Has anyone ever questioned how SDAs can be so sure that she was a prophet from God? After all, Ellen White wasn’t the only person in her day to claim to receive visions and messages from God. She had counterparts among Christian Scientists, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also claimed to be prophets and whose teachings also resulted in the forming of new denominations.
As I have researched this subject, I have found that many besides myself have had such questions. Extensive research has been done and much has been written about the validity of her claims. If the stories I have read are true, there is overwhelming evidence that she was not God’s messenger, as she claimed. But because I was not there, I will not relate any of those stories in this article. It is possible that some stories were fabricated or at least embellished to discredit her. The only way I know to answer the question, “Prophet or Not?” is to apply the tests of a prophet given in the Bible. If she passes, she is a prophet. If she fails, she is not a prophet.
In Isaiah:8:20 (NKJV) we read: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
A prophet speaking according to God’s word would not contradict the Bible or invent doctrines that are not Biblical. There are numerous inaccuracies and contradictions to the Bible found in Ellen White’s writings. Here are just a few:
In Evangelism, p. 598, Ellen White said that Satan deceived Adam. 1 Timothy:2:14 (NKJV) says, And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
In Counsels on Diets and Foods, p. 148, she said that God gave the children of Israel meat and gluttony produced the plague. Numbers:11:33 (NKJV) says, “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and Lord struck the people with a very great plague.”
In Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 155, she said that we should never say that we are saved. 1 John:5:13 (NKJV) says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
In Desire of Ages, p. 753, she said that before the crucifixion, Jesus “could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal.” In John:10:17, 18 (NKJV), Jesus says, “Therefore, my Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (See also, Luke:24:7 and John:2:19.)
A prophet speaking according to God’s word would also not say something at one time and say just the opposite at another time. Here are some examples of Ellen White’s contradiction of her own words:
In Desire of Ages, p. 645 she says that Judas had a conviction to confess during the footwashing. In Evangelism, p. 275, she says that Judas did not have a conviction to confess during footwashing.
In Spiritual Gifts, v. 1, p. 58, she says that the nails went through Jesus’ bones. Forty years later, in Desire of Ages, p. 744, she says that no bones were broken.
A prophet, who must speak according to God’s word, would not fabricate a doctrine that not only cannot be found in Scripture, but actually contradicts Scripture. The doctrine of the investigative judgment says that Jesus did not go into the Most Holy Place until 1844. The following Bible texts say that Jesus went into the Most Holy Place and started interceding for us after He ascended to heaven following the resurrection: Eph:1:20; Col:3:1; 1 Pet:3:21, 22; Heb:1:3; Heb:9:12; Heb:10:12, 19; Heb:12:2. In addition, just before Stephen was stoned to death, he looked up to heaven and saw Jesus sitting beside the Father in the Most Holy Place. And that was centuries before 1844!