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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

The Millerite Movement

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#17 & #18: "Ellen's controversial vision forced the re-adjustment of many Adventist dates and doctrines."—Narrator.

#17: This vision was controversial. Neither her first vision nor her vision of September 23, 1850 (see #14), should have been considered controversial at the time. Both appeared reasonable and middle of the road to their targeted audiences.

At some point after October 22, 1844, there were two major and opposite divisions of thought: 1) The 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 had not ended yet and Christ's literal and visible coming was yet future. 2) The 2300 days had ended and Christ had already returned in a spiritual way.

In contrast, Mrs. White's first vision indicated that the 2300 days had ended, but Christ's return was yet future and would be literal and visible like the Bible says. Thus it promoted a middle-of-the-road position between the two major camps.

Fifty thousand Millerites had felt moved by the Spirit of God during the seventh-month movement. Since her first vision indicated that that movement was indeed of God, this point too should have been considered non-controversial.

The 1850 vision the video quoted from, first published in November of that year, taught that:

  1. There was nothing wrong with printing a periodical to proclaim the truth.
  2. The word "sacrifice" in Daniel 8:12 was not in the original, but had been added by the translators (an indisputable fact).
  3. "Time . . . will never again be a test." In other words, there should be no more setting dates for Christ's return. [p. 25]
  4. Lots of money should not be spent sending people to Jerusalem, thinking that somehow this will help fulfill prophecy. (Present Truth, Nov. 1, 1850; Early Writings, pp. 74-76)

Nothing controversial here, though some who were setting dates might not have cared for the third point. However, she had already been opposing date setting for five years by that time, so this position was nothing new (see Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 72, 73).

Those who wanted to go to Jerusalem probably didn't like the fourth point, but this wasn't controversial either, for it harmonized with what the Millerites had believed and taught prior to 1844. They did not believe that the Bible foretold a restoration of literal Israel, but felt that Israel today is composed of all believers, as the apostle Paul taught:

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter. (Rom. 2:28, 29)

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. . . .

If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:7, 29)

This teaching may be controversial today, but it definitely wasn't among Millerites in 1844.

#18: It caused a re-adjustment of many dates and doctrines. No dates were re-adjusted by either vision. The first vision didn't really introduce any new doctrines. The 1850 vision called for a moratorium on date setting, but that wouldn't constitute a re-adjustment of many doctrines, especially since she had already been advocating that position for five years. Going to Jerusalem not being a fulfillment of prophecy was already a standard Millerite doctrine, so this doctrine was not re-adjusted either.

A Response to the Video

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The above page was found at https://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/response-to-video-17.htm on June 25, 2024.

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