The Big Front Door 

Was it a "Closed Door" or an "Open Door"? 

Soon after she had her first vision in the late fall or early winter of 1844, Ellen Harmon married James White, an Adventist minister, and for about seven years they both preached a SHUT DOOR theology.

Indeed, all their fellow Adventist ministers were preaching a similar message, and after her second major vision about the "Heavenly Sanctuary" and the necessity of keeping the "Seventh-day Sabbath" they all, including Ellen White, applied this SHUT DOOR reasoning to all who would not accept this new teaching, and begin keeping Saturday in place of Sunday as the only type of worship that Jesus and God could accept.  Then, about 1850, Ellen began changing this teaching and allowed that others who still kept Sunday (in ignorance of the True Sabbath's importance to Jesus and God) might still be saved.

A group still very critical of Ellen White's dreams and visions are now proclaiming loudly on the Internet that this changing of this original SHUT DOOR teaching to now an OPEN DOOR teaching shows that Ellen White's visions were not from God, and she was a FALSE PROPHET.  Here is an illustration from their web site.

NOTE by Dr. Bob Holt, MD --- I have provided for you, my readers, the entire content of this critical web site, and for some it will be quite convincing.   Indeed, the Seventh-day Adventist Church does try, like any other church and major institution, to minimize the importance of any change in teachings, but minor corrections must be made in anything not working out well, and Ellen White, like anyone else entrusted with messages from God, may not have completely understood those messages.  In this case I am quite certain that this was so.   But on the other hand, it is possible also that "God" changes His mind as to what "He" wants to emphasize to one group on one particular year, and moderate the severity of this message later.  This critical web page presumes to deny God the right to do this, which is totally presumptuous and of course quite ridiculous.   The arguments are only convincing to those who would elevate Ellen White to be, like the Catholic Popes later claimed to be, infallible, which is, of course the most ridiculous idea of all! She never claimed to be infallible, and anyone making this claim in her behalf is indeed "skating on thin ice".


Those who wish to return to this page and check out my common-sense explanation for why Ellen and James White at first taught a SHUT DOOR then later began teaching an OPEN DOOR can do so by clicking on any of the following links.   Let me point out FIRST that the Bible teaches both concepts, that of a SHUT DOOR and that of an OPEN DOOR.

      The charge that both Ellen White and the Seventh-day Adventist Church have covered up this early teaching of a SHUT DOOR after 1951 can be easily refuted by reading such statements in "Early Writings" [published in 1951] as the following [page 42 onward].

    "Sabbath, March 24, 1849, we had a sweet and very interesting meeting with the brethren at Topsham, Maine.  The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us, and I was taken off in the Spirit to the city of the living God.  Then I was shown that the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ relating to the shut door could not be separated, and that the time for the  commandments of God to shine out with all their importance, and for God's people to be tried on the Sabbath truth, was when the door was opened in the heavenly sanctuary, where the ark is, in which are contained the ten commandments.   This door was not opened until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the holy place of the sanctuary in 1844.   Then Jesus rose up and shut the door of the holy place, and opened the door into the most holy place, and passed within the second veil, where he now stands by the ark, and where the faith of Israel now reaches."

      "I saw that Jesus had shut the door of the holy place, and no man can open it; and that he had opened the door into the most holy, and no man can shut it (Rev. 3:7, 8);  and since Jesus has opened the door into the most holy place, which contains the ark, the commandments have been shining out to God's people, and they are being tested on the Sabbath question."

      Nowadays, I think we might be better able to say what Ellen White is here making quite clear (at least to me) is this door is sort of like a revolving door.   Here Jesus is shown standing in a revolving door.   He wanted (and still wants) Seventh-day Adventists to go ONE WAY through this door -- from being Sunday-keepers to 7th day Sabbath-keepers, and never to go back to being Sunday-keepers.   However, it follows that other things they learned early in Adventism should not have been abandoned -- even though unpopular with the majority of so-called "Christians".

      Other Christians and indeed even "New Age People" prefer to believe that God has never "shut a door" to anyone, even those who continuously break his commandments, so this picture will be on they prefer to believe presents the true picture.

To those who wish to watch a short (10-15 minute) Power Point Lecture by me on the subject of "The Open Door", you may do so by clicking on the following link -- (you will get the routine Explorer-generated message about opening up ".exe" files, but I can only assure you that I am not a "hacker" trying to put a virus into your computer -- and you can safely ignore this warning) There are two versions of this lecture, one a slide show opendoor1.exe and the other a complete Power Point show narrated by me, Dr. Bob Holt, MD opendoor11.exe

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