Bible Study Guides – Integrity of the Prophetic Message

November 10, 2007 – November 16, 2007

Key Text

“[As] the Lord liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.” 11 Chronicles 18:13.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 534-536.


“My Instructor said to me [Ellen White], Tell these men that God has not committed to them the work of measuring, classifying, and defining the character of the testimonies. Those who attempt this are sure to err in their conclusions. The Lord would have men adhere to their appointed work. If they will keep the way of the Lord, they will be able to discern clearly that the work which He has appointed me to do is not a work of human devising.

“Those who carefully read the testimonies as they have appeared from the early days, need not be perplexed as to their origin. The many books, written by the help of the Spirit of God, bear a living witness to the character of the testimonies.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 49, 50.

1 What can be said concerning the surety of the messages of the prophets? 11 Peter 1:19.

note: “We must come to the sure word of prophecy for our authority. Unless we are intelligent in the Scriptures, may we not, when this mighty miracle-working power of Satan is manifested in our world, be deceived and call it the workings of God; for the word of God declares that, if it were possible, the very elect should be deceived. Unless we are rooted and grounded in the truth, we shall be swept away by Satan’s delusive snares. We must cling to our Bibles. If Satan can make you believe that there are things in the word of God that are not inspired, he will then be prepared to ensnare your soul. We shall have no assurance, no certainty, at the very time we need to know what is truth.” Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.

2 What did the prophets often designate to be the source of the messages they bore? Hosea 1:1; Haggai 1:3, 7, 13.

note: The Bible prophets have declared that the word they gave the people came from God. They often introduced the divine communication through them by a phrase such as “the word of the Lord came unto me, saying.” Some variants are:

“Thus saith the Lord.” 11 Samuel 7:8.

“As God hath said.” 11 Corinthians 6:16.

“And God spake.” Genesis 8:15.

“The Holy Ghost saith.” Hebrews 3:7.

“I the Lord have said.” Ezekiel 21:17.

“The Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake.” Acts 1:16.

“God has committed to his servants a message for this time; but this message does not in every particular coincide with the ideas of all the leading men, and some criticise [sic] the message and the messengers. They dare even to reject the words of reproof sent to them from God through his Holy Spirit.

“What reserve power has the Lord with which to reach those who have cast aside his warnings and reproofs, and have accredited the testimonies of the Spirit of God to no higher source than human wisdom? . . . You cannot neglect God’s messages of warning, you cannot reject them or treat them lightly, but at the peril of infinite loss.” Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 02b, 116.

3 What is the Word of the Lord said to be? Psalm 119:105.

note: “The psalmist declares, ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.’ [Psalm 119:11.] And Paul wrote to Timothy, ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ [11 Timothy 3:16, 17.]

“The life of God, which gives life to the world, is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons. By His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God as He had spoken it to all the Old Testament writers. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power.” Gospel Workers, 250. [Emphasis added.]

4 What circumstances led King Ahab of Israel to inquire of the prophet Micaiah concerning a proposed military expedition? 11 Chronicles 18:18. How did Ahab’s officer attempt to influence Micaiah in his message to the king? Verse 12. What did Micaiah resolve to do regardless of circumstances? Verses 13, 16, 17.

note: “Jehoshaphat was firm in his request that the man of God be called; and upon appearing before them and being adjured by Ahab to tell ‘nothing but that which is true in the name of the Lord,’ Micaiah said: ‘I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.’ 1 Kings 22:16, 17.

“The words of the prophet should have been enough to show the kings that their project was not favored by Heaven, but neither ruler felt inclined to heed the warning. Ahab had marked out his course, and he was determined to follow it.” Prophets and Kings, 195, 196.

5 As Jeremiah delivered an important prophetic message to the leaders of Judah, of what did they accuse him? Who was said to have originated the counsel Jeremiah declared to be from the Lord? Jeremiah 43:2, 3.

note: “The poor people, after passing through many trials, were finally persuaded by their leaders to take refuge in the land of Egypt. Against this move, Jeremiah lifted his voice in protest. ‘Go ye not into Egypt,’ he pleaded. But the inspired counsel was not heeded, and ‘all the remnant of Judah, . . . even men, and women, and children,’ took flight into Egypt. ‘They obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.’ Jeremiah 43:5-7. . . .

“The sorrow of the prophet over the utter perversity of those who would have been the spiritual light of the world, his sorrow over the fate of Zion and of the people carried captive to Babylon, is revealed in the lamentations he has left on record as a memorial of the folly of turning from the counsels of Jehovah to human wisdom.” Prophets and Kings, 460, 461.

6 What did Balak request Balaam to do, and with what results? Numbers 22:1-7; 23:5-11.

note: “Balaam was once a good man and a prophet of God; but he had apostatized, and had given himself up to covetousness; yet he still professed to be a servant of the Most High. He was not ignorant of God’s work in behalf of Israel; and when the messengers announced their errand, he well knew that it was his duty to refuse the rewards of Balak and to dismiss the ambassadors. . . . But his pride was flattered by the words of the ambassadors, ‘He whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.’ [Numbers 22:6.] The bribe of costly gifts and prospective exaltation excited his covetousness. He greedily accepted the offered treasures, and then, while professing strict obedience to the will of God, he tried to comply with the desires of Balak.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 439.

7 What did Balaam state about the source of his message? Numbers 22:38. On what was this explanation based? Verse 20.

note: “As he [Balaam] professed to be God’s prophet, . . . all he should say would be supposed to be uttered by divine authority. Hence he was not to be permitted to speak as he chose, but must deliver the message which God should give him. ‘The word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do,’ was the divine command. [Numbers 22:20.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 441.

8 When the king remonstrated with Balaam for not cursing Israel, what was Balaam’s answer? Numbers 23:12, 25, 26; 24:10-13.

note: “The ingenuity of men has been exercised for ages to measure the Word of God by their finite minds and limited comprehension. If the Lord, the Author of the living oracles, would throw back the curtain and reveal His wisdom and His glory before them, they would shrink into nothingness and exclaim as did Isaiah, ‘I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips’ (Isaiah 6:5).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 18.

9 To whom did Ellen White give credit for the messages found in her books?

note: “Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her lifework God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given His servant to be given to the world.” Colporteur Ministry, 125.

10 Specifically, how did God speak through His servant, Ellen White?

note: Articles in church papers: “I [Ellen White] do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision―the precious rays of light shining from the throne.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 67.

The letter testimonies: “You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I [Ellen White] write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me.” Ibid.

Interviews: “This morning I [Ellen White] attended a meeting where a select few were called together to consider some questions that were presented to them by a letter soliciting consideration and advice on these subjects. Of some of these subjects I could speak, because at sundry times and in divers places many things have been presented to me.” The Southern Work, 72.

11 With what assuring words did Mrs. White answer the charge that she had been influenced in the content of her writing?

note: “Some are ready to inquire: Who told Sister White these things? They have even put the question to me: Did anyone tell you these things? I could answer them: Yes; yes, the angel of God has spoken to me.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 314.

Addressing the officers of one of the denomination’s large institutions at a time of crisis, Ellen White wrote from Australia: “Even now unbelief is expressed by the words, ‘Who has written these things to Sister White?’ But I know of no one who knows them as they are, and no one who could write that which he does not suppose has an existence. Some one has told me, ―He who does not falsify, misjudge, or exaggerate any case.” Special Instruction Relating to the Review and Herald Office and the Work in Battle Creek, 16.

12 What answer did Mrs. White give to the suggestion that certain testimonies reflected her personal opinion?

note: “In the testimonies sent to Battle Creek, I [Ellen White] have given you the light God has given to me. In no case have I given my own judgment or opinion. I have enough to write of what has been shown me, without falling back on my own opinions. You are doing as the children of Israel did again and again. Instead of repenting before God, you reject His words, and attribute all the warnings and reproof to the messenger whom the Lord sends.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 70.

While discussing the editorial policy of The Signs of the Times, a church paper, Ellen White prefaced her counsels by saying, “Permit me to express my mind, and yet not my mind, but the word of the Lord.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 112.

“What reserve power has the Lord with which to reach those who have cast aside His warnings and reproofs, and have accredited the testimonies of the Spirit of God to no higher source than human wisdom? In the judgment what can you who have done this offer to God as an excuse for turning from the evidences He has given you that God was in the work? ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ [Matthew 7:20.]” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 465, 466.