I have been searching high and low for an accredited source that says Ellen G White said Israel will never become a nation. Not surprisingly, such a prophetic word would not be easy to find.

I need this information for an assignment I've been given. It has nothing to do with right or wrong, or "truth", but is simply a genuine request for help with my research.

Any insights/references would be most helpful. Thank you.

  • Are there less reliable sources that claim she said this?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 10:06
  • 1
    Recently I was given a printed card that encouraged the reader to do some research into the teachings of the Seventh Day Adventists. It gave three examples of what Ellen G White claimed/taught, and that was one of them. However, the link provided on the card did not give an explicit reference to any of her writings about Israel, or claims that Israel would never become a nation. The official SDA web site gives only the most basic outlines of what they believe, with no mention of Israel: adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental-beliefs
    – Lesley
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 8:52
  • Are you interested in Biblical sources?
    – One Face
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 1:59
  • I have read SDA literature that presents their interpretation of biblical verses that lead them to conclude God has finished with Israel as a nation and that the SDA are now the "true Israel". This question, however, is not asking for justification of the teaching. There are other denominations with similar claims. That subject is for another question and would have to be denomination-specific. This question merely seeks official verification as to what Ellen G. White claimed.
    – Lesley
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 8:14

2 Answers 2


I went to this official, accredited SDA web-site for this information, where SDA officials respond to more difficult questions about their founder, Mrs. Ellen G. White, that are not generally tackled in other official web-sites. https://whiteestate.org/legacy/issues-faq-unus-html/#unusual-section-d2 There was a question, “Jerusalem Never to be Rebuilt?” that seemed a potential source of information, and so it was. This is, indeed, directly related to whether she said Israel would never become a nation. She wrote in 1851 that

“old Jerusalem never would be built up.” [1]

The site responded to this by saying:

“…we find Mrs. White counseling the growing Adventist group that both time-setting [2] and the "age-to-come" notion [3] were incompatible with Biblical truth. She emphasized that the Old Testament prophecies regarding the establishment of a Jewish kingdom in Palestine were conditional on obedience and forfeited by disobedience. Unfulfilled prophecies would be fulfilled to "true Israel" as unfolded in the New Testament text. Thus the popular movement of the 1840s and 1850s to promote a Zionist state in Palestine was not a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and not a quest in which Adventists should become involved. Her warnings and instruction were designed to turn the interest away from Palestine and toward the work God had opened up before them. In a September 1850 vision she saw that it was a "great error" to believe that "it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. . . ; for those who think that they are yet to go to Jerusalem will have their minds there, and their means will be withheld from the cause of present truth to get themselves and others there." [4] Less than a year later, August 1851, she wrote with greater emphasis "that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep them from throwing their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord." [5]

[1] Early Writings, p. 75. This sentence appears in the chapter, "The Gathering Time," which combined two visions and some additional lines. The first vision, Sept. 23, 1850, dealt with the "gathering time" of "Israel," the dates on the Millerite 1843 chart, the "daily," timesetting, and the error of going to Old Jerusalem. The second vision, June 21, 1851, focused on the third angel's message, time-setting, and Old Jerusalem's not being built up.

[2] Many former Millerites were setting various dates for the return of Jesus, with 1850 and 1851 being the latest dates for the end of the 2300-day/year prophecy. Although Sabbatarian Adventists generally were immune from time-setting, Hiram Edson and Joseph Bates advocated 1850 and 1851, respectively. James White kept their views out of Present Truth, the Advent Review, and the Review and Herald.

[3] With several variations, age-to-come exponents, led by Joseph Marsh, O. R. L. Crosier, and George Storrs, believed that the Second Advent would usher in the millennial kingdom on earth during which time the world would be converted under the reign of Christ, with the Jews playing a leading role. This group closely related to the Literalists (British Adventists) who had believed that in the 1840s the literal Jews would welcome their Messiah (Christ) in Palestine, thus fulfilling Old Testament prophecies with Jerusalem becoming Christ's capital during the millennium. The majority of the Millerites had rejected this aspect of their Adventist theology, calling it Judaism. (See Josiah Litch, "The Rise and Progress of Adventism," The Advent Shield and Review, May 1844, p. 92, cited in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Students' Source Book, p. 513. The first defectors from early Seventh-day Adventists were H. S. Case and C. P. Russell who had, among other concepts, embraced the "age-to-come" theory. See The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. "Messenger Party."

[4] Early Writings, p. 75. [5] Early Writings, pp. 75, 76

(I have included the footnotes as they are important for a full understanding.)

From this it can be seen that SDA “Restorationist” doctrine accounts for the view that God was now dealing with ‘spiritual Israel’ (the Christian Church – themselves) and all the prophecies would be fulfilled in them, not literal Israel, which had forfeited its right to be established in the land. It appears that, due to these two visions of Mrs White, she discouraged SDAs from looking for a re-establishment of Israel because God was now dealing with them. Thus, “old Jerusalem never would be built up”, the SDAs claiming to be “new Jerusalem”. This equates with the idea that old Israel was not going to figure in God’s future plans for a nation like it had been before. The SDAs were the “new Israel” now.

  • Not the SDAs but everyone who follows everything the Bible says are Spiritual Israel
    – One Face
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 1:57
  • Not to disagree, for as Gal. 6:15 states, "for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation; and as many as by this rule do walk, peace upon them, and kindness, and on the Israel of God." However, my point relates to all who believe "Restorationist" theology - that their little group has replaced natural Israel in the promises of God, implying that any others cannot be new creations in Christ and so not part of the spiritual Israel of God. I gather that SDAs & some other groups take that view.
    – Anne
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 12:36
  • SDAs do not take that view. We have one creed "Bible". So, we believe that anyone who follow the Bible, are part of the spiritual Israel
    – One Face
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 13:08
  • @One Face - I would appreciate a reference/link to an SDA source that upholds what you said about anyone who follows the Bible is part of "spiritual Israel".
    – Lesley
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 15:04
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    @One Face - Thank you. I also believe Christ Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, but I don't adhere to SDA beliefs regarding Saturday sabbath keeping. Neither do millions of other born-again Christians. Or Jehovah's Witnesses, who also reckon they have replaced Israel and they are "spiritual Israel". "Following everything the Bible says" is wide open to denominational interpretation and man-made rules. I mention this to point out that God knows who belong to Him and nobody is in any position to judge any one else. Appreciate your input but to continue this would be out of the scope of the question.
    – Lesley
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 8:18

This is a hard question to answer as without checking every piece of literature. I would suggest you go over to Ellen G. White® Estate.

There is also a section where you can ask questions to those who work collating her writings. Arguably the experts in what she wrote.

Israel as a nation does not really appear in Adventist Eschatology. As Marco suggested, there is the idea that Israel's work was completed and ceased to be relevant and the Church took on the role of Israel after the time of Christ.

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