The Integrity of the Prophetic Gift

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 18:30, 1 Kings 22:10-18, 2 Samuel 7:1-17
Date: 02/28/2009 
Lesson: 9
The integrity, and limitations, of the prophetic gift are discussed here.
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. We all welcome you this morning, shemeka, jolyne, anthony and jessica. And we're glad that you're joining us this morning from across the country and around the world. We're looking forward to singing with you, your favorite requests that have come in. Our first one is a favorite, , "because he lives.

" I like this one too, 526. And this is from tolai in australia, max in barbados, evanilson in brazil, roberta in California, humphrey, katelynn and kiran in england, jim, dianne, jamie, buffy and ashlie in florida, diana in germany, bo in ghana, hyacinth in india, jessica in indonesia, aidas and kristina in ireland, Virginia and syian in jamaica, maria in japan, julian in malaysia, Carmelita in Minnesota, tina in Montana, diane in new zealand, gerondio in the Philippines, geneva in saint lucia, marcus in singapore, tito and alma in South Dakota, josue in Texas, and barbara also in Texas. This is a favorite. We want to hear you at home singing this with us this morning, 526. And we'll do all two verses.

[Music] Father in Heaven, we know that you live. And we know that you hold the future. And we are glad for that. We thank you so much for loving us, for dying for us and for giving us the gift of eternal life. This morning we want to accept that gift.

We pray that you will come and live in our hearts, that you'll be with us as we study together. Be with each one here and those that are joining us from across the country, around the world. I pray that you'll be with each one and that you will just put your spirit inside of us and that we will receive a blessing today and that we will also be blessings to those we come in contact with. Be with our speaker as he brings us the lesson study. And we thank you so much for Pastor Doug's ministry here at central.

In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you very much, our musicians and song leaders. And good to see each of you here this morning at Sacramento central. I want to welcome those who are here physically and spiritually, those who are watching.

We know a lot of people are watching around the world on the internet. And we hear of our friends who are part of the mission work around the world. And sometimes they're isolated; there's no church they can attend. And they say for practical purposes, the services, Sabbath school at central church is where they get their fellowship. And if you are also some of the many people who are living in remote places, and because of the satellite dishes, you can get internet now on the satellite, you know.

That's how we get it up in covelo. And they log on or they watch it on one of the satellite tv networks. And they say, "this is our church." And some of them are members here because there's nowhere they can attend within hundreds of miles. And so we want to welcome the extended family. If you are one of these people who's isolated and you want to belong to a church, neighborhood church is the best thing, but if you can't do that, go to saccentral.

org, and we'll take you. And we actually have a screening process we do online where we go through the beliefs. And you'll study with the pastor. And we'll vote you in. We'll adopt you.

Amen? And so just go to, and we'll tell you more about that there. But we don't want you to be isolated. Also want to welcome just our friends who are watching from around the world and the different classes. Ah, let me think. There's two or three things I wanted to remember.

This is gonna happen more and more as the years go by. California's bankrupt. I know that. What else? Oh yeah. We have a free offer.

And the free offer is, "proving the prophets." And that goes along with our study guide for today. And if you'd like a copy of that, it's number 776, "proving the prophets." Call the phone number on the screen. We'll send it to you. It's 866-788-3966. Now "proving the prophets" is one of the storacle study guides, but it deals with the subject we're talking about today.

Matter of fact, we talk about micaiah the prophet, that storacle Bible study lesson deals with that subject. Also we're taking a few minutes at the beginning of each of our Sabbath school classes and we're trying to just encourage people with some different things they can do to maximize the impact of this year of evangelism. Around North America, the Seventh-day Adventist Churches are all doing their best to participate in a live evangelistic event, meaning they're going to be inviting people from their community and sending out handbills. Pastors and evangelists are doing evangelistic programs. And if local pastor has too many churches in his district, call an Amazing Facts evangelist.

But everybody should be doing something. One of the things you can do, we've found that helps to increase the impact of the handbills, when you mail out handbills--how many of you get a lot of junk mail? And you sit there as you go through your mail by your garbage can. And a lot of it--are we fessing up now? And a lot of it just... Like that. You know at Amazing Facts we send out a monthly letter.

And we just try and find out new ways to get people to look at it before you throw it away. And it's really a challenge with all of the Marketing and the things that people do; how do you get a Christian message out? Well, when the handbills come, usually they're very attractive, four-color handbills, people will often take a second look at them. But we found that people will respond to the handbill much more if before the handbills come, people go to the neighborhood and they give away something free. It can be a Bible study lesson. It can be a good Christian book.

A lot of communities have taken the "final events" dvd. And they'll knock on doors and say, "we're doing a survey in the community. We'd like to know what you think about the last days and what's happening in the world. Here's a dvd. Please watch it.

It's free. And then they get the handbill, and they say, "you know, that sounds interesting to me." And it increases the effectiveness of advertising and bringing people to the meeting. So you might try one of those things. Those are just some tips that we've learned with our evangelists at Amazing Facts. And we want to help you make the most of the harvest.

Amen? Now we are getting to our study for today. We're going into lesson number 9 on "the prophetic gift." This is--we're talking very directly today about the subject of Ellen white, her role in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Now we don't do this often, because the Seventh-day Adventist Church is based on the Bible. But Ellen white is one of the leaders and founders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement. Most adventists believe she is inspired, as I do.

And this is the first time in years we've dedicated a quarter's study specifically to that subject. Because over the last 30 years, there's been a wave of growth in the church. It's grown by millions. And people come in. And there just has not been enough education where people understand our history and roots and how to relate and apply the gift of prophecy in a church here in this century.

So we've dedicated this quarter to these studies to help you understand that from a biblical perspective. And the study today is called, "the integrity of the prophetic gift." How do you evaluate the integrity of the prophetic gift? And we're based on several verses here. We have a memory verse. And the memory verse is Chronicles 18:13. This is a good verse, by the way, for you to remember.

Chronicles 18:13 comes to us from the new king James version. Say it with me here, please, at central church. You ready? "As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak." Those are some powerful words. "As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that will I speak." Now the story here, just to give you the background for where that verse comes from-- and you can find this in Chronicles 18. You can also find it in 2 Kings.

It's the story where king ahab made the mistake of telling--I'm sorry, king jehoshaphat made the mistake of telling king ahab, "you're going to battle against the syrians at ramoth-gilead, I'll go with you. You know, we used to be friends in northern kingdom of Israel, the southern kingdom. We'll work together. And through our combined forces, we'll chase the syrians out of that territory of Israel. But ahab had turned from the Lord and he was worshipping baal.

And he's married to jezebel, a pagan queen. And he was doing a lot of things that were wrong. And through this confederacy, it was a bad influence on jehoshaphat. And God later told jehoshaphat through another prophet, "you shouldn't love those that hate me." And so when they're getting ready to go to battle, jehoshaphat was a man of God. He was a good king.

And he said, "we want to make sure that we've got divine guidance. Let's call and ask the prophets what we're supposed to do." Now when jehoshaphat said, "let's ask the prophets," he meant the prophets of jehovah. But for ahab, he had prophets of baal. And he had the prophets of the groves and the prophets that worshipped the idols at dan and bethel. And he said, "oh yeah, we've got a lot of prophets on the payroll here.

I'll get some prophets." And so they got the government prophets that say whatever the government wants to hear. And that's one thing that always makes a prophet suspect. You ever heard the expression: "follow the money?" And when you start--when the government pays a prophet, and then the government says, "are we gonna win this war or not?" The prophet says, "go for it." He tells the King whatever he thinks the King wants to hear, 'cause he's paying him. So these prophets all get together, and there's hundreds of 'em. They dance around, and they carry on; go through their incantations and toss a little gun powder in the fire and say, "the Lord is with you.

Go and prosper. You're gonna win." Well, this is starting to look very dubious to jehoshaphat. And he notices by their attire these are not prophets of jehovah. And so he kind of elbows ahab, and he says, "king, nothing personal, but do you have any prophets of my God? You know, I mean the God you guys used to worship." Ahab knows exactly what he means. He was raised a jew.

He says, "yeah, there's one guy left." Isn't that sad, 400 to 1? He says, "yeah, there's one guy left, micaiah. But I don't like him. He never says anything good about me. He's just negative, negative, negative." You ever heard people say that about prophets? "Too critical. He's legalistic.

" And jehoshaphat says, "well, let's not judge him too quickly. Let's bring him, hear what he has to say." He says, "alright." And he sends a messenger to go find micaiah. So, meantime, you know, the prophets are carrying on their pep rally. "Go to war. Win.

Win the battle." And one of 'em even got very dramatic, and he got some horns of iron. And he went before the Kings, and he said, "thus shall you use these horns to push the forces of syria. And you'll win a victory and you'll gore them." I'm paraphrasing. And so the messenger's bringing micaiah the prophet back. And the messenger knows that micaiah sometimes throws a little water on the party, because he always gives a straight message.

Sometimes those are harsh things. And he said, "look, all the prophets of baal are giving a positive message. They're saying good things. Make sure that your message is like their message." And this is when micaiah uttered these words: "as the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that will I speak." A good prophet, a faithful prophet, a prophet of integrity is going to say what God tells them to say, whether it is popular or whether it is not." Well, I believe that the Lord gave the gift of prophecy to Ellen white. I believe in the modern gift of prophecy.

Now a lot of churches say that back when Revelation was over, God stopped speaking through prophets. I don't believe the Bible teaches that. But if you were the devil, I know you'd want to be the best devil you could be, right? You don't know how to answer that, do you? But if you were the devil, and if God had a prophet in the world in the last days that was going to communicate truth, would you do everything you could to slander, malign, to scandalize, to undermine the ministry of that prophet? Isn't that what you'd do? Let me give you some examples from the Bible of what I'm talking about. And by the way, I believe that Ellen white was a true prophet. And then it stands to reason you would expect the devil would be threatened.

And the devil would do everything he could to raise up an army of critics to challenge those messages. Someone read for me, Matthew 18-- no, no, Matthew 11:18. "For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say he has a demon." Alright, these are the words of Jesus. He's talking about John the baptist. Everybody, help me.

Was John the baptist a prophet? Yes. Was he a good prophet? Amen. Was he one of the greatest prophets? Amen. Who said so? Jesus. Alright, the Bible says so.

Jesus says so. Now what did the people during John's time say about John? Jesus said they said he was demon-possessed. Isn't that right? So should you expect different treatment in the last days if God has a prophet? Alright, someone read for me please, Mark 3:22. "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, 'he hath beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.'" Alright, the religious leaders in the days of Jesus, when Christ was casting out devils, they said he was casting out devils by what power? Beelzebub. And it says right here.

"It's by the prince of devils." By satan, he's casting out devils. Now who they talking about? Jesus. Was Jesus a prophet? What did the contemporary religious leaders say about the ministry of Jesus? Demon-possessed by the prince of devils and it's through the power of devils he does these miracles. So, should it surprise us that if God has a prophet in the last days, that there are going to be critics that will challenge the integrity of that gift? My question is should it surprise us? It shouldn't surprise us. Will they be doing it? Yes, they would be doing it.

Should we be surprised if there is no challenge? Yeah, that'd be the surprising part. And in the last days, when there are so many religious voices that all conflict, if God was to send a modern example of prophecy in the last days, it would receive special attention of the devil. He would do everything he could to eclipse, to drown out, to destroy the credibility of that message. Doesn't that make sense? Okay, well that's also the case with Ellen white. By the way, what would you expect if a person is involved with public ministry for years.

I didn't say she lived 70 years; she lived 87 years. For 70 years of public ministry, writing over 25 million words. You know, the Bible says, "in the multitude of words, there wanteth not sin." That's a principle. "In the multitude of words, there wanteth not sin," meaning the more you write, the more you say, the more chance there is that you're gonna say something wrong, or someone's gonna find something that you say wrong. Ten--no, no--100,000 printed and handwritten pages, ,000 periodicals and 49 books.

It shouldn't surprise you somewhere, somebody along the way is going to find something they could criticize. Well, that's the case also with Ellen white. The critics of Ellen white, you could probably sum up what those criticisms are. We're gonna look at just a few. Obviously, you know, there's all kinds of criticisms out there.

I haven't heard them all, but I can't in this short study address them all. I'm going to try to address a few of them. They fall into the category of did she either copy or plagiarize her material, because her material is so popular. The books, "steps to Christ," one of the librarians at the library of congress believes that it's translated fourth of any other book in english, the fourth largest translated book. Very popular.

And so someone says, "how can a woman with a third-grade education write so much on education, on theology, on medicine, on science, on publishing, just a broad comprehensive scope of Christian ministry? Third-grade education, it's impossible! She had to copy it." Of course, unless the Holy Spirit taught her. Now, I don't have a problem believing this, because I see a lot of examples in the Bible of people like John the baptist and other prophets that God has called from simple backgrounds, and he spoke incredible wisdom through them. I mean Jesus often called fishermen, didn't he? May not have had a lot of formal education. So, they fall into the categories of copying or inconsistencies or some will challenge her life personally. There's not a lot of that, because everyone that worked around her knew her, knew her to be just an incredible Christian.

Or there'll be just a blatant error, they say, between what she said and what the Bible says, or what the historical facts are. So we're gonna look at a few examples of that. First of all, remember what Jesus said in the book of Luke. And I forget where he said it, but you go home and look it up. "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you, for so they did of the false prophets.

" The world seems to like edgar casey and nostradamus and jeane dixon. And they got a few modern examples; I'm not even gonna honor them by mentioning their names. A false prophet said--people in hollywood just rave over. "National inquirer," one of the most popular-- "woe unto you," Jesus said, "when all men speak well of you, for so they did of the false prophets." If you're a true prophet, they're not gonna speak well of you. Christ said that.

So, is it clear to everybody that this is exactly what you would expect? Alright, but I think it's fair that we should look at what some of those accusations were. First of all, when it comes to plagiarism, in spite of all the background noise of people that say that she either copied or plagiarized these books, 'cause she could never have gotten this with her limited education, there never has been in history a lawsuit brought against either Ellen white or her estate for that claim. So that right there ought to tell you something. A lot of talk, no action. Secondly--maybe I should give you some examples of why they have charges of plagiarism.

Back when Ellen white was alive in the 1800s, early 1900s, Christian authors would never dream of suing another Christian for quoting them. Matter of fact, Christian authors were very humble about saying, "this is my material. I thought this up. And I want credit for it. And don't you reproduce it or duplicate it without giving me credit.

" The reason is if they were Christian authors back then, especially coming out of the wesleyan mindset, anything inspired you say, who gets the glory for that? God. And so for you to say, "I get credit for this inspired statement, and you are not to profit from it without giving me credit, was considered extremely vain. And the whole mindset about copying an inspired thought or sentence from somebody else and making sure you give them credit seemed very worldly. The other thing you might consider is by that standard, the idea that you've gotta give credit for quoting another inspired statement that's either spoken or written, or you're plagiarizing, by that standard, the Bible-inspired authors are plagiarists. Let me give you an example here.

Someone read for me from the book of Jude. There's only one chapter, Jude 10, 11. "But these speak evil of those things which they know not but what they know naturally as brute beasts in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them for they have gone in the way of cain and ran greedily after the error of balaam for reward and perished in the gainsaying of core." Alright, thank you very much. Now without comment, I'm gonna have my next associate here.

Are we ready over here to read Peter 2. And I just want you to read verse 12 and then jump to verse 15. Okay? "But these, like natural brute beasts, made to be caught and destroyed speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption-- they have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of balaam, The Son of beor, who loved the wages of unrighteous." Now did you notice some similarities between those two verses? If you missed it, "but these," "but these"; "evil," "evil"; "brute beasts," "brute beasts"; "naturally," "naturally"; "they do not know," "they do not understand"; "the way of balaam," "the error of balaam." Jude and Peter are echoing each other in their statements with a few little variations. And Peter gives no credit. He doesn't say, "according to my friend Jude.

" They knew each other. They were contemporaries. And Jude doesn't give credit to Peter. And I could show you hundreds of examples like that. Do you know out of the roughly verses in the book of Revelation, 278 are almost drawn word for word from some other part, mostly the old testament.

You read in Revelation about gog and magog; you read in Ezekiel about gog and magog. You read about the fall of Babylon in Revelation; you read about that in Isaiah and Jeremiah. And you can--Zechariah, Revelation, just back and forth. Ezekiel talks about the Tree of Life healing for the nations. Revelation: Tree of Life healing for the nations.

I could go on and on with Revelation. Did John plagiarize the book of Revelation? He never once says, "according to Ezekiel," "according to Jeremiah," "according to Zechariah," "according to Daniel." How dare him! He owes them royalties or at least their estate, right? And if that's not enough for you, then you've got Jesus. Someone went through, and I think it's probably pretty close, 10% of what Jesus says, he's quoting old testament authors. Sometimes Jesus says, "he that has wisdom--" you know, "whoever reads according to Daniel the prophet, he that has wisdom let him understand." Sometimes he'll quote from these old testament authors, and he never gives them credit. Is Jesus a plagiarist? You know where most of these accusations of plagiarism come from? It's what you call "straw man argument.

" Let me explain. One of the books that Ellen white is accused of doing a lot of plagiarism with, she wrote a book called, "the life--" "sketches from the life of Paul," "sketches from the life of Paul." About the same time, some authors in england had written a book, some Christian authors called, "life and epistles of the apostle Paul." Well, there's no plagiarism in the titles. Obviously there's only so many ways you could say that. Then they show--there's a lot of information where you can find word for word in her book about Paul and their book about Paul. And you'd say, "wow, 15% of the book is word for word Ellen white's book, 20% of the book is word for word.

She must have copied. How else could that be?" Now let me tell you how that happens. This is--it's a straw-- you know what I mean about a straw argument? It's an imaginary, diversionary tactic. I wrote a book about mary magdalene. Took me years to write it.

I did not plagiarize. When I wrote the book--and it's called, "at Jesus' feet; the Gospel according to mary magdalene--" I went through all the places in the Bible where mary magdalene appears, seven prominent places. You've got mary at Jesus' feet. I believe she's the woman caught in adultery. I'm not gonna argue that with you; I could be wrong.

I believe that she of course washed his feet and anointed them. She's at the feet of Jesus when Lazarus dies. She's at the feet of Jesus when he hangs on the cross. She helps bury Jesus. She's at his feet when he rises from the dead.

She's at his feet learning in the house of Martha. Okay, you got these cases. All through the book, I quote those Bible passages from the Bible about when mary's at Jesus' feet. If you were, without ever talking to me or reading my book, to go write a book about mary magdalene, and then we later line up your book about mary magdalene and my book about mary magdalene, what percentage of our books do you think would be in common? We never might have met, never read your book, you never read my book, but if you're both-- if we're both going to all the stories of mary in the Bible, and then you take computer copies and you say, "what percentages are the same?" You're gonna find a lot of it's the same. And there might even be similarities of comments that you make that I'm gonna make, observations.

And let's go a step further. Let's suppose that you did read my book. And you said, "you know, boy, that was--i remember reading a book, I can't remember who wrote it, but someone made a comment about Jesus choosing a prostitute to proclaim him. And that's just, you know, that's a really inspired thought. I like that thought.

" And you, in your own words, you take my thought, you put it in your book and you don't give me credit, because maybe you didn't remember where you read it. Maybe you heard me preach it. And you didn't know who that bald preacher was, but you heard it and it was a good idea. So you put it in your book. Is that plagiarism? No, you're just, you're copying an idea.

So these are some of the reasons that she was accused of plagiarism. And it's just--they're not fair arguments. And quite frankly friends, I gotta be careful what I say. By that criteria, there are people out there that would accuse me of plagiarism, because I listen to other Christian authors and writers and preachers. And I don't always know their names.

I don't always remember where I got it. Sometimes it's on the radio. And I'll say, "wow, that's a great thought." And a couple weeks later, I'll introduce that thought into my sermon and I don't give credit. It's because I don't know. Sometimes I'll say I heard a minister say it.

I don't know who it was. I'll try and give that much credit. But I mean you just gotta be realistic. You can't keep chopping up everything you do that way. You just speak with authority.

If you believe something's from God, then it's from God. And by the way, I don't know whether I should mention this or not. I've been driving down the road in my car listening to other preachers on the radio. And I've heard them use sermon illustrations that I made up. It's not like I borrowed it and they borrowed it.

They may have borrowed it-- who knows where they got it. I mean these are things that I wrote. They're in my articles and whatever. And they're illustrations to teach a point. And I'm honored.

I don't call 'em up and say, "now, how come you didn't give me intellectual credit for that? 'Cause that's sort of a vain thing for one pastor to do to another, isn't it? If I think the Lord gave me a thought, I say, "praise God! I'm flattered that they would use it." And so the whole argument about plagiarism, you know what, if all else fails, do the Google test. You all know how to do the Google test? If you hear a politician make a speech--matter of fact, during this last election with no disrespect intended, both the current president and vice president were called on the subject of plagiarism, because they said something during a speech and people went out there and Googled it. And then they found their sentences word-for-word being spoken by others before them that they had heard. How many of you remember what I'm talking about? And they were--so, it's the Google test. You can really find--there's so much on the internet now.

You can take a sentence from Ellen white. Take a sentence from "steps to Christ." I'm not talking where she quotes the Bible, 'cause you'll find that pop up everywhere. I'm talking about one of the sentences where she comments on it. Google it. See if you find anyone else there that said it.

You're gonna find it keeps pointing back to her book. That's a pretty amazing test. And you know, back when they started accusing her of plagiarism, they couldn't do the Google test. Her material is original, inspired by the Lord. There are places she read other authors.

She read widely. Matter of fact, if you go to the Ellen white estate--and by the way, another accusation is they've got this secret vault in Washington d.c. Where they hide her real writings. And if you could get in there, you'd find the truth about what she really said. Conspiracy mentality.

Yes, there is a vault in Washington. It's called the Ellen white estate where they keep original copies of her writings. Five days a week during business hours, if you want, you can walk downstairs and it is open and there's someone there that will meet you and they'll allow you to go through and look at those things. So the idea--I've been in there. Matter of fact, one of the people that works there is The Son of the founder of Amazing Facts, larry crews.

And we frequently dialog. And I'll e-mail him, and say, "larry, there's this quote. Can you help me find the original?" Virtually everything that she wrote is in a database that anybody can buy from the Ellen white estate. It's a compilation of all of her writings. And I'm sure that floating out there are personal letters that she may have written that someone has not turned in or kept or maybe didn't get entered.

But, you know, the 99.9% of everything she wrote is chronicled and it's on the cd that anybody can search. And so, you're always gonna get kooky ideas out there. And there'll be conspiracy theories, but--oh, you know what? I forgot to mention; when these accusations sprang up, there was a disgruntled adventist minister who wrote a book and started accusing Ellen white of plagiarism, back in the late 70s, early 80s. So in response to this, the Seventh-day Adventist Church engaged a non-Seventh-day Adventist copyright attorney by the name of vincent l. Ramik-- might be ramik; I'm not sure how to pronounce it.

I apologize--to examine Ellen white's writings and present them with his conclusions. And they would publish them. By the way, he was raised a roman catholic, although I don't believe he was practicing. And he admits in an interview he was actually biased against Ellen white, 'cause he started out when he went into the project reading about all the critics. So after doing 300 hours of research on this charge of plagiarism, and researching ,000 relevant cases in American legal history, his conclusions were as follows, this is a copyright attorney, the expert in the accusations of plagiarism: "based on our review of the facts and legal precedence, we conclude that Ellen g.

White was not a plagiarist, and her works did not constitute copyright infringement or piracy. Secondly, considering all factors necessary in researching a just conclusion on this issue, it is submitted that the writings of Ellen g. White were conclusively unplagiaristic. Regarding specific portions of other writers that she had used," ramik said that, "she had modified, exalted or improved the writings of others in ethical as well as a legal manner." His conclusions, he points out several factors that should be honestly considered before one accuses Ellen white of plagiarism. "One, her selections stayed well within legal boundaries of fair use.

Two, Ellen white used the writings of others, but in a way she used them, she made them uniquely her own, adapting the selections unto her own literary framework." You know how we just quoted from Jude and then from Peter? Similar words, their own framework and wording, enough difference. "This is common in research. Ellen white urged her readers to get copies of some of the very books that she made use of, demonstrating she did not attempt to conceal the fact that she used literary sources and that she had no intention to defraud, supersede the works of another author." By the way, if you read in the book of Daniel 9, Daniel was a prophet. Anyone want to contest that? Did Daniel understand all of the prophecies and visions he had? No, sometimes he came out a vision, he said, "ah, you know, don't know what it meant." Matter of fact, you can find this here in Daniel 8:27. "And i, Daniel, fainted.

And I was sick certain days afterward. And I arose, and I went about the King's business. But I was astonished by the vision, and no one understood it." I didn't even understand what my own vision was. Prophets are not omniscient. They don't know everything.

Now you notice in Daniel 9:2, "in the first year--" matter of fact, I'll--well, I'll read it. "In the first year of the reign of--" I think this is of cyrus or darius, I'm sorry-- "i, Daniel, understood by books the number of the years specified by the words of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet." So here's Daniel the prophet getting understanding by divine Revelation or by reading someone else's book. Alright, so-- anyway, that's some of the common ground where plagiarism was attributed and kind of--it agitates me, because you know ultimately the bottom line is, "you'll know by their fruits." And the fruit of their writings, first of all, was a holy life that she lived, her family lived. And then on top of that, it just transforms people. It has that converting influence.

Then, you know, there's several examples. People say there's a contradiction. I don't have time to site them all, but by the way, I forgot to mention there's a website, a new website that Amazing Facts has launched. And in the website we also reference many other good websites including the e.g. White estate.

I encourage you to go and take a look at, or if you put in, either one works. Please go there. I hope that you'll link that to your church so when people have these questions about what Seventh-day Adventists do and don't believe about our relationship with Ellen white and the Bible, that they can get it straight. I was listening to some radio commentator--this guy also is setting a date for Christ's coming, so that should tell you something. And he said, "Seventh-day Adventists keep the Sabbath because their prophet Ellen white got hit on the head and had a vision that the Sabbath had a special glow around it.

" Now, is that--is that true? I mean you'll hear all kinds of--and you know what? But innocent people out there listening, they go, "that must be what they believe." And so they take these ridiculous, outlandish statements on face value without doing any research. And so I hope you'll link your church website to the Ellengwhitetruth website, so they can get the truth about these things and these--it deals with so many of the accusations and false statements out there. Well, here's an example of one that is a statement that could be misunderstood. And this is from the book, "three spiritual gifts," page 301. Ellen white made this statement, it's confused people.

"the Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with adam after his fall, which he taught his descendents. This system was corrupted before the flood by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged in the building of the tower of babel." Wait a second. Tower of babel, was it built before the flood or after the flood? After the flood. And here Ellen white says, "before the flood," tower of babel builders. "Oh, she doesn't know her theology very well-- she can't be a prophet.

" And many people have read it like that. And they totally got it wrong. Let me tell you what she's saying. And this is coming because she was a high school dropout, and I'm a high school dropout. I understand what she's saying.

So I'm the best qualified person here to interpret this. "the Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with adam after his fall, which he taught to his descendents." That would mean cain, abel, so forth. "This system was corrupted before the flood by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God," comma. There's a comma there. When cain left, he separated himself from adam and seth and the faithful followers of God.

They corrupted the sacrificial system. That was before the flood. Then she goes on and she says, "and engaged in the building of the tower of babel." "After the flood," everyone knows that that was after the flood, "those who engaged--" once again, they had a fresh start during the time of adam to understand the sacrificial system, but cain and his family separated. They corrupted the sacrificial system before the flood. And when the tower of babel was being built, Noah and his followers had a fresh example of the sacrificial system, but they again corrupted it during the tower of babel.

You see what she's saying? She's not saying the tower of babel was built before the flood. She's talking about the two groups that corrupted the sacrificial system. Yes, one before the flood: cain and his followers. And then the people after, that was babel. She assumed that everybody back then knew that Genesis 11 comes after Genesis 9.

And so, but people, you know, they'll use this. They'll say, "oh, there's a mistake here." And they misread it. Then there's another statement where they say, "she claimed to understand the astronomy. She said that there were seven moons around jupiter and there's really nine moons around jupiter. And she said there were seven because they believed there were seven back then.

And that shows that she knew nothing about science. And she wasn't inspired. She was making these things up." Let me read the statement to you. It's from the book, "early writings," page 39, "then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. And there I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated.

" Those listening to her relate that vision, like Joseph bates who was a sailor, who understood astronomy, they all believed because they didn't have sophisticated telescopes back then that jupiter had seven moons. That's true. Bates said, "ah, she sees jupiter." And everyone back then said she had a vision of jupiter. And they attributed to what she said that she was looking at jupiter. She never did.

Matter of fact, you won't find the word, "jupiter," anywhere in her writings. People attributed that. They interpreted her vision to mean jupiter. She never said that. She said a world we know now, she was not even looking at a world in our solar system.

So you'll hear these things, but they don't give the explanation. She never said that. Others said that about her that were not inspired. And so that's just another example of the false teachings. Now here's one.

I hesitate to even mention this. People say she had no understanding of science. And she believed that certain races were formed from humans having intimate relations with animals. And here's the statement. This is also from "three spiritual gifts," page 64.

You'll find it a few different places. "But if there was one sin above all others that called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast, which defaced the image of God and caused confusion everywhere." Here's the spin that's put on that statement. "Ellen white believed that man was having sex with animals and they were races and weird animals that were coming from these relationships." And then scientists and geneticists say, "we know right now that that is totally impossible. And that could never happen. And it's absurd and outrageous.

" And they say, "she said that she believed that the thing that offended God the most was that people were crossbreeding with animals and confusing the species." And that's not what she said. That would be the amalgamation of man with beast. Read it again. "The amalgamation of man and beast." Alright. Now let's read it the way she meant it.

Back before the flood, indeed they do it today, animals are bred and engineered genetically to bring out certain traits. It's called amalgamation. Please don't write me letters. I know there are some nice pit-bulls out there that are loving, loyal pets. But a pit-bull is an example of amalgamation.

Pit-bulls are bred, they have been for many years, specifically for the tensile strength of their jaw. Their bite is incredibly powerful. And they're called pit-bulls, because they were bred to fight in pits. We've all heard about that in the news. A pit-bull is an amalgamation of dogs.

Look up the word "amalgamation," it just means to mix, mix them up. They're bred for this certain purpose. You've all seen those dogs that are one solid wrinkle. The whole dog is just in a body that's got about ten times more skin than they need. Now God didn't design 'em that way.

And I don't think that God designed hairless chihuahuas. Those poor things. I mean you can love 'em, but they're an amalgamation, friends. So there are a lot of examples that we have today of beasts that are amalgamated. Do you know you can cross a lion and a tiger and you get a liger.

I'm not teasing; it's true. You can cross a zebra and a donkey and who knows what you get? It's called a zonkey. Isn't that funny? You can cross a whale and a dolphin and you get a wholphin. It's true. They got one in honolulu at the aquarium there.

And my kids and I we were talking about this. We started making up other ones, saying, "what if you crossed--what kind of word would you have if you crossed a polar bear and a black bear? You'd get a plack bear." I mean, you know, we just started making these things up. But she didn't say that. Now what does it mean "amalgamation of man?" Well, the nazis did it just last century. It's called genetic engineering.

They call it "the superior arian race." And they were actually selecting people based on measuring their skulls and measuring their features to develop the perfect race. Genetic engineering. And she says, "God is not pleased with that." You know what Goliath was? You notice that Goliath had some kin. It talks about the brothers and sons of Goliath. And it mentions one of them that had six fingers on his hands and six toes on his feet.

How many remember that? Raise your hands. You ask a doctor how do you get cases of multiple digits like that--how many of you have heard of cats with six or seven toes? You know how you get that? 'Cause they all live in the same neighborhood and they crossbreed and crossbreed. And then one of the common defects of inbreeding is multiple digits. Yeah, that's right. And you can find that in different parts of the world where certain families and kin, they inbreed and pretty soon some child's gonna be born with six fingers on their hands.

And I've been on islands in the south pacific where they've got that problem, because everybody kind of marries kin. They were intermarrying Goliath and other philistines to try to genetically engineer this amalgamated army of giants. That's the way it was--that's why it was very important to David and his soldiers to eradicate them. And so that's what she meant by the amalgamation of man and beast, not man with beast. So got that clear? All these just very unfair distortions that are out there that are--aggravating.

You know what aggravates me is they miss so much--her writings are such a blessing. And these false accusations-- but as I said when I began the lesson, they did it to Jesus. They did it to Paul. They did it to all the prophets. When micaiah came, before ahab and jehoshaphat, and he ultimately said, "the Lord has shown me that the people of Israel are gonna be wondering on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd," zedekiah, the false prophet, he went and struck him on the face.

He said, "where did the Spirit of God go from me to you?" The false prophet was persecuting the true prophet. Does that happen today? Pastors and others who have left the truth, they then turn around, first thing they do is they attack the Spirit of prophecy. Why? 'Cause it's convicting. By the way, micaiah was right; ahab died. Zedekiah was wrong, even though all the prophets of baal persecuted micaiah the prophet.

Do prophets--is everything a prophet says a prophecy? Or are prophets real people? Sometimes people would take Ellen white's opinions, and maybe she had a personal opinion. She never said, "thus said the Lord." She said, you know, "this is my opinion." And they would then say, "oh, well she had this opinion. And maybe there's some flaw in her opinion." Not everything she said was a prophecy. Let me give you some Bible examples. Somebody read for me Chronicles 17:2-4.

Got a hand over here. "Then nathan said unto David, 'do all that is in thine heart. For God is with thee.' And it came to pass the same night that the Word of God came to nathan, saying, 'go and tell David my servant, 'thus saith the Lord, thou shalt not build me a house to dwell in.'" Thank you. You notice when nathan, who is a friend of David, hears David's desire to build the temple, nathan, from his opinion said, "God's blessed you in everything you've done. Go for it.

the Lord has been with you." But then he got the word of the Lord later. And the word of the Lord contradicted his opinion. And he had to go back to David and said, "you know, I told you to go for it, but now the word of the Lord has come to me. And he said, 'you're not to build the house, you're a bloody man.'" So can you see? Was nathan still a prophet? Alright, another example I'll give you. Samuel 16:6-7, when Samuel is told to go to Bethlehem and pick another king to replace king Saul.

"And it came that he looked at eliab, jessie's tallest. And he said, 'surely, the Lord's anointed is before me.' But the Lord said to him, 'Samuel, do not look at his appearance or his height, because I've refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" Man looks on the outside. What man was looking on the outside here and sharing his opinion? A prophet.

Prophets are also people that have opinions. And we just--we can't see hearts, can we? When I say we, I don't mean I'm a prophet. I mean people can't look at each other's hearts. But God can. And so here he's saying, "Samuel, you thought that it was eliab; it's not.

Your opinion was, "he looks like Saul. Boy, he'd make a great king. Tall, dark and handsome. Striking." Looking on the outward appearance. God says, "I've refused him.

He's not the one." And then I think I gave roy Corinthians 7:6. You got your--let's make sure the camera's ready. Go ahead read that. This is from Paul. "But I speak this by permission and not of commandment.

" Several times in the writings of Paul, he says, "I'm saying this now by permission and not by commandment." What does he mean by that? Sometimes Paul had a divine Revelation. He'd say, "thus saith the Lord." the Lord has said this. Or if he was quoting the Scripture, he'd say, "this is what the Bible says." But sometimes Paul had to weigh in with sanctified judgment. And he would say, "I'm saying this now by permission and not by commandment." And he was very careful to separate the divine "thus-saith-the-Lord" statements from the areas where he was sharing what he hoped was sanctified judgment. You see what I'm saying, friends? There's a difference.

Many times in Ellen white's writings, she would write personal letters to people. And she would share. If the Lord had told her something, she'd say, "the Lord has told me this." Other times, she would just talk like you and I are talking and share hopefully sanctified judgment. But it's not all a "thus saith the Lord." And that needs to be kept in mind. And finally--i see I've run out of time, but I just want to include a couple more thoughts here.

Prophets were people. Sometimes they made mistakes. I mentioned last week Jonah. Was he a prophet? Did he sometimes go the wrong direction? Yeah. Sometimes his gps broke down and he went the wrong way.

Was Peter a prophet? He was. But you read in Galatians 2:11. Paul is writing about Peter, "now when Peter had come to antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed. For before certain men came from James, he would eat with the gentiles. But when he came, he withdrew and separated himself fearing those who were of the circumcision," the jews.

"And the rest of the jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straight forward about the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter before them all, 'you being a jew, live as a manner of the gentiles and not as the jews. Why do you compel the gentiles to live as the jews?'" Paul confronted Peter. And you know what? Peter received it. He was right.

He had to be rebuked by Paul. Peter's still a prophet, isn't he? And then of course, James reminds us in James 5:17, "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are." Anyone here want to argue about Elijah's gift of prophecy? "He was a man subject to like passions as we are. And he prayed that it might not rain, and it rained not. And he prayed again, and it rained again." And yet Elijah went and hid from an intimidating woman underneath a broom tree and prayed that he might die. Was that God's will, that he ran for the woods, he ran for the hills? No.

God said, "what are you doing here?" So these are prophets of God. We forget sometimes that prophets are people. And it's easy for us to criticize a mistake they may have made and not look at the scope and the inspiration of their ministry and the accuracy of their ministry and the obvious evidence of the Spirit leading in their lives. And based on the biblical criteria, I am firmly convinced, and what it's done in my own life, that Ellen white had the gift of prophecy, and that she was a messenger of the Lord. And I recommend that you try the Spirits for yourself.

Hold fast to that which is good. We've run out of time for our lesson. God bless you, friends. And I hope that you'll be studying next week's lesson. It's gonna be a good one too.

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