Messenger of the Lord

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Chapter 43—Predictions, Scientific Observations, and Unusual Statements

“The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the Word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of God are alike conditional.” 1 MOL 486.1

One of the Biblical tests of a prophet is: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). On the other hand, the ability to make predictions is not necessarily a test of a prophet’s credentials. 2 For example, Moses in the Old Testament and John the Baptist in the New Testament are not known for their predictions. MOL 486.2

The word prophet suggests to modern minds the ability to make predictions. Ellen White never claimed to be a prophet because her work “includes much more than this name signifies.” 3 The test of a prophet/messenger lies in another direction than to focus on the number of his or her predictions. Further, the principle of conditional prophecy must be taken into account. This applies to certain comments by Ellen White as it does to Biblical prophets. 4 MOL 486.3