Horizontal Menu Bar

God's Whirlwind Judgement on SDA Church

God’s Whirlwind “Shaking” of the SDA Church (Ezek 13:1-16 = EW 48.2-50.3ff)
The “Sheep Which Have No Shepherds” Vision of EGW (1 Kgs 22:17)

            There has come to be an, ultimately, “chicken-or-the-egg” situation with a prophetic statement that is asserted to have been said by Ellen G. White in ca. 1908. In trying to refute this asserted EGW origin, SDA proponents, on top of trying to discredit the reliability of the claimant himself, have effectively, quasi-substantively based their position on a defence that it is: ‘a claim that does not agree with what EGW has said on such a topic.’ However on top of, understandably, examining the claimant’s reliability, and doing a thematic comparison with the rest of EGW’s writings, there are deeper issues that need to also be analysed in order to conduct a proper investigation. This “deeper look” thus also involves “Biblical Exegesis” (i.e., does the statement harmonize with the/a message of the Word of God, as well as the SOP, for SOP revelations are ultimately the continuing divulgence of God’s Word (cf. Num 12:6; Rev 19:10)).


            First of all, for the sake of my time and space here, the following two analyses of this claimed vision should be first read through. The first is an authenticity refuting one by Kevin D. Paulson (see here), also involving the prior (ca. 1980) refutations of EGW’s grandson, Arthur White in response to an inquiring SDA College student; and the second is an affirming one by the Pilgrim’s Rest ministry on their SDA Defend website (see here [PDF]). Again, to save time and space, these two documents will be referred to with the assumption that their content have been read, so certain background/explanatory details will not always be made in this post. (Some other cited info and dates in this post are taken from pertinent articles in the SDA Encyclopedia, among other sources.)

            For an immediate context, here is the entire Will E. Ross (death ca. 1945) testimony in full, as recounted by his friend Elmer M. Johnson’s on January 15, 1946, documentedly writing it down.

“ ‘Sister White told us, as we three stood there on the railroad depot platform, that a terrible storm of persecution was coming, just like a windstorm, that blew down every standing object. There was not a Seventh-day Adventist to be seen. They, like the disciples forsook Christ and fled. All who had sought positions were never seen any more.

“ ‘After the storm there was a calm. Then the Adventists arose like a great flock of sheep, but were without shepherds. They all united in earnest prayer for help and wisdom, and the Lord answered by helping them choose leaders among them, who had never sought positions before. They prayed earnestly for the aid of the Holy Spirit which was poured out upon them making fully ready for service. They then went forth `fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ to give the message to all the world.

“ ‘I was astonished, and asked if that applied to Loma Linda, as we were looking that way. Sister White replied to my question by stating that it applied to the entire denominational world. It so stunned me, that I did not ask any more questions.’- Will Ross.[1]

            First of all there are several quasi-forensic reasons to give full credit to Ross’ testimony. To say as Arthur White does, that neither Sara McEnterfer (1854-1936) [EGW’s nurse and companion] or Dores E. Robinson (1879-1957) [EGW’s secretarial assistant] ‘never mentioned anything about this conversation and vision, even while Robinson himself worked with the White Publications’ (for all but one year between 1928-1953), is not a supporting evidence that “she never said it.” Given the inherent quasi-utterly condemning message in this statement against the Global SDA Denomination, and given that EGW opted not to write it down, it is not surprising that these three people never dared to themselves make it known. As Will Ross says, it so stunned him that he did not even dare ask further questions/specifications/explanations. This would explain why he and the others were so staunchly reluctant to make this known publicly. However in the globally turbulent days of World War Two, i.e., in 1943, with time then quite seemingly, manifestly at its very end, it is not surprising that Ross felt it his duty to relate this vision of EGW in SDA Churches, for the “forewarning” good of, at least (i.e., in the first instances), these local Churches to him.

            Also with at least, D.E. Robinson alive when he was making Church rounds and relating this, and with Robinson also working at the White Publications, he surely was not trying to “get away” with a manufactured, or even mis-remembered statement. This statement, and/or his account of it, could easily have been verified with D.E. Robinson for both authenticity and accuracy. And if Ross had begun making his testimony earlier than 1936 (which, however, does not seem to have been the case), it could also have been verified with Sara McEnterfer who was alive up to then. The fact that this, indeed, most stunning statement was not immediately verified, either by church members or pastors, with Ross’ named D. E. Robinson of then the White Publications, (a verification that Arthur White, surely would have been aware of, and restated in his 1980 response, shows, both that it was well received by Ross’ audiences, and also that Ross himself was indeed, likewise widely ‘considered to be a “reliable source”’, and thus, by natural implication, not one suffering from ‘elderly memory deficiencies’ as Arthur White and Paulson “potentially” suggest. In fact D.E. Robinson, who was first-handly, fully aware that Will Ross was going about relating this vision, and having confirmed its truthfulness, would have great inherent, personal interest to maintain an accurate record here in this matter, if necessary as he, since 1905, had been married to Ellen White’s eldest granddaughter, Ella White (b. 1882), the older sister of Arthur White (b. 1907).[2]
            It is interesting to note that neither Arthur White nor Paulson say that Ross entirely fabricated this conversation and statement with EGW. They simply try to impinge his reliability, suggesting that ‘he did not recall it accurately, e.g., ‘blurredly’’. It can then only be assumed that this would imply that ‘Ross recalled it to an extreme that EGW did not mean,’ as many of the arguments made by A. White and Paulson try to say. While this is quite possible, especially with an elderly man, the demonstrated, ready, even default credence given to Ross on this matter by many other first hand people, including, nonetheless, his close friend Elmer Johnson, strongly speaks against this third-party, “blindly” suppositional assumption.
            Much also is loudly said in the implicit factor that Will Ross did not seem to have an “agenda” in making this claim. For example, if such a claim had been first made by this 1980 Southern Missionary College student who had later brought it up while in the midst of a conflict with the leaders/teachers at his school, then this background “motivation” could be greatly used against an authenticity/veracity for this unrecorded/undocumented claim. However this is not the case with Will Ross, who seems to only be making it for the warning benefit of, at least/at first, local Churches.
           
            Much is made by A. White and Paulson against the claim that ‘Will Ross, in 1908, lived near EGW in Loma Linda and frequently accompanied her on walks, during one of which she related this vision,’ however, it is not certain that it was Ross himself who made these statements. It perhaps could have been Elmer Johnson who said this, and that in a mistaken transposition/misassociation of what Ross also used to say. I.e., it could be that these “frequent walks” in Loma Linda took place before 1908. It seems that EGW was quite mobile up through 1909, as she ‘travelled too much and needed to focus more her writing’ (6BIO 170.5) and “widely”[3] up through then. In fact 1909 was her last trip to the General Conference which now was taking place in Washington D.C., missing the next 1913 session. It seemed that it was not until sometime after 1910 that she was then relatively immobile, being even too frail to travel, which arguably, in those carriage and train days, was more taxing than a simple, exercise walk.[4]
            Indeed many entries in her biography for the year 1908 (see 6BIO 165-175)[5] give much indications in relation to this validity issue. It is pertinently said that she:

late-Winter 1908
{6BIO 165.1} - Travelled extensively
{6BIO 166.1-2} - Enjoyed a reasonable degree of health and publically spoke with power
{6BIO 166.5} - Kept travelling, multiple-speaking, engagements despite, in an instance being “not in as good health” as she could wish.

Spring 1908
{6BIO 167.1-3} - Received a vision which involved matters of being faithful in regards to healthful living which she later presented at the (1909) GC. It thus does not seem logical that she, being then in mobile physical health, would not be faithful in daily exercising, through walks, as she was known to do.
{6BIO 167.4} - Soon (i.e., 1908+), became involved, over a period of nearly two years, in demanding, time-consuming and active matter of finding a new location for Healdsburg College
{6BIO 167.5-168.3} - Took, time-wise, long (i.e., 9 mph travel speed), and short stays, buggy journeys over tortuous mountain roads. (With Sara McEnterfer also being with her), despite the ordeal of travel capable of being a little too much for her.

Summer 1908
{6BIO 168.4; 169.4; 169.6-8a; 170.1} - Faithfully and most resolutely, attended several Camp meetings throughout California mostly as a main speaker, normatively speaking with power, easily heard by all even in large audiences.
{6BIO 169.8b}- Had an urgent belief that the end of time is rapidly drawing near. And the Church was in danger of being unprepared.
{6BIO 170.2-3} - Here “travelling company” for the Los Angeles Camp Meeting included Sara McEnterfer; She and several of her helpers stayed in a nearby cottage.
{6BIO 170.3} - Stayed fully active in the full line of her ministry work even while travelling.
{6BIO 170.4} - Following the camp meeting in Los Angeles, Ellen White visited the sanitariums at Glendale, Paradise Valley, and Loma Linda [60 miles East of L.A.].

{6BIO 170.5} - (Travel south to L.A. Campmeeting and other visits took four weeks.) Complained of hindrance to her work due to so much traveling.

Fall 1908
{6BIO 171.2-4, 6} - Became greatly engrossed and variously taxed and burdened, even unduly over-burdened, following her focus on her work in rest of 1908 year following the campmeeting trips.
{6BIO 171.5} - Began to suffer from, “just at this time”, physical discomfort

early-Winter (late 1908)
{6BIO 174.7; 175.3-4} Expressed knowledge that her end was (inevitably) near and made pertinent post-death, work arrangements.

After reading through this detailing of events in EGW life and work during 1908, the highlighted section above {6BIO 170.5}, shortly after a trip to Loma Linda, actually seems to be a most striking turning point in both that year and her ministry. Whereas prior to that date, she did not complain of travelling much and meeting various engagements, and was also in, relatively speaking, quite strong and vibrant health, upon her return from her last stop, during her 4-week trip, in Loma Linda (ca. some time between Aug. 17-31), she then began to speak and engage in work which were thematically and substantively diametrically opposed to those of the first half to 3/4 (i.e., late August) of that year. Whereas earlier, at then 82 years of age, she was speaking of the very near return of Christ, she now spoke of her death, as if it was inevitable, and “explicitly” complained of various physical discomforts, and also of the ‘overwhelming amount of work that she had to do, and that, editorially virtually all by herself. Indeed many key books were produced by her during these final years (namely, (abbrev.) 9T, AA, PK (minus last 2 chapters), CT, GW (also edited GC (1911))[6] It therefore is evident that something had caused this sudden paradigm shift in her, to the point where now she became much more aware of her age, health and her now “remaining”, and thus, in this light, great/overwhelming, work load.
            It was said that EGW had a “ministry” company while travelling to the Los Angeles campmeeting. No doubt following the end of that Campmeeting in Aug 6-16, and assuming that EGW did not stay for the one week extension for evangelistic meetings that she had encouraged following that campmeeting, she would have had ca, 20 days to make her visiting stays the sanitariums at Glendale, Paradise Valley (ca. 10 mile North of Los Angeles), and Loma Linda (ca. 60 miles East of Glendale), where also there also was a farm. It cannot be accurately determined, but Ellen White may have pre-planned to stay longer at Loma Linda than at Glendale, given the greater SDA community present there, including the Loma Linda University Campus.
            Now it is said that she continued to fully engage in her various works even while on such travels and stays. Therefore it would not be surprising that she retained, or called for, the services of her grandson-in-law D.E. Robinson while sending the rest of her “company” back home right after the campmeeting. Her “faithful friend” and nurse Sara McEnterfer, no doubt, out of caring necessity, also remained with her. So these two were probably with her in that Loma Linda stay. Now it could be that, just as she had “stayed” at a cottage for ca. 11 days while attending and ministering at the Los Angeles Campmeeting, (vs. camping out on site), probably also out of necessity for her comfort, with a location with an “indoor bathroom” probably deliberately chosen for her, she also was given such ‘necessary comfortable arrangements’ while “staying” in Loma Linda. Perhaps Elmer Johnson may have confused a Ross statement of EGW doing such a extended “stay” in Loma Linda for her “living there”. And Will Ross was merely EGW’s walking companion during her stay there, probably showing her around, with maybe McEnterfer also accompanying her. Robinson may have stayed behind to do some secretarial work on her manuscripts. Whatever the specific case, this potentially 15-20-day “stay” in Loma Linda, in probably a house, offered a conceivable time when she, being then in quite mobile and vibrant health, would have been making frequent exercising walks in the company of Ross, Robinson, and/or McEnterfer.
            Furthermore, a reading of Johnson’s statement (see apparently the verbatim original statement in here [PDF]) may be implying that it was Ross who came to be living near Ellen White during this stay of hers there in 1908, (probably following a recent move of his there). And so, being near to her then, he, no doubt eagerly, at this rare one-on-one opportunity with “the SDA prophet”, offered to accompany her as a guide on her visiting walks in Loma Linda. So Ellen White did not necessarily have to also be living in Loma Linda, for Johnson’s recounting of these circumstances to be true. So in all of these possible, and even probable circumstances, it can be seen how the attending events, (supposedly) of Will Ross himself, could indeed have transpired.
            It now became, as reflected in EGW subsequent statements, overall disposition and demeanor and work refocusing, quite evident that a sudden paradigm shift occurred with EGW at that time, through what would be the receiving of this vision, in which it was probably also indicated to her that she would not be alive until the end.[7] So she may not have kept secret this vision for long, retelling it to her here trusted close circle, included Will Ross who had probably become a trustworthy companion during this short Loma Linda stay. However she did not proceed to write (i.e., publish) this vision to be widely known by the World Church, for probably, as discussed later, injunctive spiritual reasons of God, given the probably here injunctively, newly-determined “foreplan” to also carry out this judgement given the deserving condition of the Church then.
           
            More can be added on these and such peripheral and quasi-ad hominen arguments against Will Ross to show that they are indeed neither conclusive, nor determinative, however the focus now will turn to the much more crucial substantive content of the vision itself.

The Biblically Exegetical Evidence

Relation to Eschatological Rev. 11 Prophecy
            Admittedly, when I first became aware of this vision, through it being cited in a sermon by David Gates (see here at 00:43-02:42 (in full sermon at 01:09:53-01:11:52 [mp4]; see his recent, more convinced mention of it in a late June 2011 sermon [18:37-21:06] [mp4] [aac]; and also a more detailed recounting of it in this August 2012 sermon [01:10:14-01:18:05]), upon reading solely of the White/Paulson response, I inconclusively classified it as a “possible” EGW vision . However having by now made a much more Biblical exegesis of it, which involves both the Bible and the SOP, I have now come to see that it is most probably authentic, than not. What has also clinched this studied out view for me is that it fully agrees, in its contained spiritual themes, with an exegesis which I had done starting back in June 2000, on the prophecy of the Two Witnesses in Rev 11 and its revealed eschatological application. (See this post). In that prophecy, in verse 13, a “resumptive” statement[8] which speaks of a “great earthquake” (i.e., a (“natural” but “fault-line”-caused) “shaking”) in which “7000 names of men fell”. This indeed thematically linked back to the (supporting) 7000 who had been (literally, i./e., actually) “spared” by God who had not bowed the knee to Baal during the days of Elijah’s reforms.(1 Kgs 19:18) Indeed those who were taught to be similarly ‘standing faithfully against “Baal” here’ fell (cf. 1 Cor 10:12), with their “characters” (=”names) being openly shown to have been “base metal” (5T 136 (1882) {LDE 180.3}). This will indeed be most visibly be seen with Church leaders, and as it is shown in that Rev 11 prophecy, it is indeed the leaders who are the primary target of this “shaking” prophecy.
            Then, following this “shaking” in Rev 11:13, a “remnant” is spoken through “those who remained”. And ‘these became filled with fear by this “hour” of judgement and proceeded to “give glory to the God of Heaven.”’ (=Rev 14:7 & Ezek 9:6 & 1 Pet 4:17). Both of these themes are chiefly spoken of in this “SDA Whirlwind Judgement” prophecy.

‘Seeking Position’
            The statement that “all who had sought positions were never seen any more” has been defaultly, roundly derided as being preposterous, however this is simply because those knee-jerk scoffer have not sought to understand what is meant by EGW in “seeking position”. A simple search of the EGW Writings for the related terms “seek position”, shows in thematically, pointedly related passages that she derogatorily meant ‘people who merely sought to occupy a leading position in the Church without really having the care/burden to faithfully carry out their duty and responsibility to the full extent that is required.’[9] This was indeed the besetting sin of the disciples of Christ who constantly were ‘seeking to be the greatest’ i.e., ‘occupy the leading position.’ The surface rebuttal to this claim here that ‘this is indeed the same thing that is occurring in the Church today’ is: ‘SDA pastors/leaders are not engaging in such pettiness,’ however, as discussed here, with the systemically entrenched “Idol of Jealousy” that exists in the carrying out of, especially, the full and proper instruction/teaching of the Church by Pastors and Leaders, such “striving for position”, worshipfully using the Capitalistic template of: inherent competition vs. collaboration, letting everyone fend for themselves, this subtly implanted ‘position seeking’ detrimental spirit does indeed reigns supreme in the Church. The damage that this is doing is seen in, literally, the retardation of more accurate, conclusive, concrete, advanced and fuller Biblical truths, as well as the upholding of an emulated bad example/model to Church members.[10]
            This “seeking of position” is also equally, conversely manifested in a Pastor/Leader forbearing to say, preach, approve of and/or do what is right and/or “denominationally “correct”” in order to maintain their present “position”, and/or, popularly-approved standing with like, wrongly-minded peers in the Church. (cf. John 12:42, 43) Case in point, it is also seen amongst these leaders in the dismissed effort to do all that can actually be done to provide at least one duly trained and educated pastor per SDA Congregation vs. the Church 83% understaffing. Again it is because Capitalistic tenets are reverently obeyed that such a detrimental deficiency exists, which pastors and leaders agreeing to have only some who can have the “available” (i.e., capitalistically supportable) positions, instead of being impacted by a more Biblical and collaborative approach. So it is not at all surprising that the ‘“remnant” of the remnant’ which survive this “whirlwind” and now, full of the Holy Spirit, seek to “give glory to the Creator God”, seek out from among their surviving selves, leaders who will not conduct God’s work according to these base and worldly and man-created ways.[11]
            Also this matter of the replacement of the previous leaders with ‘the choosing of leaders among them, who had never sought positions before” may, by spiritual extension, be applicable to current leaders who have proven to be truly faithful and diligent in the performance of the duties and responsibilities (cf. Ev 707 (1892) {LDE 62.1}). So simply, currently having the position of a leader does not automatically disqualify someone. It is rather the spirit with which they are doing, or not doing their due work that will be the determinant factor, and thus their actions/inaction (vs. their professions) will come to either judge them in the end, or naturally deluded them (Ev 363; 6T 401) into making wrong and “pretexting” decisions. (Cf. 1T 251.1; RH, Sept. 11, 1888 )

            So in summary, in regards to this defectiuve/failing leadership issue and the “windstorm vision” as a whole, as the SOP say, almost verbatim, and certainly thematically so,:

“As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare [army theme] will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, [i.e., surely formal leaders] but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us.

Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy [2 Thess 2:10-12]; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, [TM 409 - e.g., ‘Final events will be started by a (U.S. started) global economic crisis’; see here] and will depart from the faith [i.e., the real/full Sabbatical Gospel work that needs to be done in this time]. But, on the other hand, when the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd's voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together and present to the enemy a united front. In view of the common peril, strife for supremacy will cease; there will be no disputing as to who shall be accounted greatest. No one of the true believers will say: "I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas." [=results of current, individualistic and dysfunctional, sectarian “strivings” in the Church]. The testimony of one and all will be: "I cleave unto Christ; I rejoice in Him as my personal Saviour."

Thus will the truth be brought into practical life [cf. here], and thus will be answered the prayer of Christ, uttered just before His humiliation and death: "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." John 17:21. [cf. this post] The love of Christ, the love of our brethren,[Matt 22:35-40] will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him.[=Matt 24:14; 28:19, 20] Then will the message of the third angel [cf. this post] swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord.
           
           
‘Not a Seventh-day Adventist to be seen’
            The statement in this prophecy that “there was not a Seventh-day Adventist to be seen” during this storm, has been rejected because it does not seem to agree with other EGW statements in regards to, particularly “the Shaking”, where she often speaks of a surviving, faithful remnant, both during and after, that period of testing. However, it could very well be that in this pronouncement, God had justly seen that by then, the recent 1893 solemn assessment of “not one in twenty” (ChS 41 {LDE 172.1}) has now dwindled down to virtually ‘no one in the Church who is actually “prepared to close their earthly history” (i.e., simple, comparatively “peaceful” natural death), let alone survive the persecuting trials of the Shaking.’ Given the way in which the Church as a whole today, refusing to stay under the advancing light of the Third Angel (RH May 27, 1890 {LDE 210.1}; cf. 1SM 192; TM 507; 5T 80), and thus not aware of the far reaching extent to which the Mark of the Beast will be manifested (cf. this post), that such a persisting state in the Church, indeed continues to validate the most bleak assessment this prophecy, in its still future fulfillment.
            It could very well be that it is because of the poor leadership of SDA Pastors and Leaders that the Church as a whole is judged by God (cf. Ezek 9:6), yet with the then “affected flock” feeling the repercussion of this removal of Shepherds, however not being as severly/directly judged by God. Thus, in all of this upheaval, the very “light” of the SDA Church may momentarily fade out (cf. Rev 2:5; John 12:35, 36; Eph. 5:8 vs. Isa 9:2; Luke 16:8), only to be “relighted” after this storm, through the repentful entreaty of those who remained and the granted, withheld gift of the Holy Spirit. (Matt 25:1-13)
            Also with the principle of prophetic/promisory conditionality in Jer 18:1-12 being fully applicable here, just because God revealed something to EGW earlier, this does not prevent him from making an adjustment to these prior plans/promises at a later time if/when circumstances change, indeed as repeatedly seen with Ancient Israel (e.g., Exod 32(:10)/Num 14(:12)).
            Now with these common knee-jerk/surface (quasi-exegetical) obstacles having been removed against the authenticity and validity of this vision, a much deeper exegetical analysis of it can be made to glean exactly what was typically “signified” into this Divine revelation as it is also typically done with Biblical Prophecies (esp. in the Book of Revelation (cf. Rev 1:1b)), including the SOP, this is chiefly done by studying out the context of the Biblical allusions that are deliberatedly cited, quoted and/or made. (Cf. also this post where this method was also used.)

The Applicable Deeper Exegesis
           
‘Windstorm of Persecution’
            As it is knee-jerkly and mindlessly customary of SDA’s to, (like the spiritually bankrupt First Century Jews), merely look for outwards signs and wonders (cf. John 4:48) and miss the actually fulfilling Spiritual Implication, (which is why they did not recognize their Messiah), and so in this case here, they are looking for outright “persecutions” (i.e., e.g., the State putting them in prison, or to death, for not giving up their Faith) for the fulfillment of this SOP statement. However the fact, and Spiritual Truth, of the matter is that “persecution” comes in various, necessary, degrees and it is only heightened to directly inflict physical punishment and death if/when this is deemed to be the necessary means to stop a forbidden practice/behavior. And so, with, pointedly, the involved system of Capitalism here effectively forcing everyone to worshipfully go along with it, it is quite tangibly opposing the Truth of God and is indeed effectuating the hardship, suffering and death of anyone who challenges it and goes against it. Of course, as in any case of persecution, those who quietly go along with it are not “persecuted” by it. That is how the Church does not see, feel nor Spiritually understand, that this is a “persecutive” force towards them, since it is indeed most reverentially fearing and worshipping it (2 Tim 3:12; Matt 5:6, 10), -as seen from the Church, most obediently, dealing/coping with those “adversities”, which are actually considered as worthy ones within that revered system, by variously, and pervasively in all of its institutions/branches, applying its selfish “survival of the richest”/“dog-eat-dog”/“live and let die” measures, policies and customs to these difficulties. Still, by professing Truths, which are themselves inherently against that Mark of the Beast system, and/or even in trying to do God’s work in and through this spurious system, the Church is actually, inevitably suffering from Capitalism’s artificial hamperings and detriments, and thus is effectively still being persecuted by it. They are thus fulfilling prophecy by, most atrociously, failing the “Mark of the Beast test.” (5T 81.1; 561.2-563.1; cf. LDE 116.1-2). And so, with no leaders in the Church actually, truly fully, if even at all, preaching against adhering to this system, but at best, ignoring the Bible and rather instructing how to cope with it (cf. here), and misleading Church members by outrightly or effectively telling that ‘all that needs to be done in God’s work is what this idolized god allows’, they are thus effectively ‘losing their positions’ in the sight of God. So this prophecy is indeed transpiring upon them, and at the present moment.
            So with this proper Spiritual understanding of what the persecutive implications are here, the further enlightening Biblical contributions which more precisely explain it are best comprehended and appreciated.

           The notion of a ‘“windstorm” (a.k.a. storm wind) of persecution’ is inherently, strikingly interesting because, while EGW often uses the expression, “storm of persecution” (see e.g., 17MR 82; 4SP 89; LP 73; 2T 269; AA 754), she never specifically used in her writings the expression “windstorm of persecution” or the term “windstorm” itself. Therefore she never made such a deliberate specifying comparison of a “storm of persecution” to being ‘just like a windstorm.’ However/Thus the only explanatory background understanding for this pointed association is found in the Bible. There it is termed 10x[12] as a: ‘“storm” [Strong’s #05591b] and “wind” [#07037]’, or, compoundly, “whirlwind”.[13] What is most interesting is that when a “windstorm” is associated with ‘a judgement upon leaders in Israel,’ it is found in Ezek 13 (vss. 11 & 13), where God speaks against “moronic/foolish” [=vs. 3 Strong’s #05036] “prophets” who are ignoring the word of the Lord and vacuously/blindly “prophesying” according to their own base hearts.[14] They has thus ‘misled God’s people ‘prophesying peace when there is no peace’ (vs. 10a), i.e., ‘saying that everything is currently all right,’ when God has actually been in the midst of active judgements against them; -as seen in the previous chapters in Ezekiel leading up to that one. They have also been building “defective walls” and knowingly “whitewashing” them, and it is through these spurious works that they are proclaiming and ensuring this “peace”. (vs. 10b-12; 16). However God is on the verge of actively tearing down these spurious defenses through a hailstone and, the aforediscussed, whirlwind. (vs. 13). It is interesting to note that the ‘“hailstone” judgement’ is one that God had used, and reserved for, only upon His most obstinately rebellious opposers, namely the Egyptians (Exod 9:18-10:16); Gog (Ezek 38:22); and, in eschatological times, “Spiritual Gog”, i.e., Mark of the Beast adherents (Rev 16:20; cf. 8:7 & 11:19). God also specifically envisions using hail(stones) to ‘sweep away the refuges of lies in Israel’ (Isa 28:16, 17; cf. 1888 1254.1), indeed as He is now planning to utterly lay waste these false walls in rebellious Judah of Ezekiel’s time. (vs. 14).
            In the same way, in this “windstorm” act of judgement in this EGW prophecy, God indeed aims to ‘blow down every standing object,’ implying that they are spuriously standing up, yet still being capable of being blown down. (cf. Heb 12:26-28). Indeed the whole wrath of God in this judgement involving this whirlwind is because of these self-idolatrous (vss. 2, 3), false defenses (vss. 6-8ff) that Israel’s, supposedly “inspired” leadership is wrongly leading God’s People to erect, in false hope of security and defensive readiness for the “day of the Lord” I.e., the “End times”. (vss. 4, 5).
            Most interestingly, notice the same theme of ‘not rebuilding the ruins of Israel’ and ‘closing up the breaches in the walls’, as it was charged earlier in relation to the True observance of God’s Sabbath (Isa 58(12)) is being made here against these prophets/leaders (Ezek 13:4). Indeed in the end time, “day of the Lord”, this issue of the restoration of the full and proper observance of God’s Law and His Sabbath will be the decisive issue. (cf. this post)
           
Present Day Application
            In the SDA Church today, this similar “buidling up of false, defective and whitewashed’ walls, and that in regards to the Preparation for the “Final Conflict,” are seen in the deficient scholarship that exists in the Church. Morever, all this is “justifiedly” done and maintained, mainly/merely in the name of Ellen White, where it is said and believe that if she did not expound on something in her writings, especially in regards to prophetic interpretation and understanding for the end, then it must not be a valid understanding. The truth of the matter is, as EGW herself strongly recommended (indeed as an anticipated/expected final public statement to the Global Church in the 1909 GC Session)[15], is that the Word of God itself is to be our final authority and through it, any extra, prophetic vision given will be found to be true or not (e.g., EW 78.1). So through this unbiblically staunch, “fallacious zeal”, indeed derived from a shoddy and deficient exegetical/spiritual capability and/or work, the word of God is indeed rendered limited, sealed and null, and His yet undiscovered guidance, counsels, mandate and warnings for these times are thus naturally, obliviously, though with some, rebelliously/indifferently, unseen, unknown, and unheeded by those who should know, and could do, better. (=Isa 29:10-12; Ms 64, 1898 {LDE 175.2})
            It is interesting to note that the Bible symbolically uses “wind” in relation to generally a “Spirit.” As such it can be used to symbolize “God’s Spirit” (John 3:8; 20:22) but also ‘a ‘spirit (i.e., a ‘state of mind’) that lead people into various types of strife, “agitations” and conflicts’ (e.g., Dan 7:2; Rev 7:1-3). In the Church of God, such “unsettlement” is achieved by the improper/deficient use of Spiritual Gifts leading to the adherence to ‘any type of doctrines’ which actually oppose the God’s Spirit of Truth (see Eph 4:11-15). In all of this, the underlying notion is that ‘wind can, and does, blow about at will anything that is not properly anchored, and that in correspondence to its strength.’ So similarly, if a man’s “spirit” is not “anchored” down by God’s Truth, it will be blown about by any capable passing wind (i.e., ‘another Spirit,’ -namely that of the Devil (Eph 2:1-3ff; cf. 2 Pet 1:19-21). Interestingly enough, as expounded upon here, God prophetically also plans to revive Israel into, relatedly enough, ‘an exceedingly great army’, through the ‘breathing of His breath upon their dry bones,’ (Ezek 37:9, 10). All this is indeed no doubt, prophetically non-coincidental, with the thematically identical, “army-like” (cf. 8T 41, 42ff), end result that is depicted in this EGW vision, once this “windstorm judgement” has been completed.

            So through all of this Biblical exegesis, what is to be understood by a “windstorm of persecution” is, foundationally,: ‘an outbreak of a worldly spirit of opposition against the spirit of the Church, which is supposed to be God’s True Spirit, but is not, and thus is most susceptible to be swayed. And if such a Divine Spirit is not found in a leader or member then such a “defective one” will indeed be blown away during this “windstorm”. Indeed ‘when this (fuller) Mark of the Beast is urged upon us to test every soul:

“Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs [= does not solely refer “Sunday Observance”, but applicably Sabbatical-opposing Capitalistic “demands and customs”] will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death.[apparently those who are not imprisoned may however still suffer death] The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. [= the Shaking]. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star [i.e. Church leaders (e.g., Rev 12:1)] that we have admired for its brilliancy [i.e., even seemingly good/faithful leaders -e.g., the current TV media denominational “stars”) - cf. 14MR 102.1 {LDE 59.2}] will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary [i.e., especially “ministering” Pastors and leaders], but are not clothed with Christ's righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness. [=Rev 16:15]

When trees without fruit are cut down as cumberers of the ground, [= both “individually” Matt 7:15-20 and “corporately” Luke 13:6-9 - COL 214-218] when multitudes of false brethren are distinguished from the true, then the hidden ones will be revealed to view, and with hosannas range under the banner of Christ. Those who have been timid and self-distrustful will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church will be as David--willing to do and dare. The deeper the night for God's people, the more brilliant the stars. Satan will sorely harass the faithful; but, in the name of Jesus, they will come off more than conquerors. Then will the church of Christ appear "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." (5T 81-82)

            All of these themes, particularly the bolded ones, were are allusively, relatedly cited in the “Windstorm Judgement” vision of EGW.

‘The Forsaking Disciples of Christ’
            The statement that ‘the failing SDA’s during this windstorm of persecution were like Christ’s disciples when they forsook Him,’ i.e., when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane could, solely surfacely-speaking, only be meaning that these would abandon the Church, however, there is a substantive content in that forsaking/abandoning that shed much light of what is to be expected in this prophesied “forsaking” and the spiritual reasons why.
            First of all, in reading of this episode in the Gospels and SOP (e.g., DA 685-696). Clearly the two main problems with the disciples were that they ignored the many statements of this death end that Christ had given them, and that not really because did not understand them, but because they, like their spokesperson Peter (Matt 16:21-23), did not want to believe that this manifestly powerful and wise Jesus would allow Himself to come to a humiliating end, even death. In the back of their minds they had only registered the Messianic concepts that Israel’s leader were popularly preaching and looking for, i.e., ‘a king who would reign in Jerusalem and also defeat this Roman subjugation.’ So they really missed, or filed away as false, any other, lesser notions, oddly enough, even when spoken of by “their (recognized) Messiah Himself!
            Their other main problem was that, as in the recently stated to them (i.e., Matt 25:1-13 vs. 26:36ff) parable of Christ on the 10 Virgins, they allowed physical sleep/spiritual indolence to overcome them, and that even after having witnessed God’s hand in all of this in Christ’s specially commissioned and attending Mighty Angel, -indeed seeing this as a good sign, yet, mindlessly, still neglecting to do what was best for them, namely the earlier recommended “watching and praying”, thus detrimentally neither ‘striving and agonizing’ with Christ; and thus being most susceptible to fall in the coming hour of temptation. Jesus here, with really no other choice, i.e., not wanting to be forcing them to do what was best for them, at first “sympathetically”, had allowed them to physical rest, probably in the hope that this could mentally somehow be beneficial for them for the upcoming test, but He now “sorrowfully” looked upon them. (DA 694.2-3)
            Compoundedly added to this physical feebleness was their, just mentioned spiritual ‘lack of Christ’s Spirit and Understanding’ in regards to the Truths of these unfolding events. So when, even more compoundedly overwhelming, they were suddenly awaken out of their sleep only to be faced with an angry mob of arrestors, “confusingly” led no less by a former co-disciple whom they all had great admirance and respect for, they lost all faith in Jesus, who was now looking most vulnerable, and for all of these reasons, they became “offended” and forsook/abandoned Him when He needed them the most, and no doubt, at least tracely, musing all along if they had been following a false messiah all along.

Present Day Application
            Just looking at the spiritual state of the Church today and its members, it is not surprising that such an scenario is prophesied to be repeated again. Just like the disciples then, the Church today is choosing to process the exhaustively comprehensive Gospel mandate of Jesus Christ only ‘as world system and the economy allows’ vs. stepping out in faith in their God-ordained (supposed) global unity and organization, to indeed feasibly accomplish all that Jesus wants (Luke 16:13; cf. TM 359-361); and that, to the full extent that He is looking for it to be done. (e.g., Matt 25:45). So it is correspondingly not surprising that when the Straight Testimony call is made in the Church today to seek to fulfill Christ’s mandate, it is knee-jerkedly dismissed by these ‘selective ears’ with current Capitalistically-limited token works, if any, upheld as the Church’s, thus God’s, utmost accomplishment capacity. It is moreoverly not surprising that if/when some in the Church will resolutely steps out in full obedience to Christ, but a sure ‘storm of opposition and persecution’ from mainly staunch (and “Religious”) Capitalists (cf. 1SG 184; 5T 136; 2SG 284; cf. 3SM 84) who are fearful that their idolized “way of (self-serving) life” will be “adversely” affected (case in point, the current (Christian?) Right Wing, vehement, emotionally surcharged, para-violent, opposition to e.g., socio-economic balancing and a socialized-type of Healthcare in the United States under the Democratic, Obama Administration), that many in the SDA Church will then, surely, naturally, prefer to return to their former “world-yielding and conforming” ways, and effectively, and quite tangibly, join the popular opposing side (RH 24 Dec. 1889; GC 602, 608) to end this “variously threatening” ‘True Gospel Action’ reform movement, -like the First Century Jews, sanctimoniously fearing that, if persisted upon, it will bring about the utter end of their denomination and world standing/position (cf. John 11:45-53). As many discussion of mine with SDA’s in regards to the evils of Capitalism have shown (cf. the forum discussions listed here), this ‘returning and/or continuing to side with the Capitalist’ will indeed be a most natural, and/or, second nature, act/decision by them.
            So like Christ’s disciples in Gethsemane, they will similarly “forsake” God’s True cause, i.e., by (Biblical Greek and Modern English) definition, “leaving this cause that needs or counts on them”, and that through them paramountly seeking to save their own lives. However, as Christ in Gethsemane, and even during the ensuing Cross ordeal (cf. this post), the faithful ones in the Church will ‘agonizingly’ and ‘anguishingly’ press on towards the mark of God (Phil 3:14), despite any opposing odds (cf. DA 687-689ff; EW 269-271); and all of this indeed parallels the great struggle of the prophesied Jacob’s time of trouble, where the issue will similarly be, trying to escape from a murderously vengeful, though spiritually indifferent, (religious) brother, trying to get his basely squandered ‘Israel of God’ birthright back. (cf. e.g. GC 616-623ff).

‘Sheep Without Shepherds’
            Again this statement in the vision here surfacely seems to be purely “platonic/poetic”. However its verbatim mention in the Bible and the comparable contexts with the one in this prophecy also shows that, as with many other such Biblical quoting/citing in the SOP, it was most deliberately and meaningfully stated.
            The first mention of this phrase occurs in Num 27:17. There Moses was nearing the end of his tenure as the leader of Israel, and, concerned about the future of Israel after his condemnatory death, still made a most unselfish, earnest request to God that a capable person be chosen to bear this most crucial leadership role, with the people are about to embark in the final movements to fulfill their destiny of conquering the Promise Land. It is then that Joshua is pointed out/Divinely elected as Moses’ successor. (vss. Num 27:15, 16, 18ff)
            These same themes are found in this prophecy of EGW as, following this leadership wiping out judgement, God’s people are left without “standing” leaders, -which, as Christ recognized and applied it in Matt 9:36-38, can, (and indeed has here), transpire while those “leaders” are still in their positions, (cf. Matt 23:1-12ff); yet their still is a Canaan-conquering work before them in a Gospel mandate to be fully fulfill. (Matt 24:14) So a new leadership will, of necessity, have to be chosen and established, and that before the denominational outpouring of the Latter. (3SM 385 {LDE 179.2})
            It is also not lost, in this comparison that, as mentioned in passing above, Moses had to be succeeded as Israel’s leader out of a judgement from God (cf. 7MR 192), and that for earlier having been an ungodly example to all Israel in his momentary act of faithlessness, having then opted to ‘do as the people wanted’ rather than continuing to do things as God had ordained, -a sin that indeed undermined the very and true nature of Christ’s Gospel. (See Num 20:8-12; 1SP 309-315; PP 411-422). In the same way, leaders in the Church today prefer to conduct God’s work as much of the membership, including them, prefer, thus not asking more than a “10% stewardship” commitment/investment to the Gospel Work. However, that is all contrary to Christ exhaustively comprehensive Gospel mandate. This 10% is what is limited for the Inner functioning of the Church itself. However much of the remaining 90% is to be, even sacrificially “offered” to the greater Outreach work of the Gospel. (Cf. PT 1 April 1850) All of these applicable similarities therefore shows that God will not excuse sin amongst the leaders of His people and indeed will judged them by a even higher and more stringent standard than rest of His people. (cf. Rev 11:13; TM 279.1-2ff)

= ‘Strike the Shepherd, Scatter the Flock’ (Zech 13:7-9)
            With Jesus having explicitly linked this ‘forsaking of the disciples’ to the prophecy of Zech 13:7, (see Matt 26:31), and with indeed, the related notions of ‘God’s justice/judgement (DA 686.4) on the leaders of His people, -leading to a confusion amongst the rest of the people’, in this vision, also through ‘Shepherd-sheep’ symbology, it therefore is, in turn, substantively also directly linked to this Zechariah prophecy. Pointedly, in the statement there, (contextually (i.e., Zech 13:1-6) mentioned after God has revealed that: ‘He will have worked to leave His rebelling people to their own spirit (=Ezek 11:21; 16:43; 22:31) by having acted to make His own (genuine) prophets not want to relate what they have been shown by Him in vision (Zech 13:4a = Ezek 3:24-27; [cf. Jer 20:7-11]), nor even continue to posit/intimate that ‘forgiveness through repentance is a possible option’ (Zech 13:4b); and at the other end, actually not permitting any trusted idols or unclean spirit to influence this people; see more here), which says: “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate [=fellow Church [lay] brethren]”.
            Then, with also a greater “Shaking” theme involved in the EGW vision here, the further statements in Zech 13:8 & 9 are also now applicably understood. In vs. 8 it is said that this “sword” (=word of God - Eph 6:17b) judgement would produce a three part division in the land, with two parts ‘“being cut off”, ‘thus naturally perishing; but a third part being preserved in the land.’ Verse 9 then goes on to specify that this preserved third part will ‘be brought through the fire, refined like silver and tested as gold.’ Such “purifying” themes are often spoken of in the SOP in connection with the Shaking (see e.g., 4T 89; RH 20 Nov. 1913). It can also be seen that these “two judged/condemned parts” here are the guilty leadership along with the group of members who do not survive the Shaking. Interestingly enough it is after the third preserved part, i.e., those who have survived this Shaking, have been purified in the Shaking that they call upon the name of God and He responds to them, manifestly re-calling them ‘His People’ after this necessary, wholly sifting, ordeal (Amos 9:9-15). So the similar ‘prayer to God, and answer by Him, mentioned in this EGW vision is to be expected to transpire only after the (predominantly, if not entirely) lay membership has first been sifted of false/spurious believers, and then also been fully, further purified. (EW 71).
            Thus the choosing and naming of new leaders is to be expected to occur only after this Shaking and Purifying has been thoroughly completed, with the end result of a people whose only Lord is Yahweh, i.e., who obey only Him, thus fully reflecting His character (=|cf. LDE 193.2-4; ChS 228; Matt 6:24; Rev 11:13b, 14:7).
            Also in the light of this momentary disassociation by God with His People, it can then be more fully understood how EGW saw that, for a while, ‘there was not a SDA to be seen.’
           
Second Occurrence
            The second occurrence of this phrase in the Bible occurs in 1 Kgs 22:17. The particular circumstance surrounding its mention (1 Kgs 22; cf. PK 190-196) were that Judah’s (most rare) “good” King, Jehoshaphat, who had undertaken the crucial task of thoroughly instructing the people in his realm concerning the Law and Statutes of God, went over to join with a recently subdued King Ahab (vs. Elijah in ch. 17 & 18), and entered into a league with him to try to recapture Ramoth-gilead, a territory that had been captured by the King of Aram.[16] This was a key city which had been assigned for Israel’s priesthood as a city of refuge (Jos 21:38). That coalition between Israel and Judah, (along with a previous matrimonial union), was not approved of by God. (cf. 2 Chr 19:2). Despite these illicit unions and ungodly actions, Jehoshaphat was really trying to do what was right, at least according to his heart, and before he set out on this campaign with Ahab, he asked that a prophet of God come and reveal what God’s will was in this matter. Ahab brought forth his, evidently reestablished, horde of 400 false prophets, (as if He could drown out the disapproval of God through such self-serving, popular consensus. God needed only to speak through one voice, through one person, to make known His unequivocal truth). Jehoshaphat was clearly not impressed by this, even if numerous, manifestation and when Ahab mentioned the personally hated prophet Micaiah, hated because ‘he never prophesied good, but evil against him.’ (Similarly today, and as done with this EGW prophecy here, people in the SDA Church only consider a statement to be Biblical/from God/Prophetic merely if it ‘speaks favorably’ of them/the Church, all the while choosing to be deafly oblivious to any reproof of the sins had that necessitated such adversarial pronouncements. It was for such “self-justifying mindless” reasons that Christ was rejected and crucified by the Jewish leaders and people then. (e.g., Matt 26:59-61ff)). So when Micaiah was brought in, he, knowing that his counsels would defaultly be disobeyed, falling on deaf ears and callous hearts, just encouraged them to do what they surely were going to do. Interestingly enough, as indicated in 1 Kgs 22:14, it may have been God Himself who told/inspired Micaiah to thus respond to the king (cf. vss. 19-23 & Isa 6:1, 9-13/John 12:37-41). Perhaps through this “forced-into” adversity (vs. a brought-about one, i.e., a foreign, invading army), they would then learn their lesson. As it is most typical with people who are refusing to be obedient to God’s truth and are lying to themselves to appease their conscience in these disobedient paths, Ahab so betrays himself by still accusing Micaiah of lying?!?  It is then that Micaiah states this “Sheep which have no Shepherd” statement (vs. 17). As expected, these contradicting words of rebuke were actually wholly ignored, with however, Ahab trying to trick the hand of God by disguising himself for the battle. Nevertheless, the prophecy fully came to pass as God had stated.
            Interestingly enough in the fallout of this disastrous defeat, a three part result was seen in Israel, with (1) the (Israel) leadership being wiped out (cf. 1Kgs 22:17b & 36); (2) these people in the kingdom Israel being left, both without a leader, and thus to their “best/wayward” ways (cf. Deut 12:8; Jdg 17:6; 21:25; Pro 21:2);[17] and (3) Judah, led by a humiliated and thus “refined”, and also, as an end result, forgiven, Jehoshaphat, going, from then on to, once again, obeying, and that even more faithfully/strictly, the word of God.
            Also significant in all of this was that the entire decision of what should be done in this proposed military campaign matter took place, interestingly enough, in the area near the gate of Samaria, where the “threshing floor” was. (vs. 10). Such wide open spaces were the place where Israelites typically held their public court sessions, and it may simply be that this area in Samaria doubled as a threshing floor for the sifting of wheat. Nonetheless, symbolically significant enough, in this, a “judgement” also took place in this place of “Shaking”. The need to use such a wide-open space for this gathering, probably also, so that the rest of the people can witness this crucial decision, would not have been necessary had Ahab been obedient to the word of God, which again, only needed one spokesperson vs. his crowding 400. It was also Ahab’s arrogance that moved this meeting from the halls of his palace to this judicial/sifting open square, probably hoping to transparently/openly demonstrate his just decision on this matter before the people. His ever-self-reproaching knowledge of acting here outside the will of God also made such a “public display” necessary.

‘Being Fully ready for service’
            It is interesting that EGW states that the end result of this Shaking event in her vision was that: ‘in the ensuing outpouring of the Holy Spirit as an answer to prayers, the surviving members were fully made ready for service.’ The emphasis here in not becoming merely outwardly holy, but actually fitted to do God’s work, i.e., the service that is needed to accomplish the tasks in Christ’s Gospel mandate. And without such a thorough refining, it would not have been accomplished. As EGW says: “When the church takes up her appointed work, she will go forth "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” [=The “Fourth Angel Work”|~Loud Cry (Rev 18)] Manuscript 113, 1901 Southern Watchman, Nov. 20, 1902. {ChS 147.1}  CH 464.2.
            Most interestingly enough all of these related end-result themes of: “acceptable service”; “reverence and awe” “God’s purifying fire”  are mentioned in the relatable “Shaking” event in Heb 12:26-29 (=Rev 11:13), after ‘only the things which cannot be shaken, i.e., things pertaining to God’s kingdom that He Himself had instituted (vs. man-created things), had remained.’

“Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners”
            Ellen White closes out this Divine oracle by citing a passage that she often cites with the group who survive the Shaking, i.e., as then being: “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners” (see e.g., 5T 81). In the Biblical context of Songs of Solomon 6:10, Solomon is making a comparison with a beloved woman with whom he and she have a mutual delight in each other (6:3). He proceeds to compare her to ‘the city of Jerusalem’ and also ‘an army with many banners’ (6:4b). All of this echoes the consistent theme throughout the Bible in which God’s Chosen People are compared to a women and prospective bride. Indeed it is the ultimate hope of God that His similarly ‘beloved and courted woman’ would come to also delight in Him thus truly allowing Him to delight in her. (cf. Rev 3:12; 21:2, 9, 10). It is indeed through this marriage consummation that the rest of the righteous People of the world will be invited to the Promised Free Blessings of God as it will be done through the Gospel (which includes, Humanitarian) Service of God’s purified and restored people (Rev 22:17; cf. Gen 12:2, 3; cf. PK 725; AA90.2; 7BC 966.4; GC 425.1-2).
            Also, though succinctly said here, the Biblical symbolism here, the: ‘(fair) moon and (clear/pure) sun,’ spiritually and temporally, respectively speak of: ‘having a most beautiful and functional religious economy’; and ‘an unspotted righteousness, leading to the practice of a pure, Biblical socio-economy.’ The mention of an army with banners, recalls the purposeful arrangement of the tribes of Israel which was under specific banners, thus allowing for, and importantly, assuring the sustainment of, the implementation of God’s long ago “Triumphant” Plans for His Israel, and at in this present World/Age as a most pronounced global testimony (cf. here).

Zeph 3 Jerusalem/Judah Judgement
            It is tellingly significant to see how this SOP Vision follows, almost to the letter, the template of the Zeph 3 stipulated judgement of Jerusalem and Judah ‘amongst/as with the nations’ (=Zeph 3:6, 8) here ‘the SDA Church’s judgement amongst/as with other Christian Denominations’), with Zeph 3:13 being the prophetical/OT background for the Rev 14:4-5, post-Shaking 144,000 Remnant. Succinctly said here about Zeph 3, God’s “steadfast and just” (Zeph 3:5), as usual, judgement will pointedly focus on the people-misleading, “proud and exulting” (Zeph 3:11), corrupt leadership, going right to the (“GC”) top (Zeph 3:1-4, 7); which will result in a ‘scattering of the people’ (Zeph 3:10). Therefore a new, and now humble and, particularly ‘non-guileful-due-faithless-fears’ (Zeph 3:12, 15b) leadership will have to be raised up, all now submissively under the authority “King of Israel” (Zeph 3:15).


Conclusion
            So in summarizing conclusion here, the many, above-discussed, substantive, valid points in this reported vision of EGW make it a most authentic SOP revelation, and contrary to subjective, peripheral attempts to discredit it, as well the unbiblical rejection simply because of the mis- and/or merely, surfacely understood) “unfavorable message”, it is indeed in full harmony with the Spirit and Message of the recorded revelations and statements of Ellen White.[18] As it was said before, as it is perfectly normal with God, it probably was because circumstances in the SDA Church has not unravelled to such a “unsalvageable” point (i.e., effectuating the Second Coming in the days of that “first” generation of SDA’s, that this quasi-utter-judgement vision was not given before. However, as also explained above, it seems to have been given to EGW during her stay in Loma Linda in the early Fall of 1908, and she relate it to her close friends and associates as they were waiting for the train back to Elmshaven. Indeed from then on, a paradigm shift was noticed with EGW’s ministry, as well as, evidently a certainty, that she, like Moses would not personally see the attainment of the Great Promise.
            So also here, Will Ross and his other friends probably noticing that EGW had nonetheless been quite reluctant to make this, indeed most stunning revelation known, were also reluctant to themselves recount it later. Yet they likewise knew that it must be communicated, which is probably why EGW herself had done so, though privately. Perhaps she had been instructed (like John in Rev 10:4) not to publish it. However, as seen in her many paralleling statements throughout her writings, (e.g., the many SOP references included in this post), it was a theme that had never been foreign to her message, however not in this stark reality, especially in relation to how she herself would come to be affected by it. Prior to that Revelation, God probably wanted her to focus on exhorting the Church on the achievable averting of such a disastrous end through a prior repentance.[19]


Notes
[1] On top of the two “living witnesses” mentioned in this document [PDF] who had heard Will Ross give his testimony, a third, Everett Rogers in 1989, is documented in the Hope International ministry magazine, Our Firm Foundation (Vol. 20 No. 6) [PDF p.17].

[2] Two of the 4 children of Willie C. White. Ellen White’s other adulthood-living son, James Edson White, though married from 1870, apparently never had any children.
[4] Still, ca. 5 months before her death, on February 12, 1915, actually the day of her hip fracturing accident, she was said to have “felt well enough to walk a bit in the yard and garden with Willie” (see in Ibid., 414), showing that even at the latest moments in her life, she enjoyed taking a walk when she could.
[5]  {6BIO 165.1} - Much of the year 1908 Ellen White spent at her Elmshaven home engaged in her book work,... At times she broke away to attend California camp meetings and to visit the three sanitariums in the south. Some involvements carried over many months, climaxing in 1909 or 1910.

{6BIO 166.1-2} - Elder W. W. Prescott, in the Review and Herald of February 27, wrote ... of his pleasure in finding “Sister White enjoying a reasonable degree of health” as she continued her work.
            J. N. Loughborough... wrote in his report of this “powerful and harmonious meeting” [“the biennial session of the Pacific Union Conference, held in the chapel at St. Helena Sanitarium, January 17-25”]

"Sister White was able to speak to us with great power on two occasions." —RH, Feb. 27, 1908.

{6BIO 166.5} - One of Haskell's first moves [a the new California Conference President] ... was to call a Bible institute in Oakland for the first two full weeks of March. Ellen White was invited to participate and, although she was “not in as good health” as she could wish, she went down to Oakland the day before the institute opened (Letter 84, 1908). She spoke six times during the two-week meeting, including the Sabbath-morning sermon on March 14, in the newly constructed Oakland church.

{6BIO 167.1} - Often during the hours of the night, visions were given to Ellen White involving many subjects. One such was given to her on the night of January 15. Of this she wrote in her diary:
{6BIO 167.2} - The past night I was speaking decidedly to a large number assembled in council meeting. I seemed to be in Washington. The meeting was one of special solemnity and interest. Every soul is to place himself individually in right relation to life and health and become a fruitbearing branch of the True Vine. I was bearing a very close, straight testimony. What a work is to be done! There will continue to be hindrances and the wheels of true reform will be blocked.—MS 126, 1908.
{6BIO 167.3} - But it was not until March 29 that she wrote to Elder Daniells appealing for “a true reformation” “among the believers in Washington in the matter of healthful living” (Letter 162, 1908). As this letter largely formed the basis of her address on “Faithfulness in Health Reform” at the 1909 General Conference session, the account [see CCh 233-239]  will be left until the narrative reaches that point.

{6BIO 167.4} - One time-consuming matter into which Ellen White was drawn and in which she would be involved over a period of nearly two years was the moving of Healdsburg College to a location more favorable to its welfare and success. ... Ellen White would soon be involved in the search for a suitable location.

{6BIO 167.5} - Mid-April, with its warming spring weather, seemed to offer a good time to make a long-anticipated trip into Lake County, just to the north. There, fifty-two miles from Elmshaven, lived the Hurlbutts, who were involved in operating an orphanage .... Ellen White felt she needed a break from the steady grind ever with her of preparing materials for print.
{6BIO 168.1} - The way to the Hurlbutt home was over tortuous mountain roads. Sunday morning, April 19, at four-thirty, the party left Elmshaven with Ellen White and Willie riding in a comfortable one-seated buggy behind a large bay horse borrowed for the trip. The rest of the party—Sara McEnterfer, Iram James, and Professor E. A. Sutherland from the Madison school—traveled in a platform spring wagon drawn by the two young, gray workhorses. At five-thirty they passed through Calistoga, nine miles north, and were soon climbing Mount St. Helena on a “mountain road that was very steep and narrow. [ca. 9 mph progress]
{6BIO 168.2} - At nine o'clock they stopped by a beautiful brook for breakfast. ... There was an hour's rest, and then they pressed on through Middletown, stopping again at two o'clock to eat and rest. Then it was on north to Kelseyville and the Hurlbutt place, two miles beyond. They were glad to make the [52-mile] journey in one day, but were prepared to stop at a hotel if the trip seemed a little too much for Sister White (Letter 124, 1908).
{6BIO 168.3} - Monday and Tuesday morning were spent with Mrs. Hurlbutt, seeing the orphanage and certain properties in which their hosts were interested. Tuesday afternoon they started back, spending the night at a hotel in Middletown.

Camp Meetings

{6BIO 168.4} - Camp meeting season opened early in California, with the first of five meetings held May 1-10 in the central part of the State at Lodi. ... The Pacific Union Recorder, on its back page just before the meeting, carried an attendance-getting item under the heading “Special Camp Meeting Notice”: “Word just received from Elder Haskell is to the effect that Mrs. E. G. White will be at the Lodi camp meeting during the entire time.”—April 30, 1908. She was, and she spoke six times.

{6BIO 169.4} -  The Oakland camp meeting,... was held June 4-14. It was reported to have been “large and profitable” (ibid., June 18, 1908) with Ellen White speaking six times “with as great clearness and power as in early times” (RH, July 9, 1908).

{6BIO 169.6} - Two months later Ellen White attended the Los Angeles camp meeting from August 6 to 16, even though the long, hot summer had left her somewhat debilitated and wondering whether she should go.
{6BIO 169.7} -  Plans announced in June for this meeting listed Ellen White's name first as one of “a strong corps of workers from abroad” (PUR, June 18, 1908). Early in the week of the planned journey south she explained her feelings:
{6BIO 169.8} - “For some reasons I have dreaded this journey to Los Angeles. Yet I am glad the people there will have another opportunity of hearing the message of warning. The end of time is rapidly drawing near. . . . Yet to many it is coming as a thief in the night. Again and again I ask myself the question, What shall I do, that I may fully act my part in giving this last note of warning?—Letter 234, 1908.

{6BIO 170.1} - This was the largest of the 1908 camp meetings, with 321 family tents. Several times she spoke to large audiences in the big tent; at times there were 1,200 people (36 WCW, p. 333). Concerned that all should hear her well, she was relieved when “several who sat on the outskirts of the crowd” reported to her that they heard every word spoken (Letter 236, 1908). She was pleased that a number of women from the Women's Christian Temperance Union attended some of the meetings. While speaking to the ministers, she urged that the evangelistic thrust of the camp meeting be continued for another week of evening meetings.

{6BIO 170.2} - It is of interest to note that in one report of the camp meeting, in which ministerial help from northern California is listed, we find the words “Mrs. E. G. White and her company.” Her “company” consisted of Sara McEnterfer; W. C. White; Clarence Crisler and his wife, Caroline; Miss Hannaford, the new housekeeper; and Minnie Hawkins. Ellen White and several of her helpers stayed in a nearby cottage, which, she noted, had the convenience of a bathroom.

{6BIO 170.3} - No matter where she was, she could not lay aside those tasks that came to her as the messenger of the Lord—not only sermons but interviews, manuscript preparation, and correspondence.

{6BIO 170.4} - Following the camp meeting in Los Angeles, Ellen White visited the sanitariums at Glendale, Paradise Valley, and Loma Linda [60 miles East of L.A.]. On the Loma Linda farm she reported to Edson: “We saw large patches of melons, strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, and corn.”—Letter 258, 1908.

{6BIO 170.5} - Back at home after the four-week trip to the south, she complained of how calls to minister in the field hindered her and her workers at Elmshaven from doing what they wanted to do. “I cannot do my writing if I keep traveling,” she wrote on September 11, and declared,” We are striving with all our powers to get out my books.”—Ibid.

{6BIO 171.2} - On September 23, writing to her granddaughter Mabel, she referred to her part in the work and the constant pressure upon her: ...

{6BIO 171.3} - “There are many manuscripts to look over, and some straight testimonies to be borne. All my time is fully occupied. . . . I should not be bound down to so much examination of manuscript. I am asked to read every part of the selections made. I realize that it is wonderful that the Lord blesses me with such clearness of mind, and I am grateful.”—Letter 274, 1908.

{6BIO 171.4} - Five days later she referred again to book preparation and the work of her assistants: “My workers are doing all in their power to forward the work on my books, and I am kept continually at work.”—Letter 280, 1908.
{6BIO 171.5} - Physical discomfort, which just at this time she suffered, did not deter her, and she wrote:
{6BIO 171.6} - “All through the day I have important writings to examine. I find so much that ought to come before the people, and we are trying to prepare these writings as fast as possible. At times my eyes are severely taxed, but no one but myself can do this first work, to judge of their importance and to decide which should come before the people.”—Letter 292, 1908.

...

{6BIO 174.7}  Knowing well that her years were running out, she felt she must press on...,
...

{6BIO 175.3} - “There is an understanding between me and the officers of the General Conference that when I die, my book work passes into the hands of trustees appointed by the General Conference so that the earnings from my books after paying all debts shall go to the production of new books in many foreign languages.”—Letter 328, 1908.”

{6BIO 175.4} - Before her death, she appointed the trustees.
[7] A much more in depth study of EGW’s post-Fall 1909 works and statements would be interesting, particularly in regards to the Second Coming, as it would probably more contrastly reflect this manifest sudden shift in perspective of realizing for the first time, indeed contrary to her many past revelations (which were then valid and possible “Present Truths”), that she would not be alive to see Christ Return.
[8] As indicated by the “remote pronoun’ “that” (Gr. ekeinos) vs. the proximate “this” - (Gr. touto).
[9] E.g., 1MR 151; SpTA06 27, 28; 4MR 152, 153.
[10] Cf. EGW’s directly inspired counsels in TM 431-432 (=Ezek 9:2-7) for “Practical Truth” and under the general heading of “The Sin of Licentiousness”; and all inspiredly connected to the eschatological prophetic events in Rev 16:17+19:1.
[11] In this decrying context of the practice of ‘Seeking of a Position’ in the Church, Ellen White often makes synonymously decrying mention of the “Rule-or-ruin” attitude in the Church where a: ‘you’ll either do it my way, or else you all (i.e., the Global Church) can go to ruin’ practice was often exercised. (See e.g., TM 279-280+ Appendix). What is interesting is that (1) this is also a fundamental and key tenet of Capitalistic approaches (cf. 3MR 38.1-3), entrenchedly manifesting itself in dogmatically encouraged, covetous and selfish individualism, and (2) such a base and ungodly approach is now instituted as the norm in the Church, where individual and competitive work is highly, if not uniquely, far-favored above collective and collaborative ones, thus resulting in all sorts of deficient, wasteful, and “cacophonic” productions, if any at all. (cf. 1MR 151.2ff; 1888 Materials Ch.162 p.1356-1358ff).
[12] See 2 Kgs 2:1, 11; Job 38:1; Psa 107:25; 148:8; Isa 29:6; Ezek 1:4; 13:11, 13; Zech 9:14.
[13] The related (Strong’s) Hebrew term #05491 (see e.g., in Isa 29:6 (cf. Nah 1:3) -a thematically and prophetically related warning to God’s Jerusalem = today, the Organizational Leadership SDA Church) refers merely to hurricane-type winds, with pointed reference to their high speeds. The “whirlwind” term #05591b steps this up to a more severe “tempestuous” event, probably pointedly comparable to the destructive tornadoes that are spawned within a severe (i.e., “Category 5") hurricane.
[14] Similarly when God first approached this rebellious house of Judah at the start of the Ezekiel ministry, He, along with His Triumphant Plan for Israel in its 4 Living Creatures, i.e., His Throne (cf. this post), is said to be coming from a “storm wind”/“whirlwind” originating from the “North” (Ezek 1:4ff [cf. Isa 14:3, 14~Rev 21:3]. See this post, and also this one, for more on the significance of the “North” here.)
[16] Although this area of Ramoth-gilead did indeed belong to Israel, it had during Ahab’s evil rule, become God’s plan to have His People, in humbling punishment, suffer at the hands of the people of Aram, with God having previously instructed Elijah to anoint Hazael as the future king of Aram (see 1 Kgs 9:15=2 Kgs 8:7-13 -cf. the pertinent discussion of this odd development in this post). See also EGW “Hazael” comments in also related “Shaking”-themed (i.e., “Testimonies Slighted”) statements in 5T 77-79ff (The greater context is 5T 63-84 in which many similar (Shaking) themes to this succinct “windstorm oracle” are made.).
[17] As the fulfilled oracle indicates here, following this utter defeat, until a new king was established, for a moment here, Israel went from a ‘formal organization with a commonly representing army to fight its battles’, to a ‘disunited collection of closed-off cities fending for themselves’. It therefore would not be surprising to also see this transpire with the Global SDA Church and its current Denominational organization during, and immediately following, this “Windstorm Shaking” Event. I.e., going from ‘an organization of Institution-supporting, Conferences, Unions and Divisions’, to merely ‘local (still leaderless) congregations (perhaps initially only with newly, divinely-selected, lay pastors).’ (Cf. e.g., 5MR 280 {LDE 152.1}; KC 125 {~Mar 290})
[18] It thus, most substantively, and also most thematically and spiritually, does not fit the category of false statements which EGW said: ‘are reported in such a perverted light that it is new and strange to her, being mixed with words spoken by men to sustain their own theories.’– Letter 139, 1900, p. 5. (To the Officers of the General Conference. Oct. 24, 1900)
[19] The same “hopeful/probationary” tension was seen in the ministry of Christ (see e.g., the suspended endings in Luke 4:16-21ff vs. Luke 21:20-22 & Luke 13:9 (COL 216.2) vs. Matt 23:37-24:2ff).

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this article, which I was deeply interested to read. Ever since I first heard the Will Ross account, I felt that it had the ring of truth and was fully in line with what I'd read in the Writings.

    I think that some of the controversy is due to reading into the Ross account more than what he actually wrote.

    For example, when Ellen White says that all Adventists forsook Him and fled as did the disciples, it does not mean all fully apostatized. The disciples forsook Christ in the garden, but they then humbly met together, spent much time in prayer and received the Holy Spirit a few weeks later at Pentecost.

    My mother has said several times that she believes that when the end fully hits us, "We will be totally shocked!" It will catch us off guard. ALL of the ten virgins had been sleeping.

    Just imagine, when the most powerful nation on earth in league with all other nations marshals its' might against the little church - the "storm relentless in its fury" will be an overwhelming and stunning development at first. "It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal." GC 622.

    I can well imagine the church suddenly hunkering down, fleeing from mortal sight for a brief moment, just as the disciples in the garden fled the armed mob, but the faithful of the church will be on their knees and will regroup, to then go forth `fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ to give the message to all the world.

    Personally, I see nothing in the Ross account out of the harmony with the Spirit of Prophecy. "As the Captain of the Lord's host tore down the walls of Jericho, so will the Lord's commandment-keeping people triumph, and all opposing elements be defeated." TM 410

    ReplyDelete
  2. I generally agree with your comments here John, however, as stated in my post, I see that the reasons for the “scattering” here is due to a poor spiritual preparation and not being merely shocked by the approached mob. Had the disciples allowed themselves to fully understand the Truth here, they would have stood with Jesus in this trial. But because of their faulty understandings, despite the many efforts of Christ to help them understand, they could not begin to see how this all was supposed to happen and that they were suppose to suffer with Christ here. So the alluded to passages/episodes in the Bible are indeed key here.

    ReplyDelete

This blog aims to be factual and, at the very least, implicitly documented. Therefore if applicable, any comment which contains unsubstantiated/unsupportable ideas will not be allowed to be published on this blog. Therefore make the effort to be Biblical, truthful and factual.

-It typically takes 1-2 days for an accepted submitted comment to be posted and/or responded to.

[If you leave an "anonymous" comment and, if applicable, would like to know why it may not have been published, resend the comment via email (see profile) to receive the response.]