Do you love Jesus? Do you really love Jesus? I hope that you do, and I hope I do. I want to study with you one very important aspect of having love for Jesus which, if we understand it, will bring us into much more unity.
In Revelation 12:17 it says, “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.”
Is the devil extra mad at just those who keep the Ten Commandments? No. It is good to keep the Ten Commandments, but I tell you, there is more to it than just keeping the seventh–day Sabbath and the other nine commandments. It says, “…and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Some people, even those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists and claim to believe in Ellen White, say that this verse is not a prophecy about Ellen White and the Spirit of Prophecy. Even though Revelation 19:10 says the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, some still deny this. If they do claim to believe in Ellen White, then let us see what Ellen White has to say about it.
As a true prophet, she does not go around bragging, claiming that this verse in Revelation is about her. True prophets do not brag. That is one of the marks of her being a true prophet. But consider this quote in Testimonies to Ministers, 114, “We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” She is referring to Revelation 12:17. But she continues, “We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of Prophecy.” So if you are going to believe in Ellen White, then you are going to believe that Revelation 12:17 is about the Spirit of Prophecy.
In Revelation 19:10 and Revelation 22:8, 9, John the Revelator starts to worship the angel, and the angel says, “No, worship God. I am thy fellowservant and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus and thy brethren the prophets.”
If you compare those verses, one verse puts in the testimony of Jesus and the other verse puts in the prophet, the testimony of Jesus and the prophets. That is all the prophets, of course, not just Ellen White, but other Bible prophets as well, constitute the testimony of Jesus Christ.
“Our work is to proclaim the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Selected Messages, book 2, 116. What is our work? It is to preach the law to the world, the seventh–day Sabbath, the Ten Commandments, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Prophecy.
Two great errors of doctrine that are mentioned in The Great Controversy, 588 are the natural immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness. But there are really three fundamental subjects, according to Mrs. White, which are very important in the end time.
“The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold God’s people in these perilous times.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 300.
What is important according to this quote? The Spirit of Prophecy, the testimony of Jesus, is very important. It is right up there with the Sabbath and the state of the dead.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5, 6.
If you have read the New Testament, you know what Jesus said John the Baptist was the Elias which was to come. In Luke 1:17 it even quotes from Malachi 4:6, “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” So John the Baptist was a fulfillment of this Elijah prophecy. But it was not only John the Baptist who was to fulfill this prophecy, because the great and dreadful day of the Lord is primarily, throughout the Scriptures, referring to the Second Advent.
Elijah, the prophet before the Second Advent, was also to fulfill this prophecy of Malachi 4:5, 6. Once again Ellen White did not brag; never once did she say, “I am the Elijah prophet.” In fact, she never even said she was a prophet. This alone is pretty strong evidence, in and of itself, that she was a true prophet.
She not only knew her mission as a prophet; she knew her mission as a fulfillment of the Elijah prophecy. “To claim to be a prophetess is something that I have never done. If others call me by that name, I have no controversy with them.” “Others have called me a prophetess, but I have never assumed that title. [Do you see the humility?] I have not felt that it was my duty thus to designate myself.… [Now read carefully.] My work includes much more than this name signifies. …My commission embraces the work of a prophet. …It embraces much more than the minds of those who have been sowing the seeds of unbelief can comprehend.” “I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. …My work includes much more than the word ‘prophet’ signifies.” Selected Messages, book 1, 34, 36, 32.
Why is this important? What significance is this in relation to the Elijah prophecy? Well, in Luke 7:26, Jesus said, referring to John the Baptist, the second Elijah, “…what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.” This is the very same phrase that is referred to of Ellen White, “Much more than a prophet.”
John the Baptist was the second Elijah who was sent before the coming of the first advent of the Lord to prepare the way for the people to be ready. Scriptures regarding that may be found in Luke 1; Luke 3; Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3, and John 1:23. John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way of the Lord and make straight the path.
Well, Ellen White, the third Elijah, was sent to prepare people for the Second Coming of Christ. “…the very means that God has chosen to fit up a people to stand in the day of the Lord.” Selected Messages, book. 1, 45. So she is what? preparing people to stand in the day of the Lord.
It is true that Jesus said of John the Baptist, “…Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” Matthew 11:11. Of course, that refers to greater in mission and message. We are all sinners; we are all equal through the cross, in that sense, but John had a greater mission and message than any among those born of women.
However, when Jesus said that, was Ellen White yet born? No, she had not yet been born. Notice what God said to Ellen White about her mission and message: “Dedicate yourself to the highest work ever committed to mortals.” Selected Messages, book 1, 39. Would that be higher than John the Baptist? Yes, it would.
Another way we know that Ellen White is the third Elijah is because the second Elijah came in fulfillment of the time prophecy of Daniel 8 and 9. 457 B.C. down to 27 A.D. is when John the Baptist came on the scene to prepare the way for the Messiah. Well, take the same time prophecy and 2300 days, 457 B.C. down to 1844, is when Ellen White received her prophetic mission shortly, after the disappointment.
But, some may say, Ellen White is not the Elijah prophet because she herself said, “Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears [Male or female? Male], men may say, ‘You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.’” Selected Messages, book 1, 412.
So they say that she herself said that the Elijah prophet was yet in the future and that this prophet would be male in gender. However, if you examine the context of that statement, she was actually referring to the situation in the Minneapolis General Conference, 1888, the problems there and the people who were rejecting the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy. (See Ibid., 406–416.)
She was modestly referring to herself by saying, “is to come” (future tense) and “he” (male gender), she was speaking so that she was not bragging or saying, “I am the Elijah prophet, you are rejecting me.” Really, it was not Ellen White herself, it was the message from God, the testimony of Jesus that they were rejecting. (Also see Testimonies to Ministers,Appendix Notes for page 415, 534, 535.)
The male pronoun, “he,” also is used no doubt because the original Elijah the Tishbite was a male, as was John the Baptist. God even called two men before Ellen White, remember? But the apostle Paul said something similar in 2 Corinthians 12. He is addressing the very same subject—people who were undermining his apostolic and prophetic authority—and he is defending his authority as modestly as he can. (See also 2 Corinthians 9, 10, 11.)
Paul says, “I knew a man, . . . And I knew such a man, . . . How that he was caught up into paradise.” 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. Who was he talking about? Himself! The same type of situation as we just discussed with Mrs. White. Consider also the story of John the Baptist. The people came and asked him, “Are you Elijah?” What did he say? “I am not.” If John the Baptist can say, “I am not the Elijah prophet” and still be the Elijah prophet, surely Ellen the Adventist can say, “When he comes,” and still be the Elijah prophet.
Some people say that Ellen White was not really the Elijah prophet; but the Elijah prophet really includes all of God’s people at the end of time who are faithful and give the Three Angels’ Messages. Have you ever heard that? They claim that is the fulfillment of the Elijah prophet in Malachi 4. There are several Spirit of Prophecy quotes that seem to refer to that, also. But what you need to notice is the difference between the word “prophet” and the word “message.” We are all to help spread the Elijah message. We can all be Elijah messengers. None of us are the Elijah prophet. Ellen White was the Elijah prophet. (See Testimonies, vol. 3, 62; Prophets and Kings, 142, 186; Gospel Workers, 150; Early Writings, 233.)
We should look at Matthew 17:10, 11 also. Jesus here is referring to John the Baptist and the disciples are asking why the scribes say that Elias, or Elijah, must first come. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” Matthew 17:11.
Why did all things need to be restored? How long had it been since there was a living prophet? It had been about 400 years since Malachi, the last living prophet. The devil had had 400 years to twist the truth and deceive people more and more, so the Elijah prophet came to restore all things after a long period of no living prophet.
What about Ellen White? Was there a long period of no living prophet when Ellen White came? It was even longer. The world had gone through the Dark Ages. Ellen White came to restore all things. When you read the Spirit of Prophecy, you find that all of the things modern Christianity has twisted up are straightened out in the Spirit of Prophecy. Praise God, all things have been restored!
However, the next verse is even more important. “But I say unto you, That Elias [or Elijah] is come already, and they knew him [her] not.” Matthew 17:12. The same thing has happened; the very same thing, sad but true. That is another identification of a true prophet. Down through history, true prophets have not been readily accepted. They were stoned to death and rejected!
Let us look now at the Third Angel’s Message. What does that message include? The mark of the beast and the commandments of God (See Revelation 14:12.), but it is not just the Sabbath commandment, the commandments are plural. As we have already read in Revelation 12:17, the remnant not only keep the commandments but they have the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy.
There are many Sabbath–keeping religions. Some religions believe the truth on the state of the dead. Neither one of those things make them Seventh-day Adventists or makes them ready for the Second Coming of Christ—as good as they are, in and of themselves.
Belonging to the General Conference does not make you a Seventh-day Adventist, either. The 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary, the cleansing of the sanctuary, the Three Angels’ Messages and the Spirit of Prophecy are the things that are unique to the Seventh-day Adventist message. They are very important if we are going to be prepared for the Second Advent of Christ.
That does not just mean you and me; it includes preparing others during the Loud Cry to be ready. “As the end draws near and the work of giving the last warning to the world extends [What would that be, giving the last warning to the world,—”Earth’s Final Warning,” the Loud Cry? ], it becomes more important for those who accept present truth [What would that be? the Three Angels’ Messages.] to have a clear understanding of the nature and influence of the Testimonies, which God in His providence has linked with the work of the Third Angel’s Message from its very rise.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 654. So what is linked to the Third Angel’s Message? The Testimonies. And it is more important, as the Loud Cry goes out, that people understand the nature and influence of the Testimonies.
“…the Testimonies have their place in the Third Angel’s Message.” The Ellen G. White, 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 684. “We had regarded the testimonies as interwoven with the Third Angel’s Message.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 52.
In case it is not clear yet, look at this quote: “The proclamation of the Third Angel’s Message, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, is the burden of our work. The message is to be proclaimed with a loud cry, and is to go to the whole world.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 75. I do not know if it could get any clearer. Those giving the true Loud Cry are not only going to be presenting the Sabbath and the state of the dead, but they are going to be defending the Spirit of Prophecy.
Some think they are part of the Loud Cry. “These persons are disposed to conceal the fact that in connection [Notice this again.] with the work of the Third Angel’s Message the Lord through the Spirit of Prophecy has been communicating to His people a knowledge of His will. They think that the truth will be received more readily if this fact is not made prominent. [Have you ever heard that? Do not bring the Spirit of Prophecy out to these non-Adventists; just read the Bible to them; just quote the Bible.] But this is mere human reasoning.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 808.
Let us look at the seriousness of the rejection of the Spirit of Prophecy, which is rampant among professed Seventh-day Adventists. I am sad to say that this is true everywhere I turn.
Many will profess to be a Seventh-day Adventist, profess to believe in the Spirit of Prophecy and to love Jesus. But do they really love Jesus, if they reject the Spirit of Prophecy and the Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus? “…the Lord came to me in the night season and spoke precious words of encouragement concerning my work. . . . With regard to those who have turned from the light sent to them, He said: ‘In slighting and rejecting the testimony that I have given you to bear, it is not you, but Me, your Lord, that they have slighted.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 688.
Who are they slighting? Jesus! It is not the testimony of Ellen White; it is the testimony of Jesus. They do not love Jesus as much as they say they do. Jesus said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8.
“There can only be two classes. Each party is distinctly stamped, either with the seal of the living God, or with the mark of the beast.” Last Day Events, 215. In the end, you are either going to receive the seal of God or the mark of the beast. Many people are not only losing their salvation now, but many who are Saturday–keepers are going to lose their salvation and receive the mark of the beast because they have rejected the Spirit of Prophecy. They will not keep Sunday as the Sabbath, yet they will still receive the mark of the beast.
“Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 213. If you are keeping Sunday, are you professing to keep the Sabbath? No, so there are some who will be keeping Saturday, professing to keep the Sabbath, who will not be sealed, and they will receive the mark of the beast.
“When you find men questioning the testimonies, finding fault with them, and seeking to draw away the people from their influence, be assured that God is not at work through them. It is another spirit. . . . they find fault, and condemn the very means that God has chosen to fit up a people to stand in the day of the Lord.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 45. If we are not prepared to stand in the day of the Lord, we are not going to receive the seal of God. If we reject the testimonies, we are going to receive the mark of the beast.
“Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully. …Oh, how many… [are found] in the time of trouble without a shelter. …Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, . . . will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building.” Early Writings, 71.
We have already studied that John the Baptist was the second Elijah; Ellen White is the third Elijah. Those who rejected the testimony of John the Baptist were placed “where they could not readily receive the strongest evidence that He was the Messiah [Jesus]. Satan led on those who rejected the message of John to go still farther, to reject and crucify Christ.” Early Writings, 259.
To crucify Christ literally was the worst thing that has even been done and ever will be done. It was done by those who rejected the message of the second Elijah, and it is happening again, spiritually. We crucify Christ spiritually by rejecting Him and His testimony. Those who are rejecting the message of the third Elijah will not be ready for the Second Advent.
Not that it has not been clear enough already, but the more we read from the Spirit of Prophecy, the more it shows how very important this subject is and how serious it is that the people are undermining its authority.
“I saw the state of some who stood on present truth [In other words, they claimed to believe the Three Angels’ Messages and the Sabbath.], but disregarded the visions. . . . I saw it was a small thing to speak against the instrument [referring to Ellen White herself], but it was dangerous to slight the words of God. I saw if they were in error and God chose to show them their errors through visions, and they disregarded the teachings of God through visions, they would be left to take their own way, and run in the way of error, and think they were right, until they would find it out too late. Then in the time of trouble I heard them cry to God in agony, ‘Why didst Thou not show us our wrong, that we might have got right and been ready for this time.’ Then an angel pointed to them and said, ‘My Father taught, but you would not be taught. He spoke through visions, but you disregarded His voice.…’” Selected Messages, book 1, 40. Just like that quote we read before from Early Writings, people will come up to the time of the plagues and then see that they needed to be “hewed by the prophets.”
“The truths committed to me, as the Lord’s messenger, stand immortalized, either to convict and to convert souls, or to condemn those who have departed from the faith.…” Publishing Ministry, 359.
“My Saviour declared me to be His messenger. ‘Your work,’ He instructed me, ‘is to bear My word…. The messages for these last days shall be written in books, and shall stand immortalized, to testify against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.…’” Selected Messages, book 1, 32.
“What reserve power has the Lord with which to reach those who 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?… You cannot neglect God’s messages of warning, and cannot reject them or treat them lightly, but at the peril of infinite loss.” Testimonies To Ministers, 465, 466.
People everywhere are treating the Testimonies lightly. Not only rejecting them, but also treating them lightly, puts the soul in peril.
“Through His Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction, to confirm the faith of the believers in the Spirit of Prophecy…. Those who are indifferent to this light and instruction must not expect to escape the snares which we have been plainly told will cause the rejecters of light to stumble, and fall, and be snared, and be taken.” Selected Messages, book 1, 41.
“One thing is certain [No question about it here; one thing is certain.]: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan’s banner will first give up their faith in the… Testimonies of God’s Spirit.” Selected Messages, book 3, 84.
“Let not those who seek to hedge up my way and destroy the influence of my words, deceive themselves with the belief that they are doing God service. They are serving another master, and they will be rewarded according to their work…. Rebellion will exist as long as Satan exists.” Selected Messages, book 1, 72. What does she call this? “rebellion.” Undermining the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy, casting doubt upon it, is rebellion.
“When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts til he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 211.
Well, you say, what if someone does not even believe that Ellen White was a true prophet or qualifies as a true prophet? “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:18, 19.
They are already condemned if they do not believe. Light has come into the world. When Jesus was here, the light came in through John the Baptist and through Jesus Himself, and people were condemned if they rejected the light, regardless of whether or not they believed. It says, “He that believeth… is not condemned. He that believeth not is condemned….”
We are not talking about those who have not had the opportunity to study the question of whether Ellen White was a prophet of God. We are talking about those who have had the opportunity, but because they loved darkness rather than light, they say, “I do not believe that Ellen White was a true prophet.” They are condemned anyway and we cannot make the judgment as to whether they have had enough light or not. The principle, however, is very clear. “…because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.…” Hosea 4:6.
“If you feel just as safe in following your own impulses as in following the light given by God’s delegated servant, the peril is your own; you will be condemned because you rejected the light which heaven had sent you.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 688.
“These words were spoken to me: ‘Your work is appointed you of God. Many will not hear you, for they refused to hear the Great Teacher.’” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 29. Almost all of them rejected Christ, right? Does that justify them because they said I do not believe Christ is the true Messiah? No, we just read that. They are condemned anyway. “‘Many will not hear you, for they refused to hear the Great Teacher; many will not be corrected, for their ways are right in their own eyes.’” Ibid.
In fact, this has been a problem, not just since the days of Christ, but since Old Testament times. In Jeremiah 25:4, we read, “And the Lord hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not harkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.”
“And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me: they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house).…” Ezekiel 2:3-5.
Why is it that they were rebellious? It says, “…yet shall [they] know that there hath been a prophet among them.” Verse 5. We just read this same thing from the Spirit of Prophecy. Rejection of the Spirit of Prophecy is rebellion. That is what it says here, rejection of the prophets.
“Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.” II Chronicles 24:19. In II Chronicles 36:16 we are told, “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” Verse 17 says this rejecting the messages of the prophets is why He brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans and they were taken captive into Babylon.
Have carnal hearts changed in this day and age? No, sad to say, they have not. In fact, down through history the professed people of God have claimed to accept previous prophets and maybe even lived by what was written, but the present prophet has always been rejected.
The same thing is happening now. Previous prophets are accepted and believed, but when it comes to the present prophet, Ellen White, she is rejected.
“When once men have admitted doubt and unbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, they are strongly tempted to adhere to the opinions which they have avowed before others…. The doubts indulged through ignorance, pride, or love of sinful practices, rivet upon the soul fetters that are seldom broken. Christ, and He alone, can give the needed power to break them.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 46. Praise God! Jesus can break the soul fetters!
Again, I can testify that this is true. When people admit with their mouth (or even worse in writing) doubts about the Spirit of Prophecy or things that the Spirit of Prophecy teaches, they are unwilling, in almost every case because of pride, to admit that they were wrong and to change and submit to the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy.
Let us get into some specifics. “The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ (Proverbs 29:18.) Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. There will be hatred kindled against the Testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.” Selected Messages, book 1, 48.
In this quote we not only see the principle, the prophecy of the deception of making of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God in unsettling confidence, but it says Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways with the remnant people, who have their confidence unsettled.
In Part 2 we will look at some of the ingenious ways the devil has used to unsettle the faith of the remnant.