Prophecy is foundational for a Seventh-day Adventist.
We believe we are prophetically called to be followers of Jesus. A common way to misunderstand prophecy is to see it as only predictive, but that is not a biblical use of the word. A prophet is the person who declares. They proclaim God who is speaking right now into our lives. The prophetic word brings God near to us as He speaks and we hear. The whole word of God from Genesis to Revelation is our prophetic standard and is a vital part of our engagement with the ever-present Jesus.
There is, however, a predictive element in some prophecy, and Adventists love to grapple with the Books of Daniel and Revelation in our quest in understanding and encountering God. But the purpose of predictive prophecy is not just to give timeliness. Rather these elements engage us in a dual function:
- They give us confidence in a God who is in charge as prophecy fulfilled becomes history experience.
- They give us a context and meaning to the journey and sorrows of this life.
We live aware that the future is breaking in on us even now. That today’s choice to trust God and be Christ follower is pregnant with a future hope. We live expecting that soon we will see Jesus in his fullness at his return.
As a sidebar to living as prophetically called followers of Jesus, Adventists have great respect for and confidence in the prophetic role of the writings of Ellen G. White.
Her ministry to our church has helped us live in a trusting, growing encounter with God and has given meaning to the struggle of good and evil we see in the world. Her writings bring the future into our present life of faith and help to galvanize our hope. While the Bible is our standard — our norm of faith — her writings have informed us of God’s living word and helped to form us around the word of God which is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)