October 10, 2013
Three Killed in Van Rollover
Ellen White’s Burden
Hope and Peace
and why should
125 years later?
“Behold, I come quickly . . .”
Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ by presenting stories of His
matchless love, news of His present workings, help for knowing
Him better, and hope in His soon return.
16 34 10
16 What Happened in 1888?
George R. Knight
A General Conference session in Minneapolis that’s
still teaching us important lessons 125 years later.
24 The Faith of Jesus: The Doctrinal Legacy of 1888
Discovering doctrinal truth that brings spiritual freedom
28 The Theological Issues: Another Perspective
Bill and Shawn Brace
What, exactly, should we take away from
those discussions of 125 years ago?
32 Bird 9-1-1
The little creature would die within minutes, unless . . .
34 Ellen White’s Burden
It was more than a matter of who was right.
38 Sabbath Afternoon Talk
Ellen G. White
It’s not truth unless it changes our lives.
7 Page 7
8 World News &
13 Give & Take
15 Cliff’s Edge
2 3 Introducing the Why
41 Searching the Obvious
4 2 Session Snapshots
Angel Manuel Rodríguez
6 Bill Knott
7 E. Edward Zinke
What Happened in 1844?
The second coming of Christ was
front-page news, until it wasn’t.
Publisher General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® , Executive Publisher Bill Knott, Associate Publisher Claude Richli, Publishing Board: Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Benjamin D. Schoun,
vice chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy; Daniel R. Jackson; Robert Lemon; Geoffrey Mbwana; G. T. Ng; Daisy Orion; Juan Prestol; Michael Ryan; Ella Simmons; Mark Thomas; Karnik
Doukmetzian, legal adviser. Editor Bill Knott, Associate Editors Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil, Coordinating Editor Stephen Chavez, Online Editor Carlos Medley, Features Editor Sandra
Blackmer, Young Adult Editor Kimberly Luste Maran, KidsView Editor Wilona Karimabadi, News Editor Mark A. Kellner, Operations Manager Merle Poirier, Financial Manager Rachel Child,
Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste, Marketing Director Claude Richli, Editor-at-Large Mark A. Finley, Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke, Art Director Bryan Gray, Design Daniel
Añez, Desktop Technician Fred Wuerstlin, Ad Sales Glen Gohlke, Subscriber Services Steve Hanson. To Writers: Writer’s guidelines are available at the Adventist Review Web site: www.adventistreview.org
and click “About the Review.” For a printed copy, send a self-addressed envelope to: Writer’s Guidelines, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600.
E-mail: email@example.com. Web site: www.adventistreview.org. Postmaster: Send address changes to Adventist Review, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740-7301. Unless
otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Unless
otherwise noted, all photos are © Thinkstock 2013. The Adventist Review (ISSN 0161-1119), published since 1849, is the general paper of the Seventh-day Adventist ® Church. It is
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of Seventh-day Adventists ® . PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 190, No. 28
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www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (883) 3
Letters From Our Readers
Tell ’Em About
Bill Knott’s editorial “Tell
’Em About the Dream” (Sept.
12, 2013) is one of the most
refreshing articles I have
read in a long time. I’m
embarrassed to say that after
some “door-shutting” experiences
I just gave up on my
White fellow believers. My
solace has been the thought
that the time of trouble
would force us together and
we would discover the joys
of unity in Christ as persecution
would necessitate. I have
since then discarded my
resentment that led me to
give up my struggle with my
own prejudice, as it stood in
the way of my salvation. It is
comforting to know that all
is not lost and that there is
hope for all of my family in
to Knott for this bold
S. Peter Campbell
tAkes Aim At
August 22, 2013
August 22, 2013
Vol. 190, No. 24
Receives Life Sentence
Coming to Our Senses
Companions Along the Way
God and the Movies
My wife and I, along with
most of my relatives, work in
the health-care field. So
imagine our surprise when
our daughter, Summer,
expressed no interest whatsoever
in pursuing a career
in this field. Instead, what
started out as a “fun hobby”
has become her choice of
Not knowing a whole lot
about this industry except
that going to theaters was
forbidden because I was told
our “guardian angel stayed
outside,” we were a bit
apprehensive about her profession
But during the past couple
years God has been reassuring
us that He needs godly
Christian filmmakers in this
industry. We’ve gotten to
know Maranatha Volunteers
Christine Lloyd and David
Brillhart, on our last two
family summer projects. We
attended this year’s SONscreen
Film Festival, where
we saw Christians active in
this industry. Loma Linda
University’s Media Department
won several Emmy
awards for their documentaries.
We’ve read Columbia
Pictures Vice President of
Production DeVon Franklin’s
autobiography about how
being a faithful Sabbathkeeper
can be an advantage
in the cutthroat world of
Hollywood. Then, to top it
off, two Adventist Review’s
cover stories, “What if God
Made Movies,” by Lynelle
Ellis, and “Martin Doblemeier:
Filmmaker,” by Stephen
Chavez, in the August
15 and August 22, 2013, editions,
were on movies!
Maybe God is reassuring
us that He wants to use Summer’s
creative talents to
“paint pictures of God” for
others to enjoy, and hopefully,
lead others to a closer
relationship with Him. Isn’t
that just as important as my
profession, helping people
live healthier lives, or my
wife’s profession, educating
a future generation of Christian
nurses? We think so!
Ernie Medina, Jr.
Loma Linda, California
August 15, 2013
August 15, 2013
Vol. 190, No. 23
Consensus statement Voted
for “Theology of Ordination”
The Clock’s Running
God Likes secrets Too
Thanks for printing Lynelle
Ellis’ article “What if God
Made Movies.” While not a
moviemaker, I have done
about 70 different firstperson
Bible and historical
characters, and can absolutely
support the reality
that telling a good story in a
compelling way has lasting
impact. Indeed, as the author
says, “Creating is a Godgiven
pleasure and . . .
reaches its highest potential
. . . when it is informed by
God’s own revelations.”
I have had people remind me
of seeing a first-person presentation
years earlier and sharing
amazing recall of details. In
one setting the mother of a
7-year-old boy was appreciative
of how her usually
squirmy son listened and
remembered the presentations,
and a Th.D. Bible
teacher chimed in that he
learned things too. Yes, creative
modalities are a positive
way to share the gospel
and Bible truths. Let’s continue
to promote and appreciate
the widest range of
creative endeavors that move
hearts toward the kingdom.
I am writing in regard to
Dan Serns’ article “Teach
Your Children Money Management”
(Aug. 15, 2013). I
thought it might be of interest
how I taught my three
“Creative modalities are a positive
way to share the gospel and Bible
truths. Let’s continue to promote and
appreciate the widest range of creative
endeavors that move hearts
toward the kingdom.
—dick Stenbakken, Loveland, California
4 (884) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
“Christ’s sacrifice took legal control
of the world back from Satan and
granted legal amnesty to all human
—dennis priebe, Galt, California
children at age 3. I gave them
a dollar a week allowance in
dimes, nickels, and one
I set up four little glass
jars on their dresser. Jar one
was for a dime for tithe;
number two was for the
quarter for Sabbath school
offering; number three was
for a savings account, and
number four was for 60
cents—left for them to
All three children are married
now and good money
I am highly encouraged by
the official response of the
North American Division by
Dan Jackson concerning the
Supreme Court ruling on
same-sex marriage (“The
North American Division
Responds to Supreme Court
Rulings,” posted online July
1, 2013; see www.adventist
The world church of
Seventh-day Adventists is
often viewed through the
lens of North America, and it
should always uphold biblical
I hardly have words adequate
to express how much I
appreciated Roy Gane’s article
Accomplishments of Christ’s
Sacrifice” (June 27, 2013). If
we do not understand what
was given to the human race
apart from choice and what
was offered or provided to
individuals dependent on
their choices, we will make
serious mistakes regarding
the plan of salvation. As Gane
clearly pointed out, Christ’s
sacrifice took legal control of
the world back from Satan
and granted legal amnesty to
all human beings (freedom
from automatic condemnation
because of Adam’s sin).
If legal forgiveness had not
been provided at the
moment of Adam’s sin, there
would have been no possibil-
ity for the human race to
continue. Christ’s sacrifice
saved the human race from
One Step at a Time
My thanks go to Darin
Patzer, for writing “One Step
at a Time” (June 13, 2013), an
article about his dad, Jere. A
few months before Jere died I
became one of his prayer
partners, even though we
never met. I don’t remember
how I got his name, but I
wrote an e-mail prayer to
him every week. Jere was
always very faithful in writing
After Jere died, I continued
praying for Darin’s mother,
whom I never met either, and
any member of his family,
which means I was also praying
for Darin and his brother.
I am glad to know Jere had
Oh, yes, it will be wonderful
on the resurrection morning
for the Patzers to be
reunited with Jere; and I will
be reunited with my husband
and my youngest son. Yes,
God is teaching me to take it
“one step at a time” too.
October is an important
month in Adventist
Church history—this fall
our October editions will
contain feature articles on
some key events in our
church’s past. This issue, a
48-page special on the
significance of 1888 (Oct.
10), will be followed by a
special cover package on
1844 (Oct. 17); and a cover
article on Guide, the
church’s youth magazine
that is celebrating 60
years of publication (Oct.
24). Look for these in print
and online at www.
We welcome your letters, noting,
as always, that inclusion of a letter
in this section does not imply that
the ideas expressed are endorsed by
either the editors of the Adventist
Review or the General Conference.
Short, specific, timely letters have
the best chance at being published
(please include your complete
address and phone number—even
with e-mail messages). Letters will
be edited for space and clarity only.
Send correspondence to Letters to
the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501
Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD
20904-6600; Internet: letters@
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (885) 5
The wolf did with lambkin dwell in peace
His grim carnivorous nature there did cease
The leopard with the harmless kid laid down
And not one savage beast was seen to frown
The lion with the fatling on did move
A little child was leading them in love.
the peaceable kingdom/oil on canvas painting by edward hicks/1826/
philadelphia museum of art
When nineteenth-century Quaker artist and preacher Edward Hicks embellished the frame of one of his early paintings
of The Peaceable Kingdom with a versified paraphrase of Isaiah 11:6, he certainly wanted his viewers to both read
and see the sermon.
At first glance, Hicks’ portrait of the future seems foolishly utopian: a heifer nuzzles the back of a full-maned lion,
whose head is brushing the arm of a confident, rosy-cheeked child. Wolf and lamb lie together in a meadow, while a
full-grown ram seems carelessly inattentive to the leopard at his back. There is no fear; there are no predators in Hicks’
But your eye inexorably moves to the back and left of the painting, where Hicks has rendered a this-worldly image
of Quaker leader William Penn’s famous 1682 treaty with the Delaware Indians. The shimmering river behind the
carefully balanced treaty group (four Friends and four chiefs) tells us how the negotiations proceeded and what
resulted from their covenant—one of the few respectful dialogues between Whites and Native Americans in the whole
history of the continent. Equality reigns; conversation continues.
The preacher in the artist has made his point: the future in the foreground emerges from the peacemaking of the
Intriguingly, art historians tell us that Edward Hicks painted at least 61 different versions of The Peaceable Kingdom
in his lifetime—all with similarly irenic animals and people, but sometimes with subtle differences in shading or
posture. Never fully satisfied that he had captured the peacemaking connection between this world and the world to
come, he kept working at it—adjusting the palette, warming the hues.
Peacemaking takes work, close attention, and continual adjustments.
Which is a sermon we could all stand to hear more often.
Seventh-day Adventists are, by history, a contentious people. Conceived in the wonderfully contrarian Millerite
movement of the 1830s and 1840s, this denomination was born in the 1860s—in the midst of America’s Civil War—
and learned to argue at an early age. When Lincoln called for volunteers to fight, Adventists refused and stayed
home—and loyal to the sixth commandment. When nineteenth-century “robber barons” built their massive monopolies
on the backs of workingmen and -women, Review editors excoriated them in full-cry editorials. When the National
Reform Association called for Sunday law legislation in the 1890s, Adventists rallied thousands to oppose and defeat
the threat to religious liberty. And when early-twentieth-century America was awash in alcohol and its resulting social
misery, Adventists marched into the public square with an unrelenting call for Prohibition.
As useful as that public combativeness was in identifying Seventh-day Adventists as a people known for spiritual
and social reform, it has proved less helpful within this faith. We are, theologically, also a quarrelsome lot—about
justification and sanctification; about the sanctuary doctrine; about the nature of Christ; about the role of Ellen White;
about the meaning of 1888; about the ordination of women to ministry.
Truth is, we don’t have a history—or a vision—of peacemaking among us, in part because of our very commitment
to truth. Our story seems to teach us that being right is more important than being kind, that negotiation is the sport
of those who can’t compete. We prefer the laurel wreaths of victory to the olive branches of peacemaking on any day.
The memory verse is “Put on the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:11).* Not one in 10 remembers that Paul also wrote: “If
it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18).
It’s time for that to change—within this movement, through this movement, and for this movement. Declare yourself
a citizen of the peaceable kingdom. Make the case for dialogue, not winning. Speak kindly to those we once called
“Brother” and “Sister.”
Take olive branches to the next church business meeting. n
Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission.
6 (886) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
Mission Without a Message
The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the
proclamation of the everlasting gospel, salvation provided by Jesus Christ. This mission includes
a desire to share all that God has been pleased to reveal about Himself in the Bible.
God’s call includes healing the sick, caring for widows and the fatherless, and binding the
wounds of the brokenhearted. Caring for the physical needs of humanity is closely connected to
the proclamation of God’s Word. It is the right arm of the gospel, for it has the potential of opening
recipients to the message of the gospel.
But it is all too easy to retreat into a social gospel, where caring for physical needs becomes an
end in itself, a mission without a message. In this view, mission is complete when the physical
needs of individuals are cared for.
This view may come from a fear of intruding into the lives and cultures of others, or a fear of
rejection. It may also come from loss of belief in the relevancy or truth of God’s Word.
God invites each individual to enter a personal relationship with Him based upon a knowledge
of Him as the only true God (see John 17:3). God has chosen to partner with us in sharing His love
with the world, both in ministry and proclamation. We have the privilege of teaching all the world
the message of the everlasting gospel before the return of Christ (see Matt. 28:19, 20; 24:14; Rev.
14:6, 7). Why would we desire to bring only physical healing, which is temporal, when it is within
our scope to share the gospel of eternal life?
Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words . . . , the Son of Man will be ashamed of
them when He comes” (Mark 8:38). n
Before or After?
Was 1888 a turning point in Ellen White’s understanding of righteousness by faith? Which
of the following statements do you think were made by Ellen White prior to the Minneapolis
session and which were after? Circle the word “before” or “after” as it relates to the 1888 session. Then turn
the page upside down for the answers as well as to read a relevant statement from Ellen White.
before after before after before after
“The Lord requires at this
time just what He required
of Adam in Eden—perfect
obedience to the law
of God. We must have
righteousness without a
flaw, without a blemish.”
“We can do nothing,
absolutely nothing, to
commend ourselves to
divine favor. . . . God will
accept every one that
comes to Him trusting
wholly in the merits of a
“We must learn to trust, to depend solely upon
the merits of the atonement, and in all our helpless
unworthiness cast ourselves upon the merits of the
crucified and risen Savior. We shall never perish while
we do this —never!”
Ellen White said in 1889: “I have had the question
asked, ‘What do you think of this light that these men
[Waggoner and Jones] are presenting?’ Why, I have
been presenting it to you for the last 45 years—the
matchless charms of Christ. This is what I have been
trying to present before your minds. When Brother
Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapolis, it
was the first clear teaching on this subject from any
human lips I had heard, excepting the conversations
between myself and my husband.”
—Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, pp. 116, 117.
“We may rest upon God,
not because of our own
merit, but because the
righteousness of Christ is
imputed to us.”
before after before after
“Man’s destiny will be
determined by his obedience
to the whole law.”
Answers (from left to right): (top row) after,
Faith and Works, p. 89 (1890); before, Testimonies,
vol. 1, pp. 309, 310 (1862); before,
Gospel Workers (1892 ed.), p. 427 (1883);
(bottom row) before, Faith and Works, p.
39 (1883); after, The Desire of Ages, p. 498
World News & Perspectives
Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review
THOUSANDS IN ATTENDANCE: A gathering estimated at 4,000 people filled the main hall at the Jeju International Convention Center
for Sabbath worship on August 31, 2013.
“Go Into Harvest Field,” Wilson Tells
Northern Asia Seventh-day Adventists
By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor, reporting from Jeju Island, Republic of Korea
On what was the brightest and balmiest
day of the four-day event, Seventhday
Adventists attending morning
worship at the 2013 Northern Asia-
Pacific Division International Mission
Conference were challenged to “go forward
into the harvest field” and tell the
world about Jesus and His soon coming.
Ted N. C. Wilson, General Conference
president, issued the appeal in a Sabbath,
August 31, 2013, sermon heard by more
than 4,000 gathered at the Jeju International
Conference Center off the southern
coast of the Republic of Korea.
There was much to recall from the
morning’s varied activities: a Sabbath
school lesson, songs from two choirs, a
sand “painting” done on a lightbox in
front of the congregation, and a spirited
performance by young children “who
told us about Abraham’s faith,” and a
“wonderful testimony from China
about the faithfulness of the people of
the division.” Wilson praised the
efforts, but said these were but a prelude
for the congregation.
“All of this is pointing to God’s call to
you and to me, people who accept God’s
commandments and the faith of Jesus
to go forward into the harvest field, all
through the power of the Holy Spirit,”
“We have had quite a display of
human activity and creativity during
this congress, and we thank God for the
skills and the creativity,” he noted, adding,
“But I want to tell you, brothers and
sisters, none of this is possible without
the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In an impassioned message Wilson
discussed the three angels’ messages of
Revelation 14 and their link to today’s
world. He implored his hearers to lovingly
and cheerfully share these messages
with others to help “call out” those attentive
to God’s Word at the end of time.
He tied the first angel’s message, a
summons to worship the Creator of the
MOTIVATING MISSION: Jairyong Lee, Northern Asia-Pacific Division president, at left,
motivates delegates to the International Mission Conference in Jeju Island, Korea, to
answer the call to missionary service.
8 (888) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
universe, and to the keeping of the Bible
Sabbath: “The call to worship God as the
Creator automatically places upon people
the responsibility to observe the day
that honors His creative act,” Wilson
said. “A created being cannot honor his
Creator while defying the command to
keep Saturday, the Sabbath, the seventh
day of the week, holy, which God Himself
set aside as a memorial of His creation.”
Wilson added that this first message
is also tied to the issue of origins: “To
worship God as the Creator means there
must be a willingness to reject false theories
about the origin of life, such as
evolution,” he said. “It is impossible to
believe in evolution and say that God is
Creator of heaven and earth and all the
life they contain. The two concepts do
not mix. In essence, evolution is not a
science; it is a false form of religion.”
The Adventist leader noted that the
second angel’s message is a plea to
abandon a dead, false, and fallen religious
system: “God’s people who are
still in Babylon are called out so they
will not be guilty of participating in her
sins and will not receive the plagues
that are to be poured out upon her,”
Wilson said. “Therefore, Babylon is constituted
by churches that teach many of
the theological errors passed down
through the church of the middle ages.”
Wilson added, “In order for God’s
people who are still in Babylon to
understand the urgency of getting out,
they must understand the sins and
errors of Babylon. This puts a tremendous
responsibility upon God’s remnant
Noting that those who reject the Sabbath
will be angered by Adventists and
others who advocate for the biblical day
of rest, part of the third angel’s message,
Wilson said a time of testing will
“We are so grateful for the religious
freedom that is available in many
countries around the world. Thank
God for it; we need to use our religious
liberty to defend religious liberty,” he
told the congregation. “However,
YES, MY LORD: Youngsters retell the story of Abraham, who answered God’s call with a “Yes,
my Lord.” They performed during Sabbath school at the International Mission Conference.
according to Bible prophecy, the time is
coming when religious freedom will be
reduced and churches will so control
the government that the government
will pass laws that will fulfill the
wishes of the apostate churches. Anyone
who disagrees with this church/
state relationship will be persecuted.
Don’t be afraid of that day. Lean on
Jesus today, and you will lean on Him
in the future.”
Wilson noted, “Apostate religious
leaders will not be able to refute scriptural
evidence for the sacredness of Saturday,
and this will fill them with anger.
As a result, Sabbathkeepers will be persecuted
He told his hearers, in remarks
streamed over the Internet throughout
the division and worldwide: “The time
will come when people do not want to
hear the truth, but preach the truth anyhow.
Live like the Lord is coming soon,
because He is!”
A period of prayer and dedication followed
for the thousands in the conference
center’s main hall. The service also
featured an offering for the Seventh-day
Adventist Church’s work in and for the
people of North Korea. n
Three Dead, 13 Injured in Florida
Church Vehicle Accident
Crash occurred en route to district meeting in Tampa
By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor
Three members of a Seventh-day
Adventist congregation in Florida are
dead and 13 more are injured following
a September 14 accident on Interstate
75 near Fort Myers, media
reports indicate. The Florida Conference
has expressed sympathy over the
deaths and injuries.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the
accident occurred on an overpass
when a church van’s tire exploded
and the vehicle flipped several times
before coming to rest on its roof. The
Maranatha French (Mission Group)
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lauderhill,
Florida, operated the van,
which was en route to a Haitian Adventist
convocation in Tampa.
Nostra Damas, 20, of Lauderhill,
apparently died at the scene of the
crash. Osee Elian, 22, and Gertha
Petit-Frere, 62, both of Sunrise, Florida,
succumbed to their injuries the
“Our hearts at Florida Conference
of Seventh-day Adventists continue
to be saddened from the news of
two additional deaths as a result of
the van accident,” a statement from
the conference said. “We continue
our prayers for the families of the
victims who died and pray for God’s
healing on those still recovering
from the accident.” n
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (889) 9
World News & Perspectives
photos: Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review
CHARTING PROGRESS: Display posters show the number of schools needing craft kits
so that students have an alternative to “coloring, coloring, coloring, and more coloring,”
as Lin said of those school’s limited arts and crafts activities.
■■Republic of Korea
For Taiwan’s People,
Adventist Seeks a Better Life
Taiwan Adventist Foundation has
“healthier life” as a goal.
By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor, reporting
from Jeju Island, Republic of Korea
recalling her first year at the foundation.
For the farmers, it means helping
them reach consumers directly at outdoor
markets, and encouraging them to
grow organic produce. This “creates
another market” for the farmers, who
she says are often “exploited” when selling
to the larger concerns.
“If the farmers get better pay” for
their crops, she said, “it means a better
standard of living.” She said the group
is also helping the farmers to post pictures
of their crops on Pinterest, the
Internet-based social network, to help
create demand for those goods.
Although Taiwan’s educational system
is highly regarded, some students
there—as in other parts of the world,
including the United States—have
fewer resources than their counterparts
in larger schools. To help these students,
Taiwan Adventist Foundation
supplies a “Happy Craft Kit” of various
pieces of colored wool. These are then
made into small coasters, giving the
students a different kind of craft, and a
sense of having made something with
their own hands.
“If the children like to use their hands
to make something,” Lin explained,
“they will use their hands to take care of
others later in life.”
Although Taiwan is viewed by many
as a hub of global prosperity—the island
is home to global powers ASUS, Acer, and
Eva Air, among others—there are pockets
of poverty, suffering, and disadvantage
waiting for the touch of compassion
that a Christian hand can bring.
Jane Lin happens to possess just
Lin is executive officer of the Taiwan
Adventist Foundation, a registered charity
operating on the island and reaching
its most underserved peoples, including
indigenous farmers who are often
exploited by larger agricultural firms
buying their produce; students in elementary
schools of fewer
than 28 pupils; and Taiwan’s
poor, whose homes
are sometimes in great
“Our vision is to motivate
and empower people
in Taiwan society to live a
healthier life,” Lin said,
reciting the group’s
credo. This is done
through sponsoring projects
aimed at helping
those in need.
“God has blessed us
very much,” Lin said,
HELPING HANDS: Jane Lin, executive officer of the Taiwan
Adventist Foundation, displays a “Happy Craft Kit” provided
by the group to students in some of the island’s smallest
10 (890) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
And for those in poor living conditions,
the Taiwan Adventist Foundation
uses volunteer labor to help clean,
repair, and even rebuild dwellings
“No one helps them, and no one
cares,” Lin said of these poor people.
Other charities are beginning to call on
the Taiwan Adventist Foundation, asking
them to help families in need.
Sometimes, Lin said, all that’s necessary
is a simple housecleaning and
instruction in running a household,
something that may have been
neglected. “The target is to help people’s
homes have basic functions, safe and
clean,” she said.
Much of the funding for the Taiwan
Adventist Foundation comes from the
Northern Asia-Pacific Division. The
group’s board is chaired by Stanley Wai
Chun Ng, assistant to the Northern
Asia-Pacific Division president for
China affairs. But the group accepts
outside funds and hopes to become
self-sufficient, Lin said, noting they
hope to have a facility to accept creditcard
More information on the group can be
found online at www.twaf.org.tw. n
Adventists Help Flood-Ravaged
Three members lose homes; prayer meeting becomes “work bee” to repair basement
By MARK BOND, communication director, Rocky Mountain Conference
of Seventh-day Adventists, reporting from Denver.
Seventh-day Adventist members and congregations
are assisting as massive amounts of rain have caused extensive
flooding along the Front Range of Colorado. Boulder and
adjacent communities have fared the worst, but there has also
been flooding in many communities. Estes Park, Louisville,
Longmont, Loveland, and Aurora are some of the hardest hit.
According to Craig Carr, ministerial director for the Rocky
Mountain Conference, three members of the Boulder Seventh-day
Adventist Church have lost their homes; one couple
from Lyons and an individual who lives in Jamestown
lost theirs as well. Both Lyons and Jamestown were completely
cut off from emergency access because of roads
being washed out by floodwaters.
There was minor damage to the Boulder church. There is
also some reported damage in the basement at the Estes
Park Seventh-day Adventist Church, but the extent is not yet
Blake Jones, pastor of the Twin Peaks Adventist Church in
Louisville, shared that the flooding began in their area during
prayer meeting last Wednesday evening. Approximately
20 members had gathered for prayer meeting when water
started flooding into the church and filling the basement.
The head elder called a phone tree alerting members, and
within minutes about 50 people were at the church, building
a makeshift dam to divert the river of water that was
flooding the church.
Before they could divert all the water, about two inches
had accumulated in the basement of the church. One member
with an industrial shop vacuum was able to get most
of the standing water out of the basement, while other
members rushed to rent carpet cleaners.
By the time the wet, weary church members left, they had
been able to extract the rest of the water from the downstairs
carpet, but there was considerable dampness left
behind. Jones called a restoration company to dry out their
carpets with fans and dehumidifiers. They were told that
they would be added to a list, since there were more than
800 calls in ahead of them.
On Friday, with many of the roads impassable because of
flooding, Jones headed out to see if it was even possible to
drive to the church. He spotted a restoration company van
parked on the side of the road. He spoke to the driver and
told him about the Twin Peaks church basement. The driver
said, “It’s the weekend, and this is the Lord’s house, so I’ll
come set up some fans and a dehumidifier for you right
now.” Because of that little miracle, the Twin Peaks church
basement is back to normal already and won’t even have to
report an insurance claim.
“If we hadn’t had a good attendance at our prayer meeting,”
says Jones, “we would have certainly had the entire
basement flooded!” He continues, “But that prayer meeting
turned into the fastest ‘church work bee’ in history! I’m so
thankful for all the members who showed up to help us
avoid a major calamity.”
Cathy Kissner, Rocky Mountain Adventist Community
Services and Disaster Response (ACS/DR) director, reports
emergency supplies are being positioned near the Colorado
flood areas for distribution. Donations may be made to the
ACS/DR effort by visiting http://bit.ly/acs-colorado online,
or by calling 800-381-7171. n
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (891) 11
share with us
We are looking for brief submissions in
Sound Bites (quotes, profound or
Adventist Life (short anecdotes, especially
from the world of adults)
Camp Meeting Memories (150 words
Jots and Tittles (church-related tips)
Please send your submissions to Give &
Take, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia
Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; fax:
301-680-6638; e-mail: marank@gc.
adventist.org. Please include phone number,
and city and state from which you are writing.
In this green hollow
My heart is a cathedral
Each footfall a prayer.
—L. L. Kellogg, Park City, Illinois
sermon in seven
Many people go on mission
trips. Most, if not all, go with
good intentions. So what do
you think of this?
Too many excursions pass for
It came to me one day: “Haystacks”
can be considered the Seventh-day
Adventist equivalent of
the Israelite’s “manna.” Why? In
most Adventist churches (at least
in the U.S.) almost everyone knows
what “haystacks” are, but if you tell
someone of a different faith you
had or are going to have “haystacks,”
they ask, “What is that?”
—Martha Ledbetter, Graysville,
© terry crews
history lesson: quick bits on 1888
The General Conference assembled at Minneapolis on Wednesday, October
17, 1888. About 90 delegates represented 27,000 church members. What
many Adventists likely hold as important from those meetings is that “the
Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through
Elders Waggoner and Jones. . . . It presented justification through faith in the
Surety [Christ]; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ,
which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.” 1
After the Minneapolis meetings A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner took the
message of righteousness by faith to the churches. With Ellen White joining
them, they crossed the U.S., visiting camp meetings, workers’ meetings, and
Bible schools. In 1889 White wrote: “I have never seen a revival work go forward
with such thoroughness, and yet remain so free from all undue
Minneapolis 1888 can be seen as a turning point in the history of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church. With the teaching of Waggoner and Jones,
and support from Ellen White, the church gained a clearer understanding of the
Minneapolis, MN, c. 1880s/M. Nowack/New York Library
Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub.
Assn., 1923), pp. 91, 92.
Ellen G. White, in Review and Herald, Mar. 5, 1889.
The Truth Behind the Lie
It’s one thing for secular thinkers to argue that truth is relative,
contingent, cultural. But to hear Christians spout similar sentiments? Though the Lord and Master of their faith
says, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23) and “But small is the gate and narrow the road
that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:14) and “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6), His professed followers argue for moral, theological,
even ontological relativism? Go figure.
Relativism is intellectually incoherent anyway. The claim that “all truth is relative” must include that
specific claim itself; hence, why should anyone take the claim that “all truth is relative” seriously?
One shouldn’t, but for more reasons than its own self-immolation. This relativism undercuts itself
in another, even more powerful way. However vehemently the most radical relativists denounce the
existence of absolute truth, none denies the existence of lies.
Yet how can lies exist without truth? Take the statement “Mitt Romney won the 2012 presidential
election in the United States.” Truth or lie? It’s a lie. But how could it be a lie without
the truth behind it, which is that Barak Obama, not Mitt Romney, won the 2012 United States
How about “2 + 2 = 31.7447”? A lie, but why? Because we know that 2 + 2 = 4; thus, “4” is
the truth that makes the first statement false.
What about “The sun orbits the earth every day”? Truth or lie? It’s a lie because of the
truth, which is that the earth spins on its axis, making the sun appear to move from horizon
to horizon daily.
Some would argue that these are trivial examples, because we know the correct answers (i.e.,
the truth behind the lies). But what makes the statement “The center of Jupiter is made of creamy
peanut butter” a lie? Certainly not because of anyone’s knowledge about the consistency of Jupiter’s
core. A lie remains a lie even if we don’t know the truth that makes it one. You don’t have to
have a correct answer, or any answer, in order to detect a false one. Yet it’s false only because the
truth about the center of Jupiter, whatever it is, exists.
Most would agree that the statement “The torture of babies is morally justified” is wrong,
even if we might disagree why. Whatever the arguments against that statement, they presuppose
that truth must exist behind it, which is that it’s not morally justified to torture babies.
Otherwise, how could the position that it is justified be a lie? How could any position, on any subject, be
a lie or an error without the truths that make lies lies and errors errors?
“The world order,” wrote Czech author Franz Kafka, “is based upon a lie.” Fine, but it is a lie only because
the truth about the world order, whatever it is, makes it a lie.
Some things are relative, contingent, cultural. Driving on the right side of the road is hardly absolute
moral truth. If, however, one does it in England, it becomes “wrong” (and can even take on a moral tone
because it could lead to an accident), but only because there’s the truth (that in England people drive on the
left side), which makes driving on the right side wrong.
On the other hand, someone says, “The Flying Spaghetti monster created the universe, and She alone
determined human morality.” You wouldn’t necessarily have to know who or what created the universe and
determined human morality in order for that statement to be a lie. It’s a lie only because of the truth, which
is that something or someone else, not the Flying Spaghetti monster, created the universe and determined
How ironic that professed Christians deny the reality of truth, but not of lies, even though lies—whether
about the small stuff or the grand metaphysical stuff—cannot exist without truth, either about the small
stuff or the grand metaphysical stuff. Hence every claim declaring absolute truth a lie automatically refutes
Clifford Goldstein is editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. He is also featured on the Web site
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (895) 15
Heart and Soul:
W H A T
H A P P E N E D
16 (896) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
BY GEORGE R. KNIGHT
Dear Brethren Who Shall Assemble in General Conference: We are
impressed that this gathering will be the most important meeting
you have ever attended. This should be a period of earnestly
seeking the Lord, and humbling your hearts before Him.” 1
Such were the words of Ellen White on August 5, 1888, in a letter circulated
to the delegates who would be attending the forthcoming session of the
General Conference in October at Minneapolis, Minnesota. She not only highlighted
the importance of the meetings but also hinted at tensions among
the delegates and their need for serious and faithful Bible study.
TENSION IN THE CAMP
The tension didn’t take long to surface.
“Elder Smith,” A. T. Jones blurted out
early in the meetings, “has told you he
does not know anything about this matter.
I do, and I don’t want you to blame
me for what he does not know.” Ellen
White responded with “Not so sharp,
brother Jones, not so sharp.” 2 Unfortunately,
such harsh words and pompous
attitudes provided part of the backdrop
Account of a Very
for the conflict that characterized the
1888 General Conference session.
Jones had no monopoly on the harshwords
front. Ellen White repeatedly
faulted General Conference president
George I. Butler and Review and Herald
editor Uriah Smith for what she labeled
as the spirit of the Pharisees. Those
leaders and their friends repeatedly
expressed an attitude that “burdened”
her, being “so unlike the spirit of Jesus.”
Its sarcastic, critical, self-righteous
aspects, she noted, stirred up “human
passions” and “bitterness of spirit,
because some of their brethren had ventured
to entertain some ideas contrary
to the ideas that some others . . . had
entertained, which were thought . . . to
be inroads upon ancient doctrines.” 3
THE “MEN” OF
The battle lines of the 1888 session
had arisen earlier in the decade over
two theological points, and involved
certain major participants. On one side
were the two young editors of the California-based
Signs of the Times—Ellet J.
Waggoner and Alonzo T. Jones [see
fuller biographies on pages 20, 21]. A
trained physician who preferred the
work of gospel ministry, Waggoner was
probably the most gentle and sophisticated
of the major male leaders in the
struggle. His colleague, A. T. Jones, had
been a sergeant in the United States
Army and had all the attributes of his
first profession. Jones never ran away
from a battle, whether it be a frontier
confrontation or one in the halls of Congress
over church/state issues or with
his fellow church leaders.
Of somewhat the same mold were
George I. Butler and Uriah Smith, presi-
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (897) 17
concluded that Smith’s published list
dent and secretary, respectively, of the
General Conference. Smith was also editor
of the Michigan-based Review and Herald
and the denomination’s authority on
the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.
Butler and Smith viewed themselves as
defenders of traditional Adventism,
especially in the face of the new ideas
being set forth by Jones and Waggoner.
A fifth major participant in the Minneapolis
meetings was Ellen G. White,
Adventism’s prophetic voice. At first it
appears that she sought to remain neutral
in the developing struggle. But by
April 1887 she had come out openly in
support of the younger men from the
West. She not only realized that they had
something to say that the denomination
desperately needed to hear, but she also
had concluded that they were being
wrongly treated in a very unequal struggle.
She would dedicate herself to making
sure that Jones and Waggoner and
their ideas would get a fair hearing at the
forthcoming General Conference session.
THE HORNS IN DANIEL
The rumbles of disharmony had
begun in the early 1880s along two lines
that would build in intensity as the
denomination rolled toward the Minneapolis
meetings. The first point of contention
formed up around the
seemingly minor topic of the identity of
the 10 horns of Daniel 7. The 1884 General
Conference session had commissioned
Jones to “write a series of
articles gathered from history on points
that showed the fulfillment of prophecy,”
4 a task that led him to study the
book of Daniel.
Smith initially expressed joy over the
idea of Jones having the time to undertake
a more complete examination of
the 10 kingdoms, but suggested that it
would be a difficult task—somewhat
like “hunting the pieces of a building”
after it had been “struck by a hundred
pounds of dynamite.” 5
The cordial relationship between the
newcomer to the study of Daniel and
the established author of Daniel and Revelation
rapidly deteriorated after Jones
was incorrect on the identity of the
tenth kingdom, with Jones asserting it
was the Alemanni rather than the Huns.
The difference of opinion mattered,
because getting prophecy right mattered
to Adventists anticipating the
world’s imminent end. Throughout the
1880s Adventists were being arrested in
such states as California, Tennessee, and
Arkansas for the “crime” of working on
Sunday. Some Adventist ministers in
the American South were even serving
on chain gangs with hardened criminals.
The tension would build on the
Sunday front until the spring of 1888,
when H. W. Blair introduced a bill into
the United States Senate to promote the
observance of “the Lord’s day” “as a day
of religious worship.” 6 Blair’s national
Sunday bill was the first such legislation
to go before Congress
since the establishment of the
Adventist movement in the
1840s. The denomination connected
that move with the
forming of the image to the
beast of Revelation 13 and the
giving of the mark of the
beast. The end was clearly
near, and accurate prophetic
interpretation was clearly
Smith argued aggressively
that if Adventists began to
change their understanding
on points of prophetic interpretation
that had stood for 40 years,
“thousands would instantly notice the
change. . . . ‘If we give you time enough,’
they would then say, ‘you will probably
come to acknowledge finally that you
are mistaken on everything.’ ” Jones shot
back that it was more important to be
right than to maintain a faulty position
that would be exposed publicly by the
denomination’s enemies. 7
CRISIS OVER THE
LAW IN GALATIANS
But if the crisis over the 10 horns was
intense, the issue of the identity of the
law referred to in the book of Galatians
was literally explosive. With the Sunday
crisis right upon them it was bad
enough to be tinkering with the validity
of Adventist prophetic interpretation,
but to be making major changes in the
denomination’s theology of the law
could spell total disaster.
An important text that Adventists had
to deal with was the “added” law of
Galatians 3:19-25. For three decades the
denomination had interpreted that law
as the ceremonial law. Such an interpretation,
Adventist leaders held, was
important in guarding the perpetuity of
the Ten Commandments. After all, did
not Galatians 3:25 plainly teach that
once an individual had faith, he or she
was “no longer under a schoolmaster”?
The law in Galatians had become a
controversial issue between 1884 and
1886, when Waggoner began to teach
that Galatians had the Ten Commandments
in mind rather than the ceremonial
law. That understanding was met
head on by Butler and Smith, who held
that the new interpretation undermined
Adventism’s traditional position
on the end-time importance of the law
of God. As might be expected, the
national Sunday crisis heightened the
importance of the topic.
Butler sought to solve the problem at
the 1886 General Conference session,
but failed. His next move was to block
Jones and Waggoner from presenting
their views at the 1888 session. But Ellen
White outmaneuvered him by publicly
coming to the support of the younger
men. The stage at that point was set for
| www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
the controversial Minneapolis meetings.
THE MINNEAPOLIS MEETINGS
The 1888 General Conference session
convened in the newly constructed Adventist
church from October 17 through
November 4. A ministerial institute lasting
from October 10 to 16 preceded the
formal conference session. The agenda
contained two categories of items: business
matters and theological concerns.
While official action on the business
items was restricted to the official session,
action and reaction on the theological
issues flowed from the institute
into the regular session as if they were
As expected, the major issues of substance
in the conference centered on
three issues—two controversial and
one agreed upon. In the latter category
were Jones’ lectures on church and state
in relation to the Sunday law crisis. The
conference voted to publish his presentations.
They came off the press, with
some editing, in 1889 as Civil Government
and Religion, or Christianity and the American
In the controverted realm, Jones and
Smith each spoke several times on the
10 horns and related prophetic topics.
But the major subject of contention and
importance was the lectures of E. J.
Waggoner on righteousness by faith.
Interestingly enough, his focal point
was not on the law in Galatians
(although he did not neglect that topic)
but on issues related to salvation. For
him the connection between the law in
Galatians and righteousness by faith is
the fact that experientially the 10 commandments
point out sin and lead individuals
to Christ as Savior.
Contrary to Waggoner’s approach,
J. H. Morrison (who stood in for the
emotionally exhausted Butler who was
too ill to attend the meetings) presented
at least eight lectures focused on the
nature of the law in Galatians.
Ellen White joined Waggoner in his
focus on Christ and issues in salvation.
“My burden during the meeting,” she
wrote, “was to present Jesus and His love
before my brethren, for I saw marked
evidences that many had not the spirit of
Christ.” 8 On October 24 she cried out:
“We want the truth as it is in Jesus. . . . I
have seen that precious souls who would
have embraced the truth have been
turned away from it because of the manner
in which the truth has been handled,
because Jesus was not in it. And this is
what I have been pleading with you for
all the time—we want Jesus.” 9
Three days before she noted that “the
Lord desires us all to be learners in the
school of Christ. . . . God is presenting to
the minds of men divinely appointed precious
gems of truth, appropriate for our
time. God has rescued these truths from
the companionship of error, and has
placed them in their proper framework.” 10
That proper framework, she would note in
other connections, was the third angel’s
message, which united both the law of
God and righteousness by faith. 11
At Minneapolis in 1888, Seventh-day
Adventists locked horns over biblical
interpretation in a way that threatened
to lock out the spirit of graciousness
that gives evidence of the presence and
control of Christ. But truth has prevailed
and grace continues to conquer.
The most important teaching to flow
out to posterity from those sessions
was the emphasis on Christ and faith in
Him as Savior and Lord. That teaching
and its implications for the end-time
message of the third angel is what gives
the Minneapolis meetings their ongoing
Ellen G. White to Dear Brethren, Aug. 5, 1888, in
Ellen G. White, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials (Washington,
D.C.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1987), p. 38.
A. T. Robinson, “Did the Seventh-day Adventist
Denomination Reject the Doctrine of Righteousness
by Faith?” (unpublished manuscript, Jan. 30, 1931);
R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short, “An Interview With J. S.
Washburn,” June 4, 1950.
For more on the spirit of Minneapolis, see George
R. Knight, A. T. Jones (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and
Herald Pub. Assn., 2011), pp. 46, 47, 75-77.
Alonzo T. Jones to Uriah Smith, Dec. 3, 1886.
Alonzo T. Jones to Uriah Smith, June 3, 1885.
See my treatment of the Sunday law issue in
George R. Knight, A User-friendly Guide to the 1888
Message (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald, 1998),
Uriah Smith to Alonzo T. Jones, Nov. 8, 1886;
Alonzo T. Jones to Uriah Smith, Dec. 3, 1886.
Ellen G. White manuscript 24, c. November or
December, 1888, in 1888 Materials, p. 216.
Ellen G. White manuscript 9, Oct. 24, 1888, in 1888
Materials, p. 153.
Ellen G. White manuscript 8a, Oct. 21, 1888, in
1888 Materials, p. 139.
For a fuller discussion of Ellen White on the place
of law and gospel in the third angel’s message, see
George R. Knight, Angry Saints (Washington, D.C.:
Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1989; Nampa, Idaho:
Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 2013), pp. 52-60.
An expert on 1888 issues, church
historian George Knight has
written three historical books
on the topic (A. T. Jones; Angry
Saints; and A User-friendly Guide
to the 1888 Message).
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (899) 19
E. J. Waggoner:
The Man and His Legacy
BY WOODROW W. WHIDDEN
Ellet Joseph Waggoner (1855-
1916), * son of prominent Adventist
“pioneer” editor and
revivalist Joseph H. Waggoner
(1820-1889), was educated at
Battle Creek College and then studied medicine
at the University of Michigan (Ann
Arbor) and Long Island College Hospital of
Brooklyn, New York, graduating in 1878.
In October 1882, Waggoner experienced
a “visionary” turning point in life
when he “saw Christ crucified for me,
and . . . that God loved me, and that
Christ gave Himself for me personally.”
The young doctor was convicted to dedicate
his talents to full-time gospel ministry.
As coeditor with A. T. Jones, of the
Signs of the Times, he would play a major
role in the subsequent revival of “righteousness
by faith,” and the memorable
1888 General Conference session.
During the four years following the
1888 Minneapolis event, Waggoner,
Jones, and Ellen White traveled widely,
spreading the message of “Christ our
righteousness” to North American
Adventism. Then, from the spring of
1892, Waggoner served in Europe and
spent the next 11 years editing the British
missionary journal Present Truth.
He returned to the United States in
the fall of 1903 and, against Ellen
White’s counsel, eventually settled in
Battle Creek. While he was there, his
first marriage ended in divorce, and he
left the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church and lost his membership.
He remarried in 1907 and died in
1916, leaving behind a distressing personal
and theological legacy.
In an important statement in 1896,
recorded in Testimonies to Ministers, pages
91-93, Ellen White laid out a wonderful
assessment of the message of Waggoner
and Jones, and its significance as affirming
(1) the uplifting of Christ as Savior
(not just lawgiver); (2) justification by
faith in Jesus; (3) the connection
between the righteousness of Christ and
obedience to God’s commandments; (4)
the need for Adventists to focus on Jesus
and the importance of faith in His sacrifice;
(5) that Christ’s righteousness, or
“righteousness by faith,” has an intimate
relationship to the third angel’s
message of Revelation 14:9-12; (6) that
Jesus has special “covenant blessings”
for His children; (7) that Adventists had
been emphasizing the law but neglecting
Jesus; and (8) that God had raised up
Jones and Waggoner to redirect the gaze
of Adventists to Jesus, to faith in His sacrifice
How could the bearers of such a message
end up in apostasy? The answer is
instructive for the most gifted among us.
Their tragedy may be linked directly to
the effective rejection of prophetic counsel.
Along with this, Waggoner’s teaching
came to involve extremely mystical and
excessively subjective interpretations. He
adopted an explicit “post-Fall” view of
the humanity of Christ in early 1889, and
later repudiated the “penalty/substitution/satisfaction”
model of the atonement.
His adoption of the mystical view
of the atonement led him to understand
justification as a subjectively “effective”
experience. A believer is declared justified
because the mystically indwelling
Christ makes them truly righteous in
character. This is similar to the Roman
Catholic view as defined at the Council of
Waggoner’s heretical and morally
compromising theology issued from
this decline into subjectivity. He came to
an extreme view of perfection, strong
opposition to church organization—
since individuals were to follow the
Holy Spirit directly with no need for
formal organization, false views on faith
healing, a rejection of the traditional
sanctuary doctrine, and ultimately to
pantheistic views that led him to a species
of mystical spiritualism that
opened the door to personal moral failure.
His tragedy was not inevitable. He
might have listened to God’s messenger:
“Believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper”
(2 Chron. 20:20, KJV). n
* See the definitive biography at Woodrow W.
Whidden, E. J. Waggoner: From the Physician of Good News
to Agent of Division (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and
Herald Pub. Assn., 2008).
Woodrow Whidden is emeritus
professor of religion, Andrews
| www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
BY MERLIN BURT
In 1870 hazel-eyed, brown-haired,
20-year-old Alonzo Trévier Jones
(1850-1923) left the home of his
parents, Grammer and Ingaby
Jones, and his work as a clerk at a
dry goods store, to join the United
States Army. He served from 1870 to
1875 and attained the rank of sergeant.
He participated in the Modoc war in
northern California in 1873. 1 Arthur
Spalding remembered Jones during the
1890s as a “towering, angular man, with
a loping gait and uncouth posturings
and gestures.” 2
Baptized by Isaac Van Horn on August
8, 1874, in Walla Walla, Washington
(then a territory), he emerged from the
water exclaiming with upraised hands,
“Dead to the world, and alive to thee, O
my God!” 3
Jones subsequently assisted I. D. Van
Horn with evangelism in Oregon and
Washington and became a minister. On
April 15, 1877, he married Frances E. Patten,
the younger sister of Van Horn’s
wife, Adelia. Although he wanted an
education, the pressing needs of ministry
In 1884 he began editorial work with
the Signs of the Times and the Sabbath Sentinel
in Oakland, California. He also
served as pastor of the Healdsburg College
church, and as a Bible teacher at the
college. In a few short years Jones went
from relative obscurity to being one of
the denominations most prominent
workers, partnering with E. J. Waggoner
in an important role at the 1888 Minneapolis,
Minnesota, General Conference
session. Ellen White identified them as
sharing “a most precious message” of
righteousness by faith.
In December 1888 Jones testified
against the Blair Sunday law bill before
the Senate Committee on Education and
Labor. He remained on the national
stage, and his views were widely noticed
in newspapers. Jones also became pastor
of the Battle Creek Dime Tabernacle and
presented lengthy and dynamic sermons
A. T. Jones
at the General Conference sessions during
the 1890s that brought dramatic
spiritual revival. From 1897 to 1901 he
was editor of the Review and Herald.
During the 1901-1903 reorganization
of the General Conference he took a
strong stand against “kingly power”
and argued against the administrative
position of “president.” After 1903 he
became more closely aligned with J. H.
Kellogg in organizational intrigues, and
harbored a critical attitude. By 1906 he
had lost most of his influence with Seventh-day
Adventists. His ministerial
credentials were removed in 1907 and
his membership in 1909. Tragically, his
last years were spent in opposition to
the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He
participated with the Ballenger brothers
in the establishment of their dissident
movement and paper, The
To the end of his life he professed to
believe and preach the third angel’s
message and righteousness by faith. He
also continued to publish a religious
liberty paper The American Sentinel (not a
Seventh-day Adventist periodical). 4
Jones died on May 12, 1923, at his
home in Battle Creek, Michigan. n
United States Federal Census Records for 1850,
1870, and 1900; Alonzo T. Jones Passport Application,
Aug. 23, 1895; United States Army Register of Enlistments:
1798-1914; “A Tribute to the Life and Labors of
the Late Alonzo T. Jones,” American Sentinel of Religious
Liberty, July 1923, pp. 1-8.
Quoted in George R. Knight, A. T. Jones: Point Man on
Adventism’s Charismatic Frontier (Hagerstown, Md.:
Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 2011), p. 18. Some other
details in this account are drawn from George Knight’s
Adelia P. Van Horn, “A Sabbath in Walla Walla, W.
T.,” Review and Herald, Aug. 25, 1874.
G. E. Fifield, “In Memoriam: Elder A. T. Jones,” The
Gathering Call, June 1923.
Merlin Burt is director of the
Center for Adventist Research,
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (901) 21
Introducing the Why
Allure of the Church
For our one-year wedding anniversary Natalie and I decided to go
on a cruise, something neither of us had ever done. In early September we set out on a Royal Caribbean
seven-day sail that included stops in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.
The ship itself was . . . big. Occupied by more than 6,000 passengers and 2,300 crew members, the vessel
had at least 20 restaurants, a Broadway theater, an ice-skating rink, and a boardwalk that could make
any oceanside town jealous. And that’s just the beginning.
What really made the aptly named Allure of the Seas unique was the staff personally assigned to each
traveler. If you’ve been on a cruise, you know it’s much different than staying at a hotel. Each stateroom
has the same attendant throughout the entire voyage. Not only does this person clean and freshen your
room, they’re available to assist with everything from dry cleaning to restaurant advice. As a bonus,
each night fresh towels are provided in the shape of exotic animals (think balloon animals, but with
The dining room features a similar personalized setup. Each couple is assigned to a table of six,
attended by the same waiter and assistant waiter every evening. What’s neat is that you really get to
know the workers on a personal level. For example, in chatting with our headwaiter, Kemar, I learned
that he’s planning to leave Royal Caribbean after seven years to open a restaurant in his native country
On our last night in the dining room Kemar asked for feedback on the dining room service. Thinking
I was delivering a compliment, I told him that the service had been “really good.”
As politely as ever, he expressed his gratitude for my kind words, but added something I’ll never
forget. “Mr. Phillips, for us ‘really good’ is not good enough. We want your experience to be excellent
in every way possible.”
Setting the Bar
As I filled out the guest satisfaction survey later that night, I gave Royal Caribbean high marks. Our
experience was truly excellent, but not for the obvious reasons. The food was good, but I’ve certainly
had better. The stops were nice, although our preplanned snorkeling excursion in St. Thomas was rained
out. The ship was great, but even a self-contained city at sea has its limitations.
What made our adventure so memorable and worry-free was the staff stationed throughout the
ship. Every crew member on board was helpful, pleasant, and prompt, from those we interacted with
every day to those we encountered just once. Most important, from departure to docking each staff member
seemed to have a shared but personal mission to ensure that our experience was truly excellent.
Their calling, on behalf of Royal Caribbean, is not unlike the charge given to us. Paul says it plainly: “We
are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Cor. 5:20).
In light of such a clear mandate, here’s my question, posed both to you and back at me: When visitors step
inside our churches, do we feel personally accountable to ensure that their experience is truly excellent? If
not, shouldn’t we? After all, we’re after much more than repeat business and tips; our endgame is to be
conduits for the Holy Spirit to save souls.
The mission of an ambassador is to perfectly represent the wishes and values of the one on whose behalf
he or she is sent. Imagine the power that would exude from our churches if each of us came on Sabbath
morning with this sole focus. It might change the way we build our programs, maintain the grounds, and
dress. More important, it would affect the way we act toward those we don’t recognize, those who look as
though they don’t belong, or those who are obviously struggling.
In the cruise industry there’s something called the Crown and Anchor Society, an exclusive membership
level for repeat guests. The “crown society” I want to join is in heaven. If I live as God’s earthly ambassador,
perhaps others will want to come too. n
Jimmy Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes from Bakersfield, California, where he is director of marketing and
communications for San Joaquin Community Hospital. Visit his Web site: introducingthewhy.com.
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (903) 23
Heart and Soul:
eventh-day Adventist doctrine and theology today is directly
BY MERLIN BURT
influenced by the teaching and experience that grew out of
1888 and the 1890s. Those years have yielded three significant
and foundational developments: A new clarity on the role of
the Ten Commandments in relation to salvation, reframing the
third angel’s message of Revelation 14 in terms of righteousness by faith
in Jesus, and a shift toward a biblical Trinitarian understanding.
The Role of the Law in Salvation
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster
to bring us unto Christ, that we
might be justified by faith. But after that
faith is come, we are no longer under a
schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:24, 25, KJV). This
text launched the new emphasis on
righteousness by faith for the Seventhday
Adventist Church leading up to the
1888 Minneapolis, Minnesota, General
Conference session. It had been controversial
through much of the history of
the church. The fundamental question
was whether the law referred to was the
Ten Commandments or was it the system
of sacrifices and ceremonies connected
to the earthly sanctuary service?
An important point for this discus-
24 (904) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
sion is that righteousness by faith was
not a new idea in 1888. During the early
1850s Adventist leaders such as James
White and J. N. Andrews had taught that
the moral law pointed us to Jesus. In an
1851 tract Andrews wrote: “How is the
law a schoolmaster to bring us to
Christ? Answer. The law shows our guilt
and just condemnation, and that we are
lost without a Savior.” 1 A year later
James White wrote: “Those who represent
Sabbathkeepers as going away
from Jesus, the only source of justification,
and rejecting His atoning blood,
and seeking justification by the law, do
it either ignorantly or wickedly.” 2
But J. H. Waggoner’s 1854 tract shows
that the matter continued to require
address. He admonished readers that
“if it were even possible for them to
keep [the law], it would lead them to
trust in themselves, and seek for justification
by personal obedience, instead
of seeking to the Savior for it.” 3
Waggoner unfortunately took an
additional step and excluded the ceremonial
law from Galatians. “Respecting
[the] letter to the Galatians,” he wrote,
“not a single declaration has been found
therein which can be referred to the ceremonial
or Levitical law.” 4 This was
awkward for Seventh-day Adventist
ministers who, in debate with other
Protestant ministers, had argued that
the ceremonial, and not the moral law,
was a shadow that pointed us to Christ.
Waggoner’s book was withdrawn,
and the position in print over the next
30 years presented the ceremonial law
as the schoolmaster to bring us to
Christ. The conflict grew during the
mid-1880s when Waggoner’s son E. J.
Waggoner presented in the Signs of the
Times that the law in Galatians 3:24, 25
was the moral law. Church leaders G. I.
Butler and Uriah Smith saw this as an
attempt to revive an old argument that
had been debunked.
Tragically, many in the church were
legalistic in their approach to the Ten
Commandments. Ellen White would
write in 1890: “As a people, we have
preached the law until we are as dry as
the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew
nor rain.” 5 Waggoner, like his father,
presented the gospel in relation to the
Ten Commandments. The law condemns
us, and drives us to Jesus as the
only Savior who can forgive our sins.
The surface issue in 1888 was the law
in Galatians. But the real problem was
indifference to righteousness by faith.
Butler and Waggoner both published
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (905) 25
tracts with their respective positions on
the law in Galatians. 6 In his conclusion
Waggoner lamented Butler’s reference
to “the much vaunted doctrine of justification
by faith,” and continued: “[your]
theory leads inevitably to the conclusion
that men are justified by the law. . . . I
conclude that it is impossible to overestimate
the doctrine of justification by faith.” 7
Ellen White’s response on the law in
Galatians eventually bridged the two
views: “ ‘What law is the schoolmaster to
bring us to Christ?’ I answer: Both the
ceremonial and the moral code of the Ten
Commandments. Christ was the foundation
of the whole Jewish economy.” 8
In the end, Adventists accepted that
the law represented in Galatians was
both the moral and ceremonial law, with
a particular relevance for the moral law.
mandments of God, and the faith of
Jesus” (Rev. 14:12, KJV).
Early Adventists understood the
“faith of Jesus” as something that
needed to be kept. It was descriptive of
Jesus’ faith that we emulate. It included
“the New Testament requirements, such
as repentance, faith, baptism, Lord’s
Supper, washing the saints’ feet, etc.”
that Jesus practiced. 9
This position countered
those in the
Protestant world who
requirements to be
of God.” By identifying
them as the “faith
of Jesus,” Adventists
preserved the perennial
the Ten Commandments
and the Sabbath.
seemed to some to be
supporting the anti-
Sabbatarian Protestant position.
Ellen White recognized that Adventists’
original interpretation had weakened
the living power of the gospel
when she wrote: “The commandments
of God have been proclaimed, but the
faith of Jesus has not been proclaimed
by Seventh-day Adventists as of equal
importance, the law and the gospel
going hand in hand.” 10
Waggoner and Jones constantly
emphasized the “faith of Jesus” in the
third angel’s message. A. T. Jones titled
his lengthy series of sermons in the General
Conference Bulletin of 1893 and 1895,
“The Third Angel’s Message.” A careful
reading reveals that much of the presentation
was focused on the “faith of
Jesus” in Revelation 14:12. He interpreted
it as an active and living experi-
The “Faith of Jesus” and
the Third Angel’s Message
The new emphasis on Jesus and salvation
was soon linked to a core theological
foundation of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church—the third angel’s
message. “Here is the patience of the
saints: here are they that keep the comence
with Jesus. Just before a praise
meeting he said, “ ‘Justified by faith’ . . .
we shall see the whole law of God written
in the heart and shining in the life,
and the words: ‘Here are they that keep
the commandments of God and the faith
of Jesus.’ All . . . is reflected and shines in
Jesus Christ.” 11 Ellen White emphatically
supported the gospel connection to the
“faith of Jesus,” writing, “It is the third
angel’s message in verity.” 12
This critical development made the
gospel the heart of the third angel’s message.
It placed the law of God in a correct
relationship to a living faith in Jesus. The
three angels of Revelation 14 are framed
with the gospel. They begin with the
“everlasting gospel” to the entire world
and end with the “faith of Jesus.”
The Divinity of Jesus
and the Godhead
Up to the 1890s most Seventh-day
Adventists were anti-Trinitarian. They
viewed God the Father as God in every
way, the Son as divine but begotten and
having a beginning, and the Holy Spirit
reduced to merely a manifestation of
either the Father or the Son. Today we
have a biblical doctrine of the Godhead
in part because of the emphasis on
Jesus and the plan of salvation as presented
During the 1890s Jones played an
important role in presenting the eternal
deity of Jesus. During his 1895 series on
the third angel’s message, he returned
repeatedly to Colossians 2:9. Christ was
the “fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
“The eternal Word consented to be
made flesh. God became man.” 13 Two
days later, speaking of Christ, Jones
said: “In view of eternity before and
eternity after, thirty-three years is not
such an infinite sacrifice after all. But
when we consider that he sank his
nature in our human nature to all eternity—that
is a sacrifice.” 14
26 (906) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
In 1899, as editor of the Review and Herald,
he wrote of the Godhead in a Trinitarian
way: “God is one. Jesus Christ is
one. The Holy Sprit is one. And these three
are one: there is no dissent nor division
among them.” 15 Though Jones gave particular
emphasis to the eternity of Jesus,
Ellen White is probably the first to point
to Jesus’ eternity. During the 1870s she
described Jesus as the “eternal Son of
God.” 16 During the 1890s she would
write some of the clearest statements on
the Godhead and divine nature of Jesus.
In 1898 she wrote, “In Christ is life, original,
unborrowed, underived.” 17 She also
affirmed the personhood and divinity of
the Holy Spirit who was “the Third Person
of the Godhead, who would come
with no modified energy, but in the fullness
of divine power.” 18
We can be grateful for each of these
important doctrinal developments that
are now part of Seventh-day Adventist
faith. As a result of careful Bible study,
through the leadership of Waggoner,
Jones, and White, we rediscovered the
emphasis on righteousness by faith
during the 1890s. As God’s commandment-keeping
remnant we cherish the
role of the law in both showing us our
sin and pointing us to Jesus as our only
Savior. As bearers to the whole world of
God’s truth for these last days, we commit
to sharing the three angels’ messages
as a proclamation of the gospel in
light of the Sabbath, sanctuary, and soon
coming of Jesus. And as we worship
Him who made heaven and earth, and
the sea and the fountains of waters, I
pray that this adoration may be representative
of the God whose love and
character are revealed in a biblical
understanding of the Trinity. n
1851), p. 22.
[James White], “Justified by the Law,” Review and
Herald, June 10, 1852.
Joseph H. Waggoner, The Law of God: An Examination
of the Testimony of Both Testaments (Rochester, N.Y.:
Advent Review, 1854), pp. 93, 94.
Ibid., p. 74; see also pp. 80, 81, 98, 108.
Ellen G. White, “Christ Prayed for Unity Among
His Disciples,” Review and Herald, Mar. 11, 1890.
George I. Butler, The Law in the Book of Galatians: Is It
the Moral Law, or Does It Refer to That System of Laws Peculiarly
Jewish? (Battle Creek, Mich.: Review and Herald
Pub. House, 1886); Ellet J. Waggoner, The Gospel in the
Book of Galatians: A Review (Oakland: n. p., 1888).
E. J. Waggoner, The Gospel in the Book of Galatians,
pp. 70, 71.
The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Ellen G.
White Comments, vol. 6, p. 1109.
[James White], “The Third Angel’s Message, Rev.
xiv 9-12,” Present Truth, April 1850; see also Uriah
Smith, Thoughts, Critical and Practical, on the Book of Revelation
(Battle Creek, Mich.: Seventh-day Adventist Pub.
Assn., 1881), p. 301.
Ellen G. White manuscript 24, 1888, in Ellen G.
White, Ellen G. White Manuscript Releases (Silver Spring,
Md.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990-1993), vol. 12, p. 193.
Alonzo T. Jones, “The Third Angel’s Message—No.
19,” General Conference Bulletin, Feb. 27, 1895; see also
E. J. Waggoner, The Gospel in the Book of Galatians, p. 70.
Ellen G. White, “Repentance the Gift of God,”
Review and Herald, Apr. 1, 1890.
Alonzo T. Jones, “The Third Angel’s Message—
No. 17,” General Conference Bulletin, Feb. 25, 1895.
Alonzo T. Jones, “The Third Angel’s Message—
No. 20,” General Conference Bulletin, Feb. 27, 1895.
Alonzo T. Jones, “Editorial,” Review and Herald,
Jan. 10, 1899.
Ellen G. White, “An Appeal to the Ministers,”
Review and Herald, Aug. 8, 1878.
Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View,
Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 530.
Ibid., p. 671.
Merlin Burt is director of the
Center for Adventist Research,
John N. Andrews, Thoughts on the Sabbath, and the
Perpetuity of the Law of God (Paris, Maine: James White,
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (907) 27
Heart and Soul:
BY BILL AND SHAWN BRACE
early 125 years ago Ellen White offered a courageously orienting declaration
of Adventism’s true calling. Writing in 1890, she boldly proclaimed,
“One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every
other—Christ our righteousness.” 1
This was Ellen White’s singular focus.
For much of her ministry, however, both before and after the 1888 General Conference
session, sadness overwhelmed her heart as she realized that this subject was scarcely
acknowledged. This is why, when she heard that same message proclaimed by two
young upstart preachers, Alonzo T. Jones and Ellet J. Waggoner, she recounted that “every
fiber of my heart said, Amen.” 2 What they heralded she called a “most precious message.”
It was to go to every church and “given to the world.” 3 In fact, she proposed, it was
the “loud cry” of Revelation 18 that was to “lighten the whole earth with its glory.” 4
But what made it “most precious”—to the point that Ellen White eagerly traveled
with the two young men, heralding its beauty?
| www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
Perhaps the most succinct explanation
is her summary from 1895: “This message,”
she wrote, “was to bring more
prominently before the world the
uplifted Savior, the sacrifice for the sins
of the whole world. It presented justification
through faith in the Surety; it invited
people to receive the righteousness of
Christ, which is made manifest in obedience
to all the commandments of God.
Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed
to have their eyes directed to His divine
person, His merits, and His changeless
love for the human family.” 5
An Uplifted Savior
Jones’ and Waggoner’s “most precious
message” flowed from their
emphasis on the centrality of Jesus.
Prior to this, Adventists were guilty of
preaching “the law until we are as dry
as the hills of Gilboa.” 6
But the two lifted up Jesus—both His
divinity and humanity. Concerning the
former, they sought to herald His full
divinity, maintaining, contrary to the prevailing
Adventist sentiment, that Christ
was not created but was eternal. For, Waggoner
proposed, “no one who holds this
view [that Christ was created] can possibly
have any just conception of the exalted
position which Christ really occupies.” 7
This was held in tension with Christ’s
humanity. One could be appreciated
only in light of the other. Thus, Waggoner
declared that one of the “most
encouraging things in the Bible” was to
realize that “Christ took on Him the
nature of man” in its sinful condition,
and that “His ancestors according to the
flesh were sinners.” 8 This remained a
central part of their proclamation
throughout their ministries.
A Universal Savior
In Ellen White’s 1895 summary she
mentioned that a core component of the
message was Christ dying as “the sacrifice
for the sins of the whole world.”
This teaching stemmed from a
unique understanding of Christ’s atti-
tude toward humanity; an attitude of
faith and confidence in what His grace
could accomplish in the lives of sinners.
“His practiced eye saw in you great possibilities,”
Waggoner wrote in 1890,
“and He bought you, not for what you
were then or are now worth, but for
what He could make of you.” 9
Waggoner’s logical conclusion of this
idea was that Christ must have therefore
justified the existence of all
humankind at Calvary. “As the condemnation
came upon all, so the justification
comes upon all,” he wrote. 10
Indeed, “the judgment will reveal the
fact that full and complete salvation
was given to every man, and that the
lost have deliberately thrown away their
birthright possession.” 11 Thus, Christ’s
death actually accomplished something
for everyone—even if that accomplishment
does not end in every person
Ellen White echoes this concept in
affirming that “for every human being,
Christ has paid the election price. No one
need be lost. All have been redeemed.” 12
An Effective Savior
Writing in 1890, Ellen White passionately
highlighted a critical component of
this message: “There is not a point that
needs to be dwelt upon more earnestly,
repeated more frequently, or established
more firmly in the minds of all, than the
impossibility of fallen man meriting anything
by his own best good works.” 13
This was the crux of the problem.
Many were trying to save themselves by
their own good works. These feeble
attempts, however, were not only manifested
in trying to earn God’s forgiveness
through obedience, but also by
trying to produce obedience in one’s life
after conversion. Both were futile.
At the root of Jones’ and Waggoner’s
understanding was their unique insight
into the covenants. The old and new
covenants didn’t necessarily speak of
time periods, they proposed, but the
experiences of those living in any age.
“The first [old] covenant,” Jones submitted,
“rested upon the promises of
the people, and depended solely upon
the efforts of the people. The second
[new] covenant consists solely of the
promise of God, and depends upon the
power and work of God.” 14
It was within this context that souls
were invited to receive by faith Christ’s
righteousness—both its imputed and
A Complete Savior
Perhaps the greatest achievement of
their message was its balance between
the law and gospel—which, according
to Ellen White, must always go “hand in
hand.” 15 It avoided the ditch of legalism
by giving the assurance of forgiveness;
and it avoided the ditch of “cheap grace”
by showing that a faith-filled life results
in complete obedience. As Ellen White
wrote in 1895, receiving Christ’s righteousness
is “made manifest in obedience
to all the commandments of God.”
This is because White, Jones, and
Waggoner appreciated the ability of the
gospel, when fully understood and
embraced, to change one’s heart and
save him or her from sin—not in sin.
This is all accomplished through “an
appreciation of the cost of salvation.” 16
This was, after all, the goal of the gospel
and the ultimate goal of Jones’ and
Waggoner’s ministry. “The Lord has
raised up Brother Jones and Brother
Waggoner,” Ellen White declared in 1893,
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (909) 29
“to proclaim a message to the world to
prepare a people to stand in the day of
God.” 17 This was in the context of the
cleansing of the sanctuary and the third
Waggoner and Jones both grasped this,
with the former writing in 1890, “And so
we find when Christ covers us with the
robe of His own righteousness, He does
not furnish a cloak for sin but takes the
sin away. And this shows that the forgiveness
of sins is something more than a
mere form, something more than a mere
entry in the books of record in heaven. . . .
And if [a person] is cleared from guilt, is
justified, made righteous, he has certainly
undergone a radical change.” Indeed, “the
new heart is a heart that loves righteousness
and hates sin.” 18
He was simply echoing what he had
written after the 1888 General Conference
session: “When the Lord comes there will
be a company who will be found ‘complete
in him.’. . . To perfect this work in the
hearts of individuals . . . is the work of the
third angel’s message.” 19
sacrifice, and showing what God will
accomplish in the lives of those who
embrace His love—was a much fuller
explanation of the gospel than existed
both within and without Adventism.
This message has still not been given
the fullest expression it deserves. Recognizing
our own need, we appeal to all
to proclaim this powerful message that
has been ordained to “lighten the whole
earth with its glory.” 20 n
Ellen G. White, in Review and Herald, Dec. 23, 1890.
Ellen G. White, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials
(Washington, D.C.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1987), p. 349.
Ibid., pp. 1336, 1337.
Ibid., p. 1575.
Ibid., p. 1336.
Ellen G. White, in Review and Herald, Mar. 11, 1890.
Ellet J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness (Oakland:
Pacific Press Pub. Co., 1890), p. 20.
Ibid., p. 61.
Ibid., p. 72. Compare with Ellen G. White, Christ’s
Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald
Pub. Assn., 1900), p. 118.
Ellet J. Waggoner, in Present Truth, Oct. 18, 1894.
Ellet J. Waggoner, The Glad Tidings (Oakland: Pacific
Press Pub. Co., 1900), pp. 22, 23. They saw their growing
views on what some label as “universal justification”
as the logical outworking of their understanding
of Christ’s faith in humanity.
The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Ellen G.
White Comments, vol. 7, p. 944.
E. G. White, 1888 Materials, p. 811.
Alonzo T. Jones, in Review and Herald, July 24, 1900.
Ellen G. White, in Review and Herald, Sept. 3, 1889.
Ibid., July 24, 1888.
E. G. White, 1888 Materials, p. 1814.
E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, pp. 65, 66.
Ellet J. Waggoner, in Signs of the Times, Dec. 28, 1888.
E. G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 228.
Bill and Shawn
ministers in the
Southern and Northern New England
conferences, respectively. Together they edit
the magazine New England Pastor.
Like Ellen White and her contemporaries,
we have had our hearts strangely
warmed by this message. We recognize
there is a beautiful uniqueness to what
Jones and Waggoner—along with Ellen
White—proclaimed. Their message—
explaining the depth of Christ and His
30 (910) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
BY LEE SCHAPPELL
On a particularly hot Friday
afternoon, the beginning of
Memorial Day weekend,
most folk had already
pulled the plug on business
activities and begun the mad rush
to the mountains, the beach, the ball
game, the hammock.
My New Earth Band had an upcoming
concert, for which I had to swing by one
of my musical apparatus suppliers to
pick up an essential item. I was in the
store but a moment, and as I emerged,
my wife, Elsa, said, “There must be a
fallen bird over there, because employees
leaving the building keep asking, ‘Is
that bird still there?’ ”
I asked Elsa, “Would you like to take a
“Sure,” she responded.
Hunkered down on his little belly,
alone on that sizzling asphalt parking
lot, was the tiniest baby bird I had ever
seen. No bigger than a golf ball, he had
no plumage, save a tuft of fuzz crowning
his head, just a wisp atop each
shoulder, and a teeny stub where he
would eventually require a tail. I could
here most of the day,” Elsa replied.
From an immense yellow wraparound
bill we heard a weak cheep.
I remember a time in my life that I
had fallen from a lofty height, and the
sudden stop at the bottom had knocked
the wind out of me. I was broken, alone,
and thoroughly exhausted from an
extended, fruitless struggle to regain
my footing. There appeared to be not a
hint of hope on the horizon.
If We Don’t, Who Will?
“Maybe I should move him to a
cooler spot; maybe in the grass over
there in the shade,” I offered.
“We should at least give him some
water,” Elsa suggested.
I gently picked up the little fellow, cradling
him in my fingers. I laid him in the
cool grass on the shady side of the building.
Then I trotted back inside the store,
where a salesman filled a bottle with
cool water. I pirated a small cardboard
carton from the shipping department.
Seeking a delivery system for the
water, I scanned the surrounding landscape,
and there it was: long and slim,
like a little bottle
brush, with rows
and rows of tiny
blossoms on a
head, perfect for
He wouldn’t make it on his own.
And he still might
see blood vessels through his semitransparent
pink and purple flesh. His
wings resembled miniature marimbas,
merely two little racks of delicate bones.
His eyes were closed in exhaustion, and
he heaved slowly as he labored to
breathe in the afternoon sun.
Scattered around him on the ground
were pieces of a broken nest. Siblings or
adult birds were nowhere in sight. The
little dude was in a pickle.
“This little nipper is being slowcooked
on the tarmac!” I whispered.
“Yes, and he’s apparently been out
capturing and holding dozens of droplets
of water. Dunking the weed into the
bottle, I touched the tip to the bird’s bill,
which immediately opened for me to
shake in a shower of refreshing
Cheep! he said, which we interpreted
as “Do it again, bub!” So I did, again and
again. As I stood up Elsa and I looked at
each other for a moment, then uttered
in unison, “Well . . .”
Cheep! Cheep! came the frantic call
from the ground.
Returning our attention to our dis-
32 (912) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
tressed friend, we were pleased and surprised
to see that he had risen from his
hunkered-down posture and was now
wobbling weakly on his toothpicklike legs.
Cheep! Cheep! translated to “More
H 2 O, please!”
“If we leave him here, he’s sure to
become somebody’s supper.”
“Do you want to take him home with
us?” asked Elsa.
In the aftermath of my fall, a friendly
face had been hard to find. There had
been an occasional sympathetic look, a
brief word of encouragement, then a
rapid exit. My rescue finally came when I
called on the One who promised never to
leave me or forsake me. He took me in,
cared for my needs, restored my strength,
and set me on a brand-new path.
Down to Business
I knew we were buying ourselves one
serious project, but still, how could we
have closed our eyes and tried to sleep
that night, knowing we had left the little
guy defenseless on the ground? We
pulled up fistfuls of grass and carefully
lined that corrugated box to cradle its
“We’ll call you Rocky,” I assured him as I
lowered him into his makeshift nest,
“because you’re one gnarly little scrapper.”
On the way home I used my cell
phone to call some friends who are
knowledgeable about wild
birds. Karin suggested we
grind up some dry cat
food for him, because it is
high in protein. But her
husband, Ken, said, “Nah,
he won’t make it.”
Ken’s comment made me all the more
determined. I understood that I had
elected to interfere with nature’s
course, and I was fully aware of the
responsibility I had placed on my wife
and me. So what’s a guy to do in a situation
such as this? Well, he prays! We
asked God’s guidance in caring for His
precious little critter. Then we knuckled
down to the task.
To replenish the water he had
undoubtedly lost during his long day in
the sun, we came up with a more effi-
cient delivery system: a medium-sized
eyedropper. Rocky grasped its intended
purpose at first sight, and promptly
opened the hatch whenever he saw us
approaching with that dropper in hand.
For Rocky’s first meal, Elsa prepared a
concoction of crushed dry cat food,
mixed with a little bit of raw egg, a generous
spoonful of wheat germ, and a
goodly measure of a powdered food
supplement, along with a small dash of
milk. When mixed together, those ingredients
morphed into a gritty, olive-green
pudding. Aesthetics aside, it offered a
powerhouse of nutrition, so I offered the
earth-toned muck on the skinny handle
of a spoon to the little guy.
Rocky was unable to hold his head up
to take food. But in a delightfully inventive
maneuver our unfeathered friend
wobbled over to the side of the box,
rested the bottom of his bill in the corner,
and propped his head in an
upward-facing position. Immediately
that enormous yellow beak opened
wide, and Rocky proceeded to wolf
down that gourmet dinner mixture!
We took turns feeding our scrawny
guest every hour or two, with copious
amounts of water interjected between
his mealtime blitzes. In just a matter of
a few days patches of downy fuzz began
to appear on his wings and on his back.
In addition, he was beginning to navigate
around the box with ease, and soon
was climbing up the front of my shirt to
sit on my shoulder or nestle into the
crook of my neck.
Time to Fly
Rocky, whom Ken identified as a
European starling, appeared to grow
with each passing day. Just a week into
his rehab he had outgrown his little carton.
So one evening I built a spiffy twosquare-foot
cage furnished with a
network of branches strategically positioned
to facilitate climbing, hopping,
and fluttering around his new home.
Rocky seemed to acquire these, and
additional skills, one day to the next.
After three weeks Rocky had grown
into a strong, healthy, great-looking
super-starling. The bad news was that
he loved that olive-drab pudding concoction
so much that he had no interest
in insects, worms, and more conventional
bird fare. Besides, Rocky had
become so tame that he permitted us to
scratch his belly and rub his head, and
he even allowed Elsa to help him pick
the dried food from his face!
We knew it was time to take the next
step. I phoned a wildlife shelter in the
adjacent county, told them our winged
amigo’s story, and asked whether they
would be willing to prepare him to
return to the wild. It was a somber
“Is that bird still there?”
90-minute ride in my pickup truck that
afternoon. Rocky clung to my right hand
most of the way, while I drove with my
left. There’s no question it was the right
thing to do.
Two weeks later we received an e-mail
message from the people at the shelter,
notifying us that Rocky had been
released onto the grounds of the shelter,
along with several other starlings, and
that he seemed to be doing just fine.
I firmly believe that our heavenly
Father led us to Rocky, then blessed us
with this living experience so that we
might gain a more complete understanding
of what He has done for us,
and for Adam’s entire fallen race.
Elsa and I still talk and laugh about
Rocky, respinning his saga, and showing
our amazing photos of the little nipper.
In fact, we readily agreed, right from the
day we heard that Rocky had been set
free, that, given the opportunity, we
would do it all again, because of the tremendous
satisfaction we received from
rescuing a precious life from certain
demise; and most of all, because Someone
had first done the same for us. n
Lee Schappell lives with Elsa
in Reading, Pennsylvania.
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (913) 33
Heart and Soul:
BY DENIS FORTIN
My burden during the
meeting was to present
Jesus and His love before
my brethren, for I saw
marked evidences that
many had not the Spirit of Christ.” 1
With these words Ellen White summarized
her thoughts and feelings
about what she perceived to be the real
issue of what happened at the General
Conference session in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, in the fall of 1888. She saw
that many hardworking ministers of
our church were not really in communion
with Christ and that our church
was in grave danger of seeing its mission
derailed. Above all else, she perceived
her ministry at the session to
have been redemptive.
For a few years before the eventful
session, ministers had been debating
fiercely a few concepts among themselves
in the pages of the two most
prominent publications of the church,
the Review and Herald in Battle Creek,
Michigan, and the Signs of the Times, in
Oakland, California. The unsuspecting
initiators of these acrimonious discussions
were the two young editors of the
Signs of the Times, A. T. Jones, and E. J.
According to Ellen White’s
family and friends, she
considered this engraving
of Christ “the most nearly
correct of any picture she
had ever seen” (W. C. White
to Fred Harvey, April 25,
1935). The Ellen G. White
Estate cautions that there
is nothing in Ellen White’s
writing regarding this
34 (914) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
Waggoner. Jones, a self-educated Bible
scholar and historian, taught that the
northern European tribe of the Alemanni,
not the Asian Huns (as taught by
Uriah Smith), was one of the 10 horns
or kingdoms of Daniel 7. Waggoner, like
his father, J. H. Waggoner, 30 years
before, taught that the schoolmaster
law Paul refers to in Galatians 3:24
should be understood as the moral law
of the Ten Commandments. George I.
Butler, current General Conference
president, opposed Waggoner’s view.
This debate was characterized as the
old guard defending the true teachings of
the church against new heresies. Ellen
White spent numerous sleepless nights
worrying over the bitter religious conflict.
the soul, then
there will be
Who Is Right?
When E. J. Waggoner began to teach
views similar to what his father and
other pioneers had taught 30 years earlier,
Elders Butler and Smith were quick
to point out that Ellen White had had a
vision on the subject in 1854 and had
written to J. H. Waggoner that the law in
Galatians was the ceremonial law rather
than the moral law. However, when
asked to produce this document, Ellen
White was unable to find it.
In a letter to Jones and Waggoner in
February 1887 she recalled that she had
written to J. H. Waggoner “that I had
been shown [that] his position in
regard to the law was incorrect,” but
that she could not recall exactly what
was incorrect about it. One thing was
clear to her, however: the various positions
on the law in Galatians “are not
vital points” and they should not be
made a controversial and divisive issue. 2
Two months later, in a letter to Butler
and Smith, she again referred to the lost
letter and pointed out that the counsel
may not have been on doctrine at all. “It
may be that it was a caution not to make
Photo: ellen G. white estate
his [J. H. Waggoner’s] ideas prominent
at that time, for there was great danger
of disunion.” 3 In other words, she
claimed that her ministry in regard to
this issue in the 1850s had been pastoral
rather than hermeneutical or exegetical,
and she still claimed the same
pastoral ministry in 1887.
Butler and Smith, however, disagreed
with that recollection, holding that Ellen
White had seen in vision that J. H. Waggoner
had been wrong theologically.
Hence, in their view, not only was this
issue posing a threat to the traditional
Adventist teaching on the perpetuity
and immutability of the Ten Commandments,
and the cherished doctrine of the
Sabbath, but it also threatened Ellen
White’s own prophetic ministry and
reliability if she changed her mind on
theological issues—that is, of course, if
her ministry is understood as clearing
up biblical uncertainties. Ellen White
was thus caught in the middle of this
conflict because she was not willing to
decide who was right.
Walking Out by Faith
Overwhelmed with discouragement,
Ellen White felt she did not have the
energy to attend the Minneapolis session
and engage this issue in person.
But remembering her words to her
dying husband seven years earlier and
her commitment to stand by her post of
duty, she decided that “to walk out by
faith against all appearances was the
very thing that the Lord required me to
do.” 4 As she stepped out by faith, day by
day she gained more strength.
Personal Bible Study
Ellen White insisted that she had not
been shown the answer to the question
of the law in Galatians. The issue needed
to be settled by prayerful Bible study.
“Truth,” she claimed, “will lose nothing
by investigation.” 5 Some of Waggoner’s
interpretations were incorrect, she
found. But “the fact that he honestly
holds some views of Scripture differing
from yours or mine is no reason why we
should treat him as an offender, or as a
dangerous man, and make him the subject
of unjust criticism.” 6 While she did
not recall clearly what she had said in
the 1850s, she did not want her opinion
on the matter to settle this debate. Settling
matters of biblical interpretations
was not how she saw her ministry.
Instead she recommended a deep and
humble study of Scripture.
“I take the Bible just as it is, as the
Inspired Word,” she said at the session.
“I believe its utterances in an entire
Bible. . . . Men of humble acquirements,
possessing but limited capabilities and
opportunities to become conversant in
the Scriptures, find in the living oracles
comfort, guidance, counsel, and the plan
of salvation as clear as a sunbeam. No
one need be lost for want of knowledge,
unless he is willfully blind. We thank
God that the Bible is prepared for the
poor man as well as for the learned man.
It is fitted for all ages and all classes.” 7
For her, Waggoner’s major contribution
was in building a bridge between
the law and the gospel: “I see the beauty
of truth in the presentation of the righteousness
of Christ in relation to the law
as the doctor has placed it before us” she
told the assembly in Minneapolis. 8
In the months following the session,
Ellen White joined Waggoner and Jones
in presenting this perspective on the
law and the gospel. “Holding up Christ
as our only source of strength, presenting
His matchless love in having the
guilt of the sins of men charged to His
account and His own righteousness
imputed to man, in no case does away
with the law or detracts from its dignity.
Rather, it places it where the correct
light shines upon and glorifies it. This is
done only through the light reflected
from the cross of Calvary.” 9
Love in Human Relationships
In her many communications with all
those involved in this bitter controversy,
Ellen White’s goal was to bring people
closer to Jesus and closer to one
another. Her ministry sought for reconciliation
and redemption. Human relationships
mattered a great deal to her,
and her many counsels in her letters
and sermons highlight her emphasis on
the love of Jesus.
One such counsel was written to William
Healey, a pastor in California, who
sided with Butler and Smith and likely
instigated some of the rumors against
Jones, Waggoner, and Ellen White herself.
She wrote to him shortly after the
36 (916) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
end of the session. “I have [now] told
you that my views are not changed in
regard to the law in Galatians. But if we
have had the truth upon this subject our
brethren have failed to be sanctified
through it; the fruits are not after
Christ’s order, but bitter as gall.” 10 Her
counsels may be summarized as follows:
1. Let the Holy Spirit guide your mind. To
Jones and Waggoner, many months
before the Minneapolis session, as the
conflict was taking speed, she counseled:
“There is altogether too little of
the love of Christ in the hearts of those
who claim to believe the truth. While all
their hopes are centered in Jesus Christ,
while His Spirit pervades the soul, then
there will be unity, although every idea
may not be exactly the same on all
points.” 11 Thus the Holy Spirit desires
unity in spite of variations of interpretation
2. We will never understand all Bible truth.
According to Ellen White, it is mistaken to
assume that any one side in a conflict over
interpretation understands and possesses
“I see the beauty of truth
in the presentation of
the righteousness of
Christ in relation to the
law as the doctor has
placed it before us.”
all the truth. To Jones and Waggoner she
stated, “The Bible is but yet dimly understood.
A lifelong prayerful study of its
sacred revealings will leave still much
unexplained.” 12 And to Butler and Smith:
“But let none feel that we know all the
truth the Bible proclaims.” 13 To the assembly
in Minneapolis she acknowledged,
“We are to be ever searching for the truth
as for hidden treasures.” 14
3. There can be dire consequences to internal
conflicts. The consequences of strife
and contentions are tragic and eternal.
“There has been a door thrown open for
variance and strife and contention and
differences which none of you can see
but God. . . . The bitterness, the wrath,
the resentment, the jealousies, the heart
burnings provoked by controversies of
both sides of the question causes the
loss of many souls.” 15
4. We need a daily experience with Jesus.
During the Minneapolis session Ellen
White spoke a number of times. On Sabbath
afternoon, October 13, she felt led
by the Lord to speak of the love of God.
“The blessing of the Lord rested upon
me and put words in my mouth and I
had much freedom in trying to impress
upon our brethren the importance of
dwelling upon the love of God much
more and let gloomy pictures alone. The
effect on the people was most happy,”
she wrote to her daughter-in-law.
“Believers and unbelievers bore testimony
that the Lord had blessed them in
the word spoken and that from this
time they would not look on the dark
side . . . but talk of the goodness and the
love and compassion of Jesus, and
praise God more.” 16
This became her major emphasis in
the weeks and months following the
session. Love for Jesus will produce love
toward one another. Already to Waggoner
she had written
that “looking to
Jesus, learning of
the love of Jesus”
will melt hearts
other.” 17 During
the conference she realized that a different
spirit was animating most of the
ministers. “We all know better than to
do as we have done,” she wrote. “If
Christ were abiding in the soul we could
not but reveal Christ’s forbearance,
Christ’s courtesy, and the love of Christ.
All this hard, unkind, uncourteous spirit
manifested toward brethren is registered
in the books of heaven as manifested
toward Jesus Christ.” 18
5. More than anything else, we must learn
to let the love of Christ abide in our hearts.
“The love of Christ must be an abiding
principle in the heart, that will bear
fruit in love and tenderness and respect
for one another. The love of the truth,
the doing of the words of Christ, would
soften and subdue our hearts. The
purity and goodness and love of the
great heart of Jesus must be reflected
upon our hearts and revealed in our
characters, that we may be partakers of
the divine nature and have tender compassion
for each other.” 19
Perhaps the most compelling lesson
Ellen White would have us learn from
the 1888 General Conference session
and its famous doctrinal conflicts is
that there is never a reason that justifies
an un-Christlike spirit in our conversations
with brothers and sisters.
Although we may not agree with each
other on all points of teachings and
interpretations, Christ’s Spirit must
abide in our hearts. n
Ellen G. White manuscript 24, 1888, in Ellen G.
White, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials (Washington,
D.C.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1987), p. 216.
Ellen G. White letter 37, Feb. 18, 1887, to E. J. Waggoner
and A. T. Jones, in Ellen G. White, Ellen G. White
Manuscript Releases (Silver Spring, Md.: Ellen G. White
Estate, 1990-1993), vol. 15, pp. 18-20.
Ellen G. White letter 13, Apr. 5, 1887, to George I. Butler
and Uriah Smith, in Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 281.
Ellen G. White manuscript 2, 1888, in 1888 Materials,
Ellen G. White manuscript 15, 1888, in 1888 Materials,
Ibid., p. 164.
Ellen G. White manuscript 16, 1888, in Ellen G.
White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and
Herald Pub. Assn., 1958, 1980), book 1, pp. 17, 18.
Ellen G. White manuscript 15, 1888, in 1888 Materials,
Ellen G. White manuscript 24, 1888, in 1888 Materials,
Ellen G. White letter 7, Dec. 9, 1888, to William M.
Healey, in 1888 Materials, p. 189.
Ellen G. White letter 37, 1887, in 1888 Materials,
Ellen G. White letter 13, 1887, in Manuscript
Releases, vol. 16, p. 285.
Ellen G. White manuscript 15, 1888, in 1888 Materials,
Ellen G. White letter 37, 1887, in 1888 Materials, p. 26.
Ellen G. White letter 81, Oct. 9, 1888, to Mary
White, in 1888 Materials, pp. 67, 68. The letter was
started on October 9 but finished on October 14.
Ellen G. White letter 13, 1887, in Manuscript
Releases, vol. 16, p. 285.
Ellen G. White manuscript 21, 1888, in 1888
Materials, p. 181.
Ibid., p. 176.
Denis Fortin is professor of
theology at the Seventh-day
Seminary of Andrews
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (917) 37
Spirit of Prophecy
BY ELLEN G. WHITE
We have seen of the
grace of God since we
met you last. Since last
spring I have visited
Lemoore, Fresno, and
Selma. I was at the Selma camp meeting.
During my stay there I was introduced
to a tall man—over six feet tall—and
well proportioned. When he took my
hand he seemed much affected and said,
“I am so glad to meet you; I am thankful
that I can speak with you.”
After going into the tent a brother
came in and said, “That man has a history.”
Then he went on and told how a
year before he had been converted; how
he had once kept the Sabbath but had
gone back, and how he claimed that he
never had been converted. Then after he
gave up the truth he went back into the
company of hard cases, and Satan took
complete possession of him. Two or
three were linked with him in his wickedness—men
who would not want it to
be known that they were in such business.
They stole and did wickedness in
every way. . . . He did not care for the
spoil of his robberies, but did it for the
enjoyment he found in it.
Well, Elder [E. P.] Daniels was holding
meetings, and he was speaking on confession.
What was said seemed to take
hold of this man’s mind, and he could
not resist. He seemed to turn white, and
then left the tent. He could not stand it.
He went out and then he came back
again. This he did three times; he looked
as if he were going to faint away.
After the meeting had closed he said,
“I must talk to you, sir.” He told Elder
Daniels his condition and said, “Is there
any hope for me? I am a lost man; I am
undone; I am a sinner. Will you pray for
me? I dare not leave this place to go
home for fear the Lord will cut me down
in my sins.” He said he could not stay in
the tent, and went out again and again,
but did not dare remain outside for fear
the power of the devil should fasten on
him and that would be the last of him.
They prayed for him, and the man was
converted right there. The defiant look
was gone; his countenance was changed.
“Now,” said he, “I have a work to do. I
stole thirty-one sheep from that man in
Selma, and I must go and confess to him.”
Elder Daniels was afraid to have it
known for fear they would shut him up.
He said he would rather go to prison
and stay there than to think that Christ
had not forgiven his sin. So he started,
with a young man who before this was
engaged with him in thefts, to go and
see the man. He met the man on the
road and stopped him. The man commenced
to shake like an aspen leaf. He
was an infidel. Well, he got on his knees
before them in the road and begged to
The man asked, “Where did you get
this? What has brought you into this
state? I did not know that there was any
such religion as this.” They told him that
they had been down to the camp meeting,
and heard it preached there. “Well,”
said he, “I will go over to that meeting.”
They confessed to having burned
houses and barns. And they went to the
grand jury and confessed to having stolen
here and there. Mind, they confessed
to the authorities. They said, “We deliver
(918) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
ourselves up. Do with us as you see fit.”
So the case was considered in court,
and they had a council over the matter.
One suggested that they better put
those men through. The judge looked at
him and said, “What, put him through?
Put a man through that God is putting
through? Would you take hold of a man
that God is taking hold of? Whom God’s
forgiving power has taken hold of?
Would you do that? No, I would rather
have my right arm cut off to the shoulder.”
Something got hold of those men
so that they all wept as children.
The report of that experience went
everywhere. People thought that there
was a power in this truth that was in
nothing else—a power that shows that
Jesus lives. We have seen the power of
His grace manifested in many cases in a
Now, whenever we can see anything
encouraging, put it in the paper, and
talk about it. Why talk of Satan’s great
power and his wonderful works, and say
nothing of the majesty and goodness
and mercy of our God which falls to the
ground unnoticed? Pick these up, brethren,
with consecrated hands, pick them
up. Hold them high before the world.
Talk of the love of God and dwell upon
it; thank Him for it. Open the doors of
your hearts and show forth your gratitude
and love. Clear away this rubbish
which Satan has
piled before the
door of your heart
and let Jesus come
in and occupy.
Talk of His goodness
You know how
it was with Moses. He felt that he must
have an answer to his prayer. He realized
the responsibility of leading the people
out of Egypt, but he did not go and pick
up everything objectionable and dwell
on it. He knew they were a stiff-necked
people, and he said, “Lord, I must have
Thy presence”; and the Lord said, “My
presence shall go with thee.” You
remember Moses went into the wilderness
and stayed forty years, during
which time he put away self, and that
made room so that he could have the
presence of God with him.
He thought if he could have the presence
of God’s glory it would help him to
carry on this great work. He says, “Shew
me thy glory.”
There was a power in this
truth that was in nothing
else—a power that shows
that Jesus lives.
Now that was a man of faith, and God
did not rebuke him. God did not call it
presumption, but He took that man of
faith and put him into the cleft of the
rock and put His hand over the rock and
showed him all the glory that he could
endure. He made His goodness to pass
before him, and showed him His goodness,
His mercy, and His love.
If we want God’s glory to pass before
us, if we want to have memory’s halls
hung with the promises of love and
mercy, we want to talk of His glory and
tell of His power. And if we have dark
and miserable days we can commit
these promises to memory and take our
minds off discouragement. It would
please the devil to think he has bothered
us; but we want to talk of Jesus and
His love and His power, because we
have nothing better to talk of. n
This article is excerpted from a
sermon preached Sabbath
afternoon, October 13, 1888 [see
Ellen G. White manuscript 7,
1888, in The Ellen G. White 1888
Materials, pp. 81-83]. Ellen G. White, its author,
was one of the founders of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church. Her life and work testified
to the special guidance of the Holy Spirit.
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (919) 39
Searching the Obvious
Hope and Peace
In the silence, I am in awe.
* * *
I walk the greenhouse with my friend Angie. She talks about the different flowers she has planted: bromeliads,
Chinese hibiscus, chenille plants, lilies, and orchids. She tells me that these flowers are OK, but her
favorite are the African violets. “They take more care, more time, and they are fragile,” she says as her prosthetic
hand touches the leaves of a pink African violet she has called “Hope.” Hope. How perfect.
As the sun filters through the greenhouse, I help Angie check the labels on each of the African violet
pots. These will soon be in a new home.
* * *
As I pull into the driveway, I am not certain what I will see. It’s been 13 months since I visited
my friend Kathy. As I turn the engine off it seems like an invitation for memories to flood my
mind. I remember. I remember finding Kathy in the surgical waiting room, her arm in a sling,
bruises on her face, mumbling a prayer. I remember her tears as she told me her 14-year-old
daughter, Angie, was in critical condition. I remember sobs as Kathy told me of the car
accident, the drunk driver, and Angie’s ongoing surgery to try and save her left arm
crushed by the impact. I remember the surgeon’s apologetic face. I remember Angie in
the hospital bed asking “Why?” But nobody had answers.
A knock on my car window breaks me away from the past and returns me to the present.
Angie. She smiles, and for a moment her resilience makes me forget she has ever suffered pain
in her life.
“Come on!” she says. “I want to show you my greenhouse! Dad built it, but I’m in charge of
I see Kathy at the door smiling and waving. Much has grown in this home in the past year.
* * *
Kathy and I sit at the kitchen table watching Angie and her father load two small crates of African
violets into a minivan. As we watch, Kathy tells me that after the accident, when Angie came home, she
sat in this very chair, at this very table, and for the first time in her life she was speechless. When words
finally found her, her prayer was simple: “Dear God, she is Your daughter. Help us get through this.”
I look at Angie, laughing with her father, then calling to us inside. It’s time to go. It’s time to deliver flowers.
* * *
I ring the doorbell. Angie stands next to me holding Hope. I have been invited to participate in an activity
that is now part of daily life: delivering flowers to homebound amputees. I hear footsteps coming to the
door. Angie greets the woman at the door, then makes herself at home walking upstairs. She knows this family.
“Shelly?” Angie calls as we turn the corner and enter the room.
The room is pink. It’s a child’s room! It’s a little girl’s room! Sitting on the bed is Shelly. I notice crutches next
to her, and my heart breaks as I see Shelly’s bandages, her right leg amputated above the knee. Angie hugs
Shelly and shares the gift: Hope. I smile as I hear Shelly squeal with joy. She is happy. Despite it all, she is happy.
I watch and listen as Angie talks with Shelly. This is more than a flower delivery. Angie explains how to care
for the African violet, and I watch as she encourages Shelly to gently touch the leaves of Hope.
The room goes quiet for a moment, and in the silence I am in awe. I stand in awe amazed at all that God
has done, from the healing of Angie, to the receptive heart of Shelly, to the creation of a flower. I welcome
the peace of the Holy Spirit, knowing that God is watching.
* * *
As we drive to the next home, Angie tells me she has decided to go into physical therapy. It’s a fitting choice. She
looks pensive for a moment and says: “I just hope it won’t cut into my time of delivering God’s flowers.” n
Dixil Rodríguez, a university professor and volunteer hospital chaplain, lives in Texas. Join the conversation at
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (921) 41
BY ANGEL MANUEL RODRÍGUEZ
The theology of the last generation
was developed and
popularized in the Adventist
Church by M. L.
Andreasen (The Sanctuary
Service [Washington, D.C.: Review and
Herald Pub. Assn., 1937; revised 1947]).
Andreasen was building on insights
from A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner. This
theology introduced a strong element of
legalism in some sectors of the church
by claiming that the character of God,
maligned by Satan in the cosmic conflict,
will be vindicated through the holy and
perfect life of obedience of the last generation
of believers. This generation will
reach a level of character development
unequaled in Christian history, copying
perfectly in their lives what God did in
Christ. Once this happens, the Lord will
return. This theology seeks to explain
why the Lord has not returned and the
nature and purpose of Christian perfection.
It is based primarily on a particular
reading of the writings of Ellen G. White.
Christ and the Vindication of God: In the
Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White
the cosmic vindication of God is the
exclusive result of the sacrificial death
of Christ. He was the only one who
could reveal who God is and therefore
vindicate Him in the cosmic conflict
(John 1:18). White is also very clear: “By
His life and His death, Christ proved
that God’s justice did not destroy His
mercy, but that sin could be forgiven,
and that the law is righteous, and can be
perfectly obeyed. Satan’s charges were
refuted. God had given man unmistakable
evidence of His love.” 1 What Christ
accomplished does not need to be supplemented;
it is more than enough.
Theology of the
Christian Perfection: God’s will for His
people has always been the same: Victory
over the enslaving power of sin in
their lives (Rom. 6:11-14; 8:5-8). Christ
has always been the model for the
Christian life. But true Christian perfection
cannot be separated from the eternal
efficacy of the cross and our
constant reliance on its forgiving power
(1 John 2:1, 2). Christian perfection is a
constant growth in grace accompanied
by a constant reliance on God’s forgiving
grace. Notice how precise Ellen G.
White is on this important theological
topic: “As the penitent sinner, contrite
before God, discerns Christ’s atonement
in his behalf, and accepts this atonement as
his only hope in this life and the future
life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification
by faith. Every believing soul is to
conform his will entirely to God’s will, and
keep in a state of repentance and contrition,
exercising faith in the atoning merits of
the Redeemer and advancing from
strength to strength, from glory to
glory.” 2 We will perfectly reproduce the
character of Christ in our lives through
growth in grace and by absolutely relying
every day in Christ’s forgiving grace.
Safety in Heaven: Although it would be
possible for sin to arise again in heaven,
this will never happen in actuality. The
reason is not found in the unique experience
of the last generation of believers
but in the work of Christ on the cross.
He, through the cross, reconciled the
whole cosmos to God in a permanent
bond of union (Col. 1:19, 20). Again,
White is powerfully clear: “The angels
ascribe honor and glory to Christ, for
even they are not secure except by looking
to the sufferings of the Son of God. It
is through the efficacy of the cross that
the angels of heaven are guarded from
apostasy. Without the cross they would
be no more secure against evil than were
the angels before the fall of Satan” 3 The
perfection of creatures is not powerful
enough to hold the cosmos together.
Praise God for Christ! n
Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mounatin View, Calif.:
Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 762. (Italics supplied.)
The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Ellen G.
White Comments, vol. 6, p. 1070. (Italics supplied.)
Ellen G. White, “What Was Secured by the Death of
Christ,” Signs of the Times, Dec. 30, 1889.
Angel Manuel Rodríguez,
retired, was director of the
Biblical Research Institute,
© Lars Justinen/GoodSalt.com
BY ALBERTO TIMM
Early Seventh-day Adventist
Christology was chiefly
focused on Christ’s present
heavenly sanctuary priesthood
(Heb. 4:14-16) and His
future second coming in the clouds of
heaven (Rev. 1:7), and largely shaped by
the anti-Trinitarian views of the pioneers.
1 As time went by, significant
Christological issues emerged in regard
to (1) the eternity of Christ, (2) His
human nature during the Incarnation,
and (3) whether His divine nature died
on the cross.
George R. Knight’s exhaustive research
indicates that “from all existing records it
appears that the topic of the human
nature of Christ had an extremely small
role at the Minneapolis meetings. . . . That
does not mean that the topic never surfaced.”
2 Whatever the case, Ellen White
played a crucial role in correcting basic distortions
related to issues of Christology.
Against the theory that Christ was “the
first created being” 3 and “proceeded
forth” from God back “in the days of eternity,”
4 White stated that “in Christ is life,
original, unborrowed, underived,” 5 and
that “from all eternity Christ was united
with the Father.” 6
Correcting the assumption that
“Christ’s nature is precisely our
nature,” without any “particle of difference
between him and you,” 7 White
acknowledged that “Jesus accepted
humanity when the race had been weakened
by four thousand years of sin” and
that He “took upon Him the infirmities
of degenerate humanity . . . with the
possibility of yielding to temptation.” 8
But she also warned, “Be careful,
exceedingly careful as to how you dwell
upon the human nature of Christ. . . . He
could have sinned; He could have fallen,
but not for one moment was there in
Him an evil propensity.” 9
In response to the idea that at the cross
the divine nature of Christ also died, 10
White declared, “When Christ was crucified,
it was His human nature that died.
Deity did not sink and die; that would
have been impossible.” 11
Two main reasons have prevented
those issues from settling down in
some Adventist circles. One has been
the primitivistic temptation of confusing
faithfulness to the Bible and the
Spirit of Prophecy with loyalty to the
views of the pioneers, regardless of
what they were. The second reason has
been the selective approach of emphasizing
one side of a given issue in detriment
to the other side. The abovequoted
corrective statements by Ellen
White can help us to develop a wellrounded
See Jerry Moon, “The Adventist Trinity Debate,”
two-part series in Andrews University Seminary Studies 41,
no. 1 (Spring 2003): 113-129; 41, no. 2 (Autumn 2003):
George R. Knight, A User-friendly Guide to the 1888
Message (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub.
Assn., 1998), pp. 152, 153.
Uriah Smith, Thoughts, Critical and Practical, on the
Book of Revelation (Battle Creek, Mich.: Steam Press of
the Seventh-day Adventist Pub. Assn., 1865), p. 59.
Ellet J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness (Oakland:
Pacific Press Pub. Co., 1890), pp. 21, 22.
Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View,
Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 530.
Ellen G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.:
Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958, 1980), book 1, p. 228.
Alonzo T. Jones, “The Third Angel’s Message—No. 13,” General
Conference Bulletin, Feb. 19, 1895. See also [Ellet J. Waggoner],
“God Manifest in the Flesh,” Signs of the Times, Jan. 21, 1889.
E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 49, 117.
Ellen G. White letter 8, Feb. 9, 1895, to “Dear Brother
and Sister Baker,” published in The Seventh-day Adventist
Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, vol. 5, p. 1128.
[Joseph H. Waggoner], “The Atonement—Part II.
The Doctrine of a Trinity Degrades the Atonement,”
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Nov. 3, 1863; ibid., Nov.
10, 1863; idem, The Atonement: An Examination of a Remedial
System, in the Light of Nature and Revelation [3rd ed.] (Oakland:
Pacific Press Pub. Co., 1884), pp. 165, 166, 173, 174.
Ellen G. White letter 280, Sept. 3, 1904, “To Ministers,
Physicians, and Teachers,” published in The Seventh-day
Adventist Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White
Comments, vol. 5, p. 1113.
Alberto Timm is an associate
director of the Ellen G. White
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (923) 43
BY STEPHEN BAUER
The doctrine of universal
legal justification (ULJ)
expresses both admirable
and problematic ideas.
As to the former, it celebrates a glorious
truth: The death of Christ secured
access to God for all humans. Paul frequently
calls this access “reconciliation.”
For him, this reconciliation appears to
be unilateral and unconditional, and
something occurring prior to justification.
“For if when we were enemies we
were reconciled to God through the
death of His Son, much more, having
been reconciled, we shall be saved by His
life” (Rom. 5:10). 1 By contrast, for Paul,
both justification and salvation are conditioned
upon and preceded by personal
faith/belief: 2 “Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ,” he says, “and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31). Again, “with the heart one
believes unto righteousness [justification],
and with the mouth confession is
made unto salvation. . . . For ‘whoever
calls on the name of the Lord shall be
saved’ ” (Rom. 10:10-13). 3
ULJ is based, I find, on a dualistic doctrine
of man differing from the wholistic
view of man that we find throughout
Scripture. Humanity is depicted as a single
corporate life; yet this single life is
manifested through all human individuals.
This single, corporate life sinned in
Adam, was assimilated into Christ, and
paid the death penalty for its sin in
Christ, on the cross. Corporate humanity
was thus forgiven and justified in
Christ, on the cross and therefore, all
individual manifestations of that
humanity are now unilaterally, unconditionally
forgiven and justified in the
legal sense. Each individual, however,
has the ability to reject that universal
justification and become personally lost.
Some proponents of ULJ dismiss the
associated concepts of vicarious atonement
and the transfer of sin as illegal
and unethical. The charge mirrors
Roman Catholic objections to the Reformation
position that sin and righteousness
are transferred between the sinner
and Christ our substitute. Proponents
of ULJ have been known to espouse an
alternate view of substitution sometimes
called “shared substitution.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church
was founded on an interpretation of the
sanctuary that emphasizes the vicarious
substitution of Christ for the sinner
through the transfer of sin from sinner
to substitute. To this extent, ULJ
appears to stand in direct contrast to
this pivotal Adventist understanding.
One attempt to support ULJ biblically
involves a unique proposal for reading
Paul. The translation “having been justified
by faith, we have peace with God”
(Rom. 5:1) is rejected in favor of “having
been justified, by faith we have peace
with God.” In this rendering believers
have peace by faith, rather than justification
This would make for an exceptional
reading of Paul, who nowhere else packages
“faith” and “peace” together.
Rather, he speaks consistently of “justification
/ righteousness” (a single word
in Greek) “by faith.” A biblically solid
belief should not require peculiar textual
re-readings to support it.
Let us rejoice that all
people, regardless of
race, nationality, gender,
and religion have universal
access to God and to
Let us rejoice that all people, regardless
of race, nationality, gender, and religion
have universal access to God and to
the cross. And let us each be the
preacher sent to bring the good news
(Rom. 10:14, 15), so that all may hear,
know in whom to believe, “call on the
name of the Lord,” and be saved. n
The Greek grammatical structure here is one of
sequence, in which reconciliation precedes justification.
(Bible texts in this article are taken from the New King
James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)
In Greek, “faith” and “believing” are noun and verb
forms of the same verbal root. Lacking an English verb
“faithing,” we use the verb “believe.”
Paul echoes the sequence given by Jesus in Mark
16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”
Stephen Bauer is Professor of Theology and
ethics at Southern Adventist University.
44 (924) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
BY KELLY VEILLEUX
Growing up in the
I’m very thankful
for the privilege of being
raised in a fairly balanced
Seventh-day Adventist home.
Knowing that Jesus loves me
was something I grew up
with. But the depth of that
love is just now beginning to
take hold of my heart.
Somehow through my
early years I never heard
about “Christ our righteousness.” So “righteousness” was something that I tried to attain by obedience. I know some
of my readers can relate to this. It seems a natural human response to think we have to “do something” to “get
Then a pastor friend of mine introduced me to the “1888 message.” For two years I read everything I could on this
subject and invited others to join me in this journey. The fog began to lift from my brain, and a warm settling into
the truth began to take hold in my heart and life.
In 2010 the Holy Spirit moved on my heart so
strongly and led me into the waters for rebaptism, followed
by a prayer for the baptism of His Holy Spirit.
From that moment on, one interest has consumed my
heart and mind; one interest that shapes everything
else I do and all that I am becoming; one interest that
can only be defined as His agape love. Now I understand
why God’s prophet said, “One interest will prevail, one
subject will swallow up every other—Christ our righteousness”
(Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Dec. 23,
I’m so thankful to be alive now to see the final movements
take place. May we join together in unity to
become the loud cry and the glory that will lighten this
earth with the victorious agape love of Christ! n
The fog began to lift
from my brain, and a
warm settling into
the truth began to
take hold in my
heart and life.
Kelly Veilleux is Northern New England
Conference prayer ministries leader and InVerity
prayer ministries coordinator.
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Editor: William Knott, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904; Managing
Editor: Stephen Chavez, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904. The owner
is the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver
Spring, MD 20904, a nonprofit, charitable corporation. There are no bondholders,
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46 (926) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013
The Genius of Disunity
Heresy is often less important than disunity. Disunity can do what
heresy cannot. Heresy draws true believers together. They circle the wagons. They expel the heretic. But
disunity does not necessarily require false doctrine. Only a little intemperance of spirit. Disunity works
remarkably well with genuine conviction about genuine truth. This is because it is not logical rigor or
theological precision that brings oneness. It is the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus (John 16:33; James
3:16-18). So disunity, for the devil, can be better than heresy. For in disunity true believers stand their
theological ground against one another.
Meanwhile, the archetypal “dis-uniter” knows that “if Christians were to act in concert, moving forward
as one, under the direction of one Power, for the accomplishment of one purpose, they would move the
world.” 1 Why let that happen?
As I reflect on 1888, it seems that skepticism, cockiness, deep commitment, objectivity and detachment—
all these or any one will do to smother meekness and facilitate disunity. Jesus, meek and lowly, will simply
be run over by totally committed heretics; or dismissed by the skeptic as a spineless weakling; or evaluated
by detached objectivity as deficient in leadership qualities; or simply shriveled to inconsequence by cocky
wit. Being meek and lowly can be perilous to personal or corporate success. But it
is essential to heavenly unity.
In February 1887 Ellen White wrote to A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner from Switzerland
about material they were publishing in Signs of the Times: “I have no hesitancy
in saying you have made a mistake here. You have departed from the positive
directions God has given upon this matter, and only harm will be the result. This is
not in God’s order. You have now set the example for others to do as you have done,
to feel at liberty to put in their various ideas and theories and bring them before
the public, because you have done this. This will bring in a state of things that you
have not dreamed of.” 2 Tell me about the voice of prophecy!
Correspondence with George I. Butler and Uriah Smith expresses the same
concern: “Had you avoided the question . . . , it would have been more in accordance
with the light God has seen fit to give to me.” 3 She thought “the whole
thing . . . not in God’s order.” 4 Even the treatment of apostatizing D. M. Canright
deserved reprimand: “God did not treat apostates in this way, and if you had
anything to say, say it without putting such things in the paper. I tell you,
brethren, I am troubled when I see you take positions that you forbid others to
take and that you would condemn in others.” 5 But because of saints who had
to push their point of view at all costs Ellen White had to conclude, “I believe now that nothing can be done
but open discussion.” 6 Evidently, much of what we remember of the 1888 Minneapolis General Conference
session is a history lesson on what happens when personal vindication—administrative, theological, or
otherwise—triumphs over meek submission to counsel, and the bliss of harmony that Jesus says will prove
to the world that He came from God (John 17:21).
It is not so much false doctrine the devil needs as disunity: Heresy is often less important than disunity. n
Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 9, p. 221.
Ellen G. White letter 37, 1887.
Ellen G. White letter 13, 1887.
Lael Caesar, an associate editor of Adventist Review, keeps focusing on Jesus’ high-priestly prayer that we
all may be one.
www.AdventistReview.org | October 10, 2013 | (927) 47