Ellen G. White Writings

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Counsels for the Church, Page 9

Introduction—The Prophetic Gift and Ellen G. White

Preparing to Meet Christ

All Seventh-day Adventists look forward longingly to the time when Jesus will come to take them to the heavenly home that he has gone to prepare for them. In that better land there will be no more sin, no disappointments, no hunger, no poverty, no sickness, and no death. When the apostle John contemplated the privileges that await the faithful, he exclaimed: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.... Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” 1 John 3:1, 2.

To be like Jesus in character is God's aim for his people. From the beginning it was God's plan that members of the human family, created in his image, should develop God-like characters. To accomplish this, our first parents in Eden were to receive instruction from Christ and the angels in face-to-face converse. But after Adam and Eve sinned, they could no longer freely speak to heavenly beings in this manner.

So that the human family might not be left without guidance, God chose other ways to reveal his will to his people, one of which was the medium of prophets. To Israel, God explained, “If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision and will speak unto him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6.

It is God's purpose that his people shall be informed and enlightened, knowing and understanding not only the times in which they live but also what is yet to come. “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. This contrasts God's people, “the children of light,” 1 Thessalonians 5:5, with the people of the world.

The work of the prophet includes much more than just making predictions. Moses, a prophet of God who wrote six books of the Bible, wrote very little about what was to come in the future. His work is described by Hosea in its broader sense, “By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.” Hosea 12:13.

A prophet is not one who is appointed by his fellow men, nor is he self-appointed. The choice of a person to be a prophet is entirely in the hands of God. Both men and women have from time to time been chosen by God to speak for him.

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