Larger font
Smaller font

The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    III. Unique Emphasis Given by Ellen White

    There were, however, certain larger emphases in which Mrs. White stood out sharply in the forefront among her fellow Adventists on the question of Bible prophecy. One was her constant urge that they continue the intensive study of prophecy. There were repeated admonitions to “dig deeper,” as for “hidden treasure.” And there were urgings that they not be “diverted by minutiae” and unimportant questions. 56E. G. White. Ms. 31, 1896; Letter 16, 1903. Again and again she counseled them to persevere in studying the prophecies of Daniel and John in particular, for, she said, they “interpret each other,” the one being the “complement” of the other. Moreover, their meaning becomes increasingly clear as they are fulfilled historically. And she solemnly asserted that the Christian world will soon become the theater of great and decisive developments, hence the need of the light of prophecy for the guidance of the church.PFF4 1147.1


    Ellen White insisted that this search go forward, for “increasing light is to shine” upon the prophecies. We are not to become static and rigid in our concepts. We are to think for ourselves, she said pointedly, not taking traditional positions for granted, and not relying upon others to think for us. We are to exercise the ability God has given us to learn individually what is truth. 57The Necessity of Dying to Self,” The Review and Herald, June 18, 1889, p. 385. And she solemnly warned against rejecting advancing light, 58Living Channels of Light,” The Review and Herald, May 27, 1890, p. 321. expressly declaring the Bible to be the testing “standard for every doctrine”—the “divine authority which is supreme in matters of faith.” 59Week of Prayer Reading. Dec. 15, 1888. But such advanced light will not contravene the fundamental interpretations already established. And she states:PFF4 1147.2

    “Those who will devote their powers to the study of God’s word, and especially to prophecies referring to these last days, will be rewarded by the discovery of important truths.” 60E. G. White, Ms. 75, 1899. “When the mind is kept open and is constantly searching the field of revelation, we shall find rich deposits of truth. Old truths will be revealed in new aspects, and truths will appear which have been overlooked in the search.” 61E. G. White. Ms. 75, 1897.PFF4 1148.1

    Especially does the book of Revelation demand this “close study,” for its solemn truths are to be proclaimed with increasing effectiveness to the world. 62“Our Greatest Treasure-House,” The Signs of the Times, July 4, 1906, p. 403. The pertinent reason for their importance is that they “concern all who are living in these last days.” 63“Lessons From the First Chapter of Revelation,” The Signs of the Times, January 28, 1903, p.50. If Adventists were awake, she counseled, if they realized the nearness of the closing events portrayed by John, a great revival would be seen, and a decided reformation would result,” 64“The Study of Revelation,” Pacific Union Recorder, January 14, 1904, p. 1; Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 113, 114. and many would have “an entirely different religious experience.” The right understanding of the prophecies is therefore vital.PFF4 1148.2


    Attention should be called to Mrs. White’s forthright acknowledgment of present-day indebtedness to the godly expositors of “generations past.” Many of these she named. Her perception on this point is impressive:PFF4 1148.3

    “We have increased light, and this has come through the work of those faithful sentinels who made God their dependence, and received power from him to let light shine in clear, bright rays to the world.” 65“The Workers Needed,” The Review and Herald, March 10, 1903, p. 8.PFF4 1148.4

    Then she warned against being too critical of those earlier witnesses “whom God raised up in former times to do a certain work and to penetrate the moral darkness of the world.” And now follows this impressive statement:PFF4 1148.5

    “These men were God’s noblemen, his living agencies, through whom he wrought in a wonderful manner. They were depositaries of divine truth to the extent that the Lord saw fit to reveal the truth that the world could bear to hear. They proclaimed the truth at a time when false, corrupt religion was magnifying itself in the world.” 66Exposing of the Brethren’s Mistakes Reproved.” The Review and Herald, November 30, 1897, p. 753. Various typical men were identified. Here are a few: “Through the labors of Wyckliffe Huss, and kindred workers, thousands of noble witnesses had borne testimony to the truth.”(The Signs of the Times, May 31, 1883, p. 241.) And foremost among those to “lead the church into the light of a purer faith, stood Martin Luther.... Luther was the man for his time.” (Ibid.) All were expositors.PFF4 1149.1

    And here is her expressed wish:PFF4 1149.2

    “I could wish that the curtain could be rolled back, and that those who have not spiritual eyesight might see these men as they appear in the sight of God; for now they see them as trees walking. They would not then put their human construction upon the experience and works of the men who parted the darkness from the track, and prepared the way for future generations. Living down in our own generation, we may pronounce judgment upon the men whom God raised up to do a special work, according to the light given to them in their day.” 67Ibid.PFF4 1149.3


    Moreover, her fearless attitude as to unswerving fidelity to truth and the candid facing of the facts, is attested by the following, and many similar admonitions:PFF4 1149.4

    “There is no excuse for any one in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scriptures are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.” 68“Christ Our Hope,” The Review and Herald, December 20, 1892, p. 785. She went even further:PFF4 1149.5

    “And in closely investigating every jot and title which we think is established truth, in comparing scripture with scripture, we may discover errors in our interpretation of Scripture. Christ would have the searcher of His work sink the shaft deeper into the mines of truth.” 69“Treasure Hidden,” The Review and Herald, July 12, 1898, p. 438. That was the unvarying counsel of Mrs. White.PFF4 1149.6


    It is only proper to emphasize the fact that Mrs. White was pre-eminent among all her associates in calling for a Christ-centered, redemptive emphasis on the prophecies. Here are but two out of many recorded statements:PFF4 1150.1

    “Let Daniel speak, let Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the center of all hope.” 70Testimonies for the Church 6:62. “The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be carefully studied, and in connection with them the words, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’” 71Gospel Workers, 148, (1915).PFF4 1150.2

    These were her constant counsels to others, and were exemplified in her own writings. She declared that the last gospel proclamation, in a prophetic setting, is to close in a blaze of glory, suffused with the bright “rays of the Sun of Righteousness.” 72E. G. White, Ms. 15,1888. Here are her arresting words:PFF4 1150.3

    “Increased light will shine upon all the grand truths of prophecy, and they will be seen in freshness and brilliancy, because the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will illuminate the whole.” 73E. G. White, Ms. 18, 1888. Christ our complete righteousness was probably the supreme emphasis of her writings. 74See Arthur G. Daniells, Christ Our Righteousness (1926), where many of her statements on this theme are assembled. And this, she declared, is to be the crowning contribution of prophecy.PFF4 1150.4


    The pre-eminence of prophecy, when rightly understood, emphasized, and presented, is boldly proclaimed. Gems of light and jewels of imperishable truth, we are told, are to be recovered from the past. They are to be rescued from the rubbish of error and discard, and are to find their rightful place as they are reset in the framework of the everlasting gospel for these last days. “The results of many minds,” Mrs. White urged, “are to be brought together from many sources as God’s hereditary trust.” Then she continued:PFF4 1150.5

    “Truths of divine origin, are to be carefully searched out and placed in their proper setting, to shine with heavenly brilliancy amid the moral darkness of the world.” “Each gem is to become the property of God’s people and find its true position in the framework of truth. Precious jewels of light are to be collected, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit they are to be fitted into the gospel system.” 75“Truth to Be Rescued From Error,” The Review and Herald, October 23, 1894, p. 657. They will thus “give attractiveness to the gospel plan,” and shine “amid the moral darkness of the world.” So these truths that have been “disconnected from the Lord of Glory, are to be reset, opened and explained, and made to appear in their heavenly beauty, to be seen as truths that shall stand fast forever.” They are now to be given to the world in their “original splendor, freshness, and force.” 76“Our Duty and Responsibility,” General Conference Bulletin, 1896 (vol. 1, no. 8), p. 766. And when these gems have been accorded their proper place and relationship, their magnetic pull will draw many who would not otherwise respond to the gospel overtures:PFF4 1151.1

    “Truth that has found its proper setting flashes brilliant rays of divine light into darkened minds, and meets the wants and necessities of the minds and hearts of fallen men who could not be reached by any other agency.” 77“Truth to Be Rescued From Error,” The Review and Herald, October 23, 1894, p. 658 (see also “Our Duty and Responsibility,” General Conference Bulletin, 1896 [vol. 1, no. 8], p. 766). So with Mrs. White, prophecy in its larger, truer setting had a pre-eminent place.PFF4 1151.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font