He gave some apostles and some prophets; and some evangelists, and some teachers for the perfecting of the saints ...
Ephesians 4: 11 & 12
In the beginning, God talked to Adam and Eve every day face to face. One day Adam and Eve were hiding. They were afraid of God. How could that be? They had done something they were not supposed to do. They ate fruit off the tree that they had been told not to even go near. They felt so guilty they were hiding when God came to visit with them. They had put Satan first by eating that fruit. Since Satan was first, that put God second. This is sin. Sin separates us from God. It makes us afraid of Him.
God had not changed; Adam and Eve were the ones who had changed. Adam and Eve were hiding and God came looking for them. God made them leave their home. They could not talk face to face anymore. God did not want to scare them. God still wanted to talk with them. They needed to still feel His love. You can read this sad story in Genesis chapter three.
God still wanted to love and help His people do what was right so He tried many different ways to talk to them. Sometimes He spoke by angels, sometimes by the Holy Spirit. Many times He chose a person He could trust to talk for Him. We call these prophets if they were men and prophetesses if they were ladies. The Bible was written by these people. When God is going to do something, He tells His people about it by sending a prophet. (Amos 3: 7)
Before the flood, Enoch was shown pictures of the second coming of Jesus. He was a prophet.
Noah told about the flood. He said that it would cover the whole earth. He said everyone who wanted to live would need to get in the ark he was making. He made it big enough so they could. He made it big enough for God to save all the animals that He wanted to. Noah preached for 120 years. God wanted people to be safe from the flood. Noah was a prophet. It is too bad that only Noah's family believed the message from God. You can read this sad story in Genesis chapters five, six and seven.
After the flood God still had people who worked as prophets for Him. Moses led the people of God to Canaan. God spoke directly with him, then he gave the messages to the people. Moses was a prophet. In the Bible the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy tell about the things that God wanted them to learn. Moses wrote many books in the Bible.
Deborah was a prophetess. She was the wife of Lapidoth. She helped people to understand God better. She did her work under a palm tree. The tree was called the palm tree of Deborah. People came from miles around to talk to her. She even went to war with the soldiers against Sisera, captain of King Jabin's army. She went because the soldiers were afraid to go by themselves. They knew God was with Deborah and they felt safer with her along. God kept them safe from Captain Sisera. Sisera was killed by a tent peg while he was sleeping in the tent of Jael. Jael was a brave lady. You can read this story in Judges chapter four.
God had other lady prophets. Can you think of some? There was Miriam, Anna, Huldah and others.
Then Jesus came. He was the very best prophet there was. The word prophet means he speaks for God. Jesus did the best job of that. He showed us just what God is like. He was kind and gentle. No one has ever explained God's love better than He did. When He was done with His work, He went back to Heaven. When He left, He gave gifts. In the Bible in Ephesians chapter four verse eight, we can learn about these presents. These gifts were not things but people who would help God talk to us. There were apostles, prophets, evangelists, ministers and teachers. These people will keep helping until God's people are perfect. Since none of us are perfect yet, there will still be teachers, ministers, evangelists and prophets to help.
In 1844 there were many people very interested in studying their Bibles. They noticed that it was almost time for Jesus to come. They thought He was going to come on October 22, 1844. God needed to talk to His people so He looked for someone to work for Him as a prophet. First He chose a smart young Baptist minister named William Foy. But he said no to God. Can you believe it? He said no.
God asked another man called Hasen Foss and he said no. He said NO to God!
Then God asked a seventeen year old girl called Ellen Harmon who was not very strong. She was sick a lot. She weighed only about eighty pounds. She did love Jesus with all her heart. Her Bible was very special to her. She read it every day. Ellen said YES to God.
She had a twin sister. They had been born on November 26, 1827 in the state called Maine. She was the last of eight children.
When she was only nine years old, she was hurt by a rock. The rock hit her in the nose so hard that she went unconscious. That means she stayed asleep and never woke up for many days. She slept for twenty one days. When she did wake up, she did not look very pretty. She could never finish school.
Ellen said YES to God. She wanted to do the work He asked her to do. God asked her to be a prophetess. God wanted to give her messages to give to His people. She did it too. She did it when she had little children, and she kept doing it until she died. She lived many years. What a wonderful job she did. She wrote many things which help us know what is going to happen. She wrote things which can help us keep well and be strong.
Ellen White passed all the tests of a true prophet. She never disagreed with the Bible. Her messages from God always came to pass. She always brought people to the Bible. One day she held up this big Bible that was very heavy for a long time. We will study some of her stories later.
Would you like to help God? If He gives you a job to do, say YES to Him. Then pray every day for His help to do the job just the way He wants it done.
Ellen White was shown clues about the Number 666. In Lesson 7 and Lesson 22 we talked about the mark of the beast and the number 666. Ellen White in her book Great Controversy on page 579 says that the United States is represented by the lamblike beast with the two horns. She says the United States will make laws to force you to keep Sunday as the day to worship God. The number 666 is the number of a man (Revelation 13: 17). If you add up the letters in the name that is on the crown of the pope, you will find that they add up to 666. These letters are in a number system called Roman Numerals.
Around the world, the papacy will receive homage in worship done on Sunday. This is because the Roman Church changed the worship day to Sunday. They did it a long time ago and many people do not know who changed it. They think it was done by Jesus. Many Sunday keepers are very sincere, honest, kind and loving Christians. God will give them a chance to learn the truth. If they understand and then reject the true Sabbath then they later get the mark of the beast and its number 666. Every one who is honestly seeking the truth will find it. God promises this wisdom in James 1: 5. Ellen White refers to a book which discusses this change of worship day on page 281 and 282. It is by Thomas Morer. His book is called Discourse in Six Dialogues on the Name, Notion, and Observation of the Lord's Day.