2002: 'Evidence Heaped Upon Evidence'

2002 . . .

The world church received an amazing article through the Adventist Review (April 25, 2002) entitled “1888 and All That …” It claims that in the four-volume Ellen G. White 1888 Materials (1821 pages) there is a “sharp contrast between Ellen White’s theology regarding 1888 and the so-called 1888 message.” The author claims that almost nothing in this E. G. White compilation expresses “what some claim Jones and Waggoner had taught at the 1888 General Conference session.” The article goes on to say that “the absence of ‘1888 message’ theology in her writings reveals that whatever was preached in 1888, it wasn’t the ‘1888 message.’” Those who know what is in the four volumes of the 1888 Materials will be astonished at such denials.

The article goes on at length to affirm that “nothing in her writings teaches universal legal justification, as do proponents of the 1888 message.” (Over twenty-five statements can be readily produced from her writings which confirm a universal legal justification achieved at the cross of Christ; see the author’s book, Let History Speak, pp. 7-23)

This Review article closes with this statement: “As a church, whatever our faults, we’re not guilty today of rejecting the gospel simply because we reject what some call the 1888 message. On the contrary, it’s hard to see how that message could be the gospel, at least as the prophet understood it.”

This article displays a lack of understanding of the history and content of the 1888 message. It is a repeat of what Ellen White described eight years after the Minneapolis Session as she wrote an eleven-page letter to “Brethren Who Occupy Responsible Positions”:

“On many occasions the Holy Spirit did work, but those who resisted the Spirit of God at Minneapolis were waiting for a chance to travel over the same ground again, because their spirit was the same. Afterward, when they had evidence heaped upon evidence, some were convicted, but those who were not softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit’s working, put their own interpretation upon every manifestation of the grace of God, and they have lost much. They pronounced in their heart and soul and words that this manifestation of the Holy Spirit was fanaticism and delusion. They stood like a rock, the waves of mercy flowing upon and around them, but beaten back by their hard and wicked hearts, which resisted the Holy Spirit’s working. … All the universe of heaven witnessed the disgraceful treatment of Jesus Christ, represented by the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been before them, they would have treated him in a manner similar to that in which the Jews treated Christ” (1888 Materials, pp, 1478, 1479).

How many know that in our history we would have done the same thing if Christ personally had been in our midst? Our position in sacred history is parallel with the Jews—they at the beginning and we at the end. But the record shows our rebellion to be greater because we have the entire Bible to warn us.

(Quoted from article: "Do We Love the Truth About "1888"? by Donald K. Short, September / October 2004).