From the beginning of their history, Seventh-day Adventists have claimed that they were the remnant church of Rev. 12:17, because they had a prophet among them; namely, Mrs. E.G. White. They have always insisted that they had the "spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10). When those opposed to their views have contended that we have the "spirit of prophecy" in the writings of the prophets as recorded in the Holy Scriptures, they have denied it, and have, in the most dogmatic fashion, contended that to have the spirit of prophecy there must be a living prophet in the church. But now their prophet is dead. Where is their "spirit of prophecy" now? According to the long-used argument, they now have no spirit of prophecy, and therefore can not be the remnant church of Rev. 12:17. The death of Mrs. White killed their argument.
If they now say that they have the spirit of prophecy in her writings, they admit what they have always denied; namely, that the writings of the prophets contain the spirit of prophecy. If they have the spirit of prophecy in the writings left by their prophet, then we have always had the spirit of prophecy in the writings left by the prophets of the Bible. All who have the Bible, and believe in that, have the spirit of prophecy contained in its writings. Therefore, the claim made by Seventh-day Adventists that they are the only body of Christians who have the spirit of prophecy is proven false by their own admission. Their former theory of the spirit of prophecy would compel them to bring forth immediately another living prophet, or surrender their argument in defense of the "spirit of prophecy" as represented in Mrs. White. This would destroy their whole theory on this subject.
For a period of seventy years they have claimed to be the remnant church of Rev. 12:17, because they had a living prophet in the church. But now their prophet is dead, and they have none any longer, whereby to prolong the "spirit of prophecy." They are now in the same condition as the other churches, and, according to their own argument, can not now be the remnant church. Upon the Scripture, "Where there is no vision, the people perish," their stock argument has been that, in order that the people shall be safe and surely guided, so that they shall not perish, there must be visions, and these the visions of a living prophet. Now the person is dead in whom alone they centered all true or proper visions. And now to them where are the visions without which the people perish?
The author is indebted to Elder A.T. Jones, who was formerly the editor of their church paper, the Review and Herald, for the logical line or argument here presented. He rejected their narrow view on this subject, and was set aside without trial or hearing.
Up to the very last they were constantly appealing to Mrs. White for the settlement of new issues which kept arising among them. To the very close of her life, doctrinal disputes which were dividing the sympathies and allegiance of their leading men were all referred to her. As time goes on, who will now settle the new issues and questions constantly arising in their work? They will have to be settled by their uninspired, erring men, the same as in other churches. Hence they are just as liable to go wrong as are other churches.