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The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White

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    OBJECTION 1. — THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE ALONE

    The first and most general objection, and the one which contains the most specious fallacy, is the cry of “The Bible and the Bible Alone,” as opposed to the visions. We do not receive the visions, say they; we have no need of them; the Bible is a sufficient rule of faith. We stand upon the Bible and the Bible alone. Such declarations, in connection with outspoken denunciations of the visions, are most effectually calculated to warp the judgment of the unguarded, and fasten upon their minds the impression that to receive the visions is to reject the Bible, and to cling to the Bible is to discard the visions. A greater fallacy never existed. Look at the fields which they respectively occupy. The Bible is able to make us wise unto salvation and thoroughly furnish us unto all good works. Do the visions propose to invade this field, and erect a new standard, and give us another rule of faith and practice? Nothing of the kind. On the contrary, they are ever in harmony with the word, and ever refer to that as the test and standard. To the law and the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.VEGW 13.1

    But by taking our stand on the Bible, and the Bible alone, we bind ourselves to receive all that it teaches, and to acknowledge every agency which it assures us that God has placed in the Christian church. Now the Bible has something to say on the subject of visions. It tells us that the present dispensation is the “dispensation of the Spirit.” It assures us that during this time, the Comforter, or Spirit of truth, would be with the true church, to lead them into all truth. The prophecy to be fulfilled during the same time, is given us in these words: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” It tells us that this Spirit has certain distinct and definite channels through which it will operate; and that under its influence there will be manifestations of wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. And hence when the prophecy of the outpouring of the Spirit in this dispensation is announced, it is immediately added, “And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” “And also,” continues Joel, “upon the servants and upon the handmaids, in those days will I pour out my Spirit,” and Peter adds, as if it were an unfailing consequent, “And they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:16-18. Here are set before us the operations of the Spirit of God, and in these it is declared that the daughters as well as the sons, the handmaids as well as the servants, are to participate.VEGW 13.2

    In making us wise unto salvation, and thoroughly furnishing us unto all good works, the Bible is thus careful to instruct us as to the place which the Spirit of God is designed to fill, and the part which it is to act. It declares that the means by which the saints are to be perfected, the work of the ministry performed, and the body of Christ edified, till we all come into the unity of the faith, are these various operations of the Spirit of God, in connection with the word. Now is there any such thing as standing upon the Bible and the Bible alone, and yet rejecting these agencies? There certainly is not. Those who reject these things, and deny that God has made any provision for the instruction of his people in these days through the gifts of visions of prophecy in the church, just so depart from their doctrine of the Bible and the Bible alone, and deny the Bible itself.VEGW 14.1

    If any should say that they do not deny the doctrine of spiritual gifts as a Bible theory, but do not believe that the manifestations we now have are genuine, then this objection of the Bible and the Bible alone, is abandoned as opposed to the visions, and objections against them must be based on other grounds. Inasmuch as the Bible expressly provides for visions, no objections can be raised against any visions on the ground of the Bible and the Bible alone. It is all a fallacy. The only ground upon which any of them can be rejected, is to bring them to the word, the test, and show that their characteristics are not such as were to attend the genuine manifestations. And of this test we invite an application to the visions received among Seventh-day Adventists.VEGW 15.1

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