1986 November Vol. 2 , Num. 5
New Book Reaches Hearts
The first copies of As Many As I Love are receiving a warm reception and enthusiastic response. A letter from California exclaims: "I have just read As Many As I Love and it grips my very soul. This book has to go far and wide! I would like 50 copies, for which I enclose a check for $100.00."
The vital message of this book not only presents the need for revival but points the way to individual and corporate repentance—the indispensable preparation for the latter rain.
Out of a conviction that As Many As I Love should be put in the hands of every Adventist leader and pastor, it has been produced very inexpensively. This makes it possible to offer the low prices listed in the announcement on page 7.
We are also able to offer a substantial discount on Dr. Ralph Larson's invaluable research of Seventh-day Adventist literature on the subject of the nature of Christ.
The Word Was Made Flesh, One Hundred Years of Seventh-day Adventist Christology, documents a major doctrinal shift, which underlies our present confusion and disunity.
Conference Stirs New Englanders
Glowing reports have come from the New England conference held at Camp Winnekaeg September 25-28. Hearts were touched and voices raised in praise and prayer as 150-200 people gathered to hear the message of Christ's righteousness. Three-fourths of the group were young people, including some from Atlantic Union College, Mt. Missionary Institute and Living Springs. There were six or seven pastors and a majority of local Massachusetts church members.
Elder Robert Wieland reported that there were seven speakers and the others, besides Elder Donald Short, were young men (Gerald Finneman, Bill Brace, David Grams, Sidney Sweet,
Steven Grabiner). All were competent and all were genuinely united in our convictions and presentations.
Elder Wieland told Elder Short, "You and I can go home and dig in the garden now; young men from now on can carry the burden!" He commented, "It was beautiful to see and hear them; they were not mouthing our words or convictions parrot-like but had done their homework and had assimilated the message into their own basic convictions and delivered it with enthusiasm and clarity. The enthusiasm and intelligent interest of the people who came (most of them youth) were delightful."
After the meetings time was open for testimonies. Many expressed a hunger and thirst for the true gospel and affirmed that they had found peace and righteousness through Christ in the 1888 message. As the Lord poured out His richest blessings, there was a joyful spirit and warm fellowship. Saturday evening during a special testimony meeting, almost every person expressed appreciation for what they had heard. Tears of joy came from hearts set free.
A couple said they had joined an offshoot group and had just come back to the Adventist Church and were rejoicing in the 1888 message. A woman who had backslidden cried as she said she had gained strength and encouragement from the meetings. Many who had already been studying this message said they had gained a deeper understanding and were eager to study it more. After testimonies and during the weekend the group knelt two by two and offered prayers of praise to God.
Many books and tapes were sold, especially the new book by Elder Wieland, As Many As I Love. There were 90 requests for newsletters and Bible study guides.
Wieland Reports Speaking Tour
The folk in New England made the most of Elder Wieland's visit following the conference.
He spoke at the weekly chapel service at Atlantic Union College and found students and faculty very responsive and "I think sincerely appreciative." Thereafter he was never alone on the campus; students came to talk and ask questions and scheduled a special speaking appointment on Sunday night.
At Boston Academy he spent an entire morning talking to all the students in their Bible classes. "Maybe New England kids are more serious-minded than others or maybe the young woman who is their teacher and who is an enthusiastic believer in the gospel I proclaim had prepared the ground work. The students were asking for more after a full hour and a quarter. It was a memorable occasion."
Elder Wieland was taken to Cape Cod and Maine to speak in churches and returned the following weekend for a seminar in the Worcester church.
The enthusiasm with which New England received the message was mindful of Ellen White's prediction that "the work will return with power to the East, where it began."
Bible Study Guides Readied
The long-anticipated Bible study guides—a group project involving Robert Wieland, Gloria Lawson, Gerald Finneman, Steven Grabiner and Sidney Sweet—are at last ready.
The set of 15 studies under the name, The Good News—Better Than You Think can be ordered from Sidney Sweet, 1888 Message Books, 2545 West St., Wrentham, MA 02093 (Phone: 617- 883-2339/2340.
Message Reaches Non-SDA's
The 1888 message of righteousness by faith in Christ is being successfully incorporated into evangelistic series for non-Adventist audiences.
Elder Alex Snyman completed a series of 25 meetings in the Blythedale, MD Adventist church. "We saw a good response—as helpful for the members as for the visitors," he reported. "We learned a lot that will make the next series still better."
Elder Bill Brace, Boston pastor, is also conducting evangelistic meetings with emphasis on the 1888 message. Steven Grabiner in Boston and Miro Kavur in Madison, Ohio, are holding Revelation Seminars and hope to follow up with the new Bible studies.
As these men try new approaches in presenting the gospel to non-Adventists, it is hoped that their experience can be shared and many Adventist pastors will join them in proclaiming "The message of Christ's righteousness which is to sound from one end of the world to the other. This is the glory of God which closes the work of the third angel." (Ellen White, G.C. Bulletin 1893)
Growing Interest Here and Abroad
The recent Sabbath school lessons on the book of Haggai bring comfort and assurance as they demonstrate that "God's way is to make the day of small things the beginning of the glorious triumph of truth and righteousness" (PK 595).
The calls for area-wide conferences in California and Chicago presently under study, the interests developing in England and Paris, and the needs in many other places make demands upon time and strength and resources that are almost overwhelming. But we believe that God is "the same yesterday, and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8). To us as to the remnant of Judah through the prophet Haggai, God says, "I am with you" (Hag. 1:13; 2:4).
Barberton, Ohio Nov. 6 - Robert Wieland, Alex Snyman.
Oshawa, Ontario Nov. 7-9 - Seminar in College Park SDA Church. Robert Wieland, Alex Snyman.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts Nov. 14-16 - Seminar in Adventist Church. Sidney Sweet and Steven Grabiner.
For information, call 617-870-0498
Norwalk, California Nov. 22 - Robert Wieland. (For information call: 714-734-6549)
Orlando, Florida Nov. 22 - Vesper service, Kress Adventist Church. R. J. Gravell and members of the Deland church.
Grassie, Ontario Nov. 28-30 - Seminar on How to Share the Good News. Gerald and Shirley Finneman.
For additional information, phone 416-945-2933.
Finneman's to Speak in Canada
Elder and Mrs. Gerald Finneman will be at the Lincoln Pioneer Seventh-day Adventist church in Grassie, Ontario, for a seminar on "How to Share the Good News" November 28-30. Shirley Finneman will talk about how to share the good news with children. Those who come are asked to provide their own lunch.
Directions to Grassie: Q. E. W. to Stoney Creek. Take Highway 20 south over the mountain to Mud St. Turn left on Mud St.—about eight miles to Grassie. The church is on the left just over the train tracks.
Boston Team Comes Together
The Lord is blessing the plans for an aggressive evangelistic outreach in the Boston area fueled by spiritual energy from the Camp Winnekaeg 1888 conference. Steven Grabiner and Sidney Sweet have found housing and moved their families up from New York.*
Steven is assisting Pastor Bill Brace of the Waltham church. Sidney is helping with negotiations on three possible locations for a vegetarian restaurant. Others are joining them in a coordinated outreach by conference and self-supporting workers.
*New addresses: Steven Grabiner, 91 Adams St., Westborough, MA 01581 (Phone: 617-870-0498). Sidney Sweet, 2545 West St., Wrentham, MA 02093 (Phone: 617-883-2339/2340).
We Introduce Ourselves
To answer any questions about who is behind the publication of this newsletter, let us explain that we are simply a group of Adventists, laymen and ministers, drawn together by our deep conviction that the Laodicean message, as it came from God in 1888 and years following, is present truth.
We believe that God has called our attention again beginning in 1950 to the "most precious message," which was largely rejected in 1888 (1SM 234, 235) and forgotten in the years since.
We proclaim a message of hope that encourages people to stay in the church or to return to its fellowship, believing that in spite of its shortcomings God has not forsaken His people. The heavenly Bridegroom will yet receive His bride, a pure church which responds with true heart appreciation to His self-sacrificing love.
We are not an organization and we have no "headquarters." It is our purpose to share the truths that bring joy to our hearts through this newsletter, books and other publications; through seminars, conferences and study groups as God opens the way.
We believe that the tithe should be used to support the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through its official channels. Our publications are supported by freewill gifts from those who wish to help spread the good news.
Hardinge Urges Use of "Right Arm"
As we confront the task of heralding "the third angel's message in verity" to the world, we need to consider carefully and prayerfully Dr. Mervyn Harding's thoughtful article in the October Ministry. It begins with words from God's special messenger:
"'Again and again,' says the servant of the Lord, 'I have been instructed that the medical missionary work is to bear the same relation to the work of the third angel's message that the arm and hand bear to the body' (Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 288).
"But in most areas the right arm has been paralyzed, if not amputated. Why is this? In what way was it to serve? How can it be used effectively to assist in the church's mission of preaching the gospel to all people?"
Dr. Hardinge points out that "Empowered by the Holy Spirit, health evangelism enables the biological transformation of the mechanisms of choice so that moral discernment becomes active and effective."
After giving specific suggestions for making health evangelism more effective, he concludes with another inspired statement: "When properly conducted, the health work is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart. When the third angel's message is received in its fullness, health reform will be given its place in the councils of the conference, in the work of the church, in the home, at the table, and in all the household arrangements. Then the right arm will serve and protect the body" (Ibid., p. 327)
Mingling of the Waters
In the heart of South America two rivers unite to form the mighty Amazon. The Rio Negro flows southward from Mt. Roraima, where the Davis Indians learned the Truth through visions given their old chief in the early '20's. As it glides between its jungled shores, the river appears to be black but in reality its waters are clear. The Rio Solimoes, formed by streams from the high Andes, is mud- colored, laden with silt, opaque.
Tourists are taken to see the "mingling of the waters." For several miles below Manaus, the yellow Solimoes and the sky-reflecting Rio Negro maintain strict separation as they hurtle downstream. There comes a few tentative attempts at mingling; then suddenly both rivers embrace each other and the united current bears everything before it to the Atlantic.
The same week that the righteousness by faith conference was being held at Andrews University, the officers of Pioneer Memorial church next door were studying Walton's Advent. May we as God's people stretch out our arms not only toward heaven, but also toward one another, so that this time the Spirit of God will be permitted to sweep each channel clean, that the rivers of living water may flow freely to a thirsty world. —Virginia Steinweg
What has Happened to Revival?
In cleaning out some old files, this editor recently came across a sobering record of a brief but significant episode in Adventist history.
Insight for May 18, 1971, carried a ten-page feature on the Intercollegiate Fellowship Retreat at Camp Berkshire, which "brought together Adventist students from all over the East and Midwest who had been connected with or were interested in the 'revival' that has been active on several campuses since last October.
"Starting with a flash in the minds of a handful of Columbia Union College students six weeks earlier, Berkshire drew more than 400 students from eight Adventist campuses, plus the General Conference president, a GC vice-president and several other officials and college professors. . . .
"Will the Adventist revival spirit deepen and spread? Berkshire was designed to help that to happen. . . .
If an ambitious comparison can be hazarded, the Holy Spirit has begun His work as He did at Pentecost."
Two and a half years later, Insight (December 25, 1971) reported:
"Like an incoming tide climbing ever higher on a beach, revival seems to be happening everywhere now. During its 1970 beginning among the youth of the church, the revival flamed brightly for a time, then seemed to ebb. . . .
"This past week (as I write this) a revival swept through the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at its Annual Council. Traditionally a time when administrators from around the world meet to discuss and process policy and budgets, this year's Council turned into a testimony meeting. . . .
"Elder Pierson led out in a carefully worded call for church leaders to put away anything that might be in their lives that would prevent the Holy Spirit from having full control. . . .The response seemed virtually unanimous, and many usually cool-headed administrators responded warmly, some with tears in their eyes, others with breaking voices.
"'This may be the most significant Annual Council since 1888,' said one leader."
As the Review and Herald report of the Council reached the church, many members read "A Message from the 1973 Annual Council" with great joy.
At last there was official recognition "that the return of Jesus has been long delayed . . . and that the primary consideration before the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to reorder its priorities individually and corporately so that our Lord's return may be hastened.
"We are not the first leaders in Adventist history to feel the urgency of preparing the church for the fullness of the 'latter rain' experience . . . . Often God's special messenger to the remnant people made this appeal. Especially specific were her words written in 1892:
'"The loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin- pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth.' —Christ Our Righteousness, p. 56. . . . In the four years following the historic Minneapolis General Conference, the fresh, compelling emphasis on 'righteousness by faith' had aroused the Adventist Church in such a way that Ellen White could say that the 'loud cry' had begun!
"One question, therefore has overshadowed all other subjects at this 1973 Annual Council: What has happened to the message and experience that by 1892 had brought the beginning of earth's final message of warning and appeal?"
* * *
Another 13 years have passed and that question remains unanswered. And another question thrusts itself upon us: What happened to the revival that spread from college campuses to the General Conference in the early seventies? Are we nearer to experiencing the "loud cry," which God's messenger said had begun almost 100 years ago?
There seems no reasonable basis for questioning the sincerity of those who participated in the revival of the seventies. If we conclude that the Holy Spirit was manifested as they believed, how do we explain the further delay? Is it more than coincidence that these denominational publications* came to light just as we were preparing an issue of the Newsletter with strong emphasis on As Many As I Love and its call for a deeper repentance.
Is it possible that the young people in 1971 and church leaders in 1973 did not understand the need to move from individual repentance into the realization that as we share a common sinful nature we share the guilt of the ultimate sin of crucifying Christ? Laodicea's problem, says the True Witness, is that "Thou knowest not."
Thoughtful readers will find in As Many As I love a call to a deeper repentance than the church has yet experienced.
The Holy Spirit does respond to every sincere invitation, but our denominational history clearly reveals that there is yet to be realized a preparation for the latter rain. . . . And still Jesus waits.
Jesus Our Example in Repentance
The following excerpt from As Many As I Love, pages 36-38, reaches to the heart of the Laodicean message. We hope it will sharpen your interest in reading the entire book.
"Jesus asked for baptism because He genuinely identified Himself with sinners. If Adam represents the entire human race, Jesus became the 'last Adam,' taking upon Himself the guilt of humanity's sin. Not that He sinned, but He felt how the guilty sinner feels.
He put Himself fully in our place. He put His arms around us as He knelt down beside us on the banks of the Jordan, asking His Father to let Him be the Lamb of God. His submission to baptism indicates that 'the Lord . . . laid on Him the iniquity of us all.' His baptism therefore became an injection of healing repentance for sin into the body of humanity. . . .
"Christ did not bear our sins as a man carries a bag on his back. In His own 'flesh,' in His soul, in His nervous system, in His conscience, He bore the crushing weight of our guilt. So close did He come to us that He felt as if our sins were His own. His agony in Gethsemane and on Calvary was real. .
"Jesus' perfect compassion for every human soul is a direct result of His perfect repentance in behalf of every human soul. He becomes the second Adam, partaking of the body, becoming one with us, accepting us without shame, 'in all things . . . made like unto His brethren' (Hebrews 2:17).
"We freely recognize our need of this genuine, unfailing, Christ-like love in order to be a caring church. But we can preach about it for a thousand years and never get it, except through the mature faith that comes with Laodicea's final repentance, And such faith is a heartfelt appreciation of His true character, seen more clearly in its true dimensions. His repentance is a vital aspect of Immanuel's sinless character.
"Through union with Him by faith we become part of the corporate body of humanity in Him. 'As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive' (1 Cor. 15:22). It is gross selfishness to want to appropriate Christ, yet refuse to appropriate His love for sinners.
"In fact, we have infinitely more reason to feel close to them than did our sinless Lord, for we ourselves are sinners; but our human pride holds us back from the warm empathy that Christ felt. How to experience this closeness is the purpose of true repentance."
From the Mailbox
In attendance at the 1888 Conference at Andrews University I received your recent book, As Many As I Love. Didn't read it until I returned to Maine and then couldn't put it down! In my humble opinion it is what the church needs for this hour! I shed many a tear into its pages for my own failings, for my church's failings and for the sadness this has brought to my Saviour!
Now I would like to purchase these for circulation through my tape and book ministry and to sell or give to all who will read. —Dave Jenny
Eau Claire, Michigan
Our eyes have surely been opened more spiritually since the 1888 Seminar held here at Andrews University and we are thoroughly enjoying the books we obtained. Bob and I are starting a study in our home for folk desiring to read and discuss the book, As Many As I Love every Sabbath afternoon. I am sure this will broaden our horizon even more. —Ann Dunn
La Grange, Illinois
How thankful I am that I had the opportunity to meet you folk at the conference at Andrews last month. I am so thrilled for brothers and sisters who are so dedicated to uplifting our wonderful Saviour.
I want to thank you for allowing me to take those 60 books, Union With Christ. We are studying this in our eiders' and deacons' meetings, small group meetings and are delivering one to each house.
The 1888 Message Conference at Andrews University was a tremendous blessing to me; as a matter of fact, it was the greatest spiritual retreat I have experienced since becoming a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. The moving of the Holy Spirit and unity of the people was absolutely beautiful. I am anxiously looking forward to the one next year and planning to bring a delegation from my church, to share in the wonderful experience I was privileged to receive. I do hope it can be arranged to hold area meetings across the country as well as the national meeting. . . . I know of several pastors in our area that would be interested in meetings here if you folk are considering a possible area conference. —Pastor Joe Gresham
My husband and I were so spiritually fed from hearing more of the 1888 message. My three daughters who live near Andrews with their families came too and they also received a blessing.
We hope we can bring a bigger group back next year. We gave two of our nearby ministers books we had brought back, and it is so wonderful to see this message spreading so fast. We have a group of about 30-40 that really understand the message. We just wish we had understood it a long time ago.
Please don't change the name of the 1888 Message Conference. It is the message and we need to let the people know that. —Mrs. Charles R. Steele
I attended the Andrews conference with much reservation even after pre- checking with our local pastor and conference evangelist, who both said, "Wieland and Short are right on."
Friday night I was awakened off and on during the night. I was struggling over this message, "Lord, is this truth?" The Lord calmed my questioning with Isaiah 43:9. Now I too am convinced that this is not old error but present truth. There were ten people present from Indiana. We decided to meet together when we got back home to pray, asking the Lord if He wants to have a conference in Indiana in the future.
In the meantime we will be reading, praying and sharing the great amount of tapes, books and pamphlets we received and purchased during these "golden moments" spent at the 1888 Message Conference. —Kitty Kuszmaul
Berrien Springs, Michigan
It was my privilege to get to some of the meetings held here at Andrews University and I've been impressed with the message. Are there others in the Berrien Springs area that get the Newsletter? It would be interesting to get together and encourage our hearts. I am enclosing a check for ten As Many As I Love. —Harold Peterson
TO THE "ANGEL" OF LAODECIA: AN URGENT MESSAGE
In the near century and a half of Seventh-day Adventist history, this is probably the first book that probes deeply into the meaning of Christ's call to the last-day church, "Be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:19).
Why should the last-day church repent? Is there actually "sin in the camp" that hides the Lord's face from His people? If so, what sin? Is it merely personal and individual or is there also a corporate sin involved? Is corporate and denominational repentance possible? Can Christ's call meet with success in our generation? How are the honor and vindication of Christ involved in its success or failure?
We believe that every leader in the Adventist Church should have the opportunity of reading this book. Help us get it out!
Order from The 1888 Message:
2545 West St., Wrentham, MA 02093
625 Mariposa Circle, Chula Vista, CA 92011
41 Brookside Dr., Hendersonville, NC 28739
2934 Sherbrook Dr., Uniontown, OH 44685
A Word to Our Readers
We believe that our readers appreciate this newsletter and the 1888 message because it stirs hearts to a deeper love for Jesus. Your gifts are appreciated as postage and printing costs are high—about $1500 for this issue.
We also need to know whether you wish to continue to receive the newsletter if you have not previously requested it.
Keep us in touch with what is happening in your area. Are you planning a seminar? Have you started a study group? Have you sent us names for the newsletter mailing list?
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 "1888 Message," and send them to:
Donald Cate, 2934 Sherbrook Dr., Uniontown, Ohio 44685