"Truth about Ellen White Writings"

Part 7

1. Reaction of the people of Gergesa (DA, Ch. 35)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “But the people who beheld this wonderful scene did not rejoice. The loss of the swine seemed to them of greater moment than the deliverance of these captives of Satan. It was in mercy to the owners of the swine that this loss had been permitted to come upon them… They apprehended financial ruin, and determined to be freed from His presence… They saw the men who had been restored to reason; but they were so fearful of endangering their earthly interests that He who had vanquished the prince of darkness before their eyes was treated as an intruder…” (DA, pp. 338, 339).

Bennett James (1774-1862): “… the conduct of Christ, in suffering the demons to destroy the animals, was an act of justice… They prefer their swine to their Saviour, and care not to see any more of his miracles, lest they should lose more of their property… they care not for his miraculous power, nor for the cure of a distressed fellow creature, nor the deliverance of their neighbourhood from the horrid an exhibition of demoniac power” (Lectures on the History of Jesus Christ, Vol. 1, pp. 402, 404, 405, 1828).

2. Satan’s evil design was thwarted by Jesus (DA, Ch. 35).

Ellen White (1827-1915): “In causing the destruction of the swine, it was Satan’s purpose to turn the people away from the saviour, and prevent the preaching of the gospel in that region. But this very occurrence roused the whole country as nothing else could have done, and directed attention to Christ” (DA, p. 340).

Thomas Brown (1778-1820): “By this the devils proposed to prevent any good effect which the miracle might have had on the Gadarenes, and to render Christ odious to that wicked people. Their design, however, could not be hid from Jesus… He permitted the devils to enter into the swine, not only because he knew it would render the miracle more public…” (The Self-explanatory History and Life of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, p. 153, 1814).

3. The demoniacs became the first missionaries (DA, Ch. 35)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “The two restored demoniacs were the first missionaries whom Christ sent to preach the gospel in the region of Decapolis” (DA, p. 340).

F. W. Farrar (1831-1903): “And so the demoniac of Gergesa became the first missionary of Decapolis, bearing in his own person the confirmation of his words” (The Life of Christ, Vol. 1, p. 161, 1874).

4. The demon possessed sought Jesus to deliver them (DA, Ch. 35)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “From some hiding place among the tombs, two madmen rushed upon them… Jesus raised that hand which had beckoned the waves to rest, and the men could come no nearer… They realized dimly that One was near who could save them from the tormenting demons. They fell at the Saviour’s feet to worship Him” (DA, pp. 337, 338).

Ann Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824): “As Jesus drew nearer, they cried out from behind the bushes and rocks that lay a little higher up on the moun­tain: “Ye Powers! Ye Dominations! Come to our aid! Here comes One stronger than we!” Jesus raised His hand toward them and commanded them to lie down. They fell flat on their faces, but raising their heads again, cried out: “Jesus! Thou Son of God the Most High, what have we to do with Thee?” (Life of Jesus Christ, Vol. 3, p. 82, 1824).

5. Others who crossed the lake with Jesus witnessed of the miracle (DA, Ch. 35)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Those who had crossed the lake with Jesus told of all that had happened on the preceding night, of their peril in the tempest, and how the wind and the sea had been stilled” (DA, p. 339).

Thomas Brown (1778-1820): “[Luke 8] Ver. 36. They also which saw it, (the Evangelist probably means the persons who had come in the little boats, or others who had joined our Lord’s company after he landed, told by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed, (Mark, and also of the swine.)” (The Self-explanatory History and Life of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, p. 154, 1814).

6. The lesson from the healing of the demoniacs (DA, Ch. 35)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “The encounter with the demoniacs of Gergesa had a lesson for the disciples. It showed the depths of degradation to which Satan is seeking to drag the whole human race, and the mission of Christ to set men free from his power” (DA, p. 341).

Thomas Brown (1778-1820): “… it would prove the reality of the possession, and make men understand both how great the power of evil spirit is, and how terrible the effects of their malice would be, if they were not restrained” (The Self-explanatory History and Life of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, p. 153, 1814).

7. Faith unto salvation (DA, Ch. 36)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth… Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God… Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God…a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power” (DA, p. 347).

Ellen White: “There is no caste with God. He ignores everything of the kind. All souls are of value with Him…In God’s sight these distinctions will not affect its true worth… He places His own signet upon men, judging, not by their rank, not by their wealth, not by their intellectual greatness, but by their oneness with Christ… Christ recognized no distinction of nationality or rank or creed” (Gospel Workers, p. 332; EV, p. 566, 568).

Charles F. Deems (1820-1893): “That his religion was not to consist in any intellectual assent to any statement of any moral proposition, but in a personal attachment to his person and a personal trust in him; and,…That no cast, prescriptive right, rank, learning, or nationality, or form of creed, gave title to place in the kingdom of God…” (Jesus, p. 144, 1868).

8. He was thoughtful and tactful (DA, Ch. 36)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Christ Himself did not suppress one word of truth, but He spoke it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact, and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul… the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness… Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He always bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with tenderest regard to every member of the family of God…” (DA, p. 353).

J. R. Miller (1840-1912): “…our Lord himself exercised the most beautiful and thoughtful tact in all his minglings among the people. He was utterly unreasonable of rudeness. He never needlessly spoke a harsh word. He never gave needless pain to a sensitive heart. He was most considerate of human weakness. He was most gentle toward human sorrow…His whole life tells of most considerate thoughtfulness. He had wondrous reverence for human life. Every scrap of humanity was sacred and precious in his eyes” (Week-Day Religion: Thoughtfulness and tact, pp. 187, 188, 1880).

9. Wherever He went, the tidings of His mercy preceded Him

Ellen White (1827-1915):  “Wherever He went, the tidings of His mercy preceded Him. Where He had passed, the objects of His compassion were rejoicing in health, and making trial of their new-found powers. Crowds were collecting around them to hear from their lips the works that the Lord had wrought” (DA, Ch. P. 350).

John Harris (1802-1856): “Wherever he came, disease and suffering fled from his presence. … Where he had passed, the restored might be seen, making trial of their new-found powers; listeners, formed into groups to hear the tale of healing” (The Great teacher, p. 336, 1836).

10. God is bending from his throne (DA, Ch. 37)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “It is Satan’s work to fill men’s hearts with doubt. He leads them to look upon God as a stern judge. He tempts them to sin, and then to regard themselves as too vile to approach their heavenly Father or to excite His pity. The Lord understands all this. Jesus assures His disciples of God’s sympathy for them in their needs and weaknesses… The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy intelligences, all waiting to do His will. Through channels which we cannot discern He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. But it is in this speck of a world, in the souls that He gave His only-begotten Son to save, that His interest and the interest of all heaven is centered. God is bending from His throne to hear the cry of the oppressed. To every sincere prayer He answers, “Here am I.” He uplifts the distressed and downtrodden” (DA, p. 356).

John Harris (1802-1856): “They had reduced themselves to the blank and cheerless state of being ‘without hope and without God in the world.’… Drawing aside the veil which concealed his glory from our eyes, it shows him in his high and holy place, not in a state of silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of holy, happy beings, and every one of them waiting to do his bidding; not in a state of inactivity and moral indifference, but in active communication with every part of his vast dominions, through a numberless variety of channels; … as actually stooping from his throne and bending towards it, listening to every sound it utters, … it even shows him to us in the astonishing act of raising up the fallen and prostrate children of earth, and putting them in the way of reaching his own abode” (The great teacher, p. 99, 1835).

11. His voice was the first sound which many heard (DA, Ch. 37)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “His voice was the first sound that many had ever heard, His name the first word they had ever spoken, His face the first they had ever looked upon” (DA, p. 350).

John Harris (1802-1856): “His voice was the first sound which many of them heard; his name was the first word they had pronounced; his blessed form the first sight they had ever beheld” (The Great Teacher, p. 343, 1835).

12. The currency of heaven (DA, Ch. 37)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “He desires them to deal only in the currency of heaven, the truth that bears His own image and superscription” (DA, p. 353).

John Harris (1802-1856): “… and others of them things that from the gold and currency of heaven, things on which God has stamped his image and superscription, and inscribed an infinite value” (The great teacher, p. xxxvii, 1836).

13. John’s disciples unite with Jesus (DA, Ch. 38, Mark 6: 29-32; Matt 14: 12)

Ellen white (1827-1915): “These disciples had been envious of Christ when he seemed to be drawing the people away  from John…They had doubted His divine mission because He did not set the Baptist at liberty. But now that their teacher was dead, and they longed for consolation in their great sorrow, and for guidance as to their future work, they came to Jesus, and united their interest with His” (DA, p. 361).

Jamieson (1802-1880):  “And they went and told Jesus”- If these disciples had up to this time, stood apart from Him, as adherents of John, perhaps now came to Jesus, not without some secret reflection on Him for His seeming neglect of their master; but perhaps, too, as orphans, to cast in their lot henceforth with the Lord’s disciples” (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Mark 6:29, 1871)

Albert Barnes (1798-1870): “John was his forerunner, and it was important that he should be made acquainted with his death. It is not unreasonable to suppose that in their affliction they came to him for consolation” (Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible, Matthew 14, 1834).

C. H. Mackintosh (1820-1896): “But there was one to whom they could come in their sorrow and in whose ear they could pour their tale of grief – the one of whom their master had spoken,…To Him they betook themselves” (Sympathy and Grace of Jesus).

John Gill (1697-1771): “Their coming to Christ, and informing him all of this, show, that they were taught by their master to respect him as the Messiah, and believe him, and adhere to him; and it is very likely that they continued with him” (John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible).

Ingraham J. H (1809-1860): “In the meanwhile, the disciples of john the Baptist, believing that the murder of  their prophet was the first blow of general slaughter, fled into the deserts, and sought Jesus to protect and counsel them”  (The prince of the House of David, p. 165, 1855).

14. Jesus was interrupted of His rest (DA, Ch. 39)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “… His heart was stirred with sympathy. Interrupted as he was, and robbed of His rest, He was not impatient… Leaving his retreat, He found a convenient place where He could minister to them” (DA, p. 365).

Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664): “The Saviour meets the multitude with great compassion. Far from reproaching, or repelling, those who had rudely broken in upon his retirement, he gladly converts the desert into a scene of new labours” (Works of Isaac Ambrose, p. 445, 1829).

15. Nature of Christ’s miracles (DA, Ch. 39, Matt 14: 13-21)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Christ never worked a miracle except to supply a genuine necessity” (DA, p. 366).

John Cumming (1807-1881): “Jesus never wrought a miracle unless at the bidding of a providential necessity” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament: St. John, p. 89, 1856).

16. The multitude enjoyed simple food (DA, Ch. 39)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Christ could have spread before the people a rich repast, but food prepared merely for the gratification of appetite would have conveyed no lesson for their good… And never did people enjoy the luxurious feast prepared for the gratification of perverted appetite as this people enjoyed the rest and simple food which Christ provided so far from human habitation” (DA, p. 367).

Thayer, Erastus William (1812-1902): “This introduced and hallowed the meal, the sweetest of which those present ever partook: though it consisted only of the coarsest bread and dried fish. He could easily have furnished the choicest dainties and wine: but no king ever spread his table with a more welcome and better relished repast” (Sketches from the life of Jesus, Historical and Doctrinal, p. 197, 1891).

17. Gather up the fragments that remain (DA, Ch. 39, John 6: 12)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “But He who had all the resources of infinite power at His command said, “Gather up the fragments…” …The lesson was twofold. Nothing is to be wasted. We should neglect nothing that will tend to benefit a human being. Let everything be gathered up that will relieve the necessity of earth’s hungry ones… the people thought of their friends at home. They wanted them to share in the bread that Christ had blessed…Nothing was to be lost” (DA, p.368, 1898).

John Cumming (1807-1881):  “He who had all the resources of infinitude at his command, would not waste a fragment! …for the Lord of all plenty, the Maker, Creator, and Provider of all, would not allow one fragment to fall that would be useful to a single human being, or that could be gathered up and collected for the benefit of others who were not there” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament: St. John, p. 88, 1856).

F. W. Farrar (1831-1903): “…Jesus not only to show His disciples the extent and reality of what had been done, but also to teach them the memorable lesson that wastefulness, even of the miraculous powers is wholly alien to the Divine economy, bade them gather up the fragments that remained, that nothing might be lost” (The Life of Christ, Vol. 1, 1874, p. 403).

18. Multitude attempt to make Jesus king by force (DA, Ch. 40, John 6: 15)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “In their enthusiasm the people were ready at once to crown Him king. …The disciples unite with the multitude in declaring the throne of David the rightful inheritance of their Master…Calling his disciples, Jesus bids them take the boat and return at once to Capernaum…The disciples had long hoped for a popular movement to place Jesus on the throne” (DA, p. 378).

John Gill (1697-1771): “As soon as ever he had wrought the above miracle, and perceived that the people were so convinced by it, of his being Messiah, that they were determined, whether he would or not, to set him up for a temporal king…. And knowing also, that his disciples had imbibed the same notion of a temporal kingdom, were very fond of it, and would have readily encouraged the populace, and joined with them in such an action; wherefore, in all haste, he hurried them away, obliged them to depart….It looks as if the disciples were bent upon the same thing” (John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, 1748).

B.W. Johnson (1833-1894): The multitude followed, and sought after the miracle to proclaim him king. His disciples probably sympathized.  Hence he sent them, too, away (People’s New testament, 1891).

19. The disciples encouraged the multitude in this move (DA, Ch. 40)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “In their enthusiasm the people are ready at once to crown Him king… Consulting together, they agree to take Him by force, and proclaim Him the king of Israel. The disciples unite with the multitude in declaring the throne of David the rightful inheritance of their Master… Without delay the movement must be checked. Calling His disciples, Jesus bids them take the boat and return at once to Capernaum, leaving Him to dismiss the people…The disciples had long hoped for a popular movement to place Jesus on the throne” (DA, p. 378).

Thayer, Erastus William (1812-1902): “The proposal was freely made and eagerly accepted to take him by force and make him king, notwithstanding his well understood repugnance to the position. In this movement the twelve were keenly enlisted as advisers and promoters. Judas Iscariot was foremost in urging it… That the disciples were very active in advocating it can be gathered from the fact, that Master found it necessary to send them away, before he could dismiss the multitude” (Sketches from the life of Jesus, Historical and Doctrinal, p. 197, 1891).

Thomas Stephen: “In the first place, he constrained His disciples to get into the ship and go over to the other side of the lake; for they would have aided and abetted the multitude in their treason than have assuaged their zeal and they would have sympathized but too readily with such a project, which corresponded so exactly with their own personal ambition” (A Gospel History of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: or, a Life of the Man of Sorrows, p. 388, 1853).

20. The people of Decapolis were Gentiles (DA, Ch. 44)

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Moreover, those whom He fed at Bethsaida were Jews; these [people of Decapolis] were Gentiles and heathen….The heathen people of Decapolis received Him with gladness” (DA, p. 405).

Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664): “It must be recalled, that the five thousand, whom Christ had before fed were Jews; but of these four thousand, perhaps the larger part were, either gentiles, or a mongrel race” (Works of Isaac Ambrose, p. 488, 1829).