1998 . . .
Dr. George R. Knight publishes, A User-Friendly Guide to the 1888 Message. This 183-page book repeats much that appeared in his previous publications. The existence of 1888 Re-examined seems to annoy the author and furnish him with a thesis to condemn.
His question-and-answer format allows for hypothetical conjectures which begin early in the book. The charge is made that “Jones and Waggoner’s theology went through significant transformation between 1888 and 1896” (p. 68). It was during this period that Ellen White wrote or spoke over three hundred endorsements of these messengers, telling the church that they had “heavenly credentials.” Her approval of them as “messengers” with a message the Lord “sent” exceeds all commendations given to any other minister in the history of this church.
Dr. Knight does not believe that the 1888 message is a unique Adventist message. “Whatever the message was, Paul, Luther, and Wesley shared and preached it” (p. 86; see also pp. 83-88). Yet it seems self-evident that Paul, Luther, and Wesley did not preach the third angel’s message. Ellen White said that what the Lord “sent” us in 1888 was “the third angel’s message in verity,” a last-day proclamation never before made prominent. “The people need fresh manna,” the “message God sent to His people,” “precious old truths in a new light,” “and especially since the Minneapolis meeting, truths have been made known that have been of great value to the world” (1888 Materials, pp. 167, 429, 430, 432, 1689).
Certainly, Paul taught the truth, the Lord Jesus taught it, but in 1888 at Minneapolis the Lord sent what Ellen White says was “the very message for this time to give to the people.” It was eternal truth, but it was a new revelation as surely as Christ’s message to the Pharisees was new to them. It was far more than the “basic Christianity” which Sunday-keeping churches proclaim.
In words as positive as the Bible itself she proclaims: “The message of salvation has been preached in all ages; but this message [the three angel’s message of Revelation 14] is part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come. … No such message has ever been given in past ages. Paul, as we have seen did not preach it. … The Reformers did not proclaim it” (The Great Controversy, p. 356, italics added).