The Shut-door and the sanctuary: Historical and Theological Problems PDF files 2 MB)
by Wesley Ringer

About the author

Wes Ringer is a former Seventh-Day Adventist who used to teach Adventist doctrine. However, during comparison of Adventist beliefs to the words of the Bible , Mr. Ringer came to the conclusion that many doctrines in Adventism were incorrect and subsequently left the church. Mr. Ringer is now actively involved in a nondenominational church, and is in full-time ministry as a Bible translator in Africa.

Rich Deem

Table of Contents

Preface: Some Thoughts Twenty-nine Years Later

I wrote this paper over twenty-nine years ago. I have recently transferred this paper to an electronic format and have had to proofread it again to correct the mistakes that arose during that process. I have also in the past several years, for the first time, visited several pro and anti-Ellen White web sites and seen that Ellen White’s visions from 1845-1851 and the Shut-door beliefs of early Advents continue to this day to be issues of controversy. Often those who seek to defend Ellen White against the Shut-door charges of her critics reveal in their arguments that they have never read extensively from either the Open-door Adventist papers such as the Advent Herald and The Morning Watch; nor the Shut-door Adventists papers Midnight Cry, The Advent Mirror, A Word to the Little Flock, Present Truth, or Review and Heraldfrom1845-1854, in which her visions first appeared. Likewise, critics of Ellen White often quote selectively from some of her early visions during the Shut-door era which leave people wondering if her visions have been taken out of context and do not really say what the critics allege.

I have visited the official Ellen White Estate web site and give credit to the White Estate for making all of her published visions from 1845-1854 available on line, except the disputed Camden Vision of 1851. However, the average Seventh-day Adventist or others interested in testing Ellen Whites prophetic claims still may have difficulty getting access to the actual Adventist papers mentioned above, which published her early visions or to the Open-door Adventist papers that were opposed by James and Ellen White, Joseph Bates, and others who would become founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Someone may read a bit about the Shut-door on either a pro or anti- Ellen White web site and wonder if either side is really giving them the whole picture about what Seventh-day Adventists and Ellen White believed about the Shut-door during 1845-1854. It is my hope that my extensive quoting and footnoting of many Adventist papers, both Open-door and Shut-door, during this ten year time frame will give the reader the necessary context in which to evaluate what the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers, including Ellen White, believed the Shut-door to have meant during 1844-1851.

The reason for my interest in writing this paper goes back to the fall of 1970 when I was a history major in my senior year at Andrews University. During a wonderful time of revival on campus that fall I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. For the first time I had confidence to trust in what Christ alone had done for me to save me from my sins and reconcile me to my heavenly Father. I had struggled for many years with the fear that I would fail the final test to become sinless so that I could live without a mediator at the close of probation and thus fail to be accepted by Godin the end. My new found joy in knowing that I had eternal life through Christ Jesus my Lord lead me to an intense time of Bible study.

One of the first books that I studied through in detail was the book of Hebrews. I thrilled at what I read of the work of Christ as my High Priest but I was puzzled at how the book of Hebrews could be reconciled with the traditional 1844 SDA sanctuary doctrine. I realized that Ellen White’s visions had clearly and repeatedly affirmed that Christ entered for the first time into the heavenly Most Holy Place in 1844. However, I could not find her claims taught in the book of Hebrews. To the contrary, particularly in Hebrews 9 and 10, Christ’s work as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary was likened to the work of the earthly high priest on the Day of Atonement. The cleansing that the earthly high priest did once a year in the earthly Most Holy Place with the blood of goats and bulls is compared and contrasted to what Christ did once for all by means of his own blood when he entered the sanctuary made without hands in the heavens.

As I read and re-read Hebrews in November of 1970, a number of questions came to my mind. If Christ, at his ascension, entered the heavenly Most Holy Place as our high priest, bringing the blood of his once and for all sacrifice, then what if anything did happen in 1844? If nothing happened in 1844, how then can Ellen White be a true prophet of God? If Ellen White is not God’s true end time prophet, how can the Seventh-day Adventist Church be the only true revenant church on earth? Since I had first read Hebrews in the Living New Testament, I purchased a New American Standard Bible and read through Hebrews in the next two years again and again. I looked up all of the cross references and read extensively the work of the High Priest in the Law of Moses. I wrote Roy Allen Anderson in 1972 about my conflict but received no helpful answer.

I rejoiced in the fall of 1979, when I first listened to Desmond Fordon tape explain his own and others struggle in attempting to reconcile Hebrews with the Adventists and Ellen Whites traditional understandings of 1844. Then came Glacier View and I clearly saw that my days were numbered as a history and religion teacher within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I was suspended from my teaching position at San Gabriel Academy in August 1981. I was, however, kindly granted a study leave by the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This study leave extended from August of 1981 to April of 1982. Without this study leave I would not have had the time to have thoroughly read through much of the original sources that I cite in this paper. One of the reasons that I quote from original sources, as much as I do in this paper, is that I am aware that most interested people will never have the time or access to the original sources as I then did.

During that time, I made extensive use of the White Estate at Loma Linda, California and wrote three drafts of this paper. I have in my current review made some minor corrections and additions, but this paper is essentially the same as the one that I presented to the Southern California Conference in April of 1982. I also consulted in person with Dr. Dalton Baldwin, professor of denominational history at Loma Linda University regarding the historical accuracy of my handling of the issues confronting the Advent movement from 1844-1854. I found him to be thoroughly knowledgeable of all the historical issues that I present in this paper. While he did not concur with my conclusions, neither did he dispute any of the historical facts that I relate in this paper. I also talked several times by phone with Robert Olson of the White Estate. This was at a time when Olson was also trying to grapple with the problems of Ellen White’s visions as they relate to the Shut-door. Again, although we came to different conclusions I did feel that Olson was at least trying to deal within the historical context while attempting to understand what Ellen White understood her visions to have meant at the time in which they were given.

What I hope to present in this paper is the historical context of what Adventists believed did or did not happen in 1844 and in the ten years following, which lead to a division among Adventists into rival Open and Shut-door camps. This historical background is necessary for anyone who really wishes to understand what Ellen White and her contemporaries understood her visions of 1844-1851 to mean at the time in which they were given. If you dispute my conclusions I invite you to deeply study both God’s Word and the historical documents surrounding the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I appeal to you not to take a selected verse or statement here or there out of context and then try to force it to fit your preconceived opinion. Let all of Daniel 8 inform you and not just Daniel 8:14 as to the meaning of that verse. If the Adventists are right about Christ’s change of ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, then certainly you should be able to see that confirmed in the book of Hebrews. If you cannot find the SDA’s views confirmed in the only book in the New Testament that extensively explains Christ’s work as our High Priest, then where else might you go to find such confirmation?

The conclusions that I reached in this paper came at a personal cost to me. I was disfellowshipped from the SDA Church and fired from my teaching positions in April of 1982. I have however, continued to have an interest in the careful exegetical study of God’s Word. This led me to begin to study New Testament Greek in 1994, and finally to my taking four advanced Greek exegesis classes at Talbot Seminary and a MA in Applied Linguistics at Biola University in 2004. I am currently serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators as a Bible translation consultant in Juba, Sudan. God takes all of our struggles, hardships and pain and uses them to his glory. Therefore, I believe that my background in the SDA Church, my life-long interest and the study God’s Word, and my struggle with some of the SDA’s distinctive doctrines has helped to prepare me for my current work.

I am certainly aware that, short of heaven, we, as believers, will not have complete knowledge nor agreement about the meaning of every verse in scripture. Often there is the possibility of more than one interpretation, which honest students of God’s may come to. I hope that you will find that I have been fair with the facts both as regarding the Word of God and the history surrounding the origin of the S.D.A. church. If you feel that I have failed to support my conclusions either with the biblical of historical data I invite your respectful dialog. I pray that I have honored Christ in what I have said in this paper even though I am aware that this may be painful reading to many Seventh-day Adventists.

William Miller and those who pioneered the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church loved the Lord Jesus and wished for his speedy return in power and glory. However, beginning with Miller, they all used an extremely poor method of Bible proof texting to support their unique prophetic views, rather than seeking to understand a passage within the context in which it was given. Certainly some parts of God’s Word are more difficult to understand than others. Since we live almost 2,000 years from the end of the New Testament era, we may at times lack all the background information that would help us be certain what a given text means. However, the important things in God’s Word are repeated and are clear. A careful student of God’s word needs to remember to read a given text in its larger context, consult commentaries, read several different translations that range from literal to meaning base and work with the biblical languages in order to come to the best understanding of a given text. That being said, I believe that there is much that is plain in scripture, and that we must not let what is less clear divide us and keep us from rejoicing in our common redemption that we have, as sinners, reconciled to God by the death of our Jesus Christ our Lord.

Serving our Lord with Joy,

Wesley Ringer
May 22, 2011
Juba, Sudan

PS: I think as a follow up that it might be helpful as you read through my paper to try to put yourself back into the 1840-1855, time-frame and ask the following questions:

PSS: In this electronic copy I have not included all of the appendixes of the original paper but I have added all the published visions or writings of Ellen White from 1846-1855.

Official Websites of the Seventh-day Adventist Church:

The General Conference Achieves: This website will allow you to see the original copies of the Advent Herald, which became an Open-door Adventist paper after October 22, 1844 and the Day Star, Present Truth and Advent Review which were Shut-door Adventist papers. This will allow you to read the entire articles from which I cite in this paper. I cite a number of other Adventist papers published from 1843-1855 which you would could find at Ellen White Estate heritage rooms at major Seventh-day Adventist universities.

Click on: General Conference Achieves
Look for: Periodical Index: Official Church Magazine & Periodicals

Present Truth 1849-1850

Advent Review 1850-

Look for: Adventist Related Periodicals

Advent Heralds 1844 (9)

The Western Midnight Cry

The Day Star

Ellen G. White Estate: http://www.whiteestate.org

Ellen G. White Estate: This official Seventh-day Adventist website that lists all of Ellen Whites published visions. I have accessed this website so that I could put in the appendix of this paper all that Ellen White published between 1846 and 1855. In each case I will reference the first place each of her visions or articles were published in this paper, since when her visions were republished there were times when Shut-door statements were deleted from her visions, or a given vision was divided into several parts and attached to other visions. This makes it difficult or impossible to follow the original context in which a vision was given.

Chapter I

THE SHUT-DOOR: A RECURRING PROBLEM

As Rolf Poehler has so ably demonstrated in his paper, “…And the Door Was Shut”, problems concerning the Shut-door have arisen again and again within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These problems have never been convincingly dealt with, primarily because the presuppositions of Adventist writers have precluded the possibility of there being any real conflict between Ellen White’s early visions, during the Shut-door era (1844-1851), and her later statements concerning those early visions. While most Adventist writers have not openly stated them, their presuppositions have been, in practice, very similar, by and large, to Arthur White’s:

  1. That the great Advent awakening of the early 1840’s was a movement of God’s providence, marked by the work of the Holy Spirit.
  2. That Ellen White was chosen by God as His messenger and her work embodied that of a prophet.
  3. That as a sincere, dedicated Christian and a prophet, Ellen White would not and did not falsify. Therefore, we may accept her statements on their face value. Her witness, then, relating to the experience of 1844-1851 may be accepted as presenting a true picture of conditions, of positions taken, and work done.
  4. Likewise, the witness of those who passed through the experience of 1844 as fellow-believers with Ellen White may be accepted as true and correct to the best of the memory of the individual reported.” [1]

The problem with beginning with such presuppositions is that it prevents men like Arthur White, F.D. Nichol and C. Mervyn Maxwell from attempting an unbiased understanding of the meaning of Ellen White’s visions in the context of the time given, the beliefs of her fellow believers, and from comparing her testimony with that of her fellow advent believers. Thus, Arthur White seeks to understand the visions during the Shut-door era almost exclusively through Ellen White’s later statements concerning those early years and the later testimony of her fellow believers. However, Robert Olson of the White Estates believes this to be a mistake, because, according to him, neither the memory of E. G. White or the pioneers was perfect or complete.[2] In fact, these later statements were made in the climate of the need to defend Mrs. White from hostile critics and after the passage of time, when even she admitted that she did not have access to her earliest printed visions and that she could not remember all that she had earlier spoken and written.[3]

F. D. Nichol recognized that Adventists loyal to the church had often made sweeping generalizations in defense of E. G. White’s views on the Shut-door, which indicated that they had never seen all of the early literature on the topic. In E. G. White and Her Critic, he continues his own explanation of the Shut-door issue by stating, “Fortunately, the reputations of the pioneers do not suffer from a full presentation of all the sources, as this present study we believe reveals.”[4]

However, Nichol, in fact, withholds perhaps the single most enlightening piece of evidence—White’s letter to Bates in 1847,[5] which helps us understand just what Mrs. White understood her visions to teach concerning the Shut-door. That Nichol was aware of the letter’s existence at the time of the writing of his book is evident from the fact that he uses it to establish the date of her first vision, but he does so without revealing the letter’s content.[6] Since critics of E. G. White had not yet seen the Bates letter, Nichol apparently chose not to use it solely on the basis that it did not support the conclusions he was attempting to establish. Thus, while claiming to offer a complete examination of all relevant material, Nichol in fact sought to explain Mrs. White’s early Shut-door statements by removing them from their historical setting and dividing each sentence into many fragments from which he then produces a possible interpretation that harmonizes with later E. G. White statements. Finally, C. M. Maxwell’s approach is to largely ignore the entire Shut-door question, even while quoting approvingly, but very selectively, from early statements by such Shut-door champions as A. Hale and J. Turner.[7]

Clearly, there is an ever-present danger of allowing the statements of the S.D.A. pioneers to become sacred tradition, which then prevents students of our past from looking objectively either at our early history or its theology. This, in turn, leaves us in a position similar, if not identical, to that which the Roman Catholic Church holds towards the Bible ’s importance versus that of the church fathers:

Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible and Divine Tradition contain the word of God. Though these two diverse streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still of the two Tradition is to us more clear and safe.[8]

Arthur White’s presuppositions should more properly have been conclusions reached only if Ellen White’s early statements, taken in their context, did in fact fully harmonize with her later statements concerning issues such as the Shut-door. Yet, it is this basic problem of allowing presuppositions to prevent a totally candid appraisal of the data that has left our church unable to resolve the historic and theological problems of the Shut-door and the sanctuary doctrines. As Raymond Cottrell has noted:

From a hermeneutical point of view the basic flaw in our thinking at Glacier View lay in assuming the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 as the norm for measuring Ford’s position paper. With this as the norm, it was inevitable that we would find his position defective. But if we had been willing, and able, to let the Bible itself, and the Bible alone, serve as our norm, we would have come to a somewhat different conclusion.[9]

Let us, then, consider a number of what appear to be unresolved questions of both a historical and a theological nature, beginning with a review of some of Ellen White’s earlier visions, noting the context of the time given as well as the beliefs of her fellow Adventists. In an effort to understand the use Mrs. White made of certain religious expressions or terms, we shall also note what other Adventist writers with whom she was in accord meant by those terms at the time of her respective visions. Finally, we shall attempt to discover how well these early Adventist beliefs harmonize with the Word of God, given an accurate historical-linguistic-contextual exegesis.

Chapter II

THE SHUT-DOOR: ITS DEVELOPMENTAL HISTORY (FEB. 1844
- FEB. 1845)

William Miller listed 15 different proofs to show that Christ would come in the year 1843. His seventh proof was the 2300 days of     Daniel 8:14. In Daniel 8Miller calculated that one prophetic day equaled one calendar year, however in his fourth and sixth proofs he calculates that a day equals one thousand years. In his fifth proof one prophetic year was equal to one calendar year, while in his third proof a prophetic year is 360 calendar years long. Many of his time calculations were from non-prophetic passages and his only seeming logic as to how long a prophetic day or year was depended in whether or not he could make a starting point that would make the passage end in 1843. [10]

When Christ failed to come in 1843, Miller discovered that he had mistakenly assumed that there were two years rather than only one year between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D. When he realized that there was no year zero between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D. this allowed him to extend the time periods that began before Christ from 1843 to 1844. But his ninth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth proofs were all based on time prophecies in Revelation and had starting dates of 508 or 538 A.D. So while he could extend his calculations that began before the time of Christ by one year he could not extend five of his fifteen proofs that Jesus was coming in 1843 by a year to make them predict that Christ was coming in 1844. This meant that by 1844 five of his proofs where already shown to be mistaken.

Miller’s 15 proofs for Christ coming in 1843 are found in Appendix Two where the reader can judge for themselves on the soundness of Miller’s method of Bible study.[11] William Miller seems to be able to find time prophecies for Christ second coming in the most obscure places, he consistently ignores the context in which his proof text was found, and many proofs rested on multiple biblical passages that have no apparent relationship to one another. Sadly Miller’s 15 proofs modeled a speculative proof text method of Bible study which those who followed him into the Shut-door period from 1844-1851 continued to use to distort scripture to say what God through the original authors never intend these passages to say. However these Shut-door believers dropped any continued mention of 14 of the 15 proofs since these 14 proofs pointed to the actual second coming of Christ and could not be used to support Christ going to the heavenly marriage and beginning the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844. Only Daniel 8:14 could be applied to the shutting of the door in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matt 25 and Christ entrance for the first time into the heavenly Most Holy Place to being to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary in 1844.

In order to understand Ellen White’s early visions one must first understand the way in which the Millerites used certain key texts. William Miller and the SDA pioneers both depended heavily upon a proof-text method of Bible study to show that Christ would come at the end of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8:14. When one employs the historical linguistic-contextual method of exegesis, however, he finds many problems in both Miller’s and the traditional Adventists understanding of Daniel 8:14.[12] For example both Miller and Seventh-day Adventist have ignored the action of the little horn, whose action made the sanctuary mentioned in Daniel 8 to be in need of cleansing or restoration.

The preaching that Christ would come was seen by the pioneers as the message of the first angel of Revelation14, that “the hour of His judgment has come.” When the mainstream denominations began to react negatively to Miller’s time-setting by disfellowshipping Millerites, Charles Fitch in 1843 applied the second angel’s message (Rev. 14) to the churches that rejected Miller’s date for Christ’s return. All Adventists were, as a result, to come out of these churches which Fitch had labeled “Babylon”[13]

Joshua V. Himes went even further when he stated just prior to October 22, 1844:

“And though we may not be all agreed as to what constitutes Babylon, we are agreed in the instant and final separation from all who oppose the doctrine of the coming and kingdom of God at hand. We believe it is a case of life and death. It is death to remain connected with those bodies that speak lightly or oppose, the coming of the Lord. It is life to come out from all human traditions, and stand upon the Word of God and look daily for the appearance of the Lord.”[14]

Matthew 25:1-12 which recounts the parable of the Ten Virgins is, however, the key to our understanding of how the Millerites came to believe that probation for sinners had closed on October 22, 1844. The Millerites had a tendency to read prophetic fulfillment into every particular of their movement. Once they had accepted and begun to see almost every part of the Bible as finding fulfillment in the years 1843-1844, they began to arrive at interpretations of the Scripture which, though convincing to them in their experience, would satisfy no serious student of the Bible today. For example, Ellen White interpreted Matthew 25:1-12 in three different ways:

“Her early visions endorsed the general pioneer view of the parable fitting exactly the 1844 experience, culminating in the Shut-door which excluded from mercy the wicked world. The second interpretation is found in 4 SP in the Great Controversy, where Matt. 25:1-13 is still applied to the 1844 experience but the Shut-door now becomes an Open-door, and her earlier stress on the 1844 close of probation for sinners is not found. But in Christ’s Object Lessons we find her third and most mature application of Matt. 25:1-13 - - and it says nothing about the 1844 experience. Instead it interprets the parable in the way opposed by James White and David Arnold and others during the early years of the movement—that is, she applies it as the Open-door Adventist did—to the Second Coming of Christ!” [15]

In response to his critics’ charge that no one knows the day or hour of Christ’s return William Miller answered:

“I had never been positive as to any particular day for the Lord’s appearing, believing that no man could know the day and hour. In all my published lectures will be seen on the title page, “about the year 1843.” In all my oral lectures I invariably told my audiences that the periods would terminate in 1843 if there were no mistakes in my calculations…As I could see no error in my reckoning, I published my belief that sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844 the Lord would come.” [16]

When March 21, 1844 came and went without the Lord’s coming, William Miller made no further attempt to pinpoint the return of Christ, choosing rather to believe that his calculations were essentially correct and that Christ would come quickly. Miller was thus content to continue to preach the soon coming of Christ without fixing on a new date. However, just before the March, 1844 deadline S. S. Snow had in a February 16, 1844 letter placed the coming of Christ at the fall of 1844, and he had done this by means of several varied speculations and arguments?[17] Consequently, the advent believers, greatly disappointed at the failure of Christ to come, felt encouraged that they must be in the “tarrying time” of Matt. 25:5.

By August of 1844, S. S. Snow’s message was widely received among the Adventist bands. He had refined his argument to such a point that he believed Christ would come on October 22, 1844, thus fulfilling the typical day of Atonement. Using a day-for-a-year in prophecy, he and like believers computed that August was the approximate mid-point between March 21 and October 22, 1844. Thus, Snow’s message was embraced as the true “Midnight Cry” or “Seventh-month” experience, fulfilling the midnight proclamation in the parable of the Ten Virgins, “Behold, the Bridegroom comes; go ye out to meet him.” The seventh-month referred to the month in the Hebrew calendar when the Day of Atonement occurred. Finally within weeks of October 22, William Miller also accepted that Christ would come on that date.

Ellen Harmon had her first vision in of December, 1844, just two months after the great disappointment that Adventist all experienced when Christ failed to come on October 22, as Snow had predicted. Ellen White stated of the Advent band, “They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which the angel told me was the Midnight Cry.”[18] Thus, in this vision E. G. White is clearly endorsing the validity of the Midnight Cry with the October 22, 1844date as being essential light which none could reject; for if anyone did, “the light behind them went out which left their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eye off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below.”[19] In fact, George Storrs, a fellow worker with S. S. Snow in the Midnight Cry movement, also felt that to doubt the validity of the October 22 date would result in the loss of salvation.”[20]

However, just how accurate is this message originated by Snow and championed by various Adventist pioneers, including Ellen White, both in terms of October 22, 1844’s being the correct date for the termination of the 2300-day prophecy and for the validity of knowing the day of Christ’s return in advance? Should S. S. Snow and his adherents have been so dogmatic in their emphasis on the essentiality of this belief when, for example, Leroy Froom spent-without success fourteen years attempting to substantiate with specific exactness the correctness of this October 22 date?[21]

Many Christians rejected October 22, 1844as the date for Christ’s return simply because they believed Christ’s own statements that no man knows the day or the hour of His return (Matt. 24:36, Mark 13:32, Acts 1:7). However, in rebuttal Snow used the argument that if Mark 13:32 proves that man will never know the day or hour of Christ’s return, then neither would Christ or the angels. Thus, he continues:

“But can any person believe that our glorious Lord, to whom all power in heaven and earth is given is and will remain ignorant of the time until the very moment he comes to judge the world? If not, then certainly this text can never prove that men may not be able to understand the time…So in the passage quoted, it is declared that that is the definite time of the Second coming of His Son. And this necessarily implies that God makes the time known. The Old Testament contains the testimony of the Father concerning his Son, and concerning the time of both his first and second comings.”[22]

If we accept the logic of Snow’s argument, perhaps we must also conclude that Miller and Snow were better Bible students than Christ. We might ask what prevented Christ from correctly calculating the 2300-day prophecy, so that He would, even as He talked with His disciples, have known the day of His return? And yet E. G. White affirmed in 1850:

“…that God was in the proclamation of the time in 1843. It was his design to arouse the people and bring them to a testing point, where they should decide for or against the truth.”[23]

Of those who objected that no man knows the day or the hour, she wrote:

“Many shepherds of the flock, who professed to love Jesus, said that they had no opposition to the preaching of Christ’s coming, but they objected to the definite time. God’s all-seeing eye read their hearts. They did not love Jesus near. They knew that their unchristian lives would not stand the test, for they were not walking in the humble path marked out by him.”[24]

However, writing after the Shut-door era in other of her later works, E. G. White used the very same reasoning of the ministers she had condemned for rejecting a definite time in 1843-1844:

“Many who have called themselves Adventists have been time setters. Time after time has been set for Christ to come, but repeated failures have been the result. The definite time of our Lord’s coming is declared to be beyond the ken of mortals.”[25]

Further, in Desire of Ages E. G. White indicates that she accurately understood the meaning of Christ’s own teaching when she wrote:

“But the day and hour of His coming Christ has not revealed. He stated plainly to His disciples that He Himself could not make known the day or hour of His second appearing. Had He been at liberty to reveal this, why need He have exhorted them to maintain an attitude of constant expectancy? There are those who claim to know the very day and hour of our Lord’s appearing. Very earnestly are they mapping out the future. But the Lord has warned them off the ground they occupy. The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God’s mystery.”[26]

These statements of Ellen White are simply impossible to reconcile with one another. Perhaps, the only fault of those Christian ministers who sincerely objected to the preaching of a definite time was that they correctly understood this important truth that ‘the exact time of the second coming of Christ was God’s mystery’ years before Ellen White did; for how could God make time a test, when Christ has so clearly stated that no man knows the day or hour of His return (Matt. 24:42)? Ellen White claimed in vision that, “The Lord showed me that Time had not been a test since 1844, and that time will never again be a test.”[27] On what biblical basis were these pastors to know that God only once in 1844 made time a test?

For Adventists, who insist that God did make time a test in 1844, how where believers to know that 1844 was the one and only exception to Christ warning? How could people lose their salvation for believing Christ’s warning against anyone setting a date for his Second Coming?

The Millerites associated the shutting of the door in the parable with the close of probation, which they believed would occur on October 22, 1844with the coming of Christ. Furthermore, just prior to October 22, they had begun to feel that their work for non-Adventists was almost finished. George Storrs wrote in the October 16, 1844 Advent Herald:

“We have done with the nominal churches, and all the wicked, except so far as this cry may affect them; our work is now to wake up the “virgins” who took their lamps and went forth to meet the Bridegroom.”[28]

He continued by pointing out that the virgins in the parable could only apply to “…the professed believers in the Advent of 1843 and nobody else.”[29] When Christ did not come on October 22, 1844many Adventists continued to see in this a further fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins:

“…for when they had all arisen and trimmed their lamps, then there must still be a time when the lamps of the foolish virgins would be going out. This could not be without a passing by of the 10th day, for till that time their lamps would burn. There must therefore be a passing by of that day, for the foolish to give up their faith, as there must have been of ‘43, for the tarrying time.”[30]

Thus, Adventists were warned against going back to their former churches lest the Bridegroom come and they be shut out with the foolish virgins.[31] William Miller finally carried the parable of the Ten Virgins to its logical conclusion by asserting in a letter of November 18, 1844:

“We have done our work in warning sinners, and in trying to awaken a formal church. Godin his providence has shut the door; we can only stir one another up to be patient… we are now living in the time specified by Malachi 3:18, also Daniel12:10, Rev. 22: 10-12. In this passage we can not help but see that a little while before Christ should come, there would be a separation between the just and the unjust, the righteous, and the wicked…And never since the days of the apostles has there been such a division line drawn, as was drawn about the 10th or 23rd day of the 7th Jewish month.”[32]

Indicating that she and the Advent body understood the Shut-door as William Miller had described it, Ellen White wrote in 1883, “For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the advent body that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world.”[33]

Other Millerites, particularly some of the leaders such as J. V. Himes and S. Bliss who had endorsed the October 22 date only a few weeks before, felt that it was possible that their calculations might be mistaken and, thus, the door of salvation was still open to the world. The November 13, 1844 Advent Herald reported, “We have heard the cheering account from other places in this vicinity both of the steadfastness of the faith of our brethren, and of the conversion of sinners.”[34] In the November 20 issue of the same journal Himes allows for the possibility that the calculation of the 2300-day prophecy might have been mistaken with its termination coming at the very latest in the autumn of 1847.[35] At the Waterbury, Vermont Conference held on December 20, 1844, Himes encountered some Shut-door believers of whom he wrote:

“Some, however, entertained the opinion that our work was done, as it related to the conversion of sinners; but in the progress of the meeting this view was given up by most, and a desire was expressed by all to have right views on this all-important question. The most of the lecturing brethren present resolved to commence their labor again, and publish the glad tidings of the Kingdom at hand, every-where in order to the salvation of sinners, as well as the comfort and edification of the saints.”[36]

In the January 15, 1845, issue of the Advent Herald, F. G. Brown asserted that the only safe position was one of indefinite time:

“Our conviction is that for wise reasons, the divine mind has forever concealed the precise rise of those periods, at the end of which his Son shall be revealed from heaven. So that we believe it above the power of man, to demonstrate either the year, the month, or the day, of their consummation.”[37]

Hoping thus to bring reconciliation with other Christians, Brown continues:

“Nor should it be overlooked that one of the chief objections to our views is thus so far removed, that we may hope to receive no small addition to our ranks from among all the humble and devoted who heartily love Jesus and his appearing, but whose faith has never been adequate to grasp a definite point of time for that event.”[38]

If, then, the 2300 days did not really end until 1847, there was still a present need to warn sinners. Thus, in a letter dated February 21, 1845, J. V. Himes asserts:

“Our brethren in this region are publishing a free and full salvation to sinners. And they assure me if ever God heard their prayers, and converted souls by their instrumentality, he is doing it now…I am more confirmed than ever since I came to this providence, that Jesus yet sits upon the mercy seat, and that sinners may come to him in the certain hope of salvation…It will be an awful consideration, if sinners perish through our neglect; and how much so, if we should do aught to dishearten, or turn the sinner from the work of preparation for the kingdom of God.”[39]

Thus, in the weeks and months following October 22, 1844some Adventists wavered, doubted, and then gave up their whole advent faith. Others, such as Himes and Bliss, looked to the Midnight Cry and Shut-door as still future events that would be fulfilled within a year or two at Christ’s coming. Ellen Harmon, a young teenager of seventeen, found herself among the majority of Adventists in Portland, Maine, who by December, 1844 no longer believed that the Midnight Cry and the Shut-door had already occurred in October, 1844. In a letter to Joseph Bates, July 15, 1847, she writes: “At the time I had the vision of the Midnight Cry I had given it up in the past and thought it future, as also most of the band had.”[40] She went on to note that she feared to give her first vision in December, 1844, because she was certain that it would run counter to the view Joseph Turner had published in his paper. Further in the letter she explained:

“Early the next morning Joseph Turner called, said he was in haste going out of the city in a short time, and wanted I should tell him all that God had shown me in vision. It was with fear and trembling I told him all. After I had got through he said he had told out the same last evening. I rejoiced, for I expected he was coming out against me. . .”[41]

That Ellen Harmon found herself in agreement with Joseph Turner in her vision of the Midnight Cry can be fully appreciated only when one considers Turner’s own explanation of his Shut-door belief. In the January, 1845 Advent Mirror Turner published a long article to prove what he believed to be the truth of the Shut-door. In it he argued that Christ had come as the Bridegroom to the marriage in fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins, and that this coming of the Bridegroom to the marriage was separate from Christ’s coming in power and glory. Turner goes on to define what he means by the term “Shut-door”:

“By this act is undoubtedly denoted the exclusion from all further access to saving mercy, those who have rejected its offer during their time of probation.… But can any sinners be converted if the door is shut? Of course they cannot, though changes that may appear to be conversions may take place.”[42]

He does, however, allow for the possibility that some who fear God and work righteousness might grow in their understanding of truth, when he writes:

“That such may be found, for whom we should labor, there can be no doubt; and in fact, it is with such a class only, few indeed is their number, that our labors are in any sense successful.”[43]

Despite this concession, however, Turner is certain about the futility of attempting to convert the world:

“But to think of laboring to convert the great mass of the world at such a time, would be as idle as it would have been for the Israelites, when they were down by the Red Sea to have turned about to convert the Egyptians.” [44]

Many Adventist historians have sought to distance Ellen White’s view of the Shut-door from that of Joseph Turner’s. They have charged him with such extreme views as that all non-Millerites were lost, the sealing was finished, those sealed were now sinless, and that the Israelites had entered God’s eternal Sabbath, and therefore should do no more work. In contrast, contend these historians, Mrs. White’s visions never supported the view that no more sinners could be saved. Rather, after her first visions Ellen White recognized the error of the Shut-door and openly labored for sinners. As support for these assertions the apologists cite Mrs. White’s own statements to John Norton Loughborough written 30 years after 1844:

“I did believe no more sinners would be converted. But I never had a vision that no more sinners would be converted. I never had stated that the world is doomed or damned.” [45]

“For a time after the disappointment of 1844, I did hold in common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me. It was the light given me of God that converted our error, and enabled us to see the true position.” [46]

While it has been demonstrated that Ellen White may not have held to all of Joseph Turner’s extreme views, [47] it is nonetheless true (as indicated by her 1847 letter to Bates) that Ellen White was in fact in basic agreement with Turner’s views regarding the Shut-door. This fact is underscored when we consider that in a further attempt to prove the validity of the Shut-door theory James White, as editor the Advent Review in August, 1850 reprinted a letter by William Miller who endorses Joseph Turner’s January, 1845 Advent Mirror article. [48] If, in fact, both Ellen and James White had rejected Turner’s basic Shut-door views, why do we find them continuing to lend approval to Turner’s theory as many as five years after the vision which supposedly lead her out of her Shut-door errors?

It is in light of Turner’s remarks that no more sinners could be saved and that it was impossible to work for the world that we should consider the following statement made by Ellen Harmon in her first vision of December, 1844:

“Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out which left their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the city as all the wicked world which God had rejected.” [49]

It is significant that the then Ellen Harmon published her first two visions in The Day Star as it was one of the few Adventist papers that still held to the original Shut-door position by 1846. In its September 20, 1845 issue it refers to Adventist who rejected the Shut-door as back-sliders and as foolish virgins.

“The foolish are trying to preach what they call truth, but what contradicts the word and providence of God- - and even then they can’t gain the ear of the church or world. These backsliding Adventist who complained as piteously that we would not still preach and pray for the conversion of sinners have now abundantly shown their hypocrisy, for their main efforts are aimed at the overthrow of our views and their own recovery and exaltation, and sinners and Babylonians are none the better for anything they can or will do for them.” [50]

Ellen Harmon published her second vision that she had in February 1845 while in Exeter, Maine in the March 14, 1846 Day Star:

“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.” [51]

The light mentioned here clearly parallels that of the December, 1844 visions in which she saw that the light was the Midnight Cry. In A Word to the Little Flock, published in 1847, James White also linked the Midnight Cry with the Shut-door.[52] Ellen White continues her account of this second vision:

“Then Jesus arose up from the throne, and most of those who were bowed down rose up with him. And I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after he rose up and they were left in perfect darkness.”[53]

She concludes by recounting that all who failed to realize this change of position on Christ’s part were now praying to and being deceived of Satan:

“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. Then Satan would breathe on them an unholy influence.”[54]

That she understood this vision to teach the Shut-door or the close of probation is made clear by the comments she offered concerning this vision to Bates in 1847:

“While in Exeter, Maine, in meeting with Israel Dammon, James and many others, many of them did not believe in a Shut-door. I suffered much at the commencement of the meeting. Unbelief seemed to be on every hand. There was one sister there that was called very spiritual. She had traveled and been a powerful preacher the most of the time for twenty years. She had been truly a mother in Israel and could not believe the door was shut. I had known nothing of this difference. Sister Durban got up to talk. I felt very, very sad.

At length my soul seemed in an agony, and while she was talking I fell from my chair to the floor. It was then I had a view of Jesus rising from His mediatorial throne, and going to the holiest and Bridegroom to receive His kingdom. . .

Most of them received the vision and were settled upon the Shut-door.”[55]

That Ellen Harmon’s meaning of the Shut-door in February, 1845 was that probation had closed for sinners is further supported by the following evidence:

  1. Writing in 1883, Ellen White acknowledged that “For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world.”[56]
  2. Her December, 1844 vision agreed with Joseph Turner’s position that no more sinners could be saved.[57]
  3. William Miller, the leader of the Adventists during this same time period, likewise held that the door was shut or probation was closed for sinners:

    “We have done our work in warning sinners and in trying to awake a formal church. Godin his providence has shut the door; we can only stir one another up to be patient; and be diligent to make our calling and election sure. We are now living in the time specified by Malachi 3:18, also Daniel12:10, Rev. 22:10-12. In this passage we cannot help but see, that a little while before Christ should come, there would be a separation between the just and unjust, the righteous and wicked, between those who love his appearing, and those who hate it. And never since the days of the apostles has there been such a division line drawn, as was drawn about the 10th or 23rd day of the 7th Jewish month.” [58]
  4. Israel Dammon, in whose house E. G. Harmon experienced her Feb. 1845 vision, likewise believed that probation had closed. In a letter, written May 28, 1845 from Exeter, Maine, to the Jubilee Standard he had the following to say concerning the Shut-door.

    “I left my potatoes in the field and went and gave the cry, ‘Behold the Bridegroom cometh,’ on the 10th day of the seventh months… On the day when I gave the last message to a sinking world, which was the day before the 1st of the 7th month, I felt my work was done, On that same night I also told my brethren I believed the door was shut.” [59]

    In the next paragraph he continued:

    “Some time in the first part of the winter Bro. James White came to this place and gave us the subject of the wedding - - the coming of Christ to the Ancient of days to take the kingdom.” [60]

    Concerning the Albany Conference of Open-door Adventists he wrote:

    “we have no fellowship with the movement at the Albany Conference, not one in the band, if one is found of that disposition we think he belongs to the cage of uncleanness: Jude speaks of them and says, ‘These be they who separate themselves, (are sect-makers) sensual, having not the Spirit” [61]

    In a second letter, written in July to The Day Star, Israel Dammon said:

    “We have but little or no fellowship for those who are trying to get the old cage clean, or to get scoffers converted now.… we do not mess with any but those who are willing to be shut in from the world:… .” [62]
  5. Finally a careful examination of the shared beliefs of Joseph Bates and James and Ellen White, in which they frequently exchanged ideas concerning the Shut-door, gives added certainty as to the meaning of the term Shut-door in her letter to Bates July 13, 1847.
  6. That Bates was one of the original Shut-door believers, is made clear by several letters that he wrote to S. S. Snow in May of 1845. In the first letter he wrote concerning the Albany Conference of Open-door Adventist:

    “Not withstanding the late, to me unlooked-for, proceedings at Albany, and the endorsements they received since in your city, in Philadelphia, and now in Baltimore, and still further. anticipated in Boston, I cannot help believing still that our position is right respecting the cry at midnight, and that we have been to the marriage and the door is shut- not half or three quarters of the way - but effectively. And our fallen brethren will soon see their sad mistake!” [63]

    In a second letter to S. S. Snow in the same month, Bates explained what he saw his work to be since the shutting of the door in Oct. 22, 1844.

    “…but, ‘you say your work is done,’ yes, and we don’t believe that our divine Lord will require us to begin now nor any other time to do it over again for the world. But to comfort, encourage, and strengthen God’s children in this little while, we have as much as we can do.”[64]

    Further on in this same letter Bates refers to the parable of the ten virgins.

    “The parable of the ten virgins shows us clearly that there is a division in the Advent ranks, and that ‘while the foolish went to buy,’ the Bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. Now this looks like knowledge increasing inside and outside of the door. Good Lord save us from falling.

    The division here and at New Bedford (one mile from this,) has already taken place. We have united with our New Bedford brethren, and we can say of a truth that God is with us, and here we feel determined to stand on this rock.” [65]
  7. That Bates, in 1847, continued to believe that the work for the work for the world was finished with the close of probation in 1844, is made clear from the remarks that he made in a broadside containing one of Ellen White’s visions in April of 1847. This broadside complete with his remarks was republished by James White in May of 1847 in A Word to the Little Flock.

    “I believe the work [E. G. White’s visions] is of God, and is given to comfort and strengthen his ‘scattered,’ ‘torn,’ and ‘pealed’ people’ since the closing of our work for the world in Oct, 1844.” [66]
  8. ates further explained his understanding of the Shut-door in a pamphlet Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps that he published in April of 1847.

    “Paul’s Open-door, then, was the preaching the gospel with effect to the Gentiles. Now let this door be shut, and the preaching of this gospel will have no effect. This is what we say is the fact. The gospel message ended at the appointed time with the closing of the 2,300 days; and about every honest believer that is watching the signs of the times will admit it.” [67]
  9. ames White writing just one month later in A Word to the Flock makes a similar comment concerning the Shut-door.

    “From the ascension to the shutting of the door, Oct. 1844, Jesus stood with wide-spread arms of love and mercy; ready to receive, and plead the cause of every sinner, who would come to God by him. On the 10th day of the 7th month, 1844, he passed into the Holy of Holies, where he has since been a merciful high priest over the house of God.”[68]
  10. As if to clear up any doubt about what he meant, James White writing in the May 1850, Present Truth explains:

    “He is still merciful to his saints, and ever will be; and Jesus is still their advocate and priest. But the sinner, to whom Jesus had stretched out his arms all the day long, and who rejected the offers of salvation was left without an advocate, when Jesus passed from the Holy Place, and shut the door in 1844.” [69]
  11. With this background into both Joseph Bates’ and James White’s use of the term Shut-door it is significant that Ellen White, in her July 13, 1847 letter to Joseph Bates, makes no effort to show in any way that she differed in her understanding of the Shut-door from his. Rather the tone of her letter indicates her expectation that Bates will see her Shut-door visions as confirming her prophetic gift.

Because the evidence is so over whelming, Robert Olson of the White Estate, in 1982 felt compelled to acknowledge that E. G. White did believe that her early visions taught that probation had closed for sinners. However, he seeks to lessen the impact of that concession by offering by way of apology that Mrs. White merely misinterpreted her Dec. 1844 vision.

“Ellen misinterpreted this vision. She correctly understood that the day of salvation for the latter two groups was past. For them the door was shut. But she incorrectly concluded that no one could accept Christ after Oct. 22, that only the Little Flock remaining in the household of faith would be saved, and that every one else would be lost.” [70]

Commenting further on the Feb. 1845 vision in her letter to Bates in 1847 Olson continues:

“It appears that 1847 - - the date of this letter to Bates - - Ellen White still held that the door of mercy had been closed for the world in 1844.” [71]

Olson is here attempting to show a distinction between the visions which were truly from God and Ellen White’s interpretation which was fallible because of her humanity. However, well-intentioned his effort, there are a number of problems with Olson’s approach.

  1. Ellen White never admitted to misinterpreting the visions. Rather she ever attempted to explain away the apparent close of probation implications to her first visions. [72]
  2. Ellen White asserted: “I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision, as in having the vision” [73] That being the case it is just as damaging to say she misinterpreted the vision as it is to say that the vision itself is wrong.
  3. Ellen White warned against any attempt to distinguish what was of God from what was merely her own in the visions.
    “Do not by your criticism take out all the force, all the point and power, from the Testimonies. Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom.” [74]
  4. Turn to Appendix IV and V and read the full text of the Dec. 1844 and Feb. 1845 visions. I believe that it is impossible to separate these visions from Ellen White’s interpretation of them. The two are intractably linked and would pose an insurmountable challenge to anyone attempting to offer a valid method for so dividing her visions from her interpretation.[75]
  5. Finally during the Shut-door era, E. G. White insisted that her visions were given to correct people’s mistaken understanding of the Bible . In a vision given Jan. 5, 1849 she says:

“I saw the state of some who stood on present truth, but disregarded the visions, - the way God had chosen to teach in some cases, those who erred from Bible truth. I saw that in striking against the visions they did not strike against the worm - the feeble instrument that God spoke through; but against the Holy Ghost. I saw it was a small thing to speak against the instrument, but it was dangerous to slight the words of God. I saw if they were in error and God chose to show them their errors through visions, and they disregarded the teachings of God through visions, they would be left to take their own way, and run in the way of error, and think they were right, until they would find out to late.” [76]

If Ellen White was to teach and correct people through visions and if then she misinterpreted those very visions so as to believe that probation was closed for the world, what was God’s purpose in giving the visions at all?

Thus, we find E. G. White by 1847 still united with her husband and fellow Shut-door believers in asserting that probation had closed for the world and therefore sinners could no longer be saved. However, if in fact her early visions had revealed to her their error in regards to the Shut-door, and if she had spoken of her views, it would have brought her in open conflict with her fellow Shut-door believers, who would have regarded her as one of the foolish virgins. Instead, we find that it was Ellen White’s visions which strengthened their belief in a doctrine as erroneous as the Shut-door.

Chapter III

CONFLICT BETWEEN THE SHUT-DOOR AND OPEN-DOOR ADVENTISTS 1845 – 1846

The continued conflict between the Shut and Open-door Adventists revolved around several issues. The Shut-door believers were convinced that every aspect of the parable of the Ten Virgins had been fulfilled in the Seventh-month movement with Christ’s coming at the end of the 2300 days, October 22, 1844, as Bridegroom to shut the door of probation on a wicked world. They believed the preaching of definite time to be a test by which God had separated out for himself a peculiar people, and thus for them to question in any way either the possibility that the October 22 date was incorrect or to attempt to continue to save sinners would result in one’s becoming a foolish virgin who would then be excluded from the wedding feast. Furthermore, they expected to be able to know the definite time of Christ’s coming.

The Open-door Adventists, on the other hand, felt that since Christ had not come on October 22, 1844as they had preached, the parable of the Ten Virgins and the shutting of the door at the close of probation could not yet have happened. Since the October 22 date rested on the reliability of human chronology and since the scholars argued for different dates, it was not possible to know the exact termination of the 2300-day prophecy with any certainty. They were, however, certain that Christ would come soon—within a year or two —and that until he did come they must continue to preach the gospel and to warn sinners, so that the world might be prepared for Christ’s coming

The Shut-door Adventists presented their views in Advent Mirror and The Hope of Israel, published by Joseph Turner and John Pearson in Maine, and in The Day Star, published by Enoch Jacobs in Cincinnati. Open-door Adventists published their views in two papers edited by J. V. Hines, The Advent Herald of Boston and the Morning Watch of New York. A careful examination of the pages of these papers will yield a clearer understanding of what each side felt was at stake in the issue of the Shut-door. Joseph Turner and Apolos Hale were the first to publish an extended article on the parable of the Ten Virgins that saw the close of probation as having occurred on October 22, 1844. They believed that every aspect of the parable had been literally fulfilled when Christ came on the October 22 date, not as king in the clouds of glory, but as bridegroom to the heavenly marriage. All who were awaiting his coming then went in with him to an inner chamber and the door was shut. “Shut-door” had a specific meaning for these adherents:

“By this act the shutting of the door) is undoubtedly denoted the exclusion from all further access to saving mercy, those who have rejected its offer during their time of probation.”[77]

“But can any sinner be converted if the door is shut? Of course they cannot, though changes that may appear to be conversions may take place.”[78]

William Miller had already in previous letters indicated his belief that probation had closed; therefore, it is not surprising that we find him in a letter of February 6, 1845 endorsing Turner’s and Hale’s views:

“I presume, Bro. Marsh, you have seen Bro. Hale and Turner’s Advent Mirror, printed in Boston, Jan., 1845, concerning the marriage, in the parable of the Ten Virgins. I do believe in the main that they are correct…”

“My opinion is that it was on the 10th day of the Seventh month, when the great majority of those who are looking for Christ dedicated themselves and all they had to the Lord. There was a division line drawn then… and I have not seen a genuine conversion since…This is great evidence that this view is correct, and that Christ has risen up from his mercy seat and now stands as a Judge at the door.” [79]

For the Shut-door believer there were two great dangers. The first was to be deceived into believing that sinners were still being saved. A letter from a Bro. Williamson in The Day Star of February 18, 1845 expresses well those fears:

“…the mighty effort to baffle the late movement in the advent cause by the reported revivals of religion in the conversion of so many sinners, it only drives them [Shut-door Adventists] closer to God. They look upon it as the last and only effort employed by their father to ‘deceive (if it were possible) the very elect.’ ” [80]

The second danger to be feared was that of discarding the belief that the preaching of the definite time of the second advent was what had tested and separated all of God’s true children from the world. The March 4, 1845 The Day Star republished the following from The Hope of Israel:

“The Adventists have always been a distinct people…What made so visible a distinction between them and the world? It was not merely faith in the literal coming of Christ, for that was the belief of thousands prior to the excitement caused by this people. Neither was it simply believing that event near. Where then began this distinction? The preaching of “definite time” commenced the work.

“…If then the past preaching was authorized by the Most High—if he has in his way separated the precious from the vile, the wheat from the chaff, to affect a union again, would be to surrender a portion of all of these truths. This would be demolishing the dividing wall. This is the manner in which some have crossed the line, and proffered the hand of union to a fallen world.”[81]

Indeed, to give up either the belief in definite time or the close of probation was to Shut-door believers analogous to the action of Lot’s wife, who looked back. The Day Star of April 1, 1845 expresses well this belief:

“It is indeed most solemnly true, that we have come to that part of “the path of the just’ where we have been commanded to go ‘forth to meet the Bridegroom’ (Matt. 25:6), and also to ‘remember Lot’s wife.’ (Luke 17: 29-33) This none of us dare to deny in the Seventh month; in obedience to heaven’s high command we separated ourselves forever from the world, and shall we now presume upon God’s command, and return our eyes, hearts, or affections, upon the city of destruction to which we have bid our last farewell! Why ‘remember Lot’s wife’ in this part of the path? Because, as in her case, a might struggle will arise between the power of human sympathy, and a disposition to strict obedience—while every spirit and temper that savors of this world will be of the former. Friends, unconverted friends, was what turned her eyes back to the city of wrath.…” [82]

The reason the Shut-door believers were so convinced that probation was closed can be understood by the argument that they derived from the typical Day of Atonement. A. Hale in a March 5, 1845 article in The Advent Herald argues that the high priest’s functions on the typical Day of Atonement were accomplished by Christ in the heavenly sanctuary on October 22, 1844. [83] This change of position by Christ, Hale believed, came about when he resigned his mediatorial work in behalf of the world in order for him to become king? Again, Hale makes unmistakably clear what the import of this belief is:

“But can any impenitent sinners be converted if the door is shut? Of course they cannot, though changes that men would call conversions may take place.” [84]

An article in The Hope of Israel later republished in the March 25, 1845 The Day Star, contains even more equivocally Shut-door statements:

“We have never tried to press the flock to labor among the wolves, lest they should be devoured,… We have believed unwaveringly that the mystery of God was finished, when the Cry [Oct. 22, 1844] was finished; and have felt satisfied, that the number of Israel could not possibly be increased, but that the number might, and would be diminished, by every apparent conversion or revival,…” [85] Note: I added the bracketed [Oct. 22, 1844] which is the implied meaning of ‘Cry’.

The article continues by asking what reasons there are for the door being shut:

“Some suppose that the world and the Laodicean church, as a whole are rejected, merely on the grounds of their having shut their eyes to truth. And some portion of the world may be rejected, and not the whole, because they all have not had the same light that some have. But this is not the fact in either case. If the door is shut, it is done by finishing the atonement, on the 10th day of the 7th month, and if the atonement is not finished then the door is not shut, and all who come to Christ in any land may yet be saved.

“…….. Then the atonement being finished, as must be on that day: He leaves on the clouds, to obtain the throne—as we have before shown. —The great objection urged against the argument of the 10th day, is then without weight, for He must go in and come out, on the same day…hence no more blood can be obtained, for Jesus dies no more.” [86]

If, then, the atonement was completed on October 22, 1844, as the argument goes, the destiny of all sinners had been forever fixed The only changes that could now take place would be for believers to give up their faith and thus be lost.

Of special significance at this point is the fact that James White endorsed this view of the atonement in 1845. In a letter dated August 19 of that year he first notes with approval the message that The Day Star has been proclaiming: “The Day. Star shines gloriously. We down East are happy to catch a single ray from its brilliant light.” [87]

After mentioning the trials the Shut-door bands in Maine have gone through, James White continues by relating E. G. Harmon’s first vision and appears to see a complete agreement between it and the position of The Day Star.[88] In a second letter to The Day Star in September, 1845 he comments:

“The fall of Babylon commenced in the spring of ‘43 when the churches all around began to fall into a cold state, and was completed on the 7th month ‘44, when the last faint ray of hope was taken up from a wicked world and church.”[89]

A little further in this letter, White continues:

“The year of his redeemed, or the year in which he will redeem his people commenced when the atonement ended, and will not close till the waiting sons of the morning shall plant their glad feet in the golden streets of the City of God.”[90]

A corollary to the belief that the atonement ended on October 22, 1844 was the belief that this Day of Atonement ushered in the Jubilee year and that Christ would came by the end of the Jubilee, on October 22, 1545. James White indicates his endorsement of this belief not only in his statements above, but also in his last words from the same letter:

“Do we know what watch the Lord is coming? Certainly. Three have passed, and there is but four. All who see this light will receive a certainty that before the 10th day of the 7th month 1845 [Oct. 22, 1845], our King will come, and we will watch, and like Noah know the day. (Rev. 3:3)”[91]

The Open-door Adventists objected to each of the points that the Shut-door Adventists regarded as testing truths. Regarding the fact that the preaching of definite time in October 22, 1844 was the test that had separated God’s people forever from the world, F. C. Brown offers this apology:

“In so doing, we now confess we have honestly erred.…”After all our ingenuity has been spent in attempting to learn the exact time for the Advent, and we have found that the main pillars of our hope are not sufficient in this particular to support us longer…We are therefore bound, in all deference to the Word of God to abandon our ground of definite time.”[92]

In what appeared to the Shut-door Adventists to be returning to make union with a fallen world, F. C. Brown continues:

“Nor should it be overlooked that one of the chief objections to our views is thus so far removed, that we may hope to receive no small addition to our ranks from among all the humble and devoted who heartily love Jesus and his appearing, but whose faith has never been adequate to grasp a definite point of time for that event.”[93]

Responding in the February 6, 1845 The Morning Watch to Turner and Hale’s January, 1845 Advent Mirror concerning the Shut-door, Bro. Storrs writes:

“I think I see how these dear men have been led into what I conceive is a dangerous error, paralyzing all further exertion for the salvation of men, it is an unwillingness to admit that we as Adventists have been wrong on any of our positions.”[94]

Storrs continues by noting that although Turner and Hale felt that admitting any error would necessarily mean “we have been wrong in every position behind us. . .”, in fact in order for them to have arrived at their Shut-door conclusions they would have first had to admit that Adventists had been wrong concerning the event to take place on October 22, 1844.[95]

Referring to Turner’s and Hale’s tentative “ifs” and “possibilities”, Storrs isolates what he feels to be the greatest danger in accepting Shut-door views—a danger which was far more serious than any which might have resulted from preaching a definite times while Open-door Adventists continues to labor for the salvation of sinners, Shut-door adherents ceased all such efforts, thus depriving the sinner of any further opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.

“…..the first error (Seventh-month movement) was not altogether unaccompanied with efforts to save souls from death; but this (Shut-door), if received, is to put an entire quietus on our consciences, as to any responsibility to seek the salvation of men.”[96]

In the February 20, 1845 issue of The Morning Watch J. V. Himes continues the Open-door Adventists’ attack on Turner and Hale’s Shut-door interpretation of the parable of the Ten Virgins. Himes objects to the Cry of the Seventh month as being the true and final Cry for the following reasons:

1. “The Cry of the 7th month was a local and partial one—it was confined to this country. Although there are thousands of holy and devoted Adventists in Europe… yet the Seventh-month movement produced no influence there.”[97]

2. In answer to the question of whether the Bridegroom came, Himes notes:

“Did he come spiritually? No. He has never been absent spiritually, and that would not fulfill the parable. The Bridegroom always comes in person…For Christ to be married in heaven, while the guest are on the earth would be a strange way to go in with him to the wedding A strange fulfillment of the Scriptures, this.”[98]

3. As to the question of whether the door was shut or not, Himes makes this observation:

“It is true, that, without exception, wherever brethren, instead of preaching salvation, have preached no more salvation—as they have sown, so have they reaped —and no souls have been converted from their labors. But when brethren have gone forth, to compel them to come in that the wedding may be furnished with guests, many have been brought in from the highways and hedges.”[99]

4. Concerning the parable itself he asks, “And would a parable be given to liken the coming of Christ in which every minute circumstance of his coming, except his actual coming, should be presented, and that left out?”[100]

5. Quoting Matt. 24: 23-27 concerning the signs of Christ’s coming, he argues:

“‘Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold he is in the desert, go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers, Believe it not.’ Why may we not believe it? May it not be possible that he is in the secret chamber, the nuptial chamber, having the marriage ceremony performed? No. ‘For as the lightning shineth out of the east, and shineth even to the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’” [101]

Hale had argued that the “heavenly things” of Hebrews9:23 which must be cleansed with better things than animal blood referred to Christ’s cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary on the anti-typical Day of Atonement, October 22, 1844. However, Bliss countered this line of reasoning by correctly noting:

“This sacrifice was offered ‘once when he offered up himself,’ Heb. 7:27. He then ascended to the Father and ‘entered once into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us’ 9:12; ‘for Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us,’ 9:24. Christ having done this, ‘after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his foot-stool; for by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified, —10:12-14. This preparation must therefore have all been made, not on the 22nd of October, but eighteen hundred years ago.”[102]

Bliss employed another parable of Christ to show why he believed Christians must continue to preach to sinners until Christ comes:

“We believe that while God spares the world, it is on account of his long suffering, which waited in the days of Noah 120 years, —he was so unwilling that any should perish; and that it is the imperative duty of all to labor in the vineyard until the Master shall come at even to reckon with them.”[103]

It was this, then, which Bliss perceived to be the real danger in adhering to the Shut-door. If one believed that the door was shut, he would, consequently, be found doing nothing for sinners when Christ comes.

The Open-door Adventists realized that perhaps far more convincing than the texts the Shut-door believers cited was the experience of the autumn of 1844 which convinced them that the door was shut. The Hope of Israel, a Shut-door paper, expresses the impact of that experience in this manner:

“So also the cry which began the last July, has had a finish—it was made, and had an end. We were all engaged in extending the Cry, we were driven day and night, until about the beginning of the Seventh month, when unexpectedly, throughout the host of God’s elect, a sound within the soul said, it is Done. The watchmen were called from the walls, the Advent papers through the land bearing the cry were stopped.”[104]

The article continues by explaining what it saw to be the significance of that subjective feeling:

“. . .We were all enabled to see the walls of separation that were put between the world and us on the 10th day of the 7th month, ‘having done the will of God,’ and with one consent exclaimed, our work for earth is done. “…Christ is this door, he also is the vine, and we the branches. He having risen up, the door is Shut; and every living branch is raised up with him; —their prayers for rebels hushed and all unholy sympathies dried up forever.”[105]

Josiah Litch, an Open-door Adventist:, tried to indicate the danger of relying on experiences and feelings in an article entitled, “Did the Bridegroom Come in 1843?”:

“‘But what,’ it may be asked, ‘do you mean by such a question as this—Did the Bridegroom come in 1843?’ I mean this—that by the same arguments which you bring to prove that Christ came in October last, I will prove he came in 1843.”[106]

He continued by summarizing the feelings the Millerites had experienced concerning the Midnight Cry of 1843:

  1. The Midnight Cry was the true cry.
  2. They had the powerful witness of the Holy Spirit that it was true.
  3. The preaching of it brought a wonderful effect.
  4. God was evidently in the work.
  5. It followed logically that if the Cry of ‘43 was the true cry, then Christ had come into the marriage and the door was shut in 1843.

Litch continued by pointing to the danger to which a belief such as the Shut-door, subjective as it was, could lead if Christ did not come at the time of the Jubilee, when the Shut-door adherents expected him. Rather than admit that they were mistaken, they might take “… the ground of a spiritual coming, and a spiritual resurrection, and a spiritual Jubilee, for they can not be wrong.”[107]

Finally, Litch summed up his own belief:

“I believe the whole advent movement from the days of Edward Irving, to be the true cry, and that at the appointed time the Bridegroom will come, and they that are ready go in with him to the marriage: and I also believe that time to be very near.”[108]

In addition to sound reasoning from scripture, the evidence that seemed the most convincing to the Open-door Adventists in support of their stance was that when they preached the gospel, sinners were converted. Writing in the February 20, 1845 The Morning Watch, B. T. Young states:

“According to the views of some, who give an exposition of Matt. 25th, there is no opportunity for sinners to obtain pardon now, unless they were penitent on or before, the 23d of October, last. Is it true?”[109]

After mentioning a revival in which 200 people had come to Christ Young continues:

“Since the 10th of the 7th month, two of the persons referred to as having been converted, came to my house…They were un-regenerated when they came; and, as one now confesses, in a conversation with me, was convicted of sin, and shortly after found Jesus a precious Savior to his soul.”[110]

Similarly, J. V. Himes, reporting on a trip through Canada and northern Vermont, writes:

“Our brethren in this region are publishing a free and full salvation to sinners. And they assure me if ever God heard their prayers, and converted souls by their instrumentality, he is doing it now…I am more confirmed than ever since I came to this province, that Jesus yet sits upon the mercy seat, and that sinners may come to him in the certain hope of salvation… I have had the pleasure to see score of these converts, and hear them testify of the forgiving mercy of God, and plead with sinners to come to Christ, assuring them from their own experience that Jesus yet lives to save the chief of sinners.”[111]

In fact it was this trip through Canada and Vermont with its many reported conversions which convinced Miller that the door of probation could not be shut. Himes visited Miller in Low Hampton, H. Y. on March 8 and 9 of 1845 and reports the following:

“For a little time, he cherished some views, relating to the door of mercy, and the coming of the Bridegroom, that were not in strict accordance with the above principles of exposition [that the parable of the Ten Virgins applies to the Second Coning]. The peculiar and striking circumstances of the time, led him into the view. But, the fact of souls being converted in different places, as formerly, at once showed the mistake which he readily and cheerfully corrected.”[112]

Immediately following Himes’ visit Miller wrote a letter, dated March 10, 1845 to The Morning Watch in which he urged:

“And I now plead with those who have supposed the door to be shut, to yield the point to our brethren of the opposite view; for it is evident at present that all evidence is against it being now shut, if we can believe the reports of our brethren from different parts; and surely my soul will not permit me to doubt their veracity, who have been with us as pioneers in the work of calling up the world to this important point of our faith—the Second Advent of Jesus.”[113]

Thus, by April of 1845, when the Albany Conference convened, Miller found himself united with Himes, Bliss, and virtually all prominent Adventist leaders in rejecting the Shut-door. The conference unanimously approved a statement of what Adventists believed, which included the following Open-door comment:

“That the Second Coming is indicated to be now emphatically nigh,… And that this truth should be preached both to saints and sinners, that the first may rejoice, knowing their redemption draweth nigh, and the last be warned to flee from the wrath to come, before the Master of the house shall rise up and Shut the door.”[114]

“Miller addressed the conference and warned them against allowing various speculations to divide the Advent believers. He urged, instead, that the Christian graces of love, patience, and prayer might overcome prideful sectarian differences.”[115]

Himes and Miller continued to attempt a union of the Adventists by holding further conferences, the first of which was in New York on May 6, 1845. There delegate after delegate testified to having had experiences similar to that of Bro. L. Kimbal, who recounted his reaction to the October 22, 1844 disappointment. Himes records it thus:

“He was at first a little disposed to favor the idea that the door of mercy was closed against the sinner; but by presenting his inquiries he learned of conversions and at once abandoned this notion and again entered the field to occupy until the Lord should come. He has also been an eye-witness of the power of God since that time. Those that never had indulged a hope and were never informed concerning the Advent, were converted and are still living epistles of the mercy extended to the sinner.”[116]

At the Advent Conference held in Boston, May 26-27, 1845 both Himes and Miller testified that when they actually began to work for sinners it seemed that a spell was broken.[117] However, this open rejection of the Shut-door, many reported, had brought a sharp reaction from Shut-door believers who called anyone who attempted to save sinners one of the foolish virgins: “Brother E. [Eastman] said he had been thrown by as a foolish virgin because he would preach the gospel to sinners.”[118]

Finally, in a letter to the May 22 The Morning Watch a certain Bro. Bartholomew wrote that the reports of conversions coming in from so many different places either proved positively that the door had not been shut in 1844, or that all of these conversions were in fact the deception of Satan. He for one, however, did not think the latter to be so. [119]

In The Morning Watch of June 12 of that year Himes reports a visit with Miller and a group of Shut-door believers in Ellen Harmon’s hometown of Portland, Maine. After referring to J. Turner’s view that 6,000 years were finished and the millennial Sabbath had begun in which no one was to work, Himes notes:

“While waiting in this position of idleness, as to worldly manual labor, a new light as it was thought, shone upon Bro. Turner’s mind, viz., that the Bridegroom had come—that he came on the 10th of the 7th month, of the Jewish year last part —that the marriage then took place.—that all the virgins then, in some sense, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was Shut! None of these could be lost and none without could be saved.”[120]

He then notes that according to a day-for-a-year reckoning, if the Midnight Cry was truly given in August, 1844, then Christ would have come prior to June, 1845, Hines concludes:

“There is now no view which we can take of the Seventh-month movement, which makes it a final one. Time has demonstrated our mistakes respecting it. Then let us all abandon our errors, and return to our duty as honest, faithful servants. The door of salvation being open wide, and the gospel still sounding a sweet release to all the perishing sons of Adam, let us as ministers and members of the church of Christ awake, and engage with new zeal and interest in the work of God.

“Above all, we must watch and pray always, that when the Son of Man cometh, we may be found of him in peace.”[121]

By July of 1845 William Miller had printed a 36-page tract entitled Apology and Defense in which he attempted to explain his present understanding of the 2300-day prophecy and of how it related to October 22, 1844. His statements reveal a decided rejection of all sectarian attitudes which tended only to divide Christians from each other. Notable among the points Miller makes are the following:

1. Adventists had been mistaken in applying the term “Babylon” to all other Christian churches and that this had needlessly created prejudice and hostility between Adventists and other Christians who had not accepted their date-setting.[122]

2. He had never felt that what he regarded as speculations that Christ would come on Oct. 22, 1844, should have been made a salvation test. Further, he had only endorsed the movement within two or three weeks of that date, because it had grown so large and the date appeared to be a probable one for Christ’s return.[123]

3. He had for a time believed that the Adventist work for the world had been finished.[124]

4. As time went on, however, he had become alarmed at the extreme sectarian spirit manifested by many Adventist groups who sought to disfellowship all who did not agree with them.[125]

5. He had been wrong on his chronology, and if other dates were correct, Christ’s coming would not be more than a few years away. He was thus determined to “…live in continual expectation of the event.” [126]

6. He felt the continued need to call sinners to repentance and faith in Christ so that they might be prepared for Christ’s coming.[127]

While Miller and Himes showed an open, kind, and accepting attitude towards the Shut-door believers who, they concluded, were honest in their attempt to follow and honor God, the Shut-door believers manifested the extremely sectarian spirit that had so alarmed Miller. They denounced Open-door Adventists as foolish virgins in the most severe language. Enoch Jacobs reacted to the Open-door Adventists in the June 24, 1845 Day Star by insisting that the Shut-door Adventists were the only true Adventists. Of those who had returned to the work of winning sinner she writes:

“They no doubt really feel that it will be but a small matter for the Almighty to waive the teachings of the past, and just open again the door of access to the world, and churches, to save their otherwise tarnished honor.”[128]

J. D. Pickands further underlined the Shut-door believers’ position when he stated concerning the Open-door Adventists:

“But are not the foolish virgins Shut out, and are they not crying Lord, Lord, open unto us? I answer, they as well as the wise are shut out from access to the world and churches for the effectual proclamation of the truth as it is in Jesus. The foolish are trying to preach what they call truth, but what contradicts the word and providence of God—and then they cannot gain the ear of the church or world. These back-sliding Adventists who complained as piteously that we would not still preach and pray for the conversion of sinners have now abundantly shown their hypocrisy, for their main efforts are aimed at the overthrow of our views and their own recovery and exaltation, and the sinners and Babylonians are none the better for anything they can or will do for them.”[129]

In the late summer and early fall of 1845, just as the Shut-door believers had concluded that the Open-door Adventists were foolish virgins, the editors of the two Shut-door papers in Maine gave up belief in the Shut-door. Writing to the readers of The Hope of Israel in the September 3, 1845 The Advent Herald, John Pearson explains the reasons for his change of postures:

  1. The hard, judging and unforgiving spirit of the Shut-door believers was not in character with the real working of God’s Spirit.[130]
  2. The division within the Adventist ranks was not fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins, because that parable will only reach its fulfillment at the second Coming of Christ. Careful reasoning showed that the parables of Matt. 24 - 25 all reach their fulfillment together when Christ comes in the clouds of glory.[131]
  3. “The new Tests of Salvation - a belief that the bridegroom has come - that the door is Shut, etc., are not agreeable to the Word of God, by which we shall be judged at the last days.”[132]

Bro. Jacobs in The Day Star said of Pearson’s article, “It is a regular confess over which an editor of The Advent Herald is rejoicing—inasmuch as Bro. J. Pearson has returned to his first love.”[133] In reply Pearson noted that Jacob’s judgment of him was:

“…one evidence, among many, of the truth of my remarks…that those who claim to be in the right, and are teaching that a division must take place in the Advent ranks before the Lord shall be revealed, do not possess the graces of the Spirit, nor that charity that suffereth long, and is kind; that thinketh no evil.”[134]

In response to the question of what his first love was, John Pearson replied:

“It was love to God and my blessed Savior; and consequently, it exhibited itself in loving and obeying all the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”[135]

John Pearson then answered several other questions that Jacobs had posed about why his article had been published by Himes and whether anyone else had influenced him to change his views. He asks that Jacobs furnish him with the name of the person who gave him this evil report. C. H. Pearson, John’s brother, confessed in a letter to Jacobs on September 22 that he had originated the misunderstanding concerning his brother, because he had felt that John’s confession:

“…was really a trap for such as entertained the faith of the closed door. Upon reading the Sheet, I was satisfied that nothing ever put forth upon this subject, was so well calculated to shake the faith of such; not only for its contents, but coming as it did from one that had publicly advocated those views.”[136]

In fact, John Pearson’s argument was so compelling that his brother gave up the Shut-door and halted publication of The Hope Within the Veil. In a letter to the October 8, 1845 The Voice of Truth C. H. Pearson explained his actions:

“The thought that we were sending forth error weighted like an incubus upon my heart. In addition to this my attention was arrested, by what appeared to me to be the moral of the parable of the Ten Virgins, as found in verse 13th.

‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ From this it seemed clear that the coming of the Bridegroom and of the Son of man were one and the same.”[137]

James White reacted to what to him appeared to be apostasy by stating in a letter to the October 11, 1845 Day Star:

“Bless God, dear Brother, there are many in Maine, who stand firm on the truth, unmoved, fixed, that we have had the ‘True Midnight Cry’, and of course the Bridegroom has come, and the door is Shut; if not, a true Midnight Cry has told a lie.”[138]

Further in the letter he charges, “Brethren J. and C. H. Pearson, and E. C. Clemons, have given up the Shut-door, and are doing all they can to drag others to outer darkness.”[139]

James White went even further to assert that the fall of C. H. Pearson and E. C. Clemons was the result of the denial of their faith as indicated by their plans to get married. Enoch Jacobs, James White, and others at this time felt it was a denial of faith and sin to marry so soon before Christ’s coming. In fact, Jacobs finally carried this belief to its logical conclusion by urging celibacy on all who would be part of the 144,000 and he himself withdrew to a Shaker commune in the fall of 1846 there to await the Lord’s return.

O. R. L. Crosier, who in a few months would write the sanctuary article that E. G. White would endorse in vision, likewise indicated in the October 11 issue of The Day Star his belief in the Shut-door and his dismay that the editors of The Hope Within the Veil would reject this truth. He continues by quoting a portion of a letter that E. C. Clemons had written to him to explain her reasons for giving up the Shut-door. These reasons indicated the influence which Joseph Turner’s views, as expressed in the January, 1845 Advent Mirror had had on her:

“Well I do feel more and more confirmed that we have been snared to interpret the parable as we have, by Bro. Joseph Turner—who, even supposing him the Lord’s, weaves theories too ingeniously to be safe as a teacher.”[140]

In the May, 1850 issue of Present Truth the Shut-door SDA pioneers charged the Open-door Adventists with continuing to set dates for the coming of Christ, because they (Open-door adherents) refused to accept the fact that the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 had in fact ended in October, 1844 with the shutting of the door.”[141] It is true that Miller’s looking for a future ending within a year or two of the 2300 days did encourage the Open-door Adventists to set further dates for Christ’s coming. However, the evidence clearly indicates that the Shut-door Adventists who were settled on the October 22 date likewise continued to speculate and set dates for Christ’s second coming.

Writing in April, 1845, 0. R. L. Crosier asserted that the anti-typical Day of Atonement would take one year, according to the day-for-a-year principle of prophecy. He believed that the first half of that year from the spring to the fall of 1844 was occupied in the tarrying time:

“During that time he Christ waited to be gracious and through his faithful servants gave the last call of mercy to the world. Then on the tenth day of the seventh month (Oct. 23, 1844)… Jesus closed the tarrying time by entering upon the office of bridegroom or the final atonement for his people which is to occupy the last half of the present Jewish month and will end about the 20th or 21st of this month.”[142]

It is even claimed by a critic of E. G. Harmon, Lucinda Burdick, that the former had predicted Christ would come first in June and then in September of 1845:

“During the year 1845 I met Miss Ellen G. Harmon several times at my Uncle’s house in South Windham, Me. The first of these meeting was in the month of May, when I heard her declare that God had revealed to her that Jesus Christ would return to this earth in June, the next month. During the haying season I again met her in company with James White at the same place, and heard my Uncle ask her about the failure of the Lord to appear in June according to her visions. She replied that she had been told in the language of Canaan which she did not understand that Christ would return in September, at the second growth of grass instead of the first.”[143]

While care must be exercised in accepting a critic’s testimony at face value, especially in light of the fact that there is no other independent source to confirm this account, still Mrs. Burdick’s account does possess at least a measure of credibility, considering that what she recalls about E. G. White’s other visions and James White’s preaching on the Shut-door can be independently confirmed from primary documents.[144]

Whether or not E. G. Harmon did in fact predict Christ’s return in June and in September of 1845, we do know that among Shut-door believers there continued to be intense speculation as to His coming. Writing in The Jubilee Standard, May 29, 1845, and using prophetic speculation, Hiram Edison also expected Christ to come in fulfillment of the 1335 days of Daniel12:12 by August of 1845 at the very latest.[145]

James White, writing in The Day Star of September 20, 1845, reasoned that Christ would come on the tenth day of the seventh month in 1845 at the completion of the year of Jubilee: “The Midnight Cry, we say, was the antitype of the trumpet blown in the 49th year. So last year was the 49th, this is the 50th or Jubilee.”[146] Further in his letter White gives the assurance that:

“The year of his redeemed, or the year in which he will redeem his people commenced when the atonement ended, and will not close till the waiting Sons of the morning shall plant their glad feet in the golden streets of the City of God.”[147]

When October came and went without Christ’s return, H. B. Woodcock, using the same basic reasoning as James White, found a way to extend the time until the Passover of 1846.[148] F. B. Hahn, a Seventh-day Sabbath keeper closely associated with Edson, Bates, Crosier, and the White’s, recalculated the 1335 days in the April 2, 1847 Day Dawn to demonstrate conclusively that Christ would come in the spring of 1847.[149]

Finally, it appears that Joseph Bates was the last of the SDA pioneers to set a date for Christ’s coming. He believed that Christ would come seven years after October, 1844, when he wrote in 1850:

“The seven spots of blood on the Golden Altar and before the Mercy Seat, I fully believe represents the duration of the judicial proceedings on the living saints in the Most Holy, all of which time they will be in their affliction, even seven years; God by his voice will deliver them, ‘For it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul’ Lev. 26:11. Then the number seven will finish the day of atonement (not redemption). Six months of this time, I understand, Jesus will be gathering in the harvest with his sickle, on the White Cloud.”[150]

After so many repeated failures at setting dates for the coming of Christ, based on a confident appeal to various Old Testament types and chronological calculations from the book of Daniel, one would think that the Shut-door Adventists might have questioned the validity of their reasoning as to the Shut-door theory itself. It should be noted that the only difference between this type of reasoning which convinced them that probation had closed in October of 1844 and the reasoning that Christ would return in April, May, August, or October of 1845 was that each date was successively proved to be erroneous when Christ did not in fact come. However, since Christ’s entrance into the Most Holy place in heaven was spiritual and beyond the ability of anyone to disprove absolutely and visibly in the same way as it could be demonstrated that he had not come in the clouds of glory, the Shut-door Adventists seemed to have no pressing reason to challenge or to reexamine the thinking that had led to their belief that probation was closed.

With the failure of the Lord to come in April of 1847, James White in A Word to the Little Flock, May, 1847, sought to credit the E. G. Harmon visions with revealing the error of believing Christ would come in October of 1845:

“It is well known that many were expecting the Lord to come at the 7th month, 1845. That Christ would then come we firmly believed. A few days before the time passed, I was in Fairhaven and Dartmouth, Mass. with a message on this point of time. At this time, Ellen was with the band at Carver, Mass., where she saw in vision, that we would be disappointed, and that the saints must pass through the time of Jacob’s trouble, which was future.”[151]

In the March 14, 1846 The Day. Star E. G. Harmon does refer to a vision she had had around October, 1845 in which she had seen that the time of Jacob’s trouble was yet future. However, she does not indicate at this time that her vision was given prior to the disappointment of October, 1845 or that the vision had indeed saved Advent believers from being disappointed.[152] What is stranger still, if James White’s account in A Word to the Little Flock is to be credible, is why he fails to mention in his November 19, 1845 letter to The Day Star either the E. G. Harmon vision or the future time of Jacob’s trouble as the reason for the disappointment in October, 1845. In fact, James offers an entirely different explanation for the passing of time, namely that the “powers of the heavens have not yet been shaken.”[153]

In this incident we have an example of what will be repeated many times in the future as James and Ellen White look back on her earlier visions and interpret them in ways that seem to indicate the providential leading of God. The problem, however, is that as one looks at the contemporary evidence of what the visions meant at the time they were given, one comes to realize that the later interpretations often totally conflict with the initial understanding, which itself raises a host of questions.

For example, in the particular incident cited above one might assume that the scattered believers, discouraged by yet another disappointment, needed to know then in October of 1845 that God was still leading them—not two years later in May of 1847, when James White offered his explanation in A Word to the Little Flock. Why, then, would James withhold such encouraging news—that God was still leading them through vision and that the time of Jacob’s trouble was yet future —for two years and even appear entirely ignorant of it himself, when he had already mentioned E. G. Harmon’s first vision to the readers of The Day Star in August of 1845?

Just what was E. G. White’s attitude toward the Open-door or nominal Adventists, as they were considered? Though years later we find Mrs. White in Christ’s Object Lessons accepting and applying the Open-door Adventists’ interpretation of the parable of the Ten Virgins to the Second Coming with no mention of 1844,[154] in 1844-1851 she opposed the Open-door Adventists as rejected of God.

In a letter in The Day Star of December 6, 1845, Eli Curtis applied the term “nominal Adventists” to those who opposed the Shut-door.[155] Two years later in a letter to Ellen White he expressed his feeling that these nominal or professed Adventists would at last be saved. Note, however, Mrs. White’s response in A Word to the Little Flock to Eli Curtis:

“You think that those who worship before the Saints’ feet (Rev. 3:9), will at last be saved Here I must differ with you; for God shew me that this class were professed Adventists, who had fallen away, and ‘crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to open shame.’ And in the ‘hour of temptation,’ which is yet to come, to show out everyone’s true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the Saints’ feet. . .

“The Lord has shown me in vision, that Jesus rose up and shut the door, and entered the Holy of Holies, at the 7th month, 1844: but Michael’s standing up (Daniel12:1) to deliver His people, is still in the future.[156]

Despite the force of White’s condemnation, however, it should be remembered that the Open-door Adventists had sound Biblical and experiential reasons for believing that probation had not in fact closed. Since even SDA apologists today must concede that probation did not close for the wicked world in October of 1844, must they not also be prepared to allow that some of the hundreds of conversions reported, in the Open-door Adventists’ papers during the years 1845 - 1851 were genuine? Surely God continued to save sinners during the so-called Shut-door period (1844-1851); and if this is so, he certainly would have used the Open-door Adventists and other Christians from the so called ‘nominal churches’ to preach the gospel to those sinners, since the Shut-door Adventist felt it a denial of a faith to attempt to save sinners. Subsequently, these Open-door Adventists felt justified in rejecting the Shut-door arguments, because they had seen with their own eyes sinners still being saved.

However, a careful examination of Ellen White’s visions during the Shut-door era indicates that she regarded all reported conversions as an attempt to deceive God’s true children. Her first vision revealed what she believes to have happened to those who rejected the idea that the true Midnight Cry had been sounded and probation had closed:

“Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led then out so far. The light behind them went out which left them in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected.”[157]

Ellen White stated (in the Bates letter of 1847) that it was her February, 1845 vision that had confirmed the advent band in the Shut-door. She saw that all who did not realize that Christ had left the Holy Place and gone into the Holy of Holies were now in fact praying to Satan. Furthermore, all who rejected the special light of the Midnight cry and Shut-door she saw leave the company of those praying to Jesus in the Holy of Holies and “at once received the unholy influence of Satan.”[158]

Mrs. White continued to have other visions during the Shut-door period that offered the same denunciations in even stronger language. Recounting a vision of March 24, 1849 she writes:

“Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God’s people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever.

“My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it, for the time for their salvation was past.”[159]

It, therefore, seems conclusive that Mrs. White understood her first vision in December of 1844 to teach that all who had abandoned the importance of the Midnight Cry and Shut-door because of the reports of conversions and who had begun to work again to save sinners had been deceived of Satan and had fallen off the path to the wicked world below.

“Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led then out so far. The light behind them went out which left them in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected.”[160]

The early SDA pioneers, including E. G. White, felt forced to conclude that the door of probation had closed, because they had linked Daniel 8:14 with the parable of the Ten Virgins; thus, they could see no suitable termination of the 2300 days other than October 22, 1844. That they were trying to be faithful to their understanding of Bible truth is indisputable. However, this same commitment to truth also characterized the Open-door Adventists whose understanding of Matthew 25:1-12 was, in fact, correct, while that of the Shut-door believers was not. How can it be valid, then, to say as did Ellen White in 1883 about her continued belief in the Shut-door:

“I was shown in vision and I still believe that there was a Shut-door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels’ messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer plead with them.”[161]

E. G. White could and did grant a few exceptions, as in the case of William Miller:

“So also I saw that William Miller erred as he was soon to enter the heavenly Canaan, in suffering his influence to go against the truth. Others led hint to this, others must account for it. But angels watch the precious dust of this servant of God, and he will come forth at the sound of the trumpet.”[162]

However, such exceptions did not invalidate what she viewed as the general rule.

It should be noted that what Ellen White meant by the Open‑door Adventists rejecting their faith was not that they no longer believed the gospel of Christ and Him crucified or the soon-coming of Christ in power and glory, but that they did not accept the Shut-door believers’ interpretation of what had happened October 22, 1844. Thus, it seems that the Shut-door Adventists had fallen into the very danger which Martin Luther had warned against:

“It is indeed true that some passages of Scripture are dark; however, they contain nothing but precisely that which is found at other places in clear, open passages. But now the heretics come on, understand the dark passages according to their own mind, and contend with them against the clear passages, the foundation of our faith.”[163]

The New Testament clearly and repeatedly states that if we believe that Christ died for our sins and if we accept Him as Savior and Lord, we are justified through His blood (Romans 5:6-11). How, then, could someone in 1844-1851, who by faith had accepted the clear gospel message of the New Testament, be lost because he or she did not accept the Shut-door Adventists’ understanding of Daniel 8:14?

The problem with making correct understanding of the difficult passages of Scripture a salvation issue (and Daniel 8:14 is surely a difficult verse, compared with John 3:16) is that a person’s salvation then rests upon correct knowledge, rather than on Christ alone. It should be emphasized again at this point that the reason the Open-door Adventists rejected the first and second angels’ messages as given in 1844 was because they correctly understood at that time that the parable of the Ten Virgins applied to the Second Coming. In fact, their interpretation of this parable was endorsed by Ellen White herself in 1900 and if she had correctly interpreted the parable in 1845, she would have found herself among the group of Adventists whom she had labeled forever damned.[164]

It was the Shut-door Adventists’ very preoccupation with attempting to correctly understand every aspect of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8:14 that prevented them from achieving any clear understanding of the gospel. Joseph Bates, writing in Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps in April, 1847, explains why the Shut-door and the gospel were not compatible:

“Paul’s Open-door, then, was the preaching of the gospel with effect to the Gentiles. Now let this door be shut, and the preaching of this gospel will have no effect. This is what we say is the fact. The gospel message ended at the appointed time with the closing of the 2300 days; and almost every honest believer that is watching the signs of the times will believe it.”[165]

Perhaps, the most accurate presentation of the pioneers’ concept of the gospel is given by James White:

“The keeping of the fourth commandment is all important present truth; but this alone will not save anyone. We must keep all ten of the commandments, and strictly follow all the directions of the New Testament, and have living, active faith in Jesus. Those who would be found ready to enter the Saints’ rest, at the appearing of Christ, must live wholly, wholly for Jesus now.”[166]

In addition, James White held to anti-Trinitarian views which denied the full deity of Christ:

“The way spiritualizes this way have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed, viz., that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, though they have not one passage to support it, while we have plain Scripture testimony in abundance that he is the Son of the eternal God.”[167]

It would seem that an accurate understanding of the gospel of justification by faith alone and of the full deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is much more centrally important to salvation than a proper understanding of Daniel 8:14. Yet, though our pioneers certainly lacked such an understanding, none today would level against them the judgment with which they condemned all other Christians of their day, namely that the door was shut to them because of their hesitation to accept what Shut-door adherents considered to be ‘present truth.’

Chapter IV

THE SHUT-DOOR AND CHRIST’S ENTRANCE INTO THE MOST HOLY PLACE

As mentioned in Chapter III, it was Joseph Turner’s concept of Christ’s coming as the Bridegroom to the heavenly marriage (published in the Advent Mirror in January, 1845) that initially allowed the Shut-door Adventists to retain faith both in the October 22 date and in the Shut-door. Turner tended to see the priestly work of Christ as finished, which implied that all true believers were already sealed and could not be lost. Since sins were no longer being forgiven, it was a short step from this assumption to a belief in the perfectionism of man.

Although E. G. White’s vision of February, 1845 helped to correct the errors of Turner’s view of the Bridegroom by showing that Christ did indeed have a continuing ministry in the Most Holy Place, she continued to perpetuate the Shut-door error by linking it with Christ’s entrance into the Most Holy Place: “The Lord has shown me in vision that Jesus rose up, and shut the door, and entered the Holy of Holies, at the 7th month, 1844. . .”[168]

As she understood it, when Christ’s work as High Priest in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary ceased on October 22, 1844, He had shut that door and opened the door into the Most Holy Place. This same February, 1845 vision underlined what she saw to be the critical importance of understanding that Christ had moved from the Holy into the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary . It also showed the condition of those shut out in Oct. 22, 1844.

“Then Jesus rose up from the throne and most of those who were bowed down rose up with him. And I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to this careless multitude after he rose up, and they were left in perfect darkness. . .

Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to him in the holiest, and pray, ‘My Father, give us thy Spirit.’ Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.

I turned to look at the company who were still posed 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.” [169]

That the Adventist regarded what Ellen White related in vision as finding its fulfillment in their time, rather than at some point in the future, is clarified by an article in Present Truth, December, 1849 by David Arnold. After making an extensive parallel of the parable of the Ten Virgins with the Adventist experience of 1844 and onward, he explains the significance of Christ’s entering the Most Holy Place and shutting the door to the first apartment. Just as the typical High Priest fulfilled Lev. 16:17, so also Christ in the antitypical fulfillment in 1844 would:

“……cease to be a priest in the first apartment of the true tabernacle for the sins of the whole world, and put on the holy garments, and, with the true Israel of God inscribed on His breast- plate of Judgment, go in with them before the mercy-seat,…”[170]

Further in the article he continues that Christ,

“…passed within the second veil, bearing before the Father, on the breast-plate of judgment, all for whom he is now acting as intercessor. If this is the position that Christ now occupies, then there is no intercessor in the first apartment; and in vain do misguided souls knock at the door saying, “Lord, Lord, open unto us’.”[171]

Arnold goes on to answer the objection that children below the age of accountability cannot now be saved by commenting:

“….as they were then in a state of innocency, they were entitled to a record upon the breast plate of Judgment as much as those who had sinned and received pardon; and are therefore subjects to the present intercession of our great high priest.” [172]

Further, in order to counter all the claims of conversions which were being advanced as proof that the door was not shut, Arnold wrote:

“Therefore they are converted to the religion of the various sects; but not to God, and the high and holy standard of the Bible . The prophet Hosea saw this time and for ‘our learning and guide’ has written, ‘They have dealt treacherously against the Lord; for they have begotten strange children’.[173]

Lest it be argued that Ellen White herself did not agree with Arnold’s conclusions, it should be noted that she herself refers to Hosea 5:6-7 in the same manner and for the same purpose when writing in the Present Truth of March, 1850:

“The excitements and false reformations of this day do not move us, for we know that the Master of the house rose up in 1844, and shut the door of the first apartment of the heavenly tabernacle; and now we certainly expect that they will ‘go with their flocks’, ‘to seek the Lord, but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself (within the second veil) from them’. The Lord has shown me that the power which is with them is a mere human influence, and not the power of God.

“Those who published the ‘Watchman’ have removed the land-marks. I saw, two months ago, that their time would pass by; and then some honest souls, who had been deceived by this time, will have a chance to receive truth. I saw that most of those who preach this new time do not believe it themselves. I saw that our message was not to the shepherds who have led the flock astray, but to the poor hungry, scattered sheep.”[174]

It should be noted that in this last paragraph Ellen White is referring primarily to Adventists who did not have the truth concerning the Shut-door and the Sabbath. To a lesser degree she may have been willing to include other Christians who had not heard the Advent message; however, she is not here including sinners or the wicked world.[175]

That the Shut-door Adventists saw Christ’s entrance into the Most Holy Place in terms of the close of probation is made abundantly clear in an article by James White in the May, 1850 Present Truth:

“At that point of time [1844] the Midnight Cry was given, the work for the world was closed up, and Jesus passed into the Most Holy Place to receive the Kingdom, and cleanse the sanctuary .”[176]

He continues by explaining that the reason the Advent believers no longer felt a burden for sinners was that Christ had entered the Most Holy Place and shut the door. While objecting to the idea that the door of mercy was closed, James White clearly states that any sinner “…who had rejected the offer of salvation, was left without an advocate, when Jesus passed from the Holy Place, and Shut that door in 1844.”[177] Of the churches which had rejected the Advent message he writes:

“…they go ‘to seek the Lord’, as still an advocate for sinners; but, says the 5:6,7, ‘They shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord; for they have begotten strange children.”[178]

O. R. L. Crosier was the first Adventist to write out a complete understanding of Christ’s entrance as High Priest into the Most Holy Place in a Day Star Extra published in February 7, 1846. Of Crosier Ellen White wrote in 1847:

“The Lord shew me in vision more than one year ago that Brother Crosier had the true light on the cleansing of the sanctuary , and that it was his will, that Brother C. should write out his view which he gave us in the Day Star extra, February 7, 1846.”[179]

It was Crosier’s basic contention that every aspect of the type in the levitical earthly tabernacle and its service must be fulfilled. From there he attempted to show how Christ had fulfilled all the Jewish yearly festivals, save for the Day of Atonement. This, he contended, must be fulfilled at the end of the 2300 days in 1844, which must take place in the heavenly sanctuary above, since the earthly sanctuary had been destroyed in 70 A.D. Crosier specifically deals with Hebrews6:19-20[180] and asserts that it teaches that when Jesus went through the veil, he when into the first apartment or Holy Place.[181] He denied that the heavenly sanctuary of the New Covenant could have been cleansed by Christ at his death and ascension.

“But if the Lord’s new covenant sanctuary was then cleansed, the 2300 days ended then: but if they are years, which we all believe, they extend 1810 years beyond the 70 weeks, and the last of those weeks was the first of the new covenant or Gospel Dispensation.”[182]

Thus, the traditional Adventist understanding of Christ’s entering the Most Holy Place in 1844 rests on the assumption that Crosier was correct in denying that atonement was made at the cross and that he correctly understood Hebrews to be showing that Christ entered the Holy and not the Most Holy Place at his ascension. [183]

Unfortunately, Crosier’s basic argument that as in the type, so in the antitype is faulty. He employs this assumption to demonstrate the need for the future fulfillment of the Day of Atonement in the anti-type many years after Christ ascension because the heavenly sanctuary must have a Holy and Most Holy Place. Just as in the earthly type Crosier asserted that Christ must first have a long period of ministry in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary from his ascension until 1844 and only in 1844 would he enter into the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary by entering its Most Holy Place in fulfillment of Daniel 8:14.[184] However, following this same reasoning one could also conclude that Christ must be sacrificed often in order to fulfill all the various offerings in the type.

However, Hebrews rather than emphasizing the parallels between Christ’s sacrifice and the levitical sanctuary service, continually emphasizes the contrasts between and the superiority of Christ’s High Priestly work over that of the work of earthly priests and high priests. The following are some of these contrasts:

That Crosier’s interpretation of Hebrews is indeed seriously flawed has been well demonstrated, not only be theologians such as Norman H. Young[185] and Desmond Ford,[186] but also by the primary testimony of the Scriptures themselves. While it is true that the Greek word ta hagia can be translated, “holy place”, “Most Holy Place”, or “sanctuary ”, it is the context of Hebrews 9 and 10 which indicates positively that ta hagia is meant to apply to the Most Holy Place in Hebrews 9:12, 25-28, 10:19-20. While priest could enter daily into the first apartment or Holy Place only the high priest could enter the second apartment or Most Holy Place once a year and only with a blood sacrifice(Hebrews 9:6-7). Hebrews 9:11-12 goes on to both compare and contrast the work of Christ as our High Priest with the work of the earthly high priest. Christ as our High Priest entered once for all, not once a year, and not by means of the blood of goats and bulls but by means of his own blood into the heavenly Most Holy Place. Thus Crosier and the Shut-door Adventist have Christ entering the Most Holy Place over 1800 years after the writer of Hebrews affirmed that he had entered.

The context of Hebrews9 fully supports the New International Version’s translation of ta hagia in Hebrews 9:12:

“He (Christ) did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12, NIV).

The wonderful message of Hebrews, which the early Adventists denied, was that because Christ had already made a complete atonement for sins (Heb. 9:26, 28; 10:12), sinful man who accepts by faith Christ's completed atonement can “…have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us, through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God. Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. . .” (Heb. 10:19-22, NIV)

Crosier soon repudiated both the Shut-door and his sanctuary teaching by 1849. In a letter written in 1899, he explains:

“When ‘the 10th day of the 7th month’ time passed in the fall of 1844, he [William Miller] and others (with few exceptions) who were interested in the Midnight Cry, as they called it, believed that the door of mercy was then shut—that no more sinners would or could be converted. That opinion prevailed in 1845 and 1846. In the latter year I published in an Extra of The Day Star, a paper published by Enoch Jacobs, at Cincinnati, an exposition of the sanctuary and its service in the Law of Moses, to explain how and why the door of mercy was shut. On account of our ignorance of the Scriptures my argument was more fully and more widely accepted than it deserved to be. In the next three years (47-49) I saw and published its defects as to the Shut-door.”[187]

The Book of Hebrews sees that since Jesus has already made purification for sins by his one sacrifice he sat down to minister at the right hand of God. (See Heb. 1:3, 8:1, 10:12). By contrast Ellen White repeatedly saw in vision that Jesus was standing by the ark after he entered the Most Holy Place in 1844 because he has just begun the work of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary .

Above the ark, where the angels stood, was an exceeding bright glory, that appeared like a throne where God dwelt. Jesus stood by the ark. And as the saints’ prayers came up to Jesus, the incense in the censor would smoke, and He offered up the prayers of the saints with the smoke of the incense to His Father.[188]

Then, Jesus rose up, and shut the door in the Holy Place, and opened the door in the Most Holy, and passed within the second veil, where he now stands by the Ark; and where the faith of Israel now reaches.[189]

Then again was held up before me those who were not willing to dispose of this world’s goods to save perishing souls, by sending them the truth, while Jesus stands before the Father, pleading his blood, his sufferings and his death for them; and while God’s messengers were waiting, ready to carry them the saving truth that they might be sealed with the seal of the living God. [190]

Above the ark, where the angels stood, was an exceeding bright glory, that appeared like a throne where God dwelt. Jesus stood by the ark. And as the saints’ prayers came up to Jesus, the incense in the censer would smoke, and he offered up the prayers of the saints with the smoke of the incense to his Father. [191]

Chapter V

THE SHUT-DOOR AND THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE

To the Adventist pioneers the first angel’s message had been fulfilled in the Midnight Cry that Christ was coming October 22, 1844. The second angel’s message found fulfillment in the true Adventists leaving the churches that had rejected Miller’s date setting. Finally, when they began to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath in 1846, they embraced it as the perfect fulfillment of the third angel’s message of Revelation14:1-12.

In her March 24, 1849 vision Ellen White saw that it was only after the door to the Holy Place had been shut and the door opened to the Most Holy Place that the true light of the Sabbath was to shine forth.

“There I was shown that the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, relating to the Shut-door, could not be separated, and that the time for the commandments of God to shine out, with all their importance, and for God’s people to be tried on the Sabbath truth, was when the door was opened in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly sanctuary , where the Ark is, containing the ten commandments. This door was not opened, until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in 1844. Then, Jesus rose up, and shut the door in the Holy Place, and opened the door in the Most Holy, and passed within the second veil, where he now stands by the Ark; and where the faith of Israel now reaches.” [192]

Thus, to believe that one could find access to Godin the same way he had before 1844 would be to deny that the door was shut.

“I saw that the enemies of the present truth have been trying to open the door of the Holy Place that Jesus has shut, and to close the door of the Most Holy Place, which he opened in 1844, where the Ark is, containing the two tables of stone on which are written the ten commandments by the finger of Jehovah.”[193]

In this same vision she sees the fate of those who had begun to keep the seventh-day Sabbath and then had given it up.

Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, “thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting.” I asked who this company were. The angel said, “these are they who have once kept the Sabbath and have given it up.”[194]

The seriousness with which the pioneers considered this change of access to God is indicated by Ellen White’s comparison of the Jews’ inability, following their rejection of Christ, to find God in the same way their forefathers had with the Adventist experience of 1844. Writing as late as 1884 in The Spirit of Prophecy, she says:

“The condition of the unbelieving Jews illustrates the condition of the careless and unbelieving among professed Christians, who are willingly ignorant of the work of our merciful High Priest. In the typical service, when the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place, all Israel were required to gather about the sanctuary , and in the most solemn manner humble their soul] before God, that they might receive the pardon of their sins, and not be cut off from the congregation. How much more essential in this anti-typical day of atonement that we understand the work of our High Priest, and know what duties are required of us.”[195]

She continues by asserting that the present duty required of us is to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath. This belief, then, served to reinforce the Shut-door Adventists’ conviction that there were no true conversions taking place among Open-door Adventists or other Christians, because these professed converts did not accept the seventh-day Sabbath test of the third angel’s message.

Writing in the December, 1850 Review and Herald, Joseph Bates asserts:

“We know that these people are saying, and will insist, that they have reclaimed hundreds of backsliders, and that scores have been converted to God, under their teaching, since the Albany Conference of 1845 (a meeting of Open-door Adventists).

“We say, that as long as they continue rebellious against their lawful Prince, it is morally impossible for them to beget for him one peaceful subject. God has a true test, by which to try every individual since the Midnight Cry. It is ‘the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ Rev. 14:9-12”[196]

In the January, 1851 Review and Herald Bates continued his attempt to demonstrate the interrelationship between the Sabbath and the Shut-door and to show that the term “Shut-door” included all sinners and backsliders:

“When the Master of the house (the Lord Jesus) rose up and shut to the door, all honest believers, that had submitted to his will, and children that had not arrived to the years of accountability, were undoubtedly borne in on his breast-plate of Judgment which is over his heart. The names of all that fully keep the commandments are retained. Those that do not, will have their names erased before Jesus leaves the Holiest…Sinners and backsliders cannot get their names on the breastplate of Judgment now.”[197]

While E. G. White conceded in a vision of 1847 at Topsham, Maine that there were some of God’s children who as yet did not see and keep the Sabbath,[198] the implications of this change of access were, nonetheless, clear. Prior to 1844 people could be saved without Sabbath observance, because the door into the Most Holy Place had not been opened. However, after 1844 salvation for non-Sabbatarians was not possible, for the shutting of the door in 1844 was just as significant to the Adventist pioneers as was the death of Christ in A. D. 31. They sincerely believed that as the Jews who did not accept Christ as Messiah were shut out from God, so were all those who after 1844 did not accept the new way of access to God through the Most Holy Place, by means of the Sabbath test.

While Adventists today project this test into the future, until sometime just prior to Christ’s Second Coming, the Advent pioneers believed that in 1844 they had already entered those last days. Thus, after stating that the Sabbath was a test, E. G. White wrote in her vision of March 24, 1849:

“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth [Sabbath]; and to cause them to waver.”[199]

The question that surfaces at this point is, if there is to be a test of obedience to God, should it be a doctrine that can only be understood in light of the faulty prophetic interpretation of the Shut-door Adventists, or should it not rather be a truth clearly enjoined upon the Gentile believers in the New Testament? Ellen White makes clear the relationship she saw between the Shut-door and the Sabbath in this same March, 1849 vision:

“There I was shown that the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, relating to the Shut-door could not be separated, and that the time for the commandments of God to shine out, with all their importance, and for God’s people to be tried on the Sabbath truth was when the door was opened in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly sanctuary , where the Ark is, containing the ten commandments. This door was not opened, until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in 1844.”[200]

The fact remains, however, that in all of the epistles written to Gentile believers, not one ever commands Sabbath-keeping. Nor is it ever listed as one of the sins that will certainly keep one from the kingdom of heaven. To the contrary, Paul warns—not once, but three times —against forcing Gentile believers to keep holy days, including the Sabbath, which were only shadows, the reality being Christ(Rom. 14:5-6; Col. 2:16, 17; Gal. 4:10). In Col. 2:16-17 Paul warns again judging believers over the keeping of Festivals, New Moons and Sabbaths because they are shadows that point forward to the reality which is Christ.[201] That Paul intended to include the week Sabbath is made clear from the fact that the Old Testament eight times[202] speaks of festivals, new moons and Sabbaths and each time in these text the Sabbath is always refers to the weekly Sabbath. Nowhere does the New Testament even hint that the centrality and glory of Calvary will be eclipsed by yet another equally important event in salvation history, and that believers will be able to gain access to heaven only through a means other than that one and only gospel affirmed by the apostle Paul? Do we not find, rather, that the S.D.A. pioneers, for all their sincerity, managed to turn people away from the clarity of the gospel and back into Old Covenant shadows?

In fact, this sense of another gospel’s being espoused is very clearly indicated in a vision Mrs. White experienced in Oswego, N. Y. on July 29, 1850:

“Then I saw those whose hands are now engaged in making up the breach and are standing in the gaps, that have formerly since ‘44 broken the Commandments of God and have so far followed the pope as to keep the first day instead of the Seventh, would have to go into the water and be baptized in the faith of the Shut-door and keeping the Commandments of God and in the faith of Jesus coming to sit on the throne of his Father David and to redeem Israel.[203]

Finally, at the close of the March 24, 1849 vision E. G. White speaks of the attempts at reformation and conversion of sinners by those who did not recognize that the door was shut. Here she makes strong Shut-door and close of probation statements:

“I saw that the mysterious signs and wonders, and false reformations would increase and spread. The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth; but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart, had only wrapt about them a religious garb, which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God’s people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever.

“My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time of their salvation was past.”[204]

Republishing this vision in 1851 in Experience and Views, Mrs. White omitted the underlined sentences above. Further, in a Supplement to Experience and Views, published in 1854, Ellen White relocates to a time in the future the false reformations, and attempts to explain that it is those who have rejected the light on the Advent doctrine who no longer have travail of soul for sinners. [205]In fact, however, the context demands that these reformations were, as Ellen White saw it, the result of those who were the enemies of present truth; for she saw them in the early part of the vision,

“…….trying to open the door of the Holy Place, that Jesus had shut; and to close the door of the Most Holy Place, which he opened in 1844, where the Ark is, containing the two tables of stone, on which are written the ten commandments by the finger of Jehovah.”[206]

Furthermore, it was the Shut-door believers who no longer, according to the vision, had travail of soul for sinners, because they no longer believed that sinners could be converted. James White makes this point clear when he writes of the Advent experience after 1844 in the June 9, 1851 Review and Herald:

“A few days before the tenth of the Seventh month, thousands were running to and fro, giving the cry, and papers containing the message were scattered everywhere, like the leaves of autumn. But about the tenth, every Advent paper was stopped, and the traveling brethren returned to their homes, feeling that they had given their last message to the world. The state of feeling throughout the entire body of Advent believers can be accounted for in no other way, than that a change then took place in the position of the ‘Vine’ (Jesus), and the living ‘branches’ felt it. And as he ceased to plead for the world, and moved within the second veil, the living branches were called away from the world, and their sympathy was with Jesus, and with each other.”[207](Jesus is implied)

Finally, Ellen White’s statement, “Some appeared to be converted, so as to deceive God’s people….”[208] must also be understood in the context in which it was given. How could these conversions deceive God’s children? They believed that they could be deceived it they believed that these reported conversions where in fact genuine which would then mean that the door was not in fact shut. Writing in the December, 1849 Present Truth just four months after Mrs. White’s March 14, 1849 vision first appeared in print, David Arnold argued:

“The professed conversions, through the instrumentality of the different sects, are also urged as positive proof that the door is not shut. I cannot give up the clear fulfillment of prophecy, in our experience, which shows the Shut-door in the past, for the opinions, fancies and feelings of men, based upon human sympathy and a superstitious reverence for early imbibed views. God’s Word is true, though it prove all men liars.”[209]

Chapter VI

THE CRITICS’ AND THE PIONEERS’ REMEMBRANCES OF THE SHUT-DOOR YEARS

As we consider the testimony of both defenders and critics of Ellen White as they look back in later years, we must be aware of several factors which are bound to affect the accuracy of any such testimony. First of all, memory can be selective or faulty, and thus, even the most honest recollections can mislead. Ellen White herself acknowledged in 1883 that she no longer had access to some of her early printed visions and desired that any who had possession of her visions published before 1851 send them to her.[210]

Secondly, because Mrs. White’s visions during the Shut-door era had become a point of controversy, it is a real possibility that an overly zealous attempt either to defend or to discredit her gift could lead both her critics and the pioneers to consciously or unconsciously offer only a partial and thus distorted account of the facts. Because of these two quite likely possibilities, we will attempt to check the reliability of the testimony of critics and pioneers by perusing the primary documents published during the Shut-door years, 1845 - 1851.

In Ellen G. White and the Shut-door Question Arthur White devotes several pages to an attempt to demonstrate from the testimony of SDA pioneers that James and Ellen White were not Shut-door adherents, since he contended that they actively sought the conversion of sinners from 1845 - 1851.[211] Arthur White draws attention to the testimony of a Mrs. Trues ail, who in the summer of 1845 was concerned about a friend that had been prevented from attending Adventists meetings. Mrs. Trues ail was subsequently assured by E. G. Harmon that, “God never has shown me that there was no salvation for such persons.”[212]

In this incidence we find Ellen Harmon expressing the same understanding of the Shut-door as that explained by Hale and Turner’s Advent Mirror of January, 1845:

“We know that at the closing of the door of mercy, all who fear God and work righteousness, according to the Light they have, must be embraced by his arms of mercy; though as the measure of the light they have differs, the apparent form of their character must differ. And there may be changes in the form of their character, which we might call conversions, though it would imply no change in their inward character before God. That such may be found, for whom we should labour, there can be no doubt; and in fact, it is with such a class only, few indeed is their number, that our labours are in any sense successful.”[213]

Certainly, both E. G. Harmon and Joseph Turner, who was considered an extreme Shut-door believer, could agree that the young woman mentioned by Mr. Trues ail was one who did “fear God and work righteousness according to the Light” she had.

Arthur White proceeds by quoting from J. N. Loughborough to the effect that immediately after the February, 1845 vision in Exeter James and Ellen White, “labored for some who made no profession before 1844, which was directly contrary to the practice of those who held the extreme view of the Shut-door.”[214] However, a full examination of Loughborough’s account published in the September 25, 1866 Review and Herald reveals two crucial paragraphs which precede the one Arthur White quotes:

“The question came up, that evening, whether Sister White believed in the doctrine of the Shut-door after the time passed in 1844. Said Bro. White, in response to this question, ‘Bro. Carver, I will make an admission to you, ‘which, of course I would not make in public to a sharp opponent. She did believe it’”[215]

Referring in the next paragraph to the Exeter vision of 1845, James White continues:

“……. Considering her youthfulness, and her belief in the Shut-door and the views of the Advent people, it would not have been considered very strange, if her vision had received a coloring, in writing it out.”[216]

It should be remembered that James White’s conversation with H. E. Carver was in the context of a heated controversy over E. G. White’s Shut-door visions and that within a few months of that conversation Carver, Snook, and Brinkerhoff were to reject Mrs. White as a prophet of God and would subsequently leave the SDA church.

James White may well have wished to believe after 1851 that he and Ellen were actively preaching to sinners immediately following February, 1845, however, all of the evidence indicates the contrary. Even Robert Olson of the White Estates acknowledges that the evidence demonstrates that Mrs. White believed her visions taught the close of probation until 1847.[217]

Furthermore, in the fall of 1845 James White held that the Atonement had ended October 22, 1844.[218] Just what James and other Shut-door believers meant by the Atonement’s having ended on October 22, 1844 is clear from an account by John F. Lewis, a fellow Shut-door believer, in the October 25, 1845 Day Star:

“On the 10th day of the 7th month, the Priest always entered into the Holy of Holies, and after an atonement, came out on the same day and blessed the people. This type had its complete fulfillment, or anti-type last fall. . .

“‘There remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of Judgment, and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversary,’ and consequently there are no more offerings for sinners. The gospel dispensation is ended. So far as the salvation of sinners is concerned, it would seem the Judge has decided their case. And their execution is now pending. ‘Why then stand ye without, knocking, and saying, Lord, Lord, open to us!’ Know ye not that the blood of Christ can not avail any longer, with the Father, for the world? Seeking mercy, by those whose condemnation is sealed, upon their very foreheads only serves to provoke the Divine Justice: For ‘when once the master of the house hath risen up and shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without and knock, saying Lord, Lord, open unto us,’ he will then say depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.’”[219]

Lest any offer as an apology that James White did not fully agree with John Lewis, let us examine James’ own statements coming as late as May, 1850, concerning the Shut-door:

“When we came up to that point of time [Oct., 1844] all our sympathy, burdens and prayers for sinners eased, and the unanimous feeling and testimony was, that our work for the world was finished forever.”[220]

Several paragraphs further he continues:

“‘He is still merciful to his Saints, and ever will be; and Jesus is still their advocate and priest. But the sinner, to whom Jesus had stretched out his arms all day long, and who rejected the offer of salvation, was left without an advocate, when Jesus passed from the Holy Place, and shut the door in 1844.”[221]

That James and Ellen White did actively labor to spread the third angel’s message to Adventists who had accepted the first and second angels’ messages is clear from a vision Ellen had at Topsham, Maine in 1847:

“I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected light upon it.”[222]

Thus, the fact that James and Ellen White sought to bring the Sabbath truth to Bro. and Sister Patch does not adequately argue against the fact that they believed probation had closed for sinners in 1844, as Arthur White contends.

Nor was it inconsistent with their Shut-door beliefs to see James and Ellen White concerned about the salvation of children, for as Joseph Bates explained in the January, 1851 Review and Herald:

“When the Master of the house (the Lord Jesus) rose up and shut to the door all honest believers, that had submitted to his will, and children that had not arrived to the years of accountability, were undoubtedly borne in on his breast-plate of Judgment which is over his heart. . .

“It is true, some persons that are ignorant of this message may, and undoubtedly will be saved if they die before Jesus leaves the Holiest. I mean those that were believers before 1844. Sinners and backsliders cannot get their names on the breast- plate of judgment now.”[223]

Thus, the view of the Shut-door as explained by Bates harmonizes with the testimony of various believers, including Ira Abby, who remembered James and Ellen White’s concern for the salvation of the children.

Mention should also be made of the Dorchester vision given Ellen White in November of 1848, which has often been cited by Adventist apologists as evidence that at least by November, 1848 Mrs. White clearly envisioned an Open-door ministry of salvation for the whole world. To further substantiate this claim the apologists quote a statement in Life Sketches(1915 edition) in which E. G. White writes:

“After coming out of vision, I said to my husband: ‘I have a message for you. You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people. Let it be small at first: but as the people read, they will send you means with which to print, and it will be a success from the first. From this small beginning it was shown me to be like streams of light that went clear around the world.’”[224]

This, indeed, would be an important exhibit in support of the premise that Mrs. White no longer believed that the door of salvation was closed to sinners, if it could be shown that she actually expressed this in November, 1848. The first written account of this vision comes from Joseph Bates who recorded Mrs. White’s words while she was in vision:

“Yea, publish the things thou hast seen and heard, and the blessing of God will attend. Look yet that rising is in strength, and grows brighter and brighter. That truth is the seal, that’s why it comes last. The Shut-door we have had. God has taught and taught, but that experience is not the Seal.”[225]

Thus, Bates records her reference to the Shut-door shortly after she speaks of publishing the truth. However, nothing in this version of the vision indicates a world-wide publishing ministry of salvation to the whole world. Moreover, apparently even James White did not perceive any Open-door implications in this vision, because Present Truth the magazine which he published as a direct result of this vision was dedicated to explaining that salvation for sinners had ended in 1844 when Christ had shut the door!

One further consideration is the fact that nowhere in the 1880 edition of Life Sketches is any mention made of this Dorchester vision. Neither does it indicate that at this time E. G. White clearly realized that their publishing work would herald a message of salvation to the entire world.[226] The first mention of anything resembling the Dorchester vision is not offered by Mrs. White until 1887, and even then the time and location of the vision are not identified.[227] Thus, the Dorchester vision cannot successfully be used to explain away the many Shut-door visions that Ellen White did have from 1844-1851—visions which can be dated in articles published during that time period.

Even the experience of Herman Churchill, who made no public confession of religion until 1845, can be harmonized with Hale’s and Turner’s original understanding of the Shut-door. As the August, 1850 Advent Review makes clear, “He had never opposed the Advent, and it is evident that the Lord had been leading him, though his experience had not been just like ours.[228] Thus, Churchill could have been one whom Hale and Turner viewed as honest in heart and who was, as such, embraced in God’s arms of mercy when the door was shut.[229]

As late as April of 1851 the Shut-door was still defined by James White as excluding rebellious sinners. In response to a Brother Trues ail, who wished to know what the Shut-door meant, James White replied:

“…We believe that those who heard the everlasting gospel message and rejected it or refused to hear it are excluded by it. We have no message for such.”[230]

Those who could still be converted were erring brethren—Open-door and first-day Adventists;[231] children who had not reached the age of accountability in 1844;[232] and precious souls in the churches who had rejected the Miller its message, but who were themselves living up to all the light that they possessed. When these would hear the third angel’s message (the Sabbath), they would be converted from error to the truth.[233]

The point that must be repeated is that a thorough examination of all the Shut-door believers’ writings from 1845 - 1851 does not yield even the faintest suggestion that the gospel could still be proclaimed to a wicked world. Even Uriah Smith, writing in defense of Ellen White’s early visions in the June 19, 1866 Review and Herald, still expresses Shut-door ideas:

“So far therefore, as individual cases are concerned, the visions do positively teach that there are some, how many we of course know not, whose probation has not yet ceased, but who are yet to be converted to God or sealed to destruction…But for the world, the wicked in general, we can not pray. Our prayers could neither reach nor benefit them. Their hearts are hopelessly closed against the reception of truth, by which alone people can be sanctified and saved.”[234]

Now let us examine the testimony of several who in later years became critics of E. G. White. In reading the testimony of those who had heard E. G. Harmon in 1845, we should note that Robert Olson has recently commented that Ellen Harmon misunderstood her first vision of December, 1844 to mean, “… that no one could accept Christ after October 22, that only the Little Flock remaining in the household of faith would be saved, and that everyone else would be lost.”[235]

If that is the case it should not be surprising that we find critics recalling incidents such as those following as quoted in D. M. Can right's book Seventh-day Adventism Renounced:

“John Megquier, Saco, Me., a man noted for his integrity, writes: ‘We well know the course of Ellen G. White, the visionist, while in the state of Maine. About the first visions she had were in my house in Poland. She said that God had told her in vision that the door of mercy had closed, and that there was no more chance for the world.’ The True Sabbath by Miles Grant, p. 70.”[236]

Concerning Ellen White, Mrs. Lucinda Burdick wrote:

“Ellen was having what was called visions: said God had shown her in vision that Jesus Christ arose on the tenth day of the seventh-month, 1844, and Shut the door of mercy; had left forever the mediatorial throne; the whole world was doomed and lost and there never could be another sinner saved.” The True Sabbath, p. 72.[237]

O. R. L. Crosier, another Shut-door Adventist who wrote out his view of the sanctuary doctrine in The Day Star Extra of February, 1846, a view E. G. White endorsed by vision,[238] declared in a letter on December 1, 1887, “Yes, I know that E. G. Harmon, now Mrs. White, held the Shut-door theory at that date.”[239]

However, Mrs. White responded to at least some of her critics by denying the truthfulness of what Mrs. Burdick and Miles Grant had asserted. In a letter to J. N. Loughborough, August, 1874, she wrote:

Responding to further charges made by critics concerning her early Shut-door statements, she explains in 1883:

“For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given to me. It was the light given me of God that corrected our error, and enabled us to see our true position.”[242]

If indeed Mrs. Burdick did grossly misrepresent Ellen White’s vision of 1845, and if her visions did in fact clearly indicate that the door of salvation was open wide to sinners, how can one account for visions given Mrs. White from 1844 to 1851 that harmonize with Mrs. Burdick’s recollection of Mrs. White’s vision in the fall of 1845? In fact, almost every point recalled by Mrs. Burdick concerning both James and Ellen Harmon’s teachings can be substantiated from published statements and visions that they published during the same time period. Nor can Ellen White’s above statement to Loughborough be reconciled with her letter to Bates written in April of 1847, where she contends that it was her visions her turned her again to believe in the Shut-door.[243]

Lucinda Burdick offered a more complete statement of her encounter with James White and Ellen Harmon during 1845, and it is interesting to compare her account with published letters and recorded visions of the Whites from 1845-1851.[244]

Burdick’s Account: In the fall of 1845 she recalls having heard James White speak:

“In the afternoon of this same Sunday, White preached at the home of Andrew Badge about a half mile from my uncle’s residence, and the whole burden of his sermon was that the door of mercy had been closed the tenth-day of the Seventh month in the year of 1844; that there was henceforth no salvation for sinners and that God was revealing himself to his people through visions.” [245]

J. White’s published Letters:

“The fall of Babylon commenced in the spring of 43 when the churches all around, began to fall into a cold state, and was completed on the 7th month 44, when the last faint ray of hope was taken up from a wicked world and church.” (September, 1845)[246]

“Bless God, dear Brother, there are many in Maine, who stand firm on the truth, unmoved, fixed, that we have had the ‘True Midnight Cry,’ and of course the Bridegroom has come, and the door is shut; if not, a true Midnight Cry has told a lie.”33 (September 29, 1845)[247]

Ellen White’s first vision December 1844:

Others rashly denied the light behind them and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out which left their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again & go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming.[248]

Burdick’s Account: of Ellen White’s February 1845 Vision

Ellen White’s second vision February 1845:

Then I saw the Father rise from the throne and in a flaming chariot go into the Holy of Holies within the veil, and did sit. There I saw thrones which I had not seen before. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and most of those who were bowed down rose up with him. And I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after he rose up, and they were left in perfect darkness.… . Then 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, My Father give us thy spirit. Then Satan would breathe on 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. I saw one after another leave the company who were praying to Jesus in the Holiest, go and join those before the throne and they at once received the unholy influence of Satan.[250]

White commenting on her Feb., 1845 vision to Bates in 1847:

“There was one Sister there that was called very spiritual… She was truly a mother in Israel. But a division had risen in the band on the Shut-door. She had great sympathy, and could not believe the door was shut. . (I had known nothing of their differences.) Sister Durben got up to talk. I felt very, very sad.

At length my soul seemed to be in an agony, and while she was talking I fell from my chair to the floor. It was then I had a view of Jesus rising from His mediatorial throne and going to the Holiest as Bridegroom to receive His kingdom. They were all deeply interested in the view. They all said it was entirely new to them. The Lord worked in mighty power setting the truth home to their hearts.

Sister Durben knew what the power of the Lord was, for she had felt it many times; and a short time after I fell she was struck down, and fell to the floor, crying to God to have mercy on her. When I came out of vision, my ears were saluted with Sister Durben’s singing and shouting with a loud voice. Most of them received the vision, and were settled upon the Shut-door. Previous to this I had no light on the coming of the Bridegroom, but had expected Him to [come to] this earth to deliver His people on the tenth day of the seventh month. I did not hear a lecture or a word in any way relating to the Bridegroom’s going to the Holiest.[251]

Ellen White’s March 24, 1849 vision:

“Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God’s people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever, My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past.”[252]

Thus, the testimony of the Advent pioneers does confirm that James and Ellen White actively labored for certain classes of people—Millerites who did not have the light on the Sabbath and Shut-door, honest-hearted Christians who had not heard the Advent message and children who had not reached the age of accountability in 1844. However, Joseph Turner in his Shut-door statements in the Advent Mirror, also allowed that a few such people might still be reached. However, this testimony does not contradict the fact that both James and Ellen agreed with Turner in viewing sinners and the wicked world as hopelessly rejected of God from 1844 – 1851. In fact, in light of the statements made by both James and Ellen White from 1844 – 1851 the testimony of the critics cited appears highly credible.

Chapter VII

THE TRANSITION FROM THE SHUT TO THE OPEN-DOOR

As we have noted earlier, the Shut-door Adventists employed the term “Open-door” after 1844 to refer to their belief that Christ had on October 22, 1844 shut the door to the Holy Place and opened the door to the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary . Their use of this term was very different from that of Open-door Adventists, such as J. V. Himes, who in an article entitled “Open-door in Canada” in the March 5, 1845 Advent Herald rejoiced:

“Our brethren in this region are publishing a free and full salvation to sinners. And they assure me, if ever God heard their prayers and converted souls by their instrumentality, he is doing it now.…”[253]

The Shut-door Adventists by contrast believed that their work to save sinners and to awaken a formal church was finished because Jesus had shut the door of the parable of the 10 virgins by going to the heavenly marriage. They saw that this Shut-door was linked with Christ’s entering for the first time the heavenly Most Holy Place on Oct 22, 1844. As years passed, they were willing to accept the fact that there might be a few honest-hearted people who were ignorant of the Advent message, or children too young in 1844 to have made a decision, who might yet be converted. Nonetheless, Shut-door adherents remained convinced that the door was shut for four classes of people:

  1. Sinners who had rebelliously rejected the gospel prior to October, 1844
  2. Professed Christians who had heard and rejected the Advent teaching that Christ was coming in October, 1844
  3. Adventists who gave up faith that in October 22, 1844the first and second angels’ messages had been fulfilled, when Christ shut the door (In this class some allowance was made for those who had been ignorantly deceived by false shepherds).
  4. Those Adventists who had accepted the significance of October 22, 1844, but who later refused to accept the Sabbath or the Shut-door which was the Adventist’s understanding of the third angel’s message in Revelation14.

That S. D. A. pioneers still endorsed this view of the Shut-door until at least June of 1851 can be demonstrated by various statements made by Joseph Bates and James White, which appeared in the Review and Herald. Writing in January of 1851, Bates explains:

“When the Master of the house (the Lord Jesus) rose up and shut to the door, all honest believers, that had submitted to his will, and children that had not arrived to the years of accountability, were undoubtedly borne in on his breast-plate of Judgment which is over his heart. The names of all that fully keep the commandments are retained…

“It is true, some persons that are ignorant of this message may, and undoubtedly will be saved if they die before Jesus leaves the Holiest. I mean those that were believers before 1844. Sinners and backsliders cannot get their name on the breastplate of Judgment now.”[254]

When James White was asked to define his understanding and use of the term “Shut-door” in the April 7, 1851 Review and Herald, he offered this explanation:

“Conversion, in the strictest sense, signifies a change from sin to holiness. In this sense we readily answer that it does not ‘exclude all conversions’, but we believe that those who heard the ‘everlasting gospel’ message and rejected it, or refused to hear it, are excluded by it. We have no message to such.”[255]

He continues by signifying those whom he feels might yet be converted: 1) Erring brethren, meaning Adventists who had been part of the 1844 movement,[256] 2) Children who had not reached the age of accountability in 1844;[257] and 3) Christians in the churches who had lived up to all the light they possessed, but who had not yet heard or rejected the third angel’s message.[258]

In the June, 1851 Review and Herald James White makes further statements that indicated that he believed that the Shut-door’s meant that probation had closed:

“But about the tenth, every Advent paper stopped, and the traveling brethren returned to their homes, feeling that they had given their last message to the world. The state of feeling throughout the entire body of Advent brethren can be accounted for in no other way, than that a change then took place in the position of the ‘Vine’ [Jesus] and the living ‘branches’ felt it. And as he ceased to plead for the world, and moved within the second veil, the living branches were called away from the world. and their sympathy was with Jesus, and with each other.”[259]

Ellen White expressed some strikingly similar ideas as those italicized above in her last recorded Shut-door vision, given in Camden, N. Y., sometime between June 20 - 22, 1851.

“Then I saw that Jesus prayed for his enemies; but that should not cause US or lead US to pray for the wicked world, which God had rejected—when he prayed for his enemies, there was hope for them, and they could be benefited and saved by his prayers, and also after he was a mediator in the outer apartment for the whole world; but now his spirit and sympathy were withdrawn from the world; and our sympathy must be with Jesus, and must be withdrawn from the ungodly. I saw that God loved his people—and, in answer to prayers, would send rain upon the just and the unjust—I saw that now, in this time, that he watered the earth and caused the sun to shine for the saints and the wicked by our prayers, by our Father sending rain upon the unjust, while he sent it upon the just. I saw that the wicked could not be benefitted by our prayers now—and although he sent it upon the unjust, yet their day was coming.” [260]

While questions have been raised concerning the authenticity of this vision, it seems proper to accept it as valid for the following reasons. First of all, the obvious similarity of expression concerning the meaning of Christ’s entrance into the Most Holy Place in 1844 between James White’s June Review and Herald article and the Camden Vision is evident. (See the portions in italics) Secondly, Uriah Smith in 1866 appeared to accept this vision as authentic. This is doubly significant in light of the fact that B.F. Snook and William Brinkerhoff had just rejected Ellen White’s prophetic claims in 1865, partly because of this vision. They claimed in a booklet published in 1866 that Mrs. White had acknowledged to them that the Camden Vision was genuine.[261] If, then, this vision was regarded as spurious, it would seem that Uriah Smith would have said so as he was writing an article in the Review and Herald to defend Ellen White’s visions.

Instead Smith, in writing in the Review and Herald in answer to objections to the visions that Snook and Brinkerhoff had raised, said that he would confine himself to “what had been published under Sr. White’s own supervision and by her authority, and what appears in manuscript over her own signature in her own handwriting.”[262] Further in this article he quotes several sentences from the Camden Vision to illustrate the Shut-door statements which critics were objecting to. These three statements are only found in the Camden Vision.

When these expressions are compared with parts of the Camden Vision emphasized above, it is apparent that the following three of them are found only in the Camden Vision. 1. His Spirit and sympathy are now withdrawn from the world. 2 Our sympathy should be with him. 3. The wicked could not be benefited by our prayers now. It is interest to note that the final phrase in the Camden Vision, ‘The wicked world whom God has rejected’ is also found in Ellen Whites first vision of December 1844.

A third indication of the validity of the Camden Vision arises from the fact that its dating does not pose the problem which some who would discredit this vision have suggested. The fact that it is dated June 29, 1851, when Ellen and James were only in Camden from June 20 - 22 is understandable, considering that another vision of Ellen White’s, which also occurred at Camden on June 21 of that year, was copied out at Milton, N. Y. and dated June 29, 1851.[264] It is probable, then, that something similar took place with regard to this disputed Camden Vision, viz., in later recopying it retained the June 29, 1851 date.[265]

July 21, 1851 can be cited as offering the first clear indication that a departure from the earlier understanding of the Shut-door towards a more Open-door position was under way. On this date a Review and Herald Extra, not intended for general circulation, was released in which an interesting reason is given for this transition:

“But as many are prejudiced against the visions, we think it better at present not to insert anything of the kind in the regular paper. We will therefore publish the visions by themselves for the benefit of those who believe that God can fulfill his word and give visions in the last days.”[266]

The promise was made that a Review and Herald Extra, which would keep the believers informed of the visions, would be published every two weeks. In fact, no other Review and Herald Extra ever appeared, and Ellen White’s visions did not reappear in the Review and Herald for over five years. Ellen White did publish seven articles between June 10, 1852 and June 12, 1855 in the Review and Herald, but in none of them does she claim to be sharing what God showed her in vision. Only her April 14, 1853 reply to A. N. Seymour, who had in the Advent Harbinger cited various criticisms to what Ellen White had written in 1851 Experience and Views does she touch on any Shut-door theme and that in only a very general way.[267]

Just what caused this change of attitude regarding the Shut-door may never be fully known. Ellen White seemed to cast doubt that Christ would come as Bates had predicted on the Day of Atonement in 1851 in comments that she made in her July 13, 1851 Review and Herald article.

I saw that some were making every thing bend to the time of this next fall—that is, making their calculations in reference to that time. I saw that this was wrong, for this reason: Instead of going to God daily to know their present duty, they look ahead, and make their calculations as though they knew the work would end this fall, without inquiring their duty of God daily. [268]

This final date setting was based on Bates attempt to extract seven years of time (1844-1851) for Christ’s work in the Most Holy Place based on the fact that seven drops of blood were sprinkled by the High Priest in the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement.[269]

What is clear is that the Review and Herald stopped publishing her visions. Perhaps since Ellen White visions published in July 1851 were published in a Review and Herald Extra James was able to make the following claim in October, 1855.

“What has the Review to do with Mrs. W.’s views? The sentiments published in its columns are all drawn from the Holy Scriptures. No writer of the Review has ever referred to them as authority on any point. The Review for five years has not published one of them. Its motto has been, ‘The Bible , and the Bible alone, the only rule of faith and duty.’ Then why should these men charge the Review with being a supporter of Mrs. W.’s view.”[270]

On the first page of the Review and Herald Extra, July 21, 1851, Ellen White traces a sketch of her childhood, conversion, and first visions. Noticeably absent was any mention of the term “Shut-door.” On the second page she republishes her December, 1844 vision with only minor changes, as it had first appeared in The Day Star of January 24, 1846, except for two major deletions.[271] The first deletion below touched on the Shut-door.

“Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out which left their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the city, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the wax along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming.”[272]

The second deletion concealed the fact that she did not see the ten-commandments or any mention of the importance of keeping the Sabbath when Jesus showed her the inside of the ark of the covenant in her first vision in December 1844.

And as we were gazing at the glories of the place, our eyes were attracted upwards to something that had the appearance of silver. I asked Jesus to let me see what was within there. In a moment we were winging our way upward and entering in. Here we saw good old father Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Noah, Daniel, and many like them. And I saw a veil with a heavy fringe of silver, and gold as a border on the bottom. It was very beautiful. I asked Jesus what was within the veil. He raised it with his own right arm, and bade me take heed. I saw there a glorious ark, overlaid with pure gold, and it had a glorious border resembling Jesus' crowns. On it were two bright angels; their wings were spread over the ark as they sat on each end, with their faces turned towards each other and looking downward. In the ark, beneath where the angels wings were spread, was a golden pot of Manna of a yellowish cast, and I saw a rod, which Jesus said was Aarons, I saw it bud, blossom, and bear fruit.—And I saw two long golden rods on which hung silver wires, and on the wires most glorious grapes. One cluster was more than a man here can carry. And I saw Jesus step up and take of the manna, almonds, grapes, and pomegranates, and bear them down to the city, and place them on the supper table. I stepped up to see how much was taken away, and there was just as much left, and we shouted Hallelujah. Amen.[273]

Only after she began to keep the Sabbath in 1846 was she shown by Jesus the Ten Commandments with the fourth encircled in a halo of light and told of the importance of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath since Christ shut the door to the Holy Place and opened the door to the Most Holy Place in 1844.[274]

Yet according to vision that Ellen White had March 24, 1849 in Topsham, Maine, the Sabbath was to be test ever since Christ entered the Most Holy Place as our High Priest in October 1844. If that was truly the case one wonders why in her December 1844 vision Jesus made no mention of the Sabbath nor did she even see the Ten Commandments when Jesus showed her the inside of the ark of the covenant.

There I was shown that the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, relating to the Shut-door, could not be separated, and that the time for the commandments of God to shine out, with all their importance, and for God’s people to be tried on the Sabbath truth, was when the door was opened in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly sanctuary , where the Ark is, containing the ten commandments. This door was not opened, until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in 1844. Then, Jesus rose up, and shut the door in the Holy Place, and opened the door in the Most Holy, and passed within the second veil, where he now stands by the Ark; and where the faith of Israel now reaches.[275]

To defend herself if anyone spotted these deletion, Mrs. White explained:

“In this view I saw only a very few of the events of the future. More recent views have been more full. I shall therefore leave out a portion and prevent repetition.”[276]

However, clearly these two sizable omissions to her first vision was not made to prevent repetition but to exclude the only explicit Shut-door statement and to conceal that her first vision failed to show her the significance keeping the seventh-day Sabbath after 1844.

The only mention of any Shut-door ideas in the July 21, 1851 Review and Herald Extra is in connection with the Camden Conference. It was stated concerning a Brother Thompson who had attended that conference:

“Bro. Thompson was intimately acquainted with Bro. Miller, and traveled much with him. But when our work for the world closed in 1844, instead of setting himself to work, as some did, to try to re-arouse the churches to the subject of the Advent, he remained silent, until he heard the message of the third angel—Rev. 14:9-12.”[277]

An announcement was also made in this July 21, 1851 Review and Herald Extra of plans to publish Experience and Views, and this was accomplished in August of 1851. It was later republished as the first part of Early Writing sin 1883. The first nineteen pages of Experience and Views was a simple reprint of pages one and two of the July 21 Review and Herald Extra.[278] It contained the same Shut-door deletions from her December, 1844 vision, previously mentioned. The remainder of the sixty-four pages contained other of her visions. However, the chronological order of the visions was broken up and some of the visions, of which the February, 1845 Exeter vision is an example, appear undated under the heading, “End of the 2300 Days” with other visions given in 1850.[279]

Certain visions were only partly reprinted, or at times the vision was divided with parts of it dispersed among several other visions. An example of this was a vision given in Oswego, N. Y., July 29, 1850. Part of this vision is reprinted in two separate places in Experience and Views.[280] The part of that vision that referred to the need to be baptized into the faith of the Shut-door is not reprinted at all.[281] Another vision given on March 24, 1849 was reprinted under the title, “An Open and Shut-door.” However, key Shut-door phrases were deleted (they are shown in italics below) and were not reprinted in Experience and Views:

“The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth; but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart, had only wrapt about them a religious garb, which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God’s people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever. My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it, for the time of their salvation is past.”[282]

Other visions, such as her then recent Camden Vision with its strong Shut-door ideas, were not reprinted at all.[283] Still, the White’s offered no other reason for their deletions other than Mrs. White’s original explanation in the July 31, 1851 Review and Herald Extra, viz., “ . . shall therefore leave out a portion and prevent repetition.”[284]

Apparently, some of the advent believers were upset when they noticed that some of the visions had been completely omitted and parts of others deleted. Mrs. White refers to this surprise in a letter written in 1906:

“My husband handed the little pamphlet to Elder Hart, and requested him to read what was printed on the title page. ‘A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Mrs. E. G. White,’ he read.

“For a moment there was silence, and then my husband explained that we had been very short of means, and were able to print at first only a small pamphlet, and he promised the brethren that when sufficient means was raised, the visions should be published more fully in book form.”[285]

This promise was never fulfilled, as Early Writings, published in 1883, merely reprinted Experience and Views with all of its omissions.

While James and Ellen White claimed that economic considerations prevented reprinting of all of her early visions, critics charged them with a deliberate attempt to cover up the fact that her early visions had in fact taught that probation had closed for sinners.[286] This was accomplished, according to the critics, by omitting certain visions, such as the Camden Vision, and of deleting Shut-door phrases from other visions, such as her December, 1844 and March 24, 1849 visions.

The S.D.A. apologist Uriah Smith, on the other hand, maintain, that there was no design behind the deletions, and pointed to other Shut-door phrases remaining in Experience and Views as evidence.[287] More recent apologists have, in addition, rejected the Camden Vision altogether as spurious, although Uriah Smith appears to have accepted it as genuine.[288] Furthermore, the apologists contend, one must allow Ellen White herself to explain what her early visions meant. In 1951 F. D. Nichol took the latter approach when he noted the critics’ charges:

“Mrs. White is said to describe sinners and the sinful world, in the years just following 1844, in language so strangely like that used by men who were teaching that probation had closed that her words should be understood in the same sense.”[289]

After commenting that a prophet is limited to the language of the time in which he writes, Nichol continues:

“We believe we may as properly protest this kind of reasoning when it is employed against Mrs. White. The true meaning of specific statements by Mrs. White may much more safely be determined by comparing those statements with her other writings rather than with the writings of others.”[290]

Having accepted the methodology suggested by Nichol, Ellen White’s defenders maintain that she never believed her visions taught the close of probation. Therefore, they accept such statements from her pen, as the following from 1883, as a full and satisfactory explanation of all of her visions from 1844 - 1851, and offer this as proof that Mrs. White concealed nothing:

“For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold, in common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was, then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me. It was the light given me of God that corrected our error, and enabled us to see the true position.

“I am still a believer in the Shut-door theory, but not in the sense in which we first employed the term or in which it is employed by my opponents.”[291]

After citing what she saw to be Biblical examples of other Shut-door occurrences (the Flood, Sodom, and the unbelieving Jews in Christ’s day), Mrs. White continued:

“I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a Shut-door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels’ messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterwards renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion (she here refers to Open-door Adventists), thereby rejected the spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them.”[292]

All of the apologists’ explanations, however, cannot negate the fact that the last Shut-door statements of James and Ellen White did occur in June of 1851. From that point onward one can fine none of the hard-core close-of-probation ideas in either of their writings.

The evidence clearly indicates that in the years 1851-1854 the Whites were indeed involved in an attempt to redefine the Shut-door in a way that would allow them to proclaim the Advent message to the world without having to admit that they had earlier been mistaken regarding their original Shut-door explanations. They certainly realized that both of them had written too extensively to simply deny that they had ever held to Shut-door positions. This appears to be the reason only selected Shut-door statements were omitted, while others were retained in reprinting of her visions.

The policy the Whites appeared to have pursued from 1851-1854 was to effect a gradual reinterpretation of the Shut-door that would avoid alarm or an actual schism within the Seventh-day Adventist community. That this was their procedure becomes clear as one examines not only Experience and Views, but also the Review and Herald from August of 1851 - 1854.

During the remainder of 1851 James White, as editor, reprinted several articles by early Shut-door proponents, such as William Miller, J. B. Cook, and A. Hale; however, he said nothing directly on the topic himself. This is illustrated in the August 19, 1851 Review and Herald, which contained on the front page an article, “Addressed to Advent Believers,” written by Miller on December 29, 1844. While reassuring to Shut-door believers because Miller believed in the Shut-door at the time, the article itself contained no hard-core Shut-door phrases. This August 19th issue of the Review and Herald also expresses some interesting Open-door ideas:

“Now the door is open almost everywhere to present the truth, and many are prepared to read the publications who have formerly had no interest to investigate. Now we may all do something for the Lord who has done so much for us. To those who love, and rejoice in the present truth we would say, there are others who would prize it as highly as you do, if they could have it taught to them in its purity.”[293]

That the Open-door ideas expressed above could still be incorporated within a Shut-door framework is evidenced by a letter from Joseph Bateson the same page. He makes it clear that when Christ ceased his mediatorial work for the whole world in 1844 “…then the door was shut against the Sardis church[Protestant churches who had rejected the Advent message] and the wicked world.[294] Christ had after October, 1844 gone into the Most Holy Place to plead only for the true Israel:

‘“Here a question arises, who are meant by the whole house of Israel? We believe they comprise all honest, obedient believers, that had up to that time overcome [Rev. 3:5) , and also children that had not come to the years of accountability… The call to come out of Sardis, because she was the fallen Babylon, the apostate church, was clear, and as far in the past as a cry at Midnight. But it is said they have converts. Yes, but they are strange ones, because they come after the house of Israel have their names borne into the Holiest.”[295]

Bates views the Shut-door Adventists who have embraced the Sabbath or third angel’s message as being the church of Philadelphia. But those who rejected the Shut-door became Laodicean when they preached a wide door of salvation to the world, because they were trying to again open the door to the Holy Place shut by Christ in 1844. However, Bates believed those honest in heart would hear Christ’s call to the Laodicean church to repent.[296] He closed with the following appeal to the Philadelphians:

“…to carry out the purpose of our divine Lord and Master, to the poor Laodiceans, by searching them out wherever they can be found, and teaching them the present truth.”[297]

In the September 16, 1851 Review and Herald James White continued the reprinting of early Shut-door articles, placing A. Hale’s, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” (which originally appeared in the March 5, 1845 Advent Herald) on the front page.[298] White introduced this article under the heading, “Call to Remembrance the Former Days,” and offered these comments:

“It is also evident that to ‘suppose,’ as A. Hale does in this article, that the condition of things at the Shutting of the door, would be very much as it was after the day of Atonement among the ancient Jews, is incorrect. The Shutting of the door of the Holy Place, is preparatory to the antitypical tenth day atonement for the cleansing of the sanctuary .”[299]

Other Open-door Adventists continued to regard the Seventh-day Adventists as Shut-door believers. The Harbinger, an Open-door paper, reported in its January 31, 1852 issue a conversation its editor had had with James White in which the editor had referred to White as a “Prominent leader among those of the Shut-door and Seventh-day Sabbath theory……”[300] In response, James White attempted to redefine the Shut-door in the February 17, 1852 Review and Herald by rejecting the concept that the Shut-door of mercy, but rather that it was part of the parable of the Ten Virgins:

“That event (Shut-door) shuts out none of the honest children of God, neither those who have not wickedly rejected the light of truth, and the influence of the Holy Spirit.”[301]

Further, after noting the Open-door of the Philadelphia church (Rev. 3), he comments:

“This Open-door we teach, and invite those who have an ear to hear to come to it and find salvation through Jesus Christ. There is an exceeding glory in the view that Jesus had opened the door into the holiest of all, or has passed within the second veil, and now stands before the Ark containing the ten commandments… If it be said that we are of the Open-door and Seventh-day Sabbath theory, we shall not object, for this is our faith.”[302]

Yet, acknowledging that he wished to be known as an Open-door and Seventh-day Sabbath Keeper, did not lead James White to openly admit that he had been wrong in his belief that probation had closed in 1844. To the contrary, the March 2, 1852 Review and Herald printed several articles on its front page, one of which was a poem, “The Seventh Month,” of which James White wrote:

“The following lines from The Voice of Truth of 1845 beautifully express the real spirit and trials of the past advent movement. They are well calculated to ‘call to remembrance the former days.”[303]

Following this was an article by J. B. Cook written in 1846 and entitled “The Only Safe Position,” which urged the true believers of the 1844 movement to stand firm in their conviction that God was leading them. [304]

Whereas Ellen White could say in vision on March 24, 1849 that the Sabbath and the Shut-door could not be separated[305] and whereas “present truth” had been identified as the Sabbath and the Shut-door by Bates and James White in 1848 - 1850, in his editorial in the May 6, 1852 Review and Herald James spoke in positive terms about how the Sabbath truth was spreading—without making any mention of the Shut-door:

“But this work is not confined to those only who have had an experience in the past advent movement. A large portion of those who are sharing the blessings attending the present truth were not connected with the advent cause in 1844. Their minds not being particularly called to it then, consequently they did not reject it…”[306]

By mentioning that these new converts had not rejected the Advent message in 1844, James White remained technically within his former interpretation of the Shut-door; however, it is clear that his intent was to move beyond it.

The editorial proceeds with a brief sketch of the past from 1844 to 1849. No mention is made of the Shut-door at all, but the total focus is on the development of the Sabbath. Concerning the present work he sees before the church, James White writes:

“The Lord is opening the way before us. A spirit of inquiry is awakening, and many who have formerly been prejudiced against our views, or indifferent, are now anxious to hear and read the evidence of our position.”[307]

That this gradual shift away from their former Shut-door posture was noticed by Open-door Adventists is clear from the answer Crosier offered in the March 5, 1853 Harbinger to a series of questions concerning his present view of the sanctuary , about which he had written in The Day Star Extra of February 7, 1846. Speaking of the Seventh-day Adventists, Crosier, who had given up both the Sabbath and the Shut-door in 1849, wrote:

“The above named persons appear to me insincere in quoting from that article, because they know that it was written for the express purpose of explaining the Shut-door, which they now, I understand, disclaim…I think we have no means of knowing the precise time when the anti-type of the ancient 10th day of the 7th month service did or will begin; but we have evidence that it will not close the door of mercy against all the previous impenitent.”[308]

Remarking on Crosier’s Harbinger article, James White writes:

“On the above we will first remark, that as C. has informed the readers of the Harbinger that we disclaim the doctrine of the Shut-door, that paper should no longer reproachfully call us ‘Shut-door Sabbatarians.’ But we say that C.’s article on the law of Moses, no more goes to prove a Shut-door than it does an Open-door. It is in harmony with the Bible doctrine which we hold, that at the termination of the 2300 days, in 1844, there was a change in the work of our High Priest—a door was then opened into the Most Holy, while another was Shut.”[309]

Thus, while rejecting the term “door of mercy” as being unbiblical, James White still concurs with Crosier’s basic understanding when he wrote his 1846 article, for he continues:

“But the truth that C. wished to state here, for truth it is, is this, that there would be those who might come to God through the mediation of Jesus Christ, and find pardon of their sins, after the work of the antitype of the tenth day of the Seventh month service should commence. This, to us who believe that this is the period of the antitypical tenth day service, is an important truth. While the great work of saving men closed with the 2300 days, a few are now coming to Christ, who find salvation.”[310]

The following month in an article entitled, “The Shut-door”, James White discusses the parable of the Ten Virgins and while applying it to 1844, he notes that it referred only to those within the Advent movement:

“The ten virgins represent only those who participated in the Advent movement. Those who were not in the movement, and did not reject its light, stand on the same ground for salvation, as though such a movement had never taken place.”[311]

Thus, the Shut-door was redefined to mean only that Christ ended one phase of ministry in the Holy Place and “… entered upon the anti-type of the ancient tenth day of the seventh month atonement, at the end of the 2300 days, in the Autumn of 1844.”[312]

“Although there is a Shut-door which excludes those represented by the foolish virgins(those moved by the proclamation of the Advent, who had none of the grace of God, no real faith), and also those who were foolish and wicked enough to reject, and fight against the glorious news of a soon-coming Savior, yet we rejoice to publish to those that have an ear to hear, that there is an Open-door. ‘Behold,’ says the True Witness, ‘I set before thee an Open-door.’ O, that precious souls would come to this Open-door, and share the Savior’s pardoning love.”[313]

William Ingrahm parallels James White’s treatment of the Ten Virgins in an article in the June 9, 1853 Review and Herald. Of the Shut-door he remarks:

“But I hear many saying, ‘Away with your Shut-door theory, and no mercy doctrine. But not quite so hasty! If you should move under the influence of a wrong Spirit in opposing the Shut-door, if our merciful High Priest should open another, in your haste you would not be likely to discover it. Perhaps no point has been more bitterly opposed than what some call the Shut-door, and no-mercy doctrine. If we believed in the no-mercy system our opponents would have some cause to reproach us.”[314]

After noting that the Shut-door applies only to the termination of Christ’s work in the Holy Place in 1844 and of his entrance into the Most Holy Place, Ingrahm returns to what he sees as other mistaken views of the Seventh-day Adventists’ Shut-door position:

“It is believed by some that we hold a Shut-door that really and forever debars the sinner from coming to Christ. Let me ask such a question.

“What does this parable have to do with those who were not brought under the influence of the Advent movement? It is true that the class represented by the foolish virgins have something to do with it: this is manifested from the fact that they were participators in the work. I have yet to learn that the relation those sustained to Christ who were not tested by the preaching of the speedy coming of Christ was in the least affected when Christ closed his daily ministration in the heavenly sanctuary .

“That there is an Open-door for such as did not reject the glorious news of our soon coming Lord as proclaimed in 1843 and 1844, is evident from God’s word.”[315]

It is readily apparent that while James White and William Ingrahm have effectively explained away the concept that probation had closed in 1844 for most people, still they acknowledge neither that they had once held that belief, nor that they are changing their beliefs now. In fact, Ingrahm leaves the distinct impression that this charge of no-mercy for sinners is simply a misunderstanding on the part of those outside the Sabbatarian Adventist group.

As editor of the Review and Herald, James White does a skillful job of reinterpreting the Shut-door concept. He has redefined the Shut-door so that it does not apply to all sinners, and he places responsibility for all close of probation statements in the 1850 -1851 Review and Herald issue on the teachings of Shut-door advocates, such as William Miller, J. B. Cook, and Joseph Marsh. This is apparent in the July 4, 1854 Review and Herald, which claims to merely be responding to the Harbinger’s misrepresentation of Seventh-day Adventists:

“From this, the uninformed would receive the idea that we believed that which is called ‘Door of Mercy’ is closed, when we believe no such thing. It is true that in 1850 we published statements of Wm. Miller, J. B. Cook, Joseph Marsh, and others in which they gave us their opinion that the door was shut, and that the harvest of the earth was ripe, but nothing of the kind can be found in any of our publications for the last two years.”[316]

James White was not being honest when he made this assertion as he himself wrote very extreme Shut-door articles in the Review and Herald as late as June 1851. He is also taking care not to mention that he was the editor and wrote many Shut-door articles in the Present Truth which he published from 1848-1850. Further in the article James White speaks of a Mrs. Seymour who in the June 10 Harbinger had, he felt, misrepresented certain statements of Mrs. White, as published in Experience and Views. Then he calls attention to Supplement of Experience and Views, which contains some important clarifications of certain statements published in Experience and Views. The misrepresentation that Mrs. Seymour had supposedly made concerning certain of E. G. White’s visions had to do apparently with the close of probation. James White explains the problem this way:

“She [Mrs. Seymour] then states, speaking of Sabbath-keepers, ‘they have ceased preaching repentance, saying it is too late. They have stifled their sympathies for the impenitent, and have virtually said, Sinner, you cannot turn to God and live, etc.’ Now all this is entirely false. Those who have read our publications, especially for the past two years, and have known anything of the labours of the brethren in the Sabbath cause, know that Mrs. S. has penned untruths, and that the Harbinger has published the same…

“It is true that Case, Russel, and some others (they had been disfellowshipped and had rejected E. G. White’s visions) took exclusive views relative to the Shut-door, and for a while manifested a rash spirit; but such errors have been fully corrected, and Brn. Cornell, Cranson, Frisbie, Fitch and others have been preaching to the sinner repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, in Michigan, from the time they commenced to speak in vindication of the Sabbath, and many sinners have been converted to God as the result.”[317]

With this July 4, 1854 article in the Review and Herald the process of redefining the Shut-door is now complete. It has taken almost ten year since October 22, 1844for the former Shut-door Seventh-day Adventist to openly state that sinners were now being converted to God. This was the very position that they attacked the Open-door Adventist for preaching in the fall of 1844 and onwards.

There are several important facts to note both in what was said and in what was left unsaid:

  1. The article nowhere acknowledges that the Sabbath-keepers had from 1844 - 1851 believed that the door was shut against all impenitent sinners.
  2. Nor does it acknowledge that E. G. White’s visions helped to confirm them in this belief in the Shut-door.
  3. Thirdly, the article falsely suggests that the Shut-door ideas which were published in the Review and Herald were the personal opinion of early Shut-door believers, such as Miller, Cook, and Marsh. The impression is thus given that neither James White as editor of the Review and Herald nor Ellen White’s visions every held these same Shut-door opinions.
  4. That only fanatics like Case and Russell, who had rejected the visions of Mrs. White and been disfellowshipped, had ever held extreme Shut-door views among the Seventh-day Adventists.
  5. Finally the Review and Herald asserted that despite the problems created by these fanatics, the true preachers of the Sabbath had been involved in publishing a full salvation to sinners, which had resulted in many accepting Christ.

The critics continued through the 1850’s to the 1880’s to charge James and Ellen White with willful deception in attempting to conceal evidence which pointed to the fact that they had both believed and the visions had taught that probation had closed in 1844. That the critics were essentially correct in their charges is evident, not only in these denials in James White’s article in the July 4, 1854 Review and Herald that the Seventh-day Adventist had ever believed that the Shut-door excluded sinners from salvation article, but also in later statement of Mrs. White, such as this one from 1883:

“For a time after the-disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me. It was the light given me of God that corrected our error, and enabled us to see the true position.”[318]

However what Ellen White said about her first vision ‘correcting our error’ regarding the Shut-door cannot be reconciled with the letter that she wrote to Bates on July 13, 1847 in which she stated that it was the first and second vision that caused her to again believe in the Shut-door.[319] Unfortunately, later S.D.A. apologists continued this same pattern of concealing or obscuring what had actually taken place in the years from 1844 to 1851. Often those who seek to defend Ellen White against the Shut-door charges of her critics reveal that they have never read extensively either the Open-door Adventist papers such as the Advent Herald and The Morning Watch; nor the Shut-door Adventists papers Midnight Cry, The Advent Mirror, A Word to the Little Flock, Present Truth, and Review and Heraldfrom1845-1854 in which her visions first appeared.

Despite the seriousness of the implications raised by the evidence, it does not seem feasible that James and Ellen White’s behavior arose simply out of dishonesty. If Ellen White’s visions and her status as a prophet were not at stake they both could have admitted that they had been wrong to believe that a door had shut on sinners in 1844. Rather, it seems clear that Ellen White was firmly convinced by her visionary experiences that she was receiving true revelations from God. For her to have denied this would, she fully believed, have been to grieve away the Holy Spirit and cause the loss of her salvation, as she felt had been the case with Hazen Foss, when he failed to relate visions given to him in the early 1840’s.[320]

Thus, when attacked by critics who were asking her to deny that God had given her visions, because they had incorrectly taught that probation had closed, was simply more than she could do. James White himself admitted this difficulty in 1865:

“Bro. Carver, I will make an admission to you, which of course, I would not make in public to a sharp opponent. She did believe it [the Shut-door]. And so, as you know, did nearly all of the Advent people.” [321] {In context ‘it’ refers to the Shut-door}

This continued need to defend the visions which Mrs. White genuinely believed to be of God, prevented her from being candid. Unfortunately, it has been this same need on the part of S.D.A. apologists that has likewise caused them to obscure, rather than to clarify what actually occurred from 1844 to 1851. However where do we ever find in Scripture that God’s prophets have had to conceal and deny what they have seen in vision in order to maintain some wonderful truth that God wished to reveal to the world.

Chapter VIII

FROM SHUT-DOOR TO INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT: LEGACY OF GUILT

Note: This chapter was first published in Adventist Currents July 1984. Wesley Ringer, From Shut-door to Investigative Judgment: Legacy of Guilt, Adventist Currents 1:4 (July 1984) p. 30 at: www.hacksplace.com {Revised January 4, 2010}.

The Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the investigative judgment did not achieve its present form until the late 1850s. It was conceived shortly after the Millerite expectation that Christ would return on October 22, 1844; and it grew during the Shut-door years (1844-1851) following the great disappointment, as the Adventist pioneers attempted to find new significance for their 2300-daycalculations. Indeed the depth of their experiences leading up to October 22 caused the Millerites to interpret several key passages of Scripture in radically new ways.

If the Adventist pioneers’ interpretation of key scriptural passages (Daniel, Matthew, Hebrews, and the Revelation) were incorrect, then the entire biblical basis for the traditional understanding of a pre-advent judgment would unravel. For example, in the consensus document (produced at Glacier View, Colorado, in August 1980) scholars were willing to concede that the term “within the veil” (Hebrews 6: 19) applied to the most holy place of the tabernacle in heaven; while at the same time they sought to defend the traditional sanctuary doctrine.[322] However, with this interpretation of Hebrews 6, the Adventist pioneers of the 1840s never could have given birth to their belief in an investigative judgment which required them to believe that Christ did not enter within the veil of the most holy place until 1844.

Ellen Harmon, James White, Joseph Bates, and Hiram Edison were each active participants in the great advent awakening that swept across New England in the late summer and fall of 1844. They experienced the emotions and fervor that all advent believers experienced as they anticipated Christ appearing to cleanse the earth with fire at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. Miller used 15 different speculative proofs to prove that Christ would come, between March of 1843 to March of 1844.[323] When Christ failed to come by March of 1844 the Seven Months movement led by S. S. Snow taught that Jesus would come on October 22, 1844, in fulfillment of the antitypical Day of Atonement.[324] Furthermore, they saw the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25as being fulfilled in every detail through their pre-advent experience. Thus the delay of Christ’s coming in the spring of l844 was understood as the tarrying time. Samuel Snow’s proclamation of the exact day of Christ’s return was seen as fulfilling the midnight cry: “Behold the bridegroom comes, go ye out to meet him.” They regarded this midnight cry—that Christ would return on October 22—to be the cry that awoke the sleeping virgins. They were confident that each individual’s destiny would be forever determined when Christ shut the door (of probation) at his return on October 22, 1844.

Turning to Revelation14, they applied the judgment-hour message to the ending of the 2300-day prophecy. The churches that failed to accept the Millerite teaching were regarded as constituting Babylon—the fallen church depicted in the second angel’s message of Revelation 14. Adventists came to understand the acceptance of the October 22 date as a salvation test. All sincere Christians, they were convinced, would leave these fallen churches and join the Advent bands prior to October 22.

The unity within the Adventist ranks was rent—like the temple veil at Christ’s death—in the wake of the great disappointment that followed His failure to return. The largest cohort of the disappointed, led by J. V. Himes and, soon, William Miller, became known as Open-door Adventists. They viewed their attempt to pinpoint an exact date for Christ’s appearing as a mistake. Acknowledging the human factor in calculating the end of the 2300 days, they reasoned that the 2300-dayperiod might not end for several more years. Since Christ had not returned, the shutting of the door in the parable of the ten virgins could not have occurred on October 22, 1844. Consequently, they felt that their present duty was to preach the soon coming of Christ to “… both saints and sinners, that the first may rejoice, knowing their redemption draweth nigh, and the last to be warned to flee from the wrath to come, before the Master of the house shall rise up and shut the door.”[325]

All of the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers came from the opposing group known as Shut-door Adventists. Significant elements of what became the sanctuary doctrine were first formulated by these believers in an attempt to prove that probation had closed on October 22, 1844, when they believed that Christ shut the door, as mentioned in Matthew’s parable of the ten virgins. They viewed the intense emotional experience immediately prior to October 22 as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s involvement in, and validation of, the “seventh-month movement” that had proclaimed that Christ would come on October 22. If this movement had given the true midnight cry, they reasoned, it seemed logical that October 22 was the correct termination for the 2300-day prophecy.

It was not merely the preaching of a literal and soon-coming Christ that led these Shut-door believers to conclude that God had chosen them as a distinct people. (This, they conceded, was believed by thousands of non-Millerite Christians.) Rather it was the preaching of a definite time for Christ’s coming that they felt had been “authorized by the Most High.”[326] Ellen White concurred with this belief that God had tested and separated out a people for himself based on this preaching of definite time. She, with other Shut-door believers, maintained this assumption despite the fact that non-Adventists repeatedly objected that Christ had taught that no man would know the day or hour of his return. Ellen White categorically judged all ministers who objected to the preaching of definite time as doing so because “they know that their un-Christian lives would not stand the test.”[327]

This belief that God had tested and separated people based on their acceptance or rejection of the preaching of definite time was incorporated into Ellen Harmon’s first (December 1844) vision and was to play an important role in the development of the sanctuary doctrine. In her December vision an angel told her that the light on the path behind the traveling advent band was the midnight cry (the teaching that Christ would come October 22, 1844). Those Adventists traveling to the heavenly city who denied the correctness of the midnight cry stumbled and

…fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the city as all the wicked world which God had rejected.[328]

The italicized portion of this vision was deleted when it was republished in Experience and Views in 1851 and later in Early Writings.[329] The deletions were evidence that by July, 1851 the Whites had begun to dispensed with the belief that sinners could no longer be saved. However, in December 1844 the phrase “all the wicked world which God had rejected” would have been understood by the disappointed to mean that sinners could no longer be saved after the shutting of the door two months earlier.

Ellen White later denied that her visions had ever taught that sinners could no longer be saved, while continuing to maintain throughout her life that those who heard and rejected the Adventist message prior to October 22, 1844, and those Adventists who later gave up belief in the significance of October 22 “…thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer plead with them.”[330] Even though William Miller rejected the truth, as Shut-door Adventists understood it, Ellen granted an exception in his case. But those who she felt influenced him against her understanding of truth would be held accountable.[331]

Ellen White seemed never to realize the tension that existed between her early judgment against those who objected to the preaching of definite time and her later statements warning against the teaching of definite time for Christ's return. Writing years later in the Desire of Ages she admonishes:

But the day and hour of His coming Christ has not revealed… There are those who claim to know the very day and hour of our Lord's appearing… But the Lord has warned them off the ground they occupy. The exact time of the Second Coming of the Son of Man is God’s mystery.[332]

With the Shut-door believers fixed on the certainty that God was behind the preaching of definite time, there yet remained the question of what exactly had occurred on October 22 that constituted the cleansing of the sanctuary described in Daniel 8:14. Since Miller had interpreted the cleansing of the sanctuary to be Christ's second coming, and they still expected Christ's appearing momentarily, it is perhaps not surprising that they turned first to the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25for another explanation of October 22, 1844. Having already applied this parable exclusively to the Millerite movement, they felt convinced that the wicked and the fallen churches were not the foolish virgins, since they had already rejected God’s final call. It was felt rather that there needed to be a little time after October 22 for the foolish virgins’ (Adventists’) lamps to go out.[333] In November 1844 William Miller, while still believing in the Shut-door, wrote of his conviction that October 22 marked the decisive point in time when a division and separation was made between the righteous and the wicked.[334]

The parable concluded with the coming of the bridegroom who took the five wise virgins with him into the marriage. He then shut the door and would not open it, saying to the foolish virgins, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not” (Matthew 25: 10). While prior to October 22 the Millerites had correctly applied the coming of the bridegroom and the shutting of the door to the close of probation at the second coming, the Shut-door Adventists insisted that the bridegroom (Christ) had come to the heavenly marriage (in heaven) and shut the door on October 22, 1844. Joseph Turner, a fellow believer and friend of Ellen Harmon in Portland, Maine, was the first to articulate these views in the Advent Mirror of January 1845. Turner argued that Christ had come as the bridegroom to the heavenly marriage in fulfillment of the parable of the ten virgins, and that His coming as the bridegroom was separate from His coming in power and glory to the earth. He concluded that after October 22, 1844, the door in the parable was shut. “But can any sinners be converted if the door is shut? Of course they cannot, though change that may appear to be conversions may take place.”[335] Turner allowed for the possibility that some who feared God and worked righteousness might grow in their understanding of truth. But it was with this class and this class only that Shut-door believers should now labor.

Open-door Adventists objected to Turner’s interpretation of this parable. They maintained that Christ’s coming as the bridegroom referred to his second coming, and, therefore, the shutting of the door was still future. Nevertheless, Ellen Harmon, recounted in her 1847 letter to Bates, that her first vision in December 1844 was in agreement with Turner’s article.[336] In her second vision (February 1845), she saw Christ going as the bridegroom to the heavenly marriage by entering the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary .[337] As Ellen Harmon confirmed in this same 1847 letter to Bates, it was her relating this vision to the Advent band in Exeter, Maine, that caused them to become united in their conviction that the door was shut.[338] It is interesting to note that in Christ’s Object Lessons Ellen White re-interpreted the parable of the ten virgins in the manner of the Open-door Adventists, by applying this Shut-door to the future close of probation and the coming of the “bridegroom” at the second coming.[339] The paradox remains that if in the 1840s Ellen White had understood the parable of the ten virgins in the manner of Christ's Object Lessons, she would have found herself in agreement with the very Open-door Adventists whom her early visions so vehemently denounced.

Prior to October 22, 1844, the Millerites had accepted the general consensus of Bible commentators concerning the book of Hebrews. They held that Christ, by virtue of His once-for-all atonement for sins, became our high priest in the heavenly sanctuary . Because of His blood, believers could come with boldness through the veil into the very presence of God. They believed that Christ would leave the most holy place on October 22, 1844, in fulfillment of the antitypical Day of Atonement and come in the clouds of heaven. When Christ failed to return, Joseph Turner and Apollos Hale contended that instead of leaving the most holy place on October 22, He entered it for the first time.

The coming of the bridegroom would point out some change of work or office, on the part of our Lord, in the invisible world, and the going in with him a corresponding change on the part of his true people. With him it is within the veil—where he has gone to prepare a place for us; with them it is outside the veil, where they wait and keep themselves ready till they pass in to the marriage supper.[340]

Likewise, Ellen Harmon saw in her second vision (February 1845) that Jesus had left His throne and entered the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary . Those who failed to accept the light of the Advent message were unaware that Christ had left the holy place. Of these Ellen recalled, “… I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after he rose up, and they were left in perfect darkness.”[341] Those who continued to pray before the now-empty throne received deceptive and unholy influences from Satan. When Ellen White visited Exeter, Maine where she had this second vision she found that many of the Adventist there did not believe in the Shut-door. She recounted to Bates that, “Most of them received the vision, and were settled upon the Shut-door.”[342]

These early Shut-door believers were fully aware that their views ran counter to the generally accepted understanding of Hebrews. Hale had argued that the “heavenly things” mentioned in Hebrews 9:23 that must be cleansed with a better sacrifice than animals’ blood referred to Christ’s cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary beginning on October 22, 1844.[343] Bliss, an Open-door Adventist, countered that Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 24, and 10: 12-14 clearly taught that Christ had already cleansed the heavenly things mentioned in Hebrew 9:23 with the sacrifice of himself 1800 years ago.[344]

O. R. L. Crosier, in his February 7, 1846, Day-Star Extra article, was the first to attempt a complete explanation of this new understanding of Christ’s cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary . He maintained in later years that he wrote this article in support of the Shut-door position, that no more sinners could now be converted.[345] Ellen White, in 1847 endorsed his article saying, “The Lord shew me in vision more than one year ago that Brother Crosier had the true light on the cleansing of the sanctuary …”[346]

Crosier based his interpretation of Hebrews largely on an analogy of the typical sanctuary service and on his understanding of Daniel 8:14. He assumed that every aspect of the type must have a corresponding and precise antitypical fulfillment. The weakness of Crosier’s reasoning rests on the fact that the typical earthly sanctuary service was only a shadow and not the reality (Hebrews 10:1). Using his reasoning, it could be argued that Christ would have to be offered again and again to fulfill all the various sacrifices in the type. Hebrews, on the other hand, seeks again and again to contrast and show the superiority of Christ’s high priestly work and his once for all sacrifice over that of the earthly high priests’ continual work with it’s many sacrifices.

Christ as high priest

Earthly high priest/priests

· Without sin.

· Sinful.

· Lives forever.

· Died.

· His one sacrifice completely dealt with sin.

· Many animal sacrifices could not remove sin.

· Has complete and full access to God.

· Limited access but once a year.

· His atonement finished he sat down at Gods right hand.

· Stands continually offering sacrifices that can never take away sin.

Crosier used the analogy of the typical sanctuary to argue that Hebrews9:11, 12, 23, 24 referred to a two-apartment heavenly sanctuary . In his view, Christ began his ministry in the holy place after His ascension and continued to minister there until 1844. He then entered the most holy place for the first time to begin the antitypical Day of Atonement by blotting out the sins of the righteous.[347] J. N. Andrews likewise argued that Hebrew 9:8 and 10:19 do not refer to the most holy place but rather to holy places. From this he concluded “… that the heavenly sanctuary consists of two holy places.”[348] The Seventh day Adventist pioneers built their whole sanctuary doctrine on this conviction that Hebrews taught a two-apartment heavenly sanctuary . Thus it is interesting to note that Richard Davidson, writing in Ministry magazine concedes, “Our discussion thus far has not concluded that the author of Hebrews is trying to prove the existence of a bipartite heavenly sanctuary that corresponded to the earthly counterpart.”[349]

Crosier, likewise, insisted that Hebrew 6:19-20 could not refer to Christ’s entrance within the veil of the most holy place at His ascension. This denial came largely from his conviction that Christ could not enter the most holy place until after the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8: 14.[350] However Seventh-day Adventist New Testament scholar Norman Young has demonstrated decisively that careful exegesis of Hebrews6:19-20[351] does, in fact, support the view that the phrase “within the veil” refers to the most holy place.[352]

Apparently the Adventist pioneers, while attempting to understand the typological symbolism of every other aspect of the sanctuary , never seemed to ask what the veil symbolized. In Leviticus 16:2, God specifically warned Aaron not to come into the most holy place behind the veil lest he die, because it was there that God would appear in glory over the mercy seat. Even on the Day of Atonement the high priest had to fill the most holy place with a cloud of incense that would conceal the mercy seat lest he die (Leviticus 16:13). Hebrews chapter nine focuses on the Day of Atonement. While priests could regularly enter the holy place without blood, the high priest alone could enter the most holy place, but once a year and never without blood. This limited and partial access into the very presence of God is then contrasted by Christ’s full, complete, and final access into the very presence of God by virtue of His one sacrifice for sin(Hebrews 9:12 and 10:12). The veil thus symbolized the barrier or separation that existed between God and man. This barrier existed in the Old Testament era because the blood of goats and bulls could not remove sin (Hebrews 10:4). But since the death of Christ the barrier has been removed. The veil represents Christ’s body. By faith in Christ and his blood, the believer may come with boldness into the very presence of God (Hebrews 10:20).

Had Crosier and the other Adventist pioneers correctly understood the message of Hebrews, they would have had to revise entirely their understanding of Christ’s high priestly work. Their failure to understand Hebrews led to major parts of Crosier’s article becoming incorporated into the doctrine of the investigative judgment. These were:

  1. The sanctuary to be cleansed in Daniel 8:14 was the heavenly sanctuary mentioned in Hebrews, rather than the temple in Jerusalem in Old Testament times (as understood by most Bible commentators today), or the earth by fire (as believed by the Millerites).[353]
  2. The heavenly sanctuary is composed of two parts—the holy and most holy places.[354]
  3. Each of the Jewish festivals must have a distinct antitypical fulfillment. Christ’s death fulfilled Passover, and Pentecost was fulfilled by the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, Crosier believed that the Day of Atonement was antitypically fulfilled on October 22, 1844, when Christ began to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary . On that day he stopped ministry in the holy place by shutting the door and went within the veil to the most holy place.[355]
  4. A denial that the atonement was made at the cross. Prior to 1844 Christ had only forgiven man’s sins. These confessed and forgiven sins had polluted the heavenly sanctuary . Christ began in 1844 to make atonement for sins by blotting them out. It was this blotting out of sins that would cleanse the heavenly sanctuary after 1844.[356]

The concept of a future blotting out of sins became a central concept in the doctrine of the investigative judgment. Crosier based this future blotting out of sin on a single Bible reference in Acts 3:19. But was Peter, as he preached to the crowd in the temple after the healing of the lame man, intending to point to a future blotting out of sins in 1844? W. W. Fletcher, an Adventist missionary and Bible teacher, left the church in the early 1930s because of his conviction that the investigative judgment was unbiblical. He noted that Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost parallels that of the one he made in the temple after the healing of the blind man:

Acts 2:38

Acts 3:19

“Repent ye and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ

“Repent ye, therefore turn again

unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

that your sins may be blotted out that there may come seasons of refreshment from the presence of the Lord.

Peter’s use of blotting out of sins had the same meaning as remission of sins. The clear intent of Peter’s words pointed not to a future blotting out of sins in 1844, but to a present blotting out (or remission) of sins in A.D. 31 for all who on the day they heard Peter speak accepted Christ as Messiah.[357]

According to Crosier and other Adventists the work of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary by Christ blotting out the believers’ sins had only just begun when Christ entered the most holy place in 1844. This led Ellen White to see repeatedly in vision that since 1844 Jesus is now standing in the most holy place.[358] In an 1849 vision, Ellen saw that, “… Jesus rose up, and shut the door in the Holy Place, and opened the door in the Most Holy, and passed within the second veil, where he now stands by the Ark; and where the faith of Israel now reaches.[359] In 1850 she again in vision saw Jesus standing in the most holy place pleading his blood, and that he could not come the second time until he finishes his work in the most holy place.[360] In contrast the writer of Hebrews repeatedly sees Jesus has being seated at God’s right hand since having completed his work of purification of sins. (Hebrews 1:3, 13; 8:1) In Hebrews 10 he contrasts the priest who stands daily offering sacrifice after sacrifice that can never take away sins, with Christ, who after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, sat down at the right hand of God. Why was he able to sit down? Hebrews answers this question by saying it is “because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:11-14) Hebrews sees Jesus ministering as our High Priest based on his once and for all finished atonement, while the Shut-door Adventist see Jesus just having begun the work of cleansing the most holy place in 1844 in order to finish the atonement and thus cleansing the heavenly sanctuary .

In the May 1850 Present Truth, James White restated the basic arguments first advanced by Crosier in 1846. In the autumn of 1844 “… the Midnight Cry was given, the work for the world was closed up, and Jesus passed into the Most Holy Place to receive the kingdom, and cleanse the sanctuary .”[361] James White further stated that after October 1844 “… all our sympathy, burden and prayers for sinners ceased, and the unanimous feeling and testimony was, that our work for the world was finished forever.”[362] The reason for this change of feeling on the part of Shut-door believers on earth was that Christ had shut the door to the holy place and had gone into the most holy place when the 2300 days ended.

James White objected to the argument that the door of mercy being shut in 1844 was unbiblical.

“God’s mercy endureth forever.” Ps. 136:106, 118. He is still merciful to his saints, and ever will be; and Jesus is still their advocate and priest. But the sinner, to whom Jesus had stretched out his arms all the day long, and who had rejected the offers of salvation, was left without an advocate, when Jesus passed from the Holy Place, and shut the door in 1844.”[363]

The churches that rejected this Shut-door truth,

“… go to seek the Lord” as still an advocate for sinners; but says the prophet, Hosea 5:6, 7 “They shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord: for they have begotten strange children.”[364]

Both James and Ellen White used Hosea 5:6, 7 as if it proved that the door was shut in 1844, and all reported conversion of sinners after 1844 were false.[365] Their writings evidence no awareness that Hosea had applied this text to Israel in his day. The December 1849 Present Truth sums up their concern: “Many will point us to one who is said to be converted for positive proof that the door is not shut, thus yielding the Word of God for the feelings of an individual.”[366]

Ellen White’s March 24, 1849, vision must be understood in light of this conviction that conversions of sinners would be in contradiction of the Word of God; for she saw that Satan was attempting to deceive God’s people during this sealing time by false reports of conversions:

The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth, but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart had only wrapt about them a religious garb, which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God's people: but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever. My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it, for the time of their salvation is past.[367]

James White’s May 1850 Present Truth article made it plain that the reason Shut-door Adventists no longer felt “travail of soul for sinners” was because of their conviction that their work for the world was forever finished in 1844. However, when James and Ellen White published Experience and Views in August 1851—a time in which they were beginning to reinterpret their former Shut-door views and to acknowledge sinners might be saved—they deleted the italicized portion of the March 24, 1849 vision. In fact, a footnote was added in which an attempt was made to reinterpret that vision. Thus, while the original vision states that after 1844 sinners were converted in appearance only, since the time of their salvation was past, the footnote asserts that the time for the false shepherds’ (Open-door Adventist preachers) salvation was past. Consequently, these false shepherds did not feel a genuine “travail of soul for sinners.”[368]

A further factor that convinced the Adventist pioneers that reports of converted sinners were false was that the new converts did not keep the seventh-day Sabbath. In the same March 24, 1849, vision Ellen White contended that man could no longer find access to Godin the same way as he had prior to the shutting of the door in 1844.

I saw that the enemies of the present truth have been trying to open the door to the Holy Place that Jesus shut, and to close the door of the Most Holy Place which he opened in 1844, where the Ark is, containing the two tables of stone on which are written the ten commandments by the finger of Jehovah.[369]

In her first vision given in December 1845 Ellen was also led into the Most Holy Place by Jesus. Jesus lifted the lid of the Ark of the Covenant, and he showed her Aaron’s rod and the golden pot of Manna, but she did not see the Ten Commandments nor realize that the Sabbath had become a testing truth since Jesus had entered into the most holy place in October 1844.[370] Ellen White had another vision in 1847 after she had become a seventh-day Sabbath keeper where she again was taken in vision into the most holy place and saw Jesus lift the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.

Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table was four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth (the Sabbath commandment,) shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God’s holy name.[371]

These two contrasting visions strongly suggests that Ellen White only saw in vision what she previously heard from her fellow Adventists. The debate within Adventist circles as to whether the door of salvation for sinners was shut or open was fierce in the aftermath of the Great Disappointment in the fall of 1844. She acknowledged in her July 1847 letter to Bates letter that she had gone from believing that the door was shut to believing that it was open before her December vision and it was her first vision and second visions that reconfirmed her faith in the Shut-door.[372] However in December of 1844 there was no similar debate within Adventism linking the Sabbath with the Shut-door and as a consequence she did not see the Ten Commandments in her first vision nor did she receive any indication that the Sabbath had now become a testing truth since the door was shut in October 1844.

Joseph Bates in the December 1850 Review and Herald likewise discounted all reported conversions by Open-door Adventists because they did not keep the seventh-day Sabbath.

We say, that as long as they continue rebellious against their lawful Prince it is morally impossible for them to beget for him one peaceful subject. God has a true test, by which to try every individual since the Midnight Cry. It is “the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”[373]

The following month Bates wrote that the names of all honest believers and children who had not yet reached the age of accountability were written on Christ's breastplate of judgment.

The names of all who fully keep the commandments are retained. Those that do not, will have their names erased before Jesus leaves the Holiest… Sinners and backsliders cannot get their names on the breastplate of judgment now.[374]

That the Ten Commandments and especially the Sabbath had become a test after 1844 was also held by Ellen White. She reasoned that prior to 1844 people could be saved without Sabbath observance because the door into the most holy place had not yet been opened. However, after 1844 man could no longer gain access to God through the holy place. Later in the Great Controversy she likened 1844 to 31 A.D., and compared non-Sabbath keeping Christians to Jews who had rejected Christ as their Messiah. By rejecting Christ, these Jews experienced a Shut-door. Only by accepting Christ as Messiah could they gain the “benefits of His mediation.”[375]

The condition of the unbelieving Jews illustrates the condition of the careless and unbelieving among professed Christians, who are willingly ignorant of the work of our merciful High Priest. In the typical service, when the high priest entered the Most Holy Place, all Israel were required to gather about the sanctuary and in most solemn manner humble their souls before God, that they might receive pardon of their sins and not be cut off from the congregation. How much more essential in this antitypical Day of Atonement that we understand what duties are required of us.[376]

The new duty she saw was the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath.[377] Thus by the early 1850s all the pieces to what later was to become the doctrine of the investigative judgment were in place; yet James White continued to be adamantly opposed to the concept of a pre-advent investigative judgment. In A Word to the Little Flock, written in 1847, he asserted that such a judgment was not needed.

It is not necessary that the final sentence should be given before the first resurrection, as some have taught; for the names of the saints are written in heaven, and Jesus, and the angels will certainly know who to raise, and gather to the New Jerusalem.[378]

Just who was urging the concept of an investigative judgment in 1847 is unclear. However by 1850 it is clear that Joseph Bates held such a view.

How evident that both the Father and the Son here left the throne in the Holy and moved into the Most Holy… to set in judgment, first to decide who is and who is not worthy to enter the gates of the Holy City; which the Bridegroom, High Priest, Mediator and crowned King of Israel stands before him advocating the cause of all presented on his breastplate of judgment. As Daniel now sees it the judgment is now set and the books open.[379]

James White, however, continued to oppose the concept of a pre-advent judgment. Writing in the September 1850 Advent Review, he summarized his understanding of the events that would occur on the day of judgment. (1) “It would be introduced by the second advent… to gather the elect only—the righteous both living and those who sleep.” (2) The righteous will then sit on judgment thrones to judge the world, fallen angels and the devil. (3) The judgment scene in Daniel7 refers to the saints sitting in judgment after the second coming, not to a pre-advent judgment. (4) Quoting 2 Timothy 4:1, White inserted the following parenthesis (not before) into the verse: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at (not before) his appearing and his kingdom.” (5) “Revelation 14:6,7 which says, ‘Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of judgment is come,’ does not prove that the day of judgment came in 1840 or 1844 or that it will come prior to the second advent. The testimony of that angel could only signify that the period had come for this generation to be tested by second advent truth.” (6) Finally, regarding the biblical basis for a pre-advent judgment, White concludes: “Some have contended that the day of judgment was prior to the second advent. This view is certainly without foundation in the Word of God.”[380]

James White and other Shut-door believers had from 1844-1851 regarded the significance of Christ's entrance into the most holy place as the Shut-door that left the wicked world, fallen churches, and those who heard and rejected the advent message without a mediator. It was regarded as denial of the Shut-door to hold during this time that sinners could be saved. However from the summer of 1851 onward they began to reinterpret their Shut-door views. Certain of Ellen White’s early visions were republished in Experience and Views in August 1851, with the strongest Shut-door phrases deleted. By 1853 James White had redefined the Shut-door as applying only to those who participated in the Advent Movement and then rejected its light. “Those who were not in the movement and did not reject its light, stand on the same ground for salvation, as though such a movement had never taken place” Further on in the same article he continued, “O, that precious souls would come to this Open-door (most holy place) and share the Savior’s pardoning love.”[381]

However, with this change from a shut to Open-door for sinners, 1844 was in danger of becoming a historic footnote. There was now a pressing need to show that Christ’s entrance into the most holy place continued to have ongoing importance to believers in the 1850s. Writing in the October 2, 1855, Review and Herald, Uriah Smith adopted some of the same arguments that Joseph Bates had used earlier to attempt to prove that a pre-advent judgment had commenced in 1844 as a fulfillment of the antitypical Day of Atonement. He stated that Christ, like Aaron, had carried the names of all professed believers into the most holy place on his breastplate of judgment.[382] Exodus 28 does speak of such a breastplate that Aaron wore as he ministered before the Lord in the holy place. But in Leviticus 16 a full description is made of the clothing, the ritual, and sacrifices that the high priest was to perform on the Day of Atonement. No mention is made that the high priest carried the breastplate into the most holy place on the Day of Atonement.

Thus a major part of Uriah Smith’s argument rested on the unproven assumption that in the type, the high priest carried this breastplate with him into the most holy place. “This prefigured a solemn fact; namely, that in the great plan of salvation, a time of decision was coming for the whole human race; a work of atonement, which being accomplished, God’s people, the true Israel, should stand acquitted, and cleansed from all sin.”[383]

As was previously noted, much of Crosier’s and later Adventist sanctuary doctrine was built by drawing analogies from the typical sanctuary and its service. However whenever the typical service did not fit into what the pioneers wished to prove, they felt the freedom to discard the type. First Uriah Smith attempts to prove from the types that Christ must have begun a pre-advent judgment in 1844. Then he asserts that contrary to the type

Atonement was then made for the people of Israel as a body; here the work has to be with individuals; for as individuals we must stand condemned or acquitted at the judgment seat of Christ.[384]

Smith used 1 Peter 4:17 as biblical support for a pre-advent judgment beginning in 1844. Peter wrote in the present tense “The time is come,” with the clear implication that his words had a present application to his hearers. But even if it could be argued that 1 Peter 4:17 did not apply to Peter’s day, Christ could still judge the righteous first at his coming. Smith concluded that this pre-advent judgment

…must embrace the examination of individual character; and we conclude that the lives of the children of God, not only those who are living, but all who have ever lived, whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, will during this time pass in final review before that great tribunal.[385]

James White’s original objection in A Word to the Little Flock, that such an investigative judgment was unnecessary remained unanswered. Christ affirmed, “I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14). Smith had already noted that this judgment includes only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Paul affirms that first-century believers’ names were already written in the Lamb’s book of life (Phil 4:3). The very mention of names included in the Lamb’s book of life indicates that believers are already, during their life, known in heaven by God and Christ as having eternal life. An investigative judgment would only be meaningful if somehow God was uncertain as to who really was his child and who was not.

Finally, in the January 29, 1857, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, James White himself embraced the concept and used for the first time the term “investigative judgment.” After noting that 1 Peter 4:17, 18 refers to two classes to be judged—the righteous and the wicked—James White asserted, “Both classes will be judged before they are raised from the dead.” He also used Revelation20 to show that the wicked will be judged prior to their being raised from the dead. To prove a pre-advent judgment of the righteous, White quoted 1 Timothy 5:24, with parentheses supplied: “Some men’s sins (the righteous) are open before the Lord, going before to judgment, and some men (the wicked) they follow after.”[386] However, in context Paul is referring to open versus hidden sin, and not to a pre-advent and post-advent judgment. This becomes clear through a consideration of the passage, particularly as it is rendered in the New International Version:

The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden (1 Timothy 5:24-28).

Clearly, James White offers no biblical support capable of overturning his original conviction that 1 Timothy 4:1 specifically points to the correct time of judgment: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at [not before] his appearing…” (brackets supplied by White).[387]

In 1847 White had been certain that Christ and the holy angels would know whom to raise at Christ's coming. Now he argues:

To place the investigative judgment of the saints after the resurrection of the just supposes the possibility of a mistake in the resurrection, hence the necessity of an investigation to see if all who are raised were really worthy of the first resurrection.[388]

The importance of this investigative judgment for professed Christians was the fact that they could never know at what point in time their names would come up in judgment. James White feared that the living saints faced the real possibility of having their names blotted out in the judgment because their consecration and victory over sin was not complete enough.[389]

With James White’s article, the concept of an investigative judgment was now fully formed. All that remained for closure was the prophetic endorsement of Ellen White. This came in the form of her most complete explanation of such a judgment in the chapter entitled “The Investigative Judgment” in The Great Controversy. Here she states that Christ in 1844 entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary “…to perform the work of investigative judgment and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.”[390]

Just what is it that entitles a believer to have Christ blot out his sins? Ellen White goes on to describe the need for total consecration, the forsaking of sin, and the development in sanctification that borders on perfection: “The Law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgment.”[391] She noted that in the heavenly books are recorded

…every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for or against evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel.[392]

While noting that sins are forgiven through the blood of Christ, Ellen White stresses the need for sanctification if one’s name is to be cleared in the judgment. She writes:

All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life.[393]

For those who are alive just before Christ's second corning, Ellen White warns:

Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their character must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the Grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle of evil.[394]

Ellen White’s emphasis on the believer having his character in full harmony with the law of God, coupled with the uncertainty of never knowing when one’s name might come up in the judgment, has been responsible for leaving several generations of Seventh-day Adventists uncertain of their salvation. While Hebrews7:25 affirms that Christ is able to save completely those who come to God because he always lives to make intercession, Adventist live in fear of the day that Jesus will cease to be mediator for sin. Instead of having complete confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19), they look within themselves to see if their characters are sufficiently sanctified. The more introspective they become, the more character defects, sin, and failure they see. Many feel overwhelmed with a sense of guilt and failure. They conclude that as much as they might desire to be Christians, they just will never make it. Others struggle on, ever guilty and uncertain as to when their names will come up and whether or not their names will be cleared in the judgment. It is in these believers’ guilt and fear that the legacy of the Shut-door and investigative judgment continues lives on today.

Chapter IX

SOLUTIONS: A FORWARD LOOK

God has always revealed Himself to man in history. If, for example, Christ did not in historical fact die on the cross and rise from the dead, Christianity has lost its soul—its very reason for existence. This is true despite the fact that one can demonstrate that Jesus offered much wonderful counsel concerning how to love and treat one’s fellowmen. As Paul so effectively worded it, “… If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins,” 1 Corinthians 15:17.

Likewise, if Ellen White’s visions from 1844 - 1851 are in fact erroneous, upon what basis can one uphold her prophetic claim? This dilemma exists, despite the fact that she has written some beautiful statements about God, Christ, and the plan of salvation.

In fact, Ellen White’s visions during those Shut-door years are crucial in determining the validity of her prophetic claim. First of all, as James White noted in 1847, Mrs. White’s role as a prophet was established by her comments about the Shut-door:

“… the author does not ‘obtain the sentiments’ of her visions from previous teaching or study.’ When she received her first vision, Dec., 1844, she and all the band in Portland, Maine (where her parents then resided), had given up the Midnight-Cry and Shut-door, as being in the past. It was then that the Lord shew her in vision, the error into which she and the band in Portland had fallen.”[395]

In other words, since her vision confirmed the door’s being shut and was accepted as truth from God by her community of faith, Mrs. White was established in their eyes as God’s prophet.

A second point to consider is that during the Shut-door era Ellen White claimed the highest authority for her visions:

“I was shown that in striking against the visions they did not strike against the worm—the feeble instrument that God spoke through; but against the Holy Ghost. I saw that it was a small thing to speak against the instrument, but it was dangerous to slight the words of God.”[396]

A third reason for Ellen White’s Shut-door visions being critical to the denial or establishment of her prophetic claim is that she steadfastly refused to allow others to decide which parts of her writings were of God, and which were not:

“Do not by your criticisms take out all the force, all the point and power, from the Testimonies. Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom. If the Testimonies speak not according to the Word of God, reject them. Christ and Belial cannot be united.”[397]

Finally, E. G. White never admitted that her Shut-door visions were incorrect, nor did she ever attempt (as have some apologists) to explain away these visions as being the result of misinterpretations on her part.

In short, this writer believes that the major points of this paper will stand up under the most thorough research, both historically and biblically. Thus, we cannot—however much we might wish to—negate the fact that Mrs. White experienced repeated visions during the Shut-door era which were clearly erroneous in that they continued to affirm that the door of salvation was closed to sinners.

Some Adventist theologians and historians seem willing to concede this point, while attempting through various means to retain a continued faith in E. G. White’s prophetic ministry to the Seventh-day Adventist church. There are those who offer as apology that Mrs. White was ignorant, weak, and young, which caused her early visions to be mistaken, but that God through progressive revelation corrected her mistakes and caused her to mature in her spiritual insights.

Others suggest that the visions themselves were correct, but that she misunderstood them. This disclaimer is offered, despite the fact that, as we have already seen, Ellen White never admitted this and forbade anyone to attempt to divide her visions into what was truly of God and what might have resulted from her own thinking and, as such might be mistaken.

Some Seventh-day Adventist apologists have proposed a third solution, by acknowledging that her visions from 1844 - 1851 were in error in that they did teach that probation had closed for sinners. While conceding that the visions themselves were erroneous, this viewpoint seeks to confirm White’s inspiration and prophetic claims by asserting that God has never been able to communicate accurately through any of his prophets, since they have acquired from their community of faith misinformation concerning Him. In order to establish their point, these apologists are prepared to acknowledge that, although the Bible contains the Word of God, it also contains major theological errors, and that the writings of Bible prophets reveal equally as many mistaken visions (due to their misunderstandings about who God is) as did Ellen White’s.

The task remaining to the Seventh-day Adventist community, according to this perspective, is to search for the underlying truths about God contained in both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, while discarding what is erroneous. Thus, we must sift through Ellen White’s visions in an attempt to determine which are in truth from God, and which resulted from or were influenced by her own faulty understanding of God. This would be, admittedly, an ongoing process which, while neither perfect or complete, would hopefully result in a clearer and more accurate understanding of who God is.

However, any such attempt to acknowledge the major mistakes of Ellen White’s Shut-door visions and yet to retain faith in her visions as being of God seems to be dividing truth into what Francis Schaeffer has called the rational and the irrational levels. In his book Escape from Reason,[398] Dr. Schaeffer demonstrates the way in which modern man (especially liberal Christian theologians) has divided truth:

FAITH – UPPER STORY – NONRATIONAL

______________________________________________________

FACTS (HISTORY, SCIENCE) – LOWER STORY – RATIONAL

Such a division which separates faith into the upper story non-rational means that religious truth can neither be confirmed or falsified by history or science. This allows those who divide truth in this way to admit on the one hand that they no longer believe Christ historically rose from the dead, yet on the other hand to continue to express faith in the spiritual truth of his resurrection:

NONRATIONAL: I BELIEVE IN THE RESERRECTION

__________________________________________________________

RATIONAL: THE RESURRECTION DID NOT OCCUR IN HISTORY

To attempt, then, to acknowledge that Ellen White’s Shut-door visions were wrong, while still expressing faith that she did have some visions from God is to do precisely what the liberal theologian has done. The problem with this, however, is that over time this approach will affect not just one’s perception of Ellen White and her prophetic gift, but it will also come to include all Canonical inspiration. Indeed, alleged Biblical inaccuracies, both historical and theological (and here we do not refer to minor discrepancies, such as the question of one demoniac vs. two, but substantive errors, affecting the validity of the Christian faith) have been most often cited by S.D.A. theologians as their way of handling the entire Shut-door dilemma.

This apparent solution initially appears more acceptable than a decided rejection of Ellen White’s prophetic claims in favor of maintaining a view of inspiration which refuses to allow religious truth to be separated from historical truth. In fact, however, the ultimate outworking of such a “solution” will be devastating. For we as Christians will be left with no rational basis for confidence in the very foundations of the Christian faith. Instead, all that will remain to us will be some irrational “hope” which we may still choose to label “God”, but which will have no content, certainty, or power for our lives.

While it is true that this writer has encountered no Adventist theologian who has traveled the whole distance from negating the rational belief in portions of God’s Word to accepting it purely on the irrational level, it seems clear that when we have taken that first step—permitting God’s prophets a wide “margin of error” —whether unwittingly or not, we are certainly in route.

Chapter X

Postscripts 1982-2011

The original problems that I first saw in Hebrews have not gone away after over forty years of study. I do not believe that anyone could understand the book of Hebrews to be teaching a two apartment ministry of Christ, or that Christ did not begin his ministry in the Most Holy Place until 1844, unless one was attempting to understand Hebrews through Daniel 8:14 and the Great Disappointment that came when Christ failed to return on October 22, 1844. This understanding could only have come from disappointed Adventists trying to attempt to salvage something from the great disappointment that they had experienced. This paper has looked at the problems of the Shut-door, but the problems are much greater than that. The three questions that came to my mind, the first time I read Hebrews 9-10 in 1970, still remain as a challenge to other Seventh-day Adventists or those considering becoming Seventh-day Adventists.

  1. If Christ at his ascension, entered the heavenly Most Holy Place as our high priest, bringing the blood of his once and for all sacrifice, then what if anything did happen in 1844?
  2. If nothing happened in 1844, how then can Ellen White be a true prophet of God?
  3. If Ellen White is not God’s true end time prophet, how can the Seventh-day Adventist church be the only true remnant church on earth?

And now it is time for you to answer the questions that I asked in the preface to this paper. How you would have responded to the messages of the Advent movement from 1840-1855, if you have been alive in those days? How would God’s Word have informed you as to what you should have believed or not believed regarding the following questions? Remember that if you did not become a Shut-door Adventist from 1844-1851, you would not have accepted Ellen White as a prophet of God during the beginning years of her public prophetic ministry.

As I have read through this paper for a final time it has given me no joy to share these things with you. I am aware that loyal Seventh-day Adventist will find this paper difficult and even painful to read. Perhaps you will think that I am simply being negative in my view of Ellen White. I have sought not be harsh in what I have said, although you must be the judge as to how well I have succeeded in doing that.

But I was confronted with the challenge to test Ellen White by what I saw the book of Hebrews plainly teaching. It has been forty-one years since I have first read Hebrews. I have just finished my fourth consultant check of Hebrews this year. The problems that I first saw in 1970 remain. I therefore simply cannot affirm the Seventh-day Adventists statement of faith regarding the prophetic role of Ellen White.

Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists

17. The Gift of Prophecy: One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Hebrews1:1-3: Rev. 12:17, 19:10.)[399]

If you still believe that you can affirm this statement of fundamental belief, then which authoritative interpretation of Ellen White do you then accept when she has said conflicting things about a given passage? Was the parable of the wise and foolish virgin meant to apply to every aspect of the seventh month movement in 1844, or was Ellen White correct to later apply it to the second coming of Christ? Would your understanding of the Shut-door continued to have changed from 1844-1854 along with Ellen White so that you could have continued to affirm that she truly exercised the prophetic gift?

The last part of this statement of fundamental belief on the gift of prophecy seems to affirm that a loyal Seventh-day Adventist might really be free to test what Ellen White says by the Bible . Yes this may seem true in theory, but what happens when God’s Word and the clear teaching of Ellen White are in conflict? Albion F. Ballenger had served the church faithfully for many years, and in 1905 was an administrator in charge of the Irish Mission. He had been preaching on 1844 and the Adventist sanctuary doctrine, but was troubled that he felt he could not really support it well from Scripture. He vowed not to preach on it again until he could clearly affirm it from God’s Word. This led him to study Hebrews and the passages from the Law that speak of the sanctuary and the work of the high priest on the Day of Atonement. However, he became convinced from his study that the veil referred to in Hebrews 6:19-20 was the veil between the Holy and Most Holy Place based on the way this veil is referred to in fourteen passages in the Law.[400] He concluded that Hebrews was affirming that Christ entered the Most Holy Place at his ascension and not in 1844. He was removed from the Adventist ministry and Ellen White never replied to a letter he wrote to her laying out the biblical reasons for his understanding of Hebrews 6:19-20.[401] She did write against him and accused him of amassing Bible text to take people away from the truth, but she never sought to explain how he was misunderstanding Hebrews 6:19-20. This same fate has been met by many others through the years who have publicly voiced their problems with affirming 1844 and the sanctuary doctrine.[402]

Ellen White clearly felt that her visions came by the power of the Holy Spirit and demanded that people either fully accept or totally reject her visions as being totally of God or of Satan. During the Shut-door period she often spoke of pastors being deceived by Satan and all reported conversions of sinners being only a deception of Satan. I have had Seventh-day Adventists friends and relatives argue that all of her writings must either be true or false. If one used this same argument regarding Mohamed one would be compelled to affirm that he was a true prophet of God since his visions did affirm many true things about God. But I will neither over look her misunderstandings of Hebrews, no deny that she has spoken and written much that is true about Christ and the gospel. Ellen White in the years after 1851 began reading much from God’s Word and from other evangelical authors. It has been shown that she often borrowed from these evangelical writers of her day and as a result her understanding of the deity of Christ, the Trinity and the gospel became much clearer in later years.[403] When one compares her early visions with what she wrote on the life of Christ in the Desire of Ages, most readers will be blessed by reading the Desire of Ages rather than from her first published visions from 1844-1851.

While some of her critics wish to charge that her visions came from Satan, I would like to believe that that was not the case. I am convinced that Ellen White was experiencing something that she understood to be visions from God. I also know that she greatly feared that doubting these visions in any why would cause her to be rejected by God. We do know that she received a severe brain trauma from a stone thrown by an older girl that left her hovering between life and death for three weeks when she was only nine years old. She continued to suffer from this brain injury and was unable to return to school or be able to read for any length of time for many years afterwards. Thus when she experienced her first vision at seventeen years of age, in 1844, she had had only a couple of years of schooling, and had not had opportunity to study God’s word deeply. She was also caught up in a very emotional movement that expected the Lord to return October 22, 1844. Miller used proof-texts rather than sound exegetical and contextual methods of Bible study and his example was followed by Ellen and James White. This left her with little ability to test her visions or the teachings of Miller by the Word of God.

It has been suggested by some, that Ellen White possibly had a form of temporal lobe epilepsy as a result of the injury that she experienced as a child. This type of injure could have caused seizures in which she would have seen and heard things she would have remembered after coming out of the seizure and which she would have been convinced were visions from God. People suffering from this form of epilepsy often exhibit a compulsive need to write and write often on religious topics. [404] In addition to compulsive writing is the repetition of words during a seizure and in the writing afterward about what was seen during the seizure.[405] For example in the 1850 Sutton and Dorchester Visions Ellen White repeated ‘I saw’ 56 times in the first writing of her vision that Edson copied. When these two visions were published in Present Truth clearly a lot of editing was done and the phrase ‘I saw’ occurs only 7 times.[406]

Since Ellen White is now dead it may be difficult of totally confirm this diagnosis, but if is it is true it would explain many things about both her visions and her conduct at the point of the change from Shut-door to Open-door in 1851 and through the rest of her life. Her visions from 1844-1851 as I have shown in this paper seem to consist only of things that she understood prior to any given vision. A good example of this, is the comparison of what Jesus showed her in the Ark of the Covenant during her first vision and a later vision that she had in 1847 after becoming a Sabbath keeper. In 1844 she saw only Aaron’s rod and the jar of manna, but after she had begun to keep the seventh-day Sabbath Jesus showed her, in 1847, the Ten Commandments with a halo of light encircling the fourth commandment.[407]

She also denied that she had read or even heard of the views of Joseph Turner although his paper was in her parent’s house prior to her December 1844 vision. It was after the vision that she claim to discover that her vision agreed with Turner’s views on the Shut-door.[408] These denials of having heard or read from others were to continue through the rest of her life even though it is now clear that she did borrow extensively from the many authors that she read from. This borrowing from others might also be related to her compulsive need to write on topics that she did not know a lot about.[409]

Since she was convinced that she was having visions from God and had published and spoken of them widely, she could not honestly face that they taught the error of the Shut-door even after she and her husband James had begun re-interpreted the Shut-door in 1851. In most ways she seems to be an honest person but when it came to her visions relating to the Shut-door she was willing with her husband to delete some Shut-door passages and reinterpret others when they were republished in 1851.[410] In later years she seems to have convinced herself that her first vision took her and others out of the belief that sinners could no longer be saved, but during the Shut-door period, her 1847 letter to Bates states that before her first vision she had given up belief in the Shut-door and it was her first vision that led her and those who she related her vision to again embrace the Shut-door.[411]

I realize that source of her visions cannot be absolutely proven. God is the one who knows all things and before whom we must all give account. What I and you are called to do is to test her visions by God’s Word and on that basis that her visions for me have failed the test. As I have said I find no joy in sharing the problems that I see in Ellen White’s visions, the sanctuary and the Shut-door. What does fill me with great joy is to work day by day to help bring the Words of our Lord Jesus to five different language groups in southern Sudan. I have said yes to helping in this work for the rest of my working life and in doing so, I am helping to fulfill the Great Commission that our Lord Jesus gave his church.

I am glad that God has called me to this work in a full time way and that my only duty to you is to post this paper on Christian web sites where you may have the opportunity to read and test what I have said both by the Word of God and your own independent searching of the early source documents. I have given you plenty of sources to check out and you may well find more than I have found. I do remain open to dialogue in a respectful way to anyone who has questions that are raised by this paper.

Serving our Lord with Joy,

Wesley Ringer

Originally presented at the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists by Wesley Ringer, Instructor of Religion, San Gabriel Academy, April 6, 1982. Revised August 5, 2011.

Appendix I.

THE “sanctuary DOCTRINE” –
ASSET OR LIABILITY?

Raymond F. Cottrell, D. Div. (1912-2003)

“The ‘sanctuary doctrine’ – Asset or liability” was first delivered to the second JIF symposium in 02-04 November 2001 and again publicly on 09 February 2002 at the Assoc. of Adventist Forums meeting in San Diego, CA

The traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14 with its sanctuary and investigative judgment, which gave birth to Seventh-day Adventism and accounts for its existence as a distinct entity within Christendom, has been the object of more criticism and debate, by both Adventists and non-Adventists, than all other facets of its belief system combined. The same is true with respect to church discipline on doctrinal grounds, defections from the church, and the diversion of time, attention, and resources from Adventism’s perceived mission to the world.

It has been repeatedly and consistently demonstrated that an ordained minister may believe that Christ was a created being (and not Godin the full sense of the word), or that a person can earn salvation by faithfully observing the Ten Commandments, or that Genesis 1 is not a literal account of creation a mere six thousand years ago – without being disciplined and forfeiting his ministerial credentials. But it has also been repeatedly and consistently demonstrated that an ordained minister may not conscientiously question the authenticity of the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, even in his thoughts, without his ministerial credentials being revoked. As noted below, in several instances as much as half a century of faithful service to the church has not been sufficient to mitigate this result.

Accordingly, it is appropriate to review the origin, history, and methodology of the sanctuary doctrine, to examine it on the basis of the sola Scriptura principle and recognized principles of exegesis, and to explore procedures by means of which to avoid repeating the traumatic experiences of the church with it in the past – to learn from experience. Insofar as possible this paper avoids technical hermeneutical terminology, including the transliteration of Hebrew words used by Bible scholars. The transliteration used is designed to enable persons not familiar with biblical Hebrew to approximate the Hebrew vocalization. Except as otherwise noted, Bible quotations cited are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

1. Formation of the sanctuary doctrine

Pioneer Seventh-day Adventists inherited their identification of the year 1844 as the terminus of the 2300 “days” foretold in the KJV of Daniel 8:14 from William Miller. Formerly an avowed skeptic, he was converted in 1816 and eventually became a Baptist lay preacher. He devoted his first two years as a born-again Christian to a diligent study of the Bible , which eventually came to a focus on Daniel 8:14 and the conclusion that it foretold the second coming of Christ “about the year 1843.”

According to the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia Miller “repeatedly declared that his prophetic views were not new,” but insisted that he came to his conclusions exclusively through his own study of the Bible and reference to a concordance. In volume 4 of his Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers Le Roy Edwin Froom notes that Miller was by no means the “originator” of the idea that the 2300 “days” were prophetic years ending about 1843, and that it is “a simple historical fact that the origin of the view of the 2,300 years as ending at that time, and its wide circulation, was wholly prior to and independent of William Miller.”1

By what process did Miller, this formidable array of Bible students, and pioneer Adventists arrive at 1843/44 as the terminus of the 2300 “days” of Daniel 8:14? Relying on the 1611 King James translation of the Bible (the only one then available), they (1) identified its “sanctuary ” as the church on earth, (2) accepted the KJV interpretation of erev boquer (literally, “evening morning”) as “days,” (3) adopted the “day-for-a-year” principle in Bible prophecy and thus construed the 2300 “days” as prophetic years, (4) took the seventy “weeks” of Daniel 9:24-27 as the first segment of these 2300 years, (5) identified the cessation of sacrifice and offering for the last half of the seventieth of the seventy “weeks” (verse 27) as referring to Jesus’ crucifixion,2 (6) figuring back from the crucifixion, they identified the decree of the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus in his seventh year (Ezra 7) as that alluded to in Daniel 9:25, thus locating the commencement of the 2300 years in 457 B.C., (7) with 457 B.C. as their starting point, terminated them “about the year 1843,” (8) adopted the KJV interpretation of nitsdaq (literally, “set right” or “restored”) as “cleansed,” and (9) concluded that the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 meant the cleansing of the church on earth (and thus the earth itself) by fire at the second coming of Christ.

When the great disappointment of October 22, 1844proved conclusively that Miller’s identification of the “sanctuary ” in Daniel 8:14 as the church on earth and the nature of its cleansing as by fire at the second coming of Christ,3 were in error, pioneer Adventists re-identified the “sanctuary ” of verse 14 as that of the Book of Hebrews in heaven,4 and its cleansing as the heavenly counterpart of the cleansing of the ancient sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.5

Retaining, however, the presumed validity of October 22, 1844as the fulfillment of Daniel 8:14 and the concept that it implied the soon return of their Lord, the disappointed Adventist pioneers assumed that human probation had indeed closed on that fateful day, and that only those who at that time awaited His return were eligible for eternal life. They referred to this concept as “the Shut-door” in the parable of the Ten Virgins.6 They soon mated the “Shut-door” theory to the idea that the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 was the sanctuary in heaven, of the book of Hebrews, that the “Shut-door” was the “door” between its holy and most holy apartments, that on October 22 Christ had closed His ministry in the holy place and entered upon His high priestly ministry in its most holy place, and referred to His ministry there as an “investigative judgment.”

For several years the “little flock” of pioneer Seventh-day Adventists “scattered abroad” believed that the investigative judgment phase of Christ’s ministry would be very brief (not more than five years or so at the most),7 following which He would immediately return to earth. The eventual accession of new, non-1844, members to the “little flock” proved to be convincing evidence that the door of mercy remained open, and by the early 1850’s they abandoned the “Shut-door” aspect of the sanctuary -in-heaven interpretation of Daniel 8:14.

This completed the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment, which was thereafter commonly referred to as “the sanctuary doctrine” set forth in every statement of beliefs, most recently as article 23 of the 27 Fundamental Beliefs adopted at the 1980 session of the General Conference in New Orleans.

2.2. Ellen G. White and the sanctuary doctrine

The ultimate argument in defense of the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14 every time questions have been raised concerning it, has been Ellen White’s explicit affirmation of it. As a presumably infallible interpreter of Scripture her support always settled the matter. For instance, in 1888, forty-four years after the great disappointment of October 22, 1844she wrote: “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith, was the declaration, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’“8 She devoted an entire chapter in The Great Controversy to a defense and explanation of the sanctuary doctrine.9 Eighteen years later, in 1906, she wrote again: “The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.”10

In order to understand these two statements in their historical context it is important to remember that she and many others then living had personally experienced the great disappointment of October 22, 1844. Her statements about it were absolutely historically accurate. The experience was still vivid in her own mind and in the minds of many others.

In both of these statements Ellen White is simply stating historical fact; she is not exegeting Scripture. In 1895 she wrote: “In regard to infallibility, I never claimed it; God alone is infallible.”11 “The Bible is the only rule of faith and doctrine. ... The Bible alone ... [is] the foundation of our faith. ... The Bible alone is to be our guide. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of [God’s] will. ... We are to receive God’s word as supreme authority.”12 Numerous similar statements could be cited.13 It is important to remember that she never considered herself an exegete of the Bible . Upon numerous occasions when asked for what her questioners proposed to accept as an authoritative, infallible interpretation of a disputed Bible passage she refused, and told them to go to the Bible themselves for an answer.

It is also vital to remember that in Ellen White’s 47,00014 or so citations of Scripture she makes use of the Bible in two distinct ways: (1) to quote the Bible when narrating the Bible story in its own context, and (2) to apply Bible principles in her counsel to the church today—-out of its biblical context.

A clear illustration of this two-fold use of the Bible is her series of comments on Galatians 3:24: “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.” (1) In 1856 she identified that law as the ceremonial law system of ancient times, and specifically not the Ten Commandments.15 (2) In 1883 she again identified that “law” as “the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism.”16 (3) In 1896 she wrote: “In this Scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law.”17 (4) In 1900 she wrote: “I am asked concerning the law in Galatians. ... I answer: both the ceremonial and moral code of Ten Commandments.”18 (5) In 1911 she again identified the law in Galatians as exclusively “the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism.”19

In these three reversals (ceremonial law exclusively, Ten Commandments exclusively, both the ceremonial law and the Ten Commandments, ceremonial law exclusively) was she contradicting herself or did she repeatedly change her mind? Neither! A careful reading of each statement in its own context makes evident that (1) when she identifies the law in Galatians as the ceremonial law system of ancient times she is commenting on Galatians in its own historical context, and (2) when she applies the principle involved to our time she does so out of its biblical context. The principle involved in Paul’s day and in ours is identical: the Galatians could not be saved by a rigorous observance of the ceremonial laws; nor can we be saved by a rigorous observance of the Ten Commandments! The two contradictory definitions of the law in Galatians are both valid and accurate! A careful examination of Ellen White’s thousands of quotations from, or allusion to, the Bible makes evident that her historical statements regarding Daniel 8:14 are historically accurate with respect to the 1844 experience and not a denial of what the passage meant in Daniel’s time.

We may think of the heavenly sanctuary explanation of the great disappointment as a prosthetic device, a spiritual crutch that enabled the “little flock” of Adventist pioneers “scattered abroad”‘ to survive the great disappointment of October 22, 1844and not lose faith in the imminent return of Jesus, as so many others did. That explanation was the best they could do, given the proof text method on which, of necessity, they relied. With the historical method at our disposal today, we no longer need that crutch and would do well to lay it up on the shelf of history. It is counterproductive in our witness to the everlasting gospel today, to biblically literate Adventists and non-Adventists alike.

3. Six Church Leaders Who Questioned the sanctuary doctrine

For about forty years the sanctuary doctrine raised no known eyebrows or protests. But on an average of every fifteen or twenty years or so since 1887 an experienced, respected, and trusted church administrator or Bible teacher has called the attention of fellow church leaders to flaws in the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, forfeited his ministerial credentials, and either been disfellowshiped or voluntarily left the church. With one or two possible exceptions none of them had either spoken or taught their doubts regarding the biblical authenticity of the sanctuary doctrine, but were fired for thinking such thoughts and sharing them with fellow church leaders! Furthermore, none of them were novices, but experienced administrators or Bible teachers. Three of them had served the church faithfully for more than half a century each.

The first church leader of record to question the sanctuary doctrine was Dudley M. Canright, in 1887. Granted that he might have been more tactful and patient, but for more than twenty years he had served the church as a minister, able evangelist, administrator, and sometime member of the General Conference Committee, and had earned the right to a fair hearing of his views. But “the brethren” either did not listen or did not understand, apparently both. He voluntarily left the church and became as bitter and effective an opponent of Adventism as he had formerly advocated it.

Canright forthwith published a book, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, to warn people about the errors of Adventism. It has been translated into scores of languages and is still used effectively to warn people against Adventism. An honest, knowledgeable Adventist reading the book today would have to admit that much of his tirade against the sanctuary doctrine was—-and still is—-justified.20

Like Canright, Albion F. Ballenger had served the church faithfully for many years, and in 1905 was an administrator in charge of the Irish Mission. He was an able speaker and writer, and a diligent student of Scripture. Like Canright, Ballenger had never mentioned his views on the sanctuary in public, but a committee of twenty-five the General Conference appointed to hear him reported that he entertained views regarding the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary contrary to that of the church. He acknowledged the possibility that he might be wrong, and pleaded for someone to point out from the Bible where he was wrong, but no one did, either then or later.

The church withdrew his ministerial credentials and disfellowshiped him because of what he believed, not for anything he had said or done. Twenty-five years later W. W. Prescott (a member of the GC ad hoc committees appointed to meet with the dissidents) commented in a letter to W. A. Spicer, then president of the General Conference: “I have waited all these years for someone to make an adequate answer to Ballenger, Fletcher and others on their positions re. the sanctuary but I have not seen or heard it.” Ballenger subsequently explained his views in the book Cast Out for the Cross of Christ. “No one,” he lamented, “who has not experienced it can realize the soul anguish that overwhelms one who, in the study of the Word finds truth which does not harmonize with that which he has believed and taught during a whole lifetime to be vital to the salvation of the soul.”21

After some twenty years as an ordained minister, foreign missionary, and eventually Bible teacher at Avondale College in Australia, in 1930 William W. Fletcher voluntarily resigned from the ministry and severed his connection with the church, under administrative pressure, solely because of his views regarding errors in the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14. Two years later he published Reasons for My Faith, setting forth his views on the sanctuary and Christ’s ministry as our great High Priest. An objective reading of both the Bible and Reasons will conclude that Fletcher’s understanding of the former was superior to that of his critics.22

Louis R. Conradi served the church faithfully for fifty-two years, much of the time as vice-president of the General Conference for the Central European Division. He was an avid Bible scholar and student of history as well as an able administrator, and wrote extensively. He was highly respected by his fellow administrators. For more than thirty years questions grew in his mind regarding the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, which he first shared with a few church leaders in 1928 and which eventually led to a formal hearing before an ad hoc committee of thirty-three members appointed by the General Conference, forfeiture of his ministerial credentials, and his voluntary separation from the church in 1931.

Thereupon he united with the Seventh Day Baptists, who issued him ministerial credentials, gave him permission to preach Seventh-day Adventist teachings, and made him their official representative in Europe. To his death he expressed confidence in the fundamental integrity of Adventism despite errors in the sanctuary doctrine.23

William W. Prescott was a versatile person who, over a service lifetime for the church of more than half a century (1885-1937), distinguished himself as a writer, editor, publisher, educator, administrator, and Bible Scholar. Like Conradi, his study of the Bible led to a recognition of serious flaws in the sanctuary doctrine to which, however, he never gave public expression. He retained full confidence in the basic credibility of the Advent message. His one “mistake” was in 1934 when he shared his views with some of “the brethren” from headquarters, who turned against him. Unlike Conradi, however, he remained with the church, never forfeited his ministerial credentials, but returned to Washington, D.C. where he fellowshipped with his critics and participated actively in various General Conference activities.

After many years of service to the church Harold E. Snide was teaching Bible at Southern Junior College (now Southern Adventist University). A third-generation Adventist and a diligent student of Bible prophecy, he encountered problems with the traditional interpretation of Daniel, especially in connection with Christ’s ministry as set forth in the book of Hebrews. He went to the leaders in Washington with the problems that troubled him, but found no help. The conflict between the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14 and Scripture proved to be a traumatic experience that eventually, about 1945, led him to withdraw from the church. Mrs. Snide remained a loyal Adventist, however, and went to live with her parents in Takoma Park where I became acquainted with her.

The experience of R. A. Greive was unique in that, as president of the Queensland Conference in Australia, he never questioned the sanctuary doctrine. His concern was to encourage the experience of justification and righteousness by faith as presented in the books of Romans and Hebrews, and its counterpart the sinless perfection of Jesus Christ. Church leaders in the division office, however, accused him of thereby being in conflict with the concept of an investigative judgment as the cleansing of the sanctuary referred to in Daniel 8:14 and explained in Hebrews 9.

If, as Paul wrote in Romans 8:1, there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” how can a record of those sins be preserved and reviewed during the course of an investigative judgment? Greive asked. He also pointed out that, according to Hebrews7:27 and 9:6-12, Christ completed His equivalent of the first apartment ministry on the cross and entered upon His equivalent of the second apartment ministry when He ascended to heaven, not eighteen centuries later. At his trial Greive agreed to go as far as his “enlightened conscience” would allow in order to have harmony with his brethren, but for them that was not far enough. In 1956 his credentials were withdrawn and he withdrew from the church.24

Think of the time, attention, and cost of disciplining these six administrators and Bible scholars, listed above, has diverted from the mission of the church to the world! Think also of the distress and heartache these six have experienced and often expressed. Think, as well, of the damage some of them have done to the church!

4. Continuing Casualties of the sanctuary doctrine

Like an airplane unexpectedly entering a region of clear air turbulence, in 1945 Dr. Desmond Ford began to encounter exegetical problems in the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment. He set out to put all of the disparate pieces together in a coherent pattern that would resolve the problems, that would be faithful to reliable principles of exegesis, and that left him a dedicated Seventh-day Adventist with complete confidence in the integrity of the church as an authentic witness to the everlasting gospel.

Over the next ten or fifteen years Ford discovered that some of his contemporaries and others before him had wrestled with the same problems. In his definitive 991-page Glacier View document, Daniel 8:14, the Day of Atonement, and the Investigative Judgment, he names twelve Adventist Leaders with whom he had discussed the problems, in person or by correspondence. He devoted his master’s and one of his doctoral dissertations to the subject. His published commentaries on the Books of Daniel and the Revelation total more than two thousand pages. He has probably devoted more scholarly study to the subject and written more extensively on it than any other person in history.

During his long tenure as head of the theology department at Avondale College in Australia he trained half or so of the ministers in Australia. In the classroom and by his personal example he inspired thousands of young people for Christ. He was always in demand as a speaker, and thousands testify to a clearer understanding and appreciation of the gospel as a result of his witness to it. His theme ever was—-and still is—-salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

Ford never discussed the controversial aspects of the sanctuary doctrine in public—-until October 27, 1979, as an exchange professor at Pacific Union College, when several members of the faculty invited him to discuss his views on the sanctuary question in an open meeting one Sabbath afternoon. Thirty-four years of silence on the subject surely reflect commendable pastoral and scholarly restraint. The PUC presentation “was positive on the providential role of Adventists and Ellen White.” However, three retired ministers present detected what they perceived to be heresy and reported their version of his remarks to the chairman of the college board.

In view of the fact that Ford was still an employee of Avondale College in Australia and due to return to Avondale at the close of the 1979-1980 school year, the chairman logically referred the matter to the General Conference. In August 1980 115 leading administrators and Bible scholars from around the world (at an administrator’s estimated cost of a quarter of a million dollars) were summoned to Glacier View25 in Colorado, to serve as the sanctuary Review Committee. They were specifically instructed not to evaluate Ford’s beliefs with respect to Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment by the Bible itself, but as set forth in the statement of Twenty-seven Fundamental Beliefs, which the church had already determined to be normative. Several weeks later the Australasian Division withdrew his ministerial credentials.

Procedures at Glacier View consisted of a reaffirmation of the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14. But Ford was given no opportunity to present the reasons for his “apotelesmatic” interpretation of it, which provided for the traditional Adventist interpretation being one of several fulfillments of the prophecy, but not the fulfillment. Again—-as always—-the church neglected to examine the reasons for dissent from the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14 and merely reaffirmed it in stentorian tones. As a matter of fact, the consensus report voted at the close of the week-long conference tacitly agreed with Ford on six major points of exegesis. Later, some forty Bible scholars signed a document known as the Atlanta Affirmation, remonstrating with Neal Wilson for the way the church had treated Ford at, and after, Glacier View.

In his involuntary “retirement” Ford has continued to proclaim the gospel, in a ministry he called “Good News Unlimited.” Unlike Canright, Ballenger, and others before him who had embarked on vendettas against the church, Ford has remained a dedicated Seventh-day Adventist at heart and retained his church membership.26

Ford, now retired in his native Queensland, Australia, is the lone survivor of numerous traumatic encounters with the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14. We could wish that such encounters with the sanctuary doctrine were a thing of the past. But a new generation of victims is repeating their traumatic experiences all over again. If the past is any index to the future they will be repeated indefinitely unless and until the church faces up to the facts objectively and deals realistically and responsibly with them in harmony with the sola Scriptura principle.

It is said that more than 150 ordained ministers, mostly in Australia, forfeited their ministerial credentials in the aftermath of the Ford affair. Hundreds of lay persons, mostly in the United States, left the church and formed effervescent “fellowships” as a result.

Dale Ratzlaff was pastor of the Watsonville church in the Central California Conference and a Bible teacher at nearby Monterey Bay Academy when, in 1981, he was abruptly fired by the Conference for expressing a conviction shared by a majority of the forty or so Bible scholars at Glacier View, that administration had misjudged and mistreated Desmond Ford the year before. The elders of the Watsonville church invited Dr. Fred Veltman of Pacific Union College and me to meet with the church the following Sabbath, in which we endeavored to pour oil on the troubled waters.

Ratzlaff left the Adventist church and wandered about (both geographically and ideologically) for a few years following which he embarked on what he calls Life Assurance Ministries, first in Sedona and now in Glendale, Arizona, with the objective of warning Adventists and others against the church. First came a 350-page polemic against the Sabbath, and in 2001 the 384-page Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists, which he describes as “an appeal to SDA leadership.” His target in Cultic Doctrine is the traditional Adventist Interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary doctrine, and the investigative judgment. In 1999 he began publishing Proclamation, a bi-monthly journal dedicated to warning Adventists and others against Adventism. Here in the West, Dale’s crusade is having at least a measure of success. He is also publisher of Dr. Jerry Gladson’s 383-page A Theologian’s Journey From Seventh-day Adventism to Mainstream Christianity (copyright 2001).27

Dr. Jerry Gladson had the very considerable misfortune to serve on the faculty of Southern Adventist College (now University). Had he been teaching at any of the other eight Adventist colleges or universities in North America he would probably still be an Adventist minister and teacher. Southern operates as an agency of Southern Bible belt obscurantism. Furthermore it was (and still is) to an appreciable extent, dependent on the largesse of committed ultra-fundamentalists, who insist that the college operate on ultra-fundamentalist principles. Again the target was the traditional sanctuary doctrine and the charge what Gladson thought about it, not anything he had taught in his classes.

Then dean of the Adventist Theological Seminary Dr. Gerhard F. Hasel, a former student and teacher at Southern and the ruthless personification of Adventist obscurantism, played an active role in the lynching of Dr. Gladson, a role in which Hasel had already distinguished himself at the Seminary. The head of the religion department at Southern, responsible for the ultimate coup de grace, was as closed-minded and ruthless as Torquemada, a role in which he had already distinguished himself as director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference.

What chance did Dr. Gladson have for a fair evaluation and adjudication of the charges against him? Finally, the chairman of the college board distinguished himself as either a committed obscurantist or a willing instrument of the far Adventist right. Jerry Gladson was not fired nor were his ministerial credentials withdrawn. He remained an ordained minister until they expired and were not renewed. Instead, a witch-hunting climate was created in which departure proved to be the lesser of two evils. There was no formal hearing. No one tried to understand his reasons for thinking as he did, or cared. The Pharisees were in control, and that was that. An anomalous situation indeed!27

Janet Brown became a Seventh-day Adventist in 1985. As a lay person she was an avid Bible student, and as such “began to notice more and more problems and inconsistencies between SDA teachings and the Bible .” For a time she ignored these “cracks in the armor of Adventism,” but as “the evidence really began to pile up” she felt that she could no longer “remain honest” with herself and continue as a Seventh-day Adventist. To her, the investigative judgment resembles Roman Catholic purgatory inasmuch as it keeps people in suspense as to their standing before God and “makes no sense biblically.” In 1995 she left the Adventist church and operates a website devoted to opposing it.28

Don W. Silver of Ashland Kentucky is another lay person who left Adventism recently, primarily because of the sanctuary doctrine, which he vehemently opposes. Evidently well-educated, he speaks with fervor and pin-point logic. His wife, like him well-educated, teaches at nearby Marshall University and remains a faithful Adventist and a leader in the local Adventist church. Their two grown daughters have followed their father into agnosticism.29

Other contemporary illustrations of opposition to the sanctuary doctrine and resulting apostasy might, of course, be cited. I know personally of other employees of the church who have been fired for the same reason, of lay people who have left the church, and of families that have been broken up as a result. The sanctuary problem is still with us, late and soon, and is touching the lives of sincere Seventh-day Adventists.

5. Non-Adventist Reaction to the sanctuary doctrine

It was the sanctuary doctrine based on Daniel 8:14 that made us Seventh-day Adventists and that remains, today, the keystone of our distinctive belief system and our mission to the world. Of it, Ellen White wrote: “The Scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and central pillar of our faith was the declaration, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’“30 and “The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.” “Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary . This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith.”31

When, in the mid-1950’s, Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse explored Adventist teachings in depth with persons appointed by the General Conference, they concluded that, with two exceptions, we are in harmony with the gospel: (1) our sanctuary doctrine, and (2) the role we popularly ascribe to Ellen White as an infallible interpreter of Scripture, in contradiction of her own explicit statements to the contrary. The former, they concluded, violates the Reformation principle sola Scriptura.32 Of it, Barnhouse wrote: The [sanctuary ] doctrine is, to me, the most colossal, psychological, face-saving phenomenon in religious history. ... We personally do not believe that there is even a suspicion of a verse in Scripture to sustain such a peculiar position, and we further believe that any effort to establish it is stale, flat, and unprofitable. ... [It is] unimportant and almost naοve.33

Such is the usual reaction of non-Adventist Bible scholars and other biblically literate non-Adventists to our sanctuary doctrine.34

6. My Personal Encounter With the sanctuary doctrine

I first encountered problems with the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, professionally, in the spring of 1955 during the process of editing comment on the Book of Daniel for volume 4 of the SDA Bible Commentary. As a work intended to meet the most exacting scholarly standards, we intended our comment to reflect the meaning obviously intended by the Bible writers. As an Adventist commentary it must also reflect, as accurately as possible, what Adventists believe and teach. But in Daniel 8and 9 we found it hopelessly impossible to comply with both of these requirements.35

In 1958 the Review and Herald Publishing Association needed new printing plates for the classic book Bible Readings, and it was decided to revise it where necessary to agree with the Commentary. Coming again to the Book of Daniel, I determined to try once more to find a way to be absolutely faithful to both Daniel and the traditional Adventist interpretation of 8:14, but again found it impossible. I then formulated six questions regarding the Hebrew text of the passage and its context, which I submitted to every college teacher versed in Hebrew and every head of the religion department in all of our North American colleges—-all personal friends of mine. Without exception they replied that there is no linguistic or contextual basis for the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14.36

When the results of this questionnaire were called to the attention of the General Conference president, he and the Officers appointed the super-secret Committee on Problems in the Book of Daniel, of which I was a member. Meeting intermittently for five years (1961-1966), we considered 48 papers relative to Daniel 8and 9, and in the spring of 1966 adjourned sine die, unable to reach a consensus.37

The Commentary experience with Daniel already mentioned led me into an unhurried, in-depth, spare-time, comprehensive study of Daniel 7 to 12 that continued without interruption for seventeen years (1955-1972), in quest of a conclusive solution to the sanctuary problem. My objective was to be fully prepared with definitive, objective, biblical information the next time the question should arise during the course of my ministry for the church.

Among other things I memorized, in Hebrew, all relevant portions of Daniel 8 to 12 for instant recall and comparison (60 verses), conducted exhaustive word studies38 of more than 150 relevant Hebrew words Daniel uses, throughout the Old Testament, studied the Hebrew grammar and syntax in detail, made a minute analysis of contextual data,39 compared ancient Greek and Latin translations of Daniel,40 investigated relevant apocryphal and New Testamentpassages,41 traced Jewish and Christian interpretation of Daniel from ancient to modern times,42 and made an exhaustive study of the formation, development, and subsequent Adventist experience with the traditional sanctuary doctrine.43 Eventually I incorporated the results of this investigation into an 1100 page manuscript which I later reduced to 725 pages but decided not release for publication until an appropriate time.

The above considerations conclusively demonstrate that our traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment as set forth in Article 23 of Fundamental Beliefs does not accurately reflect the teaching of Scripture with respect to the ministry of Christ on our behalf since His return to heaven.44 Accordingly, it is appropriate (1) to note wherein Article 23 is thus defective,45 (2) to revise the article so as to reflect Bible teaching on this aspect of His ministry accurately, and (3) to suggest a process designed to protect the church from this and similar traumatic experiences in the future.46

Some of the concepts associated with the investigative judgment are, indeed, biblical, but the Bible itself nowhere associates them with an investigative judgment, for which there is no sola Scriptura basis whatever.47

Upon ascending to heaven Jesus assured His disciples “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 18:20). The Book of Hebrews is our primary source of information about His ministry in heaven on their (and our) behalf since that time, I suggest that the following composite summary of His ministry as presented in Hebrews provides an appropriate basis for a revised article 23 of Fundamental Beliefs, should such a statement eventually be desired. The author of Hebrews presents Christ’s ministry in heaven, on our behalf, by analogy with the role of the high priest in the ancient sanctuary ritual:

On the cross Jesus offered Himself as a single sacrifice for all time that atoned for the sins of those who draw near to God through Him.48 That one sacrifice qualified Him to serve as our great High priest in heaven, perpetually.49 Having made that sacrifice, Christ entered the Most Holy Place—”heaven itself”—to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.50 He invites us to come boldly to Him, by faith, to find mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.51 He will soon appear, a second time, “to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”52

7. “Rightly Explaining the Word of Truth”53

The almost infinitely diverse and often contradictory ideas attributed to the Bible , and thus its relevance for our time, suggest the importance of identifying principles on the basis of which we can have confidence in the validity of our conclusions with respect to the perspectives of life and reality its divine Author and the inspired writers intended their words to convey.

We read and study the Bible with the objective of learning who we are, how and why we came to be here, how we should relate to life and make the most of its opportunities, where we are going, and how best to get there. This constitutes what we may call our “world view,” our concept of what life on planet Earth is all about.

Our quest for this information is something like a literal journey from where we may be now to where we would like to be, but have never been over the road before. In planning such a journey we must first know where we are, where we want to be at journey’s end, and the best way to get there. Our planning must take into consideration the facts of geography and travel as they really are, not as we might like or imagine them to be. In other words we must be objective with respect to reality, to the facts of geography and travel as they really are. To be subjective in our planning—-to think of them as we might imagine or like them to be—-could eventually prove to be disastrous. It is the same with reading and studying the Bible : Objectivity is essential. Being subjective in our study and thinking inevitably imposes our personal, unenlightened, opinions upon the Bible and leaves us blind and deaf to what God is trying to say to us through it. As a result, we assume that our personal opinions constitute the voice of God!

In the Bible even a child or a semi-literate person can find the way of salvation and follow it all the way to the pearly gates, and find welcome there. But for in-depth study of some portions of it those not at home with ancient Hebrew and Greek should make use of relevant reference material prepared by reliable persons who are conversant with those languages. Certain factors are essential for everyone conducting in-depth study of the Bible . The following is a brief resume of factors essential to such a study.

Objectivity is the mental quality that aspires to evaluate ideas and draws conclusions in terms of their intrinsic reality, rather than in terms of a person’s untested, subjective presuppositions. Objectivity is essential for ascertaining the intended import of the Bible .

Untested, subjective presuppositions regarding the nature and teachings of the Bible almost inevitably lead to wrong conclusions. Everyone, consciously or unconsciously, comes to the Bible with a set of presuppositions about it which control evaluation of the data considered and thus the conclusions drawn from it. Accordingly, the importance of presuppositions is crucial in determining the validity of one’s conclusions. Presuppositions should ever remain open to revision as clearer, objective evidence may require. The objective is to eliminate every subjective factor from the reasoning process in order to bring it into harmony with objective reality.

Is it possible to test the presupposition that the Bible is, as it claims to be, the unique revelation of God’s infinite will and purpose for the human race? Yes. The objective evidence for this consists of (1) the Bible ’s accurate evaluation of the natural human ethical-moral-spiritual state, (2) its perfect remedy for the imperfections of that natural state, (3) the demonstration that that remedy has transformed the psyche of countless millions of human beings for two thousand years, and (4) that if Bible principles were universally accepted and practiced they would automatically eliminate all war, all crime, and all selfish manipulation of other human beings—-and thus transform this world into a little heaven on earth! Given the opportunity, the human experience confirms these conclusions beyond the possibility of either doubt or error. This authenticates Bible principles as being of more than human origin, and so validates the above presupposition as being objective and trustworthy.

The Old Testament was written between twenty-four and thirty-seven centuries ago, mostly in ancient Hebrew and in a world more than a little different and strange to us. The New Testament was written in Greek some nineteen centuries ago. The Old Testament records the history of the Hebrews as the covenant people and chosen instrument of the divine purpose for them and for the human race in ancient times, instruction designed to qualify them to be living representatives of, and witnesses for, the true God, and their individual and corporate response to this instruction.54 The Hebrew language had a limited vocabulary that reflected their primitive culture and world view, a form of writing that consisted of consonants only, and grammar and syntax different from ours today.

The Bible was thus historically conditioned,55 that is, adapted and specifically addressed to, the needs, comprehension, and covenant role of its recipients at the time it was written, and to their circumstances and perception of the divine purpose, yet Its fundamental principles and instruction are of universal value and applicability. It was written in their language and in thought forms with which they were familiar, and reflects the salvation history perspective of their time. That record, however, “was written for our instruction” also. Accordingly, we need to historically condition our minds to their time, circumstances, and perspective of salvation history in order to fully understand and appreciate its message for our time. In-depth study and appreciation of the Bible require that the historical circumstances in which a passage was written must be taken into consideration.

The salvation history perspective of the Old Testament envisioned ancient Israel as God’s covenant people and chosen instrument of the divine purpose to restore humanity to harmony with the divine purpose for this world.56 God revealed all of this to them in order that they might cooperate intelligently with His infinite purpose for the human race. That revelation, imparted over the centuries of antiquity, provided ancient Israel with instruction that would qualify them individually and collectively as a nation to fully represent the supreme value and desirability of cooperating with His eternal purpose. It envisioned the climax of earth’s history and the complete restoration of divine sovereignty over all the earth at the close of Old Testament times. The New Testament assumes the validity of this Old Testament perspective of salvation history as reaching a climax in the life, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and promise of Jesus to return soon—-at the close of New Testament times.57

This Bible perspective of salvation history was implicit in Scripture and in the minds of people of that time. It must also be in our minds as we read Scripture. Accordingly, the salvation history perspective of the time a passage was written must be taken into consideration in order to ascertain its intended, true meaning.

The original text of Scripture, in the languages in which it was written, is the ultimate, supreme authority for what it says.58 Good modern translations such as the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV59), the New International Version (NIV), and the Good News Bible (Today’s English Version, TEV) are as accurate and reliable translations as any available today. The King James Version (KJV), with its superb, stately literary style has had a profound influence on the English language and endeared itself to readers for nearly four centuries, but sometimes it does not accurately reflect the original text.60

This was because the KJV was based on late manuscripts that had accumulated numerous scribal errors and editorial changes over several centuries since the original autographs. Since an ancient manuscript known as the Sinaiticus was discovered in 1844, thousands of ancient manuscripts centuries closer to the originals have been found that provide us, today, with much more accurate information as to how the original autographs actually read.61 Also, the biblical languages are better understood than they were in 1611, when the KJV became available, and the history and culture of antiquity are better understood. Word studies—-the way in which Hebrew and Greek words occur in the Bible and their meaning as defined by context, in each instance—-are thus essential to determine their meaning.

The literary context of a passage is essential to an accurate determination of its meaning. This includes its immediate context, in particular, but also its extended context in the entire document of which it forms a part. Ancient Hebrew, in which most of the Old Testament was written,62 had already become a dead language to the extent that when Ezra read from “the book of the law of Moses” (the Torah, or Pentateuch) in public about 450 B.C., it needed interpretation in order for Jews, even of his time, to understand it.63

Several characteristics of ancient Hebrew were responsible for this: (1) For one thing, it had a very limited vocabulary, one in which many words were used to express a wide variety of meanings. (For instance, the KJV translates ten common Hebrew words by an average of eighty-four English expressions each, and one of them by 164 English words and expressions!64). (2) Ancient Hebrew writing consisted of consonants only, and the reader had to supply whatever vowels he thought were intended, and in some instances might supply a set of vowels different from those the writer intended.65 The vowels that now appear in Hebrew Bible s were added to its consonants by the Masoretes, Jewish scholars, many centuries after ancient Hebrew had become a dead language, according to what they thought to be the intended meaning. For this reason it is futile to correlate two passages of scripture on the basis of the same English word located in a concordance—-as William Miller did in developing the sanctuary doctrine!

The analogy of Scripture—-the use of one Bible passage to clarify another—-must be used with caution.66 The context of both passages must first be taken into account in order to determine whether or not they may be used together.

In summary, in-depth study of the Bible requires consideration of one’s presuppositions, the historical circumstances to which a passage was addressed and to which it was intended to apply, its salvation history perspective, its sense as determined by the original language, its literary context, and cautious use of other Bible passages of Scripture to amplify it.

Seventh-day Adventists today affirm the sola Scriptura principle of the Reformation in principle, but sometimes unwittingly compromise it in practice, notably in affirming the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14.

Seventh-day Adventism emerged as a discrete entity within the Christian community on October 23, 184467 as the result of a particular understanding of Daniel 8:14 and the great disappointment that attended their disillusionment the preceding day. That understanding, which was subsequently modified in some details and became the traditional Adventist interpretation, has, since then, been considered the keystone of Adventism’s self-identity, understanding of the Bible , theology, and sense of mission.68

In Jeremiah 18:7-10 the prophet summarizes the nature and purpose of predictive prophecy as follows: At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, but if that nation concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or kingdom that I will build and plant it, but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I intended to do to it.

Accordingly, predictive prophecy is always conditional on the response of the people to whom it is addressed. Its function is not to demonstrate divine foreknowledge nor does it necessarily predetermine the course of events, for if it did it would thereby deprive people of the power of choice. Its intended purpose is to enable them to make wise choices in the present by indicating the ultimate result of either a right or a wrong choice. For this reason Bible prophecy, even apocalyptic prophecy, is always conditional, and its time element is always flexible, in order to provide for the free exercise of human choice.69 It is a preview of what can be, not what necessarily will be. Accordingly, the seventy weeks-of-years of Daniel9:24-27 provided the Hebrew exiles in Babylon with a preview of what the future held for them, subject to their cooperation.70

Three Methods of Bible Study

The traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 was formulated on the basis of what is commonly known as the proof text method of biblical study and interpretation, which construes Bible passages in terms of what a modern reader thinks to be their import. This method (1) is highly subjective, (2) understands the Bible from the modern reader’s cultural, historical, and salvation history perspectives, (3) accepts the Bible in translation as authoritative, (4) makes the reader’s personal and group-think presuppositions normative for evaluating data and for (5) drawing conclusions. This method does not require special training or experience, and is followed by a majority of untutored Bible readers. Since the beginning most Adventists have followed this method, but no reputable Bible scholar follows it today.

When Daniel 8:14 is studied by the historical method, serious flaws in the traditional interpretation become apparent because the historical method (1) aspires to be as objective as possible, (2) endeavors to understand the Bible as the various writers intended what they wrote to be understood and as their original reading audience would have understood it from their cultural, historical, and salvation history perspective, (3) considers words, literary forms, and statements according to their meaning in the original language as normative, (4) endeavors to evaluate data objectively, and (5) bases its conclusions on the weight of evidence. This method requires either special training in biblical languages and the history and milieu of antiquity, or reliance on source material prepared by persons with such training. Since about 1940 most Adventist Bible scholars have followed this method.

Since about 1970 a hybrid of these two methods known as the historical-grammatical method71 has attained limited popularity among Seventh-day Adventist Bible scholars and lay people, and major support among church administrators. Why? It consists of historical method procedures under the control of proof text presuppositions and principles, which enable it to provide apparent scholarly support for traditional conclusions. It is highly subjective, aspires to dominate and eventually control all official Adventist study of the Bible , and has more or less controlled General Conference doctrinal policy for the past thirty years

Let us emulate the sincerity and diligence of our spiritual forefathers in their study of God’s Word. We have no valid reason to criticize them because of the flaws we find in their understanding of the Bible .72 Let us remember that they did the best they knew how as they studied the Bible by the proof text method, the generally accepted method of that time.73 They did not have access to the more accurate ancient Bible manuscripts that we do today, nor to our knowledge of ancient Hebrew and Greek or the history of ancient times. In taking note of flaws in the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14 we can be grateful for their dedication, build on their labors, and be faithful in our time as they were in theirs, to the best it is our privilege to know.74

8. “Rightly Explaining” Daniel 8:14

The first imperative for comprehending the prophecies of Daniel in the sense Inspiration intended is an objective frame of mind divested of every personal, subjective, modern presupposition with respect to their import.

The second imperative is to identify the circumstances set forth in Daniel1 to 6 and 9:1-23, which provide the historical background within which Inspiration set its five prophetic passages and from which it intended Daniel and his intended readers to understand them. Accordingly, in order to understand those passages as Inspiration intended them to be understood we must do so with that historical perspective in our minds, and from the same perspective of salvation history as Daniel and his intended readers did. Any interpretation that ignores or controverts that historical perspective and/or the salvation history perspective of their time is automatically suspect and imposes an alien, uninspired interpretation on those prophecies.

The first six chapters of the Book of Daniel recount the exile of Daniel and his compatriots to Babylon “in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim of Judah,” which is dated to 606/5 B.C., and their experiences during the seventy years of exile foretold by Jeremiah in chapter 29:1-14. According to Daniel 9:1, in “the first year of Darius” (which is dated to 537/6 B.C. by Jewish inclusive reckoning), Daniel had been in exile for exactly seventy years. But as yet there was no visible evidence that release from exile was imminent. Accordingly, Daniel prayed the importunate prayer for release from exile and for restoration recorded in chapter 9:4-19.

While Daniel was still praying the angel Gabriel reappeared75 and said, “I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications a word went out [obviously in heaven], and I have come to declare it, for you are greatly beloved. So consider the word and understand the vision.” Gabriel thereupon repeats that “word” verbatim (verse 24), as he had promised, and proceeds to explain it in verses 25 to 27.

It is of crucial importance to note that Gabriel explicitly identifies the “word” that “went out to restore and build Jerusalem” at the commencement of the seventy weeks of years as “the word” that “went out”—-in heaven—-while Daniel was praying.76 That “word”77 was obviously one that only God Himself (and not an earthly monarch) could possibly have issued! On the authority of no less a person than the angel Gabriel, the “seventy weeks” of years thus began in 537 B.C., not eighty years later in 457 B.C.!

Gabriel’s explanation of that “word” in verses 25-27 very briefly sketched the future of God’s covenant people during the seventy weeks of years, and its climax in the ruthless oppression of “the prince who is to come” during the seventieth of the seventy “weeks,” which he had already foretold in chapter 8:9-13 and explained in verses 19 to 25.78

As already noted, Daniel9:23-25 begins the seventy weeks of years at the time the “word” was issued in heaven, in 537 B.C. In the same way, contextual identification of the “he” of verse 27 identifies events of history that mark their close in the seventieth of the seventy “weeks.” It is universally accepted that the immediate antecedent of a personal pronoun identifies the person to whom it refers unless the context unambiguously specifies otherwise. Accordingly, verse 26 identifies the immediate antecedent of the pronoun “he” in verse 27, who “make[s] a strong covenant with many” for the seventieth of the seventy “weeks” and “make[s] sacrifice and offering cease” during the last half of the “week,” as the evil “prince who is to come”—-not the “anointed prince” of verses 25-26!

Chapter 11:23 confirms the fact that his alias, the last king of the north, does, indeed make such a covenant with people in “alliance” with him. Also, his fate set forth in verse 27, “the decreed end is poured out on the desolator,” is equivalent to the horn-king of chapter 8:25 being “broken, and not by human hands,” and to the last king of the north in chapter 11 who “come[s] to his end, with no one to help him.”79

Chapter 9:24-27 thus provides an exact but much more complete explanation of chapter 8:13-14’s question and answer about events between Daniel’s time and “the appointed time of the end” “many days from now” when “the vision of the evenings and the mornings” was to meet its fulfillment.80 Isn’t that exactly what Gabriel said the audition of 9:24-27 was supposed to do?81

Such is Daniel’s perspective of salvation history. In order to understand chapters 8 and 9 as heaven intended them to be understood, we must imagine ourselves in Daniel’s historical circumstances and view them from his perspective of salvation history in order to form an accurate understanding of what was revealed to him.

Daniel’s Perspective of Salvation History

Daniel’s perspective of salvation history was a composite of the visions of chapters 2 and 7, each with its explanation, and chapter 8 with its three-fold explanation in chapters 8, 9, and 11-12. It consisted of a series of universal kingdoms82 followed by a period of disintegration and fragmentation,83 which Gabriel told Daniel would be a “troubled time” (9:25)84.

At the “appointed time of the end ... many days from now”—-after sixty-nine of the “seventy weeks of years”85—-there would be an unprecedented “time of anguish” for God’s people in which they would be “trampled,” their power shattered,86 their land and city devastated,87 their loyalty and faithfulness to God tested,88 their covenant with Him and its prescribed system of worship abolished,89 and an idolatrous system of worship enforced.90 As a result of this attempt to obliterate the knowledge and worship of the true God, many Jews would apostatize and enter into a “covenant” with their oppressor.91

The duration of this time of anguish for God’s people is given variously as (1) “a time, two times, and half a time” = three and a half years,92 as (2) the last half of the seventieth of the seventy “weeks” = also three and a half years,93 and as (3) the time during which 2300 evening and morning sacrifices would normally have been offered = 1150 literal days = three years, two months, and 10 days94 within the three and a half years of “anguish.”95

At the close of this time of anguish the Ancient of days would sit in judgment and “the decreed end” would be “poured out upon the desolator,” who would thus “come to his end with no one to help him” and be “broken” but “not by human hands.”96 Simultaneously, the sanctuary would “be restored to its rightful state,” the Ancient of Days would vindicate His faithful people and award them an “everlasting kingdom,” Michael would arise to deliver them, the righteous dead would be raised to life eternal, the “wise,” including Daniel, would enter upon their eternal reward and shine like the brightness of the firmament for ever and ever.97

The prophecies of Daniel locate this time of anguish (1) during the “time, two times, and half a time” of Daniel 7:25, (2) at or near “the end” of the “rule” of the four horn Greek era of chapter 8:8, 21-23, (3) during the last half of the seventieth of the seventy weeks of chapter 9:24-27, and (4) during the reign of the last king of the north of chapter 11:20-45.

Obviously Daniel’s perspective of salvation history was vastly different from ours—-by more than two thousand years! But by the sure word of his angel mentor that was the perspective from which he and the angel Gabriel then viewed the future. It is the identical format set forth in the Old Testament.35 To ignore or deny it is a major violation of the sola Scriptura principle, and to say that neither Daniel nor Gabriel knew what they were talking about! It is an important part of in-depth study of the Bible to read it from its own historical and salvation history perspectives, in order to understand and appreciate its message for us in our time!

Daniel’s perspective of salvation history thus explicitly invalidates the historicist concept of predictive prophecy. Furthermore, his perspective was identical with that of the Old Testament as a whole.98

Four KJV Translation Errors That Led Pioneer Adventists Astray

Four major translation errors in the KJV of Daniel 8:14 and 9:25-26, of which William Miller and pioneer Adventists were obviously unaware, led them, unwittingly, astray.99

The KJV of Daniel 8:14 reads: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Here and in chapter 9 the KJV inaccurately reflects the Hebrew text of Daniel at four specific points. In the original Hebrew text and in the NRSV it reads: “For two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

The Hebrew word for “days,” yamim, is not in the Hebrew text of 8:14, which reads simply erev boquer, “evening morning.” “Days” is interpretation, not translation. When Daniel meant “days” he consistently wrote “days,” yamim.100 Wherever the words erev and boquer occur in a sanctuary context (as in 8:14), without exception they always refer to the evening and morning sacrificial worship services or to some other aspect of the sanctuary and its ritual services. These sacrifices were offered tamid, “regularly,” late every afternoon before sunset and early every morning after sunrise. See, for example, Exodus 29:38-42 and Numbers 28:3-6. Erev sometimes precedes boquer in view of the fact that Hebrew custom began each day at sunset, with erev referring specifically to the waning light of day associated with sunset and boquer the rising light of day associated with sunrise, not to the dark and light portions of a 24-hour day.

The traditional interpretation considers erev boquer, “evening morning,” a composite term meaning a 24-hour day. But according to verse 26 haerev we haboquer, “the evening and the morning,” are discrete entities, as the repeated definite article requires. The question of verse 13, and thus the answer of verse 14 both focus on the sanctuary and the time during which its continual (tamid) burnt offering was banned. Accordingly, erev boquer in verse 14 is to be understood in a cultic sanctuary context specifically with reference to the tamid (continual) burnt offering.

Note also that the question of verse 13, to which verse 14 is the inspired answer, asks for how long the tamid, the “regular burnt offering” already mentioned in verse 11, would be “trampled.” In place of tamid in verse 13, however, verse 14 substitutes the expression erev boquer, thereby calling attention to the fact that the two are synonymous terms for the same thing, the evening and morning sacrificial worship services. Indeed, both terms occur together in the passages noted above with respect to the two daily worship services. (In 8:11 and 14 the NRSV—-correctly—-adds “burnt offering” to the term “regular,” tamid, in recognition of the fact that tamid refers to the daily, or regular, burnt offerings.)

The word tamid, “continual(ly),” “regular(ly),” occurs 104 times in the Old Testament, 51 times in connection with the sanctuary ritual, 53 times otherwise. More than half of the 51 sanctuary -related occurrences are in connection with the daily burnt offering (32 of the 51 times); and 19 times of the bread of the presence, the lamp, the cereal offering, and other aspects of the sanctuary and its ritual.

The Hebrew word nitsdaq never means “cleansed,” as the KJV translates it. Nitsdaq is the passive form of the verb tsadaq, “to be right,” and means “to be set right,” or as the NRSV renders it, “to be restored to its rightful state.” Had Daniel meant “cleansed” he would have used the word taher, which does mean “cleansed” and always refers to ritual cleansing in contrast to tsadaq, which always connotes moral rightness.101

Daniel 8:14 is concerned with the meaning of the sacrificial worship service, not with whether it was performed correctly. It affirmed Israel’s continued loyalty to God and commitment to its covenant relationship with Him, at the beginning and again at the close of each day. The KJV based its rendering of nitsdaq as “cleansed” on the Latin Vulgate, which reads mundabitur, and the Greek Septuagint, which reads katharisthesetai, both of which denote ritual cleansing, probably reflecting the ritual cleansing of the temple after its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 167 B.C., as recorded in 1 Maccabees 4:36-54.102

The KJV’s “the Messiah the Prince” in Daniel9:25 and “Messiah” in verse 26, respectively, constitute interpretation of the Hebrew text, not translation of it. The Hebrew text reads “an anointed, a prince” or “an anointed prince” in 9:25 and “an anointed” in verse 26. In so doing, the KJV commits a double error by: (1) rendering the Hebrew indefinite as definite, and (2) arbitrarily identifying the anointed prince as Jesus Christ. This double error automatically led pioneer Adventists to another, even grosser, error in verse 27, considered below.

To be sure, the English word “messiah” accurately transliterates the Greek messias, which in turn transliterates the Hebrew mashshiach, and the English word “Christ” accurately translates the Greek messias. But the KJV translators had no legitimate reason for rendering the Hebrew indefinite as definite and identifying the anointed prince of Daniel9:25 and 26 as Jesus Christ.

The KJV rendering “seven weeks, and three score and two weeks” in 9:25, implying a total of sixty-nine “weeks” between “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and the coming of its “Messiah the Prince,” grossly misrepresents the Hebrew syntax of verse 25.

Hebrew syntax requires that the seven-week period be the time between the “going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and the “anointed prince” referred to, and that the “threescore and two weeks” refer to the duration of the “troublous times” during which the “street” and the “wall” remain built prior to the evil “prince that shall come” of the following verse. The NRSV renders the Hebrew syntax of verse 25 correctly: “... there shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it [Jerusalem} shall be built again ...” Verse 26 confirms the fact that the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks are two discrete periods of time, not one composite time period. Hebrew usage throughout the Old Testament confirms this conclusion.

Those who formulated the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 were led astray by these four KJV errors. Had they been working directly from the Hebrew text of Daniel, or an accurate English translation, they would never have contrived the traditional Adventist interpretation.

Their second error was adoption of the day-for-a-year interpretation of Bible prophecy. That pseudo principle, inherent in the historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy, was invented in the ninth century by the Jewish scholar Nahawendi, as a device by which to make Daniel’s prophecies relevant to his day. Catholic scholars subsequently adopted and used it until certain other Catholic scholars, and later Protestants, based their identification of the papacy as the antichrist of Bible prophecy on it. Thereupon Roman Catholics abandoned the day-for-a-year principle, whereas Protestants retained it as proof that Rome was “Babylon.” Suffice it to note, here, that there is no Bible basis whatever for this so-called principle.103

The Immediate Context of Daniel 8:14

The vision of chapter 8:1-12, the question of verse 13, and the explanation of verses 15 to 27 constitute the immediate context of verse 14. As a matter of fact chapter 8 itself identifies all four essential elements of verse 14: (1) its sanctuary , (2) why it needed cleansing or being “restored to its rightful state,” (3) how long it had needed cleansing or restoration, and (4) when that cleansing or restoration would occur.

According to verses 9-12, their cryptic little horn invades the “beautiful land” and overthrows the sanctuary located there—-obviously the sanctuary , or temple, in Jerusalem. Verse 14 itself specifies that the period of time during which the sanctuary would remain overthrown and its regular burnt offering suspended as the time during which 2300 “regular burnt offerings” would normally have been offered. With two such offerings each day, that would be1150 literal twenty-four-hour days, or three years, two months, and ten days. When would this occur? Verses 21 to 25 specify that all of this, including the cleansing or restoration of the sanctuary to its rightful state, would take place soon after the close of the four-horn (Hellenistic) Greek era of the prophecy.

Verse 13, the question to which verse 14 is the answer, identifies the “evenings and mornings” as an equivalent term for its “regular burnt offering.”104 The nature of the sanctuary ’s cleansing or restoration is explained in the proximate context of the rest of the Book of Daniel, which also identifies other events that accompany or follow its cleansing or restoration.

Verses 11 and 12 of chapter 8 attribute the trampling of the sanctuary mentioned in verses 11-13 to the cryptic little horn of verse 8, which verses 21 to 23 identify as “a king of bold countenance” at “the end” of the four horn (Greek) era of the vision. Accordingly, context explicitly identifies the restoration of the sanctuary to its rightful state in verse 14 as removal of the damage caused by the little horn. The sanctuary ’s overthrown, trampled state included, particularly, the taking away of its “regular burnt offering” and substitution of the “transgression that makes desolate”105 in its place.

The answer of verse 14 substitutes the expression “evenings and mornings” for verse 13’s question about “the regular burnt offering,” thereby identifying them as equivalent terms for the same thing. With two such sacrifices each day, the time during which 2,300 evening and morning sacrifices would normally have been offered would be a period of 1,150 literal days, or nearly three and a half literal years. Verse 26 identifies the time in history when this would happen as the “appointed time of the end ... many days from now,” “at the end” of the “rule” of the four Greek (Hellenistic) horns of the male goat.106

The immediate context of verse 14—-chapter 8 itself—-thus identifies all of the essential elements of the verse, but leaves the restoration of the sanctuary “to its rightful state” unexplained because Daniel fell ill.107 As will be seen, events associated with that restoration are revealed elsewhere in Daniel. The traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 thus removes it completely from the immediate context in which Gabriel and Daniel placed it, in obvious violation of the sola Scriptura principle. The proximate context—-Daniel 7, 9, and 10-12—-clarifies matters still further.

Daniel9 as Proximate, Continuing Context for 8:14

The traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 recognizes a relationship between chapters 8 and 9, but at three vital points misconstrues its contextual contribution to an accurate understanding of 8:14. This valid relationship is evident from (1) the fact that Gabriel had not been able to complete his commission to explain the vision of chapter 8,108 (2) that when he reappears in 9:21-25 he summons Daniel to “understand” that vision, and (3) that his message in 9:24-27 provides the very information needed to complement his aborted explanation of 8:19-27.

The traditional interpretation assumes that the 70 “weeks” of years of 9:24 constitute the first 490 of its 2300 erev boquer construed as that many literal years during which the sanctuary is said to be desolate. But according to 9:24-26 the sanctuary is restored and in full operation during the first 69 of the 70 “weeks”!

How can the same sanctuary be restored and in full operation109 during the very time 8:13-14 has it “desolate”? This insoluble paradox, inherent in and indispensable to the traditional interpretation, constitutes it an oxymoron!

The second contextual anomaly implicit in and essential to the traditional interpretation is its identification of the davar, “word” (KJV “commandment”), that went out to restore and build Jerusalem,110 as the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus in 457 B.C. But that decree111 says nothing about rebuilding either Jerusalem or the temple, which had already been rebuilt and in operation for 59 years!112

Immediately prior to Gabriel’s reappearance and message recorded in 9:20-27 Daniel had been pleading in prayer for God to restore His now desolate sanctuary in Jerusalem.113 At this point in Daniel’s prayer Gabriel interrupts to announce that a davar, “word”114 (or “command,” KJV) had already gone forth, obviously in heaven, in response to his prayer, and that he (Gabriel) had now come to “declare it” to Daniel. He forthwith repeats that “word”115 and explains it.116 Contextually, the “word” that “went out [motsa] to restore and rebuild Jerusalem”117 is the very “word” that “went out” (yatsa) in response to Daniel’s prayer,118 and is quoted verbatim in verse 24! Gabriel assures Daniel that God Himself, not some earthly monarch, had already answered his fervent prayer! Obviously that “word”119 is one that only God Himself could possibly have issued, not some earthly monarch!

With considerable support even among presumably reputable Bible scholars, the traditional Adventist interpretation identifies the “he” of 9:27 who “make[s] a strong covenant with many” renegade Jews for the seventieth of the seventy weeks,120 and for half of the week” makes “sacrifice and offering cease,” as the “Messiah the Prince” (KJV) of verses 25 and 26, meaning Christ. But the immediate antecedent of the pronoun “he” in verse 27 is the evil “prince that shall come” of verse 26, not the anointed prince of verse 25! Only reliance on the faulty KJV identification of the anointed prince of verse 25 as Christ, and identifying Him as the “he” of verse 27, is the traditional interpretation able to reckon backwards to identify the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus in 457 B.C. as marking the beginning of the seventy “weeks” of years (and thus also of its 2300 years). Furthermore, the Hebrew ein lo of verse 26 (KJV “but not for himself,” NRSV “shall have nothing”) actually means that the cut off prince would have no successor. Thus to have either him or a successor reappear as the “he” of verse 27 makes verse 27 contradict verse 26! Another oxymoron!

Identifying the “he” of verse 27 as the evil “prince who is to come” of verse 26, however, makes verse 27 an exact parallel to the career of the little horn in chapter 8, who likewise “makes sacrifice and offering cease” and in their place sets up “an abomination that desolates.”121 Remember, as pointed out above, that the angel Gabriel specifically presented 9:25-27 as a continuing explanation of the prophecy of chapter 8. To complete the parallel, he now122 tells Daniel that “the decreed end is poured out upon the desolator,” as he had formerly told him (in chapter 8) that “the king of bold countenance” would “be broken, and not by human hands.”123

This contextual understanding of 9:27 automatically and conclusively locates the 2300 evenings and mornings” of 8:14, understood as the number of sacrifices that would normally be offered, two each day, during the course of 1150 days, within the 1260 days, or three and a half years of the last half of the seventieth “week” of years of chapter 9—-the “appointed time of the end” in the “latter part” of the four-horn era124 when the little horn of verses 9-13, 23-27 appears on the prophetic stage in what was, in Daniel’s time, “the distant future.”125

9. Flaws in the sanctuary doctrine

There can be no question as to the sincerity, diligence, and integrity of those who formulated the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14. It is equally obvious that they were following the flawed principles of the proof text method: (1) In four major instances they adopted translation errors where the KJV misrepresents the Hebrew text. (2) They completely ignored the literary context in which Daniel 8:14 occurs. (3) They likewise ignored the historical context specified by the first six chapters and chapter 9:1-19 of the book, within which its several prophetic pericopes were given and to which they specifically applied. (4) They did not take into account the salvation history perspective specified by the book (and the entire Old Testament),126 within which Daniel 8:14 occurs and to which Daniel specifically applies it. As set forth in the preceding section of this paper, sola Scriptura and the historical method both require that these factors be taken into account.

Today, anyone who makes exegetical blunders such as these is automatically dismissed as an unreliable Bible student. Had the pioneers of our message been following the principles of the historical method they would never have come to the conclusions they did—-and never experienced the bitter disappointment on October 22, 1844. Let us emulate their sincerity, earnestness, and devotion to the Word of God, and be true to the best we know today, as they were in their time!

In comparison with the exegetical requirements set forth in the two preceding sections (7 and 8 above), the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14 ignores ...

... the historical context provided by chapters 1 to 6 and 9:4-19, within which Inspiration placed it—-the point in history when the seventy years of exile foretold by Jeremiah came to a close and the restoration era was about to begin.

... the salvation history perspective of Daniel’s time, and of the entire Bible .35, 131.... the Hebrew text of Daniel 8:14 and 9:25-26 at four major points, identified in section 8 above.103

... the immediate context of 8:14 in chapter 8 itself, which explicitly identifies (1) the sanctuary mentioned in verse 14 as that located by verses 9 to 11 in “the beautiful land,” Judea; (2) its desolation of the sanctuary as that caused by the little horn in verses 11 to 13, and (3) when that desolation would take place, at the close of the (Hellenistic) Greek era, in verses 21 to 23. Accordingly, reference by analogy to the heavenly sanctuary of the Book of Hebrews is irrelevant.

... the fact that 9:24-26 has the sanctuary restored and in full operation during the very time that 8:13-14 has it desolate and out of operation. This contradiction, inherent in and essential to the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14 which requires that the seventy weeks of years be considered the first segment of the 2,300 “days,” renders it an exegetical oxymoron.

The day-for-a-year idea applied to Bible prophecy appears first in the ninth century Karaite Jewish scholar Nahawendi’s attempt to relate the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies to events of his day. Modern reliance on the day-for-a-year “principle” in the interpretation of Bible prophecy originated with (1) the mistaken

KJV rendition of the Hebrew erev boquer (“evenings mornings”) in Daniel 8:14 as “days,” when as a matter of fact erev boquer is verse 14’s contextual equivalent of “regular burnt offering” in the question of verse 13, to which verse 14 is the inspired answer, and with (2) the endeavor to correlate these supposed “days” with the “seventy weeks” of Daniel 9:24. The expression “seventy weeks” is simply use of the jubilee system of expressing 490 years as 49 jubilees, each of its ten “jubilees” consisting of 49 literal years. There is absolutely no Bible basis whatever for citing Daniel 9 as evidence for the day-for-a-year idea.

It should be noted that the “days” of Numbers 14:34 during which representatives of the twelve tribes had spied out the land of Canaan were not prophetic of the years God sentenced the Israelites to wander in the desert. Those years were, rather, judicial, sentencing the unbelieving wanderers for their lack of faith in God’s promise to give them the land of Canaan. The 390 “days” of Ezekiel 4:6 during which God directed the prophet to lie on one side and then the other, represented that many past years of apostasy. Those “days” were in no sense prophetic of the past years of apostasy.

Under the caption “Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly sanctuary ” article 23 of Fundamental Beliefs reads as follows, with a distinction between that which accurately reflects Scripture and is biblically relevant in bold face, and the sanctuary doctrine’s flawed interpretation of Bible passages in ordinary type:

There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers in our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who, among the living, are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the second Advent.

The first part of the preceding statement accurately reflects the description of Christ’s ministry on our behalf since His return to heaven nearly two thousand years ago. The last part has no basis whatever in Scripture. To be in harmony with the sola Scriptura principle it should be deleted from the Fundamental Beliefs resume of Adventist beliefs and replaced by an amplification of Christ’s ministry as set forth in the Book of Hebrews.

The ephemeral umbilical cord is essential to life prior to birth, but totally irrelevant thereafter. May it be that the traditional sanctuary doctrine was a sort of spiritual umbilical cord God permitted as a means of reviving advent expectancy, but should be discarded once it had served its purpose? “The Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour,” “the night is far gone, the day is near,” “let us put on the armor of light.” “What sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness” while “waiting for and hastening the day of God.”?127 May it be that God overlooked this defect in their understanding of Daniel 8:14 and honored their sincerity, in view of the fact that the traumatic experience of October 22, 1844had the effect of reviving the state of advent expectancy Jesus long ago commended to His followers: “Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”128

The basic cause of the bitter disappointment was unawareness of the fact that, when given, Daniel’s preview of the future applied specifically to the Jewish captives in Babylon anticipating return to their homeland, and to His plans for them culminating in the establishment of His eternal reign of righteousness in the long ago. This becomes obvious when the historical circumstances of Daniel’s time and its perspective of salvation history—all explicit in the book itself—are taken into consideration. The presupposition that Daniel 8:14, when given, anticipated events of our time was the basic cause of the 1844 error and the resulting disappointment. Continued disappointment will be inevitable until this error is recognized and corrected, and the historicist principle on which it is based, is abandoned.

10. The sanctuary doctrine and Sola Scriptura

The traditional Adventist sanctuary doctrine is based on the historicist principle, or method, of prophetic interpretation. Consequently, those who follow that method automatically find the doctrine flawless. On the other hand, those who follow the historical principle, or method, find it bristling with flaws. As a result, differences of opinion with respect to the sanctuary doctrine can be resolved only by objectively testing the presuppositions and methodology on which it is based, by the sola Scriptura principle. The two methods are as mutually exclusive and irreconcilable as day and night, and a choice between them is decisive for the study of Bible prophecy.

Historicism is based on the untested pre-concept that the modern reader’s perspective of salvation history is inherent in Bible prophecy and therefore in full harmony with the sola Scriptura principle. According to the historicist principle the modern reader of the Bible is to understand its statements with respect to the end time of human history and associated events, in terms of our modern perspective of salvation history, with an uninterrupted, continuous fulfillment of Bible prophecy throughout the two thousand years since Bible times. The sanctuary doctrine and its advocates have always taken this principle for granted and never tested its presumed validity objectively, that is, by the Bible itself. This was true at Glacier View in August 1980. It is equally true of the subsequent GC-appointed Daniel and Revelation Committee and its seven-volume official report, which presupposes the inherent validity of historicism but never attempts to test or defend it objectively by the sola Scriptura principle.

On the other hand, the historical principle begins with objective attention to prophetic statements of the Bible in terms of their import as determined by the historical circumstances and salvation history perspective within which they were given and to which they were intended to apply. This principle is not adopted as a subjective pre-concept, but on the objective basis of plain sola Scriptura evidence, as illustrated in Sections 7 and 8 above with respect to Daniel’s own explicit historical and salvation history perspective. Both are inherent in the Book of Daniel and obvious when read objectively.

Section 8 above examines the historical sections of the Book of Daniel and Daniel’s own perspective of salvation history with the objective of determining the historical circumstances and salvation history perspective as a basis for understanding the import of its prophetic sections. Daniel’s salvation history perspective is identical with that of the Old Testament as a whole, as my article “The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy”129 in volume 4 of the SDA Bible Commentary demonstrates. Chapter 4 of my 725-page unpublished book manuscript The Eschatology of Daniel, “The Old Testament Perspective of Salvation History,” provides replete Bible evidence for the conclusion that it anticipates the climax of human history at the close of Old Testament times, or soon thereafter.

Jesus and the New Testament writers unanimously reiterate this Old Testament perspective of salvation history and anticipate His promised return at the climax of New Testament times. In 36 pages chapter 12 of The Eschatology of Daniel, “The New Testament Perspective of Salvation History,” covers this aspect of the subject in considerable detail.

In summary, at the beginning of His public ministry Jesus announced as the theme of His mission: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent and believe in the good news.” What was fulfilled? The time prophecies of Daniel, alone in the Old Testament, identify the “time” to which Jesus here refers. Thus, on no less than the authority of Jesus Himself, fulfillment of the “time” specified by Daniel was near when Jesus appeared in fulfillment of Old Testament anticipation of His coming. During the course of His sermon in the synagogue at Nazareth He declared concerning the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-3: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

During the course of Jesus’ response to the disciples’ inquiry concerning the destruction of the Temple, to which He had just referred, the “sign” of His promised return and “the end of the age” was, “When you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place spoken of by the prophet Daniel... know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things, [specifically including His coming in the clouds of heaven to gather His elect] have taken place.”130

That Jesus specifically intended His remarks concerning the prophecy of Daniel being fulfilled in His disciples’ own generation is evident from (1) His use of the pronouns “you” and is His disciples’ generation is evident from His repeated “your” twelve times throughout His discourse, and (2) their repeated use of such expressions as “the end of the times,” “the coming of the Lord is at hand,” “it is the last hour,” “these last days,” “the time is near,” He is “coming soon,” “the time has grown very short,” “the end of the ages has come,” “these last days,” and “yet a little while,” nearly forty times when referring to Jesus’ anticipated return.131 John the revelator specifically says that everything in the Book of Revelation “must soon take place,” and Jesus assures him four times “I am coming soon,” and the last of which, “surely I am coming soon.”132

There is not the slightest suggestion or hint anywhere in either the Old or the New Testaments that Jesus’ return would be postponed more or less indefinitely beyond Bible times. The Bible evidence is all explicitly to the contrary. The Bible itself knows nothing whatever about the historicist interpretation of its prophecies, a concept that is gratuitously imposed upon them. If Gabriel and Daniel were here today they would inevitably render the verdict of sola Scriptura against historicism and in favor of a historical understanding of Bible prophecy, including that of the Book of Daniel, and insist on the Bible ’s own historical and salvation history perspectives!

The historicist principle by which Adventists have consistently understood and interpreted Bible prophecy has, ever since the beginning, imposed our uninspired modern perspective of salvation history on it, and thereby been in unwitting violation of the sola Scriptura principle. In contrast, the historical principle honors the Bible ’s own perspective of salvation history, within which its prophetic messages were given and to which they were intended to apply. It thereby consistently honors the sola Scriptura principle. Let us not soon forget that the historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy has ever been and continues to be responsible for the loss of many otherwise dedicated leaders and the defection of uncounted hundreds of otherwise faithful Seventh-day Adventists. It has, in addition, diverted considerable time, attention, and substantial resources of the church from its mission to the world.

Surely it is high time for responsible church leaders to awake to the situation and do something about it. The obscurantist 1600-page, 5-volume Daniel and Revelation Committee report on Daniel accepts and consistently applies the historicist principle to Bible prophecy—-officially for the church. Do we want the twenty-first century to witness the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to return, or do we prefer to repeat our pathetic historicist past complacently and indefinitely into the future, and thereby alienate the respect and confidence of biblically literate Adventists and non-Adventists?

11. Obscurantism and the sanctuary doctrine

Webster defines obscurantism as “depreciation of or positive opposition to enlightenment or the spread of knowledge, esp. a policy ... of deliberately making something obscure or withholding knowledge from the general public.” Here, the word “obscurantism” is used in the specific sense of making presumably authoritative decisions and/or statements with respect to the sanctuary doctrine on the basis of untested, preconceived opinions and/or without first weighing all of the available evidence on the basis of sound, recognized principles of exegesis and basing conclusions exclusively on the weight of all the evidence.

Obscurantism has characterized the official response of the church to every question raised with respect to the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary doctrine, and the investigative judgment. In at least most instances this obscurantism has been inadvertent and not intentional, but its effect has been the same as if it had been intentional. It is high time for the church to be done with the traditional clichιs with which it has heretofore responded to questions regarding the sanctuary doctrine. It is time to face up to and to deal fairly and objectively with all of the evidence.

A Window of Hope and Opportunity at Mid-Century

Elder R. R. Figuhr’s twelve years as president of the General Conference at mid-century (1954-1966) provided the church with an era of wise leadership and openness in which administrators and trained Bible scholars worked together harmoniously and effectively in resolving biblical and doctrinal questions. Over the preceding fifteen years the church had developed a community of trained, responsible Bible scholars whose professional expertise Elder Figuhr respected and trusted, and who, in turn, respected and appreciated his wise leadership. An open, happy, and rewarding working relationship developed between them that was good for the church.

Another important aspect of that mid-century era of good will and cooperation was the spirit of consensus and harmony among the Bible scholars of the church in which the sometimes bitter doctrinal factionalism133 of the earlier decades of the century had disappeared. For this two factors were responsible, the first being the Bible Research Fellowship, pioneer professional organization of Bible Scholars, and second, the SDA Bible Commentary.

At their 1940 meeting in Takoma Park the North American college Bible teachers authorized the formation of a professional organization in which they could work together on matters of exegesis and doctrine, share the results of their study with one another, and benefit from one another’s constructive criticism.134 This organization became a reality three years later—-1943—-in the Bible Research Fellowship (BRF),134 of which Dr. L. L. Caviness was chairperson and I secretary throughout its brief lifetime of approximately ten years. We were teaching together in the religion department at Pacific Union College.

Eventually, BRF membership rose to 250 and, with one exception, included all college level Bible Teachers around the world. Many others, including seventeen General Conference persons, were dues-paying members. During those ten years more than 90 formal papers were considered and shared with members.135 At the Bible teachers’ 1950 meeting at Pacific Union College, responses to a questionnaire found complete agreement with respect to every major, divisive exegetical and doctrinal issue over the preceding fifty years!136 At that 1950 meeting BRF made a report of its operations, a formal vote of appreciation for BRF was taken, and all joined in singing the Doxology.

In 1951, on behalf of BRF, I proposed to the General Conference that it establish a permanent committee to replace BRF.137 The 1952 Autumn (now Annual) Council accepted my proposal and established the Biblical Research Committee (BRC) of the General Conference. Thereupon Dr. Caviness, present as a delegate, formally handed over BRF operations to BRC. Simultaneously transferring from Pacific Union College to the Review and Herald Publishing Association to edit the Bible Commentary, I was appointed a charter member of BRC. After several years, for a still higher level of continuity and effective service to the church, I proposed that the committee become an institute.138 This was voted in 1975, whereupon BRC became the Biblical Research Institute (BRI), which it remains today (2002).

The second unifying factor was production of the seven-volume SDA Bible Commentary (1952-1957),139 in which a team of approximately fifty writers and editors participated.139 Prior to publication each volume was read and criticized by ten church leaders around the world, who were paid for their criticisms.140 Some critical sections were read and criticized by 125 such readers. All criticisms were carefully evaluated, and where considered appropriate, accepted.

But during the late 1960’s that brief mid-century era of openness, good will, progress, and cooperation between administrators and Bible scholars began imperceptibly to erode into the closed-minded, polarized, obscurantist, and theological witch-hunting that continues to the present time (2002). In order to understand this subtle change in the Adventist climate over the past thirty years, let us note first, the three architects of obscurantism primarily responsible for it. All three were southern Bible belt fundamentalists. We will also note several specific evidences of obscurantism.

Architects of Obscurantism

The role of this part of Section 11 on obscurantism in the church over the past 33 years is to explain how the present climate of obscurantism surreptitiously invaded and captured the church. Only a person who served the church through the preceding era of openness and mutual respect between administrators and Bible scholars at the General Conference level is in a position to appreciate the profound change that revolutionized Adventist theology, Biblical hermeneutics, and approach to doctrine during the decade of obscurantism (1969-1980).

The three principal architects of obscurantism introduced briefly below were all obviously sincere, dedicated individuals who conscientiously believed that their ultimate objective, or “end,” justified whatever means they might employ to achieve that objective. For instance, they were never willing to enter into open, responsible dialog with those who did not share their perspective, but two of the three always, consistently put daggers in the backs of those whom they suspected of not sharing their point of view. In personal conversation the president of the General Conference admitted this to me.

On the contrary, it was my privilege to converse personally with each of the “architects of obscurantism” named below, by which I came to understand their objectives and methods first hand. Realizing, eventually, that the last two of the three were simply implementing Elder Pierson’s policy and objectives, I spent many hours at various times in conversation with him, the last being two or three hours on the chartered Pan-American flight returning from the General Conference Session in Vienna, in 1975.

These conversations were always positive, “friend of the court” in tone in which I dealt with principles and never mentioned anyone’s name. In one of those conversations Elder Pierson cryptically told me that one of the other two “architects” was disseminating (among GC personnel) inaccurate accusatory comments with respect to loyal Adventist scholars whom he considered theological renegades. In our correspondence following Elder Pierson’s retirement in 1979 we both expressed appreciation for each other’s friendship. In his last letter a short time before his death he wrote: “Through the years that we served together in Washington I always considered you as a friend. Though there may have been areas of differing opinions I had a warm feeling for you personally.” In my last letter to him I expressed the same sentiment.

Robert H. Pierson was a gracious person, a dedicated Adventist, a gentleman in every way, but also a person with clear objectives and resolute determination to achieve them. A major objective of his administration as president of the General Conference was to replace the administrator/Bible scholar partnership that had developed during Elder Figuhr’s administration with strict administrative control of the theological and doctrinal processes of the church.

During his thirteen years as president of the General Conference (1966-1979) Elder Pierson completely reversed the policy of his predecessor, R. R. Figuhr, with respect to biblical studies, doctrine, and cooperation with its community of Bible scholars. His very sincere but resolute aim was to restore the situation that had prevailed when he graduated from Southern Junior College in 1933 and left North America three years later for distinguished overseas service in India, the Caribbean, and South Africa, where he served with distinction until he was elected GC president thirty years later. For all practical purposes, in 1936 church administrators had been in exclusive control of theology and doctrine for the church. At that time there were no trained Adventist Bible scholars. Anyone who attended an “outside” university for training in such subjects as biblical languages, archeology, ancient history, and chronology was automatically considered persona non grata by every Adventist college board.141

Accordingly, Pierson distrusted the entire Adventist community of Bible scholars and set out to exclude them from meaningful participation in the Biblical and doctrinal deliberations of the church. In private conversation and in GC committees he repeatedly stated it to be his policy that administrators alone—-and not in counsel with Bible scholars—-should decide exegetical questions for the church. His first step toward implementing this policy took place at the Spring Meeting of the GC in 1969, which eliminated the Bible scholars of the church, en masse, from the Biblical Research Committee142-a policy that was never implemented, however, due to vigorous protests from the Theological Seminary faculty. Undaunted, however, later that year he achieved his objective by adding numerous administrators and other non-scholars to BRC, and appointing a vice president of the GC to supervise the Biblical Research Committee (now Institute) and the GC office of biblical studies (BRI).143

Also in the spring of 1969, Pierson invited a teacher at his alma mater, Southern Adventist College (now University), to chair BRC—-Gordon M. Hyde—-whose training was in communication—-and who shared Pierson’s Southern Bible belt fundamentalist theological perspective. Hyde protested that he was not trained in theology, but Pierson explained that he was to function as an administrator and not as a Bible scholar.144 With this understanding Hyde accepted the invitation, and when, during his first years at the GC he was expected to reply to a theological question, he parried the question with the explanation that he was not a theologian.

Upon occasion Hyde could be devious and underhandedly maneuver to achieve his objectives. For instance, at the week-long GC-appointed Charismatic Committee at Camp Cumby-Gay in Georgia, Hyde announced that every speaker was to confine his remarks to thirty minutes. But he gave Hasel two full hours for his presentation. Upon another occasion he invited Hasel to a sensitive subcommittee hearing to which the Bible Research Committee had explicitly not appointed him, and provided him with copies of papers to be presented to that subcommittee which were to be shared with the appointed members of the committee only. Members of the subcommittee objected to this faux pas on Hyde’s part, and as a result the subcommittee never met.145

When, toward the close of my forty-seven years of service to the church Hyde repeatedly refused requests for a face-to-face reconciliation, I wrote him a nine-page letter “looking for reconciliation” in which I mentioned the problems that had arisen between us and made a final appeal for an opportunity to restore the friendly relationship we had enjoyed when he first came to the GC. But he never replied and was intransigent against ever meeting.

Hyde’s major project designed to promote Hasel as leading theologian of the church was the series of three North American Bible Conferences, the first of which convened at Southern Adventist College, the second at Andrews University, and the third at Pacific Union College. He assigned Hasel the theme topic, biblical hermeneutics, and featured him on every panel discussion. The senior members of the Theological Seminary faculty were bypassed altogether or assigned relatively minor roles.146

Hyde’s attempt to have Hasel appointed dean of the Theological Seminary in the spring of 1974 (prior to the conferences) was aborted by the senior members of the faculty because of Hasel’s interference with established Seminary procedures, his collusion with Gordon Hyde and the GC to control Seminary policy, and what the senior members of the faculty referred to as his “intolerable dogmatism.”147 Hasel did, however, become dean in 1980, but was demoted seven years later for plagiarism and his attempt to separate the Seminary from Andrews University.

Without expertise in biblical studies and theology himself, Hyde selected Gerhart F. Hasel, a former colleague at Southern Adventist College who had transferred to the Seminary in 1967 and whose ultra-conservative perspective he shared, as his mentor and personal adviser in biblical-theological matters. Hyde’s objective was to elevate Hasel to be the leading Adventist theologian and dean of the Theological Seminary at Andrews University, where he would be in a position to indoctrinate the next generation of Adventist Bible scholars and pastors with his obscurantist hermeneutical perspective.

During his tenure as dean, Hasel made several teachers more experienced than he feel unwelcome at the Seminary and, in effect, froze them out—-Drs. Sakai Kubo, Ivan Blazen, Fritz Guy, and Larry Geraty. All four were immediately invited to serve at other Adventist institutions of higher education, three of them as college or university presidents. Hasel forthwith appointed Seminary students he had trained, and who accepted his biblical hermeneutic, to replace them. He and Gordon Hyde subsequently forced two other religion faculty members—-Drs. Lorenzo Grant and Edwin Zachrison—-to leave Southern Adventist College at approximately the same time as Jerry Gladson, and the president of the college resigned in protest. Hasel never approached his targets directly, in compliance with Matthew 18:15, but stuck verbal daggers in their back by denouncing them to administrators (who accepted his word without verifying it).

Over the decade1969 to 1979 this triumvirate—-Pierson, Hyde, and Hasel—-conspired effectively together to gain control of Adventist Biblical studies, theology, and doctrine in harmony with their fundamentalist, obscurantist perspective.148 Hasel’s role was to control Adventist biblical studies and theology. Hyde’s role was to devise procedures by which to implement Hasel’s hermeneutical and theological perspective, Pierson’s role was to protect Hasel and Hyde whatever they might attempt to do. I have set forth a documented record of thirty-one specific incidents in this conspiracy designed to implement Pierson’s policy, in my forty-page paper Architects of Crisis: A Decade of Obscurantism (1969-1979).

This explains the origin of the obscurantist climate in the church over the past thirty years and its unwillingness to deal objectively with the numerous exegetical anomalies in the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 with its sanctuary and investigative judgment.

Aftermath of the Decade of Obscurantism

By the close of the decade of obscurantism (1969-1979) the goal of its three architects was firmly in place. Elder Pierson, ailing, retired a year early. Replaced as director of BRI, Gordon Hyde transferred to Southern Adventist College to be dean of the School of Religion. Gerhard Hasel became dean of the Theological Seminary for seven years (1980-1987), after which the General Conference demoted him, primarily because of his attempt to separate it from Andrews University.149 That unanticipated event precipitated the founding of the Adventist Theological Society (ATS) the following year (1988), which was specifically designed to perpetuate the objectives of the decade of obscurantism in view of Hasel’s loss of influence as Seminary dean.150

In view of the fact that Gordon Hyde was then dean of the school of religion at Southern College (SC; now University) and Gerhard Hasel dean of the Theological Seminary at Andrews University, between 1980 and 1987, that both had been teachers at SC prior to 1969, and that Robert Pierson was a graduate (1933) of Southern when it was a junior college, it was no accident that the Adventist Theological Society (ATS) was founded at SC in 1988 by representatives of both institutions and that SC became its first headquarters until it later moved to Andrews University. Thus ATS has a solid basis in Adventist Southern Bible belt fundamentalism, which determines its hermeneutical and theological orientation.150

Developments at the General Conference (GC) level since the decade of obscurantism (1969-1979) are likewise intimately related to these facts. Among these developments have been the following: (1) obscurantism in control at Glacier View,151 (2) obscurantism in relating to Walter Rea,152 (3) obscurantism at Consultations 1 and 2,153 (4) obscurantism in the Daniel and Revelation Committee and its 5-volume report,154 (5) obscurantism in the Methods of Bible Study report,155 (6) obscurantism at the GC Biblical Research Institute, and thus in control of GC doctrinal policy,156 (7) obscurantism in the way several dissenting faculty members at the Seminary and SAC have been treated,157 (8) obscurantism motivating the present GC (IBMTE) and NAD committees formulating a low-tolerance-level policy with respect to dissent from official doctrinal policy. The triumvirate has proved to be eminently successful!

The Nature and Raison d’Etre of Doctrinal Obscurantism

Obscurantism is unwillingness to examine either purported or demonstrated facts objectively, and to encourage or coerce others into accepting subjective presuppositions. The classic illustration of obscurantism was president of the Flat Earth Society Simon Voliva’s journey around the world in 1929, when upon his return he explained to society members that his trip had proved conclusively that planet earth is flat—-by going in a circle on its flat surface!

Obscurantism is the result of a subjective state of mind in which one’s unproved presuppositions take precedence over the weight of objective evidence to the contrary. It usually occurs when a person presumes to evaluate matters beyond the limits of his personal training and competence. Almost without exception that was the situation with a decided majority of Seventh-day Adventist leaders with respect to doctrinal matters for nearly a century after 1844. That explains the inability of many if not most of the participants in the historic 1919 Bible conference to resolve the doctrinal issues on its agenda. Adventist administrators untrained in reliable principles of biblical exegesis have, almost without exception, nevertheless traditionally functioned as the ultimate authority on matters of doctrine.

During the mid-century era (approximately 1940 to 1969) when, for the first time, Adventist Bible scholars began to practice objective methods of Bible study and church administrators, appreciating the value of their expertise, began to accept them as genuine partners in dealing with doctrinal matters. Biblical and doctrinal obscurantism gradually disappeared. after 1969, however, as obscurantism on the part of new church administrators gave the next decade (1969-1979) the unhappy sobriquet “decade of obscurantism.”

For instance, during sessions of the Biblical Research Committee (now Institute) Gerhard Hasel repeatedly stated that it was a mistake even to try to be objective. In the plenary session of the sanctuary Review Committee at Glacier View, for instance, he demonstrated this by emphatically declaring in the plenary session Monday afternoon, August 10, 1980, “God’s only intention in Daniel 8:14 was to point forward to 1844!” This statement was met by a loud chorus of amens.

Obscurantism was also evident on the part of leaders in charge of study Group 2 at Glacier View on Monday morning. Twelve of the sixteen speeches in the group that morning favored Ford’s point of view, but when chairman of the group—-a GC vice president—-summed up the opinion of the group for its report to the plenary session that afternoon, he reported the minority of four speeches as the view of the majority—-an obvious instance of obscurantism. Following one of the speeches favoring Ford, the other vice president present responded, “We could never accept that!” In the plenary session that afternoon eleven of the fifteen speeches by Bible scholars likewise favored Ford’s position on the same topic, but again administration took the consensus to be negative. From beginning to end obscurantism was in charge at Glacier View.

Obscurantism characterizes the tedious printed reports of the General Conference-appointed Daniel and Revelation Committee that functioned during the 1980s. (See below). It is likewise the guiding principle of the Adventist Theological Society, legitimate heir of Gerhard Hasel’s hermeneutical legacy.

Obscurantism continues to be alive and well at the General Conference level. On November 15, 2000 I sent another major paper on Daniel 8:14 to some eighty Bible scholars and administrators, including the president of the General Conference. His reply was courteous to a “T”, but he referred the paper to the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) with the comment that their reply would be his also. In January 2001 he sent me a copy of the evasive BRI reply, which reported that they had already considered and settled all of the biblical anomalies in the traditional sanctuary doctrine to which my paper had called attention, which I well knew was not so. Evidently obscurantism is still in charge at BRI and the General Conference.

In what does official obscurantism with respect to the sanctuary doctrine consist? Throughout the twentieth century, inclusive of Glacier View (1980) and the subsequent Daniel and Revelation Committee Series report, the General Conference has always countered flaws in the doctrine that have been called to its attention with ever more elaborate and evasive reasons adduced in favor of it. But it has never yet paid attention to the flaws themselves!

As long ago as 1934 W. W. Prescott called attention to this problem in a letter he wrote to W. A. Spicer, president of the General Conference: “I have waited all these years for someone to make an adequate answer to Ballenger, Fletcher and others on their positions re. the sanctuary but I have not seen or heard it.”160 Having been a member of the GC committees that met with Ballenger, Fletcher, and Conradi, Prescott realized that the official GC responses, both oral and published, offered presumed reasons for believing the sanctuary doctrine, but left the flaws to which the three had called attention completely unanswered! The same was true with respect to Dr. Ford at Glacier View and the subsequent Daniel and Revelation Committee report. Obscurantism still characterizes GC and BRI responses to valid questions regarding exegetical flaws in the sanctuary doctrine.

12. The Daniel and Revelation Committee

Eventually realizing that Glacier View had not settled the sanctuary issue, the General Conference appointed the Daniel and Revelation Committee (DRC) and assigned it the task of compiling what was intended to be definitive proof of the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment. The committee functioned during the 1980s under the auspices of the General Conference Biblical Research Institute (BRI) and published its report in seven volumes under the title Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (DRCS).

The five volumes of the DRCS series devoted to Daniel defend what is now considered the official response of the church to all questions regarding the sanctuary doctrine. Unwittingly, however, DRCS presents Adventist scholarship under the control of obscurantism. It does not address any of the contextual anomalies to which Section 8 above, “Rightly Explaining Daniel 8:14,” calls attention!

One would have expected so important a committee as DRC to be composed, at least primarily, of a cross-section of the trained, experienced, known, and trusted Bible scholars of the church. It was not! They were intentionally excluded! The composition, or membership, of the committee bears the unmistakable imprint of Gerhard Hasel as the only one who could have selected its members. Why so? At the time, he was dean of the Theological Seminary, at the height of his career, and approximately half of DRC’s eighteen members had been Seminary students during his fifteen years or so as a member of the Seminary faculty. They were otherwise unknown to either the General Conference or the incumbent Bible scholars in the colleges of North America. And they all shared Hasel’s hermeneutical perspective, as did all but three other members of the committee!

As reflected in the DRCS report the conclusions to which the committee came with respect to the sanctuary doctrine were thus determined before the committee ever met!

As set forth in the preface to volume 1 of the series, its interpretation is based on the historicist principle of prophetic interpretation, with respect to which it acknowledges that “Seventh-day Adventists stand virtually alone as exponents” today. Historicism interprets the predictive prophecy of the Bible as providing an uninterrupted continuum of fulfillment from Bible times to the present. In so doing it rejects the Bible ’s own, inherent, perspective of salvation history, which explicitly anticipates the climax of earth’s history, Christ’s promise to return, and the establishment of God’s eternal, righteous dominion over all the earth at the close of Bible times.161 The DRCS reaffirmation of historicism is the crux of the issue to which this paper is addressed. It is the ultimate, “scholarly,” demonstration of the perennial obscurantism that has characterized Adventism’s perennial reaffirmation of the sanctuary doctrine for more than a century.

It is not the objective of this paper to review the five DRCS Daniel volumes in detail, but rather to evaluate the credibility of its historicist interpretation in terms of faithfulness to the sola Scriptura principle and to generally recognized principles of exegesis, particularly the crucial importance of context. Most of its 1600 pages are devoted to scholarly analyses of the text of Daniel that only a trained Bible scholar would be able to evaluate. Others would probably depend on their personal presuppositions with respect to the sanctuary doctrine in accepting or rejecting the conclusions to which the respective authors draw from the evidence they present.

1519 of the 1600 pages consist of articles by 18 authors. One author contributed 418 pages (28%), another 176 pages (12%), and a third 111 pages (9%), for a total of 705 pages. The other 15 authors contributed an average of 54 pages each, five of them as little as 12 pages or less.

The disorganized way in which DRCS deals with the sanctuary doctrine reflects the disorganized way in which its parent “committee” (DRC) must have operated. A committee is expected to integrate the contributions of its members into a consensus that represents the committee as a committee. A Bible translation conducted by a group of translators working together is considered to be far more accurate and reliable than one by a single individual, however qualified that individual may be. The consensus of the group tends to eliminate individual idiosyncrasies, however “scholarly” they may be. DRCS offers no such consensus or synthesis.

The eighteen DRCS authors are to be commended for their knowledge of ancient and recent literature relevant to the prophecies of Daniel, for their expertise in ancient Hebrew and cognate languages, and for their obviously diligent labors encapsulating all of this for modern readers. On the other hand, their labors were flawed because of their obviously overriding subjective use of this information in defense of an interpretation of the prophecies of Daniel that, as a matter of fact, contradicts what Daniel intended what he wrote to convey, as determined by context.158

Almost without exception the DRCS authors tacitly assume the validity of the historicist principle as their fundamental presupposition and then, reasoning in a circle, offer what they write as proof of that presupposition! At four major points they assume the accuracy of the KJV translation where it misrepresents the Hebrew text. They ignore the historical context within which Daniel locates his visions and to which he applies them, and his explicit, composite, salvation history perspective. In at least seven major instances they ignore or contradict Daniel’s explicit statements in the context. And in the year of our Lord 2002 BRI, with the full approval of the GC, affirms DRCS as final and conclusive proof of the traditional understanding of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment! Reductio ad absurdum and the ultimate exercise in obscurantism posing as the highest level of scholarship Adventists have to offer!158

In another noteworthy anomaly, the several chapters dealing with the supposed analogies between the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 and the sanctuaries of the books of Leviticus and Hebrews is based on the supposition that its sanctuary is the heavenly sanctuary , whereas, as noted in section 8 above, context explicitly identifies it as the sanctuary , or temple, in Jerusalem. These two analogies are valid only if the context in Daniel permits them. It does not, period! Thus the several chapters devoted to the sanctuary in Leviticus and Hebrews are irrelevant to the exegesis of Daniel 8:14!

Dr. William Shea’s protracted and convoluted chiastic literary analysis of significant passages of Daniel throughout volume one of the DRCS and elsewhere, sometimes in explicit contradiction of context, may be impressive to the uninitiated but wearisome beyond measure and otherwise counterproductive. DRCS would have been vastly improved without his 418 pages of comment! Much of Dr. Gerhard Hasel’s 176 pages consists of detailed analyses of non-Adventist interpretations of Daniel that are of no value or relevance to any Seventh-day Adventist studying the book of Daniel. Accordingly, some 40% of DRCS’s 1519 pages of comment is really of little or no practical value with respect to clarifying the Adventist understanding of its prophetic pericopes. In many respects DRCS is a mute witness to the uncoordinated and irrelevant way in which DRC evidently functioned, yet BRI informs us that it has settled, once for all, every question about the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment!

Currently in progress is another General Conference project which seems destined to solidify the Pierson-Hyde-Hasel objective of transforming the Seventh-day Adventist church from a community dedicated and open to the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit into an ever more accurate and complete “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,”162 into the closed, obscurantist, fundamentalist church that they envisioned—-the International Board for Ministerial Training and Endorsement with its sub-boards in the various divisions. This project is already proving to be divisive, and has the possibility of repeating the fate that overtook the Lutheran Church—-Missouri Synod in December 1976—-schism.163

13. A Permanent Remedy for Doctrinal Obscurantism.

The church urgently needs a bona fide consensus of all of its qualified Bible scholars in order to ascertain as accurately as possible all matters of biblical exegesis in harmony with the sola Scriptura principle, preliminary to the formulation of doctrinal statements in partnership with church administrators. Such a consensus can be achieved only by an organization that would provide its members with an opportunity to confer together apart from every influence or concern other than faithfulness to sola Scriptura and loyalty to the church.

(1) This organization would serve as an agency of, funded by, and dedicated to cooperating with the General Conference, with the specific objective of providing GC administrators with a bona fide consensus of its community of Bible scholars on all biblical and doctrinal matters. (2) It would participate with the GC in defining their working relationship. (3) It would select its name (for example, “Bible Scholars’ Council on Biblical Exegesis”). (4) It would define its membership requirements, (4) select its officers and specify their terms of service, and (5) elect an executive committee and a permanent staff. (5) It would define its operating procedures, (6) set its own agenda, (7) receive and respond to requests from the GC, (8) select topics of its own for consideration, and (9) define its principles of exegesis.

(10) It would report to GC administration only, and not otherwise publicize its findings beyond scholarly circles. (11) Its reports to administration would reflect both the majority consensus and the degree of minority dissent, if any. (12) It would conduct most of its business via e-mail, but (13) hold an annual convocation which all members would be invited to attend, with their employing organizations funding travel and accommodations. (14) It would ordinarily meet in camera, but might, at its discretion, invite non-scholar observers. (15) Its formative stage might be limited to North American Bible scholars, but eventually it should include all qualified Adventist Bible scholars worldwide.

Such an organization would be of inestimable value to the church. It would help the church to be a faithful witness to the sola Scriptura principle in all aspects of its witness to the everlasting gospel, and to avoid the obscurantism and intermittent doctrinal controversy of the past century.

14. The Authenticity of Adventism

This review and analysis of the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary , and the investigative judgment is designed to be constructive and remedial, not critical, accusatory, or punitive. I sincerely hope that it will be received in the same spirit, and that appropriate action will be taken to spare the church and its members from a repetition of the traumatic episodes of the past for which this pseudo-biblical doctrine, historicism, and obscurantism have been responsible.

For two reasons Seventh-day Adventism remains an authentic, credible witness to the everlasting gospel despite its all-to-human imperfections such as its traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary doctrine, and the investigative judgment: (1) Its unique emphasis on applying the gospel of Jesus Christ to every aspect of human personhood, mental and physical as well as spiritual and social—-practical, loving concern for the well-being and happiness of all human beings, and (2) its emphatic witness to His promised, imminent return to transform this suffering little world into the permanent abode of righteousness and peace He originally designed it to enjoy

In view of the fact that Seventh-day Adventists have, historically and today, relied on the authenticity of the 1844 experience and the basic credibility of the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, and in view of the above evidence that that interpretation is not tenable when tested by the sola Scriptura principle (which the church affirms but compromises in its interpretation of Daniel 8:14), the question inevitably arises, “What basis is there for concluding that Adventism is an authentic witness to the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ?” An inevitable and appropriate question indeed!

The pragmatic response to that question is the extent to which the church conforms to, and reflects, the teachings of Jesus Christ and complies with the gospel commission. Whether or not it does so uniquely is none of our business or concern. Even to be concerned with that question violates His specific instruction on record in Mark 9:38-41. Someone was casting out demons in Jesus’ name and the disciples “tried to stop him, because he was not following us. But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us.’“ On another occasion Peter, pointing to John, asked Jesus “What about him?” In His reply Jesus said to Peter, “What is that to you? Follow me.” It is none of our business as Seventh-day Adventists to question the credibility or integrity of others as authentic witnesses of Jesus Christ. Let us focus our attention on the credibility of our witness to the everlasting gospel—-and banish any “holier than thou” questions from our minds. In Acts 10:35 Peter says, “In every nation [and religious community] anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

Jesus’ summary of the gospel is on record in Mark 12:29-31: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the true test of us corporately as a church as well as of us individually, as members of the church. In other words, gospel principles apply to every aspect of our individual and corporate being—-our love for, and the dedication of our entire individual and corporate being, to God—-and in our relationship to one another and to every other human being. “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”159 The agape love of God is selfless concern and care for the well-being and happiness of others. That must be the ideal and practice of the church with respect to every human being everywhere, in theory but even more importantly, in practice. “In as much… “!

We are admitted to eternity on the basis of the kind of people we are, individually, not what we may sincerely believe about Daniel 8:14 or any other passage of Scripture. A person may conscientiously believe in the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, and if everything else in his or her life is in harmony with the gospel he/she will encounter no problem at the pearly gates of eternity. And if a person sincerely believes that is not its import, but everything else in his/her life is in harmony with the gospel, he/she will encounter no problem at the pearly gates of eternity. But is we become abusive of one another in our discussion of the subject we will both arrive at the pearly gates only to find them bolted and barred against both of us.

Let our corporate attitude as a church be in moderated by this fact, but at the same time let the church, corporately, be in full harmony with the sola Scriptura principle in its delineation of, and witness to, Daniel 8:14. In terms of sola Scriptura its sanctuary witness to the gospel is grossly defective and alienates the confidence and respect of biblically literate people, Adventist and non-Adventist alike. Let us be willing to recognize and remove that obstacle to acceptance of our message to the world that Jesus will soon return.

In the years immediately following October 22, 1844the traditional sanctuary doctrine was an important asset for stabilizing the faith of disappointed Adventists. Today it is an equally significant liability and deterrent to the faith, confidence, and salvation of biblically literate Adventists and non-Adventists alike. It was present truth following the great disappointment on October 22, 1844. It is not present truth in the year of our Lord 2002. Quod erat demonstrandum!

Raymond F. Cottrell, February 9, 2002

(Note this paper from the Jesus Institute Forum was supplied to ellenwhiteexposed.com by Dale Ratzlaff)

N O T E S

Most of my papers cited in the following notes are on file in the Heritage Room of the Del E. Webb Library on the campus of Loma Linda University. The Association of Adventist Forums is currently planning a website and has requested a list of all my major papers.

  1. Le Roy Edwin Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4, p. 403.
  2. Cf. Matthew 27:51.
  3. 1 Peter 3:7-12.
  4. Hebrews8:2.
  5. Leviticus 16.
  6. Matthew 25:1-13.
  7. Cf. Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 58.
  8. White, The Great Controversy, p. 409.
  9. Ibid., pp. 409-422.
  10. White, Evangelism, p. 221.
  11. Letter 10, 1895.
  12. Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 112, 126. Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 21; Book 2, p. 85; Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 145; Testimonies to the Church, vol. 5, pp. 663, 691; vol. 6, p. 402; Great Controversy, p. vii; Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.
  13. Selected Messages, Book 1, pp. 37, 164; Book 3, p.33..
  14. Comprehensive Index to the Writings of E. G. White, pp. 21-176. An estimate of the entries.
  15. White, Letter to E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones (Letter 37, 2-18-1887). J. H. Waggoner, The Law of God, an Examination of the Testimony of Both Testaments, Rochester, N.Y., The Advent Review Office, 1854, pp. 70, 108. In 1856 James and Ellen White and others met for two days in Battle Creek, Michigan, and decided that Waggoner was wrong in identifying the law in Galatians as the Ten Commandments. James White withdrew the book from circulation.
  16. White, Sketches from the Life of Paul, pp. 188-192.
  17. Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 234.
  18. Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 233.
  19. Acts of the Apostles, pp. 383-388.
  20. D. M. Canright, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, pp. 118-126. For an extended discussion see my Eschatology of Daniel, Chapter 20, “Daniel in the Critics’ Den,”
  21. Albion F. Ballenger, Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, Introduction pp. i-iv, 1, 4, 11, 82, 106-112. See Note 20.
  22. W. W. Fletcher, The Reasons for My Faith, pp. 6, 17, 23, 86, 107, 115-138, 142-170, 220. See especially pp. 111-112, where he quotes a plaintive letter to Ellen White.
  23. See Chapter 20, “Daniel in the Critics Den” in my Eschatology of Daniel, where I quote extensively from original documents preserved in the General Conference Archives.
  24. For detailed information concerning R. A. Greive see Desmond Ford, Daniel 8:14, the Day of Atonement, and the Investigative Judgment, Glacier View edition, pp. 89-95; printed edition pp. 55-61.
  25. For a summary of highlights of Desmond Ford’s 991-page Daniel 8:14, the Day of Atonement, and the Investigative Judgment, see my 18-page paper, “Dr. Desmond Ford’s Position on the sanctuary ” For a very detailed account of proceedings at the Glacier View meeting of the sanctuary Review Committee, August 10-15, 1980, see my report “The sanctuary Review Committee and Its New Consensus” in Spectrum, 11:2, November 1980, pp.2-26. This article is based on my complete shorthand notes of every speech and all proceedings at the morning Study Group 2, of which I was a member, and the afternoon and evening plenary sessions. My unpublished 20-page paper “Group Dynamics at Glacier View” explains what happened at Glacier View and why it happened as it did. My 21-page unpublished paper “A Post-mortem on Glacier View” summarizes my reaction to events at Glacier View. My 38-page paper “A Hermeneutic for Daniel 8:14,” was distributed as an official Glacier View document. My 14-page “Report of a Poll of Adventist Bible Scholars Concerning Daniel 8:14 and Hebrews9” summarizes responses to 125 questions. The poll was sent to a list of all Bible scholars in North America (teaching and non-teaching) provided by the GC Department of Education, and to several overseas. This report includes, also, a list of responses to a 1958 poll I sent to 27 teachers of Hebrew in North American SDA colleges, and a few others proficient in Hebrew, all personal friends of mine.
  26. Ford is still a member of the Pacific Union College church.
  27. Dale Ratzlaff’s 1996, 384-page Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists focuses on the traditional Adventist doctrine of the sanctuary . Jerry Gladson’s 383-page A Theologian’s Journey from Seventh-day Adventism to Mainstream Christianity (2001) is an account of obscurantist leadership persecution as a result of the traditional sanctuary doctrine.
  28. Janet Brown gives her e-mail address as Janet.E.Brown@intel.com.
  29. Mrs. Donald W. Silver (Christine M. Silver) is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Robert H. Brown.
  30. White, The Great Controversy, p. 409.
  31. Evangelism, pp. 221, 224.
  32. My 28-page unpublished paper, “Questions on Doctrine: A Historical-Critical Evaluation,” is a detailed review of the eighteen Martin-Barnhouse interviews with General Conference personnel in 1955 and 1956. My 10-page “Questions on Doctrine: Footnotes to History” recounts a number of humorous moments during the Martin-Barnhouse interviews.
  33. Donald G. Barnhouse, ed., Eternity, 7:67, September 1956, pp. 6-7, 43-45.
  34. My 16-page “An Evaluation of Certain Aspects of the Martin Articles” quotes from, and summarizes, comment in the contemporary (1956) Evangelical Christian press regarding the Martin-Barnhouse interviews. This document was prepared at the request of the editorial committee preparing Questions on Doctrine for publication.
  35. My article “The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy” in volume 4 of the SDA Bible Commentary (pages 25-38) classifies and summarizes some five thousand Old Testament passages relating to God’s dealings with Israel under the covenant relationship, including the Old Testament perspective of salvation history, which culminated in the coming of Messiah and the establishment of His eternal reign of righteousness at or soon after the close of Old Testament times. These five thousand passages were accumulated during the course of teaching the class Old Testament Prophets for several years at Pacific Union College during the 1940s and 1950s. The parenthetical sentence on page 38, “This rule does not apply to those portions of the book of Daniel that the prophet was bidden to shut up and seal, or to other passages whose application Inspiration may have limited exclusively to our own time,” was added by F. D. Nichol during the editorial process. He personally agreed with everything in the article and made no alterations in it, but feared for the adverse reception of the Commentary except for this caveat.
  36. See Note 26.
  37. My set of the committee papers considered is in the GC Archives.
  38. My study of 150 important words in the Aramaic and Hebrew portions of Daniel fills 108 typewritten pages.
  39. My correlation of the prophecies of Daniel7, 8, 9, and 11-12 fills 14 typewritten pages.
  40. For my own convenience, I wrote out (in parallel columns) key passages of the prophecies of Daniel in Hebrew, Greek (both the LXX and Theodotion), the KJV, and RSV.
  41. Especially the first four chapters of 1 Maccabees, where I found twenty-four points of specific identity between Daniel’s little horn and the career of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. I concluded, however, that Christ assigned the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies to New Testament times, and that the New Testament writers nearly forty times anticipate Jesus’ promised return within their generation. Chapters 4 “The Old Testament Perspective of Salvation History” and 12 “The New Testament Perspective of Salvation History” in my unpublished book manuscript, The Eschatology of Daniel, sets all of this forth in detail. See Note 131.
  42. Chapter 13 of my unpublished book manuscript The Eschatology of Daniel, “Jewish Interpretation of Daniel,” traces Jewish interpretation in some detail from ancient to modern times. For this I relied primarily on Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews, Abba Hillel Silver’s A History of Messianic Speculation in Israel, and Joseph Klausner’s The Messianic Idea in Israel.
  43. Chapter 14 of my unpublished book manuscript, The Eschatology of Daniel, “The. sanctuary doctrine and the Investigative Judgment,” traces the development of the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 in considerable detail.
  44. Chapter 17 of my Eschatology of Daniel, “The heavenly sanctuary in the Epistle to the Hebrews,” explores its comment on Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary in considerable detail.
  45. See Section 9, “Flaws in the sanctuary doctrine.”
  46. See Section 14, “A Permanent Remedy for Obscurantism.”
  47. See Note 44.
  48. Hebrews7:27; 10:11-12.
  49. Hebrews2:17-18; 4:14-15; 6:19-20; 7:24-28.
  50. Hebrews7:25; 9:12, 24.
  51. Hebrews2:17-18; 4:14-16.
  52. Hebrews9:28; 10:37.
  53. 2 Timothy 2:15. Biblical hermeneutics has been the focus of my study for more than fifty years, the chapter “Principles of Biblical Interpretation” in Problems in Bible Translation (pp. 79-127) being one of my first (1953) published papers in this area. Among my many papers on this subject have been “Hermeneutics: What Difference Does It Make?” (37 pp.), “Ellen G. White and the Bible ” (43 pp.), “The Role of Biblical Hermeneutics in Preserving Unity in the Church” (18 pp.), and many others.
  54. See Note 35.
  55. The paper “Historical Conditioning in the Bible and the Writings of Ellen G. White” (92 pages) was written on assignment by and for the Biblical Research Committee (BRC/BRI).
  56. See Note 35.
  57. See chapter 12 of The Eschatology of Daniel, “The New Testament Perspective of Salvation History.” Nearly forty times the New Testament writers anticipate the return of Christ within their generation. See Note 131.
  58. I relied on the third edition of Rudolf Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica and two Hebrew dictionaries: Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Josef Fabry’s Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, eleven volumes of which are now available in English.
  59. Except as otherwise noted I used the Revised Standard Version of the Bible , but often referred to other translations.
  60. Two problems limit the value of the King James’ Version for serious study: (1) it was based on late manuscripts that had accumulated a considerable number of scribal errors, and (2) several hundred English words convey a different meaning today than they did in 1611. Ronald Bridges and Luther A. Weigle’s The Bible Word Book explains several hundred English words in the KJV that are either obsolete or archaic today.
  61. Footnotes in Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica list numerous helpful variant readings in the ancient versions and translations of the Hebrew Bible .
  62. My knowledge of Aramaic is limited.
  63. Nehemiah 8:7-8.
  64. From Robert Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible .
  65. In the ancient Hebrew of Genesis 1:1 the word for “created” was written br’ (consonants only). The Masoretes supplied vowels to make it read bara’, “created.” With equal reason they might as well have supplied vowels to make it read bore’, which would have verse 1 read “When God began to create ... ,” thus making verse 1 a dependent clause, with verse 2 the main statement:
  66. See Section 7, on the analogy of Scripture. The heavenly sanctuary of the Book of Hebrews is not a valid counterpart for the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 because verses 9 to 13 identify it as the sanctuary located in the “beautiful” land (tsebi), Judea. Chapter 11:16, 41 confirms this identification, and in 11:45 tsebi the “beautiful’ holy mountain in Jerusalem where the temple was located. Furthermore, context (8:11-13) specifically identifies the reason the sanctuary needs “cleansing” or restoration because of its trampling by the little horn (cf. 11:31).
  67. The name “Seventh-day Adventists” was chosen in 1860, and the General Conference was organized in 1863.
  68. See Section 2, “Ellen G. White and the sanctuary doctrine.” I have explored Adventism’s sense of mission in my paper “Adventism in the Twentieth Century;” pp. 6 to 9.
  69. In Moses’ farewell address to Israel prior to their entrance into the promised land (Deuteronomy 28) he set forth the good things that would happen to them if they obeyed God’s instructions (verses 1-14), and the misfortunes if they disobeyed (verses 15-68). The argument that Daniel 8 and 9 are “apocalyptic” (and thus supposedly immune to the conditionalism principle) ignores the fact that, contextually, they apply specifically to the Hebrew people and therefore are subject to the conditions specified in Jeremiah 18:7-10.
  70. See note 69.
  71. See my 49-page paper, “The Adventist Theological Society and Its Biblical Hermeneutic.”
  72. Reading one of William Miller’s books, I found his uninterrupted misuse of commonly accepted principles of exegesis a deeply troubling experience.
  73. For characteristics of the proof text method, see Section 7.
  74. For a list of changes the church has already made in the sanctuary doctrine see Desmond Ford’s Daniel 8:14, the Day of Atonement, and the Investigative Judgment, pp. 115-121 (Glacier View duplicated edition), pp. 73-88 (printed edition).
  75. Daniel9:23 cf. 8:16.
  76. Daniel9:21-23.
  77. Daniel9:24.
  78. Cf. Daniel7:24-25.
  79. Daniel11:45.
  80. Daniel 8:17, 26.
  81. Daniel9:22-25.
  82. Daniel2:37-40; 7:3-7; 8:3-8; 11:2-3.
  83. Daniel2:41-43; 7:7-8, 17, 23; 8:8-9; 11:4-5, 25-29, 40-43.
  84. Daniel9:25.
  85. Daniel2:44; 7:28; 8:17, 19, 26; 9:24, 27; 11:35, 40.
  86. Daniel7:21, 25; 8:10, 13, 24-25; 9:26; 12:1, 2, 7.
  87. Daniel 8:9; 9:36; 11:22, 24, 41.
  88. Daniel 8:11, 25; 11:36.
  89. Daniel7:25; 8:11-12; 9:26-27; 11:31; 12:11.
  90. Daniel 8:13; 9:27; 11:31.
  91. Daniel 8:12-13; 9:27; 11:22.
  92. Daniel7:25; 12:7.
  93. Daniel7:25; 9:27; 12:7.
  94. Daniel 8:14.
  95. Daniel9:27; 12:1, 7.
  96. Daniel7:22, 26; 8:25; 9:27; 11:45; 12:11.
  97. Daniel7:22, 27; 8:14; 12:1-3, 13-14.
  98. See Note 35.
  99. Enumerated below.
  100. Daniel1:12; 8:26-27; 10:13-14; 11:20; 12:11-12.
  101. As in Leviticus 16.
  102. A comparison of the career of Antiochus IV Epiphanes as set forth in 1 Maccabees 1 to 4 with the little horn of Daniel results in 24 points of undeniable identity. This led ancient Jewish scholars to identify him as the fulfillment of the Daniel’s predictions. However, Christ’s statements in Mark 1:15, Matthew 24 (etc.), and some forty times by New Testament writers locate the fulfillment of Daniel’s end-time prophecies at the close of New Testament times. See references cited in Notes 130 and 131.
  103. The prophetic day-for-a—literal-year concept was originally formulated by the Karaite Jewish scholar Nahawendi in the ninth century in an endeavor to identify events of his time as the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies. The idea that this “principle” was operative with respect to the seventy “weeks” of years of Daniel 9 ignores the fact that it was, as a matter of fact, an application of the ancient Jewish jubilee-year system of dating, not the purported day-for-a-year “principle.” The ancient Jewish Book of Jubilees uses this system of dating scores of times for dating events in Jewish history. See Chapter 15, “Jewish Interpretation of Daniel,” in my Eschatology of Daniel for a number of relevant examples from the Book of Jubilees. See also Abba Hillel Silver, A History of Messianic Speculation in Israel, pp. 52-55, 208; Le Roy Edwin Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 1, p. 713; vol. 2, p.196.
  104. Cf. verse 11.
  105. Verses 11-12.
  106. Verses 3, 21-23.
  107. Verses 2-6, 27.
  108. Daniel 8:16, 26-27.
  109. “ 9:24-27.
  110. “ 9:25.
  111. Ezra 7:21-27.
  112. “ 6:13-15.
  113. Daniel9:3-19.
  114. “ 9:17-19.
  115. Verse 24
  116. Verses 25-27.
  117. Verse 25.
  118. Verse 23.
  119. Verse 24.
  120. Cf. Daniel11:23.
  121. Daniel 8:11-13; cf. 9:27.
  122. Verse 27.
  123. Daniel 8:23-25.
  124. “ 8:20, 23.
  125. Verse 26.
  126. See Note 35.
  127. Matthew 24:44; Romans 13:12; 2 Peter 3:11-12.
  128. Matthew 24:42.
  129. See Note 35.
  130. Matthew 24:1-3l 30-34.
  131. PETER: 1 Peter 1:20; 4:17, 27; 2 Peter 3:11-14. JOHN: John 21:21-23; 1 John 2:18; Revelation1:1, 3; 3:11; 12:12; 22:6-7, 10, 12, 20. JAMES: James 5:7-9. PAUL: Romans 13:11-12; 1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 7:29; 10:11; Philippians 3:20; 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:15-17. HEBREWS 1:2; 9:26-28; 10:37.
  132. Revelation1:1, 3; 3:11; 22:6-7, 12, 20.
  133. See my 82-page paper, Adventism in the Twentieth Century. pp. 34-54.
  134. See [R. Allen Anderson] Minutes of Council of Teachers in Bible , Seventh-day Adventist Colleges, Washington, D. C., July 30 to August 25. 1940, p. 32 and [L. H. Hartin] Report of Bible Teachers’ Council, Angwin, California, July 23-31,1950, p. 74 (in the GC Archives).
  135. My complete file of BRF papers is in the Heritage Room of the James White Memorial Library at Andrews University. (During the first year or two of our monthly Sabbath afternoon meetings at PUC some presentations were oral only, without formal papers.)
  136. See Note 135 for the 1950 meeting.
  137. “Let Us Have an Associate Secretary for Bible Research in the Ministerial Association.” I sent this proposal to Le Roy Froom, founder of the Ministerial Association and a personal friend of mine for 28 years; R. Allen Anderson, incumbent director of the Ministerial Association; and W. E. Read.
  138. “A Draft Proposal for a Seventh-day Adventist Institute of Biblical Studies” (14 pp.) Appended to it was “Twenty-five Years of Cooperative Research-type Bible Study” (16 pp.), in which I reviewed events of the years 1940 to 1966. The appendix was intended to provide him with information about what had happened in Adventist Bible scholarship during his protracted absence.
  139. Raymond F. Cottrell, “The Untold Story of the Bible Commentary,” Spectrum, 16:3, August 1985, pp. 34-51. The Commentary did not identify authors because of numerous editorial changes made in some contributions. My Spectrum article lists all the contributors.
  140. See p. 10 of any volume of the Commentary.
  141. Among the first Adventist “Bible teachers,” as Bible scholars were then called, to attend “outside” universities were: R. E. Loasby, E. C. Banks, S. H. Horn, W. G. C. Murdoch, E. R. Thiele, L. H. Wood, and A. G. Maxwell. They tended to avoid classes in theology as such, but focused on such subjects as biblical languages, the history of antiquity, archeology, and chronology.
  142. General Council Spring Meeting minutes for April 4, 1969.
  143. In the autumn of 1968 R. H. Pierson invited W. J. Hackett to serve as a GC vice president. They had become acquainted on the 1968 Geoscience field trip of that summer. Elder Hackett confided in me that one of his principal objectives was to “clean up” the religion faculties at Loma Linda and Andrews universities.
  144. A personal friend of mine, a colleague then on the religion faculty at Southern Adventist College, shared this information with me.
  145. See my paper “Architects of Crisis: A Decade of Obscurantism” 40 pp.).
  146. For example, W. G. C. Murdoch, S. H. Horn, E. E. Heppenstall.
  147. In personal conversation with W. G. C. Murdoch, Siegfried H. Horn, and E. E. Heppenstall, long-time personal friends of mine.
  148. See Note 45.
  149. In conversation with a long-time personal friend of mine, then in the inner circle of ATS leadership. He confided to me the fact that ATS was organized specifically as a result of Hasel’s loss of influence when demoted from deanship of the Theological Seminary.
  150. My paper, “The Adventist Theological Society and Its Biblical Hermeneutic,” evaluates the history and objectives of ATS. The section on ATS hermeneutics is based on personal interviews and official ATS publications.
  151. See Note 25.
  152. See pp. 49-50 of my 82-page paper “Adventism in the Twentieth Century.”
  153. For Consultation I see Warren C. Trenchard, “In the Shadow of the sanctuary ,” Spectrum, 11:2, 1980, pp. 26-29; for Consultation II, Alden Thompson, “Theological Consultation II,” Spectrum, 12:2, 1981, pp. 40-52.
  154. Volume 1: Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, 174 pp.; Volume 2: Symposium on Daniel, 557 pp.; Volume 3: Doctrine of the sanctuary , 238 pp.; Volume 4: Issues in the Book of Hebrews, 237 pp.; Volume 5: 70 Weeks, Leviticus, Nature of Prophecy, 394 pp.
  155. My paper “The Annual Council Statement on Methods of Bible Study,” (5 pp.) notes the fact that after the committee released its report BRI inserted a preamble reiterating ATS hermeneutical principles. As a result some members of the committee told me that they had refused to sign their names in approval of the document. ATS requires members to affirm acceptance of it. .
  156. Personal correspondence with both the former and the new (2002) BRI directors and the president of the GC makes evident that they are firmly committed to ATS hermeneutical policy.
  157. For instance, Drs. Fritz Guy, Larry Geraty, Sakai Kubo, and Ivan Blazen (at the Theological Seminary); and Drs. Lorenzo Grant, Edwin Zachrison, and Jerry Gladson (at Southern Adventist University).
  158. See Section 8, “Rightly Interpreting Daniel 8:14.”
  159. Matthew 25:40.
  160. W. W. Prescott’s letter is on file in the GC Archives.
  161. See Note 35.
  162. 2 Peter 3:18.

My series of six articles as an associate editor of the Review and Herald during January and February 1977 were designed to alert Adventists to the same debate then incipient in our church, and with a possibility of the same result (schism). Many have told me that they “got the point.

Appendix II.

William Miller’s 15 Proofs that Jesus was Coming in 1843-1844

Miller’s charts can be seen in Kai Arasola, The End Of Historicism,[Datem Publishing, Sigtuna, Sweden, 1990] p. 224.

Miller’s 15 Proofs can be found in Dale Ratzlaff’s book Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventist, Life Assurance Ministries Publications, Glendale, Arizona, 2003, p. 54-77.

First Summary: Lev 26:18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.’” Each time = 360 years x 7 = 2520 years. This time begins with Manasseh captivity in 677 BC and ends in 1843.26.19 NIV Leviticus 26.

ONE: I prove it by the time given by Moses, in the 26th chapter of Leviticus, being seven times that the people of God are to be in bondage to the kingdoms of this world; or in Babylon, literal and mystical; which seven times cannot be understood less than seven times 360 revolutions of the earth in its orbit, making 2520 years. I believe this began according to Jeremiah 15:4, —“And I will cause them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem,” and Isa. 7:8, “For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Resin: and within three score and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that is be not a people,”—when Manasseh was carried captive to Babylon, and Israel was no more a nation,—see chronology, 2 Chron. 33:9, “So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the Lord has destroyed before the children of Israel,”—the 677th year B.C. Then take 677 out of 2520 leaves A.D. 1843, when the punishment of the people of God will end.

Miller’s Lectures, P. 251

Second Summary: Deut. 15:1, 2: “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release: and this is the manner of the release: every creditor that lendeth aught unto his neighbor shall release it: he shall not exact it of his neighbor or of his brother because it is called the Lord’s release.” 1 year = 360 years x 7 = 2520 years. This would begin with the captivity of Israel and the king of Judah, Manasseh, 677 B.C., must end in A.D. 1843, when the children of God will be released from all bondage and slavery.

TWO: It is proved typically by the year of release. See Deut. 15:1, 2: “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release: and this is the manner of the release: every creditor that lendeth aught unto his neighbor shall release it: he shall not exact it of his neighbor or of his brother because it is called the Lord’s release.” Also Jer. 34:14: at the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother a Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee, and when he had served three six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers, hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.” We are by this type, taught that the people of God will be delivered from their servitude and bondage when they have served their 7 prophetic years. Times 360 years is 2520. Beginning with the captivity of Israel and the king of Judah, Manasseh, 677 B.C., must end in A.D. 1843, when the children of God will be released from all bondage and slavery.

Second Advent Library, No. 14

Third Summary: Ez. 39:9 speaks of weapons being destroyed by fire for seven years. Miller states that these years are prophetic years with 1 prophetic year = 360 years x 7 = 2520 years. Miller starts these 2520 years end in 1843 with Babylon’s spoiling and robbing Israel but does not give the date. Miller is probably referring to Manasseh was taken captive by Babylon in 677 B.C which he mentioned in his second reason.

THREE: It is also proved by the seven years’ war of Zion with her enemies, given to us in Ez. 39:9, 10: “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forest; for they shall burn the weapons with fire; and the shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.” The children of God will be contending with their enemies, spoiling those that spoiled them, and robbing those that have robbed them, 7 years, prophetic, which is 2520 common years. Beginning as before, when Babylon began to spoil and rob them, and when they by the fire of the truth began to burn up the weapons of their enemies, in this moral warfare: this will end in 1843.

Miller’s Life and Views, p. 69

Fourth Summary: Christ will take 6 days to make the new heaven and new earth. One day equals one thousand years (2 Peter 3:8). 1 day = 1,000 years x 6 = 6000. 1843 is 6000 years from Adam’s fall. How Miller is certain that 1843 is 6000 years from Adam’s fall he never explains.

FOUR: It is proved, also, by the sign of the Sabbath. Ex. 31:13-17: “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath-day he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” Heb. 4:4, 9-11 “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise: And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

As God was six days creating the old heavens and earth, and rested on the seventh: so it is a sign Christ will also labor six days in creating the new heavens and earth, and rest on the seventh. How long is a day with the Lord? Peter tells us in his 2 Epistle 3:8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” If, then, a thousand years is a day with the Lord, how long has Christ been to work creating the new? I answer, if we will allow the Bible to make us a chronology, we shall find this year, 1843, the 6000 years from Adam’s fall will be finished. Then the Anti-typical Sabbath of 1000 years will commence. Rev. 10:6: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Life and Views. p. 157

Fifth Summary: Miller speaks of 7 times 7 Jubilees or a Jubilee of Jubilees = 49 times 50 years = 2450 years. This time began in 607 B.C. with the end of King Josiah’s reign, who was the last king to follow God’s Law and ends in 1843. Miller offers not scripture of his Jubilee of Jubilees. Here 1 year = 1 year.

FIVE: Again, we can prove it be the typical jubilee. Lev. 35:8-13: “And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years: and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound, on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty through all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which growth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of they vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; ye shall return every man unto his possession.” Now, if we can show any rule whereby we can find the antitype, we can tell when the people of God will come into the inheritance of the purchased possession and the redemption of their bodies, and the trump of jubilee will proclaim liberty, a glorious one, through all the land. In order to do this we must take notice of the order of the Sabbaths. Seven Sabbaths shall be complete.” There is seven kinds of Sabbaths, which all have seven for a given number. The Jews kept but six Sabbaths: if they had kept the seventh they would have been made perfect without us: but the broke the seventh. “Therefore there remains a keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God.” The Jewish Sabbaths were:—

1. The 7th day. Ex. 31:15.

2. The 50th day. Lev. 23:15, 16.

3. The 7gh week. Deut. 16:9

4. The 7th month. Lev. 23:24, 25.

5. The 7th year. Lev. 25:3, 4.

6. The 7 times of 7 years and the 50th year Jubilee.

7. The 7 times 7 Jubilees and the 50th Jubilee will bring us to a complete or perfect Sabbath,—the great Jubilee of Jubilees. Thus 7, times 7, 50 years is 49 times 50 = 2450 years.

It is very evident no year of release or Jubilee was ever kept after the reign of Josiah, the last king of Jerusalem that obeyed the commandments of the Lord, or kept his statues. This king’s reign ended B.C. 607. See 2 Ki. 23; 2 Chron. 35, 36 and Jer. 22. After which the Jews never kept, neither could they keep, a year of release, or Jubilee; for neither their kings, their nobles, their people, or their lands could have been redeemed after this. Jer. 44:20-23. Here ended the Jewish Jubilees, when they had not kept more than 21 Jubilees, lacking 28 of coming to the great Jubilee.

And now the land was to lay desolate, while the people of God were in their enemies: land. Lev. 26:34. How long is a Jubilee of Jubilees? Ans. 49 times 50 years = 2450 years. When did these years begin: Ans. When the Jews ceased the keeping of the Sabbaths and Jubilees, at the close of Josiah’s reign, B.C. 607. Take 607 from 2450, it leaves A.D. 1843; when the Jubilee of Jubilees will come.

Second Advent Library, No. 14.

Sixth summary: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up.…” (Hosea 6:1-3) Each day = 1,000 years. The two days begin in 158 B.C. with Israel’ league with Rome and end 1842 A.D. 1843 is the first year of the 3 day which is 1,000 years long. (1 day = 1000 years)

SIX: I prove it by Hosea 6:1-3: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” This prophecy is the two days of the Roman Kingdom, in its Imperial, Kingly and Papal form, with its great iron teeth, tearing and persecuting the people of God; the third day is the same as Rev. 10:6: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priest of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years;” when the people of God will live in his sight, “live and reign with him a thousand years.” If, then, the third day is a thousand years, then the two days are of equal length. When did the two days begin? Ans. When the Jews made a league with the Romans. See Hosea 5:13: “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” Dan. 9:23: “And after the league made with him, he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.” 1 Maccabees 8, 9. This league was confirmed and ratified, and the Grecian kingdom ceased to rule over God’s people B.C. 158 years. Then add 158 to 1842, and we have 2000 years, or two days: as Peter says, 2 Peter 3:8: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” And 1843 is the first year in the 3d thousand years, or 3d day of the Lord. The world has stood since the fall of man 2000 years under the Patriarchs: 2000 years under the Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Grecian: and 2000 years under the Roman Pagan. Papal and Kingly.

Second Advent Library, No. 3. p. 45.

Seventh Summary: The 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 begins with the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:20-27. 1 prophetic day = 1 year. The 70 weeks end 33 A.D. (490 – 2300 = 1843).

SEVEN: I can prove it by the length of the vision which Daniel had (8:1:14) of the ram, he-goat and the horn, which Daniel was informed was 2300 days long. Dan. 8:13, 14: “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto the certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot. And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” And from which the 70 weeks were cut off, and fulfilled, the year of Christ’s death. Dan. 9:20-27. Then 70 weeks of years being cut off from 2300 days, makes these days years; and 490 years being fulfilled in A.D. 33, leaves 1810 years to the fulfillment of the vision, which added to 33 makes 1843, when the sanctuary will be cleansed, and the people of God justified.

Miller’s Lectures, p. 73.

Eighth Summary: The time, times and a half of Daniel12:6-7 = 1260 years. This begins when Manasseh was taken captivity in 677 B.C. for 1215 years until 538 A.D. Believers stay in the wilderness for another time, times and a half = 1260 years until 1798. Then add the remainder of 45 years from Daniel 12’s 1260 year ending in the year 1843,—which is the fullness of times. Note that for Miller’s calculations to work the time, times and a half had to have already begun years before this vision was given.

EIGHT: It can be proved by Daniel12:6, 7: “And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swear by him that aliveth forever, that it shall be for a time, times and a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” The question is asked, How long to the end of these wonders? These wonders are to the resurrection. See 2d and 3d verses: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.” The answer is given by the angel, who informs Daniel it shall be for time, times, and a half, and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all will be finished. Ez. 12:10-15: “Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and to into captivity. And the prince that is among them shall bear upon his shoulders in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes. My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of Chaldeans, yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there. And I will scatter toward every wind all that are about him to help him, and all his bands: and I will draw out the sword after them. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries.” Jer. 15:4: “And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for that which he did Jerusalem.” This chattering begun when Israel was scattered by Dsarhaddon, and when the king of Judah Manasseh, was carried to Babylon, B.C. 677. Thus they continued to be a people scattered, by the kings of the earth, until they fled into the wilderness in A.D. 538, which makes 1215 years. There they remained in the wilderness a time, times, and a half—which began A.D. 538, and continued until AD. 1798. The kings of the earth then had power, and the time, times and a half of the scattering of the holy people is filled un by 45 years, being the remainder of 1215, making in all 1260 years, under the nations or kings, and ending in the year 1843,—which is the fullness of times. Eph. 1:7, 10: “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of time he might gather in one all things in Christ, both which are in haven, and which are on earth; even in him:”—when the people of God, both among the Jews and Gentiles, will no more be scattered, but gathered in one body in Christ.

Second Advent Library, No. 6, p. 45.

Ninth Summary: Daniel12:11-13 speaks of 1335 days. The number 1335 days, from the taking away of Roman Pagan, A.D. 508, to set up Rome Papal, and the reign of the Papacy, is 1290 days, which was exactly fulfilled in 1290 years, being fulfilled in 1798. This proves the 1335 days to be years, and that Daniel will stand in his lot in A.D. 1843.

NINE: It can be proved by Daniel12:11-13: “And from the time that the daily sacrifices shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But to thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

The number 1335 days, from the taking away of Roman Pagan, A.D. 508, to set up Rome Papal, and the reign of the Papacy, is 1290 days, which was exactly fulfilled in 1290 years, being fulfilled in 1798. This proves the 1335 days to be years, and that Daniel will stand in his lot in A.D. 1843. For proof texts, see Dan 11:31: “And arms shall stand on this part, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” 2 Thes. 2:6-8: “And now ye know what witholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doeth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” Job 19:25: For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter days upon the earth.

Miller Lectures, p.100

Tenth Summary: Christ, Lk. 13:32:“And he said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Jesus 3 days here are linked with the 3 days in Hosea 6:1-3 and the again with Rev 12:3-9. This dragon power began its power over the saints when the league was made with him, B.C. 158 and will end in 1842. The third day will begin in 1843. Note that Jesus’ 3 days began over 180 years before he spoke for Millers prediction to be true. (1 day = 1000 years)

Proof Ten: It [second coming of Christ in 1843] can also be proved by the words of Christ, Lk. 13:32:“And he said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” These two days, in which Christ casts out devils and does cures, are the same as Hosea’s two days, at the end of which, the devil will be chained, and cast out of the earth into the pit, and shut up. This will take 2000 years of Roman power. Rev. 12:9:”And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out with him.” And then the people of God will be perfected. Rev. 20:9:”Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: of such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” This time began with the “great dragon,” Rev.12:3:”And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”

This government will draw after him one third part of the time, which wicked men have power in the earth, vis. 6000 years: and the 7000th, the year of Christ will take possession and reign with his saints, in perfect bliss. This dragon power began its power over the saints when the league was made with him, B.C. 158 and will end in 1842. The third day will begin in 1843.

Second Advent Library. No. 3. P. 61.

Eleventh Summary: The 5 months of Rev. 9:5 (30 x 5) = 150 years. The 150 years began when the Turks made incursions into the Greek territories in the year 1299, on the 27 day of July. 5 months is 150 years, 5 x 30 = 150. This trumpet ended in 1449. And the sixth trumpet began to sound, and was to sound 391 years and 15 day, as in Rev. 9:15: “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: and ended 1840 on the 11th of August. The seventh angel sounds synchronizes with Daniel12:7 where it is shown to end in the year 1843. 1 hour = 15 days, 1 day = 1 year, 1 month = 30 years, 1 year = 30 x12= 360. Miller fails to show how Daniel 12:7 adds 3 more years to Rev 9 to get from 1840 to 1843.

ELEVEN: The trumpets are also a revelation of time. See Rev. 9:5: “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.” These five months began when the Turks made incursions into the Greek territories, according to Gibbon, in the year 1299, on the 27 day of July. 5 months is 150 years, 5 x 30 = 150. This trumpet ended in 1449. And the sixth trumpet began to sound, and was to sound 391 years and 15 day, as in Rev. 9:15: “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: and ended 1840 on the 11th of August. Then the seventh trumpet begins, and ends with the fullness of times. Rev. 10:5, 7: “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and swear by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that terrain are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” And synchronizes with Daniel12:7. See section 7, where it is shown to end in the year 1843.

Miller’s Lectures, p. 190.

Twelfth Summary: Rev. 11:3 mentions 2 witnesses who prophesy for 1260 days. This time began with Papacy, 538, and ended in 1798. Then the reminder harmonizes with the trumpets: See Rev. 11:14, 15 and terminates with A.D. 1843. 1260 days = 1260 years, but Rev. 11:14, 15 give not mention any time period but Miller still sees this ending in 1843.

Miller’s Lectures, p. 190.

TWELVE: It can be proved by the two witnesses being clothed in sackcloth 1260 years. See Rev. 11:3: “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth.” This time began with Papacy, 538, and ended in 1798, during which time the Bible was suppressed from the laity, in all the countries where papacy had power, until the laws of the papal hierarchy were abolished and free toleration was granted to the papal sates in 1798. Then the reminder harmonizes with the trumpets: See Rev. 11:14, 15: “The second woe is past; and behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded: and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ: and he shall reign forever and ever.” And terminates with A.D. 1843.

Miller’s Lectures, p. 190.

Thirteenth Summary: In Rev. 12:6, 14 the woman fled into the wilderness in the for 1260 days which = 1260 years from A.D. 538 until 1798. Then Rev. 11:15 and 12:10 are mentioned but no prophetic time is mentioned in either of these verses nor does Miller state how these verses shows that the time for Christ’s coming terminates in 1843.

THIRTEEN: It can be proved by Rev. 12:6, 14: “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” It is evident that the church is not now in the wilderness, for if so, she must have been there in apostles’ days, for she enjoys more liberty now among the nations, than in any previous time since the gospel was preached: and it is very evident, for ages past, the true church has been an outlaw among the kingdoms which arose out of the Roman Empire. The church was driven into the wilderness, where they were given into the power of the Pope, —Daniel7:25: And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into this and until a time and times and the dividing of time,”—in the year A.D. 538: and was in the wilderness 1260 years, until 1798, when free toleration was granted in the kingdoms in the Papal territory. This also harmonizes with the witnesses and trumpet. Compare Rev. 11:15, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become that kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ: and he shall reign forever and ever,” with Rev. 12:10, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down which accused them before our God day and night.

Miller’s Lectures, p. 20.

Fourteenth Summary: The 42 months of Rev. 13:5 equals 42 months x 30 days per month = 1260 years. This begins in 538 and ends in 1798 with the pope being taken captive. Compare Daniel11:31, and 12:11, with Rev. 13:3-8 with Daniel 12:12,—“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days,”—carries us to the year 1843. Daniel 12:12 mentioned 1335 days from which Miller is able to add 45 years to 1798 in order to arrive at 1843.

FOURTEEN: It is proved by Rev. 13:5: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies: and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” This time began at the same time as the preceding, when power was given to the Pope by Justinian, A.D. 538, and his power was abolished, in the year 1798. See 10th verse: “He that leaded into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” This beast is the same as the little horn in Daniel7th, and the synchronizes with Daniel’s “abomination that maketh desolate,” or “that astonisheth,” (see marginal reading.) Compare Daniel 11:31, and 12:11, with Rev. 13:3-8: and of course his power is abolished with the end of his “setting up.” And the 1290 years. Then Daniel 12:12,—“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days,”—carries us to the year 1843.

Miller’s Lectures, p. 77.

Fifteenth Summary: The number of the beast in Rev. 13:18 is 666. This shows that pagan Rome would exist for 666 years from 158 B.C. to 508 A.D when the daily sacrifice was taken away. Then add the 1335 days of Daniel12:12 to 508 A.D. makes the year 1843. (1 prophetic day = 1 year) This is when “…the beast and his image will be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and the Lamb.”

FIFTEEN: “It can be proved by the numbers in Rev. 13:18: ‘Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six,’ connected with Daniel7:12, as before quoted. This text shows the number of years that Rome would exist under the blasphemous head of Paganism, after it was connected with the people of God by league; beginning B. C. 158, add 666 years, will bring us to A. D. 508, when the daily sacrifice was done away. Then add Daniel 12:12, the 1335 to 508, makes the year 1843.” When the beast and his image will be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and the Lamb. See Rev. 14:9-12: “And the third angel followed him, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image will be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and the Lamb. See Rev. 14:9-12: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and this image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation: and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

Miller’s Lectures. p. 76

Appendix III.

S.S. Snow, “Feb. 16, 1844, Letter from S.S. Snow,” The Advent Herald, April 3, 1844

Dear Bro. Southard,

I wish to present a few thoughts, for the careful consideration of the dear brethren of the advent faith, on a point wherein I differ from many of them, i.e. the termination of the prophetic periods. This I would do, not because I seek controversy: far from it, “Let there be no strife between us, for we be brethren,” Nor do I seek to discourage those who, with earnest desire, are looking for the appearing of our blessed Master, within the present Jewish year, 1843. Nor yet have I any desire to put the glorious day a far off. My whole soul breathes forth the prayer, “come Lord Jesus, and come quickly.” But the Lord has shown me, I think, that we must wait and suffer a little longer.

We all believe that the great week must be accomplished. That the 6,000 years, which were shadowed forth by the six days of creation, must be completed, and then will come the seventh thousand—the glorious Sabbath of rest “that remaineth to the people of God.” Now this long period—the aion or age of this present world, began in autumn. In proof of this, I offer a few considerations. First, it has been the concurrent opinion of chronologers, both Jewish and Christian. In the next place, man at his creation was to subsist upon the fruits and seeds. Gen. 1:29. It does not appear reasonable that these were ripe at any other season than autumn. Again, at the Exodus from Egypt, a change was made in the commencement of the year. Ex. 12:2, “This month shall be to you the beginning of months.” Ex. 13:4. “This day came ye out, in the month Abib.” It appears then, that from the creation to the Exodus, the years were commenced with some other month. Accordingly, as appears from the tables of Jewish time, there have been, since the coming out of Egypt, two modes of beginning the year, one with the month called Ethanim of Tisri, in autumn—the other with Abib or Nissann, in the spring. The latter agreeing with the time of the exodus—the former, with the reckoning of the years from creation. On the whole, therefore, I conclude that the 6,000 years began in Autumn. And as the dispensation of glory, at the appearing of Christ, it called by the apostle, “the dispensation of the fullness of time,” Eph. 1:10) I am constrained to believe that this period will comprise 6,000 full years. And from all that I have as yet been able to discover in the chronology of the world, these years will to complete in the autumn of 1844.

The seven times of Moses, in Lev. 26, amount to 2520 full years. They began with the breaking of the breaking of the power of Judah, at the captivity of Manassah, B.C. 677. This is the time that has always been given as the date of their commencement. But there has been an error in supposing them to terminate in 1843, as I shall now show. Had they begun with Jan. 1, B.C. 677, they would not have ended before Jan. 1, A.D. 1844. Or had they begun with the first day of the Jewish year, in 677, they could not end before the first day of the Jewish year, 1844. For it is evident that it requires 677 and 1843 entire years to make up the FULL period of 2520. But any point within B.C. 677, is only in the 677th year before Christ. Reckoning back from the Christian era, we do not obtain 677 full years, till we arrive at the extreme point, i.e. the first day of B.C. 677. So also, reckoning forward from the commencement of the Christian era, we do not obtain 1843 full years, till we arrive at the extreme point, i.e. the end of A.D. 1843, or the first day of A.D. 1844. If, then, the captivity of Manassah did not occur as early as the first day of the Jewish year, B.C. 677, the 2520 years cannot terminate till after the expiration of the present Jewish year. How it is evident that Manassah was not taken in the early part of the year, from the fact that Esarhaddon and the Assyrians were employed in carrying away the ten tribes out of their land, and placing foreigners in their stead, in the same year and before the invasion of Judah. We find in Isa. 7:8. The date of this prophecy is B.C. 742. From this date count the sixty-five years, and it brings us to B.C. 677. In that year, in fulfillment of the prediction in Hos. 5:5 Israel and Judah were both broken. But as it must necessarily require considerable time to remove the ten tribes, and bring foreigners to fill their place—we cannot well date Manasseh’s captivity earlier than the autumn of that year. About one half, therefore, of the Jewish year B.C. 677, must be left out of the reckoning. This will necessarily extend the period of the 2520 years, down to the autumn of A.D. 1844.

The 2300 days of Dan. 8, began with the 70 weeks B.C. 457. But they did not begin with the first day of that year. It is true that Ezra began to go up from Babylon on the first day of the 1st month. But this was not in the year B.C. 457, but in the year B.C. 456. The seventh year of Artaxerxes, in which Ezra went up began, according to Dr. Hales’ analysis of chronology, in 457, and ended 456. It has been the practice of chronologers, to account the years of the reign of monarchs, by the year in which they began to reign; making that their first year. Accordingly the year B.C. 457, in which the seventh year of Artaxerxes began, is counted as his seventh year. Now it appears, from the best light we can obtain on this point, that he began his reign in autumn. This seventh year, then, must have commenced in the autumn of B.C. 457. As it was in the spring that Ezra left Babylon—and in the seventh year of the king. (See Ezra 7) it must have been the spring of B.C. 456—as no other spring is embraced in the king’s seventh year. But this is not the point from which to date the 70 weeks. The decree to restore and to build Jerusalem must have issued from the king before this. From Esther 2:16, we learn that she was made queen in the tenth month of the Jewish year, and in the seventh year of the king. Now this could not have been in the year B.C. 456, for his seventh year expired before the tenth month of that year began. It must therefore have been in the year B.C. 457. At that time a feast was made, and a ‘release’ to the provinces, which of course, embraced the Jews, as they were the people of the queen. But this ‘release’ could not been made without a previous decree. The monarchs of Persia were the makers and dispensers of the laws, which were absolute, unchangeable. But in the account of this ‘release,’ nothing is said of and ‘decree,’ or law, made at that time. This was only the commencement of those acts of the king, in which the decree was carried into execution. It appears, then that decree, from which the seventy weeks and the 2300 days are to be dated, must have been issued by the king, some little time before the tenth month of the Jewish year, B.C. 457. From that time, according to Dan. 9:25, there were to be sixty-nine weeks. i.e. 483 years to the appearing of the Messiah. It has been through by many, that this period was fulfilled in A.D. 26. But this is a mistake. It requires 457 and 26 entire years to make 483. But, as we have seen a part of B.C. 457 must be left out of the reckoning, the time must, therefore, be made up by the addition of a part of B.C. 457 must be left out of the reckoning, the time must, therefore be made up by the addition of a part of A.D. 27. The fifteenth year of Tiberius, in which John began his ministry, (See Luke 3:1,) commence in part, then, of A.D. 26, or in the former part of A.D. 27, John began his ministry. But it was after John was imprisoned, that Jesus came into Galilee, saying, “The time is fulfilled,” This must have been, I think, in the autumn of A.D. 27. It is certain that it was after the Passover? As we learn by comparing John 2:23, 13:22-24, and 4:43: with Mark 1:14-15. If then, the 69 weeks ended in the autumn of A.D. 27, when many we expect the 2300 days to end? The answer is plain. Deduct 483 from 2300, and the remainder is 1817. So many years remained to be fulfilled in the autumn of A.D. 27. Then add to that date, these 1817 years, and we see it brings us to the autumn of A.D. 1844.

As it respects the 1290 and 1335 days of Dan 12 they must of course begin together—the latter ending with the 2300 in 1844. And as there is a difference of only forty-five years between the two periods, the 1290 days could not have ended in Feb. 1798, as forty-six have passed since that time. The periods must have begun in A.D. 509—the 1290 days terminating in 1799, with the commencement of Napoleon’s career of blood and conquest, (Dan. 11:40) 1335, ending in the autumn of 1844.

But, beloved! The vision “will speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

New York, Feb. 16, 1844 Samuel S. Snow

Appendix IV.
The Day-Star/January 24, 1846 Letter from Sister Harmon. Portland, Me., Dec, 20, 1845.

Bro. Jacobs:

As God has shown me in holy vision the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City, and the rich reward to be given those who wait the return of their Lord from the wedding, it may be my duty to give you a short sketch of what God has revealed to me. The dear saints have got many trials to pass through. But our light afflictions which are but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. I have tried to bring back a good report, & a few grapes from the heavenly Canaan, for which many would stone me, as the congregation bade stone Caleb and Joshua for their report, (Num. 14:10.) But I declare to you, my brother in the Lord, it is a goodly land, and we are well able to go up and possess it. While praying at the family altar the Holy Ghost fell on me and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me, Look again, and look a little higher. At this, I raised my eyes and see a strait and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted, Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out which left their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again & go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. {What is in Bold Italic is omitted in R&H Extra, July 21, 1851} The living saints, 144,000, in number, know and understand the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder & an earthquake. When God spake the time, he poured on us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God as Moses did when he came down from Mount Sinai, (Ex. 34:30-34.) By this time the 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious Star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us in prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and the wicked would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet, and salute the holy brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshipped at our feet. Soon our eyes were drawn to the East, for a small black cloud had appeared about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the Sign of the Son of Man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer, lighter, and brighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire, a rainbow was over it, around the cloud were ten thousand angels singing a most lovely song. And on it sat the Son of Man, on his head were crowns, his hair was white and curly and lay on his shoulders. His feet had the appearance of fire, in his right hand was a sharp sickle, in his left a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched his children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless? Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke, Those who have clean hands and a pure heart shall be able to stand, my grace is sufficient for you. At this, our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sung again while

the cloud drew still nearer the earth. Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as he descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints then raised his eyes and hands to heaven and cried out, Awake! Awake! Awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise. Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, Hallelujah! as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. We all entered the cloud together, and were 7 days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought along the crowns and with his own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared [heavy] with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet. Angels were all about us as we marched over the sea of glass to the gate of the City. Jesus raised his mighty glorious arm, laid hold of the gate and swung it back on its golden hinges, and said to us, You have washed your robes in my blood, stood stiffly for my truth, enter in. We all marched in and felt we had a perfect right in the City. Here we see the tree of life, & the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the tree of life. On one side of the river was a trunk of a tree and a trunk on the other side of the river, both of pure transparent gold. At first I thought I [saw] two trees. I looked again and [saw] they were united at the top in one tree. So it was the tree of life on either side of the river of life. Its branches bowed to the place where we stood. And the fruit was glorious, which looked like gold mixed with silver. We all went under the tree, and sat down to look at the glory of the place, when Bro. Fitch, and Stockman, who had preached the gospel of the kingdom, whom God had laid in the grave to save them, came up to us and asked us what we had passed through while they were sleeping. We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us, that we could not speak them out, and we all cried out Hallelujah, heaven is cheap enough, and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven’s arches ring. And as we were gazing at the glories of the place, our eyes were attracted upwards to something that had the appearance of silver. I asked Jesus to let me see what was within there. In a moment we were winging our way upward and entering in. Here we saw good old father Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Noah, Daniel, and many like them. And I saw a veil with a heavy fringe of silver, and gold as a border on the bottom. It was very beautiful. I asked Jesus what was within the veil. He raised it with his own right arm, and bade me take heed. I saw there a glorious ark, overlaid with pure gold, and it had a glorious border resembling Jesus’ crowns. On it were two bright angels; their wings were spread over the ark as they sat on each end, with their faces turned towards each other and looking downward. In the ark, beneath where the angels wings were spread, was a golden pot of Manna of a yellowish cast, and I saw a rod, which Jesus said was Aarons, I saw it bud, blossom, and bear fruit.—And I saw two long golden rods on which hung silver wires, and on the wires most glorious grapes. One cluster was more than a man here can carry. And I saw Jesus step up and take of the manna, almonds, grapes, and pomegranates, and bear them down to the city, and place them on the supper table. I stepped up to see how much was taken away, and there was just as much left, and we shouted Hallelujah. {What is in Bold Italic is omitted in R&H Extra, July 21, 1851} We all descended from this place down into the city, and with Jesus at our head we all descended from the city down to this earth, on a great and mighty mountain, which could not bear Jesus up, and it parted asunder, and there was a mighty plain. Then we looked up and saw the great city with twelve foundations, twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate, and all cried out the city, the great city, it’s coming, it’s coming down from God, out of heaven, and it came and settled on the place where we stood. Then we began to look at the glorious things outside of the city. There I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars, set with pearls most glorious to behold, which were to be inhabited by the saints. In them was a golden shelf, I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses to do something with the earth, not as we have to do with the earth here; no, no. A glorious light shone all about their heads, and they were continually shouting and offering praises to God. And I saw another field full of all kinds of flowers, and as I plucked them, I cried out, well they will never fade. Next I saw a field of tall grass, most glorious to behold. It was living green, and had a reflection of silver and gold as it waved proudly to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full of all kinds of beasts; the lion, the lamb, the leopard and the wolf, altogether in perfect union. We passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after. Then we entered a wood, not like the dark

woods we have here, no, no; but light, and all over glorious. The branches of the trees waved to and fro, and we all cried out, we will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in this woods. We passed through the wood, for we were on our way to Mount Zion, as we were traveling along we met a company who were also gazing at the glories of the place: I noticed red as a border on their garments. Their crowns were brilliant—their robes were pure white. As we greeted them, I asked Jesus who they were? He said they were martyrs that had been slain for him. With them was an innumerable company of little ones, they had a hem of red on their garments also. Mount Zion was just before us, and on the Mount sat a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies, and I saw the little ones climb, or if they chose use their little wings and fly to the top of the mountains, and pluck the never fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place. The box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate and the fig tree, bowed down with the weight of its timely figs that made the place look all over glorious. And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised his lovely voice and said, only the 144,000 enter this place, and we shouted Hallelujah. Well bless the Lord, Bro. Jacobs, it is an extra meeting for those who have the seal of the living God. This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls most glorious. The glorious things I saw there, I cannot begin to describe. O, that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the upper world; but if faithful you soon will know all about it. I saw there the tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000, were engraved in letters of gold.—After we had beheld the glory of the temple, we went out. Then Jesus left us and went to the city. Soon we heard his lovely voice again, saying: Come my people; you have come out of great tribulation, and done my will, suffered for me; come in to supper, for I will gird myself, and serve you. We shouted Hallelujah, glory, and entered into the city, and I saw a table of pure silver, it was many miles in length, yet our eyes could extend over it. And I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. We all reclined at the table. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said, not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land, go back to earth no more. But in a little while if faithful, you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the fountain, and he said, you must go back to the earth again, and relate to others, what I have revealed to you. Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world. Sometimes I think I cannot stay here any longer, all things of earth look so dreary. I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. O, that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away, and be at rest. Ellen G. Harmon N.B.

This was not written for publication; but for the encouragement of all who may see it, and be encouraged by it. E. G. H. {DS, January 24, 1846 par. 1}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix V.

The Day-Star/March 14, 1846 Letter from Sister Harmon, Falmouth, Mass., Feb., 1846.

Bro. Jacobs:—
My vision which you published in the Day-Star was written under a deep sense of duty, to you, not expecting you would publish it. Had I for once thought it was to be spread before the many readers of your paper, I should have been more particular and stated some things which I left out. As the readers of the Day-Star have seen a part of what God has revealed to me, and as the part which I have not written is of vast importance to the Saints; I humbly request you to publish this also in your paper. God showed me the following, one year ago this month:—I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. I gazed on Jesus’ countenance and admired his lovely person. The Fathers person I could not behold for a cloud of glorious light covered him. I asked Jesus if his Father had a form like himself; He said he had, but I could not behold it; for, said he, if you should for once see the glory of his person, you would cease to exist. Before the throne was the Advent people, the Church, and the world. I saw a company bowed down before the throne, deeply interested while most of them stood up disinterested 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 appeared to be pleading with him. Then a light came from the Father to his Son and from him 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 before the throne with the little praying company. This company all received the light, and rejoiced in it as their countenances shone with its glory. Then I saw the Father rise from the throne and in a flaming chariot go into the Holy of Holies within the veil, and did sit. There I saw thrones which I had not seen before. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and most of those who were bowed down rose up with him. And I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after he rose up, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who rose up when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on him as he left the throne, and led them out a little way, then he raised his right arm and we heard his lovely voice saying, wait ye, I am going to my Father to receive the Kingdom. Keep your garments spotless and in a little while I will return from the wedding, and receive you to myself. And I saw a cloudy chariot with wheels like flaming fire. Angels were all about the chariot as it came where Jesus was; he stepped into it and was borne to the Holiest where the Father sat. Then I beheld Jesus as he was before the Father a great High Priest. On the hem of his garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Then Jesus shewed me the difference between faith and feeling. And I saw those who rose up with Jesus send up their faith to Jesus in the Holiest, and praying, Father give us thy spirit. Then Jesus would breathe on them the Holy Ghost. In the breath was light, power and much love, joy and peace. Then 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, My Father give us thy spirit. Then Satan would breathe on 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. I saw one after another leave the company who were praying to Jesus in the Holiest, go and join those before the throne and they at once received the unholy influence of Satan. {DS, March 14, 1846 par. 1}

About four months since, I had a vision of events, all in the future. And I saw the time of trouble, such as never was,—Jesus told me it was the time of Jacob’s trouble, and that we should be delivered out of it by the voice of God. Just before we entered it, we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four Angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation,

and the whole world was in confusion. Then we cried to God for deliverance day and night till we began to hear the bells on Jesus’ garment. And I saw Jesus rise up in the Holiest, and as he came out we heard the tinkling of bells, and knew our High Priest was coming out. Then we heard the voice of God which shook the heavens and earth, and gave the 144,000 the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. Then the saints were free, united and full of the glory of God, for he had turned their captivity. And I saw a flaming cloud come where Jesus stood and he laid off his priestly garment and put on his kingly robe, took his place on the cloud which carried him to the east where it first appeared to the saints on earth, a small black cloud, which was the sign of the Son of Man. While the cloud was passing from the Holiest to the east which took a number of days, the Synagogue of Satan worshiped at the saints feet. Ellen G. Harmon {DS, March 14, 1846 par. 2}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix VI.

Broadside3 – A Vision/April 1847 A Vision

Dear Brother Bates:—Last Sabbath we met with the dear brethren and sisters here, who meet at Bro. Howland’s. {Broadside3, April 7, 1847 par. 1}

We felt an unusual spirit of prayer. And as we prayed, the Holy Ghost fell upon us. We were very happy. Soon I was lost to earthly things, and was wrapped up in a vision of God’s glory. I saw an angel swiftly flying to me. He quickly carried me from the earth to the Holy City. In the city I saw a temple, which I entered. I passed through a door before I came to the first veil. This veil was raised, and I passed into the Holy Place. Here I saw the Altar of Incense. Before the altar was the table, on which was the candlestick, with seven lamps, and the showbread, &c. After viewing the glory of the Holy, Jesus raised the second veil, and I passed into the Holy of Holies. {Broadside3, April 7, 1847 par. 2}

In the Holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. On each end of the ark was a lovely Cherub, with their wings spread out over it. Their faces were turned towards each other, and they looked downwards. Between the angels was a golden censor. Above the ark, where the angels stood, was an exceeding bright glory, that appeared like a throne where God dwelt. Jesus stood by the ark. And as the saints’ prayers came up to Jesus, the incense in the censor would smoke, and He offered up the prayers of the saints with the smoke of the incense to His Father. In the ark, was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table was four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth (the Sabbath commandment,) shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God’s holy name. The holy Sabbath looked glorious—a halo of glory was all around it. I saw that the Sabbath was not nailed to the cross. If it was, the other nine commandments were; and we are at liberty to go forth and break them all, as well as to break the fourth. I saw that God had not changed the Sabbath, for He never changes. But the Pope had changed it from the seventh to the first day of the week; for he was to change times and laws. {Broadside3, April 7, 1847 par. 3}

And I saw that if God had changed the Sabbath, from the seventh to the first day, He would have changed the writing of the Sabbath commandment, written on the tables of stone, which are now in the ark, in the Most Holy Place of the Temple in heaven; and it would read thus: The first day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. But I saw that it read the same as when written on the tables of stone by the finger of God, and delivered to Moses in Sinai, “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question, to unite the hearts of God’s dear waiting saints. And if one believed, and kept the Sabbath, and received the blessing attending it, and then gave it up, and broke the holy commandment, they would shut the gates of the Holy City against themselves, as sure as there was a God that rules in heaven above. I saw that God had children, who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They had not rejected the light on it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth, and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the church, and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time, God’s chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. And I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments down on them. They rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed. {Broadside3, April 7, 1847 par. 4}

I saw all that “would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands,” could not buy or sell. I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope’s, and not God’s Sabbath. And all we were required to do, was to give up God’s Sabbath, and keep the Pope’s, and then we should have the mark of the Beast, and of his Image. {Broadside3, April 7, 1847 par. 5}

In the time of trouble, we all fled from the cities and villages, but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints with the sword. They raised the sword to kill us, but it broke, and fell, as powerless as a straw. Then we all cried day and night for deliverance, and the cry came up before God. The sun came up, and the moon stood still. The streams ceased to flow. Dark heavy clouds came up, and clashed against each other. But there was one clear place of settled glory, from whence came the voice of God like many waters, which shook the heavens, and the earth. The sky opened and shut, and was in commotion. The mountains shook like a reed in the wind, and cast out rugged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot, and cast out stones upon the land. And as God spoke the day and hour of Jesus coming, and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth! The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upwards, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah, and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder! It was awfully solemn. At the end of every sentence, the saints shouted, Glory! Hallelujah! Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God; and they shone with the glory as Moses’ face did when he came down from Sinai. The wicked could not look on them, for the glory. And when the never ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God, in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the Beast, and over his Image. {Broadside3, April 7, 1847 par. 6}

Then commenced the jubilee, when the land should rest. I saw the pious slave rise in triumph and victory, and shake off the chains that bound him, while his wicked master was in confusion, and knew not what to do; for the wicked could not understand the words of the voice of God. Soon appeared the great white cloud. It looked more lovely than ever before. On it sat the Son of Man. At first we did not see Jesus on the cloud, but as it drew near the earth, we could behold his lovely person. This cloud when it first appeared was the Sign of the Son of Man in heaven. The voice of the Son of God called forth the sleeping saints, clothed with a glorious immortality. The living saints were changed in a moment, and caught up with them in the cloudy chariot. It looked all over glorious as it rolled upwards. On either side of the chariot were wings, and beneath it wheels. And as the chariot rolled upwards, the wheels cried Holy, and the wings as they moved, cried Holy, and the retinue of Holy Angels around the cloud cried Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. And the saints in the cloud cried Glory, Hallelujah. And the cloudy chariot rolled upwards to the Holy City. Jesus threw open the gates of the Golden City, and led us in. Here we were made welcome, for we had kept the “Commandments of God,” and had a “right to the tree of life.”

From your sister in the blessed hope,

E. G. White. {Broadside3, April 7, 1847 par. 7}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix VII.

Ellen White’s July 13, 1847 Letter to Bates

Gorham, Maine, July 13, 1847

Dear Brother Bates:

As James is at work and sisters are from home though I would employ myself in writing a line to you. My health is quite good for me. My faith is still strong that that very same Jesus that ascended up into heaven will so come in like manner as He went up, and that very, very soon.

I have had many trials of late; discouragement at times has laid so fast hold upon me it seemed impossible to shake it off. But thank God, Satan has not got the victory over me yet, and by the grace of God he never shall. I know and feel my weakness, but I have laid hold upon the strong arm of Jehovah, and I can say today I know that my Redeemer liveth, and if he lives I shall live also.

O how good it would be to meet with a few of like precious faith to exhort and comfort one another with words of holy cheer from the word of God. The sheep are now scattered, but thank God they are about to be gathered to a good pasture.

O how sweet it will be to meet all the blood-washed throng in the city of our God. ‘Tis then we’ll sing the song of Moses and the Lamb as we march through the gates into the city, bearing the palms of victory and wearing the crowns of glory.

Brother Bates, you write in a letter to James something about the Bridegroom’s coming, as stated in the first published visions. By the letter you would like to know whether I had light on the Bridegroom’s coming before I saw it in vision. I can readily answer, No. The Lord showed me the travail of the Advent band and the midnight cry in December, but He did not show me the bridegroom’s coming until February following.

Perhaps you would like to have me give a statement in relation to both visions. At the time I had the vision of the midnight cry I had given it up in the past and thought it future, as also most of the band had. I know not what time J. Turner got out his paper. I knew he had one out and one was in the house, but I knew not what was in it, for I did not read ad word in it. I had been, and still was very sick. I took no interest in reading, for it injured my head and made me nervous.

After I had the vision and God gave me light, he bade me deliver it to the band, but I shrank from it. I was young, and I thought they would not receive it from me. I disobeyed the Lord, and instead of remaining at home, where the meeting was to be that night, I got in a sleigh in the morning and rode three of four miles and there I found Joseph Turner. He merely inquired how I was and if I was in the way of my duty. I said nothing, for I knew I was not.

I passed up (to the) chamber and did not see him again for two hours, when he came up, asked if I was to be at meeting that night. I told him, no. He said he wanted to hear my vision and thought it duty for me to go home. I told him should not. He said no more, but went away.

I though, and told those around me, if I went I should have to come out against his views, thinking he believed with the rest. I had not told any of them what God had shown me, and I did not tell them in what I should cut across his track.

All that day I suffered much in body and mind. It seemed that God had forsaken me entirely. I prayed the Lord if He would give me strength to ride home that night, the first opportunity I would deliver the message he had given me. He did give me strength and I rode home that night. Meeting had bee done some time, and not a word was said by any of the family about the meeting.

Very early next morning Joseph Turner called, said he was to haste going out of the city in a short time, and wanted I should tell him all that God had shown me in vision. It was with fear and trembling I told him all. After I had got through he said he had told out the same last evening. I rejoiced, for I expected he was coming out against me. For all the while I had not heard any one say what he believed. He said the Lord had sent him to hear me talk the evening before, but as I would not, he meant his children should have the light in some way, so he took him.

There were but few out when he talked, so the next meeting I told my vision, and the band, believing my visions from God, received what God bade me to deliver to them.

The view about the Bridegroom’s coming I had about the middle of February, 1845.

While in Exeter, Maine, in meeting with Israel Dammon, James, and many others, many of them did not believe in a Shut-door. I suffered much at the commencement of the meeting. Unbelief seemed to be on every hand.

There was one sister there that was called very spiritual. She had traveled and been a powerful preacher the most of the time for twenty years. She had been truly a mother in Israel. But a division had risen in the band on the Shut-door. She had great sympathy, and could not believe the door was shut. (I had known nothing of their differences.) Sister Durbengot up to talk. I felt very, very sad.

At length my soul seemed to be in an agony, and while she was talking I fell from my chair to the floor. It was then I had a view of Jesus rising from His mediatorial throne and going to the Holiest as Bridegroom to receive His kingdom. They were all deeply interested in the view. They all said it was entirely new to them. The Lord worked in mighty power setting the truth home to their hearts.

Sister Durben knew what the power of the Lord was, for she had felt it many times; and a short time after I fell she was struck down, and fell to the floor, crying to God to have mercy on her. When I came out of vision, my ears were saluted with Sister Durben’s singing and shouting with a loud voice. Most of them received the vision, and were settled upon the Shut-door. Previous to this I had no light on the coming of the Bridegroom, but had expected Him to [come to] this earth to deliver His people on the tenth day of the seventh month. I did not hear a lecture or a word in any way relating to the Bridegroom’s going to the Holiest.

I had but very few privileges in 1842, 3, and 4. My sisters both went to the camp meetings in New Hampshire and Maine, while my health prevented me from going to but one, in Maine. I know the light I received came from God, it was not taught me by man. I knew not how to write so that others could read it till God gave me my visions. I went to school but very little on account of my health. I do not thing I went to school a day after I was twelve years old, and did not go then but a few days at a time, when sickness would cause me to take my bed for weeks and sometimes for months. The first I wrote anything that could be called writing was after I had been sick the prayer of faith was put up for me, and healing [here the sheet ends, and remainder of the letter is gone.]

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this letter. Wesley Ringer

Appendix VIII.

Present Truth, August 1, 1849 Dear Brethren and Sisters—

The Lord has shown me that it is my duty to relate to you, what he has revealed to me relating to the present truth, our present tried, scattered and tempted state, and our duty in view of the coming judgments of God. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 1}

Sabbath, March 24th, 1849, we had a sweet, and very interesting meeting with the Brethren at Topsham, Me. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us, and I was taken off in the Spirit to the City of the living God. There I was shown that the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, relating to the Shut-door, could not be separated, and that the time for the commandments of God to shine out, with all their importance, and for God’s people to be tried on the Sabbath truth, was when the door was opened in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly sanctuary , where the Ark is, containing the ten commandments. This door was not opened, until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in 1844. Then, Jesus rose up, and shut the door in the Holy Place, and opened the door in the Most Holy, and passed within the second veil, where he now stands by the Ark; and where the faith of Israel now reaches. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 2}

I saw that Jesus had shut the door in the Holy Place, and no man can open it; and that he had opened the door in the Most Holy, and no man can shut it: (See Rev. iii:7, 8:) and that since Jesus has opened the door in the Most Holy Place, which contains the Ark, the commandments have been shining out to God’s people, and they are being tested on the Sabbath question. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 3}

I saw that the present test on the Sabbath could not come, until the mediation of Jesus in the Holy Place was finished; and he had passed within the second veil; therefore, Christians, who fell asleep before the door was opened in the Most Holy, when the midnight cry was finished, at the seventh month 1844; and had not kept the true Sabbath, now rest in hope; for they had not the light, and the test on the Sabbath, which we now have, since that door was opened. I saw that Satan was tempting some of God’s people on this point. Because so many good Christians have fallen asleep in the triumphs of faith, and have not kept the true Sabbath, they were doubting about it being a test for us now. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 4}

I saw that the enemies of the present truth have been trying to open the door of the Holy Place, that Jesus has shut; and to close the door of the Most Holy Place, which he opened in 1844, where the Ark is containing the two tables of stone, on which are written the ten commandments, by the finger of Jehovah. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 5}

Satanism now using every device in this sealing time, to keep the minds of God’s people from the present, sealing truth; and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over his people, to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth, and was pure in heart, was to be covered with the covering of Almighty God. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 6}

Satan knew this, and was at work in mighty power, to keep the minds of as many as he possibly could unsettled, and wavering on the truth. I saw that the mysterious knocking in N.Y. and other places, was the power of Satan; and that such things would be more and more common, clothed in a religious garb, to lull the deceived to more security; and to draw the minds of God’s people, if possible, to those things and cause them to doubt the teachings, and power of the Holy Ghost. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 7}

I saw that Satan was working through agents, in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers, who have rejected the truth, and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching, or praying some would fall prostrate and helpless; not by the power of

the Holy Ghost, no, no; but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents and through them to the people. Some professed Adventists who had rejected the present truth, while preaching praying or in conversation used Mesmerism to gain adherents, and the people would rejoice in this influence, for they thought it was the Holy Ghost. And even some that used it, were so far in the darkness and deception of the Devil, that they thought it was the power of God, given them to exercise. They had made God altogether such an one as themselves; and had valued his power as a thing of naught. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 8}

Some of these agents of Satan were affecting the bodies of some of the saints; those that they could not deceive and draw away from the truth by a satanic influence. Oh! that all could get a view of it as God revealed it to me, that they might know more of the wiles of Satan, and be on their guard. I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God’s people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet were sliding; because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 9}

Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, and the covering drawn over God’s people, and they left out, without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 10}

God has begun to draw this covering over his people, and it will very soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for his people; and Satan will be permitted to work also. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 11}

I saw that the mysterious signs and wonders, and false reformations would increase, and spread. The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth; but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart, had only wrapt about them a religious garb, which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God’s people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 12}

My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 13}

At the commencement of the Holy Sabbath, (Jan. 5,) we engaged in prayer with Bro. Belden’s family at Rocky Hill, Ct., and the Holy Ghost fell upon us. I was taken off in vision to the Most Holy Place, where I saw Jesus still interceding for Israel. On the bottom of his garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Then I saw that Jesus would not leave the Most Holy Place, until every case was decided either for salvation or destruction: and that the wrath of God could not come until Jesus had finished his work in the Most Holy Place—laid off his priestly attire and clothed himself with the garments of vengeance. Then Jesus will step out from between the Father and man, and God will keep silent no longer; but pour out his wrath on those who have rejected his truth. I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead, were separate events, one following the other. I saw that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished his work in the sanctuary , he will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out. I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus’ work was done in the sanctuary , and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous, and they thought that we had brought them down upon them, and if they could rid the earth of us, then the plagues would be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the Voice of God. Then the 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God. Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, “thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting.” I asked who this company were. The angel said, “these are they who have once kept the Sabbath and have given it up.” I heard them cry with a loud voice—”we have believed in thy coming, and taught it with energy.” And while they were speaking, their eyes would fall upon their garments and see the writing, and then they would wail aloud. I saw they had drunk of the deep waters, and fouled the residue with their feet—trodden the Sabbath underfoot, and that is why they were weighed in the balance and found wanting. Then my attending angel directed me to the City again, where I saw four angels winging their way to the gate of the City, and were just presenting the golden card to the angel at the gate. Then I saw another angel swiftly flying from the direction of the most excellent glory, and crying with a loud voice to the other angels, and waving something up and down in his hand. I asked my attending angel for an explanation of what I saw. He told me that I could see no more then, but he would shortly show me what those things that I then saw meant. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 14}

Sabbath afternoon one of our number was sick, and requested prayers that he might be healed. We all united in applying to the Physician who never lost a case, and while healing power came down, and the sick was healed, the Spirit fell upon me, and I was taken off in vision. I saw four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and were on their way to accomplish it. Jesus was clothed with Priestly garments. He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised his hands upward, and with a voice of deep pity cried—”My Blood, Father, My Blood, My Blood, My Blood”. Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus. Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice—”Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.” I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He shewed me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that he gave his angels charge over things on the earth, and that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let the four winds go, and while they had started on their mission to let them go, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not all sealed, then he raised his hands to the Father and plead with him that he had spilled his blood for them.—Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels, and bid them hold until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 15}

I have seen the tender love that God has for his people, and that it is very great. I saw an angel over every saint, with their wings spread about them: and if the saints wept through discouragement, or were in danger, the angel that ever attended them would fly quickly upward to carry the tidings, and the angels in the City would cease to sing. Then Jesus would commission another angel to descend to encourage, watch over and try to keep them from going out of the narrow path: but, if they did not take heed to the watchful care of these angels, and would not be comforted by them, and continued to go astray, the angels would look sad and weep. Then they would bear the tidings upward, and all the angels in the City would weep, and then with a loud voice say, Amen. But if the saints fixed their eyes on the prize before them, and glorified God by praising him, then the angels would bear the glad tidings to the City, and the angels in the city would touch their golden harps and sing with a loud voice—Alleluia! and the heavenly arches would ring with lovely songs. I will here state, that there is perfect order and harmony in the holy City. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 16}

All the angels that are commissioned to visit the earth, hold a golden card which they present to the angels at the gates of the City, as they pass in and out. Heaven is a good place. I long to be there, and behold my lovely Jesus, who gave his life for me, and be changed into his glorious image. Oh! for language to express the glory of the bright world to come. I thirst for the living streams that make glad the City of our God. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 17}

The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the City to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes, they were noble, majestic and lovely. They bore the express image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy, expressive of the freedom and happiness of the place. I asked one of them why they were so much more lovely than those on the earth. The reply was—”we have lived in strict obedience to the commandments of God and have not fallen by disobedience, like those on the earth. There I saw two trees, one looked much like the tree of life in the City. The fruit of both looked beautiful; but of one they could not eat. They had power to eat, but were forbidden to eat of one. Then my attending angel said to me—”none in this place have t of both tasted of the forbidden tree; but if they should eat they would fall.” Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. Then I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated. On his right arm he bore a glorious palm, and on each leaf was written Victory. Around his head was a dazzling white wreath, and leaves on the wreath, and in the middle of each leaf was written Purity; and around the leaf were stones of various colors, that shone brighter than the stars, and cast a reflection upon the letters, and magnified them. On the back part of his head was a bow that confined the wreath, and upon the bow was written Holiness. Above the wreath was a lovely crown that shone brighter than the sun. I asked him if this was the place he was taken to from the earth. He said “it is not; but the City is my home, and I have come to visit this place.” He moved about the place as if perfectly at home. I begged of my attending angel to let me remain in that place. I could not bear the thought of coming back to this dark world again. Then the angel said—”you must go back, and if you are faithful, you, with the 144,000 shall have the privilege of visiting all the worlds and viewing the handy work of God.” {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 18}

Dec. 16, 1848, the Lord gave me a view of the shaking of the powers of the heavens. I saw that when the Lord said “heaven” (in giving the signs recorded by Matt., Mark and Luke,) he meant heaven, and when he said “earth” he meant earth. The powers of heaven, are the Sun, Moon and Stars: they rule in the heavens. The powers of earth are those who bear rule on the earth. The powers of heaven will be shaken at the voice of God. Then the Sun, Moon, and Stars will be moved out of their places. They will not pass away, but be shaken by the voice of God. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 19}

Dark, heavy clouds came up, and clashed against each other. The atmosphere parted and rolled back, then we could look up through the open space in Orion, from whence came the voice of God. The Holy City will come down through that open space. I saw that the powers of earth are now being shaken, and that events come in order. War, and rumors of war,—sword, famine and pestilence, are first to shake the powers of earth, then the voice of God will shake the Sun, Moon and Stars, and this earth also. I saw that the shaking of the powers in Europe is not (as some teach) the shaking of the powers of heaven, but it is the shaking of the angry nations.

E. G. White.

-
{RH, August 1, 1849 par. 20}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix IX.

Present Truth, September 1, 1849 Dear Brethren and Sisters

In this time of trial, we need to be encouraged, and comforted by each other. The temptations of Satan are greater now, than ever before; for he knows that his time is short, and that very soon, every case will be decided, either for Life, or for Death. It is no time to sink down beneath discouragement, and trial now; but we must bear up under all our afflictions, and trust wholly in the mighty God of Jacob. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 1}

The Lord has shown me that his grace is sufficient for all our trials; and although they are greater than ever before, yet if we trust wholly in God, we can overcome every temptation, and through his grace come off victorious. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 2}

If we overcome our trials, and get victory over the temptations of Satan, then we endure the time of our faith, which is much more precious than gold, and are stronger, and better prepared to meet the next. But if we sink down, and give way to the temptations of Satan, we shall grow weaker, and get no reward for the trial, and shall not be so well prepared to meet the next. In this way we shall grow weaker, and weaker, until we are led captive by Satan at his will. We must have on the whole armor of God, and be ready at any moment, for a conflict with the powers of darkness. When temptations and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God, and agonize with him in prayer. He will not turn us away empty; but will give us grace and strength to overcome, and to break the power of the enemy. O, that all could see these things in their true light, and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus. Then would Israel move forward, strong in God, and in the power of his might. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 3}

God has shown me that he gave his people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. Those who receive it thus, must have another draught; for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy and impure in heart. I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus received it, and God will be honored and glorified. It is no small thing to be a Christian, and be owned and approved of God. The Lord has shown me some who profess the present truth, whose lives do not correspond with their profession. They have got the standard of piety altogether too low, and come far short of Bible holiness. Some engage in vain, and unbecoming conversation; and others give way to the risings of self. We must not expect to please ourselves, live and act like the world, have its pleasures, and enjoy the company of those who are of the world, and reign with Christ in glory. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 4}

We must be partakers of Christ’s sufferings here, if we would share in his glory hereafter. If we seek our own interest, how we can best please ourselves, instead of seeking to please God, and advance his precious, suffering cause, we shall dishonor God, and the holy cause we profess. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 5}

We have but a little space of time left to work for God. Nothing should be too dear to sacrifice, for the salvation of the scattered and torn flock of Jesus. Those who make a covenant with God by sacrifice now, will soon be gathered home to share a rich reward, and possess the new kingdom forever and ever. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 6}

O, let us live wholly for the Lord, and show by a well ordered life, and godly conversation that we have been with Jesus, and are his meek and lowly followers. We must work while the day lasts, for when the dark night of trouble and anguish comes, it will be too late to work for God. Jesus is still in his Holy Temple, and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins, and will now pardon all the transgressions of Israel, that they may be blotted out before he leaves the sanctuary . When Jesus leaves the sanctuary , then he that is holy and righteous, will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy, will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no Priest in the sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father’s throne. Therefore, what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath, must be done before Jesus leaves the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly sanctuary . {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 7}

The Lord has shown me that precious souls are starving, and dying for want of the present, sealing truth, the meat in due season; and that the swift messengers should speed on their way, and feed the flock with the present truth. I heard an Angel say, “speed the swift messengers, speed the swift messengers; for the case of every soul will soon be decided, either for Life, or for Death.” {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 8}

I saw that those who had the means, were required to help speed those messengers, that God had called to labor in his cause, and as they went from place to place, they would be safe from the prevailing pestilence. But if any went that were not sent of God, they would be in danger of being cut down by the pestilence; therefore all should earnestly seek for duty, and be sure and move by the direction of the Holy Spirit. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 9}

What we have seen and heard of the pestilence, is but the beginning of what we shall see and hear. Soon the dead and dying will be all around us. I saw that some will be so hardened, as to even make sport of the judgments of God. Then the slain of the Lord will be from one end of the earth, to the other; they will not be lamented, gathered, nor buried; but their ill savor will come up from the face of the whole earth. Those only who have the seal of the living God, will be sheltered from the storm of wrath, that will soon fall on the heads of those who have rejected the truth. {RH, September 1, 1849 par. 10}

In Hope,
E. G. White.

-
{RH, September 1, 1849 par. 11}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix X.

Present Truth, March 1, 1850 My Dear Brethren and Sisters

My Dear Brethren and Sisters—This is very important hour with us. Satan has come down with great power, and we must strive hard, and press our way to the kingdom. We have a mighty foe to contend with; but an Almighty Friend to protect and strengthen us in the conflict. If we are firmly fixed upon the present truth, and have our hope, like an anchor of the soul, cast within the second veil, the various winds of false doctrine and error cannot move us. The excitements and false reformations of this day do not move us, for we know that the Master of the house rose up in 1844, and shut the door of the first apartment of the heavenly tabernacle; and now we certainly expect that they will “go with their flocks,” “to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself (within the second veil) from them.” The Lord has shown me that the power which is with them is a mere human influence, and not the power of God. {RH, March 1, 1850 par. 1}

Those who have published the “Watchman” have removed the land-marks. I saw, two months ago, that their time would pass by; and then some honest souls, who have been deceived by this time, will have a chance to receive the truth. I saw that most of those who preach this new time do not believe it themselves. I saw that our message was not to the shepherds who have led the flock astray, but to the poor hungry, scattered sheep. {RH, March 1, 1850 par. 2}

In hope,
E. G. White.
-
{RH, March 1, 1850 par. 3}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this letter. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XI.

Present Truth, April 1, 1850 To the “Little Flock.”

Dear Brethren.—The Lord gave me a view, January 26, which I will relate. I saw that some of the people of God were stupid and dormant; and were but half awake, and did not realize the time we were now living in; and that the “man” with the “dirt-brush” had entered, and that some were in danger of being swept away. I begged of Jesus to save them, to spare them a little longer, and let them see their awful danger, that they might get ready before it should be for ever too late. The angel said, “Destruction is coming like a mighty whirlwind.” I begged of the angel to pity and to save those who loved this world, and were attached to their possessions, and were not willing to cut loose from them, and sacrifice them to speed the messengers on their way to feed the hungry sheep, who were perishing for want of spiritual food. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 1}

As I viewed poor souls dying for want of the present truth, and some who professed to believe the truth were letting them die, by withholding the necessary means to carry forward the work of God, the sight was too painful, and I begged of the angel to remove it from me. I saw that when the cause of God called for some of their property, like the young man who came to Jesus, [Matt. xix, 16-22,] they went away sorrowful; and that soon the overflowing scourge would pass over and sweep their possessions all away, and then it would be too late to sacrifice earthly goods, and lay up a treasure in heaven. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 2}

I then saw the glorious Redeemer, beautiful and lovely, that he left the realms of glory, and came to this dark and lonely world, to give his precious life and die, the just for the unjust. He bore the cruel mocking and scourging, and wore the platted crown of thorns, and sweat great drops of blood in the garden; while the burden of the sins of the whole world were upon him. The angel asked, “What for?” O, I saw and knew that it was for us; for our sins he suffered all this, that by his precious blood he might redeem us unto God. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 3}

Then again was held up before me those who were not willing to dispose of this world’s goods to save perishing souls, by sending them the truth, while Jesus stands before the Father, pleading his blood, his sufferings and his death for them; and while God’s messengers were waiting, ready to carry them the saving truth that they might be sealed with the seal of the living God. It was hard for some who professed to believe the present truth, to even do so little as to hand the messengers God’s own money, that he had lent them to be stewards over. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 4}

Then the suffering Jesus, his sacrifice and love so deep, as to give his life for them, was again held up before me; and then the lives of those who professed to be his followers, who had this world’s goods, and considered it so great a thing to help the cause of salvation. The angel said, “Can such enter heaven?” Another angel answered, “No, never, never, never. Those who are not interested in the cause of God on earth, can never sing the song of redeeming love above.” {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 5}

I saw that the quick work that God was doing on earth would soon be cut short in righteousness, and that the swift messengers must speed on their way to search out the scattered flock. An angel said, “Are all messengers? No, no, God’s messengers have a message.” {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 6}

I saw that the cause of God had been hindered, and dishonored by some travelling who had no message from God. Such will have to give an account to God for every dollar they have used in travelling where it was not their duty to go; for that money might have helped on the cause of God, and for the lack of it, souls have starved and died for the want of spiritual food, that might have been given them by God’s called and chosen messengers if they had had the means. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 7}

The mighty shaking has commenced, and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a hold and unyielding stand for the truth, and sacrifice for God and his cause. The angel said, “Think ye that any will be compelled to sacrifice. No. no. It must be a free-will offering. It will take all to buy the field.”—I cried to God to spare his people, some of whom were fainting and dying. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 8}

I saw that those who have strength to labor with their hands, and help sustain the cause, were as accountable for that strength, as others were for their property. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 9}

The I saw that the judgments of Almighty God were speedily coming. I begged of the angel to speak in his language to the people. Said he, “All the thunders and lightnings of Mount Sinai would not move those who will not be moved by the plain truths of the word of God; neither would an angel’s message awake them.” {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 10}

I then beheld the beauty and loveliness of Jesus. His robe was whiter than the whitest white. No language can describe his glory and exalted loveliness. All, all who keep the commandments of God, will enter in through the gates into the City, and have right to the tree of life, and ever be in the presence of the lovely Jesus, whose countenance shines brighter than the sun at noonday. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 11}

Then I was pointed to Adam and Eve in Eden. They partook of the forbidden tree, and then the flaming sword was placed around the tree of life, and they were driven from the Garden, lest they should partake of the tree of life, and be immortal sinners. The tree of life was to perpetuate immortality. I heard an angel ask, “Who of the family of Adam have passed that flaming sword, and have partaken of the tree of life?” I heard another angel answer, “Not one of the family of Adam have passed that flaming sword, and partaken of that tree; therefore there is not an immortal sinner. The soul that sinneth it shall die an everlasting death; a death that will last for ever, where there will be no hope of a resurrection; and then the wrath of God will be appeased.” {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 12}

II saw that the saints will rest in the Holy City, and reign as kings and priests one thousand years; then Jesus will descend with the saints upon the mount of Olives, and the mount will part asunder, and become a mighty plain for the Paradise of God to rest upon. The rest of the earth will not be cleansed until the wicked dead are raised (at the end of the one thousand years) and gather up around the city; for the feet of the wicked will never desecrate the earth made new. Then fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them; burn them up root and branch. Satanism the root, and his children are the branches. The same fire that will devour the wicked, will purify the earth. {RH, April 1, 1850 par. 13}

In hope of immortality at the appearing of Jesus,
E. G. White.
-
{RH, April 1, 1850 par. 14}.

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XII.

Present Truth, May 1, 1850 Eli Curtis

Eli Curtis.—It is well known by many of the brethren, that Eli Curtis has published many of my visions. He has pursued such an inconsistent course for some time past; and his influence on the cause of truth is such at this time that I feel it my duty to say to the brethren that I have no faith in his course; and that he has published my visions contrary to my wishes, even after I had requested him not to publish them.

E. G. White.

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{RH, May 1, 1850 par. 1}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this letter. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XIII.

Present Truth, November 1, 1850 Dear Brethren and Sisters

Dear Brethren and Sisters—I wish to give you a short sketch of what the Lord has recently shown to me in vision. I was shown the loveliness of Jesus, and the love that the angels have for one another. Said the angel—Can ye not behold their love?—follow it. Just so God’s people must love one another. Rather let blame fall on thyself than on a brother. I saw that the message “sell that ye have and give alms” had not been given, by some, in its clear light; that the true object of the words of our Saviour had not been clearly presented. I saw that the object of selling was not to give to those who are able to labor and support themselves; but to spread the truth. It is a sin to support and indulge those who are able to labor, in idleness. Some have been zealous to attend all the meetings; not to glorify God, but for the “loaves and fishes.” Such had much better been at home laboring with their hands, “the thing that is good,” to supply the wants of their families, and to have something to give to sustain the precious cause of present truth. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 1}

Some, I saw, had erred in praying for the sick to be healed before unbelievers. If any among us are sick, and call for the elders of the church to pray over them, according to James v, 14, 15, we should follow the example of Jesus. He put unbelievers out of the room, then healed the sick; so we should seek to be separated from the unbelief of those who have not faith, when we pray for the sick among us. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 2}

Then I was pointed back to the time that Jesus took his disciples away alone, into an upper room, and first washed their feet, and then gave them to eat of the broken bread, to represent his broken body, and juice of the vine to represent his spilled blood. I saw that all should move understandingly, and follow the example of Jesus in these things, and when attending to these ordinances, should be as separate from unbelievers as possible. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 3}

Then I was shown that the seven last plagues will be poured out, after Jesus leaves the sanctuary . Said the angel—It is the wrath of God and the Lamb that causes the destruction or death of the wicked. At the voice of God the saints will be mighty and terrible as an army with banners; but they will not then execute the judgment written. The execution of the judgment will be at the close of the 1000 years. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 4}

After the saints are changed to immortality, and are caught up together, and receive their harps, crowns, &c., and enter the Holy City, Jesus and the saints set in judgment. The books are opened, the book of life and the book of death; the book of life contains the good deeds of the saints, and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books were compared with the Statute book, the Bible , and according to that they were judged. The saints in unison with Jesus pass their judgment upon the wicked dead. Behold ye! said the angel, the saints sit in judgment, in unison with Jesus, and mete out to each of the wicked, according to the deeds done in the body, and it is set off against their names what they must receive, at the execution of the judgment. This, I saw, was the work of the saints with Jesus, in the Holy City before it descends to the earth, through the 1000 years. Then at the close of the 1000 years, Jesus, and the angels, and all the saints with him, leaves the Holy City, and while he is descending to the earth with them, the wicked dead are raised, and then the very men that “pierced him,” being raised, will see him afar off in all his glory, the angels and saints with him, and will wail because of him. They will see the prints of the nails in his hands, and in his feet, and where they thrust the spear into his side. The prints of the nails and the spear will then be his glory. It is at the close of the 1000 years that Jesus stands upon the Mount of Olives, and the Mount parts asunder, and it becomes a mighty plain, and those who flee at that time are the wicked, that have just been raised. Then the Holy City comes down and settles on the plain. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 5}

Then Satan imbues the wicked, that have been raised, with his spirit. He flatters them that the army in the City is small, and that his army is large, and that they can overcome the saints and take the City. While Satan was rallying his army, the saints were in the City, beholding the beauty and glory of the Paradise of God. Jesus was at their head, leading them. All at once the lovely Saviour was gone from our company; but soon we heard his lovely voice, saying, “Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We gathered about Jesus, and just as he closed the gates of the City, the curse was pronounced upon the wicked. The gates were shut. Then the saints used their wings and mounted to the top of the wall of the City. Jesus was also with them; his crown looked brilliant and glorious. It was a crown within a crown, seven in number. The crowns of the saints were of the most pure gold, decked with stars. Their faces shone with glory, for they were in the express image of Jesus; and as they arose, and moved all together to the top of the City, I was enraptured with the sight. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 6}

Then the wicked saw what they had lost; and fire was breathed from God upon them, and consumed them. This was the Execution of the Judgment The wicked then received according as the saints in unison with Jesus had meted out to them during the 1000 years. The same fire from God that consumed the wicked, purified the whole earth. The broken ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere, also, and all the stubble was consumed. Then our inheritance opened before us, glorious and beautiful, and we inherited the whole earth made new. We all shouted with a loud voice, Glory, Alleluia. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 7}

I also saw that the shepherds should consult those in whom they have reason to have confidence, those who have been in all the messages, and are firm in all the present truth, before they advocate any new point of importance, which they may think the Bible sustains. Then the shepherds will be perfectly united, and the union of the shepherds will be felt by the church. Such a course I saw would prevent unhappy divisions, and then there would be no danger of the precious flock being divided, and the sheep scattered, without a shepherd. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 8}

I also saw that the shepherds should consult those in whom they have reason to have confidence, those who have been in all the messages, and are firm in all the present truth, before they advocate any new point of importance, which they may think the Bible sustains. Then the shepherds will be perfectly united, and the union of the shepherds will be felt by the church. Such a course I saw would prevent unhappy divisions, and then there would be no danger of the precious flock being divided, and the sheep scattered, without a shepherd. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 8}

The Lord showed me that the 1843 chart was directed by his hand, and that no part of it should be altered; that the figures were as he wanted them. That his hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until his hand was removed. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 10}

Then I saw in relation to the “Daily,” that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text; and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the “Daily;” but since 1844, in the confusion, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion has followed. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 11}

The Lord showed me that Time had not been a test since 1844, and that time will never again be a test. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 12}

Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error, that the saints are yet to go to Old Jerusalem, &c., before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of God, under the message of the third angel; for if we are to go to Jerusalem, then our minds will naturally be there, and our means will be withheld from other uses, to get the saints to Jerusalem. I saw that the reason why they were left to go into this great error, is because they have not confessed and forsaken their errors, that they have been in for a number of years past.
E. G. White. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 13}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XIV.

A Comparison between two versions of two visions published in Present Truth, November 1, 1850 Dear Brethren and Sisters

The left column is the word for word version of the Sutton and Dorchester visions as published in the Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 11, November 1850, pp. 86-87. The right column is the word for word version of these two visions as copied by Hiram Edson to a pre-published draft for these two visions.

The (.......) indicate what was added in one versions but omitted from the other. The words in italics indicate the sections where the two versions of these visions are the same word for word. The regular font is what is in each version but omitted from the other version of this vision.

The comparison of these two versions of these visions, indicate that there was extensive editing between the first draft and the published version of these two visions. Personal reference to Bates, James White and Sister Miner were removed from the print version. But the print version also added at times a number of lines that were not in the original draft of these visions.

Sutton and Dorchester visions as published in the Present Truth

Sutton and Dorchester visions as copied by Hiram Edson.

(.………………………… ..…… .) Dear Brethren and Sisters—I wish to give you a short sketch of what the Lord has recently shown to me in vision. I (…) was shown the loveliness of Jesus, and the love that the angels have for one another. Said the angel—Can ye not behold their love?—follow it. Just so God’s people must love one another. Rather let blame fall on thyself than on a brother. I saw that the message (.………………………………………………………………… .) “sell that ye have and give alms” had not been given, by some, in its clear light; that the true object of the words of our Savior had not been clearly presented. I saw that the object of selling was not to give to those who are able to labor and support themselves; but to spread the truth. It is a sin to support and indulge those who are able to labor, in idleness. Some (.……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ..…… ..………………………………………………………… .) have been zealous to attend all the meetings; (.………………… ) not to glorify God, but for the “loaves and fishes.” Such had much (.… .) better (.… )

 

been at home laboring with their hands, “the thing that is good,” to supply the wants of their families, and to have something to give to sustain the precious cause of present truth. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 1}

(.…………) Some, I saw, had erred (.… .) in praying for the sick to be healed before unbelievers. (.… ) If any among us are sick, and call for the elders of the church to pray over them, according to James v, 14, 15, we should follow the example of Jesus. He put unbelievers out of the room, then healed the sick; so we should seek to be (.…………………………………………………… ) separated (.… .) from the unbelief of those who have not faith, when we pray for the sick among us. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 2}(.…………………………………………………………………… )

Then I was pointed back to the time that Jesus (.……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ..…… ..………………………… .) took his disciples away alone, into an upper room, and first (.……………… ) washed their feet, and then gave them to eat of the broken bread, to represent his broken body, and (.…………………… . ) juice of the vine to represent his spilled blood. I saw that all should move understandingly, and follow the example of Jesus (.………………………………… ) in these things, and when attending to these ordinances, should be as separate from unbelievers as possible. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 3}(.……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… .

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Then I was shown (.… .) that the seven last plagues will be poured out, after Jesus leaves the sanctuary . (.……………………… ) Said the angel—It is the wrath of God and the Lamb that causes the destruction or death of the wicked. (.…… . ) At the voice of God the saints will be mighty and terrible as an army with banners; but they will not then execute the judgment written. The execution of the judgment will be at the close of the 1000 years. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 4}

(…) After the saints(.… ) are changed to immortality, (.……………… ..……… . ) and are caught up (.…………… . ) together, and receive their harps, crowns, &c., and enter the Holy City, Jesus and the saints set in judgment. The books are opened, the book of life and the book of death; the book of life contains the good deeds of the saints, and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books were compared with the Statute book, the Bible , and according to that they were judged. The saints in unison with Jesus pass their judgment upon the wicked dead. Behold ye! said the angel, the saints sit in judgment, in unison with Jesus, and mete out to each of the wicked, according to the deeds done in the body, and it is set off against their names what they must receive, at the execution of the judgment. This, I saw, was the work of the saints with Jesus, in the Holy City before it descends to the earth, through the 1000 years. Then at the close of the 1000 years, Jesus, and the (. . .) angels, and all the saints with him, leaves the Holy City, and while he is descending to the earth with them, the wicked dead are raised, and then the very men that “pierced him,” being raised, will see him afar off in all his glory, (.… ) the angels and saints with him, and will wail because of him. They will see the prints of the nails in his hands, and in his feet, and where they thrust the spear into his side. (.………………………… ) The prints of the nails and the spear will then be (.……) his glory. It is at the close of the 1000 years (.… . ) that Jesus stands upon the Mount of Olives, and the Mount parts asunder, and it becomes a mighty plain, and those who flee at that time are the wicked, that have just been raised. Then the Holy City comes down and settles on the plain. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 5}

Then Satan imbues the wicked, that have been raised, with his spirit. He flatters them that the army in the City is small, and that his army is large, and that they can overcome (.… ) the saints and take the City. While Satan (. . ) was rallying his army, the saints were in the City, beholding the beauty and glory of the Paradise of God. Jesus was at their head, leading them. All at once the lovely (.… .) Savior was gone from our company; but soon we heard his lovely voice, saying, “Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We gathered about Jesus, and just as he closed the gates of the City, the curse (… .) was

 

pronounced upon the wicked. The gates were shut. Then the saints used their wings and (…) mounted to the top of the wall of the City. Jesus was also with them; his crown looked brilliant and glorious. It was a crown within a crown, seven in number. The crowns of the saints were of the most pure gold(.), decked with stars. (.…………………………………………………… .) Their faces shone with glory, for they were in the express image of Jesus; and as they arose, and moved all together to the top of the City, I was enraptured with the sight. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 6}

Then the wicked saw what they had lost; and fire was breathed from God upon them, and consumed them. This was the Execution of the Judgment The wicked then received according as the saints in unison with Jesus had meted out to them (.… ) during the 1000 years. The same fire from God that consumed the wicked, purified the whole earth. The broken ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere, also, and all the stubble was consumed. .............. Then our inheritance opened before us, glorious and beautiful, and we inherited the whole earth made new. We all shouted with a loud voice, Glory, Alleluia. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 7}

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I also saw that (.………) the (.… .) shepherds should consult those in whom they have reason to have confidence, (.…) those who have been in all the messages, and are firm in all the present truth, (.……………… .. . .) before they (.… . ) advocate any new point of importance, which they may think the Bible sustains. Then (.……… ) the shepherds (.… .) will be perfectly united, and the union of the shepherds will be felt by the church.

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The first 16 lines of the Dorchester Vision are omitted in the November, 1850 Present Truth

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Such a course I saw would prevent unhappy divisions, and then there would be no danger of the precious flock being divided, and the sheep scattered, without a shepherd.{RH, November 1, 1850 par. 8}

I also saw that the shepherds should consult those in whom they have reason to have confidence, those who have been in all the messages, and are firm in all the present truth, before they advocate any new point of importance, which they may think the Bible sustains. Then the shepherds will be perfectly united, and the union of the shepherds will be felt by the church. Such a course I saw would prevent unhappy divisions, and then there would be no danger of the precious flock being divided, and the sheep scattered, without a shepherd. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 9}

(.………… ) The Lord showed me that the 1843 chart was directed by (.… .) his hand, and that (.…… ) no part of it should be altered; (.……………… . ) that the figures (.………… . ) were as he wanted them. That his hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until his hand was removed. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 10}

The following lines from Edson’s copy of the Dorchester Vision were omitted in the November, 1850 Present Truth

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Then I saw in relation to the “Daily,” that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text; and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the (.…………… ) judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the “Daily;” but since 1844, in the confusion, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion has followed. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 11}

(.…………………… ) The Lord showed me that Time had not been a test (.… ) since 1844, and that time will never again be a test. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 12}

The last 7 lines of the vision only share the italicized words in common.

 

Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error, that the saints are yet to go to Old Jerusalem, &c., before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of God, under the message of the third angel; for if we are to go to Jerusalem, then our minds will naturally be there, and our means will be withheld from other uses, to get the saints to Jerusalem. I saw that the reason why they were left to go into this great error, is because they have not confessed and forsaken their errors, that they have been in for a number of years past. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 13}
E. G. White.

A vision the Lord gave me at Sutton, Vt., October 1850. (……………………………………………………….……………………… ) I saw the (.……… .) loveliness of Jesus and the love that the angels have for one another, said the angel, can ye not behold their love? Follow it. Just so, God’s people must love one another. Rather let blame fall on thyself than on a brother; (.……………) I was then pointed back to western New York and saw that Bro. Bates did not give the message—“sell that ye have and give alms” (.………………… .) in its clear light. (.…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………… ..……………………………………………………………………………………… .) It caused some to follow for the loaves and fishes, and now they are ready to be purged out. Falsehoods have been in their mouths. I saw that Bro. Bates holding up “sell what ye have” in a wrong light had caused those who had been coveting other’s property to take levity from it and to rejoice and triumph, and had also cause those who had property to hold on to it. Those who had been coveting were (.………… ) zealous to attend (.……… ) every conference with their families not to glorify God, but for the loaves and fishes. (……… ) They had better remained

(.…) at home and worked with their hands (.……………… .) to supply the wants of their families, and to have something to give to sustain the (.……) cause of (.… .) truth.

I saw that Bro. Bates (.……… ) erred again in praying for the sick (.…… .) before unbelievers. I saw if any among us were sick and called for the elders of the church to pray over them, (.…………………) we should follow the example of Jesus. He (.…………………………………………………… ) went into an inner chamber. And we should go into a room by ourselves, separate entirely from ((.………………… ..……………………………… .) unbelievers, and then, the atmosphere would not be polluted by them. By faith we could take hold on God and draw down the blessing.

[end of page 2 in manuscript]

(.………………………… .) I saw that God’s cause was dishonored and reproached in New York at the general conference by praying for the sick in the midst of unbelievers. I also saw that Bates erred in attending the washing of saint’s feet and the communion among unbelievers. It only causes reproach to come on the cause of God. I saw that the example of Jesus should be followed. He took his disciples away (.……………………… .) separate from the wicked, washed their feet, and then gave them to eat of the broken (.………………………… ) body, and gave them to drink of the juice of the vine to represent his spilled blood. I saw that (.…………………………………………… .) Bro. Bates and all the shepherds should be careful in these things, (.……………………………………………………………… . ) and move understandingly, and follow the example of Jesus in these things. I saw that as Judas might be [end of page 3 in the manuscript]

among us from time to time; that would appear to be with us, but they would eat and drink to their own damnation, but God would make them manifest quickly, and they would be purged on from among Israel. I saw that the above named errors of Bro. Bates and others more dangerous brought confusion and had destroyed James’ confidence in Br. Bates; I saw that James at first had godly jealousy for the truth, then other jealousy crept in until he was jealous of most every move Bro. Bates would make. These wrongs I saw must be taken out of the way. Then I saw Bro. Bates, said the angel, be not quick to receive error, nor too slow to receive the truth. I saw that the woman of Rev. 14:4

[end of page 4 in manuscript]

the churches, and that we were bid to “come out of her” that we be not defiled “partake of her sins” and receive her plagues. I saw that Bro. Bates had not applied Rev. 14:4 correctly, and his error had caused confusion.

Then I (.…… .) saw that (.……………………………) after Jesus leaves the sanctuary , the plagues will be poured out. Said the angel – It is the wrath of God and the Lamb, that causes the destruction or death of the

wicked. I saw that at the voice of God the saints will be might and terrible as an army with banners; but they will not then execute the judgment written. (.……………………………………………… . )

But after they(.…… .) are changed (.………… ) in a moment in the twinkling of an eye and are caught up with the sleeping saints, (.… .) and receive their harps, crowns & c. and enter the (…) city, Jesus and the saints sit in judgment [end of page 5 in manuscript] the books are opened, the book of life and the book of death. The book of life contains the good deeds of the saints, and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books were compared with the statue book the Bible , and according to that they were judged. The saints in unison with Jesus passed their judgment upon the wicked dead. Behold ye, said the angel, the saints sit (.…… ) in unison with Jesus and met out to each of the wicked according to the deeds done in the body, and it is set of against their name: what they must receive at the execution of the judgment. This I saw was the work of the saints with Jesus (……………………………… ) through the 1000 years. (… ) At the end of the 1000 years Jesus with the holy angels [end of page 6 ] and all the saints (.… .. . .) leave the (.… ) city, and while he is descending (.…… ) with them, the wicked dead are raised, and then the very men that pierced him (.…… . ) will see him afar off in all his glory, and all the holy angels and the saints with him. (…………… .)They will see the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet, and where they thrust the spear into his side, and they will wail because of him. I saw that the prints of the nails and of the spear (.…… .) were his glory. (…………………… . )Then it is that Jesus stands upon the Mount of Olives and the Mount parts a sunder and becomes a plain. (.………………………………………………………… ..………………………………… )

Then Satan imbues the wicked that have been raised with his spirit and he flatters them that [end of page 7] the army in the city is small and that his army is large and that they can overcome them (.……… .) and take the city. While Satan is (…) rallying his army the saints are in the city beholding the beauty and the glory of the paradise of God. Jesus was at their head leading them. All at once the lovely Jesus (… ) was gone from our company, but soon we heard his lovely voice saying, come ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. We gathered about Jesus and just as he closed the gates of the city, the curse from God was

 

 

 

 

pronounced upon the wicked. The gates are shut. Then the saints use their wings and fly (.… ) to the top of the wall of the city. Jesus also with them [ end of page 8] His crown looked brilliant and glorious. It was a crown within a crown, seven in number. The crowns of the saints were of the purest gold, and were decked with stars and shone like the sun, as they moved all together to the top of the city. Their faces shone with glory, for they were in the express image of Jesus. (……………………………………………………………………… .)

Then the wicked saw that they had lost. And fire was breathed from God upon the, and consumed them. Then (… . ) the execution of the judgment. The wicked (…) received according as the saints in unison with Jesus had meted out to them through (.… ) the 1000 years. The same fire from God that consumed the wicked purified the whole earth. The (…… . ) mountains melted with fervent heat. The atmosphere also and all the stubble was consumed. [end of page 9] Then our inheritance opened before us glorious and beautiful. Then we inherited the whole earth made new. We shouted with a loud voice, Glory! Alleluia!

The following 25 lines of this vision was omitted when it was published in the November 1850 Present Truth.

Then I saw that God had not given Bro. Bates the gift of discernment; but his gift was to talk the word. None had a gift like his. He could talk to a small company when there was no more than two present as well as to a large company. This gift is greatly needed in the church. I saw that he had prepared the way in many places for the Lord to speak through visions. The angel then pointed to Bro. Bates and said, be careful how thou treadest, lest the flock be torn. Draw near to God, thou has been in danger. Can ye not see it. That must be healed every whit. This people must be humble. I begged of Jesus to forbid that

[end of page 10]

there should be any discord among the shepherds, for then the flock would be scattered as sheep without a shepherd. I prayed Jesus to encircle them now in his lovely arms. I saw that the disunion between the shepherds had affected the flock. Then I saw that in the scattering time when paper after paper was dying, Bro Bates wrote for them until the last, and now in the gathering time when precious souls, that have been hid beneath the rubbish, and have not had the privilege of hearing the truth, need light from different ones, his testimony has been withheld. I saw that if ever the saints could be benefited by comforting words, and the truth made clear in the paper, it is now in the gather. God wanted the paper to cease in the scattering time, but now the [ end of page 11]

truth should be sung, preached, prayed and published. Then I saw we must drink deep, deep, from the water of the

fountain. Said the angel, ye must reflect the lovely image of Jesus more and more. I saw that we were almost home, to rest in the city 1000 years. Said the angel, ye must love one another as Jesus hath loved you: I saw that Bro. Bates must be open, ready to yield up a dear point when the clear light shines. I saw that we must be more like Jesus. Everything in heavens in perfect order and the events of the judgment will come in perfect order. Then I saw James and Bro. Bates; said the angel, press together, press together ye shepherds lest the sheep be scattered. Love one another as I have loved you. Swim, swim, swim, plunge deep [end of page 12] deep, deep in the ocean of God’s love. Come into a nearness with God. I saw that we must overcome perfectly and get the victory over the powers of darkness.

I (.…) saw that Bro. Bates with the other shepherds should consult those in whom they have reason to have confidence, and (.… .) who have been in all the messages, and are firm in all the present truth, and have not wavered upon it, before they receive and advocate any point of importance which they (.… .) think the Bible sustains. Then I saw that all the shepherds would (…) be perfectly united and that union (.………………) the church

would feel, and the shepherds would be strong, and could hold up each other’s hands and the [end of page 13]

church would be benefited and then there would be but little danger of any of the shepherds receiving dangerous error with which to divide the precious flock.

E. G. White

[N. B. The abundance of spelling mistakes in the copied Ms. have not been reproduced in this text, but the wording and grammar have been left intact.]

The Dorchester Vision October 23, 1850 as copied by Hiram Edson

AA vision the Lord gave me at the house of Bro. Nichols in Dorchester, Mass. I saw that we must redouble our efforts no in this gathering time. I saw it was a shame for us to refer to the scattering time for examples to govern us now in the gather time, for if God does no more for us now than he did then, we never shall be gathered. In the scattering time, Israel was torn and smitten, but now God will heal and bind them up. I saw that God had stretched out his hand the second time. [end of page 14]

to recover the remnant of his people. They are those what have covered up beneath the rubbish since 1844. I saw that efforts to spread the truth should now be made such as were put forth in 1843, and 44. In the scattering, efforts made to spread the truth had but little effect – but now in the gathering time, when God has set his hand to gather his people, efforts to spread the truth will have their designed effect, and all should be zealous and united in the work. I

saw that the burden of the paper was laid on James, and that it is important to publish the truth as to preach it. I saw that James should not be discouraged if all did not feel the interest in the paper that he did. I saw that Bro. Bates [end of page 15]

the paper that he should have, and that his lack of interest had discouraged James. I saw that James should set his face as a flint and go forward. I saw the flock looking for the paper and were ready like hungry children to eat the truth published in it. I saw that the truth should be made plain on tables, that the earth and the fullness thereof is the Lord’s, and that necessary means should not be spared to make it plain. I saw that the angels’ messages made plain, would have effect.

..… .The published November 1850 vision in Present Truth adds 8 lines here

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I saw that the old (.……………………… ) chart was directed by the Lord, (.…… .) and that not a peg (.… . ) of it should be altered without inspiration. I saw that the figures on the chart were as God(.…… ) wanted them, and that his had was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures so that none could see it until his had was [end of page 16] removed.

 

 

II saw that the two horned beast had a dragon mouth, and that his power was in his head, and that the decree would go out of his mouth. Then I saw the mother of harlots: that the mother was not the daughters, but separate and distinct from them. She has had her day, and it is pasts, and her daughters, protestant sects were next to come on the stage, and act out the same mind that the mother had when she persecuted the saints. I saw that as the mother has been declining in power, the daughters have been growing, and soon they will exercise the power once manifested by the mother. I saw that the nominal churches and nominal Adventists, like Judas would

betray us [end of page 17] to the Catholics, to obtain their influence to come against the saints. The saints will be an obscure people, but little known to the Catholics, but the church and the nominal Adventists will know of our faith and customs and will betray the saints and report them to the Catholics, as those who disregard the institution of the pope, that is they keep the Sabbath and disregard Sunday. Then the

Catholics bid the protestants to go forward and issue a decree

that all who will not observe the first day of the week instead of the seventh shall be slain, and the Catholics whose numbers are large will stand by the protestants. The Catholics will give their power to the image of the beast and then protestants [end of page 18] will work as their mother worked before them to destroy the saints. But before their decree bring forth or bear fruit, the saints will be delivered by the voice of God. Then I saw that Jesus’ work in the sanctuary was almost finished, almost finished, and after his work there is finished, he will come to the door of the Tabernacle or door of the first apartment and confess the sins of Israel upon the head of the scapegoat. Then he will put on the garments of vengeance. Then the plagues are falling and scapegoat is being led away. He makes a might struggle to

[end of page 19]

escape: but he is held fast by the hand that bears him away. If he should effect his escape Israel would be destroyed (or slain). I saw that it would take time to bear him away into the land of forgetfulness after the sins were put upon his head. Jesus clothes himself with the garments of vengeance and takes his place upon the great white cloud before the plagues are poured out. The great white cloud I saw was not in the holy place but entirely separate from the sanctuary . As Jesus passed through the holy place of first apartment to the door to confess the sins of Israel on the scapegoat, an angel said, this apartment is called the

[end of page 20]

sanctuary . Then the angel repeated these words and said this is the time spoken of, “and he saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor;” we had not mediator between God and man and the plagues could be withheld no longer for Jesus had ceased to plead for Israel, and they were covered with the covering of almighty God and lived in his sight, and those who were not covered felt the plagues for they had nothing to shelter them. I saw that there was a cherub sitting on either end of the mercy seat with their wings spread out on high, and touching each other, while their other wing reached to each side of the apartment. I saw that [end of page 21] the wings of the angels did not reach above the Father, for that would bring him too low. I saw that the Father was in the midst above the cherubim and his glory is shed down upon the ark, and the train of his glory fills the Temple.

Then I saw (.……… . ) the daily (.………………………………………………………………… .) that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the first angel’s message. (.…………… . )When union existed before 1844 nearly all were united on the correct view of the daily, but since, (.… ) in the confusion, other views have been embraced and darkness (.…… . ) has followed.

I saw that God had not made a (.………………………………) test of time since 1844 and that time never again will be a test.

The last 7 lines of the vision only share the italicized words in common.

 

Then I had view of Sister Miner and others with her, that their visions were not true, that [end of page 22]

God had not spoken by them. I saw that if we are to go to Jerusalem, then the truth should not be made plain upon tables, for our mind should turn towards Jerusalem and our means should be reserved to get the saints to Jerusalem. I saw that the faults and errors of sister Miner and those with her in the past time had not been confessed. This is the reason why they have been left to run into great errors. I saw that Bro. Bates must be careful and willing to receive light that comes from other ways besides through visions. I saw that he was too slow to receive light from his brethren.

E. G. White

[n.b. Spelling mistakes have been corrected in this text, but the wording and grammar of the original are reproduced exactly.]

Dorchester Vision p. 17-22 line 4: This passage, as far as can be determined, does not appear in exactly these words in print. The ideas may recur elsewhere, but not quite in this style.

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Appendix XV.

Vision in Oswego, N. Y. July 29, 1850 as copied by Hiram Edson.

The words that appear in bold italics were published in Early Writings.

 

A Vision the Lord gave me in Oswego, July 29, 1850

I saw some in Zion that were languishing, they were dormant and unbelieving. I asked the Angel if Zion should languish. Said the Angel, she is rising never to fall again. God has stretched out his hand, the second time to recover the remnant of his people. I saw some that met together at the conferences at Oswego and vicinity were not right: they do not partake of the spirit of the lovely Jesus; they have not vital godliness and unless they soon partake of the spirit of Jesus and have their heart sanctified by the truth they profess to believe, the will be purged out of the camp of Israel. I saw there needed to be a searching of the heart among them. Said the Angel, thou art upon the enchanted ground, doest thou not see it? Awake and arise and put on the strength of the Lord. The powers of darkness are rising. Art thou rising? Is it not getting the victory over thee? I was pointed back to the children of Israel in Egypt. I saw when God worked through Moses before Pharaoh. The Magicians came up and said they could do the same (that they could work the same miracles). [what is in bold italics is in Early Writings p. 59-60] I saw the same work was going on now on the earth that the Magicians carried on anciently. I saw that the power and work similar to the of the Magicians, and signs and mighty wonders of the devil has increased within a few months tenfold and it will still be on the increase and spread, and unless Israel is constantly rising and is growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, the powers of darkness will get the victory over them.

[end of page 1]

II saw we must be daily rising and keep the ascendency above the powers of darkness. I saw singing to the glory of God often drove the enemy and shouting would beat him back and give us the victory. I saw there was too little glorifying God, to little childlike simplicity among the remnant. I asked the Angel why there was no more faith and power in Israel. Said he, ye let go of the arm of God too quick, press your petitions to the throne and hold on by living faith, believe ye receive the things ye ask for, and ye shall have them.

I was then pointed to Elijah: he was subject to like passion as we are and he prayed earnestly; his faith endured the trial. Seven times he prayed before the Lord and at last the cloud was seen. I saw we had doubted and wounded Jesus by our unbelief. [what is in bold italics is in Early Writings p. 73] God’s people are rising, said the Angel, never to fall again. Be careful, said the Angel, least the branches be cut off and others are raised up in their stead. I saw some would bear fruit and work to the glory of God. I saw we must keep close to Jesus and fast and pray if we could not get the victory over the powers of darkness. I then saw Bro. Corsline that he had wounded and torn the hearts of God’s people. I saw he had been stubborn and rebellious, and unless he changes his course entirely the Church should disfellowship him for he has been a dead weight to the Church. Said the Angel, Jesus’ work is almost finished in the sanctuary , it is no time to be stupid now. A quick work sill the Lord do upon the earth; the four Angels will soon let go the four winds. Said Angel, beware how though treadest. Enchantment all around thee, East and West, North and South.

[End of page 2]

If Satan can get thee to slumber now, he is sure of his prey. I saw some in Israel had been half starved for food, and when the present truth was presented to them they at it with thankfulness and gratitude like half starved children.

Said the Angel, can ye stand in the battle in the day of the Lord? You need to be washed and live in newness of life. (Then I saw those whose hands are now engaged in making up the breach and are standing in the gaps, that have formally since 44 broken the Commandments of God and have so far followed the pope as to keep the first day instead of the seventh, would have to go into the water and be baptized in the faith of the Shut-door and keeping the commandments of God and in the faith of Jesus coming to sit on the throne of his Father David and to redeem Israel.

I also saw those who have been baptized into the professed churches will have to be, baptized out that that door again, into the faith mentioned above, and all who have not been baptized since 44 will have to be baptized before Jesus comes and some will not gain progress now until that duty is done. And then they must live anew unto God and serve him faithfully.) Said the Angel, will ye sink and let others take the stars to your crown? I told the Angel I could not endure to see any in Israel sinking. Thou, Advocate, save the purchase of thy blood! What more can we do for thee? O that we had more to give to the lovely Jesus, more to render him for his merciful kindness unto us! We will do anything, we will go anywhere, only lend us strength for the sanctuary . The Angel said, some try too hard to believe. Faith is so simple, ye look above. It’s Satan has

[end of page 3]

deceived some and got them to looking at their own unworthiness. I saw they must look away from self to the worthiness of Jesus and throw themselves just as they are, needy and dependent and unworthy, upon his mercy, and draw by faith strength and nourishment from him. Said the Angel, the desolations of Zion are accomplished. I saw he took away the first and established the second, that is those who were in the faith would become rebellious and would be purged out, and others who had not heard the Advent doctrine and rejected it would embrace the truth and take their place. Said the Angel, will ye lack faith? Climb up, take hold, never let go of the promises of God for they are sure. Ye have been discouraged too quick. I begged strength of the Angel as I saw I must come back to this world. I covenanted to live unto God. I begged of the Angel not to let me feel again the awful anguish of seeing some in Israel sinking. He said strength would be given me to endure all that God should lay upon me. I then saw Bro. Chapin that he had been rescued from the jaws of the lion as a bird is rescued from the snare of the fowler. I saw that God had felt after him while he was in darkness and he had but just escaped with the skin of his teeth and all his work at Hamilton must be taken back before he can gain progress. I saw he must make square work for eternity. I saw his soul was worth more than ten thousand worlds like this. I did praise and adore God that he had borne with Bro. Chapin and finally had stretched out his arm in that dark spot and brought him to the light that he might discover the darkness he has been in. This is written in hast excuse bad writing.

E. G. White

Oswego Vision p. 3 line 2 of 2nd paragraph to line 6 of 3rrd. This passage war already in parentheses in Edson’s copy, suggesting that the MS. from which he copied was already marked for deletion or that he himself though the passage should be omitted. it is obviously one of the strongest statements made by Mrs. White in vision about the Shut-door doctrine.

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Appendix XVI.

The Review & Herald April 7, 1851 Eli Curtis

Eli Curtis.—I wish to say to the brethren and sisters, that I have been much grieved with the strange course pursued by this man, in republishing my views, and sending them about in connection with worthless and foolish matter, such as the Dixboro Ghost, notwithstanding I have earnestly entreated him not to do so. I consider him void of judgment in spiritual things, blinded by the deceptions of the Enemy. I did my duty to him faithfully when I hoped he would turn from his singular course.

E. G. White.

-
{RH, April 7, 1851 par. 1}

Appendix XVII.

The Camden Vision, June 29, 1851

The Lord shewed that he had, in answer to prayer, removed his frown from this band, and that they could have the smiles of Jesus, if they would live very humble, and walk carefully before the Lord, and know that in every step that they took that God was guiding them, and the band would be strong and would be a terror to their enemies: and the band must press together. Then I saw Bro. Wing and Br. Hyatt—that the enemy hand been trying to destroy them that they were praying for light upon a few texts Scripture, and the more they prayed the darker they grew, and the enemy was shutting down a network of darkness over them; and just about as they were getting entirely shut in, they were delivered—the net was broken, and they escaped. I saw the true light on these texts etc. I saw that this rebuke was given by Jesus to the Pharisees and would only speak to or greet those who were just as full of self-righteousness Jews, who were filled with self-righteousness and hypocrisy as they themselves were; and they entirely neglect and pass by those who did not make quite as much, and who did not receive greeting in the market as they did. I saw that it did not in any way apply to this time—that we are now living in. Then I saw that Jesus prayed for his enemies; but that should not cause US or lead US to pray for the wicked world, which God had rejected—when he prayed for his enemies, there was hope for them, and they could be benefited and saved by his prayers, and also after he was a mediator in the outer apartment for the whole world; but now his spirit and sympathy were withdrawn from the world; and our sympathy must be with Jesus, and must be withdrawn from the ungodly. I saw that God loved his people—and, in answer to prayers, would send rain upon the just and the unjust—I saw that now, in this time, that he watered the earth and caused the sun to shine for the saints and the wicked by our prayers, by our Father sending rain upon the unjust, while he sent it upon the just. I saw that the wicked could not be benefitted by our prayers now—and although he sent it upon the unjust, yet their day was coming. Then I saw concerning loving our neighbors, I saw that scripture did not mean the wicked whom God had rejected that we must love, but he meant our neighbors in the household and did not extend beyond the household: yet I saw that we should not do the wicked around us any injustice;—But, our neighbors whom we were to love, were those who loved God and were serving him

(Signed) E. G. White copied by R. R. Chapin

Uriah Smith, “The Visions—Objections Answered,” Review and Herald, June 12, 1866 accepted the Shut-door statements from this Camden vision which appear in bold italics as being those “.… published under Sister White’s own supervision, and by her authority, and what appears in manuscript over her own signature in her own handwriting.”

Appendix XVIII.

The Camden Vision Reconsidered

Gilbert M. Valentine

One of the documents that is occasionally used by critics of Ellen G. White as evidence that she held a “Shut-door” view similar to that of other church pioneers in the early years of Sabbatarian Adventism is the Camden Vision(N.Y.) copied by R. R. Chapin and dated June 29, 1851. The content of the document is of interest for three reasons:

1. It contains some very strong “Shut-door” statements.

2. It contains a very interesting example of the way Ellen applies passages of scriptures.[412]

3. It use of the formula “I saw” is frequent and relates to both of the above points.

The original text of the vision is not held by the White Estate, although the Estate does hold copies of the text of the vision in two forms.[413] The text has been available “apparently” only from sources critical of Ellen White. The position of the White Estate for reasons listed below, has been to regard the vision as spurious even though the vision indicates a signature by E.G. White.[414]

The vision has been the subject of a number of enquiries over the years and various of the trustees have replied to these enquiries indicating a number of reasons for regarding the vision as spurious.[415] These replies have been developed into standard article form by D. E. Robinson.[416] A later reply in 1941 was made by F. L. Wilcox to Elder Henry Brown of Michigan which gives essentially the same reasons.[417] The reasons are summarized here in the order that Robinson gives them.

  1. The copying of the vision is credited to R. R. Chapin, a man who apostatized in 1854.[418]
  2. On the date given o the document (1851) Ellen White was not even in Camden (N. Y.). Robinson states that she was there a year earlier, in 1850.
  3. There are no similar “strong statements in other published writings of Ellen White.
  4. There is a record of a vision of Ellen White while she was at Camden in 1850 but this concerns a woman living immorally.
  5. Brother Preston, a witness to this vision of 1850 (see item above), indicates that the vision applied to this woman and not sinners in general.
  6. J. N. Loughborough makes a statement in 1885 about a document “purporting” to be the Camden vision, which indicates it was not an authentic copy.[419]

On the basis of this, Robinson concludes, “It is therefore clear that the combined evidence constitutes an impeachment of the authenticity and reliability of the document allegedly “copied by R. R. Chapin.”[420]

Wilcox follows Robinson’s outline in the main and reiterates the first five reasons. He adds a sixth however, the fact that “contemporary documents” indicate that by the date given on the disputed vision the pioneers had moved away from an extreme view of the “Shut-door” idea. Wilcox also mentions that Ellen Whitewash in fact in Camden during June 18:23, 1851 but he confuses the vision of this visit with the one of 1850 mentioned by Robinson.

Nichol also discusses the vision briefly in the text but more fully in Appendix 1 of his comprehensive defense of the work of Ellen White, Ellen G. White and Her Critics.[421]

In his treatment he clarifies the confusion over the two visits to Camden. The 1850 vision at Camden did concern the immoral woman (no text of this vision is known to exist). And on June 21, 1851 there was another vision concerning time (published in 1851) of which the White Estate has the original text. (The disputed vision we discuss in this paper is dated June 29, 1851.)

Nichol corrects Robinson by acknowledging that there are statements in other publications similar to the statement in the disputed vision[422] but he still considers it not an authentic copy because,

1. J. N. Loughborough’s evidence concerning it is ambiguous

2. The date of June 29 seems to be in error

3. The original text is not available in the White Estate but is available “only through avowed critics of Mrs. White.”[423]

This paper suggests that there is significant evidence previously overlooked that may indicate that the disputed vision is in fact authentic. This evidence was hinted at in 1932 by J. B. Cole of California in a letter to W. C. White[424] but the file on the “Camden Vision” does not contain any response to that letter nor any record that the evidence mentioned was discussed or researched in any way.

This evidence, which Cole suggested may be a clue to the authenticity of the vision, comes from the fact that when in 1868 Uriah Smith addressed himself to a defense of the ministry of Ellen White in a book published by the denomination entitled, The Visions of Mrs. E. G. White, Manifestations of Spiritual Gifts According to the Scriptures,[425] he makes reference to the disputed Camden vision by citing several statements from it which he accepts as genuine authentic statements. In this book Smith takes up a number of objections to the visions of Ellen White and answers them at some length. In the fourth objection he considers the problem of the “Shut-door” and several problematic “Shut-door” statements of Ellen White’s which he discusses one by one.[426] He states,

Now what are the representations of the vision in relation to this time? Do they teach a more exclusive Shut-door than Scripture facts and testimonies which we have presented? In their teachings we find such expressions as these: “I saw that Jesus finished his mediation in the holy place in 1844.” “He has gone into the most holy, where the faith of Israel now reaches.” “His spirit and sympathy are now withdrawn from the world, and our sympathy should be with him.” “ The wicked could not be benefited by our prayers now.” “The wicked world whom God had rejected.” “It seemed that the whole word was taken in the snare; that there could not be one left,” (referring to Spiritualism). “The time for their salvations past.”

These few expressions are all, or at least are the very strongest, in relation to what is called the Shut-door, that are claimed to have been given through an vision, either published or unpublished. Let us now inquire into their import. Let it be remembered that the question is, Do they teach that probation ceased in 1844, and that consequently there could be no true conversions after that time.[427]

Three of these seven quotations given by Smith are clearly from the text of this particular Camden vision.[428] They are,

  1. “His Spirit and sympathy are now withdrawn from the world, and our sympathy should be with him.”
  2. “The Wicked could not be benefitted by our prayers now.”
  3. “The Wicked World whom God had rejected.”

A fourth, “The time for their salvations past” is found in this Camden vision but it is also in a vision published in Christian Experience and Views.[429] On pages 39 Smith again expands his defense of the statement about not praying for the wicked world.[430]

That this citation of statements from the vision would seem to be rather definite evidence of the fact that the church accepted the vision as authentic seems to be supported by the introductory comments Smith makes as he takes up the discussion of the “Shut-door” objections. In introducing this problem Smith is careful to mention that he will not deal with statements from Ellen White that are only hearsay but that rather, he will delimit the discussion to those documents that are genuinely authentic. He writes,

And it is proper here to remark that very much is reported purporting to be the testimony of the visions, for which they are not at all responsible. As a story in circulation never loses anything in its passage from one to another, but frequently comes out a very different thing from what it was when it started, so sentences spoken in vision, passing from one to another without being committed to writing, have not always been accurately reproduced by memories to which they have been entrusted, and so have come to assume a very different complexion from that which they at first wore. Our only proper course here, therefore, is to confine ourselves to what has been published under Sister White’s own supervision, and by her authority, and what appears in manuscript over her own signature in her own handwriting.[431] (Italics mine.)

It seems evident from this careful introduction of Smith’s that the text of the Camden vision he had before him, he clearly regarded as an authentic text, and assumed that his readers did also.

Several other significant pieces of evidence deriving from the background to Uriah Smith’s book would also seem to indicate further that the disputed Camden vision is in fact authentic. These shall be enumerated hereunder.

11. The major part of Smith’s book first appeared as a series of articles over a period of six weeks in the Review and Herald in 1866.[432] Smith, it seems, obviously assumed that the readership of the Review regarded the vision as authentic.

  1. In introducing the series in the Review an article appeared on the back page drawing attention to the series. This article explains that the series of articles had been reviewed by the leading brethren who had carefully considered them and then authorized their publication. The short article begins,

It may be proper here to state that this manuscript was prepared before our late conference: but its publication was withheld till it could be submitted to the ministering brethren who might then assemble, for them to decide upon it merits, and the disposition that should be made of it. It was examined by them, and received their approval, with a decision that it should be published. the most of the Manuscript was also read before a joint session of the General and Michigan State conferences, whereupon the following actions was taken in reference thereto.

Resolved: That we, the members of the General and Michigan State Conference having heard a portion of the M.S. read… hereby express our hearty approval… .

Resolved: That we tender our thanks to Bro. Smith for his able defense of the visions against the attacks of their opponents… .[433] (Italics mine.)

The article concludes with the added explanation that the series was written without any consultation with Sister White. “We take the visions as they are published and the base our explanation of any apparent discrepancy on the language as it stands.”[434] In the light of this double checking of the manuscript with the brethren it would seem that this now disputed Camden vision was actually universally accepted by the leaders of the church as an authentic document.

  1. In the weeks following the publication of the series there appeared a number of brief articles on the back page commending the series to the church membership and urging their careful study. J. N. Andrews wrote,

The series of articles on this subject (Objections to the Vision) are well worthy of the attentive perusal of the readers of the Review. I ask those who have not read them, to take time and read them with care, and those who have read them hastily, to give them further attention. I hope we have these articles in pamphlet form.[435] (Italics mine)

A month after J. N. Andrews wrote, another brief article by one C. O. Taylor strongly commended the series and again urged their careful study. “Read twice, yes trice and even more till you can see the point.”[436]

Although the limitations of the argument from silence must be acknowledged, it seems nevertheless somewhat striking that with such critical examination of the series being urged, there is no note of correction or suggestion of change, or comments that some of the quotations defended by Smith may in fact be not genuine. It would seem then again, that the general readership of the Review including the church’s scholars and James and Ellen White themselves, saw no problem with eh available text of the Camden Vision. This seems to be particularly significant in view of the fact that a booklet attacking the visions of Ellen White had been circulated rather widely, had quoted a large section of the vision and had mentioned that some had questioned the vision. (See following point.)

  1. Smiths' series of articles in the Review were occasioned by the attack on Ellen White made by B. F. Snook and Wm. H. Brinkerhoff, two leaders in the Iowa Conference who apostatized in 1865. These two men had become critical of Ellen White, then after James and Ellen White met with them at a conference in Iowa they repented and published confessions in the Review. A little later however, they were again openly critical of Ellen White and published a book of Criticism, The Visions of E. G. White, Not of God,[437] and the objections raised in this book are the objections answered by Smith in his Review series.

In one of the criticisms in this book, Ellen White is accused of believing that Probation closed in 1844. Snook and Brinkerhoff in making this criticism quote at some length from the Camden vision[438] and mentions the very statements in it that Smith cites and replies to in his “objections 4.”

As an added note to the criticism the following paragraph is added,

We are aware that doubts have recently been suggested as to the genuineness of this vision. But of this there can be no question as Mrs. White attempting to explain it to the writer, and did not attempt to deny its validity. If it is forgery why does it teach the same doctrine that her other visions of the same time teach, and why did she not then condemn it as such.[439]

It is to be granted that this is a critic’s testimony but in view of the fact that the church leadership and probably the membership was very concerned with Snook and Brinkerhoff’s book and that Smith’s reply was closely evaluated by the church’s leadership and membership, it seems clear that Snook and Brinkerhoff’s account of Ellen White’s explanation of the vision’s meaning and her non-denial of its validity was accepted as truthful and correct.[440] Again, though it is an argument from silence, it seems that it would have been easier for Smith to deny the validity of the statements of the than to develop the elaborate defense and explanation of them that he does.

  1. Another indirect piece of evidence that would seem to confirm Snook and Brinkerhoff’s statement that Ellen White accepted the Camden vision as genuine and raised no protest about it is the fact that she was apparently very familiar with Smith’s defense of its statements. This would seem to be self evident in that it seems reasonable to assume that Ellen White read the Review and also probably that she read Snook and Brinkerhoff’s book. But it is confirmed even more clearly by the fact that later Ellen White herself quotes a very lengthy section from this “Shut-door” answer in Smith’s book (pp. 23-25), in her own Great Controversy, see pp. 428-431 (1911 ed.).[441] This seems to be a very clear evidence that she was acquainted with the existence of the vision.
  2. That James and Ellen White knew of Snook and Brinkerhoff’s book and read it also seems to be indicated by the suggestion that it was originally planned or hoped by the church that James White should write a reply to the objections. Loughborough writing to Thomas Hare in October, 1865 states,

You say “you wish Bro. White would hurry out his answer to the objections.” Bro. White is not able to write six lines, his nervous system is prostrated… But we are in hopes,… he will be able in seven or eight months to write a little.[442]

Although as it turned out, Smith wrote the reply[443] yet it seems evident that the Whites read the Snook-Brinkerhoff book. As mentioned before, the silence of Ellen White and James White if the vision was indeed spurious seems rather striking.[444]

  1. In spite of the fact that Snook and Brinkerhoff’s book quoting the Camden vision was obviously know to the “ministering brethren” and that U. Smith’s reply quoting the Camden vision was reviewed critically before its publication, no mention is made of the fact the name of R. R. Chapin was the cause of any problem. It would seem that there would have been numbers of the leading brethren would have known of Chapin’s departure from the church in 1854, and his attacks, but this is not a problem that is raised. It seems then that either Chapin’s name attached to the vision was not considered a problem r that there were other texts of the vision available without Chapin’s name attached.[445]
  2. Smith is arguing for an “all or nothing” view of the visions[446] and it would seem that in this light, the easiest way out of some of what he calls the “strongest statements”[447] on the “Shut-door” in the visions would have been to deny the authenticity of the vision containing them. It seems this avenue was not open to him.

To sum up the evidence then, it would seem, as Nichol points out, that the testimony of J. N. Loughborough concerning the vision is at best somewhat ambiguous. Secondly, the arguments suggested above in point 8, would seem to indicate that the apostasy of R. R. Chapin does not discredit the vision’s authenticity. This leaves the remaining problem of the date, June 29, 1851. In view of the fact that other documents in the White Estate files have had to be re-dated and re-filed, because a wrong date were assigned to them as a later time, this may not be a very serious problem. [448] Two explanations suggest themselves. Firstly, in view of the fact that Ellen White was in Camden from June 18:23, 1851, the date of June 29 could perhaps be a miscopying of the figures 20, 21, or 22.[449] Alternatively, the vision may have been written out afterwards while Ellen White was at nearby West Milton and the then current date of June 29 given even though the vision was received earlier.

The fact that neither Wilcox or Nichol in their discussion of the vision refer at all to U. Smith citation of it in his book seems somewhat surprising. Particularly when it seems that Nichol must have been aware of Smith’s chapter on the “Shut-door”[450] and since Smith’s citation of the vision was drawn to the attention of the White Estate in 1932 by Cole.[451] It seems most unlikely and quite out of character for either of the men to have deliberately ignored the evidence. A more reasonable explanation may perhaps be that they were simply unaware of its existence. (It could perhaps be that the Cole letter was “lost” in the W. C. White file and recently added to the Camden vision file Df 301b).[452] Even more puzzling is why the DF 103b file does not contain W. C. White’s reply to Cole. The comment on the top of the letter “D.E.R.—Defer” may indicate that W. C. passed the letter on to Robinson and that the pressure of time did not allow an immediate response and so the matter became deferred indefinitely.

While the Camden vision is obviously a document that would seem to be very relevant to the whole “Shut-door” discussion its genuineness or spuriousness ought however to be decided not on whether or not it is easier or more convenient to maintain its alleged spuriousness but on the weight of evidence. The evidence considered here seems to support a case for accepting the vision as authentic.

Appendix XIX.

The Review & Herald /July 21, 1851 Experience and Views.

By the request of dear friends I have consented to give a brief sketch of my experience and views, with the hope that it will cheer and strengthen the humble, trusting children of the Lord. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 1}

At the age of eleven years I was converted, and when twelve years old was baptized, and joined the Methodist Church. At the age of thirteen I heard Bro. Miller deliver his second course of lectures in Portland, Me. I then felt that I was not holy, not ready to see Jesus. And when the invitation was given for church members and sinners to come forward for prayers, I embraced the first opportunity, for I knew that I must have a great work done for me to fit me for Heaven. My soul was thirsting for full and free salvation, but knew not how to obtain it. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 2}

In 1842 I constantly attended the Second Advent meetings in Portland, Me., and fully believed the Lord was coming. I was hungering and thirsting for full salvation, and an entire conformity to the will of God. Day and night I was struggling to obtain this priceless treasure, that all the riches of earth could not purchase. As I was bowed before God praying for this blessing the duty to go and pray in a public prayer-meeting was presented before me. I had never prayed vocally in meeting, and drew back from the duty, fearing that if I should attempt to pray I should be confounded. Every time I went before the Lord in secret prayer this unfulfilled duty presented itself, until I ceased to pray, and settled down in a melancholy state, and finally in deep despair. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 3}

In this state of mind I remained for three weeks, with not one ray of light to pierce the thick clouds of darkness around me. I then had two dreams which gave me a faint ray of light and hope. After that I opened my mind to my devoted mother. She told me that I was not lost, and advised me to go and see Bro. Stockman, who then preached to the Advent people in Portland. I had great confidence in him, for he was a devoted and beloved servant of Christ. His words affected me and led me to hope. I returned home, and again went before the Lord, and promised that I would do and suffer any thing if I could have the smiles of Jesus. The same duty was presented. There was to be a prayer meeting that evening which I attended, and when others knelt to pray I bowed with them trembling, and after two or three had prayed, I opened my mouth in prayer before I, was aware of it, and the promises of God looked to me like so many precious pearls that were to be received by only asking for them. As I prayed the burden and agony of soul that I had so long felt left me, and the blessing of God came upon me like the gentle dew, and I gave glory to God for what I felt, but I longed for more. I could not be satisfied till I was filled with the fullness of God. Inexpressible love for Jesus filled my soul. Wave after wave of glory rolled over me until my body grew stiff. Everything was shut out from me but Jesus and glory, and I knew nothing of what was passing around me. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 4}

I remained in this state of body and mind a long time, and when I realized what was around me, everything seemed changed. Every thing looked glorious and new, as if smiling and praising God. I was then willing to confess Jesus everywhere. For six months not a cloud of darkness passed over my mind. My soul was daily drinking rich draughts of salvation. I thought that those who loved Jesus would love his coming, so went to the class-meeting and told them what Jesus had done for me, and what a fullness I enjoyed through believing that the Lord was coming. The class-leader interrupted me saying, “Through Methodism,” but I could not give the glory to Methodism, when it was Christ and the hope of his soon coming that had made me free. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 5}

My father’s family were most all full believers in the Advent, and for bearing testimony to this glorious doctrine, seven of us were at one time cast out of the Methodist Church. At this time the words of the Prophet were exceedingly precious to us. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 6}

“Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my names’ sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. “ Isa. Lxvi, 5. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 7}

From this time, up to December, 1844, my joys, trials and disappointments were like those of my dear Advent friends around me. At this time I visited one of our Advent sisters, and in the morning we bowed around the family altar. It was not an exciting occasion, and there were but five of us present, all females. While praying the power of God came upon me as I never had felt it before, and I was wrapt up in a vision of God’s glory, and seemed to be rising higher and higher from the earth, and was shown something of the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City, as will be seen in the vision hereafter. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 8}

After I came out of vision everything looked changed, a gloom was spread over all that I beheld. O, how dark this world looked to me. I wept when I found myself here, and felt homesick. I had seen a better world, and it had spoiled this for me. I told the view to our little band in Portland, who then fully believed it to be of God. It was a powerful time. The solemnity of eternity rested upon us. About one week after this the Lord gave me another view, and shewed me the trials I must pass through, and that I must go and relate to others what he had revealed to me, and that I should meet with great opposition, and suffer anguish of spirit by going. But said the angel “The grace of God is sufficient for you: he will hold you up.” {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 9}

After I came out of this vision I was exceedingly troubled. My health was very poor, and I was but seventeen years old. I knew that many had fallen through exaltation, and I knew that if I in any way became exalted that God would leave me, and I should surely be lost. I went to the Lord in prayer and begged him to lay the burden on some one else. It seemed to me that I could not bear it. I lay upon my face a long time, and all the light I could get was “Make known to others what I have revealed to you.” {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 10}

In my next vision I earnestly begged of the Lord, that if I must go and relate what he had shown me, to keep me from exaltation. Then he shewed me that my prayer was answered, and if I should be in danger of exaltation his hand should be laid upon me, and I should be afflicted with sickness. Said the angel, If you deliver the messages faithfully, and endure unto the end, you shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the river of life. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 11}

Soon it was reported all around that the visions were the result of mesmerism, and many Adventists were ready to believe, and circulate the report. A physician, who was a celebrated mesmerizer, told me that my views were mesmerism, and that I was a very easy subject, and that he could mesmerize me and give me a vision. I told him that the Lord had shown me in vision that mesmerism was from the Devil, from the bottomless pit, and that it would soon go there, with those who continued to use it. I then gave him liberty to mesmerize me if he could. He tried for more than half an hour, resorting to different operations, and then gave it up. By faith in God I was able to resist his influence, so that it did no affect me in the least. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 12}

If I had a vision in meeting many would say that it was excitement, and that some one mesmerized me. Then I would go away alone in the woods, where no eye could see, or ear hear but God’s, and pray to him, and he would sometimes give me a vision there. I then rejoiced, and told them what God had revealed to me alone, where no mortal could influence me. But I was told by some that I mesmerized myself. O, thought I, has it come to this that those who honestly go to God alone to plead his promises, and to claim his salvation, are to be charged with being under the foul and soul-damning influence of mesmerism? Do we ask our kind Father in Heaven for “bread,” only to receive a “stone,” or a “scorpion?” These things wounded my spirit, and wrung my soul in keen anguish, well nigh to despair, while many would have me believe that there was no Holy Ghost, and that all the exercises that holy men of God have experienced were only mesmerism, or the deceptions of Satan. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 13}

At this time there was fanaticism in Maine. Some refrained wholly from labor, and disfellowshipped all those who would not receive their views on this point, and some other things which they held to be religious duties. God revealed these errors to me in vision, and sent me to his erring children to declare them; but many of them wholly rejected the message, and charged me with conforming to the world. On the other hand, the Nominal Adventists charged me with fanaticism, and I was falsely, and by some wickedly represented as being the leader of the fanaticism that I was actually laboring to do away. Different times were repeatedly set for the Lord to come, and were urged upon the brethren.—But the Lord shewed me that they would all pass by, for the time of trouble must come before the coming of Christ, and that every time that was set, and passed by, would only weaken the faith of God’s people. For this I was charged with being with the evil servant, that said in his heart, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 14}

All these things weighed heavily upon my spirits, and in the confusion I was sometimes tempted to doubt my own experience. And while at family prayers one morning, the power of God began to rest upon me, and the thought rushed into my mind that it was mesmerism, and I resisted it. Immediately I was struck dumb, and for a few moments was lost to everything around me. I then saw my sin in doubting the power of God, and that for so doing I was struck dumb, and that my tongue should be loosed in less than twenty-four hours. A card was held up before me, on which was written in gold letters the chapter and verse of fifty texts of Scripture. After I came out of vision, I beckoned for the slate, and wrote upon it that I was dumb, also what I had seen, and that I wished the large Bible . I took the Bible and readily turned to all the texts that I had seen upon the card. I was unable to speak all day. Early the next morning my soul was filled with joy, and my tongue was loosed to shout the high praises of God. After that I dared not doubt, or for a moment resist the power of God, however others might think of me. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 15}

In 1846, while at Fairhaven, Mass., my sister, (who usually accompanied me at that time,) sister A. and brother G. and myself started in a sail-boat to visit a family on West’s Island. It was almost night when we started. We had gone but a short distance when a sudden storm arose. It was so dark that we could see nothing around us. It thundered and lightened and the rain came in torrents upon us. Brother G. had more than he could well attend to, to manage the boat. He tried to anchor, but the anchor dragged. Our little boat was tossed upon the waves, and driven by the wind, while it was so dark that we could not see from one end of the boat to the other. It seemed plain that we must be lost, unless God should deliver. Soon the anchor held. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 16}

I knelt down in the boat, and began to cry to God to deliver us. And there upon the tossing billows, while the water washed over the top of the boat upon us, the rain descended as I never saw it before, the lightnings flashed and the thunders rolled. I was taken off in vision, and saw that sooner would every drop of water in the ocean be dried up than we should perish, for I saw that my work had but just began. After I came out of the vision all my fears were gone, and we sung and praised God, and our little boat was to us a floating Bethel. The editor of the “Advent Herald” has said that my visions were known to be “the result of mesmeric operations.” But I ask, what chance was there for mesmeric operations in such a time as that? {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 17}

Brother G. at last called for help. There were but two houses on the Island, and it proved that we were near one of them, but not the one where we wished to go. All the family had retired to rest except a little child, who providentially heard the call for help upon the water. Her father soon came to our relief, and in a small boat, took us to the shore. We spent the most of that night in thanksgiving and praise to God, for his wonderful goodness unto us. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 18}

Here I will give the view that was first published in 1846. In this view I saw only a very few of the events of the future. More recent views have been more full. I shall therefore leave out a portion and prevent repetition.
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{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 19}

Appendix XX.

The Review and Herald/July 21, 1851 To the Remnant Scattered Abroad.

Note: This Review and Herald edition omitted selected Shut-door statements from Ellen Whites 1844-1851 visions. These omissions will be noted with the link back to the original vision to see what has been omitted.

As God has shown me the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City, and the rich reward to be given those who wait the return of their Lord from the wedding, it may be my duty to give you a short sketch of what God has revealed to me. The dear saints have got many trials to pass through. But our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory—while we look not at the things which are seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. I have tried to bring back a good report, and a few grapes from the heavenly Canaan, for which many would stone me, as the congregation bade stone Caleb and Joshua for their report, (Num. xiv, 10.) But I declare to you, my brethren and sisters in the Lord, it is a goodly land, and we are well able to go up and possess it. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 1}

While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell upon me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them—when a voice said to me, “Look again, and look a little higher.” At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah!

{See Appendix IV Day-Star Jan. 24, 1846 for the 5 lines omitted from the RH, July 21, 1851.} ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………The living saints, 144,000, in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spake the time, he poured on us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 2}

The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious Star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us in prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and the wicked would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet, and salute the holy brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshipped at our feet. Soon our eyes were drawn to the East, for a small black cloud had appeared about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the Sign of the Son of Man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer, and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire, a rainbow was over it, around the cloud were ten thousand angels singing a most lovely song. And on it sat the Son of Man, on his head were crowns, his hair was white and curly and lay on his shoulders. His feet had the appearance of fire, in his right hand was a sharp sickle, in his left a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched his children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless? Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke. Those who have clean hands and a pure heart shall be able to stand, my grace is sufficient for you. At this, our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sung again while the cloud drew still nearer the earth. Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as he descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised his eyes and hands to heaven and cried, Awake! Awake! Awake! ye that sleep in the dust and arise. Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, Hallelujah! as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought along the crowns and with his own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet. Angels were all about us as we marched over the sea of glass to the gate of the City. Jesus raised his mighty glorious arm, laid hold of the pearly gate and swung it back on its glittering hinges, and said to us, You have washed your robes in my blood, stood stiffly for my truth, enter in. We all marched in and felt we had a perfect right in the City. Here we saw the tree of life and the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the tree of life. On one side of the river was a trunk of a tree, and a trunk on the other side of the river, both of pure transparent gold. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 3}

At first I thought I saw two trees. I looked again and saw they were united at the top in one tree.—So it was the tree of life, on either side of the river of life. Its branches bowed to the place where we stood; and the fruit was glorious, which looked like gold mixed with silver. We all went under the tree, and sat down to look at the glory of the place, when brothers Fitch and Stockman, who had preached the gospel of the kingdom, and whom God had laid in the grave to save them, came up to us and asked us what we had passed through while they were sleeping. We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us, that we could not speak them out, and we all cried out Alleluia, heaven is cheap enough, and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven’s arches ring. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 4}

{See Appendix IV Day-Star Jan. 24, 1846 for the 13 lines omitted from the RH, July 21, 1851.}

With Jesus at our head we all descended from the City down to this earth, on a great and mighty mountain, which could not bear Jesus up, and it parted asunder, and there was a mighty plain. Then we looked up and saw the Great City, with twelve foundations, twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate. We all cried out “The City, the Great City, it’s coming, it’s coming down from God out of heaven;” and it came and settled on the place where we stood. Then we began to look at the glorious things outside of the City. There I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars, set with pearls, most glorious to behold, which were to be inhabited by the saints, and in them was a golden shelf. I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses to do something with the earth; not as we have to do with the earth here; no, no. A glorious light shone all about their heads and they were continually shouting and offering praises to God. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 5}

And I saw another field full of all kinds of flowers, and as I plucked them, I cried out, They will never fade. Next I saw a field of tall grass, most glorious to behold; it was living green, and had a reflection of silver and gold, as it waved proudly to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full of all kinds of beasts—the lion, the lamb, the leopard and the wolf, altogether in perfect union. We passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after. Then we entered a wood, not like the dark woods we have here, no, no; but light, and all over glorious; the branches of the trees waved to and fro, and we all cried out, “We will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” We passed through the woods, for we were on our way to Mount Zion. As we were traveling along, we met a company who were also gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them, I asked Jesus who they were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain for him. With them was an innumerable company of little ones; they had a hem of red on their garments also. Mount Zion was just before us, and on the Mount was a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies. And I saw the little ones climb, or if they chose, use their little wings and fly to the top of the mountains, and pluck the never fading flowers.—There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place; the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate and the fig tree bowed down with the weight of its timely figs, that made the place all over glorious. And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised his lovely voice and said, Only the 144,000 enter this place, and we shouted Alleluia. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 6}

This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls most glorious. The glorious things I saw there, I cannot describe. Oh, that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the better world. I saw there tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold. After we beheld the glory of the temple, we went out, and Jesus left us, and went to the City. Soon we heard his lovely voice again, saying, “Come, my people, you have come out of great tribulation, and done my will; suffered for me; come in to supper, for I will gird myself, and serve you.” We shouted Alleluia, glory, and entered into the City. And I saw a table of pure silver, it was many miles in length, yet our eyes could extend over it. I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said, Not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land, go back to earth no more. But in a little while, if faithful, you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the fountain. And he said, You must go back to the earth again, and relate to others what I have revealed to you. Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world. Sometimes I think I can stay here no longer, all things of earth look so dreary. I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest.

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{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 7}

The Lord gave me the following view in 1847, while at Topsham, Me. The brethren were assembled on the Sabbath. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 8}

We felt an unusual spirit of prayer. And as we prayed, the Holy Ghost fell upon us. We were very happy. Soon I was lost to earthly things, and was wrapped up in a vision of God’s glory. I saw an angel swiftly flying to me. He quickly carried me from the earth to the Holy City. In the City I saw a temple, which I entered. I passed through a door before I came to the first veil. This veil was raised, and I passed into the Holy Place. Here I saw the altar of incense, the candlestick with seven lamps, and the table on which was the shew-bread. After viewing the glory of the Holy, Jesus raised the second veil, and I passed into the Holy of Holies. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 9}

In the Holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. On each end of the ark was a lovely cherub, with their wings spread out over it. Their faces were turned towards each other, and they looked downwards. Between the angels was a golden censer. Above the ark, where the angels stood, was an exceeding bright glory, that appeared like a throne where God dwelt. Jesus stood by the ark. And as the saints’ prayers came up to Jesus, the incense in the censer would smoke, and he offered up the prayers of the saints with the smoke of the incense to his Father. In the ark, was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table was four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth (the Sabbath commandment,) shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God’s holy name. The Holy Sabbath looked glorious—a halo of glory was all around it. I saw that the Sabbath was not nailed to the cross. If it was, the other nine commandments were; and we are at liberty to go forth and break them all, as well as to break the fourth. I saw that God had not changed the Sabbath, for he never changes. But the Pope had changed it from the seventh to the first day of the week; for he was to change times and laws. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 10}

And I saw that if God had changed the Sabbath; from the seventh to the first day, he would have changed the writing of the Sabbath commandment, written on the tables of stone, which are now in the ark, in the Most Holy Place of the Temple in heaven; and it would read thus: The first day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. But I saw that it read the same as when written on the tables of stone by the finger of God, and delivered to Moses in Sinai, “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” I saw that the Holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question, to unite the hearts of God’s dear waiting saints. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 11}

I saw that God had children, who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They had not rejected the light on it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches, and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God’s chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. And I saw the sword, famine, pestilence and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments down on them. They rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 12}

In the time of trouble, we all fled from the cities and villages, but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints with the sword. They raised the sword to kill us, but it broke, and fell as powerless as a straw. Then we all cried day and night for deliverance, and the cry came up before God. The sun came up, and the moon stood still. The streams ceased to flow. Dark heavy clouds came up, and clashed against each other. But there was one clear place of settled glory, from whence came the voice of God like many waters, which shook the heavens, and the earth. The sky opened and shut, and was in commotion. The mountains shook like a reed in the wind, and cast out ragged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot, and cast out stones upon the land. And as God spake the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivered the everlasting covenant to his people, he spake one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth. The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upwards, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah, and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder. It was awfully solemn. At the end of every sentence, the saints shouted, Glory! Hallelujah! Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God; and they shone with the glory as Moses’ face did when he came down from Sinai. The wicked could not look on them for the glory. And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God, in keeping his Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the Beast, and over his Image. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 13}

Then commenced the jubilee, when the land should rest. I saw the pious slave rise in triumph and victory, and shake off the chains that bound him, while his wicked master was in confusion, and knew not what to do; for the wicked could not understand the words of the voice of God. Soon appeared the great white cloud. It looked more lovely than ever before. On it sat the Son of Man. At first we did not see Jesus on the cloud, but as it drew near the earth, we could behold his lovely person. This cloud, when it first appeared, was the Sign of the Son of Man in heaven. The voice of the Son of God called forth the sleeping saints, clothed with a glorious immortality. The living saints were changed in a moment, and were caught up with them in the cloudy chariot. It looked all over glorious as it rolled upwards. On either side of the chariot were wings, and beneath it wheels. And as the chariot rolled upwards, the wheels cried Holy, and the wings, as they moved, cried Holy, and the retinue of Holy Angels around the cloud cried Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. And the saints in the cloud cried, Glory, Alleluia. And the chariot rolled upwards to the Holy City. Jesus threw open the gates of the Golden City, and led us in. Here we were made welcome, for we had kept the “Commandments of God,” and had a “right to the tree of life.”

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{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 14}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XXI.

The Review and Herald, July 21, 1851 Dear Brethren

Dear Brethren: The Lord has shown me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, and that it should not be hung on time; for time never will be a test again. I saw that some were getting a false excitement arising from preaching time; that the third angel’s message was stronger than time can be. I saw that this message can stand on its own foundation, and that needs not time to strengthen it, and that it will go in mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 1}

I saw that some were making every thing bend to the time of this next fall—that is, making their calculations in reference to that time. I saw that this was wrong, for this reason: Instead of going to God daily to know their present duty, they look ahead, and make their calculations as though they knew the work would end this fall, without inquiring their duty of God daily. {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 2}

In hope.
E. G. White.
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{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 3

 

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XXII.

Review and Herald, June 10, 1852 To the Brethren and Sisters.

As I have of late looked around to find the humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, my mind has been much exercised. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 1}

Many who profess to be looking for the speedy coming of Christ, are becoming conformed to this world, and seek more earnestly the applause of those around them, than the approbation of God. They are cold and formal, like the nominal church, that they but a short time since separated from. The words addressed to the Laodicean Church, describe their present condition perfectly. See Rev. iii, 14-20. They are “neither cold nor hot,” but “lukewarm.” And unless they heed the counsel of the “faithful and True Witness,” and zealously repent, and obtain “gold tried in the fire,” “white raiment,” and “eye-salve,” he will spew them out of his mouth. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 2}

The time has come when a large portion of those who once rejoiced, and shouted aloud for joy, in view of the immediate coming of the Lord, are on the ground of the churches and world who once scoffed at, and derided them for believing that Jesus was coming, and circulated all manner of falsehoods to raise prejudice against them, and destroy their influence.—If any one longs after the living God, and hungers and thirsts for righteousness, and God gives them to feel his power, and satisfies their longing soul, by shedding abroad his love in their hearts, and if they glorify God by praising him, they are, by these professed believers in the soon coming of the Lord, often considered deluded, and charged with having mesmerism or some wicked spirit. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 3}

Many of these professed Christians dress, talk and act like the world, and the only thing by which they may be known, is their profession. Though they profess to be looking for Christ, their conversation is not in heaven, but on worldly things. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 4}

“What manner of persons” ought those to be “in all holy conversation and godliness,” who profess to be “looking for, and hasting unto the day of God?” 2 Pet. iii, 11. “Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John, iii, 3. But it is evident that many who bear the advent name, study more to decorate their bodies, and appear well in the eyes of the world, than they do the word of God, to learn how they may be approved of him. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 5}

What if the lovely Jesus, our pattern, should make his appearance among them, and the professors of religion generally, as at his first advent? He was born in a manger. Follow him along through his life and ministry. He was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. These professed Christians would be ashamed of the meek and lowly Saviour who wore a plain, seamless coat, and had not where to lay his head. His spotless, self-denying life would condemn them; his holy solemnity would be a painful restraint upon their lightness and vain laughter; his guileless conversation would be a check to their worldly and covetous conversation; his declaring the unvarnished, cutting truth would manifest their real character, and they would wish to get the meek Pattern, the lovely Jesus, out of the way as soon as possible. They would be among the first to try to catch him in his words, and raise the cry, Crucify him! Crucify him! {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 6}

Let us follow Jesus as he so meekly rode into Jerusalem, when “the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, * * * Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. Some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.—And he answered and said unto them, I tell you, that if these should hold their peace the stones would immediately cry out.” A large portion of those who profess to be looking for Christ would be as forward as the Pharisees were, to have the disciples silenced, and they would doubtless raise the cry, Fanaticism! Mesmerism! Mesmerism! And the disciples spreading their garments and branches of palm-trees in the way would be thought extravagant and wild. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 7}

But God will have a people on the earth that will not be so cold and dead but that they can praise and glorify him. He will receive glory from some people, and if his chosen people, who keep his commandments should hold their peace the very stones would cry out. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 8}

Jesus is coming, but not as at his first advent, a babe in Bethlehem, not as he rode into Jerusalem, when the disciples praised God with a loud voice and cried, Hosannah; but in the glory of the Father, and with all the retinue of holy angels with him, to escort him on his way to earth. All heaven will be emptied of the angels. While the waiting saints will be looking for him, and gazing into heaven, as were the “men of Galilee” When he ascended from the Mount of Olivet.—Then, those only who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern will, with rapturous joy, exclaim as they behold him, “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us.” And they will be changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump,” that wakes the sleeping saints, and calls them forth from their dusty beds, clothed with glorious immortality, shouting, Victory! Victory! over death and the grave. The changed saints are caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, never more to be separated from the object of their love. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 9}

With such a prospect as this before us, such a glorious hope, such a redemption that Christ has purchased for us by his own blood, shall we hold our peace? Shall we not praise God, even with a loud voice, as the disciples did when Jesus rode into Jerusalem? Is not our prospect far more glorious than theirs was? Who dare then forbid us glorifying God, even with a loud voice, when we have such a hope, big with immortality and full of glory? We have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and long for more. My whole being cries out after the living God, and I shall not be satisfied until I am filled with all his fullness. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 10}

The way to heaven is rugged. Briers and thorns are in the way; but we can with cheerfulness tread the rough pathway, knowing that Jesus, the King of glory, once trod it before us. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 11}

We will rejoice that we can follow in his footsteps, and be partakers with him of his sufferings, that we may finally partake of his glory. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 12}

What if reproaches are heaped upon me, even by those who profess to be looking for the Lord? What if falsehoods are kept in circulation by “whosoever loveth a lie” made ready to their hand? All this I can bear cheerfully. Why should I repine? My Master, the King of Glory, was treated a thousand times worse than I have been, and can I, a poor, unworthy creature, expect any better treatment in following Jesus, than he received? Shall I complain, when Jesus bore the scoffs and derision of his own people, the Jews, and was finally rejected and crucified by them for me? For my sins he bore all this. No, I will not complain; I will rather rejoice and be exceeding glad that I am accounted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake, that my reward may be in heaven. Only let me have an inheritance in glory, and it will be enough. For that, I can endure anything and everything. Heaven, sweet heaven.—{RH, June 10, 1852 par. 13}

“I long to be there, and the thought that ‘tis near, Makes me almost impatient for Christ to appear, And fit up that dwelling of glory so rare—The earth robed in beauty—I long to be there.” {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 14}

Let us, dear brethren and sisters, crave the suffering, crucifying part of religion. For we are to be purified and fitted for the kingdom through suffering. We must keep separate from the world, if we would have the love of God abide with us. As soon as we begin to be conformed to this world, just so soon God’s Spirit begins to depart from us. But if we keep humble, live holy, harmless and separate from sinners, we shall see of the salvation of God. Let us strive to be Christians(Christ-like) in every sense of the word, and let our dress, conversation and actions preach that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, and that we are looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus. Let us show to those around us, that this world is not our home, that we are pilgrims and strangers here. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 15}

My affections, interest, treasure, all, is in the bright world to come. I long to see the King in his beauty, whom angels adorate, and as they bow, cast their glittering crowns before him, and then touch their golden harps, and fill all heaven with their rich music. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 16}

Let those who break God’s law and teach others to do so, denounce us as fallen from grace because we keep all ten of his immutable precepts, it will not harm us. We have the satisfaction of knowing, that while they curse, Jesus has pronounced a blessing. Says the true Witness, the only Begotten of the Father, “Blessed are they that do his [the Father’s] commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City.” Rev. xxii, 14. {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 17}

Think ye that the commandment-keepers will be sorry, and mourn when the pearly gates of the Golden City of God are swung back upon their glittering hinges, and they are welcomed in? No, never. They will then rejoice, that they are not under the bondage of the law, but that they have kept God’s law, and therefore are free from it. They will have right to the tree of life, a right to its healing leaves. They will hear the lovely voice of Jesus, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying, There will be no more sorrow, pain or death; sighing and crying have fled away.


“Our eyes shall then, with rapture,
The Saviour’s face behold,
Our feet, no more diverted,
Shall walk the streets of gold;
Our ears shall hear with transport
The hosts celestial sing,
Our tongues shall chant the glory
Of our Immortal King.”
Ellen G. White.
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{RH, June 10, 1852 par. 18}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this vision. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XXIII.

February 17, 1853 To the Saints Scattered Abroad.

Dear Brethren and Sisters:—Do we believe with all the heart that Christ is soon coming? And that we are now having the last message of mercy that is ever to be given to a guilty world? Is our example what it should be? And do we show to those around us, by our lives and holy conversation, that we are looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to change these vile bodies and fashion them like his most glorious body? I fear that we do not believe, and realize these things as we should. Those who believe the important truths that we profess to believe, should act out their faith, in the immediate coming of Christ. There is too much seeking amusements, and things to take up the mind here in this world; the mind is left too much to run upon pride of dress; and the tongue is engaged too often in light and trifling conversation, which gives the lie to our profession, for the conversation is not in heaven from whence we look for the Saviour. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 1}

Angels are watching over us, to guard us; and we often grieve these angels by indulging in trifling conversation, jesting and joking, and also by sinking down in a careless, stupid state. And although we may make an effort now and then for the victory, and obtain it, yet if we do not keep it, but sink down in the same careless, indifferent state, unable to endure temptations, and to resist the enemy, it is not enduring the trial of our faith, that is more precious than gold. It is not suffering for Christ’s sake, and glorifying in tribulation. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 2}

There is a great lack of Christian fortitude, and serving God from principle. We should not seek to please and gratify self; but to honor and glorify God, and in all we do and say, have a single eye to his glory.—If we would let our hearts be impressed with the following important words, and ever bear them in mind, we should not so easily fall into temptation; but our words would be few, and well chosen. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 3}

“He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”—”Thou God seest me.” {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 4}

We could not think of these important words, and call to mind the sufferings of Jesus for us sinners, that we might receive pardon from our sins, and be redeemed unto God by his most precious blood, without feeling a holy restraint upon us, and an earnest desire to suffer for him, who suffered and endured so much for us. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 5}

If we dwell on these things, dear self, with its dignity, will be humbled; a child-like simplicity will take its place, which will bear reproof from others, and will not be easily provoked, and suffer a self-willed spirit to come in and rule the soul. The true Christian’s joys, amusements and consolation, must and will be in heaven.

“Upward to God be the heart’s adoration,

Where ever is flowing pure streams of salvation.” {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 6}

The longing soul of those who have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and have feasted on heavenly joys, will not be satisfied, or amused, with things of earth. Such will find enough to do in their leisure moments. Their souls will be drawn out after God. Where the treasure is, there will be their heart, holding sweet communion with the God they love and worship. Their amusements will be in contemplating their treasure—the holy city—the earth made new—their eternal home. And while they dwell upon these things, which are lofty, pure and holy, heaven will be brought near, and they will feel the power of the Holy Spirit, which will tend to wean them from the world more and more, and cause their consolation and chief joy to be in the things of heaven, their sweet home.—The power of attraction to God and heaven will be so great, that nothing can draw their mind from the great object of securing their soul’s salvation, and honoring and glorifying God.

“Brighter joys than earth can give, win me away,

Pleasures that for ever live—I cannot stay.” {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 7}

As I realize how much has been done for us, to keep us right, I am led to exclaim, O, what love! What wondrous love hath the Son of God for us poor sinners! Should we be stupid and careless, while every thing is being done for our salvation that can be done? All heaven is interested for us. We should be alive and awake, to honor, glorify and adore the High and Lofty One. Our hearts should flow out in love and gratitude to him who has been so full of love and compassion to us. With our lives we should honor him, and with pure and holy conversation show that we are born from above; that this world is not our home, but that we are pilgrims and strangers here, traveling to a better country. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 8}

Many who profess the name of Christ, and profess to be looking for his speedy coming, know not what it is to suffer for Christ’s sake. Their hearts are not subdued by grace, and they are not dead to self; but it often appears in various ways; and, at the same time, they are talking of having trials. But the principal cause of their trials, is an unsubdued heart, which makes self so sensitive, that it is often crossed. If such could realize what it is to be an humble follower of Christ, a true Christian, they would begin to work in good earnest, and begin right. They would first die to self, then be instant in prayer, and check every passion of the heart. Give up your self-confidency, and self-sufficiency, and follow the meek pattern.—Ever keep Jesus in your mind, that he is your example, and you must tread in his footsteps. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame. He endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 9}

Is not the reward, at the end of the race, great and rich enough? What greater inducements could be held up before us, than has been held up to encourage us to be bold and valiant soldiers, to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil? Eternal life is ours, if we endure the trial of our faith. Is it not enough? Will any complain of the roughness of the way?—Would you enter heaven if you could without suffering, and dwell in the presence of that Jesus, who suffered so much for us, whose loveliness and glory is unspeakable? He for your sins, was once the meek slain lamb, wounded, bruised, smitten and afflicted. O, it would be no place for you. Any other place would be far preferable. You would feel that you had no right there. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 10}

Let us, then, cheerfully suffer something for Jesus’ sake, crucify self daily, be a partaker of Christ’s sufferings here, that we may be made partakers with him of his glory, and be crowned with glory, honor, immortality and eternal life. Ellen G. White. {RH, February 17, 1853 par. 11}

Appendix XXIV.

Review and Herald, April 14, 1853 Dear Brethren and Sisters:

It may be my duty to briefly notice the article from A. N. Seymour, in the Advent Harbinger for March 26th. Mr. S. thinks there is a contradiction on the forty-third page of my little pamphlet, entitled Christian Experience and Views.—I there stated that a cloud of glorious light covered the Father, and that his person could not be seen. I also stated that I saw the Father rise from the throne, &c. Here Mr. S. finds a glaring contradiction. But it seems to me that a child may understand this. The Father was enshrouded with a body of light and glory, so that his person could not be seen, yet I knew that it was the Father, and that from his person, emanated this light and glory. When I saw this body of light and glory rise from the throne, I knew that the Father moved, which was the cause of the body of light and glory rising, therefore said, I saw the Father rise. The glory, or excellency of his form, I never saw—no one could behold it; yet the body of light and glory that enshrouded his person, could be seen. I really think that Mr. S. has manifested a disposition to catch at words, and will leave it for others to judge whether such a course becomes a minister of Christ. {RH, April 14, 1853 par. 1}

Mr. S. then asserts that I stated that I saw “Satan by the throne that the Father had left.” Here I will give my own words. “Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God.” I will give another sentence from the same page. “Then I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne.” Now, this praying company was in this mortal state, on the earth, yet represented to me as bowed before the throne. I never had the idea that these individuals were actually in the New Jerusalem. Neither did I ever think that any mortal could suppose that I thought that Satan was actually in the New Jerusalem. This Mr. S. is disposed to put in the worst light, and then goes on to ridicule the idea of Satan being in the New Jerusalem. {RH, April 14, 1853 par. 2}

But did not John see the great red dragon in heaven?—Certainly. “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns.” Rev. xii, 3. Here seems to be as good a chance for Mr. S. to ridicule, as that which he has taken. What a monster to be in heaven! {RH, April 14, 1853 par. 3}

But let this view that Mr. S. ridicules be compared with Hosea v, 6,7. “They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord; for they have begotten strange children; now shall a month devour them with their portions.” This certainly shows that the Lord changes his position in some way, and presents good reasons to believe that Satan would at some period get up counterfeit conversions.

E. G. White.
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{RH, April 14, 1853 par. 4}

 

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this letter. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XXV.

Review and Herald, August 11, 1853 To the Brethren.

Dear Brethren and Sisters:—As error is fast progressing, we should seek to be awake in the cause of God, and realize the time in which we live. Darkness is to cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. And as nearly all around us are being enveloped in the thick darkness of error and delusion, it becomes us to shake off stupidity, and live near to God, where we can draw the divine rays of light and glory from the countenance of Jesus. As darkness thickens, and error increases, we should obtain a more thorough knowledge of the truth, and be prepared to maintain from the scriptures the truth of our position. {RH, August 11, 1853 par. 1}

We must be sanctified through the truth, be wholly consecrated to God, and live out our holy profession, so that he can shed increasing light upon us, that we may have light in his light, and be strengthened with his strength. Every moment that we are not on our watch, we are liable to be beset by the enemy, and in great danger of being overcome by the powers of darkness. Satan has his angels, who are commissioned by him to be vigilant, and overthrow all he can; to find out the waywardness and besetting sins of those who profess the truth, and throw darkness around them, that they may cease to be watchful, and take a course that will dishonor the cause they profess to love, bring sorrow upon the church, while daily the misguided, unwatchful souls are growing darker, and the light of heaven is fading from them. They cannot discover their besetting sins, and Satan weaves his net about them, until they are taken in the snare. {RH, August 11, 1853 par. 2}

God is our strength. We must look to him for wisdom and guidance, and with his glory in view, and the good of the church, and the salvation of our own souls, overcome our besetting sins. Each individual should seek to obtain new victory every day. We must learn to stand alone, and depend wholly upon God. The sooner we learn this, the better. Let each one find out where he fails, and then faithfully watch, that his sins may not overcome him, but get the victory over his sins. Then can we have confidence towards God, and great trouble will be saved the church. {RH, August 11, 1853 par. 3}

The messengers of God, as they leave their homes, to labor for the salvation of souls, spend much of their time in getting those right, and free from temptation, who have been in the truth for years, and still are weak, because they needlessly let loose the reins, cease watching over themselves, and, I sometimes think, tempt the enemy to tempt them. They get into some petty difficulty and trial, and the time of the servants of the Lord is spent to visit them. They are held hours and even days, and their souls grieved and wounded, to hear little difficulties and trials talked over. Each magnifying his own grievances to make them look as serious as possible, for fear the servants of God will think them too small an affair for them to notice. Instead of depending on the Lord’s servants to help them out of these trials, they should break down before God, and fast and pray till the trials are removed. {RH, August 11, 1853 par. 4}

Some seem to think that all God has called messengers into the field for, is to go at their bidding, and carry them in their arms. And that the most important part of their work is to settle their petty trials and difficulties, which they have brought upon themselves by injudicious moves, and by giving way to the enemy, and having an unyielding, fault-finding spirit with those around them, to ease their conscience. {RH, August 11, 1853 par. 5}

But where are the hungry sheep at this time?—Starving for the bread of life. Those who know the truth and have been established in it, but obey it not, (if they did they would be saved many of these trials,) are holding the messengers, and the very object for which God has called his servants into the field, is not accomplished. The servants of God are grieved, and their courage taken away by such things in the church, when all should strive not to add a feather’s weight to their burden; but by cheering words and the prayer of faith, should help them. How much more free would they be if all who profess the truth, would be looking about them and trying to help others, instead of claiming so much help themselves.—And as the servants of God enter the dark places, where the truth has not yet been proclaimed, they have a wounded spirit caused by the needless trials of their Brethren. In addition to all this, they have to meet the unbelief and prejudice of opposers and be trampled upon by some. {RH, August 11, 1853 par. 6}

How much easier it would be for the servant of God to affect the heart, and how much more would God be glorified, if his servants were free from discouragement and trial, that they might labor for him more effectually, and with a free spirit, present the truth in its beauty. {RH, August 11, 1853 par. 7}

Those who have been guilty of requiring so much labor of God’s servants, and burdening them with trials, which belonged to themselves to settle, will have to give an account to God for all the time and means that has been spent to gratify themselves, and thereby satisfying the enemy. They should be in a situation to help their brethren. They should never defer their trials and difficulties to burden a whole meeting, or wait until some of the messengers come to settle them. But get right before God, have the trials all out of the way, and be prepared to hold up the hands of the laborers, instead of weakening them.

E. G. White. Rochester, August, 1853.
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{RH, August 11, 1853 par. 8}

Appendix XXVI.

Review and Herald, July 25, 1854 To the Young.

You must be in earnest to secure your soul’s salvation. You must begin the work of overcoming now. Don’t put it off. It will soon be for ever too late, and the lamentation upon every side will be “The harvest is past, the summer is ended and my soul is not saved.” Let not the opinions of your young companions affect you. You may think you have a great sacrifice to make, but to look at the matter in its true light, you have none to make. You only change bad for good, sin and evil for righteousness, death for life. If you cannot give all for heaven, you cannot have it. Will you give up every idol? If there is one thing that you cannot give up, that is your idol. That will shut you out of Heaven. {RH, July 25, 1854 par. 1}

There is one that has made a sacrifice; one who is high and lofty. One who left the glory that he had with his Father before the world was, and came into the world and bore all the slight of man, suffered every indignity, and opened not his mouth, who, at the same time, could have had legions of angels by asking his Father. Yet he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Why was all this? O, the sacrifice had to be made to save lost man. Christ was nailed to Calvary’s cross, to make a way of escape for you. He for your sakes became poor. He died that you might live. O What a sacrifice was this! The tongue of an angel cannot tell the “matchless depths of a Saviour’s love.” Jesus is your pattern. He is your example; and if you come short of the true pattern, you will have no excuse. Do not measure yourself by others; but Jesus, Jesus is your pattern. Strive to pattern closely after him. Encourage your soul to be a partaker of his divine character. Pray and cherish in your heart a hungering and thirsting after righteousness. O, will you be a sufferer with Christ, that you may be a partaker with him of his glory. {RH, July 25, 1854 par. 2}

Be a living devoted Christian. You must give up pride of dress and appearance, and pride of opinion. You must be decided about it. Half-hearted work will never avail anything. You must come right down with God’s humble people. God is purifying unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. This people are peculiar. They do not dress or act like the world. Their conversation is in Heaven. Shake off every shackle, and take hold for the salvation of your own soul, and that of your brothers sisters and friends around you. They look to you for example. Lead them right. Try to save their souls. Love, honor and respect your parents; and in the end you will find you have sacrificed nothing; for you will have a rich and glorious reward.

E. G. White. {RH, July 25, 1854 par. 3}

Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this letter. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XXVII.

Review and Herald, September 19, 1854 Duty of Parents to Their Children.

One of the signs of the “last days” is the disobedience of children to their parents. 2 Tim. iii, 2. And do parents realize their responsibility? Many seem to lose sight of the watch-care they should ever have over their children, and suffer them to indulge in evil passions, and to disobey them. They take but little notice of them until their own feelings are raised, and then punish them in anger. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 1}

Many parents will have to render an awful account at last for their neglect of their children. They have fostered and cherished their evil tempers by bending to their wishes and will, when the wishes and will of the children should bend to them. They have brought God’s frown upon them and their children by these things. Parents, have you forgotten that which is written in the Holy Word: “He that spareth the rod hateth his son.” Children are left to come up instead of being trained up. The poor little children are thought not to know or understand a correction at ten or twelve months old, and they begin to show stubbornness very young. Parents suffer them to indulge in evil tempers and passions without subduing or correcting them, and by so doing they cherish and nourish these evil passions until they grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 2}

The house of God is often desecrated, and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath-believers’ children. In some cases they are even allowed to run about the house, play, talk and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints should worship God in the beauty of holiness. And the place that should be holy, and where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon, “confusion.” This is enough to bring God’s displeasure and shut his presence from our assemblies. His wrath is kindled for these things, and he will not while these things exist, go out with Israel to battle against their enemies. The enemies of our faith will be suffered to triumph on account of God’s displeasure. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 3}

Parents stand in the place of God to their children and they will have to render an account, whether they have been faithful to the little few committed to their trust. Parents, some of you are rearing children to be cut down by the destroying angel, unless you speedily change your course, and be faithful to them. God cannot cover iniquity, even in children. He cannot love unruly children who manifest passion, and he cannot save them in the time of trouble. Will you suffer your children to be lost through your neglect? Unfaithful parents, their blood will be upon you, and is not your salvation doubtful with the blood of your children upon you? children that might have been saved had you filled your place, and done your duty as faithful parents should. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 4}

God says: “I know Abraham, that he will command his household after him,” and God gave him the honor of being the father of the faithful. Parents, it is your duty to have your children in perfect subjection, having all their passions and evil tempers subdued. And if children are taken to meeting, they should be made to know, and understand where they are. That they are not at home, but where God meets with his people. And they should be kept quiet and free from all play, and God will turn his face toward you, to meet with you and bless you. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 5}

If order is observed in the assemblies of the saints, the truth will have better effect upon all that hear it. A solemnity which is so much needed will be encouraged and there will be power in the truth to stir up the depths of the soul and a death-like stupor will not hang upon those who hear. Believers and unbelievers will be affected. It has seemed evident that in some places the Ark of God was removed from the church, for the holy commandments have been violated and the strength of Israel has been weakened. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 6}

Parents, correct your children. Commence while they are young, when impressions can be more easily made, and their evil tempers subdued before they grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 7}

You should correct your children in love. Do not let them have their own way until you get angry, and then punish them. Such correction only helps on the evil, instead of remedying it. After you have done your duty faithfully to your children, then carry them to God and ask him to help you. Tell him that you have done your part, and then in faith ask God to do his part, that which you cannot do. Ask him to temper their dispositions, to make them mild and gentle by his Holy Spirit. He will hear you pray. He will love to answer your prayers. Through his Word he has enjoined it upon you to correct your children, to “spare not for their crying,” and his Word is to be heeded in these things. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 8}

It certainly must bring God’s displeasure upon parents when they leave him to do what he has left, and commanded them to do. God corrects us when we disobey; and go astray from him; and parents are bound by the word of God to correct their children when they disobey them, and show evil temper. Check the very first manifestation of passion. Break the will, (but do it with feelings of tenderness, and with discretion,) and your children will be far happier for it, and you will be happier. Your effort will be remembered of God, and he that is so particular as to observe the falling of the sparrow; he that noticed and commended Abraham’s faithfulness, will not pass by your efforts. He that never slumbers nor sleeps will be ready to aid you with his Spirit and grace, and will reward your feeble efforts. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 9}

Parents, above every thing, take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God’s holy day by playing in the house or out of doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about, and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbath-breakers. Your children, that are under your control, should be made to mind you. Your word should be their law. Will not parents wake up to their duty before it shall be too late, and take hold of the work in earnest, redeem the time, and make unsparing efforts to save their children? {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 10}

Children are the lawful prey of the enemy, because they are not subjects of grace, have not experienced the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, and the evil angels have access to these children; and some parents are careless and suffer them to work with but little restraint. Parents have a great work to do in this matter, by correcting and subduing their children, and then by bringing them to God and claiming his blessing upon them. By the faithful and untiring efforts of the parents, and the blessing and grace entreated of God upon the children, the power of the evil angels will be broken, a sanctifying influence is shed upon the children, and the powers of darkness must give back. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 11}

When the destroying angel was to pass through Egypt, to destroy the first-born of man and beast, Israel was commanded to gather their children and families into their houses with them, and then mark their door-posts with blood, that the destroying angel might pass by their dwellings, and if they failed to go through with this process, there was no difference made between them and the Egyptians. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 12}

The destroying angel is soon to go forth again, not to destroy the first-born alone, but “to slay utterly old and young, both men, women and little children” who have not the mark. Parents, if you wish to save your children, separate them from the world, keep them from the company of wicked children; for if you suffer them to go with wicked children, you cannot prevent them from partaking of their wickedness and being corrupted. It is your solemn duty to watch over your children, to choose the society at all times for them. Learn your children to obey you, then can they more easily obey the commandments of God, and yield to his requirements. Don’t let us neglect to pray with, and for our children. He that said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not,” will listen to our prayers for them, and the seal, or mark, of believing parents will cover their children, if they are trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. {RH, September 19, 1854 par. 13} E. G. White.


Bold Italics and underlining are mine to call the reader to important points in this letter. Wesley Ringer

Appendix XXVIII.

Review and Herald, June 12, 1855 To the Church.

It is to be feared that the people of God are not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Is there not a lack of energy in the church? Are we not upon the enchanted ground, and falling asleep in this important time? We desire to walk too much by sight. We must walk more by faith. We must have more energy, more unwavering faith and confidence in God. Has not pride crept into the church? Is there that close watchfulness of self that there should be? Let us each examine our own hearts and look carefully to our own lives and see how they will compare with the true Pattern who wore a plain seamless coat, whose life was a life of sacrifice, who went about doing others good, and making others happy. Let us search closely and see if we have the fruits of the Spirit. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 1}

Just as soon as pride enters the heart, the Spirit of God is shut out. Are there not those among us who indulge in pride and needless expense? They will soon regret it; for trying times are just before us, and they will then need, and desire to have, the misspent means, for they will feel want, and pinching want will be all around them. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 2}

While some indulge in pride and needless expense, some are on the opposite extreme, and by their lives and appearance act as though neatness and order are pride and sin. This is not so. They can be neat and orderly, and not have pride in their hearts. The poor can keep tidy as well as the more wealthy. They should not neglect their houses and persons, but should be neat and cleanly. Their dwellings should be kept neat and in order, and then the servants of God can find pleasure in coming to their houses and kneeling upon their floors to ask the blessing of the holy and pure God to rest upon them. He is a God of order and those who suffer themselves to be unclean and disorderly deprive themselves of many blessings they might otherwise enjoy. Filthiness among God’s professed people is displeasing to him. Our God is a jealous God, he will have a clean, pure and holy people: a filthy and unclean person he will not acknowledge as his child. Those who profess to be converted to God and take upon themselves the name of Christians(Christ-like) should be the neatest people in the world. It is a dishonor to God, and a stain upon his cause, to profess to be converted to God and the truth, and yet go with slack, untidy habits uncorrected. Such must have a reformation, and their conversion must be more thorough. The fruits of religion are not disorder and uncleanness. Those who have had no ambition to appear in a becoming manner before their brethren and sisters, should, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of the truth take hold of the work in earnest, and thoroughly reform. The world is watching for their faults, they despise God’s children, and to give them occasion to reproach the religion of Christ is a sin in the sight of God. If these slack habits have grown with their growth and strengthened with their strength, there is greater necessity for decided efforts to correct these habits. Begin in earnest; do not reform in only a few things, but commence the work at once, and continue it until these slack habits are all rooted out and there is a thorough reformation. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 3}

God was so particular as to give direction to the children of Israel, after they came out of Egypt, what to do lest the Lord should pass by and see their uncleanness, and would not go up with their armies to battle against their enemies. The Lord is no less particular now, than he was then. If he noticed the sin of uncleanness then, he will notice it now; and those who are in fault, if they want to please God, and shun his frown, must reform lest he should see their untidiness and withhold victory and salvation in their meetings. Those who have indulged in pride should speedily reform, and put away their pride. They have no time to lose. They should separate themselves from the world, and not mingle with worldly company more than is actually necessary. Soon all the proud, and all that do wickedly will be as stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 4}

Many among us put off the coming of the Lord too far, and their works correspond with their faith. There is a great responsibility resting upon parents. Their children are watching them, and any encouragement of the parents, by their example or advice to their children, a neglect to live out their faith themselves, and a mingling with the world is noticed and has its effect upon the children. Parents, do not, by your silence or consent, suffer your children to associate with those who have no love for God or for the truth which is so dear to us; the truth which is to test us, to purify us, and, by our obedience to it, make us finally overcomers. The straight and narrow path does not lay along side of the broad road. The first leads to heaven, the second to death and hell. Parents, do not try to bring these roads any nearer together. Let the contrast between the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus and those whose god is this world, be kept ever before them. Keep up the distinction between the Christian and sinner. Parents whose duty it is to train up their children, should subdue their passions early. This is greatly neglected. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 5}

And have not the servants of God and the church a lack of faith? Have we not been too easily discouraged? too willing to believe that our lot was hard, and too ready to think that God had forsaken us? This is not right. God has so loved us as to give his dearly beloved Son to die for us; all heaven is interested in our salvation, and after all this, shall we consider it hard to trust so good a Father? He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those that ask him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. We will not be discouraged, but with faith and confidence ask our Father in heaven for the things we need; and if we do no receive the immediate answer to our prayers, we must not give up our courage and faith, and suffer a murmuring spirit to take possession of us. This only separates us farther from God, for it is displeasing to him. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 6}

Every saint who comes to God with a true heart, and sends earnest petitions to him in faith will be answered; but we must have enduring faith. We must not for a moment let go the promises if we do not see and realize the immediate answers to our prayers. We must not waver. We must rely upon his sure promise, “Ask and ye shall receive.” God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Man is erring, and although his petitions are sent up from an honest heart, he does not always ask the things that are good for himself, or that will glorify God. When this is so, our wise and good Father hears our prayers and will answer them, sometimes immediately, but gives us the things that he knows are for our good and his own glory. The blessing received by us will be that which we need the most. If we could look into the plan of God, we should plainly see his wisdom and that he knows what is for our best good. Our prayers will be answered if they are sent up in faith, but nothing hurtful will be given. If we have, in the honesty of our hearts, asked any thing that God sees will not be good for us, he may withhold the thing desired, but in its place give us the blessings we most need. If the answer to our prayers does not come just when we expect it, we must not distrust God, for that will bring darkness. Our confidence in God must be strong. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 7}

Secret prayer, which is too much neglected, is the life of the Christian. Let us go to God alone and fix our minds upon him, have every thing else shut out, and then draw by living faith, light and strength from the sanctuary . Let us not rise from our knees until we can rely upon God’s promises with an unwavering faith. Then we shall be benefitted by secret prayer. {RH, June 12, 1855 par. 8}

Children ask their parents for something they desire: the parent knows it will injure them, and gives them the things that will be good and healthy for them in the place of that which they desired. Not a prayer of the true saint is lost, if sent up from an honest heart. E. G. White.

{RH, June 12, 1855 par.



References Top of page

  1. Arthur White, “Ellen G. White and the Shut Door Question,” p. 5.
  2. Robert Olson, Stated this by phone conversation with the author March 1, 1982.
  3. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 60.
  4. Francis Nichol, Ellen G. White and Her Critics, p. 193.
  5. See Appendix VII p. A-60, Ellen G. White, Letter to Joseph Bates July 13, 1847 for the full text of this letter.
  6. Francis Nichol, 92. cit., p. 621.
  7. C. Merlyn Maxwell, Tell It to the World, p. 55.
  8. Catholic Belief, p. 54.
  9. Raymond F. Cottrell, “The sanctuary Review Committee and Its New Consensus,” Spectrum, Vol. 11, no. 2, p. 18.
  10. Dale Ratzlaff, Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventist, Life Assurance Ministries Publications, Glendale, Arizona, 2003, p. 54-77.
  11. See Appendix II p. A-40, for Miller’s 15 Proofs that Jesus was coming in 1843.
  12. See Appendix I p. A-1, R. F. Cottrell, The “sanctuary doctrine” Asset or Liability”
  13. Charles Fitch, ‘Come out of Her My People’, p. 24.
  14. J. V. Hines, “Separation from the Churches,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 7, Sept. 19, 1844, p. 53.
  15. Desmond Ford, Daniel 8:14 The Day of Atonement and the Investigative Judgment, p. 361.
  16. James White, Sketches of the Christian Life and Public Labors of William Miller, p. 362-363.
  17. See Appendix III p. A-50, S. S. Snow, “Prophetic Time,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 7, April 3, 1844, p. 69-70.
  18. Ellen G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day Star, Vol. 9. no. 7-8, Jan. 24, 1846, p. 31. See Appendix IV p. A-53 for the complete text of this letter
  19. Ibid.
  20. George Storrs “Go Ye Out to Meet Him,” Bible Examiner, Sept. 24, 1844, p. 2.
  21. Desmond Ford, “The Daniel Committee of 1938-1952 and the Chronological problems of the 2300 Days,”
  22. S.S. Snow, “Reasons for Believing the Advent will be on the 10th of the 7th Month,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 9, Oct. 2, 1844, p. 70.
  23. E. G. White, Early Writings, p. 232.
  24. Ibid. p. 234.
  25. E. G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 307.
  26. E. G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 632-633.
  27. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 11, November 1850, pp. 86-87
  28. Geo. Storrs, “Go ye out to Meet Him,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 11, Oct. 16, 1844, p. 81.
  29. Ibid. p. 82.
  30. The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 12, Oct, 30, 1844, p. 93.
  31. The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 15, Nov. 20, 1844, p. 115.
  32. William Miller, The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 18, Dec. 11, 1844, p. 142.
  33. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 63.
  34. The Advent Herald Vol. 8, no. 15, Nov. 13, 1844, p. 105.
  35. J. V. Himes, The Advent Herald Vol. 8, no. 15, Nov. 20, 1844, p. 119.
  36. J. V. Himes, “In the Field Again,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 2, Jan, 16, 1845, p. 21.
  37. F. G. Brown, “The Sate Position,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 23. Jan. 15, 1845, p. 177.
  38. Ibid.
  39. J. V. Himes The Advent Herald, Vol. 9. no. 4, March 5, 1845, p. 25.
  40. E. G. White, “Letter to Joseph Bates, July 13, 1847, See Appendix Seven for the whole letter.
  41. Ibid.
  42. A. Hale & J. Turner, The Advent Mirror, Vol. 1, no. 1, Jan. 1845, p. 3-4.
  43. Ibid.
  44. Ibid.
  45. E. G. White, “Letter to Loughborough,” August 24, 1874, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 74.
  46. E. G. white, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 63.
  47. Rolf Poehler, “. . . And the Door was Shut, Seventh-day Adventists and the Shut Door Doctrine in the Decade After the Great Disappoint­ment,” p. 82.
  48. James White, Advent Review, August, 1850, p. 10.
  49. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day Star, Vol. 9, no. 7-8, Jan. 24, 1846, p. 31. See Appendix Four for the entire letter.
  50. The Day Star, Vol. 8, no. ?? , Sept. 20. 1845
  51. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day Star, Vol. 10, no. 2, March 14, 1846, p. 7, See Appendix Four.
  52. James White, A Word to the Little Flock, May, 1847, p. 22.
  53. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day Star, Vol. 10, no. 2, March 14, 1846, p. 7, See Appendix IV p. A-53 for the complete text of this vision.
  54. Ibid.
  55. E. G. White, “Letter to Joseph Bates,” July 13, 1847. See Appendix VII p. A-60 for the complete text of this letter.
  56. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 63
  57. A. Hale, J. Turner, The Advent Mirror, Vol. 1, no. 1, Jan. 1845, p. 4.
  58. William Miller, The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 18. December 11, 1844, p. 142.
  59. Israel Dammon, “Letter from Bro. Dammon,” The Jubilee Standard, Vol. 1, no. 13, June 5, 1845, p. 104.
  60. Ibid.
  61. Ibid.
  62. Israel Dammon, The Day Star, Vol. 6, no. 12, July 29, 1845, p. 51.
  63. Joseph Bates, “Letter From Bro. Joseph Bates,” The Jubilee Standard, Vol. 1, no. 12, May 29, 1845, p. 90.
  64. Joseph Bates, “Letter From Bro. Bates,” The Jubilee Standard, Vol. 1 no. 13, June 5, 1845, p. 111.
  65. Ibid.
  66. Joseph Bates, A Vision, Broadside April 7, 1847.
  67. Joseph Bates, Second Advent Way, Marks and High Heaps, p. 65-66.
  68. James White, A Word to the Little, Flock, May 1847, p. 79
  69. James White, Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 10. May 1850, 79
  70. Robert Olson, One Hundred and One Questions on the sanctuary and on Ellen White, p. 58
  71. Ibid. p. 59
  72. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 62-63
  73. E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 2, p. 293
  74. E. G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 691
  75. See Appendix IV p. A-53 and Appendix V p. A-56.
  76. E. G. White, To Those who are Receiving the Seal of the Living God, Broad­side Jan. 31, 1849
  77. A. Hale, J. Turner, “Has not the Bridegroom Come as the Savior,” The Advent Mirror, Vol. 1, no. 1, Jan. 1845, p. 3
  78. Ibid. p. 4
  79. William Miller, “Extract of a Letter from Bro. Miller,” The Day Star, Vol. 5, no. 4, March 11, 1845, p. 13
  80. Bro. Williamson, “Letter from Bro. Williamson,” The Day. Star, Vol. 5. no. 1, Feb. 18, 1845, p. 1
  81. “No Union with the World,” The Day Star, Vol. 5, no. 3, March 4, 1845, p. 11.
  82. Enoch Jacobs, “The Path of the Just,” The Day. Star, Vol. 5, no. 3, March 4, 1845, p. 11.
  83. A. Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 9, no. 4, March 5, 1845, p. 27.
  84. Ibid. p. 26
  85. “To the Believers Scattered Abroad,” The Day Star, Vol. 5, no. 6, March 25, 1845, p. 21
  86. Ibid. p. 22
  87. James White, “Letter from Bro. White,” The Day: Star, Vol. 7, no. 5, Sept. 6, 1845, p. 17
  88. Ibid.
  89. James White, “Watchmen, What of the Night,” The Day Star, Vol. 6, no. 7, Sept. 20, 1845, p. 26.
  90. Ibid.
  91. Ibid.
  92. F. C. Brown, “The Safe Position,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 8, no. 23. Jan. 15, 1845, p. 177
  93. Ibid.
  94. Bro. Storrs, “Has not the Savior Come as a Bridegroom,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 6, Feb. 6, 1845, p. 44
  95. Ibid.
  96. Ibid.
  97. J. V. Hines, “Is the Door Shut,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 8, Feb. 6, 1845, p. 44
  98. Ibid.
  99. Ibid.
  100. Ibid.
  101. Ibid.
  102. Bliss, “Has the Bridegroom Come?,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 9, no. 4, March 5, 1845, p. 28.
  103. Ibid.
  104. “To the Believers Scattered Abroad,” The Day Star, Vol. 5, no. 6, March 25, 1845, p. 22
  105. Ibid.
  106. J. Litch, “Did the Bridegroom Come in 1843,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 15, April 18, 1845, p. 119
  107. Ibid.
  108. Ibid.
  109. B. T. Young, “Has the Door of Mercy been Closed,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 8, Feb. 20, 1845, p. 62
  110. Ibid.
  111. J. V. Himes, “An Open Door in Canada,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 9, no. 4, March 5, 1845, p. 25
  112. J. V. Himes, “Canadian Tour,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 14, April 3, 1845, p. 110
  113. William Miller, “Letter from Bro. Miller,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 12, March 20, 1845, p. 91
  114. “Mutual Conference of Adventist at Albany,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 19, May 8, 1845, p. 150
  115. Ibid. p. 152
  116. “Conference of Adventists at New York,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 20, May 15, 1845, p. 157
  117. Advent Conference in Boston,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 24, June 12, 1845, p. 186-187.
  118. Ibid. p. 187
  119. D. Bartholomew, “Letter from Bro. D. Bartholomew,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 21, May 22, 1845, p. 167.
  120. J.V. Himes, “Editorial Correspondence: Visit to Portland with Bro. Miller - - A Good Hearing State of Cause - - Duty of Adventist,” The Morning Watch, Vol. 8, no. 24 June 12, 1845, p. 192
  121. Ibid.
  122. James White, Sketches of the Christian Life and Public Labors of William Miller, p. 346
  123. Ibid. p. 364-365.
  124. Ibid.
  125. Ibid.
  126. Ibid. p. 371-372
  127. Ibid. p. 374
  128. Enoch Jacobs, “The Door of Matt. 25:10 is Shut,” The Day Star, Vol. 6, no. 7, Sept. 20, 1845, p. 28
  129. J. D. Pickands, Letter from Bro. Pickands,” The Day Star, Vol. 6, no. 7, Sept. 20, 1845, p. 25
  130. John Pearson Jr., “To the Readers of the Hope of Israel,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 10, no. 4, Sept. 3, 1845, p. 54
  131. Ibid. p. 26
  132. Ibid. p. 27
  133. John Pearson Jr., “Letter from Bro. J. Pearson,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 10, no. 7, Sept. 24, 1845, p. 54.
  134. Ibid.
  135. Ibid.
  136. C.H. Pearson, “Letter from Bro. C.H. Pearson, The Day Star; Vol. 7, no. 10.
  137. C.H. Pearson, “Dear Brethren and Sisters of the Household of Faith,” The Voice of Truth, Vol. 8, no. 2, Oct. 8, 1845, p. 477
  138. James White, “Letter from Bro. White,” The Day Star; Vol. 7, No. 10, Oct. 11, 1845, p. 47
  139. Ibid.
  140. O. R. L. Crosier, “Letter from Bro. O. R. L. Crosier,” The Day Star Vol. 7, no. 10, Oct. 11, 1845. p. 50
  141. Present Truth, May 1850, p. 78
  142. O. R. L. Crosier, “Letter from Bro. Crosier,” The Hope of Israel, Vol. 3, no. 1, April 17, 1845, p. 4.
  143. Lucinda Burdick, “Statement of Lucinda Burdick, Concerning the Shut-Door Visions of Ellen G. Harmon,” Sept. 26, 1909.
  144. Please refer to Chapter VI The Critics’ and the Pioneers’ Remembrances of the Shut Door years for additional documentation that lends credi­bility to Mrs. Burdick’s statement.
  145. Hiram Edison, “Letter from Brother Edison,” The Jubilee Standard, May 29, 1845, p. 90-91.
  146. James White, “Watchmen, What of the Night,” The Day Star, Vol. 6, no. 7, Sept. 20, 1845, p. 26.
  147. Ibid.
  148. H. B. Woodcock, “The Morning Watch,” The Day Star, Vol. 8, no. 13, Dec. 20, 1845
  149. F. D. Hahn, “The Time is at Hand,” The Day Dawn, Vol. 2, no. 2, April 2, 1847, p. 6
  150. Joseph Bates, An Explanation of the Typical and Antitypical sanctuary , by the Scriptures, 1850, p. 10-11
  151. James White, Word to the Little Flock, 1847, p. 22
  152. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon, the Day. Star, Vol. 10, no. 2, March 14, 1846, p. 7
  153. James White, “Letter from Bro. White,” The Day Star, Vol. 8, no. 9, Nov. 29, 1845, p. 35
  154. E. G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 422
  155. Eli Curtis, “Letter from Bro. Curtis,” The Day Star, Vol. 8, no. 10 & 11, Dec. 6, 1845, p. 38
  156. E. G. White, “Letter to Bro. Eli Curtis,” A Word to the Little Flock, p. 12
  157. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Hanson,” The Day Star, Vol. 9, no. 7 & 8, Jan, 24, 1846, p. 31. (See Appendix Four for the complete text of this vision)
  158. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day Star, Vol. 10, no. 2, March 14, 1846, p. 7. (See Appendix Five for the complete text of this vision)
  159. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, Aug, 1849, p. 22.
  160. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Hanson,” The Day Star, Vol. 9, no. 7 & 8, Jan, 24, 1846, p. 31. (See Appendix Four for the complete text of this vision)
  161. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 63
  162. E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, 1858, p. 120.
  163. Ewald M. Plass, What Luther says: An Anthology, Vol. 1, p. 75
  164. E. G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 422
  165. Joseph Bates, Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps, 1847, p. 67-68
  166. James White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 2, July 1849, p. 6
  167. James White, “Letter from Bro. White,” The Day Star, Vol. 9, no. 7 & 8, Jan. 24, 1846, p. 61
  168. E. G. White, “Letter to Eli Curtis,” A Word to the Little Flock, 1847, p. 12
  169. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day. Star, Vol. 10. no. 7, March 14, 1846, p. 7. (See Appendix Five for the complete text of this vision).
  170. David Arnold, “The Shut Door Explained,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 6, December 1849, p. 44
  171. Ibid. p. 45
  172. Ibid.
  173. Ibid. p. 46
  174. E. G. White, The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 8, March 1850, p. 84. See Appendix Ten for the complete text of this vision.
  175. A more complete treatment of this point is given in Chapter VI The Critics’ and the Pioneers’ Remembrances of the Shut Door Years
  176. James White, “The sanctuary , 2300 Days, and the Shut Door,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 10, May 1850, p. 78.
  177. Ibid., p. 79
  178. Ibid.
  179. E. G. White, ‘Letter to Eli Curtis,’ A Word to the Little Flock, 1847, p. 12.
  180. In the Law of Moses: Within the veil refers to the Most Holy Place: Ex 26:33; Lev. 16: 2, 12, 15; Numbers 18:7. Outside the veil refers to the Holy Place: Ex 26:35; 27:20, 21; 40:22. In front of the veil refers to the Holy Place: Ex. 30:6-10; Ex 40:26; Lev. 4:5, 6, 17; 24:1-3.
  181. O. R. L. Crosier, ‘The Law of Moses’. The Day Star Extra, Vol. 9 Feb. 7, 1846, p. 41
  182. Ibid.
  183. Ibid.
  184. Ibid.
  185. Norman H. Young, “The Checkered History of the Phrase ‘Within the Veil’, “Cited in D. Ford’s Daniel 8:14 : The Day of Atonement and the Investigative Judgment.
  186. Desmond Ford, The Day of Atonement in Hebrews9, p. 115-127
  187. 0. R. L. Crosier, “Letter to A. F. Dagger, Feb. 20, 1899.
  188. E. G. White, Broadside – A Vision, April 1847 See Appendix VI p. A-56, for the full text of this vision.
  189. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, August, 1849, p. 4. See Appendix VII p. A-62, for the full text of this vision.
  190. E. G. White, “To the “Little Flock.” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 9, April 1, 1850 See Appendix XI p. A-69, for the full text of this vision.
  191. E. G. White, Review and Herald, Vol. 2, no. 1, July 21, 1851 See Appendix XX p. A-99 paragraph 10 to see this quote in context.
  192. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, August, 1849, p. 4. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the full text of this vision.
  193. Ibid.
  194. Ibid.
  195. E. G. White, The Sprit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 270
  196. Joseph Bates, The Review and Herald, Vol. 1, no. 3, Dec., 1850, p. 24
  197. Joseph Bates, “Duty to Our Children,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 1, no. 5, Jan. 1851, p. 39
  198. E. G. White, Early Writings, p. 33
  199. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, August, 1849, p. 21. See Appendix VIII p. A-62, for the full text of this vision.
  200. Ibid.
  201. Seventh-day Adventists have often denied that the weekly Sabbath could be a shadow of Christ. But Deut. 5:12-15 calls Israel on the Sabbath to remember God delivered them from slavery. Jesus declares he will set free all who are in slavery to sin in John 8:31-36, and that he gives rest to all who are weary Matthew 9:28-30. Thus the Sabbath points back both to creation and to God’s redeeming Israel out of Egypt. But the Sabbath also pointed forward to Christ freeing us from our slavery to sin and giving us an abiding rest in him.
  202. The Old Testament includes among the appointed times of the Lord the yearly festivals, the monthly new moons and the weekly Sabbath and the daily continual burnt offerings. Thus when Paul refers to a festival, a new moon and a Sabbath he is intending to include all of the holy days of the Jews including the weekly Sabbath. He calls them all including the Sabbath shadows of Christ. (Numbers 28-29, I Chronicles 23:30-31, II Chronicles 2:4, II Chronicles 8:12-13, II Chronicles 31:3, Ezekiel 45:17, Ezekiel 46:1-15, and Hosea 2:11)
  203. E. G. White, Vision in Oswego, N. Y., Dated July 29, 1850, copied by Hiram Edison. See Appendix XV p. A-82 for the full text of this vision.
  204. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, August, 1849, p. 22. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the full text of this vision
  205. E. G. White, “Experience and Views”, Review and Herald Extra, July 21, 1851. See Appendix XIX p. A-93, An Example of the Continued Suppression of Shut-door Statements in E. G. White’s Writings.
  206. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, August, 1849, p. 21. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the full text of this vision.
  207. James White, The Review and Herald, Vol. 1, no. 13, June 9, 1851, p. 102
  208. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, August, 1849, p. 22. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the full text of this vision.
  209. David Arnold, “The Shut Door Explained,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 6, December, 1849, p. 45-46

  210. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 60
  211. Arthur White, “Ellen G. White and the Shut-door Question,” p. 21, 27-32
  212. Ibid.
  213. A. Hale, J. Turner, “Has Not the Savior Come as the Bridegroom,” The Advent Mirror, Vol. 1, no. 1, Jan., 1845
  214. J. N. Loughborough, The Review and Herald, Sept. 25, 1866, p. 134
  215. Ibid.
  216. Ibid.
  217. Robert Olson, One Hundred and One Questions on the sanctuary and on Ellen White, p. 58-59
  218. James White, “Watchman, What of the Night,” The Day Star, Vol. 6, no. 7, Sept. 20, 1845, p. 26. See Ch. III, p. 37 for the full account of his views.
  219. J. F. Lewis, “Letter from Bro. Lewis,” The Day. Star, Vol. 8, no. 2-3, Oct. 25, 1845, p. 8
  220. James White, “The sanctuary , 2300 days, and the Shut Door,” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 10, May, 1850, p. 79
  221. James White, “The sanctuary , 2300 days, and the Shut Door,” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 10, May, 1850, p. 79.
  222. E. G. White, Experience and Views, 1851, p. 27. See Appendix XIX p. A-93 for the full text.
  223. Joseph Bates, “Duty to our Children,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 1, no. 5, Jan. 1851, p. 37
  224. E. G. White, Life Sketches of E. G. White, 1915, p. 125.
  225. Joseph Bates version of the Nov. 1848 Dorchester Vision.
  226. James & Ellen White, Life Sketches of Bro. James White and His Wife, Mrs. Ellen G. White, 1880, p. 254-260
  227. E. G. White, Review and Herald, Vol. 64, no. 30, July 26, 1887, p. 466
  228. James White, “Our Tour East, The Review and Herald, Vol. 1, no. 2, Aug., 1850, p. 15
  229. A. Hale, J. Turner, op. cit.
  230. James White, “Answering a Letter from Bro. Truesdail,” The Review and Herald, April, 7, 1851, p. 64
  231. Ibid.
  232. Ibid.
  233. Ibid.
  234. Uriah Smith, “The Visions - - Objections Answered,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 28, no. 3, June, 19, 1866.
  235. Robert Olson, op. cit.
  236. D. M. Canright, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, 1889, p. 143
  237. Ibid.
  238. E. G. White, A Word to the Little Flock, 1847, p. 12
  239. D. M. Canright, op. cit.
  240. E. G. White, “Letter to Loughborough,” August, 1874, Selected Messages, Book, I, p. 74
  241. Ibid.
  242. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 63
  243. E. G. White, Letter to Bates July 13, 1847, See Appendix VII, p. A-60 for the full text of this letter.
  244. Lucinda Burdick, Statement of Mrs. Lucinda Burdick, Concerning the Shut Door Visions of Ellen G. Harmon.
  245. Ibid.
  246. James White, “Watchman, What of the Night,” The Day Star, Vol. 6, no. 7, Sept. 20, 1845, p. 26.
  247. Ibid.
  248. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day Star, Vol. 9, no. 7-8, Jan. 24, 1846, p. 31. See Appendix IV p. A-53, for the full text of her first vision.
  249. Lucinda Burdick, Statement of Mrs. Lucinda Burdick, Concerning the Shut Door Visions of Ellen G. Harmon.
  250. E. G. Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” The Day Star, Vol. 10, no. 2, March 14, 1846, p. 7, See Appendix V p. A-56, for the full text of her second vision.
  251. E. G. White, “Letter to Joseph Bates,” July 13, 1847. See Appendix VII p. A-60, for the full text of this letter.
  252. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, Aug., 1849, p. 21. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the full text of this vision.
  253. J. V. Himes, “An Open Door in Canada,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 9, no. 4, March 5, 1845, p. 25
  254. Joseph Bates, “Duty to our Children,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 1, no. 6, Jan. 1851, p. 39
  255. James White, The Review and Herald, April 7, 1851, p. 64.
  256. Ibid.
  257. Ibid.
  258. Ibid.
  259. James White, The Review and Herald, June 9, 1851, p. 102.
  260. E. G. White, “Camden Vision,” June 29, 1851. See Appendix XVII p. A-85 for the full text of this vision. Appendix XVIII p. A-86 The Camden Vision Reconsidered offers sound reasons that the Camden Vision should be accepted as authentic.
  261. B. F. Snook, Wm. H. Brinkerhoff, The Visions of E. G. White, Not of God, 1866, p. 7
  262. Uriah Smith, “The Visions - - Objections Answered,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 28, no. 3, June 19, 1866, p. 17.
  263. Ibid. p. 18, emphasis supplied.
  264. James White, “Our Tour of this State,” The Review and Herald Extra, Vol. 2, no. 1, July 21, 1851, p. 3.
  265. E. G. White, “Time Setting Vision, June 21, 1851, Camden, N. Y.
  266. James White, Op. cit..
  267. E. G. White, ‘Dear Brethren and Sisters,’ Review and Herald, April 14, 1853. See Appendix XXIV p. A-107 for the complete text of this vision.
  268. E. G. White, “To the Remnant Scattered Abroad,” The Review and Herald Extra, Vol. 2, no. 1, July 21, 1851, p. 2. See Appendix XX p. A-96 for the complete text of this vision.
  269. Joseph Bates, An Explanation of the Typical and Antitypical sanctuary , by the Scriptures, 1850, p. 10-11.
  270. James White, “A Test,” The Review and Herald, Oct 16, 1855, p. 61.
  271. E. G. White, “To the Remnant Scattered Abroad,” The Review and Herald Extra, Vol. 2, no. 1, July 21, 1851, p. 2. Compare Appendix IV p. A-53 with Appendix XX p. A-96 to see these deletions in the R&H Extra July 21, 1851, in context.
  272. Ellen Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” Day-Star 9:7-8 (January 24, 1846), p. 31. Compare Appendix IV p. A-53 with Appendix XX p. A-96 to see these deletions in the R&H Extra July 21, 1851, in context.
  273. Ibid.
  274. E. G. White ‘A Vision’ Broadside. April 1847. See Appendix VI p. A-58 for the complete text of this vision.
  275. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, August, 1849. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the complete text of this vision.
  276. E. G. White, “To the Remnant Scattered Abroad,” The Review and Herald Extra, Vol. 2, no. 1, July 21, 1851, p. 2. See Appendix XX p. A-96 to see the full text of R&H Extra July 21, 1851.
  277. James White, Op. Cit., p. 3
  278. E. G. White, “Experience and Views,” Early Writings, p. 11-24
  279. Ibid. p. 54-56
  280. Ibid.
  281. E. G. White, Oswego Vision, July 29, 1850 Copied by Hiram Edison An Evaluation. Appendix XV p. A-82.
  282. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3, Aug, 1849, p. 22
  283. E. G. White, Camden Vision, June 29, 1851 See Appendix XVII p. A-85.
  284. E. G. White, “Experience and Views,” The Review and Herald Extra, Vol. 2, no. 1, July 21, 1851, p. 2. See Appendix XX p. A-96 to see the full text of R&H Extra July 21, 1851.
  285. E. G. White, Letter 225, 1906.
  286. Snook and Brinkerhoff, The Visions of E. G. White, Not of God.; H. E. Carver, Mrs. E. G. White’s Claims to Divine Inspiration Examined.
  287. Uriah Smith, “The Visions - - Objections Answered,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 28, no. 3, June 19, 1866, p. 17
  288. Ibid. p. 18
  289. Francis D. Nichol, Ellen White and Her Critics, 1951, p. 234
  290. Ibid.
  291. E. G. White, Selected Messages, Book I, p. 63
  292. Ibid.
  293. James White, The Review and Herald, Vol. 2, no. 2, Aug. 19, 1851, p. 13
  294. Joseph Bates, “Our Labor in the Philadelphia and Laodicean Churches,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 2, no. 2, Aug. 19, 1851, p. 13
  295. Ibid.
  296. Ibid.
  297. Ibid.
  298. A. Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?The Advent Herald, Vol. 9, no. 4, March 5, 1845, p. 26-28.
  299. James White, “Call to Remembrance the Former Days,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 2, no. 4, Sept. 16, 1851, p. 29.
  300. James White, “Call at the Harbinger Office,” The Review and Herald, Feb. 17, 1852,
  301. Ibid.
  302. Ibid.
  303. James White, editorial note, preceding “The Seventh Month,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 2, no. 13, March 2, 1852, p. 97
  304. J. B. Cook, “The Only Safe Position,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 2, no. 13, March 2, 1852, p. 97
  305. E. G. White, The Present Truth, Vol. 1, no. 3. Aug., 1849, p. 21. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the full text of this vision.
  306. James White, “The Work of the Lord,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 3, no. 1, May 6, 1852, p. 4-5.
  307. Ibid. p. 5
  308. O. R. L. Crosier, “Inquiry - The sanctuary ,” Harbinger, Vol. 4, no. 38, March 5, p. 300-301.
  309. James White, “The sanctuary ,” The Review and Herald, March 17, 1853.
  310. Ibid.
  311. James White, “The Shut Door,” The Review and Herald, April 14, 1853.
  312. Ibid.
  313. Ibid.
  314. W. S. Ingrahm, “The Parable - - - Matt. 25,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 4, no. 2, June 9, 1853, p. 10.
  315. Ibid.
  316. “The Advent Harbinger,” The Review and Herald, Vol. 5, no. 22, July 4, 1854, p. 172-173
  317. Ibid.
  318. E. G. White, Selected Messages,’ Book I, p. 63
  319. Ellen White’s July 13, 1847 Letter to Bates. See Appendix VII p. A-60 for the complete text of this letter.
  320. E. G. White, Letter 37, 1890 as quoted by A. White, Messenger to the Remnant, p. 29-30
  321. J. N. Loughborough, “Response,” Review and Herald, Sept. 1866, p. 134
  322. “Consensus Document from Glacier View,” Ministry 53:10 (October 1980), p.17
  323. Miller’s fifteen proofs that Jesus was coming in 1843. See Appendix II p. A-40 for these fifteen proofs.
  324. S. S. Snow, “Prophetic Time,” The Advent Herald, Vol. 7, April 3, 1844, p. 69-70. See Appendix III p. A-50 for the complete text of this letter.
  325. “Mutual Conference of Adventists at Albany,” The Morning Watch 8:19 (May 8,1845), p. 150
  326. “No Union with the World,” Day-Star 5:3 (March 4, 1845), p. 11
  327. Ellen G. White, Early Writings(Review and Herald, 1883), pp. 233, 234. First published in Spiritual Gifts–1 (Steam Press, 1858), pp. 135-137
  328. Ellen Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” Day-Star 9:7-8 (January 24, 1846), p. 31. See Appendix IV p. A-53 for the complete text of this vision.
  329. E. G. White, “To the Remnant Scattered Abroad,” The Review and Herald Extra, Vol. 2, no. 1, July 21, 1851, p. 2. Compare Appendix IV p. A-53 with Appendix XX p. A-96 to see these deletions in the R&H Extra July 21, 1851, in context.
  330. Ellen G. White, Selected Messages–1 (Published, 1858), p. 63
  331. Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts–1 (Steam Press, 1858), p. 168; reprinted in Early Writings(Review and Herald, 1858), pp. 257, 258
  332. Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages(Review and Herald, 1898), p. 632-633
  333. H. F. Hill, “The Ten Virgins,” Voice of Truth and Glad Tidings 4:7 (December 11, 1844), p. 104
  334. William Miller, The Advent Herald8:18 (December 11, 1844), p. 142
  335. Apollos Hale, Joseph. Turner, The Advent Mirror1:1 (January 1845), pp. 3, 4
  336. Ellen G. White, “Letter to Joseph Bates,” July 13, 1847. See Appendix Seven for the full text of this letter. See also Douglas Hacklmen, Picking the Shut-Door Lock, Adventist Currents July, 1984, Vol. 1, No. 4, at: www.hacksplace.com.
  337. Ellen Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” Day-Star 10:7 (March 14, 1846), p. 7 See Appendix V p. A-56 for the full text of this vision.
  338. Ellen G. White, “Letter to Joseph Bates,” July 13, 1847. See Appendix VII p. A-60 for the full text of this letter.
  339. Ellen G. White, Christ's Object Lessons (Pacific Press, 1900), pp. 422-423
  340. Apollos Hale, Joseph Turner, The Advent Mirror1:1 (January 1845), pp. 3, 4
  341. Ellen Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” Day-Star 10:7 (March 14, 1846), p. 7. See Appendix V p. A-56 for the full text of this letter.
  342. Ellen G. White, “Letter to Joseph Bates,” July 13, 1847. Appendix VII p. A-60 for the full text of this letter.
  343. Apollos Hale, Joseph. Turner, The Advent Mirror1:1 (January 1845), pp. 3, 4.
  344. G. Bliss, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” The Advent Herald(March 5, 1845), p. 26.
  345. O.R.L. Crosier, “Letter to A. F. Dugger,” February 20, 1899.
  346. Ellen G. White, “Letter to Eli Curtis,” A Word to the Little Flock(James White, 1847), p. 12.
  347. O.R.L. Crosier, “The Law of Moses,” Day-Star Extra9:Extra (February 7, 1846), p. 41.
  348. J. N. Andrews, “The sanctuary ,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 3:19 (February 9, 1853), p. 145.
  349. Richard M. Davidson, “Typology and the Levitical System—2,” Ministry 57:4 (April 1984), p. 12.
  350. O.R.L. Crosier, “The Law of Moses,” Day-Star Extra9: Extra (February 7, 1846). p. 41.
  351. The Law of Moses: Within the veil refers to the Most Holy Place: Ex 26:33; Lev. 16: 2, 12, 15; Numbers 18:7. Outside the veil refers to the Holy Place: Ex 26:35; 27:20, 21; 40:22. In front of the veil refers to the Holy Place: Ex. 30:6-10; Ex 40:26; Lev. 4:5, 6, 17; 24:1-3.
  352. Desmond Ford, “Daniel 8:14 The Day of Atonement and the Judgment,” 1980, 990 pp.
  353. O.R.L. Crosier, “The Law of Moses,” Day-Star Extra9: Extra (February 7, 1846), p. 38.
  354. O.R.L. Crosier, p. 41.
  355. O.R.L. Crosier, p. 37.
  356. O.R.L. Crosier, p. 40.
  357. W. W. Fletcher, The Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment Examined and Refuted (Brisbane, Australia: Helen Appleton, no date), pp. 15-19 of 39.
  358. Ellen White, “A Vision,” Broadside 1:1 (April 1847). See Appendix VI p. A-58 for the full text of this vision.
  359. Ellen White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters—” The Present Truth1:3 (August 1849), p. 29. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the complete text of this vision.
  360. Ellen White, “To the ‘Little Flock’”, The Present Truth1:9 (April 1850), p. 71. See Appendix XI p. A-69 for the complete text of this vision.
  361. James White, “The sanctuary , 2300 Days, and the Shut Door,” The Present Truth1:10 (May 1850), p. 78.
  362. James White, p. 79.
  363. Ibid.
  364. Ibid.
  365. Ellen G. White, The Present Truth1:8 (March 1850), p. 64. See Appendix X p. A-68 for a complete text of this vision.
  366. James White, quoting “Brother Holt, of Connecticut,” The Present Truth1:6 (December 1949), p. 47.
  367. Ellen G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth1:3 (August 1849), p. 22. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the complete text of this vision.
  368. Ellen G. White, The Christian Experience and Views of Mrs. E. G. White (James White, August 1851), p. 37.
  369. Ellen G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” The Present Truth1:3 (August 1849), p. 21. See Appendix VIII p. A-62 for the complete text of this vision.
  370. Ellen Harmon, “Letter from Sister Harmon,” Day-Star 9:7-8 (January 24, 1846), p. 31. See Appendix IV p. A-53 for the complete text of this vision.
  371. Ellen G. White, “A Vision,” Broadside 1:1, (April 1847) See Appendix VI p. A-58 for the complete text of this vision.
  372. Ellen G. White, “Letter to Joseph Bates,” July 13, 1847. See Appendix VII p. A-60 for the complete text of this letter.
  373. Joseph Bates, “Midnight Cryin the Past,” The Review and Herald, 1:3 (December 1850), p.24.
  374. Joseph Bates, "Duty to our Children," The Review and Herald1:5 (January 1851), p. 39.
  375. Ellen G. White, White, The Great Controversy(Pacific Press, 1911), pp. 429-430.
  376. Ellen G. White, pp. 430-431.
  377. Ellen G. White, pp. 433-444.
  378. James White, A Word to the Little Flock(James White,1847), p. 24.
  379. Joseph Bates, An Explanation of the Typical and Antitypical sanctuary , by the Scriptures, 1850, p. 10-11. {He self published as in Joseph Bates, Second Advent Way, Marks and High Heaps, p. 65-66.}
  380. James White, “The Day of Judgment,” The Advent Review1:4 (Sept. 1850), p. 49.
  381. James White, “The Shut Door,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 3:24 (April 14, 1853), p. 189.
  382. Uriah Smith, “The Cleansing of the sanctuary ,” The Review and Herald7:7 (October 2, 1855), p. 52.
  383. Ibid.
  384. Ibid.
  385. Ibid. p. 53.
  386. James White, “The Judgment,” The Review and Herald9:13 (January 29, 1857). p. 100.
  387. James White, “The Day of Judgment,” The Advent Review1:4 (Sept. 1850), p. 49.
  388. James White, “The Judgment,” The Review and Herald9:13 (January 29, 1857). p. 100.
  389. Ibid.
  390. Ellen G. White, White, The Great Controversy(Pacific Press, 1911), p. 480.
  391. Ibid. p. 482.
  392. Ibid.
  393. Ibid. p. 483.
  394. Ibid. p. 425.
  395. James White, A Word to the Little Flock, 1847, p. 22.
  396. E. G. White, “To those who are receiving the seal of the living God,” Broadside, Jan. 31, 1849.
  397. E. G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 691.
  398. Frances A. Schaeffer, Escape from Reason, p. 73

  399. Ratzlaff, Dale, The Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventist, (Glendale, AZ: Life Assurance Ministries Publications, 2003) p. 360.
  400. In the Law of Moses: Within the veil refers to the Most Holy Place: Ex 26:33; Lev. 16: 2, 12, 15; Numbers 18:7. Outside the veil refers to the Holy Place: Ex 26:35; 27:20, 21; 40:22. In front of the veil refers to the Holy Place: Ex. 30:6-10; Ex 40:26; Lev. 4:5, 6, 17; 24:1-3.
  401. After he left the church Albion F. Ballenger wrote of his understanding of Hebrew sin Cast Out for the Cross of Christ.
  402. See Appendix I: Raymond, Cottrell, The “sanctuary doctrine” Asset or Liability, p. A-1-7.
  403. Rea, Walter, The White Lie, (Turlock, CA 95381: M & R Publications, 1982.
  404. Couperus, Molleurus, The significance of Ellen White’s Head Injury, Adventist Currents, Vol. 1, no. 6, June, 1985, p. 25-26. web site at www.hacksplace.com
  405. Ibid. p. 27.
  406. See Appendix XIV for the comparison of the phrase ‘I saw’ in the two versions of these two visions published in November 1, 1850 Present Truth and copied by Hiram Edson A-74.
  407. See Appendix IV: Letter from E. G. Harmon, Dec 20, 1845, The Day-Star, January 24, 1846, A-53 and Appendix VI: Broadside – “A Vision”, April, 1847, A-58.
  408. See Appendix VII: Ellen G. White, Letter to Joseph Bates, July 13, 1847, A-60.
  409. Couperus, Molleurus, The significance of Ellen White’s Head Injury, Adventist Currents, Vol. 1, no. 6, June, 1985, p. 30. web site at www.hacksplace.com
  410. See Appendix XX Ellen G. White, To the Remnant Scattered Abroad, Review & Herald, July 21, 1851, A-96.
  411. See Appendix VII: Ellen G. White, Letter to Joseph Bates, July 13, 1847, A-60.

  412. The use of scripture here by Ellen Whit seems to be very much a present truth application.
  413. One form is a typescript copy. The other is a copy of a printed version.
  414. Some copies of the vision also have a statement attesting that J. N. Loughborough confirmed the authenticity of the vision.
  415. On the typescript copy of the vision held by the E. G. White Research Center at Andrews University, the word spurious is written on the front page in read pencil and a handwritten note on the second page following the name of Chapin reads “who apostatized and became a bitter critic and some things about vision (sic) lead us to believe it is not a correct account—A. L. White.
  416. D. R. Robinson, “That Camden Vision.” See File Df 103b E. G. White Research Center, Andrews University. This article earlier took the form of a letter but it has no date.
  417. See File Df 103b.
  418. Review and Herald, August 22, 1854. Both Robinson and Wilcox state that the vision was circulated by Chapin after his apostasy. No documentations is given for this.
  419. Review and Herald, March 24, 1885
  420. Robinson, p. 6.
  421. F. D. Nichol, Ellen G. White and Her Critics (Washington: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 19??). pp. 615-619.
  422. Earlier works unavailable to Robinson had been made available as facsimile editions at the time Nichol wrote.
  423. Nichol, p. 618
  424. J. B. Cole to W. C. White, April 1, 1932 See File Df 103b
  425. Uriah Smith, The Visions of Mrs. E. G. White, Manifestations of Spiritual Gifts According to the Scriptures(Battle Creek: Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, 1868) , pp. 20-41.
  426. Smith’s basic argument in this section is to show that the statements do not indicate an extreme concept of the “shut door: as maintained by Ellen White’s critics, i.e. that probation closed in 1844. Ibid.
  427. Ibid.
  428. Robinson states that the vision was not accepted by the pioneers. Ibid., p. 4. This evidence from U. Smith indicates that it was.
  429. Ellen G. White, A sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White (Saratoga Springs, N. N.: James White, 1851), p. 29.
  430. Smith, p. 20.
  431. Smith, p. 20
  432. Uriah Smith, “The Visions—Objections Answered,” Review and Herald, June 12, 1866, p. 16.
  433. “Objections to the Visions,” Review and Herald, June 12, 1866, p. 16.
  434. Ibid.
  435. J. N. Andrews, “Answers to the Objections Against the Visions, “ Review and Herald, August 14, 1866, p. 16.
  436. C. O. Taylor, “The Visions, Objections Answered,” Review and Herald, September 11, 1866, p. 16
  437. B. F. Snook and Wm. H. Brinkerhoff, The Visions of E. G. White, Not of God(Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Cedar Valley Times Press, 1866). It would seem in fact that this book was published sometime earlier than 1866 or that possibly it was circulated earlier in some mimeographed form, for in a letter to Thomas Hare (Treasure of the Iowa Conference), J. N. Loughborough dated October 29, 1865, Loughborough speaks of Hare’s concern for the need of “and answer to the objections.” See File 349, E. G. White Research center, Andrews University.
  438. The quotation is a long one and indicates that the text of the vision as it is available today is unchanged.
  439. Snook and Brinkerhoff, p. 6. Curiously, the date of the vision as cited in this work is given as June 29, 1857. Whether this is a typographical error or whether it was actually a variant reading on the text available to Snook and Brinkerhoff seems to establish but the former explanation seems more likely.
  440. In MS 1865, Ellen White recounts how that this meeting with Snook and Brinkerhoff she considered providential because she and James were able to confirm the faith of many.
  441. Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy(Mountain View, California: Pacific Press, 1911).
  442. Loughborough to Hare, October 29, 1865. See File 349
  443. James White did not actually write much until 1868 when he addressed the shut door problem in one article in his series “Life Incidents.”
  444. There does not appear to be any statement from Ellen White that denies the authenticity of the vision.
  445. That there was a genuine text know, from which Chapin copied may perhaps be accounted for by the fact that quite a number of Ellen White’s early publications from 1851 and before were lost because of her constant travelling. See MS 4, 1883. This may also account for the fact the original text of the vision is not available in the White Estate.
  446. Smith, p. 40.
  447. Ibid., p. 28
  448. See for example, Lyle Heise, “The Christology of Ellen G. White Letter 8, 1895 An Historical and Contextual Study, Term paper, E. G. White Research Center, Andrews University. The letter filed as Letter 8, 1895, was listed as written February 9, 1896 and copied February 12, 1896.
  449. See Review and Herald, July 21, 1851. The text of a vision on June 21, 1851 in the White Estate deals with the issue of time, cf. Nichol, p. 618. The text of the vision considered in this paper also relates to the significance of the “time” which may indicate that the issue of “time” and the significance of God’s leading in the seventh month movement was an issue of the Camden Conference.
  450. Nichol lists U. Smith’s book in his bibliography, p. 687.
  451. J. B. Cole to W. C. White, April 1, 1932.
  452. The Xerox copy of this letter appears to have been made on a modern photo copying machine. This may indicate its recent discovery.

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