Is Ellen White a Prophet?

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

God is capable of bringing us to perfection.

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

This emphasizes the fact that God is able to present us in the way that He has directed in the scriptures. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

He is able. He is able to do more than we are able to ask or think. What is He able to do?

To Be Presented Faultless

Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

God is able to do more than we can even ask or think. In regards to this subject of being brought to perfection, God is definitely able to do that. He is able to present us faultless by keeping us from falling. The degree of faultlessness that He is able to bring us to is written here:

James 1:4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

How faultless are we to be? Entire, wanting nothing. That is what God is able to achieve. We read of what God will do, especially in the time of the end:

1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [in] all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is able to present us faultless. Here it tells you the means by which He is going to do that:

1 Corinthians 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

The people who are going to be living at the coming of Jesus are going to be perfect. As we are waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus, the testimony of Christ is confirmed amongst us.

1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The testimony of Christ is confirmed among the people who are waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will confirm them so that they will be blameless. This is the issue for the time of the end: “the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.” What is the testimony of Christ? We have the answer to that in Revelation 19. Here the angel who was instrumental in communicating to John is worshipped:

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.

What is the testimony of Christ? “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

By a Prophet

To cut a long story short, the people who are ready to cross over into the heavenly Canaan were typified by the children of Israel when they were traveling towards the Promised Land. As they came to the border they had to be sanctified so that they could go across it. God led them by the prophet:

Hosea 12:13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

It was always prophets that led God’s people. Through Moses He said, “There is going to be one that is like Me.” That, of course, was pointing to Jesus. Jesus was always behind all the prophecies. His testimony was the Spirit of Prophecy.

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.

After Jesus left, He left His testimony, The Revelation. It was the testimony of Jesus. The Christian church was continually led by the prophet, like Israel were led in the wilderness by a prophet. This prophet, the testimony of Jesus, is for us right through to the end.

Matthew 28:20 … and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus is the one; His testimony is the one that leads the people right through to the Promised Land. As we read in 1 Corinthians 1, the testimony of Jesus was confirmed among them so that they would be found blameless. It is very interesting that the people who are standing at the very end have the testimony of Jesus. “Who shall also confirm you unto the end.

The following scripture points this out vividly. The little remnant of her seed, a little company, a little remnant, what have they got?

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

That is linked up with 1 Corinthians: the testimony of Christ is confirmed among them, so that they may be presented blameless. The true Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus by which a people will stand who are perfected and made blameless. This is reechoed, or prophesied of, in the following text. Here is the prophecy of the testimony of Jesus for the last days:

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Before the coming of the great and dreadful day, the Lord wants to ensure that there are a people who will stand blameless; and he ensures that via the Spirit of Prophecy. In our prophetic research we know that the time of the end commenced in 1798, through to 1844. These were the date items by which you can see that it there commenced. Would we then not expect, if it is prophesied, that those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord at the end would actually have an experience of the revelation of the testimony of Jesus among them?

Historical Background

We will read a brief picture of this historic event. At the time when the people were being presented with the last day prophecies in Daniel, as they were studying from 1833, and before that time with William Miller, there comes to us a story:

In the year 1842 there was living in Boston, Mass., a well-educated man by the name of William Foy, who was an eloquent speaker. He was a Baptist, but was preparing to take holy orders as an Episcopal minister. The Lord graciously gave him two visions in the year 1842, one on the 18th of January, the other on February 4. These visions bore clear evidence of being the genuine manifestations of the Spirit of God. He was invited from place to place to speak in the pulpits, not by the Episcopalians only, but by the Baptists and other denominations. When he spoke, he always wore the clergyman’s robe, such as the ministers of that church wear in their services. {1905 JNL, GSAM 145.4}

Mr. Foy’s visions related to the near advent of Christ, the travels of the people of God to the heavenly city, the new earth, and the glories of the redeemed state. Having a good command of language, with fine descriptive powers, he created a sensation wherever he went. By invitation he went from city to city to tell of the wonderful things he had seen; and in order to accommodate the vast crowds who assembled to hear him, large halls were secured, where he related to thousands what had been shown him of the heavenly world, the loveliness of the New Jerusalem, and of the angelic hosts. When dwelling on the tender, compassionate love of Christ for poor sinners, he exhorted the unconverted to seek God, and scores responded to his tender entreaties. {1905 JNL, GSAM 146.1}

His work continued until the year 1844, near the close of the twenty-three hundred days. Then he was favored with another manifestation of the Holy Spirit, -a third vision, one which he did not understand. In this he was shown the pathway of the people of God through to the heavenly city. He saw a great platform, or step, on which multitudes of people gathered. Occasionally one would drop through this platform out of sight, and of such a one it was said to him, “Apostatized.” Then he saw the people rise to a second step, or platform, and some there also dropped through the platform out of sight. Finally a third platform appeared, which extended to the gates of the holy city. A great company gathered with those who had advanced to this platform. As he expected the Lord Jesus to come in a very short time, he failed to recognize the fact that a third message was to follow the first and second messages of Revelation 14. Consequently the vision was to him unexplainable, and he ceased public speaking. {1905 JNL, GSAM 146.2}

Here God had given a prophet, but because the prophet did not accept the message he was dropped. That was one.

After the close of the prophetic period, in the year 1845, he heard another relate the same vision, with the explanation that “the first and second messages had been given, and that a third was to follow.” Soon after this Mr. Foy sickened and died. {1905 JNL, GSAM 146.2}

Here was William Foy, he was a man. Some people have great problems with the fact that E. G. White was a woman, but God came to a man, and the man didn’t agree with it so he dropped out. But then there was another man that God wanted to speak through, and that was Hazen Foss. Before the disappointment, He also, had those visions:

About this time [1844] there lived in Poland, Maine, a young man by the name of Hazen Foss, who firmly believed the Lord would come on the tenth day of the seventh month. He was a man of fine appearance, pleasing address, and quite well educated. A few weeks before the “midnight cry” ended, the Lord came near and gave him a vision, in which he was shown the journey of the advent people to the city of God, with their dangers. Some messages of warning were given to him, which he was to deliver, and he had also a view of the trials and persecution that would consequently follow if he was faithful in relating what had been shown him. He, like Mr. Foy, was shown three steps by which the people of God were to come fully upon the pathway to the holy city. Being a firm believer in the Lord’s coming “in a few more days” (as they then sang), the part of the vision relating to the three steps onto the pathway was to him unexplainable; and being naturally of a proud spirit, he shrunk from the cross, and refused to relate it. The vision was repeated the second time, and in addition he was told that if he still refused to relate what had been shown him, the burden would be taken from him, and be given to one of the weakest of the Lord’s children, one who would faithfully relate what God would reveal. He again refused. Then a third vision was given, and he was told that he was released, and the burden was laid upon one of the weakest of the weak, who would do the Lord’s bidding. {1905 JNL, GSAM 182.1}

God looked for two men. But each one of them rejected what God wanted them to say. Then comes an interesting situation:

About three months from the time he failed to recall his vision, he heard from an adjoining room a vision related by another [Ellen G. Harmon]. The meeting was held in a dwelling-house where he was. He was urged to come into the meeting, but refused to do so. He said the vision was as near like that shown him as two persons would relate the same thing. And thus was known what he saw but could not remember when trying to relate it. {1905 JNL, GSAM 183.1}

Because when he had tried to relate the vision, he forgot all about it and he couldn’t relate it again. That was the aftermath of him rejecting it, because he thought, Oh, I’ve got to give the vision. But then he couldn’t remember it. Now, as he heard the other, after the disappointment, he said, That’s the very vision that I had.

On getting a view of the person afterward, he said, “That is the instrument on whom the Lord has laid the burden.” {1905 JNL, GSAM 183.1}

That was the history of the Lord providing for these people who were getting ready for Jesus to come the testimony of Jesus in the Spirit of Prophecy. God would turn to the weakest of the weak, and we all know the story of E. G. White. She was the one who was next overcome by these visions. In those visions she had the experiences of the prophets when they went into vision. We will now give a few tests, and the important thing here is that we need to follow the scripture tests that are given us. It is important to note that when God brings us something by way of visions, we are not to discard them, but we are to examine them closely.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things.

A Startling Account

When these visions came to these people, Foy, Foss, and then E. G. White, the people had to examine the prophet. The following account that was given is a startling account. This needs to be verified, or else if it is not verified in our mind we have no excuse if it is true.

Early in my youth I was asked several times, Are you a prophet? I have ever responded, I am the Lord’s messenger. I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. {1SM 32.2}

This is what the Saviour said to her:

My Saviour declared me to be His messenger. “Your work,” He instructed me, “is to bear My word. Strange things will arise, and in your youth I set you apart to bear the message to the erring ones, to carry the word before unbelievers, and with pen and voice to reprove from the Word actions that are not right. Exhort from the Word. I will make My Word open to you. It shall not be as a strange language. In the true eloquence of simplicity, with voice and pen, the messages that I give shall be heard from one who has never learned in the schools. My Spirit and My power shall be with you. {1SM 32.2}

“Be not afraid of man, for My shield shall protect you. It is not you that speaketh: it is the Lord that giveth the messages of warning and reproof. Never deviate from the truth under any circumstances. Give the light I shall give you. The messages for these last days shall be written in books, and shall stand immortalized, to testify against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.” {1SM 32.3}

That is a profound statement. If this is true, if this is the Lord Jesus speaking, then if we ignore it we are lost, because He is here saying that, “The things that I am going to be showing are to be written in books, and it’s going to be standing against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.” Statements like this require a careful examination of the prophet to make sure that it is Christ, or it isn’t. We have been given the tests of the prophet.

Testing the Prophet

As I grew up in the German Seventh-Day Adventist church, the Germans did not have a very deep respect for E. G. White’s writings. They didn’t follow everything very well. And I didn’t have a high respect for her writings myself, for the testimonies. I loved Desire of Ages and Steps to Christ, but as for the testimonies, I was not a vegetarian, I did not accept the detailed things that the Spirit of Prophecy said in the testimonies. Then one day, I was severely tested whether she was right or not, because there were people that were coming to me to pull the carpet from underneath my feet of what I had been brought up with as an Adventist. I came to the point where she was either going to be of the devil or she was of God, one or the other. So I had to carefully examine whether I could trust what was written her writings. These were the tests that I pursued:

 1. To the Law and to the Testimony

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.

The law and the testimony. There has to be agreement with the Ten Commandments, and  the testimony of the other prophets. That was one test.

We know that E.G. White’s writings are in perfect harmony with the law, and as you examine her writings in comparison with the Bible, the prophets of old, there is perfect harmony there. Now is the other test:

2. In the Flesh

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

That is a test we have to apply to E. G. White’s writings. Is this the testimony of Jesus? How do I know? Test it to see whether the spirit confesseth that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. The original word in Greek for “the flesh” is “sarx”, which means “sinful flesh”. The exact translation is “the flesh of sin”. Here is probably the most comprehensive statement of E. G. White in reference to the flesh:

When Adam was assailed by the tempter in Eden he was without the taint of sin. He stood in the strength of his perfection before God. All the organs and faculties of his being were equally developed, and harmoniously balanced. {5BC 1081.5}

Adam in his pristine creation was a perfect flesh.

Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed. . . . {5BC 1081.6}

Notice the way she contrasts Christ from Adam:

In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him (RH July 28, 1874). {5BC 1081.7}

What is the Spirit of Prophecy saying here? Jesus came in a flesh that was different from Adam’s flesh. It had been degenerating in moral worth as well as in physical strength and in size. So far does she say that He came down that He was made to be sin for us. If that isn’t a proof that she passes this test, I don’t know what is, because it says that:

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh [in sarx, the flesh of sin] is of God:

3. Predictions Fulfilled

Then comes this test, If the prophet prophesies and the thing that he says does not come to pass, then you know that he is not of God. The prediction must come to pass.

Deuteronomy 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22 When 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.

There, E. G. White passes with flying colors. You may know the story of the Wessels in South Africa. This brother received letter after letter, he had a huge wealth and he was actually using his wealth to build up the sanitarium in South Africa. As he was building up the sanitarium to build up the true health message, he had friends who wanted to come to the hospital to have their smokes and drinks, and things like that, and Sister White had told him not to do that. But these friends were pressing him, so he decided to build a little building adjacent to the sanitarium, and there they were able to come and have their restoration time but smoked and drank, and had their teas and things like that. Sister White sent him message after message, and he said, “What can this little old lady tell me?” He just threw the envelopes in the drawer. Then, after a period of time, after having received many letters, and putting them in a drawer, his whole wealth went down, and he became bankrupt. All that he could take with him were certain furniture, while the rest of it was all taken away, and the sanitarium burnt down. In his depraved state, he opened up this drawer and pulled out all these letters and opened them one after the other. The story of his financial collapse was all laid out in front of him in detail, exactly as it happened. He had been warned all the time before but he didn’t even read them. He went straight ahead with all the things that he shouldn’t have done. Then he repented and regained a little bit of his wealth, but the Kimberley diamond mines were his property, and he lost the whole lot, before the diamonds were found. Then they found them on his property. Sister White was given visions. That was one beautiful example, but there are heaps of others. Never did her prophecies fail.

Then comes this other test:

4. By Their Fruits

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

All of us who have had experiences of the revelations of Sister White’s writings, know that the fruits of the Spirit were demonstrated by her all through her history. These are the scriptural tests that test the prophet, and I myself was perfectly satisfied that, “She must be of God”, there was no question in my mind. But then I tripped across the descriptions of Sister White when she was in vision. When Daniel went into vision all his comeliness melted away in him and he lost all his strength:

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.

We also see that his breath was not in him:

Daniel 10:17 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.

Then the angel strengthened him and he received supernatural strength:

Daniel 10:18 Then there came again and touched me [one] like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,

When the prophet Balaam was in vision, his eyes remained opened:

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:

Apostle Paul talks about himself being in vision, and he doesn’t know anything about his body. He was completely unconscious of his surroundings:

2 Corinthians 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Eye-witnesses

These Bible texts reveal to us that when a scriptural prophet is in vision that is what happens to them. We have a few testimonials in which we can compare what happened to the prophets in the past while in vision. This is a testimony by D. H. Lamson:

“I was then seventeen years old. It seems to me I can almost hear those thrilling shouts of ‘G-l-o-r-y!’ which she uttered. Then she sank back to the floor, not falling, but sinking gently, and was supported in the arms of an attendant. Two physicians came in, an old man and a young man. Brother White was anxious that they should examine Sister White closely, which they did. A looking-glass was brought, and one of them held it over her mouth while she talked; {1905 JNL, GSAM 207.4}

Now you try to talk and not send out a breath as you’re talking. While she was talking, they held a mirror over her mouth.

… but soon they gave this up, and said, ‘She doesn’t breathe.’ Then they closely examined her sides, as she spoke, to find some evidence of deep breathing, but they did not find it. As they closed this part of the examination, she arose to her feet, still in vision, holding a Bible high up, turning from passage to passage, quoting correctly, although the eyes were looking upward and away from the book. {1905 JNL, GSAM 207.4}

One after the other, in the book The Great Second Advent Movement, by J. N. Loughborough, we are given the descriptions of E. G. White in vision. Then there was D. T. Bourdeau, a French man who didn’t believe in the visions:

“June 28, 1857, I saw Sister Ellen G. White in vision for the first time. I was an unbeliever in the visions; but one circumstance among others that I might mention convinced me that her visions were of God. To satisfy my mind as to whether she breathed or not, I first put my hand on her chest sufficiently long to know that there was no more heaving of the lungs than there would have been had she been a corpse. I then took my hand and placed it over her mouth, pinching her nostrils between by thumb and forefinger, so that it was impossible for her to exhale or inhale air, even if she had desired to do so. I held her thus with my hand about ten minutes, long enough for her to suffocate under ordinary circumstances; she was not in the least affected by this ordeal. Since witnessing this wonderful phenomenon, I have not once been inclined to doubt the divine origin of her visions.” Signed, “D. T. Bourdeau, Battle Creek, Mich., Feb. 4, 1891.” {1905 JNL, GSAM 210.2}

I’d like to read one more test to actually help you see that this could not have been anything else but the Lord, because there was a spirit medium who said that her visions were exactly the same as his:

At the close of an exhortation given by Mrs. White to a large congregation that had assembled at the Adventist meeting-house, the blessing of God rested upon her in a remarkable degree, and she was taken off in vision while seated in her chair. There was present a Doctor Brown, a hale, strong man physically, a spirit medium. He had said that her visions were the same as spirit mediumship, and that if she had one where he was, he could bring her out of it in one minute. An invitation was given for any who desired to do so to come forward, and by examination satisfy themselves as to her condition while in vision. The doctor came forward, but before he had half completed his examination, he turned deathly pale, and shook like an aspen leaf. Elder White said, “Will the doctor report her condition?” He replied, “She does not breathe,” and rapidly made his way to the door. Those at the door who knew of his boasting said, “Go back, and do as you said you would; bring that woman out of her vision.” In great agitation he grasped the knob of the door, but was not permitted to open it until inquiry was made by those near the door, “Doctor, what is it?” He replied, “God only knows; let me out of this house;” and out he went. {1905 JNL, GSAM 210.4}

As Loughborough puts it, it was exactly what the Chaldeans did when Daniel was in vision. They ran for their lives. To me, these are tests that prove that E. G. White was a messenger from God. When I learnt that, I then realized I had to start reading those testimonies and put them into practice.

The reality that E. G. White’s writings are the testimony of Jesus, that it was what Jesus said to her, that “It is not you that speaketh, It is the Lord” has made an impact on my life that has caused me to pursue the proclamation of Adventism the way it was designed in the Spirit of Prophecy.

The 144,000 and the Spirit of Prophecy

Having already established that God would give the testimony of Jesus to present a people perfect through the testimonies, we turn to Revelation 7, where the 144,000 are spoken of:

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

The 144,000 have washed their robes of character and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. They are without fault.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

These are the ones who have been blessed because their works do follow them, and then comes verse 14, the coming of Jesus:

Revelation 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

How did they get there? How was it that they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb? We read it in 1 Corinthians 1: The testimony of Christ was confirmed among them so that through it they would be presented blameless. The text of 2 Corinthians makes it clear. What was in her? It was the Spirit of Prophecy. What does the Spirit of God do through His work in us through the messenger?

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

People read these texts and think that it is some sort of magic that happens; that God is just going to come there and do something in their lives by some sort of power. But according to the Spirit of Prophecy, the change in them is due to the testimony of Jesus that comes to them and instructs them.

A Clear, Pointed, Living Testimony

We will now go through statements from the Spirit of Prophecy where God, through her writings, tells us the manner by which this change is accomplished:

“I have been looking over the Testimonies given for Sabbathkeepers and I am astonished at the mercy of God and His care for His people in giving them so many warnings, pointing out their dangers, and presenting before them the exalted position which He would have them occupy. If they would keep themselves in His love and separate from the world, He would cause His special blessings to rest upon them and His light to shine round about them. {5T 662.2}

“The Lord reproves and corrects the people who profess to keep His law. He points out their sins and lays open their iniquity because He wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in His fear. . . . God rebukes, reproves, and corrects them, that they may be refined, sanctified, elevated, and finally exalted to His own throne.” {5T 662.1}

When we read in Malachi that Jesus is in His temple and His coming is to take place, the description that is given there tells us that He will purge His people to perfect them:

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit [as] a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

That beautiful picture of the life of justification and sanctification going on happens in the last days under the direct tuition of the testimony of Jesus. This purifying exercise is both set before us in this last Bible text of Malachi as well as in this testimony:

“The Lord reproves and corrects the people who profess to keep His law. He points out their sins and lays open their iniquity {5T 662.1}

Why?

…because He wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in His fear. . . . God rebukes, reproves, and corrects them, that they may be refined {5T 662.1}

There it is. And who may abide? Do you like reading E. G. White’s writings? Ahah… Do you like reading the testimonies? They are very, very refining. They are very rebuking. They are like fire. They refine, they sanctify, they elevate only the people who like it, and who want that, until finally they may be exalted to His throne.

God designs that His people shall be a unit, that they shall see eye to eye and be of the same mind and of the same judgment. This cannot be accomplished without a clear, pointed, living testimony in the church. {3T 361.3}

The testimonies of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy, are a clear pointed testimony by which He will produce a people who will be refined, and will stand united. That’s what the testimonies were given for.

The word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the word of God their study are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the word that they have neglected to follow.” {5T 663.2}

The people were given the Bible but they didn’t follow it, so God leaves them without excuse: He sends a prophet, like He did in old times. By pointed testimonies He now brings them back to the word that they have neglected to follow.

You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you had made God’s word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God’s inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings. {5T 664.3}

No wonder that this was written in books to testify against those who didn’t want to submit. There we have a scriptural guideline to understand the testimony of Jesus for our time, to understand where it comes from. It came through the years of the announcement of “The hour of God’s judgment is come.” They misunderstood it; the Lord sent prophets to help them, but the prophets that he sent them didn’t want to declare the message. When you think of it actually, if William Foy or Hazen Foss would have accepted the instruction, the people wouldn’t have been disappointed. But because these men failed, the disappointment came, and then E. G. White was given the vision to explain the disappointment, which would otherwise have been explained before it happened. That is a wonderful illustration of how God wants to help us right through to the end, “I will be with you to the very end”, through His testimonies, to purge us, and to cleanse us.

I have had so much experiences with people who threw the testimonies out because the moment they read them it turned their families upside down, and they hated it, so they threw it out. But that is exactly what the furnace of fire of purification does, because it is either going to clean up the camp or it is going to separate the camp. That is the time we live in. It’s the shaking. It’s the preparation of the 144,000.

May God help us to accept the Spirit of Prophecy, the testimony of Jesus, because it is relevant for our preparation so that we can stand perfect before the Lord comes.

Amen.

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Posted on March 9, 2013, in Sermons by John Thiel, The Spirit of Prophecy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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