The Test of Fulfilled Predictions
Did Mrs. White's Predictions Always Come to Pass?
The Test of Divine Guidance in Times of Crisis in the Advent Movement
The Test of Agreement With the Bible
The Test of the Kind of Fruit Borne in Life and Works
Repeatedly the New Testament asserts that there will be prophets in the church. It like-wise states, There were false prophets also among the people (2 Peter 2:1). Clearly, we can expect both true and false prophets in the church. We should not quench the Holy Spirit and His manifestations or despise the prophesyings, but rather prove, test, and try them. As a result of such a process we are to hold fast that which is good (1 Thess. 5:19-21).
Ellen G. White claimed the gift of prophecy, and thereby declared herself to be a prophet in the church. However, she preferred the term messenger. Thus we find her explaining:
I said that I did not claim to be a prophetess. I have not stood before the people claiming this title, though many called me thus. I have been instructed to say, I am God's messenger, sent to bear a message of reproof to the erring and of encouragement to the meek and lowly.The Review and Herald, Jan. 26, 1905, pp. 5, 6.
Writing of this later she explained:
Some have stumbled over the fact that I said I did not claim to be a prophet; and they have asked, Why is this?
I have had no claims to make, only that I am instructed that I am the Lord's messenger; that He called me in my youth to be His messenger, to receive His word, and to give a clear and decided message in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Early in my youth I was asked several times, Are you a prophet? I have ever responded, I am the Lord's messenger. I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. My Saviour declared me to be His messenger. Your work, He instructed me, is to bear My word. Strange things will arise, and in your youth I set you apart to bear the message to the erring ones, to carry the word before unbelievers, and with pen and voice to reprove from the Word actions that are not right. Exhort from the Word. I will make My Word open before you. It shall not be as a strange language. In the true eloquence of simplicity, with voice and pen, the messages that I give shall be heard from one who has never learned in the schools. My Spirit and My power shall be with you.
Be not afraid of man, for My shield shall protect you. It is not you that speaketh: it is the Lord that giveth the messages of warning and reproof. Never deviate from the truth under any circumstances. Give the light I shall give you. The messages for these last days shall be written in books, and shall stand immortalized, to testify against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.
Why have I not claimed to be a prophet?Because in these days many who boldly claim that they are prophets are a reproach to the cause of Christ; and because my work
includes much more than the word prophet signifies.The Review and Herald, July 26, 1906, p. 8.
Every member of the remnant church must face the fact of Ellen G. White, her visions, and her testimonies. In all fairness to ourselves, to her, and to the God for whom she said she spoke, we should apply the recognized Bible tests to satisfy ourselves as to her genuineness, and then decide what we shall do about her messages, counsel, and testimonies. This is a decision of tremendous and vital personal import, for that decision will mold and fashion the details of our everyday lives; yea, it will transform them.
Let us, however, first apply the tests of a prophet, see how Ellen G. White meets them, and then discuss final and vital decisions.
Predictions of things to come are of interest to everybody, for without exception we like to peer through the veil of the future. Making predictions, or foretelling, is but one phase of the work of the prophet.
There are four passages of Scripture to keep in mind when talking about the prophet's predictions of things to come:
1. Secret things belong to God (Deut. 29:29).
2. God reveals secrets to the prophets (Amos 3:7).
3. Unfulfilled predictions made in the name of the Lord are presumptuous; fulfilled predictions demonstrate that the prophet was sent by the Lord (Jer. 28:9).
4. Some prophecies are conditional (Jer. 18: 7-10 ).
Prophets have been God's chosen spokesmen, and through them He has made known things to come. Hence it is but natural for men to watch with eager interest to see whether such predictions actually come to pass. A failure of fulfillment would obviously become a factor in acceptance or rejection of the one claiming to be a prophet.
In the work of Ellen G. White we would expect to find some definite predictions and their equally definite fulfillments. Let us very briefly look at some of them.
Streams of Published Light to Encircle the Globe.In 1848 when our early pioneers were penniless, she was shown that a paper should be printed, and from this small beginning the publishing work would be like streams of light that would go clear round the world (Life Sketches, p. 125). Surely we have seen these words fulfilled as Seventh-day Adventists in 1954 distributed $17,000,000 worth of literature in 197 languages.
We cite in somewhat more detail another illustration:
Rochester Rappings to Become World-encircling Delusion.These mysterious rappings began with the
Fox sisters in New York State in 1848. On March 24, 1849, Ellen G. White made the following prediction:
I saw that the mysterious knocking in New York and other places was the power of Satan, and that such things would be more and more common, clothed in a religious garb so as to lull the deceived to greater security, and to draw the minds of God's people, if possible, to those things, and cause them to doubt the teachings and power of the Holy Ghost.Early Writings, p. 43.
On August 24, 1850, Ellen G. White again predicted:
I saw that soon it [the mysterious rapping] would spread more and more, that Satan's power would increase, and some of his devoted followers would have power to work miracles.Ibid., p. 59.
Yet again on January 10, 1854, Mrs. White added these further details:
I saw the rapping delusionwhat progress it was making, and if it were possible it would deceive the very elect. Satan will have power to bring the appearance of a form before us purporting to be our relatives and friends that now sleep in Jesus. It will be made to appear as though they were present; the words they uttered while here, which we were familiar with, will be spoken, and the same tone of voice, which they had while living, will fall upon the ear. All this is to deceive the saints, and ensnare them into the belief of this delusion.Supplement to the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White, pp. 5, 6. (See Early Writings, p. 87.)
Remember the dates of these predictions. In America then there were no mediums, trances, or
spirit messages, no organized groups or companies of Spiritualists. It was a bold prediction, but every word has come to pass. Recently a book entitled Centennial Book of Modern Spiritualism in America (1848-1948) was issued by the National Spiritualist Association of the USA, which summarizes their history and achievements. Spiritualism now claims millions of believerseminent judges, physicians, scientists, editors, writers, poets, clergymen, educators, and statesmen of various countries.
According to the Declaration of Principles adopted by the National Spiritualist Association, those who have passed on are conscious, and can communicate with us; therefore, Spiritualism is God's message to mortals, declaring that there is no death, that all who have passed on still live, and that there is hope in the life beyond for the most sinful. Spiritualism teaches that every soul will progress through the ages to heights sublime and glorious.
Today all of this is history that records the fulfillment of another of the Ellen G. White predictions.
San Francisco Earthquake Predicted.From 1902 on she warned of the coming destruction of San Francisco and Oakland, crying out that not long hence these cities will suffer under the judgments of God.Ellen G. White manuscript 114, 1902; Evangelism, p. 403. Ask any old resident in San Francisco or Oakland and he will tell you how this prediction was fulfilled.
World War Conditions Foretold Back in 1890.In an article in the Signs of the Times, Mrs. White wrote:
The tempest is coming, and we must get ready for its fury, by having repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord will arise to shake terribly the earth. We shall see  troubles on all sides.  Thousands of ships will be hurled into the depths of the sea.  Navies will go down, and  human lives will be sacrificed by millions.  Fires will break out unexpectedly, and no human effort will be able to quench them. The palaces of earth will be swept away in the fury of the flames.  Disasters by rail will become more and more frequent;  confusion, collision, and death without a moment's warning will occur on the great lines of travel . Oh, let us seek God while he may be found, call upon him while he is near!April 21, 1890, p. 242.
In 1910 Mrs. White warned, Soon strife among the nations will break out with an intensity that we do not now anticipate.The Review and Herald, Nov. 17, 1910, p. 8. The fulfillment of this prediction made when men everywhere were proclaiming the golden age of peace and safety is too fresh in our memories to need any recital of details.
Predictions Concerning Our Work in London.In connection with divinely fulfilled predictions, I am reminded of an experience that occurred in January, 1953. Elder Branson called me to his office one morning and said, I would like you to bring together for me all the passages in the writings of Ellen G.
White relative to our work in England, in London particularly. I smiled and said, Elder, I think I know what you have in mind. You are thinking of the very same thing that I am. Now is the time to do something for London, and it seems to me that we should find the way to fulfill the predictions relative to the work in London.
Of course, he was very much interested that my mind should be running along the same line, and immediately we began to think in terms of what we could do for the work in London that would give us the kind of setting Mrs. White had described some fifty or more years before.
I remember so well this passage found in Testimonies for the Church, volume 6, pages 25 and 26:
There is a great work to be done in England. The light radiating from London should beam forth in clear, distinct rays to regions beyond. God has wrought in England but this English-speaking world has been terribly neglected. England has needed many more laborers and much more means. London has been scarcely touched. My heart is deeply moved as the situation in that great city is presented before me .
In the city of London alone no fewer than one hundred men should be engaged. The Lord marks the neglect of His work, and there will be a very heavy account to settle by and by.
Several weeks ago, as I passed through London, it was my privilege to go down to Regent Street, which is the Fifth Avenue of London, one of the most
important of all the business streets in that city. There I saw a remarkable transformation that has taken place in what is known as the New Gallery. Said to be on ground owned by the Crown, it was an art gallery in the old days, a favorite spot for kings and queens, and since 1916 a very well-known theater.
When our people began to look for a place in London, they had in mind a number of different buildings, but it seemed that the Lord was just opening the way and turning us to this particular spot. As I looked in there and saw the complete transformation from a theater to a Seventh-day Adventist preaching hall, I said to myself, This indeed is a fulfillment of prophecy!
Such a transformation you cannot imagine. All those pictures that had to do with the theater had been blotted out. Even the old theater carpet with its special symbols or insignia, with the name of the theater woven right into it, was gone. The old theater seats had been taken out, and the building completely renovated. The people of London call it the conversion of the theater. And it has been thoroughly converted indeed!
That afternoon as we sat in committee, Elder Armstrong, the president of the British Union, said, I was born into an Adventist family. As a boy I used to read those statements in the writings of the servant of the Lord and wonder how they would ever be fulfilled. Now to think that the Lord has seen fit to
put me here as the president of this union to bring about the fulfillment of that prediction of so many years ago! Then he called my attention to a paragraph that I had overlooked. Ellen G. White, more than fifty years ago, wrote:
It seems to me that the necessity of the work in England is a very important question to us in this country [America]. We talk about China and other countries. Let us not forget the English-speaking countries where, if the truth were presented, many would receive and practice it.General Conference Bulletin, April 22, 1901; Evangelism, p. 415.
Well, I said, isn't that interesting!
It was because of the crisis in China, which made it impossible for us to send money into that country, that we had funds available from the old China budget to provide a great evangelistic center in London. If it had not been for the crisis in China, we might not have had that money.
The crisis in China means the fulfillment of a prediction concerning the city of London. Again I say, dear friends, we have much for which to be thankful in connection with this Advent Movement. There is no crisis with the Lord. What seems to us to be a crisis is but an opportunity in disguise.
When we study this first test, fulfilled predictions, we should ask ourselves in all sincerity and honesty,
Did Mrs. White ever make any predictions that were not fulfilled?
May I say frankly, and at the very outset, that we are frequently asked the question, What about Ellen G. White's statement made in 1856 at the conclusion of a workers' meeting, or conference, when she said, There are some here who will be alive to see the coming of the Lord, and there are some here who will be food for worms?
That statement was made in the year 1856, one hundred years ago. Since many have been trying by various means to figure out when Christ will return, it is to be expected that some good people would use this statement as a possible way of finding out the exact time.
They have been disappointed of course, for, so far as we know, every one whose name was listed as having been present at that meeting in 1856 has now passed away. The White Publications office has received many letters asking about that prediction, calling attention to the fact that those people have all passed away, and asking why the Lord has not yet come. I can explain this unfulfilled prediction only by saying that it is a conditional prophecy. Man failed to do his part; therefore, the Lord has not done as He promised He would do.
The conditional nature of all divine predictions which have to do with human actions or human response to God's will is set forth clearly in the Bible.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God Himself explains it:
At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them (Jer. 18:7-10).
A good Bible illustration of God's dealings with man on the basis of conditional predictions is the experience of Jonah at Nineveh:
So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord . And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them . And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not (Jonah 3:3-5, 10).
Implicit in Jonah's prophecy was the condition if you do not repent. The Ninevites repented, and therefore God changed His plan.
It is true that some of God's predictions are unconditional. For instance, Christ's promise to return to this earth the second time for the salvation of His people is a declaration of God's settled purpose. The
plan of salvation would be incomplete without it. But the time of the Second Advent may be hastened or delayed by the decisions and actions of men.
It is interesting to read in this connection some of the early documents penned by Ellen G. White. She always presented the Second Advent as very near, even at the door. For instance, in 1849 she wrote: I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the most holy place was nearly finished and that time can last but a very little longer.Early Writings, p. 58. When in later years people asked her about the delay in the Lord's coming and the meaning of her earlier statements, she wrote:
The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the Word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of God are alike conditional .
Had the whole Adventist body [after the disappointment in 1844] united upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, how widely different would have been our history! It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed.Manuscript 4, 1883, quoted in Evangelism, pp. 695, 696. (Italics supplied.)
In 1896 she wrote:
If those who claimed to have a living experience in the things of God had done their appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would have been warned ere
this, and the Lord Jesus would have come in power and great glory.The Review and Herald, Oct. 6, 1896, p. 629.
It is thus clear that God intended to bring the history of the world to a close very soon after 1844. The predictions in the vision of 1856 were a part of God's intentions which were dependent upon the response of men to God's will and purpose. Men failed God, and so God was forced to delay His plans. The failure is not to be charged upon God, for His promises and His threatenings are alike conditional.
I am very glad to assure you that in view of the fact that so many other predictions have been fulfilled, I am not going to be disturbed by one that we can explain only on the basis of its being a conditional prophecy.
Divine predictions fulfilled are a great test for any prophet. But the failure of a prediction to come true may not prove that the prophet is false.
We must bear in mind that Ellen G. White's work was not primarily that of making predictions. Her work was of a different nature.
There are three texts to keep in mind when studying God's guidance of His people:
1. The Lord shall guide thee continually (Isa. 58:11).
2. He instructs us in the way we should go (Ps. 32:8).
3. By a prophet the Lord led and guided Israel of old (Hosea 12:13).
Here the prophet becomes a forth-tellerone who speaks forth the word of the Lord when that word is needed most urgently; one who steps in when God's people do not know which way to turn or what to do; or one who warns of impending dangers when they are going in the wrong direction, or of the dire results if the course is pursued.
This phase of the prophet's work calls for remarkable courage, close timing, and specific instruction to meet very specific circumstances. To make a mistake here would be fatal both to the prophet himself and to the situation he could remedy or safeguard. Herein is a test of a prophet.
Time and again Ellen G. White, directed only by God, stepped into critical situations and saved the church by the message she bore. If space permitted, we might recount some of these thrilling experienceshow the denomination was saved at the turn of the century in the crisis over pantheistic teachings, and again at the time of the holy flesh movement. We might give the details of the work of false prophets and of the way the situation was met. On many occasions messages received at just the critical moment protected the church or prevented some serious blunder. One outstanding experience must suffice.
The Salamanca Vision.In the night of November 3, 1890, God looked ahead some four months and saw a meeting of a very small group of men that would be held late on the night of March 7, 1891. Things would be said and done at that meeting that would not be for the best interest of our work. To avert the danger threatening the cause if a certain course should be followed, and to duly impress those who would be participants in that meeting, and to convince them beyond the shadow of a doubt that God was still in control of His work, He gave a vision to His servant Ellen G. White on the night of November 3, 1890, and showed her a scene of that very meeting. She saw a man stand up and lift a copy of the American Sentinel high in the air and point to several articles, declaring that such topics as the Sabbath and the second coming of Christ should not find a place in the paper that spoke for the Religious Liberty Association.
Several times Mrs. White began to tell what she had seen in that vision at the meeting in Salamanca, New York. Each time she faltered and could not recall a single detail. Finally after four months she came to Battle Creek to attend the conference, which was held from March 5 to 25 in the year 1891. She spoke to the ministers at their 5:30 A.M. meetings. On March 7 the president asked her if she would be back on Sunday morning, March 8, and she declined, thinking that she had given enough instruction already.
The Sabbath closed, the evening meeting was concluded, and Sister White, with all others, retired. Did I say all others? Not exactly, for a small group of men went to an office in the Review and Herald building for a strictly secret meeting of their own. They locked the door and resolved not to leave that room until their highly controversial problem was settled. Hour after hour passed. Midnight found them deep in their debate. One o'clock came, two, and then nearly three, when they finally adjourned and went to their respective rooms to sleep and rest.
Shortly after that meeting closed, Ellen G. White, in the privacy of her own room, was awakened. The angel of the Lord bade her attend the five-thirty meeting and present what she had seen at Salamanca four months before. The whole scene came back, and she wrote page after page until time came for the five-thirty ministers' meeting. She picked up her manuscripts and made her way to the Tabernacle. The ministers were on the platform. W. W. Prescott and O. A. Olsen were prepared to speak, but on seeing Mrs. White enter the room with her papers, Elder Olsen asked whether she had a message. Indeed I do, responded Ellen G. White.
The Testimony Delivered on Time.She stated that she had not planned to be present at that meeting, but she had been awakened at three o'clock and bidden to present some things she had seen in vision at Salamanca, New York, on November 3, 1890.
O. A. Olsen, who was to speak that morning, records what was said and done:
She then began to read, describing a meeting that was shown her that was held in one of the rooms in the Review Office, where a number of brethren were together. She described their attitude and their earnestness, and the position which they had taken; for there was a heated discussion, as they could not agree on certain questions at issue.
Personally I sat there in blank bewilderment. I did not know what she referred to. I had neither heard nor had any knowledge of the things that she presented, nor of such a meeting as she described. Indeed, I was so surprised, and the things she presented as having taken place in that meeting seemed so unreasonable, that I was quite nonplused in my mind as to what this meant.White Publications Document File, No. 107f.
When Sister White had finished her testimony, the men present looked about in bewilderment, but not for long.
A. F. Ballenger, then secretary of the Religious Liberty Association, arose and said that the meeting described by the servant of the Lord had been held the night before. He declared that he was the one who had held up the copy of the American Sentinel and pointed to the article on the Sabbath and the Second Advent. He also confessed that he had been on the wrong side of the controversy.
Captain Eldridge, president of the International Religious Liberty Association, arose and said:
I was in that meeting . Last night, after the close of the Conference, some of us met in my room in the Review Office, where we locked ourselves in, and there took up and discussed the questions and the matter that has been presented to us this morning. We remained in that room till three o'clock this morning.Ibid.
He stated further:
If I should have begun to give a description of what took place, and the personal attitude of those in the room, I could not have given it as exactly and correctly as it has been given by Sister White. I now see that I was in error; that the position that I took was not correct; and from the light that has been given this morning, I acknowledge that I was wrong.Ibid.
Only a messenger in close communion with God could bear such an unusual but absolutely accurate testimony about a meeting to be held four months in the future.
Time and space forbid consideration of many other intensely interesting stories of crises met through divine guidance. We turn now to the third great test.
The true prophet must speak and write messages that are in harmony with the law and the testimony, or there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20). Every true prophet will be in accord with the law of God and the testimony of all the other true prophets. Stated briefly, we must now test the twenty-five million words written by Ellen G. White, most of which appear
in her forty-five bound volumes and the several thousand periodical articles in the church papers. Since she wrote so much, the chances of discrepancies are greatly increased. Did she teach and advocate that which harmonizes with the Scriptures?
Here we are looking at the prophet as a for-teller, one who speaks for God, who expounds, clarifies, and explains. In this capacity Ellen G. White did the major portion of her work. She added nothing new in doctrine, but exalted the Scriptures, and gave them a central position in all her writings. Hers was the work of a magnifying glass, simply making the details of the observed object stand out in clearer lines, showing its original beauty more perfectly. Hers is a sort of inspired commentary on the Bible.
So clear is this point of the agreement of Ellen G. White's teachings with those of the Bible that it is unnecessary here to review the work of Ellen White in the light of this test.
The Bible sets forth several characteristics of the true prophet in relationship to the law and the prophets, or the Scriptures as we know them:
1. He will exalt the true God (Deuteronomy 13:1-4).
2. He will teach obedience to God's law (2 Chronicles 24:19, 20; Deuteronomy 13:4).
3. He will believe and teach that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (1 John 4:2, 3).
4. He will speak as he is inspired by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21).
The writings of Ellen G. White not only give every evidence that she was the kind of person set forth in these scriptures, but her work agrees in every detail with the specifications of God as delineated in His Word. She most certainly passes this third great test. There is a harmony that characterizes all her work, from her very first vision at seventeen years of age, through the whole seventy years of her labors. There is a continuity, a unity, and an agreement, that is most marvelous and almost miraculous!
Not long ago I took upon myself the task of checking the writings of the Spirit of prophecy with the teachings of the Bible. I chose twenty different topics, for instance, Christian, putting in one column all that the Bible says about a Christian. Then I went through Mrs. White's forty-three volumes and some of the periodicals that contain several thousand articles, selecting at random statements that Mrs. White has given regarding a Christian, and putting them in a parallel column. It was one of the most interesting studies I have ever made.
If you want an interesting study, do as I did sometime. I advise you to take about a week, for a day will not be sufficient. You will become so engrossed in your study that at the end of the day you will not even want to go to bed; for when you begin a study of that kindchecking the writings, the messages, of
Ellen G. White with the teachings of the Scriptureyou will find it both wonderful and intriguing.
Seventy years is a long time to live and work before the public, under the critical eyes of millions of people, largely skeptical, doubtful, uncertain, suspicious, and in some cases openly hostile. If any faults, errors, or inconsistencies existed, they would be exposed with great satisfaction by opponents.
Mrs. White lived in various placesin New England, Michigan, Switzerland, Australia, and California. She traveled extensively in many parts of the United States, Europe, and Australia, but the fruit of her life and labors attests to her godliness, her sincerity, her zeal and earnestness, her upright and noble character, and the consistency in her own Christian conduct and experience.
The Testimony of Uriah Smith.The testimony of one who was in a strategic point for observation must suffice. Uriah Smith, for many years the editor of the church paper, the Review and Herald, in constant touch with Mrs. White and her work, sometimes the recipient of her testimonies and counsels, should be able to judge her work by the fruit, or results, of that work. In 1866 he wrote:
Every test which can be brought to bear upon such manifestations proves them genuine. The evidence which
supports them, internal and external, is conclusive. They agree with the word of God and with themselves. They are given, unless those best qualified to judge are invariably deceived, when the Spirit of God is especially present. Calm, dignified, impressive, they commend themselves to every beholder as the very opposite of that which is false or fanatical.
Their fruit is such as to show that the source from which they spring is the opposite of evil.
They tend to the purest morality. They discountenance every vice, and exhort to the practice of every virtue. They point out the perils through which we are to pass to the kingdom. They reveal the devices of Satan. They warn us against his snares. They have nipped in the bud scheme after scheme of fanaticism which the enemy has tried to foist into our midst. They have exposed hidden iniquity, brought to light concealed wrongs, and laid bare the evil motives of the falsehearted. They have warded off dangers from the cause of truth upon every hand. They have aroused and rearoused us to greater consecration to God, more zealous efforts for holiness of heart, and greater diligence in the cause and service of our Master.
They lead us to Christ. Like the Bible they set Him forth as the only hope and only Saviour of mankind. They portray before us in living characters His holy life and His godly example, and with irresistible appeals they urge us to follow in His steps.
They lead us to the Bible. They set forth that Book as the inspired and unalterable word of God. They exhort to take that word as the man of our counsel, and the rule of our faith and practice. And, with a compelling power they entreat us to study long and diligently its pages, and become familiar with its teachings, for it is to judge us in the last day.
They have brought comfort and consolation to many hearts. They have strengthened the weak, encouraged the feeble, raised up the despondent. They have brought order out of confusion, made crooked places straight, and thrown light on what was dark and obscure. And no person with an unprejudiced mind can read their stirring appeals for a pure and lofty morality, their exaltation of God and the Saviour, their denunciations of every evil, and their exhortations to everything that is holy and of good report, without being compelled to say, These are not the words of him that hath a devil.Quoted in Life and Teachings of Ellen G. White, pp. 120, 121.
Ellen G. White's Attitude Toward Jesus Christ.If one of the signs of a true prophet is to uplift and exalt and extol Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Son of man, the Saviour of the fallen race, then the fruit of such teaching can be found on every page of her writings and in the lives of Seventh-day Adventists around the world.
Where will you find more beautiful words than these?
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. 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. 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, p. 160.
Just a paragraph, but there are hundreds like it. I say unto you, my brethren and sisters, read the books for yourselves. Fill your minds and your hearts with the messages, and decide whether or not they lead you to a nobler life, or whether they will lead you to that which is base and ignoble. By their fruits ye shall know them.
The External Evidence.The 4,678* church schools, the 302 intermediate schools, academies, and colleges, the 249,847 students in them, and the $58,000,000 worth of Seventh-day Adventist school property, all witness to Ellen G. White's work in the field of Christian education.
The 235 sanitariums and treatment rooms, the 550 institutional physicians, the College of Medical Evangelists, the $40,000,000 worth of medical institutions, all bear witness to Ellen G. White's work in the field of health and healing.
The 43 publishing houses, the $13,000,000 worth of denominational publishing property, the 6,500 faithful colporteurs, the sale of almost a million and a half dollars' worth of Seventh-day Adventist literature each month of the yearall bear their powerful testimony to Ellen G. White's work in the field of Seventh-day Adventist literature ministry.
* 1954 figures are given as a sample.
The 21,129 Sabbath schools, the 1,257,209 Sabbath school members, the $5,862,458 a year as a Sabbath school gift to foreign missionsall testify to the power of her counsels on Sabbath school work.
The worldwide General Conference organization of Seventh-day Adventists, with its 68 union conference organizations, its 144 local conference and 204 mission organizations, its 11,447 churches, its 18,000 evangelistic workers, and 972,000 baptized church members, reflects the fruit of this gift.
The consistent, godly lives of Seventh-day Adventists around the world, exemplifying in their daily experience the principles set forth in the twoscore Ellen G. White books, testify to the prophetic giftall these are the external evidence of the power and influence of Ellen G. White's work for the spiritual uplift of the people of all nations.
All of this, I say, stands today as incontrovertible evidence of the power and influence of the life and work of the messenger who spoke and wrote what she called the messages of God to the people of the remnant church. These messages have stimulated, encouraged, and directed the inventive genius, the executive ability, the constructive thinking, and the consecrated efforts of men and women who have been instruments in God's hand to bring about so great an achievement.
Blot out her writings and take out of the Seventh-day Adventist movement the life and influence of
Ellen G. White and what would you have left? Perhaps something similar to what you have today in the Advent Christian Church.
Mrs. White says in one place that the Lord will bless us in our work in proportion to the way we carry out His instruction. I would that all of us might carry out the instruction fully in everything, in order that we might have one hundred per cent of Heaven's blessing on everything we do. And be it remembered that the nearer we keep to the blueprint, as we call it, the greater will be the blessing that rests upon our work.
During the past few months I have become very much interested in finding out exactly the kind of medical work God wants Seventh-day Adventists to conduct. I have brought together many pages of material. I have never read anything so inspiring. I cannot see how Seventh-day Adventist doctors can read these messages without feeling that they have been set in the world to fulfill prophecy. I thank God for our Seventh-day Adventist doctorsmen who have a sense of their responsibility not alone for the healing of the body but also for the healing of the soul.
Ellen G. White was the one who gave us our counsel, our direction, in regard to medical work. If we had not these words, we would have no need to operate a medical college of our own, no need to operate Seventh-day Adventist medical institutions, for the world can do a good job in operating just an
ordinary hospital, but they cannot and never will be able to operate a Seventh-day Adventist sanitarium. And the interesting part of it is that the people of the world know it.
I ask you, brethren and sisters, where did our medical ministry come from? It was given us through His chosen instrument. The world cannot give it.
In the city of Washington, D.C., not so long ago I was talking to a specialist in internal medicine at the medical college of George Washington University. He said to me, Mr. Rebok, we send our people out to your sanitarium not because your doctors are cleverthey are just like us, ordinary menbut your nursing service is superb. There is nothing equal to it. I agree with him.
My own brother-in-law is a Catholic, and a very good Catholic. He was taken ill not so long ago, and of course I thought he would want to go to a Catholic hospital. But, to my great surprise, he said, I want to go to the Washington Sanitarium, and he went to our sanitarium. The first evening, after the little nurse had finished her P.M. care, she stepped quietly to his bedside and said, Mr. A., we are so sorry that you are sick; and now it is our custom to offer a word of prayer for our patients before they go to sleep. Would you mind if I prayed for you? In telling us of the incident, he said, She said it in such a nice voice, and she was such a sweet-looking little girl, that I told her, If you are willing to pray
for a Catholic, then pray, for I need all the prayers I can get from everybody.
No wonder he was thrilled, for there are not many hospitals in which such a noble Christian service is rendered. Of the nurse's prayer he said, I have never heard such a sweet prayer in all my life as the prayer of that little nurse by the side of my bed last night. Night after night he had the same experience, and now he has sent no small number of his friends to the Washington Sanitarium. He was treated so gently and kindly that he wants others to enjoy the same kind of Christian care that he appreciated so much.
Be assured, dear brethren, when we follow the instruction
given us regarding our medical work and how we should carry it on, there is
something that has a power to draw people to God, and it comes through the
service rendered by our doctors and our nurses. Take away all of Ellen G.
White's instruction, fail to follow all of that good counsel regarding our
medical missionary work, and what will you have left? Just another
hospital where they push the patient through as fast as possibleget him
out of the way with the least possible inconvenience to the doctors and nurses.
Such a person becomes just case number so-and-so, to be pushed out because the
room is needed for somebody else. Not so in Seventh-day Adventist sanitariums
and hospitals. Today we should thank God for the instruction given through
Ellen G. White relative to our medical work.