The Scattering Time4

January 29  The Scattering Time4


Through faith we understand. Heb. 11:3.

Understanding doesn't come early. Especially when we need it most, when our confusion shakes the very foundation of our life.

It is almost impossible for those of us who live more than 160 years after the event to comprehend the depth of confusion and chaos in Millerite ranks in the wake of the October disappoinment.

The answers to what had happened in October 1844, as we noted the past three days, were several. The spiritualizer segment, holding that they had been right on the time and the event, claimed that Christ had indeed come on October 22. The Albany Adventists, on the other hand, siad that they had been wrong on the time but right on the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. That is, no prophecy had been fulfilled in October, but the cleansing of the sanctuary was indeed the Second Advent, an event yet to occur.

Both groups had given up something essential. For the spiritualizers it was a literal understanding of the Bible, while for the Albany group it was Miller's grasp of prophecy.

But there was a their possible position regarding a fulfillment of the prophecy of the 2300 days in October 1844. That is, that Millerites had been correct on the time but wrong on the event. In other words, the 2300-day prophecy had been fulfilled, but the cleansing of the sanctuary was obviously not the Second Advent.

The interesting thing about that third perspective is that, unlike the other two answers as to what had happened, this one had no visible adherents. Whereas thousands in mid-1845 indentified themselves with the ideas, leaders, and periodicals of the spiritualizers and the Albany Adventists, the orientation that held that something had happened on October 22 but that the cleansing of the sanctuary was not the Second Advent had no visible presence.

Yet it is out of the third position that the largest of the Adventist groups, the Seventh-day Adventists, would eventually emerge. But that development awaited three things:(1) the rise of leaders, (2) the evolution of doctrines that explained the Millerite experience and clarified wrong notions, and (3) the development of peridodicals and organizational strategies that could spread those teachings. The rest of this year's journey will follow this third group.

Meanwhile, we can be thankful for God's patience-that He waits for us, even in our day, as we seek to iron out life's difficulties.

The angels veil their faces in His presence. The cherubim and the bright and holy seraphim approach His throne with solemn reverence. How much more should we, finite, sinful beings, come in a reverent manner before the Lord, our Maker! (TFMB 106).