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“By a Prophet”

How God Used Ellen White

to Guide our Church
Bleak Prospects
 Few believers
 Little money
 No doctrinal unity
 Hiram Edson and friends studying sanctuary
 Joseph Bates promoting Sabbath
 Whites accepted it on Bible evidence
 EGW vision confirmed, seven months later
1840s: God’s First Priority–
 Hiram Edson and friends—Sanctuary
 Whites and Joseph Bates—Sabbath
 Needed unity, further light
 Studied together, sometimes all night
 EGW’s mind “locked”
 When they could go no further, vision
 Solution evident; they could unite
1840s: God’s First Priority–
 How give messages to others?
 Sabbath and Sanctuary Confs, 1848-1850
 Leaders went out: James and Ellen White,
Joseph Bates, Hiram Edson, others
 Met with little groups: 20, 30, 50
 Presented truths, dealt with questions
 Studied and prayed
 By 1850, unity on clear set of doctrines
1840s: God’s First Priority—
 How spread message further?
 1848 vision: start paper
 1849, JW started Present Truth
 Reached new people, strengthened
1850s: God’s Second Priority—
 Dec. 13, 1850, EGW: “We know that we
have the truth”
 Eleven days later, Dec. 24, first vision on
“gospel order”—organization
1850s: God’s Second Priority—
 Why need organization?
 Own property
 Define doctrine officially
 Have criteria for membership, apply them
 Discipline church members when needed
 Provide financial support for workers
 Establish institutions
 Enter new fields
1850s: God’s Second Priority—
 Believers resisted organization: “Babylon”
 Visions urged “gospel order,” organizing
 1850: Heaven is orderly
 1851: Disfellowship unruly members
 1854: Gospel order “feared, neglected” (Early
Writings, pp. 97-107)
1850s: God’s Second Priority—
 May 13, 1860, first steps in organization:
first legal org. of a local church
 Oct. 1, 1860: adopted name SDA; also
organized first legal body: SDA Pub. Assn.
 Oct. 5, 6, 1861: first conference: Michigan
 May 21, 1863: General Conf. organized
1860s: God’s Third Priority—Health
 June 6, 1863: First major vision on health
 Some earlier instruction:
 1848: Tobacco, tea, coffee
 1851: Tobacco again
 1854: Cleanliness; eat simple food
1860s: God’s Third Priority—Health
 1863 vision repeated earlier instruction,
added more; health a religious duty
(1 Cor. 6:20)
 Disease from violating laws of health
 Temperance: items to avoid
 Diet: no pig; vegetarianism; not overeat
 Cleanliness: body, clothing, living quarters
 Avoid dangerous drugs; use simple treatments
1860s: God’s Third Priority—Health
 Basis for reform: relationship to God
 Dec. 25, 1865: vision that we should have
health-care institution of our own
 Nine months, built Western Health Reform
Institute; became Battle Creek Sanitarium
 1860s, EGW warned against alcohol
 Visions have blessed us
1870s and on: Education emphasis

 Many visions touching on education, not

one comprehensive vision
 See 3T 131-160 (1872); 3T 468 (1875),
FCE 310-327 (1894)
 Establish school to train workers
 Not impractical education, classics
 Center on Bible and train for practical living
 Whole man: head, hand, heart
1870s and on: Education emphasis

 In response, Battle Creek College, 1874

 Bought 14 acres, not 40, and in town
 Sold 6 acres for houses!
 Taught classics; no required Bible classes

 EGW went to Australia, 1891

 Calledfor large tract of land, away from city
 Had vision of land ill spoken of; saw furrow
 Found it, 1894: Avondale College today
1870s and on: Education emphasis

 Reform of Battle Creek College

 Too cramped; unsuitable program
 E. A. Sutherland, president, saw site in
Berrien Springs, Mich., 1899
 1901, college moved there
 Followed EGW’s plan: agriculture and other
work, and Bible the center of the education
1870s and on: Education emphasis

 We had a few elementary schools and one

small high school early
 In response to visions, Battle Creek
College was established (1874), then
other elementary and high schools
 Our young people belong in our schools
1870s and on: Mission Outreach
 “Go into all the world” Mark 16:15
 Early believers thought fulfilled in America
 Also sent literature to far-away places

 Appeals started coming to GC for workers

 Europe first field we thought we could help
 Mrs. White encouraged it

 1874, sent J. N. Andrews as first official

1870s and on: Mission Outreach
 Other missionaries followed, with EGW’s
encouragement and urging
 1875, vision of work in many places
 Remembered that Australia was one of them
 Went to Europe herself, 1885-1887
 Recognized places in Europe she had seen in
the vision
 Missionaries went to Africa and other places
 EGW went as missionary to Australia
1880s, 1890s: Revival of
Christ-centered Message
 Pioneers knew saved by faith, not works
 But “present truth” included law, Sabbath
 Gradually became focus of preaching
 Law not savior; Jesus is!
 We keep law because He has saved us;
He enables us to keep it
1880s, 1890s: Revival of
Christ-centered Message
 EGW urged reform: trust merits of Jesus
 Early 1880s, she emphasized Jesus as Savior
and Redeemer
 E. J. Waggoner, A. T. Jones did, too
 Came to focus at 1888 General Conference
 EGW: “Matchless charms of Jesus”
 1892, EGW released Steps to Christ
1890s, 1900s: Reorganization
 Early organization simple: churches,
conferences, General Conference
 Work grew, structure didn’t
 Authority concentrated in BC, a few men
 “Kingly power”
 Needed better, coordinated structure
1890s, 1900s: Reorganization
 EGW called for reorganization, conversion
 Leaders set aside regular agenda; results:
 EstablishedUnion Conferences
 Organized departments
 Expanded GC Committee to 25

 EGW thrilled with developments

 Later we established Divisions
 EGW pointed way; leaders developed
Other EGW Contributions
 Opened way for understanding of Trinity
 Saved church from pantheism, 1900s
 Major literary output, 1890s, 1900s
 PP,GW, SC, MB, DA, in 1890s
 COL, Ed, MH, AA, GC rev., GW rev., CT, PK in
1900s and 19-teens
 Testimonies for the Church, 1855-1909

 “Nothing to fear for the future” LS 196

(Do not include this slide or the next.)
Origin: Millerite Movement
 After 1844 disappointment, movment in
 Ellen Harmon had given it up as error
 Dec. 1844, first vision: high path
 Milleritemessage was light for whole path
 Jesus is still leading; city is ahead
 Stay on path, don’t deny light behind
 Jesus will take you all the way to the city