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A SHORT HISTORY
THE THIRD ANGEL'S
Part Two of Three
(Most of the emphasis is ours)
Pics of the actual book pages mentioned in this history are available at various Appendices.
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Later he wrote: #1956
"No complete report of the presentation and discussion of the message of righteousness by faith at the Minneapolis Conference was published. Oral reports were given by those in attendance. But through subsequent writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, information is furnished regarding the developments in connection with the giving of the message and its reception and also its rejection and it is quite necessary to become familiar with this inspired information in order to understand better our present situation . It would be far more agreeable to eliminate some of the statements given by the Spirit of Prophecy regarding the attitude of some of the leaders towards the message and the messengers. But this cannot be done without giving only a partial presentation of the situation which developed at the Conference, thus leaving the question in more or less of mystery [and this is how it has ever been to the majority of the church members]". Page 43.
Pastor Daniells' summing up of the progression of the Laodicean message is made quite clear in the following two statements.
"At this distance it does seem as if all these direct, clear-cut, solemn messages should have made a more profound impression upon the minds of all the ministers. It would seem that they would have been fully prepared to listen to and to drink in the timely, inspiring message of revival, reformation, and recovery that was presented with such clearness and in such sincere earnestness by the messenger whom the LORD raised up to deliver the message. The appropriation of the perfect righteousness of Christ by deceived, sinful hearts was the remedy the LORD sent. It was just what was needed. Who can tell what would have come to the church and the cause of God if that message of righteousness by faith had been fully and wholeheartedly received by all at that time? And who can estimate the loss that has been sustained by the failure of many to receive that message? Eternity alone will reveal the whole truth regarding this matter". Page 40 See appendix E a 3rd time for the original page.
"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". Page 47 Appendix E
The next historical landmark is the General Conference session of 1950 and the action that came from two overseas delegates to that Conference. After witnessing certain scenes and hearing much "Christ-centred" preaching, they wrote an essay to the officers of the General Conference in which they charged the denomination with not being able to distinguish between the God of Israel and the god of Babylon. Pastors Weiland and Short, missionaries in Africa, wrote as follows:
"The Advent movement has thus far not made progress consistent with its prophetic destiny. The world has not yet been truly stirred by the three-fold message of Revelation 14. Though we may boast of our achievements, regaling ourselves with statistical appraisals of our 'phenomenal progress', we cannot escape the conviction of our better, soberer judgment, that the Advent movement has so far fallen far short of the Divine ideal for it. The conviction is deepening within the movement that its failure is assuming truly vexing proportions. This thought, though increasingly difficult to suppress, is not openly confessed, simply because no one seems to know what would be the next step to take following such a confession. It must be said, sooner or later, to our shame and confusion, that we have not yet understood very clearly the reasons why the movement has fallen so far short of its ideals.
"To say helplessly that the reason is that we have failed to do our duty is merely an expression of the unanswered question in different terms. WHY HAVEN'T we done our duty, and WHEN WILL we do it? On the other hand, to say helplessly that God will soon arise and do something is merely to state the unanswered question in still another form. Why hasn't He already done what He will eventually do? We would not dare to charge God with any negligence or reluctance to bring about the complete fulfilment of prophecy, for we know that He has been ready to bring the Advent movement to its ultimate triumph long ago.
"The question remains, and now insists on being answered — What is the REASON for our failure, and How can the difficulty be rectified?"
1888 Re-Examined, page 1 (Published in A Warning and its Reception, by Al Hudson) See appendix F
"Until we recognise the facts of our past more candidly, all our attempts to secure a supernatural display of spiritual 'power' proportionate to the promised latter rain, must be of necessity, doomed to failure. There are two reasons for the necessity of this failure.
"1. The true God has promised that He will not add His blessings to confusion, for His name and the cause of truth would not thereby be glorified.
"2. The false 'god' of the modern religious world is powerless to make final and effective use of the advantages gained by him already in his efforts to fasten the remnant church in his relentless grasp. He cannot bestow a supernatural 'power' upon the Seventh-Day Adventist church as a whole, as he is doing with other religious bodies, because of the presence within Israel of many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Even he cannot add his supernatural 'blessings' to a divided people, halting between two opinions! The residual strength of the honest in heart who still constitute a great proportion of modern Israel, renders impotent Baal's final attempt to subjugate the Israel of God.
"The next step will obviously be for Israel to take stock of her position, and decide to follow - in the sense of utter devotion — one LORD or the other.
"The implications of such a step are staggering to contemplate". Page 5 See appendix F 2nd time
But their message of warning was rejected by the leaders of the church and they went back to Africa to continue their work amongst those who looked for salvation.
Two years later the president of the General Conference, Pastor W.H. Branson, at a Bible Conference held at Takoma Park, Maryland gave a series of studies on the subject of "The Lord our Righteousness". These were printed in the volumes entitled "Our Firm Foundation", and in one of the studies he referred to the message of 1888.
"Brethren, here is something of importance to the church. 'The LORD ... sent a most precious message to His people'. When? In 1888 at the General Conference session in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"It was a message of justification through faith. The people were urged to receive the righteousness of Christ. This is the third angel's message which is to be proclaimed to the world. Its preaching will be attended by the power of the Holy Spirit in large measure.
"In the light of these stirring statements we must expect that this mighty message of righteousness by faith, which came so definitely to the church in 1888, will become dominant in the personal experience of the leaders and members of the remnant church and in their preaching as the message swells to a loud cry [emphasis his]. This is already many years overdue. In 1888 the loud cry had already begun. It should have been finished long since. We have been marking time. Does someone ask why? We have the answer; 'The doctrine of justification by faith has been lost sight of by many who have professed to believe the third angel's message' (EGW R&H August 13, 1889).
"And many are still forgetting. Sixty-four years after this message of God's righteousness came to us we are still very quiet about it. Neither in our personal experience nor in our preaching do we give this doctrine much prominence, and yet we should be shouting it from the housetops. We should be rejoicing in it as a glorious reality in our own souls. This is what God expects, and this is what must be before His work can be finished in power.
"In giving emphasis to the great urgency of this matter, Ellen G. White, in 1888, sent the following message to the churches:
"Spiritual death has come upon the people that should be manifesting life and zeal, purity and consecration, by the most earnest devotion to the truth. The facts concerning the real condition of the professed people of God, speak more loudly than their profession, and make it evident that some power has cut the cable that anchored them to the Eternal Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, without chart or compass". Review & Herald, 24 July, 1888.
"Brethren, here is a terrible warning! Some power has cut the cable [emphasis his] that anchors to the Eternal Rock ... Modernism has largely swept away the foundation of righteousness by faith in Christ and has left the Christian [?] churches without an anchor. God forbid that the Seventh-day Adventist Church should drift with the rest. [Emphasis his]. Someone must cast out an anchor that will hold. Who should it be but the remnant church that is preaching the soon coming of Jesus?" Our Firm Foundation, Vol 2:611-612. See appendix G
But it was our anchor cable that had been cut!!
Again a church leader had failed to distinguish clearly between the church of God and the churches of Baal! Rightly had God said that His people do not know their condition. Why could they not tell the difference between the LORD and the lord, between the Living God and Baal?
Not many years later the enemy attacked again in his subtle way and some of his (Satan's) ministers came as the Samaritans came to Nehemiah while he was building the wall around Jerusalem. That the modern builders of the wall were not in such close communion with their God as Nehemiah was, is shown by this report published in an editorial of the "Ministry" magazine, February 1962. It was written by Pastor Roy Allen Anderson. See appendix H
"A few years ago, a group of Christian scholars deeply concerned about the Adventist teachings and their effect upon the church as a whole [?], came to the General Conference headquarters to enquire just what are our beliefs in these areas of truth. These men represented conservative and evangelical theology, and they were eager to know first-hand what we believe. An interview that was to have lasted at most but a few hours, lengthened into a series of eighteen interviews, or intensive Bible studies, which took place over a period of many months - two and one-half years to be exact.
"As a result of these forthright examinations of Seventh-Day Adventists beliefs in the light of Scripture, those theologians received an entirely new concept of Adventism. They were not only surprised but delighted to discover that we believed exactly as they believed in what they spoke of as the heart of the Christian message - Christology [or Righteousness by faith as the Protestant, or Babylonian, churches know it]". Page 4
"Two of these study conferences, lasting over a period of days, convened in the home of the late Dr. Donald Barnhouse, of Philadelphia. Those of us who were there will never forget those interviews and the earnest statement made by that Christian leader, when at the close of a long day and evening around the word, he rose and said, 'Brethren, for thirty years I have mis-understood Adventists, and during all that time I have been fighting you. But I did it conscientiously. Even now I do not believe all that you believe, and cannot accept the 'special truths' that you feel called to preach; but when it comes to the real heart of Evangelical Faith, we can clasp hands, because I have now discovered that we stand together at the cross. I am now ready to declare from my heart that you are my brethren in Christ".
"It was a moving moment ....." id page 5 [See appendix I for another account of those times].
Where was the voice of the 2nd angel?
The two main figures in this drama were Dr. Barnhouse and another called Walter R. Martin. Their comment and understanding of these meetings was recorded in the "Eternity" magazine, a Protestant publication.
"Mr. Martin went to Takoma Park, Washington, D.C., the headquarters of the Seventh-Day Adventist movement. At first the two groups looked upon each other with great suspicion. Mr. Martin had read a vast quantity of Adventist literature and presented them with a series of approximately fourty questions concerning their theological position. On a second visit he was presented with scores of pages of detailed theological answers to his questions. Immediately it was perceived that the Adventists were strenuously denying certain doctrinal positions which had been previously attributed to them. As Mr. Martin read their answers, he came, for example, upon a statement that they repudiated absolutely the thought that seventh-day Sabbath keeping was a basis for salvation and a denial of any teaching that the keeping of the first day of the week is as yet considered to be receiving the anti-Christian 'mark of the beast'. He pointed out to them that in their book store adjoining the building in which these meetings were taking place, a certain volume published by them and written by one of their ministers, categorically stated the contrary to what they were now asserting. The leaders sent for the book, discovered that Mr. Martin was correct, and immediately brought this fact to the attention of the General Conference officers, that this situation might be remedied and such publications be corrected.
This same procedure WAS REPEATED REGARDING THE NATURE OF CHRIST WHILE IN THE FLESH which the majority of the denomination has always held to be sinless, holy, and perfect, despite the fact that certain of their writers have occasionally gotten into print with contrary views completely repugnant to the church at large. They further explained to Mr. Martin that they had among their number, certain members of their 'lunatic fringe' even as there are similar wild-eyed irresponsibles in every field of fundamental Christianity. THIS ACTION OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS WAS INDICATIVE OF SIMILAR STEPS THAT WERE TAKEN SUBSEQUENTLY". Eternity, September 1956, page 6. See Appendix J for some examples of changed books.
These questions and their answers resulted in the book "Questions on Doctrine" which was published by the Adventist church in 1957, and the Editorial Committee in the introduction stated,
"The writers, counsellors, and editors who produced the answers to these questions have laboured conscientiously to state accurately the beliefs of Seventh-Day Adventists ... Hence this volume can be viewed as truly representative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church". Questions of Doctrine, Page 9
To Part Three