The Trumpet

Prophesy Again!

Prophesy Again!

One hundred and seventy-four (174) years ago, October 22, the Second Advent Movement of the nineteenth century, in which modern Seventh-day Adventism finds its immediate roots, was greatly wounded.[1]

The Millerites concluded from the study of scriptures that Christ’s second advent would take place in 1843. This belief structure rested on the premise of Daniel 8:14, which states that “unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed.” This was juxtaposed with the day for a year principle found in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:5, 6. Calculations suggested that the 2300 days would terminate in 1843. Interpreting the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 as the earth, and its cleansing as the eschatological purging by fire, they reasoned that Jesus would return to the earth at the end of the 2300 day; 1843.

Though originally skeptical about affixing an exact time for Christ’s return, by January 1843 it was proposed that according to the Jewish Calendar, Jesus would return between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. The time came and went, but the Lord did not appear. Consequently, the Millerite Adventists experienced their first disappointment. However, they found hope in Habakkuk 2:3 and Matthew 25:5.

Further studies led the movement to a new conclusion that the exact date for the cleansing was October 22, 1844. Again, with everything within them, they heralded the message with great urgency. George Knight posits, “on October 22, tens of thousands of believers lingered in expectation of the appearance of Jesus… but the time came and went.”This was deemed the Great Disappointment. The Millerites were truly despondent and in total disarray. Many were disillusioned and left the movement, while, a few sought to reexamine the scriptures and thereby gain an understanding of what took place. They had understood the cleansing of the sanctuary to be the final judgment, but they now came to a new understanding. Through a closer examination of the scriptures, they saw indeed that there is a Heavenly Sanctuary (Hebrews 8:1-2). Additionally, in accordance with the Old Testament system of types, what took place in 1844 was the transition of the Divine High Priest from one phase of His sanctuary ministry to another; from the Holy to the Holy of Holies.

Ellen White states that “the subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844… When in the typical service the high priest left the Holy, on the Day of Atonement, he went in before God to present the blood of the sin offering in behalf of all Israel who truly repented of their sins. So Christ had only completed one part of His work as our intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work…” She further notes that “one part of His ministration had closed, only to give place to another.”

Out of the ashes of Millerite Adventism grew the Seventh-day Adventist Church. During the period from 1844-1863 they studied, prayed, adopted, coordinated and continued reforms that had been lost since the Protestant Reformation. These were grounded on scriptural teachings on concepts such as the Second Coming of Christ, the Seventh-day Sabbath, the Three Angels’ Message, the Sanctuary Message, and the Non-immortality of the Soul. Since that point, one hundred and seventy-four years later, the Seventh-day Adventist Movement has through the power of God expanded to an approximate 19,000,000 membership, which is active in nine hundred and forty-seven languages, and with the world’s second largest private education system.

“Seventh-day Adventists have never viewed themselves as just another denomination. To the contrary, from their beginning, they have understood their movement to be the fulfillment of remnant prophecy. Their role, as they have seen it, has been to preach the unique Three-angels Message of Revelation 14:6-12, presenting God’s last appeal to a dying world before Christ returns to “harvest” the earth (verse 14-20).” That belief coupled with a sense of eschatological urgency has impelled them into one of history’s most energetic mission programs.

“And he said unto me, unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Daniel 8:14) 

By Lambert L. Hamilton, President, Ministerial Association, School of Religion and Theology, NCU

1844 and the Rise of Sabbatarian Adventism. (Hagerstown: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1994), 1-142.[1]Land, Gary. Adventism in America: A History. (Michigan: Andrews University Press, 1998), 1-28.[1]Knight, George. A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists. (Hagerstown: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 25.
[1]White, Ellen. The Great Controversy. (Florida: Inter-American Division Publishing Association, 2011), 370-371.[1]Ibid, 372.[1]“The Great Disappointment and the Birth of Adventism.” Amazing Discoveries | Walter Veith | Victor Gill. Last modified 7, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
[1]“Seventh-day Adventist World Church Statistics 2014.” The Official Site of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church. Accessed October 22, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
[1]Knight, George. A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists. (Hagerstown: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 9.

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