Messenger of the Lord


More Than a Minor Footnote

The shut-door question is more than a minor footnote in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Connected with the shut-door issue is the validity of: MOL 500.4

1. the Millerite movement, especially the seventh-month message, MOL 500.5

2. the significance of October 22, 1844, MOL 500.6

3. the connection between the Sabbath and the sanctuary message, and MOL 500.7

4. the relevance and integrity of Ellen G. White as a trustworthy messenger of God. MOL 500.8

Critics contend that Ellen White, even until the early 1850s, held to the extreme “shut-door” notion. In so doing, they insist that she concurred with her husband, James, and Joseph Bates (among others), that probation had closed for all the world on October 22, 1844. Further, they point to several statements she made that suggest, in their opinion, that genuine conversions ceased on that date. MOL 500.9

The crux of their argument is this: If Ellen White was wrong about the close of probation for the “wicked world” on October 22, 1844, then she was wrong about what happened on that date—that Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary to complete His high priestly ministry. MOL 500.10

Those who believe in the validity of Ellen White’s position as to what happened on October 22 base their confidence on Biblical evidence and a careful reading of the original sources, connecting disputed passages with their various contexts. This chapter will look at all source documents that relate to the “shut-door” issue. MOL 500.11