P1: This period extends from the captivity of the pope in 1798 A.D, the “time of the end” mentioned in Daniel, to the empowerment of the First Angel’s message which took place on August 11, 1840 when the power of the Ottoman Empire was restrained in fulfillment of a Millerite-interpreted, Biblical time-prophecy.
According to the pattern we are studying, Period 1 should notably display God’s judgment, and in the Millerite Reform-line it most certainly does. The First Angel’s Message, emphasizing that the hour of God’s judgment has come, became the special truth for the time at the end of the 1260 prophetic days, the “time of the end,” or 1798. William Miller, Millerite authors, history, Ellen White, and much Bible-prophecy reasoning give witness to this fact. However, for proof we will content ourselves for now with a simple Bible study.
Long ago, the angel Gabriel said, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4. Notice that knowledge was to be increased during the “time of the end,” the time period following the taking captive of the pope in 1798. Question: How does the Word of God define “knowledge”? Answer: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7 (also see verse 29, 2:5, and Isaiah 33:6). Of course, the ultimate call to fear the Lord in end-times is the First Angel’s Message. We conclude that the increase of knowledge which began in 1798 was the coming to ripeness, so to speak, of the First Angel’s Message.
E1: Read Revelation 10 and Manuscript Releases, Volume 19, 319-321. Symbolism in Revelation 10 presents Jesus as coming down from heaven to give the Advent message of the early 19th century. This message was a complex prophetic message, a message showing that the Second Coming of Jesus was imminent and that Christ would soon save those who both feared God and gave Him glory and judge those heedless of His special message of truth.
Just as, at His first advent, Jesus came to earth and grew up among His people prior to his main coming as “Messiah the Prince” at the end of the 69 weeks of Daniel 9:25 (His E1-baptism), so Jesus – the Revelation 10 Angel and the First Angel of Revelation 14:6-7 – also came in 1798 and increased knowledge for some time prior to His main coming – His empowering of the First Angel’s Message on August 11, 1840.
What exactly took place on 8/11/1840? Ms. White gives ample explanation:
“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, and specifying not only the year but the very day on which this would take place. According to this exposition, which was purely a matter of calculation on the prophetic periods of Scripture, the Turkish government would surrender its independence on the eleventh day of August, 1840. The prediction was widely published, and thousands watched the course of events with eager interest.
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. 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 publishing his views, and from 1840 to 1844 the work rapidly extended.” The Great Controversy, 334.4-5, italics added.
P2: This period extends from 8/11/1840 to the early summer of 1842. The first big event of the Millerite movement after the restraint of Islam on 8/11 was the first Millerite General Conference which began on October 15, 1840 in Boston. It was advertised that “the object of the conference will not be to form a new organization in the faith of Christ…but to discuss the whole subject faithfully and fairly, in the exercise of that spirit of Christ… By so doing we may accomplish much in the rapid, general, and powerful spread of ‘the everlasting gospel of the kingdom at hand.’” Signs of the Times, September 1, 1840, p. 84. Clearly, the Millerite leaders were interested in learning and preaching more distinctly the present-truth message of the gospel just as Jesus and his disciples had done during Period 2 of the Messiah Reform-line. In the first conference, a keynote of the P2 second-advent activity was struck: “Our object in assembling at this time, our object in addressing you, and our object in other efforts, separate and combined, on the subject of ‘the kingdom of heaven at hand,’ is to revive and restore this ancient faith, to renew ancient landmarks, to ‘stand in the ways, and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way’… We have no purpose…to get to ourselves a name by starting another sect among the followers of the Lamb.” The First Report of the General Conference of Christians Expecting the Advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ, section, “Proceedings of the Conference,” p. 12.
Many more sessions of the general conference were held during P2, but more importantly, this period saw the good news of Jesus’ soon return (backed by prophetic reasoning and Biblical-historical evidence of prophecy fulfilled) extensively heard, accepted, and explained by dedicated seekers after truth.
E2: “Elder E.R. Pinney, of New York, in his exposition of Matt.xxiv, says: ‘As early as 1842, Second-advent publications had been sent to every missionary station in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and both sides of the Rocky Mountains.’” The Autobiography of Elder Joseph Bates, 269.2. By 1842, the First Angel’s Message was being heard and accepted around the world.
At the Boston General Conference of May, 1842, Millerite leaders resolved to use more definite language in proclaiming the very year of Jesus’ Coming. They had reached the point where their knowledge and faith all but compelled them to give a unified and decided warning that Jesus would return sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. This, they further resolved, would be more powerfully accomplished with the use of camp-meetings. Also at this conference, the literal demonstration, the God-given sign of the message, was first presented. Charles Fitch and Apollos Hale revealed the first of Habbakuk’s tables, the 1843 Chart. Concerning the Chart, Ellen White wrote, “As early as 1842, the Spirit of God had moved upon Charles Fitch to devise the prophetic chart, which was generally regarded by Adventists as a fulfillment of the command given by the prophet Habakkuk, ‘to write the vision and make it plain upon tables.’” The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 4, 241.2. Note that the Chart was inspired by the Spirit of God.
Unified by the 1843 Chart and motivated by the Boston Conference’s resolution to hold camp-meetings, the Millerites went out and did just that. A great meeting tent was purchased and the first Adventist camp-meeting was held at East Kingston, NH in June of 1842. An immense multitude there assembled, and lecturers taught the prophecies just as the disciples had on Pentecost. In this camp meeting we note Event 2.
P2: Prior to the First Disappointment of March 21, 1844, many camp-meetings where held and copious amounts of literature was distributed as Millerites gave expression to their faith like never before. Recovering from disappointment and taking up the Spirit-given Midnight Cry message from August to October of 1844, Adventists gave even greater expression both of their hope in the Coming of Jesus and of their concern for those not careful to forsake their sins. Many hearing the Midnight Cry at this time received and treasured God’s great message-light. But those in the majority either rejected it or were careless of its significance and urgent demands.
E3: The close of probation which took place on October 22, 1844, the day immediately followed by the Great Disappointment of Adventism, is best seen in the write up of a vision given to Ellen White concerning the events of that day. It is well known that on 10/22/1844, the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 came to an end. In the chapter of Early Writings entitled “The End of the 2300 Days” we read,
“I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son… Before the throne I saw the Advent people–the church and the world. I saw two companies, one bowed down before the throne, deeply interested, while the other stood uninterested and careless. Those who were bowed before the throne would offer up their prayers and look to Jesus; then He would look to His Father, and appear to be pleading with Him. A light would come from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the praying company. Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son, and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. But few would receive this great light. Many came out from under it and immediately resisted it; others were careless and did not cherish the light, and it moved off from them. Some cherished it, and went and bowed down with the little praying company. This company all received the light and rejoiced in it, and their countenances shone with its glory.
I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne [that is, Michael stood up] and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way…
I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, “Father, give us Thy Spirit.” Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children.” Early Writings, 54-56.
History bears out that those who were careless of or rejected the Midnight Cry message, proclaimed just prior to October 22, 1844, became fully hardened in their unbelief when Jesus didn’t come on that date. Thereafter, they could not receive any further light from Jesus, for they had rejected all prerequisites. Their time of gospel-opportunity had run out.
P4: The period immediately following October 22, 1844 saw the opening up of the truths contained in the Third Angel’s Message. Ms. White wrote, “The most fearful threatening ever addressed to mortals is contained in the third angel’s message. That must be a terrible sin which calls down the wrath of God unmingled with mercy.” The Great Controversy, 449.2. The Third Angle’s Message is a warning of God’s executive judgment.
Final Redemption Reform-line
P1: This period extends from the fall of communism in 1989-1990 to the fall of the trade towers which prompted an international movement to restrain Islamic power, that is, “fight the war on terror.” In this period, the last six verses of Daniel 11 were unsealed to Jeff Pippenger much as other prophetic passages of Daniel had been unsealed to William Miller a little less than two hundred years earlier. Pippenger first published his views in the book “The Time of the End: A Prophetic Study of the Millerite Movement and Daniel 11:40-45.” In this book, the conclusion of Daniel 11 was clearly shown to be a delineation of the the last events of salvation history as they involved the Papacy, the “king of the north.” The first of these events (described in Daniel 11:40) was shown to be the fall of the world’s superpower of communism, the U.S.S.R. The very next event described in the prophecy was seen to be the enactment of a national Sunday Law in the U.S. Thus the Third Angel’s Message, warning of judgment on those who receive the mark of the beast, was empowered. The following warning of final judgment, which will fall first on Seventh-day Adventists in the Sunday Law crisis, is an example of the many statements given special urgency by the unsealing of Daniel 11:40-45.
“Those who are uniting with the world, are receiving the worldly mold, and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth,–these are receiving the heavenly mold, and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth, and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, 216.1.
E1: Ms. White wrote, “When the third angel’s message shall go forth with a loud voice and the whole earth shall be lightened with His glory, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon God’s people. The revenue of glory has been accumulating for this closing work of the third angel’s message.” In this statement, the prophetess connects a loud voice of the Third Angel’s Message with the “whole earth…lightened with His glory,” a clear reference to the descent of the Revelation 18 Angel.
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” Revelation 18:1. There is no passage in the Bible more similar to this passage than the symbolic description of Event 1 of the original second advent Reform-line – “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud…” Revelation 10:1. How reasonable it is then, that Event 1 of the final second advent Reform-line should be so similar to the developments of 8/11/1840 and their effects.
On 9/11/2001, multiple God-given prophecies were fulfilled when the Trade Towers fell. See Isaiah 2:12-17, Isaiah 30:25, Zephaniah 1:14-16, James 5:1-5, Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, 11-15, and Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 411.5. An international movement to restrain radical Islam’s power followed the event. Also, those who were “searching the Scriptures upon the same plan that Father Miller adopted” (Review & Herald, 11/25/1884, par. 23) finally saw that the Revelation 18 Angel had come down. On 9/11/2001, a powerful impetus was given to the Advent movement just as it had been on 8/11/1840. Knowledge of the parallels between the descents of the 10 and 18 Angels and their corresponding literal-event fulfillments was the main element that emphasized the precise parallel between the order of events in the Millerites’ sacred history and the order of events in modern sacred history. A historical pattern is established by the two-fold witness of Millerite and modern sacred history. That pattern has been called the Reform-line.
P2: We are living in the period during which God calls to each Adventist individually, “Will you ‘ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and…find rest for your souls’? (Jeremiah 6:16). Will you accept Ellen White as My fully inspired prophetess; will you accept her writings as My communications to My people? Will you seek Me as earnestly as the early Adventists did, and search the prophecies in accordance with the methods I gave your Millerite pioneers? Will you ground your faith upon the unalterable facts which I revealed during their history? Will you surrender your love of sin or success, comfort or control, pleasure or pain, security or adventure, ease or challenge, prosperity or lack of responsibility and fully fear and follow Me into truth and the fulfillment of every duty today? Will you accept My Word to you even if it is given ‘line upon line’ by ‘stammering lips and another tongue’ which say ‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing’? (Isaiah 28:10-12. Many “uneducated” ministers have presented the Word in precisely this manner). You say that you want the Latter Rain. If you will test and receive My most recent revelations of Scriptural significance, then you will be receiving “my doctrine” that drops “as the rain.” (Deuteronomy 32:2). If you will keep the word of my patience, then I will keep you from the soon-to-arrive hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world! (Revelation 3:10).”
I know that I must actively improve every divinely-given opportunity for increased knowledge and loving service by faith now, during Period 2, which extends to the full outpouring of the Latter Rain.
E2: Review the Transfiguration and context story (E2 of the Messiah Reform-line). Note that its bookend events are 1) the feeding of the five thousand and 2) the transfiguration. Let’s look at the story from a fresh perspective and note a significant number of parallels to what we know of the national Sunday Law crisis looming in our near future.
The feeding of the five thousand catalyzed a movement to force Jesus to become the Messiah of the nation’s false conceptions.
“In their enthusiasm the people are ready at once to crown Him king. They see that He makes no effort to attract attention or secure honor to Himself. In this He is essentially different from the priests and rulers, and they fear that He will never urge His claim to David’s throne. Consulting together, they agree to take Him by force, and proclaim Him the king of Israel. The disciples unite with the multitude in declaring the throne of David the rightful inheritance of their Master. It is the modesty of Christ, they say, that causes Him to refuse such honor. Let the people exalt their Deliverer. Let the arrogant priests and rulers be forced to honor Him who comes clothed with the authority of God.” The Desire of Ages, 378.1.
Jesus authoritatively dispersed the multitude and sent his disciples into a storm on the lake. Then He miraculously rescued them. On the other side of the lake, Jesus preached that those who labor not for physical bread, but for the bread that He would give were sealed by the Father. John 6:27. He presented His flesh as food and his blood as drink. This conception of truth was radical, and in John 6:66 we read, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Not long thereafter, Jesus was transfigured before his closest disciples. Jesus and his disciples came down from the mount with faces lighted up. The Desire of Ages, 427.3.
All Seventh-day Adventists should know that our near future will see a movement to legislate Sunday sacredness. In such a movement, our nation will be seeking to force Jesus to be the God of a popular misconception, the God of Sunday-sacredness. This Christ will never be. He never changes. According to His Law, His day of worship is the seventh-day Sabbath, and it will never be otherwise. In the enactment of a Sunday Law, “Roman Catholic principles will be taken under the care and protection of the state. This national apostasy will speedily be followed by national ruin.” Review and Herald, 6/15/1897, par. 10. Just as Jesus dispersed the multitude seeking to make him king, he will use calamity to “disperse” American power. Just as Jesus sent his disciples into a storm on the lake, so Jesus will permit a storm of persecution to strike those faithful to the Sabbath. “The laws and traditions of men are exalted above the law of God, and those who are true to God’s commandments suffer reproach and persecution.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 170.3. Jesus however will soon deliver his church purified by this storm. See Malachi 3:1-4, Zechariah 13:7-9, Matthew 3:12, Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, 81. One class in the church will have received the Seal of God during the ordeal. See Counsels for the Church, Chapter 65. On the other hand it will be found that many Seventh-day Adventists did not value Jesus’ (radical) requirements above their own lives. These will be the first to receive the 666 mark of the beast and will “walk no more with [Jesus].” John 6:66. Not long thereafter, the total outpouring of the Latter Rain will come to fully empower those who valued Christ’s doctrine (His “meat”) above the ability to buy or sell (the “meat which perisheth”). The Rain will bless only those whom the Father hath sealed. See John 6:27. Ellen White was shown the Latter Rain experience and described hearing “a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious.” Early Writings, 270.4. Immediately after describing the mark of the beast, the book of Revelation gives the following symbolic picture of the experience empowering those sealed in the Sunday Law crisis.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song…” Revelation 14:1-3.
This picture of the experience of the Latter Rain’s full outpouring shows Jesus transfigured upon mount Zion in the presence of the 144,000. After the Rain-experience, “Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration [as were the disciples’ after the transfiguration], will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from Heaven.” The Great Controversy, 612.1. This is symbolically described in Revelation 14:6-7, immediately following the book’s description of the total outpouring of the Latter Rain.
Revelation 14:1-5 is the Biblical description of Event 2. It is a description of the 144,000, “the flock of his people” (which follow the Shepherd-Lamb whithersoever he goeth) “lifted up [on the mount Sion] as an ensign upon his land [the kingdom of heaven].” Zechariah 9:16, Italics added.
P3: This period extends from the full outpouring of the Latter Rain unto the close of human probation. This period is impossible to adequately describe.
“It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word: “It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without God and without hope.” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, 16.1.
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:9-14, Italics added.
“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from Heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. [Revelation 13:13.] Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.
The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.” The Great Controversy, 612.1-2.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12.
E3: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.
“I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the ten commandments, throw down the censer. He raised his hands upward, and with a loud voice said, It is done. And all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
I saw that every case was then decided for life or death. Jesus had blotted out the sins of his people. He had received his kingdom, and the atonement had been made for the subjects of his kingdom. While Jesus had been ministering in the Sanctuary, the judgment had been going on for the righteous dead, and then for the righteous living. The subjects of the kingdom were made up. The marriage of the Lamb was finished. And the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to Jesus, and the heirs of salvation, and Jesus was to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Spiritual Gifts, Volume 1, 197.2-3.
P4: “As Jesus moved out of the Most Holy place, I heard the tinkling of the bells upon his garment, and as he left, a cloud of darkness covered the inhabitants of the earth. There was then no mediator between guilty man, and an offended God. While Jesus had been standing between God and guilty man, a restraint was upon the people; but when Jesus stepped out from between man and the Father, the restraint was removed, and Satan had the control of man. It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the Sanctuary; but as his work there is finished, as his intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation, and hated reproof. The saints in that fearful time, after the close of Jesus’ mediation, were living in the sight of a holy God, without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly Sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while he was in the Most Holy place, he placed back upon the originator of sin, the Devil. He must suffer the punishment of these sins.
Then I saw Jesus lay off his priestly attire, and clothe himself with his most kingly robes– upon his head were many crowns, a crown within a crown–and surrounded by the angelic host, he left heaven. The plagues were falling upon the inhabitants of the earth. Some were denouncing God, and cursing him. Others rushed to the people of God, and begged to be taught how they should escape the judgments of God. But the saints had nothing for them. The last tear for sinners had been shed, the last agonizing prayer offered, the last burden had been borne. The sweet voice of mercy was no more to invite them. The last note of warning had been given. When the saints, and all heaven were interested for their salvation, they had no interest for themselves. Life and death had been set before them. Many desired life; but did not make any effort to obtain it. They did not choose life, and now there was no atoning blood to cleanse the sinner. No compassionate Saviour to plead for them, and cry, Spare, spare the sinner a little longer. All heaven had united with Jesus, as they heard the fearful words, It is done, It is finished. The plan of salvation had been accomplished. But few had chosen to accept the plan. And as mercy’s sweet voice died away, a fearfulness and horror seized them. With terrible distinctness they hear, Too late! too late!” Spiritual Gifts, Volume 1, 198.1 – 200.1