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Did God send a prophet?
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|—National Parks Service|
New York Skyscrapers Burn
Did Ellen White actually predict the September 11 World Trade Center attacks?
Or did she prophesy of even worse to come?
The destruction of the World Trade Center towers was a horrible event,
and has forever changed our world. Oddly, what took place that
fateful day bears some similarity to a prediction Ellen White made at the
beginning of the twentieth century.
What follows is, in her own words, a vision or dream she had in late 1901.
See if you think it sounds like what happened on September 11.
On one occasion, when in New York City, I was in
the night season called upon to behold buildings rising
story after story toward heaven. These buildings were
warranted to be fireproof, and they were erected to
glorify the owners and builders. Higher and still
higher these buildings rose, and in them the most costly
material was used. . . .|
The scene that next passed before me was an alarm
of fire. Men looked at the lofty and supposedly
fire-proof buildings and said: "They are perfectly safe." But
these buildings were consumed as if made of pitch.
The fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction.
The firemen were unable to operate the engines.—Testimonies
for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 12, 13.
After being falsely quoted as saying that New York City would be destroyed by a tidal wave,
Ellen White added this clarification, first written in August 1903:
But I have no
light in particular in regard to what is coming on New York, only that I know
that one day the great buildings there will be thrown down by the turning and
overturning of God's power. From the light given me, I know that destruction
is in the world. One word from the Lord, one touch of his mighty power, and
these massive structures will fall. Scenes will take place the fearfulness of
which we cannot imagine.—Review and Herald, July 5, 1906, emphasis supplied.
Of course, one might think that the above is talking about
the second coming of Christ. Yet the following says otherwise. This selection is an
adaption of a letter written
in January 1901, which described yet another vision of falling buildings:
The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no
human balm can heal. Even before the last great destruction comes upon the
world, the flattering monuments of man's greatness will be crumbled in the
dust. God's retributive judgments will fall on those who in the face of great
light have continued in sin. Costly buildings, supposed to be fire-proof, are
erected. But as Sodom perished in the flames of God's vengeance, so will
these proud structures become ashes.—Signs of the Times, Oct. 9, 1901, emphasis supplied.
To summarize, Ellen White's late 1901 vision predicted:
- Skyscrapers would be built.
- These buildings would be considered fireproof.
- An alarm of fire would be followed by people on the ground saying that
the "lofty" buildings were "perfectly safe."
- They would burn as pitch.
- The fire engines wouldn't be able to stop the inferno.
- The firemen wouldn't be able to operate their fire engines.
- The buildings would fall.
- The fearfulness of it all would be unimaginable.
What took place
1. Skyscrapers were built in New York City. At the time Ellen White
had this vision, one of the tallest buildings in the world
was the twenty-six-story Manhattan Life Building in New York City, built in 1894. It was succeeded in height
by the construction of the Park Row Building in 1899 and the Singer Building in 1908. Then the race was on as place
after place and builder after builder strove for the coveted title of tallest building.
Finally, in 1972 and 1973, the twin towers of the
World Trade Center were completed, and held that prestigious title only until 1974. From 1908 to 1974, the world's tallest buildings were in New York City.
2. These buildings would be considered fireproof. Ellen White's
specification that the buildings would be considered fireproof brings
to mind the fact that modern buildings are composed of steel and reinforced concrete,
materials that do not burn. This explains why such buildings are popularly called
3. An alarm of fire would be followed by people on the ground saying that
the "lofty" buildings were "perfectly safe." The total collapse of the towers caught
everyone by surprise. No one expected the fires and impacts to bring them down.
While the initial reaction of many people in WTC 2 after WTC 1 got hit was to
evacuate, some turned around to their deaths after the public address system
told them to stay put, since the building was perfectly safe:
"They told us there was an accident in tower one, that the fire department
was on its way, that our building was secure and safe, and that we could
return to our offices shortly," Hickey said.
"They kept saying, 'Repeat, building two is secure, repeat, building two
is secure,'" Simmons said. "A number of people did turn around."
"'Stay where you are. This is a secure area. Please remain in the building.
Stay where you are,'" Bartels recalled the announcer saying. "We didn't slow down.
We just ignored it, kept on moving." It was 9:06 a.m.—"Lawsuits
likely after WTC attacks," October 10, 2001, CNN.com.
4. They would burn as pitch. That the World Trade Center towers did burn like pitch, everyone in the world knows,
for the planes that hit the towers unleashed their jet fuel with devastating
consequences. And the pile of rubble kept on burning for months, hampering recovery
efforts. Finally, on December 19, the fires beneath the rubble were declared extinguished.
|—George Marengo, NYArtLab.com.|
5. The fire engines wouldn't be able to stop the inferno. Why couldn't the fire engines do anything to stop the blaze?
The height of the buildings was not an issue for Fire Engine 6.
Because of its proximity to the World Trade Center, it had been equipped
with a special pump that enabled it to spray water up to the top of the towers.
But you can't use water on a jet fuel fire, and there was no
suitable fire retardant at hand. Thus, the fire engines could do nothing.
6. The firemen wouldn't be able to operate their fire engines. So the firemen couldn't operate their engines to fight this kind of fire.
And if that wasn't bad enough, when the towers fell, over a hundred fire
department vehicles became permanently inoperable.
|—George Marengo, NYArtLab.com.||
7. The buildings would fall. The tallest four buildings of the World Trade Center, WTC 1, WTC 2, WTC 3, and WTC 7,
all completely fell. Large portions of the three much shorter buildings fell as well.
8. The fearfulness of it all would be unimaginable. Yes, the whole thing
was unimaginable: a) Hollywood script writers hadn't dreamed up
a catastrophe quite like this one.
b) Could the airlines, could the government, could the Port Authority
have prevented all of this? No, we have been told, for no one
imagined that something like this would happen.
And there's more
Did Ellen White's prediction include anything about why all of this might have
happened? What about where she said that
"in [these buildings] the most costly material was used"? What do critics have to say
about the matter? We'll investigate these questions in
"September 11: Why Did God Allow It?"
and "A Critic's View of September 11."
Rather than being the fulfillment of Mrs. White's statement in Testimonies, vol. 9, pp.
12, 13 (quoted at the beginning of this article), could it be that the World Trade Center was just a
foretaste of what will be the ultimate fulfillment of Ellen White's predictions?
|Was Ellen White's 1901 vision fulfilled on September 11?