The Shut and Open Doors

The Shut and Open Doors, Ellen G. White, The Early Years

Chap. 16 – (1845-1852)

The Shut and the Open Doors

In 1883 Ellen White wrote at length on the subject in answer to a charge brought against her that her visions taught that probation closed for the world in 1844. It is one of the few statements written by her in her own defense: (1BIO 259.5)

For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold, in common with the Advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me. It was the light given me of God that corrected our error, and enabled us to see the true position. (1BIO 259.6)

I am still a believer in the shut-door theory, but not in the sense in which we at first employed the term or in which it is employed by my opponents. (1BIO 260.1)

There was a shut door in Noah’s day. There was at that time a withdrawal of the Spirit of God from the sinful race that perished in the waters of the Flood. God Himself gave the shut-door message to Noah: (1BIO 260.2)

“My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (Gen.6:3). (1BIO 260.3)

There was a shut door in the days of Abraham. Mercy ceased to plead with the inhabitants of Sodom, and all but Lot, with his wife and two daughters, were consumed by the fire sent down from heaven. (1BIO 260.4)

There was a shut door in Christ’s day. The Son of God declared to the unbelieving Jews of that generation, “Your house is left unto you desolate” (Matt. 23:38). (1BIO 260.5)

Looking down the stream of time to the last days, the same infinite power proclaimed through John: (1BIO 260.6)

“These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Rev. 3:7). (1BIO 260.7)

I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels’ messages and rejected that light were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them. (1BIO 260.8)

Those who did not see the light had not the guilt of its rejection. It was only the class who had despised the light from heaven that the Spirit of God could not reach. And this class included, as I have stated, both those who refused to accept the message when it was presented to them, and also those who having received it, afterward renounced their faith. These might have a form of godliness, and profess to be followers of Christ; but having no living connection with God, they would be taken captive by the delusions of Satan.–MS 4, 1883 (see also 1SM, pp.63, 64). (1BIO 260.9)

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