Messenger for a Movement

Scripture: Matthew 7:15, Revelation 12:17, Acts 2:17-18
Is Ellen White truly speaking for the Lord? Or is her message a dangerous one that contradicts the Bible? Here are tests of a genuine prophet outlined in Scripture.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Well, I hope you’ll be praying tonight. We have a very important subject we’d like to share with you. And as I often do, I’d like to begin with an Amazing Fact. September 15th of this year, a young lady by the name of Eva Wisnierska, who was a 35-year-old German paraglider, was in New South Wales, Australia involved in the championships there. You’ve seen these paragliders, they’ve got like the half a parachute that they sail through the sky on and they’re non-powered. And while she was up in the air, the weather changed. Sometimes they soar for hours, kind of they catch the currents. Thunderstorms moved in and she was sucked up into a massive supercell thunder cloud. She radioed with her radio to her crew on the ground and said, I’m going up 65 feet a second and I can’t stop. I don’t know where I am. I’m being beaten up by hailstones. She called back, there’s ice forming on my gloves, they’re stuck to the controls. There’s ice on the paraglider. And they could see on their equipment on the ground, the GPS tracking device she had, pretty soon the radio went silent.

They found her, oh, about an hour later. She was at a farm about 20 miles away on the ground. And she tells the story that she was caught up into this cloud and kept going up, up, up and saw lightening all around her and occasional rainbows and hail, and just the majesty of it was the most awesome thing. And pretty soon she got up where she was feeling frozen all over and frost bite. She was pulled up 32,000 feet that day. Now, you realize that jets don’t even fly that high. Well, I mean, some do but oxygen, people can’t live without oxygen up there for very long. Fifty degrees below zero. She had frostbite on her face. And she woke up, she was descending. She still managed a perfect landing and curled up in a fetal position until she could melt the ice. And her crew found her with the tracking devices. That was some miracle. The one who manned the event said the chances of her surviving an experience like that is like winning the lottery ten times in a row. The record before that was 20,000 feet. She passed it by 12,000 feet. It’s pretty amazing. Caught up to the heavens.

Our study tonight is going to deal with another woman who was caught up to heaven, so to speak. We’re going to talk about something tonight that I think people need to hear and it’s a very important subject. The title of the sermon tonight is Messenger for a Movement. And I’m going to talk to you a little bit about an individual called Ellen G. White, and she is one of the founders of the Seventh Day Adventist movement. And the way it began was back in 1844. Because Christians looked at the prophecies in Daniel 8 that talked about 2,300 days, the sanctuary would be cleansed. They calculated and recalculated those dates. And they had the dates right. But they had the event wrong. They thought what was going to happen is the sanctuary being cleansed, the earth was the sanctuary, Christ would come, cleanse the earth. But nothing in the Bible says that the earth is the sanctuary. God is the sanctuary in heaven. You realize the New Testament Church was born from a great misunderstanding? The disciples were sure they understood the prophecies that Jesus was going to flex his Messiah-muscles and overthrow the Romans, and seat himself on the throne of David, and Israel was going to reign over the world. They had this whole concept, even right up until the last time when they were on their way to Jerusalem.

Jesus said you just don’t get it. I’m going to Jerusalem. I’m going to be betrayed. I’m going to die. I’ll rise the third day. And it says they just could not understand it. Even after he rose, they said, ‘Lord, will you at this time set up the kingdom?’ They misunderstood. So it shouldn’t surprise us that God raises up a great movement, sometimes from the bowels of a great disappointment. Well, when Jesus did not come in 1844, as many Christians believed all around the world -- they were in South America and Europe and North America. It was called the Great Advent Movement. It has nothing to do with Seventh Day Adventist, in the sense that they were not organized as a church until another 20 years later, approximately. But some of us said, what do we do? Where did we go wrong? And they kept studying and they discovered, well, we had the date right. It’s the event. There’s a sanctuary in heaven. Christ has entered his final work. And God began cleansing the sanctuary on earth. They said, let’s put aside our differences and find out what the Bible really teaches. And so Presbyterians and Baptists and Methodists and people from all different backgrounds said, let’s forget about our denominational differences and find out what the Bible really teaches. And it was during that time of Christians coming together, these believers, who had been so excited about the prospect of Jesus coming, they said, let’s find out what the Bible really teaches. This movement, the Seventh Day Adventist movement, was born.

In one of those meetings, while some ladies were praying, one day, Ellen G. White, 17 years old at the time and in very frail health -- many of her friends and the physicians thought that she was actually terminal at that time -- she went into vision. And she was shown the movement of God’s people towards the City of God. And just overwhelmed with the power of God and the glory of God. And from that point, when she was 17 years old, not only did she survive, she lived another 70 years and she had about 2,000 visions during that time. And through the guidance that God gave this movement through this very frail young lady, it became the fastest growing Protestant movement in the world today. And I’d like to have you look with an honest eye at the possibility that God has sent a real prophet in these last days for people to be guided by, to learn from. That people are still inspired by God’s spirit. Let’s go to the Bible. I’m going to give you a lot of scripture. I hope that you’ve got something to record this with. Going to use the question/answer format once again. Question No. 1 - What primary warning did Jesus give about the last days? A number of times in the Gospels, Jesus tells his followers, Matthew 7:15, ‘Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves.’ And, again, in Matthew 24:11, ‘Many false prophets will rise and deceive many.’ And we’ve seen that, haven’t we? There’s been no shortage of false prophets. [Amen] Jesus said there’d be many.

Now, you notice he did not say there won’t be any true prophets. If the Lord is warning us to be on our guard about false prophets, that would imply that somewhere there are true prophets. Otherwise, Jesus would have said, in the last days watch out for anybody who says they’re a prophet. He didn’t say that. He said watch out for the false ones because they’re going to be the majority. And so whenever anybody says that they’re a prophet, I’m naturally very suspicious. All you’ve got to do is stand in line at the supermarket and you can see all the tabloids constantly are touting the latest prophesy. And, of course, you know, there are folks who are still avid followers of everybody from Nostradamus to Jean Dixon and Edgar Casey and there’s lots of people who claim to be prophets. Many of the tabloid prophets are just talking about the movie stars and what they’re going to do next. And I don’t really see Bible prophets focusing on, you know, who Elizabeth Taylor is going to marry next. You don’t have to be a prophet to know she’s going to get married again, do you? And I mean, you know, that’s the kind of stuff that they’re dealing with and politics. And I heard one person actually took a lot of these supermarkets tabloids and he investigated and calculated it and did some statistics and after a couple of years of studying, out of 250 specific predictions, I think less than three percent were considered accurate. And that was even a stretch.

That’s sort of like trying to catch a duck by just firing a shotgun into the clouds and hoping you get one flying by. You’d have just as good an odd. Question No. 2 - What types of false prophets are condemned in the Bible? Now, there’s quite a few in this category here. Let’s look at some of them: (A) One who uses divination. By the way, most of this is found in Deuteronomy 18:10 and on. One that uses divination, that’s like a fortune teller, people who are reading your cards. Christians should have nothing to do with that. (B) An observer of times or, more precisely, an astrologer. You know how many people read their horoscopes? That, to me, I think that’s so pathetic because when I grew up in New York City, my mother actually wrote for tabloid magazines. She was a songwriter, too. She was a reporter for the Midnight Globe. And my mother wrote a cassette tape of love songs according to the Zodiac. There were 12 songs that she wrote, one for each sign of the Zodiac, and it sold and did very well. And I asked mom, I said, do you believe that stuff? She says, are you kidding? And so here, you’ve got all these people who are writing these horoscopes and they’re giving readings and if you asked them in a quiet spot, do you really believe this stuff? They’d just snicker.

They’re just taking peoples’ money. It’s so tragic. And yet there are people who really believe in that and they’re constantly wanting to know whether or not it’s safe to go shopping that day, based on their horoscope. And they always say something like, today something interesting will happen to you. It’s always very vague, you know, sort of like fortune cookies. But now, astrology is condemned by the Bible. That’s not to be confused with astronomy, which is the fascinating and legitimate science of study in the heavens. There’s nothing wrong with that. (C) Another one, an enchanter or a magician. And, you know, let’s face it. A lot of magicians -- I’m not talking about the person who comes to the birthday party and does something with a banana as a trick. We’re talking about the ones who are, you know, pretending that there are supernatural powers involved. And if you -- I’m going to probably get questions on this -- if you got any doubt about something like this, ask yourself, can you picture Jesus -- a Christian is a follower of Jesus, right? Can you picture Jesus trying to impress everybody by sawing an apostle in half? I mean, you know, what’s exactly the purpose of that? It’s based on deception. Even the ones who admit it’s all a trick.

It’s just, let me show you how I can deceive you. (D) Deuteronomy 18:10 says, a witch -- which is a female psychic, someone who can read your future, which is like a fortune teller, a charmer, a person who casts spell and charms, the voodoo and the incantations that they perform. Christians shouldn’t be involved, obviously, in that. (E) And something that’s a little more obvious these days, a consulter with familiar spirits. It’s mindboggling to me. Here we are in a very sophisticated, supposedly modern, educated, technological society and yet folks are talking to people on TV and they’re being interviewed by the news agencies that can supposedly consult with the dead. And they say, oh, I can see your dead family, they’re behind you right now and they’re trying to tell you something. Let me tell you what they’re trying to tell you. Well, those folks are in communication with the devil, I think. And Christians should have nothing to do with that business. It’s a spirit medium. And this is one that’s more popular recently, Sylvia Brown. (F) A wizard or a male psychic. Again, somebody who is, that’s sort of the male version of the witch. Now, if you think that this is irrelevant, let me just remind you it’s a lot more common in high places than you might dream. I told you. I grew up, mother lived in Beverly Hills, film critic, president of the film critics there, lived in New York City, lived in Miami Beach. And I was around a lot of these people, very wealthy. There’s a whole lot of spiritualism in high places.

Not everybody but it’s very pervasive. Some of you remember a few years ago when Nancy Reagan, it finally came out that she was consulting the Zodiac as she scheduled the President’s appointments. How many of you remember that? How many of you remember when they began to tease Mrs. Clinton because she was talking a friend who was a spirit medium and Mrs. Clinton let out of the bag she was trying to get a hold of Eleanor Roosevelt. Does anyone remember that? And so, and I’m sure there’s a lot more that I don’t know about and we haven’t heard about. These folks that are dabbling with the occult for guidance. Well, they may get some messages but it won’t be a message from Jesus. The devil gives messages, too. And that should trouble us a little bit. So there’s plenty of false prophets out there. Question No. 3 - Are prophets still part of God’s plan for his church today, in the last days? What does the Bible say? Acts 2, Peter’s preaching, he’s quoting from the book of Joel, Chapter 2, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, sayeth God, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh in the last days. And your sons and your daughters will prophesy.’ So does he say in the last days that sons and daughters will prophesy, old men will dream dreams, young men will see visions? [Amen.] Malachi 4:5, last prophecy in the Old Testament, ‘Behold, I send you a Elijah the prophet.’

Now I want to pause there because Jesus tells us in Matthew 11, Jesus tells us that John the Baptist was the fulfillment of coming in the spirit and power of Elijah. But Jesus said that he was not the only fulfillment. He said, indeed, Elijah has already come and they’ve done to him whatever they will because he was arrested and executed. And Elijah will come. There’s a future coming. When you read the rest of this verse back here in Malachi 4:5, ‘Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.’ So the same spirit and power of Elijah that got the world ready during Jesus’s first coming is going to precede his second coming. [Amen] Well, I send you Elijah the prophet. Prophecy is a gift that still will be needed in the last days. Question No. 4 - Will God’s end-time church have the gift of prophecy? Being a little more specific now. If you look in Revelation 12:17, you remember in our study last night, we read the last verse there said, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman and he went to make war -- who does a dragon especially hate -- with the remnant of her seed’ -- two characteristics -- ‘which keep the commandments of God’ -- we’ve talked about the Ten Commandments and the law -- ‘and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Catch that.

She’s got the testimony of Jesus Christ. Now, what does that mean? Let the Bible explain itself. If you go to the same book, Revelation 19:10, John is getting ready to worship the angel that’s giving him this tour of heaven during his vision and the angel says, ‘Don’t do that.’ You’re to just worship God. ‘I am of thy fellow servants of they brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ [Amen.] So we just read that the last church is going to have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. And the angel says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And so is the spirit of prophecy going to be one of the gifts of the spirit in the last days? [Amen.] And when you look through the gifts of the spirit, prophecy is one of those gifts. God hasn’t withdrawn his promise to give any of those gifts to the church. I believe in all of them, including tongues, though it has been misapplied and misinterpreted by many. I believe in miracles. I believe in all the gifts of the spirit.

I believe we’re going to see the same kind of power among God’s people in modern times that you witness in apostolic times, in the last days. [Amen.] That’s right. Question No. 5 - To whom does God reveal his final plans? Amos 3:7, ‘Surely, the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.’ The Lord does nothing unless he reveals it to his servants and prophets. Meaning, whenever God does anything significant in the last days, through history, he always raises up a prophet. For instance, when God was ready to destroy the world because of their wickedness with a flood, did the Lord send a prophet to help prepare them? What was his name? [Noah.] Noah, okay. When he was getting ready to pour plagues out on Egypt and deliver them from their bondage, did he send a prophet? [Moses.] What was his name? Moses. Before they were carried off to Babylon, did he send a prophet to warn them? [Daniel.] Did they have a prophet while they were in Babylon? Daniel. Did he send prophets to lead them out of Babylon? Ezra, Nehemiah.

When Jesus came the first time, did he send John the Baptist? And then in the early church, were there prophets? Question No. 6 - What is the most important test of a prophet? Well, we’re going to look at -- there’s several tests for what a true prophet is. And we’ve already talked about false prophets and how to avoid them. We know what that definition is now. How do we identify if someone is a true prophet? Let’s face it. Be honest with me. If someone walked up to you, you just met them on the street, and they looked normal enough. But they said I’ve just come to tell you that I’m a prophet and I’ve got a message for you. How many of you will honestly say your first impression would be that you’re talking to a kook? Can I get a -- hold your hands back up. I wanted them to see that back at home. All right. Well, you’re just as cynical as I am. Because probably that’s what I would do. But what would it take if God did want to send a prophet to you with a message? How would he get your attention? What are the tests that you would apply so you could know if this person is genuine or just one of the many wolves in sheep’s clothing? The Bible gives some tests. What is the most important test to determine if a person is a true prophet? For, at least for a Christian, it’s a very easy one. 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.’ That means that whatever they’re saying needs to be in harmony with this book. Amen?

Now, I’m going to stop here and there along the way and I’d like to submit to you that I believe that Ellen White was a true prophet. And this is based on my own study and just the conviction of the evidence that I cannot escape. Here are some quotes from her own writings. She, not only are her books riddled with scripture. I don’t know how many of you have read some of Ellen White’s books, but if you read Great Controversy and Desire of Ages and Patriots and Prophets and Steps to Christ, she, this dear lady wrote 49 complete books and there are probably 150 compilations that are out there today that have been formed from various manuscripts and writings. Wrote more than any other woman in American History. If for no other reason, this probably deserved your attention to investigate what she wrote. Her books are translated into more languages than any other woman, any other woman author. If for no other reason, that ought to, that’s something. [Amen.] All right. Does she go by the Bible? From her own mouth, some people say, oh, Seventh Day Adventist Christians, they go by Ellen White instead of the Bible. People who say that, it’s just, nothing personal, but it’s ignorance. I’m a Bible Christian.

When I teach the Bible, every where I go, when I teach our message, I teach it from the Bible. [Amen.] It’s very easy to show from the scripture. But now I’m going to read from her own pen how she felt about the Bible and its relationship for the Christian. This is from the book, Great Controversy, 593. ‘The people of God are directed through the scriptures as their safeguard against the influences of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. So closely will the counterfeit’ -- especially in the last days -- ‘resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the holy scriptures. By their testimony, every statement and every miracle must be tested.’ So she always said, test everything by the Bible. The Bible is the last word. Now, there are some churches out there that they have a different scenario. But she constantly exalted the Bible. She never looked upon her writings as a substitute for the Bible. She looked upon them as a magnifying glass, an inspired commentary to give better understanding of the Bible. But the whole idea of everything she wrote was to ricochet the attention back to Jesus and the Bible. In itself, to me, that’s some of the strongest evidence of the genuineness of her gift.

Because so many other false prophets, they seem to like to capture some of the glory along the way for themselves. And, you know, another way you can pretty quickly tell a false prophet is when they send you an invoice for their prophecy. Or they ask for you credit card number before they give you their prophecy. Or they say, I’ve got a prophecy for you but first we’re taking up the offering. I mean, I can’t imagine Elijah saying to Ahab, dogs will eat Jezebel by the pool of Maybeth, and that’s going to cost you $9.95, but if you order now, get your credit card out. So a real prophet, you can’t stop them from giving the prophecy. Money is not an object. And matter of fact, Naaman, after being healed, he came to give Elisha money, he said, keep your money, you can’t pay for salvation, take it with you. Someone tried to pay Peter, who was a prophet, for the Holy Spirit. He said your money perish with you to think that you could buy the gift of God. So anybody out there that’s saying I’m a prophet and they’re taking up donations and you’ve got to be very careful.

One of the presidents of the General Conference, William A. Spicer, he was present the last time Ellen White spoke publicly at a church general assembly. And he said, I remember the last words this faithful servant ever spoke in the general assembly of the movement. And here were her words. She says, ‘Brethren and sisters, I commend unto you this book.’ And she held out the Bible. All that she said and did was to bring the Bible to the people. Now, that’s not the way with a lot of churches and, you know, Seventh Day Adventists are not the only church that believes in the gift of Prophecy. Pentecostals believe in the gift of prophecy. We know that Mormons believe in the gift of prophecy. Difference though is Joseph Smith, who was the primary prophet of the Mormon Church, he claimed that his writings were superior or fresher information from the Bible and that his writings would trump the Bible. I know, because I’ve studied with Mormons, and when I show them what the Bible says about the Sabbath truth, they’re speechless, they have to go to Joseph Smith’s books and say, well, but we’ve got fresh revelation from Joseph Smith. And so his writings trump what the Bible says. And that, I think, is very dangerous. Question No. 7 - What is the second test of a genuine prophet? Answer, 1 John 4:2, ‘Hereby know ye the spirit of God.

Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.’ Now, one of the ways that you can evaluate whether a person is a true prophet is if they say, well, Jesus is just one of the many incarnations of Krishna. I mean, I’ve heard people say that before. They’re not really a prophet of God because they don’t believe that God came in the flesh and that was him. Or if they think that Jesus was just a man. Or if they deny the resurrection. The fundamentals of who Christ was, that right there is a very strong flag that should alert you that this person is not a true prophet. I don’t know if any of you have ever read the book, Desire of Ages, written by Ellen White but it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest classic on the life of Christ. I don’t know of any other, quite honestly. Matter of fact, the Library of Congress in the United States, where there are probably hundreds of different volumes written on the life of Christ, stated years ago that of all that this person had read, that the Desire of Ages was the most beautiful and most eloquent and most biblically accurate demonstration of the life of Christ. [Amen.] I don’t know if you’ve ever read that before but it is a moving book.

Question No. 8 - What is the third test of a genuine prophet? Jeremiah 28:9, ‘When the word of the prophet shall come to pass.’ I mean, if Noah said I am a prophet and he builds an ark and says a flood is coming, and it doesn’t come, well, that’s an indicator there could be problems. Now, I need to say, there, some of the prophecies that God’s prophets gave were conditional. When Jonah told Nineveh that you’re going to be destroyed, that was conditional on their sins. But when they repented, God postponed that judgment. It did come years later. So if a prophet is prophesying something and it doesn’t happen, that’s an indicator. Real prophets of God, their information is dependable and their prophesies come true. Yeah, I just thought I’d give a couple of little samples. I could stay here all night but one of my battles tonight is having enough time to cover all of the material that we have. There are a couple of samples of some prominent things. Any of you ever read the book by Rene Noorbergen called Prophet of Destiny? Rene Noorbergen was not a Seventy Day Adventist Christian. He began -- he wrote a book on Jean Dixon, who is definitely a false prophet. Prophet to the stars is what she was called. And he decided to write a book on Ellen White.

When he got done, he became a Seventh Day Adventist. [Amen.] He began his book by exploring this incredible prophecy just before the San Francisco Earthquake. In 1902, Ellen White wrote, ‘Not long hence’ -- and I’ll give you the reference, this is Life Sketches, page 412 -- ‘Not long hence, these cities will suffer’ -- and she’s speaking of San Francisco and Oakland will suffer -- ‘under the wrath of God. They’re becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah and the Lord will visit them in wrath.’ Again, you can read in Testimonies, Volume 9, page 92, on April 16th, 1906, Ellen White wrote, ‘During a vision of the night, I stood on an eminence from which I could see houses shaking like a reed in the wind. Buildings great and small were falling to the ground. Pleasure resorts, theaters, hotels, and homes of the wealthy were shaken and shattered. Many lives were blotted out of existence and the air was filled with the shrieks of the injured and the terrified.’ Now, that would have seemed a little bit sensational except she writes this and two days later, this historic San Francisco earthquake transpires. The City was just about flattened and destroyed by fire. And to the very word, everything that she had foretold and she even mentioned cities that were heading for trouble.

You know, it’s interesting that there are several times in history when God has visited some of these cities -- I think I already told you that -- with judgments. Something else that some people have wondered about. She made an interesting prophecy you can read about. It’s in the book, Last Day Events, page 113, ‘On one occasion, when in New York City, Manhattan, I saw in the night season, I was called upon to behold’ -- she’s in vision -- ‘buildings rising, story after story.’ Now, when she has this vision, the buildings in New York maybe went up six, seven stories. They hadn’t started reinforcing them with steel yet. ‘These buildings were rising story after story. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof. And they were erected to glorify their owners and their buildings. Many of them were named after the companies and the builders. The scene that next passed before me looked like an alarm of fire. Men looked at the lofty and’ -- she keeps talking about story after story and lofty -- ’supposedly fireproof buildings and said, they are perfectly safe.’ You know, after 9/11, the first plane hit, people were told to go back in the second building to their offices. They said everything’s under control. ‘But these buildings were consumed as if made by pitch. Pitch puts out a lot of black smoke. And the fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction. The firemen were unable to operate the engines.’ I don’t know, maybe this is a misapplication but it does make you pause, wouldn’t you say?

Question No. 9 - What is the fourth test of a true prophet? Well, Matthew 7:16, it says, ‘You will know them by their fruits.’ Now, to me, this is one of the strongest evidences for the genuineness of her life. You know, you can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. And if a person is claiming to be a Christian and they’re really a hypocrite, it starts to come out, the skeletons eventually come out of the closet. But those that lived around Ellen White, over her 87 years of life, which was way beyond the average why I’m mentioning that, all testified that she was a Godly, holy, loving, Christian woman, consistent. Took people into her house all the time. Cared for children, adopted many of them, raised them, gave away a lot of money. Matter of fact, the money from the royalties of her books, she dedicated to humanitarian causes and to education. Her life was very consistent with her message. She was a Godly, Christian woman. Matter of fact, at the time of her death, a person who was not a member of the church wrote in the obituary, the Mount View Register Leader, this is July 23rd, 1915, in Mountain View, California, ‘Mrs. White’s most enduring monument, aside from her Godly life and conversation’ -- conversation means your behavior -- ‘was her published works which tend to be the purest morality, lead to Christ and to the Bible.’

Now, this person standing on the outside looking in, what was their conclusion? Her writings did not say look at me. It said look at Christ, look at the Bible, and a Godly life. ‘And they bring comfort and consolation to many weary hearts. She has done what she could and now, being dead, yet speaketh through her writings.’ Now, having said that, I think it’s a good idea for me to pause right here and remind everybody that prophets are also people. I’ve discovered that some people think that prophets, once a person is called and given the gift of prophecy, they sort of hover everywhere they go, and they emit this glowing light, and they’ve got a halo, and everything the say is a prophecy. You realize, of course, that like when a prophet sits down at dinner with other people and they say please pass the salt, you don’t write that down and say I wonder what the spiritual meaning of that is? But there are people out there, and you know there are folks that are sincere but they just don’t use clear thinking and they forget that prophets are people. For instance, in the Bible, Miriam, she’s called a prophetess, isn’t that right? Sister of Moses, was a prophetess. Very clear in the Bible. But did she make mistakes? Yeah, at one time she even had to be chastised by the Lord. He struck her with leprosy and then healed her later because she was giving her brother a hard time. I’ve got, actually, a list here in the Bible. Nathan the prophet. Prophets were not all knowing. They only knew what God showed them when he showed it.

These are holy men and women that were moved by the Holy Spirit. God spoke through them but they were still people, like you and me, in that respect. Their lives were consistent, they were Godly but they were not perfect. Do you understand the difference? There’s only one human who has lived the perfect life. Who’s that? [Jesus.] That’s Jesus. What does that imply? Everybody else had the frailties and they made mistakes. Nathan the prophet, for instance, one time and, by the way, this is in 1 Chronicles 17:2-4. David is in his house. He’s praying. David does not feel good because the ark is in a tent, the tent is already hundreds of years old, and David is thinking I’m living in a house made of cedar, we should make a temple for the Lord. So Nathan the prophet’s visiting David and David says I want to build a place for God. And Nathan says, sounds like a good idea, go for it, the Lord’s with you, David. As Nathan is walking out, the word of the Lord came to Nathan and said, Nathan, go back and talk to David, you spoke too soon.

That is not my plan. David is not to build the temple because he is a bloody man, he’s guilty of shedding blood of innocent people. His son will build the house for me. And so the first time Nathan spoke, he was speaking like you and I would speak, sharing his opinion, saying yeah, God’s been with you, must be something God’s leading you to do, do it. God said no, not David. He can get all the material but Solomon’s to build it. But don’t miss my point. Nathan was a human. And he thought like normal people and used his judgment. Samuel the prophet, when God said, Samuel, stop crying about Saul, Samuel said, oh, Lord, can’t you do something to straighten Saul out? I sure wish -- he’s so big and tall and handsome and, you know, and God said, you know, he’s hopeless, he’s grieved me away, stop crying about him. Go pick someone from the sons of Jesse. So he goes, Samuel goes to meet with Jesse, says gather your sons. Samuel looks at the tallest, you know, he’s trying to find a replacement for Saul, who was a head and shoulders taller than everybody else. He looks at Eliab, I think it was, he says, oh, this must be the one. And God said, no, stop looking on the outside. Samuel was human. He thought, he looks like a king to me, this must be the one. God said, no, Samuel.

So prophets had opinions. Their opinions were not always right. You listening? [Amen.] And some people have taken some of these facts and it’s got them all twisted up. Paul was a prophet. How many agree? 1 Corinthians 7:6, Paul says, ‘But I speak this by permission and not by commandment.’ What did he mean by that? Well, he said some things I’m sharing with you from the wisdom that God is giving me, just through experience by permission. I don’t have any word from God about this. And so he had the foresight to say, you may be reading my writings letter, know that I’m saying this by permission and not by commandment. So that’s one example of this. 1 Corinthians 7:25, ‘Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord, yet I give my judgment.’ Do you understand what Paul’s saying here? 2 Corinthians 11:17, ‘That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord but as it were foolishly.’ Paul said, look, let me speak like a fool for a minute. And so just trying to give you perspective. You know, one time Paul had to chastise Peter because even after Peter was converted and he’s out preaching, he’s been filled with the Holy Spirit, after Pentecost, Paul had to pull Peter aside and say Peter, you know, you’re being a little hypocritical because when the Jews aren’t around, you’re just hanging out with the Gentiles. But when the Jews come from Jerusalem, you’re acting like you don’t know the know the Gentiles. You’re being two-faced. Have you read Galatians where Paul does that? Was Peter a prophet? [Amen.]

Yeah, but these are, they were people. And Ellen White was human, too. But her life was every bit as Godly and consistent as these lives that you see here. Elijah the prophet. Was he a prophet? I mean, you know, hey, if you get a heavenly escort to heaven before you die, you’re doing something right. And yet Elijah got discouraged, he got, you know, like, it’s interesting to me that Peter was ready to die for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when the mob came to arrest him, when he was surrounded by his friends, he pulled out a sword, he was ready to fight these men, he wasn’t afraid. A little later, a girl started to make fun of him and he buckled. Elijah stood up to 850 prophets of Baal and prophets of the Grove. Later, Jezebel sends him a message and he runs for the wilderness. Men are intimidated by women, aren’t they? And when Elijah gets out there in the wilderness, he prays that he might die. Well, do prophets get discouraged? [Yes.] Are they people? I mean, do prophets always do exactly what they’re told? What about Jonah? How many agree Jonah was a prophet?

Bible calls him a prophet. God says to Jonah, Jonah, I got a message for you to deliver. I want you to go east, he goes west. Did he stop being a prophet when he went the wrong way or did God just get his attention and send him back the right way? Sometimes prophets are reluctant to give their messages. When Ellen White was first called, she said, oh, Lord, please, I’m shy, I can’t do this. And then she realized how it grieved Jesus, and she loved Jesus so much, and she said, I can’t bear to think of the frown of Jesus upon me. And so she said, Lord, if you promise to be with me, give me the strength, I’ll do what you’re asking me to do. But she was extremely reluctant to be in this position of visibility, very humble, shy person, naturally, and it always took the power of God to give her the strength to get up in front of anybody and to write some of the difficult things that she had to write. Something else I’ve noticed, as I read through the Bible, is that, generally, prophets are not accepted in their own day. It takes a while for it to settle in.

When Paul first was converted and he started to preach, the church ran from him. They wanted him to be, they said, we know what you’re up to. And he, finally, Barnabus took him in and gradually it took a period of time of proving himself before they started to accept him. Finally, Peter had to write a letter and say, even our beloved Brother Paul, as he’s written to you in his letters. Peter kind of gave him an endorsement. Because up until then, when he was first called, they said he’s two faced, he was killing Christians, now he’s preaching, he’s a hypocrite. They said it’s just, it’s political. Or maybe he got fired by the Sanhedrin and he’s just looking for another job. I mean, there are folks that are like that, you know. When Jesus first came, there was a lot of criticism. Then his writings and his truth and the evidence began to spread across the world. So I just wanted to spend a moment or two talking about that. Another misconception I’d like to spend a moment on is, some people have thought that Ellen White was the founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. How many of you have heard that before? No, Ellen White was really one of many founders. It was a group of people. Matter of fact, in some senses, you could probably argue that a sea captain by the name of Joseph Bates may have been more of a founder.

He’s the one that brought the Sabbath truth to Ellen White. [Amen.] And just a very Godly man. And I’ll tell you what, if you want to read an exciting autobiography, read the autobiography of Joseph Bates. Starts out as a cabin boy and has the most harrowing adventures, and in prison and in war and just, quite an adventure. And one of the -- did you ever eat lima beans? How many of you don’t like lima beans? Do you know where lima beans come from? A sea captain names Joseph Bates picked them up in Lima, Peru and brought them up to South America and introduced them to North America so you can blame Adventists for lima beans and corn flakes. Question No. 10 - Are miracles definite evidence of a true prophet? Is that the way that you know whether a prophet’s true? And do all prophets perform miracles?

Well, first of all, let’s answer this. Revelation 16:14, speaking out in the last days, you need to be careful, ‘For they are the spirits of devils working miracles.’ Can devils work miracles? [Yes.] You know, in the last days, I think a lot of people would be more inclined to follow a prophet that entertained them with miracles and signs and wonders than a prophet who said, you need to turn from your life of sin. And a lot of the criticism that Ellen White gets, you know what it is because of, the foundation for most of the criticism? It is because of the high standard for Godly living that she holds up. [Amen.] People are convicted by it and they try to shake off the shackles of sanctification and so, it’s, oh, it can’t really be that high. Does God really, I mean, can’t you, can’t we sort of be more contemporary with the world? Whenever the church starts trying to be more contemporary with the world and fit in with the world, that’s a sign, usually, right there, there are problems. Oh, I forgot one more passage. The story in the Bible, when Moses went before the pharaoh and the pharaoh, was he able to duplicate a lot of the miracles that came with the plaques? [Yes.] And so the devil knows how to counterfeit signs and wonders. Not all prophets are called to foretell the future.

Not every prophet writes a book. Have you ever read the book of John the Baptist? And yet, what does the Lord say about John the Baptist? Well, he was the greatest of the prophets. And so you look at the prophets of God in the Bible. They’re not all marching up and down the street, foretelling calamity and disaster. Matter of fact, one of the most important works of a prophet is to guide, to instruct, to console, to help give understanding, and help people become better acquainted with the Lord. And this was largely the ministry of Ellen White. But she taught on such a broad spectrum of subjects, it’s mind boggling. Question No. 11 - Were some women also called to be prophets in the Bible? Exodus 15:20 -- we’re going to go through some of these very quickly. Of course, we’ve already talked about Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron. She’s the one who protected Moses, as a baby, as well. Luke 2:36, ‘Now there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. You remember when they went into the temple and when Joseph and Mary brought baby Jesus, Anna was there. New Testament, she’s a prophetess. You got Hannah, you got Holda. Then you can go to the New Testament also, Acts 21:9, ‘Now this man Philip, had four virgin daughters who prophesied.’ And so why you don’t find any examples in the Bible of women serving in the capacity of apostle or a priest -- the are a lot of women in ministry as prophets. Deborah was a prophetess. There’s many more than I can share with you right now.

Question No. 12 - In what way does God speak to a true prophet? Well, there’s a number of examples. Numbers 12:6 and 8, ‘If there be a prophet among you, I, the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision.’ Or, ‘I will speak to him in a dream.’ Dreams and visions are a couple of ways right there. ‘I might speak with him as I speak’ -- speaking of Moses in particular, ‘mouth to mouth.’ Zachariah 4:1, ‘And the angel that talked with me came again.’ You remember an angel went to Mary, as well. So God speaks to his prophets through dreams, through visions, he’ll speak through the Holy Spirit, he speaks through angels. Ellen White had the Lord speak to her just about every way that God can speak to a prophet. She was given dreams, she was given visions. Matter of fact, I’ve got a statement here. There’s a whole lot of witnesses and you can read a number of these things are available. For instance, J.N. Loofbourrow, he wrote he saw her in vision many, many times. She was in vision more than 2,000 times in her life. And many people saw her in vision, they examined her in vision. And, I mean, when you have some practice like this for 70 years, there are plenty of opportunity for people to criticize it. In passing into vision, J.N. Loofbourrow says, ‘She gives three enrapturing shouts of glory, which echo and reecho.

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 going out of hearing. Her voice would become faint and she would say glory, glory, glory. For about four or five seconds, she seems to drop down like a person who’s in a swoon, or one having lost his strength. Then she seems to instantly be filled with superhuman strength, sometimes rising at once to her feet and walking about the room. There are frequent movements of the hands and the arms, pointing to the right or the left as her head turns. All these movements are made in a most graceful manner. In whatever position the hand or the arm might be placed, it is impossible for anyone to move it.’ Many people seeing her in vision would try to go stop her arms as they made these graceful gestures and especially when she was younger, she was a slight woman and they could not stop her hand. It would throw them around the room. And she just showed absolutely no effort at all. ‘Her eyes were always open but she does not wink.’

You can read about when Balaam the prophet says, ‘My eyes being open in vision.’ ‘But she does not wink. And some of her visions would last hours.’ Try not to blink for 20 minutes. Try not to blink, matter of fact, you can try not to blink now for the next five minutes. Let me know how it goes. ‘She does not wink, her head is raised and she’s looking upward, not with a vacant stare, 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.’ One of the most common things people seeing her in vision, would put a mirror to her mouth, a candle to her face.

She would not wink when a candle was put up in front of her eyes, it would not effect the direction of her eyes. She was lost to the world and what was happening in the world. She was caught up and God was showing her things and bringing her back with messages for the church. You believe God still has a church? [Amen.] Does God still speak to his church? Are the gifts of the spirit still there? There are plenty of false prophets out there, friends, but don’t become so cynical and jaded that you reject the true. I’ve also got a bunch of similar references here. M.G. Kellogg, I believe this was the father of John Harvey Kellogg, ‘She would draw her breath and when she came out of vision, when it was over, she’d take a deep breath and she’d always say it was so dark, coming back to the world after the things that she saw.’ One time, while she was in vision, she was holding up a book.

She was in vision, she picked up a Bible and I’ve seen a Bible about the same size in Washington at the E.G. White estate, where the vault is, and she would point to the verses and someone standing there and she was reading word for word the verses, looking with her finger, and she held for over 20 minutes this Bible that must have weighed 15 pounds. You can’t do that, of just supernatural strength. And many, many people saw these things. Oh, another myth I’d like to dispel very quickly. I’ve heard people talk about, yeah, they got these secret writings of Ellen White. There’s nothing secret about it.

You can go the Ellen White estate and I’ve been in the vault before, and you can look at the writings and that’s just a myth. She wrote about education. She must have known what she talked about because through her leadership and her guidance, right now the Seventh Day Adventist Church has about 6,966 schools all around the world. Many times, she would find the campuses and say, ‘The Lord said buy this campus, buy this campus.’ And it always prospered when she did that, such as Loma Linda University, which is now world-renown -- information on hospitals and Loma Linda, of course, was a hospital -- and held 167 hospitals and sanitariums around the world. It is the largest Protestant medical work in the world now. Ninth grade education, God guided her in that medicine. Some of you maybe have read Neil Nedley’s book, Proof Positive. In the appendix of that book, and I’ve only got time for a couple of quotes, you read Ellen White’s words, ‘The appetite for tobacco is self-destructive. It leads to a craving for something stronger, fermented wines and liquors of which are intoxicating.’

Keep in mind, when she wrote that, they thought she was crazy because doctors prescribed smoking for asthma when she wrote that. And now, what does medical science tell us? Children who use tobacco are more likely to go on in sequence to use alcohol, marijuana, and other illegal drugs. Ellen White’s words. ‘Lately, I have read of the death of many men. Their death is almost always attributed to failure of the heart. But in reality the use of tobacco and liquor has poisoned the system, many of them.’ What does medical science support today? Each year in America, as many as 300,000 cardio vascular disease deaths are the direct result of cigarette smoking, and we also know alcohol is a large contributor. Ellen White’s words speaking on diet. ‘Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables impart a vigor of intellect that is not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.

A simpler diet is better.’ What are we hearing everywhere from modern science today? Meat contains a substance that impairs brain activity and lacks a substance that the brain needs to function well. And I left out all of the supporting references. But like I said, this in Neil Nedley’s book, Proof Positive, in the appendix and I recommend that to you. On publishing, there are, she said that her books would be going around the world like streams of light that would be spread like the leaves of autumn. Has that been fulfilled friends? [Amen.] Sixty-five publishing houses and those are just the authorized church ones. There’s a lot of private ones printing her material all around the world. Testimonies, Volume 8, page 87. She said, ‘Years ago, the Lord gave me special directions that buildings should be erected in various places, America, Europe, and other lands, for the publication of literature containing the light of present truth. From our books and papers, bright beams of light are to shine forth to enlighten the world, in regard to present truth.’ That’s been fulfilled.

Books are all over the world. American Library of Congress has recognized Ellen White as the fourth most translated author in the world, not just among women. Oh, I said, I, you know, I misquoted something. I said her highest grade of education was ninth grade? It was third grade, I misspoke. Some have accused Ellen White, it says that, ‘Ellen White copied from other writers.’ Have you heard that before? [Yes.] I’ll tell you, boy, if there’s ever a ridiculous argument. Have you ever read the Bible and noticed how many times they quote each and other and give no credit or respect? In the 1800’s, when Christian writers wrote, they often quoted large sections from one another and they considered it very bad form or taste to say I’m giving credit to this Christian pastor for this and to this Christian for that. That was considered getting the glory for the person instead of giving the glory to God. There was never any accusations in her day or any suit brought against her for plagiarism. You know, Jesus, when he was hanging on the cross said, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Do you realize he was quoting Psalm 22 and he didn’t give David credit for that. Jude quotes Peter, Peter quotes Paul. And they don’t give credit. Ten percent of the New Testament, Jesus is quoting the Old Testament and most of the time he doesn’t cite the author. Many times in my sermons, I read inspired things and my mind seizes, I say, praise the Lord, that’s true. Then I’m standing before people and it comes back to me and I share it with them as I’m preaching. I don’t even remember where I read it but I knew that the principle, the statement, was true. Question No. 13 - What three things does Paul command regarding prophecy? 1 Thessalonians 5:20, ‘Despise not prophesying.’ Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good, friends. 2 Chronicles 20:20, ‘Believe in the Lord your God and you will be established; believe his prophets and you will prosper.’

Do you want to be established? Do you want to be established on the rock friends? I invite you to taste and to see that the Lord is good, except it tends to be the habit in the church, Jesus said, ‘Oh, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone the ones who are sent unto you.’ The church traditionally, through history, they embrace the false and they reject the true. I just want to give you my own personal testimony. At 17, I was living up in the mountains in a cave. And I read the Bible, accepted Jesus, and I went to different churches and they all disagreed and the there was so much confusion and babble and I didn’t know what to do. I went back to the cave up in the mountains, I had accepted Christ. And I got on my knees and I said Lord, there’s one Bible, one Jesus, I want to know what is the truth?

Someone came by my cave that had been raised a Seventh Day Adventist, gave me the book, Great Controversy. God delivered it to be in a cave 3,500 feet up in these desert mountains. I read that book and I said, I don’t know who wrote this but it’s inspired. And I went back to my friend, I said get me some more of these books and I’d like to talk to the author. He said, well, you’re a little late. But the best preparation I’ve had for ministry is from reading the things that Ellen White wrote. [Amen.] Some of you have heard of Paul Harvey. He said, ‘Her writings have been translated into a 148 languages, more than Marx or Tolstoy or Shakespeare. Only now the world is coming to appreciate her recommended prescription for optimum spiritual and physical health.’ Ellen White, you don’t know her. Get to know her. [Amen.] I understand he was baptized a Seventh Day Adventist in 2000.

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