The Lonely Years 1876 through 1891

Content 3. The Lonely Years 1876-1891

“The Godhead in Black and White” book.

During the next few years much of Mrs. White’s time was occupied in writing that part of the conflict story dealing with the life of Christ and the work of the apostles. This appeared in volumes 2 and 3 of The Spirit of Prophecy, in 1877 and 1878. Elder White was busily engaged in establishing the Pacific Press in Oakland, California, and in raising money to enlarge the Battle Creek Sanitarium and to build the Tabernacle in Battle Creek.

Elder White’s failing health led to a trip into Texas for the winter of 1878-1879. There were periods during the next two years when Elder White was in reasonable health and able to continue with his work. But his long years of mental and physical overwork had diminished his life forces, and he died in Battle Creek on August 6, 1881. Standing at the side of her husband’s casket at the funeral service, Ellen White pledged herself to press  on in the work that had been entrusted to her.

Soon Ellen White was again on the Pacific Coast, feeling keenly the loss of her companion, but earnestly engaged in writing the fourth and last volume of the Spirit of Prophecy series. The conflict story from the destruction of Jerusalem to the close of time was presented in this long-awaited volume. When it came from the press in 1884, the book was well received carrying the title The Great Controversy Between Christ and His  Angels and Satan and His Angels.

For some time the General Conference had been asking Mrs. White and her son, W. C. White, to visit the European missions. As she prepared for the journey, it seemed to those close to her that her physical condition would make the trip impossible. Obedient, however, to what seemed duty, she embarked on the journey, was given the necessary health, and spent the time from the fall of 1885 to the summer of 1887 in the European countries.

Back again in the United States, Ellen White made her home at Healdsburg, California, but attended the General Conference session of 1888 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the following months she traveled and preached, seeking to unify the church on the doctrine of righteousness by faith. During this same period she worked on Patriarchs and Prophets, which appeared in the year 1890.

Examining the writings 1876-1891

This period was an important period in the life and writings of Mrs. White. Especially of note is the 1888 General Conference session in which the message of Righteousness by Faith was presented and rejected. The correct knowledge of God and His Godhead lay at the foundation of a correct understanding of Righteousness by Faith. In light of this, an examination of this period’s writings will further confirm the truths that were established through the preceding years.

Who is the source of all being, and the center of authority and power?

“God is the great I AM, the source of being, the center of authority and power.” {E. G. White, Sketches from the Life of Paul, p. 296} 1883

The Ancient of days is God the Father. Says the psalmist, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” [PS. 90:2.] It is he, the source of allbeing, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the Judgment.” {E. G. White, The (1888) Great Controversy, p. 479} 1888

Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated OneHimself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p.305} 1890

“An intelligent knowledge of His word has been given to prepare men and women to contend zealously for the law of Jehovah; to re establish the holy law; make up the breech that has been made in the law of God and restore the tables of stone to their ancient, exalted, honorable position. […] There will be, even among us, hirelings and wolves in sheep’s clothing who will persuade some of the flock of God to sacrifice unto other gods before the Lord. We have reason to know how Paul would act in any emergency. “The love of Christ constraineth us.” (2 Cor. 5:13). Youth who are note stablished, rooted and grounded in the truth, will be corrupted and drawn away by the blind leaders of the blind; and the ungodly, the despisers that wonder and perish, who despise the sovereignty of the Ancient of Days and place on the throne a false god, a being of their own defining, a being altogether such an one as themselves,–these will be agents in Satan’s hands to corrupt the faith of the unwary.” {The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, pp. 484, 485} 1889

Who is the supreme ruler of the universe?

God, as the supreme ruler of the universe has ever required prompt and unquestioning obedience. Even Christ, in the days of his flesh, was obedient to the law of the Father.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, July 22, 1886 par. 2}

Who alone shared the throne of the Supreme ruler of the universe?

The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng–“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36} 1890


Who is the only being (in the entire universe) that was admitted to the Father’s counsels?

“Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose–the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34} 1890

“Christ the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,–one in nature, in character, and in purpose,–the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” {E. G. White, The (1888) Great Controversy, p. 493} 1888

“Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36} 1890

“God became one with man when, in the council between the Father and the Son in heaven it was determined that if man fell from his allegiance, the Son of God should be his Redeemer and restore in him the moral image of God.” {The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 869} 1891

“Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father. He shared the Father’s counsels, while Lucifer did not thus enter into the purposes of God. “Why,” questioned this mighty angel, “should Christhave the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?”” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 37} 1890

There had been no change in the position or authority of Christ. Lucifer’s envy and misrepresentation and his claims to equality with Christ had made necessary a statement of the true position of the Son of God; but this had been the same from the beginning. Many of the angels were, however, blinded by Lucifer’s deceptions.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 38} 1890

What was the true position of the Son of God from the beginning?

The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate–a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1,2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose–the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2.And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22- 30The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34}1890

Christ was the Son of God; He had been one with Him before the angels were called into existence.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 38} 1890

To whom was the homage and allegiance of the heavenly host due?

The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36} 1890

“As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his [Lucifer’s] entire being; his soul went out, in harmony with the sinless worshippers, in love to the Father and the Son.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 37} 1890

What did Lucifer want to dispute?

To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ’s, was first among the hosts of God.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36} 1890

Whose name does Christ have in Him?

“Christ was not only the leader of the Hebrews in the wilderness–the Angel in whom was the name of Jehovah, and who, veiled in the cloudy pillar, went before the host–but it was He who gave the law to Israel.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 366} 1890 (See Exodus 23:20, 21; Hebrews 1:4)

How long has Christ had existence?

“Angels of God looked with amazement upon Christ, who took upon Himself the form of man and humbly united His divinity with humanity in order that He might minister to fallen man. It is a marvel among the heavenly angels. God has told us that He did do it, and we are to accept the Word of God just as it reads. And although we may try to reason in regard to our Creator, how long He has had existence, where evil first entered into our world, and all these things, we may reason about them until we fall down faint and exhausted with the research when there is yet an infinity beyond.” {E. G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, p. 919} 1888

What lesson aided the angels in understanding the mystery of redemption?

“It had been difficult even for the angels to grasp the mystery of redemption–to comprehend that the Commander of heaven, the Son of God, must die for guilty man. When the command was given to Abraham to offer up his son, the interest of all heavenly beings was enlisted. With intense earnestness they watched each step in the fulfillment of this command. When to Isaac’s question, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham made answer, “God will provide Himself a lamb;” and when the father’s hand was stayed as he was about to slay his son, and the ram which God had provided was offered in the place of Isaac–then light was shed upon the mystery of redemption, and even the angels understood more clearly the wonderful provision that God had made for man’s salvation. 1 Peter 1:12.” {E. G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 155} 1890


What was the Holy Spirit known as in the Old Testament?

“The piety of Abigail, like the fragrance of a flower, breathed out all unconsciously in face and word and action. The Spirit of the Son of God was abiding in her soul. Her heart was full of purity, gentleness, and sanctified love. Her speech, seasoned with grace, and full of kindness and peace, shed a heavenly influence. Better impulses came to David, and he trembled as he thought what might have been the consequences of his rash purpose.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, October 26, 1888 par. 7}

How does Jesus bind heart to heart?

“The Lord has a people for whom he prays that they may be one with him as he is one with the Father. If we are, as Christians, doers of the word, we shall practice in our lives that for which Christ prayed; for by his Holy Spirit Jesus can bind heart to heart. We are living amid the perils of the last days; evil times are upon us; gross darkness has covered the land. Satan seeks to intercept his hellish shadow between us and God, so as to obscure the light of Heaven by every device at his command; but all who claim to be Christians, if they are Christ-like, will follow closely in the footsteps of Jesus. They will have the mind which was in Christ Jesus.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, May 27, 1890 par. 1}

If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, you will put away all vanity and foolish speaking. You will be sanctified through the truth. You will so labor for God that you can have an approving conscience in your ministerial work, and you can say with the devoted Saint Paul that you are clean from the blood of all men. But you cannot say this unless you are constantly gaining wisdom and knowledge from God as the branch draws nourishment from the living vine, unless His Holy Spirit is resting upon you and you are taking Jesus into your heart, thinking and talking of Jesus, and doing His work wherever you are.” {The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 70} 1888

“The juices of the vine, ascending from the root, are diffused to the branches sustaining growth, and producing blossoms and fruit. So the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, proceeding from Christ, and imparted to every disciple, pervades the soul, renews the motives and affections, and even the most secret thoughts, and brings forth the precious fruit of holy deeds. The life attests the union with the true and living Vine.” {E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy Volume Three, p. 418} 1878

Who communicates His truth to the world, and how?

“God has been pleased to communicate his truth to the world by human agencies, and he himself, by his Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write.

The treasure was intrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, none the less, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language; yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth.” {E. G. White, The (1888) Great Controversy, Author’s Preface, d} 1888

Who is our fellowship with, and how?

“The sinner then stands before God as a just person; he is taken into favor with Heaven, and through the Spirit has fellowship with the Father and the Son.” {E. G. White, Signs of the Times, November 3, 1890 par. 1}

What are the missionaries of the cross to proclaim?

“Let the missionaries of the cross proclaim that there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, who is Jesus Christ the Son of the Infinite God. This needs to be proclaimed throughout every church in our land. Christians need to know this, and not put man where God should be, that they may no longer be worshipers of idols, but of the living God. Idolatry exists in our churches.” {The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 886} 1891

What is the measure of the Father’s gift and love to us?

father's love“What does that say to us? “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It says to you, I, God, have sent My Son into your world, and through Him is opened all heaven to fallen man.” {The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 124}1888

The love existing between the Father and His Son cannot be portrayedIt is measureless. In Christ God saw the beauty and perfection of excellence that dwells in Himself. Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished. O earth, for God spared not His own Son, but gave Him up to be made sin for us, that those who believe may be made the righteousness of God in Him. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Language is too feeble for us to attempt to portray the love of God. We believe it, we rejoice in it, but we cannot comprehend it. Giving Christ, God has given everything. Nothing greater, nothing more costly, could He bestow. In giving His Son, He gave all heaven, not because of any goodness or righteousness that we possess, but because He loved us.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Releases Volume 18, p. 337} 1891

“How is it that He is pleading, “I know all the evils and temptations with which you are beset, and I sent My Son Jesus Christ to your world to reveal to you My power, My mightiness; to reveal to you that I am God, and that I will give youhelp in order to lift you from the power of the enemy, and give you a chance that you might win back the moral image ofGod.” God sent His Son, who was as Himself, one with the Father, and He bore insult and shame and mockery for us,and suffered at last the ignominious death upon Calvary. Satan met Him with opposition just as soon as He came intothe world; but He met it all; He did not swerve a bit. Had it not been for the power that God gave Him, He could not havestood the assaults of the enemy; but He did, and although He had him to meet at every step, and was pressed step bystep, yet here was the battle fought in this world with the powers of darkness.” {The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p.122} 1888

Will “new truth” ever contradict the truths revealed in the past?

Through all these centuries the truth of God has remained the sameThat which was truth in the beginning is truth now. Although new and important truths appropriate for succeeding generations have been opened to the understanding, thepresent revealings do not contradict those of the past. Every new truth understood only makes more significant the old.” {E. G. White, Review and Herald, March 2, 1886 par. 6}


God the Father (Jehovah) is the great ‘I AM’, the source of all being and the fountain of all law. He is the supreme ruler of the universe.
Only the Son of God shared His Father’s throne.
Christ is the only being in all the universe who enters the Father’s counsels.
Christ is the only begotten of God, begotten before the creation of all things.
Christ is speaking of Himself in Proverbs 8:22-30.
Christ was the only co-worker with the Father in the work of creation.
Christ was the Son of God before the angels were called into existence.
Only the Father and the Son received the homage and allegiance of the angels.
Lucifer disputed the supremacy of the Son of God.
Christ has His Father’s name (Jehovah) in Him.
Christ’s length of existence is beyond our comprehension.
The story of Abraham and Isaac illustrated for the angels the mystery of redemption.
The Spirit of the Son of God was active in Old Testament time.
Jesus binds our hearts by His very own Holy Spirit.
Receiving the Holy Spirit means taking Jesus (not someone else) into our hearts.
This life giving power of the Spirit proceeds from Christ Himself.
God Himself, and not another, inspired the authors and speakers of holy writ.
Our fellowship is with two divine beings (Father and Son) through their own Spirit.
There is one God and one Mediator between God and man, who is Jesus Christ the Son of the Infinite God.
We cannot measure the Father’s love in giving us His only begotten Son.
New truth never contradicts the old, but only makes it more significant.


The Godhead in Black and White

The Early Years 1827-1862

The Progressive Years 1862-1876

The Lonely Years 1876-1891 

The Australian Years 1891-1900

The Crisis Years 1900-1905

The Final Years 1905-1915 

Appendix – (Dr. Kellogg & the Trinity) 

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