New SDA Film, “What Might Have Been” Overlooks Historic Context
A new SDA film reflects on Ellen White’s article in Testimonies for the Church, Vol 8, pg 104,105, titled “What Might Have Been.” It is an excellent film produced by Jim Ayer, VP of Adventist World Radio, with a sincere desire for God’s blessing of the Holy Spirit on the church for this upcoming General Conference.
But even the producers of the film do not understand the issues in the church when Mrs. White gave her message. God sent great light to His church in 1888 and Ellen White supported Elders AT Jones and EJ Waggoner by going to campmeetings with them until church leaders, who did not accept the message, asked her to go to Australia. She complied, but returned in 1901 to appeal for the church to reorganize.
Church leaders voted what she asked but never carried it out. This is the context of “What Might Have Been,” written in January, 1903. About that time she also wrote, “Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be, if it refuses to receive and walk in the light God has given.” ibid, pg 67.
When the GC in 1903 voted a hierarchical organization like the Catholic church in spite of warnings, Ellen White replied, “We are far from…the light….How is the faith city become an harlot.” ibid 247,250.
The General Conference Bulletins for 1901 and 1903 reveal Ellen White’s desire for a leader over the work in each area like Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America, but no president over them. Each area could make their decisions without a visit or control by Washington.
Adventism was repeating Israel’s history of wanting a king rather than God as their leader. “Before they found peace they made this definite confession: “We have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.” 1 Samuel 12:19
It would be wonderful if President Ted Wilson would lead by example and appeal for the reorganization that Ellen White requested. Stepping down from presidency would allow division presidents to run their areas.
Wilson could step up into the role of Moses as law-giver as suggested by Malachi 4:4, or as Elijah whom Christ said was to come and “restore all things.” Matthew 17:11. Both Moses & Elijah are seen in Malachi 4:4,5–“Remember ye the law of Moses…with the statutes and judgments.”
Ellen White affirms, “Christ gave to Moses religious precepts which were to govern everyday life. These statutes were explicitly given to guard the Ten Commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon men in every age, as long as time should last.” SDA Bible Commentary, Vol 1, pg 1104. (Page down to Precepts Given to Guard Decalogue)
In a world going crazy with lawlessness, God’s law and grace to obey it, is the answer to all our problems as that is what Christ was–the law unfolded. We can have health by obedience to physical laws, we can have happiness by obedience to His laws of relationships, and salvation by obedience to His laws of worship. Grace is not indulgence for sin; it’s the power to obey–we must exalt God’s great standard!
Christians forget that “till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or tittle will pass from the law.” Matthew 5:18. We forget that “law” is translated from the Hebrew word torah in the Old Testament–it means the five books of Moses that include the statutes, judgments and case histories of how the law was applied, as in Sodom for example. The 10 Commandments are like a table of contents to the law for its categories. This is not an appeal for animal sacrifices and Jewish ceremonies.
The “all things” that Elijah is to restore (Matthew 17:11) include more than the statutes and judgments. There’s much for Adventism to do and God has pledged power for a Moses and Elijah ministry typified by the two olive trees in Revelation 11:3-6. We must open our churches to a discussion of light and truth given in 1888 that’s been hidden since Ellen White’s time as clued by topics that have a 7-fold emphasis in the Bible, like the statutes and judgments in Ezekiel 20:11-24.
If there’s no repentance for 1901, “Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be.” (ibid, pg 67) This is suggested by Ellen White’s earthquake vision at Loma Linda. Some think she was reporting the San Francisco Earthquake, but her use of Zephaniah 1:8, “the king’s children” suggests it’s Loma Linda.
“The goodman, if he had known, would have watched and not suffered his house to be broken by the thief.” Matthew 24:43. For a better understanding, click to consider how “Christ Comes As a Thief.”
It shows biblical timing for an earthquake before the General Conference session in July.
That would be a sign to endorse this information. As Elijah prayed that God would bring Israel back, even by judgment, we should do the same if that’s what’s needed, rather than remain in apostasy.
For an amazing statement please click this link and the previous one. You are welcome to call on Sabbath for a brief interchange, to the intent that God can bless and guide His church. 928 583 7543.