Selected Messages Book 3


Chapter 6—Glimpses of How the Light Came to Ellen White

In the First Vision—Seemingly Present, Participating in Events—While I was praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell upon me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me, “Look again, and look a little higher.” At this I raised my eyes, and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Adventist people were traveling to the city, which was at the farther end of the path.—Early Writings, 14. 3SM 40.1

Broad Panoramic Views—Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued conflict between good and evil have been opened to the writer of these pages. From time to time I have been permitted to behold the working, in different ages, of the great controversy between Christ, the Prince of Life, the Author of our salvation, and Satan, the prince of evil, the author of sin, the first transgressor of God's holy law.—The Great Controversy, Introduction, x, xi. 3SM 40.2

An Angel Explains the Significance—While at Loma Linda, California, April 16, 1906, there passed before me a most wonderful representation. During a vision of the night, I stood on an eminence, from which I could see houses shaken like a reed in the wind. Buildings, great and small, were falling to the ground. Pleasure resorts, theaters, hotels, and the homes of the wealthy were shaken and shattered. Many lives were blotted out of existence, and the air was filled with the shrieks of the injured and the terrified.... The awfulness of the scenes that passed before me I cannot find words to describe. It seemed that the forbearance of God was exhausted, and that the judgment day had come. 3SM 40.3

Terrible as was the representation that passed before me, that which impressed itself most vividly upon my mind was the instruction given in connection with it. The angel that stood by my side declared that God's supreme rulership and the sacredness of his law must be revealed to those who persistently refuse to render obedience to the King of Kings. Those who choose to remain disloyal must be visited in mercy with judgments, in order that, if possible, they may be aroused to a realization of the sinfulness of their course.—Testimonies for the Church 9:92, 93. 3SM 41.1

A Vivid View Relating to a Family—The angel of God said, “Follow me.” I seemed to be in a room in a rude building, and there were several young men playing cards. They seemed to be very intent upon the amusement in which they were engaged and were so engrossed that they did not seem to notice that anyone had entered the room. There were young girls present observing the players, and words were spoken not of the most refined order. There was a spirit and influence that were sensibly felt in that room that was not of a character calculated to purify and uplift the mind and ennoble the character.... 3SM 41.2

I inquired, “Who are these and what does this scene represent?” 3SM 41.3

The word was spoken, “Wait”.... 3SM 41.4

I had another representation. There was the imbibing of the liquid poison, and the words and actions under its influence were anything but favorable for serious thoughts, clear perception in business lines, pure morals, and the uplifting of the participants.... 3SM 41.5

I asked again, “Who are these?” 3SM 42.1

The answer came, “A portion of the family where you are visiting. The adversary of souls, the great enemy of God and man, the head of principalities and powers, and the ruler of the darkness of this world is presiding here tonight. Satan and his angels are leading on with his temptations these poor souls to their own ruin.—Letter 1, 1893. 3SM 42.2

As If the Whole Thing Were Transacting—Now I have light, mostly in the night season, just as if the whole thing were transacting, and I viewing it, and as [if] I am listening to the conversation. I am moved to get up and meet it.—Manuscript 105, 1907. 3SM 42.3

Symbolic Representations—You were represented to me as a general, mounted, on a horse, and carrying a banner. One came and took out of your hand the banner bearing the words, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,” and it was trampled in the dust. I saw you surrounded by men who were linking you up with the world.—Letter 239, 1903. 3SM 42.4

Some of the work that has been done [for outcasts] is represented as being like men rolling large stones up a hill with great effort. When nearly at the top of the hill, the stones rolled again to the bottom. The men only succeeded in taking a few to the top. In the work done for the degraded—what effort it has taken to reach them, what expense, and then to lead them to stand against appetite and base passions!—Letter 232, 1899. 3SM 42.5

Enabled to Comprehend Symbolic Visions—My mind and perceptions are still clear. That which the Lord presents to me in figure, he enables me to understand.—Letter 28, 1907. 3SM 42.6

Warned of Peril Threatening a Physician—In a vision last night I saw you writing. One looked over your shoulder and said, “You, my friend, are in danger”.... 3SM 42.7

Let me tell you of a scene that I witnessed while in Oakland. Angels clothed with beautiful garments, like angels of light, were escorting Dr. A from place to place, and inspiring him to speak words of pompous boasting that were offensive to God. 3SM 43.1

Soon after the Oakland conference, in the night season the Lord portrayed before me a scene, in which Satan, clothed in a most attractive disguise, was earnestly pressing close to the side of Dr. A. I saw and heard much. Night after night I was bowed down in agony of soul as I saw this personage talking with our brother.—Letter 220, 1903. 3SM 43.2

Revealed in a Flash of Light—The question is asked, How does Sister White know in regard to the matters of which she speaks so decidedly, as if she had authority to say these things? I speak thus because they flash upon my mind when in perplexity like lightning out of a dark cloud in the fury of a storm. Some scenes presented before me years ago have not been retained in my memory, but when the instruction then given is needed, sometimes even when I am standing before the people, the remembrance comes sharp and clear, like a flash of lightning, [Commenting on the manner light often came to Ellen White, W. C. White, her son, in a statement she fully endorsed, declared: “The things which she has written out, are descriptions of flashlight pictures and other representations given her regarding the actions of men, and the influence of these actions upon the work of God for the salvation of men, with views of past, present, and future history in its relation to this work” (WCW October 30, 1911, before GC Council; see Appendix A).—Compilers.] Bringing to mind distinctly that particular instruction. At such times I cannot refrain from saying the things that flash into my mind, not because I have had a new vision, but because that which was presented to me, perhaps years in the past, has been recalled to my mind forcibly.—Manuscript 33, 1911. 3SM 43.3

Scenes in a Sanitarium Lobby—In my dreams I was at -----, and I was told by my Guide to mark everything I heard and to observe everything I saw. I was in a retired place, where I could not be seen, but could see all that went on in the room. Persons were settling accounts with you, and I heard them remonstrating with you in regard to the large sum charged for board and room and treatment. I heard you with firm, decided voice refuse to lower the charge. I was astonished to see that the charge was so high. 3SM 43.4

You seemed to be the controlling power. I saw that the impression made by your course on the minds of those who were settling their bills was unfavorable to the institution. I heard some of your brethren pleading with you, telling you that your course was unwise and unjust, but you were as firm as a rock in your adherence to your course. You claimed that in what you were doing, you were working for the good of the institution. But I saw persons go from ----- anything but satisfied.—Letter 30, 1887. 3SM 44.1

Scenes of Familiarity and Adultery—While in Europe the things that transpired in ----- were opened before me. A voice said, “Follow me, and I will show you the sins that are practiced by those who stand in responsible positions.” I went through the rooms, and I saw you, a watchman upon the walls of Zion, were very intimate with another man's wife, betraying sacred trusts, crucifying your Lord afresh. Did you consider that there was a Watcher, the Holy One, who was witnessing your evil work, seeing your actions and hearing your words, and these are also registered in the books of heaven? 3SM 44.2

She was sitting on your lap; you were kissing her, and she was kissing you. Other scenes of fondness, sensual looks and deportment, were presented before me, which sent a thrill of horror through my soul. Your arm encircled her waist, and the fondness expressed was having a bewitching influence. Then a curtain was lifted, and I was shown you in bed with -----. My Guide said, “Iniquity, adultery.”—Letter 16, 1888. 3SM 44.3

The Message Represented as Fruit Being Given Out—Your work has been represented to me in figures. You were passing round to a company a vessel filled with most beautiful fruit. But as you offered them this fruit, you spoke words so harsh, and your attitude was so forbidding, that no one would accept it. Then Another came to the same company, and offered them the same fruit. And so courteous and pleasant were his words and manner as he spoke of the desirability of the fruit, that the vessel was emptied.—Letter 164, 1902. 3SM 44.4

One of Authority Counsels Regarding Locating a Sanitarium—In the night season I was in a council meeting where the brethren were discussing the matter of the sanitarium in Los Angeles. One of the brethren presented the advantages of establishing the sanitarium in the city of Los Angeles. Then One of Authority arose and presented the matter with clearness and force.—Letter 40, 1902. 3SM 45.1

Contrasting Scenes; Illustrating Missionary Fervor—I seemed to be in a large gathering. One of authority was addressing the company, before whom was spread out a map of the world. He said that the map pictured God's vineyard, which must be cultivated. As light from heaven shone upon anyone, that one was to reflect the light to others. Lights were to be kindled in many places, and from these lights still other lights were to be kindled.... 3SM 45.2

I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God's word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world. 3SM 45.3

Then this map was removed and another put in its place. On it light was shining from a few places only. The rest of the world was in darkness, with only a glimmer of light here and there. Our Instructor said: “This darkness is the result of men's following their own course. They have cherished hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. They have made questioning and faultfinding and accusing the chief business of their lives. Their hearts are not right with God. They have hidden their light under a bushel.”—Testimonies for the Church 9:28, 29. 3SM 45.4

The Study of the Word and Special Knowledge—With the light communicated through the study of his Word, with the special knowledge given of individual cases among his people under all circumstances and in every phase of experience, can I now be in the same ignorance, the same mental uncertainty and spiritual blindness, as at the beginning of this experience? Will my brethren say that Sister White has been so dull a scholar that her judgment in this direction is no better than before she entered Christ's school, to be trained and disciplined for a special work? Am I no more intelligent in regard to the duties and perils of God's people than are those before whom these things have never been presented?—Testimonies for the Church 5:686. 3SM 46.1

Holy Spirit Impressed Ellen White's Mind and Heart—God has given me a marked, solemn experience in connection with his work; and you may be assured that so long as my life is spared, I shall not cease to lift a warning voice as I am impressed by the Spirit of God, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. I have no special wisdom in myself; I am only an instrument in the Lord's hands to do the work he has set for me to do. The instructions that I have given by pen or voice have been an expression of the light that God has given me. I have tried to place before you the principles that the Spirit of God has for years been impressing upon my mind and writing on my heart. 3SM 46.2

And now, brethren, I entreat you not to interpose between me and the people, and turn away the light which God would have come to them. Do not by your criticisms take out all the force, all the point and power, from the Testimonies. Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom. If the Testimonies speak not according to the Word of God, reject them.—Testimonies for the Church 5:691. 3SM 46.3

Illustrated in the Location of a Food Factory—In the visions of the night, these principles were presented to me in connection with the proposal for the establishment of a bakery [Note: Plans called for its location about one hundred yards from the main sanitarium building.] at Loma Linda. I was shown a large building where many foods were made. There were also some smaller buildings near the bakery. As I stood by, I heard loud voices in dispute over the work that was being done. There was a lack of harmony among the workers, and confusion had come in. 3SM 46.4

Then I saw Brother Burden approach. His countenance bore a look of anxiety and distress as he endeavored to reason with the workmen, and bring them into harmony. The scene was repeated, and Brother Burden was often drawn away from his legitimate work as manager of the sanitarium, to settle variances.... 3SM 47.1

I then saw patients standing on the beautiful sanitarium grounds. They had heard the disputes between the workmen. The patients did not see me, but I could see them and hear them, and their remarks were brought to my ears. They were expressing words of regret that a food factory should be established on these beautiful grounds, in such close proximity to an institution for the care of the sick. Some were disgusted.... 3SM 47.2

Then One appeared on the scene, and said: “All this has been caused to pass before you as an object lesson, that you might see the result of carrying out certain plans.... 3SM 47.3

Then, lo, the whole scene changed. The bakery building was not where we had planned it, but at a distance from the sanitarium buildings, on the road toward the railway. It was a humble building, and a small work was carried on there. The commercial idea was lost sight of, and, in its stead, a strong spiritual influence pervaded the place.—Letter 140, 1906. 3SM 47.4