Written by Gerhard Pfandl
What is Ellen White’s authority in the church? Scripture and her own writings provide an answer.
The Bible makes it clear that the true source and seat of authority is in God. (Ps 83:18). As Creator and Lord of all nature and history, God has the right to exercise authority over mankind (Isa 45:22, 23). In Old Testament times God delegated his authority to certain people called prophets (1 Sam 3:20; 9:9) with whom he communicated through visions and dreams (Num 12:6). They were God’s spokespersons to the people (Ezek 24:21), just as Aaron was the spokesperson for Moses (Ex 4:16). In the New Testament, Jesus delegated his authority to his disciples and the New Testament prophets. Paul, therefore, could say in 1 Thess 2:13 “you received the Word of God which you heard from us . . . not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, as the Word of God.” The prophetic word has authority because God gives it his authority. Moses knew that he was authorized to speak on God’s behalf, Isaiah knew it, Paul and Peter knew it (2 Cor 10:8), and the people of God accepted them as his messengers.