Bible Studies - Miscellaneous

Ellen G. White (nee Harmon)

All Bible texts are from the King James Version.

Has God raised up a Prophet for the last days?

Yes, in Ellen G. White (nee Harmon). She was born on 26th November, 1827, to Robert and Eunice Harmon. She married James White on 30th August, 1846. They had 4 boys - Henry Nichols born 26th August, 1847; James Edson born 28th July, 1849; Willie born 29th August, 1854; John Herbert born 20th September, 1860. James White died 6th August, 1881; and Ellen died 16th July, 1915.

In their early life Robert and Eunice Harmon became earnest and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In that church they held prominent connection, and laboured for the conversion of sinners, and to build up the cause of God, for a period of forty years. During this time they had the joy of seeing their children, eight in number, all converted and gathered into the fold of Christ.

"Misfortune. While I was but a child, my parents removed from Gorham to Portland, Maine. Here, at the age of nine years, an accident happened to me which was to affect my whole life. In company with my twin sister and one of our schoolmates, I was crossing a common in the city of Portland, when a girl about thirteen years of age, becoming angry at some trifle, threw a stone that hit me on the nose. I was stunned by the blow, and fell senseless to the ground.

"When consciousness returned, I found myself in a merchant's store. A kind stranger offered to take me home in his carriage, but I, not realizing my weakness, told him that I preferred to walk. Those present were not aware that my injury was so serious, and allowed me to go; but after walking only a few rods, I grew faint and dizzy. My twin sister and my schoolmate carried me home.

"I have no recollection of anything further for some time after the accident. My mother said that I noticed nothing, but lay in a stupor for three weeks. No one but herself thought it possible for me to recover, but for some reason she felt that I would live.

"My teachers advised me to leave school, and not pursue my studies further till my health should improve. It was the hardest struggle of my young life to yield to my feebleness, and decide that I must leave my studies, and give up the hope of gaining an education."

Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, by herself pages 17-19.

In March 1840 Ellen and some friends attended the lectures of William Miller who traced down the prophecies with an exactness that struck conviction to the hearts of his hearers, and who believed that Jesus Christ was going to return in 1843.

"It was not long after the passing of the time in 1844, that my first vision was given me. . . In my second vision, about a week after the first, the Lord gave me a view of the trials through which I must pass, and told me that I must go and relate to others what He had revealed to me. It was shown me that my labors would meet with great opposition, and that my heart would be rent with anguish; but that the grace of God would be sufficient to sustain me through all.

"After I came out of this vision I was exceedingly troubled, for it pointed out my duty to go out among the people and present the truth. My health was so poor that I was in constant bodily suffering, and to all appearance had but a short time to live. I was only seventeen years of age, small and frail, unused to society, and naturally so timid and retiring that it was painful for me to meet strangers.

"For several days, and far into the night, I prayed that this burden might be removed from me, and laid upon some one more capable of bearing it. But the light of duty did not change, and the words of the angel sounded continually in my ears, 'Make known to others what I have revealed to you.'

"Hitherto when the Spirit of God had urged me to duty, I had risen above myself, forgetting all fear and timidity in the thought of Jesus' love and the wonderful work He had done for me."

Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, by herself pages 64 & 69.

"It was not long before the Lord opened the way for me to go with my brother-in-law to my sisters in Poland, thirty miles from my home, and while there I had an opportunity to bear my testimony. For three months my throat and lungs had been so diseased that I could talk but little, and that in a low and husky tone. On this occasion I stood up in meeting and commenced to speak in a whisper. I continued thus for about five minutes, when the soreness and obstruction left me, my voice became clear and strong, and I spoke with perfect ease and freedom for nearly two hours. When my message was ended, my voice was gone until I again stood before the people, when the same singular restoration was repeated. I felt a constant assurance that I was doing the will of God, and saw marked results attending my efforts." Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, by herself page 72.

From here on she received many visions and instructions from the Lord, and travelled extensively spreading the light which she had received. She also wrote extensively - more that 5,000 periodical articles and 49 books. Today, including compilations from her manuscripts, there are more than 100 books still available. Her writings cover a broad range of subjects including religion, education, health, relationships, evangelism, prophecy, and nutrition.

What are the physical tests of a true prophet?

They will have visions:-
Numbers 12:6 "And he said, Hear now my words: 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."

They will lose their strength:-
Daniel 10:8 & 9 "Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground."

They will be dumb, can speak after an angel has touched their lips, will not breath, will be strengthened by an angel:-
Daniel 10:15-18 "And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,"

God's words in their mouths:-
Jeremiah 1:9 "Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth."

Their eyes are open during vision:-
Numbers 24:16 "He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:"

They cannot reverse the words:-
Numbers 23:20 "Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it."

They are unconscious of surroundings:-
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

What are some of the characteristics of a true prophet?

They must confess Christ came in the flesh:-
1 John 4:2 & 3 "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

They exalt the true God:-
Deuteronomy 13:1-4 "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him."

They will have public visions with witnesses present:-
Daniel 10:7 "And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves."

Acts 9:7 & 8 "And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus."

They will have night visions:-
Daniel 2:19 & 7:1 "Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. . . In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters."

They will have visions while praying:-
Acts 10:9 & 10 "On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,"

Daniel 9:20-23 "And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision."

They warn of danger:-
Acts 11:27-30 "And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul."

They never take back their testimony, but rather add to it:-
Jeremiah 36:32 "Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words."

God confirms their words:-
Isaiah 44:26 "That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:"

Can the above physical tests and characteristics be said of Ellen G. White?

"At the time she had her first vision she was staying at the home of Mrs. Haines. It was in the morning, and they were engaged in family worship. There were five persons present, all sisters in the faith. Others had prayed, and Miss Harmon was praying in a whisper, when the power of God came down in a most wonderful manner, manifestly affecting all who were present, and in a moment she was lost to all that was transpiring around her -- she was in vision.

"In the next meeting she related to the believers in Portland what had been shown her. They had full confidence that it was from the Lord.

"There were about sixty at that time in Portland who indorsed it as the work of the Lord. There was a power that attended the vision, as well as the relation of it, that could emanate only from the Divine. . . "

The Great Second Advent Movement, by J. N. Loughborough page 202.

"Before we trace further the thrilling account of this wonderful manifestation of the Spirit of God, I will state some facts relative to the visions. The first time I saw Mrs. E. G. White (formerly Miss Harmon) was in October, 1852. On that day I saw her in a vision that lasted over one hour. Since that time I have had the privilege of seeing her in vision about fifty times. I have been present when physicians have examined her while in this state, and I esteem it a pleasure to bear testimony to what I have seen and know. I trust a narration of the facts in the case may not be carelessly cast aside for the random supposition of those who have never seen her in this condition.

"In passing into vision she gives three enrapturing shouts of 'Glory!' which echo and re-echo, the second, and especially the third, fainter, but more thrilling than the first, the voice resembling that of one quite a distance from you, and just going out of hearing. For about four or five seconds she seems to drop down like a person in a swoon, or one having lost his strength; she then seems to be instantly filled with superhuman strength, sometimes rising at once to her feet and walking about the room. There are frequent movements of the hands and arms, pointing to the right or left as her head turns. All these movements are made in a most graceful manner. In whatever position the hand or arm may be placed, it is impossible for any one to move it. Her eyes are always open, but she does not wink; her head is raised, and she is looking upward, not with a vacant stare, but with a pleasant expression, only differing from the normal in that she appears to be looking intently at some distant object. She does not breathe, yet her pulse beats regularly. Her countenance is pleasant, and the color of her face florid as in her natural state."

The Great Second Advent Movement, by J. N. Loughborough page 204.

"'I am quite certain that she did not breathe at that time while in vision, nor in any of several others which she has had when I was present. The coming out of the vision was as marked as her going into it. The first indication we had that the vision was ended, was in her again beginning to breathe. She drew her first breath deep, long, and full, in a manner showing that her lungs had been entirely empty of air. After drawing the first breath, several minutes passed before she drew the second, which filled the lungs precisely as did the first; then a pause of two minutes, and a third inhalation, after which the breathing became natural.' Signed, 'M. G. Kellogg, M.D., Battle Creek, Mich., Dec. 28, 1890." The Great Second Advent Movement, by J. N. Loughborough page 206.

"'A physician was present, and made such examination of her as his wisdom and learning dictated, to find the cause of the manifestation. A lighted candle was held close to her eyes, which were wide open; not a muscle of the eye moved. He then examined her in regard to her pulse, and also in regard to her breathing, and there was no respiration. The results was that he was satisfied that it could not be accounted for on natural or scientific principles.' Signed, 'F. C. Castle.'" The Great Second Advent Movement, by J. N. Loughborough page 207.

"'We were present when (in February, 1857) Sister E. G. White had a vision in Waldron's Hall, Hillsdale. Dr. Lord made an examination, and said, "Her heart beats, but there is no breath. There is life, but no action of the lungs; I cannot account for this condition."' Signed, 'A. F. Fowler, Mrs. A. F. Fowler, Hillsdale, Mich., Jan. 1, 1891.'" The Great Second Advent Movement, by J. N. Loughborough page 209.

"It was not long after the passing of the time in 1844 that my first vision was given me. I was visiting a dear sister in Christ, whose heart was knit with mine; five of us, all women, were kneeling quietly at the family altar. While we were praying, the power of God came upon me as I had never felt it before. I seemed to be surrounded with light, and to be rising higher and higher from the earth. I turned to look for the advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me: 'Look again, and look a little higher.' At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the advent people were traveling toward the city." Testimonies to the Church Vol. 1, by E. G. White page 58.

"I wept and prayed much as I saw our goods confiscated. I tried to read sympathy or pity for me in the looks of those around me, and marked the countenances of several whom I thought would speak to me and comfort me if they did not fear that they would be observed by others. I made one attempt to escape from the crowd, but seeing that I was watched, I concealed my intentions. I commenced weeping aloud, and saying: 'If they would only tell me what I have done or what I have said!' My husband, who was sleeping in a bed in the same room, heard me weeping aloud and awoke me. My pillow was wet with tears, and a sad depression of spirits was upon me." Testimonies to the Church Vol. 1, by E. G. White page 578.

"In the morning Ellen was taken off in vision, and while she was in vision, all the brethren came in. One of the number was not with us on the Sabbath [truth], but was humble and good. Ellen rose up in vision, took the large Bible, held it up before the Lord, talked from it, then carried it to this humble brother, and put it in his arms. He took it while tears were rolling down his bosom. Then Ellen came and sat down by me. She was in vision one and a half hours, in which time she did not breathe at all. It was an affecting time. All wept much for joy. . .
Nov. 3, 1890, while laboring at Salamanca, N. Y., as I was in communion with God in the night season, I was taken out of and away from myself to assemblies in different States, where I bore decided testimony of reproof and warning. In Battle Creek a council of ministers and responsible men from the publishing house and other institutions was convened, and I heard those assembled, in no gentle spirit, advance sentiments and urge measures for adoption that filled me with apprehension and distress. . .
While engaged in earnest prayer, I was lost to everything around me; the room was filled with light, and I was bearing a message to an assembly that seemed to be the General Conference. I was moved by the Spirit of God to make a most earnest appeal; for I was impressed that great danger was before us at the heart of the work." Life Sketches of Ellen G. White by herself, pages 112 (taken from letter written by James White to Brother Hastings 26th August, 1848); 319 & 320.

"Let none entertain the thought that I regret or take back any plain testimony I have borne to individuals or to the people. If I have erred anywhere, it is in not rebuking sin more decidedly and firmly. Some of the brethren have taken the responsibility of criticizing my work and proposing an easier way to correct wrongs. To these persons I would say: I take God's way and not yours. What I have said or written in testimony or reproof has not been too plainly expressed." Testimonies to the Church Vol. 5, by E. G. White page 677.

Are we to test all people who claim to be prophets?

1 John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

By what are we to test all prophets and doctrines?

Isaiah 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

© S. D. Goeldner

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© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2011. Last updated August, 2020.

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