Believe His Prophets


Chapter 6—Four Bible Tests of a True Prophet

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 Thessalonians 5:19-21). BHP 79.1

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: BHP 79.2

“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, January 26, 1905, pp. 5, 6. BHP 79.3

Writing of this later she explained: BHP 80.1

“Some have stumbled over the fact that I said I did not claim to be a prophet; and they have asked, Why is this? BHP 80.2

“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. BHP 80.3

“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. BHP 80.4

“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. BHP 80.5

“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. BHP 80.6

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. BHP 81.1

Let us, however, first apply the tests of a prophet, see how Ellen G. White meets them, and then discuss final and vital decisions. BHP 81.2