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Exposing Adventism - Beware of those who preach definite time

One has to wonder how Ellen White could write this with a straight face!

Those who so presumptuously preach definite time, in so doing gratify the adversary of souls; for they are advancing infidelity rather than Christianity. They produce Scripture and by false interpretation show a chain of argument which apparently proves their position. But their failures show that they are false prophets. (Testimonies, vol 4, p. 307)

The Bible clearly states:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36 KJV)

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. (Mark 13:32 KJV)

In a Herculean effort to justify Ellen White's behavior, Adventists will attempt to point out that as long as Ellen White did not endorse a specific "day and hour" that she did not violate this Biblical directive.

Attempting to find some point upon which to redefine the meaning of her words, "preach definite time", Adventists then argue on the basis of technicalities rather than the spirit of what she was both disfellowshipped from the Methodist Church over, and what she herself wrote later. While there may be some dispute over precise dates, there can be no doubt that Ellen White participated in "date-endorsement" for 1843, 1844, 1845, 1851, 1857, and a more nebulous range around 1885-1895.

I find it incredulous to entertain the proposal that none of the following events in which Ellen White was a participant, in any way endorsed an expectation Christians would normally associate with "date setting"!

1843:

I saw God was in the proclamation of the time in 1843. It was his design to arouse the people and bring them to a testing point, where they should decide for or against the truth. Thousands were led to embrace the truth preached by William Miller. (Early Writings, p 232)

I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them. (Early Writings, p 74)

1844:

In trying to explain away why Christ didn't come in 1843, Ellen White came up with this creative excuse. Just blame God, and say that it happened "in heaven" on October 22, 1844.

The Lord showed me that … His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until his hand was removed. (Review and Herald, Nov 1, 1850)

I saw the people of God, joyful in expectation, looking for their Lord. But God designed to prove them. His hand covered a mistake in the reckoning of the prophetic periods. Those who were looking for their Lord did not discover it… God designed that his people should meet with a disappointment. (Spiritual Gifts, p 137)

1845:

However true this extract may be in relation to reveries, it is not true in regard to the visions: for the author does not "obtain the sentiments" of her visions "from previous teaching or study." When she received her first vision, Dec. 1844, she and all the band in Portland, Maine, (where her parents then resided) had given up the midnight-cry, and shut door, as being in the past. It was then that the Lord shew her in vision, the error into which she and the band in Portland had fallen. She then related her vision to the band, and about sixty confessed their error, and acknowledged their 7th month experience to be the work of God.
 
 
It is well known that many were expecting the Lord to come at the 7th month, 1845. That Christ would then come we firmly believed. A few days before the time passed, I was at Fairhaven, and Dartmouth Mass., with a message on this point of time. At this time, Ellen was with the band at Carver, Mass., where she saw in vision, that we should be disappointed, and that the saints must pass through the "time of Jacob's trouble," which was future. Her view of Jacob's trouble was entirely new to us, as well as herself. At our conference in Topsham, Maine, last Nov., Ellen had a vision of the handiworks of God. She was guided to the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and I think one more. After she came out of vision, she could give a clear description of their Moons, etc. It is well known, that she knew nothing of astronomy, and could not answer one question in relation to the planets, before she had this vision. (A Word to the Little Flock, 1847, by James White, p. 22)

1851:

Ellen White claims that she was shown in 1849 that the pestilence described in Revelation was beginning, and "very soon the dead and dying would be all around us."

What we have seen and heard of the pestilence, is but the beginning of what we shall see and hear. Soon the dead and dying will be all around us. (Present Truth, September 1849)

The mighty shaking has commenced. (Present Truth, April 1850)

Said my accompanying angel, "Time is almost finished. Do ye reflect the lovely image of Jesus as ye should?" Then I was pointed to the earth, and saw that there would have to be a getting ready among those who have of late embraced the third angel's message. Said the angel, "Get ready, get ready, get ready. Ye will have to die a greater death to the world than ye have ever yet died." I saw that there was a great work to do for them, and but little time to do it in.
Experience and Views (1850), page 52

In a view given June 27, 1850, my accompany angel said, "Time is almost finished."… Said the angel, "Get ready, get ready, get ready." (Early Writings, p 64, June 27, 1850)

Some of us have had time to get the truth and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. (Early Writings, p 67, June 27, 1850)

I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the Most Holy Place was nearly finished, and that time cannot last but a very little longer; and what leisure time we have should be spent in searching the Bible, which is to judge us in the last day.
Experience and Views (1850), page 46

Let the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually, and let them crowd worldly thoughts and cares from the mind. When you lie down and when you rise up let them be your meditation. Live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man. The sealing time is very short, and soon will be over.
Experience and Views (1850), page 47

I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the most holy place was nearly finished and that time cannot last but a very little longer… The sealing time is very short and soon will be over. (Early Writings, p 57, Sept 1850)

I saw that some of us have had time to get the truth, and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. And they will have to unlearn much, and learn again. And those who will not receive the mark of the beast and his image, when the decree goes forth, must have decision now to say, nay, we will not regard the institution of the beast.
Experience and Views (1850), page 55

Ellen White was "shown" in my Camden, N.Y. vision on June 29, 1851 that the Close of Probation had already taken place.

Then I saw that Jesus prayed for his enemies, but that should not cause us to pray for the wicked world, whom God had rejected — when he prayed for his enemies, there was hope for them… but now his spirit and sympathy were withdrawn from the world; and our sympathy must be with Jesus, and must be withdrawn from the ungodly… I saw that the wicked could not be benefited by our prayers now… I saw that the scripture did not mean the wicked whom God had rejected that we must love, but he meant our neighbors in the household, and did not extend beyond the household. (Camden, N.Y. vision on June 29, 1851)

In Ellen's letter to Brother and Sister Loveland she wrote:

My vision comes up before me and the words of the angel even now seem to ring in my ears, "Get ready, get ready, get ready. Time is almost finished, almost finished, almost finished. Cry, cry, for the arm of the Lord is to be revealed, for the arm of the Lord is to be revealed. Time is almost finished. What you do, ye must do quickly! (Letter 26, 1850, p. 2, Manuscript Releases, Vol 8, p 222,223)

1857:

In 1856 Ellen White claims she was shown:

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, Vol 1, p 131)

1885-1895:

By 1884 Ellen White again saw signs of Christ’s imminent return. At that time she sent out a testimony calling for celibacy among Adventists.

That testimony was read before gatherings of people, but it was evidently destroyed when it met with so much resistance, and the proof of its previous existence can be only had from those who heard it read or was an eye witness to the consternation it caused… Many tried to live up to her instructions. I sat in the Adventist church in Missoula, Montana, and heard the minister, Rollin D. Quinn, get up before the congregation and with tears streaming down his cheeks, confess that Satan had tempted him during the dark hours of the night and he had sinned but with God’s help he would stand firm from now on, only to repeat the scene the following Sabbath. One minister told my father that he did not dare trust himself home with his wife, so he had her meet him at the railroad station. (The Story of Ellen White’s Suppressed Testimony, Limboline, Glendale, California: Church of the Advent Fellowship), Jan 7, 1984, p 10,11)

When a missionary couple had children, Mrs. White blasted them:

It was not in accordance with our faith or God’s will that our missionaries should fill their hands with cares and burdens that were not essential to the work… I was shown that Brother and Sister V___ had departed from God’s counsel in bringing into the world children… The time is and has been for years, that the bringing into the world is more an occasion of grief than joy… Satan controls these children, and the Lord has but little to do with them… The time has come when, in one sense, they that have wives be as though they had none. (MS 34, 1885)

In another letter she wrote of another missionary couple:

How much better would have been the influence of both if they had not married, but both have devoted their interests to God's cause; and after they were married, how much better for them to have thoroughly considered the situation and decided that God should have all the powers He had given them in the work of saving souls. (Ellen White, letter written from Europe in 1888, as quoted in "Counsels Regarding Parenthood" DF 360A, a document produced by the Ellen G. White Estate.)

In 1895 Mrs. White wrote:

The time has come when a sterile condition is not the worst condition to be in. (Ellen White, Letter 15, 1895)

Adventists will argue that creating a sense of urgency is important to "awaken the flock." One has to ask then, why more Adventist pastors don't start uttering statements like these to create a sense of urgency.

And yet Ellen White could say,

Those who so presumptuously preach definite time, in so doing gratify the adversary of souls; for they are advancing infidelity rather than Christianity. They produce Scripture and by false interpretation show a chain of argument which apparently proves their position. But their failures show that they are false prophets. (Testimonies, vol 4, p. 307)

 
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.