The Voice of The Spirit


Chapter 6— Human Writings

In previous chapters we have made reference to the extraordinary combination of divine and human elements that takes place in communicating God’s message. Divinity uses human messengers who, though fully consecrated to God’s service, continue showing signs of the imperfections and weaknesses that are common to all human beings. These servants of the Lord communicate the divine message in the only language they know, their own—a language learned in childhood and cultivated by means of study, culture, travel, and reading. VOTS 81.1

An expression we analyzed previously may still be resonating in the mind of the reader: “It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts.” 1 VOTS 81.2

Taken with all the seriousness that this declaration deserves, it means that expressions such as “the pen of inspiration,” and “the inspired writings” are only symbolic expressions that refer to the message the writings communicate and not to the text itself of the prophetic declarations. Expressions such as these will continue to be used—and there is nothing wrong with that—because we all understand what they mean: that what we may be reading at the moment comes from a mind inspired by the Spirit of God. Therefore, we speak of “inspired paragraphs” or “inspired books” or “inspired letters.” Nevertheless, those expressions, taken literally, would contradict the prophetic thought that tells us that it is not the text, the words, or the language of a declaration that is inspired, but the message these communicate—and that message comes from heaven. VOTS 81.3

At this point in our study, some church members may ask: “But, how is it possible to separate the divine message from the text that communicates it? Is not the communication vehicle—the language—an integral and inseparable part of the message itself? How did Ellen White come to the understanding that the message she communicated was inspired, but the words used were not?” This chapter allows the messenger of the Lord herself to answers these questions. We will do so by analyzing one of her books. VOTS 82.1