The Gospel Herald -- Promoting the fundamentals of the 1888 message.

 

BIBLE STUDY TEN

The Soul-winning Effectiveness
of the 1888 Concepts

A. INTRODUCTION

If clearly understood and presented to the world, the accomplishments of Christís sacrifice will move human hearts as no other truth can. Such truth, presented together with the fulfillments of prophecy and our major doctrines, will bring the phenomenal soul-winning power that prophecy indicates will be in the "latter rain" and in the "loud cry" of Revelation 18. 1 This evangelistic "efficiency," says Ellen White, "might have been [ours] in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost," but it has been "in a great degree" lost to our work in consequence of the rejection "in a great measure" of the 1888 message. 2 Is not the recovery of that "most precious message" therefore priority for the world church? 3


B. THE BIBLE EVIDENCE

Romans 1:16, 17. The gospel in its full truth has a built-in phenomenal power that drives it forward, impelling even lukewarm (but honest hearted) church members to awaken and proclaim it. The motivation will not be fear or "conference" pressure or promotion. The gospel truth itself will function like "dynamite" (the Greek word, dunamis).

Acts 2:4-8. As the "former rain," Pentecost is the model for the measure of success God has always intended for ultimate Seventh-day Adventist evangelism.

Zechariah 10:1. The latter rain is to be even "more abundant" than was the former rain.

Joel 2:23-32. The grand success of the final evangelism thrust.

Revelation 14:6-15. Three angels fly "in the midst of heaven," indicating a limited world-wide work.

Revelation 18:1-4. In contrast, a world-wide work of unlimited appeal is the "great power" of this "mighty angel." It is "light," not noise, indicating that the angel proclaims a clearer view of the gospel of righteousness by Faith. 4

Zechariah 8:20-23. With every one who then goes to Sabbath School, "ten" will press in to go along.

1 Thessalonians 1:5-8. When a church understands the pure gospel, its message becomes self-propagating. This is an example of how the message itself has the power within it to motivate to successful witnessing and soul-winning.

John 16:13-17. The motivation is not superficially charged with effervescent emotion, but the solid biblical truth of righteousness by faith together with doctrines gives "unwonted" efficiency to its proclamation by leaders and people alike. 5

Zechariah 4:6. The "efficiency" will be in the content of the message, not the personality or abilities of the speaker, or his "equipment."

John 8:32. The full truth of righteousness by faith is self-liberating.

Zechariah 12:8; Isaiah 32:4. Honest conviction of the truth of the "loud cry" concepts gives believers no rest until they proclaim it. Uneducated laymembers will do more than show videos; they will themselves personally proclaim the message once they understand how good is the Good News. Legalistic, egocentric motivations will be overcome.

Isaiah 60. Almost unbelievable prophecies of last-days conversions ó that are solid and lasting.

Matthew 10:18-20. Obviously even some government leaders will respond.

Revelation 15:2, 3. Some highly placed Roman Catholic officials, perhaps in the Curia, will step out fearlessly. What will motivate them to sacrifice all for the third angelís message? The truth of the efficacy of the atonement, which has long been counterfeited by Rome.

2 Corinthians 5:13-21. An understanding of what happened on the cross, what Christ as "the Lamb" of Revelation accomplished, the extent of the atonement ó this will "constrain" or "compel" the honest in

heart to break the bands that have held them back all these long decades. 6


C. SUMMARY

The honor of God, the vindication of Christ and His sacrifice, require that the great controversy between Christ and Satan conclude in a blaze of glory that humbles the pride of man in the dust. The Holy Spirit will manifest Himself in His capacity as "the Spirit of truth" (John 16:13). That "truth" will be more than mere doctrinal facts; He who says He "is the truth" will be revealed as "the Lamb" of the Book of Revelation, "the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world" (TM 82). The lips of the stammerer will proclaim the message, the halt will carry it. 7 The essential, unique elements that made the 1888 message "most precious" will accomplish these results.


D. GENERAL CONCLUSION

These prophecies of the glorious conclusion of the gospel commission have been cherished by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Godís promises to the patriarchs of a Messiah to come and were cherished by the ancient Jews. When He came, they rejected Him. Likewise when the message that was "the beginning" of the fulfillment of these grand prophecies came to "us" a century ago, "we" again ("just like the Jews") rejected it "in a great degree." If in a journey we lose something "most precious," would not prudence dictate that we recover it? To this day (1999), the General Conference have never comprehended it, and thus permitted the world church to know what are the essential elements that made that message unique, assuming that our possession of the Ellen White writings is sufficient. They have maintained consistently that the church does not need to recover it. Some even insist that recovering it would be dangerous. As a church we have long told the world that "time is short." Now we see the very fabric of society becoming so rotten with the corruption that Revelation 18:2, 3 describes that we face the prospect that humanity will soon pass a line beyond which they will be incapable of understanding the message. Should we not learn from the Jews, allow the 1888 "messengers" (Jones and Waggoner) to speak, and recover the message that Ellen white said is "most precious"? When will we have a better opportunity?

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Notes

  1. The Loud cry cannot be presented unless the latter rain is first received, which fits Godís people to proclaim it (EW 271, 277). The best place to test evangelistic "efficiency" would seem to be Europe and North America where the third angelís message began. [return to study]
  2. TM 91-93; 1SM 234, 235; Letter B2A, 1892. [return to study]
  3. The Great Controversy chapter "The Final Warning" implies that it will appeal most phenomenally to those whose culture saw the rise of the Advent Movement, where cynicism and apostasy have been the worst. [return to study]
  4. Cf. Review and Herald Extra, Dec. 23, 1890. [return to study]
  5. "Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness" (RH, Nov. 20, 1913)."Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. ... In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged" (5T 80). [return to study]
  6. Cf. The Great Controversy, pp. 390, 612; 3SM 386, 387. [return to study]
  7. Zechariah 12:8; Isaiah 32:4. [return to study]

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