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B/W Photodude

Reading the Testimonies

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B/W Photodude

I wrote somewhere here at Adventistan that my reading this year includes the entire 9 volumes of the Testimonies this year. But to know if I was on schedule, I created a table to know if I was lagging or even getting ahead. (Getting ahead is OK!) So, here is the  schedule table I created. However, we are at February 24 and no need to wait until next year to start your reading of them. So, I made another table with which you can start at anytime you wish.

 

Testimonies Reading Plan

Vol. Pages Days Day of Year* Date to Begin
I
712
54
1
1/1
2
711
54
54
2/24
3
575
44
108
4/18
4
667
50
152
6/1
5
754
57
202
7/21
6
482
37
259
9/16
7
298
22
296
10/23
8
335
25
319
11/15
9
288
22
344
12/10
End
--
--
365
12/31
Approximately 4800 pages total for nine volumes.
Read 13 pages a day
* This is a year count of the days 1-365
Today's Day of the Year

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B/W Photodude

This table has the day of year and date to begin each volume deleted, but you will have to fill them in relative to your start date:

 

Testimonies Reading Plan

Vol. Pages Days Day of Your Year* Date to Begin
I
712
54
1
 
2
711
54
 
 
3
575
44
 
 
4
667
50
 
 
5
754
57
 
 
6
482
37
 
 
7
298
22
 
 
8
335
25
 
 
9
288
22
 
 
End
--
--
365
 
Approximately 4800 pages total for nine volumes.
Read 13 pages a day
* This is a year count of the days 1-365
Today's Day of the Year

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JoeMo

I am currently on my 4th or 5th time reading through the entire Bible.  It is a challenge for me to "thoughtfully" read the Bible (rather than skim it like a novel) in a year!  If you can read the Testimonies in a year, more power to you! It seems like an ambitious challenge.

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B/W Photodude

I am going thru my bible for about the 4th or 5th time in the last five years. I like to have a goal for each time going thru it as to what I am trying to see. This time I have the Academy Enterprises study Bible with Ellen Whites quotes. So, I am also reading all of the accompanying quotes. My Bible I usually read is heavily underlined and I am also matching this new Bible to my "regular" Bible as far as the underlining. 

In 2016, I also did the Conflict series. One chapter a day will get you thru by November. I finished in February! 

So, I do a lot of reading. I frequently go to a fast food restaurant in my town. There are other people in my town who also come in and have Bible study. The manager told me I was very welcome to come in and study. He feels that all the people studying creates a nice atmosphere for their restaurant! One person there is a retired teacher of computers, math, and religion. I gave a copy of Christ Object Lessons to him and he was even using it to teach his Sunday school class, which is also the same church my mother "graduated" from cradle roll in 1927! How small does this world get sometimes. However, he says I have my doctrines and he has his. 

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The Wanderer
35 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

The manager told me I was very welcome to come in and study. He feels that all the people studying creates a nice atmosphere for their restaurant! One person there is a retired teacher of computers, math, and religion. I gave a copy of Christ Object Lessons to him and he was even using it to teach his Sunday school class, which is also the same church my mother "graduated" from cradle roll in 1927! How small does this world get sometimes. However, he says I have my doctrines and he has his. 

PTL!!

see.jpg

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B/W Photodude

One of my favorite Bible websites is Blue Letter Bible.

https://www.blueletterbible.org

They have a number of study plans for your Bible:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/study.cfm

My current study is one where when you are done, you have read the Old Testament once and the New testament twice. And they are merged together so you are not always reading through genealogies or temple service stuff, as important as it may be.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/assets/pdf/dbrp/1Yr_LifeJournalPlan.pdf

My last study was a chronological plan which gtried to present the Bible in chronological order. (No need to buy one of those chronological Bibles!)

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B/W Photodude

Gems from the Testimonies:

Full and entire consecration to God is required of us. While the Redeemer of sinful mortals was laboring and suffering for us, He denied Himself, and His whole life was one continued scene of toil and privation. Had He chosen to do so, He could have passed His days on earth in ease and plenty, and appropriated to Himself all the pleasures and enjoyments of this life. But He did not; He considered not His own convenience. He lived not to gratify Himself, but to do good and to save others from suffering, to help those who most needed help. He endured to the end. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and He hath borne the iniquity of us all. The bitter cup was apportioned to us to drink. Our sins mingled it. But our dear Saviour took the cup from our lips and drank it Himself, and in its stead He presents to us a cup of mercy, blessing, and salvation. Oh, what an immense sacrifice was this for the fallen race! What love, what wondrous and matchless love! After all this manifestation of suffering to show His love, shall we shrink from the small trials we have to bear? 2T73

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thx4mercy
On 2/24/2019 at 1:14 PM, B/W Photodude said:

I like to have a goal for each time going thru it as to what I am trying to see.

I have thought of this kind of thing before.  Give some examples of this, what kinds of things you might be trying to see.

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thx4mercy
On 2/24/2019 at 1:14 PM, B/W Photodude said:

In 2016, I also did the Conflict series. One chapter a day will get you thru by November. I finished in February!

You read the whole Conflict series in two months?!!  Wow!

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The Wanderer
16 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

Gems from the Testimonies:

Full and entire consecration to God is required of us. While the Redeemer of sinful mortals was laboring and suffering for us, He denied Himself, and His whole life was one continued scene of toil and privation. Had He chosen to do so, He could have passed His days on earth in ease and plenty, and appropriated to Himself all the pleasures and enjoyments of this life. But He did not; He considered not His own convenience. He lived not to gratify Himself, but to do good and to save others from suffering, to help those who most needed help. He endured to the end. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and He hath borne the iniquity of us all. The bitter cup was apportioned to us to drink. Our sins mingled it. But our dear Saviour took the cup from our lips and drank it Himself, and in its stead He presents to us a cup of mercy, blessing, and salvation. Oh, what an immense sacrifice was this for the fallen race! What love, what wondrous and matchless love! After all this manifestation of suffering to show His love, shall we shrink from the small trials we have to bear? 2T73

In a quote like this, one of the things I "try to see" is Jesus, and in this case; thats what Id be looking for. What is she saying about Him? But keep in mind, THIS is not likely to be the entire scope of what she says about Jesus, more just a "window" for us to look in.

There is an APP one can get for their smart phone with all of the writings on. It is good for reading during breaks, or other spare time without your computer. I like it because I had a friend on the week end who was discouraged and I sent them a quote from this APP that really seemed to help. The APP lets you send via text messages, or even share on social media. I got my APP on Google Play.

EDIT: This EGW APP also has two or three Bible versions included so you dont need a separate Bible APP.

Edited by The Wanderer

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The Wanderer
16 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

One of my favorite Bible websites is Blue Letter Bible.

https://www.blueletterbible.org

They have a number of study plans for your Bible:

I sometimes have trouble sticking to a specific plan of study, unless I decide I need to find out something, but this is one of the first Bible sites I ever used eons ago when I first got online. If one has an account here, I believe you can save your preferences and where you left off, etc. Bible Gateway is another one I like.

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B/W Photodude
4 hours ago, thx4mercy said:

You read the whole Conflict series in two months?!!  Wow!

I believe I said if you read a chapter a day you will be done in November. This would be by starting at Jan 1 as many people do with big projects. I was late and finished in February, a little more than 13 months in the read.

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B/W Photodude
4 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

EDIT: This EGW APP also has two or three Bible versions included so you dont need a separate Bible APP.

I have the EGW app on my phone and it is awesome to have the entire EGW library on a little smart phone. However, they have gone to EGW2 and you have to download each book as you want it. Really annoying, especially if you are out of cell range. So, I keep my EGW1 app and ignore the freq prompts to upgrade (even though I have the upgrade).

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The Wanderer

The newer APP is probably nice for some people with big cell-phone budgets, re hard drives, but I dont like the way it works so I erased it in favor of the OLD  Some things do get better with "age," :)

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thx4mercy
3 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

I was late and finished in February, a little more than 13 months in the read.

Oh, OK.....well, I'm still quite impressed!

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B/W Photodude
9 hours ago, thx4mercy said:

I have thought of this kind of thing before.  Give some examples of
this, what kinds of things you might be trying to see.

One example was to read chonologically to see things in order. That is sort of good, except different Chrono Bibles put things in different order. I read by the Blue Letter Bible chrono plan. It was strange to stop in the middle of Genesis and before Abraham and read the book of Job. But undoubtedly he was before or right around that time. When you consider that one of Job's visitors was Eliphaz and one of the sons of Esau was Eliphaz, ... makes you wonder and there has been some suggestion that they were the same. (I tend to think Esau also was "converted" like the sons of Jacob were and was a believer.)

Another time I was halfway thru and think to myself, I should be noting the verses that seem to stand out. But then when done I had to start all over again, because I was missing the first half of the Bible. When done, the whole file of verses I saved was over 200 pages via word processer! I may review them all and see if I am as impressed as the first time. Sometimes I will save something and later I look at it and "why did I save that?"

I have also collected the names of many books named in the Bible that no longer seem to exist, although there is an ancient Book of Jasher out there (not the one considered to be a fake written recently as the last 2-3 hundred years.) It makes fascinating reading. I also read pretty much in KJV only and have another collection of archaic sayings that seemed to be quibbled over a bit. Those I contine to collect. Most recent interesting one was "his words fell to the ground." (And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. 1 Sam 3:19)

So, every time I start another read, in addition to reading it, I also have another goal.

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B/W Photodude

I have a growing sense of the value of the Testimonies for the Church. I see much criticism of Sister White and her visions. But one thing kinda stands out. While many are haggling over prophecies and her correctness of them, her letters to individuals seem to be a far greater proof of her ministry. How can anyone peer into the heart of others and spell out for them their private sins and defects of character? The descriptions of the character flaws in many of her letters to individuals are amazing. 

I believe that superficial things of a person's life are the things that we have the least in common with others. The private things and the deepest emotions and ideals can be the things we have most in common with others, although we may not often share them. This provides a basis for publishing these letters because they are situations that are shared by many.

I have to confess that when I started reading some of these letters, I am thinking, "Boy, I know who needs to read this!" and later, " Yeah, this would be very good for that person to read." These are the moments when the Spirit taps you and reminds you that you are reading these for your self. 

So, now, letters that have a "strange" resemblance to myself, I am jotting down the  list. Perhaps thru saving the list of articles and other computer magic, I will end up with one large file (book) called "Testimonies for B/W Photodude"! This will be a private edition, you understand!

Quote

Object of Personal Testimonies (Testimony #16)

In this last vision I was shown that which fully justifies my course in publishing personal testimonies.

When the Lord singles out individual cases and specifies their wrongs, others, who have not been shown in vision, frequently take it for granted that they are right, or nearly so. 

Perhaps some are jealous that they were not singled out!

Quote

If one is reproved for a special wrong, brethren and sisters should carefully examine themselves to see wherein they have failed and wherein they have been guilty of the same sin. They should possess the spirit of humble confession. 

I am picking up in my reading that self examination is far more important than what the king of the north or whereever is doing. 

Quote

God looks at the heart. He is proving and testing souls in this manner. In rebuking the wrongs of one, He designs to correct many. But if they fail to take the reproof to themselves, and flatter themselves that God passes over their errors because He does not especially single them out, they deceive their own souls and will be shut up in darkness and be left to their own ways to follow the imagination of their own hearts.

These letters were not meant for voyeuristic peering into the lives of others. They are for "our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come."

Quote

Many are dealing falsely with their own souls and are in a great deception in regard to their true condition before God. ... By self-examination they may find that they are doing the same things which God condemns in others. 

Again, learn from others. 

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thx4mercy
15 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

I have to confess that when I started reading some of these letters, I am thinking, "Boy, I know who needs to read this!" and later, " Yeah, this would be very good for that person to read."

Yes, frequently when I'm reading in her writings and thinking similar thoughts that you have expressed, I stop and say to myself "No!!"  Then I pray and say, "What about me?  Show me what I need to see for myself."

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The Wanderer
17 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

Again, learn from others. 

THAT is exactly what she would say! (EGW)

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The Wanderer
7 hours ago, thx4mercy said:

Yes, frequently when I'm reading in her writings and thinking similar thoughts that you have expressed, I stop and say to myself "No!!"  Then I pray and say, "What about me?  Show me what I need to see for myself."

Its interesting to read the preamble or Intro for each of the nine volumes. In my mind, some people would view these writings much differently if they did read that portion. For Volume 2, I quote:

Quote

 

THE TIMES OF VOLUME TWO

While volume One of the testimonies presents counsel having to do largely with the inception and development of the teachings, experiences, and enterprises of the newly established Remnant Church, Volume 2 is devoted almost entirely to the personal piety of its members. during the thirteen years paralleled by the fourteen testimony pamphlets now forming volume 1, the publishing work was solidified, the church was organized, its system of finance was established, and it had launched into a great health program.

When the closing article was written, literature was pouring in a steady stream from its presses at the Review and Herald publishing plant at Battle Creek, Michigan, and, near by, the newly established sanitarium was in full operation. the dark hours of the civil war years were in the past, and for the church it was a day of opportunity. The task before it was to hold the ground gained and to enlarge its borders. vital to the continued success of the church was the integrity of its individual members.

Early in 1868, as explained in an article now found near the close of volume 1, Ellen G. White began to publish, for the benefit of the church as a whole, certain personal testimonies which up to that time had not been distributed generally. of these personal testimonies she stated: "they all contain more or less reproof and instruction which apply to hundreds or thousands of others in similar condition. these should have the light which God has seen fit to give which meets their cases."--Vol. 1, p. 631.

Such instruction addressed personally to individual church members through the three-year period of February, 1868, to May, 1871, comprises almost the entire content of Testimonies Nos. 15-20, now embodied in this volume 2. the instruction is pointed and practical, dealing with almost every phase of personal experience and religious interests, from gossip, the indulgence of appetite, and the marriage relationship to misdirected zeal, avariciousness, and fanaticism.

At the beginning of the period of time covered by Volume 2 Elder and Mrs. White were in partial retirement in Greenville, Michigan, due to the condition of Elder White's health. they soon resumed their activity in travelling and holding meetings with the believers in states adjacent to Michigan. in November, 1868, they returned to battle creek to make their home there.

Two months earlier, in September of 1868, a camp meeting was held in Wright, Michigan. this gathering, the first of its kind, proved such a great blessing to those who attended that the following years witnessed the establishment of camp meetings as a regular part of the program for the state conferences. Elder and Mrs. white's presence was called for, and so it came that the summer months in succeeding years were largely spent by them in these annual gatherings. in the latter part of volume 2 may be found counsel regarding such "convocations."

During the three-year period covered by volume 2 there was encouraging advance in the cause of present truth. The health institute at Battle Creek, having passed through a discouraging depression, now emerged into a period of prosperity. in the latter part of 1868 elders J. N. Loughborough and D. T. Bourdeau lighted the torch of Seventh-day Adventism on the Pacific coast. the same year a company of fifty Sabbathkeeping Adventists in Europe entered into correspondence with the General Conference brethren in battle creek, and the next year sent a representative across the ocean to plead for missionaries to be sent to them.

But, with all these gains and advance moves, the adversary continued to work earnestly to lower the spirituality of church members, to cause them to love the world and its attractions, to leaven the church with the spirit of criticism, to dry up the springs of benevolence, and especially to bring the youth into his ranks. against these dangerous trends Mrs. White, as God's messenger, was faithfully and earnestly delivering her messages by voice and pen, calling the members of the church to God's standard of integrity and righteousness.

On some occasions Mrs. White was given revelations pertaining to the experience of a number of individuals in one church. having delivered these individual testimonies in meeting, she after ward wrote out the instruction and sent it to the church concerned. a number of such communications are found in volume 2.

The thoughtful reader of this 711-page volume must be impressed not only with the great diversity of subjects covered, but also with the vast amount of writing devoted to such personal testimonies written during this brief time. yet it should be noted that what was published represented only a portion of what Mrs. White wrote during this period.

A few weeks before the appearance of no. 15 elder white had penned a note for the review and herald, asking that those to whom oral testimony had been given by Mrs. White should patiently wait until they might receive written copies. of Mrs. White's diligence and persistence in this work, he said:

"In this branch of her labour she has about two months' work on hand. on her eastern tour she improved all her spare time in writing such testimonies. she even wrote many of them in meeting while others were preaching and speaking. since her return she has injured her health and strength in confining herself too closely to this work. She usually writes from twenty to forty pages each day."--Review and Herald, March 3, 1868.

We may well imagine Mrs. White's relief on the issuance of testimony no. 15 and her anticipation of a much-needed rest, but ten days later she was again plunged into the task of delivering the many messages entrusted to her. on Friday evening, June 12, she was at Battle Creek speaking "to the young generally," and "had addressed several personally," until nearly ten o'clock, when, as reported by Elder White:

"While speaking from the platform in front of the pulpit, in the most solemn and impressive manner, the power of God came upon her, and in an instant she fell upon the carpet in vision. Many witnessed this manifestation for the first time, with astonishment, and with perfect satisfaction that it was the work of god. the vision lasted twenty minutes."--Review and Herald, June 16, 1868.

By actual count 120 pages of Testimonies volume 2 are definitely stated to have been written setting forth counsel given in this vision of June 12, 1868, for the church or for individuals. Many more pages were written setting forth views given that same year at Pilot Grove, Iowa, October 2, and at Adams Center, New York, October 25.

These many visions led Mrs White to write almost incessantly. In giving a report of their travelling by boat up the Mississippi river in 1870, Elder White comments:

"Mrs. White is writing. Poor woman! This almost eternal writing for this one and that one, when she should rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery and the pleasant society, seems too bad, but God blesses and sustains, and we must be reconciled."--Review and Herald, July 5, 1870.

What a blessing these many testimonies addressed at first personally to individuals have been to the church. What church member, as he has read these earnest counsels and warnings, has not discovered that the problems, the temptations, and the privileges of Seventh-day Adventists of earlier years are his problems, temptations, and privileges today. we treasure these messages especially because Ellen G. White herself states in her introduction which opens volume 2: "there is no more direct and forcible way of presenting what the lord has shown me."

the trustees of the

Ellen G. White Publications.

 

What I got a lot out of with these intro sections was all the names, dates, and places. It really is helpful, and puts these books in correct perspective. Volumes 5 & 9 are my two favourite volumes.

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phkrause
On 3/13/2019 at 12:36 AM, B/W Photodude said:

I see much criticism of Sister White and her visions. But one thing kinda stands out. While many are haggling over prophecies and her correctness of them, her letters to individuals seem to be a far greater proof of her ministry. How can anyone peer into the heart of others and spell out for them their private sins and defects of character? The descriptions of the character flaws in many of her letters to individuals are amazing. 

Have to agree 100% B/W!!

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B/W Photodude
On 3/13/2019 at 12:36 AM, B/W Photodude said:

Again, learn from others. 

On 3/13/2019 at 5:38 PM, The Wanderer said:

THAT is exactly what she would say! (EGW)

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:8-10

Sometimes, you can't see yourself as well as you are seen. It helps to have a friend that will show you the correct paths.

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The Wanderer
16 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:8-10

Sometimes, you can't see yourself as well as you are seen. It helps to have a friend that will show you the correct paths.

are you saying you took my comment as "rebuking" you? I hope not. That was not the intent. I was agreeing with your statement about "learn from others" by stating I thought Ellen White would have agreed with that, and that thats why she wrote The Testimonies.

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B/W Photodude
20 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

are you saying you took my comment as "rebuking" you? I hope not. 

Not at all! I am saying by the verses quoted that "wise men" appreciate instruction. If you read these different letters from the testimonies and perhaps see yourself and what needs correction in your life, you can with the right spirit profit immensely by them. As noted, sometimes a person cannot see their faults well, but pointed out, they may become very plainly evident. We have been blessed to have these testimonies to assist in our preparation for adoption into "the society of angels."

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