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What is the Spirit of Prophecy for?

Why It Was Given

There are some among us who say the Spirit of Prophecy should be used for encouragement, but not for instruction. They say it should not be used in the pulpit. Sequeira declares it should not even be used privately to help and encourage Advent believers.

Here is the correct way to share these invaluable counsels: We should not refer to the Spirit of Prophecy as a basis for proving doctrine to Bible study interests. But, after they come into the faith, we very definitely are to study and share it with one another, on all levels of communication. We should read them together in family gatherings. We are also told that Spirit of Prophecy books should be freely loaned or given to unbelievers, and they should be encouraged to study them.

“In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue.”—4 Testimonies, 147-148.

“The first number of the Testimonies ever published contains a warning against the injudicious use of the light which is thus given to God’s people. I stated that some had taken an unwise course; when they had talked their faith to unbelievers, and the proof had been asked for, they had read from my writings instead of going to the Bible for proof. It was shown me that this course was inconsistent and would prejudice unbelievers against the truth. The Testimonies can have no weight with those who know nothing of their spirit. They should not be referred to in such cases.”—5 Testimonies, 669.

“There are matters in the testimonies that are written, not for the world at large, but for the believing children of God, and it is not appropriate to make instruction, warning, reproof, or counsel of this character public to the world. The world’s Redeemer, the Sent of God, the greatest Teacher the children of men ever knew, presented some matters of instruction, not to the world, but to His disciples alone . . He also had some special light and instruction to impart to His followers which He did not impart to the great congregation, as it would neither be understood nor appreciated by them . . The Lord Jesus thought it necessary to make many things clear to His disciples which He did not open to the multitudes.”—Testimonies to Ministers, 34-35.

“[In his evangelistic meetings to non-Adventists] Elder Haskell enters into no controversy with opponents. He presents the Bible so clearly that it is evident that anyone who differs must do so in opposition to the Word of God.
“Friday evening and Sabbath forenoon he spoke upon the subject of spiritual gifts, dwelling especially upon the Spirit of Prophecy. Those who were present at these discourses say that he treated the subject in a clear, forceful manner.”—Evangelism, 257 (1906).

“In his teaching Elder____showed that the Spirit of Prophecy has an important part to act in the establishment of the truth. When binding off his work, he called for me . . to speak to the people.”—Evangelism, 257 (1906).
The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy should be in every family, and should be read aloud in the family circle . . The Testimonies contain instruction which meets the case of all, both parents and children.”—Sons and Daughters of God, 178.

“Parents, your children are in danger of going contrary to the light given of heaven, and you should both purchase and read the books, for they will be a blessing to you and yours. You should lend Spirit of Prophecy to your neighbors and prevail upon them to buy copies for themselves . . Many are going directly contrary to the light which God has given to His people, because they do not read the books which contain the light and knowledge in cautions, reproofs, and warnings.”—4 Testimonies, 391.

“If you really believe that the voice of God has spoken to you, pointing out your dangers, do you heed the counsels given? Do you keep these testimonies of warning fresh in your minds by reading them often with prayerful hearts? . . You will be held accountable for every one of these appeals and warnings.”—3 Testimonies, 362-363.
Do all you can to have my writings placed in the hands of the people in foreign lands.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 549.

“The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy, and also the Testimonies, should be introduced into every Sabbathkeeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them . . They should be in the library of every family and read again and again. Let them be kept where they can be read by many, and let them be worn out in being read by all the neighbors.”—4 Testimonies, 390.