I was listening to the sermon last Sabbath and the pastor was mentioning Sister White and used Rev 12:17 and 19:10 to prove that she was the Spirit of Prophecy, and since she is, then therefore our church is the remnant church. I don't disagree that we have the remnant message, or that Mrs. White had prophetic visions, but what hit me when I read these verses is this,: the spirit of prophecy, the very heart of prophecy, the focus and destination and ultimate purpose of prophecy, not the letter of- but the spirit of, is the testimony of Jesus, the written Word and spoken Word about the Living Word. Does anyone understand this concept? So why do we call sister white the SOP?
Ellen White is called the SOP to lessen the emphasis on Her as the only prophetic voice. The 18 fundamental belief outlines the Spirit of Prophecy as one of the gifts of the Spirit and the identifying mark of the Remnant Church. Thus, the prophetic ministry of Ellen White is proof that the SDA church is the remnant church. It also indicates that her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth. In reading this belief one would be led to believe that Ellen White is the only source for the SOP.
I would say that most SDA's believe in some variation of this belief, I am on of the minority who do not hold to this belief. I don't see any indication in the word of God that one messenger is going to take on that type of importance, and holding to only Ellen White, diminishes insight from other sources. The spirit of prophecy or prophesying is reflecting the ministry of the Gospel (Christ) to the world. The bible indicates that this is a collective ministry (Joel 2:28 Corinthians 14:1-12, ) and should be desired by all Christians. Limiting the SOP to one person and to one message is a serious error. I have seen this turn into outright worship of Ellen White, in which her work is seen as infallible, and her message is placed ahead of the Bible.
As far the SOP being the proof of the remnant Church, I am very skeptical that this true or even healthy for our church. First the moniker of the "one true church," was first coined by the Catholic church, message that became oppressive very quickly. Thinking that you are the only faith with the truth produces an exclusive rather than an inclusive ministry. Instead of teaching Christ and increasing faith, you tend to preach salvation comes through us (our organization.) Since the SDA Church is not specifically listed in the scripture as the "one true church," and history has proven that this distinction can be unhealthy, and even dangerous, I cannot see that it is a good thing.
Thanks for letting me share, what are your feelings.
Herbert: Excellent analysis and honest conclusion, not being blinded by groupthink.
I agree with you completely, you have hit the nail on the head. I left a ministry that had similar attitudes as well as other serious issues. These attitudes and beliefs as you have well defined and their dangers lead to exclusion and not inclusion, denial of the one body of Christ which is composed of believers from many different groups, or even individuals not organized into denominational organizations, but are spiritually organized as Jesus has determined as part of the body of Christ who works with others if possible.
It is not healthy indeed. Instead of allowing for differences and a general principle of continual searching for the truth, or redefining what we believe to be the truth, people's minds are made up and closed to further truth or re-understanding by research. The limitation of all beliefs, books, socializing, marriage, teachings, contacts, friendships to the organization while looking down and in some cases by some people dispising other believers, and thinking they are totally evil etc. is unchristian-like.
Defining EGW as the "Spirit of Prophesy" denies the scriptures and the holy spirit and its operation on this subject, as the only fountainhead of truth and prophesy. Others need not apply, though this same denomination (though not alone in this in Christianity) deny all or many or most others of being inspired or operating with the holy spirit and in Christ's approval. The holding to we are the only and genuine remnant while failing to have contemporary operations of holy spirit as stipulated in the scriptures as well as by the true spirit of God that encourages walking by the spirit in love and power, which is denied and even attacked without understanding or evidence as demonic often in a knee-jerk cognitive-dissonance and hateful manner.
My own experience here and how some have treated me, as well as others including you Mr. Bryan is a testimony to the unchristian and unhealthy beliefs and attitudes and even behavior the above causes in some members of this site and SDA members, though all do not share these "attitudes." But it is prevalent enough as it is.
Some in the SDA have a cult-like closed society circle the wagons they are all the enemy attitude and lifestyle.
We need to hold to the truth, but be willing to learn and grow and expand on areas of research, double checking things taken for granted. But there are some here and in the SDA church who are open-minded in the good sense.
When I was in the former group I was in, I didn't like to be called or compared to cults, but there was truth to it to some extent, and when I found out of both the corruption of the leadership in abusing women and other grievances and practices, I and many thousands left the organization. It was difficult emotionally, and many friends and family members separated at that time. Similar things I understand occur with SDA and other denominations.
One important thing which you Herbert touched on; that EGW is the only source of prophecy. There has been no prophesying in over 100 years since her death! But that does not mean there is no prophesy in the body of Christ or other operations of the holy spirit. To paint everyone that speaks in tongues or does other manifestations of holy spirit automatically as evil, of the Devil and of the Kundalini spirit is evil, without evidence, experience or true understanding of the holy spirit field. The SDA does not have a corner on the market for the holy spirit, and in fact, does not manifest by practice and doctrine almost any manifestations of holy spirit (referring to the 9 manifestations).
I have recognized a few rare cases of revelation and told the people that did so or asked about it that it was revelation from the Lord. But there are exceedingly rare, and even hearing the still small voice which is revealed is determined by Pastor T previously and some others as being categorized and falsely judged as "mental illness." Elijah and JasonM's practice in that methodology has been experienced by myself. Anyone who operates any or all nine manifestations is not better or greater than other believers, but rather has a greater responsibility and difficult hardship in this unbelieving in the holy spirit environment. We are all sinners. There is also great lack of confidence not only in the holy spirit operations, but even in individual's salvation, despite New Testament scriptures to the contrary. This is also most unfortunate, and these both cause great harm, hurt and loss of opportunity for relief, peace, confidence, healing, and deliverance.
The only prophet that many if not most SDA recognize in modern times is EGW, despite the fact and truth that there is almost no manifestations (erroneously called "gifts.") in the SDA as well as the majority of Christianity, and yet these people who have no experience, accurate knowledge or practice, or guidance by revelation propose to be judge of others as to the real and genuine spirit of God while defaming others as demonic. Just like playing golf, those that have never played golf, do not understand the rules, have no desire to do so, stand judging others swinging the ball and occasionally even getting a hole in one spiritually speaking, while occasionally also missing a shot here and there.
We prophesy in part and know in part, yet most never have or will prophesy. In fact other than EGW, who has ever prophesied in the SDA in the last 100 years? The absence of the spirit in operation speaks volumes not only to the SDA, but also the body of Christ in general if only they would "listen" to the silence and realize it is not a good sign. That being said, even speaking in tongues is a sign, as Jesus and Paul said. Yes, there are counterfeits of everything. But genuine manifestations are supposed to be in operation until Jesus Christ returns. In that most of Christianity is in unbelief and apostasy to some extent as well as other problems too numerous to state here.
There are many kind and loving and reasonable people here at Adventist Online, but there is also the spirit of pride in thinking that they are a part of the unique and only remnant, and have the spirit of prophesy, though no one does prophesy? That is ironic. There is no tradition of operating any manifestations of the holy spirit other than holding to every word, action, belief and attitude of EGW as a prophet, and as the only prophet since Bible days.
It is most unfortunate that the spirit of God is not tapped into, after all, it is in each and every genuine believer in Christ. Silence in the SDA of the spirit is the norm, and any manifestation of the holy spirit, even if genuine is looked down upon as completely evil, without evidence, witnesses, understanding, experience or revelation in this area.
Jesus Christ is waiting for those who will actually believe what the scriptures say about the spirit of God and its manifestations, and act in accordance with the scriptures and the spirit. He and his Father have been waiting a long time, and continue to do so. Many may find that their pride and arrogance as some practice here in unbelief of the spirit of God, that their attitudes and unbelief is not pleasing to God and will not be rewarded as such. These are not easy things to contemplate, and I hope and wish they were not so?
TRUE JAMES. ALSO TO BE CHRIST LIKE IS OUR CALLING, HENCE "CHRISTIAN", PREACHING AND WRITING OF GOD IS NOT THE SAME AS LIVING IT.
SADLY MOST OF US AND THAT PROBABLY INCLUDES EGW, HAVE SELDOM BEEN TOLD WE SHOW AND HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST IN US, MEANING, DO OTHERS SEE OUR LOVE, MERCY, COMPASSION?
IT IS NICE TO SEE WRITTEN ACCOUNTS OF WHAT IS DEEMED AS GOD'S WORD, BUT LIVING IT IS MOST IMPORTANT. I KNOW I HAVE A WAYS TO GO.
"Ellen White is called the SOP to lessen the emphasis on Her as the only prophetic voice."
Really? There are others who will disagree with you and and say it does the very opposite. Check out this critique.
Brother Ian,great illustration, I've heard it at least 3 times from the pulpit. In your statement you ascertain that because the angel identifies himself first as John's fellow servant and with John's brethren who have the testimony of Christ, then as John's fellow servant and with John's brethren the prophets, this is proof that the testimony of Christ actually means the Spirit of Prophecy.
Allow me to put forth another possibility. Could it be that the angel is identifying himself as a fellow servant with Spiritual Israelites, which includes gentiles (those that have the testimony of Christ) and as a fellow servant with the original Israelites, which was had only a few gentile proselytes that were very limited (your brethren the prophets?)
Could it be, as I stated in the introduction, that the Spirit- Pneuma= breath, source , vital principal, life giving power, governing influence, driving force- of Prophecy is actually the Testimony Of Christ? In fact, that's the way the Bible records the phrases together. Not the other way around, which seems to be the position of many of our brethren?
Elijah quotes scriptures about the truth that the Holy Spirit is available as in the first century, but in practice opposes speaking in tongues, prophesy and other manifestations by blanket denouncement as evil and painting the person as Kundalini spirit. Yes, there are false prophets, but where is the genuine spirit of God in operation?
The lack of use and understanding of the spirit of God in manifestation throughout most of history since Acts 2 is a very sad commentary on unbelief. That bright glorious period in Acts and the early church stand as a great testimony and example of how the body of Christ should be operating and functioning.
i feel like one crying in the wilderness, no one listens to me or more importantly to God’s still small voice, and dare walk in power and love of God and manifest God’s desire to speak, heal, deliver, bless, edify, guide etc.
I do not speak without understanding or experience in these spiritual matters. But my ego is not important, it is the truth that is important.
A great man of God Smith Wigglesworth who lived in the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century preached and worked mighty miracles including 14 documented cases of raising people from the dead. He believed God literally and spoke in tongues much, 2 hours a day which was one of the reasons he was so successful in walking by the spirit in power and love.
Smith Wigglesworth or any believer since the Day of Pentecost has the exact same measure of Holy Spirit, and has the whole power of God in manifestation waiting to be utilized as the Lord directs. This is part of the lost truths given to Paul and the body of Christ, called the sacred secrets to which I have devoted many decades in learning about as well as how the Holy Spirit works to some degree. Despite some amazing things I have seen God do, I have only scratched the surface. So I speak the truth, I am not special or specially anointed etc. I just to some extent have believed God at his word and stepped out in faith.
Who has the faith, desire and love to do the wonderful works of God? To speak for God in the spirit. Is there one among you?
Look to yourselves and your faith before you blatantly judge others, oh ye of little faith. The majority of you are born again and therefore have all things as promised, whether you know, understand or believe it. Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you.
Explain to me how God blesses a person who is knowingly breaking God's law? You are a liar and you know about the Sabbath that you reject out of hand. You do not show any fruits of the Spirit, but plenty of fruits of the flesh. As far as I know, the Bible condemns such a person.
IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS, PAUL DOES HIS BEST TO SUGAR COAT THE LESSON/PRESENTATION TO THE HEBREWS WHO HAD ACCEPTED CHRIST, THEN HE LETS THE HAMMER DOWN, SAYING THAT THE OLD COVENANT IS PAST AND THE NEW HAS TAKEN ITS PLACE, WE CAN NO LONGER "DO" ANYTHING TO FIND FAVOR WITH GOD/CHRIST. WE MUST ACCEPT AND LOVE AND TRUST HIM AS CREATOR, SAVIOUR. IF WE "KEEP" THE SABBATH, WHY NOT THE PASSOVER? GOD TOLD HIS PEOPLE THAT IT WAS TO BE KEPT FOR GENERATION AFTER GENERATION AS A SIGN ALSO. WHY NOT DEMAND 100% COMPLIANCE WITH CIRCUMCISION? IT IS ALSO A COVENANT.
AFTER CHRIST PAID THE PRICE WITH HIS LIFE/BLOOD, IT IS AN INSULT TO SAY OUR ACTIONS WILL SAVE US. FAITH PLEASES GOD. OUR ACTIONS, OBSERVANCES ARE LIKE ICEING ON THE CAKE, NOT ENOUGH TO LIVE ON, NEED TO EAT THE BREAD TO FILL THE BELLY. JESUS IS THE BREAD, THE ICYING IS THE LAW. YOU CANNOT LOOSE SALVATION BY BREAKING A COMMANDMENT, BUT YOU WILL LOOSE IT QUICK IF YOU RENOUNCE CHRIST AND TAKE ON ANOTHER GOD.
FOR SIMPLE CLARIFICATION. READ JOHN 3:16.
TO CLARIFY, IF YOU SIN AND DO NOT REPENT, YOU RUN RISK OF LOOSING SALVATION. SOME OF GOD'S HEROES WERE LIKE DAVID LOVED GOD AND HIS HEART WAS IN THE RIGHT PLACE BUT HE DID SOME REALLY EVIL THINGS, BUT,,,,, HE NEVER LOST HIS LOVE FOR GOD. REVELATION WARNS ABOUT LOOSING YOUR LOVE OF GOD EVEN THOUGH WE DO REALLY GOOD THINGS.
" He did evil things but he never lost his live for God" so can one be practicing evil and still enter heaven because he 'never lost his live for God's?
Rick, excellent points. Once one wants to start to do the letter of the law, where does it stop, and under what reason do you obey one commandment and not another? You are obligated to do the whole law. If you break one you break them all.
The dividing of the law into so-called moral law, ceremonial law is false. The law was never divided such by God, the Hebrews, or Jesus himself. Jesus divided the Scriptures by Torah (Law), Prophets and the Psalms or as also said writings by the Hebrews; Law (all of it, first 5 books; the Pentateuch aka the Torah), the Prophets, and the Psalms or writings.
As regards to whom a book is written to. The law was given to the Hebrews, the Gentiles were not given the law. Where was it given to them? Before Sinai there was no written law, There was the Book of Enoch, which explains a lot. Enoch walked with God, that is what God wants of His people, for them to walk with him. There is no proof in scripture that God commanded the Sabbath be kept by Adam and Eve etc., God rested on the 7th day after all creation was completed. That God sat down per se symbolizes completion and accomplishment of creation. God never needs to rest.
People do not understand that to whom a book is written to is very important. That which was given by revelation of Jesus Christ to Paul, the sacred secrets which 99.9% of Christians do not even know or understand their significance, is in the seven church epistles of Romans through Thessalonians.
That is what is written to the church, the body of Christ. We are to follow the greater law of love of God. This is what is supposed to separate believers from unbelievers, as the love of God comes from having the spirit of God inside, it is a part of us, and renewing the mind to do the love of God.
Love motivates; if someone loves with the love of God, then he or she will want to help other people by any means; prayer, even healing, giving prophesy in the church to edify other believers. Help out a believer in need etc.
Keeping the law does not automatically show love of God. The Pharisees and some individuals here online are perfect examples of that. No thank you. Being born again does not automatically mean the love of God will be manifested, but by renewing the mind, putting on the mind of Christ.
Christ not only operated love, but also the power of God, as well as the first-century church did also, which has not been duplicated. Jesus said greater works then these shall you do. When will the body of Christ rise to the occasion? Waiting for the latter rain is an unbelief excuse, as Joel was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, as Peter quoted it in response to the charge that the speaking in tongues was some babbling by these men are full of wine, drunken, similar to the charges some here make of my speaking in tongues, even though these people have never heard me speak in tongues ever, or seen me do anything. Again, making false judgments just like the Pharisees and critics of those days made.
The unbelief of some will be rationalized by any means possible. Some will never look to their own lack of faith, and automatically attack others that disagree and accuse them of being of the Devil. The true spirit of God is often reviled even by some here, while the spirit of blasphemy, hatred, bondage, bitterness and false accusation are ignored and flourishes. I and I am sure God Himself is sick of religion;
Jeremiach 2:13 "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed themselves out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
The cisterns of religion can not hold water. Water is essential to life, and God uses the term "Fountain of Living Waters to describe or as a figure of speech for the holy spirit. The Living God wants to speak to His people directly in guidance by the holy spirit, as well as for His people to manifest the power of the holy spirit, but just like Israel, most do not want to. The Hebrews were afraid of the voice of God that they heard physically in the desert, and demanded that Moses tell them what God wanted. It is amazing how things have not changed, as men are the same in nature often, even though we have smartphones, smart appliances, and automobiles instead of chariots.
You better watch whom you accuse without evidence, witnesses, justification, revelation, scriptural truths and done with the love of God. Otherwise, you are breaking the law you supposedly want to obey and accuse others of breaking. That is called hypocrisy, and as some say, pointing the finger at someone else means you are pointing 3 back at yourself. My comments here are general and not addressed to you Rick, who is a reasonable person, as many here are.
I again, am sick of religion, which comes from the Latin word religere, meaning to bind back, to be in bondage in other words. Much of Christianity is in bondage to the law, instead of walking by the spirit. Those that are zealous for the law seldom manifest the power of God, which is done by grace and desire to do God's will here on this earth. Man always wants to make up his own program, because he thinks he knows better than God. Many are stuck in the Old Testament or the Gospels, as Jesus was called to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Gentiles were not addressed other than a few exceptions because of their faith. We can apply anything in the Books addressed to Israel, that does not contradict what is written to us. As regards the law, the Sabbath, that is your individual walk and conscience before God, if any of you want to keep all of the law, wear a Yamikah, prayer shawl etc., that is your business, but don't judge others in eating, drinking, new moons or sabbath(s). (There were more than one Sabbath, these were also not divided up by God that you can choose which ones to obey).
Those judging others by the law often do not quote or understand the law truly and make rash judgments foolishly not understanding the law. Now Paul the Apostle, who sat at the feet of Gamaliel, the greatest law scholar of that day, and to whom the sacred secrets were revealed by revelation of Jesus Christ; He Paul understood the law and its purpose. Read Romans. Yet Paul said that salvation is by grace through faith alone, and not of works lest any man should boast. Yet James contradicted Paul directly and stated that faith without works is dead. We should do good works because we are saved, not to get saved.
Many here are zealous of the law, and Paul covered that in Galations. Many will decide which laws they should keep and which they can ignore, including sabbaths, commandments, incluidng those commandments given by Paul which many completely ignore in those books written directly to the church.
For my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6.