin. These teachers will draw away disciples after themselves. Creeping in unawares, they will use flattering words and make skillful misrepresentations with seductive tact. Manuscript 94, 1903.
False theories will be mingled with every phase of experience, and advocated with satanic earnestness in order to captivate the mind of every soul who is not rooted and grounded in a full knowledge of the sacred principles of the Word. Manuscript 94, 1903.
I wish to sound a note of warning to our people nigh and afar off. An effort is being made by those at the head of the medical work in Battle Creek to get control of the property over which, in the sight of the heavenly courts, they have no rightful control . . There is a deceptive working going on to obtain property in an underhand way. This is condemned by the law of God. I will mention no names. But there are doctors and ministers who have been influenced by the hypnotism exercised by the father of lies. Notwithstanding the warnings given, Satan's sophistries are being accepted now just as they were accepted in the heavenly courts. Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 30.
Very adroitly some have been working to make of no effect the testimonies of warning and reproof that have stood the test for half a century. At the same time, they deny doing any such thing. Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 31.
Before the development of recent events, the course that would be pursued by Dr. Kellogg and his associates was plainly outlined before me. He with others planned how they might gain the sympathies of the people. They would seek to give the impression that they believed all points of our faith and had confidence in the Testimonies. Thus many would be deceived, and would take their stand with those who had departed from the faith. Ellen G. White, Letter 238, 1906.
Brilliant, sparkling ideas often flash from a mind that is influenced by the great deceiver. Those who listen and acquiesce will become charmed, as Eve was charmed by the serpents words. They cannot listen to charming philosophical speculations, and at the same time keep the Word of the living God clearly in mind. 1 Selected Messages, p. 197.
looking upon the pleased, interested countenances of those who were
listening, One by my side told me that the evil angels had taken captive the
mind of the speaker. I was astonished to see with what enthusiasm the
sophistries and deceptive theories were received. Special
Testimonies, Series B, No. 6, p. 42.
When engaged in discussion over these theories, their advocates will take words spoken to oppose them, and will make them appear to mean the very opposite of that which the speaker intended them to mean. Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 6, p. 41.
The long night interviews which Dr. Kellogg holds are one of his most effective means of gaining his point. His constant stream of talk confuses the minds of those he is seeking to influence. He misstates and misquotes words, and places those who argue with him in so false a light that their powers and discernment are benumbed. He takes their words, and gives them an impress which makes them seem to mean exactly the opposite of what they said. Ellen G. White, Letter 259, 1904.
Even in our day there . . will continue to be entire families who have once rejoiced in the truth, but who will lose faith because of calumnies and falsehoods brought to them in regard to those whom they have loved and with whom they have had sweet counsel . . They opened their hearts to the sowing of tares; the tares sprang up among the wheat . . and the precious truth lost its power to them. For a time, a zeal accompanied their new theories, which hardened their hearts against the advocates of truth as did the Jews against Christ. Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 11, pp. 9-10.
I am afraid of the men who have entered into the study of the science that Satan carried into the warfare in heaven . . When they once accept the bait, it seems impossible to break the spell that Satan casts over them. Ellen G. White, Letter to Daniels, Prescott, and their associates, October 30, 1905.
This influence included not only the physicians and managers of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, but also a number of other influential men in the denomination.
An excellent example of those who had been captivated by Kellogg's influence would be Alonzo T. Jones. He is one of the three men who sent reproving letters to Ellen White (quoted in Three Responses, which we will reply to in this paper). By briefly surveying his case, we will learn the manner in which Dr. Kellogg captivated and took over the minds of men and made them into critics, such as we find quoted in Three Responses.
Alonzo Jones had been working in California, when Kellogg asked him to come back to Battle Creek and join him in the work there.
Ellen White was shown that she must warn him not to go. It was most urgent. At her request, in the summer of 1903, A.T. Jones visited her at her home in Elmshaven, California. She pled with him to not go to Battle Creek, and she predicted that, if he did go, he would come under Kellogg's hypnotic spell as other men working with him had.
But Jones thought himself safe, and, disregarding her counsels, resigned his position as president of the California Conference and went to Battle Creek. Immediately, Kellogg began locking in his mind, and within two years Jones had been fully captured.
I send no more [testimonies to be read to the Battle Creek church] to A.T. Jones, for I have evidence that a work will have to be done for him before the Lord will accept his service. God has given him warnings which he has repudiated, and I am deeply grieved that he has so little spiritual eyesight. Letter 345, 1905.
During the General Conference at Takoma Park [April, 1905], Elder Jones case was again presented to me. After this, I had a long conversation with him in which I pointed out his danger. But he was self-confident . . In this conversation, Elder Jones manifested that which had been revealed to me regarding him, that in the place of receiving the warnings, he was full of self-confidence; that he had exalted himself, and in the place of being prepared to help Dr. Kellogg, he had united with him . . I warned Elder Jones, but he felt that he was not in the least danger. But the fine threads have been woven about him, and he is now a man deluded and deceived. Through claiming to believe the testimonies, he does not believe them. Letter 116, 1906.
In vision, I had seen him [A.T. Jones] under the influence of Dr. Kellogg. Fine threads were being woven around him and he was being bound hand and foot and his mind and his senses were becoming captivated. Letter 116, 1906.
I am sorry for A.T. Jones, who has been warned over and over again. Notwithstanding these warnings, he has allowed the enemy to fill his mind with thoughts of self-importance. Heed not his words, for he has rejected the plainest light and has chosen darkness instead. The Holy One hath given us messages clear and distinct, but some poor souls have been blinded by the falsehoods and the deceptive influence of satanic agencies, and have turned from truth and righteousness to follow these fallacies of satanic origin. Manuscript 39, 1906.
Dr. Kellogg controls the voice of Elder A.T. Jones, and will use him as his mouthpiece. My prayer is, O God, open Thou the blind eyes, that they may see; and the ears of the deaf that they may hear, and become humble. Letter 182, 1906.
Self-exaltation is your greatest danger. It causes you to swell to large proportions. You trust in your own wisdom, and that is often foolishness.
Do you remember the counsel which I gave you in my letter of April 1894? This was in answer to your letter expressing deep regret over the part you had taken in an unwise movement [Anna Phillips, see 2SM 85-95] and you appealed to me for instruction, that you might ever avoid such mistakes.
When at the General Conference at Washington I had a conversation with you, but it seemed to have no influence upon you. You appeared to feel fully capable of managing yourself. After that conversation, scene after scene passed before me in the night season, and I was then instructed that you neither had been nor would be a help to Dr. Kellogg; for you were blind in regard to his dangers and his real standing. You cannot be a help to him; for you entirely misjudge his case. You consider the light given me of God regarding his position as of less value than your own judgment.
Brother Jones, I have a message for you. In many respects you are a weak man. If I were to write out all that had been revealed to me of your weakness, and of the developments of your work that have not been in accordance with the course of a true Christian, the representation would not be pleasing. This may have to be done if you continue to justify yourself in a course of apostasy. Until your mind is cleared of the midst of perplexity, silence is eloquence on your part.
I am so sorry that you are spoiling your record.
Brother Jones, will you not earnestly seek the Lord, that in your life there may be a humbling of self, and an exaltation of the principles of righteousness? The success and prosperity of your work will depend upon your following strictly where Jesus leads the way. God would have you stand as a faithful watchman, laboring earnestly for souls ready to perish. If you will consent to be a worker together with God, you may manifest, in earnest words and works, the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit. True repentance will bring newness of life. Letter 242, 1906.
July 27, 1906 Revival of the first great apostasy: My heart was filled with sorrow because of the course that J.H. Kellogg is following. And A.T. Jones is following the same course and voicing the same sentiments, with a most determined spirit. When a realization of this comes over me, with such force, great sorrow fills my soul.
I have before me such a revival of the first great apostasy in the heavenly courts, that I am bowed down with an agony that cannot be expressed. It is in Battle Creek that the warnings that are given are entirely disregarded. Letter 248, 1906.
August 1, 1906 Under hypnotic power: God showed me what He would do for Dr. Kellogg if he would take hold of His hand. But he wrenched himself away. At the Berrien Springs meeting  the most precious offers were given him, and when he wrenched himself away I had such agony of heart that it seemed as if soul and body were being rent asunder.
I have seen Dr. Kellogg exerting a hypnotic influence upon persons, and at such times the arch-deceiver was his helper. Those who sustain him are guilty with him. This blindness of understanding is a strange thing in our ranks. In regard to A. T. Jones, he has a theory of truth, which his books express, and he dares not tear up his past experience by his present course of action.
Dr. Kellogg has had every advantage to make impressions on human minds, and he will improve this to the best of his ability in an effort to destroy confidence in the Testimonies. Those associated with him who have upheld him, will have to answer before God for their own course of action. Letter 258, 1906.
September 30, 1907 Giving heed to doctrines of devils: A.T. Jones, Dr. Kellogg, and Elder Tenney are all working under the same leadership. They are classing themselves with those of whom the apostle writes, Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. In the case of A.T. Jones I can see the fulfillment of the warnings that were given me regarding him. Letter 306, Letter 306, 1907.
October 1, 1907 Now in apostasy: I want to say to you, Brother and Sister Starr, that the time we have so long anticipated has come. A.T. Jones has come to the place where he voices the mind and faith of Dr. Kellogg. They have now taken a decided stand against the truth, and special efforts will be made to lead souls away. This apostasy has cost us dearly . . Warning after warning has been marked by deception as was the course of Canright. Many whose sympathies were with Dr. Kellogg, have united with him and have departed from the faith. Letter 316, 1907.
November 11, 1908Departed from the faith: I must warn our people against laboring in any line in connection with A.T. Jones. He is one who has departed from the faith, and has given heed to seducing spirits. He knows not what manner of spirit he is of. Letter 330, 1908.
John Harvey Kellogg wanted to take over the church, so he could take over the minds of the people in the church. That is frequently the reason why people fight the Spirit of Prophecy.For if they can but get it out of the way, they can more easily captivate minds with their subtle deceptions.
Charles Wheeling is no different. He continues to send out these attacks, so that he can more easily sway minds to accept his ever-changing time settings and theories about Daniel and Revelation. In the late 1980s, he said that Daniel Eight was all about the Iran-Iraq War. A few years later, he said Daniel Eight was all about the U.S.-Iraq (Gulf) War. In a year or two, Daniel Eight will be about something else.
Here now is a brief reply to Three Responses:
Three Responses to a Testimony consists of a brief statement by Ellen White and three letters to her.
1906: to the thought leaders at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, in the hope that, somehow, she might be able to bring some of them back to Gods Word. That was a Christian effort, and she is to be commended for it. In the letter, she included not only some of the leading Kellogg supporters, but also Dr. David Paulson, a Spirit of Prophecy adherent who was working at the Sanitarium and in danger of succumbing to Kellogg's influence.
But, it was received by ridicule and sarcasm. We have already read, in the statements quoted above, how J.H. Kellogg would work insidiously to capture mindsand then confuse and reorient them into his own skeptical image. Three of his captives, William Sadler, Charles Stewart, M.D., and Alonzo T. Jones replied. Those responses are printed in the 15-page Three Responses to a Testimony paper.
ELLEN WHITES STATEMENT
This is Ellen Whites spring 1906 statement:
Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people. There were present Dr. Kellogg, Elders Jones, Tenny and Talor, Dr. Paulson, Elder Sadler, Judge Arthur and many of their associates. I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievious things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and to make plain that which seems to be intricate.
who are troubled now place upon paper a statement of the difficulties that
perplex their minds . . They should do this if they are to be loyal to the
directions God has given. Letter, March 30, 1906.
That was a kindly act on her part. She was seeking to reconcile them, but, on the part of some, it only met with a hostile response.
At the heart of the matter was a power struggle. Kellogg and his associates were intent on dominating Battle Creek and the entire denomination. Ellen White had repeatedly stood in their way, and they hated her for it. Because they had shrouded themselves in darkness, evil angels hovered near. In their conversations together, they would try to come up with imaginings indicating that Ellen White was deceptive, evil, and dishonest.
WILLIAM SADLER'S LETTER
William Sadler was an elder, but one source indicates he was also a physician working at that Kellogg-controlled institution. In addition, in his response he mentions his earlier attendance at medical school. So we will here assume he was a medical doctor.
1 - Sadler mentions Dr. Paulson. Because he was a physician working during those crucial years at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Ellen White recognized that Paulson was in a dangerous position. She wrote and warned him of his danger, and spoke in strong terms. We can understand why, and are thankful that she did. But Sadler, offended that she had written Paulson, complains that it was a terrible thing that White issued that warning, since Paulson believed in the Spirit of Prophecy. But is not that all the more reason to warn him, before Kellogg's skeptical atmosphere overwhelmed him also?
2 - Saddler: During the last few months such a denomination issue has been made out of your writings. The issue was being made by the Battle Creek critics, not by the church members at large. It is those in rebellion against Gods messages which cause the shaking. It is their hostility to the testimonies which stirs up the trouble.
Some I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones . .
I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among Gods people. Early Writings, 270.
3 - Sadler: You stated to us that you were not a prophet . . Later you [also] stated in public, in the tabernacle at Battle Creek, that you were not a prophet, and your statement was subsequently published in the Review; but, in the same Review, an article by the editor proved that you were a prophet. Now, Sister White, what am I to believe?
Sadler should believe what Ellen White said, all that she said. She announced publicly that she was not a prophet, and she added that her work included not only that but far more. Amos was a prophet. In between tending sheep in the hill country of Takoa, he sat down and wrote a prophecy one day. Then he went back to his sheepherding. In contrast, Ellen White helped form an entire denomination, gave instruction regarding finances, clothing, adornment, committee meetings, doctrines, standards, hydrotherapy, evangelistic efforts, voice protection, public speaking, musical standards, proper nutrition, the use of herbal remedies, complete Biblical commentaries, pre-Adamic history, remarkable clarifications of Daniel and Revelation, and half a book full of future predictions. The list could go on and on for a page or so. Just as she said, her work included far more than a prophet. She was not merely a prophet.
But there was also a second reason why she spoke as she did. If you have ever read a biography of the rise of the Mormon Church, you will understand. Most terrible things were done by the prophets of Mormonism; the public press was full of the stories. Repeated adulteries and cold-blooded murder branded prophets as evil people, and it was all as Satan wanted it.
The Lord guided Ellen to speak as she did, so she would not be viewed as one of the false prophets Satan had raised up to cast disrepute on her and her writings. She publicly stated that she was not merely a prophet, in the sense that her work included far more than the role of a prophet. That was a correct statement. But, at the time it was made, the critics in Battle Creek saw an opportunity to hold a feast over her words, and twist them into an admission that she had always been a false prophet, and had finally admitted it.
4 - Sadler: I have been hearing it constantly, from leaders, ministers, even from those high in conference authority, that Willie [W.C. White, her son] influences you in the production of your testimonies.
Well, we can expect that Sadler would hear that in Battle Creek. That was a favorite jibe by the critics. It was a charge probably used against the Bible writers while they were alive.
Let me give an example. I will draw it out of thin air: Did you know that a special General Conference committee has been set up, which secretly writes what Vance Ferrell prints? No, I did not know that? Well, its true. Yes, I heard it from so-and-so, and he ought to know.
What an excellent rumor to get started. There is no defense against it, except one. And that is the writings themselves.
My writings obviously were not written by the General Conference! As for Ellen White, her writings were not written by church leaders, either. If they had been written by the leaders (or men assigned by them), those writings would have been loaded with the following concepts:
A small group of men should be in charge of the work on all levels. We should reverence those men, and do as they say. Obeying Scripture is not as important as obeying leadership. Our first duty is to maintain the authority of the church. The church does not err, and we should not question it. Church officers are granted insight and wisdom, far beyond that possessed by church members. We should acknowledge and submit to it. Their interpretation of Scripture should be unquestionably accepted. We should hesitate to study the Inspired Writings on our own, because we may misinterpret them.
Yet not once in the Spirit of Prophecy do we find any of the above papal concepts! By the way, we just learned this morning that, a couple months ago, Robert Folkenberg asked the General Conference Committee to approve a resolution making him CEO (chief executive officer) of the General Conference. This action (which was not approved) would have given him sweeping power to operate our world headquarters as a one-man show. Yet a similar measure will be presented to the 1995 Utrecht Session: to eliminate Session nomination and election of all officers except the chief executive ones. Now, back to our subject:
Ellen Whites writings, in the 1900s, bear the same ring of truth as all her earlier writings, while William White was still a babe in arms! Sadler's charge does not find proof in the Writings themselves.
5 - Sadler: Do you approve of sending personal testimonies broadcast to other people? Is it not the Bible rule, that when we have a criticism of a brother, it should be presented only to him, then afterwards to two or three, and only if he rejects it, to the church?
The answer to this is quite simple, and we will here clarify it again.
In our tract, Matthew Eighteen and Open Sin [PG41], we discuss this situation at length. It applies both to a large number of the writings of Ellen White, but also to my own.
There are private sins and there are public sins. If a brother is secretly smoking, and you learn of it, you go to him in private and seek to help him. That is a private sin. But if he is openly doing that which is leading others toward sin, then he is to be rebuked publicly before the church. It is a public sin. Matthew 18:15-16 does not apply to public sins. If a man is doing something that is affecting a number of others, it is a public sin. It should then be told directly to the church. That is the teaching of 2 Testimonies, 15:1-2.
In the Testimonies, Ellen White wrote about persons who had committed public sins--sins which were affecting the church. (In some cases, she also mentioned, but without naming them, those who had committed private sins.) In my own writings, I never write about the secret sins of others, until they are known in a wider circle. By that time others have pled with the person involved. Then it is brought to the attention of the church, so that the sin may be put away by the church.
In those instances in which Ellen White published testimonies to individuals about their private sins, she did not include their names. But she did name them when their sin had gone beyond the private level, and were affecting others. Then the command of Scripture is Tell it to the church (Matt 18:17). Just as we are not to tell it to the church while the sin is still private, we are commanded TO TELL IT TO THE CHURCH when it becomes public. Read Matthew 18:15-16.
In addition, read 2 Testimonies, 15:1-2.
These words of our Lord had reference to cases of personal trespass, and could not be applied in the case of this sister. She had not trespassed against Sister White. But that which had been reproved publicly was public wrongs which threatened the prosperity of the church and the cause. Here, said my husband, is a text applicable to the case: 1 Timothy 5:20: Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 2 Testimonies, 15.
When a man has a public or open sin, the initial private aspect is past. He must now be dealt with publicly. This is the 1 Timothy 5:20 pattern. What made it a public sin? Either (1) the Matthew 18 pattern was followed through to the point where it became an open church problem, or, more frequently, (2) the man himself made the matter an open sin by his own conduct and/or words.
For further study on this matter, and the importance of bringing open sin to the attention of the church, read 4 Testimonies, 490-491 (lessons from the experience of Achan). Also read 3 Testimonies, 265-272, which commends those who bring open sin to the attention of the church, and speaks very strongly about those who refuse to do so. Then read 3 Testimonies, 298-303, which also bears a strong message. Instead of reproving those who reprove sin in the church, we should prayerfully unite with them in attempting to cleanse the church of apostasy.
6 - It is stated by Sadler that, when W.W. Prescott was preaching against Kellogg's pantheism error, Ellen White wanted him to stop opposing it. We cannot know the situation, for the episode occurred about 90 years ago, but here are the possibilities: (1) Sadler was in error, and she did not want Prescott to stop opposing pantheism. (2) She had reason to know that Prescott was opposing it incorrectly, or doing it in such a manner as to push Kellogg in a corner, and Ellen knew Kellogg was still salvageable if others worked cautiously with him.
Yet, shortly after planning to warn Prescott to cease his public discussions of the matter, she may have been instructed by Heaven that it was too late, and that warning the people against pantheism had now become more important than trying to reach Kellogg.
This matter of writing testimonies, and then delaying or not sending them out, is mentioned several times in these three responses. Changes in men's attitudes or actions were crucial. As they hardened or loosened, the severity or need for the testimonies would change.
7 - In his letter, Sadler says that Edson White, one of her sons, remarked about his dislike for his brother, William. He said that Edson did not like the fact that William was working closely with her.
Some families have an odd one, who has a hard time fitting into the pattern which the others readily adapt to. James Edson White was such a person. For a number of years, as he was trying to find himself and his work in life, he was tempted to be jealous of his brother, William, who fitted so nicely into administrative work. There were times when Ellen feared for the salvation of Edson.
We should give much weight to his gripes about his brother. We have here, as well as elsewhere in these three responses to Ellen White, a sizeable amount of hearsay and shared rumors. It is a fact that, at that time just as today, there are those very willing to catch at any possible hint of something wrong with Ellen White, and eagerly share it with others.
The questions raised concerning the manipulation of her writings, and the influence of W.C. White on the testimonies, distressed Ellen White, particularly such charges as were traced to careless statements made by James Edson White. As referred to earlier, the two sons of James and Ellen White were much unlike in personality and character. The younger, William C., was steady, calm, loyal to the testimonies, dependable, and endued with leadership qualifications.
The older, James Edson, while talented, creative, and a good author, was unsteady, a poor manager of finances, and, because his brother and church leaders could not and did not endorse all his ventures, very critical. The testimonies of his mother addressed to him from early years carried at times little weight; yet when fully consecrated to God he did a remarkable work, particularly among the neglected blacks of the South.
Because he was the son of James and Ellen White, James Edson was able to borrow, mainly from Adventists, to support his various enterprises, many of which failed. Again and again his mother and his brother came to his personal financial aid as various enterprises he had been warned against collapsed.
As Ellen White found she could not endlessly support him in these ventures, his brother attempted to counsel him. He in turn took the position that W.C. White was influencing his mother. Among his personal friends in and around Battle Creek were a number who were voicing Dr. Kellogg's insinuations that Ellen White was being influenced by her son, William, and others. It was easy for James Edson to join in. A.L. White, 6 EGW Biography, pp. 99-100.
The above comments will help you understand the following statements, made by Ellen White to her son Edson, when she learned of his accusation:
What kind of a move was it that you made in rushing to Battle Creek and saying to those there that W.C. White, your own brother, for whom you should have respect, manipulated my writings? This is just what they needed to use in their councils to confirm them in their position that the testimonies the Lord gives your mother are no longer reliable . . Must I have such an impression go out? It is false, and I am sorry that you stand as you do . . You have regarded your brother in a strange, false light, and persist in doing this.
This has been the grief of my life. Your stubborn persistence forces me to speak now. I will not keep silent . . Your sentiments are the prevailing sentiments of a deceived mind . . Your position is a grievous thing to your mother and wears out the life of your brother . . I shall have to speak. I cannot and will not suffer reproach to come upon the cause of God, and my work that God has given me to do, by your saying he manipulates my writings. Letter 391, 1906.
There are those who say, Someone manipulates her writings. I acknowledge the charge. It is One who is mighty in counsel, One who presents before me the condition of things in Battle Creek. Letter 52, 1906.
Why did Ellen White write this way, since Edson knew so much about her office? Actually, he knew little or nothing about it. By his own choice, at the age of 15, in 1849, he was already working for a living as a printer. He was 32 when his Father died in 1881, and Ellen White moved to California. It was not until then that William began helping his mother, arranging meetings, etc.
As for Edson, he started his own printing business in the 1880s, and, to our knowledge, never journeyed west, and never saw Elmshaven or Ellen Whites office there.
In the late 1880s, he began working in missionary projects in Chicago, and, in 1893, dedicated the rest of his working years to helping found schools for the poor in the southern states. Until his retirement in 1912, when his wife's health failed, he kept at his work, starting small schools (over fifty within a few years) and, in 1900, founding the Southern Publishing Association in Nashville. The little free time Edson had was occupied in occasional trips to Battle Creek to visit with friends there, including Kellogg's associates.
Was he a credible witness as to what went on in Elmshaven? I think not.
8 - Sadler: Are the letters you write to the leaders in our work, in answer to the letters they write, Testimonies? Must I receive everything you write, as from the Lord, just as it is, word for word, or are there communications you send which are merely personal letters from Sister White?
It sounds like Sadler was having a hard time accepting the Testimonies. That should come as no surprise, since he was on Kellogg's side of the ongoing battle between the General Conference leaders and Kellogg's crowd. Keep in mind that Sadler's letter was dated 1906. By this time, Kellogg had been working for over a decade with lawyers and Sanitarium physicians and administrators, working out plans to take that large medical institution away from the church which had paid twice to have it built. The year after Sadler's letter, they would succeed in their theft. Frankly, the three responses we are here replying to do not come from honest men. They were not the type of men you would trust with your money in a business transaction! At the very time they were writing their letters of complaint, they were involved in a major corporate theft.
Although, technically, the Sanitarium was not owned by the denomination, it had been paid for by church members who became shareholders. In 1907, the Kellogg crowd completed their work of voting off the constituency everyone who was faithful to the Spirit of Prophecy! They stole a company which they had not paid for. (Most of construction expenses on the new sanitarium--like the one which preceded it, were underwritten by the denomination, yet, through Kellogg's scheming, without the General Conference becoming a voting shareholder.)
But back now to Sadler's question: In answer to it, there is a clear separation in Ellen Whites writings between information from the Lord and other matters. The character of that other material clearly shows its origin. What are these other matters? such things in her personal letters as what the weather was like that day in Avondale, how the workers had planted so many trees that day, or a mention of Brother Blanks leg injury while chopping wood.
But when Ellen White wrote about doctrines, standards, religious or scientific matters, or church matters, she spoke as from the Lord. That which she wrote was equal to all other Scripture in Inspiration and authority.
9 - Sadler: Some who are now talking so loudly for [in favor of] the Testimonies are the very ones who first told me, in past years, that Willie influenced you, etc., and [yet now] I see these people eating meat, and engaging in other things that are certainly contrary to the light you have given. What am I to think?
Regarding the charge that William White influenced Ellen White: Prior to 1881, the critics said that Ellen White wrote what her husband, James, told her to write and that, as soon as James was dead, the church leaders would easily be able to control her and get her to write what they wanted the people to hear (about how church members should be obedient to everything leadership tells them, etc.)At least, that is what they supposed.
But, when James suddenly died in 1881, the leaders were shocked to learn that their false reports were just that, false. Ellen had the same determination she always had, and totally refused to submit to their influence or control. The leaders had earlier turned against her and James (as an example, read Sketch of Experience in 2 Testimonies). Then, after James death, they turned against her even more fiercely, and refused to print the 1888 edition of Great Controversy. (Critics today will tell you that the 1888 edition was written by church leaders. That is a laugh. The truth is that church leaders refused to print that book, simply because she wrote it! Read my 504-page book, The Editions of Great Controversy, for fuller details. They were so angry about her stubborn refusal to submit to them in any wise, that the 1888 edition was not printed by Pacific Press until 1889, and not until 1890 by the Review.)
No one controlled Ellen White! No one influenced Ellen White! She was Gods servant, commending the right and reproving the wrong, wherever it occurred. When Kellogg went off into error, she reproved him. At the same time, church leaders were eating meat and resolutely opposed to health reform, on both points of which, Kellogg was on doing right. So she reproved the church leaders for their wrongdoing as well.
Yes, Kellogg was a problem, but so were the church leaders!
10 - Sadler expresses shock at learning that Ellen White urged our young people not to attend Kellogg's American Medical Missionary College in Battle Creek, but, instead, go somewhere else for their medical training.
He would not have been shocked, if he had not been so brainwashed by Kellogg. By 1906, when Sadler wrote his letter, Kellogg was using every means possible to separate Gods people from Adventism. To add to the problem, his medical school was so tiny that every student was, of necessity, fully exposed to and indoctrinated by his theories, before they were permitted to graduate. Why then should Ellen White recommend Kellogg's medical school?
11 - Sadler sees a contradiction: How am I to understand this former communication [E.G. White statement] in which you forbid students to go to outside medical schools, and later ones which forbid our people to go to the American Medical Missionary College?
Times had changed. The situation in Battle Creek had grown so bad, that Ellen White said it was no longer safe to send students, to any Adventist school in Battle Creek, academy, college, or medical school.
12 - Sadler: In your writings, you have stated that the twelve disciples were present at the Last Supper, but in [the book,] Christ Our Saviour you state that but eleven were present.
Such quibbling. If this is the greatest thing wrong with Ellen Whites writings, they must indeed contain the pinnacle of perfection.
Christ Our Saviour was prepared in 1896 by Edson, based on E.G. White passages. One possibility is that, in that very brief 196-page account of Christ's life, mention may have been made of the eleven disciples who were present at the close of the Lords Supper; whereas, in her own much larger work, Desire of Ages, there was space to mention the more complete picture: a Lords supper which began with twelve and ended up with eleven disciples.
But it is far more likely that it was simply a typesetting error:
matter of eleven disciples at the Last Supper was] a mistake made by Edson
White in his first issuance of the book, Christ Our Saviour, an
adaptation that was a mixture of E.G. White materials and his writings on
the life of Christ. A.L. White, 7 EGW
Biography, p. 95.
Christ Our Saviour was not given the careful proofing of galleys that Ellen Whites books regularly received. In this case, Edson was wholly in charge of typesetting and proofreading.
CHARLES E. STEWART LETTER
Charles E. Stewart, M.D., was one of the physicians who worked closely with J.H. Kellogg at the Sanitarium. His letter was sent in 1907, the same year that Kellogg and his associates succeeded in stealing that immense Battle Creek institution away from the denomination and members which had built and paid for it.
His letter consists of several complaints. Here is an overview of them:
1 - Stewart: Should students sign contracts to work for a time at the Sanitarium, after completing their studies? Ellen White had, at different times, spoken on both sides of the matter.
If the institution is properly conducted, it would be fair to do so; if the institution is not or indoctrinates in error, the students should not, but instead get away from it as soon as possible.
2 - Stewart: Ellen White had said the Sanitarium was not conducted on a denominational basis; elsewhere she said it was established to be denominational, another discrepancy.
The Battle Creek Sanitarium was not a denominationally owned institution, but paid for by corporate shareholders. In this sense, it was not conducted on a denominational basis. But, later, Kellogg decided to operate it as a non-Adventist nondenominationally advertised institution. This was not to be done. That explains the seeming variation in the testimonies.
In another sense, we have here the difference between what it was and what it should have been. It should have been oriented to leading the patients into acceptance of the Third Angels Message, but, instead, it was a money-making outfit, with Kellogg eager to improve its profits by separating it fully from Adventist beliefs and objectives.
3 - Stewart: E.G. White sometimes wrote approvingly of Kellogg and his work; at other times she wrote negatively. He cites the positive statements as being before 1903, and the negative ones as being from 1904 onward.
Kellogg did certain things very right (healthful living, proper diet, vegetarianism, natural remedies), which church leaders in Battle Creek frequently did not do. Kellogg did certain things wrong (trying to take over the Sanitarium and the denomination, and control General Conference leaders and all other Adventist sanitariums worldwide). Ellen White sought in every way to reach his heart and bring him back. Keep in mind that Kellogg had been as a son to her, when, in his youth, she helped him recover his health. For over a decade (prior to about 1904), she felt there was hope of winning him back to the faith. Because of this, some of her statements appeared to favor him, while others did not.
4 - Stewart: Ellen White sneaked back to meat eating for a short time in the early 1890s.
When Ellen White stopped eating meat in the 1860s, she left it completely. I do not believe that any statement, even though attributed to her, that she ate meat in 1894 is genuine. Simple as that. Just because the critics print something, does not make it true especially when they are known thieves.
5 - Stewart: Ellen White ate oysters in 1890.
I do not believe the rumor, circulated by the Kellogg crowd, that Ellen White ate oysters in 1890. There are few things as dirty as shellfish. They have the highest bacteria count of anything eaten by mankind.
Select any page you wish to read from her large collection of books, and read it, and you will find yourself convicted that these are the words of God. I choose to take my stand by her writings, rather than with the quibbles of men known to be thieves.
6 - Stewart: Several testimonies are quoted, which state that we should no longer use butter. In apparent contrast, a statement is quoted which mentions that a number of articles of food will soon no longer be safe for anyone to eat. Yet another discrepancy.
No, it is not. The consistent counsel was that we should not use butter. Yet, knowing that many still used it, she mentioned later that the time would soon come when there would be no safety at all in using several types of food, including butter.
Conclusion: no discrepancy: It is unwise for ones health to now use butter, but soon the time will come when, because of an intensive increase in animal disease, there will be absolutely no safety in using it.
Add to the above, this point: Stewart quoted sentences from Volumes 2 and 3 of the Testimonies about how we should no longer eat butter (2T 367, 487; 3T 21, 136). But read for yourself the later quoted statement (in 7T 135). It is about what Adventists should teach non-Adventists when they first introduce them to the health message! Explain to them that certain foods are becoming too dangerous to eat, because soon their will be no safety in using them.
So her consistent counsel is not to use butter at all. But, when beginning to educate non-Adventists on why they should not use it either, warn them about how disease in food animals and dairy products is increasing, and how soon it will be totally unsafe to use such things. Then lead them to a commitment to stop using harmful foods right now.
7 - Another quibble by Stewart: In one statement, Ellen White said that she should reply to a certain type of charge leveled against her. In another one, written to Kellogg, she replied to a different charge leveled against her. Therefore, she is inconsistent.
These men who were master experts are dissecting her writings. Oh, that they were humble Christians to obey them!
The Lord guided what she was to do, at each step. Some of the quibbles mailed to her, she knew not to bother with. While others she was convicted she should reply to.
8 - Stewart says it was inconsistent for Ellen White to write to the officers of the Battle Creek Sanitarium requesting donations to be used in starting small sanitariums elsewhere in the world field, when, in fact, the leaders of the Sanitarium had already cleverly inserted a little paragraph into its corporate charter, that no funds could be sent elsewhere. How inconsistent Ellen White was, according to Stewart, to ask them to do that which their corporate charter said could not be done.
Selfish rascals. All they had to do was to strike that miserable paragraph from their charter! These men were so ensconced in selfishness, that they could brag about it when Gods servant came pleading for crumbs from their wealthy operation, to help impoverished areas elsewhere in the world field.
That little quibble reveals the character of the man, Dr. Charles E. Stewart.
9 - Stewarts next point is about the Chicago building. Here is what actually happened:
In 1899, Ellen White was shown that Kellogg intended to enlarge his north-central states empire, by erecting buildings in Chicago, when surplus Sanitarium funds were needed in other distant places of the world where money was extremely limited. You have taken money from the Battle Creek Sanitarium [in order] to erect buildings in Chicago, she wrote that year.
In the interim, plans were changed. It is believed that her written statement was partly responsible for their being cancelled or partially postponed.
In 1902, while describing that earlier vision in which she was shown the plans of those men, she said: I was shown a large building in Chicago, which in its erection and equipment, cost a large amount of money.
That same year, Judge Jesse Arthur, for many years an attorney with the Battle Creek Sanitarium, before his elevation to a Michigan judgeship, was in California and stopped by the St. Helena Sanitarium. Then he and his wife journeyed to Pratt Valley, at the foot of the hill to visit Ellen White at her Elmshaven home.
During that very friendly visit, the matter of the missing Chicago buildings came up, and Arthur explained what had happened. Construction plans were, indeed, being worked on, but then the project had been cancelled.
On his return to Battle Creek, he sent Ellen White a letter, dated August 27, 1902, in which he filled in additional details. He explained that, in 1899, when Kellogg's American Medical Missionary College (in Battle Creek) sought for recognition by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the AMMC was told they needed to construct buildings in Chicago. The three-man committee handling it, of which Arthur was chairman, found the project would cost $100,000 a lot of money in those days. On June 26, 1899, the committee voted to go ahead with the project.
then J.H. Kellogg returned from a trip to Europe, and he cancelled the
Ellen White penned the following statement in 1903:
When I was in Australia, I was shown a large building in Chicago. This building was elaborately furnished. I was shown that it would be a mistake to invest means in a building such as this. Chicago is not the place in which to erect buildings. . . Someone said that the testimony that I bore in regard to this was not true, that no such building was erected in Chicago. But the testimony was true. The Lord showed me what men were planning to do. I knew that the testimony was true, but not until recently was the matter explained to me. Letter 135, 1903.
But the matter did not rest there, as far as the Kellogg critics were concerned. In later years they tried to devise imaginary details which would appear to conflict with Ellen Whites statements about the Chicago building.
10 - Stewart claims that Ellen White never told the Battle Creek leaders not to rebuild the Battle Creek Sanitarium after the fire, yet she said it was erected against the expressed will of God. This is a contradiction.
The truth is this: Ellen White did indeed approve of the rebuilding of a sanitarium in Battle Creek, but she repeatedly urged that it be modest in size. The needs in other fields were too urgent to build one, or even several, large medical institutions. Its large size and great expense were against Gods will.
110, 1902, she wrote Dr. Kellogg and reminded him of his earlier-stated
wish that the Sanitarium might be located outside Battle Creek, if, for some
reason, it no longer existed there.
On April 30 of that year, she wrote him and said he was not wise in trying to build a large sanitarium in Battle Creek. Many small centers were needed in many places, rather than large ones in a few places.
A week later, she wrote Percy T. Magan, a friend of Kellogg, expressing the same sentiments (Letter 71, 1902).
More letters to Kellogg and his associates followed in the coming months. So Stewart is wrong in saying that Ellen White wrote nothing against the rebuilding of the Sanitarium in Battle Creek.
The Lord has revealed to me that if, in the place of having one mammoth sanitarium in Battle Creek, smaller sanitariums could be established in several cities, His name would be glorified. The centering of so much in one place is contrary to Gods order. Letter 110, 1902.
I am instructed to say that our people must not be drawn upon for means to erect an immense sanitarium in Battle Creek. Letter 128, 1902.
Instead, John Kellogg used a variety of devices to enmesh the denomination in heavy debtin order to rebuild an even bigger Sanitarium than before. And then, in 1907, he, along with men like Sadler and Stewart, stole it from those who paid to build it.
instructed, I have a message for you to bear to Dr. Kellogg. I
thought, It will do no good. He does not accept the messages that I bear
him, unless these harmonize with his plans and devisings. Yet I must give
the message given to me for you. Letter 123, 1902 [EGW to JHK].
For years, the Lord tried to reach John Harvey Kellogg. He, as well as Satan, knew that if Kellogg went out, the final result would be the end of blueprint Adventist medical missionary work. And that is exactly what happened. Gods plan for our denomination to take natural remedies to the world came to a halt.
And that is what happened. See our sixteen-part study, The Alpha of Apostasy [DH251-266], now in our Doctrinal History Tractbook for the later years of J.H. Kellogg.
ALONZO T. JONES LETTER
by Alonzo Trever Jones, the well-known A.T. Jones of Minneapolis fame, is
the third response in this collection which has recently been mailed
to hundreds of faithful Advent believers, in the hope that it will destroy
their faith. Why do men want to separate you from the Spirit of Prophecy?
Because it is hoped that, if they succeed, you will more readily accept
their teachings, which are clearly not found in those writings. With the
money you then send in, they can buy expensive cars and live more
luxuriously. There is money to be made in destroying men's souls.
letter, by A.T. Jones, was written in 1909. By this time, he was quite
hardened. True, his brain combined brilliance and rapid thinking. But, alas,
he had abandoned the Testimonies. Many today are doing the same
humble ones, willing to live by every word which proceedeth from the mouth
of God, will go through to the end. The conceited ones, ever willing to
trust in the preachers of novelties, will fall by the way. Someday they will
wake up, too late, and curse the preachers they trusted to lead them away
from Bible-Spirit of Prophecy truths.
1 - A.T.
Jones complains that Ellen White did not reply to the various letters of
complaint, sent her earlier by the Kellogg crowd.
surely, she must have had a great many important things to do, without
tending to all the quibbling comments she received. If you received that
kind of trivia in the mail to reply to, would you bother to do it? The
insincerity of the authors is quite evident. However, lest some be led out
of the way, I am here replying to it. Ninety years from when it all took
place is a long time, and, at this late date, some words of explanation are
is, it did not matter what Ellen White did or wrote, it was always
misinterpreted by Kellogg's band of critics. When she sent out that
letter (quoted at the beginning of this study), it was done with the
sincere intention of trying to help those poor souls.
But, instead of sincere points, she only received shallow complaints such as we have replied to in this study. Wondering whether to take time to reply to them all, she was told:
I had a vision in which . . I was directed by a messenger from heaven not to take the burden of picking up and answering all the sayings and doubts. Letter, June 3, 1906.
She was instructed to reply to the sincere inquirers who wrote, but not to answer the faultfinders. Ellen was guided to know which was which.
During the past few weeks I have not had much rest in spirit. Letters, full of questions, are continually crowding in upon us . . I have been sent some of the most frivolous questions in regard to the testimonies given me by the Lord. Letter 180, 1906.
Some are watching keenly for some words which have been traced by my pen and upon which they can place their human interpretations in order to sustain their positions and to justify a wrong course of action . . The twistings and connivings and misrepresentations and misapplications of the Word are marvelous . . What one does not think of, another mind supplies. Letter 172, 1906.
I am to sow the good seed. When questions suggested by Satan arise, I will remove them if I can. But those who are picking at straws had better be educating mind and heart to take hold of the grand and soul-saving truths that God has given through the humble messenger, in the place of becoming channels through whom Satan can communicate doubt and questioning. Letter 200, 1906.
doing this to try and wear her out, so she would stop writing entirely. But
she kept on with the work God had given her. How thankful we are that she
through the Jones letter, we find rehashes of points in the Sadler letter,
which have already been answered. We will not discuss them.
Summarizing, Jones complains that, during the time that the Sanitarium board
was working to wrest control of that institution, Ellen White wrote against
what they were trying to do.
Something wrong with that?
3 - Jones
claims not to have received and/or read some of the letters she wrote to
or not that is true, we would not know.
4 - Jones
says that, contrary to E.G. White letters, he and Kellogg only speak truth
and no error.
their opinion in the matter.
5 - Jones
claims that, when he visited Ellen White, in 1903, at Elmshaven (when she
warned him not to journey east to unite with Dr. Kellogg), and after she
spoke to him for a considerable length of time, he told her, There
is not a particle of truth in what you are saying.
view of a statement like that, either Jones is as honest as the driven snow,
and Ellen White a total liar; or vice versa. He claims that everything she
said for quite some time was totally false.
6 - This
point was mentioned in less detail in Sadler's letter. Jones claims that,
at the Berrien Springs Conference in 1904, Ellen White wrote a note telling
Prescott not to deliver a sermon against pantheism, but the note was not
delivered to him and he spoke against that error anyway. Then she wrote a
note, which was not delivered, to Daniells, asking him to greet Kellogg with
great warmness. Jones asks why the notes were not delivered.
were the notes not delivered. The matter of writing testimonies, and then
delaying or not sending them out, is mentioned a couple times in these three
responses. The content of Gods messages and their distribution was
dependent on the decisions and actions of those discussed. Changes in
men's attitudes or actions were crucial. As their thinking hardened or
loosened, the severity of or need for the testimonies would change. As she
was instructed what to do, she wrote or did not write, or sent out or did
not send out, the message given to her.
turned out, when Prescott delivered that sermon on Friday, a strong
agitation occurred at the meeting. This was due to the fact that many there
had clearly taken sides already, but many were undecided, and needed the
warning message by Prescott. We can be thankful that Ellen White thought
best to avoid telling him not to deliver it.
that same day, the message to Elder Daniells was not handed to him. Ellen
White had been told of a deepening hardness in Kellogg's heart, and that
overtures of great friendship would only be used as reasons for hardening
his heart still more.
7 - Jones
then sneeringly inquires why Ellen White was cautious and would not answer
every question sent to her from Battle Creek.
the content of these three responses, we can see that Battle Creek had
become a haven of wolves. (In our five-part biography, Canright
[DH201-205], now in our White Tractbook, we reveal that,
within a few short years, the Battle Creek Sanitarium provided free meals
and secretarial help for D.M. Canright, so he could continue writing his
attacks on Ellen White and the Adventist denomination. There were devils in
Battle Creek back then.
White was 81 years old when Jones sent that letter to her. She experienced a
lot of grief during her life. Such men as A.T. Jones and J.H. Kellogg, whom
she had tried so hard to help, had turned away and cast their lot with the
people of God not do it now.
concluding this, let us note two points:
1 - In
this brief study, we have tried to analyze events of approximately ninety
years ago. Not knowing what happened back then, it is more difficult to
defend the integrity of the prophet against slurs and unfounded rumors.
in mind we have her books, and their contents very clearly reveal what she
was like. Ellen White was not the scheming, diabolical person that John
Kellogg and his accomplices made her out to be.
2 - As
noted earlier in this analysis, it is remarkable that, in view of Ellen
Whites 20,000 book pages and 20,000 published articles, that her
adversaries in Battle Creek could not come up with anything worthwhile in
condemnation of her life, work, and writings.
What can be better than staying close to Gods Word? Shall we abandon it in such terrible times as these?
Between 1845 and her death, Ellen White received hundreds of divine visions and prophetic dreams. Writing out this information required decades of work, seventy years in all. She produced a torrent of some 25 million words that, by 1992, would be published in 137 languages around the globe. More than any other woman in history, she has written more material, and, in addition, has had more of it placed in print. She is the most translated woman writer of all time, and the most translated American writer of either gender.
what is offered us as the flaws and errors in her work? The Kellogg gang
spent over a decade trying to track it all down, and this is what they
present us with: a miserable collection of tattered complaints, a hodgepodge
of worthless arguments about trivia.
We have learned that Charles Wheeling is subsidizing the writing and publication of a book, summarizing many attack arguments against Ellen White and her writings. The plan is to print and mail it out from a different name and address. So this child of the devil should be in print sometime this year.