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The Gift of Prophecy (The Role of Ellen White in God’s Remnant Church)

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    The Seventh-day Adventist Church

    From its very inception in 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has always claimed these identifying signs for itself. As Adventists we proclaim the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath; and we believe that as a church we have the testimony of Jesus—that is, that God manifested Himself in the life and work of Ellen G. White. Thus, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a church prophetically foreseen, not just one more church among many. God has called this church into existence for a very specific purpose—to proclaim the three angels’ messages.GP 46.2

    Our pioneers were quite certain that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Revelation 12:17. In an article entitled “Visions and Prophecy,” G. I. Butler, General Conference president from 1871 to 1888, asked,GP 46.3

    Is there then no people in whom these conditions combine in these last days? We believe they truly do in Seventh-day Adventists. They have everywhere claimed to be the “remnant” church for the last twenty-five years. . . . Do they keep the commandments of God? Everyone knowing anything about this people can answer that this is the most important part of their faith. . . .GP 46.4

    In regard to the Spirit of prophecy, it is a remarkable fact that from the first of their existence as a people, S. D. Adventists have claimed that it has been in active exercise among them. 12G. I. Butler, “Visions and Prophecy,” Review and Herald, June 2, 1874, 193.GP 47.1

    Ellen White firmly believed that Seventh-day Adventists are God’s remnant church and that Revelation 12:17 applies to them. Seventh-day Adventists “are God’s representatives upon the earth” (2T 452). “We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of prophecy” (TM 114). And she counseled, “Let all be careful not to make an outcry against the only people who are fulfilling the description given of the remnant people who keep the commandments of God and have faith in Jesus, who are exalting the standard of righteousness in these last days” (TM 58).GP 47.2

    As Seventh-day Adventists, we are members of God’s remnant church. However, this identification with the remnant church doesn’t accord us an exclusive status with God. Salvation isn’t guaranteed through membership in any church—we are saved as individuals, not as a church. But being a part of God’s remnant church means that we have access to God’s special gift, the Spirit of prophecy, and we have the privilege of participating in the proclamation of God’s special end-time message, the three angels’ messages, to the world.GP 47.3

    The prophetic origin of the Adventist movement and God’s gracious guidance through the prophetic gift of Ellen White should make us more aware of the responsibility we have as the remnant church, and it should spur us on to finish the work God has given us to do.GP 47.4

    A Short Biography of Ellen G. White
    1827 Ellen Gould Harmon was born on November 26 in Gorham, Maine.
    1840 Ellen and other members of her family heard William Miller lecturing in Portland and accepted his views that Christ would return to earth about the year 1843.
    1844 One morning in December 1844, following the Great Disappointment, Ellen Harmon experienced her first vision, in which she witnessed a representation of the travels of the Adventist people to the City of God.
    1846 Early in 1845, Ellen met James White, an Adventist preacher then twenty-three years of age. They were married August 30, 1846. The marriage was blessed with four children: Henry (b. 1847, he died at the age of sixteen); Edson (1849); Willie (1854); John Herbert (1860; he died after three months).
    1851 James White published Mrs. White’s first pamphlet, titled A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White.
    1858 At Lovett’s Grove, Ohio, Mrs. White had a two-hour vision in which she saw events in the great conflict between Christ and Satan.
    1863 In Otsego, Michigan, Mrs. White received a comprehensive vision concerning health reform.
    1876 At Groveland, Massachusetts, on Sunday, August 27, Ellen White addressed between fifteen and twenty thousand persons without a microphone. Her clear voice could be heard by all.
    1881 James White died at the age of sixty. Ellen White was a widow for thirty-four years.
    1885 From August 1885 to August 1887, Ellen White lived in Basel, Switzerland. From there she made repeated trips throughout Europe.
    1891 Mrs. White spent the years between 1891 and 1900 in Australia supporting the developing work there.
    1900 Following her return from Australia, she settled at St. Helena, California, and focused on the publication of books and articles for the church.
    1915 Ellen White died on July 16 at the age of eighty-seven. Today, her literary productions amount to about 100,000 pages.
    GP 48.1

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