The Gift of Prophecy: Part 2

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

In this edition, we continue with our series on The Gifts of the Spirit. The topic for this study is: The Gift of Prophecy: Part 2. In our previous study, we noted that until the second coming of Christ, the church of God on earth will continue to possess the gift of prophecy as well as all the other gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:5-8). Moreover, the prophecy of Joel made it clear to us that in the latter times God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and that both the sons and daughters of God will prophecy (Joel 2:28-29). In this study, we will continue to look at the gift of prophecy, and consider how it was manifested in a special way among God's end time remnant people.

The beloved apostle wrote the following in relation to God's end time people: "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" (Revelation 12:17). From the text above, we learn that one of the definite characteristics that will identify God's last day movement is that they will have the testimony of Jesus. But what is the testimony of Jesus? We find the answer in Revelation 19:10 as follows:

"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" (Revelation 19:10; Capital Emphasis Added).

From the last chapter of the book of Revelation, we learn more in relation to this spirit of prophecy: "22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, AND OF THY BRETHREN THE PROPHETS, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God."

(Revelation 22:8-9; Capital Emphasis Added)
Friends, a careful comparison of the text in Revelation 19:10 with that of Revelation 22:8-9 brings out the clear fact that the spirit of prophecy which will be manifested among God's end time movement as one of her identifying characteristics will be the same prophetic gift which was exercised by the apostle John and his "brethren the prophets" in biblical times. What this means is that, as was the case with John and the earlier prophets of old, the manifestation of the spirit of prophecy in God's end time church will involve FORETELLING among other expressions of the prophetic gift. This gift of prophecy was to serve as a guiding light for God’s end time movement as they proclaimed the everlasting gospel and the three angels' messages contained therein to the ends of the earth (see Revelation 10:11; Revelation 14:6-12).

Beloved, the gift of the prophets was manifested in God's end time movement, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through the prophetic ministry of Ellen Gould White. As a child, Ellen G. White encountered a life threatening accident at school that left her frail and without hope of a formal education. Chosen by God while still the weakest of the weak, she became a tower of strength to a group of people called by God to fulfill the proclamation of the everlasting gospel and the three angels' messages contained in it (review Revelation 14:6-12 --- for a detailed biblical explanation on how the Seventh-day Adventist Church fulfills the identifying marks of God's end time remnant church, please request for our presentation entitled: A Great Wonder in Heaven: A Woman Clothed With the Sun and the Moon Under Her Feet through any of the WhapApp numbers provided at the end of this study).

From the time she was 17 years old until she died 70 years later, God gave this woman approximately 2,000 visions and prophetic dreams. The material that she wrote fills more than 80 books, 200 tracts and pamphlets and 4,600 periodical articles. It will interest you to know that the work and life of Ellen Gould White fulfills all the biblical tests of a true prophet of God. Outlined below are some of the evidences in relation to her prophetic calling:


Key Text: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).

Key Explanation: The writings of Ellen G. White were in harmony with the law of God and the entire Scripture. The goal of her writings was to lead people back to the Bible as the rule of faith and standard of living. In the page 204, paragraph 2 of her classic book, The Great Controversy, we read the following in respect to how she viewed the Scripture: "In our time there is a wide departure from their doctrines and precepts, and there is need of a return to the great Protestant principle - the Bible, and the Bible only, as the rule of faith and duty." In fact, Sister White, as she was affectionately called, did not regard her writings as an addition to Scripture. From her collections entitled Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, page 605, we read the following in relation to this point: "The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man's duty to God and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God's word yet but few of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given and in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse." Over the years, many who have come into contact with the writings of Ellen G. White have attested to the fact that her writings are in perfect harmony with Scripture.


Key Text: "The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him" (Jeremiah 28:9).

Key Explanation: Besides conditional prophecies whose outcome are dependent on the actions of the people concerned (see Jeremiah 18:7-10; Jonah 3), all prophecies of a true prophet must come to pass to the letter. When we go back to history, we find that this is exactly what happened in relation to the prophecies of Ellen G. White. From 1902, she warned of the coming judgement of God on the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. This is her actual prophetic words in relation to these two cities: "for not long hence these cities will suffer under the judgments of God. San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit them in wrath" (6BIO 87.3). It is sobering to learn later on about the devastating earthquake that toppled many buildings leading to several loss of lives within these two cities in 1906. Many have also connected the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in America to this prophecy of Ellen G. White given in late 1901:

"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).

Besides these prophecies, Ellen G. White also wrote extensively in the field of nutrition and health in general. She gave remedies on nutrition during an era that modern science knew only little about the subject. Dr. Clive McCay, former professor of Nutrition at Cornell University, made this profound statement in relation to Ellen White's contribution in the field of Nutrition: "In spite of the fact that the works of Mrs. White were written long before the advent of modern scientific nutrition, no better overall guide is available today" (A Nutritional Authority Discusses Mrs. E. G. White, Review and Herald, February 26, 1959, p. 10).


Key Text: "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" (Numbers 12:6; Capital Emphasis Added).

Key Explanation: True prophets will receive direct messages from God through visions and dreams. This was exactly the case in relation to the prophetic gift of Ellen G. White. Over a period of 70 years, God gave this woman approximately 2,000 visions and prophetic dreams. It is interesting to note that various unusual signs which attended the biblical prophets while they were in vision were also manifested in the prophetic ministry of Ellen G. White. As was the case with the prophet Daniel (see Daniel 10:8, 17), Ellen White initially lost physical strength, and did not breath the entire period she received various visions from God. She sometimes also exhibited remarkable physical strength while in vision. For instance, even though she weighed only 80 pounds in 1845, she was able to carry an 18.5 pound family Bible in her outstretched left hand for half an hour while in vision. All these unusual phenomena which attended the prophetic work of Ellen G. White clearly attested to the fact that she was a true prophet of God.


Key Text: "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.

4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

4:3 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."

(1 John 4:1-3)
Key Explanation: True prophets proclaim the biblical fact of the divine human nature of Christ. They attest that even though God, Christ became flesh in order to give up His life for the salvation of mankind (see Philippians 2:5-8). Ellen White passes this test of a true prophet in a marked manner. Her published works such as the Desire of Ages and Christ's Object Lessons attest to this fact. From the pages 2 and 3 of Christ's Object Lessons, we read the following: "Wondrous combination of man and God! He might have helped His human nature to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from His divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But He humbled Himself to man's nature....What humility was this! It amazed angels. The tongue can never describe it; the imagination cannot take it in. The eternal Word consented to be made flesh! God became man!" (5BC 1127.2).


Key Text: "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21).

Key Explanation: The lifestyle of Ellen White stands in distinct contrast to the lifestyle of several prophets of our day. Her life was like a fragrance of sweet smelling flower that radiated the air of every place she stayed and laboured. All who got acquainted with her testified of her humility and godly principles, behaviour and character. As all the prophets of God, she was not immune to sin but strived to please her Lord. Her friendliness, care and willingness to offer help to all who came into contact with her was something that was not to be overlooked by the world after her death. The Saint Helena Star newspaper, commenting on the death of Ellen White made the following statement: "The life of Mrs. White is an example worthy of emulation by all. ... She was a humble, devout disciple of Christ, and ever went about doing good. ... She was honored and respected by all who appreciate noble womanhood consecrated to unselfish labor for the uplifting and betterment of mankind. Her death marks the calling of another noted leader of religious thought and one whose almost ninety years were full to overflowing with good deeds, kind words, and earnest prayers for all mankind" (Saint Helena Star, July 23, 1915).


Key Text: "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me" (John 1:15).

Key Explanation: True prophets will seek to uplift Christ in all their work. In her published works such as the Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, Christ's Object Lessons, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings and many others, Ellen White uplifts Christ as the unique Saviour and Lord of mankind. In the book Gospel Workers, page 160, we read the admonition of Ellen G. White to preachers in relation to this very point: "Lift up Jesus, you that teach the people, lift Him up in sermon, in song, in prayer. Let all your powers be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, lost, to ‘the Lamb of God.’ Lift Him up, the risen Saviour, and say to all who hear, Come to Him who ‘hath loved us, and hath given himself for us.’ Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Bring nothing into your preaching to supplement Christ, the wisdom and power of God. Hold forth the word of life, presenting Jesus as the hope of the penitent and the stronghold of every believer. Reveal the way of peace to the troubled and the despondent, and show forth the grace and completeness of the Saviour" (Gospel Workers, Page 160).


Key Text: "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Corinthians 14:3).

Key Explanation: God used Ellen G. White to edify, comfort and exhort the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The first vision that was given to Ellen G. White at Gorham, Maine, was actually a vision to comfort and encourage the disappointed Millerite believers, many of whom will later become the founding members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her prophetic counsels given at critical times to church administrators and leaders in various spheres of church work helped to protect the church from the subtle inroads of the enemy of souls. A clear example of her prophetic leadership was exhibited when she counselled the church to reject teachings on pantheism which was being promoted by the influential Dr. John Harvey Kellogg through his book "The Living Temple" which was published by the Good Health Publishing Company in 1903.

Through the prophetic leadership of Ellen White, the Seventh-day Adventist Church also began to set up various schools, colleges, sanitariums and other ministry related institutions in America and in other parts of the world. Following in the counsels of Ellen G. White, the Seventh-day Adventist Church today is well established in 216 out of the 238 countries recognised by the United Nations. The Adventist Church is ranked second only to the Catholic Church in terms of the setting up and running of schools, colleges, universities and hospitals.


Key Text: "But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, TO DECLARE UNTO JACOB HIS TRANSGRESSION, AND TO ISRAEL HIS SIN" (Micah 3:8; Capital Emphasis Added).

Key Explanation: True prophets in biblical times did not mince words in condemning the sins of the people when they were in error. This mark of a true prophet is also true in relation to Ellen White. Just as the Lord uncovered David's sin through the prophet Nathan (see 2 Samuel 12:1-14), God also revealed unto Ellen G. White the sinful lifestyles of many who claimed to hold on to the belief of Christ's soon second coming. She endeavored to warn all such whose cases were brought before her by the Lord through personal contacts with them. Those she could not reach personally, she wrote letters to relate to them what the Lord had revealed unto her in relation to their wrong courses of action. Besides, offering testimonies from God to individuals in the church, she also warned the corporate church whenever the church was pursuing a wrong course of action. A case in point was her counsel to the administrators of the Review and Herald Publishing House in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was shown by the Lord that the staff of the press had begun publishing secular materials at the expense of their core mandate of publishing religious materials to advance the cause of God. Based on this revelation, Sister White counselled the administrators of the Review and Herald Publishing House of their error, and warned of the coming judgement of God if they did not swiftly turnaround from the negative path that they had begun to pursue. Her counsel fell on death ears. However, on the night of December 30, 1902, just as Ellen White had warned, the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Battle Creek was hewn down by fire that came from the Lord Himself.

Friends, from what we have gone through so far, it is clear that Ellen G. White was a true prophet of God as she passes all the tests that the Bible provides to identify a true prophet of God. Even though the enemy of souls has raised several critics to diffuse the effect of the prophetic work of this woman, her influence is still strongly felt around today in several areas such as education, health, family, nutrition and theology. It is interesting to learn that this woman who did not even attain a formal education because of an unfortunate accident at school in her early years is yet considered the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Of the thousands of books in the Library of Congress on the life of Jesus, "The Desire of Ages" by Ellen G. White, is one of the most used and asked for. Her most popular book, "Steps to Christ", translated into over 160 languages, has led many to a deeper relationship with Christ. The book that she wished was circulated more than any other, "The Great Controversy", has led many to a deeper understanding of the ongoing conflict between good and evil.

Friends, the best proof that convinces me that she was really a prophet of God is her books. Just read her books and you will have no question or doubt about her prophetic gift. Researchers such as Roger L. Dudley and Des Cummings, Jr. found in their study among Adventists that those who regularly read Ellen G. White's books have a closer relationship with Christ, become more certain of their standing with God, and are more likely to have identified their spiritual gifts. Such people are more in favour of spending for public evangelism, and contribute more heavily to local missionary projects. The researchers also found out that Adventists who regularly read Ellen White's books feel more prepared for witnessing, and actually engaged in more witnessing and outreach programmes. They discovered that her readers are more likely to study their Bible daily, and also pray for specific people.

Ellen Gould White: wife, mother, writer, counsellor, God’s messenger. Chosen while still the weakest of the weak, she became a tower of strength to a group of people called by God in the last days of this world’s history - The Seventh-day Adventist Church. (Keepers of the Flame - "Weakest of the Weak" (Video Series) by Adventist Heritage Ministries; Roger L. Dudley and Des Cummings, Jr., "A Comparison of the Christian Attitudes and Behaviours Between Those Adventist Church Members Who Regularly Read Ellen White Books and Those Who Do Not," 1982, pp. 41, 42.)

Exhortation: From God's Holy Word, we read the following admonition on how we should relate to people like Ellen G. White who exercised the genuine gift of prophecy:

i) "Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper" (2 Chronicles 20:20).

ii) "20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

In our next study, we will consider the topic: The Gift of Tongues: Part 1. The Bible Study references for this study are Ezra 4:7, Daniel 1:4, Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 4:1-2, Matthew 10:5-8, Matthew 15:24, Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-18. Please do well to go through these passages before the next study is released.

Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.


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