Light Through Orion

Jesus reproved His disciples for being slow to believe in the prophets and their writings. “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25). Then to establish and ground them in the truth, it is recorded, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (verse 27).

God speaks to His people through human agents who are moved by the Spirit of God. “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets” (Hosea 12:10). “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). Not only holy men but women also are given the gift of prophecy. “It shall come to pass in the last days saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy” (Acts 2:17).

An important evidence of a true prophet is found in the predictions made coming to pass, and in facts stated proving true. “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” (Deuteronomy 18:22). “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).

Ellen G. White was shown the following in vision:

“December 16, 1848, the Lord gave me a view of the shaking of the powers of the heavens. …

“Dark, heavy clouds came up and clashed against each other. The atmosphere parted and rolled back; then we could look up through the open space in Orion, whence came the voice of God. The Holy City will come down through that open space.” Early Writings, page 41.

Elder Bates, a man who had followed the sea for fifty years, filling all positions from cabin-boy to master and owner of vessels; one who had understanding of astronomy, said he tried to talk with Ellen White about the stars, but found she knew nothing about astronomy. She told him that she did not know that she had ever looked into a book treating on that subject. Because of an accident, her formal school education had ceased at about the third or fourth grade level.

A few years ago Edgar Lucien Larkin, director of Mount Lowe Observatory, Pasadena, California, said:

“Recent photographic transparencies made on glass plates at the Mount Wilson Observatory reveal the optical property of perspective. What has all along appeared to be a flat surface of nebulous matter, the beautiful shimmer and sheen in the great nebula in the sword of Orion, is shown, in the central regions of these negatives, to be the mouth of a cavern, a deep opening receding into the mighty distance beyond. These large negatives, … actually show depths below the shining surface of the nebula, the effect being that the eye looks into the opening and along the apparent sides to the rear.”

“The opening in Orion … stretches many trillions of miles. And this is the enormous width of the colossal opening which leads into the cavern.

“Then 90,000 little rings of the dimensions of the earth’s orbit, each with a sun in the center, could enter this abyss side by side and be engulfed. And all these dimensions are less than the reality, without doubt.

“These negatives reveal the opening and interior of a cavern so stupendous that our entire solar system, including the orbit of Neptune, would be lost therein. In all ordinary telescopes, the nebula looks like a flat surface. I have watched it since the days of youth, in many telescopes of many powers, but never dreamed that the central region is the mouth of a colossal cave.” Quoted in The Message of the Stars, by J. Walter Rich, pp. 82–85.

In the National Geographic Magazine, August, 1919, in an article entitled, “Exploring the Glories of the Firmament,” by William Joseph Showalter, beginning on page 153 is a fine description of many heavenly wonders. On page 181, we read:

“Look on a winter’s night at Orion. Between Betelgeuse and Rigel in his belt, and suspended from his belt his sword. The central star of this sword appears to the naked eye as merely a fuzzy little fellow that might be passed over without thought.

“But train a big telescope on it and instead you see the most magnificent nebula in the heavens. Its diameter is thought to be twenty million times as great as that of our sun.”

Again on page 175, “The central portion of the huyghenian region in the nebula of Orion is the opening of a colossal cavern in the primordial stellar floor. The nebula is no longer a flat surface. One peers within cosmic deeps, one looks into a chasm before which all powers of imagination are submerged, and feasts the eye with supernal splendors. It is like looking in at a door to the rear of a cave, deep within glittering nebulosity. The chasm is the most beautiful object visible to human sight. Pillars, columns, walls, facades, bulwarks, stalactites, and stalagmites are within deeps of deeps. They glow and shine superbly with pearly light.”

What an evidence of divine revelation! Seventy or more years after the testimony of this young woman who had never studied astronomy, science discovers this great opening in Orion. Should not this verifying of the accuracy of this statement strengthen our confidence in the events mentioned with the statement?—the voice of God, delivering His people, and the coming down of the Holy City? Should it not also strengthen our confidence in the testimonies given to the church through this messenger?

Other evidences of inspiration are found in the instruction given through Ellen G. White in the fields of nutrition and education. Beginning in 1863 to the last years of her life, she gave instruction in proper diet and the care of the sick. Much of this instruction was given before the development of the science of nutrition.

In recent years Dr. Clive M. McCay, professor of nutrition at Cornell University, examined Ellen G. White’s counsels on nutrition. A question that came to his mind was, “How do you explain the fact that Mrs. White, with very little formal education and no special training in nutrition, so accurately set forth nutrition principles that are only now scientifically established?” To the answer that she probably borrowed her ideas from her contemporaries, Dr. McCay raised another question: “How would Mrs. White know which ideas to borrow and which to reject out of the bewildering array of theories and health teaching current in the nineteenth century?”

In a series of articles written for the Review and Herald, Dr. McCay said in the opening paragraphs:

“Among the thousand historical acquaintances in my files, one of the most worth-while is Ellen G. White. As near as one can judge by the evidence of modern nutritional science, her extensive writings on the subject of nutrition, and health in general, are correct in their conclusions. This is doubly remarkable: Not only was most of her writing done at a time when a bewildering array of new health views—good and bad—were being promoted but the modern science of nutrition, which helps us to check on views and theories, had not yet been born. Even more singular, Mrs. White had no technical training in nutrition, or in any subdivision of science that deals with health.” The Review and Herald, February, 12, 1959.

Continuing, this expert observed: “When one reads such works by Mrs. White as The Ministry of Healing or Counsels on Diet and Foods he is impressed with the correctness of her teachings in the light of modern nutritional science. One can only speculate how much better the health of the average American might be, even though he knew almost nothing of modern science, if he but followed the teachings of Mrs. White.” Ibid.

In a lecture given at the Unitarian Church, April 9, 1958, in Ithaca, N. Y., Doctor McCay said: “In spite of the fact that the works of Mrs. White were written long before the advent of modern scientific nutrition, no better overall guide is available today. Her basic concepts about the relation between diet and health have been verified to an unusual degree by scientific advances of the past century.”

Turning now to the field of education we find three books devoted to the subject plus hundreds of pages of magazine articles and of letters giving instruction and counsel. A high and broad philosophy of education has been taught beginning back in 1880s. Many of the early articles and counsels culminated in the book Education.

How do the modern experts in the field of education regard the principles given in these books on education by Ellen G. White? Let Dr. Florence Stratemeyer, professor of education, Teacher’s College, Columbia University answer:

“Recently the book Education by Ellen G. White has been brought to my attention. Written at the turn of the century, this volume was more than fifty years ahead of its time. And I was surprised to learn that it was written by a woman with but three years of schooling.

“The breadth and depth of its philosophy amazed me. Its concepts of balanced education, harmonious development, and of thinking and acting on principle are advanced educational concepts.

“The objective of restoring in man the image of God, the teaching of parental responsibility, and the emphasis on self-control in the child are ideals the world desperately needs.

“Mrs. White did not necessarily use current terms. In fact she did not use the word curriculum in her writing. But the book Education in certain parts treats of important curriculum principles. She was concerned with the whole learner—the harmonious development of mental, physical, and spiritual powers. …

“I am not surprised that members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church hold the writings of Mrs. White in great respect and make them central in developing the educational programs in their schools.” The Review and Herald, August 6, 1959, p. 13.

Doctor Stratemeyer was amazed to discover that a woman with only three or four grades of common schooling should become the author of books like Education, Counsels to Teachers, and Fundamentals of Christian Education—books as modern as mid-twentieth century works from outstanding experts in the field.

“Be happy always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants of you, in your life in Christ Jesus. Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test: keep what is good, and avoid every kind of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:16–22, Today’s English Version).

“Do not believe everyone who claims to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the Spirit they have comes from God. … This is how you will be able to know whether it is God’s Spirit: everyone who confesses that Jesus Christ became mortal man has the Spirit who comes from God. But anyone who denies this about Jesus does not have the Spirit from God” (I John 4:1–3 Today’s English Version).

False prophets do not exalt Christ. They rather draw attention to themselves. They “draw away disciples” after themselves (Acts 20:30). In Mrs. White’s teachings Christ is recognized and exalted. Note this instruction to ministers and gospel workers which she carried out in her own practice:

“Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ascended into the heavens, Christ coming again, should so soften, gladden, and fill the mind of the minister that he will present these truths to the people in love and deep earnestness. The minister will then be lost sight of, and Jesus will be made manifest. Lift up Jesus, you that teach the people, lift Him up in sermon, in song, in prayer. Let all your powers be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, lost, to the ‘Lamb of God.’ (John 1:29). Lift Him up, the risen Saviour, and say to all who hear, Come to Him Who ‘hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us’ (Ephesians 5:2). Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Bring nothing into your preaching to supplement Christ, the wisdom and power of God. Hold forth the word of life, presenting Jesus as the hope of the penitent and the stronghold of every believer. Reveal the way of peace to the troubled and the despondent, and show forth the grace and completeness of the Saviour.” Gospel Workers, 159, 160.

“Do not advocate theories or tests that Christ has never mentioned, and that have no foundation in the Bible. We have grand, solemn truths for the people. ‘It is written’ is the test that must be brought home to every soul. Let us go to the word of God for guidance. Let us seek for a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ We have had enough of human methods. A mind trained only in worldly science will fail to understand the things of God; but the same mind, converted and sanctified, will see the divine power in the Word.” Ibid., 309, 310.

Elder W.D. Frazee studied the Medical Missionary Course at the College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda, California. He was called to Utah as a gospel medical evangelist. During the Great Depression, when the church could not afford to hire any assistants, Elder Frazee began inviting professionals to join him as volunteers. This began a faith ministry that would become the foundation for the establishment of the Wildwood Medical Missionary Institute in 1942. He believed that each person is unique, specially designed by the Lord, of infinite value, and has a special place and mission in this world which only he can fill. His life followed this principle and he encouraged others to do the same.