Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 8
From Europe we pass to America, from men educated in the languages of the Old and New Testament to those who were not educated, by any standard, at all.
From 1831 to 1844 there appeared a farmer, justice of the peace, sheriff, and Baptist preacher, who preached the immanent return of Christ. He was a self-educated man, we are told, attending school only for three months each winter between age of 9 and 14. After conversion from Deism, Miller centered his studies on the Books of Daniel and Revelation. He originated a principle of his own making that a day for a year in prophecy. This meant that Christ would have to return to the earth sometime in the year 1843. Miller did not set an exact month and day of the month.
Miller began preaching this message and many denominational preachers joined his message. Miller finally set an ultimate time in the spring of 1843. Some of his followers disagreed with that and changed this to October 22, 1844. Ellen White, the co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination was an avid follower as was Pastor Russell of the group later called the Jehovah’s Witnesses (a name he had nothing to do with establishing). At this time of their religious “direction” by visions and Holy Spirit-led information, none of these people worshipped on the Sabbath. I don’t know how the Holy Spirit led this movement for 10 to 15 years and never got around to this teaching, guess He was a little slow thinking He had finished His job in A. D. 80; Jude verse 3. Just a mistake on His part!! After “the disappointment” of 1844, Miller went back and found he had overlooked a year. Most of his “students”(?) had left religion and those that remained were the likes of Joseph Bates (co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist and James White, soon to become Ellen’s husband. In her visions (she was famous for these!!) Ellen saw that God had led Miller and he had fulfilled the purpose for which God had placed him on the earth (even though he lied publicly twice about it) and that “angels would watch the precious dust of this servant of God who could come forth at the sound of the last trump.” Early Writings, p. 258 By the way, Miller never quit date setting, but it got too embarrassing for some of his followers to support him. We have half of the denomination as Adventist, but not yet Seventh Day Adventists.
Joseph Bates read what T. M. Preble wrote on the Sabbath day in 1845, one year after the “disappointment.” Bates traveled to study with him for himself. One year later, he wrote his first tract about the Sabbath. This tract came to the attention of James and Ellen White around the time of their marriage in August. Bates taught the Sabbath begun at 6 p.m. Friday evening and even though Ellen had a “vision” establishing the accuracy of the Sabbath Day as the day of worship, her vision did not agree with other Sabbath keepers until November, 1855. Ellen had a vision confirming the result of this position and all Sabbath keepers were now in unity. At a meeting in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1855 (notice this is not Heaven, nor is it the year A. C. 33 in Jerusalem, Isaiah 2:2-4). In November J. N. Andrews presented a paper which taught the Sabbath was to begin at sunset. Now we have the other part of this confused mess. By the way, James Bates, Ellen, James White, nor Ellen’s husband were educated in any of the languages of the Old and New Testament, but that didn’t matter when you have a ready “vision arrangement” with God!! Sounds like a return of the Urim and Thummim of the Old Testament (I didn’t think women could be High Priest!!). Why, you could even leave out the Holy Spirit on this important stuff for 15 years!! The Holy Spirit had directed Paul to write: “when that which is perfect is come, that which was in part shall be done away.” 1 Corinthians 11:10 There were three letters to the church at Corinth (which did NOT meet on the Sabbath) that were written in A. D. 60’s so one can see why the Holy Spirit would be so slow!!
When the White’s started their schools in Battle Creek, Michigan; two sons of the fabulously rich Kellog’s financed her “vision” work and the liar who confirmed all her doctrines with “visions.” Although she never set any dates for the return of Christ, Ellen and James took the unlearned notions of a poor ignorant man and their cook books for healthy eating and spread this error all over the world. The place, time, and design of the New Testament Church are ignored and Christ as head ever considered.