The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s 1888 General Conference Meeting

October 17 – November 4, 1888

Written by Dionne Sabbay Thompson July 12, 2011 (Revised)

MEMORABLE ATTENDEES
Ellen G. White — Prophet of God A.T. Jones — Editor of the Signs of the Times and an SDA Elder, teaching Justification by faith E.J. Waggoner — SDA Elder, from the Pacific Press, he taught atonement and the law of God Uriah Smith — Editor of the Review and Herald, Writer of Daniel and the Revelation

MEMORABLE ISSUES PERTAINING TO CHRIST’S CLOSING WORK It is important to note that the SDA General Conference organized in May of 1863 —see Early Writings p. xxv. At the 1888 General Conference Meeting Elder O. A. Olsen was elected President of the SDA Conference. Due to increasing debate during the meeting, Sister White cautioned against negativity calling “…all to approach these presentations with open hearts and open minds. She urged a careful, prayerful study of the topics under discussion”.1

1 E.G. White Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers p. xxiii.

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THE LOUD CRY MOVEMENT The onset of the Loud Cry Message, 1888, set forth the commencement of Latter Rain, the Holy Spirit’s early Rain —see James 5:7. During this historical time, A.T. Jones gave memorable sermons regarding the well-needed subject of Righteousness by Faith, the Third Angel's message in verity —see Deut. 32:2, Joel 2:23, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel workers p. 91, Review and Herald: April 1, 1890; April 21, 1891; March 22, 1892 paragraph 13. Regarding the Most Precious message of Righteousness by Faith, how can one determine that it is definitively the Loud cry? Notice in the following quote that Sister White mentions a specific truth that is “more precious than life”, correlating it to the Latter rain, which is synonymous with the Loud cry (the Most Precious messages of Righteousness by Faith —see Testimonies to Ministers p. 91). Here is the quote found in Early Writings p. 271: “The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’”2 As a highlight, the message of righteousness by faith touched the hearts of many as: “To many, the message of righteousness by faith struck home, and there was a response of heart and soul which led to victorious experience in personal Christian living. There were others who identified themselves with certain cautious and conservative leaders from Battle Creek who saw what they thought were perils in some of the teachings presented. When the Conference came to a close, these men had failed to gain the blessing God had in store for them”.3 Regarding the 1888 General Conference meeting, Mrs. Ellen White reported the following in the Review and Herald July 23, 1889: “On Sabbath, truths were presented that were new to the majority of the congregation. Things new and old were brought forth from the treasure house of God's Word. Truths were revealed which the people were scarcely able to comprehend and appropriate. Light flashed from the oracles of God in relation to the law and the Gospel, in relation to the fact that Christ is our righteousness, which seemed to souls who were hungry for truth, as light too precious to be received”.4 Regarding A. T. Jones' sermons Mrs. White added: "I have attended all but two morning meetings. At eight o'clock Brother Jones speaks upon the subject of justification by faith, and great interest is manifested. There is a growth in faith and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”5 The following year, Mrs. Ellen White reported the following concerning the 1889 GC
2 E.G. White Early Writings p. 271. 3 E.G. White Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers p. xxiii. 4 E.G. White The Review and Herald July 23, 1889. 5 E.G. White Manuscript 10, 1889, see also 1Selected Messages p. 361.

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meeting: “The General Conference session of 1889 was held in Battle Creek from October 18 to November 11. Ellen White joyfully reported that the "spirit that was in the meeting at Minneapolis" was absent and "there seems to be no dissension."6 Sadly A.T. Jones’ most precious messages regarding Justification by Faith were rejected by the General Conference's Committee, even after Mrs. Ellen White wrote the following regarding its Truth —TM p. 91. Per Review and Herald Sept. 3rd, 1889: “There is great need that Christ should be preached as the only hope and salvation. When the doctrine of justification by faith was presented at the Rome meeting, it came to many as water comes to the thirsty traveler. The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, seemed a precious thought”. Additionally, she stated that "The righteousness of Christ by faith has been ignored by some; for it is contrary to their spirit, and their whole life experience".7 In 2012, as God’s children, let us continue praying for the Latter rain and its outpouring at full measure, which will begin at the enforcement of Sunday laws (within the United States of America) the Mark of the Beast —see Rev. 13:11-18, GC p. 604-608. CHRIST is returning very soon--BE READY! BE READY! BE READY - see Review and Herald March 2nd, 1897. See also: A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection pgs. 88-92 regarding the Latter rain doctrines. Additional Suggested readings by E.G. White: 1Selected Messages pgs. 234235 and 1888 materials pgs. 1478-1479.

6 E.G. White MS 10, 1889, Letter 76, 1889, see also Biographical Books — Ellen G. White
Volume 3 The Lonely Years 1876-1891. 7 E.G. White Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers p. 363.

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