This morning during my devotion, I came across this quotation,
“The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy, and also the Testimonies, should be introduced into every Sabbath-keeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them. It was not the wisest plan to place these books at a low figure and have only one set in a church. They should be in the library of every family and read again and again. Let them be kept where they can be read by many, and let them be worn out in being read by all the neighbors.”
I remember in my early, youthful, experience how the phrase, “Spirit of Prophecy”, was used in connection with Sis. White’s writings. Because it was in the Bible, this same phrase, and because I had such an interest in reading the Bible, I made it my business to read what was coined the, “Spirit of Prophecy”. Now, for those who’ve not had the benefit, this usually referred to the five volume set containing, “The Great Controversy”, “Acts of the Apostles”, “Prophets and Kings”, “The Desire of Ages” and “Patriarchs and Prophets” and of course, the “Testimonies to the Church”, the nine volume set. I remember well, my grandfather’s bookshelf containing these books, “The Great Controversy” being the more interesting one with it’s dramatic pictures surely held my attention. I think, too, no matter the cost then, were obtained when he came into the faith in the early 30’s.
By my early twenties, having read the Bible many times and acquainted with the “Spirit of Prophecy” writings, I became proficient in their use and made it my business to use them properly, the Bible first and those writings second in conjunction with any personal witnessing and/or Bible studies. In my mid-twenties, I discarded those writings becoming disenchanted with the church because I believed they were using the “prophet” for a “profit”, and soon after stopped reading them as well as the Bible, eventually losing my faith, stopped preaching and believing in God. I realize, today, I was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church because I was riding on the coattails of my lineage and God wanted me to come in and be a member based upon my own willingness because being a third-generation Adventist meant nothing.
During this time, I later sought truth and rejoined with the “Church of God in Christ” and “Missionary Baptist” denominations, licensed and made a pastor and every Sunday when I sat on those pulpits there was something within me which caused me no rest. My early training and belief would not allow me to be comfortable sitting in what I knew was not right. No matter how I would read those Scriptures, I could not do so with the “twist” these other groups were doing, and my collection of those “Spirit of Prophecy” books kept reminding me of what I was doing, having “drunk of the wine of fornication” and I was not a fan of wine, whether literal or spiritual, so, I left.
I have a great admiration for a brother I’ve known since my late teens and his thirst to understand Revelation, made a statement which has always been a disruption in my thinking, an Adventist, too, said, “I do not believe her writings being called the, “Spirit of Prophecy”, answers the Bible’s meaning of the “Spirit of Prophecy” as found in Revelation 19:10.” And, I believed him. Of late, I’ve seen how many members of our great church castigate and denigrate Sis. White’s character and life, and give no importance to what we believe she’s been given and wrote. I expect this from “outsiders” not “insiders”. Yet, I can tell you this, wherever my journey through various other denominations, sects and groups have taken me, they have nothing even remotely close to what may be considered, “spirit of prophecy” understanding or books containing such acclaim and if it were so easy to call your material by that name, why hadn’t they done so? The only answer I could come up with is this: “Providence, (God), wouldn’t allow it because it would stipulate and be the one defining characteristic of His “Remnant” church from all others.
I love it when those who speak down regarding these writings, offering quotations “supposedly” she’s written but cannot cite the reference, makes it suspect not of what they’ve said but what is their purpose behind their saying, so I ignore them. I truly believe her writings do answer to this phrase and separates and makes the distinction of who we are as a church among churches in the world today.
I’m sure once this is posted, some well-meaning individuals will come up with a preponderance of so-called evidence to support their view in a not so positive light, so do not expect an answer from me. It is in these same writings I’ve learned about a “Time of Shaking” and it doesn’t surprise me we’re in that time and I will be confronted by those having been “shaken” and my only suggestion would be, to you, would be the words of Christ given to the Church of Ephesus,
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Rev 2:4-5 (KJV)
You could only have left because once you believed. Something has caused you to leave and you need to get back!
January 5, 2015