WRITING on the Spirit of Prophecy and its continuing influence as God's guiding gift to the church, Elder W. A. Spicer in his excellent and enlightening book, Certainties of the Advent Movement, page 227, makes the following statement of assurance: "The gift still speaks its messages, its counsels covering even future times, and out lining experiences yet to come before the movement reaches the Land of Promise." (Italics supplied.)
Occasionally we meet church members who wonder and question whether Mrs. E. G. White's influence today is increasing or diminishing. We have many good reasons to believe that her influence is not only continuing, but is greater now than ever. Let me mention only a few of these reasons.
1. Mrs. White's influence has increased through the years with the growth of our church membership and the circulation of her inspired writings. Steps to Christ, for instance, is now going to the world in 100 languages, and is probably the top book in the religious book world, of course, aside from the Bible. The total printing volume of Steps to Christ has passed 14 million copies. This is an astonishing total for a religious book. The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy are also issued in many languages, and these books together with other leading books by Mrs. White have run into millions of copies that have been printed and circulated. Who can measure the far-reaching influences growing out of this inspired literature? We must re member, too, the influence of her remark able books on health and nutrition as they have deeply impressed countless men and women of the world, including medical and scientific teachers and writers.
2. The publishing, medical, and educational departments of our work use the Spirit of Prophecy writings freely in the wide promotion of these major phases of our worldwide services. The ring of certainty and conviction in these writings fosters confidence and faith, and whenever and wherever our people act upon the counsel given, we see growth and prosperity as promised in 2 Chronicles 20:20.
3. The Prophetic Guidance Course has given definite help to more than sixty thou sand of our church members who have en rolled since it began in 1960. It has been of special benefit to new believers. Old and young have been greatly blessed in reviewing the work and influence of God's great gift to the remnant church. The course has done much to build faith and confidence in the certainty of the prophetic voice and its guiding influence in the preservation of the Movement. Testimony Countdown has accomplished great things in thousands of Adventist homes in recent months by definitely increasing closer acquaintance with the Testimonies for the Church.
4. It is interesting to note the number of quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy that appear each week in the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly—from seven to a dozen paragraphs are found in each lesson through the year. Since the majority of our church members follow the lessons in the quarterly, it is easy to see that most of our homes are influenced by the helpful comments quoted from the Spirit of Prophecy writings. Here is a daily influence that touches many thousands of our people.
5. The youth attending our academies and colleges also are influenced by the writings of Ellen White in their Bible, denominational history, and Spirit of Prophecy classes. During the past ten years we have had frequent opportunity to observe in both academies and colleges the reactions of students to the presentations of materials on the life, work, and influence of Ellen G. White, and have been gratified by the keen interest shown. Perhaps our devoted Bible teachers are doing more than any other single group to impress upon our youth the meaning and importance of prophetic guidance in the remnant church. It is also good to note the frequent mention of Ellen White's messages in our denominational papers, editorially and otherwise.
The Spirit of Prophecy is one of the distinguishing marks of the remnant people (Rev. 12:17; 19:10). Its great function is to guide and preserve the Advent Movement to the end of its history. (Note Hosea 12:13.) Just as Moses was used of God to guide and preserve His ancient people in their wilderness experience on the way to the land of Canaan, so God is using the inspired writings of Ellen White to guide and preserve His remnant people as they move out of modern Egypt to the heavenly Canaan.
We would do well to pause each day to thank the Lord for His Book of books, and also for the special messages He has given through His messenger to the remnant church for the physical and spiritual welfare of its members, young and old, in these latter days of earth's history. We quote her own fulfilling prediction as to her writings and their influence:
"Abundant light has been given to our people in these last days. Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as Ions, as time shall last,"—Selected Messages, book 1, p. 55. (Italics supplied.)