The Gathering from 1888 to 1915 – The two parties in the Adventist Church
By John Thiel
2021 Conference – The Gathering of God’s Jewels
We have appreciated words of inspiration to the people who were the jewels that had gathered together through the message of the three angels – the first angel’s message proclaiming the everlasting gospel, which is the everlasting covenant that was to inscribe God’s law in our hearts.
As the early believers in the advent message came through their point of disappointment and proceeded from there under the guidance of the Lord. We also discovered that the human factor comes in and plays havoc with what God is doing. The human factor gets excited for a while and when the excitement wears of they become slack. This is what we have seen.
By the time we came to 1888, that precious message that was given was given to awaken the people to the pearl of great price, to try and gather them all together and to be the message that should go out and gather the jewels, would’ve been the design of the Holy Spirit if they would have accepted that wonderful work that God was giving to them through Waggoner and Jones. The angel of Revelation 18 was identified in the giving of that message in the General Conference held in Minneapolis Minnesota. The angel of Revelation 18 came down to do his work.
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. [7BC 984.6]
There to the church came the pearl of great price the sin pardoning Redeemer. The righteousness of Christ which is the Pearl.
This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth. [7BC 984.6]
That was the Revelation 18 angel. There is a clear identification point of the beginning of that Angel’s message back there in 1888. It was through the message of E.J. Waggoner and Jones, that this message was brought prominently to the church so that it then through the church would be the avenue by which the jewels that are out there would be drawn together.
The big question is how did the church that was organised to be the instrument by which that message should go out? How did that church receive that message?
The great object of the advent of the Holy Spirit is distinctly specified by Christ. “When He is come,” He said, “He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” This light has been kept before our people for years. The power of the Holy Spirit has been largely manifested at Battle Creek (that was the headquarters of Seventh Days Organisation) the great heart of the world, to be communicated to those in the highways and hedges, that the mass of human beings under Satan’s sway of sin and death might be reformed and renovated by the Spirit’s power. [TM401.4]
Everything we’ve studied in regard to what God wanted to do to gather the people into his workshop and to reform and renovate those who would respond by the spirit’s power; this was all provided there to the church in 1888. What does it say?
But when light has come to those at the center of the work, they have not known how to treat it. The testimonies God has given His people are in harmony with His word. [TM 401.4]
This was the sad announcement by the inspiration here. It gives you the true account of what actually happened. This is not an assessment of human-mindedness. This is what Jesus illuminated us within the writings that were given there in Testimonies to Ministers.
Men who are entrusted with weighty responsibilities, but who have no living connection with God, have been and are doing despite to His Holy Spirit. They are indulging the very same spirit as did Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and as did the Jews in the days of Christ. Warnings have come from God again and again for these men, but they have cast them aside and ventured on in the same course. [TM 78.2]
This is written in Testimonies to Ministers describing what was happening in 1888 by these men in leadership.
Read the words of Christ in Matthew 23:23: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!… “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.” This prophecy was literally fulfilled by the Jews in their treatment of Christ and of the messengers whom God sent to them. Will men in these last days follow the example of those whom Christ condemned? [TM 79.1]
Notice he’s just equated the pharisee’s reaction to Christ with the possibility of what the church leaders might do there in 1888 after and after 1888. She said, these terrible predictions that we just read there: I send you prophets and so on, and what you would do persecuting from city to city and the treatment of Jesus.
These terrible predictions they have not as yet carried out to the full… [TM 79.2]
The warning was that they were on the verge of doing this by rejecting the 1888 message, but she says it hasn’t happened yet to the full.
…but if God spares their lives, and they nourish the same spirit that marked their course of action both before and after the Minneapolis meeting, they will fill up to the full the deeds of those whom Christ condemned when He was upon the earth. [TM 79.2]
Mark and remember this statement because this is the test for God’s faithful people; time and time again as the Jews rejected Christ. In every successive generation, the same thing has happened. The danger is that even in today’s circumstances, the same thing can happen.
The perils of the last days are upon us. [TM 79.3]
This was after 1888, she was writing this and it was heading up towards 1914. We know what happened in 1914. The perils of the last days in the first world war came to threaten.
Satan takes the control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God. [TM 79.3]
We are pondering here as to what the servants of God in the church, in the leadership, must concentrate on to be under the control of the spirit of God and if they do not, Satan takes control.
Some have been cultivating hatred against the men whom God has commissioned to bear a special message to the world. They began this satanic work at Minneapolis. Afterwards, when they saw and felt the demonstration of the Holy Spirit testifying that the message was of God…[TM 79.3]
They could see it. This message was of God. What did they do?
…they hated it the more, because it was a testimony against them. They would not humble their hearts to repent, to give God the glory, and vindicate the right. They went on in their own spirit, filled with envy, jealousy, and evil surmisings, as did the Jews. They opened their hearts to the enemy of God and man. Yet these men have been holding positions of trust, and have been molding the work after their own similitude, as far as they possibly could… [TM 79.3]
Here is the dilemma that faced the organization.
What actually was the problem that they resisted in the presentation that Waggoner and Jones gave?
An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth,.. [1SM 234.6]
What was the truth they didn’t want? They were shown that the moral law, the school master, that leads us to Christ; they didn’t believe? They believed very strongly that it was the ceremonial law that leads them to Christ. As Waggoner and Jones were preaching, they said it was the moral law that leads us to Christ. That was a big bone of contention. Plus also the very presentation that they gave in righteousness by faith and in enlarging the pearl of great price the way they did.
…This lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through Brethren [E.J.] Waggoner and [A.T.] Jones. [1SM 234.6]
It was the Lord’s message that Sister White was shown came through 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. [1SM 234.6]
As I read that quote, I ponder for a moment, the very special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them was inseparably connected with the message that Waggoner and Jones were preaching. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit has to do with the messages that were coming. This is what Deuteronomy 32 is all about isn’t it?
My doctrine shall fall as the rain as the former and latter rain as it says in Deuteronomy and Joel. The Holy Spirit is saying it is my doctrine and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit taking of Jesus and showing it to us as the pearl that sparkles was opposed. Therefore the power of the Holy Spirit was being in a great measure shut away.
The very thing that the church was meant to be able to receive and impart to others was being shut away.
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. [1SM 234.6]
There was the opportunity for the gems of the world around to be drawn in and called together by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who were meant to be the jewels that were to be used of God to call the other jewels together, this was hindered because these leaders of the church while they were still preaching and teaching and doing all that Adventists were doing, they were preventing this amazing power of the Holy Spirit.
…the loud cry of the third angel has already begun [7BC 984.6]
Are you still hearing people today saying, “Oh, the loud cry is in the future?” It started back there in 1888. It 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. [7BC 984.6]
It was the beginning of the Revelation 18 angel in the presentation of Christ our righteousness by Waggoner and Jones. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third Angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry.
People say it hasn’t begun. The Spirit of Prophecy says it has begun but has been muffled so that it could only be held and understood by a few and had therefore to swell bit by bit, get stronger and stronger, slowly swell into a loud cry. The loud cry has already begun in 1888. Those who received the 1888 message were then able to continue to do the work faithfully as this message swells and swells and swells through the history from that time onwards.
Sister White said in 1896 these are all important dates to see the progression of the council that was given in reference to this.
The work will grow deeper and become more earnest to the very close of time. [2SM 114.1
It was muffled by the leadership however, it started it swells and it grows deeper and becomes more earnest to the very close of time. It doesn’t look like it to our human observation. The Lord is seeing it and he is saying that’s what is happening ever since that time. As I look back through the history I see it. It has continued.
…the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. [TM 507.1]
That’s exactly what has happened. Those who do receive it are going forward just like the individuals in the times past such as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and others of that nature.
The work will grow deeper and become more earnest to the very close of time. 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]
The Revelation 18 was already lightning the earth with its glory but because people have got these wrong concepts of what it means for the glory to cover the whole earth, they couldn’t recognise it. But the Lord was saying through these words, it was already lightening the earth with its glory in 1896.
It’s interesting that the Scholars in the Seventh-day Adventist Church who wrote the book, The Story of the Church, it is a book that you could buy back there. The Story of Our Church, p. 246 says a comment on the 1888 message says it marked the beginning of a great reform, because those who were receiving that message were moving on with it.
If you know the history at all, Sister White backed up Waggoner and Jones and wherever Waggoner and Jones were preaching, she was there to support them. Those who received those messages would run with it, but because that was rejected by the organised leadership, it was done in this sort of slow swelling process. Those who had rejected it, notice carefully now, because God had not in any way rejected his church – that organisation yet – not at all.
We read that there was still hope for the rejectors.
…if God spares their lives, and they nourish the same spirit that marked their course of action both before and after the Minneapolis meeting, they will fill up to the full the deeds of those whom Christ condemned when He was upon the earth. [TM 79.2]
They hadn’t yet filled to the full. They hadn’t already begun. As the message swells, how they react to that swelling message will decide their destiny.
We come to the year 1902 and the Spirit of God brings them another call for all who had been rejecting this message. This call is what was compiled by A G Daniels in a book that he wrote, “Christ Our righteousness,” where he handled the whole subject. This statement is Sister Whites quote that he quoted on page 121 and it was given in 1902.
“God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children. [COR 121.3]
God hadn’t done that yet, but if they do not respond to the core of spiritual revival and spiritual reformation then they will continue to grow more abhorrent until God rejects them.
What is meant with revival and reformation? What is meant with that?
“A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. [COR 121.4
If the Holy Spirit, the latter reign takes place, the giving of the Holy Spirit, it creates revival and reformation. What is it?
…Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. [COR 121.4]
That’s revival and the church needed it. It was being called for.
Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. [COR 121.4]
That was needed in the church.
That was in 1902 when she wrote that. The Lord was giving the church another call. You’ve rejected the 1888 message and if you keep on rejecting it now, please don’t reject it. You need a revival. You need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit by the ministration of the Holy Spirit, there should be a renewal of spiritual life. It needs the church needed a renewal of spiritual life and a quickening of the powers of the mind, a reformation to reorganise, a change of ideas, theories, habits, and practices was this 1902 call responded to.
Remember in 1901 there was a problem in the church? It was this problem of leadership government and control and they reorganised and it looked so good that they organized, according to what Sister White said should happen, but in 1903 and 1904, things were not changing really. Although it looked like it, we were discussing this before that Sister White was encouraged. Because of the way that the brethren were doing and speaking, it looked so encouraging to her.
After I received word in regard to the excellent meeting of confession and unity that had been held in Battle Creek I was writing in my diary and was about to record the thankfulness I felt because a change had come, when my hand was arrested, and there came to me the words: “Write it not. No change for the better has taken place. [8T 231.2]
She enlarges it to her mind. Not only has there no change for the better taken place to all appearances, it sounded so good, this is how deceptive it can be to human minds. They think, “Oh, wasn’t that a wonderful meeting? Wasn’t this beautiful? How does God see it?”
Teachings that are turning souls from the truth are being presented as of great worth. Doctrines are being taught that lead into bypaths and forbidden paths; doctrines that lead men to act in harmony with their own inclinations and to work out their unsanctified purposes; doctrines that, if received, would destroy the dignity and power of God’s people, obscuring the light that would otherwise come to them through God’s appointed agencies.” [8T 231.2]
In 1903 it looked so sweet but God knew better. It wasn’t just that maybe some of these men were responding to the call of Sister White’s writings. It looked so good but they fell back from what they were thinking they were doing good and God knew it.
In 1902 the condition of the church had come to such a state that although it looked good to the human eye to even Sister White’s eye, she was going to write at last a change had come and the Holy Spirit said no, no, no, don’t you write that.
I want to continue to show what is forecast in Sister White’s writings in reference to the development in the church from that opposition, which culminated in 1903 where God had to tell her no change has come for the better. What will happen in the church? What will happen in reference to the gathering of the jewel?
“Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44)This is our message, the very message that the three angels flying in the midst of heaven are proclaiming. The work to be done now is that of sounding this last message of mercy to a fallen world. A new life is coming from heaven and taking possession of all God’s people. But divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and tares grow up together for the harvest. [2SM 113.3]
The work will grow deeper and become more earnest to the very close of time. 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]
Here you are getting the picture under inspiration. What is it saying? Because of the 1888 message which was the beginning of the Revelation 18 angel, which was the beginning of the loud cry, that was rejected by the leadership, what would happen? Two parties will be developed.
You can see exactly how God sees it not the way that people are telling us. God is revealing that due to the rejection of the 1888 message in the Seventh-day Adventist people; two parties would develop. The one party will contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. They would not be turned from the present message that came in 1888, which is already lightening the earth with its glory.
This are indication from 1893 onwards, that because of these two parties, Sister White is now identifying the numbers of one party versus the other and also tells you outright how these people were to meet this crisis.
It is a solemn statement that I make to the church, that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history, and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner. They are professedly serving God, but they are more earnestly serving mammon. This half-and-half work is a constant denying of Christ, rather than a confessing of Christ. So many have brought into the church their own unsubdued spirit, unrefined; their spiritual taste is perverted by their own immoral, debasing corruptions, symbolizing the world in spirit, in heart, in purpose, confirming themselves in lustful practices, and are full of deception through and through in their professed Christian life. Living as sinners, claiming to be Christians! Those who claim to be Christians and will confess Christ should come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing, and be separate…[ChS 41.1]
What’s this? In 1893 not one in twenty. At that time there were about forty thousand members but not one in twenty. I looked at it briefly and I came to a conclusion of about a thousand who would be of that party that would be in harmony with the message in 1800 and 1903.
Those who claim to be Christians and will confess Christ should come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing, and be separate…[ChS 41.1]
Within the church she is already saying, let the two parties begin to separate, even though they’re still in part of the organization, but within the organization – a separation. That’s, what’s been stated here, just as it reads.
Thank God, all will not be rocked to sleep in the cradle of carnal security. There will be faithful ones who will discern the signs of the times. While a large number professing present truth will deny their faith by their works, there will be some who will endure unto the end. [5T 10.1]
Are you getting the picture? The two parties? Separation by one party, sleeping in the cradle of carnal security while the other ones, the faithful ones, discerning the signs of the times, but a large number will deny their faith by their works. There will be some who will endure until the end. This was happening according to God’s vision in the church of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 1893-1904. We see the developments of these two parties in the church.
I was shown the people of God, and saw them mightily shaken. Some, with strong faith and agonizing cries…[1T 179.3]
Isn’t that something the faithful people were agonising over what was going on in the church back there?
Some, with strong faith and agonizing cries were pleading with God. Their countenances were pale, and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. [1T 179.3]
Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these, and I saw them hastening to the assistance of those who were struggling with all their energies to resist the evil angels, and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But the angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them. [1T 180.2]
That was a forecast of what was happening in the church. By the time we get to 1888 – 1993, the two companies are developing. As the development comes to its climax, we see this sad story of the conflict of the unfaithful and the faithful.
A well-known statement
I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. [EW 258.3]
She’d referred to 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.” [EW 258.3]
Here is the company that will go through to the end.
I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they knew not their great ignorance…Certain it is that there has been among us a departure from the living God and a turning to men, putting human in place of divine wisdom. [5T 707.2]
This was written over the period through 1888. Here she is saying she is revealing God’s view of the wheat and tares. God’s view of that which is dross and that which are the jewels or which is pure gold. The two companies in the church.Then she says this is shaking because there are the faithful and the unfaithful. She has another manifestation of a metaphoric split:
The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity purges them out of the church. As a class, their spirits are not steadfast with God. They go out from us because they are not of us; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, many are offended. [4T 89.2]
We are coming to the conclusion to actually realise that the conflict within the Seventh-day Adventist Church that was coming up to 1914 through those terrible times after 1888.
As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. [GC 608.2]
Two parties will be developed and it gets more and more intense as we get closer and closer to the crisis. As they get closer and closer to the crisis, a large number/multitudes, get blown out like dry leaves. When people read that they think that means they leave the church. They think they leave the church organization. This is why this is because people regard the church as the organisation, instead of the faithful people.
Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers. [5T 136.1]
To stand and defense the truth and righteousness when the majority fore us to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few, this will be our test. Now she’s not writing this for us today. She’s writing it to the history of the church in her time. And she is preparing under God’s inspiration at people that are coming to the crisis. That is, that is arriving very soon as trials sticking around us. [5T 136.2]
As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. [6T 400.3]
People read this and say, “Oh, that’s in the future.” No, it was in the future of her time because she said through the 1888 message, two companies were developed.
…Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith. [6T 400.3]
Before the separation takes place, what will happen?
Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much. [TM 409.3]
Who’s going to leave? Faithful ministers will leave. They will be separated from the majority How will it come?
God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. [5T 707.3]
People say, “Oh, you have to stay in the church until the harvest.” Sister White is foreshadowing the chaff and the weeds being separated in her time.
The doctrines are being taught that lead into bypass and forbidden paths. Remember that statement? No change for the better had come in 1903. Therefore by 1908, Sister White was giving a statement to some people, to her secretary and to other ministers and they were at the railroad station. This statement was found in by son Willie White:
“Sister White told us, as we three stood there on the railroad depot platform, that a terrible storm of persecution was coming, just like a windstorm, that blew down every standing object. There was not a Seventh-day Adventist to be seen. They, like the disciples forsook Christ and fled. All who had sought positions were never seen any more.
“After the storm there was a calm. Then the Adventists arose like a great flock of sheep, but were without shepherds. They all united in earnest prayer for help and wisdom, and the Lord answered by helping them choose leaders among them, who had never sought positions before. They prayed earnestly for the aid of the Holy Spirit which was poured out upon them making fully ready for service. They then went forth `fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ to give the message to all the world.”
What does that quote from?
Song of Solomon 6, My dove, my undefiled is but one.
That’s where that comes from. It’s fascinating that we actually see in Sister White’s declaration that the song of Solomon’s Statement of My dove, my undefiled is but one. They come forth from this terrible windstorm and are left outside of the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
That’s the way it’s written. That’s the way she’s speaking here. They will come forth
…fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ to give the message to all the world. [COL fly leaf]
These are the faithful ones that will give the message to the world.
“I was astonished, and asked if that applied to Loma Linda, as we were looking that way. Sister White replied to my question by stating that it applied to the entire denominational world. It so stunned me, that I did not ask any more questions.”
This leaves you without any question as to how God is illuminating Sister White to show us what happened up to the point of 1914.
I want to stop here for you just to digest this statement. According to this statement, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was identified by Sister White as being blown by the windstorm that the leaders of the church were all gone out of view as God’s two people. The only ones that came after the windstorm were without leaders, they were without the ministers and they were praying to God, “help us now to organise ourselves.”
We will look at this in continuation and how God continues in consequence of the terrible windstorm. We will read from her warning of the coming of the windstorm.
In 1913 at the general conference she gave a warning. We will read it and the warning that she gave harmonises with what she said here at the railroad depot platform, that there would be such a storm that would disintegrate the faithful.
As we read already, the faithful ministers would be withdrawn. The faithful people will be withdrawn while the others in the great mass, the great majority will continue outside of God’s realm as a denomination so we are left without any confusion as to what happened after 1914.
May God indeed help us to look at these statements from Sister White in their simplicity because God is trying to help his people to know how to find their way through these last movements that took place ever since the first world war. God be with us.