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Over One Hundred Years—1840-1952—of Adventist Teaching On the Everlasting Gospel: Justification, Sanctification, Righteousness by Faith. Sins Blotted Out, Sealed, Perfection, Glorification, Atonement, “Saved.”
Over 400 Selections From Ellen G. White, A. T. Jones, E. J. Waggoner, and twenty-six other Adventist Pioneers
The material in this book was selected, and placed chronologically, from the literally thousands of entries on the Ellen G. White Writings, Comprehensive Research Edition 2008 Compact Disc, which also has the Adventist Pioneer Library. Word/phrase searches such as “Righteousness by Faith”; “Justification by Faith”; “Sanctification by Faith”; “Sins Forgiven”; Sins Blotted Out”; “Victory”; “Perfection”; “Saved”; “Sealed”: “Atonement”; and “Glorified” were used to locate candidates for inclusion.
As to be expected, the greatest number of selections are by Ellen G. White. The next most prolific contributors were Elders Ellet J. Waggoner and Alonzo T. Jones.
Elders Waggoner and Jones are well-known among us for their presentations on Righteousness by Faith as the everlasting gospel at the 1888 General Conference Session in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ellen White commented very positively regarding their messages given on that occasion, and thus many tend to think of them as the “gold standard” of the true gospel. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, or by divine design, their presentations were not recorded and we are left to studying their materials presented prior to, and after, that event.
Truly unfortunate, however, was the response of a number of our most prominent leaders to the messages of Jones and Waggoner. Because of an unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, major leaders opposed the presentations. This resulted in God withholding the outpouring of the Latter Rain.
In 1896, Ellen White stated: “By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.” Selected Messages, book 1, 234, 235.
And, we are still here! “awaiting” the return of the Latter Rain. In 1901 Ellen White described our situation:
“We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel; but for Christ’s sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action.” Evangelism, 696.
This indeed is a bitter pill for us to accept, too bitter to acknowledge or to discuss openly. We claim to have accepted, for many years now, that salvation, or righteousness, is by faith alone. Could the label of “insubordination” truly apply to us? Could it really be true that in reality we are unrighteous due to lack of faith in the divine instructions regarding how to live our personal lives and to perform our corporate duties?
We need not despair. Sister White, in 1899, stated that clearer truth is progressive:
“There are still treasures to be searched for. Let the shaft which has begun to work the mine of truth sink deep, and it will yield rich and precious treasures.” Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1689.
May this volume be a benefit in the lives of many readers in understanding more clearly, but more importantly, actually experiencing the truths of the everlasting gospel as entrusted to us in the earlier days of our movement.
“When men come in who would move one pin or pillar from the foundation which God has established by His Holy Spirit, let the aged men who were pioneers in our work speak plainly, and let those who are dead speak also, by the reprinting of their articles in our periodicals. Gather up the rays of divine light that God has given as He has led His people on step by step in the way of truth. This truth will stand the test of time and trial.” – Ellen G. White, Ms 62, 1905, The Retirement Years, 21.