Ellen G. White was the founder of Seventh-day Adventism who claimed to be a prophet of God. But as I will demonstrate in this article, nothing could be further from the truth. Her revelations are not the product of divine inspiration, but the result of plagiarism (which is well-documented) and following the absurd Victorian fables of her day. White herself tells us to follow the Bible because her testimonies will never contradict God’s written Word:
“The Bible must be your counselor. Study it and the testimonies God has given; for they never contradict His Word” (Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 32).
Therefore, by her own admission, if she were to teach something contrary to the Bible, then she would not be a true prophet of God. White claimed that her writings are the product of the Holy Spirit and therefore must be followed without question:
“Yet, now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You thereby insulted the Spirit of God” (Testimonies 5, p. 64).
“In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision – the precious rays of light shining from the throne” (Testimonies 5, p. 67).
“If you lessen the confidence of God’s people in the testimonies He has sent them, you are rebelling against God as were Korah, Dathan, and Abriam” (Testimonies 5, p. 66).
“The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil. In arraying yourself against the servants of God you are doing a work either for God or for the devil” (Testimonies 4, p. 230).
“In my books, the truth is stated, barricaded by a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ The Holy Spirit traced these truths upon my heart and mind as indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God upon the tables of stone” (Letter 90, 1906).
“I testify the things which I have seen, the things which I have heard, the things which my hands have handled of the Word of life. And this testimony I know to be of the Father and the Son. We have seen and do testify that the power of the Holy Ghost has accompanied the presentation of the truth, warning with pen and voice, and giving the messages in their order. To deny this work would be to deny the Holy Ghost, and would place us in that company who have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits” (Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 388).
But White was no prophet of God because she gave false prophecies (Deut 18:20-22) and taught things contrary to the truth. She once claimed that some of those she was speaking to would still be alive when Christ returned:
“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 1, p. 131-132, May 27, 1856).
She claimed that God revealed to her the day and hour that Christ would return even though Jesus said that no one will know when he will come back (Matt 24:42-44):
“Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming” (Early Writings, p. 15).
She held to the belief that men and animals were capable of interbreeding with each other and producing offspring which is one reason God had to send a global flood to destroy all living things:
“But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 64).
She believed that certain races of men are the product of interbreeding between men and animals even after the flood:
“Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 75).
She apparently did not remember the book of Genesis very well considering that she once said that the tower of Babel was built before the flood and not after:
“This system was corrupted before the flood by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged in the building of the tower of Babel” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 301).
She believed that it was a sin to be sick:
“It is a sin to be sick; for all sickness is the result of transgression” (Counsels on Health, p. 37).
She believed that the saints in heaven have wings contrary to the example of Christ who does not have wings in his present glorified state (Phil 3:21):
“We gathered about Jesus, and just as He closed the gates of the city, the curse was pronounced upon the wicked. The gates were shut. Then the saints used their wings and mounted to the top of the wall of the city” (Early Writings, p. 53).
She confused Herod Antipas with Herod Agrippa I:
“Herod’s heart grew still harder, and when he heard that JESUS had arisen, he was not much troubled. He took the life of James; and when he saw that this pleased the Jews, he took Peter also, intending to put him to death” (Spiritual Gifts, Vol 1, p.71).
She taught that Jesus’ brothers were older than him even though Jesus was the firstborn (Luke 2:7):
“All this displeased His brothers. Being older than Jesus, they felt that He should be under their dictation. His brothers, as the sons of Joseph were called, sided with the rabbis. They insisted that the traditions must be heeded, as if they were the requirements of God” (The Desire of Ages, p. 86-87).
She discouraged marriage because she taught that the end of the world was right around the corner:
“In this age of the world, as the scenes of earth’s history are soon to close and we are about to enter upon the time of trouble such as never was, the fewer the marriages contracted, the better for all, both men and women.” (Testimonies 5, p. 366).
She required all of her followers to be strict vegetarians imposing her own man-made rules on others (1 Cor 4:6):
“You place on your table butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go?” (Testimonies 2, p. 362).
But she herself enjoyed salmon and other meat:
“We have not had a particle of meat in the house since you left and long before you left. We have had salmon a few times. It has been rather high [in price]” (Letter 13, 1876, cited in Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 336).
She believed that wigs overheat the brain:
“The artificial hair and pads covering the base of the brain heat and excite the spinal nerves centering in the brain. The head should ever be kept cool. The heat caused by these artificial coverings induces the blood to the brain. The action of the blood upon the lower or animal organs of the brain, causes unnatural activity, tends to recklessness in morals, and the mind and heart are in danger of being corrupted” (The Health Reformer, Oct. 1, 1871).
She denied that the man Jesus is God which in the context of her statement is the error of Nestorianism rather than Arianism:
“The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty” (Letter 32, 1899, quoted in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1129).
She taught that Jesus’ work of atonement was not finished until 1844 when the investigative judgment began which is contrary to the teachings of Hebrews 10:10-14:
“Instead of . . . Daniel 8:14 referring to the purifying of the earth, it was now plain that it pointed to the closing work of our High Priest in heaven, the finishing of the atonement, and the preparing of the people to abide the day of His coming” (Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 58).
“Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly (sanctuary), at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation” (Early Writings, p. 253).
She taught that we should never say that we are saved which undermines any doctrine of assurance of salvation (1 John 5:13):
“Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or feel that they are saved. . . . Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 155).
White believed that being reconciled to God involved a synergistic combination of obedience and faith:
“Man, who has defaced the image of God in his soul by a corrupt life, cannot, by mere human effort, effect a radical change in himself. He must accept the provisions of the gospel; he must be reconciled to God through obedience to his law and faith in Jesus Christ” (Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 294).
She taught that the blood of Christ does not cancel sin:
“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement. . . . In the great day of final award, the dead are to be ‘judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works’ (Revelation 20:12). Then by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357).
Instead, we must reach a state of sinless perfection in order to be saved:
“Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the cases of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Every one must be tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (The Great Controversy, 1950 edition, p. 490).
She taught that Satan will bear the sins of God’s people when he is cast into hell:
“As the priest, in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confessed them upon the head of the scapegoat, so Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin. The scapegoat, bearing the sins of Israel, was sent away ‘unto a land not inhabited;’ so Satan, bearing the guilt of all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit, will be for a thousand years confined to the earth, which will then be desolate, without inhabitant, and he will at last suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires that shall destroy all the wicked” (The Great Controversy, p. 485-486).
She also believed in annihilationism which states that the wicked will one day cease to exist:
“I saw that some were quickly destroyed, while others suffered longer. . . . Some were many days consuming, and just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering was there” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 217).
These are just some of her false teachings, but many others could be added to this list.