1988 February-March Vol. 4 Num. 3a - Special Issue!
Four National Conferences Keep Pace With Growing Response to the "Most Precious Message"
A Retrospective Look at the Way the Lord Has Led Us
It all began with a telephone conversation about bringing together a few people to study and pray for unity as early Adventists did in their 1848 Sabbath Conferences. Without any means of publicizing the idea, the original Committee of Five were excited as they saw 120 people gather at Mohaven, Ohio’s youth camp, back in April, 1985, for four days of sermons and prayer groups and fellowship. Many who attended witnessed to the moving of the Spirit.
When it was over, the Committee—all retired conference workers—though still not assured that they were seeing a revival of the 1888 Message, decided it might be well to send out a newsletter to encourage those who had enjoyed the blessing at Mohaven to continue to study and to share the ’’most precious message."
The 1888 Message Newsletter file shows an interesting development from the era of cut- and-paste to Macintosh Plus. Every day's mail brings requests to be added to our list from those who have discovered it through friends or at a seminar.
As the first issues of the bi-monthly went out they brought varied responses—questions, requests for literature, gifts, and appeals for another conference. The question of where to find larger accommodations was perplexing until Andrews University provided graciously for the growing attendance at the Second and Third National 1888 Conferences.
Each year we wonder whether there will be another conference, but as we go to press, we are well along with plans for the Fourth National 1888 Message Conference, to be held at Broadview Academy, La Fox, Illinois.
In 1987 the first regional conferences were held on the East and West coasts along with more weekend seminars than we can count. There was a memorable New Year's at Camp Winnekeag, MA, where 250 mostly young people gathered for a joyous spiritual feast. There have been 1888 Message Seminars in Japan and Uganda, England, Germany, France and Holland.
With the Centennial year interest in our 1888 history, Committee members are hard pressed to keep up with appeals for speakers for regional conferences and seminars. Lay members of the Committee are discovering that the Lord helps them fill requests for speakers.
Two sets of Bible studies—the Glad Tidings set for both Adventists and non-Adventists and 1888: the Good News for Laodicea—provide tools which pastors and laymen are using in prayer meetings and home study groups to share the message with thousands of hungry people.
It has become apparent to even the most conservative among us that the Holy Spirit is graciously offering His people another chance to accept the message first given 100 years ago to prepare a people for the coming of Jesus.
We are grateful to be given a humble part in spreading the message which God's messenger described as the "beginning" of the loud cry and the latter rain. The demonstrations of joyous discovery of the gospel, of changed lives and reaffirmed loyalty to God’s remnant church encourage us to believe that we are seeing a ground swell of revival which must soon lighten the earth.1*
Review Publishes New 1888 History By Dr. Arnold Wallenkampf
What Every Adventist Should Know about 1888 by Arnold V. Wallenkampf (Review and Herald, 1988) is a milestone in our denominational history. This book thoroughly contradicts the rich-and-increased-with-goods thesis of the major works about 1888 that have been authoritatively published for the past forty years.
Dr. Wallenkampf makes abundantly clear that the gracious message was resisted and rejected by ’’the majority of the ministers at the  conference,” and that the resistance continued "with the passing of the years.”
He says that we have been in a "state of rebellion against God." Seventh-day Adventist leaders "cruelly treated" the Holy Spirit with "hard words...aimed at Christ Himself." Our true history is a "group think" "betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus" which "staggers one’s imagination."
"We must learn not to follow leaders blindly."...
Further, he notes that the repentance of the most influential of the opponents of the message "was not wholehearted and complete." "A largely imperceptible ground swell of opposition was rising against it" in the decade following Minneapolis. "By 1899 the church's righteousness had become nauseating to our Saviour." It was largely discomfort among certain influential leaders with Ellen White and her messages that had spawned the plan that took her to Australia in 1891." She did not believe "that the majority of Seventh-day Adventists had accepted the 1888 Message as a personal experience before her death in 1915." According to Wallenkampf, we have created tragic unbelief today by "pretending" that initial rejection turned into later "enthusiastic acceptance." "If we do not forthrightly present the history of the 1888 General Conference session and its aftermath, we as a denomination perpetuate the sin committed at Minneapolis in 1888. By doing so, we join our spiritual forefathers and virtually crucify Christ anew in the person of the Holy Spirit."
A General Conference leader* is speaking forthrightly: "It is incumbent on us as a people to confess that for a long time we have largely glossed over the virtual rejection of the 1888 Message....Our present responsibility is to tell the truth about the Minneapolis conference of 1888 and its aftermath. There is no virtue in saying that all has been well when this is not so."
These are his words, not ours! Wallenkampf's other book on justifiction clearly presents the 1888 concept of a universal or forensic (legal) justification effective for the whole world, and that justification by faith is therefore a heart experience which makes the believer obedient to the law of God. We rejoice that this concept is at last clearly expressed.
*At the time of his retirement, Dr. Wallenkampf was associate director of the Biblical Research Fellowship.
The above book review is part of Appendix E in the new edition of 1888 Re- Examined. We hope to make it available as a supplement to the first edition.
Lewis Walton Researches 1888 History And Distinctive Message
Atty. Lewis Walton brings to his personal testimony the fresh, incisive approach that makes him a much-appreciated conference and camp meeting speaker:
1888. Mention the term and you get a fascinating spectrum of responses. Warm fervor. The evident pain of century-old wounds not yet healed. Sometimes, a blank stare. For me, it evokes deja vu—a sense of having relived history. Let me explain. Sometime ago I decided to research what 1888 was all about. As I did so, I crashed headlong into concepts that seemed strangely foreign. The corporate oneness of humanity. The thought-provoking notion that the church is like a living organism, and that all of us are so much a part of it that even the holiest of saints must accept responsibility for the church's failings. And, most challenging of all, the blunt assertion that I was personally powerless to keep the law I so much admired. Frankly, I was bothered. One night I went to bed so upset that I am sure I experienced the emotions felt by those who opposed Jones and Waggoner at the 1888 General Conference. An antagonism swept over me that seemed to plumb my soul. I set out to prove wrong the concepts that so challenged me. And then I discovered that I could not. The more I studied, the more I realized that, as foreign as some of these concepts sounded, they were Biblical. Humanity is a great, living unit. Each person's welfare is involved in my own, and, when I recognize that, I can never again be indifferent to another person's welfare. And the church? What is it if it is not the sort of living organism described by the apostle? We are not isolated believers; we are organic parts of an indivisible whole called the church. If we hurt, so does it—and vice versa.
Most important, I learned that justification by faith is more than a dry, legal declaration made somewhere off in the cosmos. It is an act, replete with enormous healing power to save the soul—not in sin, but from sin.
1888. Controversial? It would seem to be. But when hasn't truth generated controversy? I may not agree with everything that is said in the name of 1888. But I can say this: there is enough truth here to save your soul, to set this church on fire with pentecostal power, and to bring on the coming of Jesus. Isn't that enough to recommend it for earnest study?
White Estate Critiques Ott Book
The Ellen G. White Estate has released an "analysis" of Helmutt Ott's book, Perfect in Christ, which takes issue with the author’s position that it is impossible to overcome all sin until Christ returns. The misuse of Ellen White's writings is documented.
The White Estate critique summarizes:
"This book aims to do three things: (1) to exalt Christ, (2) to relieve Christians of concern about the need for living in full harmony with God's law, and (3) to interpret Ellen White's writings. It fulfills its aim in regard to the first two points, but fails miserably in regard to Point 3. Instead of making Ellen White's true positions clear, it distorts and obfuscates them, creating the impression that no one can understand what Ellen White means by simply reading and studying her writings alone."
Every Seventh-day Adventist should read this document.* The evidence presented is so clear that it will cause any candid reader to wonder why such a book should be published by a Seventh-day Adventist press. The book makes "of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God" as presented in the witness of Ellen White. The arguments in the book, so obviously those employed by Desmond Ford, are set forth transparently so that any reader can see for himself how this "new theology" contradicts logic and truth.
*A copy of the document is available on request from The Ellen G. White Estate, 6840 Eastern Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20012.
Pastors Discover Beauty and Power of The "Most Precious Message"
Ordained ministers with years of experience in pastoral evangelism are discovering the beauty in the message that Ellen White endorsed so enthusiastically. They are finding that it makes their soul-winning ministry more efficient.
"Although I have been preaching and teaching righteousness by faith for several years," Elder Joe Gresham reports, "I have only recently begun to conduct weekend serminars and to do in-depth study. What a joy it is to spend an entire weekend studying the beautiful righteousness of our wonderful Saviour. What joy to see the power of the Holy Spirit moving, hearts touched and lives changed."
"During many years of my preaching ministry," Alexander Snyman writes, "I had enthusiastically preached the Advent Message as well as I could, both as pastor and in public evangelism, but only when the 1888 Message of
Christ's righteousness came to me in its fullness did I see the Gospel for what it really is—truly good news. Ever since then I have approached the task of soul-winning with a completely different attitude, determined only that others should find in this message the same joy and peace that I did.’"
1888 Message Seminars and Conferences Scheduled for 1988
For information about time and place of meetings, including last-minute changes, call numbers listed below or (216) 699-2021.
If you would like to schedule a seminar in your church please contact us as far in advance as possible.
Montreal, QUE., September 30-October 2 Speaker: Alexander Snyman.
Minneapolis, MN, October 7-8
First Church, 2700 Stevens Avenue Speaker: Alexander Snyman.
Call: 612-929-5650 or 428-4478
Deer Lodge, TN, October 12-15 Speaker: Alexander Snyman.
Chula Vista, CA, October 21-22 Speaker: Alexander Snyman.
Cedar Falls, CA, October 26-29
Second Western Regional Conference. Speakers: Gerald Finneman,
Alexander Snyman, Lewis Walton Call 714-541-6535
Andrews University, October 28-29 1888 Commemoration.
Wieland invited to participate as speaker
Huntington Park, CA, November 5 Speaker: Alexander Snyman.
Auburn, CA, November 5,12 Speaker: Robert J. Wieland.
Marion, IN, November 19
Speaker: Alexander Snyman.
Plymouth, MI, December 2, 3 Speaker: Alexander Snyman Call: 313-455-0405
Waterford, CA, December 2-4 Speaker: Robert J. Wieland.
Seminar Held In Japan
Mutsumi Tsukayama and his father and Yoshi Tsuji were the speakers for an 1888 Message Seminar held March 31 to April 3 at Mt. Akagi Institute located about 80 miles from Tokyo.
Fifty-two people from several parts of Japan attended the seminar.
Yoshi writes, ’’Messages these men spoke seemed to touch the hearts there. Much tear was seen. The audiences not only heard but also discussed and prayed together. Especially I was happy to see many young Adventists there. This time I see a possibility of 1888 Message in Japan. From now on too with Jesus I will do what I can to spread the 1888 message.”
Yoshi has already been duplicating the Newsletters he receives by airmail, and some who receive them have ordered additional materials for study. In response to an invitation from a home Bible study group in Tokyo he ’’gave a lecture entitled Kadesh-Barnea and 1888"
In addition to a booklet published by Mutsumi Tsukayama, three pamphlets issued by The 1888 Message Study Committee have been translated into Japanese and printed by Mt. Akagi Institute.'
1888 Seminars Held in Germany, Holland, France and England
On his European trip, Elder Alexander Snyman met with small groups of keenly interested people, some of whom had already had an introduction to the 1888 Message through a French translation of The 1888 Message: an Introduction or through several books translated in Holland.
Over Easter weekend, 60-70 people gathered in Speele, Germany, for a series of lectures which sparked searching questions and animated discussion, with Helen Schuefer and Wim Wiggers translating. Across the channel he met with groups in London and near Newbold College. In France, where George Vaysse translated, he found an encouraging response and requests for more reading material and tapes.
His final seminar was held in Holland, where he found "evidence of the natural Dutch talent for theological understanding, which made the subjects easier to present."
"It just happens," Elder Snyman reports, "that my ancestral background is exactly that of the countries I visited. I was invited back by all groups. Their longing for more light on the True Gospel is evident everywhere."
Steven Grabiner and Gerald Finneman have also met with groups in England.
What Were The Specific Concepts of the 1888 Message Of Righteousness by Faith?
by Lewis Walton
Ellen White said that once the latter rain began in Adventism.... What did it look like? Let’s summarize the 1888 message:
Point No. 1. The central point, beyond which everything else paled into insignificance in the minds of Jones and Waggoner, was that once God came so close to the human race that when He was done, there was no excuse left for sin. That was the advent of Jesus.
Hebrews 2:10-17 and 4:15 give an abbreviated view of the point from which they took their conclusion: Christ was made "in every respect" like His earthly brethren. When you are a brother you are flesh and bone, heart and soul a part of someone's family. Their conclusion was that, when Christ came into human flesh, he fought the war in the very same tissue and nature in which you and I live.
Waggoner: "If there is one who went through all I can ever be called upon to go through, who resisted all I can be called upon to resist, who met all the power the devil can exercise and yet knew no sin, then I can rejoice."
When Waggoner said this at a General Conference meeting, voices in the audience said, "Amen!" Why is this so exciting that it caused people to say "Amen" and "Praise the Lord"? It's because you suddenly discover that this tissue you live in, this nature, this flesh is the battleground on which the war was won and there is no excuse for sinning any more. So the 1888 Message starts out with the exciting prospect that the war has been won. It is just your task to believe it.
Then, as later, this concept sometimes provoked controversy. "Letters have been coming in to me affirming that Christ could not have had the same nature as man, for if He had, He would have fallen under similar temptations. If He did not have man’s nature, He could not be our example. If He was not a partaker of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been....His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature." (Ellen White, Selected Messages, Book 1, pp. 408,409)
If Jesus was not heart and soul like us, then why in Gethsemane did He have to say, "Not My will but Thine"? He was in daily conflict with the will inside of Him that conflicted with the will of His Father. He faced that war and He won it for you. So the first point of 1888 is the magnificent concept of God getting so near that He obliterated any excuse for sin.
Point No. 2, unique to the 1888 Message, very logically follows—that is, the corporate nature of humanity. Have you ever wondered how it was that Jesus even as the Son of God could come and die and somehow pay for everyone's sins? In the Jewish mind and the Jewish Bible, humanity is a unit. Levi paid tithe to Melchisedek because Abraham did it.
We are not isolated atoms, separate and independent of each other. Humanity is like one gigantic living organism. Each of us plays a part but put us all together and we are one.
The corporate oneness of the church (1 Corinthians 12:13-14) and the human race is something I had a hard time accepting, but I admit is right. Nobody has any right to be unconcerned about the welfare of another human being. Wide-eyed babies in Africa who look into the camera in fear and hunger are your eyes, because if you were there as hungry and scared as they are, you would look the same way.
We are all part of the same human nature; hence, in a spiritual sense, we were all at the cross. That enmity in the human heart against God would have found expression through us except for the accident of being born at another time, in another place. We all drove those nails. That is the concept of the corporate nature of humanity.
From that flows another logical concept. God's resolution of the sin problem was to send His Son into corporate humanity, and in so doing He put the arms of divine love around the whole world. Hence:
Point No. 3. Justification may be much, much bigger than we have considered it to be. If you have grown up in Adventist thinking as I have, you probably have thought that while justification is something that is readily available to you, you don't get it until you do something. Being put right with God is something we get when we ask for it. The 1888 Message says, Oh no, it's broader than that. Justification is the arms of God around this globe. "While we were sinners, Christ died for us." While we were sinners—no prerequisite conditions!
Ellen White expressed the same concept—the cross of Christ stamped on every loaf, reflected in every waterspring. If this is so, then we have the grandest message the world ever, ever heard. We go out to the world, and to people who are hungry and scared and, most of all, ridden with guilt. We say, There is a searching God looking for you. You are already right with Him by virtue of Calvary.
Just accept that fact by faith. I don't mean to say that everyone will be saved in spite of himself, but I am saying that justification may be much more available than we have seen. If that is so, then there is something very exciting to say to your neighbor: God is searching for you with pardon written by your name.
More than this, the 1888 Message insists that justification has within it indescribable power. Most of us have had the idea that justification takes care of my yesterdays and that sanctification takes care of tomorrow. We tend to draw a distinction between the two.
The writers of 1888 said it is not quite as dichotomous as that. When you by faith realize that, through the merits of the Son of God, your past is right, that very act brings energy and divine power into your life. Hebrews 11:1 puts it this way: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for..." Hoped for by whom? By us? Or by God? Did you ever consider the possibility that faith is the substance of things God envisions for your life? He has a program for your life waiting only your acceptance. When you do, faith becomes the substance of God's dreams for you.
The Ten Commandments even assume a different perspective. We frequently say the Ten Commandments are the things I must do in order to measure up to the standard God has for my life. Do you know what Ellen White says? The Ten Commandments are ten promises (1 BC 1105). So that instead of saying, these are things you must do, God is saying, these are things that will automatically happen in your life by faith.
They are promises; they are not commands. So the 1888 Message suggests that justification by faith in Jesus carries with it enormous power. From that flows...
Point No. 4, which suggests that it is easy to be saved and hard to be lost. Wow! That is hard to accept, isn't it? When I first heard that proposition, I said without a moment's hesitation, I don’t agree with that, and I set about finding Biblical proof for my point. Then I bumped up against Matthew 11. What is Christ saying in Matthew 11:28? "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for My yoke is easy.
Now, compare that with the life of Saul. Here was a young man with a brilliant future. The brightest, most wealthy people in the Jewish nation were fully backing his enterprise. He was really going places. As he came down out of the mountain into the plain where Damascus is located, the sky was suddenly all alight around him and a voice from the cosmos spoke: "Saul, it is hard to kick against the pricks."
Think it through. The yoke of Jesus is easy, and the life of an up-and- coming man with the resources of the world behind him is hard. Is it true that it is easy to be saved and hard to be lost? Let's look at Galatians 5:16,17: "This I say then, walk ye in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other so that you cannot do the things you would."
What is it you want to do but can't? Most of us would probably say that the text means that we can't do the good things we'd like to do. That is the way I have read it for years.
But this text contains within it what lawyers call a latent ambiguity. That is, it can be read one of two ways. And the only way to figure out which is right is to go to the document in which it is contained for additional information. You see, there are two ways to read Galatians 5:17. One of them is the one I just gave you, that the evil promptings of the flesh are so strong even the Holy Spirit can't really deliver you.
There is another possible reading... that the Holy Spirit's promptings are so powerful that the flesh loses control, that the things that you can't do are the evil things. Take one more look at that text. Isn't it possible
"...these are contrary so you cannot do the evil things that you would."
to read it that way? "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; these are contrary so you cannot do the evil things that you would."
It is just as possible to read it that way. Which option are you going to take? The real question is, which is stronger, sin or grace? Romans 5:20, 21 says: "Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound." There is no escaping the reality that in the Bible grace is stronger than sin. Then why not let it do its work?
So the reformers of 1888 said that just by believing that Jesus Christ has justified you, you have, with that, enormous power to overcome sin. Furthermore, you will find that, under the control of the Holy Spirit, it is easier to do right than to do wrong. Now, you may agree or disagree, but if you disagree you had better get some Bible behind you to back it up.
That leaves us one more step. To this point the reformers of 1888 are talking in reformation terms. Faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, Bible alone. But now they go a step further, beyond anything the reformers ever dreamed of. They inject the concept of the sanctuary.
Point No. 5. Ellen White put it this way, "The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be understood by the people of God.... Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith that is essential at this time...." (Great Controversy, p. 488) "The correct understanding of the sanctuary is the foundation of our faith." (op. cit. p. 409)
The 1888 concept of the sanctuary and victorious Christian living runs, very briefly, like this: If we believe something happened in 1844, then we are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement. The last thing that has to happen before Jesus’ coming is the cleansing of the sanctuary. If you go back to Leviticus 16, you will discover that when the Jewish service was conducted, the first thing that was cleansed on the Day of Atonement was not the sanctuary; it was the people. If that was true in 1350 B. C., then how much more true may it be post-1844, when human history is getting set to wind up and judgment is in progress.
The reformers of 1888 put it this way: "The sanctuary could not itself be cleansed so long as, by the confessions of people and the intercession of priests, there was pouring into the sanctuary a stream of sin. Therefore, the first work in cleansing the sanctuary was the cleansing of the people." (A. T. Jones, Consecrated Way, pp. 118, 119) That was the rationale behind Adventism’s longstanding concern for a very high standard of life.
Jones and Waggoner may be right, they may be wrong, but before you make that decision, listen to the words of Ellen White on the same topic: "Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a Holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. While the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin among God’s people on earth, (op. cit., p. 425)
The concept of sinless living has never been a popular one. It sometimes provokes controversy. Frequently the punch line from someone who does not believe in overcoming sin is the question that is designed to demolish the argument once and for all: "Are you perfect?" There is usually a strained silence that follows that question, possibly punctuated by laughter. Let me suggest to you that that is the wrong question. It focuses on human weakness. What we ought to be doing is looking at divine strength. The only right question is simply this: Is the sacrifice of Christ as the Lamb of God powerful enough to save His people from their sins rather than in them?
"John forsees a generation of victorious Christians."
All through human history, character perfection has always been somewhere in the future: "I will write my laws in their hearts....There will be a new covenant. I will do this. They will do that. But what does Revelation 14:12 say? "Here are they that keep the commandments." Present tense. It has happened. Before Jesus comes, John foresees a generation of victorious Christians.
Oddly, the concept of victorious Christian living generates some anger. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, had to face this issue: "The word perfect is what many cannot bear. The very sound of it is an abomination. Why are those who oppose salvation from sin so furious? In God's name, why are you so fond of sin? What has it ever done for you and why are you so violent against those who hope for deliverance from it?"
Ellen White put it this way: "We have to contend with a strange power opposed to the idea of attaining the perfection that Christ holds out." (6BC 1098)
So the 1888 Message indelibly links two concepts: victory over sin and the heavenly sanctuary. The rationale is that after the close of probation there will be people living on this earth who will not have the crutch of death to rely on. When they are decreed to be eternally saved, they are still mortal, living in a sinful world. If they fail, Calvary was for nothing. If, conversely, they prove the power of the cross by standing firm through faith alone, then the war is over forever and the universe is safe; there is no danger in bringing those people out into the cosmos with unfallen beings. To me the most exciting challenge to any Christian, to any Seventh-day Adventist, is the privilege of being part of that group of people.
Point No. 6. Thus far, the 1888 Message has probably provoked a negative response only from the liberal hearer. He doesn’t like to hear about the sanctuary, about victory over sin, about Adventism's roots. But the messengers go right on to a point of view that is capable of provoking an equally angry reaction from the conservative. They say, yes, you have to overcome sin, but the way you do it absolutely demolishes any hope you have of retaining pride in the result because you can’t do it.
Have you ever been dumbfounded by something that you did? You encounter a new circumstance. It brings out something bad within you that you never knew was there, and you say, "I can't believe I did that." Did that ever happen to you or am I the only one? There is evidently within the human mind a reservoir where wrong lurks so deep that frequently we are not consciously aware of it.
This happened, I think, in Eden. Go back to Genesis 3. Adam and Eve are in the Garden. Everything is wrong. They are naked in each other's presence. Leaves are coming down out of the trees. Animals that used to be friendly now look at them with wary eyes. The whole thing is deranged. Now there is the voice of God walking in the cool of the evening, "Adam, where are you?" And they run and hide.
Four things happened to humanity that hellish evening in Eden: One, burned into the psyche of human beings forever is shame. Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. Two, they learn fear. "I heard thy voice and I was afraid." Three, a barrier goes up. Adam has started a machine rolling that will lead to the nuclear age, to Auschwitz and Buchenwald, to the horror of humanity doing the worst to itself.
The human mind cannot accept that kind of guilt, so a curtain slams down. Adam can’t recognize he has done that so he starts trying to find someone else to blame. The woman—oh, by the way, You gave her to me. A barrier goes up that makes it very hard for us to recognize when we are wrong. How much we go through to avoid admitting that we are wrong!
Four, from that flows an enmity against God because in the presence of God there is guilt it is almost impossible to conceal even from yourself. So Romans 8:7 says: "The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” We have within our minds now this resistance to being in His presence and there is a reservoir of sin and sinful inclinations within us that we do not understand.
Peter is an example of that. He said he would follow his Lord to prison and death, and he meant every word of it. But Ellen White says he did not know himself. Hidden within his heart were elements of evil that circumstances would fan to life. Unless he was made conscious of his danger these would prove his eternal ruin.
The 1888 Message says there is a remedy for this reservoir of corruption. It is the probing of the Holy Spirit. His function is, among other things, to bring us into circumstances where we will be forced to confront traits we didn’t know we had, to bring up to our conscious level an awareness of sins still lurking in our lives. Every time that happens, we are confronted with the decision of the ages. We have to decide, would I rather have Jesus or that? So over and over the Holy Spirit brings us into circumstances that tend to make us aware of our own faults. And sometimes we say, I didn't know I had that in me. I am ashamed of myself. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. Thank Him for doing it.
A. T. Jones put it this way at a ministerial meeting: "Some of the brethren came here free but the Spirit of God brought up something they never saw before. It went deeper than ever before and revealed things they never saw before. And then, instead of thanking the Lord and letting the whole wicked business go, they got discouraged. If the Lord brought up sins to us we never thought of before, that only shows He is going to the depths and He will reach bottom at last and when He finds the last thing that is impure and we say I would rather have the Lord than that, then the work is complete and the seal of the living God can be fixed on the character.
Ellen White said it this way: "Your circumstances have served to bring new defects to your notice but nothing has been revealed but that was in you."
Perhaps that is a vital part of the process called the sealing.
The latter rain. Six simple truths that could have changed the church 100 years ago.
Will we let it happen now?^
(The complete sermon by Lewis Walton is available on audio cassette (#0-01) $2.50; video cassette (#VW1) $27.00, and may be ordered on page 12.)
"The 1888 Message links victory over sin and the heavenly sanctuary"
"Justification is the arms of God around this globe../'
"...faith becomes the substance of God's dreams for you."
Bible Worker Presents The Health Message in the Light of the Cross
(Gloria Lawson, Canada's representative on the 1888 Message Study Committee, is also a busy cooking school director and experienced Bible instructor. At our request she has shared the material she uses for devotionals in her classes. —Ed.)
Recently, a growing conviction came to me to present the health message in light of the cross. An "evening thought of the day" concludes each night of the cooking school. The first night, Jeremiah 31:3 is shared: "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
How much is everlasting love?
We look at God’s goodness, His blessing and His gifts in the great variety of foods He has given us—the assortment of grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. "Every soul is precious in His eyes." (SC 12) And He has chosen the best for us.
At the end of the talk, I pray and then say, "Good night, and remember, God loves you."
The second night’s devotion is on listening to God and believing He loves us. He cares about us. We are His creation.
The third night: "God is the source of all wisdom." Isaiah 55:2 says, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?...hearken diligently unto Me." Here our God is pleading earnestly with us to listen and "eat ye that which is good."
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." The devil knows that as long as he can keep people eating improperly and not getting enough thiamine, vitamin B1 and other nourishing foods to nourish their nervous systems, he has it easy.
"Wrong habits of eating and drinking lead to errors in thought and action." (CDF 62) God is personally concerned with how we eat and drink because He loves us."
The fourth night’s devotion tells how God in His love and mercy has given us honey, raisins and lush fruit for our sweet tooth. Jesus is interested in the little things that pertain to our happiness.
The fifth night sums it all up: From night to night I have talked about how much God loves you, but tonight I would like to share how much He really loves you. Come with me to Gethsemane and see Jesus' struggle in the garden and His total submission—willing to say good-by to life forever that we might live. Then up the rugged pathway to Calvary and behold His love as revealed on the cross.
At a recent cooking school there was hardly a dry eye—Adventists and non-Adventists—as we looked at the cross and realized how much our salvation cost and saw Jesus’ great love.
As people quietly walked out that evening, through their tears they whispered, "Pray that I may overcome coffee" and other prayer requests. Truly, "...the preaching of the cross...is the power of God." (1 Cor. 1:18)
Oh, that we might study the health message in light of the cross and see how it took Jesus an almost six weeks’ fast to break the power of appetite. See His self-surrender in Gethsemane.
A new radiance shines on the health message as we spend time at Calvary's cross. Our Saviour with nail print scars is still trying to rescue us. The pages of Counsels on Diet and Foods are no longer burdensome but a joy made possible for us by His grace, His power to overcome. "To make plain natural law" is the work that accompanies the third angel's message to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord.
"When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
"Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all."
The Health Message in the Light of the Cross, a Spirit of Prophecy compilation prepared by Gloria Lawson, is available as a leaflet.
"The giving of the gospel to the world is the work that God has committed to those who bear His name. For earth’s sin and misery the gospel is the only antidote. To make known to all mankind the message of the grace of God is the first work of those who know its healing power....
"The world needs today what it needed nineteen hundred years ago—a revelation of Christ. A great work of reform is demanded, and it is only through the grace of Christ that the work of restoration, physical, mental and spiritual, can be accomplished.
"Medical missionary work is the pioneer work of the gospel. In the ministry of the word and in the medical missionary work the gospel is to be preached and practiced....
"Heavenly intelligences are waiting to co-operate with human instrumentalities, that they may reveal to the world what human beings may become, and what, through union with the Divine, may be accomplished for the saving of souls that are ready to perish. There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. All who consecrate body, soul, and spirit to His service will be constantly receiving a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. The inexhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command."
—Ministry of Healing, pp. 141,144,159
The truth for this time, the third angel’s message, is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, as we approach the final test. This test must come to the churches in connection with true medical missionary work, a work that has the great Physician to dictate and preside in all it comprehends.
—Loma Linda Messages> page 83
What Is the Future of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
If we liken the church to a ship, is it doomed to sink like the Titanic? Should "faithful souls" abandon the ship and jump into the cold water on their own? Ellen White likened the Seventh-day Adventist Church to a "noble ship which bears the people of God," and declared that it would sail "safely into port."
No intelligent person would dare say that a nominal connection with the organized church can guarantee an individual’s personal salvation.
That’s not the issue. The important question is whether church membership and supporting the church are valid duties which the Lord requires of "faithful souls." What is "the mind of Christ" toward the Seventh-day Adventist Church? If we can determine the answer to that question, we can know what our "mind" toward it should be.
There are guidelines in Scripture that are helpful, as well as numerous Ellen White statements:
(1) God’s intention has always been that His people on earth be an organized, denominated, visible "family," His soul-winning agents in the world. (Gen. 12:3,7; 17:7, 24)
(2) Through all the centuries of ancient Israel’s and Judah’s apostasies, the Lord remained faithful to His promise. In the days of Elijah and the apostate king Ahab and his wicked queen Jezebel, Israel was still Israel. Judah in Jeremiah's day was still the Lord's denominated people. They never became Babylon, although they were in captivity in Babylon.
(3) Fleshly descent from Abraham never made any individual to be his true heir. Always it was "in Isaac [that] thy seed shall be called." "They which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Rom. 9:7; Gal.3:7). The true Israel, who had the faith of Abraham, were always to be a denominated, identifiable people so they could function efficiently to evangelize the world.
(4) The early Christian church of the apostles was not an offshoot from Israel. It was the true Israel. This was because its members cherished the faith of Abraham. From its very beginning when Jesus called the first disciples, His church was an organized, denominated body.
In apostolic times the church was also highly organized and denominated, with apostles, elders, evangelists, teachers, deacons, deaconesses and others with various gifts all functioning in disciplined inter-relationship under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. "Faithful souls" indeed constituted the early church, but that church was by no means disorganized. When used to imply that the organized church cannot be the true one, the Acts of the Apostles, p. 11 statement about "faithful souls" is wrested from its context.
(5) The persecuted church during medieval times followed New Testament patterns of organization and discipline. True believers always functioned as a body, although the precise details of the methods of organization varied.
(6) In the early days of Seventh-day Adventists, battles were fought over organization, with fanatical anarchists rebelling against proper discipline within the body. The Holy Spirit set His unmistakable seal of approval on the need for order. Our pioneers saw the denominated Seventh-day Adventist Church in its organized state as the fulfillment of Revelation 12:17 and 14:12.
"God is not the author of confusion." The century-long establishment of the world Seventh-day Adventist Church among so many diverse cultures is clearly the work of the Holy Spirit. No other worldwide movement or body of believers can even remotely be identified as the fulfillment of Revelation 14:6-12.
Here is a body already in existence superbly crafted by the Lord to accomplish the task of proclaiming "the everlasting gospel." No offshoot or independent movement can possibly grow within anyone's lifetime to become such a potentially efficient soul-winning instrument. True Seventh-day Adventists are more concerned for the honor and vindication of Christ than for their own personal reward. They think primarily in terms of accomplishing His gospel commission for the world rather than their own security. For them, self-love has given way to an experience of being crucified with Christ. They are "under grace," a new motivation imposed by an appreciation of His sacrifice, rather than "under law," their former motivation of spiritual self-concern.
They endure the same test that Moses endured. When God proposed to abandon His organized people Israel and prosper Moses as the leader of their off-shoot successors, Moses chose to have his name blotted out of the book of life rather than see God's honor thus compromised. The "shaking" in the last days will separate from God’s people all whose deep heart- motivation is mere concern for their own security.
(7) An "under law" motivation of self-concern comes from a failure to appreciate righteousness by faith. It has poisoned the application of our principles of church organization.
Recognizing Christ as the Head of the church, directing its organization, requires heart-submission to Him; this becomes impossible when the gospel of righteousness by faith is not clearly understood. The "under law" motivation supplants the "under grace" motivation, and leaders and people suffer. "Kingly power" is exercised, and ministers and people learn to look to fallible human beings for leadership, following their dictates and praising them. A subtle Baal-worship caters to the love of,self while professing devotion to Christ. (The common practice of conference employees designating their president "the chief" is an example of a direct violation of Christ’s counsel in Matthew 20: 25-28; 23:10).
(8) An important truth that will help us understand the mind of Christ toward the Seventh-day Adventist Church is our 1888 history. In spite of decades of lukewarmness within it, the Lord sent the "beginning" of the final latter rain through delegates to a General Conference session. He honored this people with the "revelation of the righteousness of Christ" in this "most precious message" destined to lighten the earth with glory."
(9) The 1901 reorganization was intended to bring revival and reformation and return to the leadership of Christ working through those who believe His word, "All ye are brethren." But the spiritual renewal did not take place. It was only a "what might have been." (8T104-106)
But Ellen White did not withdraw her support from the organized church, but remained true and loyal until her death in 1915. This was despite the fact that she was deeply disappointed with the spiritual results of the 1901 session. The Lord continued through all those years to honor this church with the ministry of His messenger.
The solution to our problem does not consist in destroying or changing the mechanical system of our constitutional organization, but in finding repentance and reconciliation with Christ within it. Weaknesses in organization will be rectified almost overnight when the Holy Spirit succeeds in leading us to repentance.
(10) Literally millions of people can testify that the only agency which led them to a knowledge of the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14 is the Seventh-day Adventist Church, despite its failures. The best hope for an ultimately successful proclamation of the last message to the world is a repentant Seventh-day Adventist Church that not only proclaims the message with crystal clarity but demonstrates without question that it works. In the midst of the 1888 era of unbelief, Ellen White had hope for reformation:
"God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong....God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port." (2 SM 390; 1892)
"When anyone is drawing apart from the organized body of God’s commandment-keeping people, when he begins to pronounce judgment against them, then you may know that God is not leading him." (3 SM 18; 1893)
After 1901 and 1903 Ellen White made some of the strongest statements of her lifetime, identifying this organized church as the true one and giving assurance of its ultimate success in ministry when repentance permeates the body:
"We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth." (MS 129; 1905)
"I am instructed to say to Seventh- day Adventists the world over, God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of hosts to the end of time." (2 SM 397; 1908)
"I am encouraged and blessed as I realize that the God of Israel is still guiding His people and that He will continue to be with them, even to the end." (Remarks to 1913 General Conference session, LS 437,438)
She clearly defined "God’s people" as "this denomination." W. C. White wrote as follows a few weeks before her death:
I told [Mrs. Lida Scott] how Mother regarded the experience of the remnant church, and of her positive teaching that God would not permit this denomination to so fully apostatize that there would be the coming out of another church." (Letter, May 23,1915)
Because ancient Israel failed repeatedly as has the church in modern times does not mean necessarily that the pattern of backsliding and apostasy will continue forever. The failures of God’s corporate people have always involved the heavenly sanctuary in defilement.
The foundation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a belief in the good news of Daniel 8:14: "Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Then shall this constant cloud of failure which has hovered over God’s Israel be lifted; then shall God’s name be cleared as His people demonstrate His plan of salvation to be a success; then shall the sacrifice of Christ be vindicated. A cynical attitude which says, "Suppose the church fails and the conditions are not met" is the same as saying, "Suppose the sanctuary will not be cleansed.” The honor of God requires that it shall be cleansed.
This is the ultimate issue in the great controversy. We have the privilege of standing in absolute loyalty to Christ and to His Bride-to-be.'
We are committed to the support of our beloved Seventh-day Adventist Church. Specifically, all tithe is to be paid to the organized church. We support financially the local church, the Sabbath school and other denominational programs.
The 1888 Message Newsletter is distributed free of charge. Those who wish to make tax-deductible gifts toward the work of The 1888 Message Study Committee may make checks payable to "New Start Health Educators, Inc." (This is the legal "umbrella" for tax deductible gifts.
2934 Sherbrook Drive Uniontown, OH 44685
To direct the minds of His people away from a legalistic preoccupation with saving their own souls to understanding the place they were created to fill in the great controversy, Christ sent a fresh revelation of Himself through two young ministers to the General Conference in Minneapolis in 1888. "The plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man. It was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth; ...but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe.”1
”Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God’s wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which 'angels desire to look,’ and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love."2
The controversy over the law of God, the expression of His character of love, will be finished when He has a people who, through faith, which is an appreciation of what Christ has done for them on the cross, reveal that love in their lives.
"When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own."3 Until we experience the power of Paul's affirmation, "The love of Christ controls and impels us,4 this familiar quote creates disbelief or discouragement. The key to reaching this seemingly unreachable ideal lies in "beholding.” (1 John 3:1; 2 Corinthians 3:18) "The matchless love of God for a world that did not love Him! The thought has a subduing power upon the soul and brings the mind into captivity to the will of God.5
It is this demonstration of the power of love that will bring the great controversy to a triumphant conclusion. "The years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. ...As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption, and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise."6
It was because of this "joy that was set before Him" that Christ "endured the cross, despising the shame."7 But that sacrifice did not begin or end on the cross. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”8
"Those who think of the result of hastening or hindering the gospel think of it in relation to themselves and the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is the revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal brings grief to Him9
All this lay out before Christ that Friday evening in Eden, dramatically described in the lines from a young poet that appeared on a Youth’s Instructor cover 46 years ago. —HFC
THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING
By Roy Shingley
He made man,
Did He take a chance that He would die for?
Watch the Creator waiting under a newly
Trained arbor in the cool evening breeze
He's pleasantly considering what He's
Just made. Man—calls him Adam,
And because of man He will die.
It’s a pleasant evening in the Garden with the
Crickets singing their first songs, the
Bees trying to find a place for a hive.
And the aroma of newness—leaves,
Damp soil and dew.
The Creator is resting against a tree trunk and
Is looking at man—His crowning creation.
Paradoxical—man is going to murder Him.
Evening is enclosing created and Creator now, and He
Gazes at the Friday sun melting into His mountains.
Finally He breaks the long silence gently,
“Adam, ‘behold it is very good.’”
Questions People Ask
Q: Why do we need to go back in history to 1888 and devote time to what happened there? Is it not sufficient that we simply face the future?
A: Willing ignorance or even unwitting misunderstanding of sacred history is terribly dangerous. George Santayana wisely said, "A nation that does not know history is fated to repeat it.”
Ellen White put it even more strongly: "The Lord has declared that the history of the past shall be rehearsed as we enter upon the closing work." (2 SM 390) "We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us and His teaching in our past history." (LS 196)
Two complementary dates in Adventist history demand special attention: 1844 and 1888. The first marks the prophetic beginning of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, the Day of Atonement and the beginning of the sounding of the seventh angel's trumpet. (Daniel 8:14; Revelation 11:15-19)
The second date marks the beginning of the long-awaited outpouring of the latter rain and the loud cry.
History and inspiration are clear that the latter rain and loud cry were "in a large measure resisted and rejected." This is the primary reason for the long delay in the finishing of our gospel commission. The Lord has not delayed His return; we have delayed it. There is no problem facing this worldwide church as serious as our relationship to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead. The Lord's inspired messenger said of the 1888 experience: "I know that at that time the Spirit of God was insulted." (Letter S24,1892)
Again, "All the universe of heaven witnessed the disgraceful treatment of Jesus Christ, represented by the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been before them they would have treated Him in a manner similar to that in which the Jews treated Christ.” (Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 6, p. 20)
Q: True, but what difference does this make to us in 1988? Does this terrible sin of 1888 have any appreciable effect on us now?
A: Yes, this sin does have a serious effect on our relationship to the Holy Spirit today. It has delayed the preparation of God's people for the coming of the Lord for 100 years.
Sin and guilt are not passed on from our fathers genetically. (Ezekiel 18:19-30) None of us were personally present in 1888 to join in that sin, but we are told that "sin is passed on from generation to generation by the influence of mind on mind" (R&H April 16, 1901) unless repentance takes place. For example, the sin of crucifying Christ involves a guilt that includes the "whole world...all classes and sects who reveal the same spirit... manifested by those who put to death the Son of God, (TM 38) unless they experience genuine repentance.
By nature we are no better than they. By nature we are no better than our fathers who insulted the Holy Spirit and showed enmity against Christ through His delegated messengers.
Until full understanding and full repentance bring full healing and reconciliation, the spiritual alienation will continue. The hard hearts and mind set of our forefathers are passed on to us "through the influence of mind on mind." The Bible declares that this was also the experience of the ancient Jews: "...ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." (Acts 7:51)
Practically without exception, Seventh-day Adventists recognize our need of the Holy Spirit. Since Ellen White recognized in the 1888 message the beginning of the latter rain, there has been no further authenticated manifestation of the latter rain. (The latter rain prepares the grain for the harvest; large numerical increases to the church do not necessarily indicate the reception of the latter rain.)!’
From the Mailbox
Groups Start in Three States
I have just been given a copy of 1888 Re-examined and find it incredible....! am starting a study group in my home to study this material. 1 also have the book, The 1888 Message. I personally know of three other groups—in Wisconsin, Illinois and Maryland—who are studying this message. It is changing lives.
Thank God that these gentlemen had the perseverance to bring this message to us again. Or perhaps I should say, thank God that He loves us enough to give us a second chance! I am excited, and I want my Lord to return, NOW! —Texas
Four-Year Search Leads to Truth
We hardly know how to express the blessing and life-changing weekend we spent at Prophecy Countdown while Brothers Wieland and Short were there. We have spent our four years of married life totally confused on the issue of righteousness by faith.... But thanks be to God that always leads His children along.
Enclosed is a gift to say thank you to the Spirit-led sister who returned our three dollars as sensing our need at that time. We don't even know her name but the Lord knows and He has multiplied her gift 100-fold....Please pray for us that we may get into the Lord's work more fully. We are so thankful for the truth that sets us free. —Florida
1888 Message Books Refute Error
1888 Re-examined and As Many as I Love, are the two books I encourage Adventists to read who are thinking of joining "the church is Babylon" movements. There is a fine lady near here who was considering leaving the church, whose enthusiasm and church attendance have picked up considerably since I gave her the two books. I praise the Lord for giving the authors the grace to pen these two works, as well as the rest of your fine material. —Alabama
Seminar Presents Truth as a "Beautiful Jewel"
I believe that as God is able to perfect such a sinner as me, He is also capable of perfecting His church! So I have resolved not to criticize any more what I see as faults but pray and ask God for agape love for all!
I feel sad as I see people so in defense of "truth" that they do not seem to grasp the even more important things such as deep humility, patience, love and heart caring for the church and lukewarm people in it. I include myself in that group but now that my eyes are open, I am praying that God will help me not to err on either side.—Maryland
Glad Tidings Bible Study Guides Have Many Uses
We have been using the Glad Tidings Study Guides for our prayer meeting on Monday night. Now our youth teacher is planning to use them in his Sabbath School Class. We gave another set to my sister-in-law in New York, who wants to use it as a Revelation Seminar follow-up. We are so thrilled to see the response to these studies. —Connecticut
Good News Spreading in Canada
You will be happy to know that over 400 copies of 1888 Re-Examined have gone out across Canada, with very few returned. The Holy Spirit is leading as long as we are willing to follow....Thank you for the newsletter, which I receive regularly. It gives encouragement to see how the work is progressing so rapidly. You and the work are in my prayers every day. God will continue to bless only as long as we are willing to pray for direction and then heed that direction. —Ontario
"Love Abounded Everywhere!"
What a beautiful weekend we all had! The Holy Spirit has filled us with such wonderful blessings, and love abounded everywhere. Through this message, the Lord has gifted me with a greater capacity to love. It is a humbling message. It makes us realize how hopeless we are without a Saviour and how much we need Him. If we can love, it's because He has first loved us. And agape love is Christ in us, the hope of glory....
Everyone I spoke to at prayer meeting last night was blessed by the truths spoken about at Camp Winnekeag. This is the True Witness to the Laodicean church, and it will unite Christ's followers. —Connecticut
Teacher "Appreciates Jesus as Never Before"
Ever since you and Alexander Snyman came to Hinsdale the Lord has spread the 1888 message in many ways. I have "comprehended" and appreciated Jesus in a way like never before! So far I've been convicted that this message is true. Everything points to Jesus and Calvary!—Illinois
A.T. Jones Reprint Counters Charge He Taught "Holy Flesh"
(In this Centennial year, there has been issued a stream of books and articles about the 1888 Message and the men who brought it to church leaders at the Minneapolis General Conference and subsequently to the church at large. But there has been a strange failure to make available to today's readers the actual message A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner spoke and wrote. A fine collection of brief articles fro m their pens has been reprinted in Lessons on Faith.* Below, Jones counters the charge that he espoused the "holy flesh " heresy.)
There is a serious and very bothersome mistake, which is made by many persons. That mistake is made in thinking that when they are converted, their old sinful flesh is blotted out. In other words, they make the mistake of thinking that they are to be delivered from the flesh by having it taken away from them altogether. Then, when they find that this is not so, when they find that the same old flesh, with its inclinations, its besetments, and its enticements, is still there, they are not prepared for it, and so become discouraged, and are ready to think that they never were converted at all. And yet, if they would think a little, they ought to be able to see that this is all a mistake. Did you not have exactly the same body after you were converted that you had before? Was not that body composed of exactly the same material—the same flesh and bones and blood—after you were converted as that of which it was composed before? To these questions everybody will promptly sayMyes.n And plainly that is the truth.
And now there are further questions: Was not that flesh also of exactly the same quality as before? Was it not still human flesh, natural flesh, as certainly as it was before? To this also everybody will say "yes.”
Then also a still further question: It being the same flesh, and of the same quality—it still being human flesh, natural flesh—is it not also still just as certainly sinful flesh as it was before?
Just here is where creeps in the mistake of these many persons. To this last question they are inclined to think that the answer should be "no,” when it must be only a decided "yes." And this decided "yes” must be maintained so long as we continue in this natural body.
And when it is decided and constantly maintained that the flesh of the converted person is still sinful flesh, and only sinful flesh, he is so thoroughly convinced that in his flesh dwells no good thing that he will never allow a shadow of confidence in the flesh. And this being so, his sole dependence is upon something other than the flesh, even upon the Holy Spirit of God; his source of strength and hope is altogether exclusive of the flesh, even in Jesus Christ only. And being everlastingly watchful, suspicious, and thoroughly distrustful of the flesh, he never can expect any good thing from that source, and so is prepared by the power of God to beat back and crush down without mercy every impulse or suggestion that may arise from it; and so does not fail, does not become discouraged, but goes on from victory to victory and from strength to strength.
Conversion, then, you see, does not put new flesh upon the old spirit; but a new Spirit within the old flesh. It does not propose to bring new flesh to the old mind; but a new mind to the old flesh. Deliverance and victory are not gained by having the human nature taken away; but by receiving the divine nature to subdue and have dominion over the human—not by the taking away of the sinful flesh, but by the sending in of the sinless Spirit to conquer and condemn sin in the flesh.
The Scripture does not say, Let this flesh be upon you, which was also upon Christ; but it does say, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5)
The Scripture does not say, Be ye transformed by the renewing of your flesh; but it does say, ”Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Rom. 12:2) We shall be trans- lated by the renewing of our flesh; but we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
The Lord Jesus took the same flesh and blood, the same human nature, that we have—flesh just like our sinful flesh—and because of sin, and by the power of the Spirit of God through the divine mind that was in him, ’’condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom. 8:3) And therein is our deliverance (Rom. 7:25), therein is our victory. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." "A new heart will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you."
Do not be discouraged at sight of sinfulness in the flesh. It is only in the light of the Spirit of God, and by the discernment of the mind of Christ, that you can see so much sinfulness in your flesh; and the more sinfulness you see in your flesh, the more of the Spirit of God you certainly have. This is a sure test. Then when you see sinfulness abundant in you, thank the Lord that you have so much of the Spirit of God that you can see so much of the sinfulness; and know of a surety that when sinfulness abounds, grace much more abounds in order that "as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."—Review and Herald, April 18, 1899.3? *Available for $4.95, plus postage.
"I have deep sorrow of heart because I have seen how readily a word or action of Elder Jones or Elder Waggoner is criticized. How readily many minds overlook all the good that has been done through them in the few years past, and see no evidence that God is working through these instrumentalities.”
—E. G. White, Letter 19d, 1892.
R1888 Message Reading List
TPublications available for the study of the 1888 Message are abundant. We would like to offer the following list for those who are wondering where to begin.
1888: BRIEF LOOK AT HISTORY AND CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE by Robert J. Wieland. A good introduction for readers who want an understanding of the significance of 1888 in Adventist history. 32 pp (#4501) $.50
GRACE ON TRIAL by Robert J. Wieland. Originally commissioned by an Adventist publishing house. Described by an editor as Elder Wieland's "best book yet." 136 pp. Now in its 2nd printing (#7701) $5.95
1888 MESSAGE, AN INTRODUCTION by R. J. Wieland. Review and Herald. 158 pp (#2901) $6.95
GOOD NEWS IS BETTER THAN YOU THINK by R. J. Wieland. Appropriate for non-Seventh-day Adventists. Pacific Press. 96 pp (#3101) $6.95
1888 RE-EXAMINED by Wieland and Short. Original manuscript prepared for General Conference leaders in 1950. Revised, with appendices. 243 pp., 2nd printing (#2601) $7.95
GLAD TIDINGS BIBLE STUDY GUIDE—32 lessons cover the fundamental teachings of the Adventist Church. Suitable for individual or group study by non-Adventists or Adventists (#4401) $2.75; [large print (#3601) $4.50]
1888: GOOD NEWS FOR LAODICEA BIBLE STUDY GUIDES—10 lessons presenting the gospel in the setting of the 1888 message.. (#5501) $2.00
GLAD TIDINGS by E. J. Waggoner, edited by R. J. Wieland. Galatians verse-by-verse. 144 pp (#2101) $5.95
CONSECRATED WAY TO CHRISTIAN PERFECTION by A.T. Jones. 129 pp (#4801) $2.50
IN SEARCH OF THE CROSS by R.J. Wieland. Once we have seen the cross, like Paul we will "glory" in nothing else. This beautiful little devotional book leads the reader to the foot of the cross. 120 pp (#1401) $5.95
AS MANY AS I LOVE by R.J. Wieland. A call to Laodicea to respond to the plea of the True Witness. Discusses corporate repentance in the light of Jesus' example. 101 pp (#1301) $3.95
1888-1988: IS THE MESSAGE RELEVANT TODAY? By R. J. Wieland. 16-pages. Only a few left (#0801) $.50
RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH AND THE CLEANSING OF THE by R. J. Wieland. 12 pp (#5401) $.50
RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH COMPARISON, Thought Paper No. 3 by R.J. Wieland. Popular and 1888 views of 36 specific aspects of the doctrine of righteousness by faith compared side by side (#2001) $.50
Laymen Join Ministers in Sharing the Good News
God is raising up many voices to spread the revival of the 1888 Message. More and more pastors are preaching the pure truth of righteousness by faith in their churches.
As the requests for seminars swamp the few ministers available to conduct them, lay persons are preparing themselves to help. In New England, California and Florida, teams are conducting seminars in churches where invited. In North America and around the world, many more Adventists, thrilled with the pure Gospel they are discovering, are forming study groups using the Glad Tidings and Good News for Laodicea study guides.
University Students Attend Uganda Retreat
Reporting on a retreat for university students in Kampala, Uganda, Elder Thor Pedersen writes: "The retreat is over. It has whetted the appetite of many, but some accused the organizers of downgrading them by calling them the Laodicean church....I just presented one topic, the apostasy through church history based on paganistic concepts in the church from the second century. Thus I could hit original sin and all its evils at the same time.
"After the retreat was officially closed, I offered a time for questions and answers, and more than 50 stayed with me for several hours. I could hardly get away from them. They were so open-minded and stirred spiritually. It was a feast to work with them....
"When I may leave Uganda for good in October...the written word scattered all over Uganda will remain to speak eloquently about the truth for this time. I am pushing our young, alert students to form a chapter for 1888 in Uganda...in order to see the beginning followed up and developed locally."'!’
Special 1888-1988 Centennial Offer
"Elder Wieland's latest book, Grace On Trial, is the clearest statement in print on the history of that period and the nature of the message that Ellen White called 'most precious’."—Herbert E. Douglass, author, currently serving as head of Weimar Institute. Paper, 140 pages, US$5.95, Cdn$8.50.
"As Many As I Love is a magnificent appeal to God’s people to realize how often we have hampered the cause of truth by letting self get in the way. This book could spark revival and reformation on a scale never before seen if we would carefully listen to its message."—Lewis Walton, author and Seventh-day Adventist attorney. Paper, 101 pages, US$3.95, Cdn$5.65.
"This [1888 Re-Examined] is an important book on an important topic, representing years of serious research and reflection. It will reward thoughtful analysis."—C. Mervyn Maxwell, author and professor of church history at Andrews University. Paper, 209 pages, US$7.95, Cdn$11.35.
Extended Offer! Grace On Trial As Many as I Love, and 1888 Re-Examined are available 3t 8 Special three- book package price of US$12.00 (Cdn$16.60) postpaid, for all three! To order, simply ask for special 3-book set, (#7703) on coupon below, or order blank on page 12. Make check or money order payable to New Start Health Educators, Inc. (our legal, IRS-approved corporation) and mail your order to: The 1888 Message Study Committee, 915 Parks Avenue, SE, Paris, OH 44669 USA. Mail orders only. Please allow 6 weeks delivery.