Sharing What I Discovered Over the next three years I found an ever increasing amount of historical information that I had never seen before. The early Adventists had struggled with the very same issues. They imersed themselves in Scripture and history. They realized they were uncovering Bible truths missed by the Reformers of previous ages: the Sanctuary, the literal creation of the world in six days, the Sabbath, the origin of sin in heaven, the great controversy over the Sonship of Christ, the Second Coming, death as a sleep, the investigative judgment, the materiality of the Ancient of Days, the millennium in heaven, the final end of sin and sinners. Why had I not heard of any of this history? I had never heard of the Christian Connection, or the very explicit statements by Loughborough, J.N. Andrews, E.J. Waggoner, A.T. Jones, W.W. Prescott, and so many others made over the first fifty years of the church's early history. In all the Bible classes through Academy, College, Loma Linda there was never any mention of the original Fundamental Princples featured in the very first issue of the Signs of the Times. I hadn't heard about Samuel Spear or read his original article on "The Subordination of Christ" which was reprinted in the Signs of the Times. Why was this kept from us? My best friend at Jasper worked with me on creating 400 slides in 5 PowerPoint files. We met with the senior Pastor for Jasper and Ellijay, the Southern University intern pastor at Jasper, and the head elder every few weeks for nearly half a year. They agreed that everything we presented was nothing but Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy, but they told us not to share it with anyone else. So, the group that had been studying together decided to meet outside of the church in order to not share what we had learned with anyone else. We would take turns meeting with the maintenance man's apartment or the school teacher's apartment or our cabin. In the meantime, while searching the internet for more information, I discovered a very interesting website, God-head.com, that had a lot of articles on the subject, obviously Adventist as it was filled with Ellen White quotes and pioneer history.
I was really interested in one particular article and realized I had a piece of information and important Bible texts that would be a good addition to the presentation. I emailed the webmaster with my contribution and thus began a friendship with what I soon learned was an Adventist pastor, Adrian Ebens. We quickly realized our stories had a lot in common. I became a regular contributor and even became an editor on the site. But unfortunately, the website got hacked, but Adrian quickly re-directed traffic to his other site, MaranathaMedia.com. Wow! What an amazing treasure trove of Adventist resources! About this time preparations were being made for the 2010 General Conference at Atlanta, Georgia. The wife of our company's chaplain was going to be the stage director in the Georgia Dome that summer and she offered us passes so we could sit in the delegate's section down on the main floor. The final Sabbath when Ted Wilson gave his acceptance sermon, we sat just three rows back right in front of the podium! I was thrilled to hear his powerful appeal for all Adventists to "take the Bible as it reads!" His special interest was in defence of the literal Genesis account of creation. But we saw in him a defender of all the other literal and distinctive Adventist beliefs: the literal world wide flood, the literal and visible second coming of Jesus, a literal sanctuary in heaven, the literal incarnation of the Son of God, the literal death and resurrection of Jesus, and what we had come to accept like the original Adventist believers--the literal pre-existence of the Son of God as described in Patriarchs and Prophets chapter 1, and 1John 4:9, Heb 1:2, Proverbs 30:4, Daniel 3:25. Adrian invited us to Australia for a camp meeting where he was planning to craft a letter of appearl to Ted Wilson, commending him for his stance on the literal reading of the Bible, and a request that we might be allowed to have fellowship and dialog with the church of our birth and life-long devotion. In September we made the long flight to Sydney and gathered with others from Australia, America, and the UK. We enjoyed visiting Sydney Adventist Hospital, Cooranbong, Sunny Side, and Avondale. What an exciting and blessed experience that was.