Believe His Prophets


Chapter 10—The Relation of Ellen G. White to the Bible

The relation of Ellen G. White to the Bible is one of the most important of the studies in this series. We have tried to indicate in the studies that have gone before that our concern is over three fundamental points of faith: (1) that we thoroughly understand and believe that God is; (2) that we thoroughly understand and believe that the Bible is God’s word; and (3) that we thoroughly understand, and have no question whatsoever, that in giving us this Book, God spoke through men called prophets. BHP 160.1

If we are satisfied and convinced on these three facts of faith, then we have no reason to doubt anything else concerning the Spirit of prophecy for today. These three facts are absolutely fundamental, and we must have no question or uncertainty whatsoever regarding them. Having established these three facts in our own minds, and having come to a conclusion that they are indeed facts on which the Christian faith is established, then we cannot doubt that God did use men and women as His spokesmen, as His servants, as His messengers. BHP 160.2

I take for granted that in the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world most certainly no one would openly deny and defy God and His simple declaration of the fact that He has chosen to speak to men by His holy men called prophets. This is basic and fundamental. BHP 161.1

The question we have raised in this study is simply this: “Was Ellen G. White used by God as His prophet or messenger in the remnant church?” This we have studied, and we think sufficient evidence has been produced to satisfy every one of us that she was indeed chosen by God, and was for seventy years used by Him as His messenger, and that He gave her revelations, which she faithfully wrote out and which are now published for us to read. BHP 161.2

Having accepted Ellen G. White as one of God’s messengers, and believing that she manifested the gift of prophecy, then we must decide on the relationship of her writings to the Bible. And this, we say again, is a rather difficult question for some of our people. What position can we safely take? Some people tend to be away over on one extreme, while some tend to be over on the opposite extreme; and some like to follow far behind, while others try to run far ahead! The question for me is, Where shall I stand? I have already stated that I have taken my personal stand right beside Ellen G. White on all these questions. I do not intend to be too far to the right or too far to the left; neither do I wish to lag behind or to run ahead of her. I am determined to stand right beside her. Then I know I shall be safe on every issue. BHP 161.3

A few Seventh-day Adventists are inclined to give the impression that Ellen G. White’s writings are on a par with the Bible, and a very few tend to set the Scriptures aside and give first place in their study to the books written by Sister White. Without doubt the very free use we make of paragraphs and sentences from her writings in our sermons and Sabbath school lessons has given rise to the accusation from our critics that we make of these writings a second Bible. BHP 162.1

However, to properly understand how Seventh-day Adventists as a group or as a church regard the writings of Ellen G. White, we should turn first to Mrs. White herself and find out the relation she saw between her writings and the Bible, and then examine statements by the leaders of the denomination as to the relation they see between the Bible and Mrs. White’s writings. BHP 162.2