*NOTE - The Biographical Sketch, Foreword, Word List and references at the end of each chapter were not written by Ellen White.
Biographical Sketch, Ellen Gould White 1827 - 1915
A devoted disciple of Jesus Christ, Ellen was a Methodist until the age of 17. She was disfellowshipped for talking about and believing in the soon coming of Christ in 1843. God gave her visions and a message to bear to the world, only after 2 other people had rejected that burden from God. She wrote many articles and books giving reproof and exhortation. After receiving light on the health message, she became a strong health advocate, calling for a diet similar to the original diet in the Garden of Eden, and abstinence or temperance in all things.
Mrs. White never called herself a "prophet", although she had no problem with those who called her that, but when asked, she referred to herself as a "messenger". In that reply, she showed that her work of health reform, calling for repentance from sin, and supporting a movement to "repair the breach", involved more than what a prophet is usually considered as doing - telling about future events from God's point of view. She produced several devotional classics with "Steps to Christ" being among her most popular. But she considered this book, "The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels" her most important.Foreword
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it
is because there is no light in them.
Here at the beginning of the 21st century, it seems like everybody has become a
prophet. There are even prophetic web-rings on the internet. But some of them
say things that seem a little strange. How can we know for sure they are truly
who they say they are - receivers of the words of God? - by comparing what they
say with the law and the testimony. Surely the same God who gave his words in
times past to people and had them written down (which later became the several
books in the Bible), would not contradict himself!
Jesus directly prophesied of this, knowing that the issue of prophecy would be a big test for those in the last days: "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." Matthew 24:11. For added emphasis, God gave these words to John: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1John 4:1. Of course Ellen White is no exception. Take this book and compare it to the Holy Scriptures; does it meet the test or not? Pray to our merciful Father in heaven, and he will send his Spirit to guide us into all truth (^-^).
It seems almost unbelieveable now, but until the last couple of years in the 20th century, nearly all who called themselves 'Christians' were dead-set against anyone who claimed to have revelations from God. They usually quoted Revelation 22:18-19 to prove their point: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
But is this saying that after John died that there would be no more prophets from God? If so, why would Jesus have us beware of 'false' prophets? Why did the Holy Spirit thru John say to test the spirits? Wouldn't all this be so much easier if we knew just to ignore all those after John who claimed to have words from God? But that isn't God's plan. He gives new truth when needed, and makes his will known, and the true in heart will check to see that it is true, and then joyfully accept and follow it. Of course Satan will be allowed to work too. If he wasn't allowed to, he could accuse God of being unfair.
The Holy Spirit thru Paul asks some very important, and often overlooked, questions in 1Corinthians 12. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have the gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Then he declares that he will show unto us a "more excellent way", saying the gifts are of no benefit to us if we do not have Love. In chapter 14, he goes a step further by telling us to "Pursue love, and desire spiritual (gifts), but especially that you may prophesy." "Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues." "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1Thessalonians 5:19-21.
Ellen White was given the "Great Controversy" vision in the spring of
1858 at Lovett's Grove, Ohio, U.S.A. Most of it she had seen in vision 11
years earlier, but this time she was instructed to write it out even though
Satan would make strong efforts to hinder her. Some portions, especially
chapter 30, were published in the 1847 "Little Flock", 1851
"Christian Experiences and Views", and 1854 "Supplement"
book(let)s. It is all inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned by a frail, but
Godly woman and first published in 1858.
There are those who question why there are so many problems in our world with wars, crime, unholy sex, and yes, even with religious beliefs. The basis for answers to these questions can be found in understanding the great controversy between Christ and Satan which has been going on since before any of us humans ever existed.
May the Lord bestow his best gifts upon you, Reader, as you "prove all things" which are written in this book by the Word of God - The Bible.
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