Seventh-Day Adventists/Conditional prophecy


Dear Sal:

You put Ellen white on a level with false prophets but you don't understand that she often gave conditional prophecies. When the conditions were met the prophecy was not supposed to happen as said. Was Jonah a false prophet to you? He predicted the overthrow of Nineveh in 40 days but that didn't happen because God decided to let them continue. You try to make much out of Ellen White saying that some people at a conference in 1856 would be alive when Jesus returned. When Ellen White spoke this prophecy what she said was true. God decided to change His mind because conditions weren't met. It was a conditional prophecy. If the human race was worthy Jesus would have returned but since we weren't he did not return. That is different then Ellen White being wrong. It was God's choice not to send Jesus back because the human race was not yet ready. What do you say about this?


Dear Brother Henry:

If even one prophecy of a “prophet” can be shown to be false then that pretender is not a true prophet of God. Even if she should have 99 true prophecies and one untrue, it is the untrue that defines her as a false prophet. This is the teaching of the Holy Bible. “The prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true” (Jeremiah 28:9 NIV).  " When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:22 NASB).

The Bible's condemnation applies to unconditional not conditional prophecies. A conditional prophecy often includes a conditional phrase that alerts one to this fact. The most common such phrase is “if…then”. A conditional prophecy may also be one that is uttered in order to bring about repentance. It does not have to include the “if…then” phrase in order to be conditional. Thus we see that the conditional nature of a prophecy may be either explicit of implicit.

Now let's look at some examples of conditional prophecies from the Bible. "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NASB). "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 1:19-20 ESV). "If you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever" (Jeremiah 7:6-7 NIV). "Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here" (Zechariah 3:7 NASB). You can clearly see that these are conditional prophecies. What God will do is conditioned on a human response.

There are also implicit conditional prophecies. A classic example of this type of prophecy is Jonah's prophecy about Nineveh. “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed” (Jonah 3:4). At first glance this appears to be an unconditional prophecy, however, in the context of the Book of Jonah it becomes clear that this prophecy is conditional. It is so because the prophecy was designed to bring about the repentance of the people. Jonah knew that if the people repented God would not destroy the city. That is the reason that Jonah fled to Tarshish rather then to preach to Nineveh. He feared that this powerful enemy of Israel would repent at his preaching and, therefore, not be destroyed. The people did repent (Jonah 3:5), and God did not destroy them (Jonah 3:10). It was obvious to all involved that Jonah's prophecy was conditional. The people knew it (Jonah 3:5), the king knew it (Jonah 3:6-9), and Jonah knew it (Jonah 4:2).

Now let's analyze the prophecy of Ellen G. White in question in order to determine if it is conditional as you claim. If we can find just one failed unconditional prophecy then we must conclude that she is a false prophet as per the Bible.

EGW prophesied some persons at a meeting in Battle Creek, Michigan held on May 27, 1856 would be alive when Christ returned to earth. “I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: ‘Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus.' Solemn words were these spoken by the angel” (Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 131-132). Please note the complete absence of any conditional statement. Also there is no implied condition for this prophecy either. It is a straightforward prophecy without any conditions. EGW said that she was told that some of the people at the Conference would be alive to witness Jesus' return. All those who attended the Conference have long since died. The prophecy was unconditional. Therefore, we must conclude based on the evidence that EGW is a false prophet.

What does the Bible say of such individuals? "Then the Lord said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds'" (Jeremiah 14:14 NIV).

Thanks for sharing.

God Bless You,
Brother Sal

Seventh-Day Adventists

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I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember : "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.


I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.

M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

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