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The Story Great Controversygreat- 6 The Story of Great Controversy INTRODUCTION Great Controversy is the special book given to the Advent people to read, thoroughly under-stand, and

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    Throughout her life, Satan sought to hinder Ellen White, not only from writing other important books

    —but especially Great Controversy.

    Over the years, he has repeatedly tried to keep it from being printed and widely distributed.

    This book is written to show you the importance of the book, Great Controversy, and why you should read it and distribute it as widely as possible.

    The of

    Great Controversy


    Harvestime Books

  • HB–373

    The Story of Great Controversy

    by Vance Ferrell

    Published by Harvestime Books

    Altamont, TN 37301 USA

    Printed in the United States of America

    Cover and Text Copyright © 2006

    Additional copies: For additional copies of this book at remark- ably low prices in boxful quantities, write to Harvestime Books, Altamont, TN 37301. When you write, ask for a copy of our “Mis- sionary Book Order Sheet,” containing low-cost boxful prices of this and other books, such as Great Controversy, Ministry of Healing, Christ’s Object Lessons, Bible Readings, etc.

    “The Great Controversy should be very widely circulated. It contains the story of the past, the present, and the future. In its outline of the closing scenes of this earth’s history, it bears a powerful testi- mony in behalf of the truth. I am more anxious to see a wide circulation for this book than for any others I have written; for in The Great Controversy, the last message of warning to the world is given more distinctly than in any of my other books.”

    —Letter 281; Colporteur Ministry, 127

    “I speak to you who are engaged in the canvass- ing work. Have you read Volume 4 [The Great Con- troversy]? Do you know what it contains? Have you any appreciation of the subject matter? Do you not see that the people need the light therein given? If you have not already done so, I entreat you to read carefully these solemn warnings and appeals. I am sure that the Lord would have this work carried into all the highways and byways, where are souls to be warned of the danger so soon to come.”

    —Letter 1, 1890; Colporteur Ministry, 127

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    Introduction 6

    Into Boiling Oil 7

    Destroying God’s Word 13

    Another Prophet Appears 19

    A Decision Made 28

    How to Recognize the True 31

    Identifying the Basic Truths 38

    They Must be Written Down 41

    Quenching the Light 45

    The Believers Repent 49

    Attack after Lovett’s Grove 54

    What was in that vision? 58

    Continual Delay 61

    The Delays Continue 66

    Told to Leave 67

    Decision to Remain 70

    The Final Days 71

    Suddenly Gone 74

    Journey West 78

    Preparing the Book 79

    A New Kind of Attack 86

    Completing the Book 89

    Comparing the 1884 with the 1858 93


  • 4 The Story of Great Controversy

    Should we stop here? 95

    Told to Make it Bigger 98

    The Canright Attack 99

    Discoveries in Europe 103

    Refusing to Print It 106

    The A.L. White Compilation 109

    Crisis at Minneapolis 127

    The Australian Attack 131

    A Decade of Crises 136

    The 1911 Revision 140

    More on Book Preparation 148

    Objective of the Book 151

    Her Approval of the Book 154

    The End of the Road 156

    Finally a Breakthrough 157

    Recent Developments 163

    Special Quotations —

    The Most Important Book 171

    Other Important Books 173

    Importance of the Health Books 177

    Sharing Copies with Others 180

    The Dream of 1907 182

    Importance of the Publishing Work 188

    For More Information 192

  • 5

    Pictures Patmos, the exile home of John the Revelator 10 A page from Wycliff’s Bible, the first English Bible 14 A page from Tyndale’s Bible 15 A page from the original King James Version 16 The home of Ellen White’s birthplace and childhood 20 The Casco Street Church, where she heard William Miller 21 Hiram Edson’s barn, where he prayed on the night of Oct. 22, 1844 22 The Haines’ home, where the first vision was received 24 Ellen’s home in Portland, Maine 30 One of her earliest extant letters (May 2, 1848) 40 The second publication of Ellen’s first vision 42 The 1851 special Spirit of Prophecy issue 46 The 1852 handpress, James’ first press 48 Cover of the first published Testimonies for the Church 52 The Lovett’s Grove School, where the Great Controversy vision was given 56 The Battle Creek home, where she lived and wrote from 1856 to 1881 62 James White 68 The Battle Creek Sanitarium, where James died 76 The Healdsburg home, where the 1888 Great Controversy was written 86 The title page of the 1884 Great Controversy 92 Dudley M. Canright 102 The publishing house in Basel, Switzerland 104 The Review Building in Battle Creek (1861-1903) 108 Uriah Smith, Review editor-in-chief 114 The title page of the 1888 Great Controversy 116 The Minneapolis Church, where the conference was held 128 The Sunnyside home, where Her Australian books were written 132 John H. Kellogg 136 Ellen G. White 138 The title page of the 1911 Great Controversy 142 Elmshaven, her home in America after her return from Australia 150 Funeral newsclips 158 The White family graves in Battle Creek 159 The Inspiration Books Great Controversy cover 162 A recent Harvestime Books Great Controversy cover 168

  • 6 The Story of Great Controversy


    Great Controversy is the special book given to the Advent people to read, thoroughly under- stand, and share with others as widely as pos- sible. Yet it has been neglected, criticized, and ignored more than any other book in our ABC shelves.

    The average church member knows more about the latest trip to Mars than about the historical facts and predictions in this volume. Yet it details the fu- ture events of our planet better than any other book which has ever been written.

    Satan knows this. He has been working des- perately to keep this book from being read and distributed.

    No other Spirit of Prophecy book has been so ruthlessly attacked, vilified, and condemned as Great Controversy. No other book brought Ellen White so close to paralysis and death. The birth of the first edition of this book was delayed for 26 years and, unfortunately, required the death of her hus- band. The history of this book has involved intrigue, a publication ban in Battle Creek, and a later de- struction of plates in Chicago. It has resulted in book burnings in overseas nations and in editions priced so high they cannot easily be shared or resold.

    Accusations of every possible kind have been made. There has been groundless condemnation of its various editions, disproved charges of plagiarism

  • 7

    and secret authors, fears that ecumenical friends in other churches would misunderstand if it was cir- culated, worries that it would offend government au- thorities, and apathy by sleepy Laodiceans who do not want to be bothered.

    All have combined to keep this, the most impor- tant book for these last days, from the world. Yet the God of heaven has had His hand over it, pro- tecting its text and the one who wrote it. He will also guide and help those who, today, are willing to give it widest distribution.

    This is the story of Satan’s work to keep men and women from learning the truths contained in this,—by far the most important book written in the last 1900 years since the first Revelation was com- pleted.


    “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”—Revelation 12:12. The death of Christ made certain the final de-

    struction of Satan. Until then, the devil flattered himself that he would yet conquer and spread his rebellion to other worlds.

    Ever since Calvary, Satan has worked more feverishly, desperately than ever before.

    Throughout the lives of the Apostles, he did all he could to hinder their work. Finally, after causing nearly every one to be slain,—there was only one left! The Apostle John.

    John was the last one likely to provide addi-

    Into Boiling Oil

  • 8 The Story of Great Controversy

    tional instruction and warnings—direct from God—to the world. Working through apostate Jews and government leaders, Satan was certain he could have John put to death.

    “The rulers of the Jews were filled with bitter ha- tred against John for his unwavering fidelity to the cause of Christ. They declared that their efforts against the Christians would avail nothing so long as John’s testimony kept ringing in the ears of the people. In order that the miracles and teachings of Jesus might be forgotten, the voice of the bold wit- ness must be silenced.”—Acts of the Apostles, 569. In order to give him the worst possible kind of

    death, John was sent to Rome, where he was brought before Domitian. This ruler, which ruled from A.D. 81 to 96, is recognized by historians as one of the most evil of the Roman emperors.

    “John was accordingly summoned to Rome to be tried for his faith. Here before the authorities the apostle’s doctrines were misstated. False witnesses accused him of

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