1986 June Vol. 2 Num. 3
National 1888 Conference Called
A Second National 1888 Message Conference will be held on the campus of Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, August 20-24.
In the providence of God, information about the 1888 message of Christ's righteousness as it was presented nearly a century ago has penetrated widely on several continents. Many are inquiring if the Spirit of God is again motivating thoughtful people to study and to appreciate the message that Ellen White said is "most precious," the "beginning" of the latter rain and the loud cry.
It was sixty years ago that a former General Conference president said concerning this message: "All these long years many have held a firm conviction and cherished a fond hope that someday this message would be given great prominence among us, and that it would do the cleansing, regenerating work in the church which they believed it was sent by the Lord to accomplish." (Christ Our Righteousness, page 23.)
"These long years" have been many, far more than Daniells could have imagined. But truth is utterly invincible. That "someday" will surely come when the prophecy of Revelation 18 concerning that other angel will be fulfilled as he comes down "having great power, and the earth is lightened with his glory." Is that "someday" soon? Many believe so.
The First National 1888 Message Conference was held at Camp Mohaven, the Ohio Conference youth camp, in April, 1985. The tape-recorded messages of this meeting have gone far and wide. Many hearts have been deeply stirred by this present-day revival of the 1888 message, and many have requested a second conference.
A corrosive spirit of cynicism and harsh fault-finding sometimes brings pain on various levels of church fellowship. In history personal relationships have always been strained or exacerbated in times of frustration. But we are living in the time of the end, that heavenly Day of Atonement, when God's people are to "press together" in a spirit of genuine brotherly love, considerate of one another in the Spirit of Christ. This is the time to gather warmth from others' coldness.
A deep heart appreciation of the pure good news message of the New Testament will bring renewed hope and confidence in these times of stress. The outstanding characteristic of the 1888 message was the joyous hope that permeated every aspect of it. It was good news of a justification by faith that actually made the believing sinner to become obedient to the law of God.
It taught that true liberty is found not in disobedience to God's law, but in obedience. It bore fruit in holiness and loyalty to the church and its mission.
Today the message is bearing the same fruit wherever it finds expression. It brings harmony, unity of the faith, the grace of contrition, an intelligent grasp of vital truth, and holy, humble boldness to stand for the right. Young people especially appreciate the good news that delivers from both Adventist legalism and Adventist antinomianism.
Discover for yourself the magnificent motivation of a pure message of grace, the answer to Laodicean lukewarmness in the inspired 1888 message that enjoys "heavenly credentials."
The coming conference at Andrews
University will be devoted to its actual presentation in the words of the messengers whom Ellen White endorsed so enthusiastically. It is amazing how up- to-date and appropriate to today's needs this message proves to be. This is evident not only by the Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy support it enjoys but by the practical effects in the lives of those who hear it and believe it.
1888 Message Is Unique
The 1888 message is far more than a reemphasis of the popular Evangelical concepts of righteousness by faith. It is far more than a reemphasis of the 16th century teaching of the Protestant Reformers, good as that was for its day.
The central theme of the third angel's message is its "verity," a truth of righteousness by faith distinct and unique, different than that proclaimed by the Sunday-keeping churches. The Lord entrusted this unique message to Seventh-day Adventists nearly 100 years ago, but it was not truly understood and accepted. Nor has it been understood and proclaimed in our day.
In particular its uniqueness is seen in its relation to the Adventist concept of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. No message claiming to be righteousness by faith that does not center in the Day of Atonement ministry of Christ can be a true revival of the 1888 message because any failure to appreciate the change in Christ's high priestly ministry from the first apartment to the second in 1844 prevents the preparation of a people for the second coming of the Lord. Confusion here dooms us to becoming a mere reflection of the spiritual standards of non-Adventist Christians.
Thus Seventh-day Adventist churches that do not clearly understand the truth of righteousness by faith that brings them into fellowship with Christ in His closing work on the heavenly Day of Atonement become ever more lukewarm, worldly and complacent.
The 1888 message beckons us to heights of spiritual perception far beyond the concepts of the Reformers or popular religionists of today. Consider these aspects of its uniqueness:
1. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross did something for the world. He redeemed the world from suicide. "Every man" owes everything to Him whether or not he believes because He "hath brought life . . . to light through the gospel:" (2 Tim. 1:10) Even our next breath we owe to Him. "Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ." (DA 660)
Christ has purchased salvation and placed it in the hands of "every man." "The sinner may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist, he will be drawn to Jesus; a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance for his sins, which have caused the sufferings of God's dear Son." (SC 27)
Those who are lost at last are those who have resisted and spurned what Christ has already given them. The one who is saved at last is saved because God took the initiative in saving him.
2. "By the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Rom. 5:18) The Calvinists say that the "all men" does not mean what it says; Paul should have said "the elect" only. The Universalists say this means that "all men" will be saved regardless and that is not true. Many Evangelicals say that Christ only made a "provision" for the salvation of "all men," that He does nothing for you until you do something yourself first so that salvation depends on man's initiative. This gives man something to boast of.
The 1888 concept alone provides the proper understanding of Paul's words: the "all men" means what it says and the "free gift . . . unto justification of life" means what it says; but the sinner can resist, reject and nullify the legal justification already effected for him on the cross.
3. When the sinner appreciates and believes the love that led Christ to His cross, his heart is changed. He was alienated but now he is reconciled. He actually becomes obedient to all the commandments of God, including the Sabbath commandment.
New Testament faith is a heart appreciation of God's agape love, which "constrains" or motivates the believer to live "henceforth" not for self, but for Christ. (2 Cor. 5:14, 15) This magnificent motivation imposed by grace becomes the only possible answer to the problem of lukewarmness. This is the reason why Ellen White was so enthusiastic in her nearly 300 endorsements of the message.
4. Another unique feature is the presentation of Christ as a "Saviour nigh at hand and not afar off." The 1888 message presents Him thus: He took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature, that He might be "able to succour them that are tempted." (Heb. 2:18)
Christ was utterly sinless in thought, word or deed, yet He was truly tempted in all points like as we are. Thus He is a Saviour who can save to the uttermost those who see Him thus by faith. This beautiful truth will make it possible for a people to grow into a true Christlikeness of character.
5. The great gulf between the 1888 concept and the popular view of righteousness by faith is concerned with heart motivation. The popular view is concerned with the question, "What is essential for my/our personal salvation?" "What is the minimum devotion required for entrance into heaven?"
The 1888 message introduces a motivation that far exceeds this self- centered one: a genuine union with Christ that creates a heart-sympathy for Him, an identification with Him that transcends our own hope of reward or fear of hell. Our personal insecurity is swallowed up by the infinitely greater concern for His honor and vindication. The little flower girl at the wedding wants only some cake and ice cream. The bride couldn't care less about the refreshments—she is concerned with the bridegroom. It's time that the remnant church should grow up!
Our space makes it possible only to mention a few of the truths inherent in this message. No wonder Ellen White said, when she first heard it, "Every fiber of my heart said, Amen." (Ms. 5, 1889)
Snyman to Hold Evangelistic Series
Elder Alex Snyman will launch a four-week evangelistic series on September 6 in the Berwick PA Adventist church in cooperation with American Cassette Ministries.
Elder Snyman's sermons will be built upon the basic elements of the 1888 message but because they will be directed to a non-Adventist audience, he will not refer to 1888, Elders Jones and Waggoner or Ellen White.
Since moving to Tennessee, the retired South African pastor has conducted weekend seminars arranged by ACM in Toms River NJ, Berwick PA, Perryville and Hagerstown MD and Atlanta GA.
Before Elder and Mrs. Snyman had time to unpack their household goods, his plan for active retirement launched him into a busy schedule of spreading the good news that there is a remedy for Laodicea’s lukewarmness.
Wieland Schedules Seminars
Elder Robert Wieland's schedule of speaking appointments, sandwiched in between writing assignments, includes a seminar in Mentone CA June 28-29 and one in Joplin MO August 1-2.
There are tentative plans for a seminar on Labor Day weekend at Black Hills Missionary College, Hermosa SD 57744. (For details, call 605-255-4101.)
New Book by Wieland Is Ready
The eagerly awaited book on repentance from the pen of Robert Wieland entitled As Many As I Love will be off the press in early duly. It will be available at the Andrews University Conference or can be ordered from this office.
Because of a strong conviction that this book needs to be put in the hands of every church leader, a special price of $2.00 each in packets of ten has been arranged.
Order one for your pastor, church elders, conference workers you are in personal touch with. Be sure to read it yourself and let it reach deeply into your own life. Then your enthusiastic recommendation will keep it from lying unread on a busy church worker's desk.
The book's 11 chapters delve more deeply than ever before into Christ's call to Laodicea: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Rev. 3:19) It voices the author's conviction that it is a call for corporate and denominational repentance, which involves every leader and every church member.
The chapter titles outline the development of this theme:
1. We must listen to what Christ is saying.
2. Crucifying Christ afresh in Laodicea.
3. What is special about a Day-of- Atonement repentance?
4. How a deeper repentance pervades the "body."
5. Christ's repentance for sins He never committed.
6. How Christ called the Jews to national repentance.
7. Ancient Israel's full cup of impenitence.
8. Christ's call to the remnant church to repent.
9. How can a church of millions of members repent?
10. What our denominational history tells us.
11. Bible repentance, the path to Christlike love.
The message of this book points the way out of discouragement over the problems the church grapples with today. It awakens fresh hope that Christ can soon come to claim His bride.
In Search of the Cross Reprinted
The little classic, In Search of the Cross, which has brought to so many a deeper relationship with Christ, is once more available.
This is a new reprint of the Pacific Press edition, much more attractive than the African edition. Laminated four-color cover, revised text. ($4.95 Special discount for quantity orders.)
Coats Urges Spread of Good News
[Elder Harold Coats shares his commitment to spreading the good news of Christ's righteousness which came to him after retirement from a long and active ministry.—Ed.]
The Apostle Paul had a great burden that he himself would be in a right relationship with Christ. He gives expression to this in Philippians 3:7-9: "But what things were gain for me, these I have counted loss for Christ. But indeed I count all this loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith."
Paul had further counsel for the Philippians and consequently for us today who would see the return of the great message of reformation and revival which will bring the latter rain. "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interest of others." (Phil. 2:4) What a challenge to us today when ". . . all seek their own, not the things of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 2:21)
How can we help? We need to give strong financial support to this cause. We need to realize that many things need to be done to bring the message to all who will listen. Books, tracts, tapes and seminars must tell of God's great love as revealed in the true message of righteousness by faith.
All of us need to give liberally to make it possible for everyone to have an opportunity to hear this word of truth. Our gifts should be in response to our own joy at learning of and benefiting from this message. Who can tell another what to give? Out of the fullness of one's heart should be the amount to give!
Checks may be made to "1888 Message" and sent to Don Cate, treasurer, 2934 Sherbrook Drive, Uniontown OH 44685.
MMI to Offer Short Course
Mountain Missionary Institute in New Hampshire is offering training in principles of health and health evangelism combined with an understanding of the great truths of the 1888 message of righteousness by faith.
If you would be interested in a concentrated, two-week course during the summer months, contact Elder Gerald Finneman, president, for further information and a school catalog. Address: Box 163, Harrisville NH, 03450. Or telephone: 603-827-3600.
From the Mailbox
I am encouraged. For years William Miller preached relatively by himself. It wasn't until 1840 that many voices joined the cry, "The Bridegroom cometh." In a way I can see a parallel today. Wieland and Short were virtually alone for years. The writings of Jones and Waggoner and the old conference Bulletins were out of print.
Now there are voices being raised up. The writings of Jones, Waggoner and the Bulletins are now available. The message is gaining steady momentum. It is a thrilling time to be alive. May we be awake to the voice of the Holy Spirit, hearing and responding to His promptings.
Conference Arrangements Set
Arrangements have been completed, humanly speaking, for a memorable 1888 Conference on the campus of Andrews University. Don and Helen Cate, just returned from a visit to the campus as this Newsletter goes to press, received a gracious welcome and response to every question and request.
Ronald Knott, Associate Director of Public Relations, who has been responsible from our first contact for setting up the Conference, provided a guided tour of the beautiful campus and introductions to members of the University staff who will be involved. His helpfulness and meticulous attention to all the small details of arranging the Conference have made available all the facilities and services needed—even name tags!
The assembly room in Lamson Hall- capacity 600—has been reserved for the Conference. A large area just below will be available for the children's activities.
Bennett Chilson, Food Service Director, promises the soy milk machine will be repaired in time and breakfast menus will include a legume. Pure vegetarians should not find it difficult to select a tasty, well-balanced meal.
What can you do to make this 1888 Message Conference a success? First of all, pray daily that the Holy Spirit will prepare our hearts to receive the blessing He waits to give—that He will be not just a guest but the Prime Mover of every speaker, every person who attends.
Secondly, make every necessary sacrifice of time and money to attend and bring with you family, friends, fellow church members.
Thirdly, spread the word! Your enthusiasm and conviction about the vital truths to be presented at the Conference will inspire others to attend.
Children's Program Readied
R. J. and Kay Gravell are planning a full schedule of children's activities during Conference sessions.
They are enlisting the help of mothers and fathers so that no one will have to miss more than an hour of the Conference. If you are willing to help, please indicate this when you send in your Registration Form. Parents of small children are asked to bring strollers.
Space Available for Campers
A check of facilities available for campers with RV's or tents, has produced the following locations:
1. Space for RV's at White Beaver Point on University property—no hook-ups.
2. Shamrock Park on St. Joseph River, operated by village of Berrien Springs, located at city limit sign on U.S. 31/33 approaching from the south. 2 miles from campus.
26 electric hook-ups at $6/night: $1 for air conditioning. Unlimited space without electricity at $4/night. Dump station available, $2. Bathhouse and restrooms limited. For reservations: Village Hall, 123 Ferry St. Attention: Bob Wiles. Phone: 616-473-5691.
3. Oronoko Lakes Recreation Camp, 1788 East Snow Road, Berrien Springs MI 49103. Located about 5 miles SW of town. RV or tent space, $8/day for two people plus $1.50 for electric. Shower and restrooms limited, located in office. For reservation, write Jerry Brown or call: 616-471-7389.
Two campgrounds in Niles area listed in Woodall's Campground Directory: Eastend Campers, 650 E. Main, Niles 49120. Phone: 616-683-9263 Spaulding Campground, 2305 Bell Rd., Niles, 49120. Phone: 616-684-1393.
Prompt Registration Urged
If you plan to attend the Conference, it is important to send in the Registration Form below with $10 registration fee as soon as possible. Full amount may be paid in advance, leaving room assignment and name tags to be completed.
The deadline is August 1, but it will be helpful to know as soon as possible if you plan to stay in the dormitory, eat in the cafeteria, take the Battle Creek tour, bring youngsters who will want to participate in the children's program.
The Registration Committee will be responsible for collecting payment for rooms, and the package meal ticket Individual meals will be payable at the | cafeteria at mealtime.
Children may stay in same room with parents without charge. No linens will be supplied for them.
The Committee will also collect $6 per person for the Battle Creek Tour at the time of registration so that there will be time to schedule the bus.
Registration will be handled in the Student Center. Please send us at least your intent to attend the Conference so Andrews University can plan adequate services and facilities.
If you plan to use vacation time to attend the conference, you may want to take extra time to enjoy the nearby Lake Michigan beaches, the recreational facilities of the University and a guided Adventist history tour around Battle Creek Sunday afternoon. Indicate below, the number in your group for the tour.
Book Service to Aid Readers
As a non-profit, at-cost service, Elder Wieland offers to fill orders for the following books, which he has found interesting and helpful:
The Love Affair by Michael Harper
The most helpful and inspiring book on agape-love that I have read since Anders Nygren. The chapter on "Self-love, Agape or Narcissism" is priceless. Scholarly and well-documented. Comes short of the 1888, DA concept, but is far clearer than most Adventists' present thinking. A treasure. (Erdmans, 1982.)
Unconditional Good News by Neal Punt, Pastor of Evergreen Park Christian Reformed Church, IL.
A thought-provoking, inspiring study of the Bible that corrects the deficiencies of both Calvinism on the one hand and Arminianism on the other. Almost grasps the dynamic 1888 concept, but not quite. Thoughtful Adventists need to read this.
The Doctrine of the Human Nature of Christ Among Adventists Since 1950 by Bruno W. Steinweg
Anyone interested in the on-going discussions on the nature of Christ must have this. Excellent. (1986.)
The Wrath of God by M. M. Campbell
50 pages, interesting, inspiring. Best treatise I have found on the "does-God-kill?" issue. Balanced, easy to understand. (Chaparral Press, 1986.)
Historical Exhibits Planned
Louise Dederen, curator of the Heritage room, and William Fagal, curator of the Ellen G. White Research Center in the Andrews University Library will set up exhibits and provide brief tours during free periods in the 1888 Conference program, August 20-24.
The complete set of Mrs. White's letters—60,000 typewritten pages—her completed printed works, manuscript releases, the Laser Disc Concordance, and many other interesting items are available in the Research Center.
Among the displays in the Heritage Room are artifacts and printed collections related to early Adventist history; the George B. Suhrie rare Bible collection; Millerite publications and prophetic chart.
Mrs. Dederen has recently received a large photograph of the delegation that attended the 1888 General Conference.
Editorial Committee: Helen Cate, Steven Grabiner, R. 0. 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 "1888 Message," and send them to: Donald Cate, 2934 Sherbrook Dr. Uniontown, Ohio 44685
1888 MESSAGE NEWSLETTER 2934 Sherbrook Drive Uniontown, Ohio 44685