In this chapter
(760)... A prophetic salutation
(761)... Revelation 12 and the commandment keeping church
(762)... Fulfilled prophecies enlighten
(764)... “Providence” in the New World
(765)...Prophetic Time Prophecy Fulfilled
(766)... Increased knowledge of the prophecies a sign of the End
(767)... General Preaching of the Gospel Another Sign
(768)... The 2300 days of Dan. 8:14
(769)... The Great Advent Movement
(771)... Bitter Disappointment
(772)... The True Sanctuary and Service
(773)... The First Seventh-day Adventist Church
(774)... Truth Refined in the Crucible of Affliction
(775)... A World Wide Movement
(777)... The third Angel’s Message a Living Reality
(778)... Interesting Statistics
(780)... Revelation 14:12 Fulfilled
A PROPHETIC SALUTION
To the remnant in Rhode Island, who keep the commandments of God and the testimonies of Jesus,” such was the greeting sent by their faithful shepherd from London, in the Old World, to the little flock of Christian Sabbath-keepers in the New World, as early as 1668. The text suggested reads thus:
The small remnant at London, one of whose faithful shepherds had just been dragged from the pulpit and executed, and his head placed on a pole opposite his chapel, simply for keeping God’s commandments, had experienced the wrath of the dragon, as God (for their comfort) had anciently foretold; and Dr. E Stennet sent to the New World a message of greater prophetic import than he ever dreamed of.
REVELATION 12 AND GOD‘S COMMANDMENT KEEPING CHURCH
Revelation 12 portrays the history of God’s commandment-keeping people. At the beginning of the New Testament we saw the Israel of the new dispensation clothed with all the light of heaven -- of the sun, of the moon, and of the stars. Out of Israel came forth the Man Child, whom, from the very beginning, Satan tried to kill, seeking to employ pagan Rome as his instrument. But this Child grew up a perfect example of obedience to every jot and tittle of the law of God, for man’s transgression of which he was to die as the Lamb of God,-- a free-will offering for the salvation of all who by faith would follow in his footsteps. Caught up to God and to his throne as victor over Satan, sin, and hades, Christ cast out into the earth Satan and his angels, filled with great wrath against the woman and her seed.
This wrath was abundantly experienced by the twelve apostles, who, as representatives of the twelve tribes, were chosen to gather out a people for the Lord, not only from among the lost sheep of the tribes of Israel, but also from among the Gentiles, and thus build anew (but out of living stones”) the tabernacle of David by the simple proclamation of the gospel. Acts 15:15-17.
Thousands of faithful witnesses for Jesus perished as a sacrifice to Jewish blindness and pagan persecution.
FULFILLED PROPHECIES ENLIGHTEN
But as the mystery of lawlessness, secretly beginning its career even during the days of the apostles, ripened into the Papacy, untold numbers of those who held to God's Word, and to his law, and to his holy Sabbath, were called to seal their faith in Jesus with their own lives. While thus experiencing the fulfilment of prophecy in their lives, God’s Holy Spirit directed their attention to the sure word of prophecy “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,” and it became their hidden spring of ”patience,” and their source of heavenly comfort. In the prophecies of Daniel they saw the papacy clearly outlined as the little horn of which it is written, “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 as the Pope of Rome assumed to be the vicar of the Son of God, and, as such, the infallible oracle to explain God’s Word, to alter divine laws, and to substitute papal decrials; as he professed to be lord over the church and over the kings, to give pardon and to anathematize, to suffer or to persecute; yea, as he even claimed to create Christ himself as a daily sacrifice for he living and the dead, they saw in him “the man of sin,” “the mystery of lawlessness,” sitting as God, “in the temple of God,” as Paul had foretold in 2 Thess. 2:1-7.
The “Mystery, Babylon the Great,” was solved, as they beheld what John had foretold in the Revelation of Jesus. And as they were persecuted by it, and had to flee from it into the high mountains, the Alps, and to the dense forests of Moravia and Bohemia, “fled into the wilderness“ being called by the Pope “the beasts of the desert,” they realized that there had risen out of the sea (the sea being symbolic of the multitudes of people) that beast which was to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Rev. 13:7. But there was that blessed hope to buoy up their courage even in the darkest hour, “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,” As “that day shall no come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed,” the revelation of him only increased their hopes.
But they learned more: the night of apostasy would give way to a dawning day; the saints were “given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time,” and then the judgment should sit, and take away his dominion and destroy it. Dan. 7:25,26. “Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months,” Rev. 13:5. The church would be fed in the wilderness “a thousand two hundred and threescore days,” or “for a time, and times, and half a time,” Rev. 12:6,14.
As they were led into captivity and killed with the sword, they knew that at the end of the time appointed, the persecutors would themselves be led into captivity and be killed with the sword. As those of whom it was said, “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints,” they had “more patience in their sufferings than did their enemies in tormenting them.” as Wyclif, Tyndale, Huss, and other Reformers unanimously declared the Papacy to be the antichrist, the Sabbatarians, knowing that as such it had presumed to change the time of the Most High, endeavoured to raise up the foundations of many generations, and to repair the breach that had been made in god’s law, by turning their feet from the Sabbath, and developing a remnant to whom the words of Rev. 12:17 might be truly applied.
“PROVIDENCE” IN THE NEW WORLD
As the faithful remnant was about to be swallowed up by the flood of water cast out of the serpent’s mouth, not only did God stay the power of the serpent by the Reformation in northern Europe, but strange tidings of the discovery of a vast new world reached the ears of the oppressed. And while adventurers thirsting for gold and worldly honor were rushing to South America, God mysteriously guarded and reserved North America “for the spread and the sway of a purer faith. The inestimable treasures of truth, which had just been recovered from the debris of ages, were destined to find here a theater for their fullest expansion and for the unfolding of their noblest products.” 1
This land should be the land of the free, the true child of the Reformation, and men who had learned the lessons of Christian liberty from God’s Word in the trying school of persecution, would lay the foundation of a new government in which freedom of conscience and the right of the individual would be sacredly guarded. The earth helped the woman indeed; a new government arose, coming up out of the earth, having two horns like a lamb. Rev. 13:11. And as intolerance threatened this fair land, Roger Williams, a noble Baptist, after enduring many persecutions, finally found in the territory now called Rhode Island (1636) a safe retreat, which he fittingly called Providence,.” “He was the first person in modern Christendom to assert in its plenitude the doctrine of the liberty of conscience.” 2
Rhode Island was the very colony in which the first Seventh-day Baptist missionaries from London raised up their first church (1671). In 1776 the United States of America declared its independence, and threw off the tyranny of the Old World. Its Constitution, Article 6 and Amendment I, reads:
“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
PROPHETIC TIME PROPHECY FULFILLED
In 1754 John Wesley, in referring to this predicted new government, commented: “He has not yet come, though he cannot be afar off; for he is to appear at the end of the forty and two months of the first beast.” (Explanatory Notes Upon the N.T. p. 299 v. 11)
And at the very time when this new government grew out of a new continent, the eldest son of the Papacy, France, was in the pangs of a most terrible revolution. Not only were hundreds of Catholic priests and bishops killed, but the Pope himself was taken prisoner in 1798, and died in captivity.
As three and a half times (3 x 360 + 180= 1260) which equal forty-two months, (42 x 30 = 1260) or twelve hundred sixty days, and as a prophetic day stands for a year, the twelve hundred sixty years of papal supremacy must have ended at that time.
In the year 1771, Prelate Ross, in commenting on Dan. 12:7, stated
[Many believed France would effect the fall of the papal power. John Willison (1680-1750) a Scottish divine, who studied Whitefield’s revival and returned to his own parish to start a similar movement wrote this prediction a half century previous to 1793 when his “A Prophecy of the French Revolution” was reprinted:
In 1799 Christian Thube, a pastor in Germany wrote in his book on Revelation (Anleitung zum Richtigen Versande de Offenbarung Johannis)
“The beast has received a deadly wound, Rev. 13:12. It received the wound by the sword, verse 14
“this was fulfilled by the French who with sword in hand banished the pope and his cardinals from Rome, dissolving the papal States and erecting a so-called Roman Republic.
“The present condition of the Papacy is the following; it received a wound by the sword and yet it is alive. How long this condition will continue and under which form this still continuing life will exist, is not yet to be decided with certainty. The deadly wound will be healed, but whether it will take a short or long time we do not know; nor do we understand now in which manner and by which process it will come to pass.” (pp. 123-124)]
INCREASED KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROPHECIES A SIGN OF THE END
One of the great tokens of the time of the end is the earnest searching of the prophetic word, for then “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Dan. 12:4. How this was fulfilled at that time, Dr. Isaak Da Costa attests:--
“Among the many and manifold signs is one of the most remarkable indeed, that in our day more than ever hearts feel drawn to the study of the prophetic books. Never was the attention of Christians everywhere so directed to the study of unfulfilled prophecies as now. This interest, this searching, characterizes an entirely new epoch in church history, the beginning of which can be placed at the end of the eighteenth century, and the increasing development of which one especially notices in the nineteenth. It synchronizes with the ‘period of revolution’, of secular history,” 3
Hand in hand with the increase of prophetic knowledge was the greatest effort ever put forth in the circulation of the Bible and religious literature. In this period the great Bible and tract societies were formed: 1779, the Religious Tract Society, London; 1780, the Naval and Military Bible Society: 1804, the British and Foreign Bible Society; 1814, the German Bible Society of Berlin; 1816, the American Bible Society, etc.
Sir Isaac Newton, in commenting on Rev. 14:6, remarks:
GENERAL PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL ANOTHER SIGN
The nineteenth century is generally termed the “century of missions,” and the founding of the greatest missionary societies exactly synchronizes with the same “period of revolution:” there were formed in 1792, the Baptist; 1795, the London; 1799, the Church of England’ 1814, the Wesleyan; 1816, the general Baptist; and in 1824, the Scotch Presbyterian societies. These, however, were the preparatory steps for another movement that sustains the closest relation to them. The preaching of the everlasting gospel of Rev. 14:6,7, to which Isaac Newton referred, is but the first of the three messages which go to prepare the way for the advent of the Son of man to reap the world’s harvest, as set forth in Rev. 14:14-20.
A threefold advent message bearing the everlasting gospel to all the world is the outcome of this earnest search of the Scriptures, and their wide-spread circulation helps to prepare the way for it. Before the promised Messiah came, “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness” was to be heard, and a messenger was to come to prepare the way of the Lord before him. 4
Likewise, before our Saviour comes the second time in the glory of the Father, the threefold message of Rev. 14:6-12 must go to all the world to prepare for his advent a people who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
THE 2300 DAYS OF DAN. 8:14
And the sure word of prophecy did not fail here. A number of men, in different parts of the world and unknown to one another, searching diligently in the book of Daniel, simultaneously arrived at the same conclusion, -- that the full explanation of the two thousand three hundred prophetic days of Dan. 8:14 was given in Daniel 9, and that the seventy weeks, or four hundred ninety years, determined upon Israel and Jerusalem, were but the first part of the two thousand three hundred years.
As it was generally agreed that the four hundred ninety years began in 457 B.C., when the command of Artaxerxes, [given to Ezra (Ezra 7)], went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem [as a capital city with civic powers, see Ezra 7:25], the two thousand three hundred years would begin at the same time. [in 457 B.C.] Further, as at the end of the sixty nine weeks, or four hundred eighty-three years, Jesus was anointed the Messiah at his baptism, and as he was crucified in the midst of the final week, and as the gospel began to be preached to the Gentiles three and a half years later, in A.D. 34, this part of the prophetic period --the seventy weeks was established without question. Its exact fulfilment did indeed “seal up the vision and prophecy,” or confirm them.
Muehe, quite a prominent Lutheran minister, in referring to Bengel’s computations, writes: --
“A searching of prophetic time cannot be forbidden, . . .because Peter states (1 Peter 1:10-12) that even the prophets searched as to the time to which these prophecies pointed. Daniel had calculated the seventy years of captivity from Jeremiah. The Lord reproved the priests and the scribes of his time because they understood not the signs of the times. They indeed might and should have known from Dan. 9:25, that Christ must come at that time. We need not fear that by such diligent searching we shall look too intently into the Lord’s council chamber.” 5
THE GREAT ADVENT MOVEMENT
During the years 1810-35, unknown to one another, Kelber and Wolff, of Germany; Irving and Way, of England; Davis, McGregor, Krupp, and Miller, of the United States, all reached the same conclusion about the two thousand three hundred days of Daniel, and began to publish treatises stating their convictions.
The most pronounced movement, however, was in the eastern part of the United States, where William Miller, assisted by many earnest associates, carried on a great revival. When J. Litch’s calculation of the prophetic periods in Rev. 9:5,15 which he had published in 1838, was fulfilled in 1840-- the power of the sultan actually passing into the hands of the allied European powers at that time,-- the confidence of the people in the year-day principle was greatly strengthened. More wonderful still, we are informed by Bishop S.Gobat, in his “Leben” (Basel, 1884 p. 119), that Mohammed Ali, the pasha of Egypt, began his war against Turkey entirely on the strength of the light gathered from prophecy in 1828, to the effect that Turkey was about to come to an end.
The following statement from the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church shows what power characterized this advent movement:--
“From 1840 to 1844 there was in the United States a general religious awakening, the M.E.Church having its share, as it increased 257,465 members in 1843-44”. 6
We find the same in Germany, especially in Nuremberg and in Silesia, where Bengel’s explanation of Revelation led many to expect that the Lord would come about 1836. From Germany it spread to Russia, where it was the prime cause of the great Stundist movement. In Sweden, where the men preaching it were cast into prison, little children, called rupare (crying with a loud voice), proclaimed it with great power. England was also quite thoroughly stirred, and many accepted the glad tidings.
Elder J. Marsh could truly write in the Voice of Truth, January, 1885:--
“No case can be more clearly substantiated with facts than that this message [of Rev. 14:6,7] has been carried to every nation and tongue under heaven, within a few past years, in the preaching of the coming of Christ in 1843, or near at hand. Through the medium of lectures and publications, the sound has gone into all the earth, and the word unto the ends of the world.
But not only did 1843 pass, but also Oct. 22, 1844, on which day, answering to the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish dispensation, Christ was expected to come out from the holy of holies to bless and take to His Father’s house, His people ,and to cleanse the earth. This was indeed a most bitter disappointment to the thousands of honest souls who had expected to meet their Lord, and I view of it had earnestly striven for the true white raiment, the spotless garments of the righteousness of Christ. Their disappointment was by no means the first disappointment that had been experienced by Christ’s true followers. The disciples expected that Christ would set up the kingdom of Israel; and on his entry into Jerusalem, their expectations had risen to the highest pitch, only to be sorely disappointed when he was crucified.
Thousands in the Roman and Greek churches had at various times expected his second advent, and even the Reformers thought it very near. But none of these expectations were warranted by so many prophetic dates, so convincing an array of signs, and such marked power as was the great advent movement in the first half of the nineteenth century. And that the prophetic calculations of these advent believers were correct, is fully sustained by the statements of prominent students of prophecy; H.Grattan Guiness, of London, in his Calendar of prophetic dates first published in 1879, begins the two thousand three hundred days with 457 B.C. and ends them in 1844. 7
THE TRUE SANCTUARY AND SERVICE
As no flaw could be found in the calculation, God-fearing men began to search into the nature of the event. Daniel 8:14 “Unto two thousand three hundred days, and then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.“ Heretofore, the cleansing of the sanctuary had been supposed to refer to the cleansing of the earth by fire; but a careful examination of the one hundred forty-six texts in which this word occurs, revealed the fact that the earthly tabernacle of the Old Testament was simply a pattern of that in the heavens. As early as 1771, the Lutheran prelate Ross, Bengel’s disciple, wrote:
“But that Moses saw the typical signification of the ceremonial laws, and that other might have come to the same knowledge through him, appears, because he was the heavenly antitype of the earthly tabernacle on Mount Sinai. Ex. 25:40; 26:30; Acts 7:44; Heb. 8:5. He did not behold a shadow of the earthly tabernacle, as one might show a picture or an object by a magic lantern or by a painting, but he was the true heavenly sanctuary, of which the earthly sanctuary was a type. Heb. 8:5. Thus Moses learned, and through him all Israelites might have known, that there was a heavenly sanctuary and an earthly; and as the earthly had its priests and sacrifices, likewise the heavenly must also have a priest and a sacrifice; for without this a sanctuary or temple in heaven was in vain. . .Moses saw the heavenly sanctuary, but not as John, long after him, saw it.” 8
The priests on earth served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” and their daily and annual service was a shadow of the daily and final service of our great High Priest. As the Adventists, although not understanding the place of the cleansing, believed and taught that judgment was to be meted out in 1844, it remains an indisputable historical fact that the first angel’s message, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth,” etc., was truly given at that time, and is still being preached in all the world as “the everlasting gospel.”
As the churches generally rejected the message from God, and cast its believers from their midst, the second angel’s message was added to the first.
THE FIRST SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH
[The Advent believers, prior to 1844, were not Seventh-day Sabbath keepers. There were exceptions as we read in Utter’s “Sabbath Recorder”, of one, James Begg, in Paisley, Scotland, who emphasized the imminent second, premillennial coming of Christ. Beginning about 1832 Begg began the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. He not only observed the seventh day as the Sabbath, but promoted it in his writings. He was in contact with the newly published Millerite Signs of the Times in 1840, and was one of the first to welcome it as a stalwart American herald of the advent. He offered them several articles on the continuing obligation of the seventh-day Sabbath for publication, but they were rejected. Later, in 1845 Begg had his first communications in the Seventh Day Baptist Recorder and finally was baptized in 1853 in the Seventh-day Baptist church. From this it is apparent that Begg was convinced of the binding obligation of the seventh-day Sabbath by the study of the Word itself, not initially from contact with Seventh-day Baptists.
However, for nearly two centuries the Seventh-day Baptists of North America had stood practically alone in upholding the seventh day as the Sabbath. But God in his wonderful providence, desirous that the people waiting for the Lord, as well as those who had been walking heretofore in the way of his commandments, should have all the light. Thus He brought some Seventh-day Baptists in contact with the Advent believers., who up to that time had been observing Sunday.
A faithful Seventh-day Baptist sister, Mrs. Rachel D. Preston, moved from New York State to Washington N.H. Here she became interested in the doctrine of the glorious advent of Christ near at hand. Being instructed in this subject by the Adventist people; she in turn taught them of the claims of the law of God, so that as early as 1844 nearly the entire church at Washington, N.H., which consisted of about forty persons, became observers of the Sabbath of the Lord, then and there the first Seventh-day Adventist church in the world (though not yet called by that name) was established.
Wonderful to say, also in 1844 some Adventists in southern Germany, convinced from studying the Bible, began to keep the true Sabbath. The author has made the personal acquaintance of an elderly sister who began the observance of the Sabbath at that time. Thus God’s truth is bound to neither language nor country--”the wind bloweth where it listeth.”
TRUTH REFINED IN THE CRUCIBLE OF AFFLICTION
Several Adventist ministers received the Sabbath truth from the Sabbath-keepers at Washington, N.H., during the year 1844. One of these, Elder T.M. Prble, published the first Adventist treatise on the Bible Sabbath Feb. 13, 1845. In this we read:
Thus the bitter disappointment of 1844, which discouraged so many, proved to the persevering seeker after divine truth, only the crucible to bring forth the threefold message of Revelation 14 in all its completeness, developing a people to whom the words in Rev. 14:12 could be truthfully applied.
“Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.”
Shortly after Captain Bates had received the Sabbath truth, two others destined to be its powerful exponents began to keep the Sabbath, --Elder Jams S. White, who was instrumental in starting the publishing work among Seventh-day Adventists, and Elder J.N. Andrews, whose ready pen gave shape to the fundamental principles held by them. In August 1846 the young Ellen Harmon, who was also convicted of the Sabbath truth after studying Bates’ Sabbath tract, and who was to give a spiritual impress to the work, married James White.
A WORLD WIDE MOVEMENT
But was the faith in the prophetic truths that was thus refined in the crucible of disappointment, justified by developments? During the middle of the nineteenth century a few believers in New England, who were poor in this world’s goods, but who were rich in faith, acquainted with but on language, were fully persuaded that, according to the light they had received, this threefold message would go with power throughout all the earth, and gather a people out of all nations, who would walk in its light, and wait for its Lord. To-day one may begin in Alaska, to the extreme northwest, and pass through Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America, and he will find about seventy-five thousand believers spreading the first, second, and third angel’s messages, and walking in their light; he may turn toward the many islands of the Pacific, where he will find hundreds of believers scattered here and there, and thousands more in Australia; or, starting in the Eastern hemisphere, he may begin at Iceland and Lapland on the north, and travel through the heart of Europe and Africa until he reaches Cape of Good Hope, or he may begin at the western point of Europe and go eastward until he reaches Siberia, Korea, China, and Japan, or southward to India, and in these lands he will find about twenty-five thousand Sabbath-keepers, active in their churches and missions, -- the one true Israel of God, having one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one Sabbath.
(That was in 1900, now, 2003, Seventh-day Adventists are establish in 208 countries and have over 12,600,000 members)
Thousands of gospel workers are proclaiming this everlasting gospel in a large number of tongues to Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protestant, white and black, pagan and Mohammedan. A hundred or more printing-presses, distributed over all the continents and among the islands, are constantly engaged the year round-- and often work day and night-- in preparing books, tracts, pamphlets, and journals, and thousands of willing hands are busy in scattering these publications by the million, like the falling eaves of autumn. In all lands hundreds of young people are being educated to well the list of faithful workers.
The physical welfare of man also receives due consideration Over a hundred physicians and eighteen hundred nurses are employed as medical missionaries, and there are sanitariums and medical missions on all continents. The denomination discards narcotics and alcoholic drinks. Liberal gifts and tithes of this live body, which God’s grace has made wiling to sacrifice for him. Supply the necessary means to send forth these workers into every clime under heaven. This is God’s work. This is the fruit of belief in his sure word of prophecy. As early as 1895; the Hauck-Herzog Realencyclopedia very fittingly stated: “The Seventh-day Adventists are at present a mighty, aggressive denomination, and they will continue to prosper, especially in America, for some time to come,” 9
THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE A LIVING REALITY
The third angel’s message has become a living reality, and its loud voice and mighty influence will be felt more and more.
[It is a unique message, which, if rightly understood, keeps the child of God on the path to heaven, and out of the two ditches which drop down on either side of that path. It was called the "everlasting gospel". This message, if accepted would do the cleansing, regenerating work in the heart and mind, as people receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God, including the worship of the Creator who made heaven and earth and rested the seventh day, setting it apart for holy purposes. For indeed there is an accounting. “The hour of His judgement has come”. The popular form of worship which teaches and enforces the traditions of men rather than the commandments of God, will be judged and condemned.
The beginnings of the church basing it’s mission on the three angels’ message were small, and the work grew very slowly at first. The first general meeting was held in 1855 at battle Creek, Mich. The first conference was organized in 1861, and in 1863 five such conferences were joined together as the General Conference. About that time there were three thousand five hundred members, and about $8,000 annual income. At the end of 1910 there are over 100,000 believers, with nearly 3,500 churches and companies, representing all parts of the world. The General Conference Committee now consists of fort-six members. Its headquarters is at Takoma park, Washington, D.C. There are 23 unions and 106 local conferences, and 87 missions, employing 4,346 workers; their tithes and offerings for supporting the gospel work amounted to $2,223,767 for 1910. Their institutions represent an investment of $6,659,940; there are 86 educational institutions, 28 publishing houses, and 74 sanitariums. The enrolment in the higher schools shows 7,169 students taught by 561 teachers. The sales of the publishing houses in 1910 amounted to $1,560,510 and 610 workmen are employed in getting out publication I over 69 languages. They publish 126 weekly and monthly journals. About 33,000 patients received medical care that was renders by the 1989 physicians and nurses engaged in this work.
In North America, including Canada, there are 12 union and 65 local conferences, with a membership of 66,500. In South and Central America, with the West Indies, there are three union conferences, and over 7,500 members. In the Australasian Union Conference, which is composed of Australia and many islands of the Pacific, there are 4,600 members. Europe forms a division of the General Conference. It has six union and 24 local conferences, and about 22, 000 members. It looks after the missions in Asiatic Russia, and Turkey, and in northern and eastern Africa. South Africa also forms a union conference with over 1000 members, and its mission work extends to Nyassaland and to the border of the Congo. The Seventh-day Adventist Mission Board has direct oversight of the work in China, Korea, Japan, India, and the West Coast of Africa, where there are about 2,500 believers and whither quite a strong missionary force has been sent during the last few years.
A comparison with the Seventh-day Baptists will show the strength that the sure word of prophecy has been to the Sabbath movement. At present (1910) there are 9,500 Seventh-day Baptists, nearly all of whom are in the United States; they have a few churches in England and Holland, and a mission in China and in Java. As to schools, they have five academies, one college, and a university. The American Tract Society is the publishing agency of the Seventh-day Baptists, and has its headquarters at Plainfield, N.J., where their church organ The Sabbath Recorder, is published. The Seventh-day Baptists do not lack men of education, of talent, and of means, but they do lack the power of the prophetic message to make the Sabbath a live issue.
[Note:In the year 2003, Seventh-day Adventists have over 100,000 churches and companies in the world, with 5,500 of these churches and companies in North America, while Seventh-day Baptists have just over 70 churches in North America and a few more in other lands.]
REVELATION 14:12 FULFILLED
God’s Sabbath, so long despised and buried under human ordinances, again shines forth not only from the sacred page of the Bible and from the divine law in the heavenly sanctuary, but also through the lives of thousands of its loyal observers in all parts of the world. The Sabbath movement is not only a living issue in the time of the end, but it is THE great issue of the third angel’s message in Revelation 24, and of the sealing work in Revelation 7.
Israel of old read the prophecies pointing so clearly to the coming Messiah, every Sabbath day; and when Christ came among his own countrymen in exact fulfilment of these prophecies, they rejected him, yea, they crucified him, and persecuted his followers. The dry branches were broken off and dispersed among the nations, as a warning example of the fate to be meted out to unbelief; and their once glorious temple and city are trodden under foot to this day. But the true Israel, accepting the prophetic messages of John, and continually searching the Holy Scriptures, recognized in Jesus of Nazareth the promised Messiah; men of unwavering faith held him up as the only One in whose name salvation is found, and thousands accepted the glad tidings. Christ, whom the builders rejected, became the chief corner-stone of the building.
From childhood, nominal Christians learn the ten commandments, and use them in their confessional, or ask God to incline their hearts to keep them; they bewail the profanation of the “Christian Sabbath;” they clamor for increased secular Sunday legislation; they lean upon the arm of flesh. The true Sabbath is presented to them from God’s own Word, in the light of his law, which the Spirit of God is ever willing to write upon their hearts; a solemn warning, a clear, prophetic message, is presented to them with a loud voice, but they turn deaf ears to it. Shall Jerusalem’s doom become the general and final doom, not of one city, but of the whole world? But again there appears a true Israel, not of flesh nor of one nation, but an Israel of the Spirit, and of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people; and to them this prophetic message brings welcome light, for which they have long sought. They delight in God’s law; they turn their feet from trampling the divine rest day, and call it “the holy of the Lord, honourable,” Bu faith in Christ they ride over all the difficulties which tower up before them as mountains. They do not clamor for Sabbath laws, but thirst for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that it may write the divine law upon their hearts, and seal them with the perpetual sign between God and his true Israel-- a work to be finished in the end of time. As thousands are sealed with God’s own seal, through the world-wide proclamation of the third angel, not only are the rejected foundations of many generations again raised up, but the prophetic salutation to the Sabbath-keepers of Rhode Island, now stands forth as a fact manifested in all the world:
Here is the patience of the saints
; Here are they that keep the commandments of God
Here are they that have the faith of Jesus.”10
1. Dr. E.J. Wolf, “The Lutherans in America” New York. 1890 p. 103 Return>
2. Bancroft, History of the United States, I, 375 Return>
3. Israel 1, d. Voelker, p. 8 Return>
4. Isa, 40:3; Mal, 3:1; John 1:23; Matt. 11:10 Return>
5. Muehe “Ist das Ende nahe?” P. 14 Return>
6. Geschichte des Methodismus, 2, 136, L.S. Jacoby, Bremen 1870 Return>
7. “The Approaching End,” eighth edition, London, appendix !. Return>
8. Einl. In die Bible. Geshichte, Stutgart 1876. Pp. 332, 333, 903,904
For more on “The Adventist understanding of the Great Disappointment see James White “Bible Adventism”
9. Adventisten, I, 195-198 Return>
10. Rev. 12:17; 14:12 Return>