Ellen G. White® Estate
Sharing the Vision
In His Word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation.
The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible
revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of
doctrines, and the test of experience. "Every scripture inspired of God is
also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which
is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely
unto every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, R.V.).
Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word, has not
rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the
contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the Word to His
servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of
God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit
should ever be contrary to that of the Word.
The Spirit was not given--nor can it ever be bestowed-- to supersede the
Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard
by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, "Believe
not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many
false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). And Isaiah
declares, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to
this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).
Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors
of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of
guidance from the Word of God. They are governed by impressions which they
regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not
the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the
Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to
further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of
vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan,
through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of
the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which
our Lord Himself has provided.
In harmony with the Word of God, His Spirit was to continue its work
throughout the period of the gospel dispensation. During the ages while the
Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament were being given, the Holy
Spirit did not cease to communicate light to individual minds, apart from the
revelations to be embodied in the Sacred Canon. The Bible itself relates how,
through the Holy Spirit, men received warning, reproof, counsel, and
instruction, in matters in no way relating to the giving of the Scriptures. And
mention is made of prophets in different ages, of whose utterances nothing is
recorded. In like manner, after the close of the canon of the Scripture, the
Holy Spirit was still to continue its work, to enlighten, warn, and comfort the
children of God.
Jesus promised His disciples, "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring
all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." "When
He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: . . . and He
will show you things to come" (John 14:26; 16:13). Scripture plainly
teaches that these promises, so far from being limited to apostolic days, extend
to the church of Christ in all ages. The Saviour assures His followers, "I
am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20). And
Paul declares that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit were set in the
church "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for
the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of
the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:12, 13).
For the believers at Ephesus the apostle prayed, "That the God of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom
and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and . . . what is
the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe" (Ephesians
1:17-19). The ministry of the divine Spirit in enlightening the understanding
and opening to the mind the deep things of God's holy Word, was the blessing
which Paul thus besought for the Ephesian church.
After the wonderful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of
Pentecost, Peter exhorted the people to repentance and baptism in the name of
Christ, for the remission of their sins; and he said: "Ye shall receive the
gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and
to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call"
(Acts 2:38, 39).
In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by
the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of His Spirit. (See Joel
2:28.) This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the
Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the
manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel.
Relation of E. G. White Writings to the Bible Recognized in First Book.
I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and
practice. By that Word we are to be judged. God has, in that Word, promised to
give visions in the "last days"; not for a new rule of faith, but for
the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth. Thus
God dealt with Peter when He was about to send him to preach to the Gentiles. (A
Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White, p. 64
. Reprinted in Early Writings, p. 78.)
Not to Take the Place of the Word. The Lord desires you to study
your Bibles. He has not given any additional light to take the place of His
Word. This light is to bring confused minds to His Word, which, if eaten and
digested, is as the lifeblood of the soul. Then good works will be seen as light
shining in darkness. (Letter 130, 1901.)
Get Proofs From the Bible. In public labor do not make prominent,
and quote that which Sister White has written, as authority to sustain your
positions. To do this will not increase faith in the testimonies. Bring your
evidences, clear and plain, from the Word of God. A [p. 30] "Thus saith the
Lord" is the strongest testimony you can possibly present to the people.
Let none be educated to look to Sister White, but to the mighty God, who gives
instruction to Sister White. (Letter 11, 1894.) . . .
Relationship of E. G. White Writings to Bible--The Lesser Light.
Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead
men and women to the greater light. (The Review and Herald, Jan. 20,
1903. Quoted in Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.) . . .
Not for the Purpose of Giving New Light. Brother J would confuse the
mind by seeking to make it [p. 31] appear that the light God has given through
the Testimonies is an addition to the Word of God, but in this he
presents the matter in a false light. God has seen fit in this manner to bring
the minds of His people to His Word, to give them a clearer understanding of it.
The Word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may
be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding
all this, some who profess to make the Word of God their study are found living
in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women
without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to
the Word that they have neglected to follow.
The Word of God abounds in general principles for the formation of correct
habits of living, and the testimonies, general and personal, have been
calculated to call their attention more especially to these principles. (Testimonies,
vol. 5, pp. 663, 664.)
Testimonies to Bring Plain Lessons From the Word. In the Scriptures
God has set forth practical lessons to govern the life and conduct of all; but
though He has given minute particulars in regard to our character, conversation,
and conduct, yet in a large measure, His lessons are disregarded and ignored.
Besides the instruction in His Word, the Lord has given special testimonies to
His people, not as a new revelation, but that He may set before us the plain
lessons of His Word, that errors may be corrected, that the right way may be
pointed out, that every soul may be without excuse. (Letter 63, 1893.) (See Testimonies,
vol. 5, p. 665.)
Thought for the Day
In this age of boasted enlightenment, the Christian church is confronted with a world lying in midnight darkness. - TM 457