An Open Letter to Charles Wheeling
by Luis Munilla
Date of Publication 1994
The following letter is
remarkable. It was written this summer (1994) by one of the leading
workers at Charles Wheelings organization, who was the
secretary/treasurer of the corporation, as well as one of the five
members of its executive board.
Luis Munilla has been at
Wheelings Jemison, Alabama, headquarters for several years and, for
many, many months has pled with the Wheeling brothers, and others there,
to return to confidence and belief in the Spirit of Prophecy. Because of
his important position, he is well-acquainted both with corporate
matters and the staff that work there.
In this startling exposure,
Luis draws back the curtain and reveals the truth about how far a
majority of the leaders and workers at that organization have fallen.
a result of the crisis, described below, Charles Wheelings skeptical
views are shared by nearly everyone working in his Jemison headquarters.
who oppose the apostasy are threatened and persecuted. One individual
who protested was threatened with the destruction of his property. His
wife was terrorized in front of their home. Another had his front door
is now revealed that part of the money donated to the Jemison group for
Great Controversy distribution is used to print and mail out literature
and cassettes attacking the trustworthiness and authorship of the Spirit
their group meetings, both the Spirit of Prophecy and the necessity of
obedience by faith are ridiculed; and books and magazines slurring the
Spirit of Prophecy are quoted.
and lectures by speakers opposed to the Spirit of Prophecy are welcomed.
the five-member board, the three who believe in the Spirit of Prophecy
have been forced to resign under threats by the workers.
The faithful are departing,
nevermore to return. It is a tragedy to weep over. All because one man
thought he was smarter than Gods Word.
The following letter is
self-explanatory. We have retypeset it, so that Spirit of Prophecy
statements will be set in a type and width differing from that of other
quoted individuals. Because the document is lengthy, we have reduced it
somewhat. All subheads and italics are Munilla's; all non-subhead bold
print is ours. Brackets are ours, unless otherwise stated.
July 22, 1994
I cannot express the sadness that I feel as I write this letter to you as the former president of Inspiration Books East, Inc.
After being out of the country for nearly three months, and working incessantly to organize, coordinate, and distribute with a handful of faithful Seventh-day Adventists from around the world, nearly 2.3 million Whats Behind the New World Order? booklets in Romania, France, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, I arrived in the office to discover what you had done, and what I believe will be, short of a miracle from God, the end of this ministry.
For more than four years I have asked you to stop your attacks against Ellen G. White. For more than four years I have received many phone calls from faithful supporters that ask me: How can Charles attack the Spirit of Prophecy and at the same time distribute Great Controversy? How can you work with Charles when your theology is so different? Is it true that Charles does not believe in 1844? Is it true that Charles does not believe in 1798?
My response has always been the same: Please ask Charles for yourself. The fact that our theology disagrees should not keep us from working together in our goal of distributing Great Controversy.
Many times I have been told by our supporters that, when they ask your opinion about 1798 or 1844, they cannot seem to obtain a clear answer. Some things you say seem to indicate that you do believe, but then you immediately qualify your statements to indicate that you do not believe like Mrs. White.
For more than four years I have remained quiet, hoping and praying that you would stop, even though many friends of this ministry have told me that they could no longer support us, due to your theology and continued attacks against the Spirit of Prophecy.
During the last eight months, I have received numerous phone calls from shocked Seventh-day Adventists who have heard you say, in your seminars, that Mrs. White only wrote 20% of Desire of Ages, and I continued to remain quiet, hoping and praying that your behavior would not hurt the distribution of Great Controversy worldwide.
Upon my return from this last trip, I was asked by a number of people whether I had heard your November 93 Update cassette (mailed in May 1993) and entitled Do Mirrors Ever Lie? I answered No.
I was then asked by others whether I had seen Vance Ferrells 8-page critique on your Update and entitled Wheelings Latest Attack on the Spirit of Prophecy. I again answered No.
I was hoping and praying again that the reports had been exaggerated, so that I would not have to publicly address these issues and hurt this most important ministry.
But when you mail more than 1,000 cassettes worldwide, stating that Great Controversy was not written by Mrs. White, but was a reprint of two books written by James White, who in turn copied most of his material from Sylvester Bliss, J.N. Andrews, and Uriah Smith, then I can no longer remain silent!
What do you do with this statement?
While writing the manuscript of The Great Controversy, I was often conscious of the presence of the angels of God. And many times the scenes about which I was writing were presented to me anew in visions of the night, so that they were fresh and vivid in my mind.Colporteur Ministry, 128.
YOUR COMPLETE STATEMENT LEAVES VERY LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT
In response to a letter from a brother who is suggesting that we use the 1884 edition of Great Controversy instead of the 1888 edition, you stated [in your taped sermon, Do Mirrors Ever Lie?]:
What do I owe to these people? Should I ignore them; should I file it in file 13; what do I owe to them? Well, do I owe them the truth? Do I really? Should I have responded to these persons with the facts?
One of the unwritten stories in Adventist history is the influence James White had in forming the ideas and sentences that came out under his wifes (Ellens) name and pen.
Although not noted as a literary writer or theologian, James produced four published books, two of these were: Life Incidents in Connection with the Great Advent Movement as Illustrated by the Three Angels of Revelation 14. This was published in 1868. And, in 1875, Sketches of the Christian Life and Public Labors of William Miller, Gathered from His Memoir by the Late Sylvester Bliss and from Other Sources.
Both books, under James
Whites name, were almost totally copied from others. Hold on. The one
on William Miller was taken from Sylvester Bliss, who in 1853 had
written Memoirs of William Miller. The theology of Life
Incidents was copied substantially from Uriah Smith and J.N.
Neither of these two books with
James Whites name on it, neither of these two books, was ever printed
under another name after the first printing under the name of James
White, as far as is known. But they were reprinted under a another name,
that of Ellen G. White, his wife, just a few years after his death in
1881; this material was reprinted in 1884 as Great Controversy
Is this what I owe them? Do I
owe them the truth, you see? The 1888 and 1911 editions of Great
Controversy went back to James Whites compilation of doctrines
and events and picked up even more of his findings and ideas, but never
once was it suggested that the heart of Adventist doctrine (such as the
three angels message worldwide, that the church had applied
exclusively to the Adventists, the shut door that left everyone else out
in the cold, the 2300 days, the 70 weeks, the sanctuary doctrine, the
United States in prophecy, the mark of the beast, the image to the
beast) had all come out of James Whites
book, Life Incidents.
What exactly do you owe to people who believe something sincerely?[Charles Wheeling, Do Mirrors Ever Lie? taped sermon sent to a thousand Adventists].
AN APOLOGY TO SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
Charles, your November 93 Update cassette, which so clearly depicts your position, and the critique of the same which is being disseminated by Vance Ferrell and others, will do tremendous damage to this ministry.
behalf of this ministry, I want to apologize
for what I consider to be the most blatant attack on the Spirit
of Prophecy that I have heard from any Seventh-day Adventist layman or
minister in the 11 years that I have been in this church.
the majority of workers in this ministry have listened so long to your
sermons, that by beholding they have changed, and have denied what they
have believed for many years.
However, in addition to my apology, I want to advise our supporters that not all of the workers in this ministry, nor the majority of the board members of this ministry, share your views of Ellen White. Truly did she prophecy:
The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.
The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to science falsely so called will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be intrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal . .
True godliness will be clearly distinquished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat.5 Testimonies, 80-81.
Divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and tares grow up together for the harvest.2 Selected Messages, 114.
THE DOWNWARD MARCH TO PERDITION
I have shared the following admonition two times with you in the past. I share it now for the third and final time, so that you may know that we have, in the writings of Ellen G. White, a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.
It is Satans plan to weaken the faith of Gods people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.4 Testimonies, 211.
According to Gods prophet, there are three steps that must be taken in the downward march to perdition. First, we lose faith in Gods Testimonies; Second, we begin to doubt the pillars of our faith; third, we doubt the Holy Scriptures.
Charles, you first began to doubt Mrs. Whites testimonies. It is in the Testimonies that we find what took place in 1844.
Calculation of the time was so simple and plain that even children could understand it. From the date of the decree of Persia, found in Ezra 7, which was given in 457 before Christ, the 2300 years of Daniel 8:14 must terminate with 1843 . .
But it was ascertained that the decree was given near the close of the year 457 B.C., and therefore the prophetic period must reach to the fall of the year 1844 . .
Instead of the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 referring to the purifying of the earth, it was now plain that it pointed to the closing work of our High Priest in heaven, the finishing of the atonement, and the preparing of the people to abide the day of His coming.1 Testimonies, 52, 58.
You quickly followed with the second step; skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position. The main pillar, according to the prophet herself, is Daniel 8:14.
The Scripture which above all others has been both the foundation and central pillar of the advent faith was the declaration: Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Daniel 8:14 . . These prophetic days had been shown to terminate in the autumn of 1844.Great Controversy, 409.
The third and final step has just been taken; doubt as to the Holy Scriptures. Your November 93 Update cassette, mentioned above, reveals the doubt you now publicly admit regarding Gods Holy Scriptures. Please note the exact language you used in that sermon:
Scripture is light from God through a prophet. I have not put the prophet in a direct line between God and me; in a few moments Ill show you that thats what most Adventists do. Thats what most people do, but its not actually the case at all.
Im showing you that the light from God, to me, through the prophet is bent. Its refracted. I didnt say reflected. Reflected is what happens when you have a mirror, but refracted is when the light passes through something but its bent in the process.[Charles Wheeling].
Charles, please notice your language compared with that of Gods prophet:
Gods spirit has illuminated every page of Holy Writ, but there are those upon whom it makes little impression, because it is imperfectly understood. When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand . .
We should call attention to what the prophets and apostles have written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit has so shaped matters, both in the giving of the prophecy and in the events portrayed, as to teach that the human agent is to be kept out of sight, hid in Christ.Testimonies to Ministers, 112.
He who has a knowledge of God
and His Word through personal experience has a settled faith in the
divinity of the Holy Scriptures. He has proved that Gods Word is
truth, and he knows that truth can never contradict itself.Ministry
of Healing, 462.
The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of Gods remnant people in the true testimony.
There will be a hatred kindled against the Testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.1 Selected Messages, 48.
YOU HAVE THEREBY INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GOD
It is the Holy Spirit that inspires Gods prophets. When you reject the Testimonies of Mrs. White, you do not reject her, but the Spirit of God.
When I sent you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You have thereby insulted the Spirit of God. 1 Selected Messages, 27.
Korah and his companions rejected light until they became so blinded that the most striking manifestations of His power were not sufficient to convince them; they attributed them all to human or satanic agency . .
It was this act that sealed their doom. They had committed the sin against the Holy Spirit, a sin by which mans heart is effectually hardened against the influence of divine grace.
Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, said Christ, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him. Matthew 12:32. These words were spoken by our Saviour when the gracious works which He had performed through the power of God were attributed by the Jews to Beelzebub.
It is through the agency of the Holy Spirit that God communicates with man; and those who deliberately reject this agency as satanic, have cut off the channel of communication between the soul and Heaven.
God works by the manifestation of His Spirit to reprove and convict the sinner; and if the Spirits work is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul. The last resource of divine mercy has been employed. The transgressor has cut himself off from God, and sin has no remedy to cure itself. There is no reserved power by which God can work to convict and convert the sinner. Let him alone (Hosea 4:17) is the divine command. Then there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27.Patriarchs and Prophets, 405.
Charles, Satan has finally taken advantage of the situation. You have so long insulted the Spirit of God, by your attacks against the Spirit of Prophesy, that God is allowing you to follow your own desires and to suffer the result.
I CAN NO LONGER CONSENT
A few years ago, when Charles Wheeling spoke, there was standing room only in his seminars. Seminars, where 900-1,200 people would attend a few years ago, have now been reduced to 200-300 attendees.
A few years ago there were over 1,000 paying Update subscribers. Now there are less than 300.
A few years ago we kept our video machines running constantly to keep up with orders for your videos. Now you have started a program where people can borrow your videos on a loan basis, and return them without cost.
At a time when we should be incessantly working to finish this work, every bone and fiber of your body is absorbed in proving this prophet wrong. When will you realize that you are kicking against the pricks?
A handful of us spent two months overseas, more than 10 months ago, and distributed over 3 million books in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Japan and South Korea, and Seventh-day Adventists are still waiting for our newsletter.
Thousands of pages have been mailed from this Ministry attacking Gods prophetusing money donated for Great Controversies,yet we are barely scratching the barrel for funds to do Gods work!
I cannot any longer, with a clear conscience, after such a blatant attack on Gods prophet and the pillars of our faith, remain silent and allow the remaining supporters to also turn away from this ministry.
I cannot any longer answer phone calls from faithful Adventists, some of which have called me with the same questions about you various times, who were shocked by your behavior, who cannot obtain from you a clear answer of your beliefs, and who finally say, I am sorry, I cannot any longer support your ministry!
God is being dishonored, and the truth is being made of none effect. I must advise our supporters, on behalf of the board, that this ministry, in its present condition, will no longer tolerate such behavior on your part. I am compelled, by Gods Spirit, to openly protest your behavior!
My message to you is: No longer consent to listen without protest to the perversion of truth. Unmask the pretentious sophistries which, if received, will lead ministers and physicians and medical workers to ignore the truth . . I have been instructed to warn our people; for many are in danger of receiving theories and sophistries that undermine the foundation pillars of our faith. 1 Selected Messages, 196-197.
Today there is need of the voice of stern rebuke; for grievous sins have separated the people from God . .
There are many professed Christians who, if they should express their real feelings, would say, What need is there of speaking so plainly? They might as well ask, Why need John the Baptist have said to the Pharisees, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Luke 3:7.
Why need he have provoked the anger of Herodias by telling Herod that it was unlawful for him to live with his brothers wife? The forerunner of Christ lost his life by his plain speaking. Why could he not have moved along without incurring the displeasure of those who are living in sin?
So men who should be standing as faithful guardians of Gods law have argued, till policy has taken the place of faithfulness, and sin is allowed to go unreproved. When will the voice of the faithful rebuke be heard once more in the church?Prophets and Kings, 140-141.
Three times in the last eight months, not including this present situation, a very small group of workers here have to resist the rushing torrent of iniquity that has slowly tried to take possession of this ministry. Unfortunately, prophecy tells us that this will only get worse!
Those who have a zeal for
Gods honor and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain
favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy
works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop
the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief
and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very
homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their
souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every
kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is
trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is
dishonored, the truth made of none effect.5 Testimonies for the
God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His Word to awake out sleep.5 Testimonies, 707.
The goal of this ministry, from its inception, has been the distribution of Great Controversy as the leaves of autumn.
As board member and secretary/treasure of this corporation, I have been able until the present time, to tell our supporters that their funds have been used to distribute this book worldwide. I can no longer, with a clear conscience, make this assertion!
I cannot remain quiet any longer and allow you, with Gods money, to disseminate falsehoods against the Spirit of Prophecy, whether in your seminars, videos, cassette tapes, or literature mailed from this ministry.
GRIEVOUS SINS MUST BE CALLED BY THEIR RIGHT NAME
Everyone who loves Jesus and
the souls for whom He died
will follow after the things that make for peace. But His followers are
to take special care lest . . in warding off divisions, they make a
sacrifice of its principles. Upward Look, 220.
Wrongs must be called wrongs. Grievous sins must be called by their right name . . The plain straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins.
Never was there greater need of faithful warnings and reproofs . . than at the very time. 5 Testimonies, 676.
THE LAST WEEK AT COUNTDOWN MINISTRIES
The issues contained herein are normally of a confidential nature. However, at the employee meeting, held on July 14th, all of these issues were discussed, and have now become part of the public record. The facts have been so distorted that some of us have been accused of firing Charles Wheeling, taking over the ministry, and stealing $500.000.
As a result, people are calling from around the world, wondering what really happened in the last board meeting. In defense of truth, the following facts are being disclosed.
On July 14, 1994, at 10:00 a.m., began a meeting of the board of this ministry. The five board members present were: Charles and Judy Wheeling, Bill Wiese, David Caine, and Luis Munilla. Also present at the meeting were: David Wheeling, who is Charles brother but not a board member, and Charles secretary, who was recording the board minutes.
A PRECARIOUS INCOME STATEMENT
A SHOCKING DONORS REPORT
Immediately after lunch, Luis Munilla passed out to all the board members the income statement for January through June of 1994. Luis also passed out a comparative income statement for the last six years of the ministry.
The comparative income statement reveals that we have received, as of June 30, 1994, 46% of the income that we received for the same period in 1993, and less than 65% of what it has been for any year since 1889.
Luis then passed out a six-page donor comparative report of the 300 largest donors for 1993 and 1994. Sixty seven (67) of these donors had contributed, in 1993, over $1,052,000; and, for 1994, the total contributions of the same 67 donors was zero. This cannot be blamed on the economy.
I stated that many of these donors have personally called me, and have stated that they can no longer support this ministry because of your theology and attacks on Mrs. White. I reminded the board that, during the last eight months, three times I have had to call all the workers of this ministry into the worship room, to publicly deal with their blatant attacks of the Spirit of Prophecy. Excerpts from these meetings are included at the end of this letter.