Friday April 13, 2012

Continuing the 1919 Bible Conference comments.

     F. M. Wilcox, in 1915, prepared a manuscript dealing with the spirit of prophecy. The manuscript, which was submitted to W. C. White for criticism, contained the observation, “Sister White has not been set in this church as a historian or as a theologian.” White observed that the statement was “undoubtedly true” in the technical usage of terms, but feared that the statement might create an erroneous impression. He suggested the following substitute: p. 50, Para. 2, [1919BIBL].

What Wilcox did here, was define the counterfeit, but knew not what he had done.

     “Sister White, as a teacher of sacred truth, has not been led to a technical treatment of theological questions, but has given such views of the love of God and the plan of salvation, and of man’s duty to God and to his fellow men, that when presented to the people, they arouse the conscience, and impress upon the hearer the saving truths of the Word of God. She says, “The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed.” p. 50, Para. 3, [1919BIBL].

Willie is misusing and misapplying the statement; plus, it has been altered from the original. Here is the passage in question. “The written testimonies are not to give new light; but to impress with vividness upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed.” No. 20, p. 44. While Willie was covering for his own work, with Ellen’s name attached, we would point out that God through Ellen was giving to his church the correct interpretations of difficult texts.

Yet in the face of that, many do not want to be led of God, notably Uriah Smith on the partial resurrection. The correct understanding of Daniel 12:2 is found in The Present Truth, No. 11, p. 86; and the 1851 Christian Experience and Views, p. 34.

     “In the technical sense of the word, Sister White is not a historian. She has not been a systematic student of history and chronology, and she has never intended that her works should be used to settle controversies over historical dates. But as one who relates history, one ‘in whose work the character and spirit of an age is exhibited in miniature,’ she is a historian whose works teach valuable lessons from the past for the present and the future.” p. 50, Para. 4, [1919BIBL].  

     White had reacted similarly several years earlier when a writer for Southern Watchman used Great Controversy as evidence to prove certain historical questions. W. C. White noted that Mrs. White objected to the use of her writings as authority “regarding the details of history or historical dates.” [96] p. 50, Para. 5, [1919BIBL].  

Willie well knew he had made some mistakes in the Great Controversy that were being closely examined by others. His creation of the 1884GC was something of a disaster, which is why a major re-write was required; something that never was required of the authentic Spirit of Prophecy.

     On the question of Mrs. White’s use of historians, W. C. White asserted: p. 50, Para. 6, [1919BIBL].  

     “I have overwhelming evidence and conviction that [the writings] are the description and delineation of what God has revealed to her in vision, and where she has followed the description of historians or the exposition of Adventist writers, I believe that God has given her discernment to use that which is correct and in harmony with truth regarding all matters essential to salvation. If it should be found by faithful study that she has followed some expositions of prophecy which in some detail regarding dates we cannot harmonize with our understanding of secular history, it does not influence my confidence in her writings as a whole any more than my confidence in the Bible is influenced by the fact that I cannot harmonize many of the statements regarding chronology.” p. 50, Para. 7, [1919BIBL].

Willie is describing his Ellen’s work. He would have all understand that (s)he did the very best job possible. Tongue in cheek there. Willie is speaking out of the abundance of his heart.

     White noted that the visions given Mrs. White concerning historical events usually contained no geographical or chronological setting. Not only did she obtain that perspective by reading historical works, but in so doing, said White, “there was brought vividly to her mind scenes presented clearly in vision, but which were through the lapse of years and her strenuous ministry, dimmed in her memory.”

This is an outright lie. Here is the truth. “And here I would state that although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to be by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation.” R&H, October 8, 1867.

Now — the church generally has gotten a lot of mileage out of the last half of that passage. So, let’s take a look at something. Here is Paul saying that he is using his own words. “I speak not by commandment, …” 2 Corinthians 8:8. Paul only thought he was speaking on his own. Here is the truth. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16.

And here is the correct understanding of inspiration. “The scribes of God wrote as they were dictated by the Holy Spirit, having no control of the work themselves.” No. 26, p. 5. Real inspiration means that neither Ellen, or Paul, nor any other of God’s servants, could tell, in themselves, when they were being controlled by the Holy Spirit. This is so, because that servant was so in tune with God.

God Bless your study

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