I am writing again today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
Here is my overview for the Sabbath School Lesson “The Prohetic Gift.” It can also be used as a Biblical test to see if someone has the gift of prophecy.
The Spirit of Prophecy
What two things identify the remnant church?
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17
What is the testimony of Jesus?
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10
Note: The spirit of prophecy is more than predicting the future of being a fortune teller. It is having a testimony or message from Jesus. Ellen White said she did not want to be called a prophet because in her day prophets were only fortune tellers. She wanted to be called a messenger from God, because she was way more than a fortune teller, she had a message from Jesus!
What is the purpose of a prophet?
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7
How long is this gift to be in the church?
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Ephesians 4:11-13
Note: While many prophets are not accepted in their own country many were also not accepted in their own time. The above verse makes it clear though that as long as God has a church here on earth the gift of prophecy will continue from age to age.
Was this gift given to men only?
And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Exodus 15:20
And the next [day] we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. Acts 21:8-9
Note: Many reject Ellen White as being a prophet because she was a woman, did not write in the Bible and came after the Old Testament. Yet in the book of Acts we find women prophets who came after the Old Testament and did not write anything in the Bible either.
Will this still happen in the last days?
And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:28-31
Note: clearly there were men and women prophets in the Bible and in the last days as well.
How can one tell the true from the false?
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20
Will what they say come to pass?
The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, [then] shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him. Jeremiah 28:9
Note: Anyone can get lucky and be 30, 40 or 50% accurate but a prophet of God is 100% accurate.
Do prophets place their own interpretation on Scripture?
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 peter 1:20
Will all they say be in harmony with the Scripture?
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. Isaiah 8:20
Note: The Scriptures make clear there is no light in those who preach against the law or the teachings of Jesus found in scripture. In John 10 Jesus tells us His sheep will flee the voice of a stranger. That is someone not teaching 100% truth or going along with the Bible. This includes the Sabbath and all the commandments.
Will they point out sin?
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1
Note: Pointing out sin is what led God’s prophets to be rejected in the Bible and the same is true today.
Will they edify and counsel?
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 1 Corinthians 14:3, 4
Note: The purpose of a prophet is not to give mystical signs or mystical theories, but rather sound solid leadership for the church.
What if we reject a true prophet?
I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:18-22
What is God’s assurance to us?
Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 2 Chronicles 20:20
What are we counseled to do?
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
Note: And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews.These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Acts 17:10-12
Ellen White herself says she is the lesser light pointing to the greater light. Yet she is no lesser a light in her day than Paul was in his day. People heard Paul preach and then went to see if it went with the already established Word of God which was the Old Testament. Sure enough his teachings went right along with the Old Testament so he was accepted as a prophet. Today let’s have the same spirit of those in Berea and with all readiness of mind let’s search the Scriptures to see if Ellen White has a message from God. And if she does let’s not despise it but hold fast to all that is good.
Here is a parting thought. Ellen White is often misquoted and taken out of context. She has often been portrayed as being unbalanced. Thanks to compilation books where people have taken all of he writings on a particular subject out of their original context and placed them in a book under a particular subject she has been taken literally out of context. Also these compilation books make it look like she was obsessed with whatever topic the book is about. For example Ellen White wrote many helpful and important things about our diet. If you read the compilation book “Counsels on Diets and Foods” you will get the idea she was obsessed with diet. She was concerned about it but not overly obsessed with it to the point of being unbalanced. If you read all of her writings in their original context instead of in compilations you will see the only thing she was actually obsessed with was the love of Jesus!
I encourage you to read her actual writings for yourself in their original contexts and see what you think.
You may find more studies, stories and pictures at my personal website In Light Of The Cross.