The following is regarding dreams of Ernie Knoll. Ernie Knoll is a life-long Seventh-day Adventist, an elder in the church, and has been having dreams. Some say the dreams are from God, some say from the Devil.
This is my take on the situation, after reading what one man on the internet said in favor of the dreams, and what Pastor Steve Wohlberg and Eugene Prewitt have said against the dreams.
Please note, I have NOT read any of the dreams. So all i know about this, is what has been quoted by others. I don’t know why, but somehow i’m not moved to go and read the dreams for myself. Perhaps in this way, i can be more of a neutral "judge". What i have written is in black, Steve Wohlberg’s quotes are in blue, and Eugene Prewitt’s are in green. What Ernie Knoll wrote is within quotes and purple. (i do hope he has been quoted correctly).
In the dreams, an angel is usually present who identifies himself as "the Herald".
From Steve Wohlberg’s observations:
He also states that some have counseled him to test the Herald with 1 John 4:3. Ernie wrote:
"Knowing that an angel of Satan can only answer that Jesus did not come in the flesh, if the Herald stated this, it would prove that he is an agent of Satan and is trying to deceive many. However, if the Herald answered that Jesus did come in the flesh, then that would mean I am not being deceived."
How do we know for certain that Satan’s angels cannot make such a confession? And even if the Herald does make a true confession, does this really “prove” that he is of God and that Ernie has not been deceived?
Ernie Knoll is also quoted as writing:"I watched as it was decided that Jesus would come to Earth as a created Being." This is a problem, as Jesus is never said to be "created" in inspired writings.
Amen, Pastor. This is a yellow flag for sure.
…the Herald then begins to rebuke those who have opposed his "messages":
"The Herald now steps back and walks to the middle of the room. He holds out the three glass tablets as one tablet and says, “This is a message for all who will accept and be willing to hear.” The tablet says, “Let he that rides dismount and prostrate before the Lord of hosts, the Creator of the universe, He who came to be the created. Bow before your Master and confess your sins so all will hear of your rebellion. A message was sent to a chosen messenger and you denied your Lord’s ear and convinced others to turn away."
All the above seem to me to be legitimate concerns about whether or not the dreams are from God. However, Pastor Wohlberg also raises questions about the source of the dreams by panning remarks that directly rebuke him, which is NOT any reason at all to reject the dreams.
He disparages the source of the dreams because they talk against Ethel Price and Ed Reid, both of whom Steve Wohlberg respects, especially Ed Reid. Pastor, have you never read of what Ellen White wrote about George Butler and Uriah Smith? These were high-up leaders in the SDA church, much higher and much more revered by the lay members than any of you three, yet the Holy Spirit gave scathing rebukes, pointing out their open and secret sins.
Pastor Steve also tries to make a point that the Herald declares that "you must acknowledge these messages are of God" by saying: "According to this statement, it is not enough for us to acknowledge the truth that is in the Bible and SOP". This is not a reason to reject the messages pastor. Can’t you hear the Sunday keepers saying the same thing about Ellen White?
Pastor Wohlberg writes on:
"Here the Herald declares that those who oppose the dreams should "confess" their "sins so all will hear of your rebellion"! Here there is absolutely no recognition whatsoever of the true motivation of many who are opposing the dreams. The Herald simply states, "sins" and "rebellion." When I first read this, the Spirit of Truth only deepened my conviction that the Herald is a deceiver, and not an angel sent from the One who died for my sins. Let me speak for myself (as I am apparently one of the "three" people specifically rebuked in this dream), what has motivated me is not "sins" and "rebellion," but a sincere desire to follow God’s counsel and to watch out for demonic deceptions (see Mat. 24:4; 2 Cor. 11:14, etc). The real Jesus Christ knows both the truth and my heart; yet in this case, the Herald totally missed it."
Pastor, you sound pretty close to those that opposed Isaiah and Jeremiah. Be careful.
The Herald says:
"Kneel, confess your sins lest the streams and rivers dry up and the horse that drinks die, lest you walk the face of the earth and every ear turn away from you as the words you speak fall like rocks from your mouth. Repent lest the Lord God spew you out of His mouth as boiling seawater."
The Pastor gets very offended at this, writing "As for me, the only conviction the Herald’s wild rebuke brings is a deeper conviction that he is a demon."
Well, Pastor, you certainly would have called Jeremiah and Ellen White demons then, because they rebuked even more "wildly" as you put it. You are on very, very dangerous ground here by your words.
Now i would like to turn to what Eugene Prewitt wrote, and analyze it.
Ernie claims inspiration, not only for the dreams, but even for the way the website is designed. Quoting from one of the dreams:
"What Becky and I are doing with the ministry is exactly as He has planned. There is no error in anything we have done. These are messages that He has sent to His people. He is the author and inspiration of not only the dreams, but also the correspondence and the website. The 4 His People Ministry is very important."
This phrase, "no error in anything we have done" seems contrary to the spirit and tone of all that is written in the writings of apostles and prophets.
Yes, this is a very good point to keep in mind.
"As for me not having a broad understanding of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, the Herald says that I have a broader understanding than I might know . . . . The angel says that the Great Teacher has many ways of teaching other than what one can read in what He has written."
This key point that men ought to seek direction and answers through scripture rather than through angels and impressions and dreams seems to be most vital.
Point well taken, Brother. This, to me, is the 2nd most serious problem with these dreams. If they are being quoted correctly, it is very bad to not point people "to the law and testimony". This is a bright yellow flag.
"There are many towns and cities that are not destroyed. I ask the Herald if I may tell which cities. He answers, "No, that is not permitted." He explains that each must learn the guidance of the Holy Spirit concerning where God would have them live."
It sounds like the same innuendo found in the vision of the ascending birds. There one bird in 800 make it. Escaping the valley is an illustration of salvation in the bird dream. I am not confident that the ratio, 1 in 800, is a poor one. But there the one bird that makes it is the one that flies straight up. What about the birds that pause to do diligent study? They are pictured also. It is not clear what "ancient" writings they are studying. But one thing is clear. The careful students don’t make it. "I watch as others stop to discuss the ancient books of the best ways to fly. They get out charts to plot and study the wind currents and try to figure out what is the best way to ascend."
This is sounding suspiciously close to "Don’t study the Bible". Yellow flag again!
Another point that strikes me with force relates to one of the most crucial issues in our church today. The question is the nature of inspiration.
Yes, Brother, we ourselves have had email exchanges on this issue, and you are definitely in the camp of "the words are not from God, only the ideas". This is a very big error, Brother, please repent and teach the straight truth.
It (the round of my solemn concern) is, rather, the statement he makes about the wonderful little book Creeping Compromise.
"I see Jesus kneeling on one knee next to him. He is telling him what to write. The angel says, "He is writing Creeping Compromise. This is what ‘those which are they’ should be. This instruction is needed to perfect the character of those striving to be one of the 144,000. . . . [Crews’] book, inspired by Jesus, is a foundation of what to do."
What caught my attention immediately was the diluting of the significance of the Testimonies by claiming for Joe Crews the same quality of inspiration granted to Ellen White. Does the reader realize that this was the argument used by many in the South Pacific who claimed to believe in Ellen White’s "inspiration."
Yes, Brother, this is very, very big, almost a red flag for me. This is the biggest problem with the whole dream thing of Ernie Knoll that i have come across. Ellen White could say of her husband that she had never considered even HIM to be inspired. There is something so special about being "inspired", that we just don’t understand yet. Yes, a pastor or teacher or lay member even can be inspired by the Holy Spirit to do or say something, but it is not at all in the same league as "being inspired". "Being inspired", from my study of the inspired writings, means to be so infused with the Spirit of God, that the actual words you write or say are exactly coming from God. Yes, i know, this is a minority view even in Adventism today, as our "higher critics" have determined that there are "small errors in the Bible, but they aren’t important for our salvation". I will never, ever, ever believe that, so help me God.
Now for some observations by Brother Prewitt that are not correct:
He quotes a dream of Ernie’s, where he says he saw a black panther, and because there are no obvious symbolic meanings to the description of the panther, brushes it off. This is not good, Brother. Messages from God don’t have to conform to what you say they should be like.
Do angels in dreams from God have to have no interaction in a human-like way Brother? I mean, just because the angels in Soo’s dreams waved to her, should that be a cause for concern? I do admit tho, that to have jesting is not at all something angels do. You WILL find tho, word-pun jokes and things to make you laugh in Ellen White’s writings, and even in the Bible itself.
"That God would permit Ernie, in a dream, to talk to them; that God would model how to identify false angels in such a way as to make it easy for Satan to take advantage, is unthinkable." Brother, i think you have forgotten to refer to the Bible here, and to the instances when the prophets and even Jesus himself listened to and actually talked with Satan and his angels.
Brother Prewitt seems to see a problem with angels holding a white robe for the martyrs, but makes no logical explanation from the Bible why that should be a problem, as the passage of Ernie’s dream that he quotes mentions nothing about the angels GIVING these robes to the martyrs.
Then Brother Prewitt comes to the most talked-about point in these dreams – the tithe issue. "Ernie’s most violent opposition has come over the statements he has made regarding tithe. The contrast between Ernie’s Herald and the Testimony of Jesus is notable."
Not so fast. What Ernie says here is exactly true. Does he tell people to stop paying their tithe? Not at all. Just that we should not pay to someone who is known to be misusing it. One other point of contention is that the Herald basically says that the General Conference of SDAs is not God’s storehouse anymore. Hmmmm, i figured that out over 25 years ago. When our leaders give medals to popes and purchase stock in hamburger chains and use tithe money to do shady business deals and even pay lawyers to protect the trademarked name – how can anyone still, in a good conscience, give them one cent? Let’s pay our tithes directly to the pastors and Bible workers who are on the front-lines doing the work of God. The Three Angels’ Messages would definitely go much faster if millions of dollars weren’t being used to beautify buildings that are getting ready to be burned anyway! If anyone doesn’t understand this point yet, think about Luther and Tetzel. Before Luther spoke out, the common people did not understand they were supporting a terribly corrupt Roman Catholic Church. But after Luther and others zealously pointed out their errors, did they continue to do that? No, they stopped supporting corruption with their monies entrusted from God.
His conclusion of the inspiration of the dreams is:
"First, Ernie has gone far too far to be evaluated as a confused dreamer someone that has common dreams and
mistakes them for divine pictures. His two-way conversations and the reactionary nature of the dreams brand
him as one of three: Either a true prophet, or one in communion with evil spirits, or one hired to confuse the workers with outright lies." The "true prophet" option is outright rejected by Brother Prewitt.
My conclusion of the whole matter?
I believe the jury is still out on the inspiration of the dreams. There are several yellow cards, and one of them nearly red. (in case you are wondering, yellow=caution, and red=stop). If Joe Crews was inspired, then perhaps someone else and someone else and someone else is too. No, that’s not right at all. But the main reason that many are rejecting these dreams – the tithing issue – is being looked at incorrectly by most all. No matter what people think, it IS true that we are responsible for what happens where we pay our tithe to.
Dear Jesus, please may we be able to discern the spirits correctly. May we dig deeper and deeper into your inspired words in the Bible and writings of Ellen White. We so much DO want you to pour out your spirit on old and young, and give dreams and visions as you’ve promised you will do in the end time. Please Lord, may we not be swift to either run into fanaticism, or to reject messages from you. Please watch over your Little Flock. Amen.