Slavery, The Civil War & Ellen White | Episode 21| Lineage

Ellen White didn’t just provide instruction to the church and individuals in it, but she also received visions that dealt with real-life issues
and events in contemporary society in her day. She lived during the Civil War,
and received visions on this before and during the war. If we rewind a few years, we see that the Great Awakening
was linked with the abolition movement, and in fact all the early Adventist pioneers were abolitionists. The issue of slavery would come to a head in the Civil War, and God would have His say on this terrible institution. [music] South Carolina would be the first state to secede
on the 20th of December 1860, and 23 days later Ellen White would have her first Civil War vision
in Parkville, Michigan, here in this church. It’s unlikely that she knew that in the three days before her vision
three more states would secede. Either way, it would be three months
before the Civil War started when the Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina
after the Union forces had previously taken it over. The conventional wisdom in the North
was that there would be no civil war, or if there was, it would be extremely short
with a quick victory for the Union. Ellen White correctly predicted that there would be war,
that there would be a long war, and that people in the audience that day
would lose sons in the war. [music] Her second Civil War vision happened here
in the Roosevelt Seventh-day Adventist Church in New York State on August the 3rd 1861. She was standing behind this very pulpit,
though it would have been located on the other side of the church. She saw that slavery was a sin
and that upholding it was in direct contrast to the teachings of Christ. She also saw that God was using the Civil War to punish both sides: the South for practicing slavery, and the North for so long suffering its overreaching and overbearing influence. Perhaps most fascinating of all was her insight into the Battle of Manassas,
sometimes called the Battle of Bull Run. [music] On July the 21st 1861 the Northern troops
approached Manassas for the first time, expecting a swift victory as they were in the ascendancy. At one point in the battle they were pushing ahead when,
as Ellen White describes, an angel descended from heaven to the battlefield
and waved his hand backwards. Instantly there was confusion in the ranks. The Northern forces thought they were in retreat
when it was not so in reality, but a retreat commenced. Lieutenant Colonel W. W. Blackford writing later,
said that the lines of blue that had been so well-defined and unbroken suddenly became like a swarm of bees
running away as fast as they could. [music] Many American Civil War historians recognize
a mysterious element in this battle, though virtually all understandably fail to see
a supernatural element in its Genesis. Today at the battlefield of Manassas
you can see the various plaques that dot the field that recount the sudden retreat of the Northern troops and an unlikely victory that was won that day for the South. [music] Then her angel explained that God
had this nation in His own hand and would not allow victories to be gained faster than He ordained. The North was not to be allowed to win a quick, decisive battle
thus bringing an abrupt end to the war, because it would be punished
for condoning slavery before the war and also for not making abolition
the principal ethical issue in the war. This vision shows how God involves Himself in the affairs of men and does not stand idly by as we sometimes feel. [music] The prophetic gift was given to address
a major social and political issue of the day, showing the relevancy and practical side of it. Today there are some that say as Christians
we shouldn’t get involved in social issues but should just preach the gospel. But whilst preaching the gospel, we should seek to do justly,
love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Some of the issues that have been around for centuries
are still around in our day, and as Christians we should seek to fight injustice
and seek mercy for others. May our religion be practical and meet the needs of society,
demonstrating the love of God wherever we are.

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