Q - I am dealing with a dear lady steeped in the Seventh-Day Adventist beliefs. To say that there are several odd aspects is an understatement! I would appreciate any info you have or any recommendations of reliable places to look. Thank you!
A - The following has been written by Keith and Lori MacGregor, experts on Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons.(http://mmoutreachinc.com)
Who is their God? Where is he?
by Keith and Lori MacGregor
Questions to Raise with Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons & SDAs.
For those of us dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses (JW's) and other cultists, we are always trying to find little nuggets of ideas to help the cultist think outside of his Watchtower or Mormon box. Even Christian believers may find this useful when talking to unsaved people. As humans we all think and reason and base all our understandings on what we see, hear and feel. With our language we form ideas in our minds and of those around us by our human descriptions of "things".
From pictures in Watchtower publications and by others and even from the Bible itself we are presented with illustrated and mental illustrations of "God" on a throne. Our minds can easily form the idea that God has a physical body of some kind and is sitting on a physical human like throne.
This is very common among believers and non believers and is continually reinforced by our language. Paintings and statutes, etc. from the earliest times have presented this image as well. We humans all think and reason from within the confines of "time, space and matter". We have no other reference points to think from. Everything we as humans do is controlled by these three limitations. Beyond this we know nothing but at the same time are aware there has to be something beyond our dimension in order to explain "creation" and the world around us.
Reading JW and Mormon publications, we can see how they have defined where their gods live, on or near the star system Pleiades or for Mormons on a star base near the planet Kolob. Notice how they have limited their Gods' habitat to a time, physical and material place within space.
From C.T. Russell's concept, the foundation of the Society's theology was laid. Obviously Russell's view of "God" is revealed in his statements of the location of God's throne in the star system Pleiades, this therefore puts his view of heaven only within man's world of time, space and matter. Russell's view reveals his error and it does not allow for God's omnipotence, omniscient and omnipresence.
One can see this showing through in their current thinking when they ask questions about God sitting on a physical throne in a human like manner with Jesus, a created being, sitting as a personage beside Him. Whereas the Christian and biblical view is that God, or our Creator, is beyond this dimension that we live in. At a point in time He revealed Himself to us by taking on the nature of man and dwelling among us.
Two or more Gods. NO! Only one God who at a point in time stepped into our "time, space & matter" dimension and revealed Himself to man as the Son (Jesus).
As humans we cannot conceive the totality of God in our human minds. However He made a way for us to understand Him. By taking on a human form, and being made in the likeness of man, He showed humans how to relate to our Creator. Phil.2:5-11
"For in Him (Christ) was ALL the FULLNESS of the Godhead in the flesh." Jesus, truly God and truly man. Col. 2:8-9
Now as we look into the scriptures about the nature of God and His revelations to us we find something very revealing. He is omnipotent. All powerful, can do anything He wants, creates matter out of nothing, and sets the seasons and "time" all within space. He is also omnipresent, all knowing and be anywhere and all places at the same time. He is spirit, something we humans have no concept of, or experience with, and can not explain.
In other words, God is beyond our human mind limitations of "time, space and matter".
For those who can not comprehend the "nature, trinity" or tri-unity of God as laid out in scripture, go over these points with them. Then ask:
If God is "omnipotent" (can do anything He wants), is the creator of all, and is beyond our time space and matter restraints, would it be possible or impossible for Him if He so chose to enter our dimension, taking on the nature of man and reveal Himself to us?
Notice also the tri-unity in the points above.... the dimension we live in... time, space and matter. All three make up the godhead, the "Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit." We as humans are, according to scripture, "body, soul, and spirit" and it takes all 3 to make a complete "man".
Now notice in the quotes following how the "god" of the JW's and the gods of Mormons are limited to the same confines as man. Time, space and matter.
The WT god is NOT the God of the Bible. Also note below how they found this out.......
Here is what they said from their own publications ...............
Pleiades - Jehovah's Throne
From 1881 until 1953 the Watchtower believed that Jehovah resided at the centre of the universe on the star Alcyone in the cluster known as Pleiades. And they knew this because the Great Pyramid in Egypt pointed this out.
In the 50's the Watchtower did a flip flop and told its followers that it is "useless to indulge in unprofitable speculations" such as the ones it was making back in the 20's. As usual the Watchtower used the well tried method of distancing itself from embarrassing flip flops by dismissing their earlier teachings by having it appear as a question from one of the rank and file witnesses. This way it appears to the reader that it is the congregational member's fault for believing such nonsense.
Below you will find what the Watchtower was saying about Alcyone.
The Watchtower November 1 1920
Some one asked me the other day: Suppose you should be here in 1925 what would you do? I said, I believe I will be home in the Pleiades before then ..Emphasis Added
Reconciliation 1928 p14
The constellation of the seven stars forming the Pleiades appears to
be the crowning centre around which the known systems of the planets
revolve even as our sun's planets obey the sun and travel in their
respective orbits. It has been suggested, and with much weight, that
one of the stars of that group is the dwelling-place of Jehovah and
the place of the highest heavens;..
The constellation of the Pleiades is a small one compared with others
which scientific instruments disclose to the wondering eyes of man.
But the greatness in size of other stars or planets is small when
compared with the Pleiades in importance, because the Pleiades is the
place of the eternal throne of God [Emphases added]
Thy Kingdom Come (SIS vol III) 1891 (1903 edition) p. 327
And if we go back to the date which the Pyramid gives itself, and look for what that finger pointed to at midnight, we find a far sublimer indication. Science has at last discovered that the sun is not a dead centre, with planets wheeling about it, and itself stationary. It is now ascertained that the sun also is in motion, carrying with it its splendid retinue of comets, planets, its satellites and theirs, around some other and vastly mightier centre. Astronomers are not yet fully agreed as to what or where that centre is.
Some, however, believe that they have found the direction of it to be the Pleiades, and particularly Alcyone, the central one of the renowned Pleiadic stars. To the distinguished German astronomer, Prof. J. H. Maedler, belongs the honor of having made this discovery. Alcyone, then, as far as science has been able to perceive, would seem to be the 'midnight throne' in which the whole system of gravitation has its central seat, and from which the Almighty governs his universe. And here is the wonderful corresponding fact, that at the date of the Great Pyramid's building, at midnight of the autumnal equinox, and hence the true beginning of the year* as still preserved in the traditions of many nations, the Pleiades were distributed over the meridian of this Pyramid, with Alcyone precisely on the line. [Emphasis Added]
Watchtower 1953 November 15 p.703 Questions from Readers
What is meant by 'binding the sweet influences of the Pleiades' or 'loosing the bands of Orion' or 'bringing forth Mazzaroth in his seasons' or 'guiding Arcturus with his sons,' as mentioned at Job 38:31, 32?-W. S., New York.
Some attribute striking qualities to these constellations or star groups and on the basis of such they then offer private interpretations of Job 38:31, 32 that amaze their hearers. Their views are not always sound from the standpoint of astronomy, and when viewed Scripturally they are completely without foundation. Why? Because we do not know which stars or groups of stars are being referred to in these verses. The names Pleiades, Orion and Arcturus are not the names given in the Bible. Some translations make Mazzaroth refer to the signs of the Zodiac. English translators have merely adopted these pagan names given to constellations or star groups and have inserted them in their translations in the place of the original names that appear in the Hebrew Scriptures, namely, Kimah, Kesil, Mazzaroth and 'Ayish. To just what stars or star groups these names refer we do not know today. Hence it is useless to indulge in unprofitable speculations. Incidentally, Pleiades can no longer be considered the centre of the universe and it would be unwise for us to try to fix God's throne as being at a particular spot in the universe. Were we to think of the Pleiades as his throne we might improperly view with special veneration that cluster of stars.-Deut. 4:19; 2 Chron. 2:6; 6:18.
For more Mormon "quotes" browse this web: http:// www.mormonquotes.com/
Apostle Orson Pratt said that Mormon men and their wives should have endless sex to reproduce and organize their own world to be worshipped as gods and goddesses eternally. Deified Polygamists
Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents [Adam and Eve] who were first brought here from another PLANET, and power was given them to propagate their species.
Author: Brigham Young Source: Journal Of Discourses Volume: 7 Chapter: 1 Page: 286
Orson Hyde said that God was once a mortal child and progressed the same as we do until finally becoming a god himself. God was a Man?
Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?... when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.
Author: Brigham Young Source: Journal Of Discourses Volume: 13 Chapter: 1Page:271
Mormon song about Kolob http://www.mazeministry.com/mormonism/kolob/hie.htm
E.G. White and the SDA's.
Who is Jesus? The Bible tells us that Jesus is God. SDAs teach that Jesus is God--but he's also Michael.
Where is Jesus? The Bible tells us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. But--to cover another embarrassing failed prediction of Jesus' return--SDAs teach that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary for the 1st time in 1844. Prior to that He was in the Holy Place.
At SDA "Revelation Seminars," the evangelist lets it be known that he welcomes questions. However, the questions must be written out & handed in, supposedly so the program won't be interrupted. Later in the program, the questions are answered. But I believe the evangelist answers his own made-up questions to "prove" points he wants to make.
Mother Ellen saw Enoch on Jupiter or Saturn
The Bible says that Enoch was taken up to heaven. God is in heaven, so He must be on Jupiter or Saturn.
" The Lord has given me views of other worlds, wings were given to me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious.
The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes and they were nobel, majestic and lovely.....I asked one of them why they were so much lovely then those on earth..... Then I was taken to a world that had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated. (Early Writings, pp 39-40.)
Ellen's husband, James White, verified her vision. He wrote "At our conference in Topsham, Main, last November., Ellen had a vision of the handiwork's of God. She was guided to the Planets Jupiter,Saturn and I think one more. After she came out of the vision , she could give a clear description of their moons etc. It is well known, that she knew nothing of astronomy, and could not answer one question in relation to the planets, before she had this vision. (A Word to the "Little Flock" p 22.)
A scriptural warning... Deu 18:20
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Deu 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken.
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
I have a booklet titled, Inspired (?) Astronomy of the Seventh-day Adventists," by E. E. Frankee. He uses the quote from EGW in vision and Bates comments Truesdail account and Loughborough who was not present at the vision, wrote in his book in 1892, "Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists" the vision account. I believe that Frankee's challenge prompted Nichol's response in, "Ellen G. White and Her Critics," by Francis D. Nichol. Read his defense of Ellen. Page 91, chapter "The Astronomy Vision."
Nichol does and excellent job defending Ellen. His defense is Ellen did not identify by name any planet that she saw in vision. It was the others that gave names to the planets, that Saturn had seven moons. Ellen says only a "world with seven moons".
Ellen's first astronomy vision was November, 1846 in Topsham ME "Spiritual Gifts" vol. 2, p. 83. In this vision she saw only planets, she gave no names to them. James referred to this vision in A Word to the Little flock," p. 22. Saying "she was guided to the planets, Jupiter, Saturn, and I think one more." Nichol claims James was let to believe Bates' identification of the planet.
Her next astronomy vision was in January 31, 1849, first published, Broadside To those who are receiving the seal of the living God. See also, "Early Writings" pp. 39,40. Here she was "taken to a world with seven moons and saw good old Enoch." Shouldn't Enoch be young instead of old?
My argument would be with James White's testimony of his identifying the planets with names. Why did not God correct him through Ellen's visions instead of letting him spout off errors? Like God corrected Peter's wrong view of the Gentiles. Ellen was always claiming God gave her visions to correct errors. Or why did Ellen not correct James herself and say, James God did not give me the names of the planets? But she allowed James to print out his errors if they are errors over the paper A Word to the Little flock," they supposed to have knelt down and held before them and prayed over them to God before sending it out. To me this would be a powerful testimony to the false visions of EGW.
"Sister White was in very feeble health, and while prayers were offered in her behalf, the Spirit of God rested upon us. We soon noticed that she was insensible to earthly things. This was her first view of the planetary world. After counting aloud the moons of Jupiter, and soon after those of Saturn, she gave a beautiful description of the rings of the latter. She then said, 'The inhabitants are a tall, majestic people, so unlike the inhabitants of earth. Sin has never entered here.' "
(Taken from Mrs. Truesdail's letter, Jan 27, 1891)
In a book written by J. N. Loughborough at a time when he believed Mrs. White to be a Prophet (The Great Second Advent Movement) page 260...
Again we quote Mrs. Truesdale, who was present on the occasion of the giving of the vision referred to.
...After counting aloud the moons of Jupiter, and soon after those of Saturn, she gave a beautiful description of the rings of the later. She then said that the inhabitants of Saturn "are a tall, majestic people, so unlike the inhabitants of Earth".
This footnote is important for two reasons. First, it shows how Mrs. White's visions were later altered by others. Second, it shows that the pioneers believed this vision applied to Jupiter and Saturn.
The Scientific Facts
(The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia,
Copyright © 1995 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.)
1) "Jupiter has 16 known natural satellites, 12 of which are of small diameter. The four larger Galilean satellites were discovered by Galileo in 1610. ...Amalthea, a small, elongated satellite interior to Io's orbit that was discovered (1892) by Edward Barnar."
2) "Saturn also has at least 18 natural satellites. "
3) "Prior to 1986, Uranus was known to have five natural satellites: Titania, the largest, with a diameter of 650 mi, and Oberon were discovered by Herschel in 1787; Ariel and Umbriel, by William Lassell in 1851; and Miranda, by Gerard Kuiper in 1948. In 1977 astronomers detected a system of narrow rings of small, dark particles orbiting around the planet. When the Voyager 2 space probe flew by Uranus in 1986, it discovered ten more moons and confirmed the existence of ten rings."
A "Clear Description" of the Moons?
Mrs. White got close enough to Jupiter and/or Saturn to see the "tall, majestic people" living there, but she somehow failed to see the following:
• At least 12 of Jupiter's moons
• At least 11 of Saturn's moons
• At least 9 of Uranus' moons
• The rings around Jupiter
• The rings around Uranus
Why did she see only what astronomers had already seen?
When Mrs. White had her "vision" it was common knowledge that Jupiter had four moons. The fifth was not discovered until 1892. We now know there are at least 16 moons. At that time it was thought that Saturn had seven moons. We now know there are at least 18. Mrs. White's vision did not reveal anything that could not have been obtained from an Astronomy book or even from a newspaper article! The only difference between what Mrs. White saw and what the astronomers saw through their telescopes is those "tall, majestic people"!
Incredible Missed Opportunities
Imagine if Mrs. White had told Bates that Jupiter had four large moons and 12 smaller moons! Her prophetic gift would have been proven beyond doubt to all future generations. Unfortunately, she missed this great opportunity.
Imagine if Mrs. White had announced that Jupiter had rings! This amazing fact was not discovered until the Voyager space probes visited Jupiter in 1979 (as shown by the photo to the right). Such an announcement would certainly have validated her claims. Unfortunately, although she got close enough to see those tall people on the planet, she failed to see the rings.
After considering what she did see and what she failed to see, we ask you this question: Was this a vision from God or a hallucination?
What was the REAL purpose of the vision?
In early 1846 the Whites were in trouble. They were poor and destitute. Many viewed Ellen White's visions with skepticism. What they needed more than anything was a wealthy, influential friend who believed as they did. Fortunately for the Whites, they were able to locate just such a man--Joseph Bates. In the spring of 1846 the Whites met this retired sea captain. There was one major problem, however. Although Bates was advanced in age, his mind was still sharp enough to doubt Mrs. White's visions. The Whites tried to win him over, but had little success. But in November, all of that changed. At a small meeting with Bates and a few other diehard believers, Mrs. White had a special vision on astronomy, which just so happened to be Joseph Bates' favorite subject. What a coincidence!
As Ellen went into vision, the elderly Bates was no doubt enthralled watching the 19-year-old woman make motions as if she was flying through space. As Bates listened, Ellen described various details of the Solar System and the so-called gap in Orion. Bates had observed the gap many years earlier while on board a ship in the southern hemisphere. Orion was then a topic of great interest because of the recent telescopic observations of William Parsons, the third earl of Rosse. Just months earlier Bates had published a tract, "The Opening Heavens," relating Rosse's discoveries, but Ellen assured Bates she had no prior knowledge of astronomy.
Mrs. Truesdail, also present at the "vision", reports it had the desired effect on Bates:
"It was evident from Brother Bates's smiling face that his past doubts in regard to the source of her visions were fast leaving him. We all knew that Captain Bates was a great lover of astronomy, as he would often locate many of the heavenly bodies for our instruction. When Sister White replied to his questions, after the vision, saying that she had never studied or otherwise received knowledge in this direction, he was filled with joy and happiness. He praised God, and expressed his belief that this vision concerning the planets was given that he might never again doubt." (Truesdail letter, 1891)
Yes, everyone, including the Whites, knew Bates was fond of Astronomy. What a fortunate coincidence that Mrs. White's only recorded vision of the solar system took place while the skeptical Bates was in attendance. From that time forward, Bates was a believer. He no doubt looked forward to that day in glory, when he would be able to travel to Jupiter to meet those "tall, majestic people."
For more good documentation of EGW's strange ideas and her Mormon connections view these pages.
- MORMONISM FOCUS
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