Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."John 13:20. Moses was chosen of God to be His spokesman. But he met many who opposed him. Miriam and Aaron were the first, then came Korah, Dathan and Abiram. In every confrontation God upheld His prophet. Miriam became a leper. "The ground split apart under" Korah, Dathan and Abiram, "and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, . . so they went down alive into the pit." Num. 16:31-33. The next day the Israelites murmured, saying,"You have killed the people of the Lord." This shows how deep-rooted is the spirit of rebellion.
1) The spirit of rebellion not only appeared in olden times, but today there are some scholars who try to do away with Moses and the prophets. Am I right?
Answer: Yes. Daniel was a prophet many people oppose. God had protected him miraculously in the lion's den, but as early as the third century A.D. there was a man who suggested that the book of Daniel was not written by him, but by a man who lived 400 years after him. In 1947, among the ancient manuscripts found at Qumran, dated around 100 to 200 B.C., portions of eight different Daniel scrolls were discovered, other writings containing Bible quotes were found, which said, "Thus spoke Daniel the prophet." This convinced the archaeologists that it was not possible for a forged document written in 200 B.C. to have gained such prestige in so short a time. In spite of all these facts, there are still some scholars who hold on to their pet notion that Daniel is a forged document. It is this unreasoning attitude which causes some people to think that the writings of a modern prophet Ellen G. White, were mostly plagiarized documents.
2) What definite incidents in the life of Ellen White prove that she was indeed chosen of God to be His messenger, and that she did not write and act by her own wisdom?
Answer: The case of an Australian member N.D. Faulkhead proves that Ellen White was a true messenger of God. At the time he was treasurer of the Adventist printing press, and had become a Freemason before joining the Adventist church, and occupied important positions in that society. His church co-workers had often admonished him to sever connections with the Freemasons, but he would not think of it. Before Ellen White reached Australia, she was already given visions of this man, and started writing a 50-page letter to him. Three times she wanted to mail it, but every time she withheld it. About one year later, she made an appointment to interview him and read the letter to him personally. She pointed out that he was backsliding spiritually, and warned him that if he does not break away from the Freemasons, he would finally be lost. Faulkhead was amazed how Ellen White related what she saw: that his Freemason colleagues addressed him as "worshipful master." Then he was astounded when he saw her make a secret sign of the Masons, and asked her if she knew what she had done. She was not aware of it. He said to her, "You have just made the secret sign of the knight templars." Later she made another secret sign, which Faulkhead said was known to only six men in Australia, and no woman could know it. He knew then that the testimony Ellen White read to him was not the words of an old woman, but was indeed a warning from God. He decided to sever relations with Freemasonry, and after doing so, he wrote a letter of thanks to God for loving him so much as to address him personally through His messenger.
In the early years of the 20th century, Ernest Lloyd was editor of the Adventist paper for children Our Little Friend. He wrote a testimony of his early years as a student at Battle Creek College. Elder W.W. Prescott was its president at the time. He once gave a testimony at an assemby of students and faculty. He had received a letter from Ellen White in Australia, in which she said that a women was coming to see him, and she asked him to read a testimony to her. After hearing it, she would make a certain remark. Elder Prescott recalled that a sister had indeed made an appointment for an interview, and when she came, he arranged for two members of the faculty to join him. He then read to her Ellen White's testimony. It told her of certain problems in her private life that disqualified her for a teaching position at the college. After listening to the testimony, the lady was silent for a moment, and then said, "Gentlemen, what Sister White has written, only God could have told her." That was exactly the remark that Ellen White said the woman would make. In those days a letter from Australia took at least four weeks to be delivered in America. No falsehood could possibly have been practiced here.
3) It is reported that though the Holy Spirit is manifest in the work of Ellen White, people still insist that her writings were copied from other books. Is that true?
Answer: No. God's people today are like Jerusalem of old, "who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. " Matt 23:37. The Battle Creek Moon of April 29, 1907 published that in the book by Ellen White, Sketches from the Life of Paul, there were 200 sentences plagiarized from the book Life and Epistles of St. Paul by Conybeare and Hausen. The writer of this article took time to check on the two books, and did not find a single sentence in Ellen White's book that was copied from the other work. The two books are different in style and content. Ellen White wrote on spiritual themes, while the other book dealt much with history and geography. And Ellen White had recommended others to read that other book. This shows that she did not copy from it, otherwise she would not recommend it to others. It was also rumoured that Conybeare & Howson had written a letter of protest, causing the Adventist publisher to take her book off the market. To verify the facts, the Adventist publisher wrote a letter to the publisher of the other book, which replied that Conybeare & Howson's book was not copyrighted, so there was no basis for such a protest. Ellen White's Sketches from the Life of Paul was later enlarged and appeared as Acts of the Apostles.
On October 2, 1980, the Los Angeles Times published material gathered by Adventist apostates libeling Ellen White as a plagiarist, because, they say, most of her writings were not written by herself. About this time, Adventist apostate Walter Rea published his book, The White Lie, again accusing Ellen White of plagiarism. In 1981, Adventist scholar John Robertson published The White Truth, ably replying to the accusations of the apostates.
4) I understand the Adventists speak of the "Spirit of prophecy." Is this term biblical?
Answer: Yes. Rev 12:17 and 19:10 reveal that one of the distinctive marks of the remnant church is the Spirit of prophecy. But the Chinese Union Version fails to convey the sense of the original in Rev. 12:17, because it is not true to the Greek. "Have the testimony of Jesus" is rendered "testify for Jesus," In Rev 19:10 "the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy" is rendered, "the spiritual meaning of prophecy testifies for Jesus."
Rev 12:17 says that two distinct marks of the remnant seed of God's church is that they 1) keep the commandments of God and 2) have the testimony of Jesus. Here we have a case of mutual recognition. They recognize God's authority by keeping His commandments, and He recognizes them as His children by speaking to them through the testimony of Jesus. Jesus calls Himself "The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God." Rev. 3:14. These two points correspond to the two marks of the remnant church. Among churches that keep the Sabbath, the SDA church is the only one that has a prophet. Among churches that claim to have a prophet, the SDA church is the only one that keeps the Sabbath. Satan tries his best to destroy faith in the Spirit of prophecy; God raises up men and women to uphold its authority.
In 1898 Uriah Smith began publishing articles to refute the attacks of the Marion Party against Ellen White. In 1951 Francis Nichol wrote the book Ellen White and her Critics, refuting arguments against her.
5) Please present some facts to show where Ellen White got her source material.
Answer: On p. x of the "Introduction" to The Great Controversy, she says, "Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued conflict between good and evil have been opened to the writer of these pages. From time to time I have been permitted to behold the working, in different ages, of the controversy between Christ, the Prince of life, the Author of our salvation, and Satan, the prince of evil, the author of sin, the first transgressor of God's holy law....
"As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of His word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others that which has thus been revealed---to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially so to present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. . " On pages xi, xii she writes, "In pursuance of this purpose, I have endeavored to select and group together events in the history of the church in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the great testing truths that at different periods have been given to the world. . . In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but in some instances no specific credit has been given, since the quotations are not given for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has been made of their published works." The visions seen by Ellen White were lively scenes, but they were not dated, hence she had to consult history books to place them in timely order. She sometimes quoted a passage not as authority, but because it aptly described what went on. The primary source of her material was the visions she saw.
The books in Ellen White's library was about a thousand copies. She was a studious author. She recognized that the source of her knowledge was both from heaven and from earth, but primarily from heaven. Reviewing the writing of The Great Controversy, she said, "I was often conscious of the presence of the angels of God and many times the scenes about which I was writing were presented to me anew in visions of the night so that they were fresh and vivid in my mind." ---Letter 56, 1900 (Notes and Papers, p. 134) "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." Selected Messages, Vol 1 p. 27. Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.
Some have wildly stated that 90% of The Great Controversy is copied. What is the truth? Page-by-page examination reveals that all quotations in the book, including Bible texts, amount to 12.35%. This is the general average for quotations in any historical work. White quoted from 88 different books in this volume, most of which are historical works accepted as trustworthy by other churches. She has arranged these texts in the make-up of her book, so that the reader may see what she beheld in vision, and view things from God's perspective. This was the task given her by God. When Jesus rode on the foal of an ass into Jerusalem, the beast was borrowed. He did not even make previous arrangements with its owner, but simply told the disciples, "If anyone asks you, 'Why are you loosing him?' thus you shall say to him, 'Because the Lord has need of him.'" Luke 19:31. Everything should be in the service of the cause of truth.
6) Is it true that American copyright laws in the 19th century were different from now?
Answer: Yes. In the 19th century, American copyright law only protected the right of an author to own his manuscript. After it was published, the book was in public domain. In 1909, congress passed a law protecting the copyright of a book for 28 years. One going to court for his book must prove 1) he owns his copyright, 2) Any infringement of his copyright, and 3) his financial loss resulting from the infringement. Since 1909, no one has sued Ellen White for infringement of copyright, so no fact exists to prove that Ellen White is guilty of plagiarism. In 1980, when enemy forces again brought up the plagiarism charge, Vincent Ramik, attorney specializing in copyright infringement cases, examined the Ellen White manuscripts in the vaults of the SDA General Conference, to decide whether she was guilty of plagiarism. He felt
at first that perhaps she was guilty. After spending 300 hours reading her manuscripts, he completely changed his mind. He was convinced that she was a prophet inspired by God. This attorney is a Roman Catholic, and as he read her writings, he was deeply moved, gave up his suspicions and testified, "Mrs. White moved me! In all candour, she moved me. I am a Roman Catholic; but Catholic, Prostestant, she moved me. And I think her writings should move anyone, unless he is permanently biased and is unswayable." The White Truth, p. 97.