The Abiding Gift of Prophecy


Chapter 34—Believe in the Prophetic Gift

The welfare of the church as a whole, and of its individual members, is inseparably bound up with believing and heeding God’s prophets. These, as we have seen, are His chosen messengers, His appointed spokesmen, to His church on earth. As we have also clearly shown, this plan of communication has been God’s chosen, uniform, and beneficent provision for revealing His will to man, ever since the separation caused by sin. Through this means, God counsels and instructs, He cautions, entreats, and warns, as need may occasion and as divine love indicates. The presence of the prophet among men is not, therefore, something new or unusual, something strange or fantastic. God is the author of this provision, and wayfaring man is its beneficiary. It is as old as the human need, and as constant as the divine love that prompted and instituted it. AGP 370.1

The vicissitudes of the church in all ages have been gauged by its allegiance or its disloyalty to the gift of prophecy, and its safety measured by its response to these heavenly leadings. Through the centuries spanning the patriarchal, Mosaic, and apostolic eras, we have seen this inviolable rule in operation, as revealed in the pages of Holy Writ. AGP 370.2

Then after the death of the apostles, the tragic march of events in the Christian era begins, is told in blood and tears, and is blotched with drift and apostasy. Steadily the nominal Christian church veers from those foundation principles—the precepts and practices, the letter and the spirit—that characterized the apostolic church. The departure centered in perversion of the law and the gospel, though it permeated every truth of Christianity. AGP 370.3

Tragic has been the lot of those who stood for the primitive faith. Hated and maligned, persecuted and isolated, they witnessed to the truth. But from time to time prophets—men and women—arose at the call of God, and denounced the iniquity AGP 370.4

of the disloyal. They encouraged the fidelity of the faithful, and guided and guarded the adherents of truth through the weary centuries. AGP 371.1

Now in these divinely denominated “last days,” God’s great plan of redemption and the mad course of the human race approach their climax together. Iniquity so abounds among men, human philosophy is so defiant, man’s independence of God and of the provisions of redemption are so affronting in this supreme conflict between good and evil, that it was imperative for the gift of prophecy to be conspicuously manifest in the ranks of the remnant church. AGP 371.2