History

Here are some audio presentations covering developments in the recent history of God’s work, especially in relation to the everlasting gospel message.

According to Revelation 14:6, the final warning call is to go to all the world:

…having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

This final revelation of the gospel plan involves proclaiming the hour of his judgment (Revelation 14:7).

The audio presentations in this section are from people who were involved in the revival of the Everlasting Gospel message, especially during 1950-1970.

Robert Wieland – Story Never Told
Robert Brinsmead – Life Story
Fred Wright – History


Robert Wieland

Robert WielandOn July 13, 2011, Robert Wieland, at the age of 95, passed to his rest. Wieland, along with fellow minister/missionary, Donald Short (who passed away some years ago), were instrumental in reviving interest in the unique Adventist gospel message (called the 1888 message because it was introduced to the church by two young ministers in the year 1888).

Some admirers referred to Wieland as the “unbreakable man” because of the amount of opposition he had to endure for faithfully calling the attention of the Seventh-day Adventist church to the importance of that message.

In this recording, which was probably made around 2003, Wieland tells his story, along with many details that he had been reluctant to present before. But sensing that his time was coming to a close, he wanted this history recorded for the benefit of those who would come after.

Robert Wieland – Story Never Told

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My Personal Experience

by Frank Zimmerman

This is a bit of my own story, and how Wieland’s ministry fit into it.

Back in the early 1980’s, as a freshly baptized Seventh-day Adventist, I was keen to learn about church history and doctrine. The first book I read on the 1888 Message was The 1888 Message: An Introduction by Wieland and Short. This book increased my desire to understand that “most precious message” (as Ellen White called it), especially as I was in the grip of a Romans 7 experience at the time (struggling and failing in the battle with sin). I sensed that the answer to my struggle lay in that message, and could tell, through the bits and pieces of the 1888 message that I could find in published form, that these men spoke with authority, that is, they actually seemed to have a deeper grasp of the gospel and how it works on the inner man. They didn’t just “repeat the words,” like most ministers do.

I also wondered why there was not greater interest in the writings of E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones? For in all of Adventist history, they had the unique distinction of being singled out by Ellen White (who was especially considered to be inspired by Adventists) as having a “message from God,” and not merely “a message,” but the “latter rain” message! It was the very message that we were all looking and praying for. Yet here it was, having been presented to the church almost 100 years ago, and very few had an interest in it.

I also remember being invited to a Sabbath lunch at the house of one of the elders of the church, and I had with me a copy of the book The 1888 Message: An Introduction. As we were chatting before lunch was served, I expressed my interest in that message. To my surprise, the elder retorted,

“Waggoner and Jones? Do you realize that they apostatized from the church?”

The implication in the elder’s words were that in some way, that message led people to lose their faith, that it was inherently dangerous. But I later thought,

“This cannot be. Why would God send a message to His church that would destroy faith? If they later lost their way and left the church, what does that matter? For a while they had a message from God, and I want to know what that message is! After all, we don’t take the Psalms out of the Bible because David fell into a grievous sin.”

A short time later, I came in contact with Fred Wright, a minister from Australia who also advocated the 1888 gospel message, and it was through his books that I finally grasped that message, and obtained a new spiritual birth.

Fred always regarded Wieland with respect, and used to tell a story which involved him. The story goes like this. While presenting some studies on the law in Galatians, Fred would draw the following parallel:

“When man sinned, or broke the law, he lost his spiritual life. Therefore, the broken law is a life-taker.”

Then he would ask us the question,

“If the broken law is a life-taker, then the unbroken law must be a life-_______?”

He would wait for us to answer and inevitably most of us would fall into the trap and say “life-giver”. At which point Fred would correct us with Galatians 3:21:

“If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”

“The broken law,” Fred would state, “is a life-taker, and the unbroken law is a life-preserver. The law cannot give life, therefore righteousness is not by the law! Christ gives life—He is the Life-giver. He gives us His life, and we preserve it by obeying the law.”

Fred said that of all the people he had asked that question, only a few people had ever answered it correctly, and one of them was Robert Wieland.


Robert Brinsmead

Robert Brinsmead, along with his brother John, began what was later called the “Awakening message” within the Seventh-day Adventist church in the early 1960’s. It was a revival of the 1888 message (a special gospel message brought by two young ministers to the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1888).

This rare recording was made in 1963. It is two hours long, and Bob recounts his life story, from the beginning up to that time. The recording quality is not great, but the history is precious.

1963 – Robert Brinsmead – Life Story

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Here’s a short excerpt of one of his early experiences drawn from this recording:

I had a very remarkable experience at that time [mid 1950’s]. I can’t explain it, I don’t know the nature of it. But at that time when that experience came to me and the thoughts began to go through my mind of the whole picture of the plan of salvation, and things we discussed in our home from childhood and so on, even things that I’d never understood before began coming to my mind—just rushing through. I couldn’t prevent it, they were just there. And I could see myself preaching. I couldn’t understand that, but all these thoughts were going through my mind, things that I never understood before.

Well that lasted about a week. During that time, as I thought about what was happening with my life, the Lord gave me the direction to go to college. I’d never thought of it before, I never had any desire to go. I intended to be a farmer and go about that business. But I promised the Lord that at the start of the college year, I would go to college.

Well after a few days of this experience, something else came upon me. Darkness descended. And I can distinctly remember that now there were all sorts of other thoughts going through my mind. Now I felt the power of Satan and the evil angels, I felt it then. And I was involved in a struggle, I can’t say how long, whether it was a month or six weeks, I forget. I don’t know how long. It seemed almost an eternity. But I doubted everything I ever believed. I’d never doubted the existence of God before, but I doubted everything now.

Also I was never given to bad language in my life, but sometimes some people would work for me. I remember one person came to work for me from time to time on the farm, and he was addicted to foul language. And I heard him and it got into my head somehow. But at that time, when the devil came and descended with his darkness, it seemed as if the Lord forsook me, at least that was the experience. Every foul thought went through my mind, and I couldn’t stop it. Do what I like, I couldn’t stop it. And the devil came along and said, “Now you’ve committed the unpardonable sin. You’re just desperately wicked. You might as well give up!” But I felt that if at that time I gave up, that would be the end. I couldn’t ever explain the nature of the experience.

Well, what I did then was get out my Bible and get out the Testimonies. And by the light of a carbide light (we had little gas lights, you put carbide in and water on top of it and then you’d put a match on the top—I don’t know if you’ve ever seen lights like that, but that’s the only light we had), night after night, I began to read. And when I’d come across a precious passage from the Spirit of Prophecy I’d mark it, and linger on it, until I understood it. And then I’d take hold and accept that by faith, and go on to something else.

I went through Early Writings, I went through Desire of Ages, I went right through the Great Controversy, marking and getting the material out. This was not to get material for somebody else, this was something to save me. I lived alone. I was there in the old cane barracks. And as I’d take the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy, grappling with the powers of darkness, I’d take a passage of Scripture, I’d take a passage of the Spirit of Prophecy, I could see that I had nothing to depend upon in this world but the word of God only—nothing else.

And so as I prayed sometimes a scripture would come to my heart. And I would burst out in song upon the night air. I guess if there was someone around at that time they would have thought that there was something wrong, but God and the angels would have smiled! However, the experience, as far as that struggle goes, it left. I just look back upon it, as I went through it, as like the time when the clouds come over and you can’t see the sun.

We lived in an area where they had the greatest rainfall in Australia. 1950, I think it was, they had 311 inches in one year, to give you an idea of how much it can rain up there when it starts. And when the rain starts in the wet season, the clouds come down and they hang over the mountains and you’d never see the sun for day in and day out. You’d almost be wondering if the sun exists. When the clouds finally went and the sun came out, it was more glorious than ever.

And I used to think of that as a type of an experience. Anybody can feel that they’re exercising faith when they feel that they’re partaking largely of the Spirit of the Lord, and they’re right on the mountain-top and everything is going good—but that’s walking by sight. The time to exercise faith is when you can’t even see the sun. The clouds are overhead but the only thing you can depend on is faith. You know that the sun is there, but the clouds are in between. And sooner or later, if you hang on long enough the sun will shine through again. Just like it did in that climate. And when it does shine through again, it’s more glorious than it ever was. So I’ve never forgotten that experience.

At the end of the recording, Bob reads a page that someone gave to him for encouragement. He didn’t know the source of the quote, but it can be found in the book “Living Evangelism” by Carlyle B. Haynes (1937), although Haynes also does not list the source. Here is the quote:

“The Lord has given to every man his work. It is his business to do it, and the devil’s business to hinder him—if he can. So, sure as God gives a man a work to do, Satan will try to hinder him. He may present other things more promising; he may allure you by worldly prospect; he may assault you with slander, torment you with false accusations, set you to work defending your character, employ pious persons to lie about you, editors to assail you, and excellent men to slander you. You may have Pilate and Herod, Ananias and Caiaphas all combined against you, and Judas standing by to sell you for 30 pieces of silver. And you may wonder why all these things have come to pass. Can you not see that the whole thing is brought about through the craft of the devil, to draw you off from your work and hinder your obedience to Christ?

“Keep about your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars. Do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs. Do not fool around your time chasing the devil’s rabbits. Do your work; let liars lie; let sectarians quarrel; let editors publish; let the devil do his worst. But see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work God has given you.

“He had not sent you to make money; He has not commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you to defend your character nor has He bidden you to contradict falsehoods about yourself which Satan and his servants may start to peddle. If you do these things you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

“Keep about your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. Let the world brawl and bubble. You may be assaulted, wrangled, insulted, slandered, wounded, and rejected. You may be chased by foes, abused by them, forsaken by friend, despised and rejected of men, but see to it that with steadfast determination and with unfaltering zeal you pursue that great purpose of your life and the object of your being until at last you can say; ‘I have finished the work which you, dear God, have given me to do.'”


Fred Wright

Fred Wright

This recording was made in 1979, in Walla Walla, Washington, USA. Fred covers his life story, including his struggle to find the new birth, and his eventual call to be a minister.

All of these events are inter-connected with the revival of the 1888 message in the Seventh-day Adventist Church during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

If you are not so familiar with this history, it is very important! And even if you are familiar with the history, this is a most interesting story.

1979 Walla Walla – Fred Wright’s History

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