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A Prophet for Such a Time As This

William Fagal


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for this message was presented through a partnership between GRC and USC Europe in two thousand twelve conference in Linz Austria for other resources like this visit us online at UIC web the more arch well I think they have a wired area now are you getting it together there is a sound okay good nice to see each of you here I would encourage you if you are wanting to listen in English to come global farther forward it might be better particularly if there are turns out to be a translation group in the back then there would be less no interference between the two so and and you know students it's the ones who sit in the front to get the best grades right my name is William fatal I'm one of the associate directors of the Ellen G White estate and I'm really pleased to be here with you today on my colleague Cindy to within the natural one to come but she had another appointment and couldn't be here so I was the one that was lucky enough to be able to come and I'm going to be sharing with you today some things about the life and ministry of Ellen White and particularly about Scripture and how Scripture relates to these things in presenting the program I have for you today which I hope you'll be able to see on the screen it isn't as bright as I would wish it might be but perhaps it will help I'm I'm using a program that Cindy Church initially developed and I've modified it to one of our capable staff people of the White estate made this nice PowerPoint presentation on so what will share together on these things today let's begin by asking the Lord 's blessing on our gathering our father in heaven were thankful that we can be here at this conference what a blessing it's been to us already and were thankful for the gift that you given to us through the life and ministry of Ellen White pointing us to Jesus pointing us to the way home to heaven I pray that you will be with us as we study today may our hearts be open to your spirit may we hear your voice speaking to us may we follow may we always follow that voice is my prayer today in Jesus name amen while were talking today about a Special Agent of the kingdom of heaven Ellen G White or prophetic ministry really she's a profit for such a time as this several years ago a young major magazine in North America called National Geographic published an article that included a feature about a desert village where people live a very long time many people they are in fact lived to be a hundred years old scientists studied them to figure out why these people lived to be sold and the article reported on what they found now the desert village I'm speaking of is called Loma Linda California and in Loma Linda there is a famous hospital so maybe the reason people their lives so long as they receive such good medical care area hospital will no notice of it in fact the people who live a long time there went to the hospital less often than most other people in that region do well there is a medical school and in nursing school in Loma Linda so we might guess of the reason people in Loma Linda tend to live a long time is because they are up on the latest treatments for disease on the most recent medical research and the latest discoveries of vitamins and herbs but no that isn't good either I didn't explain their good health so what was the explanation why did these people in this place yet less cancer less heart disease less diabetes why did they get sick less often than other people and live longer than the regular population when the researchers narrowed it all down they discovered a surprising answer the reason that these people experience such a high level of health and well-being is because they follow the councils of a prophet named Ellen G White specifically the people beside the study were Seventh-day Adventists and what the scientists found is that the more closely Adventists followed the prophetic guidance of Ellen White the better their health now today were to be talking about this Ellen G White this woman of God we can't meet her personally unfortunately because she died in nineteen fifty almost a hundred years ago but she wrote more than a hundred thousand pages of books sermons articles and letters and through these written words she still speaks to us and those who are wise will listen because her words were not merely her own gun earlier we think perhaps as many as two thousand visions and prophetic dreams according to the estimate of her grandson Arthur L White who is here in this picture is on the screen when she spoke and wrote she was communicating to us what the Holy Spirit had given to her in second Chronicles twenty twenty we read believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established believe his prophets at and you shall prosper Seventh-day Adventists proven the truth of this Bible principle in our experience with Ellen G White she has blessed the church in many ways she's been a treasure for me personally and I hope that by the end of today's presentation every one of you will want to make her one of the treasures in your life and the life of your family so let me begin with a personal story my story really and I have to make it short because we have a lot to cover today I was brought up in a good Christian Holm and Adventist home my parents were genuine Christians but God has no grandchildren we are each to be his son or daughter directly not through mother and father so it's not good enough that our mothers and fathers are his children though I was what people would have called a good kid to most appearances at least I knew that I was not good on the inside and I found that I could not change my heart nor the actions that are produced I wondered I remember distinctly wondering if there really was anything at all to this Christian life that I've been hearing about all my life because I didn't see his our working I was not a real Christian and I knew it and I was ashamed to tell anyone about my struggles least of all my parents who would've been glad to try to help me so I was in a real predicament not knowing the way out in one day I thought of a little book whose title seem to suggest that it might be what I needed that book was called steps to Christ it was written by Ellen G White I read that book in one part of it in particular in the chapter toward the end of the chapter called consecration if you're wondering I found that she seemed to describe me exactly in my struggles exactly in the book told me what I was missing and how I could experience as I thought about it and thought of how it applied to my life I'd I decided to try it and my life was changed from the inside out God spoke to me in those pages and I've never been the same since I'll always be grateful to Ellen White Pentagon for that book and what it did for me I shared the principles that I discovered with many other people over the years and I've seen how does help them to sell I know from personal experience the way God speaks through the writings of Ellen G White but what does the Bible say about profits and prophecy we always need to come back to that simple question what does the Bible I told you about health researchers who discovered that following also a White House people to avoid cancer heart disease and diabetes and that's pretty impressive isn't it and I told you about my own personal blessing to obtain through reading one of Ellen White's books so we had evidence from science that she was wise and I have evidence in my own experience she was good but Seventh-day Adventists do not think of Mrs. White is merely a wise or good woman we believe that she is a special agent of the kingdom of God we believe that God gave her the gift of prophecy now when it comes to calling someone a prophet the proof cannot be science or my own personal experience as valuable as those things are we must ask the question what does the Bible say what has God revealed to his people in his word the Bible about the work of a prophet were going to look at a number of Bible texts today that will help us understand this matter first were going to see that the Bible tells us to expect a profit now this in itself may be surprising because most Christians today if they've thought about it at all tend to think that the age of prophecy ended back in Bible times with the close of the book of Revelation and that there really cannot be the genuine gift of prophecy since that time but what does the Bible say that's what we want to look at God gave the prophet Joel of vision that looks forward to the very end of time here's what God showed from Joel two twenty eight I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh your sons and your daughters shall prophesy your old men shall dream dreams your young men shall see visions now the setting here we read around the setting here is the events that will take place near the end of this world 's history so living near the end of the world we can expect God to communicate with his people in a special way through the gift of prophecy according to this passage right here Joel saw a great increase we might even say an explosion of prophetic visions and dreams in the last days so we should expect God to bless his church with the gift of prophecy the apostle Paul assured Christians this way in Ephesians chapter four speaking of Christ that he gave some to be apostles some to be prophets some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God 's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up boundary more the verse I want to stop here and just point something out and that is that profits are listed here along with other gifts of the Spirit apostles evangelists pastors teachers they are included with these gifts for the building up of the body of Christ now let's finish reading numbers for how long would this be for how long would we expect this to be true until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature attaining to the full measure of the fullness of God are we there yet have we achieved all of that you know I would say you would say along with me that we haven't and so we still have a need for the spiritual gifts including the gift of prophecy and God 's promise to give them until we reach that point when they are really no longer needed and notice notice what on one of blessings are involved here on the nonprofits are to work along with other leaders in the church to two one bring about unity bring God 's people into unity to help us know Jesus personally see it here in the text option and to lead us to full spiritual maturity to maturity that reflects the very fullness of God that's an amazing assignment is and it's a glorious mission and were not very yet so we still need the gifts including the gift of prophecy and the Bible indicates that these gifts are for all of that time down until we reached up for maturity so instead of seeing that the Bible teaches that the end of profits in the prophetic age was a note that came with the close of the Revelation were seeing Bible text point right down to the end of time for the functioning of the genuine gift of prophecy I go to the very last book of the Bible the book of Revelation and here we find that profits are partners with Angels in bringing people to Jesus once when the apostle John was visited by an angel he fell of the Angels feeds as a sign of respect and on in fact he describes it as I fell at his feet to worship him and the angel would not permit let's read the text here in Revelation nineteen ten he said to me see that you do not do that I am your fellow servant and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy now who has the spirit of prophecy who has the testimony of Jesus is in the church at large is this what everybody every Christian has well we have a parallel passage to this one is twenty two verse nine John has practically been the same experience a second time and again he falls at the feet of the angel and the Angel again are reproves him he said to me see that you do not do that for I am your fellow servant now that's exactly what he said before his end of your brethren he said that before two but now in place who have the testimony of Jesus the angel says the profits your brethren the prophets they are the ones who have the testimony of Jesus and if we go back then and look at Revelation nineteen ten again this only makes sense doesn't it because the end of the verse tells us for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy and what is the spirit of prophecy once the Holy Spirit in his work of bringing prophecy to his people the spirit of prophecy is the Holy Spirit bringing prophecy just as Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of truth because he would guide you into all truth so it is the Holy Spirit in his specific work of bringing prophecy to God 's people know the central mission of the church is to preach Jesus Christ in this mission the church enjoys the protection of the support of Angels to support this mission God blesses the church also with the Ministry of profits so to review can we expect a profit in the last days what does the Bible say well Joel the Bible prophet who lived more than twenty five hundred years ago said that in the last days God would send division dreams also Paul said province along with other leaders would lead the church to unity to spiritual maturity into a deep knowledge of Jesus and this would continue until we reach that full maturity and in revelation the great guidebook for end times we read the prophets are fellow servants with the Angels in giving the testimony of Jesus Jesus testimony Jesus word to his followers the profits are fellow servants with the Angels in getting so to repeat our first point we should expect God to keep his promise we should expect a profit in the last days now next we should well let me yet we should test the product okay by the way I wish you could see if there really is a yes it all hour earlier part of the outline their expected profit of religious isn't going to show up on the screen sorry but now tests of profit while all of us are called to cooperate with God the prophets have a special mission and extraordinary call in the Bible is full of their stories stories of men and women and even children who received the prophetic gift and did special service for God of the Bible also warns us that there are false prophets just because someone claims the prophetic gift doesn't mean that we should receive everything they say about examining it carefully Jesus gave this warning he said in Matthew twenty four twenty four for false Christ's and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect if that were looking ahead to the judgment day Jesus warned many will say to me on that day Lord Lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform miracles then I will tell them plainly I never knew you away from me you evildoers Matthew seven twenty two and twenty three is pretty sobering is think about people prophesying and even working miracles but not from a connection with Jesus so how do we tell the difference how do we distinguish between the promised gift of prophecy and the imposters fortunately God doesn't leave us guessing earlier in the passage from which I just quoted Jesus points out the difference not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven and how do we know what God 's will is well the Bible tells us that also Psalm one hundred nineteen verse eleven your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you when Satan trying to trick Jesus out in the desert how did Jesus exposes temptations you know don't you bike for in Scripture quoting the word of God Jesus said it is written Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God in the book of acts we read that when Paul preached in the city of Berea the people there did not just take his word they checked the Bible to see if he was telling the truth and you will not criticize them for for investigating more for questioning instead it even commends them you know the passage on QNX seventeen eleven these in speaking of the Marines were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica into neighbors they received the word with all readiness and search the Scriptures daily search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so so even when the great apostle Paul preached his hearers were not supposed to listen uncritically and just accept everything they investigate his claims how by comparing what he said with what the Bible says to go the prophet Isaiah to the law and to the testimony if they do not speak according to this word it is because there is no light in its Isaiah eight twenty now this is in the second by the way of people receiving messages from beyond human sources and here we have a yen test in fact it's one of the four explicit tests in Scripture that we are to apply to determine if those who claim to have messages from God really are genuine prophetic voices to the law and to the testimony if they do not speak according to this word it is because there is no light in them other people in Berea provide an excellent example of how we should respond to someone who appears as a special agent of the kingdom of heaven the Marines listened eagerly they wanted the special gift of God Paul brought but they tested it comparing what all said with the word of God notice this Council that Paul gave the people in Thessalonica in nine first the Slovenes chapter five verses nineteen to twenty one do not put out the Spirit 's fire do not treat prophecies with contempt test everything hold on to the good bunch like that don't pour cold water on the exciting new things of God says don't just dismiss people who claim to have received messages from God instead welcome them but cast them test and treasure all the good that God sends us especially the good messages God sends his profits now I've mentioned one test and explicit text of the Bible gives us to the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them there are several other explicit tests things of the Bible names as tests of the prophetic gift we want to look at those quickly here is one of them in Deuteronomy chapter eighteen verses twenty one and twenty two and if you say in your heart how shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken and here's how when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord if the thing does not happen or come to pass that has the thing which the Lord has not spoken the prophet has spoken it presumptuously you shall not be afraid of him fulfilled prediction then is one of the tests of a genuine prophet if the profit makes a prediction we should expect the prediction come true however this is not the only thing that the Bible says on the subject this is found in Deuteronomy eighteen but there is a core funding truth in Jeremiah eighteen unlike the show to you just now Jeremiah eighteen verses seven to ten rolling and read the first two of the four the incident is not speaking here the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom to pluck up to pull down and to destroy it if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil I will relent in the disaster that I thought to bring upon it I see their God says I give a prophecy that I'm going to destroy this particular nation but if they repent I will relent of the disaster that I was going to bring on it and the other two verses say the same thing but on the other side you can look them up for yourself but we would know here then that the predictions of even a true prophet may be conditional and if the conditions change as we've just seen here in Jeremiah 's prophecy than the outcome may change and we have to let the Bible speak for itself on this some prophecies may be conditional can you think of an example in Scripture where the prophet gave of God 's warning that he was going to destroy a particular place and then didn't do it think that the cinchona that's right now in the book of Jonah you won't find any conditional expression about this from John he doesn't say if you don't repent and God will destroy your city he simply brought the message forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown but even though there was not a conditional element in it explicitly yet it was conditional and when conditions change the people repented God change the outcome so that too is part of what Scripture tells us and we need to account for all its good work were improving things here for the display are let's move on so we have two tests so far one was they have to agree with God 's word the second is the prediction should be fulfilled unless they may be conditional here's our third test first John four one to three beloved do not believe every spirit but test the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into the world see this is an explicit thing about testing profits is by this you know the Spirit of God every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God and this is the spirit of the antichrist what's this about confessing that Jesus come in the flesh couldn't a lot of false prophets confess that while maybe they could today in John's day it was unlikely I was a such an issue then well in Greek thought there were two realms there was the physical realm and there was the spiritual realm God dwells in the spirit realm and that was the realm of goodness there was no evil in him God 's realm but here in the material realm that's where we dwell and material matter that was evil in contrast to the good of the spirit realm and so when Christians came along and said God became a human being God took on flesh to the Greek thinkers that was foolishness in fact the Bible describes Paul preaching to the Athenians and when he mentioned the resurrection thing they thought this was foolish how can God actually inhabit material human no human flesh and John says he won't allow for any compromise on this if they don't say that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh they are not of God that's the spirit of antichrist Jesus really did come and take on our human flesh now this is not the only test is where we've looked at this is the third one now so you can just run with this one but if they pass the other tests as well then we need to be paying attention remember what they are to the launch of the testimony they have to agree with Scripture right secular laws if they make predictions they should be fulfilled although we have to allow for the possibility of conditional matters this one here is that they need to put it I'm going to broaden the principle of it and say they need to tell the truth about Jesus the truth about his coming into to become one of us about his virgin birth is his sinless life his death on the cross for us his resurrection they need to tell the truth about Jesus and I will come to the fourth explicit Bible test Matthew seven versus fifteen and twenty beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep 's clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves by their fruits you will know them by their fruits what kind of fruits do we see in the life of this particular person who claims the prophetic gift we don't expect perfection in human beings but we should expect to see good fruit on the tree should we should expect to find that this person 's teachings and in life and deeds bear good fruit this is a test that Jesus has given to distinguish true profits from false so we seen the Bible tells us to expect a profit and to test the product and we looked at some ways in which we should do that now of what more does the Bible tell us about profits well it tells us something about the personalities of viable profits in the Bible what kind of people do not call to serve as profits will God called Samuel to serve as a prophet when he was still a mere boy Samuel continued to serve as a prophet for the rest of his long life the Bible tells us all Israel from Danziger Subha Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord Wilson we find in Scripture well in Ezekiel Ezekiel was a priest Amos was a Shepherd the daughters of Philip were well certainly women all of these people the priests the shepherd the women were prophets called to be prophets what made them profits they got called in because they were priests or shepherds or women know God called these people without regard to their natural human status or position what makes a profit is not some special earthly qualification but the gift of God the calling of God in the gift of God God calls them to be prophets God empowers the profit God gives the product the message the human personality is present there still of course but what makes a profit is the call of God so let's talk some more about John the work of Bible prophets what is a prophet do assignment does not give into profits the most common work of a prophet in the Bible was to call people to repentance that was a tough job people don't like to be told that they're not doing right do they I don't like to be told I think probably you don't need again sometimes that's exactly what we need and it is what profits did a lot of to call people to repentance to change their minds change their hearts surrendered their lives and hearts to God 's will change their way of life the prophet Elijah unknown caramel summoned all of Israel to make up their minds whom they were going to serve he wanted them to serve God fully with their whole hearts so we called him to repent you find that story in first Kings seventeen John the Baptist preached in the desert his preaching was so powerful that huge crowds came from the cities and villages all over Judea to hearing what was his message repent right repent don't just talk religion bring your life into harmony with the will of God we can name many others Jeremiah Jonah Amos Obadiah all are famous for their calls to repentance that's the most frequent assignment that God gave to his prophets so the prophet calls for repentance what else profits helped to organize the people of God almost from his first day as a prophet Elisha and we see and hear the picture catching Elijah 's Mantle was false to him almost from his first day as a prophet Elisha was busy him helping organize the community of God 's people in ancient Israel to help the city of Jericho fix their water supply is set up schools for young men he traveled from place to place advising preaching and healing his work of organizing God 's people was especially crucial in that time of Israel's history because the Kings were deeply involved in idolatry the kings and the royal family provided no guidance or organizational support for the righteous people in the kingdom that work fell heavily on election it was an assignment that he fulfilled in a mighty way you know near the end of Elisha 's life the King who was not a devout man came to visit him when the king saw the old profit lying sick in bed he explained my father I father the chariots of the chariots and horsemen of Israel that's how influential Elisha wants that's how indispensable to become in the nation elation himself was like an entire army of chariots and horsemen for Israel and even the king was involved in idolatry respected Elisha for the powerful godly influence that he had brought to the nation in the years after the Jewish people return from captivity to battle it the prophet had I called for a new vigorous movement to finish rebuilding the Temple which is been demolished by the Babylonians many years before and I told them that their own current economic difficulties were the result of neglecting the Temple if they would make the rebuilding of God 's house at the priority God would bless them in their own personal lives and I had a happy experience of seeing the people respond to his counsel and change their lives they made in rebuilding God 's house their first priority and god didn't bless just as he promised it's important to notice that in the Bible the prophets did not possess political or ecclesiastical authority they were not the rulers of the people they didn't occupy offices with our instead their work moved by way of spiritual influence they gave advice to kings and high priests they thundered warnings and urged people to take the right action but the final decision of what people would do did not live with the province the power for making decisions remained in the hands of the properly established authorities of the monarchy and priesthood and sometimes they made the wrong choice it's the wrong decisions to the extent that we Christians think of ourselves as a prophetic voice it's proper for us to speak up and voice our opinions about how nations and churches ought to be run but we also must respect properly established government and church authority what else did prophets do we spoken of several things that the call for repentance though you could almost see that around screen capture call for repentance organize the people of God and profits give guidance in crises often when God 's people face emergencies when calamity and disaster the nation will send a special guidance through his prophets one wonderful example happened in the days of King Josh Adams unit you can find the story of second Chronicles chapter twenty two nearby nations Moab and Ammon along with some others decided to attack the people of God military observers spotted the armies on the move and reported to the king that a huge enemy force was headed their way now Jehoshaphat did what any godly person would do when facing such a great threat he prayed and then he called the entire nation to gather in Jerusalem for a special prayer meeting in this prayer meeting Jehoshaphat made the situation out before God in prayer he ended his career with these words we do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you the huge crowd stood silent men women and children standing in the presence of God waiting for his guidance and help and suddenly they were startled by the words of a man named to his ale a profit here's what he said listen us says the Lord to you do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude for the battle is not yours but the Lords of the gods the prophet gave a few more words of instruction and encouragement and the next day Josh of fat and his army prepared to head out to confront the enemy then the king had a brilliant idea since God had already promised victory and that will was is not bear arms picking consulted with the people and they decided to have a choir march in front of the Army singing praise to God for the victory they get already promised now the Bible reports that as the choir moved out singing those praises to God for the victory that he promised through the prophetic words of Jimmy Zell the invaders turned on each other and the invaders completely destroyed each other this story is the setting of one of the great principles of godly living to caution that declared we read this before but it's worth reading again here in second Chronicles twenty twenty the option that declared belief in the Lord your God and you shall be established believe his prophets and you shall prosper the prophet Jeremiah advise the nation when it faced the armies of Babel Malachi counsel the people when they were facing economic distress even send messages to foreign people not just Israel and Judah Jonah Daniel and Elisha all gave inspired counsel to foreigners who were facing various crises and so to review we would note that the most common task of the prophets was to call the people to repentance and profits help to organize God 's people they gave counsel in times of crisis profits help people know God God supreme objective is to draw us to himself in love the most important job of a profit is to act as God 's agent in the awakening our love and respect for him so then what else does the Bible tell us about profits we find that profits green with earlier prophets as we noticed before when Paul preached in Berea the people there evaluated what he was saying by comparing it with the Bible and that's our task today any time someone claims to bring us a message from God the first thing we have to do is compare it with what the Bible says in the New Testament we learned that after Jesus resurrection there were many profits in the church of the church did not build its doctrines on the sayings of those profits rather the church built its doctrines in those earliest days on what God had already revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures the contemporary prophets then urged people to bring their lives into harmony with what God is already revealed especially the wonderful truth about Jesus the Messiah so we find the profits agree with the earlier prophets true prophets agree with earlier prophets what else the Bible indicates that profits help people know God the prophet Isaiah described his call to ministry in this way in the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up in the train of his robe filled the temple there were angels they are and one cried to another and said holding all holy is the Lord of hosts the holder is full of his glory so I said woe is me for I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips well in the municipal people of unclean lips for my eyes have seen the King the Lord of hosts then one of the seraphim flew to me having in his hand a live coal which you taken with tongs from the altar and he touched my mouth with and said behold this has touched your lips your iniquity is taken away and your sin is purged also I heard the voice of the Lord saying home shall I send and who will go for us and I said here is my send me and he said go and tell this people and then Isaiah gets the message that he is to give notice of the very foundation of Isaiah 's ministry the gasoline the petrol that fueled his preaching was this transforming vision of the throne room of heaven I say I could use vivid word pictures of the goodness of the greatness of God because he had seen God invasion it had a direct encounter with the Lord of glory invasion today we tend to think of profits primarily as people who predict the future the Bible prophets certainly did some of that but prediction was not their major work at the heart of their work was a vision of God because they had seen the Almighty the holy one they were equipped to call us to holiness and worship see what Isaiah wrote here have you not known this is Isaiah forty versus twenty eight twenty nine you know have you not heard the everlasting God the Lord the Creator of the ends of the year neither faints nor is weary he gives understand rather his understanding is unsearchable he gives power to the weak to those who have no light he increases strength and vision of God God 's character Isaiah had encountered God in that initial vision and he continued to do so in subsequent visions Moses gave us this view of God Exodus thirty four verses six and seven the Lord passed before him Moses and proclaimed the Lord the Lord God merciful and gracious long-suffering and abounding in goodness and truth keeping mercy for thousands forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin by no means clearing the guilty plea greatest work of a prophet is to show us God as Moses has done here in this passage so to review again what does the Bible say about profits and who they are what they do well in the Bible we find the profits are men women and even children such as Samuel called by God to act as his special agents and these messages that he gave to them to give to us usually include a call to repentance we find the profits help you organize God 's people profits given counsel in times of crisis they align with what God has already revealed and most importantly as helpless and know and understand God was use these characteristics these basics here characters his own profit let's use these to see how well Ellen White fits in with them first of all called by God you know Ellen White did not seem to be honored of the prophetic office in fact when she first received visions she hesitated to share them she was terribly shy and she did not want to put herself forward she began to tell her visions to others only when God insisted and others encouraged her to do so she was not self called she was called by God second what about that matter of calls to repentance of the profits gained this is Ellen White's most prominent work sometimes people who are critical of her work complained that she gave too much emphasis on God 's call to holiness but this emphasis on God 's insistence that we live holy lives this emphasis is right in line with the Bible isn't it and it's right in line with what we would expect of a profit notice these words of Peter first leader one chat chapter one verses thirteen to seventeen therefore Peter says repair your minds for action being self-control set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed as obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance but just as he who called you is holy so be holy in all you do work is written be holy because I am holy since you call on a father who judges each man's work impartially live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear a call to holiness from Peter now compare those words from Peter with this quotation from Ellen White calling us to holy living in steps to Christ page thirty two she wrote beware of procrastination do not put off the work of forsaking your sins and seeking purity of heart through Jesus here is where thousands upon thousands have occurred to their internal loss I will not hear dwelling on the shortness and uncertainty of life but there is a terrible danger a danger not sufficiently understood in delay to yield to the pleading voice of God 's Holy Spirit in choosing to live in sin for substance delay really is sin however small it may be esteemed can be indulging only at the peril of infinite loss infinite loss but we do not overcome will overcome office and work out our destruction so Ellen White issues a call to repentance a call to holy living and urges us not to delay don't procrastinate on this don't put it off because if you do you are choosing to live in sin and you have no guarantee that you will ever do otherwise and that so choose now to follow God and to live the life that will honor him what about the work of profits to organize God 's people did Ellen White do anything like that well one of the most dramatic effects of the prophetic ministry this is why is the church organization that she helped to shape now for those of you that don't know the pictures on the screen right now is a picture of our churches world headquarters in Silver Spring Maryland this is where I work on it he came as a result of a harm our having organized and we had grown wonderfully as a result but when they get back to Mrs. light in this issue in the beginning most of her close associates back in those early days had no use for any kind of organization they thought it would in fact be wrong to organize that by the very fact of organizing they would become Babylon and they certainly didn't want to thought they felt that an individual with his Bible that was all that mattered Ellen might help these believers understand that the mission of God required that believers come together for service this service required organization in the Bible approved organization what's more these early believers thought that if they just told people in their own neighborhoods or in nearby places about Jesus that was all and not expected of them Mrs. White said no God has called us to go into the whole world and today is a direct result of her counsel Seventh-day Adventist church is working in more than two hundred countries preaching the gospel in almost nine hundred languages those early believers were so focused on their own Bible study that they didn't properly understand the obligation that they had to their children and to future generations of young people to train them up in the way of God but inspired by God this is why counseled them to a staff schools this picture is on the campus of Andrews University which is the descendent of the first such school that we established in response to the Council that God gave Noah wanting back then it was Battle Creek College but it was moved here to this location invariant Springs Michigan and now is called Andrews University and byway notice all the flags around the main open mall there on those represent students from various nationalities that attend their Andrew well establishing schools and today the Adventist church operates more than seven thousand schools with an enrollment of more than one and a half million students in those schools include more than a hundred colleges and universities including at least five full-scale medical schools that I can think of and think of the tens of millions of young people who have gone through those schools who benefited from a Christian education because of the prophetic counsel of that little lady Mrs. White this is like told the church that they ought to regard their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit to be carefully nurtured their health was a gift of God that they should protect and nourish and as a result people in the United States who follow her counsel today on health live approximately ten years longer than the average population and they suffer less ill health while they're doing it taken care of our own bodies is not enough this is why told the church to build hospitals and you know places where we can care for the sick where we can serve the sick in the name of Christ and today the church operates about six hundred institutions hospitals clinics dispensaries around the world now obviously this is why didn't do all of this herself she didn't build all those medical facilities although schools she didn't preach in two hundred countries what she did do is deliver God 's message about global outreach and health care and the importance of Christian education to a small group of people who would never ever have imagined that it to do these things apart from the prophetic guidance that God gave to them through the ministry of Ellen White and look at what is wrong from that look at what has come from as the Bible prophets did she help to organize God 's people for effective service and effective witness what about the fact that profits given guidance in times of crisis how did that work itself out and Ellen White's life and ministry will Ellen White was God 's special agent in guiding the church during times of crisis back in the early days of our our movement when the brethren were attempting to find in Scripture what God wanted them to believe and teach sometimes they would come to an impasse they just simply could not figure out from Scripture and at that point Ellen White would be given a vision and a clear explanation of the text they were were struggling with and they could accept that not because she consented or came in vision but because they could see that it was true from Scripture and they were able to agree on those things and then move on and the picture that's on the screen is is a and harness idea of how that might have looked back in those early days but Ellen Mike gave guidance and other times of crisis as well in nineteen oh two the church was facing difficulties really nineteen this earlier nineteen oh two no one have it wrong in my notes the church was facing difficulties because the mission of the church and outgrown the structure of the church she gave appointed councils of the church leaders telling them that they could not just keep doing things the way they'd always done they yet admit moving forward in the mission of God required an entire restructuring of the church organization and the leaders heard and responded to that call and of the nineteen oh one General conference session vein they put in a different structure it would be more responsive to the needs of people in the places where they were doing the work in that structure has blessed the church down to this day we even enlarge on it since but the following year nineteen oh two the main buildings of the church 's premier institutions publishing house and its sanitary place for caring for the sick those premier institutions burned to the ground both in nineteen oh two what was the meaning of this catastrophe through the prophetic word of Mrs. White God told the church that these were divinely directed events they were powerful messages from heaven warning the leaders to repent and change the way they had been running God 's work through the prophetic message the church was both forced to face its own spiritual failings and invited to move forward with Don in a new way that's the power of prophetic guidance and it worked as the leaders again responded so LMI provided guidance in times of crisis and we find that the work of Ellen White brought organizational blessings of the church and it brings a measurable health benefits to those who are willing to read those councils and obey them now let's look at another point of comparison though maybe should we take a break or just go on what you think all right but let's break for five minutes okay five minutes come back will jump back into an finish up all right we should resume I guess we still have some people coming back in but we need to get started I want to allow time for questions at the end so I I think will be on track to do that okay let's see we talked about this already did oh yeah okay so welcome back to hear so the work of Ellen White brought organizational blessing to the church and did brings measurable health benefits to those who are willing to read and follow those councils so now let's look at another point of comparison between eligible profile of a profit that we find in Scripture disappointed we've mentioned already has you would expect that profits agree with the earlier prophets now what about Ellen White I've see I really didn't mean to go there quite yet but what about Ellen White's attitude toward the Bible did you think of yourself as a replacement for the Bible does the church put our life forward as the foundation of its doctrines or as superior to the Bible in any way no and as for Ellen White's own view we can find her answer to these questions very easily LMI concluded her very first book published when she was twenty three years old she concluded her first book with the words that I'd I want to share with you now and we find the most conveniently in the book early writings but that actually combine several of her early things so she didn't write early writings first but her early writings are gathered in that book early writings okay all right but here's how she ended her first book I recommend to you dear reader the word of God as your rule of faith and practice wishy exalting herself here not at all I recommend you the word of God as the rule of your faith and practice nearly sixty years later when she was eighty one years old she traveled across the United States by train from her home in California to Washington DC for the international convention of the church at General conference session Mrs. nineteen oh nine now it's the last one that she would never attend she was not doing well the trip was hard on still she spoke a number of times during that session and she was asked to give the concluding sermon when she finished her sermon she turned to go back to her chair but then suddenly she turned back she came back to the pulpit and facing the assembled church leaders from everywhere in the world we had work at that time she took her Bible and held it out in what one witness their described his hands trembled with age and her final words to them were brethren and sisters I commend to you this book and then she closed and turned and sat down those were her last spoken words to the church at large she still wrote but she did not speak again at the General conference session like a thread running constantly through her sermons her articles for books we find for the unshakable confidence in the Bible as the word of God she spoke of her work as that of a lesser light reflecting the glorious truth of God was revealed in the Bible her job was to call people to respect the Bible to have confidence in and to obey it and if a central test of a profit is how much he or she agrees with the Bible and how much that that person regards the Bible that Mrs. White passes that test with flying colors she echoes the Bible in affirming the full divinity Jesus she lines up with the Bible and with the Bible prophets in calling God 's people to obey the law of God she reminds us over and over again of how certain and Rich God 's promises really are his promises of forgiveness and of transforming our that was the thing that really affected me when I was a teen mirroring the Bible she sees the beginning and the end of human history anchored in God 's love her language or theology or spirituality are all rooted in the deepest reverence for what God has said in his word that's the kind of profit only white ones and I mention this now by way of contrast you know there is another person who is regarded by many people today as a prophet his name was Joseph Smith lived in a part of his life during the time that Ellen White was alive but what Mormons say about Joseph Smith is very different from what we say about Ellen White they will point to Joseph Smith's writings in preference to the Bible they have called his writings God 's Bible God 's word for the Western hemisphere while the Scriptures were God 's word for the Eastern Hemisphere very different from what Ellen White saw as her role and from what the Adventist church looks at her as as being while they make a great deal of their profit we intend to direct people to the Bible first and maybe rather late in the in the effort we we begin to talk to them about Ellen White now I should mention that I have often given people most violent wind early on in their contact with with me and with the church and I haven't even said much about who she was only that they might enjoy this book it's a good book I remember one woman with whom as it is a pastor I was having Bible studies and I had left her one of Ellen White's books I wish I knew now which one it was I don't remember it was probably either steps to Christ or the desire of ages I had left the book with her and when I came back the next week she met me at the door and before I even stepped into the house she said who is this Ellen G White she must be inspire the book had spoken to her she had heard the voice of the Holy Spirit in that book and that is that is true for many people it certainly was true for me but we don't push it on my to the front we want them to go to the Bible and and then when their established in Scripture we cannot but this is how we most often do I think that we we share with them how the Bible tells us to expect the prophetic gift in the last days and we go through Bible text like when I'm done with you today and we show them how life has has fulfilled the expectations that we find in Scripture it's very different from how the Mormons do things but Ellen White upheld the Bible pointed to the Bible and wanted us to regard the Bible know as I said before she wrote more than a hundred thousand pages of sermons and articles books and letters is there any one theme that shows more strong him others in all of those pages of prophetic counsel yes there is Mrs. White's best known books are the five volumes of a narrative walk through the Bible are three major parts of the Bible taken together we call these books the conflict of the ages series these books present the story of God 's dealings with this world from Genesis to Revelation and here's the way the first book in the series begins the book contracts and profits here's how it begins these statements are on the first page of the text of the book God is love first John four sixteen is nature 's law is love every manifestation of creative power is an expression of infinite love and then I think it's the on the same page starts like this the history of the great conflict between good and evil from the time it first began in heaven to the final overthrow of rebellion and the total eradication of sin is also a demonstration of God 's unchanging love will that is how she introduces the series and it's easy to see God 's love in the beauties of nature in the exquisite shape of an and ported the breathtakingly beautiful sunset the flavor of a right peach these things naturally prompt our hearts to give thanks to God who loved us so much that he created a world of beauty but it is sometimes difficult to see God when we are facing the realities of this world since this crime disaster starvation family in her conflict of the ages series slight helps us to see God 's law behind every aspect of history and our present world she even takes on the Stern examples of judgment and curse in the Old Testament the destruction of the world by the flawed the punishment of Oz who was killed when he touched the art Mrs. White analyzes each of these events and shows that even here we can see a loving purpose God was not not acting out of malice or on a whim instead God was doing only what was necessary to protect human freedom and human access to a knowledge of God God was looking after the internal well-being of all creation in every instance in every age in every story God was and is long in this series the conflict of the ages series from the beginning of evil onward Mrs. White traces the hand traces God 's hand she tells the story of the Israelites coming out of Egypt she sees God still active for his people when their sendoff in exile to Babylon after seventy years God brings his people back from captivity and through the prophets he seeks to prepare them to welcome the Messiah and then Jesus was born and after his death and resurrection the church is born at last about the gospel spreads across the role of goal and finally we come to the very end and at last God has his way sin and suffering and death are vanquished here's how Mrs. White describes that glorious eternal future of the people of God here's how she ends the last book in the series the book the great controversy and the years in eternity as they roll will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ as an opportunity as knowledge is progressive so will love reverence and happiness increase the more men learn of God the greater will be their admiration of his character the great controversy is ended sin and sinners are no more the entire universe is clean one of Paul's of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation from him who created all flow life and light and gladness throughout the realms of the illimitable space from the minutest atom to the greatest world all things animate and inanimate in there on the shadowed beauty and perfect joy declare that God is love did you catch it the first sentence of the first book the book about creation is God is love that's how our story the story of humanity begins in the last sentence of the last book in the series the picture of of how the story of humanity plays out in the eternity beyond the sin and with the same expression God is love these are like bookends on on either either end of the shelf in which we find the story of God 's dealings with us it begins and ends with the phrase God is love after all the trend you assist the demos on his worst and human beings have failed and stumbled on all the confusion is over and everyone sings one song what song is that God is love this is the great truth it's at the center of Ellen White's prophetic ministry because God is love obeying him makes sense because God is love confidence in him makes perfect sense even in the face of loss and disappointment because God is love he has chosen us to send us messages through a private prophetic servant named Ellen White and it makes sense to pay attention to obey and receive the benefits that always follow when we heed prophetic message God 's law so now what you heard my testimony about the spiritual impact of Ellen White Ellen White's writings in my own life at least the beginning of it there's certainly been a lot more since then you've heard the testimony of scientists who examined the impact of her health Council you've heard and then we read on the screen Bible verses that outline the work of a prophet so now what I want to encourage you to read the writings of Ellen G White you might want to start with steps to Christ as I did it will warm your heart the desire of ages the story about Jesus would be an excellent book to follow that then you might want to start through the five books that we just talked about the conflict of the ages series take the reading at your own speed read the Bible passages that's so this is the bottom of the first page of the chapter compare what Ellen White Road with what the Bible says practice this Council of Paul he wrote do not treat prophecies with contempt test everything hold on to the good versus longings five nineteen to twenty one I hope that you'll discover for yourself the rich treasure that God has given us in the words and ministry of Ellen White this last day expression of the gift of prophecy and glorious testimony from God 's heart to yours well how can we share the blessings of this treasured these writings with others well I've made available to you something I hope will help that that little CD-ROM disk that has several PowerPoint presentations that you can use you can adapt them as you see fit to do you can translate them and then put your language into the in other words you can you can modify them they're not locked and I hope that you will use in your home churches and with your youth groups and there are no some other resources on thereto that that will be helpful to you in sharing but let me just kind of quickly take a look at some principles that may help him in sharing the blessings of these writings with others first of all pray for the Spirit 's guidance is not up to us to convict people to bring them to a knowledge of God that is the Spirit 's work but we want to work in harmony with the spirit so we pray for the Spirit 's guidance in directing us to people who might be responsive and in helping us to say things that will will be appealing to them so the Spirit 's guidance that's awfully important to be positive and enthusiastic if these writings have blessed you you can be confident they will bless others and you can be enthusiastic about as you share them with others three share your own experience briefly again if they have impacted you share that with somebody else what has happened to you as a result of reading these writings don't go on you know with a long story made a brief but share what these things meant to you number four encourage people simply to read you don't have to argue with them about time you know about the nature of the prophetic gift necessarily or even talk a little about the fact that is of the prophetic of product here initially maybe you will but maybe you won't you don't necessarily have to but invite them to read God is going to do things in their lives as they read into things in your life as you read so encourage people to read number five offer an attractive form of the book though this may not be an option everywhere but at least where I am we do have various forms here is one one night copy of steps to Christ within the picture of Jesus on the cover here's another one it's been given an alternate title keys to happiness but that the other title is down the regular titles don't hear steps to Christ well it'll pictured here might be attractive to some in this particular one there are illustrations inside some would find that to be attractive and look for an attractive way of presenting the books if that's available to you a there is you're probably aware that there is another some of the great controversy now and in order to make netbook attractive and inviting to people in some parts of the world they have done a kind of a sampler from it as an introduction to it it's not a substitute for the great controversy but it is intended to awaken an interest in the great controversy so this this book of the great hope is really quite small you see has eleven chapters yet it is hoped that people might look at Penn State all I could read that and get into it and become interested and if they do there is information in it how to get the full book so look for ways to offer a book in an attractive form and follow-up tactfully inquire it off as a friend or someone you know and you had a chance to get into the book yet how's it going for you finding be tactful you don't want to back people into a corner but if you are interested in these books it won't be unnatural for you to be interested in what they might think of them to sell the positive follow-up tactfully now many times we become concerned because we think Wolf what if they ask me questions about Ellen White or don't want to miss her what if that don't do those things slow you down if something comes up you can always say well I don't know when I'll try to find out that's perfectly acceptable answer and I'm recommending here that you should know what resources might be available to you here are some that are online we a section called issues and answers and our main long-standing website which is white estate .org so look for issues and answers there and you'll find help with some things they are we also have what we call the digital resource Center and that is also N White estate .org but you just put the letters GRC and a in front of white estate .org DRC White estate .org to access the digital resource Center now there are a number of things here there is actually a huge amount of information here from our files are question-and-answer files are document files but also I have been responding to questions online for from people for seventeen years and those e-mailed answers are practically all available for searching in the digital resource Center so you can see how high or other legacy people have answered questions on the topics that you may be dealing with that could be a very valuable resource to you DRC at White estate .org there are also online books at White estate .org you'll see that is one of the menu options and here you'll find some helpful books not only by Ellen White but books about Ellen White and her work on and they are also on our new beta website e.g. W risings .org under reference works and what kinds of books to have there well we have messenger of the Lord which you also got on the disco we gave you yesterday we have a to Ellen G White and her critics I think I can be mentioning these here shortly on the on the screen yes they are both of those I've I've written out the title for you and their author they are on there there are other books as well about time Ellen White and her work and in some cases deal with with her her critics Nichols book Ellen White and her critics is the most extensive book on that subject that we have even though it's old it's about sixty years old and it needs some updating but still basic work that's their is very helpful I brought along another book which I also saw at the end of this book center here this is called Ellen White under fire by John Lake John Blake is one of the teachers at Southern Adventist University in the United States and this is a very helpful book if you're having to deal with critics of Ellen White so we don't have this one on our website but I thought I would mention it because it is it is certainly helpful well on were talking about knowing your resources but the ultimate resource is the Lord is not right trust in him the work is his the battle is not yours but God 's so trust in him you just have the privilege of joining him in his work will the Bible says and this is from that experience and chronicles that we talked about here was the prophets message listen thus says the Lord to you do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude for the battle is not yours but God 's second Chronicles twenty first fifteen May God bless you as you study these writing for yourself and as you share them with others now we have some time for questions if you'd like to raise a question speak up so I can be sure to hear yes I'm going try to repeat it but I'm going to speak up okay the question was there are some Adventists say we have the Bible when we don't need online in fact doesn't she say that if you have studied your Bibles as you should have you would not have needed the testimonies you should say that but I'll thought what then can we say to Adventists who present this as an objection against all white back in no I think i


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