Messenger of the Lord


God’s Communication System

Even after God became man, He could not be everywhere at once. Nor could Jesus be physically present everywhere after His ascension. So, to get His message across, God added to His Self-communicating system a very humanly oriented plan—He spoke in “many times and in many ways through the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1-3, TEV). MOL xiv.1

This communication system “through the prophets” was well-recognized throughout Biblical times. God’s people learned by experience that they were at their best when they listened to the prophets: “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20). Further, they knew through experience that God would not let them go blindly into the future. “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). MOL xiv.2

Divine communication through prophets was not confined to Old Testament times. During our Lord’s last hours on earth, He promised that this line of communication between heaven and earth would always be kept open—through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, His personal representative. Today, even as in Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit continues to speak, not only to each person’s conscience, but through prophets: “I will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16). “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets” (Ephesians 4:11; see also 1 Corinthians 12:28). MOL xiv.3

The Spirit of Truth is also the Spirit of prophecy! That means that these specially selected men and women would be “under control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God” (2 Peter 1:21, TEV). The church was told to expect this truth-communication system to function until Jesus returns. MOL xiv.4

This Biblical overview teaches that God never wanted men and women to be without certainty regarding the purpose of life. Especially during the unparalleled stress of the last days, He made certain that we could know the truth about the future. Whenever men and women carefully listen to God’s prophets, they “know” they are listening to the “truth.” Truth carries its own authority because truth appeals to and satisfies our concern for objective certainty and subjective certitude—the linking of the head and heart. MOL xiv.5

This book will help answer the following questions: Does Ellen White fulfill the Biblical qualifications of a prophet? On what basis can one regard her as authority in her role as God’s messenger? In reviewing her seventy-year active ministry, what difference did her counsel make in determining the course and development of the church? What was the effect of her counsel to individuals? Did she manifest the marks of coherence and reliability and, thus, the test of authority? MOL xiv.6

We will consider “the weight of evidence.” Her long ministry and the fruitage of her labors is an open book. No contrived “evidence” or “argument” is needed to support her claim to be God’s messenger. MOL xiv.7

Ellen White’s own abiding principle will govern our journey together: “The subjects which we present to the world must be to us a living reality. It is important that in defending the doctrines which we consider fundamental articles of faith, we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments, that will not only silence our opponents, but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny” (Gospel Workers, 299). MOL xiv.8

At the heart of the great controversy between God and Satan, between good and evil, is the conflict over truth, that is, who is right about how to run the universe, God or Satan? God’s position is that truth needs no defense, it simply needs to be seen and demonstrated. Satan, “a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44), makes his points by deception. MOL xiv.9

Clever debater, slick insinuator, Satan appeals to the self-centered “heart” to be the final arbiter of “truth.” One of his most effective tools is to raise doubt, causing hesitancy and postponement of a spiritual commitment. For this reason, tampering with truth in any way, casting unwarranted shadows over what may not be totally clear, is an immoral act. It is part of a cosmic attempt to obscure truth and thwart God. MOL xv.1

Ellen White could not be clearer than when she appeals for openness and the rejection of fear when separating facts from opinions. She knew that faith is in jeopardy if one sets limits to research, fearing that new discoveries may unsettle faith. But she often made clear that one’s faith also is in jeopardy when human reason or feelings are permitted to set the limits of faith. For her, truth must be honored at all costs. MOL xv.2