Considerations about Ellen White

The Bible encourages us to scrutinize anyone who pretends to have a message from God.  The Bible should be our only guide! Ps 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” 

If anyone comes to us, claiming to be sent by God, we are encouraged to do like the Bereans: Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” 

The apostle John encourages us to do the same in regard to people who claim to be prophets: 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

With this excellent advice from the inspired word of God, we have no choice but to make every effort to ensure what is given to us as being “The Spirit of Prophecy” is the same Spirit that inspired the writers of God’s Word.  These simple tests are for everyone, including Ellen White, whose writings are often referred to as the “Spirit of Prophecy”.  

In my study of the writings of Ellen White, I found some quite disturbing facts.  In order to complete my Masters degree in Theology, I was required to go study at the White Estate.  Interestingly, the White Estate is only open to a select few.  This fact alone was enough to raise my suspicions.  While there, I was shocked to find many inconsistencies in the writings one who is called a prophet. 

False Prophecies

My first and biggest concern comes from the warning founding Deut. 18:22:  “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him.”  Thus, the Bible is clear.  If the prophecy does not come to pass, it is not of God!  Please note the following prophecies given by Ellen White: 

        a. A prophecy that never can come true

“At the conference a very solemn vision was given me.  I saw that some of those present would be food for worms, some subjects for the seven last plagues, and some would be translated to heaven at the second coming of Christ, without seeing death.” Spiritual Gifts.  Volume 2, page 208, paragraph 2. (also to be found in Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G.  White (1880 edition), page 321, paragraph 3)

There is simply one little problem with this vision:  It was in May, 1856!  All the people present at that conference would now be more than 150 years old!  The reality is that all of them have died and have been buried.  This prophecy never came true!

b. A vision about pestilence being the beginning of God’s wrath

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.  I saw that some will be so hardened, as to even make sport of the judgements of God.  Then the slain of the Lord will be from one end of the earth, to the other; they will not be lamented, gathered, nor buried; but their ill savor will come up from the face of the whole earth.  Those only who have the seal of the living God, will be sheltered from the storm of wrath, that will soon fall on the heads of those who have rejected the truth.” The Present Truth, September 1, 1849, paragraph 10 Article Title: Dear Brethren and Sisters.

Not long after this prophecy was written the pestilence ended and the United States entered a period of peace and prosperity that lasted for many years.

c. A vision about our world soon to be depopulated if Jesus would not soon come back

“The human family was presented before me, enfeebled.  Every generation has been growing weaker, and disease of every form visits the human race.  Thousands of poor mortals are dragging out a miserable existence.  Some with deformed, sickly bodies, shattered nerves, and gloomy minds.  Satan's power upon the human family increases.  If the Lord should not soon come and destroy his power, the earth would soon be depopulated.” Spiritual Gifts.  Volume 4B, page 94, paragraph 1 Chapter Title: Family Religion (also in Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, April 22, 1862, paragraph 3 Article Title: Testimony for the Church)

By 1900 there were 1.6 billion people.  Today there are over 6 billion.  Each generation is living longer, healthier, stronger and taller.

d. A testimony from a pastor’s wife

Pastor's wife Lucinda Burdick testifies, "During the year 1845 I met Miss Ellen G.  Harmon several times at my uncle's house in South Windham, Me.  The first of these meetings was in the month of May, when I heard her declare that God had revealed to her that Jesus Christ would return to this earth in June, the next month."  (L.  Burdick letter)

Another testimony from Lucinda Burdick, "During the haying season I again met her in company with James White at the same place, and heard my uncle ask her about the failure of the Lord to appear in June according to her visions.  She replied that she had been told in the language of Canaan which she did not understand; but that she had since come to understand that Christ would return in September, at the second growth of grass instead of the first."  (L.  Burdick letter)

What does the Bible say about people who prophesy false dreams?

Jer.  23:32 “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.”

God’s Spirit never lies.  On the contrary, the Holy Spirit only leads to truth.  The Bible says: John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

The Bible only refers to one entity who lies: John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

If God’s Spirit cannot lie, then what kind of Spirit was giving Ellen White her visions?  

I wouldn’t want to be in Ellen White’s shoes!


My second concern is regarding some basic contradictions in Ellen White’s writings: 

a. Contradictions about Tithing

I have to agree with this statement of Ellen White "God never contradicts Himself" - - Ellen White, 1SM 161.  God cannot contradict Himself as He never can lie! Heb 6:18:

It is impossible for God to lie.”  Anyone who lies is not from God! Zech 10:2:

“Diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain.

Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd.”

In 1896 Mrs. White penned these words: “Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe, to use according to their own judgment.  They are not to use it for themselves in an emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord's work.”  Testimonies for the Church Volume Nine, page 247, paragraph 1 Chapter Title: Timely Counsels.

On Jan. 22, 1905, Mountain View, Calif., she writes the following to elder Watson:

“My brother, I wish to say to you, Be careful how you move.  You are not moving wisely.  The least you have to speak about the tithe that has been appropriated to the most needy and the most discouraging field in the world, the more sensible you will be.

It had been presented to me for years that my tithe was to be appropriated by myself to aid the white and colored ministers who were neglected and did not receive sufficient properly to support their families.  When my attention was called to aged ministers, white or black, it was my special duty to investigate into their necessities and supply their needs.  This was to be my special work, and I have done this in a number of cases.  No man should give notoriety to the fact that in special cases the tithe is used in that way.

In regard to the colored work in the South, that field has been and is still being robbed of the means that should come to the workers of that field.  If there has been cases where our sisters have appropriated their tithe to the support of the ministers working for the colored people in the South, let every man, if he is wise, hold his peace.

I have myself appropriated my tithe to the most needy cases brought to my notice.  I have been instructed to do this; and as the money is not withheld from the Lord's treasury, it is not a matter that should be commented upon; for it will necessitate my making known these matters, which I do not desire to do, because it is not best.

Some cases have been kept before me for years, and I have supplied their needs from the tithe, as God has instructed me to do.  And if any person shall say to me, Sister White, will you appropriate my tithe where you know it is most needed, I shall say, Yes, I will; and I have done so.  I commend those sisters who have placed their tithe where it is most needed to help to do a work that is being left undone; and if this matter is given publicity, it will create knowledge which would better be left as it is.  I do not care to give publicity to this work which the Lord has appointed me to do, and others to do.

I send this matter to you so that you shall not make a mistake.  Circumstances alter cases.  I would not advise that any should make a practice of gathering up tithe money.  But for years there have now and then been persons who have lost confidence in the appropriation of the tithe who have placed their tithe in my hands, and said that if I did not take it they would themselves appropriate it to the families of the most needy minister they could find.  I have taken the money, given a receipt for it, and told them how it was appropriated.

I write this to you so that you shall keep cool and not become stirred up and give publicity to this matter, lest many more shall follow their example.  (Signed) Ellen G.  White”.  Spalding and Magan Collection, p.  215, 216

What should a faithful Adventist do now? Can they use their tithes according to their own judgment or not?  Which statement should they follow? Nine years later, we find Ellen White doing exactly what she said not to do. If Ellen White does not follow her own testimony, who should?

b. Unclean food

“Many articles of food eaten freely by the heathen about them were forbidden to the Israelites.  It was no arbitrary distinction that was made.  The things prohibited were unwholesome.  And the fact that they were pronounced unclean taught the lesson that the use of injurious foods is defiling.  That which corrupts the body tends to corrupt the soul.  It unfits the user for communion with God, unfits him for high and holy service.” The Ministry of Healing, page 280, paragraph 4 Chapter Title: Hygiene Among the Israelites.

Ellen White condemns any use of unclean  food, as it corrupts not only the body, but also the soul.  It makes someone unfit for high a holy service.

Now I found the following at which is published at the Ellen White Estate located at Andrews University, Berrien Springs:

“Once when Ellen White was ill, her son, W.C. White, reports that she was encouraged to drink a little oyster broth to settle her stomach.  She is said to have tried a spoonful or two, but then refused the rest.  There is however, evidence that at one point in her life Mrs. White most likely ate some oysters.  In 1882, when she was living at Healdsburg, California, she wrote a letter to her daughter-in-law, Mary Kelsey White, in Oakland, in which she made the following request: ["Mary, if you can get me a good box of herrings, fresh ones, please do so.  These last ones that Willie got are bitter and old.  If you can buy cans, say, half a dozen cans, of good tomatoes, please do so.  We shall need them.  If you can get a few cans of good oysters, get them."] Manuscript Release No.  852: The Development of Adventist Thinking on, page 2, paragraph 3.


The Bible clearly tells us Matt 7:15-16 "Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.” 

Please prayerfully consider what was briefly presented here.  Research this for yourself, and discover where the truth lies.  Depend on God’s Holy Spirit who “will guide you into all truth”.  God would never give contradictory messages!  He cannot and will not lie.  He is forever the same. Heb 13:8:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” 

Beware of false prophets! Matt 24:24: “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-if that were possible.”  Could it be that we were deceived?

Food for Thought: 

Why does the Seventh-day Adventist church just have one prophet?  Didn’t the Bible promise visions to be given to a multitude of people, not just one? Joel 2:28-29 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” 

For more information about this topic go to

Though I did not explore this site thoroughly and thus cannot guarantee its accuracy, it will give you food for thought and a basis to start your examination.