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Counsels for the Church

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    Practical Test of a Good Prophet

    In addition to these four major Bible tests, the Lord has given evidences that make it clear that the work is of His direction. Among these are:CCh 30.6

    The timeliness of the message. God's people are in some special need, and the message comes just in time to meet the need, as did the first vision given to Mrs. White.CCh 30.7

    The practical nature of the messages. The information revealed to Mrs. White in the visions was of practical value, meeting practical needs. Look at the way in which the testimony counsels enter in a practical way into our everyday lives.CCh 30.8

    The high spiritual plane of the messages. They do not deal with matters that are childish or common, but with grand, elevated themes. The language itself is sublime.CCh 30.9

    The manner in which the visions were given. Many of the visions were accompanied by physical phenomena as described earlier. Mrs. White's experience in vision was similar to that of the Bible prophets, the visions were definite experiences, not just impressions. In vision, Mrs. White saw, heard, felt, and received instruction from the angels. The visions could not be accounted for by excitement or imagination.CCh 30.10

    Mrs. White was not controlled by those about her. To one man she wrote: “You think individuals have prejudiced my mind. If I am in this state I am not fitted to be entrusted with the work of God.”CCh 31.1

    Her work was recognized by her contemporaries. Both those in the church who lived and worked with Mrs. White, and many outside the church recognized her as the “messenger of the Lord.” Those closest to her had the greatest confidence in her call and work.CCh 31.2

    These four Bible tests and the additional evidences outlined above assure us that Ellen White's work is of God and is worthy of unquestioned confidence.CCh 31.3

    The many E. G. White books are filled with counsel and instruction of permanent value to the church. Whether these testimonies were of a more general nature or personal testimonies to families and individuals, they are of service to us today. Concerning this point, Mrs. White says:CCh 31.4

    “Since the warning and instruction given in testimonies for individual cases applied with equal force to many others who had not been specially pointed out in this manner, it seemed to be my duty to publish the personal testimonies for the benefit of the church.... I know of no better way to present my views of general dangers and errors, and the duty of all who love God and keep His commandments, than by giving these testimonies.” It is a mistaken use of the testimonies to read them to find some point on which condemnation of a fellow church member can be based. The testimonies must never be used as a club to bring some brother or sister to see things just as we see them. There are matters that must be left for the individual to settle alone with God.CCh 31.5

    The counsels should be studied to find the basic principles that apply in our own lives today. The human heart is much the same the world over; the problems of one are often the problems of another. “In rebuking the wrongs of one,” Mrs. White wrote, God “designs to correct many.” “He makes plain the wrongs of some that others may thus be warned.”CCh 31.6

    Near the close of her life, Mrs. White gave the following counsel:CCh 31.7

    “Through His Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction.... Time and trial have not made void the instruction given.... The instruction that was given in the early days of the message is to be held as safe instruction to follow in these its closing days.”CCh 31.8

    The counsels that follow are drawn from a number of the E. G. White books—but mainly from the three volumes of Testimony Treasures, the world edition of the Testimonies for the Church—and represent the lines of instruction thought to be most helpful to the church in areas where the limitations of church membership make it impossible to publish more than a single volume of moderate size. The work of selecting and arranging these counsels was done by a large committee, working under the authorization of the board of trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate, to whom was assigned the responsibility of the care of the spirit of prophecy counsels. The selections are often brief and confined to a statement of practical basic principles, and thus a wide range of subjects is included.CCh 31.9

    “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chronicles 20:20.CCh 32.1

    The trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D.C.,

    July 22, 1957.

    Revised, Silver Spring, MD

    January 1, 1990.

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