The Spirit of Prophecy

John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am [he].

Numbers 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, [I] the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak unto him in a dream.

Proverbs 29:18 Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

The bible gives us tests from those who have spirits.

Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.

Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Matthew 7:15-20. Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheeps clothing. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.

How do we know if E. G. White was inspired from above?

Yet now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You have thereby insulted the Spirit of God. You know how the Lord has manifested Himself through the Spirit of prophecy. Past, present, and future have passed before me. I have been shown faces that I had never seen, and years afterward I knew them when I saw them. I have been aroused from my sleep with a vivid sense of subjects previously presented to my mind and I have written, at midnight, letters that have gone across the continent, and arriving at a crisis, have saved great disaster to the cause of God. This has been my work for many years. A power has impelled me to reprove and rebuke wrongs that I had not thought of. Is this work of the last thirty-six years from above or from beneath?  {1SM 27.1}

Mark 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22  And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

When we know they are a true prophet, then we are going to pay attention to them. Ellen White’s knowledge rendered her a degree by the medical profession posthumously as way ahead of her time. A story is told of a man who was very wealthy and lived in South Africa. He owned the Kimberley diamond mine. He identified the message of truth. He started to spend his fortune on the work in South Africa. He continued to establish the church. He sent money to different parts of the world. He paid for Avondale college in NSW.

He came to a point in time, where he was asked by his worldly friends, to put a room by his hospital a room they said, for us to smoke, drink and play cards. Before he had been asked to do that, a letter came in the mail from Ellen White not to do it. He refused to listen. He built it. Warning after warning came to him. He threw the letters in the draw and never opened them. Then as time went on the hospital burnt down. It wasn’t insured. All the other businesses began to crumble. The last thing he had, he had to sell. A few weeks later, they found diamonds there. Today the mine is the largest in the world – the Kimberley Diamond mine! However this man became a pauper. After he paid his debts, he took his furniture. He found all the letters in the draw. He went and read them in a shack that he rented. In the letters were the full story of his life, all the detail. All written before it happened. He decided he would surrender to the Spirit of Prophecy. That hospital is in ruins. The ruins are still standing there. There are many stories of this nature.

Matthew 7:15-20. Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.

You need to test the prophet for the fruits. The fruits of the spirit are long suffering, meekness, temperance, kindness. Ellen White indeed had the fruits of the spirit.

Physical Tests

When Ellen White went into vision, what happened? Lets look at some other bible characters when they went into vision.

Daniel 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. 10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and [upon] the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days. 15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, [one] like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. 18 Then there came again and touched me [one] like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me.

No Strength, and No Breath

What was the story when Balam went into vision?

Numbers 24:2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding [in his tents] according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 4 He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling [into a trance], but having his eyes open:

With Eyes Open One Falls Into a Trance

The apostle Paul also had a vision. What did he know about his body? Nothing. I don’t know if my body was with me or left on earth.

2 Corinthians 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

Follow very carefully how Ellen Whites visions were manifested in her person.

I myself saw her in vision that lasted over 1 hour. Since then I have seen her in vision over 50 times. I have been present when physicians have examined her. In passing into vision she gives three enrapturing shouts – Glory! Glory! Glory! Sometimes at once arising and walking around the room in a graceful manner. It is impossible for anyone to move her or her arms. Her eyes are always open but she does not blink. Her head is raised and she is looking upwards but not in a vacant stare. She appears to be looking intently at some distant object. She does not breathe. This was no ordinary vision.  A man called Bordeaux said.  I didn’t believe in her.  He watched her sides, she didn’t breath. He pinched her nose and mouth shut. She couldn’t inhale or breathe for 10 minutes.  Loughborough, Great Second Advent Movement.

Here is a testimony.  We had pay attention as this was not from beneath.

At the close of an address given by Ellen White, the blessing of God rested upon her in a large degree. Dr Brown was present. A spirit medium. He had said that her visions were the same as spirit mediums. If she had one where he was, he could bring her out of it in 1 minute. An invitation was given for any who so desired to come forward. The doctor came forward. He turned deathly pale. He turned white. He replied, she does not breathe.  Loughborough, Great Second Advent Movement.

If she is from above, then what is your answer to anything she has written by the dictates of the Holy Spirit? Ellen Whites writings are non other but the testimony of Jesus Christ. Not her, but what she has written. The bible is for the entire world since it has been codified. Ellen white is for the very end of time for that generation that will be alive when Jesus comes. The bible was written to direct all men to Jesus Christ, Ellen White’s Spirit of Prophecy was written and her writings came to direct us to what his final work of atonement is in the most holy place. Her message was focused on a different aspect of the work of God in the great controversy.

If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a sign, they would never have been seduced into idolatry, nor would it have been necessary for them to suffer a life of bondage in Egypt; they would have kept God’s law in mind, and there would have been no necessity for it to be proclaimed from Sinai or engraved upon the tables of stone. {PP 364.2}

We would not have a 10 commandment law written on stone. What would they do today? They couldn’t write it up on stone today. We wouldn’t have it if Gods will would have been done.

And had the people practiced the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the additional directions given to Moses. {PP 364.2}

Do you see the principle here? Light given according to light needed. When disobedience, God gives more light, information and help. What we have just read reveals that is as reasonable to say that we will dispense with all scripture but Sinai as it is to argue that we can dispense with all revelation but scripture. It is as reasonable to say that we will dispense with all written revelation since it appears that none would ever have been given if men had related themselves properly to the Abrahamic covenant. What should we study? Just the Old Testament, just the Torah or when God tells us more do we need hear more because there is a problem? 20 million inspired words. I don’t know if that is true. But 20 million words testifies that the scriptures are not eaten as food for the soul and so our gracious God has given his word to us in a more digestible form, a form more suited to be handled by the mental digestive systems of degenerate 20th century moderns.

We never think of ourselves in that way do we? We are so wise we can send people to the moon and do all kinds of things but only self flattery keeps us from recognising this abundantly evident truth. That the only reason we have been given the Spirit of Prophecy is we have been ignorant in not understanding the Bible correctly. Because you can have 300 churches come out of one bible. God tries to help us and give us a little help for our degenerated mental abilities. That is the reason that for this gift of the spirit of prophecy has been given to us.

In the last days, your sons and daughters shall prophesy

Perhaps this verse came into Ellen’s mind during the troublesome days during which she was accused of mesmerism and being led by the Spirit of Satan. Coming from humble beginnings, Ellen White was the equal youngest of eight children, and brought up in Maine on a farm. Accustomed to doing chores and being obedient to her parents, young Ellen’s duties involved milking the cow, and making hats from fur pulled from animal pelts. Possessing a beautiful, tender spirit, it is written that Ellen when gathering hickory nuts hidden by squirrels, would retrieve the find and substitute the nuts with some corn she had brought, hoping that the exchange would not prove too disappointing to the provident squirrels (Biographical Books Vol 1. p20).

Yet Ellen’s childhood was not altogether free from sorrow or pain. At the age of 9 she was struck in the face with a rock that ultimately rendered in a state of unconsciousness for 3 weeks. No-one expected Ellen to live, and though she did, she was severely enervated and her face was quite disfigured, to the extent that she wrote “my father did not know me. It was hard to make him believe I was his Ellen. This cut me to the heart…” (Spiritual Gifts Vol 2. p10).

For a good part of the rest of her life, Ellen remained of poor health and was consequently unable to obtain a sound education. But all this she described as a blessing in disguise, “this misfortune, which for a time seemed so bitter and hard to bear, has proved to be a blessing in disguise. The cruel blows which blighted the joys of earth, was the means of turning my eyes to heaven. I might never have known Jesus had not the sorrow that clouded my early years led me to seek comfort in Him” (Review and Herald, Nov 25. 1884).

From the age of 17, Ellen White is recorded to have had some 2000 visions and dreams, ranging from one minute to just under four hours in duration. Despite having virtually no education, this woman is the author of some 5000 articles and 26 books – making her one of the most prolific female authors, even today! Successful Christian Living is the overall theme of all her writings – many of which have been acknowledged as being far beyond her time! Yet of herself, she merely said, “Others have called me a prophetess, but I have never assumed that title. I have not felt that it was my duty to thus designate myself. Those who boldly assume that they are prophets in this, our day, are often a reproach to the cause of Christ. My work includes much more than this name signifies. I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people” (Selected Messages Book 1. p35 & 36).

The Bible tells us that in the last days, God is going to pour His Spirit out upon the earth, and those who have received the former rain – that is, the Spirit in its smaller measures – shall then receive the latter rain – the Spirit in its fullness (Joel 2:23). It also goes on to say that at this time, the gift of prophecy shall be given to young men and women (Joel 2:28). But the gift of prophecy is one gift of which many people, even Bible believing Christians, are skeptical about, and for good reason. Not all those who prophesy are from God (Jeremiah 29:8,9).

But we are not to disregard all who claim to be prophets for fear that they are not of the Lord. Nor are we to disregard all their prophesying (1 Thessalonians 5:20). Rather, we must learn to try the Spirits (1 John 4:1). We must learn to prove the gift of prophecy by the tests and principles laid out for us in the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:21). This is the purpose of this study: to learn the Biblical tests by which we can try the prophets found in the last days.

But to begin, let us first clarify two points regarding prophecy.

1)    What is prophecy? (Amos 3:7) Prophecy is the revelation of the secrets of God, to men.

2)    Why do we have prophecy? (1 Corinthians 14:3) For the purpose of edifying, exhorting and comforting. Also, (2 Chronicles 20:20) that God’s people in the last days may prosper!

Keeping this in mind, let us now begin to examine the Biblical tests by which we can try the spirits, as outlined for us in the Bible. The first 4 tests are the moral tests, outlined for us in the Bible, while the last 5 tests are the physical tests also outlined for us in the Scriptures.

Test 1: Is the prophecy in harmony with the Scriptures? (Isaiah 8:20). In this passage, we have the most beautiful and reliable test for trying the spirits, laid open before us. All the teachings of prophets must be in harmony with the Scriptures, for God cannot, and does not, contradict Himself.

Test 2: Is the prophet’s lifestyle consistent with the lifestyle and teaching of Jesus? (Matthew 7:15-20) The old adage, ‘you know a tree by its fruit’ rings true in this Biblical test. The true prophet will demonstrate a lifestyle consistent with the lifestyle and teachings of Jesus.

Test 3: Is the prophecy Christ-centred, and does it direct the people to Him? (1 John 4:2,3) All last day prophets should only deliver messages that are Christ-centred, acknowledging that Jesus came in the flesh to save the world from sin and slavery. The prophecies should also encourage the people to enquire themselves of the Lord, that they take not the prophet’s word alone (Acts 17:11). Last day prophecies will encourage Christ-centred, individual Bible study!

Test 4: Does the prophecy come to pass? (Deuteronomy 18:21). All that the Lord has said, He will do. So while this may seem common-sense, the prophecies of God’s true prophets will come true!

But can false prophets meet up to these tests? (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). False prophet’s prophecies may come to pass. False prophet’s lifestyles may seem to be consistent with the lifestyle and teaching of Jesus, but false prophets will not measure up on all of these tests. One test alone administered, will not determine whether a prophet is of God or not, but prayerfully combining all of these tests, provides a fail-safe method for God’s people in the last days in determining true and false prophets.

But there are yet the physical tests that can be applied to those claiming to be prophets of God.

Test 5: As the vision comes, Biblical prophets lose their strength (Daniel 10:8)

Test 6: After losing their strength, Biblical prophets were supernaturally strengthened (Daniel 10:18, 19)

Test 7: During vision, Biblical prophets’ eyes were open (Numbers 24:3, 4)

Test 8: During vision there was no breath in the prophet’s body (Daniel 10:17)

Test 9: The prophet in vision is unconscious of their earthly surroundings (2 Corinthians 12:1-4)

These physical tests are interesting, as if we return now to young Ellen White, of her it is recorded that when she entered into vision she went through a number of similar experiences. J. Loughborough, who is reported to have seen Ellen in vision some 50 times, commented on the physical phenomena that accompanied these visions, when he wrote the following:

In passing into vision, she gives three enrapturing shouts of “Glory!” which echo and re-echo, the second, and especially the third, fainter but more thrilling than the first, the voice resembling that of one quite a distance from you, and just going out of hearing. For about four or five seconds she seems to drop down like a person in a swoon, or one having lost his strength; she then seems to be instantly filled with superhuman strength, sometimes rising at once to her feet and walking about the room. There are frequent movements of the hands and arms, pointing to the right or left as her head turns. All these movements are made in a most graceful manner. In whatever position the hand or arm may be placed, it is impossible for anyone to move it. Her eyes are always open, but she does not wink; her head is raised, and she is looking upward, not with a vacant stare, but with a pleasant expression, only differing from the normal in that she appears to be looking intently at some distant object. She does not breathe, yet her pulse beats regularly. Her countenance is pleasant, and the colour of her face as florid as in her natural state.–GSAM, pp. 204,

Certainly the circumstances in which Ellen experienced her visions seem supernatural – not breathing for hours on end, and having superhuman strength to the extent that it is recorded that once while in vision she held a Bible weighing 18.5 pounds at arms length for an estimated half hour, while in frail health, yet was not fatigued by the experience (1 Biographical Books p92).

The content of many of Ellen White’s visions also is quite remarkable. For example, it is recorded that at least on one occasion, when the venue of a planned Sabbath meeting was changed without informing Ellen, she was informed in vision the night prior of the change, and attended the meeting at the changed venue, to the surprise and vexation of several (1 Biographical Books p102). Another example includes a vision which that Ellen White experienced while Joseph Bates, a sailor amongst other things, was present. During this vision, Ellen commented on the stars, and the moons surrounding various planets (despite having no knowledge of astronomy), impressing Joseph with her knowledge, as he was quite familiar with the astronomy of the day.  Yet Ellen was not alone at that time, in experiencing visions and dreams. Many others claimed the gift of prophecy, and related visions and dreams also – and often related fanciful and erroneous messages. But how can we be sure that Ellen White wasn’t deluded? How can we be sure her messages are from God? By prayerfully considering her experiences in the light of the four tests we identified earlier.  So, let us now apply the four Biblical tests to ascertain whether Ellen White fits the criterion of being a true prophet of God.

Test 1: Is the prophecy (in this case, vision) in harmony with the Scriptures? Ellen White’s writings record the messages given her of God – through visions and dreams – the majority of them being representative of events that will take place in these last days, and it is these that we shall consider when examining whether the prophecy is in harmony with the Scriptures or not. Ellen’s first vision is recorded to have occurred while she was in prayer after the passing of the time in 1844. In this vision, Ellen was shown the company of Advent believers advancing up a straight and narrow pathway. She writes “If they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the city, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and said the city was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising His glorious right arm, and from His arm came a light which waved over the advent band, and they shouted “Alleluia!” Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below…[the vision then goes on to describe the 144,00, the second-coming of Jesus on the cloud, the resurrection, and the ascension to heaven]” (Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White p57-61).

The events that Ellen witnessed in vision are in harmony with passages and principles in the Bible. Matthew 7:14 tells us that straight is the way and narrow the path that leads to heaven. Psalms 98:1 talks about the right arm of the Lord bringing victory, and we all know that the Bible teaches that only by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus shall we achieve the victory. It would appear therefore, that Ellen White meets this test, as her vision is in harmony with the Scriptures.

Test 2: Is the prophet’s lifestyle consistent with the lifestyle and teaching of Jesus? Like the life of Jesus, Ellen’s life was characterised by one of self-denial. When instructed by God on the subject of meat-eating in relation to health, though exceedingly difficult and unpleasing, Ellen adopted a vegetarian diet. Prior to this, Ellen described herself as an avid meat-eater (Spiritual Gifts Vol 4 p153,154). Living simply, healthfully and free from many possessions, Ellen dedicated her life to sharing the messages given her, despite personal reluctance and pain.

She writes of this experience, “It was a great cross for me to relate to individuals what had been shown me concerning their wrongs. It caused me great distress to see others troubled or grieved. And when obliged to declare the messages, I often softened them down, and related them as favorably for the individual as I could, and then would go by myself and weep in agony of spirit… It was hard to relate the plain, cutting testimonies given me of God. I anxiously watched the result, and if the individual reproved, rose up against the reproof, and afterwards opposed the truth, these queries would arise in my mind: Did I deliver the message just as I should? Oh, God! could there not have been some way to save them? And then such distress hung upon my soul, that I often felt death would be a welcome messenger, and the grave a sweet resting place” (Life Sketches p222). Thus Ellen White surely appears to meet this test.

Test 3: Is the prophecy Christ-centred, and does it direct the people to Him? Studies have been conducted amongst Adventists that read Ellen White’s writings, and those that don’t. Those that read her writings were found to have daily devotionals and regular personal Bible study considerably moreso than those who did not. In her writings, Ellen points the reader to contemplate the life of Christ, and urges them to regularly and daily commune with Him. She seeks to point people to Her Saviour – thus meeting this test also.

Test 4: Does the prophecy come to pass? While the prophecy has not yet come to pass, we have the assurance in the Scriptures that this event – the second-coming of Jesus, is an event which will come to pass. And we have the assurance that other things which Ellen White predicted have come to pass. For example Stephen Smith, an early Adventist who was dis-fellowshipped and re-fellowshipped a few times during the 1840’s and 50’s, received a letter from Ellen White detailing the course his life would take were he to “persist in the course he was following. When he received the letter, he feared that it was a testimony of reproof, so he took it home from the post office and tucked it deep in a trunk, still unopened and unread”. It wasn’t until some 28 years later that Stephen read the letter, and it is recorded that of this letter he said, to a church congregation, “brethren, every word of the testimony for me is true, and I accept it” (1 Biographical Book p491-492).

The Bible contains all that we need to test the spirits, that we might not be deceived. Let us ever remember these words, that we might ever be spiritually discerning and wholly committed to pursuing the path of Salvation that Jesus has laid open before us.

Ellen White Foresaw September 11 Disaster

On page 11 of her book Testimonies Volume 9 Ellen White said the following;

We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude.  {9T 11.1}

The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.  {9T 11.2}

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. Those to whom these buildings belonged were not asking themselves: “How can we best glorify God?” The Lord was not in their thoughts.  {9T 12.1}

I thought: “Oh, that those who are thus investing their means could see their course as God sees it! They are piling up magnificent buildings, but how foolish in the sight of the Ruler of the universe is their planning and devising. They are not studying with all the powers of heart and mind how they may glorify God. They have lost sight of this, the first duty of man.”  {9T 12.2}

As these lofty buildings went up, the owners rejoiced with ambitious pride that they had money to use in gratifying self and provoking the envy of their neighbors. Much of the money that they thus invested had been obtained through exaction, through grinding down the poor. They forgot that in heaven an account of every business transaction is kept; every unjust deal, every fraudulent act, is there recorded. The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass, and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah.  {9T 12.3}

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. {9T 13.1}

About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 28/08/2009, in The Spirit of Prophecy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

%d bloggers like this: