Merlin D. Burt, PhD, is the director of the Ellen G. White Estate in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

The entire Bible and the process of prophetic revelation is Christ-centered. The book of Hebrews begins with these words: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb. 1:1, 2).1

Upholding Scripture

Jesus, Himself the Word of God, pointed to the Old Testament Scriptures on the road to Emmaus as He spoke with two of His disappointed disciples. “ ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!’ . . . And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25, 27). The apostles pointed back to the Old Testament as the anchor of their faith in Jesus as the Messiah. It is a characteristic of inspired writers to point to the Bible as the basis of all faith and experience. We should expect the same attitude and practice from any person in these last days called by God to manifest the spiritual gift of prophecy (Rom. 12:6).

Uplifting Jesus

Having a correct view of Jesus—His incarnation, life, and death on the cross—has been a significant factor in distinguishing between true and false teachers and prophets. In confronting false gnostic prophets who denied the full humanity of Jesus, the apostle John emphasized that “by this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:2). He continued, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7).

Her constant focus was Scripture, Bible principles, and the love of God revealed in Jesus and His plan of salvation.

The apostle Peter provided a similar emphasis as he reflected on seeing Jesus glorified on the “Mount of Transfiguration.” He wrote: “We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19). Jesus calls Himself the “bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). Prophetic messages will always connect us to Jesus, resulting in the miracle of conversion and a life of consecration to God.

Affirming gifts

Peter states that in the last days, God will pour out His Spirit, “and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17). The apostle Paul writes, “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:1). Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen White (1827–1915), one of the church’s founders, exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. Her constant focus was Scripture, Bible principles, and the love of God revealed in Jesus and His plan of salvation. The church believes her writings, guided by the Holy Spirit, are a true manifestation of the Spirit of prophecy, connecting us to Jesus in these last days of earth’s history before His second coming, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).

As you read this Ministry issue, it is our prayer that the writings of Ellen White will be correctly studied in connection with the Bible. May they encourage you to lift up our God and Savior Jesus Christ, to better serve in ministry to the world. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).

  1. Scripture is from the English Standard Version.

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Merlin D. Burt, PhD, is the director of the Ellen G. White Estate in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

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