The Future of Protestantism
Did you know that Ellen White predicted the future of Protestantism? You may be surprised to learn what her predictions were—and that they are already beginning to be fulfilled. Here we will share with you some of the highlights of Mrs. White’s statements regarding the history and future of Protestantism. Could it be possible that one of the greatest Christian movements has been hijacked? Read and see for yourself.
Please note: Because Mrs. White wrote so much on this topic, we have emphasized with bold text some of the main issues as they surfaced during the Reformation. All text in this document that appears in this alternate font is directly quoted from Ellen White.
Mrs. White stated in her theme regarding the war between Jesus and Satan that the devil has been constantly striving to obscure the truth.
In order for Satan to maintain his sway over men, . . . he must keep them in ignorance of the Scriptures. The Bible would exalt God and place finite men in their true position; therefore its sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. This logic was adopted by the Roman Church. For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited. The people were forbidden to read it or to have it in their houses, and unprincipled priests and prelates interpreted its teachings to sustain their pretensions. . . .
The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to “intend to change times and law.” Daniel 7:25. This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship. The decree of a general council finally established this system of idolatry. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship, and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.
The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven’s authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as “the venerable day of the sun.” This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.
The Great Controversy, pp. 51-52
Great changes came about as the Scriptures were suppressed. Not only did idolatry become a part of “Christian” worship, and the day of worship was changed from Saturday to Sunday (See "The Lord’s Day Controversy"), but the confidence of the people was redirected from God and His Word to fallible man:
The accession of the Roman Church to power marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. As her power increased, the darkness deepened. Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome. Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope, and to the priests and prelates to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him; and, further, that he stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed. A deviation from his requirements was sufficient cause for the severest punishment to be visited upon the bodies and souls of the offenders. Thus the minds of the people were turned away from God to fallible, erring, and cruel men, nay, more, to the prince of darkness himself, who exercised his power through them. . . .
The gospel was lost sight of, but the forms of religion were multiplied, and the people were burdened with rigorous exactions. . . . They were taught not only to look to the pope as their mediator, but to trust to works of their own to atone for sin. . . .
The Great Controversy, p. 55
Many who professed conversion still clung to the tenets of their pagan philosophy, and not only continued its study themselves, but urged it upon others as a means of extending their influence among the heathen. Serious errors were thus introduced into the Christian faith. Prominent among these was the belief in man’s natural immortality and his consciousness in death. This doctrine laid the foundation upon which Rome established the invocation of saints and the adoration of the Virgin Mary. From this sprang also the heresy of eternal torment for the finally impenitent, which was early incorporated into the papal faith. . . .
Still another fabrication was needed to enable Rome to profit by the fears and the vices of her adherents. This was supplied by the doctrine of indulgences. Full remission of sins, past, present, and future, and release from all the pains and penalties incurred, were promised to all who would enlist in the pontiff’s wars to extend his temporal dominion, to punish his enemies, or to exterminate those who dared deny his spiritual supremacy. The people were also taught that by the payment of money to the church they might free themselves from sin, and also release the souls of their deceased friends who were confined in the tormenting flames.
The Great Controversy, pp. 58-59
These were just some of the beliefs and practices that existed for centuries before the rise of the Protestant Reformation.
All Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version, including those originally quoted by Ellen White from the King James Version.—Editors