Prophets: Reformers or Innovators?

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There is a discussion among scholars today about whether prophets were sent by God to start things all over with a new religion or to point people back to the original truths given by Moses in the Bible's beginning narrative. Pastor Bohr shows why he believes that later prophets and Bible writers all built on what had already been revealed by God to Moses and applied it to their day. While there have been clearer and more developed revelations of truth over time, all the basic foundations for salvation and doctrine were given to Moses to write out for God's people. This principle is the basis of every true reformation. Any prophet who destroys faith in God's previous revelations is not to be trusted. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Many people in the church have a misguided view of inspiration in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Problems arise because of this. The reason God sent any prophet is because people had forgotten or neglected previous revelations. The New Testament need never to have been written if the Jewish people had paid attention to what had already been revealed to them and had accepted Christ when He came as the Messiah. In like manner, there would have been no need for Ellen White's work if people had studied their Bibles as they should.

The same problem that Jesus faced is still found among many Christians today. Jesus said that the Old Testament Scriptures testified of Him, but people refused to come to Him that He might give them life. He said that Moses would be the standard that would accuse them in the judgment, because the truth necessary to salvation was given to him, but had been forgotten over the years as his words were neglected. Those who discard the writings of Moses, saying he was legalistic or outdated, only harm themselves.

Pastor Bohr examines the role of Ellen White in this context and shows how many reject her as being authentic because of their wrong view of how prophets function. Her writings are not "another Bible", but a lesser light pointing back to the Bible and the Greater Light, Jesus. She would never had been needed if God's people had been ready for Him to come. She was sent because of Christians' neglect of God's Word. She functioned as an encourager, reprover and reformer. Her writings are like a telescope or microscope, revealing and magnifying what already was there in Scripture as we face the unique challenges and dangers of our end-time day and age. She does not present any new truth not already found in the Word of God, unlike other "prophets" of our modern era.

Pastor Bohr examines a chapter in the Testimonies that clearly shows what Ellen White's role was and what God wanted to accomplish through her. She applies the principles given in the Bible in plain language so that none might misunderstand their duty in today's world. "The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed.... Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given" (5T 665).

We must not use the Bible or her writings as a mallet, as this has driven people away. We cannot use them as authority to those unacquainted with their source. Yet she says clearly that if we lose confidence in the testimonies, we shall also someday lose faith in the Bible itself. God's counsel interferes with our stubborn hearts and selfishness. Many rise up and reject it. These drift further and further from truth and try to justify themselves in their love for the world.

If we obeyed the testimonies we would be assured of their divine origin and would not be mired in doubt. We would have a work done for ourselves, the church and the world that we cannot even imagine. Something is missing in the church as many have grown lackadaisical over time. Pastor Bohr encourages us in this sermon to once again be on fire for God and for His truth for this time.

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