"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
September - October, 1996
"There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is `PRESENT TRUTH' that the flock needs now." Early Writings, p 63.
Elder: robert sessler
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear brothers and sisters,
1 John 3:1.
There is a growing confusion within Adventist circles over the term "Historic Adventist."
We hear this term "Historic Adventist," as opposed to the term "Modern Adventist," being used by many both inside and outside the Seventh-day Adventist church. Yet, when one does a close examination as to the doctrines held by those calling themselves "Historic Adventists," there is quite a difference of beliefs. So how can the average person figure out who are the real Historic Adventists and who are not? It would be by the doctrines they hold. But which particular doctrines will all true Historic Adventists adhere to? For this we need to define what the term "Historic Adventist" really means.
The word "Historic" means something dealing with the past. The word "Adventist" indicates an individual or group who has adopted a particular belief in Christ and His truth. So the term "Historic Adventist" correctly applies to, and stands for, an individual or group who has adopted a particular belief in Christ and His truth which was held and established in the past. And which doctrines were commonly held by Adventists in the past? Those historical doctrines on which the church was originally founded upon--being the pillars (the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd angel's messages; the non-immortality of the soul; Christ as our High Priest involved in the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary containing two apartments; the temple of God in heaven containing the ark with the law of God--especially the 7th day as the Sabbath--see CWE 30-31), as well as the major prophetic interpretations of Daniel and Revelation. So a "Historic Adventist" is one who believes and teaches those doctrines and prophetic interpretations of Daniel and Revelation which the majority of Adventist pioneers held to and preached. Please NOTE: there were some areas of interpretation which the pioneers did not see eye-to-eye upon. But in those major areas of interpretation which the majority of the pioneers held to and preached are the same interpretations which all "Historic" Adventists of today will also hold to and preach. If one does not hold to and preach all the major doctrines and interpretations which God endorsed and the pioneers held to, but chooses to believe and preach something else, then they are not a "Historic Adventist," but they are really a "Modern Adventist."
Are you a "Historic Adventist" if you believe the "New Theology" of being saved in your sins? No, because God's word as well as the pioneers never taught such--thus you are a "Modern Adventist." Are you a "Historic Adventist" while you disregard the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy? No, you are a "Modern Adventist." And now for the big question: Are you a "Historic Adventist" if you interpret the major prophecies of Daniel and Revelation differently than what the majority of the pioneers preached? NO, YOU ARE A "MODERN ADVENTIST." Yet there are many ministers and Ministries who claim to be "Historic Adventists" while they teach all sorts of interpretations on Daniel and Revelation which the majority of the pioneers never taught or even imagined. And multitudes of "Historic Adventists" are being led to support these deceiving ministers and Ministries with God's sacred money.
This question, regarding the major prophecies in Daniel and Revelation and which interpretation is correct in God's eyes--the historic or the modern interpretation, is the area where a great amount of deception is being practiced upon our unwary people by so-called "Historic Adventist" ministers and Ministries. In order to clear up this confusion and to clearly expose those who are deceiving our people, we will examine exactly what interpretation the majority of Adventist pioneers held to and taught about the major prophecies of Daniel and Revelation: thus we will be able to easily understand who are the true "Historic Adventists" and who are really "Modern Adventists."
Historical Pioneer Interpretations of Daniel (Edited)
(NOTE: Those referred to as Adventist pioneers are: John Andrews, David Arnold, Joseph Bates, Goodloe Bell, Merritt Cornell, Roswell Cottrell, Hiram Edson, William Gage, Stephen Haskell, George Holt, John Loughborough, Otis Nichols, Samuel Rhodes, Uriah Smith, Joseph Waggoner, and James and Ellen White.)
The majority of Adventist pioneers--including Ellen White, as well as the majority of the principle leaders in the Millerite Movement were in agreement that the correct interpretations of the major prophecies of Daniel were as follows:
M The 4 metals (gold, silver, brass, iron) represented the 4 kingdoms--Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome.
M The feet and toes of iron and clay represented the 10 divisions or kingdoms of Europe.
M The stone cut out of the mountain without hands represented the second advent of Christ.
M The mountain represented God's eternal kingdom.
M The 10 horns represented 10 divisions/kingdoms of Europe.
M The 3 horns rooted up represented the Heruli, Vandals, and the Ostrogoths.
M The little horn represented the Papacy.
M The 3 1/2 times represented 1260 years of Papal supremacy--from 538-1798.
M The final scenes represented the judgment.
M The ram represented Medo-Persia.
M The he goat represented Greece.
M The little horn waxing exceeding great represented Rome.
M The daily represented paganism.
M The 2300 days represented 2300 years--from 457 BC - 1844 AD.
M The 70 weeks were cut off from the first part of the 2300 years.
M The 70 weeks represented 490 years--from 457 BC - 34 AD.
M The 70th week represented 7 years--from 27-34 AD.
M The midst of this last week represented the death of Christ in 31 AD.
Ellen White indicated that most of Daniel 11 was already history (13MR 394--Letter 103, 1904), and that it "has nearly reached its complete fulfillment" (9T 14).
M The 3 1/2 times represented 1260 years of Papal persecution--from 538-1798.
M The 1290 days represented 1290 years--from 508-1798.
M The 1335 days represented 1335 years--from 508-1843. Not only was Ellen White in agreement with the above, even stating that "the 1335 years were ended" (see 5MR 203--Letter 28, November 7, 1850), but also stating that Daniel was already standing in his lot thus signifying that all these times prophecies were ended (see Testimony to Ministers, p 115; Manuscript Releases, vol 17, p 10).
Historical Pioneer Interpretations of Revelation
The majority of Adventist pioneers--including Ellen White--were in agreement that the correct interpretations of the major prophecies of Revelation were as follows:
Revelation 6 & 7
M The 4 horses, or first 4 seals, represented the Christian era, with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seals representing the progressing apostasy and corruption of the early church.
M The 6th seal represented signs of the end.
Ellen White was in agreement with the above, even stating that the rider of the white horse in the first seal represented Christ (Gospel truth) going forth "conquering and to conquer" through His followers after His ascension (see AA 23; SD 358; 4BC 1146). Also Ellen White indicated that both the 3rd and 4th seals were already history stating that this "history shall be repeated" (see 9MR 7--Letter 65, August 23, 1898).
Revelation 8 & 9
M The first 4 trumpets represented the various barbarian groups which attacked Rome.
M The 5th trumpet represented the Mohammedans.
M The 5 months represented 150 years--from 1299-1449.
M The 6th trumpet represented the Ottoman Turks.
M The hour, day, month, and year represented 391 years and 15 days--from 1449-1840.
Ellen White was in agreement with the above, even stating that the 6th trumpet represented the Turks, and the hour, day, month, and year ended in 1840 (see GC 334; Mar 152).
M The 2 witnesses represented the Old and New Testaments.
M The 1260 days represented the 1260 years of Papal persecution--from 538-1798.
M The great earthquake represented the French Revolution.
M The 10th part of the city represented France.
M The seventh trumpet represented 1844 and afterwards.
M The woman represented the true church.
M The child represented Christ.
M The dragon represented Satan through Pagan Rome.
M The 1260 days represented the 1260 years of Papal persecution--from 538-1798.
M The 3 1/2 times represented the 1260 years of Papal persecution--from 538-1798.
M The remnant represented those who keep God's commandments and follow the Spirit of Prophecy.
M The first or leopard-like beast represented the Papacy.
M The 7 heads represented governments.
M The 10 horns represented 10 divisions/kingdoms of Europe.
M The 42 months represented the 1260 years of Papal persecution--from 538-1798.
M The 2-horned beast represented the USA.
M The 2 horns represented Republicanism and Protestantism.
M The mark of the beast represented the change of Sabbath worship from Saturday to Sunday.
So the majority of Adventist pioneers--including Ellen White, as well as the majority of the principle men in the Millerite movement, held to the belief that all of the time prophecies of Daniel--including Daniel 12--were all completed by the year 1844, and that none were to be reapplied or to take place after 1844. And the majority of the Adventist pioneers--including Ellen White--held that all the time prophecies of Revelation, except the 1000 year millennium after Christ's second coming, were all completed by the year 1844, and that none were to be reapplied or to take place after 1844. They also held that the first 4 seals, as well as the first 6 trumpets, were completed prior to 1844 and would not be repeated or reapplied after 1844.
As this is true, for anyone or any Ministry to believe and preach that any of the time prophecies of Daniel or Revelation are to take place after 1844, including the fallacy of reapplying the time literally (day for day), or that the first 4 seals or first 6 trumpets are to occur after 1844, they are not "Historic Adventists" but are "Modern Adventists." And if they claim to be "Historic Adventists", they are but deceivers of the Devil trying to unsettle the established faith of God's true believers in the firm unmovable platform of eternal truth.
How naive, or outright ludicrous, to believe that Sister White could embrace the Advent messages of truth which the majority of the principle Millerite leaders held and taught regarding the above prophecies, be a part of the principle Adventist leaders in building and establishing a church upon this God-endorsed foundation of truth, and yet give testimonies in which the above prophecies were to be interpreted entirely differently or reapplied in a primary or secondary sense sometime after 1844! The only way that they can find a Testimony to try and support their erroneous theories is to twist and wrest it from its true setting, and thus make it contradict other Testimonies. If the positions of prophetic interpretations of Daniel and Revelation held by the majority of Adventist pioneers were not to be believed or adhered to today, then why did God state that these writings were to be reprinted so that their interpretations could be heard?
"I long daily to be able to do double duty. I have been pleading with the Lord for strength and wisdom to reproduce the writings of the witnesses who were confirmed in the faith and in the early history of the message....
"When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light, which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth....And the standard bearers who have fallen in death are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.
"We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years....
"We are hindered in our work by men who are not converted, who seek their own glory. They wish to be thought originators of new theories, which they present claiming that they are truth. But if these theories are received, they will lead to a denial of the truth that for the past fifty years God has been giving to His people, substantiating it by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit." 1SM 160-62, Letter 329, 1905 (please also read CWE 52-54).
Thus the truths established by the Adventist pioneers are the truths which God's people are to believe and teach today because they were given under the demonstration of God's power and the Holy Spirit. And anyone who tries to change or contradict even one of these established truths are not truly converted to God, but are seeking to exalt themselves and lead unwary souls into delusion and error. God's true people are not to receive any message which contradicts any of the above established truths--no matter who brings these deceptive interpretations to us. If those who bring these deceptive doctrines are ministers or Ministries, then God's true people should refuse them the pulpit and not send them money until they give up these errors and preach only the established truths which God has already endorsed.
God's people must know for themselves what are these established truths and faith of God's church. They cannot rely upon anyone else to believe for them or to tell them what to believe. If we rely upon a man or Ministry to tell us what to believe, then we are cursed (Jeremiah 17:5) to wander in the innumerable windy and unstable pathways of doctrines from devils. Thus our anchor will not be firmly planted upon the truth or Rock--Christ Jesus, but will be rooted upon the deceptive and ever changing fanaticisms and false doctrines created by the sleight of men.
"Satan is moving with intensity from beneath and is bringing all his forces to bear to unsettle those who have once been established in the truth....Quite a large number will enter this path...Satan goes before them as an angel of light. They will follow on in false paths until they shall discern what is comprehended in the wrath of the Lamb." 10MR 172--Letter 98a, April 9, 1897.
God does not give one man new light which contradicts or is contrary to the already established faith of the body (see CWE 45-46). This would only produce confusion and disunity--especially among God's ministers and workers. But God is working towards bringing all His people into the unity of the true faith established by the pioneers and attested to by God Himself so that we all--especially ministers--may speak the same truths (see 1 Corinthians 1:10; Titus 2:1; Ephesians 4:11-13; 3MR 193).
But if we imbibe Satan's deceiving mixture we would be kept from being established in the true faith, and will find ourselves engrossed in side-issues which will keep us from believing and preaching the only messages that will bring Christ's second coming and the ending of sin--the 3 angel's messages (see 2SM 320; TM 229; CWE 47; FCE 123). And the historical pioneer interpretations of the prophecies found in Daniel and Revelation are inseparable from these 3 angel's messages; the one cannot be separated from the other without compromising our faith.
Ministers especially should be united in preaching and establishing our people only in the 3 angel's messages and the historic doctrines. If these messages were good enough to take us into heaven in the past if they had only been preached like they should have been (see 4SP 291; Ev 695; 8T 115-16; 6T 450; 1SM 68), then they are still necessary messages for heaven today! But if Satan can get the ministers devoting their time and energies in side-issues and false doctrines, then the devil has a wide open door to devour the sheep (see Signs of the Times, January 3, 1884).
We are definitely in the last final scenes of this earth's history, and Satan is working with all his deceptive powers to lead God's true people off the firm platform of truth that he may secure them in his crafty snares of imaginary truth and bring them down to destruction (see Review and Herald, January 22, 1901). The times in which we live are tremendously dangerous to our spirituality, and thus we should be wide awake and guarding all the avenues which Satan may try to trap us. Well do these following words describe our times:
"I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps--the first, second, and third angels' messages. Said my accompanying angel, `Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.' I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. I saw individuals approach the platform and examine the foundation. Some with rejoicing immediately stepped upon it. Others commenced to find fault with the foundation. They wished improvements made, and then the platform would be more perfect, and the people much happier. Some stepped off the platform to examine it and declared it to be laid wrong. But I saw that nearly all stood firm upon the platform and exhorted those who had stepped off to cease their complaints; for God was the Master Builder, and they were fighting against Him. They recounted the wonderful work of God, which had led them to the firm platform, and in union raised their eyes to heaven and with a loud voice glorified God. This affected some of those who had complained and left the platform, and they with humble look again stepped upon it." Early Writings, p 258-59.
It is with a sincere prayer and entreaty that those who have stepped off this firm established platform of truth, by believing or teaching something different than what the majority of the pioneers held, will realize that they are not just fighting against the pioneers, but are fighting against God! I pray that this reality will burst upon their understanding, and that they will quickly come back upon the firm platform in union and harmony with God's true people. Time is too short to risk eternal life by clinging to our own pet theories. There is only ONE line of truth which extends to the heavenly kingdom--the same line of truth which God and His Holy Spirit already endorsed and which the pioneers, including Ellen White--believed and taught (see 1SM 206-07; 6T 17; PK 252). Anything out of this line of truth "will lead to confusion" MR #760, p 22--Letter 50, January 30, 1906.
For those who desire to be "Historic Adventists" there are two excellent books written by one of the Adventist pioneers--Stephen Haskell--which clearly and thoroughly explains the "historic" beliefs and teachings which make up the established faith of the body of God's true people. One book is titled The Book of Daniel, and the other is The Book of Revelation.
May God have mercy upon us all, and grant us His Holy Spirit so that we may be able to have that heavenly eye salve and anointing, that discernment and wisdom from above, that noble courage and determination, to hold fast to the established "Historic Adventist" faith so that we may be counted worthy to escape the snares of our enemy and obtain eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ and our merciful Father.
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove you own selves." 2 Corinthians 13:5.
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ...Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor...Let no corrupt communication (including false and fanatical doctrine) proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:14-15, 25.
"Let no man deceive you with vain words..." Ephesians 5:6.
In Christian concern,
Pastor robert sessler
--Our next NEWSLETTER will focus on "An Essential, But Overlooked Area Necessary To Overcome All Sin."
We have been very busy these past two months. We have completed translating into Spanish both parts of LET THERE BE LIGHT: Bible History of Separation, and are happy to announce that both parts have just been printed and are now available. We already have another booklet available in Spanish titled: The Image of the Beast.
We are also finishing up the translating into Spanish of our booklet Why Are We Held Responsible for Personal, Social, and Corporate Sin, and should have it printed by September. We are also beginning the translating into Spanish of The Will: Our Power of Choice, and other booklets will follow. We are indebted to sister Elizabeth Cain of Warning! Last Call Ministry for her excellent talent of translating! Please continue to pray for God to continue opening doors for the Spanish work and to keep this fruitful field open. Also pray that God will greatly multiply our efforts, so the work can go like wild-fire and our Spanish brethren can be quickly awakened to, and energized by, the present truth!
We recently were visited by brethren from South Africa. We spent a lovely Sabbath together in our home church worshipping God, and brother Gary Cain preached a good sermon to us on the necessity of being established in the present truth without wavering. They stayed with us through the weekend and we spent time speaking with them about many things. They are in agreement to continue spreading the present truth as far and as fast in South Africa as God allows. They also received permission, and have already begun publishing The Abomination of Desolation and Church History--Second Edition in South Africa to further speed up the work in that country--Praise God!
"Let There Be Light" Ministries is currently planning a short camp-meeting retreat for September 6-8 near Grants Pass, in Southern Oregon. The theme of this short retreat is "Keeping the Flame Alive." Our apologies for the short notice, but the final plans for this retreat did not materialize until after the July-August Newsletter went out. The majority of these meetings will be video taped though. So for those who are not able to attend the retreat, you will still be able to view the meetings and receive the blessings attending the words of truth.
Since our July-August Newsletter was mailed, we have reached a blessed, but unbelievable milestone in this Ministry! We started adding up all the pages of present truth filled books and booklets which we have produced since 1986 (not counting all the tracts, and unbound compilations we offer), and realized that we had just crossed over the 4,000,000 mark!! That's right, over 4 million pages of present truth literature have been produced!! God has definitely worked a mighty miracle. It is truly humbling to realize that God has used us and "Let There Be Light" Ministries for these past 10 years, and that He has so richly blessed us with the honor of working with Him in publishing and spreading His precious truth far and wide. And with God's continued blessings, and with your continued support and prayers, we are on our way to surpassing the 5,000,000 page mark! (We are currently at 4,136,750 pages.)
We are indeed most grateful to all of those who have unselfishly supported this Ministry with your donations and especially with your prayers. These, along with the Lord Jesus, keep this Ministry going. It would have been impossible for us to accomplish what we already have without the help of Jesus and you--our supporters. Please know that you have played an important part in helping us to reach out to those who sit in darkness, and you will also share in all the souls won to the Lord Jesus through this Ministry. MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU!
L"Death before dishonor or the transgression of God's law should be the motto of every Christian." Manuscript Releases, vol 7, p 210.
L"If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross." Desire of Ages, p 83.
LETTERS and FAXES to "LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
Dear Brother Sessler,
Your work has open my zeal to continue studying to show myself approve unto God so I could also be divided by the word of truth. May the Lord bless us all in these dark ages.
From Your Sister in Christ Jesus, R.C. NY.
One of my closest SDA friend who is also a dedicated believer of Christ like me sent me a copy of your (2) booklets very recently, namely, "Abomination of Desolation" and the "Image of the Beast." Being a converted member of the SDA Church, both of these booklets really hit my nerves. In fact, am still on the shocking stage after learning these last days truth which are now occurring. Praise be to God! He is not leaving His faithful children into delusions. He has a thousand ways sending light to all of them that believe Him. I believe God is using your ministry to spread these lights....God bless your Ministry.
Yours in Christ, A.M. Saudi Arabia.
Dear Brother Robert,
I have been a S.D.A. for 16 years, coming out from the world eventually finding the truth on the 3 angel's message. When I was in the structure I had the New Theology to contend with, and that really grounded me in the salvation doctrines, eventually leading me to see the separation message...The Lord led me to understand our denominational history, and I came under the conviction of God the Holy Spirit to withdraw fully from the structure. I have studied every one of your booklets including the Abomination of Desolation and Church History and find that I agree with it all....
Once again thank you for your ministry and may God continue to guide and bless you.
In Services of the Most High, R.T. West Australia.
I am very glad to re-discovered your offer about "SDA church history."...In Romania it is neo-communism and SDA "pastors", belong to government-power, because the "power" chose them. When the people try to chose other president, they cannot do that....Here people attend NLP SDA meeting every Sabbath when I stay home and study. I want to hear quickly from you and many God's blessing for all people there in your congregation.
Dear Bro. Sessler,
Grace and peace be unto you from our Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our Lord works in so many wonderful ways in spreading the present truth to the people across the globe. The fruit of your conviction and your perseverance in doing God's work has reached our little country and many of the Lord's sheep are being blessed and accepting the message for our time....
I've presented to our brethren here in Manila (in the big SDA church) the "10 virgins" (video) tape and they were really shocked. They were really waking up and were really interested to hear the "wheat & tares"...They had no problem of accepting the message and after watching the tape they asked us if they would leave the SDA church already. We said it has to be their own conviction. Praise God for this message.
Thank you, E.C. Philippines.
Dear Mr. Sessler,
I learned of the "separation" while vacationing in the Philippines in Feb. this year. In April, I went back to the Philippines and attended a 4-day camp meeting on "separation"...My sister, Dr. M.B. has joined a small group of 7 families and worship on Sabbath in her house. I got hold of some of your publications from one of the members. My copies are faint but still readable, as these have been re-copied over and over....
I'll pray for this ministry, Bro. Sessler, because I want our Saviour to come now.
Sincerely, H.R. China.