And What Hapened To All Those Millerites?


Dec. 30 - And What Happened To All Those Millerites?




Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Prov. 29:18.

And what did happen to all those Millerites? Plenty, but not much. Several of the post- Millerite denominations have died and been buried. Others are in the process of dying.

That is certainly the inference of Richard C. Nickels' 1973 history of the Church of God (Seventh Day), which concludes with a section entitled "A Dying Church?" The treatment's ominous last words are from Christ's message to the Church at Sardis: "It was alive, yet dead!" Similarly, the final section of Clyde Hewitt's three-volume history of the Advent Christians (1990) is "Should a Denomination Be Told It's Dying?"

Those thoughts bring us back to young Ellen White's first vision in December 1844. Before going there, we should point out that she made very few predictions. But perhaps her most interesting one is found at the very beginning of her ministry.

Writing of the post-Disappointment experience of the Adventists, she noted that I "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 beginning 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 that they might not stumble. If they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the city, they were safe. But some soon grew weary....

"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, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below" (EW 14, 15).

The Midnight Cry, we noted earlier, was God's guidance in the prophetic understandings leading up to the October 1844 disappointment. The facts of history are that every post-Millerite denomination except the Seventh-day Adventists gave up the "light behind them" and came to nothingness or almost nothingness (i.e., they "fell off the path"). So it was with the once-powerful Evangelical Adventist Conference, the Advent Christians, and the others.

By way of contrast, the one group that maintained the prophetic foundation continues to prosper as a dynamic worldwide movement. The only thing it has to fear is forgetting the Lord's leading in its past history.


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Whatever crosses they have been called to bear, whatever losses they have sustained, whatever persecution they have suffered, even to the loss of their temporal life, the children of God are amply recompensed. "They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads." Rev. 22:4(COL 180).