Conflict of the Ages

Conflict of the Ages



Acts of the Apostles  Conflict of the Ages


The Acts of the Apostles was one of the last books written by Ellen G. White. It was

Conflict of the Ages Act Apostles iconpublished a few years before her death. It is one of the most illuminating volumes that came from her prolific pen. The average reader will find in it light for Christian witnessing. The message of the book is up to date, and its relevancy is reflected in the effort of the author to show that the twentieth century will witness a bestowal of spiritual power exceeding that of Pentecost. The work of the gospel is not to close with a lesser display of the Holy Spirit’s power than marked its beginning. {AA vi.1}
That the reader might participate in this re-enactment of the glorious scenes of the early church and at the same time be preserved from the subtle counterfeits of the enemy of souls is the prayer and earnest wish of {AA i.2}




The Desire of Ages  Conflict of the Ages

Conflict of the AgesIt is God’s design that this longing of the human heart should lead to the One who
alone is able to satisfy it. The desire is of Him that it may lead to Him, the fullness and fulfillment of that desire. That fullness is found in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Eternal God. “For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fullness dwell;” “for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” And it is also true that “in Him ye are made full” with respect to every desire divinely implanted and normally followed.  Conflict of the Ages

Haggai calls Him “the Desire of all nations,” and we may well call Him “the Desire of all ages,” even as He is “the King of ages.”  Conflict of the Ages

It is the purpose of this book to set forth Jesus Christ as the One in whom every longing may be satisfied. There is many a “life of Christ” written, excellent books, large funds of information, elaborate essays on chronology and contemporaneous history, customs, and events, with much of the teaching and many glimpses of the many-sided life of Jesus of Nazareth. Yet it may be truly said, “the half has never been told.”  Conflict of the Ages

It is not, however, the purpose of this work to set forth a harmony of the Gospels, or even to give in strictly chronological order the important events and wonderful lessons of the life of Christ; its purpose is to present the love of God as revealed in His Son, the divine beauty of the life of Christ, of which all may partake, and not to satisfy the desires of the merely curious nor the questionings of critics. But even as by the attraction of His own goodness of character Jesus drew His disciples unto Himself, and by His personal presence, by His sympathetic touch and feeling in all their infirmities and needs, and by His constant association, transformed their characters from the earthly to the heavenly, from the selfish to the sacrificing, from smallhearted ignorance and prejudice to largehearted knowledge and profound love for souls of all nations and races, even so it is the purpose of this book so to present the blessed Redeemer as to help the reader to come to Him face to face, heart to heart, and find in Him, even as did the disciples of old, Jesus the Mighty One, who saves “to the uttermost,” and transforms to His own divine image all those who come unto God by Him. Yet how impossible it is to reveal His life! It is like attempting to put upon canvas the living rainbow; into characters of black and white the sweetest music.

In the following pages the author, a woman of large and deep and long experience in the things of God, has set forth new beauties from the life of Jesus. She has brought many new gems from the precious casket. She opens before the reader undreamed-of riches from this infinite treasure house. New and glorious light flashes forth from many a familiar passage, the depth of which the reader supposed he had long before fathomed. To state it in brief, Jesus Christ is revealed as the fullness of the Godhead, the infinitely merciful Saviour of sinners, the Sun of Righteousness, the merciful High Priest, the Healer of all human maladies and diseases, the tender, compassionate Friend, the constant, ever-present and helpful Companion, the Prince of the House of David, the Shield of His people, the Prince of Peace, the Coming King, the Everlasting Father, the culmination and fruition of the desires and hopes of all the ages.  Conflict of the Ages

Under the blessing of God this book is given to the world with the prayer that the Lord by His Spirit will make the words of this book words of life to many souls whose longings and desires are yet unsatisfied; that they “may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings,” and finally, throughout a blessed eternity, at His right hand, share in “that fullness of joy,” and “pleasures forevermore,” which will be the ripened fruitage of all those who find in Him the all in all, “the Chiefest among ten thousand,” and “the One altogether lovely.”  Conflict of the Ages

In the hearts of all mankind, of whatever race or station in life, there are inexpressible longings for something they do not now possess. This longing is implanted in the very constitution of man by a merciful God, that man may not be satisfied with his present conditions or attainments, whether bad, or good, or better. God desires that the human shall seek the best, and find it to the eternal blessing of his soul.  Conflict of the Ages

Satan, by wily scheme and craft, has perverted these longings of the human heart. He makes men believe that this desire may be satisfied by pleasure, by wealth, by ease, by fame, by power; but those who have been thus deceived by him (and they number myriads) find all these things pall upon the sense, leaving the soul as barren and unsatisfied as before.








The Great Controversy-1888    Conflict of the Ages

Great Controvercy iconBefore the entrance of sin, Adam enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but since man separated himself from God by transgression, the human race has been cut off from this high privilege. By the plan of redemption, however, a way has been opened whereby the inhabitants of the earth may still have connection with Heaven. God has communicated with men by his Spirit, and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations to his chosen servants. “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21. {GC88 c.2}  Conflict of the Ages

During the first twenty-five hundred years of human history, there was no written revelation. Those who had been taught of God, communicated their knowledge to others, and it was handed down from father to son, through successive generations. The preparation of the written word began in the time of Moses. Inspired revelations were then embodied in an inspired book. This work continued during the long period of sixteen hundred years, from Moses, the historian of creation and the law, to John, the recorder of the most sublime truths of the gospel. {GC88 c.3}  Conflict of the Ages

The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by his Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of his servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed, have themselves embodied the thought in human language. {GC88 c.4}  Conflict of the Ages

The ten commandments were spoken by God himself, and were written by his own hand. They are of divine, and not human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:14. {GC88 c.5}  Conflict of the Ages

Written in different ages, by men who differed widely in rank and occupation, and in mental and spiritual endowments, the books of the Bible present a wide contrast in style, as well as a diversity in the nature of the subjects unfolded. Different forms of expression are employed by different writers; often the same truth is more strikingly presented by one than by another. And as several writers present a subject under varied aspects and relations, there may appear, to the superficial, careless, or prejudiced reader, to be discrepancy or contradiction, where the thoughtful, reverent student, with clearer insight, discerns the underlying harmony. {GC88 d.1}  Conflict of the Ages

As presented through different individuals, the truth is brought out in its varied aspects. One writer is more strongly impressed with one phase of a subject; he grasps those points that harmonize with his experience or with his power of perception and appreciation; another seizes upon a different phase; and each, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, presents what is most forcibly impressed upon his own mind; a different aspect of the truth in each, but a perfect harmony through all. And the truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole, adapted to meet the wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life. {GC88 d.2}

God has been pleased to communicate his truth to the world by human agencies, and he himself, by his Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was intrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, none the less, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language; yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth. {GC88 d.3}  Conflict of the Ages

In his Word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of his will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience. “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, Revised Version. {GC88 d.4}

Yet the fact that God has revealed his will to men through his Word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the Word to his servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the Word. {GC88 d.5}

The Spirit was not given—nor can it ever be bestowed—to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1. And Isaiah declares, “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. {GC88 e.1}

Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit, by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the Word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit, and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord himself has provided. {GC88 e.1}  Conflict of the Ages

In harmony with the Word of God, his Spirit was to continue its work throughout the entire period of the gospel dispensation. During the ages while the Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament were being given, the Holy Spirit did not cease to communicate light to individual minds, apart from the revelations to be embodied in the sacred canon. The Bible itself relates how, through the Holy Spirit, men received warning, reproof, counsel, and instruction, in matters in no way relating to the giving of the Scriptures. And mention is made of prophets in different ages, of whose utterances nothing is recorded. In like manner, after the close of the canon of Scripture, the Holy Spirit was still to continue its work, to enlighten, warn, and comfort the children of God. {GC88 e.1}  Conflict of the Ages

Jesus promised his disciples, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; … and he will show you things to come.” John 14:26; 16:13. Scripture plainly teaches that these promises, so far from being limited to apostolic days, extend to the church of Christ in all ages. The Saviour assures his followers, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. And Paul declares that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit were set in the church “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12, 13. {GC88 e.1}

For the believers at Ephesus the apostle prayed, “That the God of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what … is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19. The ministry of the divine Spirit in enlightening the understanding and opening to the mind the deep things of God’s holy Word, was the blessing which Paul thus besought for the Ephesian church. {GC88 f.1}  Conflict of the Ages

After the wonderful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted the people to repentance and baptism in the name of Christ, for the remission of their sins; and he said, “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38, 39. {GC88 f.1}  Conflict of the Ages

In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of his Spirit.Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel. {GC88 f.1}  Conflict of the Ages

The great controversy between good and evil will increase in intensity to the very close of time. In all ages the wrath of Satan has been manifested against the church of Christ; and God has bestowed his grace and Spirit upon his people to strengthen them to stand against the power of the evil one. When the apostles of Christ were to bear his gospel to the world and to record it for all future ages, they were especially endowed with the enlightenment of the Spirit. But as the church approaches her final deliverance, Satan is to work with greater power. He comes down “having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12. He will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9. For six thousand years that master-mind that once was highest among the angels of God, has been wholly bent to the work of deception and ruin. And all the depths of Satanic skill and subtlety acquired, all the cruelty developed, during these struggles of the ages, will be brought to bear against God’s people in the final conflict. And in this time of peril the followers of Christ are to bear to the world the warning of the Lord’s second advent; and a people are to be prepared to stand before him at his coming, “without spot, and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:14. At this time the special endowment of divine grace and power is not less needful to the church than in apostolic days. {GC88 f.1}  Conflict of the Ages

Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued conflict between good and evil have been opened to the writer of these pages. From time to time I have been permitted to behold the working, in different ages, of the great controversy between Christ, the Prince of life, the author of our salvation, and Satan, the prince of evil, the author of sin, the first transgressor of God’s holy law. Satan’s enmity against Christ has been manifested against his followers. The same hatred of the principles of God’s law, the same policy of deception, by which error is made to appear as truth, by which human laws are substituted for the law of God, and men are led to worship the creature rather than the Creator, may be traced in all the history of the past. Satan’s efforts to misrepresent the character of God, to cause men to cherish a false conception of the Creator, and thus to regard him with fear and hate rather than with love, his endeavors to set aside the divine law, leading the people to think themselves free from its requirements, and his persecution of those who dare to resist his deceptions, have been steadfastly pursued in all ages. They may be traced in the history of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, of martyrs and reformers. {GC88 g.1}
In the great final conflict, Satan will employ the same policy, manifest the same spirit, and work for the same end, as in all preceding ages. That which has been, will be, except that the coming struggle will be marked with a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed. Satan’s deceptions will be more subtle, his assaults more determined. If it were possible, he would lead astray the elect. Mark 13:22, Reevised Version.{GC88 g.1}  Conflict of the Ages

As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of his Word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others what has thus been revealed,—to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially to so present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. In pursuance of this purpose, I have endeavored to select and group together events in the history of the church in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the great testing truths that at different periods have been given to the world, that have excited the wrath of Satan, and the enmity of a world-loving church, and that have been maintained by the witness of those who “loved not their lives unto the death.” {GC88 g.1}

In these records we may see a foreshadowing of the conflict before us. Regarding them in the light of God’s Word, and by the illumination of his Spirit, we may see unveiled the devices of the wicked one, and the dangers which they must shun who would be found “without fault” before the Lord at his coming. {GC88 g.1}

The great events which have marked the progress of reform in past ages, are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged by the Protestant world; they are facts which none can gainsay. This history I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and the brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed into as little space as seemed consistent with a proper understanding of their application. In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but except in a few instances no specific credit has been given, since they are not quoted for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has occasionally been made of their published works. {GC88 h.1}

It is not so much the object of this book to present new truths concerning the struggles of former times, as to bring out facts and principles which have a bearing upon coming events. Yet viewed as a part of the controversy between the forces of light and darkness, all these records of the past are seen to have a new significance; and through them a light is cast upon the future, illumining the pathway of those who, like the reformers of past ages, will be called, even at the peril of all earthly good, to witness “for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” {GC88 h.1}  Conflict of the Ages

To unfold the scenes of the great controversy between truth and error; to reveal the wiles of Satan, and the means by which he may be successfully resisted; to present a satisfactory solution of the great problem of evil, shedding such a light upon the origin and the final disposition of sin as to fully make manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all his dealings with his creatures; and to show the holy, unchanging nature of his law, is the object of this book. That through its influence souls may be delivered from the power of darkness, and become “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” to the praise of Him who loved us, and gave himself for us, is the earnest prayer of the writer. {GC88 h.1}  Conflict of the Ages
E. G. W.  Conflict of the Ages
Healdsburg, Cal.,
May, 1888.









Patriarchs and Prophets  Conflict of the Ages

Patriarchs and ProphetsThis volume treats upon the themes of Bible history, themes not in themselves new, yet here so presented as to give them a new significance, revealing springs of action, showing the important bearing of certain movements, and bringing into stronger light some features that are but briefly mentioned in the Bible. Thus the scenes have a vividness and importance that tend to make new and lasting impressions. Such a light is shed upon the Scripture record as to reveal more fully the character and purposes of God;  to make manifest the wiles of Satan and the means by which his power will be finally overthrown; to bring to view the weakness of the human heart, and show how the grace of God has enabled men to conquer in the battle with evil. All this is in harmony with what God has shown to be His purpose in unfolding to men the truths of His word. The agency by which these revelations have been given is seen—when tested by the Scriptures—to be one of the methods God still employs to impart instruction to the children of men. {PP 19.1}

While it is not now as it was in the beginning, when man in his holiness and innocence had personal instruction from his Maker, still man is not left without a divine teacher which God has provided in His representative, the Holy Spirit. So we hear the apostle Paul declaring that a certain divine “illumination” is the privilege of the followers of Christ; and that they are “enlightened” by being made “partakers of the Holy Ghost.” Hebrews 10:32;6:4. John also says, “Ye have an unction from the Holy One.” 1 John 2:20. And Christ promised the disciples, as He was about to leave them, that He would send them the Holy Spirit as a comforter and guide to lead them into all truth. John 14:16, 26. {PP 19.2}  Conflict of the Ages
To show how this promise was to be fulfilled to the church, the apostle Paul, in two of his epistles, presents formal declaration that certain gifts of the Spirit have been placed in the Church for its edification and instruction to the end of time. 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:8-13; Matthew 28:20 Nor is this all: a number of clear and explicit prophecies declare that in the last days there will be a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and that the church at the time of Christ’s appearing will have had, during its closing experience, “the testimony of Jesus,” which is the spirit of prophecy. Acts 2:17-20, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Revelation 12:17; Revelation 19:10. In these facts we see an evidence of God’s care and love for His people; for the presence of the Holy Spirit as a comforter, teacher, and guide, not only in its ordinary, but in its extraordinary, methods of operation, certainly is needed by the church as it enters the perils of the last days, more than in any other part of its experience. {PP 20.1}
The Scriptures point out various channels through which the Holy Spirit would operate on the hearts and minds of men to enlighten their understanding and guide their steps. Among these were visions and dreams. In this way God would still communicate with the children of men. Here is His promise on this point: “Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6. By this means supernatural knowledge was communicated to Balaam. Thus He says: “Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: he hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the vision of the almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open.” Numbers 24:15, 16. {PP 20.2}  Conflict of the Ages
It thus becomes a matter of great interest to investigate the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the extent to which the Lord designed that the Spirit should manifest itself in the church during the period of human probation. {PP 20.3}
After the plan of salvation had been devised, God, as we have seen, could still, through the ministry of His Son and the holy angels, communicate with men across the gulf which sin had made. Sometimes He spoke face to face with them, as in the case of Moses, but more frequently by dreams and visions. Instances of such communication are everywhere prominent upon the sacred record, covering all dispensations. Enoch the seventh from Adam looked forward in the spirit of prophecy to the second advent of Christ in power and glory, and exclaimed,Conflict of the Ages
“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints.” Jude 14. “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21. If the operation of the spirit of prophecy has at times seemed almost to disappear, as the spirituality of the people waned, it has nevertheless marked all the great crises in the experience of the church, and the epochs which witnessed the change from one dispensation to another. When the era marked by the incarnation of Christ was reached, the father of John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied. Luke 1:67. To Simeon it was revealed that he should not see death till he had seen the Lord; and when the parents of Jesus brought Him into the temple that He might be dedicated, Simeon came by the Spirit into the temple, took Him into his arms, and blessed Him while he prophesied concerning Him. And Anna, a prophetess, coming in the same instant, spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Luke 2:26, 36. {PP 21.1}  Conflict of the Ages
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit which was to attend the preaching of the gospel by the followers of Christ was announced by the prophet in these words: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” Joel 2:28-31. {PP 21.2}  Conflict of the Ages
Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, quoted this prophecy in explanation of the wonderful scene which then occurred. Cloven tongues like as of fire sat upon each of the disciples; they were filled with the holy spirit, and spake with other tongues. And when the mockers charged that they were filled with new wine, Peter answered, “These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Then he quotes the prophecy substantially as found in Joel (quoted above), only he puts the words “in the last days,” in the place of “Afterward,” making it read, “and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit,” etc. {PP 22.1}  Conflict of the Ages
It is evident that it was that part of the prophecy only which relates to the outpouring of the Spirit, that began to be fulfilled on that day; for there were no old men there dreaming dreams, nor young men and maidens seeing visions and prophesying; and no wonders of blood and fire and pillars of smoke then appeared; and the sun was not darkened and the moon was not turned to blood at that time; and yet what was there witnessed was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. It is equally evident that this part of the prophecy concerning the outpouring of the Spirit was not exhausted in that one manifestation; for the prophecy covers all days from that time on to the coming of the great day of the Lord. {PP 22.2}  Conflict of the Ages
But the Day of Pentecost was in fulfillment of other prophecies besides that of Joel. It fulfilled the words of Christ Himself as well. In His last discourse to His disciples before His crucifixion, He said to them: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, … Even the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16, 17. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things.” Verse 26. “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” Chapter 16:13. And after Christ had risen from the dead, He said to the disciples, “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”Luke 24:49. {PP 22.3}  Conflict of the Ages
On the Day of Pentecost the disciples were thus endued with power from on high. But this promise of Christ’s was not, any more than the prophecy of Joel, confined to that occasion. For He gave them the same promise in another form by assuring them that He would be with them always, even to the end of the world. Matthew 28:20. Mark tells us in what sense and what manner the Lord was to be with them. He says, “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Mark 16:20. And Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, testified concerning the perpetuity of this operation of the Spirit which they had witnessed. When the convicted Jews said unto the apostles, “What shall we do?” Peter answered, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”Acts 2:37-39. This certainly provides for the operation of the Holy Spirit in the church, even in its special manifestations, to all coming time, as long as mercy shall invite men to accept the pardoning love of Christ. {PP 23.1}  Conflict of the Ages
Twenty-eight years later in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul set before that church a formal argument on the question. He says (1 Corinthians 12:1), “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant”—so important did he deem it that this subject should be understood in the Christian church. After stating that though the Spirit is one it has diversities of operation, and explaining what those diversities are, he introduces the figure of the human body, with its various members, to show how the church is constituted with its different offices and gifts. And as the body has its various members, each having its particular office to fill, and all working together in unity of purpose to constitute one harmonious whole, so the Spirit was to operate through various channels in the church to constitute a perfect religious body. Paul then continues in these words: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” {PP 23.2}  Conflict of the Ages
The declaration that God hath set some in the church, etc., implies something more than that the way was left open for the gifts to appear if circumstances should chance to favor. It rather signifies that they were to be permanent parts of the true spiritual constitution of the church, and that if these were not in active operation the church would be in the condition of a human body, some of whose members had, through accident or disease, become crippled and helpless. Having once been set in the church, there these gifts must remain until they are formally removed. But there is no record that they ever have been removed. {PP 24.1}
Five years later the same apostle writes to the Ephesians relative to the same gifts, plainly stating their object, and thus showing indirectly that they must continue till that object is accomplished. He says (Ephesians 4:8, 11-13): “Wherefore He saith, when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men…. And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” {PP 24.2}  Conflict of the Ages
The church did not reach the state of unity here contemplated, in the apostolic age; and very soon after that age, the gloom of the great spiritual apostasy began to overshadow the church; and certainly during the state of declension, this fullness of Christ, and unity of faith, was not reached. Nor will it be reached till the last message of mercy shall have gathered out of every kindred and people, every class of society, and every organization of error, a people complete in all gospel reforms, waiting for the coming of the Son of man. And truly, if ever in her experience the church would need the benefit of every agency ordained for her comfort and guidance, encouragement and protection, it would be amid the perils of the last days, when the powers of evil, well-nigh perfected by experience and training for their nefarious work, would, by their masterpieces of imposture, deceive if it were possible even the elect. Very appropriately, therefore, come in the special prophecies of the outpouring of the Spirit for the benefit of the church in the last days. {PP 24.3}  Conflict of the Ages
It is, however, usually taught, in the current literature of the Christian world, that the gifts of the Spirit were only for the apostolic age; that they were given simply for the planting of the gospel; and that the gospel being once established, the gifts were no longer needed, and consequently were suffered soon to disappear from the church.  Conflict of the Ages
But the apostle Paul warned the Christians of his day that the “mystery of iniquity” was already at work, and that after his departure, grievous wolves would enter in among them, not sparing the flock, and that also of their own selves men would arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:29, 30.  Conflict of the Ages
It cannot therefore be that the gifts, placed in the church to guard against these very evils, were ready, when that time came, to pass away as having accomplished their object; for their presence and help would be needed under these conditions more than when the apostles themselves were on the stage of action. {PP 25.1}  Conflict of the Ages
We find another statement in Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, which shows that the popular conception of the temporary continuance of the gifts cannot be correct. It is his contrast between the present, imperfect state, and the glorious, immortal condition to which the Christian will finally arrive. 1 Corinthians 13. He says (Verses 9, 10).  Conflict of the Ages
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” He further illustrates this present state by comparing it to the period of childhood with its weakness and immaturity of thought and action; and the perfect state, to the condition of manhood with its clearer vision, maturity, and strength. And he classes the gifts among those things which are needed in this present, imperfect condition, but which we shall have no occasion for when the perfect state is come. “Now,” he says (Verse 12), “we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” Then he states what graces are adapted to the eternal state, and will there exist, namely, faith, hope, and charity, or love, “these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” {PP 25.2}  Conflict of the Ages
This explains the language of Verse 8: “Charity never faileth;” that is, charity, the heavenly grace of love, will endure forever; it is the crowning glory of man’s future, immortal condition; but “whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;” that is, the time will come when prophecies will be no longer needed, and the gift of prophecy, as one of the helps in the church, will no longer be exercised; “whether there be tongues, they shall cease;” that is, the gift of tongues will no longer be of service; “whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away;” that is, knowledge, not in the abstract, but as one of the special gifts of the Spirit, will be rendered unnecessary by the perfect knowledge with which we shall be endowed in the eternal world. {PP 26.1}  Conflict of the Ages
Now, if we take the position that the gifts ceased with the apostolic age, because no longer needed, we commit ourselves to the position that the apostolic age was the weak and childish age of the church, when everything was seen through a glass, darkly; but the age that followed, when grievous wolves were to enter in, not sparing the flock, and men were to arise, even in the church, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them, was an age of perfect light and knowledge, in which the imperfect and childish and darkened knowledge of apostolic times had passed away! For, be it remembered, the gifts cease only when a perfect state is reached, and because that state is reached, which renders them no longer necessary. But no one, on sober thought, can for a moment seek to maintain the position that the apostolic age was inferior in spiritual elevation to any age which has succeeded it. And if the gifts were needed then, they certainly are needed now. {PP 26.2}  Conflict of the Ages
Among the agencies which the apostle in his letters to both the Corinthians and Ephesians enumerates as “gifts” set in the church, we find “pastors,” “teachers,” “helps,” and “governments;” and all these are acknowledged, on every hand, as still continuing in the church. Why not, then, the others also, including faith, healing, prophecy, etc.? Who is competent to draw the line, and say what gifts have been “set out” of the church, when all were, in the beginning, equally “set” therein? {PP 27.1}  Conflict of the Ages
Revelation 12:17 has been referred to as a prophecy that the gifts would be restored in the last days. An examination of its testimony will confirm this view. The text speaks of the remnant of the woman’s seed. The woman being a symbol of the church, her seed would be the individual members composing the church at any one time; and the “remnant” of her seed would be the last generation of Christians, or those living on the earth at the second coming of Christ. The text further declares that these “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ;” and the “testimony of Jesus” is explained in chapter 19:10 to be “the spirit of prophecy,” which must be understood as that which among the gifts is called “the gift of prophecy.” 1 Corinthians 12:9, 10. {PP 27.2}  Conflict of the Ages
The setting of the gifts in the church does not imply that every individual was to have them in exercise. On this point the apostle (1 Corinthians 12:29) says, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?” etc. the implied answer is no; not all are; but the gifts are divided among the members as it pleases God. 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11. Yet these gifts are said to be “set in the church,” and if a gift is bestowed upon even one member of the church, it may be said that that gift is “in the church,” or that the church “has” it. So the last generation was to have, and it is believed does now have, the testimony of Jesus, or the gift of prophecy. {PP 27.3}  Conflict of the Ages
Another portion of Scripture evidently written with reference to the last days, brings the same fact plainly to view. 1 Thessalonians 5. The apostle opens the chapter with these words: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” In Verse 4 he adds, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Then he gives them sundry admonitions in view of that event, among which are these (verses 19-21): “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” And in verse 23 he prays that these very ones who were thus to have to do with “prophesyings” may be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord. {PP 28.1}  Conflict of the Ages
On the strength of these considerations are we not justified in believing that the gift of prophecy will be manifested in the church in the last days, and that through it much light will be imparted, and much timely instruction given? {PP 28.2}  Conflict of the Ages
All things are to be treated according to the apostle’s rule: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good;” and to be tested by the Saviour’s standard: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Appealing to this standard in behalf of what claims to be a manifestation of the gift of prophecy, we commend this volume to the consideration of those who believe that the Bible is the word of God, and that the church is the body of which Christ is head. {PP 28.3}  Conflict of the Ages
U. Smith.  Conflict of the Ages







Prophets and Kings  Conflict of the Ages

Prophets and KingsThe Story of Prophets and Kings is the second in a series of five outstanding volumes spanning sacred history. It was, however, the last book of the series to be written, and the last of many rich works to come from the gifted pen of Ellen G. White. Through her seventy years of speaking and writing in America and abroad, Mrs. White ever kept before the public the larger significance of the events of history, revealing that in the affairs of men are to be detected the unseen influences of righteousness and evil—the hand of God and the work of the great adversary. {PK 9.1}  Conflict of the Ages

The author with deep insight in providential workings draws the curtain aside and reveals a philosophy of history by which the events of the past take on eternal significance. She expressed this philosophy in this way: {PK 9.2}   Conflict of the Ages

“The strength of nations and of individuals is not found in the opportunities and facilities that appear to make them invincible; It is not found in their boasted greatness. That which alone can make them great or strong is the power and purpose of God. They themselves by their attitude toward His purpose, decide their own destiny. {PK 9.3}  Conflict of the Ages
“Human histories relate man’s achievements, his victories in battle, his success in climbing to worldly greatness. God’s history describes man as heaven views him.” {PK 9.4}  Conflict of the Ages
This volume, Prophets and Kings, opens with the account of Solomon’s glorious reign over Israel, a united kingdom, with the temple of Jehovah—the center of true worship. Here are traced the vicissitudes of a favored and chosen people, torn between allegiance to God and serving the gods of the nations about them. And here are seen vividly, through a crucial period of this world’s history, the dramatic evidences of the raging conflict between Christ and Satan for the hearts and allegiance of men. {PK 9.5}  Conflict of the Ages
The book abounds in fascinating character studies—the wise Solomon, whose wisdom did not keep him from transgression; Jeroboam, the self-serving man of policy, and the evil results which followed his reign; The mighty and fearless Elijah; Elisha, the prophet of peace and healing; Ahaz, the fearful and wicked; Hezekiah, the loyal and good-hearted; Daniel, the beloved of God; Jeremiah, the prophet of sorrow; Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, prophets of the restoration. Beyond them all rises in glory the coming King, the Lamb of God, the only-begotten Son, in whom the typical sacrifices find fulfillment. {PK 9.6}Conflict of the Ages
Patriarchs and Prophets, the first book of the series, spans world history from creation to the close of David’s reign; The Desire of Ages, the third book, treats of the life and ministry of Christ; this volume, Prophets and Kings fits between these two. The Acts of the Apostles, The fourth, portrays the history of the early Christian church, and The Great Controversy, the last in the series, traces the conflict story to our day and then on in a prophetic vein to the earth made new. {PK 10.1} Conflict of the Ages
The Story of Prophets and Kings, having enjoyed a circulation which has demanded many printings since its first appearance, is now presented to the public in attractive form with type reset, but with no change of text or pagination. This new edition is embellished with attractive illustrations, many of them original paintings designed especially for this work. {PK 10.2}
That this volume with its rich lessons of faith in God and His Son, the Saviour of the world, and the stories of His providence in the lives of great men and women of Old Testament times may deepen the religious experience and enlighten the minds of all who read its pages is the sincere wish of the Publishers and {PK 10.3} Conflict of the Ages
The Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Publications.  Conflict of the Ages