Believe His Prophets


The Test of Fulfilled Predictions

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. BHP 81.3

There are four passages of Scripture to keep in mind when talking about the prophet’s predictions of things to come: BHP 81.4

1. Secret things belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29). BHP 81.5

2. God reveals secrets to the prophets (Amos 3:7). BHP 81.6

3. Unfulfilled predictions made in the name of the Lord are presumptuous; fulfilled predictions demonstrate that the prophet was sent by the Lord (Jeremiah 28:9). BHP 82.1

4. Some prophecies are conditional (Jeremiah 18:7-10). BHP 82.2

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. BHP 82.3

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. BHP 82.4

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 of Ellen G. White, 125). Surely we have seen these words fulfilled as Seventh-day Adventists in 1954 distributed $17,000,000 worth of literature in 197 languages. BHP 82.5

We cite in somewhat more detail another illustration: BHP 82.6

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: BHP 82.7

“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, 43. BHP 83.1

On August 24, 1850, Ellen G. White again predicted: BHP 83.2

“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.”—Early Writings, 59. BHP 83.3

Yet again on January 10, 1854, Mrs. White added these further details: BHP 83.4

“I saw the rapping delusion—what 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, 5, 6. (See Early Writings, 87.) BHP 83.5

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 believers—eminent judges, physicians, scientists, editors, writers, poets, clergymen, educators, and statesmen of various countries. BHP 83.6

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. BHP 84.1

Today all of this is history that records the fulfillment of another of the Ellen G. White predictions. BHP 84.2

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, 403. Ask any old resident in San Francisco or Oakland and he will tell you how this prediction was fulfilled. BHP 84.3

World War Conditions Foretold Back in 1890.—In an article in the Signs of the Times, Mrs. White wrote: BHP 85.1

“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: BHP 85.2

1. Troubles on all sides. BHP 85.3

2. Thousands of ships will be hurled into the depths of the sea. BHP 85.4

3. Navies will go down, and BHP 85.5

4. Human lives will be sacrificed by millions. BHP 85.6

5. 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. BHP 85.7

6. Disasters by rail will become more and more frequent; BHP 85.8

7. 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. BHP 85.9

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, November 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. BHP 85.10

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.” BHP 85.11

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. BHP 86.1

I remember so well this passage found in Testimonies for the Church 6:25 and 26: BHP 86.2

“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…. BHP 86.3

“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.” BHP 86.4

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. BHP 86.5

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!” BHP 87.1

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! BHP 87.2

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: BHP 87.3

“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.”—The General Conference Bulletin, April 22, 1901; Evangelism, 415. BHP 88.1

“Well,” I said, “isn’t that interesting!” BHP 88.2

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. BHP 88.3

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. BHP 88.4