Ellen White and the Bible

6 min


Lately there has been a movement among some SDA’s and some ex-SDA’s wherein they claim Sister White’s writings actually supersede the Bible. I’ve seen this happening for quite some time now and I believe it’s time it is addressed. Please see the following quotes from her writings that should put an end to this controversy. And by the way, The term “study the bible” comes up 220 times in her writings.

If you had made God’s word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God’s inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings.

The Lord designs to warn you, to reprove, to counsel, through the testimonies given, and to impress your minds with the importance of the truth of His word. The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man’s duty to God and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God’s word; yet but few of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given and in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse.” -Testimonies for the Church Volume 2, Page 605

Wrong Use of the “Testimonies”
The first number of the Testimonies ever published contains a warning against the injudicious use of the light which is thus given to God’s people. I stated that some had taken an unwise course; when they had talked their faith to unbelievers, and the proof had been asked for, they had read from my writings instead of going to the Bible for proof. It was shown me that this course was inconsistent and would prejudice unbelievers against the truth. The Testimonies can have no weight with those who know nothing of their spirit. They should not be referred to in such cases. {CCh 95.2}

When speaking of her writings she said,

Ellen White Calls Her Writings a Lesser Light.–Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.–The Review and Herald, Jan. 20, 1903. (Quoted in Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.)  {3SM 30.4}

Tested by the Bible.–The Spirit was not given–nor can it ever be bestowed–to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. . . . Isaiah declares, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).–The Great Controversy, Introduction, p. vii.  {3SM 30.5}

The Bible a Light for My Way
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105.

Most wondrous book! bright candle of the Lord!
Star of eternity! the only light
By which the bark of man can navigate
The sea of life, and gain the coast of bliss securely.”  {OHC 31.1}

Why should not this bookthis precious treasurebe exalted and esteemed as a valued friend? This is our chart across the stormy sea of life. It is our guide-book, showing us the way to the eternal mansions, and the character we must have to inhabit them. There is no book the perusal of which will so elevate and strengthen the mind as the study of the Bible.Here the intellect will find themes of the most elevated character to call out its powers. There is nothing that will so endow with vigor all our faculties as bringing them in contact with the stupendous truths of revelation. The effort to grasp and measure these great thoughts expands the mind. We may dig down deep into the mine of truth, and gather precious treasures with which to enrich the soul. Here we may learn the true way to live, the safe way to die.  {OHC 31.2}

A familiar acquaintance with the Scriptures sharpens the discerning powers, and fortifies the soul against the attacks of Satan. The Bible is the sword of the Spirit, which will never fail to vanquish the adversary. It is the only true guide in all matters of faith and practice. The reason why Satan has so great control over the minds and hearts of men is that they have not made the Word of God the man of their counsel, and all their ways have not been tried by the true test. The Bible will show us what course we must pursue to become heirs of glory.  {OHC 31.3}

As the heart is opened to the entrance of the Word, light from the throne of God will shine into the soul. That Word, cherished in the heart, will yield to the student a treasure of knowledge that is priceless. Its ennobling principles will stamp the character with honesty and truthfulness, temperance and integrity.” {OHC 31.4}

“Church members, ask God to give you a burden to open the Scriptures to others and to do missionary work for those who need help. Some will be rescued in one way and some in another, but the work must always be done as the Lord shall lead. . . . Let the publications containing Bible truth be scattered like the leaves of autumn. Lift Him up, the Saviour of souls, lift Him up higher and still higher. . . .”  {HP 323.3}

“Camp Meeting Bible Class Conducted by Women. –Our camp meetings are to be conducted in such a way that they shall be schools for the education of workers. We need to have a better understanding of the division of labor, and educate all how to carry each part of the work successfully. . . . Let short discourses be given, and then let Bible classes be held. Let the speaker be sure to rivet the truth upon minds. Intelligent women, if truly converted, can act a part in this work of holding Bible classes. There is a wide field of service for women as well as for men.”–Letter 84, 1910.  {Ev 473.5}

“The urgent necessities that are making themselves felt in this time demand a constant education in the word of God. This is present truth. Throughout the world there should be a reformin Bible study, for it is needed now as never before. As this reform progresses, a mighty work will be wrought; for when God declared that His word should not return unto Him void, He meant all that He said. A knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ “whom He has sent” is the highest education, and it will cover the earth with its wonderful enlightenment as the waters cover the sea.  {6T 131.2}

Bible study is especially needed in the schools. Students should be rooted and grounded in divine truth. Their attention should be called, not to the assertions of men, but to the word of God. Above all other books, the word of God must be our study, the great textbook, the basis of all education; and our children are to be educated in the truths found therein, irrespective of previous habits and customs. In doing this, teachers and students will find the hidden treasure, the higher education.  {6T 131.3}

Bible rules are to be the guide of the daily life. The cross of Christ is to be the theme, revealing the lessons we must learn and practice. Christ must be brought into all the studies, that students may drink in the knowledge of God and may represent Him in character. His excellence is to be our study in time as well as in eternity. The word of God, spoken by Christ in the Old and New Testaments, is the bread from heaven; but much that is called science is as dishes of human invention, adulterated food; it is not the true manna.  {6T 132.1}

In God’s word is found wisdom unquestionable, inexhaustible–wisdom that originated, not in the finite, but in the infinite mind. But much of that which God has revealed in His word is dark to men, because the jewels of truth are buried beneath the rubbish of human wisdom and tradition. To many the treasures of the word remain hidden, because they have not been searched for with earnest perseverance until the golden precepts were understood. The word must be searched in order to purify and prepare those who receive it to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.  {6T 132.2}

The study of God’s word should take the place of the study of those books that have led minds into mysticism and away from the truth. Its living principles, woven into our lives, will be our safeguard in trials and temptations; its divine instruction is the only way to success. As the test comes to every soul, there will be apostasies. Some will prove to be traitors, heady, high-minded, and self-sufficient, and will turn away from the truth, making shipwreck of faith. Why? Because they did not live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” They did not dig deep and make their foundation sure. When the words of the Lord through His chosen messengers are brought to them, they murmur and think the way is made too strait. In the sixth chapter of John we read of some who were thought to be disciples of Christ, but who, when the plain truth was presented to them, were displeased and walked no more with Him. In like manner these superficial students also will turn away from Christ.  {6T 132.3}

Everyone who has been converted to God is called upon to grow in capability by using his talents; every branch of the living Vine that does not grow is pruned off and cast away as rubbish. What, then, shall be the character of the education given in our schools? Shall it be according to the wisdom of this world or according to that wisdom that is from above? Will not teachers awake to their responsibility in this matter and see that the word of God has a larger place in the instruction given in our schools?”  {6T 133.1} Remnant of God


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