Having dealt with the utter lack of authority for Ellen G. White to ever preach or teach, we’ve also dealt with the fact that the Seventh Day Adventist church is based upon upon a belief that a bible teacher being wrong, being right the second time despite claiming he was wrong, and being wrong about what he was wrong about.
Look, the first “wrong” meant Miller was not to be listened to nor studied. Basically, he needed to step back from the ministry, which he did. He needed to stop teaching, which he did for a while. I cannot find any information whether he did resume preaching again after that. This is why it is so EXTREMELY dangerous to attempt to disciver the date of Christ’s return.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mt. 24:36).
“Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Mt. 24:42).
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mt. 24:44).
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Mt. 25:13).
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is” (Mk. 13:32-33).
“It is not for you to know the time or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:7).
Once you go on record of stating when the Lord’s return is, you’ve come perilously close to invalidating yourself for ministry! Not in the Bible, but rather, in the eyes of Bible Believing Christians. For instance, Jack Van Impe.
The minute I mention his name, you recall he once, or twice, gave a date for the Lord’s return.
How about Sid Roth? Aside from being a somewhat pathetic Hebrew Roots-word faith teacher, he’s going to be forever remembered for claiming 1996 was the date of the Lord’s return. Which would put the end of the Tribulation 13 years ago. I think we can all sum up why that’s wrong.
Miller figured out in 1843 that he was wrong. So did he do the right thing, announce his error, and ask for forgiveness along with a promise not to engage in false speculation?
Nope. He then went and recalculated. Reminds me of the “84 reasons Jesus will return in 1984!” claims. The same author wrote a second book… “85 reasons Jesus will return in 1985!” I think we all see how wrong that claim was.
Okay, William Miller was absolutely wrong. So.. why does anyone even remotely believe he was right? Or follow any teacher claiming he was right?
Miller REPENTED of these teachers. After the second go-round, he claimed that he was wrong, that he was sorry, and would not do this any more.
This was after people ruined themselves by selling homes and businesses, in preparation for the Rapture. Miller even told people where the first place would be! So people gathered, waiting for the day and the hour that the Bible had already told us that we could not know!
Nothing happened. As the day passed into night, people began jumping in the air, trying to jump start the Rapture.
I can think of no more a bitter disappointment. You just sold your general goods store that was becoming successful, spent money to get to this place, gave away your clothes, family heirlooms, etc.
I can only pray people were understanding and gave everything back. Because you just ruined your future, based upon someone’s false teachings. And that was 170 years ago. Did anyone ever take Miller to court, I wonder? In today’s litigation happy age, Miller would have had to declare bankruptcy in Federal court to avoid it.
Miller, in his time of preaching of this advent of the Lord from 1818 to 1844, gathered apparently tens of thousands of followers, some of whom it is recorded DID sell businesses, homes, belongings and gave away clothing, money, family heirlooms, etc. Now I suppose every family has that old dusty moose head that we all could well afford to let quietly slip out the back door with nary a regret, but what about Grandma’s wedding ring? That’s the kind of thing I’m sure people never got back.
Really, I could put a lot more work into Miller, his doctrines, and the Great Disappointment, but really, the average SDA simply won’t care, because none of them remember William Miller, they just know him from reading The Great Controversy and the glowing terms that Ellen G. White gave about him.
So let’s proceed from that fact…. Ellen G. White was wrong about him. She was duped into believing he was right.
Again, no problem. You acknowledge afterwards that you thought he’d been right at the time, but you were foolish and carried away by the emotionalism and a fervent desire to see the Lord return. Hey, that’s commendable!
But no, the Adventists simply developed theories about how Miller had been right the second time.
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (KJV)
The Lord has spoken concerning such. The penalty was high simply because people’s entire lives can be destroyed by such a prophet.
True, Miller did not seduce the people into worshiping a false god. But keep a mental finger on this verse, because if you teach Jesus Christ is a pre-existent Angel and not God, then you most definitely are seducing people into worshiping a different Jesus, and a false god.
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: Hebrews 1:4-10 (KJV)
But we’ll be getting to this over the next few days.
According to the Bible, if someone utters a prediction, or has a vision, and these things do not come true, they are not a prophet, and are not to be followed.
If Miller was wrong in 1843, then all of the Adventists should have rejected him. I’m sure (although there is no depiction of it after the 1843 failure) some did the Biblical thing and left. However, it looks like most stayed true. Admirable for loyalty’s sake, but wrong. According to the Bible, Miller stood in the office of a prophet by making predictions about future events. When that failed to come to pass, it became obvious he was 100% wrong – and according to the Bible, he was not a prophet. There’s a reason for that – the spirit of prophecy is no longer for this age, except in the revealed word of the Bible.
It doesn’t matter what visions anyone had about Miller being right the second time – if the Lord was behind the prophecy, if Miller was right about anything, it would have been by the hand of the Lord, and it would have been the first time, according to the Bible.
It’s amazing to me that people are this ignorant of Scripture. Wrong once about prophecy, wrong always. Now, if I have a dream that Joe Namath was the greatest quarterback of all time and he correctly led the Jets to victory, you could simply ask about all the other Superbowls after the one they won (sorry, I’m sports ignorant – if I make some mistake in analogies, please forgive me). Doesn’t matter what I dreamed.
So, for a 17 year old girl to suddenly have a mystic vision that Miller was wrong the first time, but right the second time – but not in the way he’d thought… essentially you’re saying a prophet was wrong twice.
If he’s invalid the first time, he’s invalid the second time. So, then, that dreamer would ALSO have to be wrong, according to the Bible.
That can’t be argued with. That’s Scripture. But as you’ll see, like all other cults, the SDA places their prophet’s words higher than the Bible. How can I say that? if she contradicts Scripture… who do you follow? Historically, the SDA has chosen to follow EGW rather than the Bible.
Tomorrow, we finally start examining Ellen G. White.