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How the Spirit of Prophecy Met a Crisis:
Memories and Notes of the "Living Temple" Controversy
by W. A. Spicer


Special Guidance in Time of Need

The story of the Advent Movement affords many an example of divine guidance in times when more than human counsel was needed. In the ancient days the Lord led and guided His people of the Exodus movement. In order to speak the special counsels to them, He placed the gift of the Spirit of prophecy in their midst: 

"And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved." Hosea 12:13.

Just so He has guided in the Advent Movement. According to the Scripture, a world movement was to spread through all the nations in the last days, preaching the message:

 "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Rev. 14:7.

The people of the movement were to keep the commandments of God.(verse 12.) In other chapters this commandment keeping people were described as having also "the testimony of Jesus," which is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev. 12:17; 19:10)

The prophecy of Daniel had described the opening judgment scene in the heavenly sanctuary, and fixed the hour—in the year 1844, at the end of the long period of 2300 prophetic days. Surely angels were watching for that hour so long foretold. When it came the Advent people, keeping the commandments of God, appeared in view. And the watching angel cried, "Here are they!" The people of the prophecy, the remnant church, had come at last, at the appointed hour. And in those days of 1844 the Lord was preparing the human agent through whom He was to speak by the Spirit of prophecy in the guidance and preservation of the Advent Movement.

Many a time, when the way was hard to discern, that gift of the Spirit of prophecy pointed the way. It was so from earliest years, when the agent chosen— 


Mrs. E. G. White—was but a young woman. Not from maturity of human wisdom and experience did the helpful guidance come, but from the counsels of the divine Spirit. Speaking of the early years, in the youth of the human agent, one of the pioneers wrote of the messages of this gift in times of perplexity: 

"They reveal the devices of Satan. They warn us against his snares. They have nipped in the bud scheme after scheme of fanaticism which the enemy has tried to foist into our midst. They have exposed hidden iniquity, brought to light concealed wrongs, and laid bare the evil motives of the false-hearted. They have warded off dangers from the cause of truth upon every hand." —U. Smith in Review and Herald , June 12, 1866.

As much guidance came in the youthful days of the agent of this gift, so the same sure touch, the same unwavering certainty in counsel attended the gift to the last years, when it might have been thought old age would weaken the service. As a matter of fact, it was in fair old age that we saw this gift doing some of the strongest and most effective work in meeting subtle and intricate situations that threatened peril to the cause.

At the turn of this twentieth century the Advent movement was passing into some years of special difficulty. It seemed as though error, in the most unexpected way, was threatening to come in like a flood. Just there we saw the Spirit of prophecy working, instant on the right hand and on the left, with special power to meet special needs. The promise was surely fulfilled for us: 

"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Isa. 59:19.

Down to the present there has been no time of greater crises in our work than the time of the pantheism crisis at the turn of the century. For the sake of those who were not observers of those things, it seems as though some of the record should be set down as a memorial to the Lord's guidance.

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