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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5) - Contents
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    Ellen White Speaks Out on the Ballenger Views

    At about this time Ellen White met Elder Ballenger in the hallway of the dormitory where she was staying. Writing of the experience, on May 20 she says:5BIO 408.4

    As I spoke to him, it came vividly to my mind that this was the man whom I had seen in an assembly bringing before those present certain subjects, and placing upon passages in the Word of God a construction that could not be maintained as truth. He 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.—Manuscript 59, 1905.5BIO 408.5

    She told Elder Ballenger that he was the minister that the Lord had presented before her in vision in Salamanca, New York, in 1890, as standing with a party who was “urging that if the Sabbath truth were left out of the [American] Sentinel, the circulation of that paper would be largely increased.”5BIO 408.6

    In her account of the experience, as recorded in her journal, she tells of how Ballenger accepted the testimony back in 1891 and took a right position. She says:5BIO 409.1

    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.— Ibid.5BIO 409.2

    Continuing her account, she explains why she had to come to Washington:5BIO 409.3

    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. Human investigations will be brought in, but the Lord lives, and He will bring to naught these inventions.5BIO 409.4

    We are to proclaim the full truth of the Word of God with decision and unalterable firmness. 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. Our work is to bind up the Testimonies God has given, and seal the law among His disciples.— Ibid.5BIO 409.5

    Ellen White added:5BIO 409.6

    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. The good that you and your associates might have received at this meeting you have not received. God forbids your course of action—making the blessed Scriptures, by grouping them in your way, to testify to build up a falsehood. Let us all cling to the established truth of the sanctuary.— Ibid.

    Little wonder that as Ellen White addressed the session on Tuesday, May 16, she was led to recount early experiences. It was in this connection that she repeated a statement first made two years earlier concerning the development of doctrinal truths:5BIO 410.1

    After the passing of the time in 1844 we searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with the brethren, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power.5BIO 410.2

    When they came to the point in their study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me. I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the Scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.5BIO 410.3

    During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the Scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principal points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God. 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.—The Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.5BIO 410.4

    On Wednesday, May 24, in a message titled “A Warning Against False Theories,” Ellen White addressed herself to the subject in a document that most likely was read to a rather limited group. A copy was placed in Elder Ballenger's hands:5BIO 410.5

    I am bidden to bear a message to our people. In the name of the Lord I am bidden to warn our ministers not to mingle erroneous theories with the truth of God. Pure Bible truth is to stand forth in its nobility and sanctity. It is not to be classified and adjusted according to man's wisdom. The ministers of the gospel are to present truth in its simplicity through the blessing of God, making the Scriptures profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. “Rightly dividing the word of truth”—this is the word that should be spoken of all our ministers.—Manuscript 62, 1905.5BIO 411.1

    And she warns: 5BIO 411.2

    Our message does not need that which Brother Ballenger is trying to draw into the web. He draws out certain passages so fine that they lose their force. Let our ministers be content to take the Word as Christ has given it....

    In clear, plain language I am to say to those in attendance at this conference that Brother Ballenger has been allowing his mind to receive and believe specious error. He has been misinterpreting and misapplying the scriptures upon which he has fastened his mind. He is building up theories that are not founded in truth. A warning is now to come to him and to the people, for God has not indited the message that he is bearing. This message, if accepted, would undermine the pillars of our faith. Brother Ballenger does not discern what he is doing.— Ibid.5BIO 411.3

    Midway in this presentation she declared:5BIO 411.4

    Let not any man enter upon the work of tearing down the foundations of the truth that have made us what we are. God has led His people forward step by step, though there are pitfalls of error on every side. Under the wonderful guidance of a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” a truth has been established that has stood the test of trial. When men arise and attempt to draw away disciples after them, meet them with the truths that have been tried as by fire.— Ibid.

    Then Ellen White points out in no uncertain terms:5BIO 411.5

    Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties, and to set the people of God adrift, without an anchor.— Ibid.

    In plain language she declares: 5BIO 412.1

    If the theories that Brother Ballenger presents were received, they would lead many to depart from the faith. They would counterwork the truths upon which the people of God have stood for the past fifty years. I am bidden to say in the name of the Lord that Elder Ballenger is following a false light. The Lord has not given him the message that he is bearing regarding the sanctuary service.

    Our Instructor spoke words to Brother Ballenger: “You are bringing in confusion and perplexity by your interpretations of the Scriptures. You think that you have been given new light, but your light will become darkness to those who receive it.... Those who receive your interpretation of Scripture regarding the sanctuary service are receiving error and following in false paths. The enemy will work the minds of those who are eager for something new, preparing them to receive false theories and false expositions of the Scriptures.— Ibid.5BIO 412.2

    Ellen White then calls upon those of experience to stand firmly for the truth:5BIO 412.3

    When men come in who would move one pin or pillar from the foundation which God has established by His Holy Spirit, let the aged men who were pioneers in our work speak plainly, and let those who are dead speak also, by the reprinting of their articles in our periodicals. Gather up the rays of divine light that God has given as He has led His people on step by step in the way of truth. This truth will stand the test of time and trial.— Ibid.5BIO 412.4

    Unlike his immediate and hearty response to the testimony of correction in 1891, Elder Ballenger this time turned from the message and appeal of Ellen White and the counsel of his brethren and held tenaciously to his cherished views. This led to his being dropped from the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was a bitter experience for all concerned.5BIO 412.5

    He went forth to labor among his former brethren, introducing views that the Lord through His servant declared were not sound. He was instrumental in time in winning his father, Elder J. F. Ballenger, and his brother Elder E. S. Ballenger, educational secretary of the Southern California Conference, to his views. At no time did he gain a following of more than a few dissidents from Adventist ranks. But the time came when, in sadness, he spoke of how he would cherish words of encouragement from Sister White if they could be given, and of how he longed for association with his former brethren where he could “‘appear again in the great congregation, and we would weep and pray and praise together as before”’ (DF 178, E. E. Andross, “Studies in the Sanctuary No. III,” July 16, 1911, p. 15a).5BIO 413.1

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