Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


The Three Angels’ Messages Placed in the Future

Bell apparently was placing the three angels’ messages as future. Ellen White wrote out in a document of twenty-one pages a more detailed presentation dealing with Bell's position. This, too, carried the title “Testimony Concerning the Views of Prophecy Held by Brother John Bell.” Its opening words sound the keynote of warning: 4BIO 273.6

The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages has been located by the Word of Inspiration. Not a peg or pin is to be removed.—Manuscript 32, 1896. 4BIO 274.1

Not only was Bell altering the position of the three angels’ messages, but he was also introducing time-setting elements. She met both points squarely. Her statement may be read in Selected Messages 2:104-117. Here and there in this exposure of error and confirmation of truth are timeless, thought-provoking expressions, such as: 4BIO 274.2

God's people, who in their belief and fulfillment of prophecy have acted a part in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages, know where they stand. They have an experience that is more precious than fine gold. They are to stand firm as a rock, holding the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end. 4BIO 274.3

A transforming power attended the proclamation of the first and second angels’ messages, as it attends the message of the third angel. Lasting convictions were made upon human minds. The power of the Holy Spirit was manifested. There was diligent study of the Scriptures, point by point. Almost entire nights were devoted to earnest searching of the Word. We searched for the truth as for hidden treasures. The Lord revealed Himself to us. Light was shed on the prophecies, and we knew that we received divine instruction.—Ibid., 2:109. 4BIO 274.4

The Lord will not lead minds now to set aside the truth that the Holy Spirit has moved upon His servants in the past to proclaim.—Ibid., 2:110. 4BIO 274.5

The Lord does not lay upon those who have not had an experience in His work the burden of making a new exposition of those prophecies which He has, by His Holy Spirit, moved upon His chosen servants to explain. According to the light God has given me, this is the work which you, Brother F. [Bell], have been attempting to do.—Ibid., 2:112. 4BIO 274.6

John Bell read thoughtfully and prayerfully the two communications, and accepted them as messages of warning from God to him. He dropped his fanciful and misleading teachings and embraced without reservation the doctrinal teachings of the church. Of this experience A. G. Daniells wrote to W. C. White on May 6, 1897: “John [Bell] has taken a splendid position on the testimony concerning his book. He has set aside his erroneous views altogether, and stands in the best position I have known him at all.”—A. G. Daniells letter in 11 WCW, p. 435. 4BIO 274.7