Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Chapter 23—(1896-1897) Meeting Doctrinal Error and Apostasies

Near the close of 1896, on November 8, Ellen White wrote a five-page document titled “Testimony Concerning the Views of Prophecy Held by Brother John Bell.” Bell held divergent views regarding the location in time of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14. The testimony opens: 4BIO 272.1

I have not been able to sleep since half past one o'clock. I was bearing to Brother John Bell [of Melbourne] a message which the Lord had given me for him. The peculiar views he holds are a mixture of truth and error. If he had passed through the experiences of God's people as He has led them for the last forty years, he would be better prepared to make the correct application of Scripture. The great waymarks of truth, showing us our bearings in prophetic history, are to be carefully guarded, lest they be torn down, and replaced with theories that would bring confusion rather than genuine light. 4BIO 272.2

Ellen White likened John Bell's work to some met in the past: 4BIO 272.3

Some will take the truth applicable to their time, and place it in the future. Events in the train of prophecy that had their fulfillment away in the past are made future, and thus by these theories the faith of some is undermined. From the light that the Lord has been pleased to give me, you are in danger of doing the same work, presenting before others truths which have had their place and done their specific work for the time, in the history of the faith of the people of God.

You recognize these facts in Bible history as true, but apply them to the future. They have their force still in their proper place, in the chain of events that have made us as a people what we are today, and as such, they are to be presented to those who are in the darkness of error. 4BIO 272.4