How Christ Could Have Come in 1844 and/or 1888! How Christ can Come Soon!

2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Rev 19:6   And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 

Rev 19:7   Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 

Rev 19:8   And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 

Rev 19:9   And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 

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The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the earth. Daily, horrendous acts against humanity are proliferating. Are you getting sick of it all? Are you abhorred by what you hear and see? You may feel helpless by the weight of it all, but I want to tell you friend that there is something YOU AND I can do about it. You and I can prepare ourselves as the bride of Christ, so that He can come and put a stop to Satan’s cauldron of evils. You, yes YOU AND I, by the grace power (Rom. 1:5) of Christ, can stop sinning against God, thus making the bride ready for Christ, so He can come.


I’m going to tell you the gospel truth friend, that Christ has shown me: Every time any Christian around the world dies the death of a faithful martyr, that death could have been prevented by the bride of Christ having made herself ready by developing a character that would rather die than sin. So every time we sin, not only do we crucify Christ afresh, but we are crucifying our fellow brethren by our continued sinning and failure to be amongst the faithful bride of Jesus Christ.


If the Reformation under Martin Luther, had kept progressing to become the church of Philadelphia, there would have been no need of another coming out! Had the SDA church of Philadelphia in 1844, keep progressing to the point of enlisting 144,000 faithful, guileless, without fault persons, there would have been no need of another coming out from the Adventist church, and Christ could have come in 1844.

God’s Word says that we may hasten Christ’s coming. Ellen White says that we may hasten Christ’s coming. Revelation 19:7 speaks of the bride making herself ready. That implies that she does something with the aid of the Holy Spirit. She stops sinning. She becomes without fault. She arrives at the point where she would rather die than sin.


“What say the testimonies concerning these things? Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel. The prevalence of a sinful desire shows the delusion of the soul. Every indulgence of that desire strengthens the soul’s aversion to God. The pains of duty and the pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan binds men in his snares. Those who would rather die than perform a wrong act are the only ones who will be found faithful.” {5T 53.2}

Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. 

Rev 14:2   And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 

Rev 14:3   And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 

Rev 14:4   These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 

Rev 14:5   And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.  Isaiah 62:1-5, speaks of the righteousness of Zion, the bride that is married (verse 5):

Isa 62:1  For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. 

Isa 62:2   And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. 

Isa 62:3   Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. 

Isa 62:4   Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. 

Isa 62:5   For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. 

Isa 62:6  I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, 

Isa 62:7   And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 

God says in the above verses that His bride will be righteous, guileless, and without fault. That is God’s assessment, and that is Ellen White’s teaching as well.

It is articles by church leaders, like the one (further down) by Ralph Neall, that have kept the bride of Christ from purifying herself. You won’t find anything on the bride purifying herself or hasting the coming of the day of God in the article below.

2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Rather, you will find an attitude God speaks of in Isaiah 56:10-12: Eat, drink and be merry, and tomorrow will be better than today!

Isa 56:10   His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 

Isa 56:11   Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. 

Isa 56:12   Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. 

Had the church of Philadelphia in 1844, and 1888, increased her ranks by faithful work for souls, inspiring them to stop sinning, the bride would have made herself ready ere this, and Christ could have come. If Philadelphia, the bride, in 2015, will increase her ranks by faithful work for souls, inspiring them to stop sinning, the bride will make herself ready and thus hasten the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and end this horror world of evil that is getting worse day by day.

I will tell you a little known secret to overcoming that has helped me immensely since I first employed it in 1986. Give God full permission to do whatever it takes in your case for you to overcome. Sincerely pray that and mean it! God forces nothing, so you must give Him this permission. Then be ready for whatever occurs in your life, and you might not like some of what it will take to move you! Be ready to say as  Job said, though you slay me Lord, yet will I trust you. This works! Try it and see for yourself! I also ask the Lord to help me to have a willing spirit in doing my part so that His measures won’t have to be too severe!

Now, here is the article by an SDA leader that appeared in Ministry Magazine in 1988. This will give you some insight in why Laodiceans have remained lukewarm, and why the bride is still making herself ready.

Have we delayed the Advent?

Ministry Magazine

February, 1988

Ralph Neall

More than 14 decades have passed since William Miller predicted that Jesus would come in 1844, and many Adventists are wondering why He still has not come. On one hand, sobering signs point to the end. There is the nuclear threat, the AIDS epidemic that is decimating Africa and threatening the West, drugs, demonism, and the decay destroying our political institutions.

But on the other hand, some signs are not being fulfilled. Sunday laws are not an issue. The Religious Right speaks of them, but has lost credibility because of the PTL debacle. No Sabbath-keeper now sits in jail because he worked on Sunday. Many denominations have united, but their influence in the legislatures is small. The great challenge today is not religious fanaticism, but secularism and worldly unbelief.

The feeling that the church has lost its sense of the imminency of Christ's return is widespread, and many are making strenuous efforts to move the church off dead center. Some are reapplying to the future a number of prophecies fulfilled in the past, believing that this will awaken God's people and lead to the final events. In 1980 one such expositor wrote a 1,400-page document predicting great things would happen in 1982 and 1983. Another is confident that the present pope will lead the world to enact Sunday laws. Some are sure that the judgment in heaven reached the cases of the living in 1986. Another predicted that probation would close for Adventists in July 1987, and for the rest of the world in August 1987. For some the ancient jubilee cycles lend special significance to the year 1987.

While no one is mentioning the day and the hour, many are speaking of the month and the year. These people generally say that the Lord is waiting for the church to repent of sin and accept the beliefs and lifestyle they promote. They are sure that the time of Christ's return depends on the readiness of His people.

Ellen White lived for seven decades after 1844- Her attitude toward the passing years can give us balanced guidance now.

Has Jesus delayed His coming?

Many Seventh-day Adventists believe that Jesus has delayed His coming and refer to a statement Ellen White made in 1883. She said that if all Adventists had held fast their faith after the disappointment in 1844 and united in proclaiming the third angel's message, the Lord would have "wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward."1

"It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed," she continued, comparing the Advent believers to ancient Israel, who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. The same sins unbelief, worldliness, lack of consecration, and strife had delayed the events both groups were anticipating.

In this statement, Ellen White also wrote that "the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional." The conditions she mentioned were that the people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth and proclaim the three angels' messages.

While this was the first time Ellen White spoke so fully of the delay, as the years passed she repeated these ideas many times. She said that just as soon as the people of God were sealed in their foreheads and thus prepared for the shaking, Christ would come. 2 At times she compared the believers to soldiers who had not done their duty, or plants that should have been bearing fruit. If they had been faithful, they would have quickly sown the world with the seed of the gospel, but because they had not done their duty the work was far behind where it should have been. 3

In 1892 Ellen White wrote that the final events are tied to the revelation of Christ's righteousness that began in 1888: "The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth." 4

Many have concluded from this latter statement that the time of Christ's return depends on this one condition the revelation of the righteousness of Christ. But this statement should be read in the context of the whole article, and in connection with everything else she wrote on the loud cry. In 1858, for instance, she wrote of the loud cry going to the poor slaves.5 In 1888 she connected the loud cry with the second and third angels' messages, with special emphasis on the Sabbath. 6 And in 1909 she said that during the loud cry, love would triumph over race prejudice.7

It is clear, then, that the 1892 statement is part of a larger picture and should not be taken by itself. We must remember that Ellen White wrote as if all the final events were either beginning or immediately impending. None of her statements can be used to set dates. In 1891 she preached a sermon entitled "It Is Not for You to Know the Times and the Seasons. " In this sermon she said, "I have no specific time of which to speak when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will take place, when the mighty angel will come down from heaven, and unite with the third angel in closing up the work for this world; my message is that our only safety is in being ready for the heavenly refreshing, having our lamps trimmed and burning." 8

In Christ's Object Lessons, we find the oft-quoted statement "When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.

"It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain." 9

Along similar lines, Ellen White said that if the young of the church were a well-trained army, the Lord would come soon; and that when the members do their work at home and abroad, the world will soon be warned and the Lord will come. 10

So Ellen White was very clear in saying that Jesus has delayed His coming, and that by holy living and diligent witnessing we can hasten it.

Implications of the delayed Advent

But as the decades pass, questions come to our minds. Since God must know when Jesus will come, how can we speak of delay? How can we harmonize His sovereignty His control of the time of the Advent with our free will our part in hastening or delaying the Ad vent? How long will He allow us to hinder the climax of His plans?

If He is waiting for us to attain a level of holiness never seen before, will we ever meet that prerequisite? And as to preaching the gospel to all the world, how can we do it when people keep dying and giving birth? Is only Adventist preaching of the gospel acceptable?

We hear many answers to these questions. Some focus on repentance and righteousness by faith, particularly during this year's centennial anniversary of the 1888 General Conference. Others emphasize behavior and standards; and yet others point to the task to be done for the world.

Every reformer says, "I have the answer! Follow me, and the Lord will come!" While their answers vary, all seem to agree that translation righteousness is greater than resurrection-righteousness, and that Adventists must therefore do some thing never done before. Some are in despair because they do not see Adventists doing it. The Laodicean church is still the Laodicean church!11

What would Ellen White say about all this ? Did she intend to destroy our hope with her exhortations? Did she set up standards that God's people cannot meet? Did she blame faithful believers for others' unfaithfulness? Did she make the return of Christ contingent on holiness or the witness of His people?

The answer is that so far we have examined only one side of what she wrote on this question, and thus have drawn a skewed picture. Ellen White did say that Christ has delayed His coming, but that is not all she said. Let us consider the other side of her thought.

Is the time of Jesus' coming fixed?

While Ellen White wrote often of delay, she mentioned even more frequently the certainty and nearness of Jesus' coming. In 1888 she indicated that though it seemed that Jesus was tarrying, He really wasn't. "We are not impatient. If the vision tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come, it will not tarry. Although disappointed, our faith has not failed, and we have not drawn back to perdition. The apparent tarrying is not so in reality, for at the appointed time our Lord will come."12

God does have a day and hour. Ellen White heard it in her first vision,13 although the Lord did not allow her to reveal it. The same letter quoted above explains, "I have not the slightest knowledge as to the time spoken by the voice of God. I heard the hour proclaimed, but had no remembrance of that hour after I came out of vision." 14

In 1888 there was an attempt to get Congress to pass a national Sunday law. Adventists saw this attempt as fulfilling what they had been proclaiming for 40 years. The final crisis seemed to be at hand, but the church was not ready—neither in the members' personal experience nor in their work for the world. Ellen White urged Adventists to pray for a respite so they would have time to do their neglected work. She did not believe it was the right time for their liberties to be restricted. 15 What she wrote in this chapter casts a different light upon the 1883 statements that suggest that the end will not come until the church has finished its work. In 1889 the final events seemed to have started even though the church had not done its work.

Another evidence of a fixed time for Christ's coming is found in Ellen White's view of God's sovereignty. The great prophecies of the Bible show His control over all things. "Like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God's purposes know no haste and no delay."16 When God's great clock indicated the hour appointed in Daniel 9:24- 27, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

In Ezekiel's vision of God's glory, Mrs. White saw symbols of God's power over earthly rulers. The hand under the wings of the cherubim showed that human events are under divine control. God works out His purposes through the movements of the nations. 17

God is also sovereign in the church. He guarantees that the church will be successful in its mission to the world: "The cause of present truth ... is destined to triumph gloriously." 18 In the last generation the parable of the mustard seed will reach "a signal and triumphant fulfillment," and the warning message will go to all the world to "take out of them a people for his name (Acts 15:14)." 19

Reformers who are discouraged at the state of the church can take heart from Ellen White's faith in God's power: "It is divine power that gives success. Those whom God employs as His messengers are not to feel that His work is dependent on them. Finite beings are not left to carry this burden of responsibility. He who slumbers not, who is continually at work for the accomplishment of His designs, will carry forward His work." 20

So the sovereignty of God is our assurance. If necessary, He will finish His work Himself. But if we think only of His sovereignty, we may sink into sinful apathy. If God has a schedule and we can neither hasten nor delay it, why should we do anything at all? Thus taking either stream of Ellen White's thought by itself poses dangers.

Harmonizing delay and nearness

How could Ellen White write of delay in 1883 but say it was "not so in reality" in 1888? How can we harmonize delay and nearness?

Here we have two ways of looking at the same event. From our viewpoint, there has been a delay because we have not done the work we should have. But from God's viewpoint, there is no delay. He has not put His plans entirely in our hands. He is sovereign; He is in control; He has His "appointed time."

Ellen White certainly taught that Christ was coming soon. In 1888 she wrote: "The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional." 21

Here we see both nearness and delay. But we see something more. In the following paragraphs Sister White says more about conditions to be met than about time. She never refers to time as a bare piece of information. Delay takes second place to exhortations. She speaks of the third angel's message and Sabbath reform, and then calls God's people to purify their souls through obedience to the truth. She says it is the unbelief, worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept them in the world so many years. 22

The one who believes in the soon coming of Christ shows it by holy living and diligent witnessing. The one who believes His coming is delayed shows it by his sins. It is the wicked servant who says in his heart that the master is delayed.

Ellen White once rebuked a worker's wife: "I saw that for some time past, Sister J has had a rebellious spirit, has been self-willed. ... I saw that she did not bring the coming of the Lord as near as she should, and that her mind, instead of being at Rochester, should be all swallowed up in the work of God, and she should be seeking opportunities to help her husband, to hold up his hands, and to labor wherever there was an opportunity."23

When Ellen White wrote of the true Advent spirit and of the woman who did not "bring the coming of the Lord as near as she should," she was speaking more about preparation than about time.

A people will be ready when the Lord comes. Their spots and stains will be re moved beforehand pride, passion, slothfulness, envy, evil-surmisings, and evil-speaking.24  These "spots" bring all Ellen White's exhortations. She insisted that the work of overcoming sin must be done in this life: not one error of character will be removed when Christ comes.25

When we turn to the "nearness" stream of Ellen White's writings, we find that here also the question of time took second place to exhortation. In fact, she complements her statements that unbelief and sin have delayed Christ's coming with statements that we must overcome unbelief and sin because He is coming soon. Whether we think of nearness or delay, our duties are the same: We should "live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man." 26 We are to be so filled with the spirit of Christ's advent that whether we are found working in the field, building a house, or preaching the Word, we shall be ready for Him. 27

Those who expect Jesus to come soon will wait, watch, work, and pray. Waiting and watching show that we are strangers and pilgrims on earth; while others seek earthly treasure and live as though the time is long, we are seeking the better, heavenly country.28  Working means improving our talents for Christ and working for souls. By waiting, watching, praying, and working we cultivate heart-holiness.29

While those Adventists who brood over last-day events rely heavily on Mrs. White's writings, she herself made no charts of the future. Such charts are usually based on compilations of quotations, and always vary with the compiler. They stir up excitement; they increase prayer meeting attendance but things may not work out as predicted. There is danger in crying "Wolf! Wolf!" too often. Ellen White did not say we should watch the signs of the times. Rather, she counseled us to watch for the least unholy promptings of our natures.30 We are to watch and pray as though each day were our last; we are to be sober, but "not to cherish sadness and gloom."31

As to our duty to witness, we find Ellen White exhorting us to speak to everyone we meet because our time for work will soon be past; we have only a little while to urge the warfare. 32 In 1904 she wrote that because the Lord will very soon arise to shake the earth, there is not time for trivial things.33

Repeatedly she said that the end is near, but there is a great work to be done: how diligently we must do it! Vigilance and fidelity have always been required, but because the end is near, Ellen White urges us to double diligence. The message must be given: "We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do; but soon it will be more difficult than we can imagine." 34 (How truly this 1900 prediction has been fulfilled in this century!)

The nearness of Christ's coming is also the motivation underlying our publishing houses, sanitariums, schools, food factories, and restaurants. Institutions are long-range projects, but they give standing to the work and help proclaim the three angels' messages. We must work until the Lord bids us "make no further effort to build meeting-houses and establish schools, sanitariums, and publishing institutions. . . .

"[We must] increase the facilities, that a great work may be done in a short time." 35

We must be constantly at our task until the Lord says it is done. We will not be ready for His coming if we are not. Ellen White emphasized doing the work and living the life rather than calculating the time. Only God knows when the end will be, but we must always work and live in the belief that it is near. To ask "When?" is to ask the wrong question; rather, we ought to ask how to be ready whenever it will be.

What about end-time perfection?

Will the church ever reach the point where it will be without "spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing," ready "to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator"? 36 This seems to imply sinless perfection. How is it to be done?

Ellen White never claimed to be perfect herself. Shortly before she died she said, "I do not say that I am perfect, but I am trying to be perfect. I do not expect others to be perfect; and if I could not associate with my brothers and sisters who are not perfect, I do not know what I should do.

"I try to treat the matter the best that I can, and am thankful that I have a spirit of uplifting and not a spirit of crushing down. . . . No one is perfect. If one were perfect, he would be prepared for heaven. As long as we are not perfect, we have a work to do to get ready to be perfect. We have a mighty Saviour. . . .

"I rejoice that I have that faith that takes hold of the promises of God, that works by love and sanctifies the soul." 37

"We have a mighty Saviour." That is the secret of being ready for His coming. He is our righteousness, just as He was the righteousness of all our fathers who died in faith.

God's part in preparing me for translation is to forgive my sins and impute Christ's righteousness to me, and then to cause me to grow from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from character to character. 38 My part is to believe His promises, confess my sins, give myself to Him, and will to serve Him. As I believe that I am cleansed, God supplies the fact Christ binds up my wounds and cleanses me from all impurity.

These blessings that give us our title and fitness for heaven are beautifully described in Steps to Christ, pages 50 and 51. There Ellen White says that we must will to serve Christ and believe His promise of forgiveness and cleansing "It is so if you believe it." It is His will to cleanse us from sin, to make us His children and enable us to live a holy life. "So we may ask for these blessings, and believe that we receive them, and thank God that we have received them."

We can summarize Ellen White's exhortations by likening her to someone running a race. In the Millerite movement of 1842-1844 she was a sprinter in a hundred-yard dash. She put everything she had into the revival—her money, her efforts, her prayers—everything.

After the Disappointment she found herself running a marathon rather than a sprint. Nevertheless, she always maintained the zeal, force, and dedication of the dash. She urged us to give sacrificially, to dedicate ourselves to the Lord as though each day were our last, to love Christ rather than the world, to make sure our sins are confessed before we go to bed every night, and, as the Advent believers did in 1844, to live in peace and harmony. In every way she urged us to continue the drive of the dash throughout the marathon. Christ's soon coming always urges us to holiness and witness.

In this way we live in preparation for the coming of Christ. This is how the apostles and, for that matter, how the Christians of all ages have lived. While the soon coming of Christ lends new urgency to Christian duties, the way of salvation is not different in these last days. Thank God, many have reached the standard in Christ and many are reaching it today. May we be among them!

1. Manuscript 4, 1883 (see Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 59-73, especially pp. 66-69). All footnotes in this article refer to the writings of Ellen G. White.

2. The SDA Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, vol. 4, p. 1161.

3. General Conference Bulletin, 1893, p. 419; Christ's Object Lessons, p. 69.

4. Review and Herald, Nov. 22, 1892; Selected Messages, book 1, p. 363.

5. Early Writings, p. 278.

6. The Great Controversy, pp. 603-612.

7. Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 209.

8. Review and Herald, Mar. 29, 1892, p. 193; The SDA Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White comments, vol. 7, p. 984.

9. Page 69.

10. Education, p. 271; The Acts of the Apostles, p. 111.

11. The conviction that the last-day saints must reach a higher level of righteousness than their fathers does not agree with the doctrine of righteousness by faith. While we must indeed keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, we cannot speak of levels of righteousness before God. Only one righteousness can gain us entrance into heaven the righteousness of Christ. However righteous we may claim to be, we are still only unprofitable servants. "Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling" must be our song forever.

12. Letter 38, 1888.

13. Early Writings, p. 15.

14. Selected Messages, book 1, p. 76; see also Early Writings, pp. 34, 285.

15. Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 714-718.

16. The Desire of Ages, p. 32.

17. See Prophets and Kings, pp. 535-537.

18. Review and Herald, May 29, 1913, p. 515.

19. Christ's Object Lessons, p. 79.

20. Prophets and Kings, p. 176; see also The Desire of Ages, p. 822.

21. Selected Messages, book 1, p. 67.

22. Ibid., pp. 68, 69.

23. Manuscript 3, 1867. (Italics supplied.)

24. Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 214-216; Review and Herald, Oct. 6, 1896, p. 629.

25. Manuscript5, 1874.

26. Early Writings, p. 58.

27. Letter 25, 1902.

28. Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 194.

29. Review and Herald, Oct. 2, 1900, p. 625.

30. Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 532.

31. "That I May Know Him," p. 141.

32. Review and Herald, Oct. 25, 1881, p. 257.

33. Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 36, 37, 252.

34. Ibid., vol. 6, p. 22.

35. Ibid.,p. 441.

36. The Great Controversy, p. 425.

37. Review and Herald, July 23, 1970, p. 3.

38. See Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 350-400.

End of Article by Ralph Neall

How Christ Could Have Come in 1844 and/or 1888

Reasons for delay of Christ’s coming: 

"For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years." {1SM 69.1}


     Deferred in Mercy.--“The long night of gloom is trying, but the morning is deferred in mercy, because if the Master should come, so many would be found unready. God's unwillingness to have His people perish, has been the reason of so long delay.” -- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 194. (1868) {Ev 694.2}


     The Work Might Have Been Done.--“Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God.” -- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 450. (1900) {Ev 694.3}


     “I know that if the people of God had preserved a living connection with Him, if they had obeyed His Word, they would today be in the heavenly Canaan.” -- General Conference Bulletin, March 30, 1903. {Ev 694.4}


     Satan Has Stolen a March on Us.-- “If every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us.” -- Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 29. (1909) {Ev 694.5}


     No Failure of God's Promises.--“The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the Word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of God are alike conditional.” {Ev 695.1}


     “God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth. The third angel's message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people. The Sabbath reform was to be carried forward. The breach in the law of God must be made up. The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning. The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming.” {Ev 695.2}


     “Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward. But in the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the disappointment, many of the advent believers yielded their faith. . . . Thus the work was hindered, and the world was left in darkness. Had the whole Adventist body united upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, how widely different would have been our history!” {Ev 695.3}


     “It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in "because of unbelief." Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them.”{Ev 696.1}


     “For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.”--Manuscript 4, 1883. {Ev 696.2}


     Charge It Not to God.--“We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel; but for Christ's sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action.”--Letter 184, 1901. {Ev 696.3}


     We May Hasten the Day.--“By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord's return.”--The Desire of Ages, p. 633. (1898) {Ev 696.4}


     “It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.”--Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 22, 23. (1904) {Ev 696.5}


     When the Message Is Finished.--It [the coming of the Lord] will not tarry past the time that the message is borne to all nations, tongues, and peoples. Shall we who claim to be students of prophecy forget that God's forbearance to the wicked is a part of the vast and merciful plan by which He is seeking to compass the salvation of souls?--Review and Herald, June 18, 1901. {Ev 697.1}


        Power for Finishing the Work


     Why Many Have Failed in Soul Winning.--“Many present the doctrines and theories of our faith; but their presentation is as salt without savor; for the Holy Spirit is not working through their faithless ministry. They have not opened the heart to receive the grace of Christ; they know not the operation of the Spirit; they are as meal without leaven; for there is no working principle in all their labor, and they fail to win souls to Christ. They do not appropriate the righteousness of Christ; it is a robe unworn by them, a fullness unknown, a fountain untouched.”--Review and Herald, Nov. 29, 1892. {Ev 697.2}


     Need of Intensity to Impress Unbelievers.--“We need greater earnestness in the cause of Christ. The solemn message of truth should be given with an intensity that would impress unbelievers that God is working with our efforts, that the Most High is our living source of strength.”--Signs of the Times, Dec. 9, 1886. {Ev 697.3}


     “When we bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with His work, the Spirit that fell on the disciples on the day of Pentecost will fall on us.”--Review and Herald, June 30, 1903. {Ev 697.4}


     With the Zeal of the Apostles.--“Zeal for the glory of God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a longing to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? Should not the power of God be even more mightily revealed today then in the time of the apostles?”--Signs of the Times, Feb. 17, 1914. {Ev 698.1}


     The Source of Their Power.--“After Christ's ascension, the disciples were gathered together in one place to make humble supplication to God. And after ten days of heart searching and self-examination, the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul temples. Every heart was filled with the Spirit, as though God desired to show His people that it was His prerogative to bless them with the choicest of heaven's blessings. . . . The sword of the Spirit flashed right and left. Newly edged with power, it pierced even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. The idolatry that had been mingled with the worship of the people was overthrown. New territory was added to the kingdom of God. Places that had been barren and desolate sounded forth His praises.”--Review and Herald, June 10, 1902. {Ev 698.2}


     They Felt the Burden of Souls.--“Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: ‘The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.’ The Spirit of Him who died that sinners might live, animated the entire congregation of believers.” {Ev 698.3}


     “The disciples did not ask for a blessing for themselves. They were weighted with the burden of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the ends of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.” --Signs of the Times, Feb. 17, 1914. {Ev 699.1}


     An Awakened Church.--“When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.”--Review and Herald, July 21, 1896. {Ev 699.2}


     Earth Enlightened.--“I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God's Word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world.”--Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 28, 29. (1909) {Ev 699.3}


     “Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families, and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence.”--Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 126. (1909) {Ev 699.4}


     Through Humble Instruments.--“As the time comes for it [the message of the third angel] to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of Spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power,--all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these.”--The Great Controversy, p. 606. (1888) {Ev 699.5}


     Multitudes Will Join the Armies of the Lord.-- “Many . . . will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the Word of God, is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children are impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message from heaven. The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings, and, casting off all man's machinery, his binding rules and cautious methods, they will declare the truth with the might of the Spirit's power. Multitudes will receive the faith and join the armies of the Lord.”--Review and Herald, July 23, 1895. {Ev 700.1}


     Thousands of Voices Sound Warning.--“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down

fire from heaven in the sight of men. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” {Ev 700.2}


     “The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord's side.” --The Great Controversy, p. 612. (1888) {Ev 701.1}


     “The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to as in the future; but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and Heaven is waiting to bestow it.”--Review and Herald, March 19, 1895. {Ev 701.2}


     The Latter Rain.--“Let Christians . . . ask in faith for the promised blessing, and it will come. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the former rain, and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.”--Signs of the Times, Feb. 17, 1914. {Ev 701.3}


“I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God's chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution.” {CET 93.2}


Present Hour of Opportunity


     “The Work for Today.--The third angel's message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. . . . Today you are to have your vessel purified, that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord--fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. . . .” {Ev 701.4}


     “Instead of living in expectation of some special season of excitement, we are wisely to improve present opportunities, doing that which must be done in order that souls may be saved. Instead of exhausting the powers of our mind in speculations in regard to the times and seasons which the Lord has placed in His own power, and withheld from men, we are to yield ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit, to do present duties, to give the bread of life, unadulterated with human opinions, to souls who are perishing for the truth.”--Review and Herald, March 22, 1892. {Ev 702.1}


     Unprecedented Opportunities.--“In these days of travel, the opportunities for coming in contact with men and women of all classes and of many nationalities, are much greater than in the days of Israel. The thoroughfares of travel have multiplied a thousandfold. God has wonderfully prepared the way. The agency of the printing press, with its manifold facilities, is at our command. Bibles and publications in many languages, setting forth the truth for this time, are at our hand, and can be swiftly carried to every part of the world.” {Ev 702.2}


     “We are to give the last warning of God to men, and what should be our earnestness in studying the Bible, and our zeal in spreading the light!”--Review and Herald, Jan. 25, 1906. {Ev 702.3}


     God Provides These Opportunities.--“A crisis is right upon us. We must now by the Holy Spirit's power proclaim the great truths for these last days. It will not be long before everyone will have heard the warning and made his decision. Then shall the end come. . . . God is the great Master Worker, and by His providence He prepares the way for His work to be accomplished. He provides opportunities, opens up lines of influence, and channels of working. If His people are watching the indications of His providence, and stand ready to co-operate with Him, they will see a great work accomplished.”--Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 24. (1900) {Ev 703.1}


     National Crisis Brings Religious Awakening.--“Today men and nations are being tested by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. . . .” {Ev 703.2}


     “Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour's prophecy of the events to precede His coming: "Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . . Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” {Ev 703.3}


     “The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place,--that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.”-- Prophets and Kings, pp. 536, 537. (1916) {Ev 703.4}


     “Our Duty in the Moment of Respite.--Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture. . . .” {Ev 704.1}


     “A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance. . . .”{Ev 704.2}


     “God's people should make mighty intercession to Him for help now. And they must put their whole energies into the effort to proclaim the truth during the respite that has been granted. . . .” {Ev 704.3}


     “Every day we have been associating with men and women who are judgment bound. Each day may have been the dividing line for some soul. Each day someone may have made the decision which will determine his future destiny.” -- Review and Herald, Nov. 23, 1905. {Ev 704.4}


     Significance of the Conflict.--“We do not understand as we should the great conflict going on between invisible agencies, the controversy between loyal and disloyal angels. Over every man, good and evil angels strive. This is no make-believe conflict. It is no mimic battle in which we are engaged. We have to meet most powerful adversaries, and it rests with us to determine which shall win. We are to find our strength where the early disciples found theirs.” -- Signs of the Times, Feb. 17, 1914. {Ev 704.5}


     Heathenism Revived; Man of Sin Exposed.--“As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God's people. All need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth's history. . . .” {Ev 705.1}


     “In the very time in which we live, the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath creation, as holy unto the Lord.” --Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 117, 118. {Ev 705.2}


     God's Fearless Messengers.--“At the present time, when the end of all things earthly is rapidly approaching, Satan is putting forth desperate efforts to ensnare the world. He is devising many plans to occupy minds, and to divert attention from the truths essential to salvation. . . .” {Ev 705.3}


     Wickedness is reaching a height never before attained, and yet many ministers of the gospel are crying, "Peace and safety." But God's faithful messengers are to go steadily forward with their work. Clothed with the panoply of heaven, they are to advance fearlessly and victoriously, never ceasing their warfare until every soul within their reach shall have received the message of truth for this time.”-- Acts of the Apostles, pp. 219, 220. (1911) {Ev 705.4}


Speedy Triumphant Climax


     The Gospel Once Shook the World.--“By the co-operation of the divine Spirit, the apostles did a work that shook the world. To every nation was the gospel carried in a single generation.”{Ev 706.1}


     “Glorious were the results that attended the ministry of the chosen apostles of Christ. . . .” {Ev 706.2}


     “Not in their own power did the apostles accomplish their mission, but in the power of the living God. Their work was not easy. The opening labors of the Christian church were attended by hardship and bitter grief. In their work the disciples constantly encountered privation, calumny, and persecution; but they counted not their lives dear to unto themselves and rejoiced that they were called to suffer for Christ. Irresolution, indecision, weakness of purpose, found no place in their efforts. They were willing to spend and be spent. The consciousness of the responsibility resting on them purified and enriched their experience; and the grace of heaven was revealed in the conquests they achieved for Christ. With the might of omnipotence God worked through them to make the gospel triumphant.” -- Acts of the Apostles, pp. 593-595. (1911) {Ev 706.3}


     A Firmament of Chosen Ones.--“Among earth's inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. Even now they are appearing in every nation, among every tongue and people; and in the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan's supreme effort is made to cause "all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond," to receive, under penalty of death, the sign of allegiance to a false rest day, these faithful ones, ‘blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,’ will "shine as lights in the world." The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine.” -- Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 189. (1916) {Ev 706.4}


     The Church Triumphant.--“The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant.”-- Letter 32, 1892. {Ev 707.1}


     “And still our General, who never makes a mistake, says to us, ‘Advance; enter new territory; lift the standard in every land. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’” {Ev 707.2}


     “The time has come when through God's messengers the scroll is being unrolled to the world. The truth contained in the first, second, and third angels' messages must go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; it must lighten the darkness of every continent, and extend to the islands of the sea. There must be no delay in this work.” {Ev 707.3}


     “Our watchword is to be, Onward, ever onward! Angels of heaven will go before us to prepare the way. Our burden for the regions beyond can never be laid down till the whole earth is lightened with the glory of the Lord.” -- Gospel Workers, p. 470. (1915) {Ev 707.4}