FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
September 4, 2015
Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XIV
TIME-SETTING AFTER 1844 HAVE, AND WILL FAIL IN PREDICTIONS (Continued)
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7: 20, K.J.V. (See verses 15-29). Jesus repeated and illustrated this nature-based, simple yet all-encompassing principle to Nicodemus, himself a teacher of Israel being an intellectual, influential, and extremely wealthy member of the Sanhedrin who reverently addressed Christ as, “Rabbi, we know that Thou art a Teacher come from God” during his one-on-one private evening interview with Jesus regarding the most elementary principles of the kingdom of God, as Jesus taught it. See John 3: 1-21.
A review of the history of the proclamation of the first angel’s message of Revelation 14 (1840-1844) that warned the churches and the world for the grand and awesome terminus of the Bible’s longest time prophecy is absolutely indispensable. Among others, it clearly shows the difference of the “fruits” manifested between the proclamation of the time prophecies up to 1843 and 1844 and all time prophecies proposed after 1844. The former message and work produced fruits similar to all genuine revivals and reformation of the past; the latter produces wide-eyed excitement resulting in fanaticism, a penchant for the sensational and conspiratorial then follows confusion, doubt, skepticism, and rejection of God’s Word. One is of “faith that works by love,” the other, on feelings and Futurism. The following is quoted from Vol. 4 Spirit of Prophecy by Ellen G. White, (1884), pp. 222-226 (read up to p. 229 to complete the chapter and compare with the next chapter, “The Second Angel’s Message”:
“The prophecy of the first angel’s message brought to view in Revelation 14, found its fulfillment in the Advent movement of 1840-1844. In both Europe and America, men of faith and prayer were deeply moved as their attention was called to the prophecies, and, tracing down the inspired record, they saw convincing evidence that the end of all things was at hand. The Spirit of God urged His servants to give the warning. Far and wide spread the message of the everlasting gospel, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’ Rev. 14: 7, K.J.V.
“Wherever missionaries had penetrated, were sent the glad tidings of Christ’s speedy return. In different lands were found isolated bodies of Christians, solely by the study of the Scriptures [which Bible version do you think was in general use at that time?] had arrived at the belief that the Savior’s advent was near. In some portions of Europe [particularly in the lowlands—Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg], where the laws were so oppressive as to forbid the preaching of the Advent doctrine, little children were impelled to declare it. And many listened to the solemn warning
“To William Miller and his co-laborers it was given to preach the message in America, and the light kindled by their labors shone out to distant lands. The testimony of the Scriptures pointing to coming of Christ in 1843 [2,300 less 457 B.C., the beginning of the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9, the starting point of reckoning the 2300-days] awakened widespread interest. Many were convinced that the arguments from the prophetic periods were correct, and m sacrificing the pride of their opinion, they joyfully received the truth. Some ministers laid aside their sectarian views and feelings, left their salaries and churches, and united in proclaiming the coming of Jesus. There were but few ministers however, who would accept this message;therefore it was largely committed to humble laymen. Farmers left their fields, mechanics their tools, traders their merchandise, professional men their positions; and yet the number of workers was small in comparison to the work to be accomplished.
“The condition of an ungodly church and a world lying in wickedness burdened the souls of the true watchmen, and they willingly endured toil, privation, and suffering that they might call men to repentance unto salvation. Though opposed by Satan, the work steadily forward, and the Advent truth was accepted by many thousands. Everywhere was heard the searching testimony warning sinners, both worldlings and church members, to flee from the wrath to come. Like John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, the preachers laid the ax to the root of the tree, and all to bring forth fruit meet for repentance [ Matt. 3: 1-17]. Their stirring appeals were in marked contrast to the assurances of peace and safety that were heard from popular pulpits [1 Thess. 5: 1-3]; and wherever the message was given, it moved the people.
“The simple, direct testimony of the Scriptures, set home by the power of the Holy Spirit, brought a weight of conviction which few were able to wholly resist. Professors of religion were roused from their false security. They saw their backslidings, their worldliness and unbelief, their pride and selfishness. Many sought the Lord with repentance and humiliation. The affections that had so long clung to earthly things they now fixed upon Heaven. The Spirit of God rested upon them, and with hearts softened and subdued they joined to sound the cry, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’
“Sinners inquired with weeping, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ [Luke 10: 25-28; Acts 16:30, etc.] Those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty were anxious to make restitution. All who found peace in Christ longed to see others share the blessing. The hearts of parents were turned to their children and the hearts of the children to their parents [prophesied in Malachi 4: 5, 6]. The barriers of pride and reserve were swept away. Heartfelt confessions were made, and the members of the household labored for the salvation of those who were nearest and dearest. Often was heard the sound of earnest intercession. Everywhere were souls in deep anguish, pleading with God. Many wrestled all night in prayer for the assurance that their own sins were pardoned, or the conversion of their relatives or neighbors. . . . All classes flocked to the Adventist meetings. Rich and poor, high and low, were, from various causes, anxious to hear for themselves the doctrine of the second advent.
“The Lord held the spirit of opposition in check while His servants explained the reasons of their faith. Sometimes the instrument was feeble; but the Spirit of God gave power to his truth. The presence of holy angels was felt in these assemblies, and many were added daily to the believers. As the evidences of Christ’s soon coming were repeated, vast crowds listened in breathless silence to the solemn words. Heaven and earth seemed to approach each other. The power of God would be felt among old and young and middle-aged. Men sought their homes with praises upon their lips, and the glad sound rang out upon the still night air. None who attended those meetings can ever forget those scenes of deepest interest.
“The proclamation of a definite time for Christ’s coming called forth great opposition from many of all classes, from the minister in the pulpit down to the most reckless, heaven-daring sinner. ‘No man knoweth the day or the hour!’ was heard alike from the hypocritical minister and the bold scoffer. They closed their ears to the clear and harmonious explanation of the text by those who were pointing to the close of the prophetic periods and to the signs which Christ Himself had foretold as tokens of His advent. Many who professed to love the Savior, declared that they had no opposition to the preaching of His coming; they merely objected to the definite time. God’s all-seeing eye read their hearts. They did not wish to hear of Christ’s coming to judge the world in righteousness. They had been unfaithful servants, their works would not bear the inspection of the heart-searching God, and they feared to meet their Lord.
“Like the Jews at the time of Christ’s first advent, they were not prepared to welcome Jesus. Satan and his angels exulted and flung the taunt in the face of Christ and holy angels, that His professed people had so little love for Him that they did not desire His appearing. [How about us today?]
“Unfaithful watchmen hindered the progress of the work of God. As the people were roused, and began to inquire the way of salvation, these leaders stepped in between them and the truth, seeking to quiet their fears by falsely interpreting the word of God. In this work, Satan and unconsecrated ministers united, crying peace, peace, when God had not spoken peace. [Jer. 6: 13, 14]. Like the Pharisees in Christ’s day, many refused to enter the kingdom of Heaven themselves, and those who were entering in, they hindered [Luke 12: 52-54; John 9: 16, 22]. The blood of these souls will be required at their hands. [Luke 12: 50, 51; Ezekiel 9.]
“Wherever the message truth was proclaimed, the most humble and devoted in the churches were the first to receive it. Those who studied the Bible for themselves could not but see the unscriptural character of thepopular views of prophecy, and wherever the people were not deceived by the efforts of the clergy to misstate and pervert the faith, wherever they would search the word of God for themselves [Berean-like, Acts 17: 10, 11], the Advent doctrine needed only to be compared with the Scriptures to establish its divine authority. . . . ”
1. The first angel’s message is a Heaven-sent merciful warning to arouse the churches to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding and to seek a preparation to meet their Lord and Savior in peace. It is also a warning to flee from the wrath to come.
2. It’s the announcement of Christ’s soon return, and that the end of all things is at hand.
3. Its purpose is to bring men to genuine repentance, revival, and reformation.
4. It’s designed to separate the church of Christ from the corrupting influences of the world and deceptive doctrines and false prophecies since then till the close of time.
5. It’s the prophesied announcement that the pre-advent “judgment hour” began in the heavenly sanctuary at the termination of the 2300-day prophecy on October 1844. It’s been the antitypical Day of Atonement for the “household of God.” 1 Pet. 4: 17, 18.
(Continued next week)