Hastings Great Controversy Between God and Man


On March 14, 1858, Ellen White was purported to have had her famous Lovett’s Grove vision about “The Great Controversy”. Interestingly enough, a mere four days later, on March 18, 1858, a glowing review of H. L. Hastings, “Great Controversy Between God and Man” appeared in James White’s Review magazine! Don McAdams in his manuscript on John Huss says on Page 21: “Hastings’ book is remarkably similar to the short Spiritual Gifts volume Ellen published shortly after her Lovett’s Grove, Ohio, vision on March 14, 1858, subtitled, “The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels.” The two volumes have the same title, the same theme, the same beginning and ending, and in fact interpret Scripture almost identically.” Having worked for a book publisher myself, It is interesting to note, that it is set in the same type-face, and set to the same size page as the book by Ellen White.

“Mrs. White borrowed not only the words and phrases used by these authors, but in some cases, followed the outline of their expositions and drew from [their] facts, illustrations, thoughts, and concepts. The material borrowed by Mrs. White included historical, geographical, and chronological information, as well as devotional material, theological concepts—and scriptural and prophetic expositions. She also employed extra-Biblical comments on the lives of various Biblical characters, often turning the speculations and conjectures of her sources into statements of positive fact.”

These borrowings occurred not only in the historical sections of the Great Controversy, but also in its prophetic sections. They appear in descriptions of the content of specific visions given to Mrs. White. It would be unwise at this point to assert that there is any particular book written by Mrs. White or any type of writing from her pen in which literary borrowing will not be found.”

“Many of the beautifully expressed thoughts, that is, many of the literary gems found in Mrs. White’s writings were borrowed from other authors. This fact, together with the knowledge that her writings were polished by literary assistants, leads us to avoid the suggestion that the literary beauty of her writings is an evidence of her divine inspiration.” – Ron Graybill, Associate Secretary, Ellen G. White Estate at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Nov. 15-19, 1981

The Great Controversy has been portrayed as a book that was written out by Ellen White from her heaven-sent visions. Thanks to Dr. Bacchiochi, Walter Rae, D. M. Canright, and others, it can be clearly seen that her writings did not originate in heaven at all, but rather were based upon the sometimes faulty information that was readily available to her, and the authors she plagiarized from, at the time of its writing.

Ellen ‘got caught with her hand in the cookie jar’ when she copied one of H. L. Hastings mistakes, “God heard their murmurings, and bade Moses SMITE the rock, that the children of Israel might have water.” Spiritual Gifts Volume I p. 41. This is a serious ‘boo boo!’ Numbers 20:7,8 says “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying… SPEAK ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water…” Moses was not permitted to enter the promised land for smiting the rock, which brought upon himself God’s displeasure.

The following detailed analysis further shows how each writer enunciated on some of the same themes and topics: (This analysis was created by By D. Anderson < click to read more of Anderson’s research about the ‘controversy’ over Hastings and E. G. White’s TWO Great Controversy’s)



Ellen White Hastings
Noah and the Flood Wickedness of the earth 1SG p. 66 p. 21
God calls Noah to preach p. 69 p. 22
People ignored and mocked Noah p. 70 pp. 22-23
Noah and animals enter ark p. 72 p. 23
Dark clouds fill the sky p. 73 p. 23
Floods from above and below p. 73 p. 23
Lightning bolts flashed p. 74 p. 24
Cities/Buildings destroyed p. 74 p. 24
The lost were “wailing” p. 74 p. 24
The “loftiest” points covered by water p. 76 p. 24
God protected the ark p. 75 p. 24
Babel Wicked congregate in plain of Shinar p. 91 p. 25
Tower of Babel built p. 92 p. 25
God confuses the languages p. 92 p. 26
Builders were unable to communicate p. 92 p. 26
Abraham Abram called to separate from wicked p. 93 p. 27
Lord made promises to Abraham p. 93 p. 27
The Exodus Dwelled in the land of Goshen 3SG p. 177 p. 31
New king enslaves Israelites p. 178 p. 31
Moses was born p. 180 p. 32
Hidden in bulrushes p. 180 p. 32
Educated with pharaohs p. 183 p. 32
Dwelt in the desert p. 187 p. 32
Moses and Aaron visit Pharaoh p. 197 p. 33
Pharaoh refuses request p. 198 p. 33
Pharaoh increases burdens on slaves p. 198 p. 33
Plagues fall pp. 207-221 pp. 34-35
Passover observed pp. 222-228 p. 36
Death wail heard at midnight p. 229 p. 36
Pharaoh releases captives p. 229 p. 36
Camped by Red Sea p. 230 p. 36
Pharaoh pursues Israelites p. 231 pp. 36-37
Moses parts the waters p. 234 p. 37
Egyptian army destroyed p. 235 p. 39
Israelites sing to the Lord p. 236-238 pp. 40-41
Other nations are witness to the Exodus p. 242 p. 42
Jesus Angels announce Christ’s birth 1SG p. 28 p. 80
John heralds Christ, baptizes people p. 29 p. 81
Mob threatens to throw Jesus from hill p. 36 p. 82
Was abused during the trial p. 55 p. 83
Jesus was “delivered” to be crucified p. 57 p. 83
Cross was laid on His shoulders p. 58 p. 83
Nails hammered in p. 59 p. 83
Hung between thieves p. 59 p. 83
Given vinegar to drink p. 60 p. 83
Guard placed at the tomb p. 65 p. 83
Guards lied about resurrection p. 68 p. 84
Returns to heaven with “captives” p. 69 p. 85
Jerusalem 70 AD Apostles preached to Jerusalem GC88 p. 28 p. 88
God rejects Jewish nation p. 29 p. 90
Christians evacuate Jerusalem p. 30 p. 91
Rome lays siege to Jerusalem p. 31 p. 91
Women ate their own children p. 32 p. 92
City and temple destroyed pp. 33-35 p. 92
Final judgment Lord has a controversy with the nations p. 656 p. 134
Slain shall cover the earth p. 657 p. 134
Son of Man appears in clouds p. 643 p. 143
Wicked turned to stubble p. 673 p. 146
Lake of fire destroys wicked p. 672 p. 165
New Earth New Jerusalem descends p. 663 p. 166
Tree of Life p. 675 p. 166
No light is needed p. 676 p. 166
Righteous unite in songs of praise p. 678 p. 167
Sinners are no more p. 678 p. 167
(1SG=Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 3SG=Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, GC88=Great Controversy, 1888 ed.)


The following is from our article Myths about the Origin of Sunday Worship      (There is much more on that article)


Unraveling Great Controversy’s Myths about the Origin of Sunday Worship

“I differ from Ellen White, for example, on the origin of Sunday. She teaches that in the first centuries all Christians observed the Sabbath and it was largely through the efforts of Constantine that Sunday-keeping was adopted by many Christians in the fourth century. My research shows otherwise. If you read my essay HOW DID SUNDAY-KEEPING BEGIN? which summarizes my dissertation, you will notice that I place the origin of Sunday-keeping by the time of the Emperor Hadrian, in A. D. 135.” – Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi / Seventh-day Adventists most predominant Historian.

On pages 52-53 of The Great Controversy Mrs. White wrote:

“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.”


Notice here that the word “centuries” is plural. This indicates that for a minimum of two centuries the Sabbath was observed by “all Christians.” Mrs. White seems to have believed that all Christians observed the Sabbath until “the early part of the fourth century [when] the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire.” (p. 53)

Dr. Bacchiocchi writes in his newsletter (End time Issues number 87):

“What is problematic is the impression many people get from EGW’s statements that the Sabbath was observed ‘by all Christians . . . in the first centuries’ until ‘the early part of the fourth century [when] the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public holiday.’ ( The Great Controversy pp. 52-53) …

“The earliest documents mentioning Sunday worship go back to Barnabas in 135 and Justin Martyr in 150. Thus, it is evident that Sunday worship was already established by the middle of the second century. This means that to be historically accurate the term ‘centuries’ should be changed to the singular ‘century’.”

Bacchoichi’s book, From Sabbath to Sunday, provides substantial evidence that Sunday worship started much earlier than Mrs. White claimed.


Sabbath Condemned by Ecumenical Councils

Mrs. White wrote in The Great Controversy of “vast councils” that supposedly attempted to “press down” the Sabbath in order to exalt Sunday in its place. She writes:

“Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondently exalted.” ( The Great Controversy page 53)

There were seven church councils held (Nicaea I in 325, Constantinople I in 381, Ephesus in 431, Chalcedon in 451, Constantinople II in 553, Constantinople III in 680, and Nicaea II in 787). However, Mrs. White seems to have been ignorant of their content. Dr. Bacchiocchi writes:

“The problem is with the second part of the statement which speaks of the Sabbath as being ‘pressed down a little lower’ in almost every general council. In all my reading of the seven ecumenical councils, I have not found a reference to the Sabbath/Sunday question being debated in such councils. Presumably the reason is that Sunday observance was no longer a debated question–it had become widely accepted by Christians.”

How could the Sabbath have been “pressed down” a little lower in these councils when it was not even discussed? This is simply another case of Mrs. White inventing history in her writings, and then claiming it was inspiration from God!


The Waldenses

Mrs. White would have us believe the Waldenses observed the Sabbath:

“Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath. Under the fiercest tempests of oppositions they maintained their faith.” (page 65)”Some of whom [Waldenses] were observers of the Sabbath.” (page 577)

Dr. Bacchiocchi has probably done more research on the Sabbath than any living human. Did he find evidence that some of the Waldenses observed the Sabbath?

“I spent several hours searching for an answer in the two scholarly volumes Storia dei Valdesi–(History of the Waldenses), authored by Amedeo Molnar and Augusto Hugon. These two books were published in 1974 by the Claudiana, which is the official Italian Waldensian publishing house. They are regarded as the most comprehensive history of the Waldenses. To my regret I found no allusion whatsoever to Sabbath-keeping among the Waldenses.”

Dr. Bacchiocchi is not the first Adventist to search in vain for evidence of the Waldenses keeping the Sabbath. The only thing researchers have found thus far are some documents which refer to the Waldenses by their nickname, “insabbati.” Unfortunately for Mrs. White, the term has nothing to do with the Sabbath. It refers to the sandals the Waldenses were known to wear. The Latin word for sandals is sabbatum. Thus, the Waldenses were insabbati–“sandal wearers.”

A Waldensian minister in Italy was contacted and asked if the Waldenses ever kept the Sabbath. Here is his response:

The Waldensians did not keep the Sabbath and were not guardians of the “Sabbath Truth” as you call it. … We can therefore say very clearly that the Waldensians were not Seventh-day Sabbath keepers and they were not persecuted for keeping Saturday as the Sabbath!” (click here to read the entire letter)

Apparently Mrs. White wanted to have a line of unbroken Sabbath-keeping, from the time of the Apostles, to the Waldenses in the mountains of Europe, all the way through to the time of the Seventh-day Adventists. Unfortunately, such a continuum does not exist. Sunday-keeping began much earlier than Mrs. White realized, and the Waldenses never kept the Sabbath at all.

Another inaccurate statement Mrs. White made about the Waldenses is:

“Behind the lofty bulwarks of the mountains . .. the Waldenses found a hiding place. Here the light of truth was kept burning amid the darkness of the Middle Ages. Here for a thousand years, witnesses for the truth maintained the ancient faith.” (pp. 65-66)

The Waldensian movement was established by Peter Valdes around 1176. The Waldenses were not excommunicated from the church until 1184. Therefore, the move to the mountains could not have taken place until after 1184, and the persecution of the Waldenses had subsided by the late 1600s. Therefore, it would be impossible for the Waldenses to have kept the light of truth burning for “a thousand years” during the Middle Ages. 500 years is a more likely number.

Whether or not the Seventh-day Adventist church is the “remnant” in Revelation 12:17 stands or falls on whether or not the Waldensians were in fact the “woman,” that 1. fled into the wilderness for 1260 days/years (Revelation 12:14-16) and were 2. Sabbath-keepers. Historical evidence disproves both points necessary for the Waldensians to fulfill this prophecy! Ellen’s unbroken link theory, which is one of Adventism’s main pillars has no historical backing – from beginning to end!

The entire matter has resulted with a very powerful illusion, built entirely upon myths that were delicately fabricated within the Great Controversy, carefully embedded within many historically accurate truths, all of which have subtly avoided detection. As a consequence these ideas about history have been widely accepted as fact within the Seventh-day Adventist church, and only by the Seventh-day Adventist church! Truly, the title “Seventh-day Adventist truth” is fitting, since these things we have discussed are held to be true only within the Adventist church. More evidence to follow! You will want to read all the links posted at the bottom of this article from Harvard University, the Smithsonian, the British Museum, and others, to continue this study unraveling Great Controversy’s myths about the origin of Sunday Worship.

Links that Prove Pagan’s did NOT Worship the Sun Every Sunday

Why Adventist think Pagans Worshiped the Sun every Sunday

University of Chicago

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass

The Smithsonian

The British Museum

Neither Greeks Nor Romans Had 7 Day Weekly Cycles

Isn’t Sunday Pagan? “Venerable Day of the Sun”

Click to listen highlighted text!