B.A. Biblical Languages, M.Div.
May 8, 2013

Presuppositions are ideas that a person already believes and are taken for granted before they actually make a statement of something they say or believe or before they begin the study of any subject.  

See this link for a detailed description of this branch of linguistics known as "pragmatics":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presupposition 

These can influence what it is that a persona tells others the Bible teaches or even what they say they believe about anything. They are the beliefs that they have that lay underneath what they are teaching others.  A person may not even be aware what their presuppositions actually are until someone questions why they believe what they believe and points out these pre-supposed beliefs to them.  It is important to do our best, as far as humanly possible, to discovery and know what these presuppositions are, and to be certain that they are just as true, as the doctrines we are teaching to others.

As a Seventh-day Adventist ordained minister of the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ I am called to be faithful in upholding the truth as it is in Jesus.  The Holy Word is the word of truth.  John 17:17 says "Sanctify them through Thy truth.  Thy word is truth."  

All of the Holy Scripture is inspired by God and the holy men of God, prophets and apostles, both spake and wrote as their minds were moved upon by the Holy Spirit.  

GWN - 2 Peter 1:19-21


19 So we regard the words of the prophets as confirmed beyond all doubt. You're doing well by paying attention to their words. Continue to pay attention as you would to a light that shines in a dark place as you wait for day to come and the morning star to rise in your hearts. 20 First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. 21 No prophecy ever originated from humans. Instead, it was given by the Holy Spirit as humans spoke under God's direction.

Therefore, what the Spirit of God tells us to do, what He leads us into, should not ever be in conflict with what find written in the Bible.  We are told to TEST the "spirits" whether they be of God or not.  1 John 4:1-2.  What the "Spirit" tell us does not override or supersede what is written in the Word of God for the Holy Spirit was the one Who inspired the written Word of God.  The Bible is the supreme detector of error and the great standard of all doctrine, faith, and practice, and the basis of all reform.

Therefore, I honestly believe;

1.       That the Bible is the Word of God and is its own interpreter. While we may have a role to play in the interpretation of the Bible, the plain statements of the Bible are still supreme above what we think whether we agree with them or not, whether we believe them or not.

2.    That ALL Scripture is given and inspired by God and is profitable for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." This is so the man of God may be "perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works," II Timothy 3:16, 17. 

3.    That to the Bible everything must be brought and tested. The Bible is the rule for all faith and practice, and is to decide all controversies. 

4.    That modern prophets do not have authority over the cannon of the Bible, nor is the Bible to be tested by the modern prophet. The Holy Bible is not subjected to the will and whim of so called prophets.  They may claim to be "a prophet" of God but the ultimate test is how they relate to the Bible and all the prophets that have come before them, those that have met the test of Scripture already.  The Apostle Paul wrote;


​1 Corinthians 14:29-37 

29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 ¶ For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  37 ¶ If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.


Paul makes it clear that anyone who even thinks he is "a prophet" or "spiritual" must place themselves in subjection to all that Paul wrote as being written under the inspiration of God and as being the "commands of God."  If they do not do so, then we must reject them as being false prophets.  They are not genuine prophets of God. Not everyone who says they are a prophet is automatically assumed to be of God for there are "many false prophets that have gone out into the world."

NLT 2 Peter 2:1-4   1 But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed. 4 ¶ For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment.

GWN 2 Peter 2:1-4   1 False prophets were among God's people in the past, as false teachers will be among you. They will secretly bring in their own destructive teachings. They will deny the Lord, who has bought them, and they will bring themselves swift destruction. 2 Many people will follow them in their sexual freedom and will cause others to dishonor the way of truth. 3 In their greed they will use good-sounding arguments to exploit you. The verdict against them from long ago is still in force, and their destruction is not asleep. 4 ¶ God didn't spare angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, where he has secured them with chains of darkness and is holding them for judgment.

GWN 1 John 4:1  Dear friends, don't believe all people who say that they have the Spirit. Instead, test them. See whether the spirit they have is from God, because there are many false prophets in the world.

KJV 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

NET 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

​True Prophets, those with the genuine gift of prophecy, will always submit what the say and teach to the authority of the written Word of God as being the superior test of whether the "spirit" they are operating under is truly the Holy Spirit of God or that of another spirit. 

If however, they pass the Biblical tests of a true prophet, "to the law and testimony, if they speak not according to this word there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20), then their authority is validated as being from God and it should be received as God's voice speaking to us through His humble servant.  

Such was the case with John the Baptist, who was truly born of the Spirit of the Living God, filled with the Holy Spirit from his mothers womb (Luke 1:13-17) and sent to God's people.  He had to be tested by the word of God, he was subject to the word of God.  When asked "Who are you?" he did not boast that he was indeed the greatest prophet that ever was born among women (as Jesus would later say of him-Luke 7:28).  He did not proclaim "I am a prophet of God!"  He was humble and did not praise himself.  He always pointed to One Greater than himself . . . "Behold the Lamb of God!" (John 1:28). "He must increase and I must decrease." John 3:30, 26-36).  His total aim in his prophetic ministry was to point people to Jesus Christ the Lamb of God and LORD of all.

A false prophet will always exalt themselves and their teachings as being superior to all others, and though they would not dare to say it, they really believe their "interpretation" of the word of God is above everyone else's. They view themselves as the only ones to have it right, the only ones who really have the truth while they view everyone else as being lost and wrong.


5.    Ellen G. White (1827 - 1915) and her writings have for over 169 years been tested by multitudes of people since her first vision in December of 1844, by the supreme standard of righteousness~the Holy Bible, and has been proven to have had the valid Biblical Gift of Prophecy.  Her writings and ministry continue to be tested and validated today in 2013.  It has has yet to be shown where her writings and teachings are in error with the Holy Word of God.  

Seventh-day Adventists do NOT hold her writings to be above the Bible, rather they are all held in subjection to the Holy Bible as being superior. Her writings ARE NOT some kind "holy writings," like the Koran or the Book of Mormon.  They are not infallible and are not exalted about the Bible.  See the webpage dealing with the life and ministry of Ellen G. White.  Also my section on EGW Prophet to the Remnant Church of Bible Prophecy, where we will deal with EGW's prophetic ministry.

http://www.whiteestate.org/


While EGW is subject to the authority of the Bible, and her writings are secondary to only that of the Bible, they are not just the "opinion of men."  They were inspired with the same Holy Spirit that has inspired ALL genuine prophets that have ever come before her.  Her writings are to follow the same rules of interpretation as are used for ascertaining the correct understanding of the Bible (see William Miller's Rules of Interpretation). The Gift of Prophecy is one of the Spiritual Gifts promised to the Church until the coming of Christ. See 1 Corinthians 12 through 14.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9   4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Luke 7:24-28   24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.


The writings of EGW are an "authoritative source of truth" (as Jesus had said of the words and ministry of John the Baptist), but they not as a substitute in place of the Holy Bible, but always to be held in subjection to the supreme authority of the infallible word of God.  If one is proven to be a genuine prophet and they function just as the prophets in the Bible, then why wouldn't their revelations, testimonies, and writings be anything else but the truth?  John the Baptist was the greatest prophet born among women, Jesus said so, yet he never wrote a word of the Bible!  The same was true of Jesus the Prophet! What authority did this living prophet have in relationship to the Bible?

Matthew 21:23-27 23   23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?  26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. 27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. 

The authority of non-Bible-writing prophets is just as valid as if they has written some book of the Bible, Jesus said so. Yet their prophetic testimony is NOT above the Bible or a substitute for the Bible, but is validated BY the Bible.  John the Baptists and Jesus both had Prophetic Authority and were truly an "authoritative source of truth!" Who would deny this?  If God has sent His people a modern prophet, then it would be a serious matter to reject the prophet, just as it was for the people to reject the prophet God sent in the days of John the Baptist.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-21  17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 

The writings of EGW are not just "inspiring" but are truly inspired by God.  They are not just like every other common author who has been inspired to write upon the great spiritual themes of the Bible, but they were truly written "under the inspiration of God" as the Spirit of God moved upon her mind and impressed her as to the messages she was to give to God's people living in the end of time.  The same manner of inspiration that was experienced with the Biblical prophets is the same as is experienced by all genuine prophets of God, including all modern prophets.  There are no degrees of inspiration or revelation.  You are either inspired of God or you are not IF you are a true prophet of God and being moved "by the Spirit of God" to speak or write. For EGW's own testimony of how Inspiration and Revelation operate see the author's introduction to The Great Controversy.

True Bible Prophets are guided by the Spirit of God as to what they are to write, God does NOT dictate what they write.  They are not like a pen in God's hand, with no human involvement in the communication of the message, rather they are "God's pen-men" to whom God gives a message, and then He guides them as they put the message from God in human language.  It is not dictation, but inspiration of thoughts expressed in human language.  A combination of the Divine and human with God leading the way.
Presuppositions