Believe His Prophets


Ellen G. White’s Claim to Inspiration

Mrs. White, in all the long years of her life, never had any doubt regarding her divine call to the prophetic work, nor any question about the source or nature of her messages. Hundreds of times, perhaps, in public meetings and in her writings, she claimed that her messages to the church came from God by divine inspiration. She told of her visions. She repeatedly used the expression “I saw,” and what she saw in vision she spoke about and wrote about. BHP 184.1

In simple language she described her call: BHP 184.2

“It was not long after the passing of the time in 1844, that my first vision was given me. I was visiting a dear sister in Christ, whose heart was knit with mine. Five of us, all women, were kneeling quietly at the family altar. While we were praying, the power of God came upon me as I had never felt it before. I seemed to be surrounded with light, and to be rising higher and higher from the earth. At this time I was given a view of the experience of the advent believers, the coming of Christ, and the reward to be given to the faithful. BHP 184.3

“In a second vision, which soon followed the first, I was shown the trials through which I must pass, and that it was my duty to go and relate to others what God had revealed to me.” Testimonies for the Church 5:654, 655. BHP 184.4

In obedience to this call she spoke in public meetings and to private individuals, wrote letters to individuals and groups, wrote out what she called “testimonies” to both individuals and groups, and later wrote many periodical articles and books. In all this she was following out the instruction given her by God. BHP 185.1

Of her testimony letters she wrote: BHP 185.2

“Weak and trembling, I arose at three o’ clock in the morning to write to you. God was speaking through clay. You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me.” Testimonies for the Church 5:67. BHP 185.3

Then of the many articles she furnished to the papers of the denomination from week to week through the years, she says: BHP 185.4

“I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision—the precious rays of light shining from the throne.” Ibid. BHP 185.5

Of her books she penned these lines: BHP 185.6

“Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her lifework God has been giving her. They contain the precious comforting light that God has graciously given His servant to be given to the world.”—The Colporteur Evangelist, 36. BHP 185.7

Always she set forth the Testimonies as God’s message to the church: BHP 186.1

“I have been looking over the Testimonies given for Sabbathkeepers and I am astonished at the mercy of God and His care for His people in giving them so many warnings, pointing out their dangers, and presenting before them the exalted position which He would have them occupy…. BHP 186.2

“I have waited anxiously, hoping that God would put His Spirit upon some and use them as instruments of righteousness to awaken and set in order His church …. I ask: Wherein have those who profess confidence in the Testimonies sought to live according to the light given in them? Wherein have they regarded the warnings given? Wherein have they heeded the instructions they have received?” Testimonies for the Church 5:483, 484. BHP 186.3

“In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of the prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the Testimonies of his Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed his people more earnestly than he instructs them now concerning his will, and the course he would have them pursue.” Testimonies for the Church 4:148. BHP 186.4

In all this Ellen G. White was claiming for herself the same inspiration of the Holy Spirit that prompted the ancient prophets to write what we now call the Bible. The messages were from God. To her just as verily as to the ancient Bible writers “the word of the Lord came.” BHP 186.5