Adventists trace their origin to the Millerite movement. It is estimated that
about 50,000 souls in America looked for Christ to come on October 22, 1844.
They had been cast out by their respective churches. The resulting
disappointment left some 50 faithful souls who held together to form a nucleus
that, after accepting the Sabbath truth, organized the SDA church in 1863.The
paper corrects the view that Christ finished His work on the Day of Atonement.
entered a second phase of the atonement process. The main points are: 1) After
His ascension Christ began the daily ritual of forgiveness that defiled the
sanctuary. 2) On October 22, 1844
He entered the Holiest to blot out sin and cleanse the sanctuary. 3) The
investigative judgment is not dealt with as a special topic. It was later seen
by other Bible students that the judgment which began in 1844, is that mentioned
in 1 Pet. 4:17, as beginning with the house of God. After the saints are taken
to heaven, they will then judge the world and evil angels. See. 1 Cor. 6:1,2.
people like to embellish the tale of the Disappointment as a spicy American
folklore of religious fanaticism. So people point at us and say, “You
Adventists are followers of a deluded fanatic.” No, we reply, we are a people
foretold in Bible prophecy. The Disappointment is proof that Adventists
fulfilled the prophecy of John eating the book that was sweet in his mouth but
bitter in his belly. After the Disappointment, Hiram Edson wrote, “We have
eaten the little book that was sweet in our mouth, but now bitter in our
used Matthew 24:36 against Adventists, saying, “Of that day and hour knoweth
no man.” Actually, when William Miller studied the 2300 days, he arrived at
the conclusion that Christ would come within the year beginning on March 21,
1843, and ending on March 21, 1844. He did not pin down a day and hour. When God
sealed the vision of 2300 days, He meant that at the time of the end, many would
“run to and fro” in the pages of Scripture, and knowledge of the vision
would increase. Moreover, Christ told a parable of the fig tree, “When his
branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh, So
likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at
the doors. “ Matt. 24:32,33. After the year passed, Miller and his group did
not all give up. On March 25, 1844 he wrote, “The time, as I have calculated
it, is now filled up; and I expect every moment to see the Savior descend from
heaven. I have now nothing to look for but this glorious hope. I am full in the
faith that all prophetic chronology except the 1000 years in the 20th
of Revelation is now about full. Whether God designs for me to warn the people
of this earth any more, or not, I am at a loss to know; yet I mean to be
governed, if time should continue any longer than I expected, by the word and
providence of Him who will never err, and in whom I think I have trusted, and
been supported during my twelve years’ arduous labors.”
the Adventist camp meeting of August 12, 1844, preachers and members met in an
air of apathy. A sister rose to her feet and said, “It is too late, brother,
to spend our time upon these truths, with which we are familiar, . . the Lord
has servants here who have meat in due season for His household. Let them speak,
and let the people hear them.” The words interrupted the speaker, but were
spoken calmly and greeted by cries of “Amen” from the audience. The meeting
closed, and the one in charge arranged for a speaker who had meat in due season
to speak the next day. He was John Couch, who presented what Miller had written
in the May 17, 1843 issue of “Signs of the Times,” but failed to develop
further. The theme was that in the midst of the last week of the 70 weeks, “He
shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” As Christ was crucified
in the spring, the end of that week must be in the fall. So the 2300 days should
also end in the fall---the Day of Atonement---the 10th day of the 7th
month, which would be October 22,1844.
new light was biblical, simple and clear to all, solving the perplexity that
weighed on the people, so the good news spread like a tornado. No man could know
the day and the hour, but with the bridegroom at the door, it was time to
announce it. Men thought that since the Day of atonement ritual was done in a
day, Jesus would come from the sanctuary on that day, and appear in person.
floundering time jibes with Matt. 25:5, “While the bridegroom tarried, they
all slumbered and slept.” Then at midnight a cry was made, “Behold, the
bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him!” Then all the virgins arose, and
trimmed their lamps. The Advent message had been called the “midnight cry,”
now it was more applicable. The October 11 issue of the Midnight Cry
quoted the text on Elijah’s rapture. The sons of the prophets asked Elisha,
“Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today?”
It proved that as time came for the Advent, people would know. This met the
objection that “the day and the hour knoweth no man.”
the three months of revival, Miller and his associates responded cautiously, and
were the last to join. The movement was free from fanaticism. The story of
people making “ascension robes” was a rumor of the press. Believers were
awed by the solemnity of the hour. They examined themselves. If one needed to
make restitution, he did it sincerely, not leaving unconfessed sins on the
record books of heaven. It was indeed a day of atonement, when people afflicted
their souls. There was no disorder in the meetings.
first-sweet-then-bitter experience is related to the seven thunders. In John
12:28 a voice from heaven answered Jesus’ prayer. He said to men about Him,
“This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes.” Yet they did not
get its meaning, but said, “It thundered.”
They were spiritually too dull. John understood, and wrote it down.
John also understood the seven thunders, wanted to write, but a voice
from heaven said, “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and
write them not.” As Jesus said, the voice came “for your sakes.” Though
men did not understand, God was in control, and events resulted in the sifting
of His church.
“book open” in the angel’s hand was the book of Daniel, the only sealed
book in the Bible, opened in the time of the end. The riddle of the 2300 days
was solved, but half of the verse, “then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,”
remained sealed in the seven thunders. Miller held the popular theory that the
sanctuary was the earth, to be cleansed by fire. This caused the Disappointment.
if they had seen the truth of the sanctuary, they would not have repented so
fully and spread the message so fast. Even so, if the disciples knew Jesus would
be crucified, they would not have cried “Hosanna” when He entered the city.
And they fulfilled prophecy! Zech. 9:9 said, “O daughter of Zion, thy King
cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an
ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Strange! Jesus had thrice told the
disciples of His death, yet it did not register in their minds!
disappointment was greater than the one in 1844. Yet each was providential.
Psalm 84:6 says, “Who passing through the valley of tears, make it a well, the
rain also filleth the pools.” Jesus said, “Ye shall drink indeed of my
cup.” The cross before the crown.
voice from heaven ordering John to seal the seven thunders meant that the
disappointment was due to men’s spiritual
and was yet overruled by God. “All things work together for good to them that
love God.” Rom. 2:28. God rules in our world.
the Disappointment, it was seen that there is no Bible proof for the view that
the earth is the sanctuary. Early on October 23, 1844, Hiram Edson, after
weeping in prayer, saw that Christ, instead of leaving the sanctuary, had
entered the Holy of Holies, and had a work to do. He and O.R.L. Crosier, F.B.
Hahn studied this topic and published their studies in the Feb 7, 1846 Day
21, 1847, in A Word to the Little Flock, Ellen White wrote, “The Lord
showed me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true
light on the cleansing of the sanctuary, and that it was His will that Bro.
Crosier should write out the view which he gave us in the Day Star Extra, Feb.
7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra to every
February, 1845, Ellen White saw in vision the Father enter the Holiest from the
Holy Place, followed by the Son. She made it known on March 14, 1846. She also
saw that “Jesus had shut the door of the holy place, and no man can open it;
and that He had opened the door into the most holy, and no man can shut it.”
EW 42. So God’s own first saw the light in Dan 8:14,
a 4th text, Rev. 10:11, an angel says to John,
prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues and kings.” This
predicates a revival of faith resulting from a correct view of Dan. 8:14. It was
an absolute requisite, if God’s people were to “prophesy again.” Revival
came as the temple and worshipers were measured, as seen in Rev. 11:1-2, which
is our 5th text.
the 6th text, Rev 3:14, Jesus is called “the Amen, the faithful and true
witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.” Christ addresses His people,
as if to say, “You have the Testimonies for the Church. I am the one
speaking to you through those books.” You keep the Sabbath in memory of
creation. Very well, I am the Creator.” By this you recognize Me as Creator,
and I recognize you as My people by giving you instructions and rebuking and
chastening you.” This is a case of mutual recognition.
the 7th text, Rev. 12:17, we note two marks of the true church, “which keep
the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” God holds up
these two points, giving them weight. We cannot lightly regard this badge of the
King of kings.
8th text is Rev 14:12, again marks of the true church. “The testimony of
Jesus” turns to “the faith of Jesus.” The testimony of Jesus teaches us to
develop the faith of Jesus. The 9th text is Rev. 19:10, which identifies the
testimony of Jesus as the Spirit of prophecy, the Holy Spirit that spoke through
the prophets of old, and continues to speak through the writings of Ellen White.
10th text is Rev. 3:19: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” In
Jesus’ letters to the churches, only the Laodiceans does He rebuke and chasten
because He loves them. All familiar with the testimonies hear Christ’s loving
voice of rebuke. He does not say one word of commendation. It is the essence of
the many volumes of Testimonies for the Church.
We thank God for His rebukes, and earnestly afflict our souls as the
solemn event of the investigative judgment proceeds in heaven. We must prepare
11th text, Rev. 14:6-7 says, “Fear God, for the hour of His judgment is come,
and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of
waters.” It was the judgment hour proclaimed as 1844 approached. Though Miller
failed to see the truth of the cleansing of the sanctuary, yet his preaching of
Dan. 8:14 was the first angel’s message announcing the hour of God’s
judgment, in the same way as Jesus’ words, “The time is fulfilled, the
kingdom of God is at hand,” proclaimed the time of Dan. 9:24.
12th text, Rev. 14:8, says, “Babylon
is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the
wine of the wrath of her fornication.” It was when churches rejected the first
warning and began to fall spiritually. The fall is complete in Rev 18.
13th text, Rev. 14:9-11, says, “If any man worship the beast and his image,
and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of
the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup
of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the
presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb . . . ”
14th text, Rev. 18:2,4, says, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is
become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage
of every unclean and hateful bird. . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be
not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev 14:8
was when Babylon first fell. Now it is complete; the call to “Come out of
her” is sounded.
14 texts are unique in that no other church claims even one of them as applying
to its work, identity, or message. Eight of them refer either to the history or
identity of the SDA church; six of them refer to the message we bear. All Bible
texts that tally with what Crosier wrote, to confirm our faith and tell us of
our duty. We bear the last message ordained of God to be preached to the world,
and no other church preaches it. Is it not strange that some SDAs today have
lost the vision, and are turning to other churches to learn from them? God heal
us of such blindness! Help us to prize our own legacy and duty to preach God’s
last warning message to men!
the end comes, God has no other message for all mankind. The cataclysmic event
that will shock all nations will be the advent of Christ with His Father and all
His angels. The message is thrice spoken in the Bible: that the world will be
overwhelmed with horror by the greatest crisis in world history. Isaiah 2:21 first mentions it. Then on His way to Calvary
Jesus said to the women who wept at the sight of His agony, “O daughters of
Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For,
behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall . . . begin to say to the
mountains, ‘Fall on us;’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’”
mentioned this frightful scene again in Rev. 6:14-17.
We bear the awesome responsibility of telling the world that is asleep in
spiritual complacency, to wake up and get ready!
been too apathetic. The efforts we’ve made are puny compared with the impact
of that day. When it comes, let no one say to us, “You knew this was coming,
why didn’t you tell us?” If we hold our peace now, God will require their
blood at our hands.