Search For Certainty
Bible Studies

25. From Disappointment To Triumph

A Movement for Today's World

Can we really be sure of truth? Does God have a true church on earth today? Is it possible to know which church is His true church?

The book of Revelation is designed to give us certainty. It is designed to provide definite, concrete answers to these questions. Revelation’s chapter 10 is one of the most thrilling chapters in all of the Bible. It vividly and accurately describes the miraculous rise of God’s last day church. It reveals that God’s last day movement is a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It distinguishes God’s true church from all counterfeit movements by clearly showing just how God’s church would come into existence.

01. Can an individual really know what is truth?
John 8:32
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

02. Some feel we can never be certain about anything, yet what counsel does Luke give Theophilus regarding the purpose of the Gospel?
Luke 1:3–4

03. it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,
04. that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.

The book of Revelation contains three specific chapters designed to give certainty regarding the identity of the true church. Revelation 14 clearly reveals that the true church will proclaim the message of the three angels. Revelation 12 describes the true church as leading men and women back to obedience to the commandments of God. Revelation 12 also describes the true church as having the gift of prophecy. Revelation 10 describes the historical rise of the true church. As each of these chapters is carefully studied, God’s identity of His true church becomes crystal clear.

03. In Revelation an angel descending from the presence of God represents a heavenly message of utmost importance for all the inhabitants of planet earth. What does this angel have in his hand?
Revelation 10:2

He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,

04. Which is the only Bible book said to be closed or sealed until the time of the end?
Daniel 12:4, 9

04. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
09. And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

05. What particular portion of Daniel's message does the angel of Revelation emphasize?
Revelation 10:5–6

05. The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven
06. and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,

The little book opened reveals that “there should be delay no longer.” It clearly focuses on the time prophecies of Daniel. Since no one knows the day or hour of Christ’s coming (Matthew 24:36), the expression “delay no longer” cannot relate to a literal date for Christ’s return. The two great end-time prophetic Bible books are Daniel and Revelation. The prophecies of Revelation are unfolded in Daniel.

06. What time prophecy in Daniel points to the time of the end?
Daniel 8:14, 17

14. And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
17. So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.

As we have studied in a previous lesson, the 2300 prophetic days of Daniel 8:14 equal 2300 literal years. The expression “then the sanctuary shall be cleansed” refers to the opening of the judgment in the year 1844.

07. What prediction about the last days does Revelation make?
Revelation 10:7

but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

08. When the little book (Daniel) was eaten (studied, particularly the 2300-year prophecy pointing to 1844), what experience would occur for those who studied these prophecies?
Revelation 10:8–10

08. Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.”
09. So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.
10. Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.

When did this bittersweet experience occur? In the late 1700s and early 1800s, independent of one another, scores of religious leaders around the world began a renewed study of the prophecies of Daniel. This interest in prophecy led honest-hearted men and women of God to abandon the popular belief that the world would soon enter a 1,000-year period of peace known as the millennium. They saw that prophecy clearly taught that the destinies of all were decided before Christ’s return. Consequently, they understood there is no second chance for salvation when Jesus comes.

Overjoyed with prophecies that seemed to indicate the coming of Jesus, they went forth to warn the world. Among them were people such as Edward Irving and 700 preachers of the church of England; Joseph Wolff, missionary to India; Manuel Lacunza, a serious Bible student from South America; Johann Bengel of Germany, and many others. Foremost in the United States was William Miller. In a period of personal despair he began to study the Scriptures. There Miller found new hope and courage as an uplifted Savior was presented before him. Accepting Jesus as his personal Savior, he began to study the Scriptures carefully.

Dispensing with all Bible commentaries and using only his Bible and a concordance, Miller began at Genesis and studied the Scriptures verse by verse, comparing scripture with scripture. As he studied the prophetic portions of Daniel he arrived at the same conclusion as did a host of other serious Bible students. Independent of each other, they arrived at the conclusion that Jesus was coming, and coming soon.

As Miller studied the 2300-year prophecy of Daniel, chapter 8, he saw that it was explained in Daniel 9. Amazed at the precision of Daniel 9:24-27, he concluded that Daniel 8:14 was just as accurate. When he discovered, according to Daniel 9:24-27, that Jesus was to be baptized in A.D. 27 and crucified in A.D. 31, that the gospel was to go to the Gentiles in A.D. 34, and that these events had been fulfilled exactly on time, he marveled. He reasoned that since these events had been fulfilled, and since Daniel 9 is an explanation of Daniel 8, both prophecies start at the same time.

Since Daniel 8 begins at the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 457 B.C., Daniel 9 begins there also. Figuring 2300 years from 457 B.C., Miller arrived at the date of A.D. 1844. Misunderstanding the subject of the sanctuary, he understood the words “then the sanctuary shall be cleansed” to refer to the cleansing of the earth by fire. He thought Christ would return in 1844.

The preaching of a specific date for Christ’s return sparked one of the greatest religious revivals in American history. Thousands were converted. Church bells throughout America tolled for noon prayer meetings. In anticipation of the coming of the Lord, debts were paid, family differences settled, and saloons closed. The moving of the Spirit of God led to deep repentance for sin, earnest prayer, and serious Bible study.
As multitudes anticipated the arrival of Jesus, they settled on the date October 22, 1844. As Revelation 10 predicted, a study of Daniel’s prophecy was “sweet . . . in my mouth,” yet when Jesus did not return, it was “bitter” (verse 10).* Their bitter disappointment of 1844 left them downhearted and discouraged. As they rechecked the prophetic evidence, they realized that the date was right.

The hour of their disappointment was the hour of God’s appointment. The sanctuary to be cleansed was not the earth, but rather the heavenly sanctuary. The prediction “then the sanctuary shall be cleansed” refers to Christ’s work of judgment preliminary to His return to earth.

09. What work does the prophet Daniel describe the Father and Son participating in before Jesus’ return?
Daniel 7:9–11

09. “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;
10. A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.
11. “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.

The heavenly judgment deals with the final solution to the sin problem. As the heavenly record books are opened, God’s mercy and justice, His love and law, are seen in His dealing with every human being.

Just as the early disciples anticipated Christ’s setting up an earthly kingdom in A.D.31 and were bitterly disappointed at His crucifixion, His last-day followers anticipated His coming to earth in 1844 and were bitterly disappointed. Notice these striking similar parallels:

New Testament Church (A.D. 31)

  1. Students of prophecy

  2. Believed Christ would setup an earthly kingdom

  3. Bitterly disappointed

  4. Directed attention to ministry of Christ in sanctuary

  5. Preached message of Christ’s ministry to world

Last-Day Church

  1. Students of prophecy

  2. Believed Christ would set up an earthly kingdom

  3. Bitterly disappointed

  4. Directed attention to ministry of Christ in sanctuary

  5. Preached message of Christ’s ministry to world

According to Scripture this disappointed group would be molded into Christ’s last-day church to carry His message to the world.

10. What was the key that unlocked their disappointment?
Revelation 11:18–19

18. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19. Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

These disappointed followers sensed that the temple of God was opened in heaven. Jesus had begun a special work in the heavenly sanctuary preliminary to His return to earth.

11. What did they see when the temple of heaven was opened?
Revelation 11:19
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
The ark of the covenant—or testimony, as it was sometimes called—is another name for describing the ark of God, placed in the Most Holy Place of the earthly sanctuary.

12. What is contained in the Ark of the Covenant?
Deuteronomy 10:1–5

01. “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Hew for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to Me on the mountain and make yourself an ark of wood.
02. And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke; and you shall put them in the ark.’
03. “So I made an ark of acacia wood, hewed two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain, having the two tablets in my hand.
04. And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the LORD had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.
05. Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, just as the LORD commanded me.

These Advent believers understood for the first time that we are living in the judgment hour. They sensed God’s call for obedience. The ark of the covenant in heaven’s sanctuary revealed God’s law. Love leads to obedience. The law that Jesus died to preserve would be enshrined in the hearts of His followers through grace. They would give His final call to love and obey Him to the entire planet.

13. What command did Jesus give the disappointed group of Advent believers?
Revelation 10:11

And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
Revelation 14:6
Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people--

Following the disappointment in 1844 Jesus raised up a dynamic, divine movement on earth, a movement that ultimately would span the globe. It would proclaim that Jesus is coming again and urge men and women to surrender their lives to Him and respond in loving obedience. It is indeed thrilling to sense that God has such a divine movement of destiny in the last days of earth’s history. This unique prophetic movement has been especially raised up by God to prepare a world for His soon return. Today in more than 200 nations of the world, in every major language, the message of God’s love and truth is being proclaimed in the Advent movement. God has especially raised up the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a powerful last-day prophetic movement to impact the world. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not just another denomination—it is a God-ordained, divinely called, prophetic movement for these last days.

Concluding Question
Based on this Bible evidence, do you believe that Jesus has raised up a movement in the last days of earth ’s history to lead men and women to Christ, to prepare them for His coming, and to lead them to obedience to His law?

Read the Following Bible passages:

  1. God calls us to worship Him in truth (John 4:24).

  2. God calls us to serve Him in truth (Joshua 24:14).

  3. God calls us to value and esteem truth (Proverbs 23:23).

  4. God calls us to meditate upon truth (Philippians 4:8).

  5. God calls us to be sanctified by truth (John 17:17).

  6. God calls us to be purified by truth (1 Peter 1:22).

  7. God calls us to desire truth (Psalm 51:6).

  8. God calls us to love truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

  9. God calls us to manifest truth in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:2).

  10. God calls us to rejoice in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6).