Prophecy in the Seventh-day Adventist Church
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Seventh-day Adventist believe that White had the spiritual gift of prophecy, but that her writings are inferior to the Bible, which has ultimate authority. According to the 28 Fundamentals the core set of theological beliefs held by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, states that Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and can be read online on the website of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The 18 of the 28 Fundamentals states the Adventists viewpoint on the Gift of Prophecy:
- "One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)."
According to one church document, "her expositions on any given Bible passage offer an inspired guide to the meaning of texts without exhausting their meaning or preempting the task of exegesis". In other words, White's writings are considered an inspired commentary on Scripture, although Scripture remains ultimately authoritative.
Adventist believe she had the spiritual gift of prophecy as outlined in Revelation 19:10. Her restorationist writings endeavor to showcase the hand of God in Christian history. This cosmic conflict, referred to as the "Great Controversy theme", is foundational to the development of Seventh-day Adventist theology.
- 1 Viewpoints
- 2 History
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
"The Inspiration and Authority of the Ellen G. White Writings", document was issued by the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. It has received worldwide review and input, although is not an official statement. It concludes that a proper understanding will avoid the two extremes of regarding her "writings as functioning on a canonical level identical with Scripture, or […] considering them as ordinary Christian literature."
Most Seventh-day Adventists believe White was inspired by God, while most non-Adventists believe that she was not. Most denominationally-employed Adventist scholars today agree that:
- she was inspired by God
- her writings are important to the church today
- the Bible is superior to her writings
Alberto Timm, rector at the Latin-American Adventist Theological Seminary in Brasilia, Brazil, believes that since the passing of Ellen White, "as far as we know, there is no genuine prophet alive in our days".
Seventh-day Adventists arose out of the Millerite movement, the followers of William Miller who expected the end of the world around 1843 or 1844. A number of the Millerites claimed the gift of prophecy.
Two Millerites claimed to have had visions prior to Ellen White – William Ellis Foy (1818–1893), and Hazen Foss (1818?–1893), Ellen White's brother-in-law. Adventists believe the gift offered to these two men was instead passed on to White.
Of the women visionaries, several made the press for their visions. The other known prophets are female: Dorinda Baker (associated with the Israel Dammon incident), Emily Clemons, Phoebe Knapp, and Mary Hamlin, who are all mentioned in newspapers of the time.
William Ellis Foy (1818–1893) was an African American Freewill Baptist minister and preacher in the Millerite movement, who claimed to receive four visions from 1842 (two visions) to 1844. A tall man, he was the first of three Millerites to claim visions around the time of the 1844 "Great Disappointment".
A common theme of his visions was that the Second Coming would come later than the Millerites expected. They inspired many people through the Great Disappointment when Jesus did not return as they had expected. Ellen White supported his visions. They also concern the judgment, and rewards for the righteous.
He claimed visions in January and February 1842, told in his autobiographical The Christian Experience of William E. Foy, published 1845. They were similar to those experienced by Ellen White.
Foy was reluctant to obey his commission to share the visions, yet did eventually. He never became a Seventh-day Adventist, and his subsequent history was unknown. J. N. Loughborough's account was simply repeated by later historians (e.g. Light Bearers, 64) until Delbert Baker's definitive 1987 biography The Unknown Prophet traced his subsequent history.
Hazen Foss (1818–1893) was another Millerite who claimed to receive several visions. However he refused to proclaim them, and God told him he was "released" from that ministry, and the message given to Ellen White instead. He was Ellen White's brother-in-law. Adventists tend to believe the prophetic gift offered to these two men was instead passed on to White.
- "...while passing through a large field I was stopped about midway of the field. Heaven seemed open to my view, and I saw distinctly and clearly..." Jesus as High Priest
Moses Hull (c. 1836–1907) was an eloquent speaker and apologist (defender of Adventist beliefs). He converted to Adventism in 1857, but later converted to spiritualism (the key feature of which is allegedly contacting the dead), leaving the church. He claimed to write as influenced by spirits.
For two years prior, Ellen White had trying to help Moses Hull and been warning him on his focus and "overweening trust in his own abilities." Hull sensed his problem and asked for Ellen White and others to come to his Battle Creek home to pray for him. Ellen writes "I was shown the condition of Bro. Hull. He was in an alarming state. His lack of consecration and vital piety left him subject to Satan's suggestions. . . . He is asleep to his own danger. . . . He was presented to me as standing upon the brink of an awful gulf, ready to leap. If he takes the leap, it will be final; his eternal destiny will be fixed. . . . Never should one man be sent forth alone to combat with a Spiritualist."
She was one of about 200 claimed prophets in New England at the time. For alleged miracles which occurred during her prophecies, see: inspiration of Ellen White#Tests of her inspiration.
E. J. Waggoner
- "...an experience came to me that was the turning point in my life. Suddenly a light shone about me, and the tent seemed illumined, as though the sun were shining; I saw Christ crucified for me, and to me was revealed for the first time in my life the fact that God loved me, and that Christ gave Himself for me personally."
In 1899 he claimed that all commandment keepers should have the gift of prophecy.
The 1888 Minneapolis General Conference provided "impetus" to those radically seeking God's presence.
Anna Rice Phillips (1865–1926) was a claimed new prophetess, who was supported by W. W. Prescott and others. From Ogden, Utah, she first claimed visions in 1891, and in April, 1894, Adventist minister A.T. Jones presented Anna Phillips's testimonies as a genuine manifestation of the spirit of prophecy. However the next day he got a letter from Ellen White which convinced the church she was sincere yet mistaken. Anna Phillips repudiated her experience and became a trusted Bible worker.
By the 1890s, a "flood of volunteers" stepped forward, hoping to be the next prophet. However Ellen White usually responded to them that she had been given no "light" about the future prophetic gift.
In the 1900s, Mrs. Mackin claimed the gift of prophecy, and under her and her husband Ralph's influence, a young girl (a family friend) also prophesied; see: Ralph and Mrs. Mackin.
Anna Garmire (b. 1870) from Petoskey, Michigan claimed visions. She believed the close of probation would occur 40 years after the Great Disappointment. Her father James M. stole the Review and Herald mailing list and sent out this prediction to 20,000 people. Ellen White rejected Anna's theories, and authored the tract, An Exposure of Fanaticism and Wickedness in response. After 1884 passed, James wrote to Ellen White and she responded to their predictions critically. The Garmires influenced others in this way until as late as 1900.
German Reform Movement
In Germany in 1915 Johann Wick, an Imperial Army member, claimed a vision of the close of probation "at the time the stone-fruit trees blossomed in the spring." Other lay people also reported similar visions and some became involved in the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement.
After Ellen White
Ellen White died in 1915. According to her son Willie White, subsequently "A dozen or more persons" claimed the gift, to succeed Ellen. He considered some "good-hearted but misguided", but others fanatical and who denounced those remaining unconvinced by their claims.
Margaret W. Rowen claimed to receive visions, and formed an alternative short-lived church, the Reformed Seventh-day Adventist Church (not to be confused with the much more significant Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement).
Rowen became an Adventist in 1912. She claimed to receive her first vision on June 22, 1916 which she shared with members of a prayer group at her South Side Los Angeles Church, gaining a small following. Several church leaders, especially Dr. Bert E. Fullmer, supported her. A periodical The Reform Advocate and Prayer Band Appeal was printed. The Southern California Conference investigated the claims, but was originally inconclusive. She authored A Stirring Message for the Time (Pasadena, California: The Grant Press, 1918). In 1918, A. G. Daniells reported the investigators had concluded her visions were not of heavenly origin. The following year Rowen, Fullmer, a physician, and at least two other ministers were disfellowshipped.
In 1920, a false document was planted by Fullmer (under Rowen's directive) in the Ellen G. White Estate files in White's home. Dated 1911 and supposedly written by White, it announced Rowen as a succeeding prophetess. At its peak, the movement had around 1000 followers. Rowen gave several false predictions. Fullmer authored Bearing Witness (Los Angeles: The Reform Press, 1923). In 1925, Fullmer admitted the fraudulent letter. In the March 1926 issue of the periodical, he presented his conclusion that Rowen was a fraud. In response, she conspired to murder him the following year, but was unsuccessful. She served a one-year sentence in the San Quentin State Prison in California, by which time her movement had fallen apart.
Another is French "visionary" Jeanine Sautron. She claimed to see dreams and visions similar to those experienced by Ellen G. White. An offshoot church was formed based on her book Dreams and Visions that was published in audio cassette version and book format and published in her native tongue of French and later translated into English and Spanish. The renaming of the church was originally called 'Seventh-Day Adventist The Remnant' but was later renamed 'Laodicea The Remnant', in order to separate its affiliation with the Seventh-day Adventist main body, and after the last end times church mentioned in the biblical book of Revelation.
Numerous leaders of offshoot groups have also claimed the gift of prophecy for themselves, for example Victor Houteff, founder of the Shepherd's Rod offshoot. Benjamin Roden was another, founder of the Branch Davidian offshoot of Shepherd's Rod, whose wife Lois Roden succeeded him as prophetess, and claimed a vision about the feminity of the Holy Spirit. David Koresh considered himself the final prophet. He apparently saw himself as Ellen White's successor. Wayne Bent, the leader of the Lord Our Righteousness Church which has been described as a cult, has claimed God has spoken to him. He is known as Wayne Travesser within that community. In 1990 Pastor Walter McGill claimed a "divine revelation" in taking the name Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church when he and his associates formed their break-away church.
Amateur archaeologist Ron Wyatt claimed to meet "at least" an angel, and another time four angels. Former Adventist William S. Sadler was a sceptic of psychic phenomena generally, but was involved with The Urantia Book, which was claimed to be inspired by celestial beings. Others have claimed to hear the voice of God, for example, Robert Brinsmead's father Cedric claimed to hear voices saying, "Go north, young man." after which the family moved. Chinese Adventist David Lin claims his mother was told by a voice to go to Tianjin.
- Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Seventh-day Adventist theology
- Teachings of Ellen White#End times
- Inspiration of Ellen White
- List of Ellen White writings
- Ellen G. White Estate
- Seventh-day Adventist interfaith relations – for relations with other Protestants and Catholics
- Second coming
- Investigative judgment
- Seventh-day Adventist eschatology
- Sabbath in Seventh-day Adventism
- Charismatic Adventism
- Tongues in the Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Seventh-day Adventist worship
- Fundamental Beliefs.
- General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 1986.
- Seventh-day Adventists believe 2005, p. 259.
- Biblical Research Institute 1982.
- Brown 2003, p. 29.
- Three Strategic Issues: A World Survey 2002 (a non-scientific survey), See also a reprint of Three Strategic Issues 2002 on the Adventist Review website. For reports on the survey, see Special Report on Annual Council 2002 and Brown 2002
- Timm 2008.
- Nix 1986, p. 22.
- For Knapp, see also http://www.smethporthistory.org/100.block/opera.hamilton/index.xmas.htm
- "The Millerite Movement in Maine: Cradle of Seventh-day Adventism" by Frederick G. Hoyt. Presidential address to the Association of Western Adventist Historians in Angwin, California in April 1982, p8. As cited by Jonathan M. Butler in The Disappointed, p196, 206no29
- Mentioned in http://spectrummagazine.org/files/archive/archive16-20/17-5butler.pdf, Spectrum 17:5, p39
- Ellen White, "MR No. 1253 - William Foy Lectures in Beethoven Hall" p95–97 of Manuscript Releases, Volume 17, Hagerstown, Maryland: Review and Herald, 1987
- "The inside story about people and events that shaped our history". Adventist Review 164:42 (October 15, 1987), p16
- The Christian Experience of William E. Foy Together with the Two Visions He Received in the Months of Jan. and Feb. 1842 by Foy. Published by John and C. Henry Pearson in Portland, 1845. OCLC 76043021. Online here. It was republished by Andrews University Press as Christian Experience; publisher's page, sample. (Berrien Springs, Michigan: Center for Adventist Research, 2005). ISBN 1-883925-52-5 ISBN 9781883925529. Apparently republished earlier in Early S.D.A. pamphlets by Joseph Bates, William Ellis Foy and others (Payson, Arizona: Leaves-of-Autumn Books, 1987)
- Benjamin Baker, Crucial Moments (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2005), 15-26.
- Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists (DjVu), 1892, p70 onwards
- Baker, Delbert (1987). The Unknown Prophet: The Story of William Ellis Foy. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald. ISBN 0-8280-0401-3.
- http://www.4hispeople.org/williamellisfoy.htm http://www.ellenwhiteexposed.com/refute9a.htm http://www.ellenwhiteexposed.com/rea/sop.htm
- Poirier, Tim (August 1987). "Black Forerunner to Ellen White: William E. Foy" (PDF). Spectrum (Roseville, California: Adventist Forums) 17 (5): 23–28. ISSN 0890-0264. Retrieved 2008-08-11. Includes the box "Questions and Answers About The Unknown Prophet, William Foy" by Delbert Baker, p24–25
- Baker, Delbert W. (14 January 1988). "William Foy: Messenger to the Advent Believers (The story of an unknown prophet)" (DjVu). Adventist Review (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald) 165 (2): 1, 8–10. ISSN 0161-1119. Retrieved 2008-08-17. Download the free DjVu Browser Plugin
- Gary Land, Historical Dictionary Of Seventh-day Adventists, p104–05
- "Early Visions: Foy-White Parallels" by Douglas Hackleman. Adventist Currents, July 1984, p11
- See also articles in the SDAPI
- William Ellis Foy by R. L. Potter, self published in 2004 apparently. OCLC 166253381
- Benjamin Baker, "The Unknown Prophet". Spectrum Blog, 3rd March 2011
- The Unknown Prophet p134–141
- "Hazen Foss", p486–89 of A Prophet Among You. See also "William Foy and Hazen Foss" above
- http://www.whiteestate.org/books/mol/Chapt3.html#William%20Foy%20and%20Hazen%20Foss from Messenger of the Lord
- See articles in the SDAPI
- http://www.truthorfables.com/Foss.htm http://www.ellenwhiteexposed.com/rea/sop.htm
- Hiram Edson, from a manuscript fragment about his life and experiences; as quoted by Francis D. Nichol in The Midnight Cry (Washington: Review and Herald, 1945), 458. A critical article is "Edson's Cornfield 'Vision:' Frisson or Fiction?" by Fernand Fisel: a revised version of "Edson's Cornfield Vision, Frisson or Figment?" Adventist Currents 1:1 (July 1983), pp.25–27
- Light Bearers: A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church revised and updated edition, ed. Richard W. Schwarz and Floyd Greenleaf. (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press, 2000), 613–614
- Bio., vol. 2, p. 55.
- Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 426-430; see Bio., vol. 2, pp. 56, 57.
- This terminology is used in the 28 Fundamentals, the official beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists. Also see for example, "The Biblical Basis for a Modern Prophet" by Frank B. Holbrook, Biblical Research Institute, April 1982. Also appearing on the White Estate website. "Can All Be Prophets? Ellen G. White Statements That Bear on the Question" by the White Estate, 1969
- White, Ellen (1906-07-26). "A Messenger" (DjVu). Review and Herald (Review and Herald Publishing Association) 83 (30): 8–9. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/bradford/prophet-14.htm Bradford
- Ellen White Selected Messages book 1, p55
- Ellen White Selected Messages book 1, p55; book 2, p64, 65, 72–84, 89. See also Denton Rebok, Believe His Prophets, 113–17; as cited elsewhere
- E. J. Waggoner, The Everlasting Covenant, v. As quoted in David P. McMahon. Ellet Joseph Waggoner: The Myth and the Man (Fallbrook, California: Verdict Publications, 1979). Chapter 2, "A Biographical Sketch" – SDANet AtIssue version, Present Truth Magazine version. See also E. J. Waggoner, Confession of Faith, p5–6; which was published posthumously
- Light Bearers, p617
- Seeking a Sanctuary, 79
- "An Experience With a False Prophetess" section, p469–71 of Appendix A in A Prophet Among You by T. Housel Jemison
- Anna Rice Phillips, Battle Creek prophetess: A bibliographical guide to sources in the Heritage Room, Pacific Union College Library. Gary W. Shearer. See also SDAPI articles
- Adventism in America ed. Gary Land, p105–6. As quoted in Another Gospel by Ruth A. Tucker, p106
- Chapter 5, "The Los Angeles Seventh-day Adventist Reform Church", p84-99 of Tarling
- An Exposure of Fanaticism and Wickedness by Ellen White. South Lancaster, Massachusetts, August 7, 1885. White Estate pamphlet no. PH030
- "The Authority of the Prophets" by Michael W. Campbell on the Spectrum blog; "A Commentary on the Sabbath School Lesson for February 14–20, 2009"
- "Chap. 8 - Meeting the Claims of False Prophets" in Selected Messages book 2, p72–79 by Ellen White
- Light Bearers, p619–21
- W. C. White, Battle Creek Enquirer 25 July 1915. As quoted by Tarling
- "Reformed Seventh-day Adventist Church" in Historical Dictionary of Seventh-day Adventists by Gary Land, p243
- Seeking a Sanctuary, p203–4
- Larry White, "Margaret W. Rowen, Prophetess of Reform and Doom" (DjVu) Adventist Heritage 6:1 (Summer 1979), p28–40
- "Day of Doom". Time 2 February 1925
- Douglass, Herbert E. (1998). "Chapter 47: Messenger and Message Inseparable". Messenger of the Lord (3rd ed.). Nampa, Idaho; Oshawa, Ontario, Canada: Pacific Press. ISBN 0-8163-1622-8.
- From the Wandering Jew to William F. Buckley, Jr.: On Science, Literature, and Religion by Martin Gardner. (Prometheus, October 2000); ISBN 1-57392-852-6. See also "The Incredible Flimflams of Margaret Rowen" articles by Martin Gardner; part 1, "Seventh-day Adventists and the Second Coming" (subscription needed). Free Inquiry (22 March / Spring 1996). "The Sad Saga of Dr. Bert Fullmer. (Supported Reform Seventh-Day Adventist Church)" (subscription needed). Free Inquiry 22 September 1996
- Lowell Tarling, The Edges of Seventh-day Adventism
- Light Bearers, p618–19
- Dreams and Visions by Jeanine Sautron. (Dreams and Visions Evangelistic Center, 1991)
- Studies in the Book of Revelation by Steve Moyise, p41
- Record v100 (16 September 1995), p4
- Jeanine Sautron: An Analysis of Her Writings by Vance Ferrell. (Pilgrims Books, 1993)
- The Branch Davidians of Waco by Kenneth G. C. Newport, 136
- "Koresh on Ellen White" by Dennis Hokama. Adventist Today 1:1 (May–June 1993), p12. See also that entire issue
- 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision, p3.
- Ark of The Covenant by Jonathan Gray (Adelaide, South Australia: Jonathan Gray [or Ind Group Pty Ltd], 1997); ISBN 0-646-30073-3, p361–63, 588
- Holy Relics Or Revelation by Russell R. Standish, Lowell Scarbrough and Colin D Standish. (Hartland Publications, 1999). ISBN 0-923309-64-0. See for example chapter 25, "Other Deceptions", p127–135
- http://spectrummagazine.org/files/archive/archive21-25/21-5lin.pdf, p39. See Word search for "David Lin" in the SDAPI
- "Do We Attract Them or Do We Create Them?" by Clifford Goldstein, Adventist Today blog, 9 August 2008. "More than 23 years ago, for instance, some guy came to the GC [General Conference] and wanted us to hire him. If not, he said, he was going to call on the Lord bring a black cloud over the GC and envelop the church headquarters into total darkness for as long as it took until we saw the light and gave him a job. I remember, too, another fellow who every year used to sit at Annual Council because, from his study of the Book of Revelation, the silence in heaven meant that the Annual Council would supernaturally be silenced and, at that moment, God would give him the message for the world church. He was dead serious."
- Biblical Research Institute (1982). "The Inspiration and Authority of the Ellen G. White Writings". "Published in the Adventist Review ( July 15. 1982 & December 23, 1982), and Ministry (August 1982 & February 1983)"
- Brown, Nathan (2002). "World Survey Gets Mixed Reviews".
- Brown, Nathan (June 19 2003). "Liberalism as a Form of Legalism". Adventist Review (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald): 29. ISSN 0161-1119. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (1986). "Methods of Bible Study (Official statement)".
- "Fundamental Beliefs". Seventh-day Adventist Church. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
- Nix, James R. (4 December 1986). "The third prophet spoke forth" (DjVu). Adventist Review (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald) 163: 22. ISSN 0161-1119. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- "Reprint of Three Strategic Issues". 2002.
- Rodriguez, Angel (September 2005). "Prophets, true and false". Adventist World 1: 38.
- Seventh-day Adventists believe, 2nd ed. 2005. p. 259.
- "Annual Council 2002 Special Report". Adventist Review. 10 October 2002.
- "Three Strategic Issues: A World Survey". 7 October 2002. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- Timm, Alberto (2008). "He Still Speaks: How does God communicate over the noise of modern society?".
- "Prophets, true and false" series by Arthur L. White in Advent Review and Sabbath Herald issues of 1967. Part 1, "A people sensitive to God's special leading" v144, Jun 8, p,4-5; part 2, "When Mrs. White was gone" v144, Jun 15, p6-8; part 3, "Testing later claims to special illumination" v144, Jun 22, p4-7; part 4, "What may we expect in days to come?" v144, Jun 29, p6-7
- J. N. Loughborough, "The prophetic gift in the gospel church" six part series republished in Our Firm Foundation, 1998
- "How important is a personal revelation?" by Frank Holbrook. These Times v90 (November 1981), p28
- (Anonymous) (March–April 2004). "A Prophet Among Us". Adventist Today (Loma Linda, CA: Adventist Today Foundation) 12 (2): 20–21. ISSN 1079-5499. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- "Crackpots, cults, and modern prophets" by George R. Knight. Signs of the Times 2002, v129, Jun, p20-21
- Richard Schwarz, Light Bearers to the Remnant (DjVu), p455–56
- J. R. Spangler, "The Gift of Prophecy and 'Thought Voices'" (DjVu) Ministry, v59 (June 1986), p4–7
- Roger W. Coon, Heralds of New Light (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1987), p24–26
- Roy C. Naden. "Contemporary manifestations of the prophecy gift" (DjVu). Ministry v72 (June 1999), 9–14
- Ashton, John (2000-09). The Seventh Millennium: The Evidence that we can know the future. New Holland Publishers, Ltd. p. 189. ISBN 1-86436-359-2.