Study Guide: Early Writings

2/14

Preface

Early Writings is a combination of three early publications by Ellen G. White. First united in one book in 1882, they are as follows: SG-EW 3.1

1. A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Mrs. E. G. White. SG-EW 3.2

This is a reprint of her first book, published in 1851, with two of her early dreams and a dream of William Miller added. SG-EW 3.3

2. Supplement to Christian Experience and Views, first published in 1854. SG-EW 3.4

This supplement provides explanations of some of the statements in her 1851 book, as well as additional brief articles on selected topics. SG-EW 3.5

3. Spiritual Gifts, Volume 1. The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels.. SG-EW 3.6

First published in 1858, this book constitutes the first brief account of the great controversy, based on a vision given to her that year. Ellen White later expanded this subject greatly into what we know today as the five volumes of the Conflict of the Ages, including the fifth volume entitled The Great Controversy.. SG-EW 3.7

As this book is studied, there are some facts to consider. Perhaps obvious to the reader from the beginning is that the books were written in the 1850s before there was a Seventh-day Adventist Church and before any formal organization had been made. There were only a few hundred Sabbath keeping Adventists. When Ellen White talks about nominal Adventists in this book, she is talking about other Millerite Adventists who did not follow along in the advancing light of the Sabbath and a changed understanding of the heavenly sanctuary. SG-EW 3.8

There are some rather striking points that might be noted as you read through this book. There will be repeated references, for example, to visions--some by date and others in general terms. This reflects the fact that the book was prepared for Adventists who knew about Ellen White’s visions and generally accepted them as from the Lord. Later on, when Ellen White prepared her books for a more general audience, most of the references to visions were eliminated. SG-EW 3.9

Another striking point is that Ellen White constantly is referring to the actions of heavenly beings. She sees both Satan and his angels and Christ and the loyal angels in conflict, while events are taking place on earth. Actually, this conflict is reflected in the full title of the first printing of this volume: The Great Controversy between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels.. SG-EW 3.10

One of the most important contributions that Ellen White has made in her writing of the controversy story is to provide the perspective of knowing what is going on behind the scenes while history is unfolding on earth. Her purpose in writing the controversy story is not so much to write a secular, or even a religious, history, as it is to provide an understanding of the controversy between good and evil and its final outcome. SG-EW 3.11

In effect, this is what the Bible also does for us. Ellen White writes: SG-EW 3.12

“In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the Word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will” (Prophets and Kings, pp. 499, 500). SG-EW 3.13

Throughout this study guide, other background notes will be included. These will help to provide context for the counsel given. For further background material, look carefully at the Preface of Early Writings, prepared by the Trustees of the Ellen G. White Publications, and James White’s Preface to the first edition of Experience and Views.. SG-EW 3.14

May you find in the study of these early writings of Ellen White an inspiration for commitment and preparation for the soon return of Christ. SG-EW 3.15

The Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate

1994

1. Ellen White was converted at age __________, was baptized when she was ______ years old, and first heard William Miller preach at the age of _____. (11) SG-EW 4.1

2. What unfulfilled duty caused deep despair to young Ellen? (11)

SG-EW 4.2

3. In Ellen’s dream, who are represented by the company of happy people seated before the Lamb? (79)

SG-EW 4.3

4. In Ellen’s second dream, what did she have to leave at the door before going in to see Jesus? (80)

SG-EW 4.4

5. How did Jesus’ presence affect her? (80)

SG-EW 4.5

6. In this dream, the green cord represented _____________________. (81) SG-EW 4.6

7. When Ellen finally prayed in public meeting, how was she affected mentally? Physically? (12)

SG-EW 4.7

8. How was Ellen White’s family treated by the church of which they were members? (13)

SG-EW 4.8

9. Under what circumstances was Ellen given her first vision in December, 1844? (13)

SG-EW 5.1

10. After her first vision, Ellen said she tried to bring back a _____________________, _____________________, and a _____________________ from the heavenly Canaan. (14) SG-EW 5.2

11. Where did Ellen see the Advent people in her dream? (14)

SG-EW 5.3

12. The bright light behind the Advent people on the path was the _____________________. (14) SG-EW 5.4

13. How only were the Advent people able to stay on the path? (15)

SG-EW 5.5

14. What did the voice of God announce? (15)

SG-EW 5.6

15. What three things were written on the foreheads of the 144,000? (15)

SG-EW 5.7

16. Describe the cloud that appeared and how it changed. What did it represent? (15)

SG-EW 5.8