Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
Stories in the Rearview Mirror
Why I Believe in the Third Person's Last Rain
DVDsTo purchase a DVD of this sermon please visit our online shopping cart. Proceeds go to support the New Perceptions media ministry.
Buy DVD Online
SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“Stories in the Rearview Mirror:
Why I Believe in the Third Person’s Last Rain”
- Waggoner and White
- EJW: “I was sitting a little apart from the body of the congregation in the large tent at a camp meeting in Healdsburg, one gloomy Sabbath afternoon. . . . All that has remained with me was what I saw. Suddenly a light shone round me, and the tent was more brilliantly lighted than if the noon-day sun had been shining, and I saw Christ hanging on the cross, crucified for me. In that moment I had my first positive knowledge which came like an overwhelming flood, that God loved me, and that Christ died for me. God and I were the only beings I was conscious of in the universe. I knew then, by actual sight, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself; I was the whole world with its sin. I am sure that Paul’s experience on the way to Damascus was no more real than mine.” (Ron Duffield, The Return of the Latter Rain, 45)
- EJW: “I knew that in the Bible I should find the message of God’s love for individual sinners, and I resolved that the rest of my life should be devoted to finding it there, and making it plain to others. The light that shone upon me that day from the cross of Christ has been my guide in all my Bible study; wherever I have turned in the Sacred Book, I have found Christ set forth as the power of God, to the salvation of individuals and I have never found anything else.” (Ibid)
- EGW: “I have been instructed [by God] that the terrible experience at the Minneapolis Conference is one of the saddest chapters in the history of the believers in present truth.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 1796)
- EGW: “I have had the question asked, ‘What do you think of this light that these men are presenting? Why, I have been presenting it to you for the last 45 years—the matchless charms of Christ. This is what I have been trying to present before your minds. When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapolis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard, excepting the conversations between myself and my husband. . . . [E]very fiber of my heart said, Amen.” (1888 Materials 348)
- Woodrow Whidden: “In the face of the stiff opposition to Waggoner’s emphases, Ellen White gave strong personal support to his (and Jones’s) basic theological thrust. Her outspoken affirmations of Jones and Waggoner’s Christ- and grace-centered emphasis would be sustained until at least 1896. . . . The Christ-centered focus of Jones and Waggoner was the inspiration for the most concerted emphasis that Ellen White would ever make on ‘justification by faith’ in the ‘imputed [credited to our account] merits of Christ.’ When all that she ever wrote on justification by faith from 1844 to 1902 is surveyed, roughly forty-five percent of the entire mass was written between late 1888 and late 1892.” (The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia 535)
- Jesus and Andrews
- Jesus: “When the Spirit comes, He will testify of Me” (John 15:26; 16:14).
- EGW: “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure [latter rain].” (Testimonies to Ministers 91-92)
- EGW: “Meetings were held in the College which were intensely interesting. The Spirit of the Lord wrought upon hearts, and there was a precious work done in the conversion of souls. There has been no excitement felt or manifested. The work has been accomplished by the deep movings of the Spirit of God, and [students] have moved intelligently and in faith. . . . He [Jesus] who had been to them as a root out of dry ground, without form or comeliness, became ‘the chiefest among ten thousand,’ and the one altogether lovely.” (Review and Herald February 12, 1889)
- EGW: “Thursday at 5:00 p.m. I spoke to the college students. The Lord gave me the word which seemed to reach hearts. Professor Prescott [the college president] arose and attempted to speak, but his heart was too full. There he stood for five minutes in complete silence, weeping. When he did speak he said, ‘I am glad I am a Christian.’ He made very pointed remarks. His heart seemed to be broken by the Spirit of the Lord. I invited those who had not accepted the truth, and those who had not the evidence of their acceptance with God, to come forward. It seemed that the whole company were on the move.” (Arthur White The Lonely Years 421)
- EGW: “The promise [Mt 18:19, 20] is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” (Manuscript Releases 9:303)
- What if the daughter of Battle Creek College asked God to pour out the Spirit of Jesus upon us like He did 127 years ago?
What if we kept asking until He did?
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.
Community and gathering in some form remains vital. We have asked Grow Groups of more than ten people to start meeting online. For Grow Groups of less than ten people, we're asking them to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet—as per the CDC.