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Do you like pleasant surprises? Me too. Last week (July ’11) I was at Soquel SDA Camp meeting and after the program I went to the ABC book store. What did I find? Something astonishing – there was a book explaining the Hebrew roots of our Bible and as I was looking through it, here is where my eyes landed:

“World-renowned artist Elfred Lee met Rabbi Kagan at Weimar Lifestyle Center in Weimar California. At that time Rabbi Kagan would never touch the New Testament. One of the horrid memories he had was hearing about his aunt being raped while a priest stood over her with a crucifix saying: “This is what you get for killing Christ.” As a result he had a very negative attitude toward Christianity. Rabbi Kagan came across a book called Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen G. White. He read it with astonishment and asked Elfred which university the author attended and if he could meet her. Elfred replied that she only had a third grade education and that she had passed away in 1915. “Then where did she learn Hebrew?” the rabbi asked. Elfred told him that she never knew Hebrew, but was of the most prolific female writers in history and that this was only one of her many books. Rabbi Kagan was amazed at her knowledge, saying that the information in Patriarchs and Prophets is Mishnaic. The Mishnah is part of Hebrew scholarship. He said that

since she died before the Mishnah was translated into English, she would have either have had to know Hebrew extremely well or was inspired by the same source that inspired the prophets and sages. He said you had to know Hebrew to be able to write like this because the rhythm, the meter, the arrangement of words and expressions are more like Hebrew than English. He said it was as if she wrote in Hebrew and it was translated into English.”. {Jeff Zaremsky: Jewish Heritage Scripture Studies, p. 355}

Isn’t that amazing? After hard transcribing of this quote I found about 124,000 webs which use the same quote. I looked at the web and discovered that this story is pretty well known and there are many referring to this fact. Here is just one reference for you to double check: Who is this Ellen White? A Jewish Rabbi asks

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“Christ The Way of Life”

Even though the Hebrew Bible is full of  prophecies pointing to the Messiah, it took Ellen White’s writings to prove to him that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of all the Hebrew prophecies. And only then did he pick up the New Testament and read about his Jewish Messiah. Many times I saw him cry. I was in the middle of a painting commission for a large mural called “Christ The Way of Life” for the world headquarters of the Seventh Day Adventist church in Washington DC. He became very involved with that painting. The painting had originally been inspired by James and Ellen White who had commissioned an engraver to do a black and white drawing of the subject. He confirmed to me that Ellen White’s concept was very accurate on the whole plan of salvation in both the Old and New Testament, but that the engraver had misrepresented her concepts. So he helped me in many details to make the painting historically and theologically accurate; especially regarding the sanctuary section, the Hebrew writing on the cross and the last supper scene. He told me to paint Jesus and his disciples at an oriental style table, sitting on mats on the floor – not Roman couches as the medieval artists painted. Further, he said their heads would be covered and he made sure I painted the wine, the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs and their symbolism exactly as they would have been.

He approved of the whole painting and we had an unveiling ceremony at the Auburn SDA Church in late 1979. He had written a song to go with the painting and sat at the organ as we unveiled the painting. He wept  as he sang the words of Jesus on the cross quoting Isaiah, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (Matthew 27:46) He sang and sang and wept and wept, his whole body shaking. There was not a dry eye in the whole church. His voice was so beautiful.

The original painting hangs in the new SDA world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland where they have posters and bible studies of the painting. I could never have done it without the inspiration of Rabbi Kagan and Ellen White.
I wish they were still alive!

Zech 12:10 (TS98)  “And I shall pour on the house of Dawid and on the inhabitants of Yerushalayim a spirit of favour and prayers. And they shall look on Me whom they pierced
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and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son. And they shall be in bitterness over Him as a bitterness over the first-born.

Converted Jews in the Closing Work.–There will be many converted from among the Jews, and these converts will aid in preparing the way of the Lord, and making straight in the desert a highway for our God. Converted Jews are to have an important part to act in the great preparations to be made in the future to receive Christ, our Prince. A nation shall be born in a day. (Is 66:8) How? By men whom God has appointed being converted to the truth. There will be seen “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” (Mark 4:28) The predictions of prophecy will be fulfilled.–Manuscript 75, 1905.  {Ev 579.1}

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By the way: if you would like to search on the web something more about Ellen Gould White – to your surprise you might find literally millions! of sites speaking against her. What’s happening here? If she wouldn’t have something significant to say to our days, who would bother with her? So just the volume of sites criticizing her is actually in favor of her. As the saying goes: “Thou protesteth too much…” In other words – if you protest too much it means that the opposite is true. Let me tell you this:

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. Ps 34:8 (KJV)

Oh, taste and see that
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יהוה is good; Blessed is the man that takes refuge in Him! (TS98)

Go and read her writings for yourself and you can make up your own mind. It’s up to you.

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