OF ‘THE GREAT CONTROVERSY’
Earl Kelly, PHD
Author of Exposing Seventh-day Adventism
GCv: Before the entrance of sin, Adam enjoyed open communion
with his Maker; but since man separated himself from God by transgression, the human race has been cut off from this high
privilege. By the plan of redemption, however, a way has been opened whereby the inhabitants of the earth may still have connection
with heaven. God has communicated with men by His Spirit, and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations
to His chosen servants. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21.
The door is open to allow inerrant inspiration after the Bible has been completed.
GCv: During the first twenty-five hundred years of human history,
there was no written revelation. Those who had been taught of God, communicated their knowledge to others, and it was
handed down from father to son, through successive generations. The preparation of the written word began in the time of
Moses. Inspired revelations were then embodied in an inspired book. This work continued during the long period of sixteen
hundred years--from Moses, the historian of creation and the law, to John, the recorder of the most sublime truths of the
Human history is 6000 years old and writing did not exist before 1500 B. C. Neither of these statement non-refutable facts.
GCv-vi: The Ten Commandments were spoken by God Himself, and
were written by His own hand. They are of divine, and not of human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths
expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ,
who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that "the Word was made
flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14.
Note: The Ten Commandments were only given to Israel as the basis of the Old Covenant (Exodus 31:13-18).
They were never commanded to non-Israelite (Romans 2:14-16; John 1:9) who were judged by nature and conscience.
GCvi-vii: God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the
world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the
mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless,
from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God;
and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth.
Note: EGW is setting the stage to declare
here own inspiration.
GCvii: In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are
to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of
doctrines, and the test of experience. "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto
every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, R.V.
Note: This is a strong affirmation of the inspiration of the Bible. However, they are not the only exclusive
Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and
guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Savior, to open the word to His servants,
to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the
teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the word.
Note: The Spirit was given to bring believers back to the Word, back to what Jesus taught.
GCvii: The Spirit was not given--nor can it ever be bestowed--to
supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and
experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of
God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. And Isaiah declares, "To the law and
to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.
Note: Clearly EGW teaches here that the Spirit
will never add to the Word of God any new truths not revealed within.
GCvii-viii: Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that,
claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the word of God. They are governed by impressions
which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following
of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further
the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is
one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and
cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.
Note: Those who replace the written Word
with continuing spiritual illumination are wrong.
GCviii: In harmony with the word of God, His Spirit was to continue its work throughout the period of the
gospel dispensation. During the ages while the Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament were being given, the Holy
Spirit did not cease to communicate light to individual minds, apart from the revelations to be embodied
in the Sacred Canon. The Bible itself relates how, through the Holy Spirit, men received warning, reproof, counsel, and
instruction, in matters in no way relating to the giving of the Scriptures. And mention is made of prophets in different ages,
of whose utterances nothing is recorded. In like manner, after the close of the canon of the Scripture, the Holy Spirit
was still to continue its work, to enlighten, warn, and comfort the children of God.
ERROR: If the written word is all that mankind
needs for a revelation of God’s will, nothing addition should be needed. However, EGW says that the Bible is not all-sufficient
and additional knowledge of god’s will is necessary.
GCviii-ix: Jesus promised His disciples, "The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will
send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
"When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: . . . and He will show you things to come."
John 14:26; 16:13. Scripture plainly teaches that these promises, so far from being limited to apostolic days, extend to
the church of Christ in all ages. The Savior assures His followers, "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world." Matthew 28:20. And Paul declares that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit were set in the church "for
the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the
unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness
of Christ." Ephesians 4:12, 13.
ERROR: The functioning of the Holy Spirit is not to bring new extra-biblical truth; it is to bring the believer
back to what Jesus and the Word teach.
GCix: For the believers at Ephesus the apostle prayed, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and . . . what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward
who believe." Ephesians 1:17-19. The ministry of the divine Spirit in enlightening the understanding and opening to
the mind the deep things of God's holy word, was the blessing which Paul thus besought for the Ephesian church.
ERROR: Ephesians was before the canon of
the Word of God was completed. It included truths of God’s Word. The application of new truth does not apply beyond
the written Word.
the wonderful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted the people to repentance and baptism
in the name of Christ, for the remission of their sins; and he said: "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For
the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
Acts 2:38, 39.
immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation
of His Spirit. Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost;
but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel.
GCix-x: The great controversy between good and evil will increase
in intensity to the very close of time. In all ages the wrath of Satan has been manifested against the church of Christ;
and God has bestowed His grace and Spirit upon His people to strengthen them to stand against the power of the evil one.
When the apostles of Christ were to bear His gospel to the world and to record it for all future ages, they were especially
endowed with the enlightenment of the Spirit. But as the church approaches her final deliverance, Satan is to work with greater
power. He comes down "having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Revelation 12:12. He
will work "with all power and signs and lying wonders." 2 Thessalonians 2:9. For six thousand years that mastermind
that once was highest among the angels of God has been wholly bent to the work of deception and ruin. And all the depths of
satanic skill and subtlety acquired, all the cruelty developed, during these struggles of the ages, will be brought to bear
against God's people in the final conflict. And in this time of peril the followers of Christ are to bear to the world
the warning of the Lord's second advent; and a people are to be prepared to stand before Him at His coming, "without
spot, and blameless." 2 Peter 3:14. At this time the special endowment of divine grace and power is not less needful
to the church than in apostolic days.
Note: Yes, but only as it brings believers
back to what Jesus and the written Word teach.
GCx: Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued conflict between good
and evil have been opened to the writer of these pages. From time to time I have been permitted
to behold the working, in different ages, of the great controversy between Christ, the Prince of life, the Author of our
salvation, and Satan, the prince of evil, the author of sin, the first transgressor of God's holy law. Satan's enmity
against Christ has been manifested against His followers. The same hatred of the principles of God's law, the same policy
of deception, by which error is made to appear as truth, by which human laws are substituted for the law of God, and men are
led to worship the creature rather than the Creator, may be traced in all the history of the past. Satan's efforts
to misrepresent the character of God, to cause men to cherish a false conception of the Creator, and thus to regard Him with
fear and hate rather than with love; his endeavors to set aside the divine law, leading the people to think themselves free
from its requirements; and his persecution of those who dare to resist his deceptions, have been steadfastly pursued in all
ages. They may be traced in the history of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, of martyrs and reformers.
ERROR: From this point forward EGW has forgotten her opening
remarks for page vii: “In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy
Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character,
the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience.” Now she says that everything in this book (The Great
Controversy) is as equally illuminated by the Holy Spirit as was the Bible.
ERROR: It is simply wrong to say “Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued
conflict between good and evil have been opened to the writer of these pages” when this book contains scores of quotations
of contemporary writers and the appendix has scores more.
GCxi: In the great final conflict, Satan will employ the same policy, manifest the same spirit, and work
for the same end as in all preceding ages. That which has been, will be, except that the coming struggle will be marked with
a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed. Satan's deceptions will be more subtle, his assaults more
determined. If it were possible, he would lead astray the elect. Mark 13:22, R.V.
Note: This is what Bible already teaches.
GCxi: As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great
truths of His word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others that which has thus
been revealed--to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially so to present it as to shed
a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. In pursuance of this purpose, I have endeavored to select and group
together events in the history of the church in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the great testing truths
that at different periods have been given to the world, that have excited the wrath of Satan, and the enmity of a world-loving
church, and that have been maintained by the witness of those who "loved not their lives unto the death."
ERROR: Not only does EGW trace history from pre-existing books.
She very greatly adds to the written Word her own unique interpretations and embellishments which, if true, would draw the
masses into the arms of the Seventh-day Adventist Church whose identify is disguised by the publisher and credits. Rev 22:18
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things,
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the
book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things
which are written in this book. 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord
GCxi: In these records we may see a foreshadowing of the conflict before us. Regarding them in
the light of God's word, and by the illumination of His Spirit, we may see unveiled the devices of the wicked
one, and the dangers which they must shun who would be found "without fault" before the Lord at His coming.
ERROR: God’s Word is not enough. “These records”
(this book) must be seen as “foreshadowing” by the “illumination of His Holy Spirit.”
EGW has gone far beyond the purpose of the Holy Spirit by using Him to endorse her book.
GCxi-xii: The great events which have marked the progress
of reform in past ages are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged by the Protestant world; they are
facts which none can gainsay. This history I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and
the brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed into as little space as seemed consistent
with a proper understanding of their application. In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as
to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have
been quoted; but in some instances no specific credit has been given, since the quotations are not given for the purpose of
citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating
the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has been made of their
Most of the “facts” of history comprise the first 400 pages of the 700 page book. None of the distinctive doctrines
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are taught until after page 400: the Investigative Judgment, Sabbath, non-immortality
of the soul, Spirit of Prophecy.
GCxii: It is not so much the object of this book to present new truths concerning the struggles of former times,
as to bring out facts and principles which have a bearing on coming events. Yet viewed as a part of the controversy between
the forces of light and darkness, all these records of the past are seen to have a new significance; and through them a light
is cast upon the future, illumining the pathway of those who, like the reformers of past ages, will be called, even at the
peril of all earthly good, to witness "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."
ERROR: “New truths concerning the struggles
of former times” is a joke. The great majority of “new truths” after page 400 are peculiar SDA theology
taught nowhere else in Christianity.
GCxii: To unfold the scenes of the great controversy between truth and error; to reveal the wiles of Satan, and the
means by which he may be successfully resisted; to present a satisfactory solution of the great problem of evil, shedding
such a light upon the origin and the final disposition of sin as to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God
in all His dealings with His creatures; and to show the holy, unchanging nature of His law, is the object of this book.
That through its influence souls may be delivered from the power of darkness, and become "partakers of the inheritance
of the saints in light," to the praise of Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us, is the earnest prayer of the writer.
Note the last second mention of Jesus who
is overshadowed by the Investigative Judgment and Sabbath doctrines.
CHAPTER 17, Heralds of the Morning; Signs of the Second Coming
GC299: One of
the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ's second coming to complete
the great work of redemption. To God's pilgrim people, so long left to sojourn in "the region and shadow of death,"
a precious, joy-inspiring hope is given in the promise of His appearing, who is "the resurrection and the life,"
to "bring home again His banished." The doctrine of the second advent is the very keynote of the Sacred Scriptures.
From the day when the first pair turned their sorrowing steps from Eden, the children of faith have waited the coming of the
Promised One to break the destroyer's power and bring them again to the lost Paradise. Holy men of old looked forward
to the advent of the Messiah in glory, as the consummation of their hope. Enoch, only the seventh in descent from them that
dwelt in Eden, he who for three centuries on earth walked with his God, was permitted to behold from afar the coming of the
Deliverer. "Behold," he declared, "the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon
all." Jude 14, 15. The patriarch Job in the night of his affliction exclaimed with unshaken trust: "I know that
my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: . . . in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall
see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." Job 19:25-27.
GC300: The coming
of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred
writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire. The psalmist
sang of the power and majesty of Israel's King: "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God
shall come, and shall not keep silence. . . . He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge
His people." Psalm 50:2-4. "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad . . . before the Lord: for He cometh,
for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth." Psalm
GC300: Said the
prophet Isaiah: "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast
out the dead." "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise." "He will swallow
up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take
away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have
waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."
Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9.
GC300-301: And Habakkuk, rapt in holy vision, beheld His appearing.
"God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His
praise. And His brightness was as the light." "He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the
nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hill did bow: His ways are everlasting." "Thou
didst ride upon Thine horses and Thy chariots of salvation." "The mountains saw Thee, and they trembled: . . . the
deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of
Thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear." "Thou wentest forth for the salvation of
Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed." Habakkuk 3:3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13.
GC301: When the
Savior was about to be separated from His disciples, He comforted them in their sorrow with the assurance that He would come
again: "Let not your heart be troubled. . . . In My Father's house are many mansions. . . . I go to prepare a place
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself." John 14:1-3. "The
Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him." "Then shall He sit upon the throne of His
glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations." Matthew 25:31, 32.
GC301: The angels
who lingered upon Olivet after Christ's ascension repeated to the disciples the promise of His return: "This same
Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Acts
1:11. And the apostle Paul, speaking by the Spirit of Inspiration, testified: "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God." 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Says the prophet of
Patmos: "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him." Revelation 1:7.
His coming cluster the glories of that "restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy
prophets since the world began." Acts 3:21. Then the long-continued rule of evil shall be broken; "the kingdoms
of this world" will become "the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever."
Revelation 11:15. "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." "The Lord
God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." He shall be "for a crown of glory,
and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people." Isaiah 40:5; 61:11; 28:5.
GC302: It is
then that the peaceful and long-desired kingdom of the Messiah shall be established under the whole heaven. "The Lord
shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the
garden of the Lord." "The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon." "Thou
shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called My Delight,
and thy land Beulah." "As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Isaiah
51:3; 35:2; 62:4, 5, margin.
GC302:The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers. The Savior’s parting promise
upon Olivet, that He would come again, lighted up the future for His disciples, filling their hearts with joy and hope that
sorrow could not quench nor trials dim. Amid suffering and persecution, the "appearing of the great God and our Savior
Jesus Christ" was the "blessed hope." When the Thessalonian Christians were filled with grief as they buried
their loved ones, who had hoped to live to witness the coming of the Lord, Paul, their teacher, pointed them to the resurrection,
to take place at the Savior’s advent. Then the dead in Christ should rise, and together with the living be caught up
to meet the Lord in the air. "And so," he said, "shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another
with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
GC302: On rocky Patmos the
beloved disciple hears the promise, "Surely I come quickly," and his longing response voices the prayer of the church
in all her pilgrimage, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20.
the dungeon, the stake, the scaffold, where saints and martyrs witnessed for the truth, comes down the centuries the utterance
of their faith and hope. Being "assured of His personal resurrection, and consequently of their own at His coming, for
this cause," says one of these Christians, "they despised death, and were found to be above it."--Daniel T.
Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth: or, The Voice of the Church in All Ages, page 33. They were willing to go down to the
grave, that they might "rise free."--Ibid., page 54. They looked for the "Lord to come from heaven in the clouds
with the glory of His Father," "bringing to the just the times of the kingdom." The Waldenses cherished the
same faith.--Ibid., pages 129-132. Wycliffe looked forward to the Redeemer's appearing as the hope of the church.-- Ibid.,
GC303: Luther declared: "I persuade myself verily, that the day of judgment will not be absent full
three hundred years. God will not, cannot, suffer this wicked world much longer." "The great day is drawing near
in which the kingdom of abominations shall be overthrown."--Ibid., pages 158, 134.
GC303: "This aged world is not far from its end," said Melanchthon. Calvin bids Christians "not
to hesitate, ardently desiring the day of Christ's coming as of all events most auspicious;" and declares that "the
whole family of the faithful will keep in view that day." "We must hunger after Christ, we must seek, contemplate,"
he says, "till the dawning of that great day, when our Lord will fully manifest the glory of His kingdom."--Ibid.,
pages 158, 134.
GC303: "Has not the Lord
Jesus carried up our flesh into heaven?" said Knox, the Scotch Reformer, "and shall He not return? We know that
He shall return, and that with expedition." Ridley and Latimer, who laid down their lives for the truth, looked in faith
for the Lord's coming. Ridley wrote: "The world without doubt--this I do believe, and therefore I say it--draws to
an end. Let us with John, the servant of God, cry in our hearts unto our Savior Christ, Come, Lord Jesus, come."--Ibid.,
pages 151, 145.
Gc303-304: "The thoughts
of the coming of the Lord," said Baxter, "are most sweet and joyful to me."--Richard Baxter, Works, vol. 17,
p. 555. "It is the work of faith and the character of His saints to love His appearing and to look for that blessed hope."
"If death be the last enemy to be destroyed at the resurrection, we may learn how earnestly believers should long and
pray for the second coming of Christ, when this full and final conquest shall be made."--Ibid., vol. 17, p. 500. "This
is the day that all believers should long, and hope, and wait for, as being the accomplishment of all the work of their redemption,
and all the desires and endeavors of their souls." "Hasten, O Lord, this blessed day!"--Ibid., vol. 17, pp.
182, 183. Such was the hope of the apostolic church, of the "church in the wilderness," and of the Reformers.
ERROR: The great majority of texts quoted by EGW on pages 299 to 304 relate to God’s promises to Old
Covenant national Israel. They were neither written to or for the Church, the Body of Christ. From those texts it is clear
that Israel anticipated a coming Messianic reign on earth where Christ would rule with a rod of iron and where His disciples
would (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30).
GC304: Prophecy not only
foretells the manner and object of Christ's coming, but presents tokens by which men are to know when it is near. Said
Jesus: "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars." Luke 21:25. "The sun shall
be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven
shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory." Mark 13:24-26.
The revelator thus describes the first of the signs to precede the second advent: "There was a great earthquake; and
the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." Revelation 6:12.
24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are all in context of Christ literally returning to punish Anti-Christ who has literally taken over
the Temple in literal Jerusalem.
GC304-305: These signs were witnessed before the opening of
the nineteenth century. In fulfillment of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake
that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of
Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden,
Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost
as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight
or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa engulfing cities and causing
great destruction. It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the inflowing wave
was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, "some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from
their very foundations, and some of them opened at their summits, which were split and rent in a wonderful manner, huge masses
of them being thrown down into the adjacent valleys. Flames are related to have issued from these mountains."-- Sir Charles
Lyell, Principles of Geology, page 495.
ERROR: The 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal might
have convinced believers in the early 1800s of the soon second coming of Christ, but it hardly has any impression today, over
160 years later. Notice that EGW is calling it a sign of the soon second coming --- not the Investigative Judgment.
GC305: At Lisbon "a sound of thunder was heard underground, and immediately afterwards a violent shock
threw down the greater part of that city. In the course of about six minutes sixty thousand persons perished. The sea first
retired, and laid the bar dry; it then rolled in, rising fifty feet or more above its ordinary level." "Among other
extraordinary events related to have occurred at Lisbon during the catastrophe, was the subsidence of a new quay, built entirely
of marble, at an immense expense. A great concourse of people had collected there for safety, as a spot where they might be
beyond the reach of falling ruins; but suddenly the quay sank down with all the people on it, and not one of the dead bodies
ever floated to the surface."--Ibid., page 495.
of the earthquake "was instantly followed by the fall of every church and convent, almost all the large public buildings,
and more than one fourth of the houses. In about two hours after the shock, fires broke out in different quarters, and raged
with such violence for the space of nearly three days, that the city was completely desolated. The earthquake happened on
a holyday, when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of whom escaped."-- Encyclopedia Americana, art.
"Lisbon," note (ed. 1831). "The terror of the people was beyond description. Nobody wept; it was beyond tears.
They ran hither and thither, delirious with horror and astonishment, beating their faces and breasts, crying, 'Misericordia!
the world's at an end!' Mothers forgot their children, and ran about loaded with crucifixed images. Unfortunately,
many ran to the churches for protection; but in vain was the sacrament exposed; in vain did the poor creatures embrace the
altars; images, priests, and people were buried in one common ruin." It has been estimated that ninety thousand persons
lost their lives on that fatal day.
GC306: Twenty-five years later appeared the next sign mentioned
in the prophecy--the darkening of the sun and moon. What rendered this more striking was the fact that the time of its
fulfillment had been definitely pointed out. In the Savior’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing
the long period of trial for the church,--the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised that the
tribulation should be shortened,--He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the
first of these should be witnessed: "In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall
not give her light." Mark 13:24. The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution
had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On
the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled.
ERROR: A forest-fire which
darkened the skies in southern New England in 1780 hardly impresses believers 160 years later that Jesus’ second coming
ERROR: Only SDAs interpret the 1260 prophetic days of Daniel
and Revelation as the period from A. D. 538 to 1798. In fact, from 538 to after 1000 the Roman Catholic Church harmed almost
nobody for unbelief and bowed to any ruler who would protect it. SDAs act like everybody else should agree with their unique
interpretations of Bible numbers.
GC306: "Almost, if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious
and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780,--a most unaccountable darkening
of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England."--R. M. Devens, Our First Century, page 89.
GC306: An eyewitness living in Massachusetts describes the event as follows: "In the morning
the sun rose clear, but was soon overcast. The clouds became lowery, and from them, black and ominous, as they soon appeared,
lightning flashed, thunder rolled, and a little rain fell. Toward nine o'clock, the clouds became thinner, and assumed
a brassy or coppery appearance, and earth, rocks, trees, buildings, water, and persons were changed by this strange, unearthly
light. A few minutes later, a heavy black cloud spread over the entire sky except a narrow rim at the horizon, and it was
as dark as it usually is at nine o'clock on a summer evening. . . .
anxiety, and awe gradually filled the minds of the people. Women stood at the door, looking out upon the dark landscape; men
returned from their labor in the fields; the carpenter left his tools, the blacksmith his forge, the tradesman his counter.
Schools were dismissed, and tremblingly the children fled homeward. Travelers put up at the nearest farmhouse. 'What is
coming?' queried every lip and heart. It seemed as if a hurricane was about to dash across the land, or as if it was the
day of the consummation of all things.
GC308: "Candles were used; and hearth fires shone as brightly
as on a moonless evening in autumn. . . . Fowls retired to their roosts and went to sleep, cattle gathered at the pasture
bars and lowed, frogs peeped, birds sang their evening songs, and bats flew about. But the human knew that night had not come.
. . .
GC307: "Dr. Nathanael Whittaker, pastor of the Tabernacle church in Salem, held religious services in
the meeting-house, and preached a sermon in which he maintained that the darkness was supernatural. Congregations came together
in many other places. The texts for the extemporaneous sermons were invariably those that seemed to indicate that the darkness
was consonant with Scriptural prophecy. . . . The darkness was most dense shortly after eleven o'clock."--The Essex
Antiquarian, April, 1899, vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 53, 54. "In most parts of the country it was so great in the daytime, that
the people could not tell the hour by either watch or clock, nor dine, nor manage their domestic business, without the light
of candles. . . .
GC307: "The extent of this darkness was extraordinary. It was observed as far east as Falmouth. To the
westward it reached to the farthest part of Connecticut, and to Albany. To the southward, it was observed along the seacoasts;
and to the north as far as the American settlements extend."--William Gordon, History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment
of the Independence of the U.S.A., vol. 3, p. 57.
GC307-308: The intense darkness
of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still
obscured by the black, heavy mist. "After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast."
"Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost
a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light, which, when seen from the neighboring houses
and other places at a distance, appeared through a kind of Egyptian darkness which seemed almost impervious to the rays."--Isaiah
Thomas, Massachusetts Spy; or, American Oracle of Liberty, vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780). Said an eyewitness of the scene:
"I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable
shades, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete."--Letter by Dr. Samuel Tenney, of
Exeter, New Hampshire, December, 1785 (in Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 1792, 1st series, vol. 1, p. 97).
Though at nine o'clock that night the moon rose to the full, "it had not the least effect to dispel the deathlike
shadows." After midnight the darkness disappeared, and the moon, when first visible, had the appearance of blood.
GC308: May 19, 1780, stands in history as "The Dark Day." Since the time of Moses no period of
darkness of equal density, extent, and duration, has ever been recorded. The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses,
is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfillment:
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come."
the context of Joel is God punishing and eventually restoring national Israel to His covenant promises. It is simply wrong
to say that 1780 was the fulfillment of Joel’s 2500 year-old prophecy. Again Joel is not about the Investigative Judgment.
GC308-309: Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs
of His advent and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King. "When these things begin to come
to pass," He said, "then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." He pointed His
followers to the budding trees of spring, and said: "When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that
summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh
at hand." Luke 21:28, 30, 31.
ERROR: Christ said nothing about watching for signs of His Investigative Judgment. This line of argument
only makes some sense of early SDAs also believed in Christ almost immediate return after a very short Investigative Judgment.
Again, Luke 21 is in the context of Christ defeating Anti-Christ who has temporarily taken over the Temple in Jerusalem.
GC309: But as the spirit of humility and devotion in the church had given place to pride and formalism, love
for Christ and faith in His coming had grown cold. Absorbed in worldliness and pleasure seeking, the professed people of God
were blinded to the Savior’s instructions concerning the signs of His appearing. The doctrine of the second advent
had been neglected; the scriptures relating to it were obscured by misinterpretation, until it was, to a great extent,
ignored and forgotten. Especially was this the case in the churches of America. The freedom and comfort enjoyed by all classes
of society, the ambitious desire for wealth and luxury, begetting an absorbing devotion to money-making, the eager rush for
popularity and power, which seemed to be within the reach of all, led men to center their interests and hopes on the things
of this life, and to put far in the future that solemn day when the present order of things should pass away.
ERROR: Miller misinterpreted prophecies of the second advent of Christ. Adventists have since severely misinterpreted
almost all of them as relating to the Investigative Judgment, Sabbath or their own church.
GC309: When the Savior pointed out to His followers the signs of His return, He foretold the state of backsliding
that would exist just prior to His second advent. There would be, as in the days of Noah, the activity and stir of worldly
business and pleasure seeking--buying, selling, planting, building, marrying, and giving in marriage--with forgetfulness of
God and the future life. For those living at this time, Christ's admonition is: "Take heed to yourselves, lest at
any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you
unawares." "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that
shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:34, 36.
condition of the church at this time is pointed out in the Savior’s words in the Revelation: "Thou hast a name
that thou livest, and art dead." And to those who refuse to arouse from their careless security, the solemn warning is
addressed: "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will
come upon thee." Revelation 3:1, 3.
GC310: It was needful that men should be awakened to their danger;
that they should be roused to prepare for the solemn events connected with the close of probation. The prophet of God declares:
"The day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" Who shall stand when He appeareth who is
"of purer eyes than to behold evil," and cannot "look on iniquity"? Joel 2:11; Habakkuk 1:13. To them
that cry, "My God, we know Thee," yet have transgressed His covenant, and hastened after another god, hiding iniquity
in their hearts, and loving the paths of unrighteousness-- to these the day of the Lord is "darkness, and not light,
even very dark, and no brightness in it." Hosea 8:2, 1; Psalm 16:4; Amos 5:20. "It shall come to pass
at that time," saith the Lord, "that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled
on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil." Zephaniah 1:12. "I
will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease,
and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." Isaiah 13:11. "Neither their silver nor their gold shall
be able to deliver them;" "their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation." Zephaniah 1:18,
GC310: The prophet
Jeremiah, looking forward to this fearful time, exclaimed: "I am pained at my very heart. . . . I cannot hold my peace,
because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried."
Jeremiah 4:19, 20.
GC310-311: "That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble
and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day
of the trumpet and alarm." Zephaniah 1:15, 16. "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, to lay the land desolate:
and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it." Isaiah 13:9.
GC311: In view
of that great day the word of God, in the most solemn and impressive language, calls upon His people to arouse from their
spiritual lethargy and to seek His face with repentance and humiliation: "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound
an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is
nigh at hand." "Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble
the elders, gather the children: . . . let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the
priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar." "Turn ye even to Me with all your
heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto
the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness." Joel 2:1, 15-17, 12,
ERROR: Throughout the book EGW quotes a large mixture of O. T.
prophecies about national Israel which have no relevance to the Church.
prepare a people to stand in the day of God, a great work of reform was to be accomplished. God saw that many of His professed
people were not building for eternity, and in His mercy He was about to send a message of warning to arouse them from their
stupor and lead them to make ready for the coming of the Lord.
quote O. T. texts relating to the second coming to redeem national Israel, EGW changes the theme to the preparation of Seventh-day
Adventists by their Investigative Judgment and Sabbath reforms.
warning is brought to view in Revelation 14. Here is a threefold message represented as proclaimed by heavenly beings and
immediately followed by the coming of the Son of man to reap "the harvest of the earth." The
first of these warnings announces the approaching judgment. The prophet beheld an angel flying "in the midst of heaven,
having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and
people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that
made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:6, 7.
ERROR: The signs
of the second coming are changed to signs of the warning of the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14. These warnings
supposedly were given after 1844 but the time of their spread was still to be very short because they were to be immediately
followed by the second coming. It has already been over 160 years.
GC312: This message
is declared to be a part of "the everlasting gospel." The work of preaching the gospel has not been committed to
angels, but has been entrusted to men. Holy angels have been employed in directing this work, they have in charge the great
movements for the salvation of men; but the actual proclamation of the gospel is performed by the servants of Christ upon
ERROR: Jesus will not return until SDAs have spread their message
throughout the earth and every person has taken a stand for or against the Investigative Judgment and Sabbath issues.
GC312: Faithful men, who were obedient to the promptings of God's Spirit and the teachings of His
word, were to proclaim this warning to the world. They were those who had taken heed to the "sure word of prophecy,"
the "light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise." 2 Peter 1:19. They had been
seeking the knowledge of God more than all hid treasures, counting it "better than the merchandise of silver, and the
gain thereof than fine gold." Proverbs 3:14. And the Lord revealed to them the great things of the kingdom. "The
secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant." Psalm 25:14.
Note: EGW is
probably referring to William Miller and the early Adventists who taught and promoted the false prophecy that Jesus would
return to destroy the earth by fire in 1844.
GC312: It was not the scholarly
theologians who had an understanding of this truth, and engaged in its proclamation. Had these been faithful watchmen, diligently
and prayerfully searching the Scriptures, they would have known the time of night; the prophecies would have opened to them
the events about to take place. But they did not occupy this position, and the message was given by humbler men. Said Jesus:
"Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you." John 12:35. Those who turn away from the light which
God has given, or who neglect to seek it when it is within their reach, are left in darkness. But the Savior declares: "He
that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. Whoever is with singleness
of purpose seeking to do God's will, earnestly heeding the light already given, will receive greater light; to that soul
some star of heavenly radiance will be sent to guide him into all truth.
GC313: At the
time of Christ's first advent the priests and scribes of the Holy City, to whom were entrusted the oracles of God, might
have discerned the signs of the times and proclaimed the coming of the Promised One. The prophecy of Micah designated His
birthplace; Daniel specified the time of His advent. Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:25. God committed these prophecies to the Jewish
leaders; they were without excuse if they did not know and declare to the people that the Messiah's coming was at hand.
Their ignorance was the result of sinful neglect. The Jews were building monuments for the slain prophets of God, while by
their deference to the great men of earth they were paying homage to the servants of Satan. Absorbed in their ambitious strife
for place and power among men, they lost sight of the divine honors proffered them by the King of heaven.
GC313: With profound and reverent interest the elders of Israel should have been studying the place, the
time, the circumstances, of the greatest event in the world's history--the coming of the Son of God to accomplish the
redemption of man. All the people should have been watching and waiting that they might be among the first to welcome the
world's Redeemer. But, lo, at Bethlehem two weary travelers from the hills of Nazareth traverse the whole length of the
narrow street to the eastern extremity of the town, vainly seeking a place of rest and shelter for the night. No doors are
open to receive them. In a wretched hovel prepared for cattle, they at last find refuge, and there the Savior of the world
GC313: Heavenly angels had seen the glory which the Son of God shared with the Father before the world was,
and they had looked forward with intense interest to His appearing on earth as an event fraught with the greatest joy to all
people. Angels were appointed to carry the glad tidings to those who were prepared to receive it and who would joyfully make
it known to the inhabitants of the earth. Christ had stooped to take upon Himself man's nature; He was to bear an infinite
weight of woe as He should make His soul an offering for sin; yet angels desired that even in His humiliation the Son of the
Highest might appear before men with a dignity and glory befitting His character. Would the great men of earth assemble at
Israel's capital to greet His coming? Would legions of angels present Him to the expectant company?
GC314: An angel
visits the earth to see who are prepared to welcome Jesus. But he can discern no tokens of expectancy. He hears no voice of
praise and triumph that the period of Messiah's coming is at hand. The angel hovers for a time over the chosen city and
the temple where the divine presence has been manifested for ages; but even here is the same indifference. The priests, in
their pomp and pride, are offering polluted sacrifices in the temple. The Pharisees are with loud voices addressing the people
or making boastful prayers at the corners of the streets. In the palaces of kings, in the assemblies of philosophers, in the
schools of the rabbis, all are alike unmindful of the wondrous fact which has filled all heaven with joy and praise--that
the Redeemer of men is about to appear upon the earth.
GC314: There is no evidence
that Christ is expected, and no preparation for the Prince of life. In amazement the celestial messenger is about to return
to heaven with the shameful tidings, when he discovers a group of shepherds who are watching their flocks by night, and, as
they gaze into the starry heavens, are contemplating the prophecy of a Messiah to come to earth, and longing for the advent
of the world's Redeemer. Here is a company that is prepared to receive the heavenly message. And suddenly the angel of
the Lord appears, declaring the good tidings of great joy. Celestial glory floods all the plain, an innumerable company of
angels is revealed, and as if the joy were too great for one messenger to bring from heaven, a multitude of voices break forth
in the anthem which all the nations of the saved shall one day sing: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good will toward men." Luke 2:14.
ERROR: This kind of invented drama about an angel
searching for people expecting Jesus has no place in a book like this.
GC315: Oh, what
a lesson is this wonderful story of Bethlehem! How it rebukes our unbelief, our pride and self-sufficiency. How it warns us
to beware, lest by our criminal indifference we also fail to discern the signs of the times, and therefore know not the day
of our visitation.
GC315: It was not alone upon the hills of Judea, not among the lowly shepherds only, that angels found
the watchers for Messiah's coming. In the land of the heathen also were those that looked for Him; they were wise
men, rich and noble, the philosophers of the East. Students of nature, the Magi had seen God in His handiwork. From the Hebrew
Scriptures they had learned of the Star to arise out of Jacob, and with eager desire they awaited His coming, who should be
not only the "Consolation of Israel," but a "Light to lighten the Gentiles," and "for salvation unto
the ends of the earth." Luke 2:25, 32; Acts 13:47. They were seekers for light, and light from the throne of God illumined
the path for their feet. While the priests and rabbis of Jerusalem, the appointed guardians and expounders of the truth, were
shrouded in darkness, the Heaven-sent star guided these Gentile strangers to the birthplace of the newborn King.
GC315: It is "unto them that look for Him" that Christ is to "appear the second time without
sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:28. Like the tidings of the Savior’s birth, the message of the second advent
was not committed to the religious leaders of the people. They had failed to preserve their connection with God, and had refused
light from heaven; therefore they were not of the number described by the apostle Paul: "But ye, brethren, are not in
darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we
are not of the night, nor of darkness." 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 5.
9:27-28 contradict the Investigative Judgment doctrine. Believers of all ages can “look for Him” because their
sins have already been judged long before 1844 began.
watchmen upon the walls of Zion should have been the first to catch the tidings of the Savior’s advent, the first
to lift their voices to proclaim Him near, the first to warn the people to prepare for His coming. But they were at ease,
dreaming of peace and safety, while the people were asleep in their sins. Jesus saw His church, like the barren fig tree,
covered with pretentious leaves, yet destitute of precious fruit. There was a boastful observance of the forms of religion,
while the spirit of true humility, penitence, and faith--which alone could render the service acceptable to God--was lacking.
Instead of the graces of the Spirit there were manifested pride, formalism, vainglory, selfishness, oppression. A backsliding
church closed their eyes to the signs of the times. God did not forsake them, or suffer His faithfulness to fail; but they
departed from Him, and separated themselves from His love. As they refused to comply with the conditions, His promises were
not fulfilled to them.
GC316: Such is the sure result of neglect to appreciate and improve
the light and privileges which God bestows. Unless the church will follow on in His opening providence, accepting every ray
of light, performing every duty which may be revealed, religion will inevitably degenerate into the observance of forms, and
the spirit of vital godliness will disappear. This truth has been repeatedly illustrated in the history of the church. God
requires of His people works of faith and obedience corresponding to the blessings and privileges bestowed. Obedience requires
a sacrifice and involves a cross; and this is why so many of the professed followers of Christ refused to receive the light
from heaven, and, like the Jews of old, knew not the time of their visitation. Luke 19:44. Because of their pride and unbelief
the Lord passed them by and revealed His truth to those who, like the shepherds of Bethlehem and the Eastern Magi, had given
heed to all the light they had received.
CHAPTER 18, An American Reformer, William Miller
GC317: An Upright, honest-hearted farmer, who had been
led to doubt the divine authority of the Scriptures, yet who sincerely desired to know the truth, was the man specially chosen
of God to lead out in the proclamation of Christ's second coming. Like many other reformers, William Miller had in early
life battled with poverty and had thus learned the great lessons of energy and self-denial. The members of the family from
which he sprang were characterized by an independent, liberty-loving spirit, by capability of endurance, and ardent patriotism--traits
which were also prominent in his character. His father was a captain in the army of the Revolution, and to the sacrifices
which he made in the struggles and sufferings of that stormy period may be traced the straitened circumstances of Miller's
He had a sound physical constitution, and even in childhood gave evidence of more than ordinary intellectual strength. As
he grew older, this became more marked. His mind was active and well developed, and he had a keen thirst for knowledge. Though
he did not enjoy the advantages of a collegiate education, his love of study and a habit of careful thought and close criticism
rendered him a man of sound judgment and comprehensive views. He possessed an irreproachable moral character and an
enviable reputation, being generally esteemed for integrity, thrift, and benevolence. By dint of energy and application he
early acquired a competence, though his habits of study were still maintained. He filled various civil and military offices
with credit, and the avenues to wealth and honor seemed wide open to him.
GC318: His mother was a woman of sterling piety, and in childhood, he had been subject to religious impressions.
In early manhood, however, he was thrown into the society of deists, whose influence was the stronger from the fact
that they were mostly good citizens and men of humane and benevolent disposition. Living, as they did, in the midst of Christian
institutions, their characters had been to some extent molded by their surroundings. For the excellencies which won them respect
and confidence they were indebted to the Bible; and yet these good gifts were so perverted as to exert an influence against
the word of God. By association with these men, Miller was led to adopt their sentiments. The current interpretations of Scripture
presented difficulties which seemed to him insurmountable; yet his new belief, while setting aside the Bible, offered nothing
better to take its place, and he remained far from satisfied. He continued to hold these views, however, for about twelve
years. But at the age of thirty-four the Holy Spirit impressed his heart with a sense of his condition as a sinner. He
found in his former belief no assurance of happiness beyond the grave. The future was dark and gloomy. Referring afterward
to his feelings at this time, he said:
Gc318: "Annihilation was a cold and chilling thought, and accountability was sure destruction to all.
The heavens were as brass over my head, and the earth as iron under my feet. Eternity--what was it? And death--why was it?
The more I reasoned, the further I was from demonstration. The more I thought, the more scattered were my conclusions. I tried
to stop thinking, but my thoughts would not be controlled. I was truly wretched, but did not understand the cause. I murmured
and complained, but knew not of whom. I knew that there was a wrong, but knew not how or where to find the right. I mourned,
but without hope."
GC319: In this state he continued for some months. "Suddenly," he says, "the character of
a Savior was vividly impressed upon my mind. It seemed that there might be a being so good and compassionate as to himself
atone for our transgressions, and thereby save us from suffering the penalty of sin. I immediately felt how lovely such a
being must be, and imagined that I could cast myself into the arms of, and trust in the mercy of, such a one. But the question
arose, How can it be proved that such a being does exist? Aside from the Bible, I found that I could get no evidence
of the existence of such a Savior, or even of a future state. . . .
GC319: "I saw that the Bible did bring to view just such a Savior as I needed; and I was perplexed to
find how an uninspired book should develop principles so perfectly adapted to the wants of a fallen world. I was constrained
to admit that the Scriptures must be a revelation from God. They became my delight; and in Jesus I found a friend. The
Savior became to me the chiefest among ten thousand; and the Scriptures, which before were dark and contradictory, now became
the lamp to my feet and light to my path. My mind became settled and satisfied. I found the Lord God to be a Rock in the
midst of the ocean of life. The Bible now became my chief study, and I can truly say, I searched it with great delight. I
found the half was never told me. I wondered why I had not seen its beauty and glory before, and marveled that I could have
ever rejected it. I found everything revealed that my heart could desire, and a remedy for every disease of the soul. I lost
all taste for other reading, and applied my heart to get wisdom from God."--S. Bliss, Memoirs of Wm. Miller,
GC319-320: Miller publicly professed his faith in the religion which he had despised. But his infidel associates
were not slow to bring forward all those arguments which he himself had often urged against the divine authority of the Scriptures.
He was not then prepared to answer them; but he reasoned that if the Bible is a revelation from God, it must be consistent
with itself; and that as it was given for man's instruction, it must be adapted to his understanding. He determined to
study the Scriptures for himself, and ascertain if every apparent contradiction could not be harmonized.
GC320: Endeavoring to lay aside all preconceived opinions,
and dispensing with commentaries, he compared scripture with scripture by the aid of the marginal references and the concordance.
He pursued his study in a regular and methodical manner; beginning with Genesis, and reading verse by verse, he proceeded
no faster than the meaning of the several passages so unfolded as to leave him free from all embarrassment. When he found
anything obscure, it was his custom to compare it with every other text which seemed to have any reference to the matter under
consideration. Every word was permitted to have its proper bearing upon the subject of the text, and if his view of it harmonized
with every collateral passage, it ceased to be a difficulty. Thus whenever he met with a passage hard to be understood he
found an explanation in some other portion of the Scriptures. As he studied with earnest prayer for divine enlightenment,
that which had before appeared dark to his understanding was made clear. He experienced the truth of the psalmist's words:
"The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119:130.
Note: Many of Miller’s errors could
have been avoided with a basic knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. He equated words which were the same in English but far different
in Greek and Hebrew. He failed to completely lay aside all other opinions as he accepted many erroneous opinions.
GC320-321: With intense interest he studied the books of Daniel
and the Revelation, employing the same principles of interpretation as in the other scriptures, and found, to his great joy,
that the prophetic symbols could be understood. He saw that the prophecies, so far as they had been fulfilled, had been
fulfilled literally; that all the various figures, metaphors, parables, similitudes, etc., were either explained in their
immediate connection, or the terms in which they were expressed were defined in other scriptures, and when thus explained,
were to be literally understood. "I was thus satisfied," he says, "that the Bible is a system of revealed
truths, so clearly and simply given that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein."--Bliss, page 70. Link
after link of the chain of truth rewarded his efforts, as step by step he traced down the great lines of prophecy. Angels
of heaven were guiding his mind and opening the Scriptures to his understanding.
Note: This sounds like Replacement Theology: (1) The prophecies
of Christ’s first coming were literal regarding national Israel but (2) the same unconditional prophecies regarding
Christ’s second coming are not literal but spiritual re-applications to the Church.
GC321: Taking the manner in which the prophecies had been fulfilled
in the past as a criterion by which to judge of the fulfillment of those which were still future, he became satisfied that
the popular view of the spiritual reign of Christ--a temporal millennium before the end of the world--was not sustained by
the word of God. This doctrine, pointing to a thousand years of righteousness and peace before the personal coming of
the Lord, put far off the terrors of the day of God. But, pleasing though it may be, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ
and His apostles, who declared that the wheat and the tares and to grow together until the harvest, the end of the world;
that "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse;" that "in the last days perilous times shall come;"
and that the kingdom of darkness shall continue until the advent of the Lord and shall be consumed with the spirit of His
mouth and be destroyed with the brightness of His coming. Matthew 13:30, 38-41; 2 Timothy 3:13, 1; 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
Note: Miller opposed Post-millen0nialism
which teaches the Church Age is the millennium and the gospel is making the world better and better. The Pre-millennial rapture
theory of John Nelson Darby began in 1827 and had not reached many at Miller’s time. The SDA “millennial”
doctrine of an uninhabited earth for 1000 years is not taught anywhere else.
Gc321: The [Post-millennial] doctrine of the world's conversion and the spiritual reign of Christ was
not held by the apostolic church. It was not generally accepted by Christians until about the beginning of the eighteenth
century. Like every other error, its results were evil. It taught men to look far in the future for the coming of the Lord
and prevented them from giving heed to the signs heralding His approach. It induced a feeling of confidence and security that
was not well founded and led many to neglect the preparation necessary in order to meet their Lord.
GC321-322: Miller found the literal, personal coming of Christ
to be plainly taught in the Scriptures. Says Paul: "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God." 1 Thessalonians 4:16. And the Savior declares: "They shall see
the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." "For as the lightning cometh out of the
east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:30, 27. He is
to be accompanied by all the hosts of heaven. "The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him."
Matthew 25:31. "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His
elect." Matthew 24:31.
GC322: At His coming the righteous dead will be raised, and the righteous living will be changed. "We shall not
all sleep," says Paul, "but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must
put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. And in his letter to the Thessalonians,
after describing the coming of the Lord, he says: "The dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.
Miller did not teach soul-sleep (annihilation) as do modern SDAs. EGW is trying to sneak this into the study of Miller as
if he did.
Not until the personal advent of Christ can His people receive the kingdom. The Savior said: "When the Son of man shall
come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall
be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and
He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand,
Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25:31-34.
We have seen by the scriptures just given that when the Son of man comes, the dead are raised incorruptible and the living
are changed. By this great change they are prepared to receive the kingdom; for Paul says: "Flesh and blood cannot inherit
the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." 1 Corinthians 15:50. Man in his present state is mortal,
corruptible; but the kingdom of God will be incorruptible, enduring forever. Therefore man in his present state cannot enter
into the kingdom of God. But when Jesus comes, He confers immortality upon His people; and then He calls them to inherit the
kingdom of which they have hitherto been only heirs.
GC323: These and other scriptures clearly proved to Miller's mind that the events which were generally
expected to take place before the coming of Christ, such as the universal reign of peace and the setting up of the kingdom
of God upon the earth, were to be subsequent to the second advent. Furthermore, all the signs of the times and the condition
of the world corresponded to the prophetic description of the last days. He was forced to the conclusion, from the study of
Scripture alone, that the period allotted for the continuance of the earth in its present state was about to close.
GC323: "Another kind of evidence that vitally affected my
mind," he says, "was the chronology of the Scriptures. . . . I found that predicted events, which had been fulfilled
in the past, often occurred within a given time. The one hundred and twenty years to the flood (Genesis 6:3); the seven
days that were to precede it, with forty days of predicted rain (Genesis 7:4); the four hundred years of the sojourn of Abraham's
seed (Genesis 15:13); the three days of the butler's and baker's dreams (Genesis 40:12-20); the seven years of Pharaoh's
(Genesis 41:28-54); the forty years in the wilderness (Numbers 14:34); the three and a half years of famine (1 Kings 17:1)
[see Luke 4:25;] . . . the seventy years' captivity (Jeremiah 25:11); Nebuchadnezzar's seven times (Daniel 4:13-16);
and the seven weeks, threescore and two weeks, and the one week, making seventy weeks, determined upon the Jews (Daniel 9:24-27),--the
events limited by these times were all once only a matter of prophecy, and were fulfilled in accordance with the predictions."--Bliss,
pages 74, 75.
When, therefore, he found, in his study of the Bible, various chronological periods that, according to his understanding of
them, extended to the second coming of Christ, he could not but regard them as the "times before appointed," which
God had revealed unto His servants. "The secret things," says Moses, "belong unto the Lord our God: but those
things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever;" and the Lord declares by the prophet Amos, that
He "will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Deuteronomy 29:29; Amos 3:7.
The students of God's word may, then, confidently expect to find the most stupendous event to take place in human history
clearly pointed out in the Scriptures of truth.
GC324: "As I was fully convinced," says Miller, "that all Scripture given by inspiration of
God is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16); that it came not at any time by the will of man, but was written as holy men were moved
by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21), and was written 'for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures
might have hope' (Romans 15:4), I could but regard the chronological portions of the Bible as being as much a portion
of the word of God, and as much entitled to our serious consideration, as any other portion of the Scriptures. I therefore
felt that in endeavoring to comprehend what God had in His mercy seen fit to reveal to us, I had no right to pass over the
prophetic periods."-- Bliss, page 75.
GC324-325: The prophecy which seemed most clearly to reveal the time of the second advent was that of
Daniel 8:14: "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Following his
rule of making Scripture its own interpreter, Miller learned that a day in symbolic prophecy represents a year (Numbers 14:34;
Ezekiel 4:6); he saw that the period of 2300 prophetic days, or literal years, would extend far beyond the close of
the Jewish dispensation, hence it could not refer to the sanctuary of that dispensation. Miller accepted the generally received
view that in the Christian age the earth is the sanctuary, and he therefore understood that the cleansing of the
sanctuary foretold in Daniel 8:14 represented the purification of the earth by fire at the second coming of Christ. If,
then, the correct starting point could be found for the 2300 days, he concluded that the time of the second advent could be
readily ascertained. Thus would be revealed the time of that great consummation, the time when the present state, with "all
its pride and power, pomp and vanity, wickedness and oppression, would come to an end;" when the curse would be "removed
from off the earth, death be destroyed, reward be given to the servants of God, the prophets and saints, and them who fear
His name, and those be destroyed that destroy the earth."
ERROR: (1)If the 2300 days are not prophetic years the whole scheme crumbles. (2) If Daniel 8:14 is not about
the second coming the whole scheme crumbles. (3) If the earth is not the sanctuary the whole scheme crumbles. EGW accepted
the first two points also.
With a new and deeper earnestness, Miller continued the examination of the prophecies, whole nights as well as days being
devoted to the study of what now appeared of such stupendous importance and all-absorbing interest. In the eighth chapter
of Daniel he could find no clue to the starting point of the 2300 days; the angel Gabriel, though commanded to make Daniel
understand the vision, gave him only a partial explanation. As the terrible persecution to befall the church was unfolded
to the prophet's vision, physical strength gave way. He could endure no more, and the angel left him for a time. Daniel
"fainted, and was sick certain days." "And I was astonished at the vision," he says, "but none understood
Daniel 8:11-12 describe the abomination of desolation when the little horn cast down the daily sacrifice. In Matthew 24:15
Jesus Himself referenced this event. In 168 B. C. Antiochus Epiphanes defiled the sanctuary by offering a pig on the daily
altar. This began a civil war which lasted about 1150 days (2300 evening and morning sacrifices). It becomes a type of the
last day Antichrist in Matthew 24:15 which will end in the second coming in glory to restore Israel.
GC325: Yet God had bidden His messenger: "Make this man
to understand the vision." That commission must be fulfilled. In obedience to it, the angel, some time afterward, returned
to Daniel, saying: "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding;" "therefore understand the matter,
and consider the vision." Daniel 8:27, 16; 9:22, 23, 25-27. There was one important point in the vision of chapter 8
which had been left unexplained, namely, that relating to time--the period of the 2300 days; therefore the angel, in resuming
his explanation, dwells chiefly upon the subject of time:
GC326: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City. . . . Know therefore
and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince
shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself. . . . And He shall confirm the covenant
with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."
Note: The text is wholly about Israel and
the walls of Jerusalem. The Church is not found in Daniel.
GC326: The angel had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him the point which he
had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement relative to time--"unto two thousand and
three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." After bidding Daniel "understand the matter, and consider
the vision," the very first words of the angel are: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy
City." The word here translated "determined" literally signifies "cut off." Seventy weeks, representing
490 years, are declared by the angel to be cut off, as specially pertaining to the Jews. But from what were they cut off?
As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were
cut off; the seventy weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together. The seventy
weeks were declared by the angel to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. If the date
of this commandment could be found, then the starting point for the great period of the 2300 days would be ascertained.
GC326-327: In the seventh chapter of Ezra the decree is found.
Verses 12-26. In its completest form it was issued by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, 457 B.C. But in Ezra 6:14 the house of the
Lord at Jerusalem is said to have been built "according to the commandment ["decree," margin] of Cyrus, and
Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." These three kings, in originating, reaffirming, and completing the decree,
brought it to the perfection required by the prophecy to mark the beginning of the 2300 years. Taking 457 B.C., the time when
the decree was completed, as the date of the commandment, every specification of the prophecy concerning the seventy weeks
was seen to have been fulfilled.
ERROR: It is impossible to make an absolute statement that the 457 B. C. decree of Ezra 7 is the fulfillment
of the beginning of the prophecy found in Daniel 9:24-25. Whereas EGW’s references only mention the rebuilding
of the temple, the decree of Daniel 9 only mentions the rebuilding of the city. Thus, “every specification” was
ERROR: The context of Daniel 8:1-13 offers several much better
beginning points for the 2300 days in Daniel 8:14 than does Daniel 9:24, 25.
ERROR The very
location of this remark is deceitful. It implies that William Miller discovered Ezra 7’s decree when he did not. This
remark honestly does not belong in the context of this chapter about William Miller.
GC327: "From the going forth of the commandment to restore
and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks"--namely, sixty-nine
weeks, or 483 years. The decree of Artaxerxes went into effect in the autumn of 457 B.C. From this date, 483 years extend
to the autumn of A.D. 27. (See Appendix.) At that time this prophecy was fulfilled. The word "Messiah" signifies
"the Anointed One." In the autumn of A.D. 27 Christ was baptized by John and received the anointing of the Spirit.
The apostle Peter testifies that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power." Acts 10:38.
And the Savior Himself declared: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel
to the poor." Luke 4:18. After His baptism He went into Galilee, "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and
saying, The time is fulfilled." Mark 1:14, 15.
GC327: "And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." The "week"
here brought to view is the last one of the seventy; it is the last seven years of the period allotted especially to the Jews.
During this time, extending from A.D. 27 to A.D. 34, Christ, at first in person and afterward by His disciples, extended
the gospel invitation especially to the Jews. As the apostles went forth with the good tidings of the kingdom, the Savior’s
direction was: "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 10:5, 6.
ERROR: SDAs end the 70 weeks in 34 A. D. Most scholars place the crucifixion between 30 and 33 A. D. Like
other Replacement theologies, SDAs place Daniel 26b AFTER verse 27 and interpret “he” of verse 27 as a reference
to “Messiah” in verse 26. On the other hand futurists keep 9:24-27 SEQUENTIAL; 26a ends with the crucifixion;
26b is the destruction of the temple in 70; and verse 27 refers to Antichrist. “He” of verse 27 refers to its
nearest antecedent, “prince” of 26b. I call this an ERROR because EGW capitalized “he” to endorse
her own viewpoint.
"In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." In A.D. 31, three and
a half years after His baptism, our Lord was crucified. With the great sacrifice offered upon Calvary, ended that system of
offerings which for four thousand years had pointed forward to the Lamb of God. Type had met antitype, and all the sacrifices
and oblations of the ceremonial system were there to cease.
ERROR: Again EGW
unethically capitalized “he” to endorse her own viewpoint. Many believe that the entire Old Covenant ended at
Calvary and not just the ceremonial law. The Law was only given to Old Covenant Israel (Ex 31:13-18; Gal 3:19).
The seventy weeks, or 490 years, especially allotted to the Jews, ended, as we have seen, in A.D. 34. At that time,
through the action of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the nation sealed its rejection of the gospel by the martyrdom of Stephen and
the persecution of the followers of Christ. Then the message of salvation, no longer restricted to the chosen people, was
given to the world. The disciples, forced by persecution to flee from Jerusalem, "went everywhere preaching the word."
"Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them." Peter, divinely guided, opened the gospel
to the centurion of Caesarea, the God-fearing Cornelius; and the ardent Paul, won to the faith of Christ, was commissioned
to carry the glad tidings "far hence unto the Gentiles." Acts 8:4, 5; 22:21.
ERROR: God cannot and will not change His unconditional promises
to Israel. The prophets are clear: sin causes a delay in fulfillment but God’s name and the unconditional
wording assures literal fulfillment (Ezekiel 36:22-30). Jesus and Paul still commanded that the gospel first go to the Jews
(Rom 1:16). Matt 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in
the name of the Lord. Matt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration
when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes
GC328: Thus far every specification of the prophecies is strikingly
fulfilled, and the beginning of the seventy weeks is fixed beyond question at 457 B.C., and their expiration in A.D. 34.
From this data there is no difficulty in finding the termination of the 2300 days. The seventy weeks--490 days--having been
cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days were still to be fulfilled.
From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844. At the expiration of
this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, "the sanctuary shall be cleansed." Thus the
time of the cleansing of the sanctuary--which was almost universally believed to take place at the second advent--was definitely
“Every specification … fixed beyond question” is bold and obstinate. This kind of attitude resulted in
the false prophecy.
Miller and his associates at first believed that the 2300 days would terminate in the spring of 1844, whereas the prophecy
points to the autumn of that year. (See Appendix.) The misapprehension of this point brought disappointment and perplexity
to those who had fixed upon the earlier date as the time of the Lord's coming. But this did not in the least affect
the strength of the argument showing that the 2300 days terminated in the year 1844, and that the great event represented
by the cleansing of the sanctuary must then take place.
ERROR: Omissions are deceitful. For 25 years, from
1818 until 1843, Miller preached that Christ would return between March 1842 and March 1843. The spring of 1844 was his second
(of three) wrong predictions.
ERROR: “The prophecy points to the autumn
of that year” is another common absolute declaration from one claiming to be an inspired prophetess. The context is
still the second advent.
ERROR: There was no “strength of the argument”
of Miller’s false prophecy that Christ would return in October 1844. EGW also ignores the obvious that Miller
did not teach the Investigative Judgment at all.
is way of being absolutely certain that Artaxerxes’ decree in B. C. 457 and the Appendix does not solve the problem.
GC329: Entering upon the study of the Scriptures as he had done,
in order to prove that they were a revelation from God, Miller had not, at the outset, the slightest expectation of reaching
the conclusion at which he had now arrived. He himself could hardly credit the results of his investigation. But the Scripture
evidence was too clear and forcible to be set aside.
ERROR: In other words “the “Scripture
evidence for Christ’s second coming on October 22, 1844 was too clear and forcible to be set aside. Does EGW
ever listen to herself?
He had devoted two years to the study of the Bible, when, in 1818, he reached the solemn conviction that in about twenty-five
years Christ would appear for the redemption of His people. "I need not speak," says Miller, "of the joy
that filled my heart in view of the delightful prospect, nor of the ardent longings of my soul for a participation in the
joys of the redeemed. The Bible was now to me a new book. It was indeed a feast of reason; all that was dark, mystical, or
obscure to me in its teachings, had been dissipated from my mind before the clear light that now dawned from its sacred pages;
and, oh, how bright and glorious the truth appeared! All the contradictions and inconsistencies I had before found in the
word were gone; and although there were many portions of which I was not satisfied I had a full understanding, yet so much
light had emanated from it to the illumination of my before darkened mind, that I felt a delight in studying the Scripture
which I had not before supposed could be derived from its teachings."--Bliss, pages 76, 77.
ERROR 10: Again
EGW deceitfully hid the fact that Miller first taught for 25 years that 1843 was the year -- not 1844 [1818+25=1843].
Yet, not once in The Great Controversy is Miller’s key 1843 date even mentioned.
ERROR: Two years is nothing compared to much longer times spent studying much lesser subject. This is nothing
to boast bout.
"With the solemn conviction that such momentous events were predicted in the Scriptures to be fulfilled in so short
a space of time, the question came home to me with mighty power regarding my duty to the world, in view of the evidence
that had affected my own mind."--Ibid., page 81. He could not but feel that it was his duty to impart to others the light
which he had received. He expected to encounter opposition from the ungodly, but was confident that all Christians would rejoice
in the hope of meeting the Savior whom they professed to love. His only fear was that in their great joy at the prospect of
glorious deliverance, so soon to be consummated, many would receive the doctrine without sufficiently examining the Scriptures
in demonstration of its truth. He therefore hesitated to present it, lest he should be in error and be the means of misleading
others. He was thus led to review the evidences in support of the conclusions at which he had arrived, and to consider carefully
every difficulty which presented itself to his mind. He found that objections vanished before the light of God's word,
as mist before the rays of the sun. Five years spent thus left him fully convinced of the correctness of his position.
GC330: And now the duty of making known to others what he believed
to be so clearly taught in the Scriptures, urged itself with new force upon him. "When I was about my business,"
he said, "it was continually ringing in my ears, 'Go and tell the world of their danger.' This text was constantly
occurring to me: 'When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the
wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless,
if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou
hast delivered thy soul." Ezekiel 33:8, 9. I felt that if the wicked could be effectually warned, multitudes of them
would repent; and that if they were not warned, their blood might be required at my hand."--Bliss, page 92.
GC330-331: He began to present his views in private as he had
opportunity, praying that some minister might feel their force and devote himself to their promulgation. But he could not
banish the conviction that he had a personal duty to perform in giving the warning. The words were ever recurring to his mind:
"Go and tell it to the world; their blood will I require at thy hand." For nine years he waited, the burden still
pressing upon his soul, until in 1813 he for the first time publicly gave the reasons of his faith.
GC331: As Elisha was called from following his oxen in the
field, to receive the mantle of consecration to the prophetic office, so was William Miller called to leave his plow and open
to the people the mysteries of the kingdom of God. With trembling he entered upon his work, leading his hearers down,
step by step, through the prophetic periods to the second appearing of Christ. With every effort he gained strength and courage
as he saw the widespread interest excited by his words.
ERROR 11: Elisha was a true prophet; William Miller was a false prophet. How dare EGW to compare Miller with
God does not “call” people to give false prophecies.
GC331: It was only at the solicitation of his brethren, in whose words he heard the call of God, that Miller
consented to present his views in public. He was now fifty years of age, unaccustomed to public speaking, and burdened
with a sense of unfitness for the work before him. But from the first his labors were blessed in a remarkable manner to the
salvation of souls. His first lecture was followed by a religious awakening in which thirteen entire families, with the exception
of two persons, were converted. He was immediately urged to speak in other places, and in nearly every place his labor
resulted in a revival of the work of God. Sinners were converted, Christians were roused to greater consecration, and
deists and infidels were led to acknowledge the truth of the Bible and the Christian religion. The testimony of those
among whom he labored was: "A class of minds are reached by him not within the influence of other men."--Ibid.,
page 138. His preaching was calculated to arouse the public mind to the great things of religion and to check the growing
worldliness and sensuality of the age.
Note: The “converts” feared not being ready at the second advent.
Gc331-332: In nearly every town there were scores, in some, hundreds,
converted as a result of his preaching. In many places Protestant churches of nearly all denominations were thrown open
to him, and the invitations to labor usually came from the ministers of the several congregations. It was his invariable
rule not to labor in any place to which he had not been invited, yet he soon found himself unable to comply with half the
requests that poured in upon him. Many who did not accept his views as to the exact time of the second advent were convinced
of the certainty and nearness of Christ's coming and their need of preparation. In some of the large cities his work produced
a marked impression. Liquor dealers abandoned the traffic and turned their shops into meeting rooms; gambling dens were broken
up; infidels, deists, Universalists, and even the most abandoned profligates were reformed, some of whom had not entered a
house of worship for years. Prayer meetings were established by the various denominations, in different quarters, at almost
every hour, businessmen assembling at midday for prayer and praise. There was no extravagant excitement, but an almost universal
solemnity on the minds of the people. His work, like that of the early Reformers, tended rather to convince the understanding
and arouse the conscience than merely to excite the emotions.
GC332-333: In 1833 Miller received a license to preach, from the Baptist Church, of which he was a member.
A large number of the ministers of his denomination also approved his work, and it was with their formal sanction that he
continued his labors. He traveled and preached unceasingly, though his personal labors were confined principally to the
New England and Middle States. For several years his expenses were met wholly from his own private purse, and he never afterward
received enough to meet the expense of travel to the places where he was invited. Thus his public labors, so far from being
a pecuniary benefit, were a heavy tax upon his property, which gradually diminished during this period of his life. He was
the father of a large family, but as they were all frugal and industrious, his farm sufficed for their maintenance as well
as his own.
It is evident that Miller did not teach tithing.
GC333: In 1833, two years after Miller began to present in public the evidences of Christ's soon coming,
the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Savior as tokens of His second advent. Said Jesus: "The stars
shall fall from heaven." Matthew 24:29. And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that
should herald the day of God: "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely
figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." Revelation 6:13. This prophecy received a striking and impressive
fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of
falling stars which has ever been recorded; "the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours,
in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed
with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another." "Its sublimity
and awful beauty still linger in many minds. . . . Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth;
east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. . . . The display, as described
in Professor Silliman's Journal, was seen all over North America. . . . From two o'clock until broad daylight, the
sky being perfectly serene and cloudless, an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole
heavens."--R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5.
ERROR: In 1833 and William Miller and early
Adventists interpreted the 1755 Portugal earthquake, the 1780 Massachusetts smoky day and the 1833 meteor shower as signs
of the second coming of Christ. EGW called them “evidences of Christ soon coming” and “signs promised by
the Savior as tokens of His soon advent.” The prophecies of Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:13 “received
a striking and impressive fulfillment.” These are the words of a false prophet as seen in 2015.
GC333-334: "No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor
of that magnificent display; . . . no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as
if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the
velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted--thousands swiftly followed in the tracks
of thousands, as if created for the occasion."--F. Reed, in the Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833. "A
more correct picture of a fig tree casting its figs when blown by a mighty wind, it was not possible to behold."--"The
Old Countryman," in Portland Evening Advertiser, Nov. 26, 1833.
GC334: In the New York Journal of Commerce of November 14, 1833, appeared a long article regarding this wonderful
phenomenon, containing this statement: "No philosopher or scholar has told or recorded an event, I suppose, like that
of yesterday morning. A prophet eighteen hundred years ago foretold it exactly, if we will be at the trouble of understanding
stars falling to mean falling stars, . . . in the only sense in which it is possible to be literally true."
GC334: Thus was displayed the last of those signs of His coming,
concerning which Jesus bade His disciples: "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."
Matthew 24:33. After these signs, John beheld, as the great event next impending, the heavens departing as a scroll,
while the earth quaked, mountains and islands removed out of their places, and the wicked in terror sought to flee from the
presence of the Son of man. Revelation 6:12-17.
ERROR: The marvel of all of this is that EGW and company are still discussing these as signs of the second
coming even after they have re-interpreted Miller’s false prophecy as the Investigative Judgment in heaven.
GC334: Many who witnessed the falling of the stars, looked upon
it as a herald of the coming judgment, "an awful type, a sure forerunner, a merciful sign, of that great and dreadful
day." --"The Old Countryman," in Portland Evening Advertiser, Nov. 26, 1833. Thus the attention of the people
was directed to the fulfillment of prophecy, and many were led to give heed to the warning of the second advent.
GC334-335: In the year 1840 another remarkable fulfillment
of prophecy excited widespread interest. Two years before, Josiah Litch, one of the leading ministers preaching the second
advent, published an exposition of Revelation 9, predicting the fall of the Ottoman Empire. According to his calculations,
this power was to be overthrown "in A.D. 1840, sometime in the month of August;" and only a few days previous to
its accomplishment he wrote: "Allowing the first period, 150 years, to have been exactly fulfilled before Deacozes ascended
the throne by permission of the Turks, and that the 391 years, fifteen days, commenced at the close of the first period, it
will end on the 11th of August, 1840, when the Ottoman power in Constantinople may be expected to be broken. And this,
I believe, will be found to be the case."--Josiah Litch, in Signs of the Times, and Expositor of Prophecy, Aug. 1, 1840.
ERROR 15: August 1840 was not a fulfillment
of Revelation 9:15 by Turkey as a sign of the soon second coming. Revelation 9:15 reads, “And the four angels were loosed,
which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” Again the facts
are wrong. Verse 16 says that this army had 200, 000, 000 horsemen. First, Turkish Muslim power and domination did
not end in 1840; second, they did not have 200 million horsemen, and, third, the end of World War One in 1918 resulted in
the breakup of the Ottoman Empire of Turkey. Yet SDA theologians dare not reinterpret Revelation 9:15, 16. Note: This argument
is presented again in GC391 and GC410.
GC335: At the very time specified, Turkey, through her ambassadors, accepted the protection of the allied
powers of Europe, and thus placed herself under the control of Christian nations. The event exactly fulfilled the prediction.
(See Appendix.) When it became known, multitudes were convinced of the correctness of the principles of prophetic interpretation
adopted by Miller and his associates, and a wonderful impetus was given to the advent movement. Men of learning and position
united with Miller, both in preaching and in publishing his views, and from 1840 to 1844 the work rapidly extended.
GC335: William Miller possessed strong mental powers, disciplined
by thought and study; and he added to these the wisdom of heaven by connecting himself with the Source of wisdom. He was
a man of sterling worth, who could not but command respect and esteem wherever integrity of character and moral excellence
were valued. Uniting true kindness of heart with Christian humility and the power of self-control, he was attentive and
affable to all, ready to listen to the opinions of others and to weigh their arguments. Without passion or excitement he tested
all theories and doctrines by the word of God, and his sound reasoning and thorough knowledge of the Scriptures enabled him
to refute error and expose falsehood.
was an uneducated stubborn Baptist who only used the KJV and a small concordance. He refused to listen to the arguments of
Hebrew scholars who disproved his 15 proofs leading to 1843 for the second coming of Christ. And, on page 430 EGW wrote that
those who reject the Investigative Judgment message cannot benefit by it (which includes Miller). His teaching were proven
wrong by the fact that Jesus did not return and destroy the earth by fire on October 22, 1844; he did not “refute error
and expose falsehood.”
GC335-336: Yet he did not prosecute his work without bitter opposition. As with earlier Reformers, the truths
which he presented were not received with favor by popular religious teachers. As these could not maintain their position
by the Scriptures, they were driven to resort to the sayings and doctrines of men, to the traditions of the Fathers. But the
word of God was the only testimony accepted by the preachers of the advent truth. "The Bible, and the Bible only,"
was their watchword. The lack of Scripture argument on the part of their opponents was supplied by ridicule and scoffing.
Time, means, and talents were employed in maligning those whose only offense was that they looked with joy for the return
of their Lord and were striving to live holy lives and to exhort others to prepare for His appearing.
GC336: Earnest were the efforts put forth to draw away the minds
of the people from the subject of the second advent. It was made to appear a sin, something of which men should be ashamed,
to study the prophecies which relate to the coming of Christ and the end of the world. Thus the popular ministry undermined
faith in the word of God. Their teaching made men infidels, and many took license to walk after their own ungodly lusts. Then
the authors of the evil charged it all upon Adventists.
Gc336: While drawing crowded houses of intelligent and attentive hearers, Miller's name was seldom mentioned
by the religious press except by way of ridicule or denunciation. The careless and ungodly emboldened by the position of religious
teachers, resorted to opprobrious epithets, to base and blasphemous witticisms, in their efforts to heap contumely upon him
and his work. The gray-headed man who had left a comfortable home to travel at his own expense from city to city, from town
to town, toiling unceasingly to bear to the world the solemn warning of the judgment near, was sneeringly denounced as a fanatic,
a liar, a speculating knave.
Gc336: The ridicule, falsehood, and abuse heaped upon him called forth indignant remonstrance, even from the secular
press. "To treat a subject of such overwhelming majesty and fearful consequences," with lightness and ribaldry was
declared by worldly men to be "not merely to sport with the feelings of its propagators and advocates," but "to
make a jest of the day of judgment, to scoff at the Deity Himself, and contemn the terrors of His judgment bar."--Bliss,
The instigator of all evil sought not only to counteract the effect of the advent message, but to destroy the messenger himself.
Miller made a practical application of Scripture truth to the hearts of his hearers, reproving their sins and disturbing their
self-satisfaction, and his plain and cutting words aroused their enmity. The opposition manifested by church members toward
his message emboldened the baser classes to go to greater lengths; and enemies plotted to take his life as he should leave
the place of meeting. But holy angels were in the throng, and one of these, in the form of a man, took the arm of this
servant of the Lord and led him in safety from the angry mob. His work was not yet done, and Satan and his emissaries
were disappointed in their purpose.
ERROR: God does not send His angels to deliver false prophets. EGW is inventing events.
Gc337: Despite all opposition, the interest in the advent movement
had continued to increase. From scores and hundreds, the congregations had grown to as many thousands. Large accessions had
been made to the various churches, but after a time the spirit of opposition was manifested even against these converts, and
the churches began to take disciplinary steps with those who had embraced Miller's views. This action called forth a response
from his pen, in an address to Christians of all denominations, urging that if his doctrines were false, he should be shown
his error from the Scriptures.
Gc337: "What have we believed," he said, "that we have not been commanded to believe by the word of God,
which you yourselves allow is the rule, and only rule, of our faith and practice? What have we done that should call down
such virulent denunciations against us from pulpit and press, and give you just cause to exclude us [Adventists] from your
churches and fellowship?" "If we are wrong, pray show us wherein consists our wrong. Show us from the word of God
that we are in error; we have had ridicule enough; that can never convince us that we are in the wrong; the word of God alone
can change our views. Our conclusions have been formed deliberately and prayerfully, as we have seen the evidence in the Scriptures."--Ibid.,
pages 250, 252.
From age to age the warnings which God has sent to the world by His servants have been received with like incredulity and
unbelief. When the iniquity of the antediluvians moved Him to bring a flood of waters upon the earth, He first made known
to them His purpose, that they might have opportunity to turn from their evil ways. For a hundred and twenty years was sounded
in their ears the warning to repent, lest the wrath of God be manifested in their destruction. But the message seemed to them
an idle tale, and they believed it not. Emboldened in their wickedness they mocked the messenger of God, made light of his
entreaties, and even accused him of presumption. How dare one man stand up against all the great men of the earth? If Noah's
message were true, why did not all the world see it and believe it? One man's assertion against the wisdom of thousands!
They would not credit the warning, nor would they seek shelter in the ark.
GC338: Scoffers pointed to the things of nature,--to the unvarying succession of the seasons, to the blue
skies that had never poured out rain, to the green fields refreshed by the soft dews of night,--and they cried out: "Doth
he not speak parables?" In contempt they declared the preacher of righteousness to be a wild enthusiast; and they went
on, more eager in their pursuit of pleasure, more intent upon their evil ways, than before. But their unbelief did not hinder
the predicted event. God bore long with their wickedness, giving them ample opportunity for repentance; but at the appointed
time His judgments were visited upon the rejecters of His mercy.
GC338-339: Christ declares that there will exist similar unbelief concerning His second coming. As the people
of Noah's day "knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so," in the words of our Savior, "shall
also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:39. When the professed people of God are uniting with the world, living
as they live, and joining with them in forbidden pleasures; when the luxury of the world becomes the luxury of the church;
when the marriage bells are chiming, and all are looking forward to many years of worldly prosperity--then, suddenly as the
lightning flashes from the heavens, will come the end of their bright visions and delusive hopes.
Gc339: As God sent His servant to warn the world of the coming
Flood, so He sent chosen messengers to make known the nearness of the final judgment. And as Noah's contemporaries
laughed to scorn the predictions of the preacher of righteousness, so in Miller's day many, even of the professed people
of God, scoffed at the words of warning.
ERROR: Noah was a true prophet of God; Miller was
a false prophet. It is error to compare Noah’s true message to Miller’s false message. Miller was not a
chosen messenger of God.
Gc339: And why were the doctrine and preaching of Christ's second coming so unwelcome to the churches?
While to the wicked the advent of the Lord brings woe and desolation, to the righteous it is fraught with joy and hope. This
great truth had been the consolation of God's faithful ones through all the ages; why had it become, like its Author,
"a stone of stumbling" and "a rock of offense" to His professed people? It was our Lord Himself who promised
His disciples: "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself." John 14:3.
It was the compassionate Savior, who, anticipating the loneliness and sorrow of His followers, commissioned angels to comfort
them with the assurance that He would come again in person, even as He went into heaven. As the disciples stood gazing intently
upward to catch the last glimpse of Him whom they loved, their attention was arrested by the words: "Ye men of Galilee,
why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner
as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Acts 1:11. Hope was kindled afresh by the angels' message. The disciples "returned
to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God." Luke 24:52, 53. They were
not rejoicing because Jesus had been separated from them and they were left to struggle with the trials and temptations of
the world, but because of the angels' assurance that He would come again.
ERROR: EGW states that Miller’s false prophecy of the 1844 return of Jesus to earth was rejected because
they did not love Jesus. That is like justifying the errors of Jim Jones or (fellow Adventist) David Koresh.
GC339-340: The proclamation of Christ's coming should now
be, as when made by the angels to the shepherds of Bethlehem, good tidings of great joy. Those who really love the Savior
cannot but hail with gladness the announcement founded upon the word of God that He in whom their hopes of eternal life are
centered is coming again, not to be insulted, despised, and rejected, as at His first advent, but in power and glory, to redeem
His people. It is those who do not love the Savior that desire Him to remain away, and there can be no more conclusive evidence
that the churches have departed from God than the irritation and animosity excited by this Heaven-sent message.
GC340: Those who accepted the advent doctrine
were roused to the necessity of repentance and humiliation before God. Many had long been halting between Christ and the world;
now they felt that it was time to take a stand. "The things of eternity assumed to them an unwonted reality. Heaven was
brought near, and they felt themselves guilty before God."-- Bliss, page 146. Christians were quickened to new
spiritual life. They were made to feel that time was short, that what they had to do for their fellow men must be done quickly.
Earth receded, eternity seemed to open before them, and the soul, with all that pertained to its immortal weal or woe, was
felt to eclipse every temporal object. The Spirit of God rested upon them and gave power to their earnest appeals to
their brethren, as well as to sinners, to prepare for the day of God. The silent testimony of their daily life was a constant
rebuke to formal and unconsecrated church members. These did not wish to be disturbed in their pursuit of pleasure, their
devotion to money-making, and their ambition for worldly honor. Hence the enmity and opposition excited against the advent
faith and those who proclaimed it.
ERROR: EGW confuses the matter. Those who left Miller did not necessarily reject THE advent message –
they rejected MILLER’S false version of it.
GC340-341: As the arguments from the prophetic periods were found to be impregnable, opposers endeavored
to discourage investigation of the subject by teaching that the prophecies were sealed. Thus Protestants followed in the steps
of Romanists. While the papal church withholds the Bible (see Appendix) from the people, Protestant churches claimed that
an important part of the Sacred Word--and that the part which brings to view truths specially applicable to our time--could
not be understood.
Ministers and people declared that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation were incomprehensible mysteries. But Christ
directed His disciples to the words of the prophet Daniel concerning events to take place in their time, and said: "Whoso
readeth, let him understand." Matthew 24:15. And the assertion that the Revelation is a mystery, not to be understood,
is contradicted by the very title of the book: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto
His servants things which must shortly come to pass. . . . Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Revelation 1:1-3.
GC341: Says the prophet: "Blessed is he that readeth"--there
are those who will not read; the blessing is not for them. "And they that hear"--there are some, also, who refuse
to hear anything concerning the prophecies; the blessing is not for this class. "And keep those things which are written
therein"-- many refuse to heed the warnings and instructions contained in the Revelation; none of these can claim the
blessing promised. All who ridicule the subjects of the prophecy and mock at the symbols here solemnly given, all who refuse
to reform their lives and to prepare for the coming of the Son of man, will be unblessed.
GC341: In view of the testimony of Inspiration, how dare men
teach that the Revelation is a mystery beyond the reach of human understanding? It is a mystery revealed, a book opened. The
study of the Revelation directs the mind to the prophecies of Daniel, and both present most important instruction, given of
God to men, concerning events to take place at the close of this world's history.
GC341-342: To John were opened scenes of deep and thrilling interest
in the experience of the church. He saw the position, dangers, conflicts, and final deliverance of the people of God. He records
the closing messages which are to ripen the harvest of the earth, either as sheaves for the heavenly garner or as fagots for
the fires of destruction. Subjects of vast importance were revealed to him, especially for the last church, that those who
should turn from error to truth might be instructed concerning the perils and conflicts before them. None need be in darkness
in regard to what is coming upon the earth.
GC342: Why, then, this widespread ignorance concerning an important part of Holy Writ? Why this general reluctance
to investigate its teachings? It is the result of a studied effort of the prince of darkness to conceal from men that which
reveals his deceptions. For this reason, Christ the Revelator, foreseeing the warfare that would be waged against the study
of the Revelation, pronounced a blessing upon all who should read, hear, and observe the words of the prophecy.
CHAPTER 19, Light Through Darkness
GC343: The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age,
a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God's dealing with men are ever
the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church
in former ages has lessons of great value for our own time.
GC343: No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His
servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation. Men are instruments in the hand
of God, employed by Him to accomplish His purposes of grace and mercy. Each has his part to act; to each is granted a measure
of light, adapted to the necessities of his time, and sufficient to enable him to perform the work which God has given him
to do. But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or
even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would
accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter
in His name.
"Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?" "My thoughts are
not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My
ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." "I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring
the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done." Job 11:7; Isaiah 55:8, 9; 46:9,
GC344: Even the prophets who were favored with the special
illumination of the Spirit did not fully comprehend the import of the revelations committed to them. The meaning was to
be unfolded from age to age, as the people of God should need the instruction therein contained.
GC344: Peter, writing of the salvation brought to light through
the gospel, says: Of this salvation "the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace
that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when
it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto
themselves, but unto us they did minister." 1 Peter 1:10-12.
GC344: Yet while it was not given to the prophets to understand fully the things revealed to them, they earnestly
sought to obtain all the light which God had been pleased to make manifest. They "inquired and searched diligently,"
"searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify." What a lesson to the
people of God in the Christian age, for whose benefit these prophecies were given to His servants! "Unto whom it was
revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister." Witness those holy men of God as they "inquired
and searched diligently" concerning revelations given them for generations that were yet unborn. Contrast their holy
zeal with the listless unconcern with which the favored ones of later ages treat this gift of Heaven. What a rebuke to the
ease-loving, world-loving indifference which is content to declare that the prophecies cannot be understood!
Gc344-345: Though the finite minds of men are inadequate to enter
into the counsels of the Infinite One, or to understand fully the working out of His purposes, yet often it is because of
some error or neglect on their own part that they so dimly comprehend the messages of Heaven. Not infrequently the minds of
the people, and even of God's servants, are so blinded by human opinions, the traditions and false teaching of men, that
they are able only partially to grasp the great things which He has revealed in His word. Thus it was with the disciples of
Christ, even when the Savior was with them in person. Their minds had become imbued with the popular conception of the Messiah
as a temporal prince, who was to exalt Israel to the throne of the universal empire, and they could not understand the meaning
of His words foretelling His sufferings and death.
GC345: Christ Himself had sent them forth with the message: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15. That message was based on the prophecy of Daniel
9. The sixty-nine weeks were declared by the angel to extend to "the Messiah the Prince," and with high hopes
and joyful anticipations the disciples looked forward to the establishment of Messiah's kingdom at Jerusalem to rule over
the whole earth.
They preached the message which Christ had committed to them, though they themselves misapprehended its meaning. While
their announcement was founded on Daniel 9:25, they did not see, in the next verse of the same chapter, that Messiah
was to be cut off. From their very birth their hearts had been set upon the anticipated glory of an earthly empire, and this
blinded their understanding alike to the specifications of the prophecy and to the words of Christ.
It is simply wrong to make these kinds of unverified statements.
GC345-346: They performed their duty in presenting to the Jewish
nation the invitation of mercy, and then, at the very time when they expected to see their Lord ascend the throne of David,
they beheld Him seized as a malefactor, scourged, derided, and condemned, and lifted up on the cross of Calvary. What despair
and anguish wrung the hearts of those disciples during the days while their Lord was sleeping in the tomb!
GC346: Christ had come at the exact time and in the manner foretold
by prophecy. The testimony of Scripture had been fulfilled in every detail of His ministry. He had preached the message of
salvation, and "His word was with power." The hearts of His hearers had witnessed that it was of Heaven. The word
and the Spirit of God attested the divine commission of His Son.
GC346: The disciples still clung with undying affection to their beloved Master. And yet their minds were
shrouded in uncertainty and doubt. In their anguish they did not then recall the words of Christ pointing forward to His suffering
and death. If Jesus of Nazareth had been the true Messiah, would they have been thus plunged in grief and disappointment?
This was the question that tortured their souls while the Savior lay in His sepulcher during the hopeless hours of that Sabbath
which intervened between His death and His resurrection.
GC346: Though the night of sorrow gathered dark about these followers of Jesus, yet were they not forsaken.
Saith the prophet: "When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. . . . He will bring me forth to the light,
and I shall behold His righteousness." "Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day:
the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee." God hath spoken: "Unto the upright there ariseth light in the
darkness." "I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known:
I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."
Micah 7:8, 9; Psalms 139:12; 112:4; Isaiah 42:16.
GC346-347: The announcement which had been made by the disciples in the name of the Lord was in every particular
correct, and the events to which it pointed were even then taking place. "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is
at hand," had been their message. At the expiration of "the time"--the sixty-nine weeks of Daniel 9, which
were to extend to the Messiah, "the Anointed One"--Christ had received the anointing of the Spirit after His baptism
by John in Jordan. And the "kingdom of God" which they had declared to be at hand was established by the death of
Christ. This kingdom was not, as they had been taught to believe, an earthly empire. Nor was it that future, immortal kingdom
which shall be set up when "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall
be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;" that everlasting kingdom, in which "all dominions shall
serve and obey Him." Daniel 7:27. As used in the Bible, the expression "kingdom of God" is employed to
designate both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of grace is brought to view by Paul in the Epistle
to the Hebrews. After pointing to Christ, the compassionate intercessor who is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities,"
the apostle says: "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace."
Hebrews 4:15, 16. The throne of grace represents the kingdom of grace; for the existence of a throne implies the existence
of a kingdom. In many of His parables Christ uses the expression "the kingdom of heaven" to designate the work of
divine grace upon the hearts of men.
Note: Futurists teach that Daniel 7:27 refers to a literal Messianic kingdom of Christ on earth during which
the 12 disciples will rule over the 12 tribes of Israel (Mt 19:28) and Christ will rule with a rod of iron (Rev 2:27; 12:5;
So the throne of glory represents the kingdom of glory; and this kingdom is referred to in the Savior’s words: "When
the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory:
and before Him shall be gathered all nations." Matthew 25:31, 32. This kingdom is yet future. It is not to be set up
until the second advent of Christ.
ERROR: Contrary to what SDAs teach, it is on earth as in Revelation 20 (Mt 19:28; Rev 2:7; 12:5; 19:15).
GC347-348: The kingdom of grace was instituted immediately after
the fall of man, when a plan was devised for the redemption of the guilty race. It then existed in the purpose and by the
promise of God; and through faith, men could become its subjects. Yet it was not actually established until the death of Christ.
Even after entering upon His earthly mission, the Savior, wearied with the stubbornness and ingratitude of men, might have
drawn back from the sacrifice of Calvary. In Gethsemane the cup of woe trembled in His hand. He might even then have wiped
the blood-sweat from His brow and have left the guilty race to perish in their iniquity. Had He done this, there could have
been no redemption for fallen men. But when the Savior yielded up His life, and with His expiring breath cried out, "It
is finished," then the fulfillment of the plan of redemption was assured. The promise of salvation made to the sinful
pair in Eden was ratified. The kingdom of grace, which had before existed by the promise of God, was then established.
GC348: Thus the death of Christ--the very event which the disciples had looked upon as the final destruction
of their hope --was that which made it forever sure. While it had brought them a cruel disappointment, it was the climax of
proof that their belief had been correct. The event that had filled them with mourning and despair was that which opened the
door of hope to every child of Adam, and in which centered the future life and eternal happiness of all God's faithful
ones in all the ages.
Purposes of infinite mercy were reaching their fulfillment, even through the disappointment of the disciples. While their
hearts had been won by the divine grace and power of His teaching, who "spake as never man spake," yet intermingled
with the pure gold of their love for Jesus, was the base alloy of worldly pride and selfish ambitions. Even in the Passover
chamber, at that solemn hour when their Master was already entering the shadow of Gethsemane, there was "a strife among
them, which of them should be accounted the greatest." Luke 22:24. Their vision was filled with the throne, the crown,
and the glory, while just before them lay the shame and agony of the garden, the judgment hall, the cross of Calvary. It was
their pride of heart, their thirst for worldly glory, that had led them to cling so tenaciously to the false teaching of their
time, and to pass unheeded the Savior’s words showing the true nature of His kingdom, and pointing forward to His agony
and death. And these errors resulted in the trial--sharp but needful--which was permitted for their correction. Though the
disciples had mistaken the meaning of their message, and had failed to realize their expectations, yet they had preached the
warning given them of God, and the Lord would reward their faith and honor their obedience. To them was to be entrusted the
work of heralding to all nations the glorious gospel of their risen Lord. It was to prepare them for this work that the experience
which seemed to them so bitter had been permitted.
GC349: After His resurrection Jesus appeared to His disciples on the way to Emmaus, and, "beginning
at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." Luke 24:27.
The hearts of the disciples were stirred. Faith was kindled. They were "begotten again into a lively hope" even
before Jesus revealed Himself to them. It was His purpose to enlighten their understanding and to fasten their faith upon
the "sure word of prophecy." He wished the truth to take firm root in their minds, not merely because it was supported
by His personal testimony, but because of the unquestionable evidence presented by the symbols and shadows of the typical
law, and by the prophecies of the Old Testament. It was needful for the followers of Christ to have an intelligent faith,
not only in their own behalf, but that they might carry the knowledge of Christ to the world. And as the very first step in
imparting this knowledge, Jesus directed the disciples to "Moses and all the prophets." Such was the testimony given
by the risen Savior to the value and importance of the Old Testament Scriptures.
GC349-350: What a change was wrought in the hearts of the disciples as they looked once more on the loved
countenance of their Master! Luke 24:32. In a more complete and perfect sense than ever before they had "found Him, of
whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write." The uncertainty, the anguish, the despair, gave place to perfect
assurance, to unclouded faith. What marvel that after His ascension they "were continually in the temple, praising and
blessing God." The people, knowing only of the Savior’s ignominious death, looked to see in their faces the expression
of sorrow, confusion, and defeat; but they saw there gladness and triumph. What a preparation these disciples had received
for the work before them! They had passed through the deepest trial which it was possible for them to experience, and had
seen how, when to human vision all was lost, the word of God had been triumphantly accomplished. Henceforward what could daunt
their faith or chill the ardor of their love? In the keenest sorrow they had "strong consolation," a hope which
was as "an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast." Hebrews 6:18, 19. They had been witness to the wisdom and
power of God, and they were "persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor
things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature," would be able to separate them from
"the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." "In all these things," they said, "we are more
than conquerors through Him that loved us." Romans 8:38, 39, 37. "The word of the Lord endureth forever." 1
Peter 1:25. And "who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the
right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8:34.
GC350-351: Saith the Lord: "My people shall never be ashamed." Joel 2:26. "Weeping may endure
for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5. When on His resurrection day these disciples met the Savior,
and their hearts burned within them as they listened to His words; when they looked upon the head and hands and feet that
had been bruised for them; when, before His ascension, Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands in blessing,
bade them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel," adding, "Lo, I am with you alway" (Mark
16:15; Matthew 28:20); when on the Day of Pentecost the promised Comforter descended and the power from on high was given
and the souls of the believers thrilled with the conscious presence of their ascended Lord--then, even though, like His, their
pathway led through sacrifice and martyrdom, would they have exchanged the ministry of the gospel of His grace, with the "crown
of righteousness" to be received at His coming, for the glory of an earthly throne, which had been the hope of their
earlier discipleship? He who is "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think," had granted them,
with the fellowship of His sufferings, the communion of His joy--the joy of "bringing many sons unto glory," joy
unspeakable, an "eternal weight of glory," to which, says Paul, "our light affliction, which is but for a moment,"
is "not worthy to be compared."
GC351: The experience of the disciples who preached the "gospel of the kingdom" at the first
advent of Christ, had its counterpart in the experience of those who proclaimed the message of His second advent. As the
disciples went out preaching, "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand," so Miller and his associates
proclaimed that the longest and last prophetic period brought to view in the Bible was about to expire, that the judgment
was at hand, and the everlasting kingdom was to be ushered in. The preaching of the disciples in regard to time was based
on the seventy weeks of Daniel 9. The message given by Miller and his associates announced the termination of the 2300 days
of Daniel 8:14, of which the seventy weeks form a part. The preaching of each was based upon the fulfillment of a different
portion of the same great prophetic period.
ERROR: EGW favorably compares the false message preached by Miller and his associates with the inspired infallible
preaching of the O.T. prophets and disciples of Christ.
GC351-352: Like the first disciples, William Miller and his associates did not, themselves, fully comprehend
the import of the message which they bore. Errors that had been long established in the church prevented them from arriving
at a correct interpretation of an important point in the prophecy. Therefore, though they proclaimed the message which
God had committed to them to be given to the world, yet through a misapprehension of its meaning they suffered disappointment.
ERROR: EGW refuses to call “error” “error.” In fact they did not proclaim a true
message from God at all; it was false prophecy.
GC352: n explaining Daniel 8:14, "Unto two thousand and
three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," Miller, as has been stated, adopted the generally received
view that the earth is the sanctuary, and he believed that the cleansing of the sanctuary represented the purification of
the earth by fire at the coming of the Lord. When, therefore, he found that the close of the 2300 days was definitely foretold,
he concluded that this revealed the time of the second advent. His error resulted from accepting the popular view as
to what constitutes the sanctuary.
ERROR: The second advent is all that EGW has been discussing for the past 50 pages. And she keeps calling
it “the message that God committed to them.”
GC352: In the typical
system, which was a shadow of the sacrifice and priesthood of Christ, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the last service
performed by the high priest in the yearly round of ministration. It was the closing work of the atonement --a removal or
putting away of sin from Israel. It prefigured the closing work in the ministration of our High Priest in heaven, in the
removal or blotting out of the sins of His people, which are registered in the heavenly records. This service involves
a work of investigation, a work of judgment; and it immediately precedes the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven with
power and great glory; for when He comes, every case has been decided. Says Jesus: "My reward is with Me, to give
every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12. It is this work of judgment, immediately preceding the second
advent, that is announced in the first angel's message of Revelation 14:7: "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for
the hour of His judgment is come."
Note: Page 352 of 678 is the first time that details of the foundational SDA doctrine of the Investigative
Judgment are given. EGW hopes that the reader will not stop now. It is the explanation of Miller’s false prophecy.
GC352-353: Those who proclaimed this warning gave
the right message at the right time. But as the early disciples declared, "The time is fulfilled, and the
kingdom of God is at hand," based on the prophecy of Daniel 9, while they failed to perceive that the death of the Messiah
was foretold in the same scripture, so Miller and his associates preached the message based on Daniel 8:14 and Revelation
14:7, and failed to see that there were still other messages brought to view in Revelation 14, which were also to be given
before the advent of the Lord. As the disciples were mistaken in regard to the kingdom to be set up at the end of the seventy
weeks, so Adventists were mistaken in regard to the event to take place at the expiration of the 2300 days. In both cases
there was an acceptance of, or rather an adherence to, popular errors that blinded the mind to the truth. Both classes
fulfilled the will of God in delivering the message which He desired to be given, and both, through their own misapprehension
of their message, suffered disappointment.
ERROR: “Those who proclaimed this warning gave the right message at the right time” has got to
be one of the most evidently stupidest statements in The Great Controversy --- they taught that Jesus was coming back to destroy
the earth by fire on October 22, 1844.
ERROR: In order to justify Miller’s error, EGW says that
Jesus’ disciples made the same kind of error. Yes, they asked Him questions about the kingdom, but that does not equate
to Jesus allowing them to teach error.
ERROR: Jesus’ disciples
did not “fulfill the will of God” by preaching error!
GC353: Yet God accomplished His own beneficent purpose in permitting the warning of the judgment to be
given just as it was. The great day was at hand, and in His providence the people were brought to the test of a definite
time, in order to reveal to them what was in their hearts. The message was designed for the testing and purification of the
church. They were to be led to see whether their affections were set upon this world or upon Christ and heaven. They professed
to love the Savior; now they were to prove their love. Were they ready to renounce their worldly hopes and ambitions, and
welcome with joy the advent of their Lord? The message was designed to enable them to discern their true spiritual state;
it was sent in mercy to arouse them to seek the Lord with repentance and humiliation.
ERROR: Prophets who give false
prophecies are called false prophet. Blaming God for the work of Satan is called “blaspheme against the Holy Spirit”
in the New Testament. This EGW statement is blasphemy!
GC353-354: The disappointment also, though the result of their
own misapprehension of the message which they gave, was to be overruled for good. It would test the hearts of those who
had professed to receive the warning. In the face of their disappointment would they rashly give up their experience and
cast away their confidence in God's word? or would they, in prayer and humility, seek to discern where they had failed
to comprehend the significance of the prophecy? How many had moved from fear, or from impulse and excitement? How many were
halfhearted and unbelieving? Multitudes professed to love the appearing of the Lord. When called to endure the scoffs and
reproach of the world, and the test of delay and disappointment, would they renounce the faith? Because they did not immediately
understand the dealings of God with them, would they cast aside truths sustained by the clearest testimony of His word?
ERROR: “The clearest testimony of His word”
is definitely a lie! Only SDAs interpret Daniel 8:14 as the Investigate Judgment beginning in 1844. There is nothing “clear”
This test would reveal the strength of those who with real faith had obeyed what they believed to be the teaching of the word
and the Spirit of God. It would teach them, as only such an experience could, the danger of accepting the theories and
interpretations of men, instead of making the Bible its own interpreter. To the children of faith the perplexity and sorrow
resulting from their error would work the needed correction. They would be led to a closer study of the prophetic word. They
would be taught to examine more carefully the foundation of their faith, and to reject everything, however widely accepted
by the Christian world, that was not founded upon the Scriptures of truth.
ERROR: The opposite was true. They exchanged the
false prophecy of the second coming in 1844 for the greater lie of the Investigative Judgment beginning in 1844.
ERROR: EGW and those who stayed with Miller were guilty of “accepting the theories and interpretations
of men, instead of making the Bible its own interpreter.”
GC354: With these believers, as with the first disciples, that which in the hour of trial seemed dark to
their understanding would afterward be made plain. When they should see the "end of the Lord" they would know that,
notwithstanding the trial resulting from their errors, His purposes of love toward them had been steadily fulfilling. They
would learn by a blessed experience that He is "very pitiful, and of tender mercy;" that all His paths "are
mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies."
CHAPTER 20, A Great Religious Awakening
probably belongs before chapter 19. It chronicles non-Millerites around the world who taught the soon second coming of Christ.
GC355: A Great religious awakening under the proclamation
of Christ's soon coming is foretold in the prophecy of the first angel's message of Revelation 14. An angel is
seen flying "in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to
every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." "With a loud voice" he proclaims the message: "Fear
God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea,
and the fountains of waters." Verses 6, 7.
ERROR: There is no “great religious awakening”
seen in Revelation which began in chapter 14. The 144,000 and great multitude were converted in chapter 7. There is no salvation
seen after the Three Angel’s Messages. This is only a message of the wrath of God which falls in the following chapters.
The un-saved curse God and refuse to repent. Revelation 14 is a final message of judgment, not salvation.
ERROR: EGW and Adventists did not emerge focusing on the soon second coming, but, instead on the Investigative
Judgment. They changed “Christ's soon coming” to the Investigative Judgment which has already lasted over
160 years with no apology! Therefore, they do not fit their own description.
ERROR: This statement
erroneously opens chapter 20’s discussion of the nineteenth century’s evangelistic movements in the United States
and Europe --- with a lot of focus on the second coming (not the Investigative Judgment).
ERROR: What have SDAs been doing for 160 years if the world is waiting on them to save it? This “great
religious awakening” was, (SDAs teach) to be accomplished by the SDA Church becoming known to every person on earth
since they had the mission to preach the “true” gospel.
GC355: The fact that an angel is said to be the herald of this warning is significant. By the purity, the
glory, and the power of the heavenly messenger, divine wisdom has been pleased to represent the exalted character of the work
to be accomplished by the message and the power and glory that were to attend it. And the angel's flight "in the
midst of heaven," the "loud voice" with which the warning is uttered, and its promulgation to all "that
dwell on the earth,"--"to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,"--give evidence of the rapidity
and world-wide extent of the movement.
GC355-356: The message itself sheds light as to the time when this movement is to take place. It is declared
to be a part of the "everlasting gospel;" and it announces the opening of the judgment. The message of salvation
has been preached in all ages; but this message is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for
only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come. The prophecies present a succession of events leading down
to the opening of the judgment. This is especially true of the book of Daniel. But that part of his prophecy which related
to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal "to the time of the end." Not till we reach this time could
a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on the fulfillment of these prophecies. But at the time of the end,
says the prophet, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4.
ERROR: Up until now EGW has been saying that
the prophetic signs were leading to the soon return of Jesus. Now they have a different purpose of only leading to the (beginning)
of the Investigative Judgment which has already lasted over 160 years.
GC356: The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for
the coming of Christ in his day. "That day shall not come," he says, "except there come a falling away
first, and that man of sin be revealed." 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period
of the reign of the "man of sin," can we look for the advent of our Lord. The "man of sin," which is also
styled "the mystery of iniquity," "the son of perdition," and "that wicked," represents the
papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The
coming of Christ could not take place before that time. Paul covers with his caution the whole of the Christian dispensation
down to the year 1798. It is this side of that time that the message of Christ's second coming is to be proclaimed.
ERROR: EGW is wrong to make an absolute declaration
like this. Few others (if any) agree that the 1260 so-called “prophetic days” of Daniel and Revelation ended in
1798. SDAs teach that the “man of sin,” the Roman Catholic pope, began his reign in A.D. 538 and was “wounded
to death” 1260 years later in 1798 during the French Revolution. Yet, even in the 1800s, most historical interpreters
assigned different dates. My former SDA history teachers laughed at the 538 date as meaningless and unsubstantiated. My study
of the popes has verified that they were impotent servants of rulers most of the time.
GC356: No such message has ever been given in past ages.
Paul, as we have seen, did not preach it; he pointed his brethren into the then far-distant future for the coming of the Lord.
The Reformers did not proclaim it. Martin Luther placed the judgment about three hundred years in the future from his day.
But since 1798 the book of Daniel has been unsealed, knowledge of the prophecies has increased, and many have proclaimed the
solemn message of the judgment near.
ERROR: Paul expected the imminent return of Christ in his own day for the Church (1 Thes 4:13-17; 1 Cor 15:51-55)
to precede the antichrist and final return to deliver Israel (Mt 23: Mark 13; Luke 21). Throughout the ages leading Christians
have expected Christ to return in their day. Since SDA theology is only one of many, they should not be exclusive.
GC357: Like the great Reformation of the sixteenth century,
the advent movement appeared in different countries of Christendom at the same time. In both Europe and America men of
faith and prayer were led to the study of the prophecies, and, tracing down the inspired record, they saw convincing evidence
that the end of all things was at hand. In different lands there were isolated bodies of Christians who, solely by the
study of the Scriptures, arrived at the belief that the Savior’s advent was near.
ERROR: This is not the Seventh-day Adventist movement. It is
an evangelist movement teaching the soon second coming of Christ. EGW is mixing paragraphs about the SDA
movement which focused on the Investigative Judgment with non-related comments. Much of this chapter is out of sequence and
should precede chapter 19.
GC373-374: God designed to prove His people. His hand covered a mistake in the reckoning of the prophetic
periods. Adventists did not discover the error, nor was it discovered by the most learned of their opponents. The latter
said: "Your reckoning of the prophetic periods is correct. Some great event is about to take place; but it is not what
Mr. Miller predicts; it is the conversion of the world, and not the second advent of Christ." (See Appendix.)
again! EGW blamed Miller’s human error on God Himself. She erroneously says that “God designed” the “mistake”
of Miller’s false prophecy.
ERROR: Those opponents of Miller who were Hebrew
scholars had long disagreed with all of his 15 calculations.
the spring or fall of 1844, both were still wrong as false prophecies. Why argue of two errors?
GC374: The time of expectation passed, and Christ did
not appear for the deliverance of His people. Those who with sincere faith and love had looked for their Savior, experienced
a bitter disappointment. Yet the purposes of God were being accomplished; He was testing the hearts of those
professed to be waiting for His appearing. There were among them many who had been actuated by no higher motive than fear.
Their profession of faith had not affected their hearts or their lives. When the expected event failed to take place, these
persons declared that they were not disappointed; they had never believed that Christ would come. They were among the first
to ridicule the sorrow of the true believers.
ERROR: The “time” here is the spring of 1844. God does not send error to test His true believers.
They were believing a false prophecy.
GC374: But Jesus and all the heavenly host looked with love and sympathy upon the tried and faithful yet
disappointed ones. Could the veil separating the visible world have been swept back, angels would have been seen drawing near
to these steadfast souls and shielding them from the shafts of Satan.
CHAPTER 21, A Warning Rejected
Chapter 20 ends with the Adventist disappointment that Christ did not return to earth in the spring of 1844. [Again,
the first (1843) date taught by Miller for 25 years is totally ignored in The Great Controversy.] Chapter 21 covers the period between spring 1844 and the next disappointment
when Christ failed to return in autumn 1844. Chapter 21 introduces the phrase from Revelation 14:8, “Babylon is fallen.”
The entire chapter is error building upon more error; they rejected the spring of 1844 return and returned to their churches.
EGW says they rejected God’s warning and should have remained with Miller into yet another disappointing false prophecy
In preaching the doctrine of the second advent, William Miller and his associates had labored with the sole purpose
of arousing men to a preparation for the judgment. They had sought to awaken professors of religion to the true hope of the
church and to their need of a deeper Christian experience, and they labored also to awaken the unconverted to the duty of
immediate repentance and conversion to God. "They made no attempt to convert men to a sect or party in religion. Hence
they labored among all parties and sects, without interfering with their organization or discipline."
ERROR: If this
were true of Miller, then why was it not true of their subsequent church organization? If Miller could (as they claim) preach
the Three Angels’ Messages the first time without an existing so-called “remnant church,” then why is an
organization needed to preach those “same” Three Angels’ Message the second time?
ERROR: Again, EGW’s attempts to change Miller’s second coming message into the entirely different
Gc375: "In all my labors," said Miller, "I never had the desire or thought to establish
any separate interest from that of existing denominations, or to benefit one at the expense of another. I thought to benefit
all. Supposing that all Christians would rejoice in the prospect of Christ's coming, and that those who could not see
as I did would not love any the less those who should embrace this doctrine, I did not conceive there would ever be any necessity
for separate meetings. My whole object was a desire to convert souls to God, to notify the world of a coming judgment, and
to induce my fellow men to make that preparation of heart which will enable them to meet their God in peace. The great majority
of those who were converted under my labors united with the various existing churches."--Bliss, page 328.
GC376: As his work tended to build up the churches, it was for
a time regarded with favor. But as ministers and religious leaders decided against the advent doctrine and desired to suppress
all agitation of the subject, they not only opposed it from the pulpit, but denied their members the privilege of attending
preaching upon the second advent, or even of speaking of their hope in the social meetings of the church. Thus the believers
found themselves in a position of great trial and perplexity. They loved their churches and were loath to separate from them;
but as they saw the testimony of God's word suppressed and their right to investigate the prophecies denied they felt
that loyalty to God forbade them to submit. Those who sought to shut out the testimony of God's word they could not
regard as constituting the church of Christ, "the pillar and ground of the truth." Hence they felt themselves justified
in separating from their former connection. In the summer of 1844 about fifty thousand withdrew from the churches.
was wrong and deserved ridicule as a false prophet. During Old Testament times he might have been put to death. Miller’s
teaching were not “the testimony of God’s Word.” The “pillar and ground of the truth” was actually
in the churches that rejected Miller’s errors.
ERROR: In the
summer of 1844 the Millerites were still preaching the soon second coming of Christ in 1844 to destroy earth by fire. Yet
EGW and SDAs still define the true believers as those who believed Miller’s false prophecy and criticize those who rejected
Miller’s errors as false Babylon.
ERROR: The irony is that, when
SDAs changed the second coming to the Investigative Judgment they inadvertently defined themselves among those whom Miller
called fallen Babylon. See GC430.
GC376: About this time a marked change was apparent in most of the churches throughout the United States.
There had been for many years a gradual but steadily increasing conformity to worldly practices and customs, and a corresponding
decline in real spiritual life; but in that year there were evidences of a sudden and marked declension in nearly all the
churches of the land. While none seemed able to suggest the cause, the fact itself was widely noted and commented upon by
both the press and the pulpit.
ERROR: This is the error of judging those who disagree with you. EGW says that spiritual decline on churches
which disagreed with Miller’s false prophecies was caused by their rejection of his (false) prophecies. The reverse
is true. Spiritual darkness actually fell on those who were wrong and rejected the truth [the Millerites], not on those who
admitted their error and left the Millerites.
GC376-377: At a meeting of the presbytery of Philadelphia, Mr. Barnes, author of a commentary widely
used and pastor of one of the leading churches in that city, "stated that he had been in the ministry for twenty years,
and never, till the last Communion, had he administered the ordinance without receiving more or less into the church. But
now there are no awakenings, no conversions, not much apparent growth in grace in professors, and none come to his study to
converse about the salvation of their souls. With the increase of business, and the brightening prospects of commerce and
manufacture, there is an increase of worldly-mindedness. Thus it is with all the denominations."--Congregational Journal,
May 23, 1844.
n the month of February of the same year, Professor Finney of Oberlin College said: "We have had the fact before
our minds, that, in general, the Protestant churches of our country, as such, were either apathetic or hostile to nearly all
the moral reforms of the age. There are partial exceptions, yet not enough to render the fact otherwise than general. We have
also another corroborated fact: the almost universal absence of revival influence in the churches. The spiritual apathy is
almost all-pervading, and is fearfully deep; so the religious press of the whole land testifies. . . . Very extensively, church
members are becoming devotees of fashion, --join hands with the ungodly in parties of pleasure, in dancing, in festivities,
etc. . . . But we need not expand this painful subject. Suffice it that the evidence thickens and rolls heavily upon us, to
show that the churches generally are becoming sadly degenerate. They have gone very far from the Lord, and He has withdrawn
Himself from them."
And a writer in the Religious Telescope testified: "We have never witnessed such a general declension of religion as
at the present. Truly, the church should awake, and search into the cause of this affliction; for as an affliction everyone
that loves Zion must view it. When we call to mind how 'few and far between' cases of true conversion are, and the
almost unparalleled impertinence and hardness of sinners, we almost involuntarily exclaim, 'Has God forgotten to be gracious?
or, Is the door of mercy closed?'"
GC377-378: Such a condition never exists without cause in the church itself. The spiritual darkness
which falls upon nations, upon churches and individuals, is due, not to an arbitrary withdrawal of the succors of divine grace
on the part of God, but to neglect or rejection of divine light on the part of men. A striking illustration of this
truth is presented in the history of the Jewish people in the time of Christ. By their devotion to the world and forgetfulness
of God and His word, their understanding had become darkened, their hearts earthly and sensual. Thus they were in ignorance
concerning Messiah's advent, and in their pride and unbelief they rejected the Redeemer. God did not even then cut off
the Jewish nation from a knowledge of, or a participation in, the blessings of salvation. But those who rejected the truth
lost all desire for the gift of Heaven. They had "put darkness for light, and light for darkness," until the light
which was in them became darkness; and how great was that darkness!
ERROR: EGW repeats the accusation that the churches across America suffered a spiritual decline because they
had rejected Miller’s (false) prophecy.
GC378: It suits the policy of Satan that men should retain the forms of religion if but the spirit of vital
godliness is lacking. After their rejection of the gospel, the Jews continued zealously to maintain their ancient rites, they
rigorously preserved their national exclusiveness, while they themselves could not but admit that the presence of God was
no longer manifest among them. The prophecy of Daniel pointed so unmistakably to the time of Messiah's coming, and so
directly foretold His death, that they discouraged its study, and finally the rabbis pronounced a curse on all who should
attempt a computation of the time. In blindness and impenitence the people of Israel during succeeding centuries have stood,
indifferent to the gracious offers of salvation, unmindful of the blessings of the gospel, a solemn and fearful warning of
the danger of rejecting light from heaven.
ERROR: EGW repeats (3rd) the accusation
that the churches across America suffered a spiritual decline because they had rejected Miller’s (false) prophecy.
Wherever the cause exists, the same results will follow. He who deliberately stifles his convictions of duty because
it interferes with his inclinations will finally lose the power to distinguish between truth and error. The understanding
becomes darkened, the conscience callous, the heart hardened, and the soul is separated from God. Where the message of
divine truth is spurned or slighted, there the church will be enshrouded in darkness; faith and love grow cold, and estrangement
and dissension enter.
Church members center their interests and energies in worldly
pursuits, and sinners become hardened in their impenitence.
ERROR: EGW repeats (4th) the accusation that the churches across America suffered a spiritual
decline because they had rejected Miller’s (false) prophecy.
GC379: The first angel's message of Revelation 14, announcing the hour of God's judgment and
calling upon men to fear and worship Him, was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences
of the world and to arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding. In this message, God has sent
to the church a warning, which, had it been accepted, would have corrected the evils that were shutting them away from
Him. Had they received the message from heaven, humbling their hearts before the Lord and seeking in sincerity
a preparation to stand in His presence, the Spirit and power of God would have been manifested among them. The church
would again have reached that blessed state of unity, faith, and love which existed in apostolic days, when the believers
"were of one heart and of one soul," and "spake the word of God with boldness," when "the Lord added
to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts 4:32, 31; 2:47.
ERROR: Remember, this chapter is about the events
between the spring and autumn of 1844. Miller was falsely preaching the second coming in 1844 to destroy the earth by fire.
Yet EGW still calls it the First Angel’s Message!
ERROR: God does
not warn his children with a false “message from heaven.”
ERROR: The church
did not miss a blessing because it rejected the false message of a false prophet.
GC379: If God's professed people would receive the light
as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes,
"the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." "There is," he says, "one body, and one Spirit, even
as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Ephesians 4:3-5.
GC379-380: Such were the blessed results experienced by those
who accepted the advent message. They came from different denominations, and their denominational barriers were hurled
to the ground; conflicting creeds were shivered to atoms; the unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned,
false views of the second advent were corrected, pride and conformity to the world were swept away; wrongs were made right;
hearts were united in the sweetest fellowship, and love and joy reigned supreme. If this doctrine did this for the few who
did receive it, it would have done the same for all if all had received it.
ERROR: This is so very wrong considering they had accepted the false teaching that Christ was coming to destroy
the earth by fire in 1844.
But the churches generally did not accept the warning. Their ministers, who, as watchmen "unto the house
of Israel," should have been the first to discern the tokens of Jesus' coming, had failed to learn the truth
either from the testimony of the prophets or from the signs of the times. As worldly hopes and ambitions filled the heart,
love for God and faith in His word had grown cold; and when the advent doctrine was presented, it only aroused their prejudice
and unbelief. The fact that the message was, to a great extent, preached by laymen, was urged as an instrument against it.
As of old, the plain testimony of God's word was met with the inquiry: "Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees
believed?" And finding how difficult a task it was to refute the arguments drawn from the prophetic periods, many discouraged
the study of the prophecies, teaching that the prophetic books were sealed and were not to be understood. Multitudes, trusting
implicitly to their pastors, refused to listen to the warning; and others, though convinced of the truth, dared not confess
it, lest they should be "put out of the synagogue." The message which God had sent for the testing and purification
of the church revealed all too surely how great was the number who had set their affections on this world rather than
upon Christ. The ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the
voice of worldly wisdom and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth.
ERROR: EGW is criticizing churches for rejecting Miller’s
false teachings. She calls it “the message God had sent.”
GC380-381: In refusing the warning of the first angel, they rejected the means which Heaven had provided
for their restoration. They spurned the gracious messenger that would have corrected the evils which separated them
from God, and with greater eagerness they turned to seek the friendship of the world. Here was the cause of that fearful
condition of worldliness, backsliding, and spiritual death which existed in the churches in 1844. In Revelation 14 the
first angel is followed by a second proclaiming: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made
all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Revelation 14:8. The term "Babylon" is derived
from "Babel," and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate
religion. In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman --a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church,
a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.
ERROR: For the fifth time EGW blames spiritual darkness
on churches which rejected Miller’s false message. The first angel’s message preached by William Miller at that
time period was totally wrong.
ERROR: God does not “warn” His church
with a false message.
ERROR: God does not “restore” His church
with a false message.
ERROR: God does not “correct” His church
with a false message.
ERROR: False Babylon best fits the SDA church. Its
Investigative Judgment message is one of the best examples of “confusion” in all Christendom.
GC381: In the Bible the sacred and enduring character of the
relation that exists between Christ and His church is represented by the union of marriage. The Lord has joined His people
to Himself by a solemn covenant, He promising to be their God, and they pledging themselves to be His and His alone. He declares:
"I will betroth thee unto Me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness,
and in mercies." Hosea 2:19. And, again: "I am married unto you." Jeremiah 3:14. And Paul employs
the same figure in the New Testament when he says: "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste
virgin to Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:2.
ERROR: EGW quotes 2 O. T. texts which describes God’s relationship with national Israel and applies
them to the Church instead of Israel.
GC381-382: The unfaithfulness of the church to Christ in permitting her confidence and affection to be turned
from Him, and allowing the love of worldly things to occupy the soul, is likened to the violation of the marriage vow. The
sin of Israel in departing from the Lord is presented under this figure; and the wonderful love of God which they thus
despised is touchingly portrayed: "I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and
thou becamest Mine." "And thou wast exceeding beautiful and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went
forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon thee. . . . But thou
didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown." "As a wife treacherously departeth
from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord;" "as a wife that committeth
adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!" Ezekiel 16:8, 13-15, 32; Jeremiah 3:20.
ERROR: Texts like this are completely ignored:
Ezek 36:21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for
mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23 And I will sanctify my great name,
which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the
LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the heathen,
and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you,
and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give
you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an
heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments,
and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your
Note: Pages 382 to 389 criticize every church on earth as either
Roman Catholic or her daughters who comprise the harlot and her daughters of Revelation 17.
GC389: The second angel's
message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844, and it then had a more direct application
to the churches of the United States, where the warning of the judgment had been most widely proclaimed and most generally
rejected, and where the declension in the churches had been most rapid. But the message of the second angel did not
reach its complete fulfillment in 1844. The churches then experienced a moral fall, in consequence of their refusal
of the light of the advent message; but that fall was not complete. As they have continued to reject the special truths
for this time they have fallen lower and lower. Not yet, however, can it be said that "Babylon is fallen,...
because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." She has not yet made all nations do
this. The spirit of world conforming and indifference to the testing truths for our time exists and has been gaining ground
in churches of the Protestant faith in all the countries of Christendom; and these churches are included in the solemn and
terrible denunciation of the second angel. But the work of apostasy has not yet reached its culmination.
ERROR: This is
one of EGW’s worst errors. In the summer of 1844 Miller preached the second coming of Christ to destroy earth by fire.
He was wrong. His prophecy was false.
ERROR: EGW clearly states that
the churches which rejected Miller’s (false) message morally fell because of the rejection. Churches cannot fall “morally”
because they reject false prophets like Miller.
was, and is, no such thing as the “light of the [SDA] advent message.”
ERROR: EGW thus
makes William Miller the First and Second Angel of Revelation 14:6-8.
SDAs later totally reinterpreted Miller’s false message into their own worse false message, they should include themselves
among the “fallen.” SDAs change Miller’s “earth sanctuary” to the “heavenly sanctuary”;
SDAs change Miller wrath “judgment of the wicked” to the “judgment of the righteous”; SDAs change
the fall of Babylon caused by “rejection of his message” to the fall of Babylon caused by “rejection of
the Sabbath and other distinctive SDA doctrines.” In reality SDAs rejected everything Miller taught.
The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord, Satan will work "with all power and signs and lying wonders, and
with all deceivableness of unrighteousness;" and they that "received not the love of the truth, that they might
be saved," will be left to receive "strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11.
Not until this condition shall be reached, and the union of the church with the world shall be fully accomplished throughout
Christendom, will the fall of Babylon be complete. The change is a progressive one, and the perfect fulfillment of Revelation
14:8 is yet future.
Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitute Babylon, the great
body of Christ's true followers are still to be found in their communion. There are many of these who have never seen
the special truths for this time. Not a few are dissatisfied with their present condition and are longing for clearer light.
They look in vain for the image of Christ in the churches with which they are connected. As these bodies depart further and
further from the truth, and ally themselves more closely with the world, the difference between the two classes will widen,
and it will finally result in separation. The time will come when those who love God supremely can no longer remain in connection
with such as are "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
GC389: Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of
rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6-12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second
angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last
that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that "believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then
the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in
Babylon will heed the call: "Come out of her, My people" (Revelation 18:4).
ERROR: At the peak of the Third
Angel’s message is a doctrine SDAs reject: Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:
and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
GC390: Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitute
Babylon, the great body of Christ’s true followers are still to be found in their communion. There are many of these
who have never seen the special truths for this time….
CHAPTER 22, Prophecies
GC391: When the time passed at which the Lord's coming was first expected,--in the spring of 1844,--those who
had looked in faith for His appearing were for a season involved in doubt and uncertainty. While the world regarded them
as having been utterly defeated and proved to have been cherishing a delusion, their source of consolation was still the word
of God. Many continued to search the Scriptures, examining anew the evidences of their faith and carefully studying the prophecies
to obtain further light. The Bible testimony in support of their position seemed clear and conclusive. Signs which could
not be mistaken pointed to the coming of Christ as near. The special blessing of the Lord, both in the conversion of sinners
and the revival of spiritual life among Christians, had testified that the message was of Heaven. And though the believers
could not explain their disappointment, they felt assured that God had led them in their past experience.
ERROR: EGW ridicules
the many who returned to their former churches after Miller's second (of three) false predictions for the second coming
of Christ. They really had been “cherishing a delusion” and they really did deserve a certain amount of ridicule.
ERROR: See GC333-335 and 410. The “unmistakable prophecies” included the 1755 earthquake, the
1780 dark day and the 1833 meteor shower. The fact that EGW still says these were “signs which could not be mistaken pointed to the coming of Christ
as near” suggests that early SDAs believed the Investigative Judgment would be very short.
GC391: Interwoven with prophecies which they had regarded as
applying to the time of the second advent was instruction specially adapted to their state of uncertainty and suspense, and
encouraging them to wait patiently in the faith that what was now dark to their understanding would in due time be made plain.
GC392: Among these prophecies was that of Habakkuk 2:1-4:
"I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall
answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may
run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it
tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright
in him: but the just shall live by his faith."
ERROR: Read all of Habakkuk. The vision there is not about the second coming of Jesus; it is about God punishing
sinful Judah with Babylon. EGW ignores the context.
Note: EGW now justifies why Jesus did not come back as Miller prophesied on October 22, 1844 – there
was to be a tarrying time. This meant the signs of earthquake, dark day and falling stars were wrong because the second coming
was not near to 1844. She later gives yet a different reason ---the Investigative Judgment---which meant
that 1844 never was about the second coming of Christ to earth. Things get very complicated.
GC392: As early as 1842 the direction given in this prophecy
to "write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it," had suggested to Charles
Fitch the preparation of a prophetic chart to illustrate the visions of Daniel and the Revelation. The publication of this
chart was regarded as a fulfillment of the command given by Habakkuk. No one, however, then noticed that an apparent delay
in the accomplishment of the vision--a tarrying time--is presented in the same prophecy. After the disappointment, this scripture
appeared very significant: "The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though
it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. . . . The just shall live by his faith."
GC392-393: A portion of Ezekiel's prophecy also was a source
of strength and comfort to believers: "The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb that
ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? Tell them therefore, Thus saith the
Lord God. . . . The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision. . . . I will speak, and the word that I shall speak
shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged." "They of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is
for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God;
There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done." Ezekiel 12:21-25,
The waiting ones rejoiced, believing that He who knows the end from the beginning had looked down through the ages and, foreseeing
their disappointment, had given them words of courage and hope. Had it not been for such portions of Scripture, admonishing
them to wait with patience and to hold fast their confidence in God's word, their faith would have failed in that trying
GC393: The parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25 also
illustrates the experience of the Adventist people. In Matthew 24, in answer to the question of His disciples concerning the
sign of His coming and of the end of the world, Christ had pointed out some of the most important events in the history of
the world and of the church from His first to His second advent; namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, the great tribulation
of the church under the pagan and papal persecutions, the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars. After
this He spoke of His coming in His kingdom, and related the parable describing the two classes of servants who look for His
appearing. Chapter 25 opens with the words: "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins." Here
is brought to view the church living in the last days, the same that is pointed out in the close of chapter 24. In this parable
their experience is illustrated by the incidents of an Eastern marriage.
GC393: "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went
forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps,
and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all
slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."
GC393-394: The coming of Christ, as announced by the first
angel's message, was understood to be represented by the coming of the bridegroom. The widespread reformation under
the proclamation of His soon coming, answered to the going forth of the virgins. In this parable, as in that of Matthew 24,
two classes are represented. All had taken their lamps, the Bible, and by its light had gone forth to meet the Bridegroom.
But while "they that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them," "the wise took oil in their
vessels with their lamps." The latter class had received the grace of God, the regenerating, enlightening power of the
Holy Spirit, which renders His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. In the fear of God they had studied the Scriptures
to learn the truth, and had earnestly sought for purity of heart and life. These had a personal experience, a faith in God
and in His word, which could not be overthrown by disappointment and delay. Others "took their lamps, and took no oil
with them." They had moved from impulse. Their fears had been excited by the solemn message, but they had depended upon
the faith of their brethren, satisfied with the flickering light of good emotions, without a thorough understanding of the
truth or a genuine work of grace in the heart. These had gone forth to meet the Lord, full of hope in the prospect of immediate
reward; but they were not prepared for delay and disappointment. When trials came, their faith failed, and their lights burned
GC394-395: "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered
and slept." By the tarrying of the bridegroom is represented the passing of the time when the Lord was expected,
the disappointment, and the seeming delay. In this time of uncertainty, the interest of the superficial and halfhearted soon
began to waver, and their efforts to relax; but those whose faith was based on a personal knowledge of the Bible had a rock
beneath their feet, which the waves of disappointment could not wash away. "They all slumbered and slept;" one class
in unconcern and abandonment of their faith, the other class patiently waiting till clearer light should be given. Yet in
the night of trial the latter seemed to lose, to some extent, their zeal and devotion. The halfhearted and superficial could
no longer lean upon the faith of their brethren. Each must stand or fall for himself.
GC395: About this time, fanaticism began to appear. Some
who had professed to be zealous believers in the message rejected the word of God as the one infallible guide and, claiming
to be led by the Spirit, gave themselves up to the control of their own feelings, impressions, and imaginations. There were
some who manifested a blind and bigoted zeal, denouncing all who would not sanction their course. Their fanatical ideas and
exercises met with no sympathy from the great body of Adventists; yet they served to bring reproach upon the cause of truth.
Note: After Jesus did not return in the spring
of 1844 panic resulted.
Satan was seeking by this means to oppose and destroy the work of God. The people had been greatly stirred by the advent movement,
thousands of sinners had been converted, and faithful men were giving themselves to the work of proclaiming the truth, even
in the tarrying time. The prince of evil was losing his subjects; and in order to bring reproach upon the cause of God, he
sought to deceive some who professed the faith and to drive them to extremes. Then his agents stood ready to seize upon every
error, every failure, every unbecoming act, and hold it up before the people in the most exaggerated light, to render Adventists
and their faith odious. Thus the greater the number whom he could crowd in to make a profession of faith in the second advent
while his power controlled their hearts, the greater advantage would he gain by calling attention to them as representatives
of the whole body of believers.
GC395: Satan is "the accuser of the brethren," and it is his spirit that inspires men to watch for the errors
and defects of the Lord's people, and to hold them up to notice, while their good deeds are passed by without a mention.
He is always active when God is at work for the salvation of souls. When the sons of God come to present themselves before
Satan comes also among them. In every revival he is ready to bring in those who are unsanctified in heart and unbalanced in
mind. When these have accepted some points of truth, and gained a place with believers, he works through them to introduce
theories that will deceive the unwary. No man is proved to be a true Christian because he is found in company with the children
of God, even in the house of worship and around the table of the Lord. Satan is frequently there upon the most solemn occasions
in the form of those whom he can use as his agents.
GC396: The prince of evil contests every inch of ground over which God's people advance in their journey
toward the heavenly city. In all the history of the church no reformation has been carried forward without encountering serious
obstacles. Thus it was in Paul's day. Wherever the apostle raised up a church, there were some who professed to receive
the faith, but who brought in heresies, that, if received, would eventually crowd out the love of the truth. Luther also suffered
great perplexity and distress from the course of fanatical persons who claimed that God had spoken directly through them,
and who therefore set their own ideas and opinions above the testimony of the Scriptures. Many who were lacking in faith and
experience, but who had considerable self-sufficiency, and who loved to hear and tell some new thing, were beguiled by the
pretensions of the new teachers, and they joined the agents of Satan in their work of tearing down what God had moved Luther
to build up. And the Wesleys, and others who blessed the world by their influence and their faith, encountered at every step
the wiles of Satan in pushing overzealous, unbalanced, and unsanctified ones into fanaticism of every grade.
ERROR: EGW compares those who continued to
follow Miller after his second false prediction failed in the spring of 1844 with Martin Luther and John Westley.
GC396: William Miller had no sympathy with those influences that
led to fanaticism. He declared, with Luther, that every spirit should be tested by the word of God. "The devil,"
said Miller, "has great power over the minds of some at the present day. And how shall we know what manner of spirit
they are of? The Bible answers: 'By their fruits ye shall know them.'. . . There are many spirits gone out into the
world; and we are commanded to try the spirits. The spirit that does not cause us to live soberly, righteously, and godly,
in this present world, is not the Spirit of Christ. I am more and more convinced that Satan has much to do in these wild movements.
. . . Many among us who pretend to be wholly sanctified, are following the traditions of men, and apparently are as ignorant
of truth as others who make no such pretensions."--Bliss, pages 236, 237. "The spirit of error
will lead us from the truth; and the Spirit of God will lead us into truth. But, say you, a man may be in an
error, and think he has the truth. What then? We answer, The Spirit and word agree. If a man judges himself by the word of
God, and finds a perfect harmony through the whole word, then he must believe he has the truth; but if he finds the spirit
by which he is led does not harmonize with the whole tenor of God's law or Book, then let him walk carefully, lest he
be caught in the snare of the devil."--The Advent Herald and Signs of the Times Reporter, vol. 8, No. 23 (Jan. 15, 1845).
"I have often obtained more evidence of inward piety from a kindling eye, a wet cheek, and a choked utterance, than from
all the noise of Christendom."--Bliss, page 282.
ERROR 54: EGW is trying to justify Miller and free
him from being the cause of any of the fanaticism.
GC397: In the days of the Reformation its enemies charged
all the evils of fanaticism upon the very ones who were laboring most earnestly against it. A similar course was pursued by
the oppossers of the advent movement. And not content with misrepresenting and exaggerating the errors of extremists and
fanatics, they circulated unfavorable reports that had not the slightest semblance of truth. These persons were actuated by
prejudice and hatred. Their peace was disturbed by the proclamation of Christ at the door. They feared it might be true, yet
hoped it was not, and this was the secret of their warfare against Adventists and their faith.
ERROR: EGW compares the correct churches
who rejected Miller’s false teaching with Roman Catholicism rejecting Martin Luther.
GC398: The fact that a few fanatics worked their way into the
ranks of Adventists is no more reason to decide that the movement was not of God than was the presence of fanatics and deceivers
in the church in Paul's or Luther's day a sufficient excuse for condemning their work. Let the people of God arouse
out of sleep and begin in earnest the work of repentance and reformation; let them search the Scriptures to learn the truth
as it is in Jesus; let them make an entire consecration to God, and evidence will not be wanting that Satan is still active
and vigilant. With all possible deception he will manifest his power, calling to his aid all the fallen angels of his realm.
GC398: It was not the proclamation of the second advent that
caused fanaticism and division. These appeared in the summer of 1844, when Adventists were in a state of doubt and perplexity
concerning their real position. The preaching of the first angel's message and of the "midnight cry" tended
directly to repress fanaticism and dissension. Those who participated in these solemn movements were in harmony; their
hearts were filled with love for one another and for Jesus, whom they expected soon to see. The one faith, the one blessed
hope, lifted them above the control of any human influence, and proved a shield against the assaults of Satan.
ERROR: Both the
spring 1844 and the autumn 1844 prophecies preached by Miller that Christ would return in 1844 to destroy the earth with fire
ERROR: In reality Miller’s false teachings from 1818 until
1844 were the causes of fanaticism. The fanaticism was found in the ranks of his followers.
GC398: "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered
and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins
arose, and trimmed their lamps." Matthew 25:5-7. In the summer of 1844, midway between the time when it had been first
thought that the 2300 days would end, and the autumn of the same year, to which it was afterward found that they extended,
the message was proclaimed in the very words of Scripture: "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!"
ERROR: Referring to the second coming, not
to the Investigative Judgment.
GC398-399: That which led to this movement was the discovery that the decree of Artaxerxes for the restoration of Jerusalem,
which formed the starting point for the period of the 2300 days, went into effect in the autumn of the year 457 B.C., and
not at the beginning of the year, as had been formerly believed. Reckoning from the autumn of 457, the 2300 years terminate
in the autumn of 1844. (See Appendix note for page 329.)
ERROR: There is no proof that the decree in Ezra
7 and the Day of Atonement from Leviticus 16 both occurred on October 22, 457 B. C. which would last to October 22, 1844 (2300
ERROR: Again, Ezra 7’s decree says nothing about Daniel
9:25’s “restoration of Jerusalem.” It focuses entirely on the rebuilding of the “temple.”
ERROR: Since this chapter is still in the context of Miller’s preaching of the second coming, the discussion
is totally irrelevant.
GC399: Arguments drawn from the Old Testament types also pointed to the autumn as the time when
the event represented by the "cleansing of the sanctuary" must take place. This was made very clear as attention
was given to the manner in which the types relating to the first advent of Christ had been fulfilled.
Note: The second coming of Christ to destroy
the earth by fire was changed to October 22, 1844 to coincide with the Jewish Day of Atonement from Leviticus 16.
GC399: The slaying of the Passover lamb was a shadow of the death
of Christ. Says Paul: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." 1 Corinthians 5:7. The sheaf of first fruits,
which at the time of the Passover was waved before the Lord, was typical of the resurrection of Christ. Paul says, in speaking
of the resurrection of the Lord and of all His people: "Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's
at His coming." 1 Corinthians 15:23. Like the wave sheaf, which was the first ripe grain gathered before the harvest,
Christ is the first fruits of that immortal harvest of redeemed ones that at the future resurrection shall be gathered into
the garner of God.
These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month,
the very day and month on which for fifteen long centuries the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover
with His disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate His own death as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away
the sin of the world." That same night He was taken by wicked hands to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of
the wave sheaf our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, "the first fruits of them that slept," a sample
of all the resurrected just, whose "vile body" shall be changed, and "fashioned like unto His glorious body."
Verse 20; Philippians 3:21.
GC399-400: In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the
time pointed out in the symbolic service. Under the Mosaic system the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great Day of Atonement,
occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month (Leviticus 16:29-34), when the high priest, having made an atonement
for all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people. So it was believed
that Christ, our great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless His
waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing
of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord's
coming. This was in harmony with the proofs already presented that the 2300 days would terminate in the autumn, and the conclusion
In the parable of Matthew 25 the time of waiting and slumber is followed by the coming of the bridegroom. This was in accordance
with the arguments just presented, both from prophecy and from the types. They carried strong conviction of their truthfulness;
and the "midnight cry" was heralded by thousands of believers.
Gc400-401: Like a tidal wave the movement swept over the land. From city to city, from village to
village, and into remote country places it went, until the waiting people of God were fully aroused. Fanaticism disappeared
before this proclamation like early frost before the rising sun. Believers saw their doubt and perplexity removed, and hope
and courage animated their hearts. The work was free from those extremes which are ever manifested when there is human excitement
without the controlling influence of the word and Spirit of God. It was similar in character to those seasons of humiliation
and returning unto the Lord which among ancient Israel followed messages of reproof from His servants. It bore the characteristics
that mark the work of God in every age. There was little ecstatic joy, but rather deep searching of heart, confession of sin,
and forsaking of the world. A preparation to meet the Lord was the burden of agonizing spirits. There was persevering prayer
and unreserved consecration to God.
Note: Now the signs (1755 earthquake, 1780 dark day, 1833 falling stars) were combined with “types”
of the Day of Atonement from Leviticus 16both pointed to October 22, 1844. Miller’s followers were jubilant.
ERROR: Miller’s prophecies during these months about the second coming were still false and were later
totally re-interpreted by SDAs. )
ERROR: EGW is guilty of blaspheme again; she credits
the “work” with being “free from those extremes” because of the “controlling influence of the
Said Miller in describing that work: "There is no great expression of joy: that is, as it were, suppressed for a future
occasion, when all heaven and earth will rejoice together with joy unspeakable and full of glory. There is no shouting: that,
too, is reserved for the shout from heaven. The singers are silent: they are waiting to join the angelic hosts, the choir
from heaven. . . . There is no clashing of sentiments: all are of one heart and of one mind."--Bliss, pages 270, 271.
GC401: Another who participated in the movement testified: "It produced everywhere the most deep searching
of heart and humiliation of soul before the God of high heaven. It caused a weaning of affections from the things of this
world, a healing of controversies and animosities, a confession of wrongs, a breaking down before God, and penitent, brokenhearted
supplications to Him for pardon and acceptance. It caused self-abasement and prostration of soul, such as we never before
witnessed. As God by Joel commanded, when the great day of God should be at hand, it produced a rending of hearts and not
of garments, and a turning unto the Lord with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. As God said by Zechariah, a spirit of grace
and supplication was poured out upon His children; they looked to Him whom they had pierced, there was a great mourning in
the land, . . . and those who were looking for the Lord afflicted their souls before Him."--Bliss, in Advent Shield and
Review, vol. I, p. 271 (January, 1845).
GC401: Of all the great religious movements since the days of the apostles, none have been more
free from human imperfection and the wiles of Satan than was that of the autumn of 1844. Even now, after the
lapse of many years, all who shared in that movement and who have stood firm upon the platform of truth still feel the holy
influence of that blessed work and bear witness that it was of God.
ERROR: This is one of the stupidest statements in The Great Controversy! Nothing preached in this time period was correct! Even SDAs completely
changed everything Miller taught! EGW is still referring to the Millerites who taught that Jesus would return and destroy
the earth by fire on October 22, 1844!!!
GC402: At the call, "The Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him," the waiting ones "arose
and trimmed their lamps;" they studied the word of God with an intensity of interest before unknown. Angels were sent
from heaven to arouse those who had become discouraged and prepare them to receive the message. The work did not stand
in the wisdom and learning of men, but in the power of God. It was not the most talented, but the most humble and devoted,
who were the first to hear and obey the call. Farmers left their crops standing in the fields, mechanics laid down their tools,
and with tears and rejoicing went out to give the warning. Those who had formerly led in the cause were among the last to
join in this movement. The churches in general closed their doors against this message, and a large company of those who received
it withdrew from their connection. In the providence of God this proclamation united with the second angel's message
and gave power to that work.
ERROR: Incredible! Read this paragraph again slowly for its full effect! It is still referring to Miller’s
second coming to destroy the earth by fire on October 22, 1844.
does not send “angels from heaven” to help people receive a false message that Jesus was coming to earth in 1844!!!
ERROR: Miller’s false prophecy did not stand in “the power of God.”
ERROR: The churches should have closed their doors to “this FALSE message.”
ERROR: It was not the “providence of God” to, once again, deceive thousands of believers into
believing that Jesus was about to return to earth in 1844 and destroy it.
use of “Behold the bridegroom cometh” was referring to the soon second coming of Christ -- not the Investigative
ERROR: If the scripture proof were “clear and conclusive,”
then Jesus would have returned in 1844 as William Miller predicted!
GC402: The message, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!" was not so much a matter of argument, though
the Scripture proof was clear and conclusive. There went with it an impelling power that moved the soul. There was no doubt,
no questioning. Upon the occasion of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem the people who were assembled from all parts
of the land to keep the feast flocked to the Mount of Olives, and as they joined the throng that were escorting Jesus they
caught the inspiration of the hour and helped to swell the shout: "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!"
Matthew 21:9. In like manner did unbelievers who flocked to the Adventist meetings--some from curiosity, some merely to ridicule--feel
the convincing power attending the message: "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!"
GC402-403: At that time there was faith that brought answers
to prayer--faith that had respect to the recompense of reward. Like showers of rain upon the thirsty earth, the Spirit of
grace descended upon the earnest seekers. Those who expected soon to stand face to face with their Redeemer felt a solemn
joy that was unutterable. The softening, subduing power of the Holy Spirit melted the heart as His blessing was bestowed in
rich measure upon the faithful, believing ones.
GC403: Carefully and solemnly those who received the message came up to the time when they hoped to meet
their Lord. Every morning they felt that it was their first duty to secure the evidence of their acceptance with God. Their
hearts were closely united, and they prayed much with and for one another. They often met together in secluded places to
commune with God, and the voice of intercession ascended to heaven from the fields and groves. The assurance of the Savior’s
approval was more necessary to them than their daily food; and if a cloud darkened their minds, they did not rest until it
was swept away. As they felt the witness of pardoning grace, they longed to behold Him whom their souls loved.
OCTOBER 22, 1844 DISAPPOINTMENT
GC403: But again they were destined to disappointment. The
time of expectation passed, and their Savior did not appear. With unwavering confidence they had looked forward to His
coming, and now they felt as did Mary when, coming to the Savior’s tomb and finding it empty, she exclaimed with weeping:
"They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." John 20:13.
GC403: A feeling of awe, a fear that the message might be true,
had for a time served as a restraint upon the unbelieving world. After the passing of the time this did not at once disappear;
at first they dared not triumph over the disappointed ones; but as no tokens of God's wrath were seen, they recovered
from their fears and resumed their reproach and ridicule. A large class who had professed to believe in the Lord's soon
coming, renounced their faith. Some who had been very confident were so deeply wounded in their pride that they felt like
fleeing from the world. Like Jonah, they complained of God, and chose death rather than life.
GC404: Those who had based their faith upon the opinions of others,
and not upon the word of God, were now as ready again to change their views. The scoffers won the weak and cowardly to their
ranks, and all these united in declaring that there could be no more fears or expectations now. The time had passed, the Lord
had not come, and the world might remain the same for thousands of years.
GC404: The earnest, sincere believers had given up all for Christ and had shared His presence as never before.
They had, as they believed, given their last warning to the world; and, expecting soon to be received into the society of
their divine Master and the heavenly angels, they had, to a great extent, withdrawn from the society of those who did not
receive the message. With intense desire they had prayed: "Come, Lord Jesus, and come quickly." But He had not
come. And now to take up again the heavy burden of life's cares and perplexities, and to endure the taunts and sneers
of a scoffing world, was a terrible trial of faith and patience.
GC404-405: Yet this disappointment was not so great as was that experienced by the disciples at the time
of Christ's first advent. When Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, His followers believed that He was about to ascend
the throne of David and deliver Israel from her oppressors. With high hopes and joyful anticipations they vied with one another
in showing honor to their King. Many spread their outer garments as a carpet in His path, or strewed before Him the leafy
branches of the palm. In their enthusiastic joy they united in the glad acclaim: "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
When the Pharisees, disturbed and angered by this outburst of rejoicing, wished Jesus to rebuke His disciples, He replied:
"If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Luke 19:40. Prophecy must be fulfilled.
The disciples were accomplishing the purpose of God; yet they were doomed to a bitter disappointment. But a few days had passed
ere they witnessed the Savior’s agonizing death, and laid Him in the tomb. Their expectations had not been realized
in a single particular, and their hopes died with Jesus. Not till their Lord had come forth triumphant from the grave could
they perceive that all had been foretold by prophecy, and "that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from
the dead." Acts 17:3.
GC405: Five hundred years before, the Lord had declared by the prophet Zechariah: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter
of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, 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." Zechariah 9:9. Had the disciples realized that Christ was going
to judgment and to death, they could not have fulfilled this prophecy.
GC405: In like manner Miller and his associates fulfilled prophecy and gave a message which Inspiration
had foretold should be given to the world, but which they could not have given had they fully understood the prophecies
pointing out their disappointment, and presenting another message to be preached to all nations before the Lord should come.
The first and second angel's messages were given at the right time and accomplished the work which God designed to accomplish
In order to justify Miller’s errors, EGW compares his followers to Jesus’ disciples. If Jesus’ disciples
had understood prophecy, they could not have fulfilled prophecy.
GC405-406: The world had been looking on, expecting that if the time passed and Christ did not appear, the
whole system of Adventism would be given up. But while many, under strong temptation, yielded their faith, there were some
who stood firm. The fruits of the advent movement, the spirit of humility and heart searching, of renouncing of the world
and reformation of life, which had attended the work, testified that it was of God. They dared not deny that the power of
the Holy Spirit had witnessed to the preaching of the second advent, and they could detect no error in their reckoning of
the prophetic periods. The ablest of their opponents had not succeeded in overthrowing their system of prophetic interpretation.
They could not consent, without Bible evidence, to renounce positions which had been reached through earnest, prayerful study
of the Scriptures, by minds enlightened by the Spirit of God and hearts burning with its living power; positions which had
withstood the most searching criticisms and the most bitter opposition of popular religious teachers and worldly-wise men,
and which had stood firm against the combined forces of learning and eloquence, and the taunts and revilings alike of the
honorable and the base.
Miller’s opponents who knew Hebrew disproved all of his arguments. Today the SDA church rejects most
his time-related arguments and all of his conclusions.
GC406: True, there had been a failure as to the expected event, but even this could not shake their faith
in the word of God. When Jonah proclaimed in the streets of Nineveh that within forty days the city would be overthrown, the
Lord accepted the humiliation of the Ninevites and extended their period of probation; yet the message of Jonah was sent of
God, and Nineveh was tested according to His will. Adventists believed that in like manner God had led them to give the warning
of the judgment. "It has," they declared, "tested the hearts of all who heard it, and awakened a love for the
Lord's appearing; or it has called forth a hatred, more or less perceivable, but known to God, of His coming. It has drawn
a line, . . . so that those who will examine their own hearts, may know on which side of it they would have been found, had
the Lord then come--whether they would have exclaimed, 'Lo! this is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save
us;' or whether they would have called to the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the face of Him that
sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. God thus, as we believe, has tested His people, has tried their faith,
has proved them, and seen whether they would shrink, in the hour of trial, from the position in which He might see fit to
place them; and whether they would relinquish this world and rely with implicit confidence in the word of God."--The
Advent Herald and Signs of the Times Reporter, vol. 8, No. 14 (Nov 13, 1844).
GC406-407: The feelings of those who still believed that God had led them in their past experience are expressed
in the words of William Miller: "Were I to live my life over again, with the same evidence that I then had, to be honest
with God and man I should have to do as I have done." "I hope that I have cleansed my garments from the blood of
souls. I feel that, as far as it was in my power, I have freed myself from all guilt in their condemnation." "Although
I have been twice disappointed," wrote this man of God, "I am not yet cast down or discouraged. . . . My hope
in the coming of Christ is as strong as ever. I have done only what, after years of solemn consideration, I felt it my
solemn duty to do. If I have erred, it has been on the side of charity, love to my fellow men, and conviction of duty to God."
"One thing I do know, I have preached nothing but what I believed; and God has been with me; His power has been manifested
in the work, and much good has been effected." "Many thousands, to all human appearance, have been made to study
the Scriptures by the preaching of the time; and by that means, through faith and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, have
been reconciled to God." --Bliss, pages 256, 255, 277, 280, 281. "I have never courted the smiles of the
proud, nor quailed when the world frowned. I shall not now purchase their favor, nor shall I go beyond duty to tempt their
hate. I shall never seek my life at their hands, nor shrink, I hope, from losing it, if God in His good providence so orders."
--J. White, Life of Wm. Miller, page 315.
ERROR: SDAs changed Miller’s hope of
the second coming of Christ into its Investigative Judgment which has already lasted over 160 years.
God did not forsake His people; His Spirit still abode with those who did not rashly deny the light which they had received,
and denounce the advent movement. In the Epistle to the Hebrews are words of encouragement and warning for the tried,
waiting ones at this crisis: "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye
have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and
He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall
have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the
soul." Hebrews 10:35-39.
ERROR: God’s people are not those who repeatedly follow false prophets who have already been proven
wrong several times.
ERROR: It was not rash to admit that Miller had
been wrong several times, return to your previous church and forget the wrong interpretations of Daniel 8:14.
ERROR: They were not “denying light” from God; they were rejecting false teaching.
GC408: That this admonition is addressed to the church in the
last days is evident from the words pointing to the nearness of the Lord's coming: "For yet a little while, and He
that shall come will come and will not tarry." And it is plainly implied that there would be a seeming delay and that
the Lord would appear to tarry. The instruction here given is especially adapted to the experience of Adventists at this time.
The people here addressed were in danger of making shipwreck of faith. They had done the will of God in following the guidance
of His Spirit and His word; yet they could not understand His purpose in their past experience, nor could they discern the
pathway before them, and they were tempted to doubt whether God had indeed been leading them. At this time the words were
applicable: "Now the just shall live by faith." As the bright light of the "midnight cry" had shone upon
their pathway, and they had seen the prophecies unsealed and the rapidly fulfilling signs telling that the coming of Christ
was near, they had walked, as it were, by sight. But now, bowed down by disappointed hopes, they could stand only by faith
in God and in His word. The scoffing world were saying: "You have been deceived. Give up your faith, and say that the
advent movement was of Satan." But God's word declared: "If any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure
in him." To renounce their faith now, and deny the power of the Holy Spirit which had attended the message, would be
drawing back toward perdition. They were encouraged to steadfastness by the words of Paul: "Cast not away therefore your
confidence;" "ye have need of patience," "for yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and
will not tarry." Their only safe course was to cherish the light which they had already received of God, hold fast to
His promises, and continue to search the Scriptures, and patiently wait and watch to receive further light.
ERROR: The simple obvious fact was that William
Miller had deceived them several times. Jesus did not destroy the earth by fire on October 25, 1843, the spring of 1844 or
October 22, 1844 as predicted. Yet EGW and SDAs still say Miller preached both the first and second angel’s messages
of Revelation 14.