secretarys report showed a slight increase in the
membership of the Reform Movement (4,208 souls). The number
of ordained ministers, Bible workers, publishing house
employees, and other helpers totaled 103.
Principles of Faith (front cover) as adopted by
the GC delegation, first session, 1925, according
to decision 11 (GC minutes, 1925). See previous
letters from Russia, South America (Argentina and Brazil),
and Africa (Northern and Southern Rhodesia) told of considerable
progress. The message of reformation was gaining new ground.
In Russia, where Brother H. Unrau was working, over 500
souls had taken their stand with the Reform Movement.
The report of the session, published in the Adventarbeiter
(Advent Worker) of October 1928 (year 1, number 1), says:
"Different countries, such as Palestine, African
countries, India, are asking for workers." And the
report continues: "The Lord will, in due time, do
His work, and He will make souls willing to help promote
view of the urgent Macedonian calls from many places,
the need to prepare and send out missionaries was given
serious consideration. One of the resolutions adopted
in 1928 says that young men should be encouraged to study
foreign languages, with the assistance of the General
Conference, so they can be sent abroad. But it was felt
that it would not be enough to put young men through a
training course and then send them out. They would have
to gain some experience in the home field before they
could be entrusted with responsibilities abroad. History
is full of lessons for us. We have learned that, if we
send inexperienced young men into a new field by themselves,
we will have cause to regret our mistake.
brethren assembled in 1928 were concerned about the uplifting
of the principles. This is evident from the decision that
the people should be instructed concerning the need to
take a higher stand in health reform, dress reform, and
Sabbathkeeping, and that, in harmony with the written
Word, only qualified brethren (with emphasis on 1 Timothy
3:4, 5) should be employed as workers and elders.
delegation, second session, Isernhagen, Hannover,
reference to proper Sabbathkeeping, our pioneers understood
that the brethren in general needed more instructions.
Therefore, according to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy,
we as a church have maintained that cooking on the Sabbath,
unjustified traveling on the Sabbath, leaving work late
and arriving home after
sundown on Friday evening, and attendance at public school
on the Sabbath are forms of transgression of the fourth
commandment. It was agreed that our people should be instructed
that these and any other transgressions prepare the soul,
not for the seal of God, but for the mark of the beast.
the new term Brother O. Welp was elected president and
Brother W. Maas secretary.
Third General Conference Session
delegates assembled at Isernhagen, Germany, August 410,
Adventarbeiter (The Advent Worker), which was the
official organ of the General Conference, published a
comprehensive report (October 1931) with some statistics
that were presented at this session, as follows:
we consider the wonderful blessings bestowed upon us during
the past, our trust in the help of God is stronger than
ever. . . . During the past three years more than 800
new souls were accepted into the church. At present our
membership is over 5,000. . . . About 100 workers are
actively engaged in carrying this message, and several
hundred more colporteurs are carrying the present truth
through our literature from house to house."
delegation, third session, Isernhagen, Hannover,
of general interest adopted at the third session: to teach
people how to reach, by the grace of God, a higher moral
stand; to start a missionary school for the training of
qualified young men for the work of the Lord; to establish
health centers in various places.
was also decided that, in future, the General Conference
sessions should be held every three years.
those days many Adventist leaders were teaching that the
latter rain had already fallen. Our General Conference
delegation, 1931, was therefore required to define our
position on this question. From Der Adventarbeiter
(The Advent Worker) of October 1931 we quote:
is quite generally known that Seventh-day Adventists throughout
their ranks are teaching that the latter rain has already
fallen. This teaching is a great deception, and it is
contrary to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Also,
there are some who have left this Movement and are now
trying to deceive souls and becloud minds by telling them
that we teach that the latter rain has already fallen.
For this reason we make it plain that we do not believe
that the latter rain has fallen. All those who use these
arguments or insinuations against the Reform Movement
are making untrue statements for which there is no ground
whatsoever. And there are others who, through a wrong
interpretation of Revelation 18, are trying to put this
Movement in a false light. We know for sure that whatever
these people may do will not hinder our work. These points
were thoroughly discussed by the delegation, not because
of the influence of those who left this Movement, but
because of the well-known belief of many leaders in the
Adventist Church who openly profess that the latter rain
has fallen. We praise God that our understanding of these
points (the latter rain and Revelation 18) is clear. As
far as these subjects are concerned, we stand firmly on
the teachings of the Bible and the Testimonies. It is
our prayer that God may help His church to gain the victory
over every besetment and over every wrong word and action,
that the blessed promise of the latter rain may soon become
a blessed reality."
subject of organization was also given consideration by
the delegates in 1931, not because there was any doubt
in their minds, but because in some places our people
had to face those who insisted that there was no need
for church organization. On this point the report of 1931
reads as follows:
are continually, as the Spirit of Prophecy declares there
would be, some who seek to do away with organization,
who try to disorganize the work at a time when organization
is most necessary. Praise be to God that on the question
of thorough organization there is full unity among us."
special financial plan was adopted: So that there might
be means to extend the work into new fields and to help
poor missions that had already been opened, the Union
Conferences should build up a special fund through colporteur
work. Special "missionary days" were to be designated
for this purpose in the autumn of each year.
elected for the new term: O. Welp, president; W. Maas,