The theme of Ellen White's writings leads one to Christ. No other books, other then the Bible, has the golden thread of salvation running through them in the way the "Great Controversy" Series does. This series presents history as seen through God's eyes, not as seen by historians and mere news reporters. This is the message in her books!
God gave Ellen White a view of the whole great controversy between Christ and His angels and Satan and his angels; a view that is clear and consistant. Some say she only copied these ideas, but if anyone has the integrity to study it out, they will find that even though she gleaned "details" and used well written phrases from other writers, her message is UNIQUE, it is not copied. When people study to find out how these messages actually came to be, they will find that God gave her a progressive revelation of this theme. The first books she wrote were in simple language written in her own words. As the theme was enlarge, so were her efforts to find the expressions and words to flesh out the message and make it more comprehensive and meaningful.
The revelations began in December 1844 and were first published in "A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White" and "Experience and Views". These two pamphlets were later reprinted in the book "Early Writings" in 1882.
The first series on the Great Controversy were called "Spiritual Gifts" Vol. I-IV
It was in 1858, while in Lovett's Grove, that she received a more comprehensive vision on the Great Controversy. On their way home, James and Ellen White discussed plans for writing out the vision, and for publishing it. Little did they realize the anger of Satan because his character and plans for the deception of the world were revealed. Ellen White nearly died before she even had the chance to begin the work. She suffered a stroke and was paralyzed, and for a time lost hope of recovery; but after much prayer her strength was partially restored."At first I could write but one page a day, and then rest three days; but as I progressed, my strength increased. The numbness in my in my head no longer beclouded my mind, and before I closed that work (Spiritual Gifts, Vol 1) the effect of the shock had entirely left me." (Life Sketches 163) "I was shown in vision that in the sudden attack . . . Satan intended to take my life, in order to hinder the work I was about to write; but angels of God were sent to my rescue" Satan is still working with all power to destroy the messages that expose his master plan of deception. Every post and every message of ridicule and forced infiltrations of doubt are evidence that Satan is diligently seeking to destroy the words that reveal his line of attack. We all know that in a war, if the one side knows the marching orders of the enemy, they have a great advantage in repelling the attack. The same is true in spiritual warfare. If God's people know the strategics of the enemy they are at a great advantage to repel his attack by which he aims to deceive the very elect.
Back to the publications of the Great Conflict Series--
The first book in the Great Conflict Series, "Spiritual Gifts" came out in September 1858. It's 219 pages touched only briefly the high points of the conflict story. It can now be found in the third section of early writings. By 1864 she finished this whole series of four little volumes, written in simple language, yet giving a panoramic view of the controversy.
As years passed, and more people were added to the believers, a request was made for the republication of these books. But Mrs. White felt she could not consent to this. She had received more visions that presented the subjects with greater details. She was impressed by the Holy Spirit to rewrite in greater detail and clarity the great controversy between satan and his angels and Christ and His angels.
The work on this new series "The Spirit of Prophecy" Volumes 1-111 took somewhat longer then the first series. They dealt with the story from the fall of Satan up and including the life of the apostles. They were published between 1870- 1878. The last volume on the Christian Era was begun, but Ellen White's husband, James passed away and it was some time later that Ellen began work on this volume in earnest.
It was revealed to her that she should present an outline of the controversy between Christ and Satan as it developed in the Christian Era.
The steps taken in preparing this book included the gathering of all previous material Ellen White had written on the subject. Then the articles which she had written on the destruction of Jerusalem, and the apostasy of the Christian church, were brought forth, and were read by Mrs. White, assisted by Miss Marian Davis, her literary secretary. W.C. White often assisted as well. They would read the previously written materials and discuss the strength of description, the length of chapters, the clarity of meaning, etc.
God did not leave Ellen alone to figure out what to include and what to omit. The scenes of the controversy were presented to Mrs. White over and over again, till they were firmly etched in her mind. What she chose to have placed in the Great Conflict Series Books, was totally dependant on their quality and truthfulness to what God had shown her.
Often the manuscripts brought together dealt with the same subject. Miss Davis was then asked to study them all, to eliminate repetition and to make such rearrangement of the matter as would make the presentation of the subject most clear and forceful. She would then read it to Mrs. White, who would often add whole new sections.
Mrs. White was herself convicted and deeply stirred by the messages given to her."I write from fifteen to twenty pages each day. . . .As I write upon my book, I feel intensely moved. I want to get it out as soon as possible, for our people need it so much. . . .Great things are before us, and we want to call the people from their indifference to get ready. Things that are eternal crowd upon my vision day and night. The things that are temporal fade from my sight." Letter 11, 1884 In 1884 the Volume IV "The Great Controversy" in the "Spirit of Prophecy" Series was published.
From 1885-1887, Mrs. White visited Europe. She had opportunity to visit many of the places that had been shown her in vision. Historic sites brought to her mind the scenes which had been presented to her previously. Later as plans were made to again upgrade the "Great Controversy" Series, she was able to write more graphically and fully regarding some important events. Thus we have the 1888 edition.
We must understand that the reason Ellen White wrote these books on the Great Controversy was not to give a history lesson. She was not a historian. Her mission was to help God's people understand the principles of the conflict between good and evil, and to awaken them to the fast approaching struggle of the future. The details of history were always subordinated to the great theme of the conflict.
Ellen White was not a psychic or fortune teller. Her messages came from God to call people to Christ and help prepare them for a future with Him.
Much of the garbage we read on the forums, tries to equate Ellen White with the works of psychics (did she get the window count right) and totally discards her great message of the revelation of Christ and the great war between sin and righteousness in which we are all very much involved.
Having received directly from God, the great scenes of the conflict from its very beginning to its close, it was only natural that Mrs. White should be deeply interested in studying historical writings dealing with the issues that had been presented to her in vision.
We know that the five books we now have dealing with the "Great Controversy" came out in the last few years of Ellen White's life. Once again she sought to incorporate more fully and clearly the grand message God had revealed to her on how God deals with sin and sinners to re establish total righteousness in the entire universe once again.
Just because Mrs. White had the help of efficient workers who assisted in gathering the material and in helping to prepare it, does not in the least mean the product was that of the workers and not hers.
The great scenes revealed to Mrs. White in vision were not word-for-word stories and explanations. They were generally in the nature of rapidly appearing scenes or great panoramic views of various experiences of men, sometimes in the past, sometimes in the future. These views were in some cases accompanied by spoken instruction. The motives and thoughts of characters were often revealed to her. Yet when it came to writing out these revelations, Mrs. White had to figure out how to best use the language available to her to write out heavenly messages of infinite scope."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 me by an angel. (R & H, Oct. 8, 1867.) Here she is telling us that the messages were not dictated to her word for word. She must find the words to convey the message to the people. Did she use the words of other authors to describe the great scenes shown her? Yes, she did. But the scenes were placed in her mind by God — to be given to God's people. The words she chose had to fit the message.
Some want us to think other authors influenced the message — no — she had the message, and any words she chose had to fit the message.
The Great Controversy between satan and CHRIST is the story of this world from it's fall, to it's final restoration. It gives complete revelation of who will be on which side of the great Controversy.
Mrs. White tells the purpose and objective:"It is not so much the object of this book to present new truths concerning the struggles of former times, as to bring out facts and principles which have a bearing on coming events. Yet viewed as a part of the controversy between the forces of light and darkness, all these records of the past are seen to have a new significance' and through them a light is cast upon the future, illumining the pathway of those who, like the reformers of past ages, will be called, even at the peril of all earthly good, to witness "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."
"To unfold the scenes of the great controversy between truth and error; to reveal the wiles of Satan, and the means by which he may be successfully resisted; to present a satisfactory solution of the great problem of evil, shedding such a light upon the origin and the final dipsoition of sin as to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all His dealing with His creatures; and to show the holy, unchanging nature of His law, is the object of this book." (GC xii)Satan will present himself as christ — not only in the final great deception when he masquerades as Christ, but also in the deceptive work to be carried on before that climatic event. That is why we have this tremendous attack on the books exposing this great deception. God has revealed the end game in clear language — so clear that satan can not possibly succeed if we only read and take to heart the what God has shown.
But the great battle to destroy the warning is very evident!!!
Ellen White's writings are attacked with great fury, even on so called Adventist forums and websites.
Let's not let the mud they sling place doubts in our minds — there is too much evidence that what God has revealed as the true interpretation of Biblical prophecy through Ellen White, is being fulfilled before our very eyes.
More on the Plagiarism accusation
Issues between EGW and Fannie Bolton
Issues concerning Canright's work
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