1. For the last 50+ years, you and the late Donald Short have been promoting the 1888 message and calling for a corporate repentance for the church's rejection of the message. What has changed since you first began?
[I] must make [it] plain, DKS [Donald K. Short] and I do not "call for denominational repentance"; we have said that the Laodicean message describes our denominational history, and verse 19 is the Lord Jesus Himself calling for corporate and denominational repentance. Over a hundred times Ellen White has said that "we" in a corporate sense brought on our record denominationally the sin of "insulting" the Holy Spirit and rejecting Christ "just like the Jews" and the guilt "in a great degree" of withholding the message from our people and from the world. The prime issue: is this true? Arthur L White led the General Conference personnel to believe that as leadership, "we" accepted the message and we have it as our firm possession, and "we" have been proclaiming the Loud Cry message intact ever since. We are "in need of nothing."
Has anything changed in half a century? Yes, thousands of people around the world have a rudimentary knowledge now of the significance of our SDA history. They can now pray intelligently and are better equipped to meet the issues of the last days. Anyone who wants to learn about the story of the latter rain and the loud cry beginning among us can find information readily available.
2. In what way(s) are many Adventists guilty of "Baal worship" today?
Only unconsciously. But that was the case with the people also in the days of Elijah—apostasy had come on them gradually, and Elijah understood. Ellen White recognized that the rejection of the message in 1888 would make possible deception into a counterfeit. She recognized in Jones and Waggoner's message the fulfillment of the prophecy of the coming of Elijah: before the great and terrible day of the Lord. Baal worship is the subtle deception of the worship of self disguised as the worship of Christ. The widespread adulation of people and leaders is evidence.
3. What has been the general attitude toward you in the past few years among the church governing body?
A sincere effort was made by a former General Conference president over a decade ago to investigate the 1888 history and message (the "Primacy of the Gospel Committee"). The chairman at first showed a keen interest and seemed to be understanding; then when the president had to resign, the opponents took over the committee. The original agreement was that if the committee should end in disagreement, both sides would make a report to be published by the General Conference. But only one was published.
4. According to your understanding, what is the main idea of the 1888 message that the church finds so repulsive?
The ultimate answer: the idea of overcoming sin per se, and thus preparing to honor Christ at the close of probation. The 1888 idea of the cleansing of the sanctuary is misrepresented as the false doctrine of "perfectionism."
5. At this late stage in your life, do you think that Christ will return while you're still alive?
I am in my 92nd year; I cherish the same faith in the nearness of the Lord's return as I held when I was baptized at the age of 12—I thought the Lord would come so soon that I would not be able to finish high school. This is what the Bible speaks of as "the blessed hope." I cherish it today. I understand that the Lord Jesus Himself wants to come; the ongoing misery in the world weighs on His heart, He longs to put an end to sin and cruelty. But He cannot act unilaterally because He has taken upon His sinless nature our sinful nature and has become forever one of the human race. The original dictum is still true, "it is not good that the man should be alone," and that applies to Jesus as the Son of God and now the Son of man. He must have "an help meet," a bride who can understand Him and sympathize with Him. It is she, not He, who has delayed "the marriage of the Lamb." The agenda before the church now is to grow up out of our spiritual infancy, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, prepared to stand at His side as a bride stands at the side of her husband whom she has learned to know and to appreciate for what he is. She gives him her heart.
In order for this development to take place it is necessary that the church learn to "comprehend" the length, breadth, depth, and height of the love (agape) of Christ. The latter rain and the loud cry are not emotional excitement, but a message, the ultimate one of Christ and Him crucified. The church at present does not comprehend what Christ accomplished by His sacrifice on the cross. The Sunday-keeping Evangelical understanding has gradually and unconsciously absorbed our attention. The "third angel's message in verity" will be Christ and Him crucified in its ultra high fidelity reality of truth.
6. Why hasn't Christ returned yet?
The "most precious message" that "the Lord in His great mercy sent" to prepare a people for Christ's coming has been kept from the church and from the world "in a great degree." He dares not come until His people are ready; otherwise they would perish by the brightness of His coming.
Be of good courage in the Lord. He will bless your work; let us trust Him. Even if He permits you to meet opposition. Hang on. Please keep me personally in the background as much as you can. The ultimate blessing to come on the church must not be of a personal nature. Self must forever be out of sight.