Chapter 18

Theological Crises

[Return to the Table of Contents]
[Return to the Homepage]

Counterfeits in the 1840s and 1850s
Salvation by Faith—1888
Light Was Resisted
Holy Flesh Movement
Pantheism Crisis
Not Clear on the Personality of God
“Meet It!”
Two Definite Camps
The Ballenger/Sanctuary Crisis, 1905
Misunderstanding the Role of the Holy Spirit
Endnotes
Study Questions


“[God has given me light] to correct specious errors and to specify what is truth.”1

Throughout history since Cain and Abel, as Ellen White has wisely noted, Satan has done well in his attempt “to deceive and destroy the people by palming off upon them a counterfeit in place of the true work.”2 Every reformatory movement has experienced this phenomenon. The apostle Paul had to contend with wily counterfeits in his day.3 During the Protestant Reformation, counterfeit religious movements and theologies plagued Martin Luther, as they did John Wesley two centuries later. The very nature of counterfeits requires immediate response; if left unchecked, truth comes close to shipwreck until a clear voice arises to reveal the error.

Such has been Ellen White’s role in the Seventh-day Adventist Church from the beginning of her ministry to this day through her published works. In reviewing the fanaticism and counterfeit views of the 1840s and 1850s, we are reminded that these same errors will be faced repeatedly until the close of time.4


Counterfeits in the 1840s and 1850s

[Top of Document]

In 1845, before her marriage to James White, Ellen Harmon and others confronted a group in New Hampshire who appeared to be assured in the Lord. She soon learned that “they claimed perfect sanctification, declaring that they were above the possibility of sin.” The leaders told her: “All that we have to do is to believe, and whatever we ask of God will be given us.” This kind of thinking leads to the belief that “the affections and desires of the sanctified ones were always right, and never in danger of leading them into sin.” In many cases, this thinking led to free love with all of its worst consequences.5

The “no-work” group, strange as it may seem today, attracted followers, especially those who cared for their leader’s needs! First in Paris, Maine, and then in Randolph, Massachusetts, Ellen Harmon had to give reproof, reminding all concerned that “reason and judgment” were not to give way to impressions: “God ordained that the beings He created should work. Upon this their happiness depends.”6

False humility, accompanied with boisterous excitement of some in Maine, brought disrepute to early Adventists prior to 1846. Young Ellen reported: “Some seemed to think that religion consisted in great excitement and noise. They would talk in a manner that would irritate unbelievers. . . . They would rejoice that they suffered persecution. . . . Some . . . professed great humility, and advocated creeping on the floor like children, as an evidence of their humility. . . . I told them plainly that . . . the humility which God looked for in His people was to be shown by a Christlike life, not by creeping on the floor.”7

Frequent time-setting became a spiritual disaster for those who indulged in it and rejected the admonition from Ellen White. She wrote: “Different times were set for the Lord to come, and were urged upon the brethren. But the Lord showed me that they would pass by, for the time of trouble must take place before the coming of Christ, and that every time that was set, and passed, would weaken the faith of God’s people. For this I was charged with being the evil servant that said, ‘My Lord delayeth his coming.’”8

On the back page of the Review, July 21, 1851, Ellen White reported on a vision given her on June 21: “The Lord has shown me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, and that it should not be hung on time; for time never will be a test again. I saw that some were getting a false excitement arising from preaching time; that the third angel’s message was stronger than time can be.”


Salvation by Faith—1888

[Top of Document]

Nearly eight years after the notable 1888 General Conference session in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ellen White summed up the crucial theological issues involved in the messages that she, E. J. Waggoner, and A. T. Jones presented at that time. In a candid testimony to the membership of the Battle Creek church, she wrote that many still “despised” the essence of the third angel’s message because they “hated the light.”

In this testimony and many others, Mrs. White uplifted the presentations made by Waggoner and Jones as a “most precious message” that “the Lord in His great mercy sent” to His people. She succinctly summarized this “precious message”: “It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.

“The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ. . . .

“This is the testimony that must go throughout the length and breadth of the world. It presents the law and the gospel, binding up the two in a perfect whole. . . . These [“the sons of God”] have not a mere nominal faith, a theory of truth, a legal religion, but they believe to a purpose, appropriating to themselves the richest gifts of God. . . .”

Ellen White closed her forceful testimony with these graphic words: “I have no smooth message to bear to those who have been so long as false guideposts, pointing the wrong way. If you reject Christ’s delegated messengers, you reject Christ.”9

What was the problem in Battle Creek generally? With all the personal sacrifices they had made for the cause that was closest to their hearts, the stalwart, hardworking leaders of the church generally did not yet fully understand the gospel! She told them that there was little if any hope for them if they continued to despise the “glorious offer of justification through the blood of Christ, and sanctification through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit.”10

Without Ellen White the messages of Jones and Waggoner would have been crushed and the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church would have been drastically different after the 1888 Conference than what we now know it to be. That Conference was one of the most difficult times of her long and strenuous ministry, “the hardest and most incomprehensible tug of war we have ever had among our people.”11

“Rebuffed at headquarters,” Mrs. White, together with Waggoner and Jones, took the refreshing view of a full-orbed understanding of righteousness by faith to the churches throughout North America, first on the camp meeting circuit and later in institutional centers. The experiences at Ottawa, Kansas, and South Lancaster, Massachusetts, were especially memorable, and her messages on those occasions remain instructive today.12

What were the major issues and the main problems? The issues were theological, the problems were attitudes. In 1890 at the time of the ministerial institute in Battle Creek, Ellen White summarized the theological issues in what we now know as Manuscript 36, 1890. In this document she freely used the ellipse of truth as she threaded her way through deep theological waters.13

To emphasize a basic gospel principle she said: “Let this point be fully settled in every mind: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer, we must accept Him as a Ruler.” Christian assurance can be claimed only when we “acknowledge Him as our King and are obedient to His commandments.” With this commitment we have “the genuine ring in our faith, for it is a working faith.”

She clearly outlined the weaknesses in the contemporary religious world regarding basic gospel principles: “While one class perverts the doctrine of justification by faith and neglect to comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God—‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments’—there is fully as great an error on the part of those who claim to believe and obey the commandments of God but who place themselves in opposition to the precious rays of light—new to them—reflected from the cross of Calvary. The first class do not see the wondrous things in the law of God for all who are doers of His Word. The others cavil over trivialities and neglect the weightier matters, mercy and the love of God. . . .

“On the one hand, religionists generally have divorced the law and the gospel, while we have, on the other hand, almost done the same thing from another standpoint. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of His great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ and His matchless love, brought in theories and reasonings, and preached argumentative discourses.”14

The basic issue in 1888 was how to understand the fullness of gospel truth as reflected in John’s words that God’s people at the end of time would “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).15

Orthodox Adventists clearly understood the claims of God’s commandments as especially highlighted in the Sabbath commandment. But, as happens often in Christian history, right thinking may not always be joined with a clear faith-commitment to Christ who alone can save one from the guilt and power of sin. Adventists, generally, in their earnestness to proclaim the neglected law of God, tended to leave Christ out of His law. Many preached Christless sermons, thus misrepresenting what it meant to have “the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).16

Part of the problem arose because Adventists saw in the general religious world the danger of antinomianism (the belief that faith, as mental assent, is sufficient and that obedience to law is legalism).17 Spurious concepts of justification and sanctification permeated various denominations. Many Adventists thought that Jones and Waggoner represented a crack in the door that would lead to these prevalent errors.

Ellen White, however, transcended the fears of both sides of the conflict by making it clear that the gospel is the joining of law (including the seventh-day Sabbath) and grace, of pardon and power, of forgiveness and cleansing. She moved the theological argument above the conventional “either/or impasse” to the “both/and level” (that is, both law and grace, etc). She placed this strong Biblical understanding within the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14. By focusing on this Adventist recovery of the “everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6), she clarified the unambiguous message of the Adventist Church. This profound uniting of what had been dividing the religious world for centuries and the Adventist Church specifically, was her remarkable contribution to the 1888 crisis over salvation by faith. Further, her messages clearly demonstrated that this “precious message” was not a mere recovery of a sixteenth-century emphasis, nor a borrowing of a nineteenth-century Methodist accent, such as represented by Hannah Whitall Smith’s, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life.

Were these presentations by Waggoner and Jones new light for Ellen White? Generally, no, as one can discover by reading her messages prior to 1888.18 She stated on several occasions that these great truths had been “imprinted indelibly on my mind by the Spirit God” and that they had been “presented in the testimonies again and again.”19

But she saw certain aspects of the “precious message” as fresh, timely, and part of the increasing light she called “present truth”: “The peculiar work of the third angel has not been seen in its importance. God meant that His people should be far in advance of the position which they occupy today. . . . It is not in the order of God that light has been kept from our people—the very present truth which they needed for this time. Not all our ministers who are giving the third angel’s message, really understand what constitutes that message.”20

During this difficult period it could have been argued that if Mrs. White had been more specific regarding, for example, the precise meaning of Galatians 3, the conflict would have been resolved quickly. In fact, she searched in vain for more than a year for materials that she had written on the subject. She even raised the question in a sermon at the 1888 Session: “Why was it that I lost the manuscript and for two years could not find it? God has a purpose in this. He wants us to go to the Bible and get the Scripture evidence.”21

Here again, the 1888 delegates saw the principle prevail, as it had from the very beginning of Ellen White’s ministry: first, Bible study, then confirmation through divine revelation. At Minneapolis she urged careful Bible study to be done in a courteous spirit, calling for “both sides of the question, for all we wanted was the truth, Bible truth, to be brought before the people.”22 Further, she said: “I cannot take my position on either side until I have studied the question [the law in Galatians].”23


Light Was Resisted

[Top of Document]

In a profound statement to Uriah Smith in 1896, Ellen White put her finger on the open sore that would continue to affect denominational plans and crises until the sore was healed. After reaffirming that the “schoolmaster” in Galatians 3 was the moral law, she wrote: “An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis [1888] against the Lord’s message through Brethren Waggoner and Jones. By exciting that opposition, Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.”24

For Mrs. White, the emphasis on salvation by faith during the 1888-1895 period embodied the “third angel’s message,” especially as this message related to Christ’s work in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. It was more than a mere recovery of “righteousness by faith” as proclaimed by the Reformers.

The increased light that Bible study had presented to the 1888 Minneapolis General Conference confirmed the linkage between the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus in an inseparable union, a union as efficient and interdependent as two poles of a battery, in the dynamic transformation of human lives.

In the 1888 emphasis, linkage was further made between the results of a personal application of salvation by faith and the closing work of Christ in the Most Holy Place. For Ellen White, the church will languish until its members understand and experience the truth that seeing Christ in the law enables men and women to be obedient to that law. When people see how Christ truly removes the guilt the law condemns, they will see how He truly enables men and women to become what the law describes. In so doing, such people become what John predicted would exist in the generation that proclaims the third angel’s message (Rev. 14:12). Thus, “Christ Our Righteousness” becomes that “one subject that will swallow up” all others.25

Some of Ellen White’s pivotal contributions to the 1888 Minneapolis General Conference and thus to us today, include:

· Conflicting points of view should be discussed with a proper attitude; improper attitudes may be a sign that the views are deficient.

· Wise students of the Bible do not emphasize minor points that distract from the primary issues, such as details on prophetic interpretation.

· The essence of the gospel embraces the law and a genuine faith response so that by the grace of Christ, imputed and imparted, the intent of the law and gospel will be fulfilled.

· Church leaders should be examples of openness so that “new light” is not kept from the church.

· The 1888 “revelation of the righteousness of Christ” was only “the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth” (Rev. 18:4).

· Clarifying and restating the principles of the “precious message” that was the beginning of the “loud cry” (Rev. 18:4) will become “the one subject that will swallow up” all others.

This profound endowment to the Adventist Church is on record today in the many documents of that period. It can be strongly argued that, without Ellen White’s prophetic leadership at that time, the Seventh-day Adventist Church would have been mortally wounded. Without her insistence that only a full understanding of what she and others were emphasizing in 1888 and the years soon following, the church today would not know what it means to fulfill its role in proclaiming the “everlasting gospel.”

The urgency of the messages of this period, 1888-1896, persists today. To be truly informed, a person must re-read the actual messages, not through the eyes of another but directly as if the present reader were an eye-witness hearing Jones, Waggoner, and Ellen White for the first time.26


Holy Flesh Movement

[Top of Document]

An interesting trail runs from the continuing discussions on righteousness by faith following the 1888 Minneapolis Conference to the “cleansing message” proclaimed in the Indiana Conference at the turn of the century. By 1900 the entire Indiana Conference executive committee and almost all of its ministers were enthusiastically proclaiming that, in order to be translated, church members must go through the “garden experience,” receive the “holy flesh” that Jesus had, and thus be prepared for translation. After this experience, the church members could no longer be tempted “from within” and would not see death; they would be translated!

How was this to happen? They believed that the Holy Spirit, when He comes in His fullness, will cleanse church members (in the “garden experience”) from all sin. A cleansed church would then be prepared to warn the world of Christ’s return, with the “loud-cry power” of Revelation 18:4.

At the Indiana camp meeting in 1900, Stephen Haskell did his best to reverse this conference-wide heresy. In his report to Ellen White who was still in Australia, he wrote: “When we stated that we believed that Christ was born in fallen humanity, they would represent us as believing that Christ sinned, notwithstanding the fact that we would state our position so clearly that it would seem as though no one could misunderstand us.

“Their point of theology in this particular respect seems to be this: They believe that Christ took Adam’s nature before he fell; so He took humanity as it was in the garden of Eden, and thus humanity was holy, and this is the humanity which Christ had; and now, they say, the particular time has come for us to become holy in that sense, and then we will have ‘translation faith’ and never die.”27

Further false doctrines that Haskell and others exposed included: (1) the impartation of the Holy Spirit was primarily for physical manifestations and miracles rather than character preparation for service; (2) perfectionism (understood as “holy flesh”) in the sense of not being able to sin because no temptation now arises from within; (3) Jesus was born with “sinless flesh;” (4) the Holy Spirit insulated Jesus at conception from the law of heredity; (5) sealed people will not die; and (6) sealed people are healed physically as well as spiritually.

Of these doctrines Ellen White declared at the Indiana Conference constituency meeting, in Indianapolis, May 5, 1901, “there is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric.”28

At the 1901 General Conference session in Battle Creek she met openly the holy flesh heresy and its conference leaders. In her prepared manuscript she said, in part: “The teaching given in regard to what is termed ‘holy flesh’ is an error. All may now obtain holy hearts, but it is not correct to claim in this life to have holy flesh. . . . Not a soul of you has holy flesh now. . . . It is an impossibility. If those who speak so freely of perfection in the flesh could see things in the true light, they would recoil with horror from their presumptuous ideas. . . . Let this phase of doctrine be carried a little further, and it will lead to the claim that its advocates cannot sin, that since they have holy flesh, their actions are all holy. What a door of temptation would thus be opened! . . .

“The manner in which the meetings in Indiana have been carried on, with noise and confusion, does not commend them to thoughtful, intelligent minds. There is nothing in these demonstrations which will convince the world that we have the truth. Mere noise and shouting are no evidence of sanctification, or of the descent of the Holy Spirit. . . . Fanaticism, once started and left unchecked, is as hard to quench as a fire which has obtained hold of a building. . . . We need to contemplate Christ and become assimilated to His image through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. This is our only safeguard against being entangled in Satan’s delusive snares.”29

After reading her prepared statement for an hour, Ellen White spoke impromptu, recalling lessons learned from similar fanaticism with which she and fellow pioneers contended in the 1840s and 1850s.

The result? The next day the Indiana Conference president made a candid confession, saying, in part: “When I found this people, I was more than glad to know that there was a prophet among them, and from the first I have been a firm believer in, and a warm advocate of, the Testimonies and the Spirit of Prophecy. It has been suggested to me at times in the past, that the test on this point of faith comes when the testimony comes directly to us. As nearly all of you know, in the testimony of yesterday morning, the test came to me. But, brethren, I can thank God this morning that my faith in the Spirit of Prophecy remains unshaken. God has spoken. He says I was wrong, and I answer, God is right, and I am wrong.”30

Other Indiana Conference officials also made open and full confession of their errors—all pointing to God’s messenger as the reason for their enlightenment. A few weeks later, the Indiana Conference constituency voted a new conference committee and a change of key pastorates. With these confessions, the Holy Flesh Movement was broken.31


Pantheism Crisis

[Top of Document]

“Pantheism” is derived from two Greek words—pan, “all,” and theos, “God.” In pantheism, everything manifests the presence of God; nature and God are identical. By misunderstanding the role of the Holy Spirit the Christian church for two thousand years has lapsed into various heresies that border on pantheism; some have been direct incursions into pantheistic territory. That same misunderstanding created a crisis in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the early 1900s.

In the 1840s and 1850s ex-Millerite “spiritualizers” not only emphasized that Jesus had indeed “come” in 1844 to the “believers,” they were also “highly introverted” in their ecstatic worship practices. In addition, many groups were allied with the growing influence of modern spiritualism, first with the Shakers and then with the Fox-sisters movement in Hydesville, New York. But underneath the “spiritualizer” movement was the reduction of Jesus to that of a “spirit” rather than a material Person.32

When pantheistic ideas developed half a century later among Seventh-day Adventists, Ellen White recognized the similarities with the “spiritualizers” that she had firmly confronted in the 1840s and early 1850s.33

Before the death of James White in 1881 J. H. Kellogg shared with the Whites some theories of “new light” in understanding God. Ellen White responded forthrightly that she had “met them before” and that he should “never teach such theories in our institutions.”34

But by 1897 Kellogg was introducing his pantheistic concepts at a ministerial institute preceding the General Conference session. His presentations were recorded in the 1897 General Conference Bulletin. Expressions such as the following were enthusiastically received by those who were not able to see where such thoughts would lead: “What a wonderful thought, that this mighty God that keeps the whole universe in order, is in us! . . . What an amazing thing that this almighty, all-powerful, and all-wise God should make Himself a servant of man by giving man a free will—power to direct the energy within his body!”35

In the late 1890s E. J. Waggoner also developed similar concepts. Because of his reputation as a Bible student and previous support from Ellen White for his salvation-by-faith teachings in 1888-1892, his linkage with Dr. Kellogg brought plausibility to the teachings of both men. At the General Conference of 1899 he taught that men and women should be able to overcome their diseases and live forever, that every breath taken is “a direct breathing of God” in the nostrils, and that God is in pure water and good food, because “God is in everything.”36

From these General Conference sessions and the Bulletins, these “new” and intriguing thoughts, pantheistic to the core, soon circled the Adventist world. That this age-old error in modern dress, often misusing Ellen White statements in sermons and articles, was not confronted early and head-on, seems astonishing today.37

But Ellen White in Australia was aroused. Letters had been written many weeks prior to the 1899 General Conference in order to arrive in time to be read to the delegates. On March 1 the first letter was entitled: “The True Relation of God and Nature.” In part, she wrote: “Nature is not God and never was God. . . . As God’s created work, it but bears a testimony of His power. . . . We need carefully to consider this; for in their human wisdom, the wise men of the world, knowing not God, foolishly deify nature and the laws of nature.”38

This communication should have been enough to eliminate further pantheistic teaching by denominational spokesmen. But these clear statements were ignored. Pantheistic theories seemed to pick up additional supporters among physicians at the Battle Creek Sanitarium as well as ministers in the field.

When A. G. Daniells returned from Australia to assume leadership of the General Conference, he was astounded to hear expressions such as “a tree maker in the tree,” and God in flowers, trees, and all mankind. W. A. Spicer, newly appointed secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, had just spent several years as a missionary in India where pantheism permeated Hinduism. He quickly recognized the popularized American concepts for what they were.

On February 1, 1902, the world-renowned Battle Creek Sanitarium burned to the ground. Within hours Dr. Kellogg was laying plans to rebuild. Within days he was asking the General Conference for financial assistance. (The denomination at that time was heavily in debt—much of the debt due to expansive medical facilities.) Daniells, remembering that funds were being raised to reduce the debts on educational facilities by selling Ellen White’s book, Christ’s Object Lessons, suggested that Dr. Kellogg write a laymen’s book on physiology and health care as promoted in the Battle Creek Sanitarium. He thought that 500,000 copies could be sold by Adventists to their friends, and all the proceeds would go to help reconstruct the sanitarium.39

But in the discussion over the proposed book, Daniells made it plain to Kellogg that none of his “new theory” must be in the book because, if it were, many church members would not cooperate in the venture. The doctor quickly agreed and immediately began to dictate the manuscript for The Living Temple.

However, as soon as the galley proofs were read by W. W. Prescott and W. A. Spicer, controversy over its contents began.40 Kellogg saw that the General Conference Committee intended to withdraw support for publication of the book, so he withdrew it from further consideration as a church venture. Nevertheless, he placed a personal order for 5,000 copies with the Review and Herald Publishing Association.41 About a month later, December 30, 1902, fire destroyed the publishing house with the plates for the book then ready for the press.

At the General Conference of 1903 other issues besides The Living Temple dominated the agenda. Management decisions regarding the Battle Creek Sanitarium and denominational health work in general became a struggle of leadership, Kellogg against Daniells. The doctor was determined to reopen Battle Creek College (the faculty and student body under Sutherland and Magan had already moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan). Prescott, as editor of the Review, used its pages to resist Kellogg’s “ill-advised” venture and to expose the errors of his pantheism.


Not Clear on the Personality of God

[Top of Document]

During that period, Ellen White wrote to Dr. Kellogg: “You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.”

A few days later she continued: “Your ideas are so mystical that they are destructive to the real substance, and the minds of some are becoming confused in regard to the foundation of our faith. If you allow your mind to become thus diverted, you will give a wrong mold to the work that has made us what we are.”42

But Mrs. White did not openly confront the doctor at the session. In vision she was told that she “must not say anything that would stir up confusion and strife in the conference.” The whole controversy must play out further so that all concerned would see the issues more clearly.43

Disregarding her counsel, Dr. Kellogg had 5,000 copies of The Living Temple produced by a commercial printer. Now more of the general public could see for themselves why church leaders had been concerned. Opposing sides developed; those in favor saw this “new light” to be conducive to a deeper religious experience; those opposed saw it as contributing to the dismantlement of the sanctuary doctrine, creating confusion regarding the function of the Holy Spirit, and blurring the truth concerning the distinct personalities of the Godhead. Throughout the summer Ellen White remained silent.

When the Autumn Council of the General Conference opened in Washington, D. C., on October 7, everyone knew that the Kellogg controversy and The Living Temple would have to be addressed. Among those supporting Kellogg were E. J. Waggoner, A. T. Jones, and David Paulson, a young physician.44

After a spirited all-day and late-evening meeting, Daniells returned home to find a group of people waiting. Their first greeting was: “Deliverance has come! Here are two messages from Mrs. White.”

The messages were clear, concise, and unambiguous: “These sentiments [The Living Temple] do not bear the endorsement of God. They are a snare that the enemy has prepared for these last days. . . . The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error.”45

Read at the Council the next day, these messages settled the issue for most of the waverers. Daniells wrote immediately to Ellen White, saying, in part: “Never were messages from God more needed than at this very time; and never were messages sent from Him to His people more to the point than those you have sent to us. They have been exactly what we have needed, and have come at just the right time. . . . The conflict was severe, and we knew not how things would turn. But your clear, clean-cut, beautiful message came and settled the controversy. I do not say that all parties came into perfect harmony, but it gave those who stood on the right side strength to stand, and hold their ground.”

Again in the letter, Daniells emphasized the remarkable timing: “Dr. Kellogg had been with us two or three days. His attitude had brought more or less confusion in the minds of a number of our ministers—men who do not really know where they stand. Your message came on just the right day—a day earlier would have been too soon.”46


“Meet It!”

[Top of Document]

After receiving this letter from the General Conference president, Mrs. White wrote back, explaining the circumstances that prompted her timely messages. In this reply she revealed the vision in which she saw the iceberg and the captain’s order, “Meet it!” She knew immediately what her duty was. Beginning at 1:00 A.M., she wrote as fast as she could. When her office help arrived, they had pages to edit. She wrote throughout the day, and the secretaries worked throughout the next night so that the material could be sent on the early-morning train.

They worked until they heard the sound of the train whistle. D. E. Robinson, one of the secretaries, rode his bicycle as fast as he could for almost two miles to catch the mail car. Days later, these timely messages arrived in Washington, D. C., not a day too early, nor a day late! 47

Ellen White wrote personally to E. J. Waggoner, one of the foremost supporters of The Living Temple, urging him to change his ways: “I have seen the results of these fanciful views of God, in apostasy, spiritualism, free loveism. The free love tendencies of these teachings were so concealed that it was difficult to present them in their real character. Until the Lord presented it to me, I knew not what to call it, but I was instructed to call it unholy spiritual love.”48

With these public messages now before the denomination and The Living Temple available for all to see the issues involved, the struggle at Battle Creek especially, was intense. More than the issue of pantheism was involved, of course. A number who felt identified with Dr. Kellogg’s position on the control of the sanitarium also felt inclined to support his “new light.” The big picture was not clear for many.


Two Definite Camps

[Top of Document]

At the Lake Union Conference session in May 1904, the deepening cleavage between two definite camps continued. Each camp was composed of strong, well-known church leaders. Each group looked differently and deeply at various denominational issues. According to E. K. VandeVere, long-time head of the history department at Emmanuel Missionary College (E.M.C.), the polarities at the 1904 session included:

Centralization vs decentralization of authority

Orthodoxy vs the new theology (pantheism, etc.)

Organization vs independence

Paid ministry vs a self-supporting ministry

Validity of Ellen White’s “testimonies” vs her being questioned and/or ignored

Medical work as “arm” vs medical work as “body”

Emmanuel Missionary College’s success vs the reopening of Battle Creek College

Battle Creek regarded as “punished” vs Battle Creek’s fires as accidental

Move to Washington vs the value of Battle Creek label

Educational orthodoxy vs experimental education

Board control of E.M.C. vs E.M.C. administrators being led by the Spirit

“Reformers” Kellogg, Sutherland, Magan, E. J. Waggoner, A. T. Jones vs top-level church administrators Daniells, Spicer, Prescott, Morrison.49

Into this ferment came Ellen White with sermons each morning at eleven o’clock, including “The Foundation of Our Faith,” “Lessons From Revelation 3,” “A Plea for Unity,” “Take Heed to Thyself,” and “A Change of Feeling Needed.”50

In these sermons Mrs. White emphasized the principles that each side was trying to uphold. She hoped that both sides would see the big picture. But she also saw what prevented both groups from understanding each other. Attitudes on both sides of various issues were the chief obstacle to resolving the apparent dilemmas: “Angels from heaven, sent to minister wisdom and grace, were disappointed to see self pressing its way in, to make things appear in a wrong light. Men were talking and discussing, and conjectures were brought in that should have had no place in the meeting.”51

Near the end of the meetings, Ellen White had a vision. She wrote an account of it and gave it to W. C. White to read to the delegates on the last day: “Last night matters were presented to me, showing that strange things would mark the conclusion of the conference . . . unless the Holy Spirit of God should change the hearts and minds of many of the workers. The medical missionaries especially should seek to have their souls transformed by the grace of God.”52

Tensions continued building. To provide as much help as possible to those who still wavered, Mrs. White rushed the printing of Testimonies, volume 8, with its section entitled, “The Essential Knowledge.”53 Further, she was fast developing her next health book especially for the general public, The Ministry of Healing. In this book she incorporated the same principles regarding the personality of God and His involvement in the healing of disease, especially in the section also entitled, “The Essential Knowledge.”54


The Ballenger/Sanctuary Crisis, 1905

[Top of Document]

The sanctuary-doctrine crisis in 1905 was one more result of misunderstanding the role of the Holy Spirit in the salvation process. Whenever one neglects the work of the Holy Spirit in the relationship between the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:12), the tendency is either toward cold legalism or hot feelings and fervent individualism. Or error arises when the work of the Holy Spirit is de-emphasized when focusing on the substitutionary death of Christ; or, when one focuses on the “indwelling Spirit” to the neglect of Christ as Sacrifice and High Priest.55 Misunderstanding Christ’s double role56 as Sacrifice and enabling High Priest set the stage for the Holy Flesh Movement, the pantheistic crisis, and, later, the sanctuary challenge.

Unfortunately for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it seemed difficult for many in the 1890s, including E. J. Waggoner, John Harvey Kellogg, A. F. Ballenger, and, for a time, W. W. Prescott, to keep in balance the 1888 messages that Christ was “as ready to impart victory over future sins as to forgive those that were past.”57 Their attention focused on the “imparting victory” and the manifestation of the Spirit, overlooking the Holy Spirit’s primary role in character transformation that precedes the promised “latter rain” and “loud cry” experiences.58 After “accepting” the 1888 Minneapolis messages, these leaders believed that God would follow through quickly by sending His Spirit in a marked manner, enabling the church to “finish the work” and thus hasten the return of Jesus. For some, this focus on the work of the Spirit would lead them to believe that each person “filled with the Spirit” would also receive the gift of the Spirit of prophecy. Further, such church members would not need strong denominational organization because they would be Spirit-led.59

Ever since Ellen White returned from Australia in 1900, she had been sending scores of letters, private and public, warning of the deceptions and errors developing among leading spokesmen who were missing the point of sanctification, even as many leaders had been missing the point of commandment-keeping prior to 1888. In 1903 she wrote to Daniells: “I have often been warned against overstrained ideas of sanctification. They lead to an objectionable feature of experience that will swamp us unless we are wide-awake. . . . During the General Conference of 1901, the Lord warned me against sentiments that were being gathered and then held by Brethren Prescott and [E. J.] Waggoner. Instruction was given me that these sentiments received have been as leaven put into meal. Many minds have received them. The ideas of some regarding a great experience, called and supposed to be, sanctification have been the alpha of a train of deception which will deceive and ruin the souls of those who receive them. Because of some overdrawn expressions frequently used by Brother E. J. Waggoner at the conference, I was led to speak words intended to counteract their influence. . . . Satan is surely presenting some false theories which you must not receive. Elders Waggoner and Prescott are out of the way.”60

A. F. Ballenger wrongly believed with many others that the Holy Flesh Movement was the logical extension of the 1888 messages. What he did see clearly was that, since the 1888 messages on righteousness by faith had been circulated through the denomination, “we are in the time of the latter rain, but the outpouring of the Spirit is withheld because of our sins.”61 He rightly saw the connection between the character of God’s people and finishing their assignment as God’s last-day witnesses. That had been a strong emphasis in Ellen White’s messages for many years.62 But he was wrong as to how the Holy Spirit was to prepare people for latter-rain witnessing: he held that believers could claim and receive sanctification as they could claim and receive justification. Further, for him, believers could claim the promise of the Spirit through faith even as they could claim the gift of healing by faith.63

Reports of physical healings followed Ballenger’s preaching, which, for many, added special credence to his theology. What was the basis for Ballenger’s connection between receiving the Spirit and physical healing? He believed that because Jesus “‘took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,’”64 Scripture “proves that the Gospel includes salvation from sickness as well as salvation from sin.”65

What was Mrs. White’s response to these “new ideas”? Writing to J. H. Kellogg in 1898, she said that some read the Bible without thorough study and then, “full of ardor and zeal, present theories which, if received, will counterwork” that which had been received since 1844 as “a connected chain of truth. . . . These crave for new ideas and suppositions, which mar the symmetrical development of character. . . . Let such a one put his whole mind upon some idea which is not correct, and deformity rather than symmetry is developed.”66

At the 1905 General Conference session in Washington, Ballenger presented three one-hour studies on his “new” light on the sanctuary doctrine. His main thrust was that Jesus, on ascending to heaven, entered the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. Prior to the cross, He had been functioning in the first apartment, the Holy Place. Ballenger did not convince the committee members. The committee responded with a Biblical exegesis that had been worked out decades before and confirmed by revelation to Ellen White. The response seemed to have led to a stalemate.


Misunderstanding the Role of the Holy Spirit

[Top of Document]

A decade or more of misconstruing the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation by faith weakened Ballenger’s understanding regarding Christ’s role in the atonement. Focusing his attention on the immediacy of the cleansed experience through claiming the Holy Spirit, he took his theological eyes off Christ’s function as High Priest, both in His first phase of ministry in the Holy Place and then in the Most Holy. Refusing to accept the correcting ministry of Ellen White, Ballenger began a course of attacking her credibility on theological matters as well as other areas.

In one of her public responses during this period, Mrs. White said: “In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. . . . Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. . . . I am praying that the power of the Saviour will be exerted in behalf of those who have entered into the temptations of the enemy. They are not standing under the broad shield of Omnipotence.”67

Later she wrote: “He [Ballenger] was gathering together a mass of scriptures such as would confuse minds because of his assertions and his misapplication of these scriptures, for the application was misleading and had not the bearing upon the subject at all which he claimed justified his position. Anyone can do this, and will follow his example to testify to a false position; but it was his own.”68

After noting how Ballenger reacted to her counsel in 1891, Mrs. White continued: “Now again our Brother Ballenger is presenting theories that cannot be substantiated by the Word of God. It will be one of the great evils that will come to our people to have the Scriptures taken out of their true place and so interpreted as to substantiate error that contradicts the light and the Testimonies that God has been giving us for the past half century. . . . I declare in the name of the Lord that the most dangerous heresies are seeking to find entrance among us as a people, and Elder Ballenger is making spoil of his own soul. The Lord has strengthened me to come the long journey to Washington to this meeting to bear my testimony in vindication of the truth of God’s Word, and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in confirmation of Bible truth. The Word is sure and steadfast, and will stand the test.”

She continued: “There is not truth in the explanations of Scripture that Elder Ballenger and those associated with him are presenting. The words are right, but misapplied to vindicate error. We must not give countenance to his reasoning. He is not led of God. . . . I am instructed to say to Elder Ballenger, Your theories which have multitudes of fine threads, and need so many explanations, are not truth, and are not to be brought to the flock of God.”69

In one of the public sessions Ellen White was led to recount early experiences. As she had done on several earlier occasions,70 she described how, in the early years, intense Bible study preceded the “clear explanation of the passages we had been studying” that would be revealed to her in vision. None of this was done in secret. “The brethren knew that, when not in vision, I could not understand these matters, and they accepted, as light directly from heaven, the revelations given.”71

She presented several other messages to various groups at the 1905 session, each one warning both Ballenger and church leaders “not to mingle erroneous theories with the truth of God.” She emphasized that he had “been allowing his mind to receive and believe specious error.” If his theories were accepted, they “would undermine the pillars of our faith.” One of the problems was that in removing “the old landmarks,” they were “working as blind men.”72

Under God’s illumination, Ellen White’s clarifying and unifying leadership in these four theological crises—Salvation by Faith encounter at Minneapolis in 1888; Holy Flesh Movement in 1901 at Battle Creek; Pantheism crisis in 1903 at Washington, D. C.; and the Sanctuary challenge in 1905—was remarkably timely as well as determinative. No other person involved in these four potentially divisive crises was able to unify and set the course for the future. As noted often by many, “It was she who played a key role in resolving these issues. . . . Without Ellen White’s authoritative voice, the outcome may have been very different.”73

Ellen White was indeed the voice of the Advent movement, but not by spelling out each theological detail and settling each crisis with Sinai thunder. She worked to build up the best thinking of the moment, waiting at times until that best thinking ripened so that she did not break the equation initiated many years before: sound Bible study + confirmation by divine revelation = present truth.

It seems that Mrs. White’s highest, greatest contribution was to keep the big picture in view, sensing always the harmful consequences of false theories. Clear in her mind was the full-orbed understanding of the gospel, and any theory that blurred any aspect of the gospel got her careful and concerned attention. She steered the church away from legalism on the right and romantic fanaticism on the left, always concerned with unity and with the distinctive mission of the Adventist Church.


Endnotes

[Top of Document]

1.Letter 117, 1910, cited in Selected Messages, book 3, p. 32.

2.The Great Controversy, p. 186.

3.Acts 20:28-31; Col. 2:8, 16-23; 2 Tim. 4:3-5; Titus 1:9-16.

4.“In later years I have been shown that the false theories advanced in the past have by no means been given up. As favorable opportunities come, they will have a resurrection. Let us not forget that everything is to be shaken that can be shaken.”—Life Sketches, pp. 92, 93; see Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 25-30.

5.Life Sketches, p. 83.

6.Ibid., p. 87. See also p. 50.

7.Ibid., pp. 85, 86.

8.Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 72.

9.Ibid., p. 97.

10. Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 92, 94, 97. In her writings, Ellen White referred to A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner more than 200 times. The emphasis given to “righteousness by faith” at Minneapolis in 1888 was distinctively different from the understanding prevailing in Protestantism during the nineteenth century, a fact that has not always been understood by those who have written of that important period.

11. Letter 82, 1888, in The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 1, p. 182; “Brethren . . . I must tell you plainly that the course pursued toward me and my work since the Gen. Conf. at Minneapolis—your resistance of the light and warnings that God has given through me—has made my labor fifty times harder than it would otherwise have.”—Letter 1, 1890, Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 659; “the most grievous trial of my life.”—Manuscript 30, 1889, Ibid., vol. 1, p. 354; “one of the saddest chapters in the history of the believers in present truth.”—Ibid., vol. 4, p. 1796.

12. 1888 Materials, vol. 1, p. 152; Schwarz, Light Bearers, pp. 187-192; Faith and Works, pp. 59-84; Bio., vol. 3, pp. 416-418.

13. For a discussion of the ellipse of truth, see p. 260 and Appendix P.

14. Faith and Works, pp. 15, 16.

15. Manuscript 24, 1888, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials (1888 Materials), vol. 1, pp. 217, 218.

16. Review and Herald, Mar. 11, 1890, pp. 1, 2; Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 48; “You may say that you believe in Jesus, when you have an appreciation of the cost of salvation. You may make this claim, when you feel that Jesus died for you on the cruel cross of Calvary; when you have an intelligent, understanding faith that His death makes it possible for you to cease from sin, and to perfect a righteous character through the grace of God, bestowed upon you as the purchase of Christ’s blood.”—Review and Herald, July 24, 1888.

17. Schwarz, Light Bearers., p. 192.

18. Faith and Works, pp. 29-58.

19. Manuscript 24, 1888, 1888 Materials, vol. 1, pp. 217-218; see also pp. 211, 212; “I have had the question asked, What do you think of this light that these men are presenting? Why, I have been presenting it to you for the last forty-five years—the matchless charms of Christ. This is what [I] have been trying to present before your minds. When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapolis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard, excepting the conversations between myself and my husband. . . . When another presented it, every fiber of my heart said, Amen.”—Sermon at Rome, N.Y., June 19, 1889, Ibid., pp. 348, 349.

20. Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 714, 715; “That which God gives His servants to speak today would not perhaps have been present truth twenty years ago, but it is God’s message for this time.”—Manuscript 8a, 1888, quoted in Olson, op. cit., p. 274; “We want the past message and the fresh message.”—Review and Herald, Mar. 18, 1890; “We are in the day of atonement, and we are to work in harmony with Christ’s work of cleansing the sanctuary. . . . We must now set before the people the work which by faith we see our great High Priest accomplishing in the heavenly sanctuary.”—Review and Herald, Jan. 21, 1890; “The mediatorial work of Christ, the grand and holy mysteries of redemption, are not studied or comprehended by the people who claim to have light in advance of every other people on the face of the earth. Were Jesus personally upon earth, He would address a large number who claim to believe present truth with the words He addressed to the Pharisees: ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, or the power of God.’ . . .

“There are old, yet new truths still to be added to the treasures of our knowledge. We do not understand or exercise faith as we should. . . . We are not called to worship and serve God by the use of the means employed in former years. God requires higher service now than ever before. He requires the improvement of the heavenly gifts. He has brought us into a position where we need higher and better things than ever have been needed before.”—Ibid., Feb. 25, 1890; “We have been hearing His voice more distinctly in the message that has been going for the last two years. . . . We have only just begun to get a little glimmering of what faith is.”—Ibid., Mar. 11, 1890.

21. 1888 Materials, vol. 1., p. 153; A. V. Olson, Thirteen Crisis Years (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1966), p. 302.

22. 1888 Materials, p. 221.

23. Ibid., p. 153; also in Olson, Thirteen Crisis Years, p. 30.

24. Ibid., p. 1575; see also Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 234, 235.

25. Review and Herald Extra, Dec. 23, 1890, p. 2; A. G. Daniells, Christ Our Righteousness (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1941) 128 pages.

26. Review and Herald, “Repentance the Gift of God,” Apr. 1, 1890; Nov. 22, 1892, “The Perils and Privileges of the Last Days; Maxwell, Tell It to the World, pp. 231-241; Olson, op. cit., pp. 1-320; Schwarz, Light Bearers., pp. 183-197; Spalding, Origin and History, vol. 2, pp. 281- 303; Arnold V. Wallenkampf, What Every Adventist Should Know About 1888 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988), pp. 1-92; Robert J. Wieland, The 1888 Message, An Introduction (Nashville, Tenn.: Southern Publishing Association, 1980), (Paris, Ohio: Glad Tidings Publishers, 1997). pp. 1-158; Robert J. Wieland and Donald K. Short, 1888 Re-examined, Revised and Updated (Leominster, MA: The Eusey Press, 1987), pp. 1-213; Bio., vol. 3, pp. 385-433. George R. Knight, From 1888 to Apostasy (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1987). See George Knight, Angry Saints.

27. Letter to Ellen G. White, Sept. 25, 1900, E. G. White Estate Document File 190.

28. G. A. Roberts, “The Holy Flesh Fanaticism,” E. G. White Estate Document File 190.

29. General Conference Bulletin, Apr. 23, 1901, pp. 419-421; for a shortened version, see Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 31-35.

30. Ibid., p. 422.

31. William H. Grotheer, The Holy Flesh Movement (Florence, MS: Adventist Laymen’s Foundation of Mississippi, Inc., n.d.) pp. 1-65; Ella M. Robinson, S. N. Haskell, Man of Action (Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1967), pp. 168-176; Schwarz, Light Bearers., pp. 446-448; Bio., vol. 5, pp. 39, 99, 100-107, 112, 113.

32. Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, pp. 56-62.

33. “Before I was 17 years old, I had to bear my testimony against them [sentiments regarding God such as are found in The Living Temple] before large companies.”—Letter 217, 1903, cited in Bio., vol. 5, p. 304.

34. Manuscript 70, 1905, cited in Bio., vol. 5, p. 281.

35. General Conference Daily Bulletin 1897, p. 83.

36. General Conference Daily Bulletin 1899, pp. 57, 58, 119.

37. Ellen White’s frequent emphasis on the “Christ in you” theme, coupled with her equally strong emphasis on the impartation of the Holy Spirit in fulfilling Peter’s appeal that Christians “may be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4), were taken out of context. Her statements were extrapolated into a teaching that an immanental God pervaded all humanity, both the converted and unconverted; in obeying the laws of life, a person could become like the divine, leaving no need for divine power to help, no need for Christ’s substitutionary death, etc. Behind both the Holy Flesh Movement and the pantheistic development was the shift, in the minds of some, from the sanctifying process that would prepare people for fuller service (latter rain and loud cry motifs) to the Sanctifier who would manifest Himself in some extraordinary, physical manner. For example, well-known Adventist leaders were teaching that receiving the Spirit meant also healing the body as well as the soul, that gray hair would be restored to its natural color, that truly Spirit-led people would not die!—See General Conference Daily Bulletin 1899, pp. 53-58, 119, 120; Gilbert M. Valentine, The Shaping of Adventism (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University, 1992), pp. 159-163,

38. General Conference Daily Bulletin, p. 157.

39. Some research indicates that Dr. Kellogg may have suggested the idea. The clear facts are that both Daniells and Kellogg thought the book idea was a positive solution to raising funds.

40. Prescott listed three major areas where he and Kellogg were in profound disagreement: (1) “a wrong view of God and His dwelling place”; (2) a religion “which set aside any need of atonement and the work of Christ as our High Priest in the Sanctuary above”; and (3) “a breaking down of the distinction between the sinner and the Christian by teaching that every man is a temple of God regardless of his faith in Christ.”—Valentine, The Shaping of Adventism, p. 162.

41. Valentine, The Shaping of Adventism, p. 151.

42. Letter 300, 1903 and Letter 52, 1903, cited in Bio., vol. 5, p. 292.

43. Bio., vol. 5, p. 293.

44. Young Dr. Paulson had been especially befriended by Kellogg and now was strongly supporting Kellogg’s “new light.” As he and Daniells walked home after a long evening discussion, he shook his finger at Daniells, saying: “You are making the mistake of your life. After all this turmoil, some of these days you will wake up to find yourself rolled in the dust, and another will be leading the forces.” Daniells straightened up and replied, “I do not believe your prophecy. At any rate, I would rather be rolled in the dust doing what I believe in my soul to be right than to walk with princes, doing what my conscience tells me is wrong.”—Daniells, Abiding Gift of Prophecy, pp. 336, 337. The next day Dr. Paulson was thoroughly impressed with Ellen White’s messages read in the Council, and acknowledged that they were from God. He and his wife founded Hinsdale Sanitarium. Dr. Paulson became a striking example of living faith and a strong supporter of the ministry of Ellen White.

45. Review and Herald, Oct. 22, 1903; see also Letter 216, 1903, cited in Bio., vol. 5, pp. 298, 299.

46. Bio., vol. 5, p. 300.

47. Ibid., pp. 299-302.

48. Letter 230, 1903, cited in Bio., vol. 5, p. 303. See also Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 290-304.

49. Shaw, “A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speaking of Mrs. Ellen G. White,” pp. 315, 316. Although aligned with some on certain positions, many leaders were not aligned with those same persons on other points. Although Kellogg, Sutherland, Magan, Jones, and Waggoner were “reformers,” Sutherland and Magan did not support Kellogg and others in their pantheistic ideas.

50. Bio., vol. 5, p. 336.

51. Ibid., p. 334.

52. Ibid., p. 338.

53. Pages 255-335.

54. Pages 409-466. For a fuller background of the pantheistic crisis, see A. G. Daniells, Christ Our Righteousness, pp. 330-342; Maxwell, Tell It to the World., pp. 214-216; Schwarz, Light Bearers, pp. 288-292; Schwarz, “The Perils of Growth,” in Land, Adventism in America, pp. 133- 138; Spalding, Origin and History, vol. 3, pp. 130-144; Valentine, The Shaping of Adventism, pp. 145-166; Bio., vol. 5, pp. 402-404.

55. See p. 262.

56. See The Great Controversy, p. 488

57. Schwarz, Light Bearers, p. 188.

58. The Desire of Ages, p. 805.

59. A. T. Jones, Review editor, regularly closed his editorials with the words, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” The camp meeting speakers of the late 1890s generally represented this Spirit-centered focus. Probably the most eloquent of these speakers was A. F. Ballenger, a highly sought speaker for church revivals. His influence in Indiana was reflected in the Holy Flesh Movement.

60. Letter 269, 1903 cited in MR, vol. 10, pp. 356, 357.

61. Review and Herald, Oct. 5, 1897, p. 629; see related articles on pp. 411, 523, 624; also General Conference Daily Bulletin, 1899, p. 96.

62. Evangelism, pp. 695, 696; Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 9-13. See also Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 69, 414-416; Review and Herald, Mar. 31, 1910, pp. 3, 4.

63. Review and Herald, May 3, 1898, p. 288; “Physical healing is now present truth to Seventh-day Adventists.” —Ibid., Oct. 4, 1898 p. 637; “The gift of healing . . . will appear when we receive the Holy Spirit, and not before.”—Ibid., Nov. 15, 1898 p. 740.

64. Matt. 8:17, KJV, quoting Isa. 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.”

65. Signs of the Times, June 13, 1900, p. 371.

66. MR, vol. 21, pp. 57, 58.

67. Review and Herald, May 25, 1905, p. 17.

68. Manuscript 59, 1905, cited in Bio., vol. 5, p. 408. In 1891, A. F. Ballenger, the chief spokesman who contended for a shift in direction for the American Sentinel, was one of the leaders at the General Conference in Battle Creek who publicly confessed his error and reaffirmed his confidence in the integrity of Ellen White’s ministry—see p. 188.

69. Ibid.

70. See pp. 170, 171.

71. Review and Herald, May 25, 1905, p. 17.

72. Manuscript 62, 1905, cited, in part, in Bio., vol. 5, p. 411, 412. More than fifty pages of letters and manuscripts were written by Ellen White during this critical period. See Manuscript 75, 1905, cited, in part, in Bio., vol. 5, pp. 425, 426; Letter 329, 1905 (Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 160-162), cited, in part, in Bio., vol. 5, pp. 426, 427; Letter 50, 1906, cited in Bio., vol. 5, pp. 427, 428; and Manuscript 125, 1907, cited, in part, in Bio., vol. 5, p. 428, in which Ellen White wrote: “Any man who seeks to present theories which would lead us from the light that has come to us on the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary should not be accepted as a teacher.” For a Biblical study of the texts in the book of Hebrews that Ballenger used for his position that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary and for a refutation of his main argument, see William G. Johnsson, “Day of Atonement Allusions,” F. B. Holbrook, ed., Issues in the Book of Hebrews (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1989), pp. 105-120.

73. Schwarz, in Land, Adventism in America., p. 109. “The dimensions of the crisis faced by the church between 1897 and 1911 indicate that the church either would have lost its special message or would have hopelessly fractured without the guidance of the Lord through the Spirit of Prophecy.”—Bert Haloviak, “Pioneers, Pantheists, and Progressives: A. F. Ballenger and Divergent Paths to the Sanctuary,” p. 52, an unpublished manuscript, June 1980.


Study Questions

[Top of Document]

1. What were the basic issues that divided the delegates at the Minneapolis General Conference in 1888?

2. What were the basic issues at stake in the Holy Flesh Movement, and how did Stephen Haskell and Ellen White defuse the problem?

3. What were the basic issues involved in the pantheism crisis of the early 1900s?

4. What was the basic error that linked J. H. Kellogg, A. F. Ballenger, and, later, E. J. Waggoner?

5. Why did Ellen White consider the presentations of Elders Jones and Waggoner in 1888 to be a “precious message,” a “fresh message,” that presented God’s “voice more distinctly”?

[Top of Document]
[Return to the Homepage]