Is it necessary to believe in the Spirit of Prophecy to be a Seventh-day Adventist?
Let us first consider several passages from the Bible: “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.” Proverbs 29:18. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 11 Chronicles 20:20, last part.
Paul speaks of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. Verse 10 specifically mentions the gift of prophecy. Romans 12:6 also refers to the gift of prophecy.
John the Revelator wrote: “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. Revelation 19:10 explains the “testimony of Jesus Christ.” It says, in the last part, “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.”
After reading these texts, we should have some idea of how the Lord communicates with His people. “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, [I] the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak unto him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6.
The Lord did not expect human beings, with their finite mentality, to figure out their way by themselves here on this sin-cursed earth. He provided them communication with heaven by prayer, then, specifically, through prophets to guide His people.
We are living in the end time of this earth’s history. Knowledge is increasing, and men are running to and fro. (Daniel 12:4.) In such a situation, surely God would have something to say to His people to guide them through the maze of new information and new inventions. Human reasoning tells us that we need the advice of a prophet.
How do we know that the true gift of prophecy has been given? First, truth is always truth. One of the strongest evidences is that a true prophet’s writings will agree with the former prophets in the Bible, especially with the Law of God. It says, in Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.” Therefore, the writings and the works of a prophet must be tested against the Bible.
Ellen White, who authored what is known as the Spirit of Prophecy, wrote many books and articles—some 225,000 pages—and every one agrees with the Bible; never in one word did she contradict the Bible. Her writings always lead to the study of the Bible. Having only a third grade education, in order for her to write as much and as accurately and interestingly as she did, she had to have more than just her human intelligence. Her many visions and dreams all draw one closer to the Lord.
I could write a small book on physical proof and the proof of prophecies fulfilled, but to me that is not the greatest proof that she was a prophet of the Lord. The greatest proof comes from the reading of her writings and seeing what they will do for you. Lay all your preconceived ideas and prejudices aside and read.
Since we have all this wonderful instruction, it would surely be an insult to the Lord if we did not accept it. Therefore, I would suggest that a real Seventh-day Adventist will read and follow the instruction given in the Spirit of Prophecy.