Trusting in the Gift of Prophecy

April 16, 2024

Growing up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and attending Adventist schools, I learned, from the first grade on, about the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation and that, somehow, they were important to the beliefs of my church. What always piqued my attention were the drawings of the beasts that were described in Daniel and Revelation. Around age 13, I attended yet another evangelistic meeting, but this time the images and the words started to make sense and my interest in the prophecies blossomed. The religion classes I took in academy and college not only gave me more information about how to interpret the Scriptures, but also introduced criteria on how to apply biblical tests to determine if a prophet is a true prophet of God.

What I came to realize was that having the prophetic gift was much more than just predicting the future. The term “prophet” as used in the Bible designates a divinely appointed spokesperson for God. Many of the biblical characters are referred to as prophets: Noah, Deborah, Aaron, Miriam, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Anna and the Apostle John, to name a few. Some were rich, some poor, some were important officials, some were servants, some were in prison, some were well-received, while others were despised. In New Testament times, the Holy Spirit used prophets to assist in founding His Church (Ephesians 2:20-21), starting mission outreach (Acts 13:1-2, Acts 16:6-10), encouraging the Church (1 Corinthians 14:3-4), bringing unity to the Church (Ephesians 4:14), warning of future difficulties (Acts 11:27-30) and confirming the faith of believers in times of controversy (Acts 15:32).

God will continue to use the gift of prophecy among His chosen people right up until Jesus returns. Peter quotes the prophet Joel in Acts 2:17-18, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”

I believe, using the criteria given, that the writings of Ellen G. White were inspired by the Holy Spirit and that she fulfilled the functions of a true prophet of God through her ministry to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It wasn’t until I read these writings for myself, rather than just learning what my teachers taught me, or just accepting what someone quoted from her, that I could honestly decide whether she was sent by God to communicate with the Church and with me. It seems unfortunate to me that more of our Church members do not extensively study her writings for themselves. They are such a treasure! They can be, and should be, shared with Christians of any faith or denomination.

If you are new to Adventism, I recommend you read Steps to Christ and The Desire of Ages. These books give a beautiful picture of Christ and how He can fit into your life. Reading the Conflict of the Ages series with an open mind will point you to the fact that God and Jesus love each one of us deeply and have a plan whereby we can personally spend eternity with them. You will inevitably be drawn into a closer relationship with Jesus. 

By Bo Just

Undertreasurer and Trust Services Director