The Adventist Pope

By Mark Swarbrick

The Seventh Day Adventist Pope

Seventh Day Adventists go on and on about the evils of the Catholic Church and their practice of popery. They have a point. While Catholicism claims to go by the Bible, in actuality, the Catholic Church puts their doctrines and traditions above Scripture and their doctrine of papal infallibility is an assault upon the Word of God. Yet, the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) does exactly the same thing, as shall be shown.

While the SDA claims that the Bible is their final rule for faith and practice, the actual fact is that their official doctrinal positions are placed above Scripture. Most grievous of all, the teachings of their prophetess, Ellen G White, are considered to be inspired, equal to, or even above, those of the Holy Bible. Although they deny this, this article shall prove beyond doubt that such is the case.

As we shall see, the SDA has an infallible pope-ess. This is even worse than having a pope, for the Apostle Paul wrote, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first formed, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into trespass.” (1 Timothy 2:12-14) In blatant disregard of Paul’s directive, the SDA has allowed a woman to determine all of their distinctive doctrines. Disagreeing with her teaching is unthinkable within the SDA, as every Adventist knows.

Another Bible

Like other cults, the SDA has their own Bible. The collection of writings of Ellen White are officially considered to be inspired by God. The SDA has 28 Fundamental Beliefs. Number 18 states:

“Her writings (Ellen White) speak with prophetic authority and provide comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction to the church.”

While they claim that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested, that never happens in actual practice. Not one single teaching of Ellen White has ever been refuted by the SDA. They consider her writings to be inspired by God and completely infallible. Regardless of what they put out for public consumption, what they really believe is that the Bible as interpreted by Ellen White is the final authority.

The Mormons have their Book of Mormon and their prophet Joseph Smith to tell them what to believe. The Christian Scientists have Mary Baker Eddy and her writings to tell them what the Bible really says. Like these other cults, the SDA has Ellen White and her writings to tell them what they are supposed to think. Ellen White is the infallible pope-ess of the Seventh Day Adventist church.

All cultists speak out of both sides of their mouth, saying one thing one day, and denying it another. This is evident in such cult leaders as Joseph Smith of Mormonism, Charles Russell of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many others. Ellen White is no exception (Incidentally, Ellen White’s 2nd cousin was married to Joseph Smith). While Ellen White sometimes disavowed any claim to infallibility, many other times she did claim it and her followers claimed it for her.

The Evidence

The Teacher’s Edition of the SDA Sabbath School-Quarterly Study Guide, p. 112, Feb. 11, 1978, says this:

“The Bible and the writings of Ellen White are inerrant.”

If no other proof were presented this would be sufficient to prove that the official position of the SDA is that the writings of Ellen White are without error. In other words, they are infallible, just like the Bible. Why they rail against Catholicism for having an infallible pope when they have practically the same thing, is a puzzle.

Here is what Ellen White says of her writings. Speaking of herself in the third person, she says:

“Those who resist the messages of God through his humble servant, think they are at variance with Sister White, because her ideas are not in harmony with theirs; but this variance is not with sister White, but with the Lord, who has given her her work to do.” (White, Review and Herald, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 1890.)

Note that she says her writings are “messages of God” and that any who disagree with her are at variance with the Lord.

The almighty pope-ess Ellen White says:

“In my books, the truth is stated, barricaded by a “Thus saith the Lord.” The Holy Spirit traced these truths upon my heart and mind as indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God, upon the tables of stone, which are now in the ark, to be brought forth in that great day when sentence will be pronounced against every evil, seducing science produced by the father of lies.” (White, Colporteur Ministry, p. 126.)

Note how she claims “thus saith the Lord” for her writings, as though it were the Bible. She claims her writings are truths inspired by the Holy Spirit, just like the Bible. She goes so far as to compare her writings to the Ten Commandments traced by the finger of God. What audacious blasphemy this is!

Of her writings, (which, by the way, made her wealthy) White says:

“These books contain clear, straight, unalterable truth and they should certainly be appreciated. The instruction they contain is not of human production.” (White, Letter H-339, Dec. 26, 1904.)

Not of human production, she says. In other words, her writings are produced by God himself. They are the SDA Bible.

In SDA parlance, Ellen White’s writings are often referred to as “the testimonies” or sometimes as “the testimonies of His Spirit.” Hebrews 1:1 tells us: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” In this next quote, we see that Ellen White took this verse and twisted to her own self-aggrandizement. She writes:

“In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the testimonies of his Spirit [Ellen White’s writings]” (White, Review and Herald, June 9, 1885, par. 10)

The meaning is clear. God doesn’t speak by the apostles (The New Testament) any more. He speaks through Ellen White. More blasphemy.

Here is what Ellen White’s husband said about her writings:

“Our position on the Testimonies [Ellen White’s writings] is like the keystone to the arch. Take that out and there is no logical stopping place till all the special truths of the message are gone. Nothing is surer than this, that this message and the visions [of Ellen White] belong together.” (James White, Review and Herald Supplement, August 14, 1883.)

Here it is admitted that without Ellen White’s “testimonies,” all the distinctive doctrines of the SDA are gone. Why? Because they certainly cannot be found in the Bible.

In this next quote we find that the decrees of the SDA church are above examination. Ellen White declared that the SDA Church is God’s highest authority on earth, and whatever they assert is above judgment by mortal man. One must surrender one’s will, mind, and understanding of Scripture and lay it all upon the altar of Seventh Day Adventism. I ask, how is this any different from Catholicism?

“I have been shown that no man’s judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any one man. But when the judgment of the General Conference, which is the highest authority that God has upon the earth, is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be maintained, but surrendered.” (White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, p. 492 (1875).)

Below, Ellen White declares that the decisions, decrees, and doctrines of the SDA church are above being questioned, for they are the “voice of the Holy Spirit.”

“The voice of the General Conference has been represented as an authority to be heeded as the voice of the Holy Spirit.” (White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 278, par. 3.)

The 2015 SDA General Conference produced this statement:

“We reaffirm our conviction that her writings are divinely inspired, truly Christ-centered, and Bible-based. Rather than replacing the Bible, they uplift the normative character of Scripture and correct inaccurate interpretations of it derived from tradition, human reason, personal experience, and modern culture.”

That statement is online and can be seen here:

Note how it claims her writings “correct inaccurate interpretations” of God’s Word. This proves my point. Adventists believe the Bible, only as interpreted by Ellen White. Anything that disagrees with Ellen White must be an “inaccurate interpretation.” Essentially, they have another bible, just as many other cults do. Scripture teaches that no passage of Scripture is a matter of private interpretation, but that is exactly what the SDA has done. For the SDA, interpretation of the Bible is a matter of Ellen White’s private interpretation.

Ellen White – False Prophet and Pope of Adventism

Ellen White’s writings are said to be “divinely inspired” and “inerrant.” These are the exact same words used for the Bible. They are said to be “messages from God” and are a “thus sayeth the Lord.” They are “unalterable truth” that are not of “human production.” They supersede the prophets and apostles and “correct inaccurate interpretations” of the Bible.

In addition to this, the pronouncements of the SDA Church are considered to be the highest authority on earth to which men must submit their reason and conscience and believe that all they say is the “voice of the Holy Spirit.”

This is exactly what Catholicism claims. The pope and church tradition tells the people what the Bible really says. Adventists do the same. They have their own pope and have done exactly what they accuse Catholics of doing. Clearly this is every bit as blasphemous as any pronouncement by the Catholic Church and just as cultic as Catholic popery and every bit as demonic as the false teachings of Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, and Charles Russel. Ellen White has added her name to a long list of false prophets who have grown rich through starting their own cult following.

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