Overview of 1888 (Introduction)

By John Thiel, Walking in the Light of 1888 Conference, Introduction, Audio: mp3

Jeremiah 33:14 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.  15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.  16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this [is the name] wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. 

1888 was a long time ago. What was so special about what happened in 1888?  It is inspiration that will tell us what was so special. We are told under inspiration just exactly what was the light that was special in that year.

   The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. {TM 91.2}

In 1888 two men who had studied deeply into the precious reality of Jesus Christ presented something that rocked the Adventist church at that time.  And when I say rocked it wasn’t always positive.  We will touch on a few things that were very negative that rocked the church at that time and has ever since.  Right there at that time there came this beautiful message that had to do with the scripture in Jeremiah where it says he will be called the Lord our righteousness.  We are told something very interesting in reference to that time in that message.

The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth (RH Nov. 22, 1892).  {7BC 984.6}

Under inspiration we are told here that in consequence of the message that was given back there, the time of test was right on its heels.  It’s just upon us because there under that message, the loud cry of the third angel had already begun.  This is something all Adventists have been looking forward to, always future.  Always looking for the loud cry of the third angel and I hear people saying today the loud cry is yet future.  But according to inspiration it has already begun in the righteousness of Christ in the 1888 message.  What are we looking forward to?  Are we expecting a time of test in the future or is the time of test is already upon us according to that?  Does that message back there in 1888 commenced something that people today are looking forward to the future? AT Jones quotes Sr White but this statement can’t be found anywhere else today;

“In 1888 in the General Conference held at Minneapolis, Minnesota, the angel of Rev. 18 came down to do his work.” ”Taking Up a Reproach (By A.T. Jones, quote from EGW).

Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 

According to inspiration there in 1888 in the general conference where all the people came together in the advent faith, the Revelation 18 angel was doing his work.  Sr White is writing to certain of the leaders of that time.  She is speaking of Elder Butler the general conference president and Elder Smith and she says;

Elder Butler and some others who have acted a prominent part in the cause have really been standing in the way of others, and have retarded the work. If Elder Smith was standing in the clear light, he would give the trumpet a certain sound in perfect harmony with the angel of Revelation 18, who is to lighten the earth with his glory. Now is the time when we may look for just such a message as has been coming to us.  {1888 1140.2} 

She is talking to leading men who as this work was coming should have taken hold of it but were retarding it.

 Think you, my brother, if the Lord has raised up men to give to the world a message to the people to prepare them to stand in the great day of God, that any one could by their influence stop the work and close the mouth of the messengers? No; if every human agent should hold his peace, a voice would be put into the stones, and they would cry out. The message would go in greater and still greater power. And shall such men as Elder Smith, Elder Butler, and yourself, be left behind in the special message and work for this time to carry the people forward and upward to a higher, holier state of spirituality?  {1888 1140.3} 

She is writing about these two men who were giving the message and the leaders were being left behind.

  Is the work that has been going on since the Minneapolis meeting of God? If not, it is of another spirit. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” I know that the Lord is in this work, and no one can silence the messenger whom God sends, or repress the message. The Lord will be heard through his human agencies.  {1888 1141.1} 

As I have been occupied with this subject for many years now, I am bleeding at heart as I see that beautiful message being hindered by all sorts of complicated theological interferences.  In 1888 the light of that angel of Revelation 18 was started and we are seeking to revive this subject in our understanding so we may walk in that light.  Revelation 18 says an angel came with great power and the earth was lightened with his glory.  He came in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angels message as it swells into a loud cry.  I ask the question, if this light commenced back there and has been swelling since 1888 which is 122 years ago, how relevant is this conference and what a pity there are not more people here.  It makes you wonder, why are there so few who are startled to think that it is about the message of 1888?  How few are left since 1888 that are still taking this message with relish in their heart.

The Relevance of This Subject

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 

If back there in 1888 the Lord came to rain righteousness upon his people and the leaders were actually blocking it, but Sr white says it did do its work, it did come, then what we are doing here is to make sure that we aren’t left behind as so many seem to be left behind.  What are we to do as we are gathered here?

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 

Reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground.  Have you become a little hardened that the heart needs to be softened?  The problem that exists today is that we have become gospel hardened Christians.  That is a weird statement.  How can you become gospel hardened?  It’s like a path that was soft and you keep on walking over it and eventually it becomes hard.  Our hearts have heard the gospel and heard it and heard it and after a while you say I have heard it all before and it doesn’t do anything more.  There is something in the gospel that came in 1888 that the message was to bring more prominently Jesus Christ.  Obviously there was something missing in the people’s hearts. Break up your fallow ground, the Lord wants to rain righteousness on us.

Psalm 119:123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness. 124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. 125 I [am] thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. 126 [It is] time for [thee], LORD, to work: [for] they have made void thy law. 

Look around you today, has the world improved in its appreciation of the laws of God?  If you would look honestly in any direction, you will see it is exactly what it says here.  They have made void thy law and it is time for thee Lord to work. That’s a very broad field because when the Lord starts working as those who have made void the law are going to be in dire straits.  As we are surrounded by an atmosphere of negligence, gospel hardened Christianity, is it true that you are longing and yearning for something that satisfies your inmost hunger?  There are many people out there looking for this but they don’t know what they are looking for.

They are looking for happiness but it keeps evading them.  They can’t get hold of anything that is materially sound.  The true Christian knows where to look.  There is a hearing of something that is going to thrill the soul with something more that the soul is still hungering for.  It is time.  It is time for us to open our hearts to all light that has been shining for a long-time.  These words are my hungering.  We come to a statement in reference to this angel and see where we stand in the light of what was given in 1888 to where we are now.

The work will grow deeper and become more earnest to the very close of time.  {2SM 114.1}

 It started back in 1888 and as we are yearning and hungering we are told that it is getting more intense.  How close to the end do you think we are?  I’m sure you can see we are on the very brink.  Where should this message have taken us already?

More Intense, More Earnest

And all who are laborers together with God will contend most earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. They will not be turned from the present message, which is already lightening the earth with its glory. {2SM 114.1}

This is my experience and it’s gotten me into allot of trouble just like it gave Waggoner and Jones allot of trouble. They got into so much trouble that they nearly lost their way.  As you take hold of this message as it reads, that all who are labourers together with God will contend most earnestly once delivered to the saints.  I was very thrilled when it was strongly suggested that at this conference that we should delve into this topic.  I exist as a preacher in God’s word because of this subject.  We must not be turned no matter the circumstances which are very severe as we are seeing.

Psalms 119:123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness. 

What are we meant to be doing in the light of this?  Sow to yourselves in righteousness.  Seek the Lord till he rain righteousness upon you.  Righteousness, what is that? It is sinless perfection and people don’t even dare to say those words anymore today.  He will rain righteousness.  It’s going to fall upon God’s people.  The reason why people don’t like the thought of righteousness being sinless perfection is because it seems so hard.  But this is righteousness by faith.  The Lord our righteousness, he will fall upon us.  What does that mean?  This is what we are here to explore. May God help us to develop that intensity of purpose that is here being appealed to. If the latter rain, the Holy Spirit has been poured upon Gods people in 1888 which was the commencement of this outpouring, there is a statement that says;

It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.  {TM 507.1} 

I’ve always been yearning for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as I grew up and I came across this statement and it really frightened me.  It explains why we have been so long of experiencing the fulfilment of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit because maybe the Holy Spirit been falling upon hearts all around us and we’ve missed out.  Are there people who’ve received the Holy Spirit in this great outpouring and we’ve not discerned or received it?  Can the Holy Spirit be falling upon us at this conference and some of us are standing around saying doh, what’s the matter, there nothing is happening here?  It’s a reality I’ve seen it.  I’ve seen profound power of Gods Holy Spirit and people walk out and talk about as if nothing has happened.  I scratch my head and think am I dreaming?  Am I the only one who is experiencing something here?  When you receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit it subdues you, it shuts your mouth.

There is no room for venting ourselves, there is nothing like that.  When he rains upon us his righteousness, you and I shrivel into insignificance.  You don’t feel righteous at all when he rains righteousness upon you as it’s his not yours.  If his righteousness falls upon you have nothing to be proud about and we like to feel some kind of internal uplifting about ourselves.  The whole world has been geared to feel that way.  Ask the counsellors they say we must feel good ourselves.  It’s back to front.  When we don’t feel good about ourselves then we see the loving kindness of God.  When we realise what we are such a decrepit sinner, we stand amazed in the presence of the Nazarene why I am loved.  Because a sinner like me is being loved by God and what he has done to love a sinner like me, I hope that everyone one of us will discern us.  We must avoid this terrible danger of the Holy Spirit falling on hearts all around us and we are not discerning or receiving it.  To live up to the light, is to live up to the light that you have now and then to grow and develop greater appreciation. The light we have never goes dim it grows brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. That is the path of the just. It is the purpose of this conference that we will walk in the light of 1888 because that is that great light, that bright light of Revelation 18.

What is that light?

Will enter intelligently in the future studies we will be spending together.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

This is a very provocative scripture.  God, he commanded the light to shine out of darkness.  Go right back to creation, the earth was void and empty and darkness was upon the face of the waters.  It was black and out of that blackness came light.  God can do that.  He can bring light out of darkness.  If you look at the light spectrum, what is blackness?  Absorption of light.  Blackness is when light is absorbed into itself.  God reverses the cycle and shines it back out.

Our Heart is Black

If you carefully study blackness is absorption.  It’s like the black holes in space, they suck everything in.  That is what blackness is.  It absorbs light.  What is hotter in the sun, black car or a white car?  A black car.  It takes the light and heat in.  A white car reflects it.  God brings light out of darkness.  That is why it is provocative.  What is our heart?  Black, darkness, if you are honest with yourselves, there’s lots of darkness in there.  We don’t have to become disturbed about that as Jesus Christ has come right up close.  Jesus has come right into the darkness. Jesus the perfect God became a little child in human form and became us and experienced our darkness.  In our darkness the light can shine out – the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus.  This blackened heart can actually discover that Jesus is very close to the blackest heart.  That is a discovery that rocks every mind.  If it looks and if it will let it happen.

Thus “in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” {January 22, 1901 ATJ, ARSH 56.18}

Whether temptation be from within or from without. He is the perfect shield against it all, and so saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. {January 22, 1901 ATJ, ARSH 56.19}

God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Christ taking our nature as our nature is in its sinfulness and degeneracy, and God dwelling constantly with Him and in Him in that nature–in this God has demonstrated to all people forever that there is no soul in this world so laden with sins or so lost that God will not gladly dwell with him and in him to save him from it all and to lead him in the way of the righteousness of God. {1905 ATJ, CWCP 44.3}

And so certainly is his name Emmanuel, which is, “God with us.” {1905 ATJ, CWCP 44.4}

Jesus Came in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh

In our dark hearts he dwelt.  Jesus came in the likeness of our sinful flesh. Your heart is the centre of your being where are situated the impulses of your flesh. The impulses of the affections and emotions is your heart. Christ takes our nature as it is in it’s sinfulness and degeneracy and God dwelling constantly in him and with that nature.  In the face of Jesus in the darkness the light comes forth. That is how close he comes to us in the darkness.  God is right there in the darkness with me in Jesus Christ because he came down and became one of us.

God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Christ taking our nature as our nature is in its sinfulness and degeneracy, and God dwelling constantly with Him and in Him in that nature–in this God has demonstrated to all people forever that there is no soul in this world so laden with sins or so lost that God will not gladly dwell with him and in him to save him from it all and to lead him in the way of the righteousness of God. {1905 ATJ, CWCP 44.3}

This is something to get our head around and open our hearts to.  We are to comprehend what is written in the book The Consecrated Way.  He is writing to the believers who are sinners that need to be saved.

2 Corinthians 3:3 [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 

We who are sinners are invited to let Jesus be imprinted in our hearts surrounded with all this sinful flesh, emotions and temptations from within and without, Jesus came right into that body and God was with Jesus in that body and he wants to be just so close to us. God has great mercy by presenting this message.

The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; {TM 91.2}

Which means just as if you had not sinned.

It invited the 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. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. {TM 91.2}

Where is the human agent helpless?  When you want to do righteousness, you are helpless.  Have you tried to be righteous?  Have you tried with all your heart to be the person God wants you to be?  How helpless do you feel?

All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.  {TM 91.2}

This statement I have read is to be explored so that the saviour will become more prominent to us so we will know what I mean to have obeyed to all the commandment of God so it is a manifestation of the righteousness of God that he gives you.  It is needed to attain to the divine merits to help us helpless beings so his spirit may be poured out in a large measure as this message is portrayed as this message is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. As we prepare or hearts and minds for this subject, be devoted to explore these things as it is not a theory that we are going to be looking at.  We are not defending just a theory or a subject.

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 

We are not here to get into a theological discussion, but the living truth.

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 

  If the eye is single, if it is directed heavenward, the light of heaven will fill the soul, and earthly things will appear insignificant and uninviting. The purpose of the heart will be changed, and the admonition of Jesus will be heeded. . . . Your thoughts will be fixed upon the great rewards of eternity. All your plans will be made in reference to the future, immortal life. . . . Bible religion will be woven into your daily life.  {AG 251.4} 

   Some who profess to have true religion sadly neglect the guide-book given by God to point the way to heaven. They may read the Bible, but merely reading God’s Word, as one would read words traced by a human pen, will give only a superficial knowledge. . . .  {AG 251.5} 

Reading the bible, that holy book, reading it as a man writing on a page will only give you superficial knowledge.  We are not here for superficial knowledge.  We are here so that the Word that is light from heaven will fill my soul so that my thoughts will be fixed on greater things than this world.

Bible religion will be woven into your daily life.  {AG 251.4} 

That is what we need to discover and spend time doing.  This conference is dedicated to the outpouring of that spirit that is being offered to the believers of 1888 and 1893 and 1895.  I will read some profound statements out of the 1895 conference by AT Jones.  Profound thoughts that are hardly echoed today.

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is Deuteronomy.  This is te Holy Spirit, this is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:  3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  4 [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he. 

Who is speaking?  This is the Holy Spirit speaking.  My doctrine shall drop as the rain.  Its no mans doctrine. It wasn’t Moses who says my doctrine shall fall as the rain.  It was the one who was inspiring Moses that spoke these words.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the outpouring of his doctrine, his living doctrine so that we who are as grass and a tender herb will absorb that rain that Holy Spirit and he will give us the righteousness that is in God.  May the Lord help us to receive it and not be among those who do not discern or receive it.

Amen.

Posted on April 1, 2010, in Sermons by John Thiel, The 1888 Message, Walking in the Light of 1888 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This is wonderful! Have you read the book “Return of the Latter Rain” by Ron Duffield? Fantastic!

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