The Following is a Bible Study I put together recently about the Prophetic Gift and Ellen White after being asked by some people I have the pleasure of studying with, I apologize if anything is unclear as this study does assume some prior knowledge of prophecy, I hope it gets you thinking!
Why are we given Spiritual gifts?
In Matt 28:19-20 all believers receive the great commission to spread the Gospel and in Ephesians 4:12 we find that it is for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. God’s People should be showing his gifts.
The Gift in question;
Spiritual gifts are listed in: 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4.
The only Gift listed in all three passages, is the gift of
Is Prophecy still a valid Spiritual Gift?
if we still see the manifestations of all the other gifts listed in the above passages, it is a logical conclusion that the gift of Prophecy is still relevant today.
Matt 24:11 Warns of false prophets, this implies there will be true prophets.
Can Spiritual Gifts be false?
Matt 7:22, did we not prophesy in thy name?
2 Thess 2:9-10, satan’s power, signs and lying wonders.
Rev 16:13-14 false prophet
Before the fall, Humanity had face to face communication with God.
We can see in Genesis 3:3 God had obviously instructed them as Eve knew what “God has said”
After the fall, man was no longer able to have communion with God in this way, our association with God became more and more infrequent and as a result prophet’s were used to communicate to the people of God.
The first recorded Prophet is Abraham in Genesis 20:7 he was the first in a long line of prophets which God has raised up through the History of the world, every time there was a need to prepare, rebuke, correct or lead the people.
1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 Do not despise prophecy. The people of every age seem content with those prophets before them, this is why so many Prophets were killed, Jesus himself called John the Baptist the greatest prophet and he was rejected and killed but we now hold him in high regard, therefore we should not rely on tradition, gut feelings or what ‘sounds good’ we must measure the evidence against scripture and make solid decisions based upon this.
God’s final movement’
Revelation 10 reveals what would happen in 1844 and predicts the Prophetic gift: “Thou must Prophesy again” how can a movement “prophesy again” without a prophet?
Recap Revelation 12 and then Read verses 13-16
What time in history are we looking at?
After the time times and half a time (1260 years of papal persecution) when God’s church again is made visible. with the following characteristics;
- Keeping the Commandments of God (Rev 12:17)
- Having the testimony of Jesus (the Prophetic gift Rev 19:10)
- Rising after 1798 (Rev 10, 12:16-17, 13:3)
Compare Revelation 19:10 with 22:8-9 see the parallel of the testimony of Jesus and the prophetic gift.
In Rev 1:9 John even cites the Testimony of Jesus as the cause of his time on patmos, he was there to prophesy, to write the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Can a woman be a Prophet?
Joel 2:28 Sons and daughters shall prophesy.
You can also find women who were prophets in;
- Exodus 15:20-21 Miriam
- Judges 4:4-10 Deborah
- 2 Kings 22:14-20 Huldah
- Acts 21:8-9 the four daughters of Philip the evangelist and initial Deacon.
The Test of a True Prophet.
Isaiah 8:20 What they say must be in harmony with Scripture, and God’s commandments, all 10 of them.
Ellen White continually points her readers to scripture at the ultimate basis for all belief, to prove this all one must do is read her literature.
Jeremiah 28:9 What they Predict must come to pass with the exception of conditional prophecy ie: Jonah’s prophecy against Nineveh. Jonah 3:4-10 Eg: The Following, is not officially recognised as the twin towers but it is certainly an interesting thought.
“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.
(There are many other well documented fulfilled predictions of Ellen White)
1 John 4:1-2 They must believe in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Ellen White freely states this often. Her writings, as well as the Bible are Christocentric and Theocentric.
1 Corinthians 14:3 a true prophet gives direction to God’s true church. And a true prophet’s messages will cover all of these three areas:
- Edification — to instruct morally;
- Exhortation — this means to strongly advise;
- Comfort — to soothe in distress or sorrow, to console. All of these three things will be exemplified by a true prophet. Again, Ellen white consistently operated in these three functions.
Matt 7:20 Look at the fruits of their ministry, what did it produce? was it good, holy, selfless etc or was it filled with self and gain? Ellen White’s ministry, though she is dead, continues to this day, pointing people to the Bible and Jesus while inspiring many to cast themselves into the service of others as she herself was well known for (even by those outside the church) not just as missionaries, doctors, nurses, but in all manner of occupations, surrendering your own convenience and comfort for the wellbeing of others.
Numbers 12:6 According to the Bible, a true prophet of God receives their communications from God by two distinct methods: dreams and visions.
Ellen White Received over 2000 of them in her lifetime.
Other parallels between Ellen white and Biblical Prophets
Numbers 24:4, 16 God’s True prophets have been known to have their eyes open whilst in vision. Ellen White also exhibited this, whilst in vision she would neither move nor blink
Daniel 10:17 This is possibly an allusion to what Ellen white experienced in her visions, not breathing yet still living.
Ellen White was examined by physicians while in vision many times and at no time was she breathing, even while in vision for protracted amounts of time.
Daniel 10:18 God’s Prophets are strengthened by ministering angels. while this is not direct proof, it is compelling circumstantial evidence. Once, while in vision Ellen white, who weighed less than 45kg held an 18 pound (over 8kg) (that is nearly 20% of her own body-weight), family Bible at arm’s length for over 30 minutes. A previous Mr Universe attempted this with the very same Bible and only reached 4 minutes.
After covering the prophetic tests, I believe we are left with the inescapable conclusion that Ellen White was a Prophet, and that her writings should be read and adhered to.
NOTE: Are Ellen White’s writings on the same level as scripture?
No, there were many Prophets in history who’s writings are not part of canonical scripture (like Nathan the prophet and John the Baptist), and even inspired letters written by other Bible writers which are non-canonical (ie:we know of other inspired letters of Paul, but they are not part of the Bible.)
This, however does not at all downplay their importance as they are a message from God for our specific time in history, in the same way, John the baptist never had a book canonized in scripture, that didn’t make him any less a prophet, his message was of extreme importance to the people of his age, just as Mrs White’s writings are of extreme importance to us today,”Upon whom the ends of the age have come”