Laval Picard's Letter to the 1888 Message Study Committee

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Dear members of the 1888 Message Study Committee,

Greetings to you in the Lord!


More than two years ago, I mailed you a little booklet entitled, The 1888 MESSAGE REEXAMINED. The book was a result of many years of research and efforts in the hope to unravel the 1888 message, “a special testimony, a special message of truth appropriate for this time, which message is to be received, believed, and acted upon.” 7B.C. 984.


When it is, the light of the glory of God—His character—is to shine forth in His followers.


“The revelation of His own glory in the form of humanity will bring Heaven so near to men that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells. Men will be captivated by the glory of an abiding Christ. The indwelling of the Spirit will be shown by the outflowing of heavenly love. The divine fullness will flow through the consecrated human agent to be given forth to others. And in currents of praise and thanksgiving from the many souls thus won to God, glory will flow back to the great Giver.” COL 419, 420; Isaiah 60:1-5; Rev. 18:1; 2 Thess. 2:14; John 17:22.


I, like you, have spent many years in search of this special message of truth. I am humbly asking you to take a close look at the content of this letter.


I have also sent a copy of it to brother Lloyd and to thank him for the January copy of The 1888 Glad Tidings. My eyes got big when I read: D.K. Short, In Memoriam! Please accept my condolences. Though I have never met either brother Short or brother Wieland, I have spoken to them at least once on the phone and corresponded with them at times.




I will never forget (while taking theology, about 26 years ago) when my brother-in-law introduced me to Wieland and Short’s two books, The 1888 MESSAGE and The 1888 MESSAGE RE-EXAMINED. These two books were to dramatically change the course of my life. In Homiletic class, in which I was to preach my first sermon ever, I spoke based on the title of a chapter from the former book, to the effect that it is easier to be saved than to be lost! You can imagine the reaction in the classroom! I did not get the best mark for that lecture since the teacher apparently did not think highly of either Jones or Waggoner. In fact, none of the theology teachers did!


Ron’s Commentary: The reason most SDA theology professors cast dispersions upon Jones and Waggoner, is because they know that if we study their works, we will come to the light of the true gospel. Those leaders will not enter in and they thus hinder those who would. End Ron’s comment.


Nevertheless, my mind became engrossed with the subject of 1888 until one day I read these words:


“Many even in the world today are trying to discover the light which God revealed to His people in 1888. No one has so far been successful. Religious thinkers are yearning for something no one clearly understands, though it would seem that a few are on the verge of discovery.” 1950 Edition of The 1888 Message Re-Examined, pp. 242, 243.


It is impossible to describe the impression these words made upon my mind especially in light of the fact that if that message had been accepted and proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit, the mission of the Gospel would have been finished and Jesus would have returned.


I had read the above declaration 29 years after it had been stated. You would think that by then, in 1979, Wieland and Short had come to an understanding of it. After all inspiration had declared that the message was just as simple as receiving the alphabet:


“The matter of salvation is just as simple as ABC. But we don’t understand it.” Manuscript 1, 1889.


Eleven years later, in 1990, my attention was brought to Wieland and Short’s newly revised edition of THE 1888 MESSAGE RE-EXAMINED. I was extremely interested in this book. With great anticipation, I began searching through its pages to see if the authors, after all these years, had finally discovered the message. To my utter amazement and disappointment my eyes caught these words:


“It would seem that 1888 presents a problem unique in the long history of God’s confrontation with His people. There is a truth involved therein that seems more elusive than any in the history of past ages.” 1987 Revised Edition, p. 184.


Ron’s Commentary: The simple truth that seems more elusive than any in the history of past ages, is that gold tried in the fire is faith that works by love which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. The reason this truth is so “elusive,” is because rebel men do not want to receive the gift of grace for obedience, Romans 1:5, for two reasons:

·      Obedience involves an inconvenience.

·      Men love sin more than Christ, who died to save them from their sin by giving them His Divine Nature for overcoming sin.

The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute. But this does not deter the true followers of Christ. These do not wait for truth to become popular. Being convinced of their duty, they deliberately accept the cross, with the apostle Paul counting that ‘our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;’ with one of old, ‘esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.’ 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 11:26.

“Whatever may be their profession, it is only those who are world servers at heart that act from policy rather than principle in religious things. We should choose the right because it is right, and leave consequences with God. To men of principle, faith, and daring, the world is indebted for its great reforms. By such men the work of reform for this time must be carried forward.

“Thus saith the Lord: ‘Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.’ Isaiah 51:7-8.”—Great Controversy, 458-460.  

·      Due to the above facts, the current liberal faction of the professing new movement Seventh-day Adventist church has turned the 1888 message on its head by teaching only the “faith” element; only believe, the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans. They do not include faith working by love as empowered by the Divine Nature Holy Spirit of Christ, as made manifest in obedience to all His commandments. Thus, they teach a false gospel that is NOT inclusive of heeding all of the counsel to Laodicea, which is to buy gold tried in the fire, faith that works by love, which is the key of knowledge. Thus, they remove the KEY of knowledge; thus they removed God; thus they do not enter by heeding the true gospel and those who would enter they hinder. End Ron’s comment.


At the time of their first edition in 1950 they had stated that some were on the verge of discovering the message. Thirty-seven years later, they publish their revised edition only to tell us that they had come to the conclusion that the message was more elusive than any in the history of past ages!


Needless to say, this last statement made an even greater impression upon my mind but only to intensify my determination to sink the shaft deeper into the mine of truth with the hope of unraveling the “elusive” message, keeping in mind that here were two Bible scholars who had spent a whole lifetime trying to decipher it and yet had come up empty handed!


Like them, I found myself longing for a message that was more elusive than any in the history of past ages! So I kept on searching through the writings of Jones and Waggoner and the SOP. I also read any new book released by Wieland and Short. I dept digging up many new gems of truth which I have shared in other booklets. At every new discovery I would ask myself, is this it? Looking back, I know that these special gems of truth represented important aspects of the message but the heart of the message itself still remained to be unearthed, so to speak. I would take a few more years of studying and agonizing before the veil that was preventing me from gazing upon the “elusive” truth would finally be removed!


We are now in 2005 (date letter written to Wieland and Short), 117 years later! Whatever happened to that light that was to illuminate the whole earth with its glory?


Shortly after 1888, the Lord sent this testimony:


“There is not one in one hundred who understands for himself the Bible truth on this subject that so necessary to our present and eternal welfare.” Review and Herald, Sep. 3, 1889.


How many of us understand it today?


Ron’s Commentary: I wonder if the question should be: “How many want to understand the truth of righteousness by faith because of their love of sin and lack of love for Christ? The experience of the rich young ruler says it all and explains the experience of most men and women. He loved something more than Christ. He loved his many possessions. Christ’s response to his question was simple as is the 1888 message of righteousness by faith, but the rich young ruler love his possessions more than he loved Christ; more than he possessed the self-sacrificing love of Christ. That is what the gospel of the kingdom is based on: agape self-sacrificing love. That is the kind of love that must work by faith.


It was not that the rich young ruler did not understand Christ’s instruction as to what he must do to be saved. The instruction was as simple as ABC! It was a matter on no wanting to follow the instructions because they involved a sacrifice and a cross.


When relating the above facts to a liberal SDA who teaches the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, he retorted: So you’re saying that we must all go and sell all of our possessions to be saved! Not, that is not what I am saying. Possessions were the weak link in the experience of the rich young ruler. The principle is: whatever we love more and/or whatever interferes with our obedience to Christ, becomes an idol, and we must rid such from the life. Many, even most, will not want to make this sacrifice for eternal life. Thus, they sell their souls for a mess of pottage.


So, part of the all “elusive” factor of righteousness by faith, is that rebellious subjects don’t want to understand and accept faith that works by self-sacrificing love. Mainstream Christianity has proven that for millenniums. How many sermons have you ever heard on Romans 1:5, wherein grace is proffered for obedience? Man wants grace in the form of pardon for sin, but he does not want grace as power to overcome the sin he loves. Nevertheless, the grace (power) is available, and the few who choose this truth is no argument against the truth of it:


     It is no argument against the truth that there are few who are willing to accept it. Few accepted the world's Redeemer. Though the multitude flocked around him, eager to receive temporal blessings, yet he sadly declared: "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." Men are now no more favorable to practical godliness; they are just as intently seeking earthly good, to the neglect of eternal riches. And reformers of the present day will meet with the same discouragements as did their Master. {ST, January 28, 1886 par. 3}



 Mat 19:21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.


 Mat 19:22  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.


 Mat 19:23 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the… (End Ron’s comment).


The Message Rejected, Why? [More Reasons]


Before we go any further, I believe it would be good to review some of the reasons as to why this simple message was resisted and why it has remained so elusive to us all these years. When in September 1889 the Lord told us that there was not one in one hundred who understood this message for himself, He also told us why:


“When light begins to shine forth to make clear the plan of redemption to the people, the enemy works with all diligence that the light may be shut away from the hearts of men.” Review and Herald, Sep. 3, 1889; 1 SM 360.


How did the enemy work to shut away the light that was to make clear the plan of redemption?


“An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions lays at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through brethren E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones.” 1SM, 234.


Preconceived opinions and prejudices stood in the way of accepting the light which was to shine brightly into the hearts of men:


“The prejudices and opinions that prevailed at Minneapolis are not dead by any means; the seeds sown there in some hearts are ready to spring into life and bear a like harvest.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 467.


And “If this attitude is preserved, then when the Lord shall again let His light shine upon the people, they will turn from the heavenly illumination.” 1SM, 143.


Ron’s Commentary: This is extremely crucial, to wit: How could the church receive the light of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring in any Operation Global Rain, if it is not accepting the true light (true gospel) of the 1888 message? While it is true that a faction of the church teaches the true gospel, the sacred tithe money is going to support the more powerful liberal faction that is teaching a false gospel; a half-truth concerning the 1888 message. End Ron’s comment.


Knowing that history repeats itself, will we, as a people, heed the warning? “There is nothing new under the sun. That which has been will be.” Ecc. 1:9.


Preconceived opinions about what that message is and prejudices against the bearer(s) of the message could again raise their ugly heads when the Lord again lets His light shine upon the people, especially in the light of the following warning: [underlining by Ron]


“The trials and the attitude of the Jewish people just before the first coming of Christ have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ! As Satan took control of the minds of the Jews, again he is seeking to blind the minds of His servants (Seventh-day Adventists) that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.” Review and Herald, Feb. 18, 1890. *Brackets mine.


When, before His crucifixion, Jesus had sent the 12 and the seventy with the message: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel,” the people made light of the message and the call was not heeded. But after His crucifixion, when the Lord let His light shine again upon the people in demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit, this time around, the priests and the leading men did not only reject the message but “they turned upon the bearers of the message.” COL, 308. There was “a great persecution.” Acts 8:1. “Many both men and women were thrust into prison, and some of the Lord’s messengers, as Stephen and James, were put to death. Thus the Jewish people sealed their rejection of God’s mercy.” COL, p. 308.


Between 1888 and 1901, “The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.” 1SM 234, 235. The message was made light of. The call was not heeded. But when the Lord again lets His light shine upon the people in latter rain power, history will be repeated. We can expect the majority of the religious leaders to not only reject the light but to turn upon the bearers of the message and their converts to character assassinate them and this persecution will force the latter to leave the church and to go to the world with the very message which the former have rejected and despised and the message will swell into the loud cry. Again “Persecution will spread the light.” The Desire of Ages, p. 354.


Ron’s Commentary: In the prefigure of what took place in Christ’s ministry amongst His first chosen people, the Jews, the first act of His ministry in A.D. 27, was to “gather out” from the apostate church those who would give the gospel to the world, Desire of Ages, p. 232. Why this gathering out as the first act of His ministry?

·      John the Baptist prepared a bride for Jesus, DA 179.

·      The bride of Christ, the 144,000, are not defiled with women—apostate churches. Rev. 14:1-4.

·      Though it is true that the disciples and Christ went to the Synagogues to “gather out” the faithful into home churches that dotted the hills of Judea, things were different in those synagogues than in churches today. There were no pews. Folk stood around and discussed issues in groups. Upon entry to the Synagogues, all were asked if they had a message from the Lord. If so, they could give it. That does not occur in SDA churches today.

·      Laval’s notion that it is at the final Loud Cry call that we leave the church is not founded in fact upon the prefigure of the ministry of Christ and His disciples. The disciples were “gathered out” as the very first act of Christ’s ministry in A.D. 27, before they continued to go to the Synagogues to snatch away the faithful. The more formal mode of worship in the church today makes it near impossible to “snatch” the faithful away from the apostate church, for you are stridently avoided once your stance is recognized.

·      The above facts are established in DA, 232 and the following statement:  "Christ was a protestant...The Reformers date back to Christ and the apostles. They came out and separated themselves from a religion of forms and ceremonies. Luther and his followers did not invent the reformed religion. They simply accepted it as presented by Christ and the apostles." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 2, 48, col. 2.

·      At least the 144,000, the bride of Christ, could not be defiled with the apostate SDA church and its ecumenical lewdness with fallen “women,” churches by membership in said church after KNOWING of its ecumenical liaisons with Babylon. It is the bride’s call that awakens all ten virgins in all churches, COL, 406, and that call is: “Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him.” Ibid.

·      Laval Picard seems to be of the belief that all we need give in the church between the first call and the second final call, is the message of righteousness by faith. Jeremiah 11:9-15; all of the warnings of the Old Testament, and the example of Jesus Christ in the prefigure, is proof absolute that Laval is errant in that view. We must give the true gospel, protest the apostasy, and gather out the faithful. However, it is true that the greatest gathering out from all apostate churches will occur at the final call to all fallen churches, for at that time, the Holy Spirit will cause a primitive revival in all churches and the faithful will come out. But we are responsible for light when we hear it.

·      The bride is awakened (gathered out) first by God, then she awakens the ten virgins. COL, 405-6 and the following statement: "Characteristics of True Reformers.--Here are given the characteristics of those who shall be reformers, who will bear the banner of the third angel's message, those who avow themselves God's commandment-keeping people, and who honor God, and are earnestly engaged, in the sight of all the universe, in building up the old waste places. Who is it that calls them, The repairers of the breach, The restorers of paths to dwell in? It is God. Their names are registered [written--Heb. 12:22, 23] in heaven as reformers, restorers, as raising the foundations of many generations." E. G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1151.

·      Then the voice of God and the voice of the bride awaken all ten virgins, COL, 405-6. 

·      The very fact that true reformers have left the church in every succeeding generation (DA 232) is proof that we are to leave when the leaders will not tolerate pure light. The faithful Jews of Shiloh, in Jeremiah day (the same Jews involved in Jeremiah 11:9-15), refused to offer sacrifices at the apostate temple. This was a long time before the stoning of Stephen!:  "The recreant priests added licentiousness to the dark catalogue of their crimes yet they still polluted by their presence the tabernacle of the Lord, and, laden with sin, dared to come into the presence of a holy God. As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the Sanctuary." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, vol. 1, p. 264, col. 3, December 1, 1881.

·      We were never to join any New Movement such as prophesied in 1SM 204-5. (End Ron’s comment).

·      Paul left after three months:

"And as they persisted in their rejection of the gospel the apostle (Paul) went into the synagogue and spake boldly for the space for three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus." Acts, 19:8, 9. "Fearing that the faith of the believers would be endangered by continued association with these opposers of the truth, Paul separated from them, and gathered the disciples into a distinct body." E.G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 286.

·      Separation is a salvific issue because the church has strayed off the Midnight Cry lighted pathway to heaven via ecumenical liaison with Babylon. That is violation of the first and second angel’s messages as well. Ellen White said it is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone who strays from that path to get back on it again, Word to the Little Flock, p. 14. Thus, Ecumenical liaison with Babylon (God’s enemies) after knowing the truth is unpardonable sin. Jeremiah 11:9-15 is additional proof of this serious truth. It is unpardonable to those who KNOW that the church is in forbidden liaison with Babylon, and willful ignorance of this fact is no excuse before God. Willful ignorance accrues when a person is provided with proofs and rejects evidence and/or refuses to seek out the evidence when he/she is told where to find the evidence.


Hence the warning given to God’s professed people today:


“Satan is working with all his hellish power to quench that light which should burn brightly in the soul and shin forth in good works. He is working against this all the time. Satan will work to quench the light God has for every soul, by casting his shadow across the pathway to intercept every ray of heavenly light. He knows that his time is short.” MS 140, 1901.


He is working against this message all the time and “With all possible deception Satan will manifest his power, calling to his aid all the fallen angels of his realm” (GC 398) to intercept the heavenly illumination. This is what He did in the days of Christ, in the days of the Reformation, in 1844, and between 1888 and 1901. He was so successful in his efforts to intercept the heavenly light that in 1901 the Lord sent this testimony:


“We may have to remain here in this world because of our insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel.” Evangelism, p. 696.


We are now 104 years later. We have been wandering in this wilderness of sin and sorrow since 1901!


Our only hope is in accepting the light of truth which is just as simple as the alphabet, the Bible truth on this subject that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare:


“The only remedy is belief in the truth, acceptance of the light.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 91.


Sister White spoke of it in many places but it is in the book Testimonies to Ministers, under the subtitle, “Rejecting The Light,” and in the books Faith and Works, Selected Messages, Vol. 1, and 7a of Bible Commentaries that are to be found some of the clearest statements. But before we take a look at these statements we need to keep in mind that the enemy is determined to blind our minds that we may not discern the precious truth.


Each statement we are about to read contains, in a nutshell, the “most precious message” ever sent to God’s people. This is the message the enemy is fighting against all the time. Therefore, we can expect the enemy to call to his aid all the fallen angels of his realm so that by any possible means he might intercept the light or make it of non-effect. And let us not forget that his power of deception is greater now than it was a century ago!


At the time brother A.T. Jones was presenting the third angel’s message at the 1893 General Conference Session, he received a letter from brother Starr who was in Australia. In that letter he quoted Sister White saying: “We have been the time of the latter rain since the Minneapolis meeting.” Bulletin, p. 377. Brother Starr also said that he was talking with Sister White one day about the angels at Mt. Sinai at the giving of the law:


“She saw that the angels, then thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, surrounded the people of God as they assembled around the mountain, and all above them, thus making a great living tabernacle from which every evil angel was excluded; that not one word that was to come from the voice of Jesus should be altered in any mind, or one suggestion of doubt, or evil, to a soul, be made.” Ibid., p. 377.


Then brother Jones said: “This is what we want here. What we want right here is for each one to just put up his own prayer himself, for himself, to the Lord to cover us with such a canopy as that at this Institute, that when the words of the Lord are read, not one word shall be altered in any mind from just what God speaks, and that not one suggestion of doubt or evil shall come to a single soul; but that we, each one may receive just what the Lord says in his own way, as He says it, and as He means it.”


Then further from brother Starr: “In a late testimony to an individual here, Sister White was forbidden to send it to him in writing, but to read it personally; for the reason that evil angels are at work substituting words for those that are written. Other words are pronounced in his ears and he gets a meaning just opposite from that designed of God.” Ibid., p. 377.


“Well,” said brother Jones, “If that man needs that, is he the only one in the world that needs it? If Satan is working that way, is he going to confine himself to Avondale? Then don’t you and I need to have our ears anointed as well as our eyes, that we may hear? And does not that word of Jesus, ‘Take heed how you hear,’ come to us?” Ibid., p. 377.


In Clear, Distinct Lines


Before we read the statements which present to us the 1888 message “in clear, distinct lines,” each one should put up his own prayer himself for the Lord to cover him with such a canopy of angels as surrounded the people of God at Sinai.


And let us not forget this solemn warning:


“That light which is to fill the whole earth with its glory has been despised by some who claim to believe the present truth. Be careful how you treat it. Take off the shoes from off your feet; for you are on holy ground.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 89.


Here, in a nutshell, is the Message, just what the Lord said, in His own way, as He said it, and as He meant it:


“Unless he makes it his lifebusiness to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept His merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus.” Ibid., p. 93.


In other words, “The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour: which appropriates His merits to ourselves.” The Desire of Ages, p. 347.


What does it mean to accept Christ as a personal Saviour? It means to appropriate His merits to ourselves, believing that it is our privilege to claim them. This faith pleases God and it works by love to purify the soul. In the book Faith and Works, this faith, which appropriates the merits of Christ to ourselves, is called “living faith:”


“Living faith is essential for our salvation, that we should lay hold upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour.” FW, p. 64. Going back to The Desire of Ages, p. 347, she writes: “A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.”


“You want to be like little children, hanging upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Then you will be fortified. How? The angels of God will be around you as a wall of fire; the righteousness of Christ, which you claim, will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your reward.” Ms. 9, 1891.


Notice how simple the 1888 message of righteousness by faith is:


“With the simple faith of a little child, we must rest in the merits of Christ, accepting His righteousness and believing in His mercy.” Evangelism, p. 186.


This is how faith is counted for righteousness! This is the very heart of the message which the enemy is fighting against all the time.


“Who can measure the infinity of the sacrifice?” FW, p. 24. “God Himself has bowed in acceptance of the sacrifice.” Ibid., p. 72. “God bowed His head satisfied.” 5BC 1150.


Are not the merits of Christ’s sacrifice, then, sufficient to present to the Father in or behalf, to receive the blessings of the covenant of grace?


“The merits of His sacrifice are sufficient to present to the Father in our behalf.” Steps to Christ, p. 36.


“Looking unto Jesus and trusting in His merits, we appropriate the blessings of light and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 744; Testimonies to Ministers, p. 88.


It is court week with us and we must present our case before God pleading the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour:


“Present your case before God pleading the merits of the blood shed for you upon Calvary’s cross.” FW 106.


This truth is pregnant with eternal results. We are to dwell upon Christ and the merits of His shed blood, the blood that is of value beyond estimate.


As the sinner daily applies to the merits of Christ’s infinite sacrifice, he is clothed with the priceless gift of His own righteousness which is “made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 92.


“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.” Ibid., pp. 92, 93.


In the book, Faith and Works, bottom of page 65, we are told that this is the faith that brings the righteousness of Christ into the life, and yet we cannot explain it:


“’I want,’ says one, ‘to reason out this matter.’ Well, reason it out if you can, ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth,’ and you hear the sound thereof, but you cannot explain it. And no more can you explain the things of God upon the heart. You cannot explain this faith that lays right hold upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour to bring Christ’s righteousness into your life.”


“How many believe the truths you have heard today? Do you want to go a few months before you will acknowledge there is light in it? Do you want to stop to reason it all out? You will die before that time.” Faith and Works, pp. 65, 66. [76].


The Only Remedy


“Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners. Not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin.” Faith and Works, pp. 100, 101.


Again, see how simple the 1888 Message is: Faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ! This is the one thing that is essential to our present and eternal welfare!


“Justice demanded the sufferings of man; but Christ rendered the sufferings of a God; He needed no atonement of suffering for Himself; all His sufferings were for us; all His merits and holiness were open to fallen man, presented as a gift.” E.G. White, Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 913.


“Only the merits and righteousness of Christ will be recognized. But this is placed in our account in rich fullness. We may draw upon God every moment. God has pledged Himself to open before us all the riches of His grace.” Our Father Cares, p. 149.


“If men would open the windows of the soul heavenward in appreciation of the divine gifts, a flood of healing virtue would pour in.” Ministry of Healing, p. 116.


“As we acknowledge before God our appreciation of Christ’s merits, fragrance is given to our intercessions.” Our Father Cares, p. 120.


“We have been called to the obtaining of the glory (righteousness) of our Lord Jesus Christ” through faith in the merits of His blood. 2 Thess. 2:14; Rom. 3:25.


Mark these words with care:


“Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness and this the sinner owes to the law but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ.” Faith and Works, p. 101.


Could the Lord have made it more simple and clear? As we recognize our great need, we can bring to God the merits of His Son and the Father accepts us, forgives us, justifies us, and transforms us into His own image. There merits of Christ are placed upon us and God loves us as He loves His Son! And the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace and from light to a greater light! See Faith and Works, p. 101.


So we see that “The only remedy is belief in the truth, acceptance of the light.” TM 91.


“Believe it because it is the truth, because God says it, and lay hold upon the meritorious blood of a crucified and risen Saviour.” Faith and  Works, p. 76.


Faith is the hand by which the soul lays right hold upon the means of salvation: the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour!


It is that simple, just as simple as ABC. Now and ever, we are to come to God as we are, sinful, helpless, dependent, trusting wholly in the merits of the blood shed for us upon Calvary’s cross to receive the blessings of pardon and peace and power to live a life in harmony with God’s will as it is expressed in the precepts of His holy law.


If we believe from the heart that the merits of Christ’s sacrifice are sufficient to present to the Father in our behalf, in order to receive these unmerited blessings, our faith is accounted righteousness and God receives us to Himself:


“We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. We see a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. The cloud of vengeance that threatened only misery and despair, in the light reflected from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! Ye penitent, believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 333; Ps. 133:3. *emphasis mine.


We have something to do: Now and ever we are to present our helpless case before God pleading the merits of the slain Lamb of God that we may be clothed with the glistening vesture of Christ’s righteousness. Then the law will be taken care of because His righteousness fills up the measure of the law’s requirements.


“Let the law take care of itself. We have been at work on the law until we get as dry as the hills of Gilboa, without dew or rain. Let us trust in the merits of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” E.G. White 1888 Materials, Vol. 2, p. 557.


Our Only Plea


This is our only plea: “Lord, I have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation, but I present before you (the merits) of the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God. This is my only plea.” Ibid., 106. *brackets mine.


This prayer of faith can stir the universe in our behalf! “Our part is to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ.” Then Christ’s righteousness is brought into our life and it accomplishes everything for “It is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.” Faith and Works, 430; Testimonies to Ministers, 92.


“Oh be so full of the message that it is like fire shut up in your bones, that you cannot hold your peace. It is true, men will say, ‘You are too excited; you are making too much of this matter, and you do not think enough of the law; now, you are to think more of the law; don’t be all the time reaching for this righteousness of Christ, but build up the law.’ LET THE LAW TAKE CARE OF ITSELF. We have been at work on the law until we get as dry as the hills of Gilboa, without dew or rain. LET US TRUST IN THE MERITS OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZAETH. May God help us that our eyes may be anointed with eyesalve that we may see.” E.G. White, 1888 Materials, Vol. 2, p. 557. *emphasis mine.


“We need the heavenly eyesalve that we might discern with astonishment the utter worthlessness of creature merit.” Faith and Works, p. 23.


Calvin, in his prayer, had said: “Lord, You have taught me to hold in abomination all other merits save those of Jesus.” Faith and Works, 23; GC 221.


The Revival


“Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive faith and godliness as has not been seen since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out on His children.” The Great Controversy, p. 464.


Ron’s Commentary: It is of immense importance that SDA’s recognize that Ellen White was speaking of a primitive revival of the sincere in all churches. Here is the full context of the above statement from The Great Controversy, pp. 463-4:

Popular revivals are too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by gratifying the love for what is new and startling. Converts thus gained have little desire to listen to Bible truth, little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles. Unless a religious service has something of a sensational character, it has no attractions for them. A message which appeals to unimpassioned reason awakens no response. The plain warnings of God's word, relating directly to their eternal interests, are unheeded.

With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. But where, in the popular churches of today, is the spirit of consecration to God? The converts do not renounce their pride and love of the world. They are no more willing to deny self, to take up the cross, and follow the meek and lowly Jesus, than before their conversion. Religion has become the sport of infidels and skeptics because so many who bear its name are ignorant of its principles. The power of godliness has well-nigh departed from many of the churches. Picnics, church theatricals,


church fairs, fine houses, personal display, have banished thoughts of God. Lands and goods and worldly occupations engross the mind, and things of eternal interest receive hardly a passing notice.

Notwithstanding the widespread declension of faith and piety, there are true followers of Christ in these churches. Before the final visitation of God's judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord's second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God's special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.

In many of the revivals which have occurred during the last half century, the same influences have been at work, to a greater or less degree, that will be manifest in the more extensive movements of the future. There is an emotional excitement, a mingling of the true with the false, that is well adapted to mislead. Yet none need be deceived. In the light of God's word it is not difficult to determine the nature of these movements. Wherever men neglect the testimony of the Bible, turning away from those plain, soul-testing truths which require self-denial and renunciation of the world, there we may be sure that God's blessing is not bestowed.” The Great Controversy, pp. 463-4. (End Ron’s comment).


As we appropriate to ourselves the merits of Christ, the Holy Spirit is given to us to fill up the measure of the law’s requirements. The Holy Spirit brings Christ’s righteousness (love) into the heart and it is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Rom. 5:5; 13:10.


Thus the law is restored to its rightful position:


“It is only as the law is restored to its rightful position that there can be a revival of primitive faith and godliness.” The Great Controversy, p. 478.


“How long will you hate and despise the messengers of God’s righteousness. God has given them His message. They bear the Word of the Lord: THERE IS SALVATION FOR YOU BUT ONLY THOUGH THE MERITS OF JESUS CHRIST. The Holy Spirit has been offered to you again and again.” TM, 96, 97.


This revival of primitive faith and godliness is the time when the Holy Spirit is to do a wonderful work:


“Jesus looked forward to the time when the Holy Spirit, as His representative, should come to do a wonderful work in and through His merits.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 402.


Hanging Upon His Merits


In no uncertain terms, the Lord informed His people as to the foundation of the 1888 message:


“The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 92.


“Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to heave their eyes directed to His divine Person, to His merits, and His changeless love for the human family.” Ibid., p. 92.


“There is salvation for you but only through the merits of Jesus Christ.” Ibid., p. 97.


Is this not, then, the light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory?


The next statement, taken from The Desire of Ages, should leave no doubt in our mind:


“The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Christ as our personal Saviour: which appropriates His merits to ourselves.” Our Father Cares, p. 192.


For too many, accepting Jesus as a personal Saviour is a mere cliché:


“Many have a nominal faith in Christ, but they know nothing of that vital dependence upon Him which appropriates the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour.” 1SM 389.


“Jesus was treated as we deserve that we might be treated as He deserves.” DA 25.


“The merits of Christ are the foundation of the Christian faith.” GC p. 73.


A Gift That Cannot be Excelled!


The Holy Spirit is the gift that brings all other blessings in its train! See AA 50; DA 672. This great and measureless gift cannot be excelled and it is offered to us through simple faith in the merits of the Saviour:


“What gift could Christ bestow rich enough to signalize and grace His ascension to the mediatorial throne? It must be worthy of His greatness and His royalty. He determined to give His representative, the Third Person of the Godhead. This gift could not be excelled. 6 BC, 1053.


“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty Agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of Divine power.” The Desire of Ages, p. 671.


“Looking unto Jesus and trusting in His merits, we appropriate the blessings of light and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 5T 744.


One Faith Only


The Bible declares that there is one faith only. Eph. 4:5. It is the faith that lays right hold upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour to bring Christ’s righteousness into the life:


“God will accept everyone that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Love springs up in the heart.” 1SM 345. And “Righteousness is love.” MB, p. 18.


“The gold tried in the fire is faith that works by love. Only this can bring us into harmony with God. We may be active, we may do much work; but without love, such love as dwelt in the heart of Christ, we can never be numbered with the family of heaven.” Gal. 5:6.


Gal 5:6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.


Is this not, then, the 1888 message “in clear, distinct lines?” Is this not, in a nutshell, the 1888 message in all its beauty and simplicity? Appropriating to ourselves the merits of the Son of God that His righteousness (love) might be brought into the life. For “His righteousness accomplishes everything.” Faith and Works, 27.


“Righteousness is love and love is the light and the life of God.” “And the life of God in the soul is man’s only hope.” MB 18; MH 115.


“The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part—the brain, the heart, the nerves—it touches with healing. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care that crush the life forces. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul a joy that nothing earthly can destroy, joy in the Holy Spirit, health-giving, life-giving joy.” Ministry of Healing, p. 115.


The merits of Christ are the recurring theme of the 1888 message:


“We are accepted through Christ’s merits alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of love, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. When we have done all that it is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as unprofitable servants. Luke 17:10. We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures.” Review and Herald, Jan. 29, 1895.


Blessed Assurance


In January of 1999, while I was re-reading the book Patriarchs and Prophets, my eyes caught these words:


“We can do nothing of ourselves. In all our helpless unworthiness we must trust in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. None will ever perish while they do this.” PP 203.


None will ever perish while they do what? Trust in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour! I was amazed as I realized for the first time in my life how simple the plan of redemption was. I kept on reading and again on page 432 the same truth was forcefully brought to my attention:


“If we are conscious of our needs, we should not devote all our powers to mourning over them. While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we are not to yield to discouragement, but rely upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Look and live. Jesus has pledged His word. Not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish.”


Not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish! Blessed assurance! God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever, now and ever, casts himself wholly upon His merits, will not perish but receive power to live his life. This is what it means to be clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness! See COL 312.


The continual application of the merits of the blood of Christ is essential: “The blood of Christ is efficacious but it must be applied continually.” 4T 122. “By faith take hold of the merits of Christ, and the soul-cleansing blood will be applied.” FW 96. “You cannot save yourself from the tempter’s power, but he trembles and flees when the merits of that precious blood are urged.” 5T 317. “The blood of Christ, in an ever-abiding efficacy is our only hope, for through its merits alone we have pardon and peace.” Our Father Cares, p. 143.


When the Lord impressed this most precious truth upon my mind I was totally oblivious of the fact that He was unraveling before my eyes the very heart and essence of the 1888 message. I felt like I was drinking at a fountain untouched. I was never to forget these words:


“And when the Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily.” Faith and Works, p. 56.


None will ever perish while trusting in the merits of Christ!


Press Right to the Light


“We need to have an individual experience. We need to be converted as did the Jews. If you see a little light, you are not to stand back and say, ‘I will wait until my brethren have seen it.’ If you do, you will go on in darkness. God help us have a knowledge of the truth, and if you have seen the truth of God, press right to the light and put up the bars behind you.” Faith and Works, p. 77, 78.


“The only remedy is belief in the truth, acceptance of the light.” TM 91.


I began paying closer attention to everything I read, especially anything that had to do with the merits of Christ. No words could have described the joy and peace that I then felt.


It seemed as though every time I would open a book from Sister White I would come across a statement or two on the merits of Christ. I began memorizing these statements, one by one, until the chambers of my mind were filled with the precious light.


I felt impressed to write a little booklet. I titled it: THE 1888 MESSAGE RE-EXAMINED, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? I wasted no time mailing it to Elders Wieland and Short. I was very anxious for them to read it and to hear from them. I thought it might mean something to them. And apparently it did!


It didn’t take long before I received a personal note from them. Brother Wieland said that he was very pleased with the book and wished for it to have wide circulation. Brother Short added that there was a lot of “meat” in that book for our people. I also felt impressed with sending a copy to every member of the 1888 Committee. Brother Wieland graciously provided me with their mailing addresses. But to this day, I have not heard from any of them!


Great Day of Atonement


“We are living in the great Day of Atonement, and it is now time that everyone should repent before God, confess his sins, and by living faith rest upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 224, 225.


“Living faith enables its possessor to lay hold of the merits of Christ, enables him to derive much comfort and satisfaction from the plan of redemption.” 1SM 364.


“Still others who are condemned by the law will repent of their transgressions and, through faith in Christ’s merits, will perfect Christian character.” Ibid., p. 31.


“Those who are loyal to the truth will, through the merits of Christ, overcome all weakness of character that has led them to be molded by every varying circumstance of life.” Ibid., p.85.


“Christ died for us that we might have life. He opened before us the way whereby we might, through His merits, keep the law of God.” Ibid., p. 46.


“Through the virtue of the merits of the blood of Christ we may stand unscathed amid the fire of temptation and trial.” Faith and Works, p. 87.


“When we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we shall have no relish for sin; for Christ will be working with us. We may make mistakes, but we will hate the sin that caused the sufferings of the Son of God.” 1SM 360.


“As we behold Christ, pierced for our sins, we shall see that we cannot break the law of God and remain in His favour; we shall feel that as sinners we must lay hold of the merits of Christ and cease to sin. Then we are drawing night to God. As soon as we have a correct view of the love of God, we shall have no disposition to abuse it.” 1SM 312.


“While the investigative judgment is going forward in Heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon the earth. When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing.” GC 425.


“The merits of Christ are the foundation of the Christian’s faith.” Great Controversy, p. 73.


It is the hope that is set before us in the Scriptures. And what a living hope! Heb. 6:18, 19; Romans 3:25; 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 13:12; Revelation 12:11.


“We must daily apply to the merits of the blood of Christ that we may become vessels fit for the Master’s use.” Faith and Works, p. 86.




The message of God in 1888 invited the people to lay right hold upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour in order to receive the priceless gift of His own righteousness, the gift that cannot be excelled, namely, the fullness of divine light and love and power which would have been made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God!


The reception of this gift would have resulted in humanity being flooded with the glory of Divinity. Men would have been captivated by the revelation of Christ’s own glory in the form of humanity. The prophecy of Isaiah would have been fulfilled.


“Rise, shine, for your light is come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people. But upon you the Lord shall arise and His glory shall be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around and see: they all gather together, they come to you… And they shall bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, ‘Surely God is in you. And there is no other; there is no other God.” Isaiah 60:1-4; 45:14.


This is the glory of the “angel” of Revelation 18:1 which was to lighten the whole earth.


The Third Person of the Godhead, coming with no modified energy but in the fullness of divine power, was to do a wonderful work in and through the merits of Christ. The indwelling of the Spirit was to be shown by the outflowing of heavenly love. Those who were thus enriched were to enrich others with the treasure of God’s love. The divine fullness was to flow through the consecrated human agent to be given forth to others! And in currents of praise and thanksgiving, from the many souls thus won to God, glory was to flow back to the great Giver! DA 671; COL 419, 420; PK 594.


“There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour’s love. All Heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.” COL 419.


Before the close of probation, the invisible glory is to be seen in the visible human form. Men will see a great light as great grace will be upon God’s servants. It will be as in the days of Christ except that this time the work will have greater extension and the power will be ten time the power of the Midnight Cry! 1893 General Conference Bulletin, p. 152.


“The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Christ revealed no qualities and exercised no power that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” The Desire of Ages, 664.


“If divine power does not combine with human effort, I would not give a straw for what the greatest man could do.” 1SM 411.


“Divinity and humanity combined will be a complete success.” Faith and Works, 27.


“When divine power is combined with human effort, the work will spread like fire in the stubble.” 1SM 118.


Thank you for your time. Hoping and looking forward to hearing from you soon! Your brother in the blessed hope,


Laval Picard


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“Every sinner must have virtue that is not possessed by himself. Our door-post must be marked by the atoning blood, thus acknowledging our own inefficiency, and the merits of the Lamb of God.” Signs of the Times, Vol. 2:224.


“Many of you say: ‘I have prayed, I have tried, I have struggled, and I do not see that I advance one step.’ What is the trouble? Have you not thought you were earning something, that you were by your struggles and works paying the prince of your redemption? This you can never do… Take the gift of God… Plead the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour.” Signs of the Times, Vol. 2, p. 488.


“The proud heart strives to earn his salvation.” DA 300. But “When we seek to gain Heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress, from strength to strength and from victory to victory.” 1SM 364.


“Many are losing the right way, in consequence of thinking that they must do something to merit the favour of God. This they can never accomplish.” 1SM 368.


“We have long desired and tried to obtain the blessings of the covenant of grace but have not received them because we have cherished the idea that we could do something to make ourselves worthy of them.” FW, 36.


“Our part is to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ.” FE 430.


“The work of the minister is to hang his helpless soul upon His merit.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 247.


Members of the Royal Family


“Through the virtue of His merits, He gives us power to become members of the Royal Family, children of the Heavenly King.” Our Father Cares, p. 120. Accordingly “The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul,’This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.’” The Desire of Ages, 113.


“It is the privilege of every believer in Christ to possess Christ’s nature, a nature far above that which Adam and Eve forfeited by transgression.” The Upward Look, p. 18; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; 2 Peter 1:4.


Ron’s Commentary: In light of the above statement, it is an abomination to teach that Christ had an advantage over us. End comment.


“Christ places His own merits upon man, and thus elevates him, in the scales of moral value, with God.” Our Father Cares, p. 121. Thus “Kneeling at the foot of the cross, man has reached the highest place to which he can attain.” AA 210.


The End