Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I was once a Trinitarian, and it pained my heart in recent years to hear of those who had ‘left the faith once delivered to the saints’, as I thought. In 1995, a friend gave me a book and two audio tapes. Out of politeness, I took them. But when I opened the book, it was unintelligible to me. The tapes seemed to be in ‘Chinese’, and so I only heard a few moments.
This ended my encounter with the subject. I did not study it, nor even think about it. It completely went out of my mind; just disappeared.
Three years later, a magazine arrived on the subject. I had dismissed a previous issue, but this time I glanced through it. Suddenly a Spirit of Prophecy statement caught my attention, and I immediately thought, ‘Uh oh, I think I need to study this’. Taking ‘Patriarchs and Prophets’ from the shelf, I read the first chapter. There was no doubt in my mind now – This is the truth.
Then began an in-depth study, from November 1998 until this day, and the subject is clearer and more beautiful now than when I first believed it.
Dear Reader, if you have found the subject difficult, I can appreciate your feelings. If you have not seen it as truth, I understand. I know through my own experience that when something is new, it can be hard to understand. My mind could not even begin to consider the subject. And yet, as I later looked at the book and listened to the tapes, I found them to be so simple and plainly stated.
One thing I did know – I loved the truth.
I became a Christian in 1959, and an Adventist in 1961. As a 21-year-old, who had disliked school and study, I became very analytical, loving to study God’s Word.
When the subject of God and His Son was presented in 1995, I should have studied it, but for some reason, it was beyond me. Three years later, when I saw the light, study of the subject became easy. I went through every text in the Bible on the subject; I wanted to be absolutely certain.
I am so grateful to God for bringing me to Jesus at an Anglican camp meeting in 1959. I knew absolutely nothing about the Bible, except that Jesus was a good man who healed people. I attended Sunday School and Youth Fellowship, but was unable to understand anything else. However, when the gospel was clearly presented to a few of us in a little after-meeting at the Anglican camp, God opened my mind and a light came on.
The next twelve months was only Jesus, and Sundays were filled with church services. At 8.00am Communion in my local church, 9.00 taught Sunday School, 10.00 Youth Fellowship, 11.00 Divine Service, 2.00 a Chinese Church, 4.00 Chinese Youth Service, and at 7.00pm Evensong at St. Paul’s cathedral.
In 1960, my father, a very active Anglican churchman, took me to a meeting in the State Theatre, where Geoff Ratcliffe was to speak on the second coming of Christ. Little did either of us know it was an Adventist mission (crusade), in fact, I had never heard of Seventh-day Adventists.
What a revelation the subject was for me – Jesus is coming back!
My dear Daddy later told me he had believed this for forty years, having read a book while at school called ‘The Midnight Cry’. (I found out later it was printed by the Signs Publishing Company)
Oh Daddy, why didn’t you tell me? But I held my peace.
You see, I remembered the death of my grandmother and how my heart had been broken. I cried every night for months. Mimi was gone; I would never see her again. I remembered her funeral as a 16-year-old, and recall watching the Lutheran pastor comfort my auntie. He did not say a word of comfort to me, yet I had lost the light of my life.
But now, joy filled my heart -- I would see Mimi again.
As the mission progressed, my mind was filled with wonder, excitement and many questions. Was all this true?
The big question was the Sabbath – if that was true, the rest must be. The next twelve months were filled with personal Bible study. After work, I would go to the public library to study history. Did the Ten Commandments go through the cross? Surely history would reveal it.
My answer came during our weekly Bible study with Roy Naden, Pastor Ratcliffe’s singing evangelist, and I was baptised the following Sabbath. My mother came to the baptism, but I was alone in the truth. I still praise God for His mercy upon me. I determined never to allow a friend to lose a loved one without giving them hope.
My Anglican father and Lutheran mother remained members of their churches, but my dear Daddy, who died March 10, 2012, aged 100 years, rejoiced in Jesus. He believed the truth that he would go to sleep until the resurrection. In the hospital, two days before he died, he asked, ‘Margaretha, I am going to sleep, but Jesus will wake me up, won’t He?’ ‘Yes Daddy’, and I quoted 1 Thessalonians 4:16.17. We prayed together. It was the last time I saw him, but I will see him in ‘the morning’.
I will always remember how a Catholic work-friend of my husband shared thoughtful words with me at my grandfather’s funeral. He simply said, ‘This is a sad day.’ He had never met my grandfather, but came out of respect for us. It is the only comment I remember, but it has lived with me since 1972.
My prayer has been that I might be thoughtful, kind and gentle too, but it has not been easy. I had to learn it for writing too. A friend, after reading one of my books said, ‘Don’t make sharp thrusts.’ It was counsel I needed and began to implement it in my writing. Today I try to remember, and am grateful for proofers who say, ‘That word is too hard’, as it can be changed.
I want Jesus to shine through me. Jesus is not a doctrine; He is a living Person. I know many readers understand this, and Jesus does shine from your countenance, whether His name is spoken or not. My husband’s friend did not mention Jesus, but through His kind words,
God’s love blessed my heart as I have remembered them these forty-one years.
However, doctrine is also essential, and as Adventists we understand this very well. The book you hold in your hand is about a very powerful doctrine, and many pages of history. To me history is exciting, especially denominational history, so study is a delight. But it is not easy for everyone and I have tried to vary it so as not to become tedious. My hope is that everything is simple to understand and interesting. I have also tried to be respectful, not only of the brethren about whom I write, but of the reader.
There is no question I want you to understand the doctrine -- the Fatherhood of God, and the Sonship of Jesus – but it is my prayer you will continue to grow more and more like the Saviour every day, no matter whether you see light in these pages or not.
If you have received this book in the mail from me, but do not wish to communicate, you will receive nothing more. If you have been approached by many on this subject, and feel ‘Oh no, not another one’, I apologise. Your right to reject the book is understandable.
If you would like further materials, do write to me. A follow-up book will be sent to all who request it called ‘Immanuel – God with Us’, a 96-page devotional about Jesus in His incarnation. Other books are available if you are interested. All free upon your request.
I am praying that ‘Removing the Pillar’ will be a blessing to all who read it, and will continue to pray that God will use it to His glory, and that you will pass it on to others.
Jesus is coming back soon and my prayer is that you will be ready to meet Him in peace with your loved ones.