Editorial Keynotes

Not a Block to Be Moved Nor a Pin Stirred

L.E.F. is editor of Ministry.

II. The Inclusiveness of the Fundamentals (Part II)

I. Centrality of the Sanctuary Truth.—The sanctuary truth is the keystone in the great arch of present truth. Both the advent hope and the Sabbath message emphasis of these last days spring from it and are the outgrowth of it. The nineteenth century launching of the advent mes­sage was premised upon the cleansing of the sanc­tuary at the end of the 2300 years, about 1843 or 1844. This, -it was first believed, would mark the second advent. Then the gradual but progressive revision of the sanctuary concept followed—from considering the earth as the sanctuary to the view­point of the antitypical day of atonement in the holy of holies of heaven, with its ministering High Priest.

Now, this was brought out clearly under the seventh-month-movement phase of the first angel's message, before, and not after, the disappointment, synchronously with the climaxing note of the sec­ond angel's message, that had then joined the first message. Finally, under the dawning of the third message, following the disappointment, there came the clarification of both the sanctuary in heaven, with its two divisions, or apartments, and the two phases of our heavenly High Priest's ministry therein, with Christ's entry upon the second phase of ministry on October 22, 1844, marking the clari­fied climax.

Moreover, it was the contemplation of the sec­ond phase of the ministry of Christ, in the most holy place, where the ten commandments were en­shrined in the ark of the covenant, that prepared Hiram Edson and his associates for the light on the Sabbath, then due, as brought to them by Joseph Bates when he attended the little confer­ence held at Edson's home in the latter part of 1845 or early 1846, before the Bates tract on the Sabbath was issued in August of that year.1

And the Sabbath, apart from its gradually per­ceived prophetic significance, as the mark of the papal beast in mortal conflict with the restored Sabbath seal of God, was given its great potency and appeal as it came to be seen as part of the great reformation called for among God's expectant, rem­nant people—a reformation precisely matched to the demands of Christ's final priestly work of judgment, pertaining to God's broken law. The inevitable necessity of a commandment-keeping revival for the remnant church, being prepared for the close of the judgment in progress in the sanctuary above—with the end of human probation impending and the coming of the Lord drawing near—gave the Sabbath truth its divine setting and supreme force.

Again and again our pioneers declared this all-encompassing truth of the sanctuary to be the "main pillar" of the advent faith. 2 And in nu­merous instances the same thought—"central pil­lar" and "foundation of our faith" that "has made us a separate people"—is stressed by Mrs. E. G. White. 3

"The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ's' work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living: upon the earth. It opens to view/ the plan of redemption,. bringing us down to the very close of time, and reveal­ing the triumphant issue of the contest between right­eousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects, and be able to give to everyone that asketh them a reason for the hope that is in them."4

Small wonder, then, that most of those who leave us go out through the door of sanctuary truth rejection. And little wonder that through the years most major attacks on the message have centered on some phase of the wondrous sanctuary provision. Its obscuration, distortion, or over­throw is the relentless purpose of the archenemy. The lesson is clear : We should make the reverent ' study of the sanctuary in all its basic involvements —including the key dates of the 2300 years—the object of intense personal study and effective public teaching. Here is a limitless field that beckons us.

2. Unfamiliarity has oversimplified the messages.—Because of all too common unfamil­iarity with the facts of the Millerite movement, many have oversimplified the terms first, second, and third angels' messages. They have made them too elementary. These expressions connote vastly more than we have ordinarily assigned to them. A thorough search of the facts reveals a scope and comprehensiveness that we have not been ac­customed to include, a profundity that is truly awesome. Yet it is all there, and is a fundamental part of the positions represented by those terms. Even this sketch can be but a condensation and emphasis of the larger aspects. The early posi­tions of our pioneers were reached only througir an amazingly thorough study on the part of well-trained minds, gripped by the consciousness of truths whose hour had come, and who felt the-compulsive pressure of tremendous events impend­ing. Our spiritual forefathers built more wisely than they knew, because they were led of God.

3. First Message indicates the year.—Mighty issues over the three messages marked our early years. Particularly between 1831 and 1843 the first message, on the impending judgment hour and the cleansing of the earth and the church by fire at the end of the 2300 years, was followed by the rectification of the time from Miller's origi­nal "year-1843" position5 over to its terminus on the tenth day of the seventh month (October 22) in the "true Jewish year 1844."

This adjustment was the outgrowth of painstak­ing restudy, by Miller's associates, of Jewish cal­endation, history, and chronology, and involved the revision of Miller's earlier equinoctial year, which he ended on March 21, to the close of April 18, when the true Jewish sacred year "1843" would terminate, and "1844" begin. It also involved a restudy of the crucifixion date, which Miller orig­inally and erroneously placed in A. D. 33, at the end of Daniel's seventieth week, with ultimate sub­stitution of the spring of A. D. 31, as the required "midst" of Daniel's seventy weeks of years. 7

4. Second Message Identifies the Day.— This readjustment reached its climax in August, 1844, in what was known as the great "seventh-month movement," which began at that time and which led the Adventists to look with conviction to October 22 of that year. Now, all this paralleled the giving of the second message, as will be noted shortly. With the midst-of-the-week cross now correctly placed in the spring of A. D. 31, and the second half, or three and a half years, ending in the autumn of 34, the remaining 1810 years would logically and necessarily extend to the autumn of 1844. 8 To this was added the argument from the types—that Christ died not only in the year de­manded by the outline prophecy of the seventy weeks, but on the very fourteenth day of the first month required by the Passover type, and rose on the sixteenth, or day of the wave sheaf—with Pentecost falling just fifty days thereafter. 9

So, it was reasoned, would our Saviour, as min­istering High Priest in the not too clearly defined holy of holies, or heaven of heavens, come out to bless His waiting people on the great antitypical day of atonement, as similarly demanded by the Mosaic types. The tenth day of the seventh Jew­ish month would synchronize, they found, with the Gregorian civil date of October 22, in the very terminal year specified by the outline prophecy of the 2300 years. This end year, they held, was cer­tified by the spring A. D. 31-cross in the midst of the seventieth prophetic week. Thus harmony and agreement obtained between every key date in the inseparable series-457 B. C. and A. D. 27, 31, and 34, with the cumulative series all climaxing in the autumn of the terminal year 1844.1°

This seventh-month movement was thus a di­vinely planned transition step from the earlier 1843 phase, with its earth-as-the-sanctuary view, to a vaguely understood heavenly sanctuary and a ministering High Priest, but as yet without a clear understanding of the nature of the heavenly sanc­tuary, or of the two phases of Christ's heavenly ministry therein. The eyes of the Millerites were thus definitely lifted from earth to heaven for the sanctuary, though their vision was still hazy and obscure.

This second phase, or emphasis, was commonly called the "midnight cry," halfway between the spring ending of the Jewish 1843, and the autum­nal 1844 expectation of the appearing of the heav­enly Priest, when He would emerge to bless His waiting people, on October 22. This position came to be held by practically every advent leader dur­ing either September or October. This intensive proclamation was constantly referred to as the "true midnight cry," and was widely published in all the Millerite papers under that very name.

5. Midnight Cry of Second Message.—The second angel's message began in the autumn of 1843 but entered a new phase in the summer and autumn of 1844. In Spiritual Gifts, Volume I, the chapter on the "Second Angel's Message" presents this climax of that second message as a "great light from heaven" near its close, connected with the cry, "Behold, the-Bridegroom cometh ; go ye out to meet Him." It was the loud cry of the sec­ond angel, or as Mrs. White declares, the midnight cry, which "was given to give power to the second angel's message." Angels from heaven initiated this augmenting cry, which was sounded "in the power of the Holy Spirit." It was likewise called "light . . . upon the second angel's message," al­ready existent. But in its proclamation the former leaders were the last to join.'

This was none other than that great seventh-month movement, which we have noted, which came into being in July and August, 1844, based upon the Day of Atonement type, and pointing with its carefully revised arid corrected chronology to October 22 as the momentous tenth day of the seventh month. Thus the true day had been added to the true year. It was the involvements of this added "true midnight cry," that led to Millerism's final rupture with the nominal churches, as they flatly rejected this advanced "light from heaven." This rejection in turn led to their fall "from the favor of God."

It is profoundly significant that it was this same true midnight cry of the seventh-month movement, reaching its climax along with the consummation of the second message, that was shown to Ellen Harmon in her first vision, in December, 1844. It was portrayed as the "bright light" set up be­hind them, illuminating the advent pathway clear through to the city of God. 12 James White also stated, in 1845, that this bright light for the path­way started in the midnight cry of the summer of 1844.12 The background we have sketched was all involved in Ellen Harmon's first vision as she described the travels of the advent people on the pathway far above the world, thus certifying the soundness, propriety, and accuracy of that October 22, 1844, date. And this was announced to the "little flock" when nominal Adventists all around her had begun to deny the leading of God in the seventh-month movement, and to repudiate the correctness of its prophetic calculation.

Thus the seventh-month message on the ap­proaching antitypical day of atonement—as falling on October 22, when the heavenly High Priest would emerge from the holy of holies to bless His waiting people—was inseparably tied to the accen­tuated and accelerated "Babylon is fallen" second message. Those who heralded the one also simul­taneously gave the other. They are, therefore, one and inseparable, and should ever be considered together. It was the specific message of the com­ing of the Bridegroom, or High Priest, on October 22 that intensified the "Babylon is fallen" message, which had already begun back in the summer of 1843.14 This dual emphasis is therefore to be un­derstood whenever we understandingly employ the term "second angel's message." Such is its larger scope and intent. Its issues were more basic and far-reaching than we have been wont to under­stand.

6. Third message places Christ in most holy.—The time feature, or chronology, of the 2300-year period, culminating in 1844, with its re­lationship to the seventy weeks, and the logical reasoning from the analogy of the Mosaic types that made possible the determining of the very day for the great antitypical day of atonement, was sound and invulnerable. After the disappoint­ment this was recognized as the time of transition from the first phase of Christ's heavenly ministry to the second and final judgment phase. It was the nature of the transaction, the event of October 22, not the time, that was mistaken and partial. Yet it was basically close to the fuller truth soon to dawn. The same heavenly High Priest was in­volved, and the same heavenly ministry. But it was the entry upon the second phase of a twofold ministry that had not heretofore been perceived.

As noted, the Millerites in the seventh-month movement, prior to the disappointment, were as yet aware only of a single ministry, with expectation of Christ, our High Priest, coming out of the holy of holies, or heaven of heavens, on the last, or culminating, day of that ministry. To them that antitypical day of atonement was limited to the tenth day of the seventh month. The clarifi­cation and rectification, following the likewise prophesied disappointment, had the same High Priest in the same heavenly sanctuary; only in­stead of coming out of, He went into the second apartment and phase of that priesthood and min­istry on the very same day—October 22.

But now this date was seen to mark the first day of a prophesied period of time, occupying many years. Now all is in true and corrected re­lationship.

7. Basic issues involved in early positions. —There are those who say, What difference does it make whether Christ was crucified in A. D. 31 or A. D. 30? Isn't either one sufficiently near the "midst of the week" to answer the demands of the prophecy? There is indeed a vital difference, wholly apart from relationship to Spirit of proph­ecy certification of the A. D. 31 date. It was the Millerite study of the historical, chronological Jewish caIendrical, and prophetical evidence that led the leaders of the seventh-month movement to reject Miller's original A. D. 33-cross position at the end of the seventieth week. This had been as­sumed on the basis of the rabbinical calendar,, which only came into vogue in the fourth century A. D. The change was to the acceptance of an A. D. 31, spring crucifixion in the actual midst of the prophetic seventieth week. It was that cor­rection alone that gave them the true autumnal ending in A. D. 34, and thus of 1844.

This correction of the crucifixion date was on the basis of the true Mosaic calendation which had been revived by the early Karaites, whose Middle Age contentions led the Millerites back to the true calendation. This correction of the terminal day of Miller's "year 1843" from March 21 over to April 18 formed the whole basis of calculation of the precise tenth day of the seventh month of the new and true "Jewish year 1844." The first day of its first month began on April 19, 1844.15 The seventh Jewish month would therefore begin with the new moon of October 13, on the New England meridian. This led, in turn, to the determination of the tenth day of the seventh month, just nine days thereafter, or October 22.' There is no other-basis of determining the true date. The year of the cross is therefore basic.

Here again we face the Spirit of prophecy state­ment that in 1844 the tenth day of the seventh month fell on October 22. Moreover, the un­biased official tables of astronomy and the re­searches of calendation substantiate the position of the Millerites and the supporting Spirit of proph­ecy declarations, that the tenth day of the seventh month, true Mosaic time, coincided in 1844 with October 22, on the New England meridian. Yes, it makes a difference. And it is a matter of sound fact as well as of stanch faith, of rational demon­stration as well as of pious belief.

"The proclamation of the first, second, and third an­gels' messages has been located by the Word of Inspira­tion. Not a peg or pin is to be removed. No human authority has any more right to change the location of these messages than to substitute the New Testament for the Old.' "

"The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the proclamation of the third ; but all three of the messages are still to be pro­claimed. . . . By pen and voice we are to sound the proclamation, showing their order, and the application of the prophecies that bring us to the third angel's mes­sage. There cannot be a third without a first and sec­ond." "

"The present truth for this time comprises the mes­sages, the third angel's message succeeding the first and second." "

7. Accentuation of early messages under third.—Moreover, both the first and second mes­sages take on new meaning, fullness, and finality in their accelerated presentation under the third angel's message. The creatorship of God, and the worship of the Maker of heaven and earth of the first message, becomes a telling factor in the pres­entation of the Sabbath under the third message, in this era of evolutionism. And the repetition of the second message, "Babylon is fallen. . . . Come out of her, My people," in the latter part of the giving of the third message, will come when Protestantism is finally brought face to face with the acceptance or rejection of the Sabbath and Sanctuary, or third, message-when the formation of the image of the beast is under way, which will attempt to force the worship of the beast and the acceptance of its mark.

As the churches of 1844 rejected the day-of - atonement, judgment-hour, and antitypical day-of­atonement first and second messages, and thus fell from the "favor of God," so now they will soon reject the full threefold message-the judgment, the sanctuary, and particularly the Sabbath, or third, message, given in the fullness of power and evidence. Then the remnant heralds will be im­pelled to declare the final and irrevocable fall of Babylon, and call for the immediate separation of the multiplied thousands of God's people still in the communions of Babylon. Truly ours is a three­fold message today, fraught with tremendous im­plications and obligations. "These messages are connected and bound together. One cannot be carried without the other.""

-To be continued in January


1 Hiram Edson MS., p. to. (Original in Advent Source Collection.)

2 James White in the Advent Review, insert in 48- page special (Auburn), 1850; Review and Herald, December, 1850, p. 13.

3 Ellen G. White Letter 26, 1897; Letter 208, 1906; MS. 20, 1906; Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 17 (1906).

4 Ellen G. White in Review and Herald, Nov. 9, 1905, p. 20.

5 The Midnight Cry, March 21, 1844, p. 284; April 4, 1844, p. 297; April 25, 1844, p. 325.

6 The True Midnight Cry, Aug. 22, 1844-

7 Signs of the Times, Dec. zo, 1843, p. 148.

8 The Midnight Cry, Feb. 22, 1844, PP. 243, 244; The

9 True Midnight Cry, Aug. 22, 1844, PP. 1-4; The Advent Herald, Oct. 16, 1844, p. 86

10 The True Midnight Cry, Aug. 22, 1844, P. 4; The Advent Herald, Oct. 2, 1844, p. 71.

11 The True Midnight Cry, before cited, is the clearest statement of this position.

12 Spiritual Gifts, pp. 140, 141 ; Early Writings, p. 238.

13 Experience and Views (Saratoga Springs, 1851), p. 10. The Day-Star, Sept. 6, 1843, p. 15.

14 Charles Fitch, Come Out of Her, My People (RochCater: Himes, 1843).

15 Joseph Bates, Waymarks and High Heaps (New Bedford : Lindsey, 1847), p. 30.

16 E. G. White MS. 32, 1896.

17 Ibid.; also Letter 121, 1900.

18 E. G. White Letter 121, 1900.

19  E. G. White Letter 65, 1897.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

L.E.F. is editor of Ministry.

December 1944

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Use of the Spirit of Prophecy in Evangelism

Presentation at recent workers' meeting in the Brit­ish Union Conference, its object being to suggest ways of introducing the Spirit of prophecy to the public in con­servative countries.

The Broadcast in Jeopardy

Radio Evangelism in Action

To Convert or to Teach Doctrine?

Can it be that we have been seeking to make Seventh-day Adventists more than to make Christians?

Vital Place of the Evangelistic Choir

The role of careful planning helps ensure a vital place of the evangelistic choir

Protracted Public Prayers

Avoiding long prayers.

Our Service as an Investment

Our denominational workers who serve for a missionary wage sometimes are inclined to feel that they are making a great financial sacrifice in forgoing the higher wages offered by commer­cial organizations.

Reaching Ministers of Other Denominations

A symposium at a Michigan Conference workers' meeting

Making Favorable Contacts

It has been my privilege to become personally acquainted with more than one hundred minis­ters of other denominations during my active con­nection with our organized work.

Contacts Through Temperance

The present interest in the problem of alcohol in the nation, with its attendant juvenile delin­quency evils, offers Adventists the grandest oppor­tunity of their history to build up a large group of friends among ministers of other faiths, leaders in temperance work, and high school principals.

Dome-Shaped Portable Tabernacle

Since the days when the sanctuary was erected at Mount Sinai, the idea of a movable place of worship has been existent. How can we make use of them in the 20th century?

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - RevivalandReformation 300x250

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - IIW-VBS 2024 (160x600)