Prophet of Destiny. By Rene Noorbergen
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Summary: Excerpt from Ellen G. White: Prophet of the Last Days
 
 

On June 16, 1971, many of the nations' newspapers carried a story headlined, "NEW YORK EPIDEMIC OF CANCER CITED," describing an outbreak of contagious Hodgkin's disease, a type of cancer of the lymphatic glands.

Discussing thirteen cases of a rare cancer that spread from the members of the 1954 graduating class of New York's Albany High School, scientists quoted in the article suggested that they were dealing with "an infectious disease condition with a carrier state and a long (eight to nine years) incubation period." "Since Hodgkin's disease skipped some members of the class of 1954, while attacking their close relatives," the story reported, "the investigators concluded it (the cancer) can lie dormant in a carrier state."

It was news of far-reaching scientific importance and opened up a new phase of research in the world-wide battle against cancer. Yet as far back as 1864, exactly this development had been forecast by a woman with the name of Ellen G. White, simply, unassumingly repeating to those around her what had been revealed to her in a vision.

Guided by the Holy Spirit during a period of approxi­mately seventy years, she presented insights into the causes of diseases. She also warned of labor troubles, church-state controversies, and riots that would tear our nation apart.

Who was Ellen G. White?

In our day when 10,000 astrologers influence the daily affairs of some 40,000,000 Americans through horoscope columns and private astrological readings; when 140,000 fortune tellers, mediums, clairvoyants, and psychic seers attempt to fuse the future with the present; and when some of the country's major universities offer courses in witch­craft, sorcery, and astrology; some might be inclined to call her a psychic. Yet believing her to be a psychic would be a great inaccuracy.

Born in Gorham, Maine, in 1827, she lived an outwardly uneventful life until she received her first vision at the age of seventeen. Being spiritually committed to the Millerite movement, a religious group that focused attention on the soon second coming of Christ, she became, through her visions, deeply involved in the spiritual awakening that shook the country. From her seventeenth (1844) to her eighty-­seventh (1915) year, she led, counseled, and guided the members of the Advent Movement into a deeper spiritual and social awareness. But she did more than that. Her medical, nutritional, and spiritual insight, gained through more than two thousand visions and prophetic dreams, provided her with a knowledge which was in many cases more than a hundred years ahead of her time.

Medical researchers and nutritional experts still marvel at the foresightedness and accurate diagnosis of a woman who, with only a third grade education, evinced medical insights far beyond her day, which medical research is just now discovering.

Even though most of her work was of a prophetic nature (delivering God's messages), her deep humility and constant dependency on God kept her from boastfully claiming the title of "prophet." On numerous occasions the question was asked whether she thought of herself as a prophet. Her answer was invariably the same:

"Why have I not claimed to be a prophet?" she would reply. "It is because in these days many who boldly claim that they are prophets are a reproach of the cause of Christ, and because my work includes much more than the word 'prophet' signifies."

Now, nearly sixty years after death closed in on her, and more than a hundred years after her first prophecies reached the public, she is attaining new heights because of the timeliness of her predictions and insight. Guided by her grandson, Arthur White, as secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate, the 100,000 pages of manuscript material she penned during her productive years are constantly re-examined. They always reveal more deeply the spiritual depth of this woman.

Taking her writings as an aid to a deeper understanding of prophecy, we see that the years ahead will bring more controversy and hate than any other period in recorded history. Yet, and this is undoubtedly her strength, she also shows an alternative. She points humanity along the road to survival from the final tragedy it is preparing for itself.

Since writing Jeane Dixon: My Life and Prophecies, I have become fascinated by prophetic and psychic phenomena. Not from the standpoint of sensationalism, but because of its eternal implications and the way it has managed to entrap millions of people in its stronghold.

Ellen White arrived on the scene when much of the country found itself confused by the social and moral convulsions that spread throughout the land. The feeling that the local community was the center of all activity was slowly being dissipated by the influx of new immigrants who, with their new ideas and strange concepts, created changes. Economic expansion was in the wind and agrarian reform around the corner. As these radical moves began to make inroads on society, the stresses and strains of the uncon­trolled growth began to appear. Community life was bursting at the seams as old ways made place for new.

With the newcomers, not only new ideas but some old ones too crept into emerging America. Old superstitions and faith in psychic predictions of such ancient seers as Nostra­damus, St. Odile, and St. Bearcan accompanied many an immigrant, adding to the growing confusion. Groping for light that would guide them out of the stranglehold of contradiction, superstition, and expansion, many turned to the Bible for the answer. It was left to an ex-United States Army captain in the War of 1812, William Miller, to popularize what would soon become the backbone for the preaching of many religious reformers. Miller, predicting the second coming of Christ in the early 1840s, was soon joined by other men of spiritual stature. Charles Fitch, Joshua V. Himes, Josiah Litch, and Joseph Bates took up the challenge. With only a short time to go, their evangelistic efforts soon reached a feverish pitch.

The legitimate time prophecies of the Bible reached fulfillment in 1844, and the consequent feeling of approach­ing doom among the conservative believers was terrifying. Then came the Great Disappointment. Christ did not come.

The world was ripe for new spiritual counsel. Not to replace the Bible but to strengthen it. And Ellen Gould Harmon became the channel. Soon after this time of historical uncertainty and anxious expectation, Ellen Har­mon began her work. With her came a foreknowledge and an insight into world and religious affairs unknown since Biblical times

There is a reluctance on the part of many to believe in prophetic phenomena aside from that manifested by prophets of Biblical times. This hesitance is understandable, for ever since the beginning of time prophetic guidance and psychic phenomena have developed side by side.

From time immemorial, the idea of supernatural powers interfering with or controlling the affairs of man has always been a rather frightening concept. The first book of the Bible talks plainly about face-to-face communication between the Creator and His creation in the Garden of Eden. But the fall of Adam and Eve changed all that. So, ceasing His direct personal contact with man, God appointed intermediaries—­prophets—to supplement the fading memories of the mes­sages given man under the original method of communica­tion.

Developing simultaneously, however, were psychic mani­festations which also had their start in Eden when a voice spoke through the mouth of a serpent. Side by side the supernatural manifestations of the two opposing powers grew and developed. Today we find that many of the Christian churches are accepting the false manifestations as legitimate and divinely inspired.

To many, psychics and prophets are synonymous. With­out using the Bible as absolute criteria, there would be no way to separate the two. It's interesting that psychics, pressed to produce proof of their claim that God is the originator of their gift of prophecy, resort to the Bible to substantiate this claim.

"The spirit of prophecy that worked through John the Baptist and Elijah is the same spirit that works through me," the Washington seeress Jeane Dixon told me repeatedly. To test this ''spirit of prophecy" and see whether it is supported by the true God, it might be well to compare the psychics' methods, as well as Ellen White's, to the Biblical tests given for true prophets.

In my recent book, Ellen G. White: Prophet of Destiny, I listed ten major Bible tests, by which one can distinguish between the true and the false prophets:

  1. A true prophet does not lie. His predictions will be fulfilled. Jeremiah 28:9. Psychics, who claim less than 100 percent accuracy, fail this test.
  2. A true prophet prophesies in the name of the Lord. Not in his own name. 2 Peter 1:21.
  3. A true prophet does not give his own private interpretation of prophecy. 2 Peter 1 :20.
  4. A true prophet points out the sins and transgressions of the people against God. Isaiah 58: 1.
  5. A true prophet is to warn the people of God's coming judgment. Isaiah 24:20, 21; Revelation 14:6, 7.
  6. A true prophet edifies the church, counsels and advises it in religious matters. 1 Corinthians 14:3, 4.
  7. A true prophet's words will be in harmony with the words of the prophets that have preceded him. Isaiah 8:20.
  8. A true prophet recognizes the incarnation of Christ. 1 John 4:1-3.
  9. A true prophet can be recognized by the results of his work. Matthew 7: 16-20.
  10. A true prophet must act in accordance with the will and approval of God. Deuteronomy 18:9-12. "Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone . . . that useth divination (fortune-teller), or an observer of times (astrol­oger), or an enchanter (magician), or a witch, or a consulter with familiar spirits (medium possessed with a spirit or a “guide”), or a wizard (clairvoyant or psychic), or a necro­mancer (medium who consults the dead). For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord."

Based on these tests it becomes abundantly clear that not everyone who claims to be a prophet is one. There is more to it than predicting the outcome of a horse race, forecasting a political assassination, "feeling" the vibrations of the Russian political masterminds, or foretelling the future either by the use of astrology, palmistry, or communication with unseen forces. A true prophet is not someone who performs with the aid of a mental or spiritual crutch, such as a crystal ball, but is someone whose mind is controlled in a special way at specific times by God, who has absolute knowledge of both past and future.

The power behind Ellen G. White guided her into a complete and absolute fulfillment of the Biblical tests for a true prophet. Her medical and health-related insights, for example, were (and still are) so startling that many medical and nutritional experts still marvel at her predictions.

"The whys and wherefores of this I do not know," she confessed in 1901 when referring to a point she had made in the field of nutrition, "but I give you the instruction as it is given me."

Before her death in 1915, Mrs. White had completed writing a veritable library of books. It was in these printed works that her amazing perceptions were recorded clearly and positively and, above all, dated beyond dispute by the year of their publication.

In 1905, in The Ministry of Healing, she spoke of "cancerous germs" that could lie dormant in the human body for many years before embarking on their destructive journey. During the twentieth century much scientific research has been carried on to isolate the causative agent of cancer. A breakthrough of sorts came in 1956, when Dr. Wendell Stanley, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, reported his conviction that "germs" (he called them viruses) cause most cancer.

In The Ministry of Healing she said, "The man who has formed the habit of using intoxicants is in a desperate situation. His brain is diseased, his willpower is weakened." Scientific backing for this came finally in 1969 when Dr. Melvin H. Knisely of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston issued a report on the effects of alcohol. As summarized in the December 1969 issue of the magazine Listen, it states, "Every time a person takes a few drinks of an alcoholic beverage—even a few beers or cocktails at a social function—he permanently damages his brain, and probably his heart and liver also."

This is only a tiny part of it. She warned against tobacco as early as in 1864 calling it "a poison of the most deceitful and malignant kind. . . . It is all the more dangerous because its effects upon the system are so slow, and at first scarcely perceivable."

In 1896 she cautioned against the use of saturated fats in the diet as leading to heart disease. In 1869 she spoke of "electric currents in the nervous system" and in 1872 of "the electrical force of the brain." Sixty years later the existence of brain waves was officially recognized.

In 1890 she foresaw anarchy, bloodshed, riots, et cetera. In 1891 she perceived youth unrest and drug addiction.

Yet, more than just making predictions dealing with the development of medical knowledge, she devoted her energy to relaying those messages that were given to her in the course of God's total involvement with the future of mankind.

Was Ellen G. White truly a prophet equal to those of Old Testament times? Comparing her life and work to the Biblical requirements, the only possible conclusion is that she was indeed, even though she personally never professed such distinction. Not only did she differ from the psychics in her strict adherence to these inspired principles, but her vision far surpassed theirs.

Within the secret corridors of her mortal mind she witnessed the dawn of history and trod the world scene. Her insights ended not just with revelations of final destruction and total devastation, but with a divinely inspired view of an earth made new and an award awaiting the just. On many occasions she felt that she was part of the remnant of humanity, fleeing the distressing scenes, traveling mentally to the Promised Land. And floods of overwhelming joy and gratitude surged through her being as she walked the streets of gold, far beyond the glittering chasms of the great nebula in Orion.

Was her total commitment worth it?

It undoubtedly was. And what's more, the results bear out the correctness of the Source that moved her as she and her husband and their associates pioneered the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a world religious movement with its vast publishing, educational, and medical programs, all based on her inspired insight. Today, her "spiritual estate" has grown to a missionary movement that encompasses 193 countries. More than 230 languages are used in heralding the good news of salvation to the world, and 46 publishing companies, two universities, 460 colleges and academies, 4,100 elementary schools, 138 hospitals, 166 clinics, et cetera, can testify to the value of her counsel.

Was she truly inspired? Was she truly led?

When the counsels of her visions were heeded, prosperity marked the work. When neglected, the result was great loss. "By their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20.

The Scripture declares, "Believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper." In the case of Ellen G. White, the record speaks for itself. 

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