2. A Glorious System of Truth

Audio: mp3

The Sabbath day was given to us by God for a purpose. One of the purposes is to know he created the world in six days. It is to remind us from where we came. We can read that in Exodus 20. In Deuteronomy the reason for keeping the Sabbath is because the Lord bought us out of Egypt. The Sabbath is meant to do two things, not just to dwell upon God’s creation and his power in the origin of our world, but also to dwell upon the fact he has and is bringing us out of the world, out of Egypt. The Sabbath is a day to remember these things. He said remember the Sabbath to keep it holy because he doesn’t want us to forget the Sabbath.

The LORD is really helping us with our memory. He says remember a day so we can remember our creation and our exodus out of Egypt. If we can remember the day we can remember everything else. The Bible says in Daniel 7 the dragon power will cast the truth to the ground and it will practise and prosper. As the saints were speaking together one of them asked how long would this go on for. The answer given was 2300 days then the sanctuary will be cleansed. The papal system over a period of generations pulled the truth of God down to the ground in the mind of the people. It wasn’t until the protestant reformation that there was the sound of hope. One by one the different truths started to come in their order. The truth never was restored by the protestant reformation in its entirety.

2300 Days

It wasn’t until the end of the 2300 days that truth was to be brought in all its fullness. Daniel was to consider the vision of the 2300 days and the angel said there was a certain amount cut off for the Jews and that time period started from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. To take the Bible plainly as it reads we start at the date of the 2300 days in 457 BC. 2300 prophetic days brings us to 1844. We understood from the first lecture that in the time period that was given something had to happen on that exact same day, an exodus. A pulling away for the hour of God’s judgment had come. The exodus from Egypt occurred on the self-same day of the fulfilment of the 430 years but there had to be a preparation for that event to take place. Moses had to speak to Pharaoh and there was a big ordeal until the time came and on the self-same day it took place. We don’t want to forget the way the Lord has led us in our past history. What did God tell Israel? Not to forget the way the Lord has led you in these last forty years. So they wouldn’t forget they were to tell their children their stories. They were to repeat the history and it wasn’t boring history lessons like you get at high school. It was sacred history, step by step of what God did. When, how and why he did it to bring them to fulfil his purpose. The Israelites failed. They did not remember.

The record of Israel’s forgetfulness has been preserved for our enlightenment. In this age God has set His hand to gather unto Himself a people from every nation, kindred, and tongue. In the advent movement He has wrought for His heritage, even as He wrought for the Israelites in leading them from Egypt. {8T 115.4}

He brought a people out to himself and he gave them the oracles of God, the truth. The people were not to hide it under a bushel, nor bury it in a napkin in the ground. They were to uphold this truth in the light of the whole world, but they didn’t. We have something to learn because what God did for them in the beginning of their movement they let slip at the end. This record has been to given us for our enlightenment.

What is a Church?

A church is a calling out of the world to God and he will give his truth to his church. 1 Timothy gives us the Bible definition of a church.

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

A church is the pillar. A pillar holds something up. The church of the living God is the pillar for the truth. That was God’s design for his people. So when God pulls his people out of the world and gives them the truth that has been trampled down under false religions are they meant to hold this truth in full view of the world? Absolutely. If we do not hold the truth up are we the pillar of the truth? Not at all, and if we are not the pillar of the truth are we the church? No at all. About eleven years before the close of the 2300 days something started happening. In 1833 William Millar received a licence to preach. He had a licence from the church to preach in public.

1833 -1843

To William Miller and his co-laborers it was given to preach the warning in America. This country became the center of the great Advent movement. It was here that the prophecy of the first angel’s message had its most direct fulfillment. The writings of Miller and his associates were carried to distant lands. Wherever missionaries had penetrated in all the world, were sent the glad tidings of Christ’s speedy return. Far and wide spread the message of the everlasting gospel, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come.” {GC88 368.1}

This message was given before the culmination of the 2300 days so that when the time came the exodus could actually happen. The first angel’s message began in 1833 and it continued to 1843.

As William Miller’s work tended to build up the churches, it was for a time regarded with favor. But as ministers and religious leaders decided against the Advent doctrine, and desired to suppress all agitation of the subject, they not only opposed it from the pulpit, but denied their members the privilege of attending preaching upon the second advent, or even of speaking of their hope in the social meetings of the church. {GC88 375.3}

Although the protestant churches in America were at first interested in the influx of members they were not interested in the truth. When the truth became prominent they started suppressing the truth. Does that sound like a pillar of the truth? Where they the church of God? They were not the pillars. They started suppressing the talking of the truth.

Thus the believers found themselves in a position of great trial and perplexity. They loved their churches, and were loathed to separate from them; but as they saw the testimony of God’s Word suppressed, and their right to investigate the prophecies denied, they felt that loyalty to God forbade them to submit. Those who sought to shut out the testimony of God’s Word they could not regard as constituting the church of Christ, “the pillar and ground of the truth.” Hence they felt themselves justified in separating from their former connection. In the summer of 1844 about fifty thousand withdrew from the churches. {GC88 375.3}

Does that sound like an exodus? It was the exodus right there. This message given in 1833 that said the hour of God’s judgment is come culminated on the self-same day at the end of the 2300 days with a wrenching from the protestant churches of America a people who were to be separate. God wanted them separate so he could give them the whole truth. He wanted to give these people what the Catholic Church had cast down to the ground so they could hold it up in full view of the world. Notice what happened in 1844.

1844

About this time a marked change was apparent in most of the churches throughout the United States. There had been for many years a gradual but steadily increasing conformity to worldly practices and customs…

Which way was God leading in the exodus? In the first lecture we read God leads in the opposite direction to worldly practises and customs. Which way were the churches going? They were going into the world so God had to separate a people.

…and a corresponding decline in real spiritual life; but in that year there were evidences of a sudden and marked declension, in nearly all the churches of the land. While none seemed able to suggest the cause, the fact itself was widely noted and commented upon, both by the press and the pulpit. {GC88 376.1}

In 1844 while they were suppressing the truth and a marked declension occurred in the protestant churches of America. They were in deliberate opposition to the truth of God. The call and movement to separate from the apostate churches was known as the second angel’s message – Babylon is fallen.

The work of the second angel was to show to the advent host that Babylon had fallen. And as a large portion of them did not learn this fact until the power of the ‘midnight cry’ waked them up just in time for them to make their escape from the churches before the tenth day came, it follows that since the seventh month, 1844, the third angel’s message was, and still is, a warning to the saints to ‘hold fast,’ and not go back, and ‘receive’ the marks which the virgin band got rid of during the second angel’s cry. {1905 JNL, GSAM 264.2}

The first angel’s message was to tell the time period of the exodus and of the time to restore and to finish the protestant reformation to its completion to bring the people totally out of the experience of the dragon power they had been caught in for so long. The third angel’s message is a warning not to go back. As we progress in the first second and third angel’s messages, should there come a time where we should be back uniting with the Sunday churches? Never, because God never lead the children of Israel out of Egypt to go back into Egypt. Neither did God separate the Advent band from the Sunday churches for them to go right around and end up back in their laps again.

The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages has been located by the Word of Inspiration. Not a peg or pin is to be removed. No human authority has any more right to change the location of these messages than to substitute the New Testament for the Old. The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the proclamation of the third; but all three of the messages are still to be proclaimed. It is just as essential now as ever before that they shall be repeated to those who are seeking for the truth. {1MR 52.3}

We are to rehearse the history. This is what we are doing here, to identify that the first angel’s message began in 1833 – 1843, the second angel’s message was in 1844 and the third angel’s message occurred just after. We will find a date for that later. It says no one has the right to change these dates ever. We cannot say the second angel’s message is now applied to a different experience. The second angel’s message was separation, a clear distinction between all the other evangelical churches and God’s Advent people. They were to be as distinct from them as light is from the darkness. Did everyone that left Egypt enter the Promised Land? No, so neither did the whole 50,000 that left the churches actually come into the platform of truth. How were they led out of Egypt and how were they preserved to remain out?

Hosea 12:13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

Who bought the people out of Egypt? A prophet? No the LORD bought them out by a prophet. Is it God’s prerogative to bring them out by a prophet? Has God the prerogative to choose a person to be his mouthpiece? What if we don’t like whom he gives? We can go back to Egypt if we don’t like it. The Bible clearly identifies the hallmark of the people of the last days. They have the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of Prophecy. The prophetic gift to a person is what? It is the testimony of Jesus Christ. What is a testimony? A testimony is when someone gets up in from of the church and speaks. When the prophet speaks is it Jesus speaking?

Sola Scriptura

Have you ever heard people say the Bible and the Bible only? Its sounds very good and so we should have the Bible and the Bible only. It is called sola scripture. People often say this when they don’t agree with the prophet. When God has manifested a gift of prophecy and someone reads the prophet’s writings which is the testimony of Jesus, then they will say no, no it is sola scriptura. But if you are sola scriptura and the Bible says that at the end the people will have the gift of a prophet then not to listen to the prophet is definitely not sola scriptura. It is an argument testifying that you do not want the words of Jesus. There is nothing wrong with sola scriptura but don’t pretend to be sola scriptura and only pretend to believe the Bible just so you can support your own opinions and not acknowledge that the Bible has said by a prophet the LORD bought a people out of Egypt. If you were there in the time of the exodus and Moses said something and you said, no Moses, sorry I’m sola scriptura, would you get out of Egypt? Not at all! If Moses said put the blood on the door posts and you said, no I’m sola scriptura that would be a silly thing to do, what would have happen? Your first-born would have been slain.

The LORD’s Prerogative

The Lord has the prerogative and he has chosen to use a prophet in the last days, the Elijah that will come before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. That is what the Bible says. 1844 was called a great disappointment. In the great exodus the Israelites experienced, were they disappointed when they went into the wilderness? Yes they were very much disappointed. They perished there. People discount the whole event in 1844 because of the great disappointment, because the pioneers got something wrong. But this time is paralleled to when the disciples were thrown into great disappointment on the day of Calvary because they thought Christ was going to do something that didn’t happen. Jesus had wrenched them from the Jewish system to set up his church. There was a great need at the time of the great disappointment.

If ever there was a time since the Saviour’s resurrection when his sorrowing and disappointed followers needed to be comforted by his presence and cheering words, it was at that time when some of the sad and persecuted believers were holding on by steadfast faith after the “midnight cry” of 1844; and if in mercy God ever communicated directly to sorrowing souls, it would seem that it would certainly be at such a time, and to such a people. {1905 JNL, GSAM 199.2}

They needed the communication directly from God. Wouldn’t you like that if you were in a very discouraging situation for Jesus to talk to you audibly? When Jesus wants to tell you something He gives his message to a prophet. Jesus wanted to communicate to these people and he used the same method he has always used, the gift of prophecy. God does not change. The gift of prophecy did not disappear after the apostles. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

We have noted heretofore how the Lord began to manifest the gift of prophecy during the proclamation of the first and second angels’ messages. This gift has been more fully developed since the close of the twenty-three hundred days. The Lord chose his own instrument for this purpose, selecting as his agent one who had not only surrendered all for him, but whose life trembled in the balance, “the weakest of the weak.” Within two months after the passing of the time, Miss Ellen G. Harmon, of Portland, Maine, then only about seventeen years of age, began to receive revelations from the Lord. {1905 JNL, GSAM 201.4}

Her first vision was in 1844. The Lord is very punctual isn’t he? He always gives help at the right time. God chose a 17 year old who had only 3rdgrade education, who was at the time, on her deathbed. God said, whom will I choose to bear a testimony for me? He chose Ellen Harmon a young girl who was about to die. He has that prerogative. He chose the weakest of the weak to do a work that men shrank from.

What Is The Role Of The Prophet?

We will study the role of a prophet and how it was used so we can know how to use this gift amongst us.

‘God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets.’ When looking at the apostle’s statement respecting the relation of these gifts in the gospel work, we see at once why this order is observed. When comparing these gifts, Paul says “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” The Lord’s order is that his special messages to the world shall be brought from his word; accordingly he moves men to search the Scriptures, and go forth as apostles, burdened with the Lord’s messages, proclaiming them from the Bible, which has stood the test of ages. As believers are raised up, the gift of prophecy comes in “secondarily,” accomplishing its part “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” {1905 JNL, GSAM 246.3}

Was the prophet to be the be all and end all of the ministry? No, it was to work in connection with men and apostles who were to search the scriptures. The gift of prophecy was for the believers so they could preach the word to the public. That is what John did when he received the revelation of Jesus in the last book of the Bible. John said take these letters and give them to the churches. What John had revealed to him on the Island of Patmos was given to the believers, the churches. If you are a believer then the prophet is for you. That is biblical, Sola Scripture. If you believe the Bible, it tells you that the gift of prophecy is for you.

Matthew 10:4 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward;

If God bestows to someone the gift of prophecy should we be ashamed of the gift and try to hide the fact that they are a prophet or should we receive them in the name of a prophet? If she is a prophet she is a prophet and nothing else.

What Was The Work Of A Prophet From 1844?

The work of Miss Harmon, under the guidance of the prophetic gift, from January, 1845, to the spring of 1846, almost eighteen months, was with the “believers” in Christ’s near coming, with whom she had previously associated. After the close of the twenty-three hundred days (Oct. 22, 1844), until the cause of their disappointment and the nature of the event that then occurred should be understood, there would be danger of the believers’ drifting into erroneous views, or of giving up entirely their past experience. Her message was to such: “The past movement was of God. Hold fast your faith. The Lord has still a work for his people. Study the Bible. Search the word, and you will find the light.” {1905 JNL, GSAM 245.3}

Jesus was saying through the prophet there is danger of the believers drifting apart. If in the exodus when the children of Israel got to the red sea and Moses was not there, what do you think they would have done? They would have just scattered abroad. There had to be the gift of prophecy to say, we are in the right spot, trust in the Lord. Just like Moses did in this experience, so it was by the prophetic gift that Jesus Christ told his people that the past movement was of God and not to doubt it. Notice during this time in the work of the believers how God used Sister White.

“Sister White, while in vision, arose to her feet and took the family Bible upon her left hand; the book was one of ordinary size. While holding it open, high up, without looking toward it, with her right hand she would turn from text to text, and placing her finger on the scripture, would repeat the same. I looked at many of the texts to see if she was repeating the one to which she pointed. Myself or some of the company looked at them all. In every case she not only repeated the text to which she pointed, but she did so while her eyes were looking upward and in an opposite direction from the Bible. It was these scriptures which she repeated that overthrew the false theories of the Sabbath-keepers assembled at Volney, in August, 1848, and caused us to unite upon the truth.”

Why are there so many different opinions among people who talk about sola scripture and claim to take the Bible only? If you just read it wouldn’t you get the right thing? The work of the prophet was to repeat the Bible, connect it and cause the people to unite on the truth.

Indeed, one must have been hard to convince who did not renounce error of doctrine corrected under such circumstances, by plain texts quoted from the Bible, and in this remarkable manner. This company of Sabbath-keepers in Oswego County, after their errors had thus been corrected, and they had become united upon the truth, went forth from that meeting to spread the light to others. The results surely bore the evidence of being the work of God. Satan is ever ready to divide, distract, and scatter, by whatever means he can employ. “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” {1905 JNL, GSAM 269.2, 3}

Are there ever arguments over doctrine in a church? Has argumentation ever split a church? Is God the author of confusion? What does God do so the confusion in the church does not get out of hand and develop into a split? He gives the gift of prophecy to the church. He ascended up on high and gave gifts unto men, first apostles then prophets and pastors and teachers for the edifying of the saints and the work of the ministry and for the perfecting of the saints etc. God has given a prophet so we don’t have to argue about things. We can still take the Bible as it is still biblical. Every person’s opinion is biblical in his or her own head but when the Lord directs there comes unity. Do you have the gift of prophecy in your church? Do you have the writings of a prophet to clarify points of contention? If the church doesn’t or at least has it in name only but does not use it for what it is used for, then it is useless. If it is useless you don’t have it. We want to make sure that we according to the Bible have the gift of prophecy, the testimony of Jesus speaking directly to us in our current circumstances.

Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, “We can do nothing more,” the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me. {1SM 206.4}

Do you believe that statement if so you have the spirit of prophecy? The brethren would study and on any point they could not understand the Lord would speak to his people. Praise the Lord. The gift of prophecy does not take away Bible study, it enhances it. It keeps you from putting your Bible away in discouragement. As the brethren studied and understood many lines of truth they came to places where they were stuck and the Lord looked upon them and said, “I will tell you.” Isn’t that great! Praise the LORD for his mercy upon his children. He would let them go as far as they could and when they got stuck our merciful saviour gave them a testimony through the same method he has always used – the prophet and a line of truth extending from that time. Did that line of truth extend to another reformation till another truth was discovered or until we enter the city of God? What line of truth was given? The line of truth was given till the coming of Jesus. Did she keep it to herself? No she told it to others.

What Key Unlocked The Disappointment?

The key that unlocked the disappointment was the understanding of the heavenly sanctuary. The sanctuary doctrine, which was brought through Crosier in 1845 showed two apartments in heaven and there was a day of atonement. These truths started to rumble and God started giving the truth in their order. Notice the first reaction to the Sabbath by Sister White in the following quote:

Elder Bates was keeping the Sabbath, and urged its importance. Miss Harmon did not at that time feel its importance, and thought Elder Bates erred in dwelling upon the fourth commandment more than upon the other nine. {1905 JNL, GSAM 255.3}

Is that a sentiment today? That is a normal sentiment by those who fellowship on Sunday. They say we make too much of the fourth like it is something special.

But the Lord gave her a view of the heavenly sanctuary. The temple of God was opened in heaven, and she was shown the ark of God with the mercy-seat covering it. Jesus raised the cover of the ark, and she beheld the tables of stone on which the ten commandments were written. She was amazed as she saw the fourth commandment in the very centre of the ten precepts, with a soft halo of light encircling it. The angel said, “It is the only one of the ten which defines the living God who created the heavens and the earth and all things that are therein. When the foundations of the earth were laid, then was also laid the foundation of the Sabbath.” She was shown that if the true Sabbath had been kept, there would never have been an infidel or an atheist. The observance of the Sabbath would have preserved the world from idolatry. {1905 JNL, GSAM 255.3}

Is the Sabbath important? This commandment did a work that the other nine didn’t do. Ellen White was shown against her own opinion so who was right? What the LORD showed her or human opinion? Of course what the LORD shows is correct. In 1846 Ellen White kept her first Sabbath.

Elder Joseph Bates… speaking of a circumstance that occurred Nov. 18, 1848, he says:- “A small company of brethren and sisters were assembled in a meeting in Dorchester, near Boston, Mass. Before the meeting commenced, some of us were examining some of the points in the sealing message; some difference of opinion existed about the correctness of the view of the word ‘ascending,’ etc., {1905 JNL, GSAM 273.1}

Where in the Bible is the sealing message written? In Revelation 7:1-4 it talks about an angel ascending from the east. Some differences of opinion existed about the correctness of the view of the word ascending. They were looking at this and studying the sealing message in 1848 and at that time a vision was given. In 1848 after some time spent in earnest prayer for light for instruction God gave Sister White the following in vision.

The Ascending Seal

It’s the seal! It’s coming up! It arises, commencing from the rising of the sun. Like the sun, first cold, grows warmer and sends its rays. When that truth arose, there was but little light in it, but it has been increasing. O the power of these rays! It grows in strength. The greatest weight and light is on that truth, for it lasts forever, when the Bible is not needed. It arose there in the east; it began with a small light, but its beams are healing. O how mighty is that truth; it’s the highest after they enter the goodly land, but it will increase till they are made immortal. It commenced from the rising of the sun, keeps on its course like the sun, but it never sets. {1905 JNL, GSAM 274.1}

What is she talking about? She is talking about the sealing message and they were wondering why this word ascending was put in there. Ascending is what the sun does every morning as it grows higher and higher. What she saw was that this sealing angel was to get higher and more important and its height would be in the kingdom of God when we get to heaven. It never sets. The quote said: ‘The greatest weight and light is on that truth, for it lasts forever, when the Bible is not needed.’ What truth? The angel came with the seal of the living God.

It is very important and it lasts forever. Is a time coming where the proclamation of the sealing message should die out and set like the sun? Never! So the more time goes on the more important it is. Have you heard of the sealing message lately? Do you know what the sealing message is? Do you know when it started? This is what God was showing as light was increasing upon the Advent band. He had wrenched them from the Sunday churches and he was bestowing upon them light after light on truth. Just at this time the Seventh-day Adventists were learning from the Scriptures that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment was the sign, or seal, of the living God, and that the time had arrived for the proclamation of the sealing message of Rev. 7:1-4, and they were devising ways and means of getting this message before the people. They got this message in 1848. The sealing message began in 1848. Has it set in our day and age or is it getting more and more prominent? It is to get more and more prominent. If we are to be the church which is the ground and pillar of the truth we are to uphold it as more important as before.

Satan is now using every device in this sealing time, [1848] to keep the minds of God’s people from the present, sealing truth; and to cause them to waver…I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God’s people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet were sliding; because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 9}

Do you tremble on the point of the sealing message? Are you not sure what it is or are unsure if it has started or not? Are your knees weak on that point? We need to get solid of this point, as the covering of God can’t be drawn over us until we know in whom we believe.

1848

From that time the third angel’s message, as connected with the other two, began to be proclaimed. The Sabbath truth, as connected with the ark of God and the light developing [its growing] with reference to the sanctuary, confirmed what had been previously shown, -that the past advent movement was right, and in the order of the Lord. They could now understand more fully than ever before the meaning of the “three steps up on to the pathway to the city of God.” {1905 JNL, GSAM 257.1}

Remember the Bible text that says I will make a highway out of Egypt. These steps out from the world and high above the world are the building of it. The beginning of the first second and third angel’s message has to do with the sealing, the Sabbath, the sanctuary and the prophetic dates and then this light was the all-absorbing theme. Notice all the doctrines hereon have connection to the sealing message.

1851

I have seen in vision that tobacco was a filthy weed, and that it must be laid aside or given up. … Unless it is given up, the frown of God will be upon the one that uses it, and he cannot be sealed with the seal of the living God. Letter 5, 1851.

This statement has nothing to do with saving the trees or being one with nature like the hippies. It was in reference to the sealing. That was the only purpose for it. The health message Adventists have been given is not the third angel’s message but it was connected with the third angel’s message. When we disconnect the health message from the three angel’s message we only have a healthy wealthy and wise doctrine. There is a different motive when it is connected to the three angel’s message because it is all about the seal of the living God.

A Brief History of Truths As They Were Unfolded

1851 – The Sunday Sabbath Issue

In the Review for May, 1851, he [ J.N Andrews] had an article occupying over five pages on the subject of the three messages. In this he applied the prophecy of the two-horned beast of Revelation 13 to the United States, taking the position, on the strength of the prophecy alone, that the enforcement of Sunday as the Sabbath would be the point on which a union of church and state would finally be founded in this nation. His argument rested wholly upon the prophecy, as no movement at that time pointed very strongly in that direction, {1905 JNL, GSAM 284.2}

In 1851 it was identified that the United States would enforce these laws. James White set up the Review and Herald in 1848. When they first started writing articles it was called the Present Truth and by 1854 it received the name Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. The follow is a list of the leading doctrines quoted straight out of the article he published in December 1845. He clearly states the leading doctrines they were teaching at that time.

1854

Leading Doctrines Taught by the Review. The Bible, and the Bible alone, the rule of faith and duty. The Law of God, as taught in the Old and New Testaments, unchangeable. The Personal Advent of Christ and the Resurrection of the Just, before the Millennium. The Earth restored to its Eden perfection and glory, the final Inheritance of the Saints. Immortality alone through Christ, to be given to the Saints at the Resurrection. {December 19, 1854 JWe, ARSH 137.1}

They taught on the state of the dead that you don’t go to heaven when you die but that you get your reward at the resurrection and the millennium was in heaven not on earth. These were new understandings in 1854. Then Ellen White had a vision:

I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, “Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.” {EW 118.1}

When did the work of the third angel start? People say the separating will happen in the future. It began in 1848. God was giving light. She saw the third angel in 1848 beginning to separate people and pull them into position. That angel is to select the wheat from the tares and to seal or bind the wheat from the heavenly garner. The third angel is the sealing angel of Revelation chapter 7. That is what they taught at that time. These things should engross the whole mind and attention. Everything they were doing was in reference to this message. It was the all-absorbing message for the world. Then by 1855 this development was continuing

1855

We now rejoice that Bro. Andrews has presented the Bible testimony on this question, in his accustomed forcible, candid manner, which settles the question beyond all doubt that the Sabbath commences not only at even, but at the setting of the sun. J. W. {December 4, 1855 J We, ARSH 78.19}

Their light on the Sabbath was still being refined. They believed the Sabbath but they believe that it went from 6 o’clock to 6 o’clock, winter or summer. Was that what God wanted? God wanted it from sunset to sunset. So by 1855 they received that. Then came the tithing system.

1859

This tithing system, I saw, would develop character, and manifest the true state of the heart. If the brethren in Ohio have this matter presented before them in its true bearing, and are left to decide for themselves, they will see wisdom and order in the tithing system. {1T 237.1}

The development of organization was developed in the 1860’s. This was an extremely touchy subject because no one wanted to start another church that was going to dominate with force. They didn’t want another beast or Babylon. You can read their discussion in their articles. It was amazing how people were so careful not to set up a hierarchy but the testimony of God came through.

1860

As we near the close of time, Satan comes down with great power, knowing that his time is short. Especially will his power be exercised upon the remnant. He will war against them, and seek to divide and scatter them, that they may grow weak and be overthrown. The people of God should move understandingly, and should be united in their efforts. They should be of the same mind, of the same judgment; then their efforts will not be scattered, but will tell forcibly on the upbuilding of the cause of present truth… {4bSG 45.2}

The reason for organizing was for the up building of present truth. Would you call that a pillar? The reason for a church to come out and be united is to uphold the truth not to argue about it but to uphold it as a unit.

…Order must be observed, and there must be union in maintaining order, or Satan will take advantage of them. {4bSG 45.2}

This came about in 1860. Something happened in the 1860 that proved this organization that developed came just in time. James white wrote:

Between the two extremes of church force and unsanctified independence we find the grand secret of unity and efficiency in the ministry and in the church of God. {1905 JNL, GSAM 345.3}

It is not a hierarchy or church force as in, you do as I say because I say and if we make a resolution it stands just because we said it. Nor was it, we can do what we like and everyone does whatever they feel is good and there is no connecting and unification in plans. In a fine line between unsanctified independence and church force there is a grand secret that our pioneers found. It is a very fine line.

1864

Every organization among our people, as well as every individual, is responsible to God to give the last message of warning to the world with a loud voice. The object and aim of every organization and institution connected with third angel’s message is missionary, and when it fails in this, its usefulness is gone. {LLM 35.3}

God gave institutions that the message would go out. When something is not useful anymore it is useless and when something is useless there isn’t any use for it at all. If our schools, hospitals and institutions do not present the truth that God has given to his people, namely the sealing message and the sanctuary and the prophecies of the 2300 days and the Sabbath light and keep it, then all these hospitals and schools and institutions are of no use. Some could argue that they are of good use because they bring in membership. What does the testimony of Jesus say? If the church fails in the last message that was given then it is useless. The only use for it was for the three angels messages as they understood it. In 1864 this organization became very useful because the American civil war began and just at the time they organized there was a declaration made by the executive committee of the Seventh day Adventist General Conference.

But not having had a long existence as a distinct people, and our organization having but recently been perfected, our sentiments are not yet extensively known. The change in the law renders it necessary that we take a more public stand in the matter. For this reason we now lay before Your Excellency the sentiments of Seventh-day Adventists, as a body, relative to bearing arms, trusting that you will feel no hesitation in endorsing our claim that, as a people, we come under the intent of the later action of Congress concerning those who are conscientiously opposed to bearing arms, and are entitled to the benefits of said laws. John Byington, J.N. Loughborough George W. Amadon, General Conference Executive Committee of SDA Battle Creek Michigan, August 2, 2864.

What did the general conference in one of its first developments when it was in its purity make a decision to do? They said we don’t participate in war. Ellen White says if you engage in war you cannot keep the Sabbath or uphold the sixth commandment. The General Conference is speaking. If the General Conference at some later date changes that and says now you can do what your conscience tells you, then the general conference disagrees with itself. People always say that the General Conference is the voice of God. Does God disagree with himself? No because when God gave light he established these people just in time to have a safety net under them so that the Seventh Day Adventist people didn’t have to go to war. That is what happened in 1964.

If most earnest vigilance is not manifested at the great heart of the work to protect the interests of the cause, the church will become as corrupt as the churches of other denominations. 4T 512.3

What will safeguard the church? Protecting the interests of the cause will safe guard it. So they wouldn’t become like the other churches it says:

The message we have to bear is not a message that men need cringe to declare. They are not to seek to cover it, to conceal its origin and purpose. Its advocates must be men who will not hold their peace day nor night. As those who have made solemn vows to God, and who have been commissioned as the messengers of Christ, as stewards of the mysteries of the grace of God, we are under obligation to declare faithfully the whole counsel of God. We are not to make less prominent the special truths that have separated us from the world, and made us what we are; for they are fraught with eternal interests. TM 470.1

What the church had already learned by this time was to be carefully safe guarded. If they didn’t care for the interest of the cause they would become like the other churches and if they are like the other churches the second angel’s message that caused the separation is gone. There are some truths that have separated us from the world and have made us what we are. If you have something that makes you what you are, are you what you are? Absolutely. But if you say you are something and don’t have the thing that makes you what you say you are, are you it? Not at all. If you say you are something that you are not then you are nominal, that is in name only. It is just the mere name. There are certain things that make Seventh Day Adventists Seventh Day Adventists. If you don’t have those things that make you a Seventh Day Adventist and if you say you are a Seventh Day Adventist, are you a Seventh Day Adventist? Not at all; you are not a Seventh Day Adventist and you would do the world a great favour if you didn’t call the yourself a Seventh Day Adventist. If I am not called a Seventh Day Adventist but I have the things that make me a Seventh Day Adventist, am I a Seventh Day Adventist? Absolutely indeed – in action. In 1867 the message continued to grow.

1867

One important part of the work of the ministry is to faithfully present to the people the health reform, as it stands connected with the third angel’s message, as a part and parcel of the same work. They should not fail to adopt it themselves, and should urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth. 1T 469, 470

The health message was to be part of this.

Physicians have a work to do to bring about reform by educating the people, that they may understand the laws which govern their physical life. They should know how to eat properly, to work intelligently, to dress healthfully, and should be taught to bring all their habits into harmony with the laws of life and health, and to discard drugs. There is a great work to be done. If the principles of health reform are carried out, the work will indeed be as closely allied to that of the third angel’s message as the hand is to the body. {13MR 177.3}

The health message incorporated the dress. There was special light given on health and dress to God’s church and they were to be practised by the people who believe the three angels messages. Have you been instructed on dress reform? Have you been instructed on health reform connected with the third angel’s message as it was given to the pioneers?

There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible, and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. {1T 421.3}

What is an abomination according to the testimony of Jesus? It is dressing like the other sex. For women to dress like men or men to dress like women, to have no distinction, is abomination.

Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights and the so-called dress reform [this was the time they began dressing like men, the pants and suits started coming in] might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. {1T 421.3}

Is dress connected with the third angel’s message? Absolutely. A question in reference to dress/health reform was asked Ellen White. Is there danger of urging the health reform upon others before they are prepared to receive it?

There is. This is especially true in the matter of dress. When we first received the third message the Lord had many things to say to us, but we could not hear them all then. He has led us with a gentle hand and tender care, step by step, till we have reached the reform in health. {RH, October 8, 1867 par. 21}

By 1867 the Lord saw fit that his people would understand this. He moved gently with them. People who claim to be in the third angel’s message and have been in the third angel’s message for years say, no, no we don’t need to learn about that yet. It was given in 1867. The LORD gently bought them to that point. By the end of the 1860’s and into the 1870’s, institutions began being built; education centres and the Sanitariums. Adventists were busy workers. In 1877 they were running Bible institutes. In these institutes there were lectures on the principle doctrines of Seventh Day Adventists. People like to have a creed to know what others believed but the best way to work out what people believe is to read the truth in its entirety as presented in their books. When you read a statement in a creed and you don’t know why they came to that decision or how it all fits, you say that is what we believe but I don’t know why but that is what it says and you just accept the 28 fundamentals. If you want to know what Adventists believed read their books and you will not just know what they believed but you will end up believing the same in truth as you will see it all laid out not in a snippet but in the whole gamut of truth. If you want to know what God lead his people out of the world to understand, I recommend you read the book entitled the Bible Institute; Lectures on the Principal Doctrines of Seventh Day Adventists. Following is a list of what they believed. If you want to understand what they believed on the seven last plagues, read this book. It is not what modern Adventists today believe. It also tells when the 144,000 started being sealed.

1877


These doctrines were all there in the Bible institutes. This book has the lesson followed by the questions asked by the students. These questions are also asked today. If you have questions I recommend you reading this book and the pioneers will give you the correct understanding. There is no guesswork on what they believed. It is there upheld in full view of the world.

The plan that has been adopted, to have Elder Smith hold Biblical institutes in different states, is approved of God. Great good has been accomplished by these institutes, 4T 407.2

These Bible Institutes were run by Uriah Smith and also by James White. Often people use James White to counteract Uriah Smith but if you read this book you will see they are in unity on these points.

1881

1881 was the beginning of the canvassing work. There were books written and God was calling people to enter the canvassing field, to get them out to the people.

Beginning with the year 1881 our people made a new venture, and entered into the canvassing work for the sale of our publications. 1905 JNL, GSAM 295.4

The Lord calls for workers to enter the canvassing field, that the books containing the light of present truth may be circulated. 21MR 444.3

These are some of the large books they had by 1881.

  • 1873 History of the Sabbath
  • 1877 Sanctuary and the 2300 days
  • 1881 Daniel and the Revelation
  • 1884 The Atonement
  • 1888 Bible Readings
  • 1888 Great Controversy
  • 1898 Desire of Ages
  • 1890 Patriarchs and Prophets

Do you know how many dollars’ worth of books were sold by 1905? (remember these books were sold for approx. $2 -3 each at that time) Starting in 1881, by 1905 they had sold $11 million dollars’ worth of books. Could that be done today? In Queensland Australia by 1889 they had sold 1,000 copies of Daniel of and the Revelation. At that time there was probably only 2,000 people in the state!! You can see these brethren got busy and started spreading the truth like autumn leaves.

1892 Steps to Christ

“Our large books, “The Desire of Ages,” “Great Controversy,” “Patriarchs and Prophets,” “Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation,” “Bible Readings” etc., are the pillars of our denominational literature.” (E. R. Palmer, The Missionary Worker, January 18th 1905)

Do you want to understand what the pillars of our faith are? Read those books, they are the pillars of Adventism. There doesn’t need to be any guess work in what the pioneers believed at all.

1888

“In 1888 in the General Conference held at Minneapolis, Minn., the angel of Revelation 18 came down to do his work.”EGW Taking up a Reproach

When did the first angel start? 1833 – 1843. The second angel started in 1844. The Third angel started in 1848. What about the angel of Revelation 14? It started in 1888. No one has any right to move these dates, as we read earlier. Have you ever heard people say you cannot know what was shared in 1888 because there were no minutes and the lectures were not recorded?

1888 -1898

The two men used mightily by God at Minneapolis and in the decade that followed, Waggoner and Jones, became the special point of attack of the great enemy of God and man.3BIO 475.1

This brings it up till 1898. That was the time when the Revelation 18 angel came to do its work.

1892 – The Revelation 18 Angel

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. For it is the work of every one to whom the message of warning has come, to lift up Jesus, to present him to the world as revealed in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelations of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to his disciples and in the wonderful miracles wrought for the sons of men. Search the Scriptures; for they are they that testify of him. {RH, November 22, 1892}

The program of Adventism was that they received light on many of the prophecies and the system of truth. By the 1880’s they became stale on the facts. 1888 was to put Jesus in all of those previous doctrines. It was the loud cry of the third angel so therefore the fourth angel couldn’t present any new information. It was not a new message. The angel of Revelation 18 presented Jesus in the doctrines. Daniel and the Revelation was to be presented but with Christ in the messages. That is what happened in that decade that followed the third angel’s message. Christ was put in the centre and they were to incorporate righteousness by faith into their messages.

1888

We do not half appreciate the grandeur of the plan of salvation. He who was one with the Father stepped down from the glorious throne in heaven, laid aside his royal robe and crown, and clothed his divinity with humanity, thus bringing himself to the level of man’s feeble faculties. {RH, December 11, 1888}

What was one of the messages highlighted in 1888? The Nature of Christ was highlighted. He, who was one with the Father. The nature of Christ became prominent in 1888 and from this point onwards two things were revealed. 1. Jesus Christ is equal with the Father in his divinity although some were suggesting he was created. 2. He was equal with you and me, and became one with us, the great atonement.

Letters have been coming in to me, affirming that Christ could not have had the same nature as man, for if he had, he would have fallen under similar temptations. If he did not have man’s nature, he could not be our example. If he was not a partaker of our nature, he could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for him to yield to temptation, he could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battles as man, in man’s behalf. His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature. {1888 533.6}

Here was the subject of the nature of Christ. Up until this time the subject hadn’t received much attention. Many people thought that Christ didn’t partake of our nature or wasn’t equal with the Father. From that point in time the understanding of Christ’s nature continued to develop so that the divinity and humanity of Christ was properly understood. Many deny this but the fact is not to be argued. These truths, not just his condescension, but also where he actually came from, the two extremes or two ends of the ladder, the divinity and the humanity of Christ, were developed. Any one group who claims hold the fourth angels’ message and does not believe in these truths does not have the thing that makes them what they are. So once again if you say you are something but you don’t have the thing that makes you that something, then you are not that something. You only say that and it is mere profession.

The idea is that, although Christ was in the form of God, being “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3), having all the attributes of God, being the ruler of the universe, and the one whom all heaven delighted to honor, he did not think that any of these things were to be desired so long as men were lost and without strength. He could not enjoy his glory while man was an outcast, without hope. So he emptied himself, divested himself of all his riches and his glory, and took upon himself the nature of man in order that he might redeem him. It was necessary that he should assume the nature of man, in order that he might suffer death, as the apostle says to the Hebrews that he “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” Hebrews 2:9 {EJ Waggoner The Signs of the Times : October 21, 1889}

The article continues about Christ’s humanity. He identifies where he came from, being equal with the Father one with the Father in power then he talks about his humanity.

A little thought will be sufficient to show anybody that if Christ took upon himself the likeness of man, in order that he might suffer death, it must have been sinful man that he was made like, for it is only sin that causes death. Death could have no power over a sinless man, as Adam was in Eden; and it could not have had any power over Christ if the Lord had not laid on him the iniquity of us all. Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon himself the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of sinful man, that is, that the flesh which he assumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the few words upon which this article is based. He was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” David had all the passions of human nature. He says of himself, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” {The Signs of the Times: October 21, 1889}

EJ Waggoner concludes the human nature of Christ. Then E.G. White says in a recorded conversation the following:

E.J. Waggoner can teach righteousness by faith more clearly than I can,” said Sister White. “Why, Sister White,” I said, “do you mean to say that E. J. Waggoner can teach it better than you can, with all your experience?” Sister White replied, “Yes, the Lord has given him special light on that question. I have been wanting to bring it out more clearly, but I could not have brought it out as clearly as he did. But when he brought it out at Minneapolis, I recognized it.” {An Interview with J. S. Washburn}

In the decade that followed 1888, these truths were to be embraced but unfortunately the church as a whole did not receive it. In 1898, the book Desire of Ages came out.

1898

Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” In Christ is life, original, un-borrowed, underived. “He that hath the Son hath life.” 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. {DA 530.3}

Does that tell you about his divine nature? The divinity of Christ is extremely important. This understanding came after 1888. In the same year Ellen White wrote;

The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. {The Youth’s Instructor, Oct. 13, 1898}

“Sin could only be resisted and overcome through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of the divine power.” {DA 671.2}

There are people who continually maintain that the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit being a person is not Advent belief. It is because there was a progression of light. Their understanding was growing until we find a statement that Ellen White writes about the truths that were given for the last fifty years.

1904

In 1904 in the Bible Training School Stephen Haskell wrote;

The Spirit is the “third person of the Godhead,” and therefore has no more beginning of days nor end of life” than God himself. There is no record of father, mother, or pedigree given of the Holy Spirit. As the third person of the Godhead, it is greater than Abraham and could bless him. The spirit comes to the world as representative of Christ and thus is made like unto Christ. {Bible Training School Nov 1904 p85}

1905

There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers –the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ. Special Testimonies Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905) {Ev 615.1}

Is Christ a power? Is he a person? Yes. Is the Holy Spirit a person and a power? Absolutely. Is God the Father a person and a power? Yes. This is part of the system of truth that has been developed.

I was shown three steps,–the first, second, and third angels’ messages. Said my accompanying angel, “Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.” I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. {Early Writings, pp. 258, 259.}

It was a step-by-step process. People can take the first few steps and say that is enough but we must go all the way which includes the humanity and divinity of Christ so many people want to deny one or the other.

The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844 It opened to view a complete system of truth connected and harmonious show that God’s had had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it bought to light the position and work of His people. Honest souls will see the straight chain of present truth. They will see its harmonious connections, link after link uniting into a great whole, and will lay hold upon it. The present truth is not difficult to be understood, and the people whom God is leading will be united upon this broad, firm platform. {1T p 326-327}

How many truths does this platform encompass? It encompasses ALL of them. God’s people will not be united on man’s opinion especially when it contradicts the old. We have a firm platform to be united on.

1905

In 1905 after the divinity of Christ, the three persons of the Godhead was brought out along with righteousness by faith and all the other prophetic understandings and things connected with the third angel’s message. Ellen White said:

In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want SOLID ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. {Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.}

Is a pin a pillar? A pillar is made up of lots of pins. Lots of little elements make one big strong element.

Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. {Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.}

Where is the highway that will take us to the city of God? Where is the platform we can be safe on? Where is God’s church? The church is the pillar of the truth.

Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years. {Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.}

That stretches from the 1850’s when the messages started until 1905.

God is leading out a people. He has a chosen people, a church on the earth, whom He has made the depositaries of His law. He has committed to them sacred trust and eternal truth to be given to the world. {1MR 360.3}

Does that mean these truths can be let go of at a later date? Eternal means they were always there. If we let them go, we are no longer his pillar, or his church. This is sacred history. The Sabbath is for remembering that God brought his people out of Egypt. Let us never forget the three angel’s messages and the Revelation 18 Angel. This is what our faith is founded upon.

Amen.

Posted on August 6, 2011, in Foundations of Adventism, Sermons For Sabbath and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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