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Rise of the Remnant – Part 3

TimeWatch Editorial
March 18, 2017

According to his Biography, Arthur Whitefield Spalding, born in 1877, was closely connected with the Seventh-day Adventist church throughout his life. It was the year that he was born, 1877, that his parents joined the church. Just before his eleventh birthday, his family moved to Battle Creek where he worked for several church leaders. At the age of 14, he was secretary to R. M. Kilgore and later secretary to J. H. and W. K. Kellogg at Battle Creek Sanitarium, and secretary to President E. A. Sutherland at Battle Creek College. As an educator, Arthur Spalding headed the department of English and supervised small fruit farming at Emmanuel Missionary College from 1903 to 1906. His detailed work on the history of the Seventh Day Adventist faith has been extremely useful in tracking the path that led from the Apostolic Church to the Remnant. A study of his book entitled, “Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists,” Volume 1. His description of the early development of the Church of God leads, as we have shown in parts one and two of this Editorial, to the awakening of the Remnant Church. Listen to his introduction of William Miller’s experience.

“In 1831 William Miller, a farmer of Low Hampton, New York, persuaded by fifteen years of intensive study of the Bible prophecies that the Advent of Christ was at hand, felt impelled by the Spirit to declare his views. Miller, though neither educated for the ministry nor versed in the subtleties of dialectics, had nevertheless some eminent qualifications for his unexpected role. He was widely read, especially in history; he had early evinced literary and oratorical ability; he had a talent for persistent and careful research; and above all, he was sincere and deeply in earnest. He was highly respected for his sterling qualities, and in the coming years of his public work he proved himself more than a match for his opponents, learned or pedantic. In the beginning he reached his conclusions on the Second Advent from study of the Bible alone, "laying aside all commentaries, former views and prepossessions," though later he compared his views with those of various predecessors in prophetical interpretation.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, “Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists,” Volume 1, page 20

Miller’s desire to accurately deliver the messages contained in the prophecies caused him to lay aside, as stated above, all commentaries, former views and prepossessions, focusing only upon the Word of God. As so often as has happened since, many did not take Miller seriously at first. Listen to this.

“But at first his preaching, or lecturing, was but little heeded. He was welcomed to the pulpits of many ministers, and there were many conversions, but his influence was mainly in the rural regions, and evoked very mild interest compared to what was to follow. Not until the threshold of the 40's, when Miller was joined by young Joshua V. Himes, of Boston; by Josiah Litch; Charles Fitch; and scores of other ministers, did the Second Advent message begin to attract wide attention.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, “Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists,” Volume 1, page 20

“But at first his preaching, or lecturing, was but little heeded. He was welcomed to the pulpits of many ministers, and there were many conversions, but his influence was mainly in the rural regions, and evoked very mild interest compared to what was to follow. Not until the threshold of the 40's, when Miller was joined by young Joshua V. Himes, of Boston; by Josiah Litch; Charles Fitch; and scores of other ministers, did the Second Advent message begin to attract wide attention.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, “Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists,” Volume 1, page 20

When the fullness of time therefore was come, the Holy Spirit began the urgent warning that was necessary to prepare the world for the Day of Atonement, when Christ would leave the Holy Place to enter into the Most Holy Place. Many often wonder why God would have allowed the misunderstanding of truth to be so embraced. Why, they ask, would God not clearly reveal what was going to occur on October 23, 1844? If you would recall that in preparation for the Day of Atonement, Israel was always called to be cleansed in readiness. So that whenever the High Priest entered into the Most Holy Place, there was always a clean and ready assembled group within the court. As always, Christ fulfilled in detail, in his life, all that was practiced before his birth. It is therefore clear that on that day when Christ entered into the Most Holy Place in Heaven, there was on earth a gathering of those who had been cleansed in preparation for that auspicious event. Had those on earth not been convinced that Jesus was about to return, the necessary of preparedness would never have been reached. Satan sought desperately to undermine the preparation that was taking place. Listen to this.

“Ridiculed, misrepresented, maligned, Miller and his co-workers yet held to their faith and their message. The scurrilous tales circulated about them were, in every type, refuted in their publications; yet these tales lived, to be repeated in common gossip for a hundred years and reprinted in twentieth-century articles and books. The reputable histories of the United States in the early nineteenth century, including the hectic forties, are almost wholly silent concerning this beginning of the proclamation of the coming King. It is to the historian merely one of the discredited episodes of that crowded period, a religious frenzy that ended in disillusion, not worthy of note beside the explorations and wars and conquests, the inventions and applications of science, the moral movements, and the legitimate history of the church.” Arthur Whitefield Spalding, “Origin and History of Seventh Day Adventists,” Volume 1, page 21

What is now recorded as “The Great Disappointment” is in actuality the even that provides the Greatest Hope. It was in actuality the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise that Christ intercedes on our behalf. It is the continuation of the work begun upon the cross. It is that portion of the task of redemption that is the gift of restoration. We are therefore truly privileged.


Cameron A. Bowen