Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered February 26, 2005 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Enoch and Ellen

This morning I would like to speak with you about Enoch, and Ellen. Who was the very first prophet in this World? Well it wasn't Adam. It wasn't Eve. It was the seventh from Adam, a man named "Enoch." I would like for us to study a little bit about Enoch this morning.

Open you Bible to Jude 1:14, 15 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

You know, Enoch lived in a bad time. Probably there never has been and never will be a more degenerate age than the age of Enoch, when wickedness abounded. Here, in all this cesspool pit of all this wickedness shines one of the holiest people in the history of the world. Enoch, righteous Enoch, walking with God in this in this time of reprehensible wickedness. In those days, Enoch lived a life of irreproachable righteousness. He was a star shining above all the wickedness of his age. Enoch was an anomaly in his day, compared to all the others.

Let's look at Genesis 6. You can see how wicked man really was. We've all made mistakes. I've made mistakes in my life. And I beg of you to forgive me for the mistakes I have made. But I don't know of any mistakes that Enoch made. And yet, look at the times in which he lived. Genesis 6:5, 6 The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. They didn't even have TV. They didn't have all the things that we have. Apparently a prophet was in desperate need because they lived in desperate wicked times, so God sent a prophet. And, I submit to you that the evil days that we are living in today, once again dictate a crying need for the prophetic gift. And logic tells us to that we can conclude that every time we [the earth] gets wicked, God cares for His people sends special guidance during those times to help us out. That is the kind of God we serve. God likes to help His people.

Now, learned men can interpret the past. Newspapers do a good job of that: US News and World Report, and all those other magazines, but it takes a prophet to interpret the present and certainly to interpret the future. Only a prophet can do that because God tells them, not because they know it. So that is what God sent to His people. So in those wicked days before the flood the world needed a good prophet and God sent Enoch to help His people.

Enoch was the first prophet. He was able to predict the future. Now, who was the last prophet? It was not John the Revelator. John was indeed the last prophet to write a Bible book. But, I believe the last prophet was a lady by the name of Ellen G. White.1 Enoch was the first, and I think Ellen G. White was the last. And I believe the same Holy Spirit that inspired the first prophet also inspired Ellen and all those between them. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Prophets, or the Spirit of Prophecy.

Let's look at Revelation 12:17. I suppose every Seventh-day Adventist has this verse underlined in their Bible, certainly in their thoughts. It says, Then the dragon [Satan, the devil] was enraged at the woman [the woman represents the church] and went to make war against the rest of her offspring those who obey the God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. The New Jerusalem Bible puts it this way: Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went to make war on the rest of her children, who obey God's commandments and have in themselves the witness of Jesus.

What does this woman represent in Bible prophecy? A church. And a church that the devil would be angry at, would that be a good church or a bad church? The devil would be angry at a good church. And what makes up the distinctive character of this good church? This church, at which the devil is angry, will "obey the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." We hold to the testimony of Jesus. And we obey God's commandments. So, God's church today, this remnant church of God, has those characteristics. Now I would guess that Satan hates the woman, hates the church that does those things. And yet, God has given that church a gift: the gift of commandment keeping and the gift of the testimony of Jesus.

Now, the gift comes from Jesus Himself because it is a testimony of Jesus. We should not disrespect any gift that God gives us. Besides keeping the commandments of God, this church will have the testimony of Jesus. But what is this testimony of Jesus? Let's look at Revelation 19:10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." So we shouldn't be quibbling about this, we should be holding onto it. We live in a day and age when people are arguing about the Spirit of Prophecy. What we need to be doing is holding to it.

What Revelation is saying is that God's last church, living in the last days, will have the gift of continued guidance by the Holy Spirit through the gift of prophecy. The testimony of Jesus is what is available to us who live in the end of time! This gift comes from Jesus Himself and we should not reject any gift He wants us to have.

Now, Enoch was the first and I would submit to you that Ellen G. White was the last. I say that Ellen White was the last because I firmly believe that we are living in the last days. I think she was the last. Now if time lasts a little bit longer, there could be another person inspired by the Holy Spirit. I don't really know, but I'd say she was probably the last one because I believe we have just about that much longer. Not very long. These two people had the privilege of being at both ends of this wonderful gift of prophecy. One was the first to speak. The other was the last to speak. Between Enoch and Ellen there were many prophets and prophetesses. There are twenty-eight of them are mentioned in the Bible who wrote no books of any kind as far as we know, and yet they were prophets or prophetesses. And there are six, I think, whose works are not in the Bible. These include Elijah, Elisha, Deborah and Huldah among many others. Six others wrote books, but their books are not in the Bible. For example the book of Gad the prophet. (See 2 Chronicles 9:29, and 12:15 and 1 Chronicles 29:29)

Just because they wrote no books does not mean they were not prophets. Or conversely, Just because they wrote books, but none of them are in the Bible, does not mean they were not a prophet or a prophetess.

Come over here to 1 Corinthians in your Bible. There is no ranking of inspiration. All were equally inspired by the same Holy Spirit. All are called prophets or prophetesses, or seers. Look at I Corinthians 12:8-11. I want you to notice something that appears here. I won't read all of that, but there is one succinct phrase. It talks about all these, and it says All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines. The Holy Spirit determines who the prophet is. We don't determine that. It's not elected by some committee. It's determined by the Holy Spirit.

Enoch was the first, Ellen G. White was the last. I believe that she was a true prophet of God. And many others who are not even Seventh-day Adventists also believe this. Let me tell you about Dr. William F. Albright (1891-1971). He was the world's most foremost archaeologist of the 20th century. This man earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University at the age of 25. During the next 50 years he received 25 honorary doctorate degrees. He held 26 doctorates. This was a very intelligent, respected man. He wrote more than 800 publications on the Bible and archaeology. In the 1950's one of his doctoral candidates at Johns Hopkins introduced him to Ellen White's writings. He immediately became interested in Ellen White. This famous man undertook his own investigation of Ellen White. Now, in his book, From The Stone Age To Christianity, pp. 18,19. Dr. Albright named Ellen White as one individual whom he considered to have the true gift of prophecy in the last days, during the past 250 years. He named her as a true prophet.

No where in the Bible does it say anywhere that the gift of prophecy would cease with Revelationa, does it? It doesn't say that. It continues because the need for it continues. I think the need for it is even more vital today than ever. In fact the Bible does predict the reappearance of the prophetic gift just before Jesus second coming.

Come to the book of Joel in your Bible. Now here is a prediction: Joel 2:28 -31 Now, here is a prediction: And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. That's what it's talking about. The last days, just before Jesus comes, we should expect the reappearance of the prophetic gift. And I submit to you that Ellen White is that manifestation.

As Paul Harvey of ABC News said: "Once upon a time a hundred years ago, there lived a young lady named Ellen White. She was frail as a child, completed only grammar school (actually she never really finished the third grade), and had no technical training, and yet she lived to write scores of articles and many books..." That's what Paul Harvey said.

He didn't say how she did it, and how many she wrote, but in all actuality, Ellen White wrote a stack of books that if you started stacking them on this platform they would go to the height of eight feet. That's a lot of books. She wrote over 100,000 pages by hand. I don't know if I could do that. That's a lot of writing. She had no computer, no typewriter. A good deal of this was written at night. Once in Australia, she was tells of writing with gloves on, in the middle of the night.

Over 25 million words! She has written and published more books than any woman in the history of the world. And many of her books have been published in many different languages in the world today.

If you take just eight of her leading books you would find that she quotes the Bible 14,000 times. The most often used text is Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world.... mentioned 264 times!

Much of her writing was done at night when the family member were sleeping. In Australia at the age of 72 she wrote that she was writing on a cold July morning (winter) a 2 a.m. wearing woolen mitts that left her fingers free to move. Ellen White died just in 1915, just 2 years prior to the birth of John F. Kennedy. Possibly some of you might remember seeing Ellen White. She was a wonderful lady. But her writings live on. They are a lessor light to lead us to the Greater light, the Bible itself. The Bible and the writings of Mrs. White have the same source: The Holy Spirit.

Here is one quotation by Ellen White. She says: "The Bible by itself is totally sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind. But some still live in opposition to the plainest teachings of the Bible. So to leave men and women without excuse, God gives a plain and pointed testimony which brings them back to the Word that they have neglected to follow." 2 So you see, that is the purpose of her writings: to point people back to the Bible. Shame on you if you have never read the Bible all the way through. You owe it to yourself to read it. If you have time to read other books, I'd recommend her books. They are great. There is one I like especially, called, "Steps to Christ.."

Her writings were written not to bring new light, but to impress the truth of light already revealed, to simplify the great truths already given to help apply the Bible to our lives.

The Bible still continues to be a bestseller, however, few Christians study it daily. Far too many prefer to let the minister do the studying and report to them once a week. If you only have time for one book, please read the Bible.

Two or three weeks ago I ran across an article in a weekly news magazine, that Ray Brown gives me, that confirmed my belief in Ellen White. The article was titled: "Health Scare of the Week: Is Meat Malignant?" Researchers at the American Cancer Society found that eating red and processed meats dramatically increase the risk of cancer."3 A hundred years ago, a little lady named Ellen White said, "Cancer is largely caused by meat eating."4

I believe that God has sent to this people an advantage, a gift, a beacon light. The gift of prophecy for these last dark days. We would do well to take heed to His great gift.

Look at 2 Chronicles 36:15-16 tells a sad tale of what His people did to the gift in their day: The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again, because He had pity on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked God's messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against His people and there was no remedy. I think today that we ought not to scoffing at the prophets, but ought to be holding to it. That's what we need to be doing. It never hurt me. I read the book, Desire of Ages all the way through, and you know what? That book didn't hurt me one bit. It helped me. It was wonderful stuff.

If we do the same thing and reject the prophets of our day, how will we find a remedy? If you reject the councils of these books, can you expect to escape the ills of this modern age? Let me ask you three questions:

  1. Why do Adventists live 6-12 years longer than other Americans?
  2. Why is it that our church is one of the fastest growing Christian church in the world today?
  3. Why do Adventist people give more money to God than most other Christian people today?

Why are these things? I believe it is because of the great gift of Prophecy given to this people. We out-give, out-grow and we out-live most others. We ought to be the most Christ-like people on this globe. The most loving, the kindest, the gentlest, the most helpful.

You know, we don't read these books to use them as a base ball bat. We use these books to enlarge our heart toward Jesus, not to hit our kids over the head with these books. "Do you realize that you should be doing this, and this, and this?" No! When you read these books, apply it to yourself. Don't apply it to somebody else. "It really fits them." No! Apply it to you, and benefit by it.

We have been blessed beyond what we deserve. How great the advantages that God has given to us. We have such an advantage, but are we taking advantage of our advantage. Am I?

I remember as a boy in Indiana. It snowed up there in Hartford City, Indiana. I remember the good times I had sledding in the snow. My folks got a sled for my sister and me. So, we used to go sledding. Now, in Indiana you don't have big mountains like we have here. There's Grindstone Mountain and White Oak Mountain and all these. They aren't there. It's flat in Indiana. So, in order to get a benefit from sledding, you needed to live near a slight slope and you called that a mountain. Most of it was flat. So, my sister and I would get out and play with the sled, but the best time was when my dad would take the rope, tie it around his waist and onto the sled. We kids would be on the sled and off we would go. How wonderful it was to slide across the slippery snow. We got a boost. It wasn't a motorized sled, but we surely had a good engine. And I remember that. Zipping along in the days of yesteryear.

Could it be that God is trying to give us a boost by giving us the gift of prophecy? Don't scoff at it. Use it. Enjoy it. God really is trying to assist us in these evil last days.

If you want to be a zealous Christian. If you want to be a Christian who is not faltering or floundering in the world, but you want to be a Christian that is really on top of things, you want to really prosper in your spirituality, here is how you can do it: 2 Chronicles 20:20 ....Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in His prophets and you will be successful. Now this isn't taking about money. Do you want success in the last days? Then have faith in His prophets. Utilize this gift.

Whenever I read Ellen White's writings I am convinced that she was a true prophet of God. So was Dr. William Albright. And so are many others. I hope you are too. I urge you to believe the testimony of Jesus and hold to it and not to scoff at it. Last day Christians can prosper spiritually if each of us follow the leading of the prophets God has sent to help us. So,

  1. Believe on Jesus
  2. Love God
  3. Keep His Commandments
  4. Hold to the Testimony of Jesus which is the Spirit of Prophecy.
And I think you will be in heaven if you follow all those good things. May God bless us and keep us faithful and may we utilize the gift that he has so richly given us.


Endnotes:

1. Most Seventh-day Adventists Believe that Ellen G. White was given the gift of prophecy and served the church as a modern day prophet between the years 1827 to 1915. To get a more in-depth sermon of E.G. White click on: The Spirit Speaks by Kent Crutcher.

2. Vol. 2 of Testimonies for the Church, by E.G. White, pp. 454,455.

3. The Week, February 4, 2005, p. 19.

4. Ministry of Healing, by E. G. White, pp. 313-317.


Hymn of Praise: #83, O Worship the King
Scripture: Revelation 12:17
Hymn of Response: #602, O Brother, Be Faithful



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