Ellen White as the “Lesser Light”

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Believe His Prophets
• “Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets” (Hosea 6:5, RSV). • “Believe in Jehovah your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. ” (2 Chron. 20:20, ASV).
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The Objective
“The subjects which we present to the world must be to us a living reality. It is important that in defending the doctrines which we consider fundamental articles of faith, we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments, that will not only silence our opponents, but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny” (Gospel Workers, p. 299).
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God’s Method of Communication
• • Before sin: God and His angels communicated with them face-to-face. After sin: i. Conscience (Rom 2:15, Joh 1:9) ii. Nature (Rom 1:20, Ps 19:1-4) iii. Sanctuary and its services; Urim and Thummim iv. Dreams e.g. Pharaoh’s, Nebuchadnezzar’s v. Prophets e.g. Moses vi. Jesus (Joh 14:9, Heb 1:1,2; Joh 17:3-7) vii. Bible
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The Revealer and the Revealed
• The Son reveals God Heb 1:1 God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son • The Spirit reveals the Son John 15:26 The Helper will come— the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me (TEV) • The Spirit will do this by leading us into all truth John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.
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Prophets Most Used
• Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets • 2 Chron. 36:15 The Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people Starting from Enoch, there is a long line of splendor
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Low Success Rate
• Jer 36:23 And it came to pass, when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, that the king cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. 24 And they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. • 2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against Jehovah. And Nathan said unto David, Jehovah also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
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How God Interacts with Prophets
• 2 Pet. 1:21 Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit • Eze. 2:2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me • Dan 10:7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. 8 So I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words; and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I fallen into a deep sleep on my face, with my face toward the ground. • Num 12:6 If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision, and I speak to him in a dream
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How Prophets Interact with People
• Orally: Acts 2; Deuteronomy; Beatitudes; Nathan with David; Jeremiah with Zedekiah (Jer. 38:14-19) • Written: Daniel 12:4; 9:2; Paul’s letters; 2 Pet 3:1 • Dramatisation: Parables; Jeremiah not to marry (Jer 16:1,2); Valley of dry bones (Ez 37)
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Literary Assistants
• Baruch (Jer 36:17, 18) • Tertius (Romans 16:22), Sosthenes (1 Cor 1:1) • Obvious difference between quality of Greek between 1 Peter and 2 Peter • Presenting compilations by recording eyewitness accounts, e.g. Luke and Mark
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4 Classifications of Prophets
• Prophets who wrote some of the Bible • Prophets in the Bible but did not write a part • Who gave oral testimonies not preserved in the Bible (Num 11:24,25; 1 Sam 10:5,6,10; Acts 21:9; Huldah consulted by Josiah) • Those who wrote books not preserved in the Bible (Nathan and Gad - 1 Chr 29:29; Jehu – 2 Chr 20:34; Enoch – Jude 14)
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God is Gender Impartial
Besides men, God also used women as His prophets Miriam (sister to Moses) – Ex 15:20-21 Deborah – Judges 4:4 Huldah – 2 Kings 22:14 Isaiah’s wife – Isaiah 8:3 Anna – Luke 2:6
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• • • • •

Is the Bible Insufficient?
"The Bible is a perfect and complete revelation. It is our only rule of faith and practice. But this is no reason, why God may not show the past, present, and future fulfillment of His word, in these last days, by dreams and visions; according to Peter's testimony. True visions are given to lead us to God, and His written word; but those that are given for a new rule of faith and practice, separate from the Bible, cannot be from God, and should be rejected," –James White "A Word to the Little Flock," p. I3, May 30, I847. 13

Tests of a Prophet
1. The physical condition of the prophet when in vision. 2. The personal life of the prophet. That person is dedicated to Jesus and lives in obedience and harmony with Biblical principles. 3. The messages given by the prophet are in full agreement with Biblical standards, promises, doctrines, and laws.
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Physical Phenomena
i. The prophet loses his strength and falls to the ground in a deep sleep. ii. Despite the sleep, he hears a voice speaking to him. iii. In the vision, and at times in physical action, the prophet arises to his hands and knees and then to his feet when the being touches him. iv. At first he is dumb; but, when his lips are touched, he is enabled to speak. v. Throughout the vision he is without breath of any kind. His breathing totally ceases. vi. Strength is given him during the vision. vii. Add to this the sign given in Numbers 24:4. During the vision his eyes are open. - “Prophet of the End” Harvestime Editor pp38
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The Weakest of the Weak
“When Ellen reached the meeting place [in a private home], she found a large room filled with people eager to hear her describe the vision. But when she stood up to speak, her voice was so weak and hoarse that she could scarcely be heard. For five minutes she tried, while her listeners leaned forward to catch her whispered words. “Then suddenly, to the surprise of all, her voice changed. It rang out clear as a bell. She spoke for two hours, describing the travels of God’s people to the holy City, the coming of Jesus, and their heavenly home. Many tears were shed, but they were tears of joy. Every heart was cheered. When Ellen sat down and tried to talk with those near her, her voice was as hoarse as before, and she could only whisper.
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“Some people have wondered why God chose one so weak to bring His messages to His people. There was a reason. When that company . . saw Ellen stand up and try in her weakness to make them hear, and then when the power of God came upon her, enabling her to speak clearly, they knew she was not doing it alone—God was helping her. “That night as the company broke up, there were shouts of joy: ‘We are going home! We are going home!’ Some who watched Ellen’s friends support her as she went back to the sleigh were thinking of the Apostle Paul’s words: ‘God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty . . that no flesh should glory in His presence.’” —Ella M. Robinson, Stories of My Grandmother, pp. 25-26.
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“The time Mrs. White is in this condition has varied from fifteen minutes to one hundred and eighty. During this time the heart and pulse continue to beat, the eyes are always wide open, and seem to be gazing at some far-distant object, and are never fixed on any person or thing in the room. They are always directed upward. They exhibit a pleasant expression. There is no ghastly look or any resemblance of fainting. The brightest light may be suddenly brought near her eyes, or feints made as if to thrust something into the eye, and there is never the slightest wink or change in expression on that account; and it is sometimes hours and even days after she comes out of this condition before she recovers her natural sight. “While she is in vision, her breathing entirely ceases. No breath ever escapes her nostrils or lips when in this condition…
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“It has been proved many times by tightly holding the nostrils and mouth with the hand, and by putting a looking glass so close that any escape of the moisture of the breath would be detected. In this condition she often speaks words and short sentences, yet not the slightest breath escapes. When she goes into this condition, there is no appearance of swooning or faintness, her face retains its natural color, and the blood circulates as usual. Often she loses her strength temporarily and reclines or sits; but at other times she stands up. She moves her arms gracefully, and often her face is lighted up with radiance as though the glory of heaven rested upon her. She is utterly unconscious of everything going on around her while she is in vision, having no knowledge whatever of what is said and done in her presence. Persons may pinch her flesh, and do things which would cause great and sudden pain in her ordinary condition, and she will not notice it by the slightest tremor. - George I. Butler, in Review and Herald, June 9, 1874.
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• Dr. Drummond, a physician . . who (before he saw her in vision) had declared her visions to be of mesmeric [hypnotic] origin and that he could give her a vision, stepped forward and, after a thorough examination, turned very pale and remarked, ‘She doesn’t breathe!’ Prophet of the End p45 • One was Dr. Brown of Parkville, Michigan, a medical doctor who was also a practicing spiritualist. Hearing of her visions, he declared confidently that they were from spiritualism and that if he could examine her while in vision he would be able to prove it—for he would quickly get in contact with the “floating spirit” guiding her, and then directly control her himself. 21

Elder White said, ‘Will the doctor report her condition?’ He replied, ‘She does not breathe,’ and rapidly made his way to the door. Those at the door who knew of his boasting, said, ‘Go back, and do as you said you would; bring that woman out of the vision.’ In great agitation he grasped the knob of the door, but was not permitted to open it until inquiry was made by those near the door, ‘Doctor, what is it?’ He replied, ‘God only knows; let me out of this house!’ ”—Statement by J.N. Loughborough.
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Visions and Writing
• “ ‘It has been supposed by some that in Mrs. White’s experiences she wrote while in vision,’ he pointed out, ‘but this is not true. Some have concluded that when she wrote she was recording words which she heard repeated to her by an angel. This, too, is erroneous, except in rare instances when short, direct quotations are given of what the attending angel said. Some have been of the opinion that there was a mechanical force which guided the pen which she held in her hand. Such a view is also entirely out of harmony with the facts. • “The revelation consisted of the enlightening of the mind; and then, when not in vision, it was the task of the prophet —with the aid of the Spirit of God, of course—to pass on to others instruction, admonition and information of a divine origin which she had received.” —Arthur L. White Prophet of Destiny, pp. 73-74.
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Development of Doctrine
• Case studies
– Sabbath 1846 – Sanctuary 1846 – Church order 1851 – The law in Galatians and Righteousness by Faith 1888

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James White: Place of Visions
The question naturally arises, if the visions are given to correct the erring, why did she [Mrs. White] not sooner see the error of the six o'clock time?.... It does not appear to be the desire of the Lord to teach His people by the gifts of the Spirit on the Bible questions until His servants have diligently searched His word…Let the gifts have their proper place in the church. God has never set them in the very front, and commanded us to look to them to lead us in the path of truth, and the way to heaven. Feb. 25, 1868
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Confirmation
“I asked the angel if the frown of God had been upon His people for commencing the Sabbath as they had. I was directed back to the first rise of the Sabbath, and followed the people of God up to this time, but did not see that the Lord was displeased, or frowned upon them. I inquired why it had been thus, that at this late day we must change the time of commencing the Sabbath. “Said the angel, 'Ye shall understand, but not yet, not yet.' Said the angel, 'If light come, and that light is set aside or rejected, then comes condemnation and the frown of God; but before the light comes, there is no sin, for there is no light for them to reject.” 1T, p. 116
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Case: Law in Galatians Debate
“Why was it that I lost the manuscript and for two years could not find it? God has a purpose in this. He wants us to go to the Bible and get the Scripture evidence.” 1888 Materials, vol. 1, p. 153

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Verbal and Thought Inspiration
“Inspiration acts not on the man‘s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. . . . The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God.” 1SM 21 "Although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation.” Review and Herald, Oct. 8, 1867. 29

Controversy on Revisions
• Fears came from two directions: Leaders knew (1) that critics of the denomination would jump at the opportunity to show that the Adventist “prophet” was unreliable, that she was manipulated by circumstances and other people; (2) that changes in published writings would unsettle some Adventists, causing them to feel they had been misled and that Ellen White was not a safe guide. • Were these fears justified? Yes and No. Fears were justified when leaders observed that many people, both Adventists and non-Adventists, held an inadequate view of how God speaks to His human messengers; they believed that God dictated the exact words that prophets used in revealing divine messages. • However, fears were unnecessary whenever people understood that God inspired the messenger with thoughts, 30 not words.

1883 Revision Revised
“We have reset many pages of that which was criticized at Battle Creek, and have made hundreds of changes in the plates so as to bring the phraseology of the new edition as nearly as possible to that of the old without making the statements awkward and the grammar positively incorrect.” Moon, W. C. White and Ellen G. White, p. 128.

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Revision by Jeremiah
• Jer 36:2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. • Jer 36:27 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, • Jer 36:28 Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. • Jer 36:32 Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.
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Ellen White as the “Lesser Light”

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Leading Bible Texts
I Corithians 15:41
[There is] one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for [one] star differeth from [another] star in glory.
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Leading Bible Texts
Genesis 1: 16-17
1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.
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Leading Bible Texts
Ephesians 5:13, 14
5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
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God made the moon
But just as soon as some enter college and get a little bit of knowledge they think they know more than God. And you hear of the higher critics. Who is the Higher Critic? It is the Lord God of the universe, who has spread the canopy of the heavens above us, and has made the stars and called them forth in their order; that has created the lesser light, the glory of the moon, to come in its order and to shine in our world. Miscellaneous Collection ST Vol 1, p256

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John the Baptist, the Lesser Light
• “John was the lesser light, which was to be followed by a greater light. He was to shake the confidence of the people in their traditions, and call their sins to their remembrance, and lead them to repentance; that they might be prepared to appreciate the work of Christ. God communicated to John by inspiration, illuminating the prophet that he might remove the superstition and darkness from the minds of the honest Jews, which had been, through false teachings for generations, gathering upon them.” Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 04-08-73
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John was not that Light
All things were made by [the Word]; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a TEST EVERY LIGHT man sent from God, whose name was John. The ACCORDING TO of the same came for a witness, to bear witness THE BIBLE Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:3-9
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John was not that Light
He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in TEST EVERY LIGHT his light. ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE John 5:35

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Just like Moses
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:14-17

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The Law important
With the first advent of Christ there was ushered in an era of greater light and glory; but it would indeed be sinful ingratitude to despise and ridicule the lesser light because a fuller and more glorious light had dawned…The brightness of the Father's glory, and the excellence and perfection of his sacred law, are only understood through the atonement made upon Calvary by his dear Son; but even the atonement loses its significance when the law of God is rejected. -- Signs of the Times 08-25-87
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Even the Old was glorious
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious.... And not as Moses, [which] put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [veil] is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 2 Cor 3:10-16 43

Believe Moses, Believe Christ
For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? John 5:46-47

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How John referred to himself
“And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?” John 1:19-22
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Jesus’ reference to John
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Matthew 11:7-13.
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Why was John’s light rejected?
‘Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth . . . . He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.” “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 5:33, 35; 3:19-21.
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The experience of Paul
Because the Lord had not given him a new revelation for that special time, those who were really seeking light did not cast his message aside as only a common letter. No, indeed. The Lord had shown him the difficulties and dangers which would arise in the churches, that when they should develop he might know just how to treat them. He was set for the defense of the church . . . . But when these reproofs came, some would not be corrected. They took the position that God had not spoken to them through Paul, that he had merely given them his opinion as a man, and they regarded their own judgment as good as that of Paul.–Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 65-66
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Not new light?
Brother J would confuse the mind by seeking to make it appear that the light God has given through the Testimonies is an addition to the word of God, but in this he presents the matter in a false light.
Selected Messages3, p. 30
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Christ did not reveal new light
But the sayings of Christ are not a new revelation. The principles which he expounded were announced to Moses from the pillar of cloud, and to the prophets, who spoke and wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit. But the Jews had departed from the light and the grace that had been given them, and had not practised the sacred teachings that were essential for their present, spiritual help and for their eternal interests. Because of this, the words of Christ fell upon the ears of the Jewish nation as a new revelation.
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Principles of Truth abide
But although the long line of events extends through so many centuries, and new and important truths are from time to time developed, that which was truth in the beginning is the truth still. The increased light of the present day does not contradict or make of none effect the dimmer light of the past. —Signs of the Times, 06-03-86
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Seeing truth in a new light
If those who have received the light will appreciate and respect the testimonies of the Lord, they will see the religious life in a new light. They will be convicted. They will see the key that unlocks the mysteries that they have never understood. They will lay hold of the precious things that God has given them to profit withal and will be translated from the kingdom of darkness into God's marvelous light. —My Life Today, p. 42
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Testimonies reveal new light
We should bear in mind that Christian experience is progressive, and that the Testimonies have taught advanced principles year by year as the work has progressed and as the people have been prepared to receive new light. —Ellen White Biographies, vol. 6, p. 266

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The Bible is infallible
The Bible presents a perfect standard of character; it is an infallible guide under all circumstances, even to the end of the journey of life. Take it as the man of your counsel, the rule of your daily life. {5T 264.2} The Word of the only true God is infallible. In Heavenly Places, p137
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God is infallible…
We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible.
Counsels to Editors and Writers p37

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Man is NOT infallible
I wish that self should be hid in Jesus. I wish self to be crucified. I do not claim infallibility, or even perfection of Christian character. I am not free from mistakes and errors in my life. Had I followed my Saviour more closely, I should not have to mourn so much my unlikeness to His dear image. {Daughters of God 272.6} Though some of these men wrote under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, yet when not under its direct influence they sometimes erred. It will be remembered that on one occasion Paul withstood Peter to the face because he was acting a double part. {6BC 1065.4} 56

Man’s word fails
Man's word fails, and he who takes the assertions of man as his dependence may well tremble, for he will one day be as a shipwrecked vessel. But God's Word is infallible and endures forever. Christ declares, "Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matt. 5:18). God's Word will endure through the ceaseless ages of eternity. {The Upward Look 96.5}
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Ellen White was not an angel
“It grieves me that I have said or written anything to grieve you. Forgive me and I will be cautious not to start any subject to annoy and distress you. We are living in a most solemn time and we cannot afford to have in our old age differences to separate our feelings. I may not view all things as you do, but I do not think it would be my place or duty to try to make you see as I see and feel as I feel. Wherein I have done this, I am sorry” {Letter to James White, May 16, 1876}
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Possible Discrepancies
“Regarding Mother‘s writings, she has never wished our brethren to treat them as authority on the dates or details of history. When ‘Great Controversy’ was written, she oftentimes gave a partial description of some scene presented to her, and when Sister Davis made inquiry regarding time and place, Mother referred to what was already written in the books of [Uriah] Smith and in secular histories. When ‘Controversy’ was written, Mother never thought that the readers would take it as authority on historical dates and use it to settle controversies, and she does not now feel that it ought to be used in that way . . . . If it had been essential to the salvation of men that he [human beings] should have a clear and harmonious understanding of the chronology of the world, the Lord would not have permitted the disagreements and discrepancies which we find in the writings of the Bible historians.” W. C. White and Ellen G. White p431, 432 At the end of this letter Ellen White penned in her own handwriting, “I approve of the 59 remarks made in this letter.”

Literary Work
• “In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but in some instances no specific credit has been given, since the quotations are not given for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our time, similar use has been made of their published works.”— Author’s Preface, Great Controversy, p. xii. • Compare: Jude 4-18 with 2 Peter 2:1-3; the gospels; Luke 1: 1-4; 2 Chronicles 36: 22-23 with Ezra 1: 1-3
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Why God uses fallible beings
Ellen White understood ‘thought’ inspiration and justified why God chose this mode of communication. She understood that sin has marred man to such an extent that he cannot comprehend any or fully if God were to speak to him directly. Neither can he bear it. Thought inspiration is an extension of God’s mercy to fallen man – speaking to man in man’s language. Notice what happened at the resurrection of Lazarus when God spoke directly. John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. John 12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
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Imperfect expression…
"God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do His work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, none the less, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth." {1SM 26.1}
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Could there be mistakes?
All the mistakes will not cause trouble to one soul, or cause any feet to stumble, that would not manufacture difficulties from the plainest revealed truth. {1SM 16.2}

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Common and Sacred
“There are times when common things must be stated, common thoughts must occupy the mind, common letters must be written and information given that has passed from one to another of the workers. Such words, such information, are not given under the special inspiration of the Spirit of God. Questions are asked at times that are not upon religious subjects at all, and these questions must be answered. We converse about houses and lands, trades to be made, and locations for our institutions, their advantages and disadvantages. I receive letters asking for advice on many strange subjects, and I advise according to the light that has been given me.” (1SM 38, 39)
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Which parts are inspired?
Those who think to make the supposed difficulties of Scripture plain, in measuring by their finite rule that which is inspired and that which is not inspired, had better cover their faces, as Elijah when the still small voice spoke to him; for they are in the presence of God and holy angels, who for ages have communicated to men light and knowledge, telling them what to do and what not to do, unfolding before them scenes of thrilling interest, waymark by waymark in symbols and signs and illustrations. 65 {1SM 17.1}

Man cannot cherry-pick too
And He [God] has not, while presenting the perils clustering about the last days, qualified any finite man to unravel hidden mysteries or inspired one man or any class of men to pronounce judgment as to that which is inspired or is not. When men, in their finite judgment, find it necessary to go into an examination of scriptures to define that which is inspired and that which is not, they have stepped before Jesus to show Him a better way than He has led us. I take the Bible just as it is, as the Inspired Word. I believe its utterances in an entire Bible. {1SM 17.2} 66

EGW was like John the Baptist
“To claim to be a prophetess is something that I have never done. If others call me by that name, I have no controversy with them. But my work has covered so many lines that I cannot call myself other than a messenger, sent to bear a message from the Lord to His people, and to take up work in any line that He points out. “Why have I not claimed to be a prophet? Because in these days many who boldly claim that they are prophets are a reproach to the cause of Christ; and because my work includes much more than the word prophet signifies.” Review and Herald, July 26, 1906, cited in1SM p. 32.
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Communication and Attitudes
“It is difficult for one mind to give to one of a different temperament, education, and habits of thought by language exactly the same idea as that which is clear and distinct in his own mind. Yet to honest men, right-minded men, he [an author] can . . . convey his meaning for all practical purposes.” But if the reader “is not honest and will not want to see and understand the truth, he will turn his words and language . . . to suit his own purposes.” 1SM p19
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The Goal of Bible Study
“The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience. . . . Intellectual darkness comes through ignorance; spiritual darkness comes because of something I do not intend to obey. No man ever receives a word from God without instantly being put to the test over it. . . . Watch the things you shrug your shoulders over, and you will know why you do not go on spiritually.”

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest pp. 151, 152. 69

How to treat her writings
Yet now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You have thereby insulted the Spirit of God. You know how the Lord has manifested Himself through the Spirit of prophecy. Past, present, and future have passed before me…You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper, expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision--the precious rays of light shining from the throne.... {1SM 27.2}
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The Bible is infallible
The Word of the only true God is infallible. In Heavenly Places, p137

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No Middle Ground
“God is either teaching His church, reproving their wrongs and strengthening their faith, or He is not. This work is of God or it is not. God does nothing in partnership with Satan. My work . . bears the stamp of God or the stamp of the enemy. There is no halfway work in the matter. The ‘Testimonies’ are of the Spirit of God or of the spirit of the devil.” 5 Testimonies, p. 671. “The testimonies I have borne you have in truth been presented to me by the Lord. I am sorry that you rejected the light given. . . . It is not I whom you are betraying. It is not I against whom you are so embittered. It is the Lord, who has given me a message to bear to you.” Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 84;
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Is it a burden?
• Jer 23:32 Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. Jer 23:33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What [is] the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. Jer 23:34 And [as for] the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. Jer 23:35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? Jer 23:36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
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Not a burden…
• Jer 23:37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? • 23:38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD; • 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, [and cast you] out of my presence: • 23:40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

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SUMMARY
• John was asked if he was a prophet and he said no (John 1:19-26). If not a prophet, then what was he? Luke 7:27: He was the messenger of the Lord (see also, Malachi 3:1). • John the Baptist had the testimony of Jesus (John 5:31-33; 1:15). • John the Baptist was more than a prophet (Luke 7:26). • John denied that he was the light (phos; John 1:6-8). His purpose was to bear witness to the light. Yet Jesus called John a bright and shining light (luchnos: portable lamp or candle; John 5:35). In other words, John was a lesser light which was to lead men and women to the greater light–Jesus Christ (see John 5:36 where Jesus actually uses the word “greater” to refer to Himself).

Scriptures and Testimony
• But notice that the Scriptures also gave witness to Jesus (John 5:39). Thus there are two sources which testify of Jesus: John the Baptist and the written Scriptures of the Old Testament. There was a canonical and a non-canonical source to give witness to Jesus. • The question immediately suggests itself: Why did the people need a non-canonical source if they had the written Scriptures of the Old Testament? Or, even further, why would they even need a lesser light if they would soon have the greater light in their midst? • The answer is actually quite simple: The people had fallen into gross darkness and gone astray because of their neglect of the Scriptures. All kinds of false teachings and practices came in during this period (John 1:5; Isaiah 60:1-2) They therefore needed a lesser light to draw attention to the greater light. 1:5 “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5

Rejecting lesser, rejecting greater
You see, those who claimed to be God’s people and boasted at having the Old Testament were violating every principle of the Word of God. They professed to be waiting for the Messiah. They professed to love God. They claimed to have a close relationship with Him and yet they crucified Christ because they misunderstood the Old Testament and rejected the clarification given by the lesser light. We can imagine the Jews saying, “We have Moses,” but they did not understand or practice the teachings of Moses. They boasted of their knowledge of the Scriptures and yet did not understand them at all. John was called to attract attention to the Word already given. If the Jews had understood and obeyed the writings of Moses, John would never have been raised up by God!!!

John: Revivalist and Reformer
• He exalted the Old Testament and made it vivid, alive and present truth. He rebuked, reproved, was a fly in the ointment, a pain in the neck, a speck in the eye. He was no pushover (see Matthew 11:7-8) • The role of John was to prepare a people for the first coming of Jesus (Luke 1:17). By revival (repentance) and reformation (bearing fruit) the people were to wait expectantly for their bridegroom. John was the liaison or go-between, between Jesus Christ (the groom) and Israel (the bride). He was to prepare the way for the wedding (John 3:28-30).

John, the Bridegroom’s friend
• In New Testament times, the friend of the bridegroom was responsible for making all the preparations for the wedding so that all was ready when the groom should come. The friend of the bridegroom was not to take the glory for himself. • The glory was for the groom who was marrying the bride. The best man does not want all eyes centered on himself at the wedding. He decreases so that the bridegroom can increase! In other words, he blends into the woodwork so that all can see the bridegroom.

So was Ellen White
• Ellen White preferred not to be called a prophet, she claimed to be the Messenger of the Lord (I SM 32) • Ellen White had the Testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17; 19:10; 22:9). • The work of Ellen White was far greater than that of a conventional prophet (I SM 32, 34, 36). • Ellen White was a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light, Jesus Christ

Scriptures and Testimony
• As with John, two sources give witness to Jesus, one canonical (the Bible) and the other noncanonical (the writings of Ellen G. White). As with John, the purpose of her writings is to bring attention to the written Scriptures which had been trampled upon and misinterpreted during the dark ages. If God’s people had studied the Word of God with the sincere desire to obey it, Ellen White would never have been called by God.

Faith, the outworking of evidence
"What voice will you acknowledge as the voice of God? What power has the Lord in reserve to correct your errors and show you your course as it is? What power to work in the church? If you refuse to believe until every shadow of uncertainty and every possibility of doubt is removed, you will never believe. The doubt that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to faith. Faith rests upon evidence, not demonstration.” {1SM 27.3} 82

New Believers to Understand
As the end draws near, and the work of giving the last warning to the world extends, it becomes more important for those who accept present truth to have a clear understanding of the nature and influence of the Testimonies, which God in His providence has linked with the work of the third angel's message from its very rise. Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 654. (1889) {Ev 255.2}
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Present-day Instruction
In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will, and the course that He would have them pursue. Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 661. (1889) {Ev 255}
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Testimonies Neglected
Ministers frequently neglect these important branches of the work--health reform, spiritual gifts, systematic benevolence, and the great branches of the missionary work. Under their labors large numbers may embrace the theory of the truth, but in time it is found that there are many who will not bear the proving of God. The minister laid upon the foundation, hay, wood, and stubble, which would be consumed by the fire of temptation. Review and Herald, Dec. 12, 1878. {Ev 256.1}
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Not to supersede the Bible
The testimonies of Sister White should not be carried to the front. God's Word is the unerring standard. The Testimonies are not to take the place of the Word. Great care should be exercised by all believers to advance these questions carefully, and always stop when you have said enough. Let all prove their positions from the Scriptures and substantiate every point they claim as truth from the revealed Word of God. Letter 12, 1890. {Ev 256.2}
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Purpose of the Testimonies
The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man's duty to God and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God's word; yet but few of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given and in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse. —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 605
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Purpose of the Testimonies
The Word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the Word of God their study, are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the Word that they have neglected to follow. The Word of God abounds in general principles for the formation of correct habits of living, and the Testimonies, general and personal, have been calculated to call their attention more especially to these principles. Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 663, 664. (1889) {Ev 256.4}
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Purpose of Lesser Light
Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.
Colporteur Evangelist, p 37 (1902) {Ev 257}

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Telescope analogy
“Everything depends upon our relation to it [telescope] and the use which we make of it. In itself it is only a glass through which to look; but in the hand of the divine Director, properly mounted, set at the right angle and adjusted to the eye of the observer, with a field, clear of clouds, it will reveal truth such as will quicken the blood, gladden the heart, and open a wide door of expectations.. . . . The failure has been in understanding what the Testimonies are and how to use them. They are not the heavens, palpitating with countless orbs of truth, but they do lead the eye and give it power to penetrate into the glories of the mysterious living word of God.”
Mrs S.M.I. Henry quoted in “Good Health”
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Mafunso (FAQs)
• Kodi Ellen White tingamuyelekeze ndiyani? Mneneri wina aliyense m’Baibulo, maka Yohane Mbatizi chifukwa Yohaneyo ananenera kubwera kwa Yesu koyamba ndipo EGW kwachiwiri. Nanga ngati Baibulo ndilokwanira, nchifukwa ninji mukuti zolembera za Ellen White ndizofunika? Zolemberazi ndizotithandiza kumvetsetsa Baibulo. Ndiye kuti munthu ukhoza kusankha kugwiritsa ntchito Baibulo lokha? Inde, ndipo monga okhulupirira Baibulo, Mulungu akutsogolera kukhulupiriranso zolembera za EGW. Kodi ndingatayike nditakhulupirira Baibulo lokha, kapena ndingatayike pokhulupirira EGW yekha? Mungatayike ngati simukhulupirira mwa Yesu. Baibulo ndi Ellen White zimalozera kwa Yesu. Izo ndizotengera zomwe zikutiunikira kutsata njira yoona ya kwa Yesu.

Mafunso (FAQs)
• Kodi nchifukwa chiani EGW anadzitcha “lesser light (kuwala kochepa)”? Kuwalako kukuyerekezedwa ndi Kuwala kwina kwakukulu ndiko kwa Baibulo ndi kwa Yesu Inu simukuona kuti ndizosokoneza pamenepa? Bwanji sanangolemba kuti kwakeko ndikuwala basi? Ayi, sizikusokoneza. Chilichonse chomwe EGW analemba chinali chochokera kumfundo za mu Baibulo. Mwa ichi, Baibulo ndikuwala kwakukulu chifukwa kuwala kwa EGW sikukubweretsa kuwala kwatsopano koma kukuwalitsa kuwala kwa kale kwa Baibulo. Kodi kuchita zosemphana ndi zolembera za EGW ndikuchimwa? Popeza EGW ananenera za mu Baibulo, kusemphana ndizolemberazo ndichimodzimodzi kusemphana ndi Baibulo. Ngati tamva chidzudzulo chovuta kutsatira, tipemphere mwa Mzimu kuti atitsogolere “PAKUTI WAKUCHITA MWA INU KUFUNA NDI KUCHITA KOMWE, CHIFUKWA CHA KUKOMA MTIMA KWACE, NDIYE MULUNGU” Phil 2:13

Mafunso (FAQs)
• Ellen White akusiyana bwanji ndi Joseph Smith wa Latter Day Saints (Mormonism)? The Book of Mormon ndi ena a Smith amatengedwa ngati ophatikizira (supplement) Baibulo chifukwa ali ndi zoona zina zomwe mu Baibulo mulibe. Mabuku a Ellen White amaunikira (complement) Baibulo.

Joseph Smith v Ellen White
• When the Latter Day Saints pay a visit, their first task is to try and convince the prospective student that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. As the studies continue, the Book of Mormon and the Bible are used together. • With Seventh-day Adventist the process is reversed. The student is taught the truth from Scripture alone and once all the doctrines have been clearly presented from Scripture, then the Spirit of Prophecy is presented last as a complement (not supplement) of the Bible. This is not done because the Spirit of Prophecy is of secondary importance but rather because the function of the writings of Ellen White is not to supplement Scripture but rather to complement it! Ellen White magnifies, explains, amplifies simplifies and highlights the great truths of Scripture but does not add any new truth!! Ellen White is like a telescope or a microscope. The telescope does not create stars but rather helps us see them more clearly.

Do not be deceived: read for yourself
I never form an opinion of a person or a church on the basis of what its enemies say (because the enemies distort what they believe) or even on the basis of what their friends say (because they often embellish the truth). If you want to know the truth about Ellen White, go directly to the source, read her writings for yourself. Get your information first hand!! (Steven Bohr: Lesser Light)

Prayerful study, honesty…
Many a portion of Scripture which learned men pronounce a mystery, or pass over as unimportant, is full of comfort and instruction to him who has been taught in the school of Christ. One reason why many theologians have no clearer understanding of God's word is, they close their eyes to truths which they do not wish to practice. An understanding of Bible truth depends not so much on the power of intellect brought to the search as on the singleness of purpose, the earnest longing after righteousness. {CSW 38.1}
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Ellen White exalted the Bible: read her writings YOURSELF

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Mabuku ndi zolemba zina
• • • • • • • • • • Messenger of the Lord by Dr Herbert Douglass, (Andrews University, and Advisor to Amazing Facts) Messenger to the Remnant by Arthur L. White (son and trustee of Ellen White Estate) Lesser Light by Steven Bohr, (a converted Pastor of the SDA Church) Ellen White as the Lesser Light by Eugene Prewitt Ellen White & Her Critics by F.D. Nichol (once trustee of the Estate) Defending Spirit of Prophecy by Vance Ferrell, (a powerful SDA Pastor) Believe His Prophets by D.E. Rebok (member of Ellen G. White Publications staff) The Abiding Gift of Prophecy by Arthur G. Daniells, (once President of the General Conference of SDAs and original trustee of the Estate) Ellen White and the SDA Church by D.A. Delafield The Testimony of Jesus by Francis McLellan Wilcox (last surviving member of the original six Board of Trustees in Ellen White’s will)

Websites
• • • • • • • www.maranathamedia.com www.threeangels.com.au www.secretsunsealed.org www.remnant-prophecy.com www.harvestimebooks.com www.ellenwhitedefend.com www.whiteestate.org

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