Today a vital understanding is important in regards to understanding what a prophet of God and a messenger of God really is. Also we must understand who the “last” one is to be. Let us begin by finding out what a prophet of God is. We begin with the Spirit of Prophecy.
“In the highest sense the prophet was one who spoke by direct inspiration, communicating to the people the messages he had received from God. But the name was given also to those who, though not so directly inspired, were divinely called to instruct the people in the works and ways of God.” (Education, p.46)
Here we see that there was “direct inspiration” prophets and then there was “not so directly inspired” prophets. However we should note that she is describing the title in past notations . It’s important to note that today we are faced with some solid words that show there are no more “prophets” after the Elijah prophet.
“God speaks through his appointed agencies, and let no man, or confederacy of men, insult the Spirit of God by refusing to hear the message of God’s word from the lips of his chosen messengers. By refusing to hear the message of God, men close themselves in a chamber of darkness. They shut their own souls away from vast blessings, and rob Christ of the glory that should come to him, by showing disrespect to his appointed agencies.”(Review and Herald, Sept.5, 1893)
The above clearly says that we are to listen to His chosen messengers, lest we close ourselves “in a chamber of darkness.”
To illuminate further what a prophet is we read in (Amos 3:7) , ” Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.” We see that the Lord does something only after he reveals it to His spokesmen-the prophets. So one of the main aspects of prophets is to foretell what the Lord will do.
For examples of this clear foretelling of upcoming events we can refer a few examples. Malachi predicted “..the Lord , whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple..” Has this happened yet? No, this prophet has declared what the Lord will do (future tense).
Ellen White has declared that the world’s governments will establish a “Sunday law”, has this happened? No yet, but this will come to pass.
Also in (2 Peter 1:20-21) we read, ” Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Again we see that all foretelling and the interpretation of foretelling events of Scripture is left only to the Holy Spirit which God anoints to a “holy” man, a prophet, or in Ellen’s case–a holy woman.
Today, unfortunately, God’s people have seen in their midst a few who have illegally mounted the “prophet” throne and proclaimed themselves as such, directly or indirectly. Either saying so upfront or implying it, or not denying it should their followers make the claim. But this false usurping is thoroughly debased if we will only seriously study the clear, simple, plain word of God through His prophets.
Let us look at solid evidence that only one prophet is to come in the last days. As we’ve mentioned many times before, there is two clear quotes from the word of God that point this out. We shall quote them and after them we shall add what the Elijah prophet himself said about this subject. Let us remember that the Elijah prophet is to “restore all things” and that this spokesman of the Lord, is the last source(restoration) we must refer to because it’s the last word of the Lord.
How many of us would like to arrive in a city and ask the people there for a 20 year old map? Of course we’d want the latest to know where we are going and how to get there. It’s the same with His latest prophet, it’s the Lord’s latest map to the kingdom.
As we search Scripture closely we find the well-known Malachi 4:5, and it reads, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”
Then we have the other unmistakable quote from Spirit of Prophecy.
“Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say: “You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.475)
We notice that they both show ONE person, a male, to come in the spirit and power of Elijah. What is the prophet to do? Obviously from the two quotes we can see that he is to bring a message. And that is to be about the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and how we can survive it. In other words to reveal plainly what this day is to be like and to be prepared. We see he describes this day from his God-given ability to “interpret” Scriptures. But he will not succeed initially . Why? Because the people will say “you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way, let me tell you how to teach your message.”
The people, which can only be God’s remnant people, the Seventh Day Adventist people, will know that this man (Elijah) will have a message to bear. But they will be led to put it down and others will step forward to proclaim another message apart from the God-given one. A Elijah message of reform and reformation will be replaced by a smooth and peace and safety message.
Has this happened? Yes indeed! Brother Victor Houteff has been the ONLY large-scale “interpreter” from our SDA history to have qualified to fit this specific prophecy. Can we name any other in our history known for his interpretations, claiming his work as Elijah, and then rejected? No we cannot.
His interpretations were numerous, his writings uncovered “hidden” treasures of truth, never before in history declared or understood. Even the Jews were stumped on the meanings of some of the prophecies that Victor Houteff soundly uncovered. Yet the great majority of the SDA, at the urging of the leaders, blindly turned away from investigating this Elijah prophet’s writings and symbolic charts.
“Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent you, how often I have longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! ” (Luke 13:34)
Because of this rejection, we now can see why Ellen White prophesied that a “small portion” would be saved in the remnant church. (Testimonies for the Church, Vol.1, p.608-609). The Lord does not change (Mal. 3:6). If he spared only 2 from over the age of 20, out of hundreds of thousands in the Egypt exodus, will He let down His standards now? Will He overlook the fact that we reject a prophet He sent? Search our history, not once did He ever give His people a pass once they soundly rejected His prophets. His judgments followed and they were thorough. That is why we continually plead to all who will listen –read and study the last prophet’s words for they are the Lords!
So it is clear that only one male prophet is to come after Ellen White.
“As never before, we should pray not only that laborers may be sent forth into the great harvest field, but that we may have a clear conception of truth, so that when the messengers of truth shall come, we may accept the message and respect the messenger.” (Test. for the Church, vol. 6, p.420).
Let us now look at the direct words spoken by our last prophet addressing the “last” prophet to come issue. Here are the common excuses used to deny the Elijah prophet.
1) They inject that John the Baptist fulfilled the role of the Elijah to come (Mal. 4:5)
Brother Houteff addresses this — “ Now the question: Is the ancient prophet Elijah himself to re-appear, or is some other, having the same spirit and power, to take his place?
John the Baptist’s statement that he himself was not the Elijah, and Jesus’ statement that John was the Elijah of that day, not of our day, clear three points:
(1) That John was not in any sense of the word fulfilling the mission of the Elijah who is to come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, but that he, the last prophet to the church of his day, simply came in the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare the way for the Lord’s first advent. So it is that the Elijah of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the last prophet to the church of this day, comes in the same spirit and power, to prepare the way for the Lord’s second advent.
(2) That as John was the Elijah of his day, yet not Elijah the Tishbite himself, then the promise of the prophet Elijah is not necessarily to be fulfilled in person by the ancient prophet himself.
(3) That as the Elijah of Christ’s first advent was one person, and also as the Elijah of Mt. Carmel of old was one person, not a multitude of priests, then by parity of reasoning the Elijah of today must also be one person, not a multitude of ministers.
The promise, itself, moreover, is for only one, not for more, and, with but one exception, we know not of any other time when God employed even two prophets (let alone many) at one time, to convey one message to one people. He invariably called one, and that one himself, under the direction of the Spirit, employed others to help him take the message to the people. Thus only were any others ever identified with a called one.
What a blasphemous theft! — should one endeavor to steal away the truth about the prophet’s office, to pass on a lie instead, — to say that Elijah is not an individual but a group of people, in the face of the fact that the types, and the prophecy as well, besides Heaven’s law and order, disallow such a thing. Thus to go contrary to Holy Writ is an outright effort to do away forever with the promised prophet of God, as Pharaoh endeavored to do away with Moses by drowning the male Hebrew children, and likewise as Herod tried to do away with Christ by slaying the little children of his day! What wickedness indeed! Think this through, too, Brethren.(1950 General Conference Special, p. 31-33)
Next he reveals the real purpose of his message.
No one but a hopeless Laodicean, one who forever holds to his day-dreaming that he has need of nothing more, — no more Truth or prophets, — can fail to see that the prophecies pertaining to the day of God are only dark sentences to him, that he is in need of everything instead of nothing, and that the work of the promised Elijah is not the work which the Laodiceans are doing.
The Laodicean message (the Judgment for the Dead) is definitely not Elijah’s message, although many may think it is. That many are blind to this, the Lord points out: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.”
Moreover, we all know that the work of typical Elijah was to do away with the prophets and priests who served Baal instead of God, those who led ancient Israel into the greatest fallacy and folly of the day. Accordingly, the antitypical Elijah’s work, being in the spirit and power of typical Elijah, must therefore be similar to typical Elijah’s work-restoring Truth and righteousness, and bringing judgment upon the false prophets and teachers in the antitypical day which in itself is the separating of the chaff from the wheat — the work of the Judgment for the Living.”(1950 General Conference Special, p.30-31)
2) The next issue we find today (particularly among some DSDA) is that brother Houteff was not the last prophet to come. This is soundly cleared up if we read and believe , in the plain, simple and clear words of VTH.
“Since God is not experimenting, and since He means just what He says, there should be no doubt in your minds that the Scriptures concerning antitypical Elijah (he who is to awaken the church and to warn the Laodiceans of “the great and the dreadful day of the Lord”‘ make sure that he is one person. Of a surety, he is to have faithful helpers, but according to the prophet Nahum he will greatly make use of the printing press and will scatter his message by the postage stamp everywhere, as the leaves of autumn. He will not care what is done with his publications, but will make sure the they find their way into all hands, laps, pockets, yards or waste baskets throughout Laodicea…” (1950 General Conference Special, p.34)
“And since the Enemy cannot get around the Truth, he does all he can to blacken character and to pick flaws in personalities. The prophet’s message nevertheless cannot be judged by the behavior of its professors, for even the Apostles misconducted themselves before the ascension of Christ. The multitude, too, that followed Moses was anything by exemplary; in fact, in many instances they were disgraceful. And the “holy men of God” who wrote the Scriptures were faulty men. Even Moses himself was not faultless. Regardless, though, he was still Moses, and his was the only message and movement for the day.
Likewise, irrespective of considerations of personnel faults, frailties, and failings, Elijah’s message and movement will be the only God-sent ones, the only ones to fear, to love, to stand by, to live or to die for. No, there will be no other shield when heaven opens and the storm breaks in all its dread fury upon the world, to unavoidably pour down its lethal lightning from the skies.
Finally, for what other purpose could any right thinking minds suppose the Lord would send His prophet if not for them to give ear to him, that they might thereby survive the great and dreadful day of the Lord? For what else, indeed, could the Lord have made a record of prophecy and promise of His last-day prophet? Ponder this, Brethren; think it through.”(1950 General Conference Special, p.8-9)
As if the above is not enough to point out that the Elijah prophet is the last “one” to come, we read, “ Since the promised Elijah is to be the last prophet to the church today, as John the Baptist was the last prophet to the church in his day, and since the last work on earth is the Judgment for the Living, the truth stands forth like the light of day that Elijah’s message is the message of the Judgment for the Living, the last, which in the very nature of the gospel is of far more importance and consequence than any other message ever borne to a people.” (1950 General Conference Special, p.23-24)
3) The claim that Ellen White was the “Elijah” to come. This began in 1962, over 70 years after EGW made the statement that a “he” was to come as the anti-typical Elijah. In 1962 the leaders went back and added an asterisk to (Test. to Ministers, p.475) saying they she was really saying that she was talking of herself as the Elijah to come. Brother Houteff knew of this deception, even in 1950 and addressed it.
“The Judgment for the Dead, furthermore, is not the message of “the great and dreadful day.” It does not even touch on the prophecies of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And since the one by whom the message on the Judgment for the Dead was unfolded has already been dead these many years, and since nothing, not to mention “all things,” has as yet been restored, and, too, since that one never claimed to be the Elijah, nor to unfold the prophecies of the Judgment for the Living, no one, therefore, can honestly and innocently say Elijah has already come and gone.
In view of these facts, it would be stupidity of the lowest form, if not blasphemy, for any one to lay such charges to her, or to imagine that her prophetic office fulfilled anything more than a preparatory part of the mission of Elijah.” (1950 General Conference Special, p.39)
In closing my brethren, let us watch and be on guard because the devils know they have but little time. Our prophet has spoken and said –what the Lord will do.
“However, I would remind you, Brethren, that no prophet of God has ever been welcomed by the church. On the contrary, each in his time was rejected, abused, and most of them were martyred by the ones to whom they were sent — the very ones who were supposed to be serving God! Indeed, the Lord Himself paid the same price. For this very reason we must remember that when the last prophet comes he will have the greatest opposition to meet, for Satan well knows that if he loses now, he loses forever.
What makes Elijah’s work especially hard is that Christendom has long been drilled in the idea that no prophet is to come, that there is no necessity for one, that it has enough revealed Truth to carry it inside the Pearly Gates. It is therefore only to be expected that the predicted Elijah will be denounced as a false prophet, perhaps even as the anti-Christ, offshoot, or what not.
Moreover, the old Devil has already put all his forces to work, piping pleasing tunes to lure Truth seekers to climb aboard his golden bandwagon. Its glittering tinsel of truth is already beguiling many with his wares while his captains and generals are to the top of their voices shouting their “Hallelujahs,” “Holy Ghost,” “gift of healing,” “gift of tongues,” “gift of miracles,” and all the rest, although the entire fanfare is devoid even of a spark of life.
Every wind of doctrine will be blowing, false revivals and reformations will be at their peak. Everything that can be done will be done to distort the Truth and thus distract and dishearten believers and draw their attention to something other than the message of Elijah.
Thus will be the Devil’s deal while the day of God is approaching, and while Elijah is making the announcement of it as the scroll unrolls and while the prophecies concerning the day of God are being unsealed. His work and his interpretation of the prophecies for the great day will identify him as the promised Elijah the prophet (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475),
and this will enrage the Devil as never before. Nevertheless, one’s only safety will be in the teaching of Elijah, for there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn. Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition.
Do not henceforth leave in the hands of others your investigation of the subject. After hearing the evidences, you alone in the closet of prayer and with the aid of the Spirit can determine whether the Elijah has come, or whether he is yet to come.”(1950 General Conference Special, p.6-8)