Page images

of Jesus," emphasized in this prophecy of the judgment hour, meant the keeping of the fourth commandment as well as the other nine. Thereupon they began to keep and to teach the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day of the week, made holy and blessed and commanded by God.

One member of this group of commandment-keeping Adventists was Frederick Wheeler, from whose dictation the following statement was prepared, fixing exactly the facts as to the time:

"As a Methodist minister he was convinced of the advent truth by reading William Miller's works in 1842, and joined in preaching the first message [that of the judgment hour]. In March, 1844, he began to keep the true Sabbath, in Washington, N. H."- Review and Herald (Washington, D. C.), Oct. 4, 1906.

They were but a little band, those believers in New Hampshire, but the time of the prophecy had come, and with the coming of the hour there was the nucleus of the movement forming, believers in the near coming of the Lord, preaching the message of the prophecy, "The hour of His judgment is come," and keeping "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

From that small beginning has grown the movement that Seventh-day Adventists stand for, spreading through all the world today.

It was in the year following 1844 that Joseph Bates, of Massachusetts, a retired sea captain, and a preacher of the advent hope, began to keep the Sabbath. Captain Bates wrote and published, and soon others, following his example, embraced the Bible Sabbath.

As the Scripture teaching concerning the sanctuary was studied, light came flooding in. It was seen that the great prophetic period of Daniel 8, which ended in 1844, marked the opening of Christ's ministry in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, the work of the judgment hour in heaven; and there, plainly revealed in Revelation 14, was a special

gospel message to be carried to all the world while the judgment hour still continued.

The little company that began to keep the commandments of God as Adventist believers in 1844, did not understand that they were beginning the definite movement foretold by the prophecy. They only determined to turn from traditions that had made void God's law, and to obey the law of the Most High, whose servants they were.

But in the light of the Scripture prophecy and of events, we can see clearly the hand of God leading that little band into the right pathway when the year of 1844 came; and the work there begun has grown into the world-wide movement of today.

Nearly two thousand years before, it had been written in the "sure word of prophecy" that when the hour of God's judgment came, a people keeping God's commandments would arise and spread forth into all the world with the last gospel message. The long prophetic period of Daniel 8 had fixed the year 1844 as the time when the judgment hour would begin and when the people of the prophecy must appear.

When the year came, that people appeared, keeping "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." When the hour struck, the work began. This advent movement was born of God in fulfilment of prophecy. And the mission of the movement is to lift up again the standard of truths obscured by tradition and trodden underfoot, and to call all men to the New Testament platform of the "commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus," where every believing soul may find safe refuge in these closing moments of the judgment hour in the courts above.


'Choose you this day whom ye will serve;

as for me

and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE gospel message for this time of the judgment hour is set forth in the vision of Revelation 14:

'I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out

without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:6-12.

When this message has been heralded to all nations, according to prophecy the end will come, for the next scene brought before the prophet's vision was the coming of Christ to reap the harvest of the earth:

"I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.” Verse 14.

The outline of the message given here reveals certain main features:

1. A Gospel Message

It is not a new or another gospel. There is but one gospel. This message is "the everlasting gospel" in terms that meet the situation in the time of the judgment hour. The advent movement carries the blessed message of full salvation from sin by faith in Jesus Christ.

2. A Solemn Warning

The message is God's final answer to the age-long perversions of His truth. Even the warnings uttered vibrate with the saving grace and winning power of God's love in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In the vision of Daniel 8, the prophet was shown the working of apostasy in the latter times, as it "cast down the truth to the ground" and "practiced and prospered." But in answer to the question, "How long?" the great prophetic period of the 2300 years was given, at the end of which (in 1844) the judgment work in heaven was to begin. When that

« PreviousContinue »