Being seer…requires the intervention of God’s Holy Spirit…a person or church does make the choice of who gets what spiritual gift…God does.
In the time of EGW, there were a lot of prophets, seers, visionaries, etc. It was a time rife with these manifestations and claims. Of course, Joseph Smith was being hailed as a prophet, a numbers of years before EGW. So, she did come about in a time and place where these things were happening. I’m not sure that because some people are convinced of someone being a prophet, that makes it a convincing line of reasoning.
As I mentioned earlier, other gifts are listed…healing, miracles, discernment, etc. We don’t see those manifested so much either. I know your (and Adventism) focus is mainly directed to prophecy.
I[quote=“spectrumbot, post:1, topic:11335”]
Prophets don’t appear in mature, organized religious movements.
Is it because our prophets are but “prophets-of-the-gaps?” Haven’t our church, being "the remnant church " and “the chosen people” unsealed just about all the secrets of the bible with the gracious help of the organization “Secrets Unsealed?” Which gives truth to “Ergo, there is no point in God’s activating the gift of prophecy among us anymore.”
Would you be kind to give the circumstance of how you met the Holy Spitit at three years old and tell us about your first major vision when you were allowed the privilege of meeting Jesus Christ? How does you experience and ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit differ from EGW’s?
Being an active, good-standing fifth-generation SDA and a psychiatrist, would you give an opinion on EGW’s prowess on mental health? Would you grade her an A, B, C or D? It is the SDA experts’ consensus that she was ahead of the medical community in regards to her SOP writings. Would you agree with them regarding her mental health writings?
Thanks. Very moving experience as a three year old boy. Can you give us a synopsis of your vision when you met Jesus Christ?
Perhaps one just did.
Perhaps they already are prophesying.
Perhaps things already are falling apart
I’ve written many times over the years about The Thundering Old Testament Prophet template in Adventism, and the trouble it has got us in.
I’ve also pointed out many times that my friend Vernon Howell/David Koresh easily fell into that role, filled in that template, and easily took many with him to destruction.
I think all of Dennis Hokama’s comments on this article are cogent, but please especially notice this:
Adventist Today: 20 Years After the Waco Tragedy: What Have Adventists Learned?
Dennis Hokama: The first issue of AT rolled off the press only a month later (May/June, 1993). In that issue, I recounted my experience meeting and making a video recording of a recruiting session David Koresh conducted in Los Angeles, almost exactly 7 years prior to the Waco shootout.
The most scandalous part of that meeting and the subsequent Waco event, was not just that Koresh was recruiting SDAs, but that he was only successful with conservative, traditional minded SDAs who were ardent Ellen White supporters, as my article will show.
Even my SDA minister father who loves Ellen White, was so impressed that after the meeting, I had to talk him out of having any further contact with Koresh.
@elmer_cupino recently remarked something to the effect (he can correct me), that Adventist hermeneutics often have more to do with psychological issues than theology.
If I wish one thing for my Adventist friends, it is that they will take that insight and run with it.
We’ve stumbled around in Ellen White’s labyrinthine mind for more than a century and a half. There is no way out.
She must be honored, one way or another. After all, she never claimed to be a prophet–she rejected the title we are frequently told.
The fact is, the title of ‘prophet’ was not big enough for her.
Ellen White: I am now instructed that I am not to be hindered in my work by those who engage in suppositions regarding its nature, whose minds are struggling with so many intricate problems connected with the supposed work of a prophet.
My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there. It embraces much more than the minds of those who have been sowing the seeds of unbelief can comprehend.
–Letter 244, 1906, addressed to elders of Battle Creek church
Jesus: But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.
More Than a Prophet
by Graeme Bradford
White Estate: A NOTICE REGARDING MORE THAN A PROPHET
In actuality, while recognizing elements of the book on which we can agree, the White Estate staff has strong concerns regarding several of the viewpoints expressed in the book.
Included among these concerns are the following:
The book expresses the view that prophets in the New Testament and beyond generally carry less authority than Old Testament prophets, and that the individual and/or congregation must separate the wheat from the chaff in the messages even of genuine prophets.
The book suggests that because Ellen White used sources in her writings relating to history, prophecy, health, or theology, the views she expressed may have originated more from her contemporaries than divine inspiration. Her depiction of end-time events, for example, as found in The Great Controversy, is portrayed as deriving primarily from the expectations of 19th century North American Adventists, having little application to today’s global society.
While the White Estate staff recognizes that Ellen White was fallible and subject to human frailties—not unlike the biblical prophets—we maintain that certain positions taken in the book do not fairly reflect the understanding of Ellen White and her associates regarding her prophetic ministry, and fail to represent fully Ellen White’s prophetic contributions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
I hope everyone will find time to watch this:
The Adventists will never give up their Second Torah.
Never underestimate the will of determined badgers.
Moreover, the sine qua non of Seventh-day Adventism, The Great Controversy Theme, the 8th Fundamental Belief about the “vindication of God,” is extrabiblical as I said [here] (http://conversation.spectrummagazine.org/t/why-our-worship-isn-t-working/10921/186?u=cassie) and here:
Fundamental Belief #8: God Needs to be Vindicated?
There is no Biblical basis for concluding that any controversy has ever existed regarding “the character of God”, “His law” or “His sovereignty over the universe”.
The book Seventh-day Adventists Believe (both the 1988 and 2005 versions published by the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) makes no attempt to provide Biblical foundations for these ideas and instead simply states them as facts.
Moreover, this official book fails to cite the real source of this doctrine, Ellen White’s The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, her flagship book that defines Adventist doctrine.
What we know about Satan’s fall as found in Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, and Revelation 12 is that it was based on his pride.
The content of this controversy is a fabrication of Ellen White that taints nearly every Adventist doctrine.
Furthermore, there is no Biblical evidence that God has to be vindicated from any charges made by Satan.
Nevertheless, if one assumes that this vindication is reasonable, the fundamental belief significantly places this vindication in the future: “the God of love will ultimately be vindicated”.
The cross was not enough to vindicate God’s love. Although Seventh-day Adventists Believe gives a nod to the “Cosmic Significance of the Cross”, suggesting that Christ accomplished the vindication of God in His life and death, it fails to explain the true Adventist doctrine of God’s vindication.
Is the Adventist administration actively hiding the organization’s true beliefs in publications that other churches would routinely examine?
This fundamental belief and its commentary are silent about how God will be vindicated in the future. In order to learn what further vindication beyond the life and death of Jesus Adventists believe is necessary, one must dig into more obscure Adventist literature:
In the last generation God gives the final demonstration that men can keep the law of God and that they can live without sinning.
God leaves nothing undone to make the demonstration complete. The only limitation He puts on Satan is that he may not kill the saints of God. He may tempt them, he may harass and threaten them; and he does his best. But he fails. He cannot make them sin. They stand the test, and God puts His seal on them.
Through the last generation of saints God stands fully vindicated.
(M. L. Andreason, The Sanctuary Service, Review and Herald, 1969, p. 318-19).
Andreason, it must be noted, learned this model from Ellen White:
Just before us is the closing struggle of the great controversy when, with ‘all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness,’ Satan is to work to misrepresent the character of God, that he may ‘seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.’
If there was ever a people in need of constantly increasing light from heaven, it is the people that, in this time of peril, God has called to be the depositaries of His holy law and to vindicate His character before the world.
(Testimonies To the Church, vol. 5, p. 746).
#Ultimately within Adventism, it isn’t God who saves man, but man who saves God from Satan’s charges.
Adventist doctrine contradicts Romans 3:21-26 and teaches instead that God is not fully vindicated by Christ’s death. This may be the most blasphemous of their Fundamental Beliefs. †
No Other Gospel
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
This “vindicating the character of God” fixation is a cunningly devised fable, and is “a different gospel,” and a grotesque inversion of the natural order of things that cannot end well, in my opinion.
White Estate: Great Controversy Theme = Conceptual Key:
Herb Douglass: "theory of everything"
Herb Douglass: God at Risk
GCT = Great Controversy Theme, and all that stands for in Adventism, which is, trust me, everything.
What Do Adventists Mean by the Great Controversy Theme: PART 1
First International Conference on Ellen G. White and Adventist History
Battle Creek, MI, May 15-19, 2002. ©2002, Herbert E. Douglass, Th.D.
What Do Adventists Mean by the Great Controversy Theme PART 2
First International Conference on Ellen G. White and Adventist History
Battle Creek, MI, May 15-19, 2002. ©2002, Herbert E. Douglass, Th.D
George Knight, church historian, suggests that by focusing on the Great Controversy Theme “we can tell when we are on center or chasing stray geese near the edges of what is really important.”
Cassie post 178
At some point I hope Adventists will give serious study to the role malignant narcissism has played in their theology and church history, right back to its inception.
The endemic deceptiveness displayed by this institution is springing from somewhere.
Especially now, I hope the women of Adventism will make narcissism their study, because the current issues run much, much deeper than women’s ordination, and can be traced straight back to the headship doctrines of New Calvinism, as Gerry Chudleigh, may he rest in peace, pointed out (and as I spent one entire night posting links on in this forum):
Gerry Chudleigh Explains the History of Headship Theology
Chudleigh’s ebook is free here:
A Brief History of Headship Doctrine in the Seventh-day Adventist Church
My having survived a pure strain of malignant male narcissism in the headship-affirming, horribly abusive and misogynistic Gothard church I attended for several years, perhaps you can overlook my hair being on fire.
Adventist women, I hope you will google narcissism and become experts on it.
This is for those who can receive it: these men cannot be changed. Not by hell or by high water can they be changed. Very few will ever be inclined to examine themselves and be motivated to change.
I hope you will give deep consideration to what the Adventist church, in reality, is based on, and also to the consensus of many who have been ensnared by narcissists: the only lasting solution is NO CONTACT.
I am going to bend every effort to implementing that change myself, but this has been very difficult for me, since many things about the Adventist vision have appealed to me.
But, you know, I was David Koresh’s friend for a reason; we were both deeply, deeply steeped in Ellen White. The only reason I didn’t fall in with his invitation to Waco is that I’d already wrenched myself loose from Ellen White, and the parallels were not lost on me.
I retain my idealism, but not my hope in Adventism, the fate of the children notwithstanding, and I wish you all well, from my heart.
Never underestimate the will of God.
(Taking my chances on this being deleted by Spectrum.)
EDIT: I must include this little jewel I just found from @hopeful from 2014:
hopeful Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13 Sep '14
I’m going to start referring to claims about male leadership/headship as:
"The Doctrine of Male Narcissism".
It’s nothing more or less than that.
Women Pastors Tell Their Stories
Way to (prophetically?) call it in 2014, hopeful!
#Missing prophetic gift, Loren?
(Hint: look in the mirror. )
If you dont see it it doesnt happen?
I have seen it. Many times. So have others and they have spoken of it as well. Removal of posts has nothing to do with abusive or unkind. It has 100% to do with the whims of whatever webmaster sees it and if he agrees with it or not.
Go back and see how many threads have multiple posts by posters and the only ones that get removed are the ones the web editor doesn’t agree with.
It is demonstrably a situation where published policy is not followed, whether it be in the positive (things that should be removed but aren’t as in the case of multiple posts) or negative ( where non offensive posts are deleted because it doesn’t agree with editors opinions).
You’re right, of course. It goes even beyond fear of instability, which can be a positive concern. The profound threat from the prophetic gift is the question of who holds power and authority.
We Adventists claim that the last prophet God would give is in the past. It’s the only safe context for insisting that prophets speak directly from God. If we acknowledged a current gift of prophecy, the GC and other denominational leaders would be no more than bureaucrats.
I for one am not about to take the time to do that analysis. In any case, I can tell you from personal experience that commenting at the Review as well as at the websites run by conservative laypeople is heavily filtered and controlled according to agreement/disagreement.
Excellent point, @hopeful. Isn’t that what happened when EGW was alive? Conflicts between prophets and organizational leaders.
Please tell us more about yourself, @emile. What makes you believe you are a prophet?
*[quote=“lorenseibold, post:31, topic:11335”]
Isn’t that what happened when EGW was alive? Conflicts between prophets and organizational leaders.
Yes, the very thing. Here’s one example.
Brethren, you leave that matter with the Lord and Sister White, for neither the Lord nor Sister White will need to be dictated to by the brethren as to what subject she will bring before them. I am at home in Battle Creek … and we ask not permission to take the desk [pulpit] in the tabernacle. I take it as my rightful position accorded me of God.
(Ellen G. White Manuscript 30, June 1889, “Experience Following Minneapolis Conference”; in 1888 Materials, pp. 355-356)
I would be very suspicious of anyone who claims to have the gift of prophecy. Even Ellen White did not make such claims. She presented the people with what she was shown, and let them make up their own minds. She never claimed more than that she was the Lord’s messenger. In fact, warning bells go off in my head whenever anyone makes claims about having a particular spiritual gift. I believe that rather than trying to determine one’s spiritual gift, it is better to do as Solomon counseled: _whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might . . . _ Then the Lord can bless one’s efforts, and increase one’s talents, as in the parable.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about spiritual gift and how they are to work together and build up the church. Then in chapter 13 he goes on to talk about what is far more important than spiritual gifts. The self sacrificing love shown by God is not only greater than all spiritual gifts, it is the motivation behind them. We are to be know as Jesus’ desciples by the love we have for one another. I would suggest, if we are lacking in spiritual gifts, it is because we are lacking in Christ like love. That love is found in the experience of Jesus.
That could be very insightful. Maybe some research could be done on this:
Is the conservative community more abusive and rude to those who disagree with them?
Maybe not as I think both sides have felt the hammer of the webmaster.
Your ‘100%’ is way off and reflects your own bias. Unless of course you have some stats?
From the blog I gather u are a minister.
I have been afraid to say I have the prophetic gift…afraid they will think I am crazy…
But here’s my story…I met the Holy Spirit for the first time in the year 1974…at the time…I was three years old…the meeting took place above a city called Pretoria…it was at that time the capital of South Africa…since then I have had a number of super natural experiences…including one major vision and meeting with Jesus Christ…the latest update…is a word picture from the Holy Spirit towards the latter part of April this year.
Rescue the Prophet from her defenders !
Being a fifth generation SDA, inheriting the search for truth and the conflicts through the times and having learned to assure myself about the matters taught - be it in the SDA community or the “secular schools” and being a physician who - out of this experience - searches for the basics I have studied in University and have tought myself and have been obliged to follow in practice - - - .
Numbers brought nothing new for me in essence; I also could add Cotton Mather and Sweetsers “Mental Hygiene” (EGW quoting him literally on mind - body relationship) out of 1848 and Maudsleys “Physiology and Pathology of the Mind”. This without Google, just by climbing quite many ladders in libraries.
“Medical Science and the Spirit of Prophecy” 1971, The Ellen G White Estate, a cluster of questionable, even simply false appraisals for EGW, her allegedly being 100 - now 150 -years ahead of scinece.
Example : The electric currents of the brain : About 1850 DuBois - Raymond wrote “I have, if I do not greatly deceive myself, found the solutions of a century of physicists dreams, although in an other way they thought.” - This after Galvanis observations on electricity applied to frogs muscles :. Electric currents being discussed since one century just as Mesmers animal magnetism. There are - so the new discovery, not electric currents, but the difference of electric potentials running along the nerve cells surface. About 1890 the “k.k. Aerztegesellschaft in Wien” had to decide about the priority betrween a British scientist and one of Poland about the first Electroencephalography , detected from cats with the electrodes implanted in their brains. Around 1930 Berger , now equipped with the newest amplifiers could make use of the phenomenon on human brains. - - - Some “Comprehensive Index of EGW Writings” named the in her time popular “electric physician” in the appendix. “Elecricity” was the popular answer for biological activities.
Onehundred years ahead with an idea coming up in the mid eighteenth century, being a matter of scientific reserach with up to today accepted explanations by Du Bois Raymond ( NLG ! ) and two scientists being successful to apply this to the cats brain in about 1890 ?? And the whole complex brought to US public together with Mesmers - now distorted - idea of animal magnetism ??? - - -
Pollution of the air in cities ? Feuchterslebens “Diaetettik der Seele”, Vienan 1832, quotes British studies about this phenomenon in London - - -
Is the ‘prophetic gift’ truly ‘missing’ in the Advent Movement ? Or, would it be more accurate to say it has historically been rejected, ridiculed and shunned by too many influential SDA leaders, at least since Ellen was shipped to ‘Oz’ ?
There is a wishful lie held to be true by too many SDAs that Ellen was the Advent Movement’s only ‘prophet’, the only one to have dreams, visions, ‘messages’ to deliver from God. So Ellen’s ‘pen’ is ironically used far too often to ‘erase’ the memory and influence of other Advent Movement ‘prophets’ such as William E. Foy, the free African-American Baptist preacher who was first offered the ‘gift of prophecy’ (before Hazen Foss and finally, Ellen), had visions, and published them, but was too intimidated by countrymen (from both the agricultural South, and the industrialized North where he lived) infatuated with the great ‘profits’ to be gained from African slavery and ‘King Cotton’, to speak out for God more boldly.
William Miller also had at least one significant ‘dream’ about scattered ‘gems’ needing to be placed in proper settings, which presaged the SDA future ‘history’ of the 1880s.
Then there was that beginning of the ‘Latter Rain’ of the Holy Spirit, spoken of by the prophet Joel and the ‘Loud Cry’ spoken of by the prophet John, both in the mid-1880s. Surprisingly, in conversation with J.S. Washburn at the Ottawa, Kansas 1889 campmeeting Ellen admitted at that time,
“ ‘EJW (Ellet Joseph Waggoner) can teach Righteousness by Faith (what Ellen had just described as the ‘real issue’ of the previous 1888 General Conference) more clearly than I can.’ . . .
‘Why Sister White,’ [Washburn] said, ‘do you mean to say that E.J. Waggoner can teach it better than you can, with all your experience?’
EGW replied, ‘Yes, the Lord has given him special light on that question. I have been wanting to bring it out (more clearly), but I could not have brought it out as clearly as he did. But when he did bring it out at Minneapolis, I recognized it.’” ~ see Ron Duffield’s, The Return of the Latter Rain, page 206, quoting from ‘Interview with J.S. Washburn, at Hagerstown, Maryland, June 4 1950,’ pages 1,2 ~
Ellet J. Waggoner also had at least one ‘vision’ in a camp-meeting tent at Healdsburg, Ca.
In the 1893-1897 General Conferences the ‘Third Angel’s Message’ lectures given by Alonzo Trevier Jones were later described by Ellen as, “. . . these arguments, which were of the Holy Spirit’s framing.”
9MR 278.2 ; Letter 230, 1908.
This was the same ‘Holy Spirit’ of the ‘Latter Rain’ which began in the mid 1880s, and which Joel mentioned along with the gift of ‘prophecy’ . . . So, clearly, if THE PROPHET identifies 2 younger men with greater talent than she, and as having made Holy Spirit-framed arguments, they, too, must at least have been ‘prophets’, speaking for God.
Closer to our time, Ron Wyatt, the so-called ‘amateur’ archaeologist, in the last years of the 20th century made many archaeological discoveries (without SDA church support) that clearly supported the truthfulness of the Bible, Ellen, and now
– though he did not seem to know it before he died – even the work of Ellet and Alonzo. And, as Ron was making his discoveries under the guidance resulting from prayers, and at least one dream, brain scientists with new hi-tech imaging tools were learning the God-created truths that unwittingly supported his own work, as well as that of Jones, Ellet, Ellen, and William E. Foy before him. . . so, there have also been ‘scientific’ ‘prophets’ humbly seeking and publishing truth – such as Dr. Arthur ‘Bud’ Craig, and even Dr. Kellogg at one time. But SDAs are trained to be blind to such ‘unorthodox’ ‘science’ prophets, by proud seminary-blinded SDA leaders.
I am definitely no ‘prophet’. But I can read and witness the works of all these ‘prophets’ who have had closer contact with God and with His creations than I will ever have. And, I can see how all of those ‘works’ blend, agree with, and support each other because I have, nor want, no prestigious position or ‘degree’ in the SDA social hierarchy to defend. As a result of trying to point other SDAs to these agreeable works of Advent Movement ‘prophets’ on this very website, I’ve been labelled a ‘rant’-er and a ‘tangential theologi’-an by my SDA betters.
So, clearly the fault as to why there are supposedly no current ‘prophets’ apparent in the Advent Movement does not lie with God, the Holy Spirit or with Their ‘prophets’, but with those SDAs unwilling to admit that their own levels of attainment have blinded them to the fact that the ‘Movement’ is quickly leaving them behind.
The experts just do not know the history .Decades ago I wrote that we just have forgotten her environment. And I have a problem : Sweetser uses the very words she writes on the mind - body relationship - “if one is afflicted the other symapthioses”., this 1848.
But I must rely on what is available for me of original , not selected, not edited texts. And there I only have a copy of her original, handwritten diary on occasion of visiting my great - grandparents home in Vohwinkel. (and an official facsimile reprint of "Spiritual Gifts, Vol I and II) It is quite different to what Delafield wrote. Yes, and one page - original copy - of some very old AR
And evalute by yourself what is said - taught - - about her remarks on the “electric currents of the brain” - a century ahead of scinece ! - and I in detail could reconstruct - from Galvani (1750) to DuBois - Raymond (1850) to Berger…(1930). The saltatory depolarisation .-- repolarisation along the surface of a nerval cell we had to learn in Biochemistry, know in Histology and repeat in Physiology. There we also had to reconstruct Galvanis primary experiments. About DuBois Raymond I know out of a quite expensive special textbook on EEG and am interested in him, an assistant of Hemlmholtzt, because of his redical positivism and approving attitude towards Darwin. The “electric currents” - idea with his observations is obsolete :You obsereve mVolts, an electric current would begive (m)Amperes !.
And I have had a file of high quality books on history of medicine, as “Der goettliche Stab des Aesculap”, “Grosse Aerzte der Romantik” by Leibrand; “Virchow - Rokitansky” : The switch from humoral to cellular pathology; .History of Psychology - - and on hydrotherapy - - -and Mesmers original magnetism and Galls phrenology (because they came out of Viennas medical school under the guidance of van Swieten, a Calvinist and freemanson (!) - - .and were quite popular in the early Whites`environment !
OK, her remarks on the mind - body - relationship are still valid. But an other has said this 1848 already. (And the Romantic medicine in Europe already spoke 1832 about it). And some circumstances affecting the brain functions have their echo in EEG - but there are no “electric currents” - this idea was a dream of scientists from 1750 to 1850. After this date :_ Simply false.
It is the boasting propaganda about her that is misleading the SDA !
I have been asked to provide more detail:
The First time I met the Holy Spirit, was in the year 1974.
At the time, we where living in a town called wit bank, my parents decided that it was time that I had my first trip to the zoo located in the capital Pretoria…we left home early in order to drive to Pretoria…when we got there…we all entered the side entrance of the zoo…due to unforseen circumstances. …I was separated from my parents…here I was all alone in a place I didn’t know. …I decided to go to the car outside…hoping someone would be there…ariving back at the car…there was no one…instead of going back into the zoo by the side entrance…I walked along the front of the zoo…till I got to the main entrance…there where a great many people. …I walked among them…looking for my parents but could not find them…among the people…I decided…my parents are not here…I must look somewhere else for them…I continued walking down the street till I came to the robot at the end of the street…I waited for a grown up to come…because my parents had taught me never to cross a robot by myself…a lady appeared and soon others appeared…when the lady crossed the street…I walked beside her to the opposite side of the road…when I got to the corner…I saw a building…it had two swing doors “it was a bar, I didn’t know about bars, my parent’s as Adventists had never told me about such places” I looked inside there where a number of men inside…I thought maybe these men can help me…I walked inside and walked until I stood in the middle of the bar…along the side of the bar to the left and right were small tables …where the men sat and drank…in front of the bar was a long wooden bar table…behind it stood a man servicing the clients. .to his left was a door “probably the stock room where liqueur was kept”…I had noticed the stock room as I came into the bar because another man had just come out of it…behind the man serviceing the clients was a glass shelf contains various bottles…in a loud voice…I asked them…if they knew…where I could find my father…for a moment…there was silence in the bar…then all the men burst out laughing “for them my a parent question was probably very funny, but the joke was lost on me because I didn’t understand that I was in a bar” I stood there waiting for one of the men to answer my question “the grown ups until then. …I have known were all family…they always helped me. …when I needed it” I waited for some sign of assistance. .someone to help me…but they just kept on laughing. .I reviewed the question in my mind…did I say something wrong…I studied the men’s behaviour to see if there was something there I had missed…I had often heard my parents laughing but nothing about the mens behaviour told me what I was missing…finally it dawned on me…these men are not going to help…I cannot describe the feeling of despair that came over me at the realisation that these men where not going to help me…the world to me had become an unknown thing…I felt so small…in comparison to this unknown reality…that I didn’t understand. .as I stood there a thought flashed into my mind…Why don’t I pray to God…but of course…why didn’t I think of that before…I don’t know…what I said…I’m sure…somewhere in that prayer was the word help…my parents had taught me to pray from a young age…to believe in God…that heaven was a real place…in the bar…I closed my eyes and prayed…then I opened my eyes…the men where still laughing but things were different…the feeling of despair left my soul…replaced by a peace beyond comprehension. …I knew with an unshakeable believe…my Heavenly Father was coming to the bar…I stood there for what seemed like an eternity…then…out of the corner of my eye…I saw the flash of lightning. …I looked around the bar, to see if the other men had seen it too but all the men had their heads back…caught in spell of laughter they could not brake…I turned to see this marvelous sight…
I saw the air parted…by waves of lighting “electricity” weaving through the air…
Please allow me some poetic licence…to describe what happened next…
As I was praying. …the Holy Spirit with a band of Angels was speeding through the night sky…They pierced the atmosphere of earth above Pretoria…The Holy Spirit remained above the clouds…He could not approach the bar…for His presence would kill every living thing in sight but He did what was possible…while the Holy Spirit remained behind…the band of Angels decended to the bar to assess the situation…meeting up with my guardian angel…they carried me and brought me close to His presence…I felt myself embraced by loving arms…I was given a view of His presence…
“The presence of the Lord…is like a sea of compassion…strecthing further than mortal man can ever see…waves of mercy roll out unceaselessly. …and beyond the unknown future…that God alone knows”
I was taken back to the bar…I left the bar…and was guided by my guardian angel to the embrace of my earthly Father…my Father talks of this event of how my guardian angel placed me in his arms…
For years. .I have thought about this event in my life…the fact that I met the Holy Spirit on this occasion…was hidden from my sight and mind…it was not until a few years ago…that while I was walking home from Sedaven High School my place of work…I was thinking about God…that this hidden memory was again given to me.
I hope that this experience may be of encouragement to people. …to place their faith in God…God answers prayer…and it’s true…God love’s you.
That is a moving and significant story, Emile. I’m glad you felt God’s presence, and found your way back.
I could never doubt your experience. However, would say, Emile, that having such an experience may be different than being a prophet. I think as a prophet the emphasis would be on messages that God wants you to deliver to others. Then those messages have to confirm that God is behind them, giving them, so they must be accurate and true to the Bible.
Keep praying for God’s guidance.
Emile, I would say that your dream experience was definitely visionary. Thanks for sharing it with us.
I have known one or two others who have had such profound experiences but after a visit to the local conference/union offices they were told that “It was NOT a prophetic gift.” I am of the opinion that there is no room for another person with “prophetic gifts” other than EGW. It would be much to disturbing to the status quo if this were the case.
Personally, I can relate to your vision which is what I believe that it was since I have had one or two myself. To say that they were spiritually enlightening would be an understatement and they are simply other-worldly. One was directed at another person and one was a message to myself.
Adventists are leery of anyone having “visionary” experiences and for the most part closed off to them having any importance at all. Though they will tacitly agree that there should be “visions”…they are not accepting of them at all in my experiences.
The prophetic “gift” appears to only be the venue of Ellen G. White in the Adventist Church.
As for the other “spiritual gifts”…hard to fit them into a “program”. Not necessary at all.
Your essay and the insightful comments it invokes has generated lingering as well as dynamic value.
To hear the word prophet is to be taken up by perceptions about prophets, such as:
There is one prophet at a time.
When a prophet speaks it is literally God speaking.
A prophet is about the future.
A prophet focuses on correcting human behavior for Devine purposes.
A prophet is the personification of God’s presence.
A prophet testifies of their own experience of God’s presence.
A prophet testifies of God’s presence in the experience of people the prophet is with.
The last three statements are universally true for all prophets. The first four are far more rare highpoints in the lives of some prophets, all of whom live only in bible stories.
The last three statements absolutely apply to Sister White.
The first four are a struggle to confirm in the life of Sister White.
A. G. Daniels is explicit about this. Daniels worked for and with Sister White as a young minister. It is quite possible that the General Conference leaders exiled Sister White to Australia at the will of God in order that she might meet Daniels there, which she did. Daniels went on to become the longest-serving General Conference President whose terms spanned her last years living and the first years for the church after her death. He said that claiming Sister White to be a prophet based on rare supernatural evidences was a mistake that would lead to the loss of her gift to the church.
Indeed, the last three perceptions as applied to Sister White make the first four a distraction, and the seeking of the first four perceptions in Sister White’s life can rapidly devolve into a denial of God’s intent with the last three.
Now, one can, indeed must, it seems, expect that where the church is growing it is growing because of the presence of prophets. And for a church the size of Seventh-day Adventism today, there must be hundreds, indeed thousands perhaps, or even tens of thousands of prophets at any one time as defined by the last three perceptions about prophets as listed above.
Based on the last three perceptions about prophets, we all, I’m thinking, have been touched in their presence by the testimony of living prophets. I my case, more than one yesterday in a church still struggling to reach 3-digits of attendance.
Oh, on that point, another perception about prophets comes to mind. Prophets do not testify theologically nor do they engage in theologically debates. And in this regard George Knight, the most widely published and most notable living historian of Seventh-day Adventism, affirms that not a single fundamental belief of Seventh-day Adventists originated with or was settled by Sister White. Theology is a messy business that God leaves to humans, perhaps, to make it impossible for theology to get in the way of the prophets or the presence of the Comforter.
Thanks again for a wonderfully engagingly practical essay, Loren.