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by Robert J Wieland

The Story of 1888: What Really Happened
--Robert J Wieland's "Grace on Trial" Chapter 10: "The Story of 1888: What Really Happened"
[Statements in this chapter can be verified in the four volume set, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials. Numbers in brackets refer to page numbers]


What made the 1888 conference "epochal" and "crucial" ?
It was both the character of the special message presented there and the strange manner of its reception. The message was profoundly unique, the most glorious since the Midnight Cry of 1844; and its reception was phenomenal, the most emphatic and determined resistance of gospel truth ever known of within the Advent Movement.

Must we understand the history of what happened? Or can we merely content ourselves with a vague idea of the message and forget how it was received? The answer is important.

History is always interwoven with God's messages. Both the Old and New Testaments are historical documents laced with the truth of salvation. We cannot properly appreciate the gospel of Christ without understanding the history of His humble life and ministry. Neither can we appreciate the 1888 message without understanding the history that accompanied it. One important reason why so many value the message so little is that they have seriously misunderstood its history.

The gospel story touches every man's raw nerve of conscience because we see ourselves in those who rejected the Savior. Thus we come to repentance, knowing that our sin is theirs but for the grace of God.

In the same way we see ourselves in our brethren at adds with the Lord Jesus Christ in the 1888 story. The import is "that no flesh should glory in His presence." (1 Corinthians 1: 29). That of course is genuine justification by faith: "It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself." (E.G. White, Review and Herald, September 16, 1902) Understanding history is a part of developing character.

And understanding our 1888 history is a positive, upbeat experience. In God's work, the real truth is always good news. It provides hope for the future because it illuminates the mysteries of the past and reveals the present strategies of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Corrie Ten Boom says, "Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future." (John and Elizabeth Sherrill, The Hiding Place {Chosen Books}).

We definitely lost a battle in our 1888 experience, but not the war. In order to win at last, we must understand how the battle was lost. We might well paraphrase George Santayana, "If the Seventh-day Adventist denomination does not know its history, it is fated to repeat it." (See Edith Hamilton in Saturday Evening Post, September 27, 1958).

In this present era of offs shoots, heresies, and weakened conviction, the full truth of 1888 establishes confidence in the ultimate triumph of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The end is not yet, and when we correctly understand our past we shall be better prepared to understand the perplexing present and prepare for the perilous future.

The Story of What Happened

Very simply told, the main details are these:

(1) The Lord raised up two young men who Ellen White said were His "delegated messengers," "whom God has commissioned." He gave them a clearer understanding of the gospel in the third angel's message than others had, and sent them with this "most precious message" to the General Conference delegates gathered at Minneapolis in 1888. (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 97, 1896.)

(2) A.T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner presented a beautiful concept of Christ's righteousness which she later identified as the "beginning" of the latter rain and of the loud cry of Revelation 18:1-4.

(3) At Minneapolis and for a decade following Ellen White endorsed their message hundreds of times in the most enthusiastic language she ever used. [The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials. Careful count in the four-volume set of 1,812 pages may yield the better part of a thousand such multiple endorsements.] Nothing in her long lifetime ever made her so happy. Unless we give due regard to her testimony, we shall accept counterfeit messages and cast ourselves adrift at sea without an anchor.

(4) The two delegates' manner of presenting their message was simple, clear, and beautiful. She said that they gave evidence of having "heavenly credentials" and conducted themselves in the face of opposition as "a Christian gentlemen" should, presenting their message "with beauty and loveliness," and "with grace, and power." (Review and Herald, March 18, May 27, 1890; MS 15, 1888; [Letter 77, January 9, 1893 1888 Materials p. 1126].) This does not mean that they were perfect or that they made no mistakes; but the overwhelming impact of their presentations was on the positive side -- Christlike, she often said. ( Cf MF 24 1888; Selected Messages, Book Three, p. 174; Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 472 ; Letters 13, 51Am 1895 {A.V. Olson, Through Crisis to Victory, pp. 119, 124}.

(5) According to Ellen White's testimony, the great majority of the delegates reacted negatively to the message. Her eyewitness accounts say:"The spirit and influence of the ministers generally who have come to this meeting is to discard light." ( Letter B21, 1888 [1888 Materials p.86.] ) "Our ministering brethren...are here only to shut out the Spirit of God from the people." (MS 9, 1888.) "Opposition rather than investigation is the order of the day." (MS 15, 1888.) Two other eyewitnesses report:

In 1888 I was sent as a delegate from the Kansas Conference to the General Conference held that year in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that notable conference long to be remembered by many....I am sorry for anyone who was at the Conference in Minneapolis in 1888 who does not recognise that there was opposition and rejection of the message that the Lord sent to His people at that time. (C.C. McReynolds, D. File 189, Ellen G. White Estate.)

The writer of this tract, then a young man, was present at that (1888) conference meeting, and saw and heard many of the various things that were done and said in opposition to the message then presented....When Christ was lifted up as the only hope of the church and of all men, the speakers met a united opposition from nearly all the senior ministers. They tried to put a stop to this teaching by Elders Waggoner and Jones. (R.T. Nash, "Eyewitness Report of the 1888 General Conference.")

Thirteen years later, a prominent speaker at the 1901 session reported:

There are many in this audience who can remember...when, thirteen years ago at Minneapolis, God sent a message to his people....For the past thirteen years this light has been rejected and turned against by many, and they are rejecting it and turning from it today. (W.W. Prescott, General Conference Bulletin, 1901, p. 321.)

A former General Conference President, not present at the 1888 conference but close to it, adds: "The message has never been received, nor proclaimed, nor given free course as it should have been in order to convey to the church the measureless blessings that were wrapped within it." (A.G. Daniels, Christ Our Righteousness, p. 47; 1926).

Spalding reports, "There was personal pique at the messengers," and "a tumult of clerical passions was let loose." (A.W. Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, Vol. 2, pp. 295, 297).

A speaker at the 1893 General Conference session openly declared that "the brethren in that fearful position in which they Minneapolis...rejected the latter rain -- the loud cry -- of the third angel's message." ( A. T. Jones, Bulletin, p. 183). Everyone present knew he was telling the truth.

(6) A few others, notably S. N. Haskell and W. C. White, were favorable. The rejection was not total, but the "long journey" and spiritual famine of a century stem from this history. The Lord was forced to withdraw the blessings of the latter rain and the loud cry for "many more years." (Letter 184, 1901; Evangelism, p. 696; cf. "a long journey." Letter O19d, 1892 [ 1888 Materials p. 1023 ].

In spite of the fact that the two messengers spoke at camp meetings and General Conference sessions, constant leadership rejection nullified their best efforts. The brethren's persistent attitude as late as 1896 kept the message"from our people, in a great measure" and "in a great degree....from the world." (Selected Messages, Book One, pp. 234, 235; 1896.) Ellen White explained how this operated:

The very men who need this work...have themselves barred the way that it shall not come....When the leaders get out of the way, the work will be progressive in Battle Creek....The position taken at Battle Creek has been the pulse-beating of many churches....The Lord God of Israel has opened the windows of heaven to send the earth rich floods of light, but in many cases there was no place made to receive it or give it room....(By) ministers, pastors, and those who stand in responsible positions....barriers have been thrown up, and the streams of salvation turned aside into another channel. (Letter O45a, 1890 [ 1888 Materials p. 752, 753 ] ).

(7) What happened at Minneapolis was more serious than mere human judgment could appreciate. The inspired prophet saw beneath the surface: "The spirit which prevailed ....(which) was a controlling power at that meeting...was cruelty to the Spirit of God." (MS 30, 1889 [1888 Materials p. 360] Three years later she repeated this frightful statement, "I know that at the time the Spirit of God was insulted." ( Letters C-14, 1889 [1888 Materials p. 314, 320], S24, 1892 [1888 Materials p. 1043]. Is this not terribly serious?

(8) Ellen White, Jone and Waggoner held meetings during the winter of 1888-1889 and even into 1890 where the Lord worked in a most unusual manner. The people were ready to accept the message gladly, but the influence of the leaders at Battle Creek discouraged and hindered them. She wrote burning messages of reproof, pleading for the brethren to accept the message and stop hindering its impact on the people.

She said in 1890, "For nearly two years we have been urging the people to come up and accept the light and truth concerning the righteousness of Christ, and they do not know whether to come and take hold of this precious truth or not." Her article in the Review and Herald of a week later told the reason:

I have tried to present the message to you as I have understood it, but how long will those at the head of the work keep themselves aloof from the message of God?...Our young men look to our older brethren, and ....they see that they do not accept the message, but treat if as though it were of no consequence. (Review and Herald March 11, 18, 1890).

(9) So determined and persistent was the opposition that Ellen White's support upset the General Conference leadership. Robert W. Olson of the White Estate declares that she was "publicly defied" at the Minneapolis session. ( Adventist Review, October 30, 1896. ) She herself said, "Elder Butler presented the matter before me in a letter stating that my attitude at that Conference [1888] just about broke the hearts of some of our ministering brethren at that meeting".( Letter to U3, 1889 [ 1888 Materials p.252 ] ).

(10) So compelling was the evidence and so persistent Ellen White's demands that a number of brethren were virtually forced to confess that they had taken a wrong stand at and after Minneapolis. One after another asked for pardon, often with tears. Review editor Uriah Smith and former General Conference president G. I. Butler had influenced many to reject the message and both confessed their wrong attitude.

However, these confessions did not undo the evil that the 1888-era rejection had caused. Their rejection of the latter rain and the loud cry, so far as that generation were concerned, became final. The important factor is not the personal salvation of the erstwhile rejectors, but whether the loud cry of Revelation 18 was allowed to go to the world. Later on, some of the most notable confessors returned to their previous stance of opposition, so that "this blind warfare is continued....They have never seen clearly since [Minneapolis], and they never will. ( Letter 77, 1893 [1122, 1125]. ) In late 1892, after most of the confessions had come in, Ellen White said that "not one" of them ever recovered the blessing they had forfeited:

Who of those that acted a part in the meeting at Minneapolis have come to the light and received the rich treasures of truth which the Lord sent them from heaven? Who have kept step with the Leader, Jesus Christ? Who have made full confession of their mistaken zeal, their blindness, their jealousies and evil surmisings, their defiance of truth? Not one. ( Letter B2a, November 5, 1892 [1888 Materials pp. 1067, 1069]. Many statements Ellen White made subsequent to 1892 confirm that her expression "not one" is the truth. )

(11) On the surface, all appeared to be well in the 1890's. Reports of the progress of "the cause" appeared in the Review week by week as though nothing were wrong. But something was wrong. Speaking at the 1901 session regarding those dark years of the 1890s, Ellen White said:

The brethren assented to the light given, but...the light that was given was not acted upon. It was assented to but no special change was made to bring about such a condition of things that the power of God could be revealed among His people. Year after year the same acknowledgment was made....It is a marvel to me that we stand in as much prosperity as we do today? ( General Conference Bulletin, p. 23 )

A little later she added, "Many...have been more or less out of line since the Minneapolis meeting. ( Ibid., p. 205 ) She hoped they would come into line.
(12) Even the new General Conference president elected in 1888 failed to stand on the right side, and lent his influence against the message. He supported it initially, but eight years after Minneapolis Ellen White felt forced to write the following about him:

He is leading other minds to view matters in a perverted light. He has given unmistakable evidence that he does not regard the testimonies which the Lord has seen fit to give His people, as worthy of respect, or as of sufficient weight to influence his course of action.

I am distressed beyond any words my pen can trace. Unmistakably Elder Olsen has acted as did Aaron, in regard to these men [A. R. Henry and Harmon Lindsay, General Conference leaders] who have been opposed to the work of God ever since the Minneapolis meeting. ( Letter to A. O. Tait, August 27, 1896 [1888 Materials p.1608]. )

A few months earlier she had written to him personally, "I have been shown that the people at large do not know that the heart of the work is being diseased and corrupted at Battle Creek." ( Letter, May 31, 1896 [1888 Materials p.1568] ). In an 1897 letter she said, "The President of the General Conference...went directly contrary to the cautions and warnings given him" concerning the 1888 aftermath. ( Letter E51, 1897. )

(13) Here is an interesting account of the spiritual conditions that prevailed in the church during the decade following Minneapolis. The writer is one of our most respected historians:

Ellen White presented the sublime beauty of Jesus Christ and then, in stark contrast, the evidence that leadership, laity, institutions, conferences, mission fields, and the church as a whole, were desperately in need of reformation. Over and over she stressed that "not a few, but many" (emphasis hers) have been losing their spiritual zeal and turning away from the light....Leaders in Battle Creek have turned their backs to the Lord; many church members also have rejected His lordship and chosen Baal's instead. Conference presidents are behaving like medieval bishops, while "whole conferences" and "every institution" are being perverted with the same principles. Some leaders actually "boast" that they will not follow the testimonies. A "strange blindness" has come upon the General Conference president so that even he is acting contrary to the light. So serious is the situation at the publishing house in Battle Creek that "all heaven is indignant." Indeed, the Lord "has a controversy with His people." ( Mervyn Maxwell, Tell It to the World, pp. 246, 247. )

(14) In 1891 the General Conference the General Conference virtually exiled her to Australia, thus ensuring the final defeat of the "beginning" of the latter rain and the loud cry. She had no light from the Lord that she should go. In 1896 she wrote plaintively to the General Conference president:

The Lord was not in our leaving America. He did not reveal that it was His will that I should leave Battle Creek. The Lord did not plan this, but He let you all move after your own imaginings. The Lord would have had [us]...remain in America. We were needed at the heart of the work, and had your spiritual perception discerned the true situation, you would never have consented to the movement made....There was so great a willingness to have us leave, that the Lord permitted this thing to take place. Those who were weary of the testimonies borne were left without the persons who bore them. Our separation from Battle Creek was to let men have their own will and way....Had you stood in the right position the move would not have been made at that time. The Lord would have worked for Australia by other means, and a strong influence would have been held at Battle Creek, the great heart of the work....It was not the Lord who devised this matter....When we left, relief was felt by many, but not so much by yourself, and the Lord was displeased, for He had set us to stand at the wheels of the moving machinery at Battle Creek."(Letter 127, 1896 [1888 Materials p.1622-1624]).

(15) Shortly after she was sent to Australia E.J. Waggoner was sent to England. According to Ellen White, there is evidence that this was also in the nature of an exile. (W. C. White letter A. G. Daniels, May 30, 1902.)

(16) Ellen White finally returned to her homeland in time to attend the 1901 General Conference. She called for reformation, revival, and reorganization. The reorganization took place, and on the surface a reformation and revival were also under way. But the latter was not deep and thorough. On January 5, 1903 she wrote her poignant "What Might Have Been," lamenting in "an agony of disappointment" that the spiritual revival and reformation"at the last General Conference" were only a dream, not a reality." (Cf. Testimonies, Vol. 8, pp. 104-106).
After the close of the session she wrote to Dr. Kellogg, "What a wonderful work could have been done for the vast company gathered in Battle Creek at the General Conference of 1901, ...but...the leaders closed and bolted the door against the Spirit's entrance. (Letter, August 5, 1902.)
Whether "the leaders" she had in mind were Kellogg and his cohorts,or the total leadership including the General Conference, is not clear in that statement. But she wrote to a friend a few months later, indicating that the problem was indeed with the total leadership:

The result of the last General Conference has been the greatest, the most terrible sorrow of my life. No change was made. The spirit that should have been brought into the whole work as the result of that meeting, was not brought in because men did not receive the testimonies of the Spirit of God. As they went to their several fields of labor, they did not walk in the light that the Lord had flashed upon their pathway, but carried into their work the wrong principles that had been prevailing in the work at Battle Creek.
The Lord has marked every movement made by the leading men in our institutions and conferences. (Letter to Judge Jesse Arthur, January 15, 1903.).

A Question That Troubles Many Adventists

If the 1888 message was all that good, why did the two 1888 Messengers lose their way so tragically? Is there error in the message that will lead us astray, too?

The safest way to answer this question is to let Ellen White speak. There was nothing wrong in the 1888 message:

"If Satan can impress the mind and stir up the passions of those who claim to believe the truth, and...get them to commit themselves to the wrong side, he has laid plans to lead them on a long journey....There seems to be no other course for them except to go on, believing they are right in their bittness of feeling toward their brethren [Jones and Waggoner]. Will the Lord's messenger bear the pressure brought against him? If so, it is because God bids him stand in His strength and vindicate the truth that he is sent of God....

There has been a determined effort to make of no effect the message God has sent....Should the Lord's messengers, after standing manfully for the truth for a time, fall under temptation, and dishonour Him who has given them their work, will that be proof that the message is not true? No, because the Bible is true...Sin on the part of the messenger of God would cause Satan to rejoice, and those who have rejected the messenger and the message would triumph." ( Letter O19d, 1892 [1888 Materials pp. 1022-1025] ).

But why should the messengers"fall under temptation"? We must face the facts: their losing their way was largely our fault, we who constitute the body. For some mysterious reason the Lord permitted them to fail in their trial:

To be suspicious, watching for a chance and greedily seizing upon it to prove that those brethren...are not sound in the faith. There is danger that this course of action will produce the very result assumed; and to a great degree the guilt will rest upon those who are watching for evil. ( Letter January 9, 1893 (General Conference Bulletin, 1893, pp. 419-421 [1888 Materials p.1127]). )

The same sad process worked in Dr. Kellogg's heart, weakening him spiritually so that he fell under temptations that came later. ( Letter B21, 1888 (100-102); MS 13, 1901. )Satan had a field day among us. After leading "us" "to a great degree" to "produce" Jones and Waggoner's apostasy, he has now employed that very tragedy to induce us a century later to regard their message as an insidious evil. [ Cf. George Knight,"From 1888 to Apostasy" passim (Review and Herald, 1987) ]. This is one of the most skillful tricks that the enemy has ever devised: the "beginning" of the latter rain and the loud cry must now be considered dangerous!
But Ellen White has made it very clear that this is "a fatal delusion":

"Some of our brethren...are full of jealousy and evil surmising, and are ever ready to show in just what way they differ with Elder Jones or Waggoner. The same spirit that was manifested in the past manifests itself at every opportunity [this is after the confessions]....It is quite possible that Elder Jones or Waggoner may be overthrown by the temptations of the enemy; but if they should be, this would not prove that they had no message from God....But should this happen, how many would take this position, and enter a fatal delusion because they are not under the control of the Spirit of God....I know that this is the very position many would take if either of these men were to fall." ( Letter S24, 1892 [1888 Materials pp.1042-1045]. )

Astounding as it may seem, this spirit of enmity was the same spirit that moved the Duke of Alva to oppose the protestants in a darker age. Ellen White plainly called it "persecution," and compared its spirit to that of the Papacy in the Dark Ages:

"You have thought you could see inconsistencies in A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner....It is the work of Satan to cause alienation. He knows that it will separate brethren from one another, and more than this, separate them from God....A fierce and determined spirit....Upon whom does the hurt come? Upon the Son of the infinite God...."

"The hatred of evil against good exists as surely now as in the days of Christ when the multitudes cried, "Away with him!"....Cease to war against those of your own faith....The first thing recorded in Scripture history after the fall was the persecution of Abel. And the last thing in Scripture prophecy is the persecution against those who refuse to receive the mark of the beast. We should be the last people on the earth to indulge in the slightest degree the spirit of persecution against those who are bearing the message of God to the world. This is the most terrible feature of unchristlikeness that has manifested itself among us since the Minneapolis meeting." ( Letter 25b, 1892 [1888 Materials pp.1012, 1013]. See also MS 13, 1889 [1888 Materials pp.516, 517]. )

"I have been shown that [the Minneapolis opposition] was the same ruling spirit that was revealed in the condemnation of Christ. When the Papists were in controversy with men who took their stand on the Bible for proof of doctrines they considered it a matter that only death could settle. I could see a similar spirit cherished in the hearts of our brethren, and I would not give room to it for an hour." ( MS 13, 1889 [1888 Materials p. 516]. )

Martin Luther had it easy compared to our 1888 messengers. The pope's fulminations meant nothing to him so long as he could turn to Daniel 7 and recognize the papacy as the little horn. But Jones and Waggoner had firm faith that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the true remnant church, the last among the seven golden candlesticks. How could they understand this phenomenal enmity against the message of Christ's much more abounding grace? The strain was too much for their human nature to bear; evidence indicates that Jones lost the true spiritual balance of his mind ( Letter 104, 1911. ).

The Story of Christ's Unrequited Love

The true story of 1888 is one of tragedy, of deep-hearted unbelief as serious as was that of the Jews who rejected Christ long ago ( Cf. MS 9, 1888 Through Crisis to Victory, p. 292; MS 15, 1888, ibid., pp. 297, 300; MS 13, 1889; Review and Herald, March 4, 11, August 26, 1890; April 11, 18, 1893; Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 64, 75-80, etc. ).
But there is good news in the story. What was lost was only a battle, not the war itself. "The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable." ( Romans 11:29.)

Even if HIs people are not faithful, He must remain faithful and await the coming of a generation who will humble their hearts. Christ has not abandoned Laodiceas; He is still standing outside the door, knocking. Although His presence is not inside the church, it is a vast encouragement that He still wants in!
The story of 1888 is also one of unrequited love. The language in Revelation 3:20 is a direct quotation from the Greek of the Septuagint Song of Solomon 5:2. Thus Christ ties in the experience of the remnant church of the last days with that "song" of the Bridegroom. The disapointed divine Lover knocks at the gate but is callously denied entry by the one who is the object of His love. "She" was foolish not to let Him in when he knocked a century ago; but she is honest in heart, and she must come to her time of repentance.

Thank God that Satan's victory was not total! The finishing fo the gospel commision has been long delayed, but confrontation with truth gives us a new opportunity for repentance. The full story may humble our pride, but it will strengthen our faith. ( It is a humbling experience to read the full collection of Ellen White's writings concerning 1888, in the four volumes of 1, 812 pages. )

The honor and vindication of Christ require our repentance.
The evidence indicates that the Lord offers a given generation only one chance to accept the precious gift of the latter rain, as He gave the generation of
Israelites coming out of Egypt only one chance (Kadesh-Barnea) to enter the Promised Land. In each instance, rebellious unbelief conclusively delayed the work of God. The Lord's servant questions "whether genuine rebellion is ever curable" ( Selected Messages, Book Two, p. 393.) Our history indicates that repentance must be effected by a new generation, unless this generation chooses to repent.

Before the new generation of Israel could enter Canaan under Joshua, they must thoroughly understand the preceeding generation's rebellion -- this is what the Book of Deuteronomy means. Only a repentant people could enter Canaan.

Before the new generation fo Israel can again receive the outpouring of the latter rain and give the loud cry message, they must thoroughly understand the truth of a previous generation's rejection of the same blessing we are now seeking -- our new Deuteronomy experience. This is corporate and denominational repentance.

The Secret of the 1888 Opposition

The one who stands back in the shadows of the 1888 Opposition is, of course, the great dragon of Revelation 12: 17 who makes war with the remnant church. This brings to view his last battle in the great controversy.

The dragon's opposition from without against the remnant church centers on her keeping the commandments of God, including the sabbath; his opposition from within centers on "the testimony of Jesus Christ," the Spirit of Prophecy. ( Verse 17, last part; Revelation 19:10. )

Seventh-day Adventists have always recognized that "the spirit of prophecy" given to the apostolic church has been manifested in the last days in the ministry of Ellen G. White. ( See 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:8-12. ) The unreasonable and persistent opposition against her for 140 years marks its source as coming from that "dragon" This reached a climax in our 1888 experience. The full reality of what she wrote must be appreciated:

"Again and again did I bear my testimony to those assembled [at Minneapolis] but that testimony was not received." "The Lord had [a blessing] for us at Minneapolis...but there was no reception. Some received the light for the people and rejoiced in it. Then there were others that stood right back, and their position has given condidence to others to talk unbelief." "Leading men are giving a mold to the work that will result in a loss of many souls." "The Spirit of God has been present in power among His people, but it could not be bestowed upon them, because they did not open their hearts to receive it." "Those in responsible positions in Battle Creek...have rejected light....They have interposed themselves between the heaven-sent light and the people." ( See the Appendix of Through Crisis To Victory 1888 -1901 for Ellen White's Minneapolis sermons; Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 63-81, 89-98; Selected Messages, Book One, pp. 234, 235; ibid., Book Three, pp. 163-189. )

The special message that the Lord Jesus addresses us in these last days (Revelation 3: 14-21) is related to our history ( Revelation 3:14-17. ). The import of the original escaped the translators: "You say, I am rich and I have been enriched." This makes sense in the light of our denominational history. We claim to have been enriched by an acceptance of the message that was to illuminate the earth with glory and prepare those believers for translation. Yet no one has been translated, and the loud cry message has not yet lighted the earth. This means either one of two things: the message was not what Ellen White said it was, or our supposed acceptance of it was not what we have said it was.

Understanding this brings hope for the future. We can "repent." Only when we reject truth does good news become bad news. It is time to surrender our false ideas in exchange for truth like we exchange money for something we "buy".

If we will listen to Christ's voice and believe what He says, the long-awaited blessings of the latter rain and the loud cry can become reality in this generation. The power was inherent in the objective message itself, and we can recover the message if we are humble enough to recognize our need of it and honest enough to believe it.

The world desperately needs the spiritual food that was entrusted to us a century ago.

This chapter is from the book "Grace On Trial" by Robert J Wieland; which can be purchased from the 1888 Message Study Committee


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