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The Ellen White Research Project: Exposing the Subtle Attack on the Bible's Authority
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The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets

by Ellen G. White


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Part:  A  B  C  D

This volume treats upon the themes of Bible history, themes not in themselves new, yet here so presented as to give them a new significance, revealing springs of action, showing the important bearing of certain movements, and bringing into stronger light some features that are but briefly mentioned in the Bible. Thus the scenes have a vividness and importance that tend to make new and lasting impressions. Such a light is shed upon the Scripture record as to reveal more fully the character and purposes of God; to make manifest the wiles of Satan and the means by which his power will be finally overthrown; to bring to view the weakness of the human heart, and show how the grace of God has enabled men to conquer in the battle with evil. All this is in harmony with what God has shown to be His purpose in unfolding to men the truths of his word. The agency by which these revelations have been given is seen—when tested by the Scriptures—to be one of the methods God still employs to impart instruction to the children of men.

While it is not now as it was in the beginning, when man in his holiness and innocence had personal instruction from his maker, still man is not left without a divine teacher which God has provided in His representative, the Holy Spirit. So we hear the apostle Paul declaring that a certain divine "illumination" is the privilege of the followers of Christ; and that they are "enlightened" by being made "partakers of the Holy Ghost." Hebrews 10:32; 6:4. John also says, "Ye have an unction from the Holy One." 1 John 2:20. And Christ promised the disciples, as He was about to leave them, that He would send them the Holy Spirit as a comforter and guide to lead them into all truth. John 14:16, 26. [p. 20]

To show how this promise was to be fulfilled to the church, the apostle Paul, in two of his epistles, presents formal declaration that certain gifts of the spirit have been placed in the church for its edification and instruction to the end of time. 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:8-13; Matthew 28:20. Nor is this all: a number of clear and explicit prophecies declare that in the last days there will be a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and that the church at the time of Christ's appearing will have had, during its closing experience, "the testimony of Jesus," which is the spirit of prophecy. Acts 2:17-20, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Revelation 12:17; 19:10. In these facts we see an evidence of God's care and love for his people; for the presence of the Holy Spirit as a comforter, teacher, and guide, not only in its ordinary, but in its extraordinary, methods of operation, certainly is needed by the church as it enters the perils of the last days, more than in any other part of its experience.

The Scriptures point out various channels through which the Holy Spirit would operate on the hearts and minds of men to enlighten their understanding and guide their steps. Among these were visions and dreams. In this way God would still communicate with the children of men. Here is His promise on this point: "Hear now My words: if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto Him in a vision, and will speak unto Him in a dream." Numbers 12:6. By this means supernatural knowledge was communicated to Balaam. Thus he says: "Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: he hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open." Numbers 24:15, 16.

it thus becomes a matter of great interest to investigate the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the extent to which the Lord designed that the spirit should manifest itself in the church during the period of human probation. [p. 21]

After the plan of salvation had been devised, God, as we have seen, could still, through the ministry of His Son and the holy angels, communicate with men across the gulf which sin had made. Sometimes He spoke face to face with them, as in the case of Moses, but more frequently by dreams and visions. Instances of such communication are everywhere prominent upon the sacred record, covering all dispensations. Enoch the seventh from Adam looked forward in the spirit of prophecy to the second advent of Christ in power and glory, and exclaimed, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." Jude 14. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21. If the operation of the spirit of prophecy has at times seemed almost to disappear, as the spirituality of the people waned, it has nevertheless marked all the great crises in the experience of the church, and the epochs which witnessed the change from one dispensation to another. When the era marked by the incarnation of Christ was reached, the father of John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied. Luke 1:67. To Simeon it was revealed that he should not see death till he had seen the Lord; and when the parents of Jesus brought him into the temple that he might be dedicated, Simeon came by the Spirit into the temple, took Him into his arms, and blessed Him while he prophesied concerning Him. And Anna, a prophetess, coming in the same instant, spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Luke 2:26, 36.

Part:  A  B  C  D

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