Ellen G. White Writings

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Selected Messages Book 2, Page 31

Chapter 3—The “Holy Flesh” Doctrine

[A fanatical teaching termed “The Doctrine of Holy Flesh” was started in 1900 in Indiana, leading the conference president and various workers into serious error. This theory alleged that those who follow the Saviour must have their fallen natures perfected by passing through a “Garden of Gethsemane” experience, thus acquiring a state of physical sinlessness as an essential preparation for translation. Eyewitness accounts report that in their services the fanatics worked up a high pitch of excitement by use of musical instruments such as organs, flutes, fiddles, tambourines, horns, and even a big bass drum. They sought a physical demonstration and shouted and prayed and sang until someone in the congregation would fall, prostrate and unconscious, from his seat. One or two men, walking up and down the aisle for the purpose, would drag the fallen person up on the rostrum. Then about a dozen individuals would gather around the prostrate body, some singing, some shouting, and some praying, all at the same time. When the subject revived, he was counted among those who had passed through the Gethsemane experience, had obtained holy flesh, and had translation faith. Thereafter, it was asserted, he could not sin and would never die. Elders S. N. Haskell and A. J. Breed, two of our leading denominational ministers, were sent to the camp meeting held at Muncie, Indiana, from September 13 to 23, 1900, to meet this fanaticism. These developments were revealed to Mrs. White while she was in Australia in January, 1900, and she bore testimony of warning and reproof against it, as seen in the two following messages.—Compilers.]

A Repetition of Early Fanaticism

[A statement read by Mrs. E. G. White before the ministers at the General Conference, April 17, 1901.]

Instruction has been given me in regard to the late experience of brethren in Indiana and the teaching they have

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