Breaking the Silence

Why Restoration? Around 1880, God beamed glorious rays of heavenly light upon certain chosen vessels—D.S. Warner and others. This sixth trumpet ministry understood the great evil of sectarian divisions among Christians. These few souls courageously stepped out from the schisms of man, believing and walking in the precious light.

With loud thunder blasts of the trumpet, they boldly poured out God’s judgments upon false systems of religion, warning all the scattered sheep to “come out of her my people” and “be not partakers of her sins” and “receive not of her plagues.” Thousands took their stand upon the Word of God alone and fled the awful deceptions of spiritual Babylon. A time of reformation swept over the land, bringing God’s children back to their native habitation—the church of the living God. Through this glorious and prophetic reform, many souls came leaping, shouting home to Zion.

They rejoiced in the precious unity of the saints, in sound Bible preaching, in manifestations of divine, physical healings, and in the glory of God in the camp The inspiration of holy songs and biblical writings still stand as a monument today of this move of God. D.S. Warner died in 1895. In following years, some of his associates (leading ministers) fell prey to seducing spirits of compromise. As is typical of this spirit, it makes its appearance in “little things.” Little things like a tie—that useless piece of adornment in dress. What harm can it do? Approximately one hundred and twenty years later, go among this same body of people, along with its tributaries, and you will behold spiritual dearth—a waste and barren land. Little things led to a landslide of worldliness and compromise, the damage of which only eternity can express. The spirit of compromise had done its deadly work. Apostasy is a lion. With time, the sixth trumpet waxed silent. The message was “toned down.” The judgments ceased, the glory departed, and the people fell asleep (Matthew 25:1-5). The prophetic words of Rev. 8:1 explains this thus, “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” The spiritual decline was everywhere, marked by dead, formal meetings; instruments and entertainment in worship to fill the Holy Ghost void; rampant worldliness; shallow professors; no vision, no glory, no holiness—many tares mixed with a scarcity of wheat. “A subtle apostasy wrought a vile work, And quieted over the eve’s jubilee. ‘Twas widespread destruction, the ‘tail’ did much hurt; Great carnage was spread over land and o’er sea.

Seeing that Jesus is returning for a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, something drastic surely needed to be accomplished to change this dire condition. There was no visible, gathered body of people that God could shamelessly call His own. But oh, glory! In sweet accord with holy prophecy, “The seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven” (Rev. I 1: I 5), and “at midnight there was a cry made”! A wake-up call from heaven; a breaking of the devilish silence! It is clear, both by scripture and now by history, that God has delighted in using the weak things of this world to confound the powers that be, whether Gideon’s three hundred, or a physically frail D.S. Warner. God has always had leading figures of faith who were more prominent in fulfilling His purposes, whether it be a Paul, Menno Simon, or John Wesley. We view these chosen vessels at their allotted times in the gospel day. Permit us now to bring to view another of heaven’s selected vessels—Bro. Daniel W. Layne.

One precious and memorable day, while on Leavenworth Street in San Francisco, the Lord clearly spoke to Daniel Layne, saying, “If you will give me your life, I will save you.” This heroin addict of nineteen years, wasted by sin in mind and body, thought that God was offering to save him right before he died. (God had chosen a weak thing.) He called his parents to come and take him out of the environment that he was in. Hesitant, because of past disappointments, his parents told him to call back the next day. He did, and that day they came and took him home. From the point that the Lord spoke to his soul, Daniel lost his desire for drugs and was later converted in May of 1980. Before his conversion, after he had left the street-life, he ended services with his family in a congregation affiliated ith the Anderson Church of God. One of the former embers, now standing in present truth, writes: “He looked w any other that just came off skid row—long haired, rough king and thin.” In May of 1980, the Lord began dealing with him again. While on a family outing, he came under Holy Ghost conviction. The Lord warned him that He had given him enough time now and that if he didn’t get saved, He would send him back where He had found him. He could hardly get home fast enough to clear things out and seek the Lord. He pulled the plug on his television, set it outside the apartment, and called his sister to come and get it; he wouldn’t be watching it anymore. On a Sunday morning in May of 1980, he repented in tears. The apartment walls were thin. The neighbors started pounding on the wall, trying to get him to quiet down, but to no avail. He was seeking with his whole heart. When the Lord saved him, he felt the awful burden and weight of sin lift from his soul and the glory of God pour in! He arose a new creation in Christ, and with tears streaming down his face, he walked and shouted praises of thanksgiving unto God!

His brother, who had come to pick him up for morning service, opened the door and stood amazed. Tears started streaming down his face, too. For many years the family had prayed for Daniel, and now, their prayers were answered. They went on to service. The special singers commenced to sing, and, when starting the chorus, “Redeeming love, a love that knows no limits.” a commotion was heard. Shouting had never been heard here before, and rarely did anyone say “Amen,” so they knew not what was going on. The singers went on with the second verse. That noise started again. Bro. Daniel was up on his feet waving his hands in the air, and shouting praises to God for the joy of being redeemed. He couldn’t keep quiet any longer! It was during Bro. Layne’s time in that congregation that he received his call to preach the everlasting gospel. Some objected to his strong messages and even more to his rejoicing and shouting. The Lord soon called Bro. Layne out of that sect. A few left with him. He then affiliated with the Faith and Victory movement with which he had associated in his youth. From the onset, God blessed his labors as he traveled to various areas holding meetings among those people. Many rejoiced and were refreshed as they witnessed God sending a special stirring. Bro. Ostis B. Wilson, recognizing that the Lord had His hand upon Bro. Layne for a special work. him ordained to the ministry in 1984, despite opposition from some of their sleeping ministers. Satan, filled with wrath at hearing a cry at midnight that was awakening those whom he had put to sleep, stirred up opposition. The seventh trumpet had started sounding, widening the gulf between the wheat and the tares. In the spring of 1988, God called Bro. Layne and His remnant out from among them. They didn’t yet realize it, but the Lord was bringing forth the birth of a restoration of His church.