Stories in the Rearview Mirror
Why I Believe in the Third Person's Last Rain
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“Stories in the Rearview Mirror:
Why I Believe in the Third Person’s Last Rain”
- Waggoner and White
- EJW: “I was sitting a little apart from the body of the congregation in the large tent at a camp meeting in Healdsburg, one gloomy Sabbath afternoon. . . . All that has remained with me was what I saw. Suddenly a light shone round me, and the tent was more brilliantly lighted than if the noon-day sun had been shining, and I saw Christ hanging on the cross, crucified for me. In that moment I had my first positive knowledge which came like an overwhelming flood, that God loved me, and that Christ died for me. God and I were the only beings I was conscious of in the universe. I knew then, by actual sight, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself; I was the whole world with its sin. I am sure that Paul’s experience on the way to Damascus was no more real than mine.” (Ron Duffield, The Return of the Latter Rain, 45)
- EJW: “I knew that in the Bible I should find the message of God’s love for individual sinners, and I resolved that the rest of my life should be devoted to finding it there, and making it plain to others. The light that shone upon me that day from the cross of Christ has been my guide in all my Bible study; wherever I have turned in the Sacred Book, I have found Christ set forth as the power of God, to the salvation of individuals and I have never found anything else.” (Ibid)
- EGW: “I have been instructed [by God] that the terrible experience at the Minneapolis Conference is one of the saddest chapters in the history of the believers in present truth.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 1796)
- EGW: “I have had the question asked, ‘What do you think of this light that these men are presenting? Why, I have been presenting it to you for the last 45 years—the matchless charms of Christ. This is what I have been trying to present before your minds. When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapolis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard, excepting the conversations between myself and my husband. . . . [E]very fiber of my heart said, Amen.” (1888 Materials 348)
- Woodrow Whidden: “In the face of the stiff opposition to Waggoner’s emphases, Ellen White gave strong personal support to his (and Jones’s) basic theological thrust. Her outspoken affirmations of Jones and Waggoner’s Christ- and grace-centered emphasis would be sustained until at least 1896. . . . The Christ-centered focus of Jones and Waggoner was the inspiration for the most concerted emphasis that Ellen White would ever make on ‘justification by faith’ in the ‘imputed [credited to our account] merits of Christ.’ When all that she ever wrote on justification by faith from 1844 to 1902 is surveyed, roughly forty-five percent of the entire mass was written between late 1888 and late 1892.” (The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia 535)
- Jesus and Andrews
- Jesus: “When the Spirit comes, He will testify of Me” (John 15:26; 16:14).
- EGW: “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure [latter rain].” (Testimonies to Ministers 91-92)
- EGW: “Meetings were held in the College which were intensely interesting. The Spirit of the Lord wrought upon hearts, and there was a precious work done in the conversion of souls. There has been no excitement felt or manifested. The work has been accomplished by the deep movings of the Spirit of God, and [students] have moved intelligently and in faith. . . . He [Jesus] who had been to them as a root out of dry ground, without form or comeliness, became ‘the chiefest among ten thousand,’ and the one altogether lovely.” (Review and Herald February 12, 1889)
- EGW: “Thursday at 5:00 p.m. I spoke to the college students. The Lord gave me the word which seemed to reach hearts. Professor Prescott [the college president] arose and attempted to speak, but his heart was too full. There he stood for five minutes in complete silence, weeping. When he did speak he said, ‘I am glad I am a Christian.’ He made very pointed remarks. His heart seemed to be broken by the Spirit of the Lord. I invited those who had not accepted the truth, and those who had not the evidence of their acceptance with God, to come forward. It seemed that the whole company were on the move.” (Arthur White The Lonely Years 421)
- EGW: “The promise [Mt 18:19, 20] is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” (Manuscript Releases 9:303)
- What if the daughter of Battle Creek College asked God to pour out the Spirit of Jesus upon us like He did 127 years ago?
What if we kept asking until He did?
Please mark Sabbath, October 3 (9:00/11:45 AM), for a joyful celebration of the Lord's Supper as a worshiping community. While we will participate with actual emblems of bread and wine, because of the pandemic the elements will be prepackaged for your safety. These packaged elements will be available for your pickup at the church office the week before (Monday, September 28 through Sabbath, October 3). On-site worshipers will receive the packaged communion elements upon arriving for worship Sabbath morning.
But how will we celebrate foot washing? We're inviting every worshiper and family to experience Jesus' example in John 13 by washing each other's feet that Friday evening where you live. If you would like someone with whom to share this foot washing, you may either invite a friend to join you or please call Claudia Sowler (269-471-3134) for arrangements. Why not make this foot washing a part of your Friday evening worship as we gather across this community to welcome the Lord of the Sabbath into our homes at sundown?
Then Sabbath morning through music, prayer, the reading, and preaching of the Word ("American Apocalypse: How to Train Your Dragon—By the Blood of the Lamb") let's throw wide our hearts to the Christ we love to worship. "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).
The 4th Quarter Lesson Study Guides are ready for you to pick up at the church office during regular business hours.
Pioneer's Bible Journey Sabbath School class will be using the Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (Study Guide) next quarter, beginning October 3. If you have always wanted to read this book, which has changed so many lives, you are welcome to
join us by Zoom. The class meets each Sabbath from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The 270-page study guide, which is conveniently divided into 12 weekly lessons, can be purchased at Amazon.com for $15.99. For more information and to receive the Zoom link each week, please contact Jane Thayer at email@example.com.
Are you friendly and do you enjoy social media? Then, we have a great opportunity for you to be involved in ministry. Through streaming its services on Facebook Live and our website, Pioneer Memorial Church reaches thousands of people every single week. We’re looking to build a new team of local moderators/hosts for our online chat experiences. You could do this from your home. For more information contact Rodlie Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all those who helped in any way to promote and support our July 23 Red Cross Blood Drive. That includes the Pioneer pastors and staff and especially the Pioneer Safety Committee who helped us establish COVID-related safety protocols and procedures with the Red Cross for the drive. Thank you to those who recruited someone to give, promoted the drive, helped set up, take down, register participants and
provide refreshments after donations. And, a SUPER SPECIAL THANK YOU to those that Gave The Gift Of Life by donating precious blood. We had one of our most successful summer blood drives ever despite the COVID virus (or, maybe because of the COVID virus). Less people away at camp meetings and traveling and vacationing? Just a hunch. Our next blood drive is scheduled for October 20, 2020 and again on February 24, 2021. Be well and God Bless! -Larry Ulery
Over the summer and fall of 2019 Pioneer underwent significant physical renovation—including a new roof and a major Sanctuary makeover. During the same time congregation leaders engaged in multiple conversations about our missional renovation—how does a faith community like Pioneer seriously engage and impact the people around us for Christ? From this dialogue emerged a fresh new expression of our Pioneer mission: "Love on the Move."