Understanding the 1888 Message Part 1

Hey check this out! The gospel of Jesus is truely wonderful. Martin Luther was given by the Holy Spirit more light than was available in his day, concerning this wonderful gospel. About 124 years ago in the year 1888, more light was again shown by the Lord to two men who were willing to be used by the Holy Spirit. Their names were A.T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner.

Here are some of the points of this good news that we would like to share with you. If you find that you are inspired by this good news as we have been; and continue to be; then we would be happy to help you find other avenues to continue researching this exciting subject.

  • "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." Christ has truly taken Adam's place. He is the second Adam of the entire fallen race, corporately one, even as Adam was head of the unfallen race.

  • Without a legal basis grace is actually "cheap grace." Unless grace is unconditional it cannot be grace! Grace must be unmerited, unearned and undeserved favor. Justification was "the gift" that grace gave. Fallen man cannot obey unless he first believes the good news of his justification in Christ, who is already his savior.

  • Nothing was "deferred" or "delayed." Our punishment was totally inflicted on Christ. His sacrifice fully paid the debt or "every man's" sin. In that sense, He saved the world! This can be nothing short of a legal justification for "all men," or as the Bible says, a "verdict of acquittal. . . . for all men." Otherwise we could not live even now, we would die the second death immediately!

  • The sacrifice of Christ gave much more than mere physical life. It lifted from humanity the condemnation of the second death, and gave every spiritual blessing and happiness that humanity has ever known. This deliverance from the fear of eternal death is "justification unto life" that Christ has given to "all men," not merely offered to them. Having died every man's second death, Christ has secured for him the gift of salvation. This means that "all men" are born and live under a legal "verdict of acquittal", "in Christ" and are drawn by the Holy Spirit unless and until they choose finally to disbelieve and thus be lost. (Yet God does not force anyone; the sinner can spurn what Christ has already given him.)

We will provide you with reasons that explains how beautiful this true gospel message is and how it shows more of God's (Jesus Christ) grace. Understand more and more of his Agape Love towards us sinners.

So What is Agape?

The in first century back in Christ and Apostles times the Greek had 4 different meanings to the single word "LOVE". Agape was one of them. Agape in Greek definition back then is this: A selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature) or (In Christian theology) the love of God or Christ for mankind. You see all of us are born into sin. We know of a SELFISH LOVE and not of a (SELFLESS LOVE) which is totally opposite of SELFISH LOVE.

  • The gospel begins with the revelation of the love of God at the cross. It doesn't appeal to a selfish motivation of any kind.

  • The truth of agape is ministered only from the Most Holy Apartment of the sanctuary in heaven. The 1888 message view of righteousness by faith (in contrast to the popular Evangelical view which does not recognize the cleansing of the sanctuary) delivers the sinner from self-centeredness.

  • Faith is a heart-appreciation of the grand dimensions of agape, irrespective of a hope of personal reward in heaven, or a fear of being personally lost in hell.

  • Self-love is the essence of Lucifer's invention--sin. Christ taught that we are now to love others, as by nature we have been born loving self.

No problem facing our Church (the Seventh-day Adventist Church) today can be more urgent than understanding the "everlasting gospel." In the present confusion, many are not quite so sure what it is:

  • Is salvation totally by grace through faith, or is it by faith plus by works?

  • Are sanctified works meritorious?

  • When Christ died on the cross, did He accomplish the Father's appointed mission for Him to "save the world"? Or did he largely fail?

  • What kind of motivating power is there in the third angel's message?

  • Could the same "Galatianism" against which Paul once contended be alive and well among us?

Something to ponder as you read on

If you have been surfing the Internet, you may find some writings by Jones and Waggoner on the true gospel message, (1888) but they are only bits and pieces, and do not provide a complete the picture! It's like trying to read a 12 chapter book when you only have the middle four chapters - 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the book! It seems that everyone has their own verison of the message and what happen. The Shepherd's Rod have their own version; the Reformed Seventh-day Adventist have their own version; Our Firm Foundation has their view on the message; and Adventist who are against this message tell you their view point, but they will not tell you the whole story. Mostly they don't know or they don't understand it and you don't get the complete picture of what the message is really about! You just got the 1888 breif history from above. Now we will give you the MEAT of this message, so you can fully understand the complete picture for yourself.

Jones and Waggoner message from God took Martin Luther's subject of Righteousness by Faith to a Higher Degree, a deeper, better understanding, an understanding of God's true character, "Agape." A picture that the world had not seen since the first century Christians turned the world upside down with this message! God, (Jesus Christ) was revealing more regarding a degree of Righteousness by Faith than what Martin Luther understood or comprehended! It was Part 2 of Righteousness by Faith from God! Here is a quote from Ellen G. White in explaining why Jones and Waggoner had a far more knowledge of "Righteousness by Faith" than the 16th century Luther had or part 2 of RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH.

I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the reformed churches, who are come to a period in religion, and will go no farther than the instruments of their reformation. The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go any farther than what Luther saw, and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things. This is a misery much to be lamented; for though they were burning and shining lights in their time, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God, but were they now living, would be as willing to embrace further light as that which they first received’”. As wonderful as was the work done by Luther and Calvin, even their understanding of the foundational doctrine of justification by faith was affected by their misunderstanding of Original Sin and the will of man: “Unfortunately, Luther followed Augustine rather than Paul in his teaching of predestination, freedom of the will, and kindred doctrines...

Thus, the most precious message that the Lord sent through Jones and Waggoner, (Righteousness by Faith) although built on the foundation laid by the Reformers, was to rise above all the papal errors that had come into the church during the dark ages. The Great Controversy pp. 291-292 3rd edition 1888.

It took the ideal of salvation by works or salvation + works, to HIS (Jesus) salvation for us! There is no way that we, (the human race) can do it ourselves. We cannot earn any salvation at all from God! We can not be partners with him on this subject. It is through HIS salvation alone on the cross that we can be saved! This means because of the cross there was a universal salvation for all mankind, all men, women, children were saved regardless of their sinful past, present, or future! Christ's blood covered all of our sins, past, present, and future! All of the sins that we committed was based on the ideal that they were not forgiven by God until we came to him and confess them and asked forgiveness--then God forgave them. Only then the ones in the past and the present were forgiven, but not the ones in the future!

But God has forgiven them all! Even before you go to him asking for HIS forgiveness! Now that mankind was saved doesn't mean that all mankind will go to heaven! God has given us a choice of accepting HIS FREE GIFT OF SALVATION to mankind or rejecting it! What is this free gift? Read John 3:16-18. The only way we would be lost and lose out on heaven is because we did not believe what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross and continues to do for us! Our own personal sins are not the main issue. It is because we didn't have the faith to not believing in the good news of what Jesus Christ has done for us already is the problem! All sin is unbelief! Jesus did not make a provision or condition to salvation requiring that if we do something first. Like coming to him that he would save us, but if you don't go to him first, God is tapping his foot waiting for you to come before he will do anything about your salvation.

NO, no this is not it at all! God, (Jesus Christ) has freely pardoned all mankind! Jesus has paid the price for all mankind on the cross! He has done it for you already. The only thing you have to do is believe it and thank him for already doing it for you and there is nothing more that you can do to add on it, just believe it! Those who don't believe this are taking God's free gift to them (already) and throwing it out the window! You don't have to come begging God asking him to give you the free gift because he has already given it to you before you even ask for it! Each person has the free gift already, what you do with the free gift of salvation that God has given you is your own business. To believe it and thank him for it or not to believe it at all and throw his gift away!

The best way to describe God's salvation to mankind is comparison with the act of Abraham Lincoln during the civil war, the "Emancipation Proclamation" that declared all the slaves in the Confederate territories to be legally free! But if no one, (the slaves) knew the experiential freedom until they heard the great news of being set free from their Master's hand, believing what was done for them and acted on it! Same way with the great news of God's salvation, it is in two parts, like the Emancipation Proclamation. You have to believe what was done for you already and you have to act on it by believing it! The slaves on the Confederate territories had a personal choice to believe what the U.S. Government had done for them and leave as free men or not believe what the government has done for them and stay on the Master's land. The choice was solely theirs to make. Jesus died on the cross to legally set all mankind free from the penalty of sin, eternal death! Mankind's salvation is done; all mankind is set free from sin! But now you have to make a personal choice to believe it and act on it like so many of the slaves did, or you can choose not to believe it and remain a slave to sin and be lost (not go to heaven). I'll ask you a question? Did the slaves in the Confederate territories have to do anything extra after hearing the good news of the Emancipation Proclamation to ensure or earn their freedom from the U.S. government? NO, No, no, like God's plan, (Jesus Christ) we don't have to do anymore to ensure or earn our way into heaven! We just have to believe what has been done for us and thank him for doing it for us!

Go to 1888 Message Part 2