Chapter 9

“THAT THEY WHICH SEE NOT MIGHT SEE”

An attempt has been made in this study to follow the generally accepted pattern for such a document as this, albeit not very professional. This final chapter must now be written from a different approach. The hour demands and conscience compels that this go forth as a plea and perhaps the final cry following nearly a quarter century of waiting and watching, hoping and praying that somehow the truth of our history might come to be understood by the watchmen on the walls of Zion and the words of Jesus fulfilled— “that they which see not might see.”

In the year 1950, Robert J. Wieland and Donald K. Short, returned on their first furlough following about fourteen years of combined service in East Africa. Wieland had worked in Uganda and this author had been in Tanganyika and Kenya. We were appointed as delegates to the General Conference Session in San Francisco. Over the years we had seen each other very infrequently. It happened that part of the journey home was on the same ship from Mombasa to Southampton.

We were perplexed about the mission program and how the work would be “finished.” In some areas there were many baptisms but the larger the church membership became the greater the call for overseas funds to care for the work. Something was wrong. We knew every branch ought to bear fruit — fruit in genuine dedicated Christians and fruit in the benevolence of tithes and offerings that would sustain the work and thus put out new branches. But it was not working that way and to this day has not really worked. The ever larger membership has only created greater demands for external money and in all candor this is not the kind of fruit the gospel is to bear. This is a study on its own in relation to the whole mission program but it is of vital relevance to the total call and task of the church in the context of this study.

In due course we arrived at the General Conference Session following which we were scheduled to return to our foreign service. It was at this, our first Session to attend, that our perplexity turned into consternation! We were astonished at the showmanship that figured prominently at a General Conference Session. The vaunted speeches, the competition between Divisions, the rivalry in display among various booths and exhibits, the proud pageantry to show the progress of the work — all this seemed so vain that we were overwhelmed. What could all this possibly have to do with the preparation of a people for the final atonement? This whole appeal seemed to be to the physical senses!

There seemed to be a flood of theological confusion that stunned us. If anyone at this date questions this, let him return to the 1950 Session Report and read for himself. With some notable exceptions, much that is recorded simply will not bear careful scrutiny in the light of the truth we have been given. There was vain talk as to how to receive the Holy Spirit. There was continual lauding of men. There was a sermon about “Fighting the Stars,” that to this day is one of the strangest mixtures of confusion to appear under SDA sponsorship!

The outcome of all this was a letter we jointly sent to the brethren. We surely had not had the experience at that date of some of our “older brethren,” but we wrote out of heart conviction and a sincere desire and belief that the truth we have been given is unique in all the ages and is to prepare a people for the final atonement and to meet the Lord. What we wrote is in Appendix A herewith, and now after 25 years may be read and judged as to its validity or otherwise. After eight days, we had received no reply, so we wrote another letter. This is in Appendix B and may be appraised in the light of all our elapsed history since then.

Under date of July 20, 1950, a reply was received from the brethren. Perhaps they had never before had such frank letters from ministers in the church. They were concerned and admitted they found it difficult to understand what we were trying to accomplish. They considered we were passing through a spiritual conflict and accusing the brethren but they did perceive the implications of Baal worship which we mentioned. It was not our intention then or at any time since to accuse the brethren. We are a part of “the brethren.” But the impact was great and immediately the question arose as to whether we should return to Africa. There had to be an understanding as to our future relationship to the ministry of the denomination. We were told specifically, “You are on the path that Satan trod in your spirit of accusation which led to his being cast out of heaven. … We cannot see that God has placed you in His church as a critic of your brethren, but we do want to help you and save you to your work in Africa.”

The brethren did have a concern for us. At no time was there every any ill-feeling or rancor. In particular, Elder A. V. Olson was to us a spiritual father and counsellor. It was simply we were on a different wave length. Our suggestions were so utterly foreign to their thinking that dialogue was of little advantage — if it could truly be called dialogue. With perhaps only one exception, the men with whom we met at that time have all gone off the scene of action by retirement or death. This leaves us today to commune with virtually a new generation.

The General Conference Session had been held July 10 - 22, 1950. The meetings with the brethren followed in due course. As a result of the meetings there came the manuscript “1888 Re-Examined.” This was our attempt to put into writing for further study, exactly what we had in mind. This manuscript had been very hurridly put together under great pressure. The entire compilation of 204 pages of legal size was gathered together, written, edited, typed and duplicated in about six to eight weeks. We have been grateful that it was not loaded with all sorts of serious errors. For a long time we were concerned that some unknown statement to which we had had no access might come out of the Estate vault which would completely alter the understanding we had gained about 1888. As time went on exactly the opposite took place. In 1952, there appeared in the Review, the statement which later was published in Selected Messages, Book 1, pages 234 and 235. The statement is a one-paragraph history of 1888 and reads as follows:

An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through Brethren Waggoner and Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.

This settled the matter. There was nothing in the vault to contravene the many statements we had already researched regarding Ellen White’s attitude toward 1888.

After the brethren had received the manuscript but before it had really been studied, it was decided to return us to Africa. From correspondence it would seem that Elder A. V. Olson had somewhat to do with this decision. So the two families returned to East Africa. It was over a year later that the official reply came to us from the Defense Literature Committee. This reply has since been published abroad to thousands of SDA’s as it is in the compilation, “A Warning and Its Reception.” Under date of Feb. 27, 1952, we replied to the brethren and rested our case. That reply which has never before been made public is found in Appendix C of this study. The truth or error of it may also be measured against two decades of denominational history.

It is not known exactly how the manuscript “1888 Re-examined” first came to be published far and wide in Adventist circles. The original copies placed in the hands of the brethren had no title page, no date, and no authors were listed. In due course the material was re-typed, in whole or in part, microfilmed, duplicated in sections, and otherwise spread abroad by various persons until it had gone around the world. It came into the hands of both ministers and laity. The reaction was, “What is wrong with ‘1888 Re-Examined’? Why is it rejected? If it is wrong, it should be pointed out wherein the error lies.”

By the year 1958 there were sufficient reaction and questions from the field to cause the Officers of the General Conference to issue, “Further Appraisal of the Manuscript ‘1888 Re-examined’.” From this point on the record has been rather well published with the official opposition to “1888 Re-examined” becoming more pronounced and certain with each new book released. Wieland and Short had decided with their final commitment of the matter as stated in their letter of January 21, 1959, to remain silent and go down to their graves without another word. It was only when public demand was made as published in Movement of Destiny, that they considered they could not escape a proper reply. It was then that they prepared “An Explicit Confession. … Due the Church.” Over the years the authors of this and their previous presentations have freely confessed they may be wrong — even fools. But even fools can be given reason and understanding which will make for intelligence if they are under the tutorship of those who are truly wise and who “see” and analyze the actual deficiency.

* * * * *

This study has dealt with SDA history as contained in the printed record. If expressions have been used which are inept or seem to judge men or impugn motives, it is not intentional so to do. It is only because of the deficiencies of this author and his inability to put thoughts into better terminology. It cannot be overemphasized that the men who have written the record and the men who have approved the record and sponsored its publication have been men of zeal and good intentions, dedicated to the cause. By the same token Wieland and Short have written out their convictions and bear their testimony and declare their absolute confidence in the triumph of the church. It is most assuredly a “movement of destiny” and must fulfill its divine calling. But the church cannot be absolved from the responsibilities that are inherent in that destiny by simply talking confidence and courage or by trying to adjust and balance truth, nor by considering the recognition of unpleasant history as a sign of disloyalty or stubbornness. Froom has stated a solemn truth:

The lesson of 1888, with aftermath and afterglow, is therefore not only a timely topic in retrospect but is essential for action as we move into tomorrow. Its principles are imperative for all time that remains. … The lessons of the past are specifically for us, and no one else. We must act upon principle and right, irrespective of consequences. (P. 656.)

The lessons are indeed for us. This means we cannot await some future date. It dare not be a matter of taking time, much time! Furthermore God’s people must shun the idea “that victory is final only when life itself is done.” (Olson, P. 228.) The “marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7.) That marriage is now, not in the grave. “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21.) His people must be saved from their sins while they are alive. This is what the whole message of righteousness by faith is all about.

* * * * *

As our history of 1888 has unfolded ever more clearly in recent years, so “our” denial has become more pronounced that it was the leadership which was primarily involved. This whole idea seems to be very offensive to “us.” But why should it be so? Could it be because we as ministers are involved?

We are the messenger to the church of Laodicea — that angel to whom the True Witness directs His message. Since the Remnant Church has only one ministry, anything said to that ministry includes all. In a certain sense every minister is a leader, albeit there are “brethren in responsible positions” that stand apart and surely will face the sterner judgment, but that leaders should fail in fulfilling their solemn responsibilities is not something new or unique which suddenly overtook us in 1888. Sacred history is replete with this problem. In fact, sin originated with the leader of the entire angelic host! Why should our own history be such a stumbling block? It is the Lord who has given us the record through His messenger. What can the verdict against us be if we fail to see and know what the Lord has said? There must be some dreadful reason why the Lord gave the messages He did which compare with the Jews.

* * * * *

We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. … The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ — how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth. (R&H, Feb. 18, 1890; 1 SM 406, emphasis supplied.)

Why should the Lord present this to Ellen White “again and again,” in other words many times? Is it really possible our position just now before the second coming of Christ is like the Jews before the first coming of Christ? Are we prepared to believe that? Can we really be that blind? Don’t we see what they say we see? How could we have “their attitude”? They rejected Christ.

O how Christ longed, how His heart burned, to open to the priests the greater measures of the truth! But their minds had been cast in such a mold that it was next to an impossibility to reveal to them the truths relating to His kingdom. The Scriptures had not been read aright. (1 SM 407 - 408.)

How can this be true? Why should “the priests” need the “greater treasures of the truth! “— surely as leaders they ought to have known and been able to see. In fact they were offended at the very idea — “Are we blind?” was their astonished question. And why not — they were a movement of destiny like ourselves! But somehow —

Satan … won his great triumph in perverting the faith of Israel. By contemplating and worshiping their own conceptions, the heathen had lost a knowledge of God, and had become more and more corrupt. So it was with Israel. The principle that man can save himself by his own works, lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion. Satan had implanted this principle. Wherever it is held men have no barrier against sin. … But the Jews … robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction. The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of the truth had become representatives of Satan. (DA 35, 36, emphasis supplied.)

Can we imagine a more pathetic situation? They “defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel … refused to surrender themselves … became agents of Satan,”--how tragic, and they had not a vague notion that they were blind, completely unable to see. But wonder of wonders, God’s Spirit has said almost exactly the same thing about our church in our day! Do we believe it? Do we see it? Read again Selected Messages, book 1, pages 234 and 235. — “Unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions … opposition … Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit … Enemy prevented them … in carrying the truth to the world. … The light … by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.” (1 SM 234, 235.) Again it must be asked — Do we see this? Do we believe it?

* * * * *

The Pharisees, the leaders, the “separate ones,” were not insensitive to moral principles. Indeed, they were the very opposite of this. For this reason they said one to another —

If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have united with them in shedding the blood of God’s servants. At the same time they were planning to take the life of His son. This should be a lesson to us. It should open our eyes to the power of Satan to deceive the mind that turns from the light of truth. (DA 618, emphasis supplied.)

Is the history of the Jews truly “a lesson to us”? They were certain they were not blind! Can any member of the SDA church, and in particular can any minister of the church read the most recent 700 page treatise about our history without being impressed that we too are not blind? We see! We speak much about righteousness by faith, and we have Sabbath school lessons on the subject, and so we are inclined to consider we have a true revival of the 1888 message. Because of such emphasis which may in reality be a revival of the teaching of the popular churches we end up by saying, “It is being more widely believed and cherished today, and more eagerly studied and entered into now, than at any time since 1888. There is a revival of rejoicing in the provisions of our God that is most refreshing. This is to be the time of full embracement. We stand on the threshold of the great advance foretold. But some will not recognize it. (Froom, P. 667.)

This is our condition in very graphic terms — better now than at any time since 1888, even though some may not recognize it, they do not see, but we see. Where in the world field can evidence be produced to support — “It is being more widely believed and cherished today, and more eagerly studied and entered into now, than at any time since 1888”? The Lord has said — “The enemy of man and God is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken.” (R&H, Sept. 3, 1889.)

Is the power of the enemy being broken now in a way it was not just a few years ago? Ask our pastors. Ask our parents. Ask our school principals. Check the statistics on our LLU medical graduates. Compare records of our Seminary students. Examine the attrition rate on ordinations. Take a look at our marriage registers. Weep for Israel in this hour! What possesses us to call darkness light? Why do we insist on flattering ourselves that we are rich and increased with goods when actually our wretchedness and nakedness “is the want of the righteousness of Christ. … Could deception be greater?” (R&H, Aug. 7, 1894.)

“Again and again,” the “attitude” of the children of Israel was presented to the Lord’s servant to illustrate our position. As long as our vision is unimpaired we do not need a Physician, Jesus came into this world “that they which see not might see,” and He has assured us He has “eyesalve.”

* * * * *

“If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Gal, 3:29). We have a kinship with the Jews that is closer than to any other people on earth. They are our spiritual forebears. Even the fact that they have been scattered to the four corners of the earth has a spiritual significance for our kinship must extend to the whole world in a very special way as the three angel’s messages gathers out from all nations a people prepared for the final atonement. But sometimes we forget this. It is so easy to wonder why they “rejected” Christ. Truth demands that we mourn with them for the tragic results. They provide a photograph of our own sinful hearts. A careful study of what actually happened may throw more light on the messages given and the comparisons as made by Ellen White between them and us--and our 1888 history.

Who “rejected” Christ? How was a verdict obtained to crucify Him and release Barabbas? The charge against Jesus had not come from the inhabitants of Samaria, nor from Judea, nor even from Jerusalem. How did the whole Hebrew nation get involved? Who among the Jews “rejected” Christ? Surely it was not the people of the nation. They had no opportunity to enter into the case. Not even the Sanhedrin as a whole rejected Christ! Would it be fair to say that a vocal minority carried the rejection to its terrible climax? There were the ex-high priest, the incumbent high priest, the judges, the priests, the rulers, the elders and some other members of the Sanhedrin, plus certain specially interested interested parties, and then the mob — the rabble of Jerusalem. But there is no possible way to construe this as the Hebrew nation. Yet the nation was involved through the leaders. It was the religious authorities that sought the life of Christ.

When Caiaphas proclaimed “that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” he was only voicing the essence of good common sense. His zeal for the church and the history of the church were all bound up in that one statement. He was merely throwing up a hedge of protection for his people from the days of Abraham to that very hour. The fact eluded them that the house of David was rejecting the very One whom for centuries they had been looking, even though, “not a few among the priests and rulers had been convicted by Christ’s teaching, and only fear of excommunication prevented them from confessing Him.” (DA 699.) They were in exactly the same condition as Laodicea, they did not know how wretched they were, and though blind they thought they could see. Jesus wept over their condition and said, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes” (Luke 19:42). That same Jesus, “the faithful and true witness” says that we in our day do not know we are blind!

* * * * *

Jewish history has established forever the fact that leaders, religious authorities, can be blind and not know it and today no matter how many rabbis might vehemently deny this, the historical proof stands. The condition in which they found themselves when the Messiah came was not the work of a few days nor the fruit of a sudden unforeseen conflict and apostasy. “I have been shown that the Jewish nation were not brought suddenly into their condition of thought and practice. For generation to generation they were working on false theories, carrying out principles opposed to the truth, and combining with their religion thoughts and plans that were the product of human minds. Human inventions were made supreme. (TM 359.) In the same way the 1888 crisis can be seen to have roots in previous events. The call which the Lord sent to His people pointing out their Laodicean condition prior to 1888, is not without deep significance.

The stage having been set by the religious leaders, the trial of Christ had to proceed at all costs. Human devisings determined He must die. He did not fit into the preconceived pattern of what a Messiah ought to be. The revered memory of father Abraham had to be protected, and zeal to reach their ends caused them to resort to devious methods. They were so blind to the situation they faced that when the news came to the chief priests and elders assembled that Sunday morning following the resurrection, more human devisings were put into operation. From a human viewpoint the watchmen of the tomb were placed in a serious dilemma because of the proposition presented to them. Should they perjure their souls and deny their solemn charge as soldiers and watchmen of Caesar or should they tell the truth and face the consequences? The “large money” and good standing with the priests won the day, “so they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” (Matt. 28:15). The official report became the norm for all time.

This did not alter the fact that subsequently there were thousands of conversions among the Jews, but no matter how many became Christians this could not undo the tragic results of the course which had been taken by the leaders and elders. Their course prevented God from doing for “Jerusalem” what He wanted to do — had planned to do.

For centuries the Jews continued to build up arguments against the truth of their history. They are still looking for Messiah to come. They insist all is well, Messiah will come. The Zionists have proof that all is well for has not the state of Israel been established and all the world can see it! They are certain, in the light of the total evidence, that persistent clinging to the idea that Messiah actually came 2,000 years ago is sheer stubbornness. The official report stands. No one has ever produced any statements or evidence sufficient to convince Jewish scholars. In the light of all this the charge of Jewish “leadership rejection” of the Messiah stands as invalid and unproved.

Would any Christian, and above all would any SDA possibly accept this line of reasoning no matter how many Jews should proclaim it or for how many years it might be promoted! Historical truth will not support this premise no matter what may be published as the official Jewish view.

There must be a very real reason why the Lord “again and again” presented the children of Israel to illustrate the position of God’s people just before the second coming of Christ. They are still looking for Messiah to come. We are still looking for the Latter Rain and after more than eighty-five years wistfully hope it will not be much longer before it comes, whereas the Lord has stated emphatically that He “longed to impart” this “special power” to us at Minneapolis. But “our own brethren” resisted and kept it away.

The solution to this terrible dichotomy involves none other than the “shaking” in our midst. Were it not for the fact the Lord’s messenger has stated this time would come, we could hope and pray to avoid it, for it will be a terrible time!

If the Jews could read their history today for what it says and truly means--even after these 2,000 years, there would be a world-wide “shaking,” as mentioned in the first chapter of this study. Although 2,000 years have elapsed it does not alter one iota the fact that they must go back to the place where they departed from the Lord--if they want to walk again with Him. Every genuine Hebrew Christian any place in the world will testify to this. The lapse of time does not efface sin. For us it means we too must face our history and we too must specifically go back to that place where we insulted the Holy Spirit and offended God. Only this kind of God-given repentance can suffice in the final atonement.

All the universe in heaven witnessed the disgraceful treatment of Jesus Christ represented by the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been before them, they would have treated Him in a manner similar to that in which the Jews treated Christ. (Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 6, p. 20.)

When the Lord came to His people in 1888, it was to be a new experience, a new way, more intimate than ever offered before to the human race--but the leaders said, “Beware, fanaticism.” For more than a decade God’s messenger continued to talk of the terrible loss sustained at Minneapolis. Up to fourteen years after this notable Conference, Ellen White continued to make reference by name to this session. The light of the Holy Spirit faded away.

Years went by. Finally the long tenure of Elder Daniells came to an end in 1922 and then he carried on as secretary of the Ministerial Association until 1926. It was in this year that his book was published. Christ Our Righteousness. This treatise was a call to denominational repentance, though the idea was not yet developed. He, with Elder Meade MacGuire, recognized that the 1888 message was the beginning of the Latter Rain. In due course Elder Taylor G. Bunch added his voice to the same plea and in 1937 his manuscript became available, “The Exodus and Advent Movements in Type and Antitype.” He perceived that —

Just as Kadesh Barnea brought ancient Israel to the greatest crisis of their journey, so the message of 1888 brought modern Israel to the parting of the ways and the greatest crisis of our history. That the Lord intended to pour out the latter rain and quickly finish His work is abundantly evident. … According to some who attended the Minneapolis meeting fully two thirds of those present either opposed the message of righteousness by faith or were afraid of it. They felt that it was a form of fanaticism. … (Pp. 89, 90.) (Froom makes no reference to Bunch.)

The field got the message and inquiries began to come into the White Estate, and from that year (1937) it would seem that certain selected E. G. White statements were gathered out and began to appear in support of the “victory” philosophy but the statements in their context do not uphold the inference given to them.

* * * * *

It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. … There are none so hardened as those who have slighted the invitation of mercy, and done despite to the Spirit of grace. The most common manifestation of the sin against the Holy Spirit, is in persistently slighting Heaven’s invitation to repent. (DA 324.)

Within the last year a new theory has been presented as a major factor in the 1888 crisis. It is this: Opposition to the Spirit of Prophecy messages was widespread, therefore rejection of the authority of Ellen G. White was an underlying cause of the difficulties in 1888. This may be very important. It requires further analysis. In the meantime it is perilous to allow this idea to swallow up the fact that the ‘88 message was the beginning of the Latter Rain and Loud Cry and it was that which was rejected. It was that rejection which was an insult to the Holy Spirit, an offense to God. Let us listen to our Lord: “But the Holy Spirit has been insulted, and light has been rejected. Is it possible for those who for years have been so blinded, to see?” (TM 393, written in 1896.) The fact that the authority of Ellen G. White was also rejected only magnifies the sin of ‘88. We dare not construe this to imply we have overcome the doubts of the leadership of that day. Neither dare we presume that now all is well, and there is really no need for denominational repentance because E. G. White books have greater distribution today than ever before. Such a theory will only compound our perplexities and deepen the roots of our unbelief.

If we now admit there was a rejection of the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy as given through Ellen White, and this rejection was by the leadership, we must therefore admit there was a rejection of the Holy Spirit and this is the crux of the 1888 rebellion. No Seventh-Day Adventist can reject the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy without rejecting the Holy Spirit. If we are now ready to acknowledge the first premise, the second is inescapable! It is therefore futile to go into prolonged polemics about the “few,” “some,” or “many” or exactly the number that were involved in the crisis. “We” were involved! To delay the recognition of this is but a continuing insult to heaven. Is there a greater sin than the suppression of truth? “The last great deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of Prophecy. There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic.” (1 SM 48.)

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CONCLUSION

Our persistent delay to acknowledge our history for exactly what it says can put us in the same category as the Jews of old, when the Lord said of their temple, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” The consequences of our procrastination are tragic and demean our destiny. If the Lord could have come before now had we fulfilled our calling, it means we are in a degree responsible for the increasing woe coming upon the world. Why have we steeled our hearts against what the Lord Himself has said about us as a people and above all about us as leaders? Why do we insist our history does not call for repentance? What can the Lord do to get us to read and understand His plea and His indictment given to us specifically by the Holy Spirit through His messenger Ellen G. White? Has not the time come to cry aloud and spare not?

At this date, 85 years after the Minneapolis Conference, why-do we insist that men know more about what happened at that time than the Lord Himself knows? The true and reliable source for that session and the years following is the testimony of the Lord’s servant in its whole context. “Affidavits” which have not been seen and which have not been quoted to the church are unconvincing. They were not written at the time of crisis and did not come into existence until forty years after the event. These can never take the place of “thus saith the Lord” through His delegated messenger to the Remnant Church. How long will we refuse her testimony? The Lord gave it to her and our refusal to accept it now is to continue to reject the Latter Rain and to evade her authority as surely as our fathers did.

Our faith in the Lord is based on a written record set down by men under “inspiration.” Our destiny depends on the truth of what they wrote. By the same token and by the same Holy Spirit which inspired them to write, so depends the destiny of the Remnant Church for it is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the testimony of Ellen White, which makes her counsel valid and relevant. If it is not so, we have no reason to exist as a denominated people. The time has come to lay aside the confidence of man in man. Each one of us must know truth for what it is. We should not take any man’s words, any man’s prejudices, any man’s arguments, nor any man’s theories. Human viewpoints must be abandoned and a total picture of 1888 and our history must be taken from the pen of inspiration so that all may see clearly how we have truly followed in the steps of the Jews. In that great and final denouement of history we must depart from then and accept our rebuke and our chastening and truly repent. Then may we “open the door,” and the faithful and true witness promises, “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” The question is, are we ready now and willing to repent or must this yet be the work of a future generation? It need not be.

Can our wanderings now cease? Do we see our relationship to the Jews? Do we see our relation to our brethren of 1888? Are we willing to take our place beside them? Will we accept a spirit of humility and contrition? For our solemn encouragement there is a recorded example of just what we need to do.

The prophet Daniel was drawing very near to God when he was seeking him with confession and humiliation of soul. He did not try to excuse himself or his people, but acknowledged the full extent of their transgression. In their behalf he confessed sins of which he himself was not guilty, and besought the mercy of God, that he might bring his brethren to see their sins, and with him to humble their hearts before the Lord, (R&H, Dec. 16, 1890, emphasis added.)

If Daniel was willing to enter into this experience, why should we not be willing to do likewise?


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