1986 April Vol. 2 Num. 2
Planning Group Meets in Retreat
A small group spent three days together at Wellspring Retreat Center in Maryland a few weeks ago seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit. They were men and women, ministers and lay people from California, Florida, Massachusetts and points in between.
The common bond that drew them together was a deep commitment to sharing that "most precious message" which God sent to His church a hundred years ago. The revelation of the righteousness of Christ presented by two young ministers—A. T. 3ones and E. J. Waggoner—was declared by Ellen White to be the beginning of the latter rain and loud cry.
The Wellspring meeting was called to consider how best to respond to the groundswell of interest in that message and the reason why the church has waited so many years for the climax to which it was intended to lead. Studies on unity, the work of the Holy Spirit and the parallels in the book of Jeremiah with our day; seasons of prayer; and intervals of quiet meditation provided the setting for discussion and decisions.
A highlight of the meeting was the study of how to encourage present church members to remain loyal to the church and how to foster spiritual revival. There was unanimous commitment to denominational support in the churches where individuals hold membership. Earnest intercession for church leaders and for one another drew the group into close fellowship.
Plans upon which the group agreed include:
1. Publication of the 1888 Message Newsletter on a bi-monthly basis.
2. Production of a series of thought papers under the general heading of Adventist Realities.
3. Production of study guides for use in group or individual study with non-Adventists and with Adventists.
4. Reissuing out-of-print books, including 1888 Reexamined.
5. Search for a suitable location where the agreed-on plans can be carried out.
6. Setting up a non-profit corporation with the name Adventist Realities, Inc.
Extended time was given to discussion of how health reform is to be presented as a part of the 1888 message.
In the words of one of the group: "The reaction of all who attended was that spiritually we had gained new heights. While there are difficulties to be met and overcome, the future is bright under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord be praised!"
Conference Site Needed
Plans for a summer 1888 Conference are uncertain because we have not yet found a suitable location—that is, an Adventist facility with accommodations for an attendance of at least 300.
Camp Mohaven, where the First National 1888 Conference was held last April, would not be big enough and Mt. Vernon Academy is not available as we had hoped.
If any of our readers can suggest an alternative and would be in a position to make arrangements for use, please contact Helen Cate.
SS Lessons on Tape
This quarter's Sabbath school lessons on Habakkuk and Hebrews will be especially rewarding as illuminated by the 1 8 8 8 message of Christ's righteousness presented in a series of taped commentaries by Elder Alexander Snyman.
The set of seven tapes is available from American Cassette Ministries, P.O. Box 922, Harrisburg, PA 17108. $17.95 a set, postpaid. (In Canada add $4.00 for first class shipping.)
Book and Tape List
A complete price list of books and other publications related to the 1888 message of Christ's righteousness is in preparation. Send your request for a free copy to the Newsletter 2934 Sherbrook Dr., Uniontown, OH 44685.
A list of seminar tapes and related 1888 materials is also available on request.
Newsletter Mailing List
We are in the process of building a mailing list of people who would like to receive the 1888 Message Newsletter. Please send us the names and addresses of friends, relatives and fellow church members who you think will be interested in reading about and studying the 1888 message.
Pastor Spreads Good News
Pastor Jerry Justesen of the Livingston, NY church has provided a set of brief synopses of a 13-sermon series he has preached on the 1888 message. If anyone would like a copy for help in preparing sermons or studies, they are available ($1.00 postpaid) from the Newsletter office, 2934 Sherbrook Drive, Uniontown, OH 44685.
In addition to preaching in his own two churches, Pastor Justesen has been presenting studies at the Van Center on Long Island at the invitation of Juanita Kretschmar. His busy schedule also included a seminar in a Brooklyn church at the request of his conference president.
Bible Offers Assurance
Many who are interested in the teachings of Jones and Waggoner have felt the need for a series of Bible studies reflecting the truths they preached. One of these precious truths, as presented by E. J. Waggoner in Glad Tidings, is the assurance of salvation:
"Christ has, 'by the grace of God, tasted death for every man' (Heb. 2:9), so that every man in the world has received the 'unspeakable gift.' (2 Cor. 9:15) '. . . the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many,' even to all; for 'as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.' (Rom. 5:15, 18)
Steven Grabiner has prepared the following study and asks readers to respond with "comments, criticism and advice. Please share with us your thoughts."
The Assurance of Salvation
How many are given the light of life? John 1:4, 9; 14:6
To whom is grace given? Eph. 4:7
Where is this grace found? 2 Tim. 2:1
What does this grace bring to all? Titus 2:11
Of how many is Christ the Saviour? 1 Tim. 4:10
For whom has Christ tasted death? Heb. 2:9
What is the will of God according to 1 Thes. 4:3?
What else is God's will? 1 Tim. 2:4
Since light, life and salvation are given to everyone, why are not all saved? Isa. 30:15; Matt. 23:37
Although the birthright belonged to Esau, how did he treat it? Gen. 25:34 What does Paul counsel us concerning the grace of God? 2 Cor. 6:1; Heb. 12:15, 16; Rom. 2:4
"The judgment will reveal the fact that full salvation was given to every man and that the lost have deliberately thrown away their birthright possession." —Glad Tidings p. 14
New Slide Series Ready
Sidney Sweet and Steven Grabiner have developed a syllabus and slides which will be useful in presenting the 1888 message to Adventists. The slides cover six subjects and present quotes from Ellen White, A. T. Jones, E. J. Waggoner, A. G. Daniells and others which put the message in its historical context.
The slides are available as a set of 60 slides (10 on each topic) at $39.95 or 120 slides (20 on. each topic) at $75.00.
The price of the syllabus—is—$1.50.
These prices include postage. Orders may be sent to our Newsletter address.
A Call to Prayer
A call for revival from the pen of Ellen White takes on special significance when it is noted that it appeared in the Review and Herald of March 22, 1887. In light of the special visitation of the Holy Spirit which followed the next year, we read:
"A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. . . .Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer." (Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 121)
Could it be that the messages which came to the church in Minneapolis and in the revivals which followed wherever Elders Jones and Waggoner and Ellen White united in ministry came in response to the earnest prayers God's messenger called for? Only eternity will reveal how many humble, unidentified believers responded to that call, fulfilling the conditions of "confession, humiliation and earnest prayer."
But to us who believe that God is ready to send us once more that "most precious message," this urgent call to prayer is "present truth" though penned 100 years ago. It is a call not only to private wrestling with God but to uniting with fellow believers in pleading for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
"When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come. . . The church must arouse to action. The Spirit of God can never come until she prepares the way. There should be earnest searching of heart. There should be united, persevering prayer, and through faith a claiming of the promises of God." (Ibid., pp. 124, 126)
Again and again Ellen White urged the importance of united prayer:
"Our Saviour follows His lessons of instruction with a promise that if two or three should be united in asking anything of God, it should be given them. Christ here shows that there must be union with others, even in our desires for a given object. Great importance is attached to the united prayer, the union of purpose. God hears the prayers of individuals, but on this occasion Jesus was giving especial and important lessons that were to have a special bearing on His newly organized church on the earth. There must be agreement in the things they desire and for which they pray. It was not merely the thoughts and exercises of one mind, liable to deception; but the petition was to be the earnest desire of several minds centered on the same point." (Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 429)
"We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; often the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the day of God is nearer than when we first believed, and we should be more earnest, more zealous and fervent than in those early days." (Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 161,162)
There is so much more that could be added but, hopefully, this is enough to awaken us to the need to form small groups for prayer. When one person feels this burden for united prayer and asks the Holy Spirit to impress at least one other person, a prayer cell is started. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Read the article referred to in Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 121-128. Then use your Bible concordance and Spirit of Prophecy Index to study the role of prayer in bringing to the church again the revival that was cut short in the years following 1888.
2. In these busy days with everyone's schedules crowded, it is important to set a specific time and place to meet and make a serious commitment to let nothing interfere with the appointment.
3. Use a study book—Glad Tidings, Gold Tried in the Fire, etc. to gain a clearer concept of what the message actually was that we are asking the Holy Spirit to renew in the church.
4. Put on your prayer list the speakers, seminars, preparation of publications and other activities announced in the Newsletter.
"The promise [Matt. 18:19, 20] is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another." (EGW Letter 32, 1905, p. 5)
Our human efforts cannot create the spiritual awakening so vital to produce a purified remnant, and yet we are promised that one person working along right lines can bring revival in a church. So let us begin with personal prayer for repentance and cleansing, then seek another like-minded person to form a prayer cell, asking the Holy Spirit to send others. Such united prayer will bring power to the revival of the 1888 message.
Questions People Ask
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?
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." (Life Sketches p. 196)
Two complimentary 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 S 24, 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)
True, but what difference does this make to us in 1986? Does this terrible sin of 1888 have any appreciable effect on us now?
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 nearly 100 years.
Sin and guilt are not passed on from our fathers genetically. (Eze. 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.)
Are we not told that there was repentance and confession on the part of those who rejected the 1888 message a century ago? Does this not mean that the effects of that tragedy have been cancelled? Surely God forgave those brethren.
The personal sins of brethren long ago have been forgiven by the Lord as they repented. But that is not the issue. They were responsible leaders who pressed upon the world church the mold of their personal experience.
Although some repented and confessed their wrong attitude in 1888 and after, "not one" ever recovered the full spiritual advantage lost by his unbelief. (Letter B-2a, Nov. 5, 1892)
Some of the confessors returned to their former opposition to the gracious message. Others ceased their active opposition but failed to participate in proclaiming the message to the church and the world. (1 SM 234, 235) When the dark decade of the 1890' s finally merged into the 20th century, we are told by one historian that there was no one on the Adventist horizon clearly proclaiming the 1888 message except the three original messengers—E. J. Waggoner, A. T. Jones and Ellen White. (By Faith Alone, p. 164)
Is not our church powerfully preaching righteousness by faith today to all the world? Why can't we proclaim that message and forget about 1888?
A failure to understand and appreciate the lessons of the past exposes us to repeating that history in the present and in the future. For a number of decades our ministers have leaned heavily upon non-Adventist sources in presenting righteousness by faith. At the same time they have either been sincerely ignorant of the distinctive truth of the 1888 message or they have neglected it.
Many sermons heard in our churches are not different than the preaching of evangelical ministers who have no intelligent understanding of the third angel's message. Ellen White endorsed the 1888 message as uniquely related to the 1844 message of the cleansing of the sanctuary. She said it was "the third angel's message in verity," a message that motivates "obedience to all the commandments of God." (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91-93)
Particularly since the 1976 Palmdale Conference, the evangelical reformationist brand of righteousness by faith has been widely proclaimed in our midst. It is commonly recognized that this teaching has led many ministers and members away from the truth that brought the Seventh-day Adventist church into existence and denies practically every essential of the 1888 message that Ellen White endorsed.
Thank God, there are some ministers awakening to discover and to appreciate that "most precious message." They find it a joy to see how the message is good news-clear, consistent, practical and heart-warming.
Elder and Mrs. Snyman Retire
Elder and Mrs. Alex Snyman are in the process of settling into their new retirement home near Cookeville, TN.
Elder Snyman is retiring from his pastorate of the Huntington Park, CA, church. He has served as pastor and evangelist in South Africa and East Africa as well as the U. S.
Together the Snyman's expect to be working with American Cassette Ministries in evangelism. Elder Snyman will also be available to hold 1888 seminars in local churches. The Snyman's new address is R. D. 8, Box 208, Cookeville, TN 38501.
How to Test "New Light"
Not since post-1844 days has there been such a flood of fanaticism and professed "new light" as now inundates us from every side. Surely it is the "serpent's" idea to "cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman [the church], that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." (Rev. 12:15)
"Every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation and minds will be confused by- many voices crying, . . . 'This is the truth, I have a message from God. He has sent me with great light.' Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith." (7BC 985, 1892).
How can we pilot our course safely through all the hazards of heresy and fanaticism in these treacherous last-day waters?
It is facile and redundant merely to say, "Pray and study." The purveyors of false "new light" all say they are doing that; yet no two of them seem able to agree. Here are several suggestions that may be helpful:
"Thus Saith the Lord"
1. Look for solid, upbuilding, uplifting truth based on a clear "Thus saith the Lord." Don't be swayed by rhetoric, sweet smiles, back-slapping, flattery or emotional testimonials.
Demand genuine substance, something tangible that you can explain clearly and convincingly to someone else. There is nothing secretive or esoteric about the third angel's message; it is to be given with a loud voice to the world. "New light" that doesn't have clear credentials from heaven should not occupy our time.
2. While it is true that we are to "prove all things," and "despise not prophesyings," it is physically impossible for one human being to read or listen to all the "flood" of literature and tapes going around, even if you spend 24 hours a day at it. The Lord is efficient when He answers sincere prayers; five minutes are all you usually need to recognize that some items of "new light" are mere confusion. "Hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess. 5:19-21)
What should we do with that which is not "good"? The answer is obvious: straight to the wastebasket. A moderate amount of common sense will save you enormous amounts of time!
Check the Source
3. You have a right to know who it is that is advocating this or that "new light." Check him or her out as to his past record. The Lord has specified that the one whom He sends with true light from heaven must not be "a novice." (1 Tim. 3:6, 12, 13)
"Those that oppose themselves" have no business speaking to God's people, for they have been "in the snare of the devil." (2 Tim. 2:25, 26) Those who have a track record of being "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" cannot demand the confidence of God's people for they are not safe teachers. (cf. Eph. 4:14) It is true that one can repent of past heresies and fanaticisms; but a good test of such repentance is a willingness to take a humble place thereafter and keep still.
New Light to Be Tested
4. It is foolish to take up "new light" until it has been tested. Does it produce lasting unity among those who embrace it? Genuine light always leads to "the unity of the faith." (vs. 13) Does it strengthen your confidence in God's leading of His church and His plan of salvation for the world?
Does it impart a love for self-denial and soul-winning? Or does it encourage a holier-than-thou spirit of criticism and harsh divisiveness? Never have God's people needed simple common sense more than now! Any pilot who is willing to see the ship sunk must not be entrusted with the wheel.
Is there a clear-cut message of truth that bears heavenly credentials today?
"Amid the confusing cries, . . . will be borne a special testimony, a special message of truth appropriate for this time, which is to be received, believed, and acted upon. It is the truth, not fanciful ideas, that is efficacious. The eternal truth of the Word will stand forth free from all seductive errors and spiritualistic interpretations, free from all fancifully drawn, alluring pictures. Falsehoods will be urged upon the attention of God's people, but the truth is to stand clothed in its beautiful, pure garments, . . . uncontaminated by the fallacies by which Satan seeks to deceive, if possible, the very elect." (7BC 984, 1903) That's good news!
From the Mailbox
This weekend Sidney Sweet and I had a wonderful meeting in Canaan, Connecticut. The pastor invited us to speak at his larger church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Praise God for His goodness, which fills the earth. —Steven Grabiner
(These two young men have been holding 1888 seminars in churches wherever invited in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Maryland. —Ed.)
With our pastor's permission, Kay and I offered to give sets of the Mohaven tapes to any of our fellow church members in De Land who would listen to them. Thirty-five families responded. We are seeing a keen interest in the 1888 message among several who are studying it. —R. J. Gravell
We recently received your 1888 Message Newsletter and would like to let you know that we truly enjoyed it and think it's wonderful. We realize this message is not new light but old light that dimmed for a time and by God's grace is now beginning to shine brightly again. We thank God that the light never went out and that we have an opportunity to learn of it.
We have been to two of Elder Wieland's seminars and have been reading many of his books with zeal. The more we read and study this message, the more we can see that it is "good news" and it is better than we ever thought. May God bless you and all that are sharing this message. —Ralph, Roxanne Van Dyke
Somehow you got my name and sent me the first newsletter I have ever received from you. Thanks so much. I love it! —Patti Heinrich
I really appreciated the newsletter which has been made available for those interested in the messages of 1888. We need to draw together as a people studying and searching for the truth.
My husband has worked both for the Pacific Press and for the Southern Conference as ABC manager. As he became acquainted with these precious truths, he has always made an effort to carry books dealing with these messages in the ABC. He hoped it would offset some of the errors so often presented in other books. Presently he is working with Joe Crews as treasurer of Amazing Facts.
I too would like to start a study group in this area. Do you have any suggestions how to begin and what material to use? —Christa Hrenyk
Please keep us informed about what is happening in your area. The good news you report encourages others to share the 1888 message.
Editorial Committee: Helen Cate, Steven Grabiner, R. J. Gravell, Alexander Snyman, Sidney Sweet
Artist: Greg Owen
The 1888 Message Newsletter is distributed free of charge. Those who wish to make tax-deductible gifts toward the cost of 1888 message publications may make checks payable to New Start Health Educators, Inc., and send them to:
Donald Cate, 2934 Sherbrook Dr., Uniontown, Ohio 44685
2934 Sherbrook Drive
Uniontown, Ohio 44685