1987 April Vol. 3 Num. 2
Centennial Spurs Study
Planning for the Third National 1888 Conference at Andrews University in August is well along and printed programs will soon be available.
Speakers will include Gerald Finneman, David Grams, Dennis Priebe, E. H. Sequeira, Donald Short, Alexander Snyman, Louis Walton and Robert Wieland.
This year’s date will be August 18-22, Tuesday evening through Saturday night. The earlier opening and closing times will accommodate those who must leave early on Sunday.
Special emphasis will be given to the content of the 1888 message with speakers presenting that message in its relationship to the cleansing of the sanctuary, the day of atonement and Daniel and Revelation. Seminars on how to organize and lead small study groups and on health evangelism are included in the schedule. Plans include daily programs for children and young people.
Regional conferences are also being scheduled for the East and West Coasts—at Atlantic Union College in July and Loma Linda University in October.
Storage Facilities Simplify Ordering
To simplify ordering and keeping inventory of books, tapes, and all other materials produced or made available by the 1888 Message Study Committee, storage facilities have been arranged near the Newsletter office. Books that had been stored with the printers on the East Coast have been moved to Ohio. Eventually it is planned that books will be moved fromCalifornia, North Carolina, etc.
Those who find it more convenient to order from Donald Short, Robert Wieland or Sidney Sweet may continue to do so. Information about prices and ordering is included in our booklists, available on request.
Study Committee Officers/1987
A group of ministers and lay members has formed from the original five who called the First National 1888 Message Conference at Camp Mohaven two years ago. Meeting in Florida the end of February, they agreed to work under the designation, THE 1888 MESSAGE STUDY COMMITTEE.
The name reflects their deep conviction that the future of the church depends on understanding the message God sent through Elders Waggoner and Jones and confirmed by the enthusiastic endorsement of His prophet, Ellen G. White.
As the centennial of the 1888 General Conference session approaches, more and more Adventists are asking two questions: (1) If that message was the beginning of the loud cry and latter rain as Ellen White affirmed, why are we still here, waiting for Jesus to return? (2) What actually is the message that drew from Mrs. White the response, “Every fiber of my heart said Amen"?
Through publication and distribution of books, pamphlets and this Newsletter; by sponsoring weekend seminars wherever invited into churches and larger, area-wide conferences; by distributing taped sermons; by providing study guides and encouraging the forming of small study groups, Committee members are devoting their time, talents and resources to making available the answers to these questions.
Already hundreds of loyal Adventist church members have declared their intent to support this undertaking by their study and sharing of "this most precious message," their prayers and their gifts.
The Committee chose as president of its nonprofit corporation, R. J. Gravell, a young businessman in Deland, Florida. He has been active in sharing the understanding of the 1888 message of Christ’s righteousness which has brought new spiritual life to himself, his family and his church since he joined a small study group three years ago.
Others elected to an executive committee were: Gerald Finneman, vice-president; Donald Cate, secretary- treasurer; Alexander Snyman and Helen Cate, members.
1888 Book-Of-The-Month Launched
To encourage wider distribution of the books that provide the history and content of the 1888 message, the Newsletter is sponsoring a new "1888 Book-of-the-Month” project.
Each issue will feature special discounts on a particular book for the two months ending with the next issue of the Newsletter.
As the 1888 centennial approaches, every loyal Seventh-day Adventist needs to know for himself the reason why the message which Ellen White called "the beginning of the loud cry" is still waiting to be heeded by the remnant church.
There is still no better way to become established in God’s truth than individual study of the written word. To initiate personal study, our special offer in this issue is Knocking at the Door by Robert Wieland. It is directed especially toward church leaders but its appeal includes every member of Laodicea. (See page 8 for details).
Questions People Ask
Was the 1888 message accepted or rejected? I hear people saying contradictory things.
The best way to clear up the confusion is to accept a clear "Thus saith the Lord!" as found in the writings of the Lord’s messenger, Ellen G. White:
"The time and care and labor required to counteract the influence of those who have worked against truth has been a terrible loss... When so much labor has to be expended right in the church to counteract the influence of workers who have stood as a granite wall against the truth God sends to His people [the 1888 message], the world is left in comparative darkness.
"God meant that the watchmen should arise and with united voices send forth a decided message, giving the trumpet a certain sound: Then the strong, clear light of that other angel who comes down from heaven having great power would have filled the earth with his glory. We are years behind; and those who stood in blindness and hindered the advancement of the very message that God meant should go forth from the Minneapolis meeting as a lamp that burneth, have need... to see and understand how the work has been hindered by their blindness of mind and hardness of heart.” (Letter B-2a, 1892)
"An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions: lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through Brethren E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them.
"The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.” (1 SM 234, 235, 1896)
If the 1888 message was "the beginning" of the latter rain and the loud cry of the fourth angel of Revelation 18, as Ellen White declared, then something must have gone wrong. The work of God would have been finished in that generation; yet here we are nearly 100 years later.
You say Christ was tempted in all points as humanity is. Encouraging as this is, somehow it leaves no hope for those sitting at the back of the church who are tempted to commit acts of sexual perversion or of child abuse, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.
Unless we accept and believe what the Bible says, we are all lost. It says He was "in all points tempted like as we are." (Heb. 4:15) This can be seen as true if we consider that He had a self as we have a self. And self clamors for indulgence. The particular way that self clamors for indulgence is different for different individuals; but every temptation to abnormal (or illicit) sex is rooted in self-centeredness, the desire to please self, to indulge lust. Our only hope of deliverance from any temptation is through self-denial, crucifixion of self, dying with Christ. (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:5-7; Eph. 2:1-8; Col. 3:1-10
In principle, Christ had exactly the same battle to fight—surrendering self to the cross. No one on earth can be tempted to selfish indulgence more than Christ was tempted in Gethsemane to "seek... Mine own will." It was a terrible internal struggle, so severe that He sweat drops of blood. Therefore we must stand firm on that word of Scripture; He was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." And whenever we have the faith of Jesus, no matter how strong the temptation, we can surrender self to be crucified—never apart from Him, but with Him.
And He has not left us to fight alone. "I will come to you, He has promised. His business is that of being a Saviour—and He knows His job very well!
The moving van arrived in Chula Vista February 1 to move Elder and Mrs. Robert Wieland to their new home at 2065 Combie Rd., Meadow Vista, CA 95722 in northern California. (Phone: 916-878-2444.) Their home in Chula Vista sold just hours before the movers arrived.
Summer Calendar Highlights
Sacramento, CA May 30
Hillsdale church services. Robert Wieland. For details, call Pastor Ernie West. 916-338- 1938.
South Lancaster, MA June 21-27
Southern New England campmeeting. Robert Wieland, daily speaker.
South Lancaster, MA July 23-25
Regional Conference. Atlantic Union College. Gerald Finneman, Dennis Priebe, Donald Short, Robert Wieland. For information, call Steven Grabiner, 617-870-0498.
South Lancaster, MA July 28 - August 1
Atlantic Union Literature Evangelism Institute. Robert Wieland.
Hinsdale, IL August 9-13
Ministerial retreat. Hinsdale Academy
Hinsdale, IL August 14-16
1888 Seminar. Hinsdale church. Robert Wieland, For information call Pastor Joe Gresham, 312-352-7534.
Berrien Springs, MI August 18-22
Third National 1888 Message Conference. Andrews University. For information, Write to 1888 Newsletter for a program.
New "Thought Papers" Series Begins
Beginning with the April Newsletter, the first of a series of Thought Papers will be included. It is intended that these articles on vital aspects of the 1888 message can be removed and kept separately as a permanent file.
The numbered Thought Papers will be kept in stock and can be ordered as desired. In some cases they will be reprints of material previously printed in order to make them available in uniform size. We hope these will be useful to share with friends who may not be ready to read more extensive discussions of these topics in books.
Reprinted Study Guides Are Ready
Have you invited your friends to join you yet in a small group for Bible study? The new Bible study guides provide a simple way to study the great truths of the gospel.
Orders for the Bible study guides quickly exhausted the first printing, but a revised edition is now ready. The first set of 15 studies entitled The Good News—Better Than You Think is available from the Newsletter office or from Sidney Sweet, 2545 West St., Wrentham, MA 02093.
Rehoboth Seminar Recordings Available
Tapes of the 1888 Seminar held at Cedar Brook school, Rehoboth, MA March 26-29, may be ordered from the Newsletter—price, $2.00 per tape.
The sermons, some of them never before available, are as follows:
1. The Good News Has More Power Than You Think. (Robert J. Wieland)
2. The Righteousness Which Springs From Right Doing. (Sidney Sweet)
3. Was Christ Tempted in All Points We Are? (Steven Grabiner)
4. History of the 1888 Message. (Gerald Finneman)
5. Cleansing the Sanctuary—the Deep Soul Catharsis Involved. (Wieland)
6. The Word That Turned the World Upside Down. (Wieland)
7. How a Man Is Justified by Faith. (Finneman)
8. Righteousness by Faith and the Cleansing of the Sanctuary. (Wieland)
9. Day of Atonement Repentance. (Finneman)
10. Daniel and Revelation and the 1888 Message. (Finneman)
11. Psalm 22. (Wieland)
Jonathan and Marla Maybrook: Our Testimony
(Jonathan speaking) "The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people. "The 1888 message, Christ our Righteousness, has been a most precious message to me. It brought me out of an offshoot movement to God's true remnant church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
I was brought up in the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement. In the summer of 1981 my wife and I became members of that organization. We were active in the church and during the past few years I was elder of our local group in New Jersey. In the summer of 1985 a Reform minister told me about the 1888 conference that was to be held at Camp Mohaven in Ohio. He wanted me to go with him so that we could recruit members for our church. If he had only known then the results of my going, he never would have asked me....
I went not knowing what to expect but found that there were others who belonged to offshoots. As I saw the love of Christ displayed among the people, I knew all walls of prejudice were broken down as we basked in the presence of the Holy Spirit that weekend. The message of 1888 when understood properly breaks down all walls of prejudice and dispels all bitterness. It seems as if all offshoots have separated or pulled away because of bitter feelings toward the brethren or because one or a few or many want to put self on the throne. When the love of Christ pervades us there is not room for these sinful traits of character....
Being bom into the Reform Movement, I saw bitterness over and over again in members and ministers in the pulpits. This spirit of condemnation just isn't in line with the character of Christ.
It was this precious message by Jones and Waggoner expounded in Ohio where I started to see the true Spirit of Christ and the false spirit of the professed church of God.
Another scene that impressed me was the prayer groups that were praying all times of the day and kneeling in the grass under the trees amongst God’s beautiful nature. These are scenes I can't erase from my memory. These people were seeking in earnest for the latter rain. They wanted Christ to come soon. I witnessed youth praying for children. Needless to say, after I left that camp I was never the same. I went home with an earnest desire to know more of this 1888 message.
I can see how the Lord has been leading day by day in our lives, and I can testify as many others did at Camp Mohaven that it was in the providence of God that I be there.
(Marla speaking) I remember my husband talking about the conference in the car all the way home from Ohio. He was so excited that he couldn't keep quiet. The only thing that bothered him was that the message we have was to stick with the ship—the church is going through to the end.
I was raised in a Seventh-day Adventist home and with great sacrifice on my mother's part I attended church schools. I met my husband at my home church and thus became acquainted with the Reform Movement. After thoroughly studying their literature and principles of faith, I became convicted that I should leave the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Reform group seemed much holier than our associates in the Adventist Church. Later I found out that this is a deception of Satan to lead people away from the true church. The Reform Movement makes the Adventist Church look so bad by bringing up all their faults so that you are almost ashamed to be connected with it. Their movement is not based on a "Thus saith the Lord" but on criticism and faultfinding. Testimonies, Vol 4, p. 610 says, "When Christ is in the heart, it will be so softened and subdued by love for God and man that fretting, fault finding and contention will not exist there."
My husband and I were carried off in this deception for four years, until the momentous Camp Mohaven meetings. I remember my husband coming home and getting up early every morning to study and pray. I saw a change come over him. Up to that time we had been lukewarm Adventists, even in the Reform Movement. Only after we understood the message of Christ our Righteousness could the Lord start working with us. As Ellen White says in Review and Herald, May 6, 1890, "While we are incased in self-righteousness and trust in ceremonies and depend on rigid rules, we cannot do the work for this time."...
From that point on the Lord led us step by step back into His true church. A friend pointed out to us a passage in Selected Messages, Bk 2, p. 66: "The message to pronounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon, and call the people of God out of her, does not come from any heavenly messenger, or any human agent inspired by the Spirit of God."
We started attending Seventh-day Adventist meetings. A correct understanding of the parables of the ten virgins and the wheat and tares enabled us to see that there are two groups in the church... off shoots fail to see the wise-virgin group—those that are sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the church. Our eyes were opened to see this other group. They were more Christ-like than any offshoot group we had ever met. It was to this group that we wanted to belong and this group was part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
We are so thankful for the prayers of friends and ministers during those years when we were out of the fold. Now we are earnestly praying for our beloved brothers and sisters that are in the same deception. The key to unlock their self-righteous position is the 1888 message. We will continue to praise the Lord for giving us that message.
In one of the two eyewitness accounts of the 1888 General Conference left, other than Ellen G. White's, is an interesting record. When Jones and Waggoner were given an opportunity to reply to the objections raised against Waggoner's studies in the pre-sessions, they stood with open Bibles alternately reading portions of scripture. After each had read eight passages, they sat down without comment.
Here are the passages (E. J. Waggoner on the left, A. T. Jones on the right):
Jer. 23:5-7 Eph. 2:4-8
Gal. 2:16-21 Rom. 11:1-33
Rom. 1:14-17 Rom. 2:13-29
Gal. 3 (entire) Rom. (entire)
Gal. 5:16 Rom. 9:7-33
Gal. 2 (entire) Rom. 4:1-11
Rom. 5 (entire) Rom. 1:15-17
Rom. 8:14-39 1 John 5:1-4
From the Mailbox
As I lay down the book In Search of the Cross, having finished reading the last lines, I feel moved to write to you this Sabbath morning to let you know how deeply the truths revealed in the little book have touched my soul. A completely new insight into the meaning of the cross has dawned in my selfish and blinded mind.
The analogy of Mary, Simon and the disciples as partly pointing to the condition which the remnant church has gotten into buoys our much-saddened spirits up The exposition of the deeper meaning of the cross has opened the way for Laodicea to get out of her lukewarm condition....
Pastor Short's letter has been received with much appreciation for all the information given... I shall order the book The Word Made Flesh by Ralph Larson. God's truth is surely closing in on His people from all quarters... We do take courage that Christ is about to close His High Priestly work.
You asked if there are others who are studying THE TRUTH. Yes, many are aware of the truth concerning 1888 although the number is as yet insignificant to turn the tide. We have two men in the West Indonesia Union office and at least one in our college who sympathize with the work. One of the two in the Union office used to be book editor at the Indonesia Publishing House. He has written an introduction to The Glad Tidings which we have translated into the Indonesian language and which we intend to publish as soon as we have finished the editing work...
We are studying the truth with about 20 to 30 members of our church every Monday night. Other study groups exist in other towns in the surrounding area of Malang. Every Sabbath means Bible study in the various churches. —Gitosiswojo Kadarman
Fort Wayne, Indiana
I have received an 1888 Newsletter and am very much impressed with the content. I personally feel God is pleased with this message. This is what my church and I need. The world is dying fast and we must have some message for them. —Jack Fleckenstein
You will be pleased to know that at the last Irish Mission Constituency meeting the main speaker was the editor of Stanborough Press, David Marshall. His series of talks was entirely a presentation of the 1888 message and a call for the church to recognize its Laodicean state! Amazing! ...The time is certainly ripe for this message. —Jack and Ann Calkins
Eau Claire, Michigan
We never cease to thank the Lord that we had the privilege to attend the meetings held here at Andrews, and we have been praying God will continually guide and bless you all as you continue to arouse SDA's for the great need of corporate repentance, as well as personal repentance. —Ann and Bob Dunn
(Dr. and Mrs. Dunn have been diligent in making As Many As I Love available at Andrew: University.)
I received many of the tapes from the 1888 Conference at Andrews and have been thrilled with the response and with the messages. I worked with Elder Sequeira in Ethiopia and learned so much about the gospel from his preaching.
Please send me another copy of As Many As Love. I would like to give one to my conference president. —Clayton Stanwick
I really appreciate what you people are doing, having rejoiced in the 1888 message for about the last four years. However I feel we need more emphasis on the need of a final atonement in the Most Holy Place. There is where our precious Saviour is, and there He will rid us of all sin. —Robert J. Neufeld, M. D.
I am very interested in what happened during and after the 1888 message. I am the head elder in the Peace River church and have already delivered sermons on the subject of "Why we are still here." I got a lot of information from the book, The 1888 Message, by Robert Wieland.
Now I have received from you a list of cassettes and books on this period of our church's history. I would like to ask you to point out the books that would be most helpful to me to get down to the real roots of our dilemma in the church today—a church that needs to awake to our true situation and prepare for the second coming of Christ; a message that lets people see where they stand in regard to the latter rain and the loud cry. —Ken Thompson
A Personal Testimony
I was born and raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and attended our schools from elementary to the college level. After I graduated from academy. I gradually drifted away from the church until several years later I stopped going altogether.
In 1979 my wife and I moved to Deland, Florida. We still were not going to church and had gotten involved with tennis to such an extent that it dominated our lives. In 1982 we decided to give up tennis and started going to the Deland church. Several of us decided to study the Early and Latter Rain by Gordon Collier. In this book I first heard of the Minneapolis Conference in 1888.
We were still studying this book when three of our members attended the First National 1888 Message Conference in Ohio in 1985. They returned with tapes, books, and new inspiration.
As I listened and read and talked with the members of our study group, I became aware that I had been living my Christian life for the wrong reasons. As I heard for the first time that Jesus took sinful human nature and the tremendous sacrifice it was for the Father and Jesus, a new appreciation for Calvary began to take root. Christ was uplifted before me.
All my life I had lived the Christian life in order to be saved. But now I knew that, if Jesus came all the way from heaven to die for us, He must want to take me to heaven very badly. And if he wanted to take me to heaven and I wanted to go, what was the problem? "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31) Once I discovered that, my salvation was in the hands of One who had died for me, I was released from a terrible burden of worry. It was a tremendous blessing that my insecurities about being saved or lost were completely swallowed up because I was now accepted in the Beloved. Now I could live my life because of my new-found love and appreciation of my Saviour.
This past year, my wife and I, along with two other couples in our church who had also been previously baptized and raised in the church and had been studying this message, made a new commitment to serve our Lord and were all baptized together.
Now I have found that there was a more far-reaching purpose than my salvation that brought Jesus to this earth. The plan of salvation, while saving mankind, more importantly reveals God's character of love not only to the inhabitants of this world but to the whole universe. There must therefore be a more far-reaching purpose for my life. If Jesus came to honor and glorify God above all else, then we are here to honor and glorify Christ above all else.
All this has given me a reason to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and take a personal part in the cleansing work of the heavenly sanctuary Christ must have a body of people on this earth that fully reveal Him. And this can only come about with a motivation that looks outward, not inward. This is what the 1888 message of righteousness by faith has supplied for me. I know this is why God's servant in 1892 said that the loud cry had begun with the sounding of the truths of this message. I also know that because God has seen fit to bring this message once again to the forefront, it is another opportunity for His church to cooperate fully with Him in His cleansing work in the heavenly sanctuary and unity in revealing Him to the world.
The Truth Shall Make You Free
A sigh of relief went over the whole nation when the President confessed, "I made a mistake." It did not matter which political party was listening, all had to agree this was like a powerful elixir for the mental state of the nation.
Jesus tried to make truth clear to the church members of his day. The record says that "many believed on Him," even "Jews... believed on Him" (John 8:30, 31). But they had mental blocks which caused them to stop their ears when He told, them, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (verse 32). They insisted that they were "free" already. They had been free all along, ever since the days of Abraham. It was then the Master had to give them the stark reality, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (verse 34). This sin was so deeply hidden in their unconscious thinking that they were appalled when He told them "Ye seek to kill me... ye are of your father the devil... because I tell you the truth ye believe me not" (verses 37, 44, 45).
Their satisfaction with their understanding and condition was so unshakable they retorted that it was not they but Jesus who had a devil. But the proof of their warped thinking, their hidden unknown enmity against God was made manifest when "they took up stones to cast at Him" (verse 59).
Unknown sin has a long record running all the way through sacred history even to the last church, which does not know its true condition (Rev. 3:17).
As Seventh-day Adventists we believe that our license to exist is based on our prophetic genesis. We must know that our survival rests upon the single pillar that we are spiritual Israel. From this grows our understanding of Christ's ministry in the sanctuary. In order to sustain our claim to our sacred heritage we must meet certain criteria—criteria Israel of old failed to realize. Our message must lighten the earth to such an extent that every nation and people will be brought face to face with the Sovereign of the universe. That light has not yet really lightened the world because it has not yet really lightened "us."
The frightening testimony God has given to our church is that we too are the victims of this blindness. For years we have trudged behind banners and slogans and crusades. Are we now making progress that eluded us in years past? Will an ever-larger church of "Laodiceans" fulfill the purpose of the final atonement?
In 1950 a manuscript was prepared for our church administration. It was entitled "1888 Reexamined." It was a paper based upon Ellen White’s appraisal of Adventist history at, and following, the Minneapolis General Conference. Research proves that hundreds of times she has referred to this episode in our history. With prophetic insight she reiterated that our reaction to the message the Lord sent in 1888 is akin to the rejection of Christ on the part of the ancient Jews. She said the Holy Spirit was insulted. The blessings that God intended to bestow upon the church and upon the world were "in great measure" thwarted by the unbelief of "our own brethren" (1 SM 234, 235).
The 1888 message related justification by faith to the unique Adventist concept of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary in the antitypical Day of Atonement. It emphasized the plan and possibility of overcoming sin. It went much further than the normal popular Evangelical concepts. It was a "most precious message" sent by the Lord. It was to impart the "priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent" (TM 92). It was a message of justification by faith that began to recover the New Testament power of the gospel.
The comparisons Ellen White makes between us and the Jews are sobering. Nevertheless, the whole 1888 history could be filed away in the archives if it were not for the nearly 300 enthusiastic endorsements Ellen White made of the messengers, the message and its place in the remnant church. It was the "beginning" of the latter rain and the loud cry.
The results of the leadership's rejection of the message were far-reaching. Ellen White was exiled to Australia. The message was "kept away" from the church and the world. Years of delay have resulted. The tragic consequences have been similar to Israel’s decreed return to wander in the wilderness after coming to the very borders of the Promised Land and then retreating in unbelief. But Israel did go into the Promised Land—eventually!
It is time for modern Israel’s "eventually" to end. There need be no further wait for repentance and reconciliation with the Lord Jesus. If we will tell the truth of our history, we can recover the message now. The unopposed message will do its appointed work.
Special Offer: Knocking At The Door
Is there a pastor or local church leader or just a friend or fellow church member who needs to understand the relationship of the Laodicean message to the 1888 history of the Adventist Church? Knocking at the Door provides a helpful introduction to Robert Wieland’s more recent book, As Many As I Love.
To make Knocking at the Door more widely available, the publishers are offering special discounts:
Paperback, single copy $3.95
Ten copies or more, per copy $2.95
Case (110 copies), per copy $1.95
Hardcover, single copy $4.95
Ten copies or more, per copy $3.50
The Newsletter is making this special offer available as its "1888 Book-of-the-Month" until June 15, when the next issue will announce a new special.