1) You said that the Advent movement suffered a setback in a great disappointment, because they thought that the cleansing of the sanctuary took place at the second coming of Jesus. Please explain in more detail.
Answer: Very well. As a matter of fact, a great disappointment marked the beginning of the Christian era. Just before His crucifixion, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a triumphal fanfare of "Hosannas." He fulfilled the prophecy of Zech 9:9, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you, He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." This prophecy was bound to be fulfilled, yet it was based on a misunderstanding of the disciples. If they had known that Jesus was doomed to be killed, they would not have escorted Him into the city with such joy. The disciples expected Him to ascend the throne of David. But in a few days the tragedy of Calvary struck them like a thunderbolt, and all their hopes were dashed. After Christ's resurrection, He not only showed them His wounds, but also "opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." "Then He said to them, 'Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day," Luke 24:44-46. Jesus' words, "You will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice." John 16:20, also turned out to be so very true.
That disappointment was repeated in the experience of the Adventists in 1844. Soon after the faithful ones who loved the Lord found comfort and light in the Bible prophecy of the cleansing of the sanctuary. Sorrow turned into joy; their courage revived, and they prophesied again as the angel ordered in Rev. 10:11.
2) I hear that Rev 10 is a prophecy of the 1844 disappointment. Is that right?
Answer: Yes. The "little book open" in the hand of the angel alludes to the opening of the sealed vision of Dan 8:14. Yet in that open book there are seven thunders that are sealed. John 12:29 tells of the voice of God sounding like thunder to those who did not understand. John understood what God uttered, and wrote it down. John also understood the seven thunders, was about to write, when a voice from heaven said, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them." It means that the disappointment of God's remnant represented by John, was providential, just as Jesus' disciples fulfilled the prophecy of Zech 9:9, but were disappointed. They were nevertheless led of God. The angel told John to "prophesy again," after the seal on the seven thunders, which represent a complete revelation from God, was opened by those who studied the truths of the cleansing of the sanctuary. They revived from the disappointment and went out again to preach the second coming of Jesus.
The remarkable thing about Rev 10 is that there is no other event in church history that fulfills the vision so accurately. It strengthened the faith of the Adventists, for they saw that their disappointment fulfilled Bible prophecy. For so it seemed good in God's sight. The original message they preached had warned the world, for they had, in fact, proclaimed the message of the first angel of Rev. 14:6,7.
3) What new experience did the Adventists gain as they saw the light in Dan 8:14, and went to preach again the second coming of Jesus?
Answer: The Adventists were encouraged by the words in Heb 10:37: "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith, But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." Formerly they had seen the signs of Jesus coming, and knew for certain that the 2300 days were based on hard historical facts. Thus they had been walking by sight. But now they faced the second clause in Dan 8:14, "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." This must be grasped wholly by faith. For things happening in heaven could not be seen, and they must have boldness of faith "to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh." Heb 10:19,20. Christians in the early church also had to learn this lesson. They had followed Jesus by sight, but later they had to visualize by faith His work in the heavenly sanctuary. Their faith was based on the truth in Hebrews. Today our faith should also be founded on what the Holy Spirit has revealed in this book. It warns not to "draw back to perdition"
Our faith should be based on prophecies already fulfiflled, realizing that : (a) The early disciples fulfilled Zech 9:9, saying "Behold, your king is coming to you," when they joined the triumphal procession Yet they were doomed to disappointment, and their hopes vanished. Yet it was the Holy Spirit who inspired the prophet to write the words to let the disciples know that the changing of their sweet experience into sorrow was all in the providence of God. (b) After the disappointment in 1844, the Adventists saw in Rev 10 God's prophecy of their experience, so their faith was likewise confirmed. They saw they were people of prophecy.
4) Miller first preached Christ's second coming. After the disappointment how was it recognized as the first angel's message?
Answer: "The everlasting gospel," Rev 14:6, is used only once in the Bible. An angel flying in the midst of heaven says, "Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water." The everlasting gospel has both head and tail. The creation is the head, and the judgment is the tail. The cross of Christ is in between. If you don't mention the creation or the judgment, you preach a truncated gospel without head or tail. It is neither everlasting nor complete. "Éverlasting" is limitless time. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8. "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." "According to the fore-knowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Sspirit, for obedience . . . of Jesus Christ." Eph 1:4, 1 Pet. 1:2. The purpose of God in choosing us is "that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." This is the substance of justification and sanctification.
The believer prays for forgiveness of sins committed before he came to Jesus. The investigative judgment is to examine his behavior after he believed. Jesus must know how many of those who call Him "Lord" have done His Father's will. Matt 7:12. If the Lord's grace has produced no change in the believer, it proves that he is a false believer. James 2:13 says, "For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment." One who shows mercy to others, will be released by a merciful judgment.
5) I have heard people say that a believer in Christ has eternal life and will not be judged. For Jesus said, "I did not come to judge the world but to save the world." John 12:47.
Answer: Please read on. It continues to say, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. " So we see there will certainly be a judgmentt. God sealed the judgment message contained in Dan 8:14, puposing to open the seal in the "time of the end." Once that time arrived, the angel flying in the midst of heaven proclaims the everlasting gospel to every nation, tribe, tongue and people. His message must be very important, not something that may or may not be preached.
Jesus often spoke of the judgment. In Matt 5:22. He said, "Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." In Matt 10:15 He said, "It will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city." He also said, "It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you." "For every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment." "The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generastion and condemn it, for she came from from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and indeed a greater than Solomon is here." Matt 12:36. These words of Jesus should sober us up; for He will examine us very strictly.
6) James 2:12 says, "So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.." What is this law of liberty?
Answer: Please read the preceding text. "He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' So the 'Law of liberty' is the Ten Commandments. The angel flying in the midst of heaven, after saying, "Fear God and give glory to Him, adds, "worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water." Here he is plainly calling on all to keep the Sabbath they have neglected. Since God's judgment has begun, and the Decalogue is the standard of judgment, let all hasten to repair the Sabbath breach! "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. "The Sabbath was made for man," so man must keep it in order to repair the breach. It is our opportunity to fear God, give glory to Him, and to take a stand for the law of God that has been trampled on by the world.
7) Is this teaching people to be saved by keeping the law? What does the angel say?
Answer: The angel says, "Fear God and give glory to him." He does not speak of our being saved, but only of God's glory. Which do you say is more important? The glory of God is paramount. Jesus says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." God says, "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am the Father, where is my honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name." Mal 1:6. If a parent's command is ignored by a child, that parent is dishonored. If no one keeps the Sabbath God has commanded, He is dishonored. The devil can then mock God saying, "The people You have made don't obey You, but obey me instead. Can you admit them to heaven?" The Sabbath command is strictly a command; other precepts are more or less based on people's sense of right. People who don't know God can also write laws telling people to honor their parents and prohibiting them from committing murder, adultery, robbery and deception. But whoever insists on keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, his only motive for doing so would be that he wants to obey God.
8) The "little book open" in Rev 10:2 points to the only sealed book in the Bible, being opened in the time of the end. As the seven thunders uttered their voices, and John was about to write, a voice from heaven said, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them." Then at the end of the 2300 days, the riddle was solved by many students rushing to and fro in the pages of Scripture. But they misunderstood the words, "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," and disappointment resulted. Please explain "Time shall be no longer," (KJV) and "In the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished,"
Answer: "Time shall be no longer" cannot be the end of the world, because later on the angel tells John to "prophesy again." It means that prophetic time ended with the 2300 days--the longest prophetic period in the Bible.
The sounding of the seventh angel refers to the last period in history. The "mystery of God" is the gospel. It is "finished" in that it makes its fullest revelation through the testimonies of the Spirit of prophecy. Rom 16:25,26 says, "According to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now has been made manifestm and by the prophetic Scritpures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith."
9) Rev 11:1 says, "Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, 'Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.'" Please explain this passage.
Answer: What God seals, He will surely open at an appointed time. The vision of the 2300 days was sealed to the time of the end. When the time came, there arose many men who studied the vision, and they understood the 2300 days. By the same logic, the seal on the seven thunders was also eventually opened. After the disappointment, men directed by the Holy Spirit studied their Bibles and saw that the mediatorial work of Jesus passed from the Holy Place to the Most Holy. After they understood this truth, their courage revived, and they went out to "prophesy again."
To solve the riddle of the cleansing of the sanctuary, the text in Rev. 11:1 has to do with studying the sanctuary rites. The measuring of the worshipers refers to the investigative judgment--measuring people with the standard of the sanctuary. Rev 11:2 says, "But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles." So the Gentiles were also left unmeasured. 1 1 Pet 4:17 says, "The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" They are left to be judged in a later period, when the saints participate. See 1 Cor 6:2,3.
10) How is it that the early disciples had to go through a disappointment, and restore their faith after studying the prophecies. Then the faithul ones in 1844 had to go through the same trials before they learned the full truth?
Answer: The answer is in your question. The disappointment was caused by the obstinacy of men in clinging to their mistaken notions. The early disciples thought that Messiah must ascend David's throne right away, conquer all nations and rule the world. As for the truth that Messiah must be the Lamb of God and die for the sins of the world, it had no place in their thoughts. Though Jesus told them of it repeatedly, they did not understand Him.
The first time He told them was in Luke 9:44, "while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to the disciples, 'Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.' But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying." For their minds were full of Christ becoming king, and they too would come to power. The next verse says that "a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest." This shows that they were dreaming of position, and had no place for thoughts Jesus wanted to implant.
The third time Jesus spoke of His trials is in Luke 18:31-34. "He took the twelve aside and said to them, 'Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. And they will scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He will rise again.' But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken."
Even after the resurrection, this thinking of the disciples remained. They asked Him, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the easrth." Acts 1:6-8. Jesus patiently corrected their thinking: God's kingdom comes about by your work of spreading the gospel.
God's people in 1844 made the same mistake. They expected His kingdom to come right now. They didn't see that the Bible tells of a third angel that must proclaim its message. Only after the battle between good and evil has taken on world-wide proportions, Jesus will come in His glory. Why does God let people find the truth through disappointment? Now is the answer. God wants us not to trust human theories, but abide by a "thus saith the Lord."