Ellen G. White Writings

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The Gathering of Israel, Page 12

have been drawn into this “going to old Jerusalem” if it had not been for Mrs. White’s “Gathering Time” counsels.

Chapter 14—The Messages Analyzed

These messages, which furnished guidance in a time of confusion and controversy, 1From two Seventh-day Adventist conferences in the autumn of 1851 came the encouraging reports that the “seven-years time” and “the distracting, unprofitable views relative to Old Jerusalem and the Jews, etc.” were not even mentioned (The Review and Herald, September 16, 1851, 2:32; The Review and Herald, October 7, p. 36). reveal unity and meaning in view of their setting. A study of this counsel will show that every section was relevant to some error connected directly or indirectly with the age-to-come controversy of that time:

The Gathering Time

[a] September 23 [1850], the Lord showed me that He had stretched out His hand the second time to recover the remnant of His people, and that efforts must be redoubled in this gathering time. In the scattering, Israel was smitten and torn, but now in the gathering time God will heal and bind up His people. In the scattering, efforts made to spread the truth had but little effect, accomplished but little or nothing; but in the gathering, when God has set His hand to gather His people, efforts to spread the truth will have their designed effect. All should be united and zealous in the work. I saw that it was wrong for any to refer to the scattering for examples to govern us now in the gathering; for if God should do no more for us now than He did then, Israel would never be gathered. 2This quotation and the succeeding quoted paragraphs through “g” form a single section in Early Writings, 74-76.

This introductory section shows clearly that she applied the gathering of Israel to “us.” Later she took occasion to insert an explanatory note definitely applying it to the people of the Advent movement. 3Early Writings, 86, note 3.

[b] I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them; that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until His hand was removed.

The Millerite chronology, in the main, was to be retained. The timesettings of 1850 and 1851, outside the Seventh-day Adventist group, were nearly all based on changes in the dating of the 2300 years. 4See note 43, above.

[c] Then I saw in relation to the “daily” (Daniel 8:12) that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the “daily”: but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test.

Her reference to the “daily” and the “sacrifice” was not unrelated to an error concerning the “gathering of Israel.” What she saw, in relation to the daily, was “that the word ‘sacrifice’ was supplied,” and that the Millerites had “the correct view of it” and were united on it until other views came in after 1844.

The “it” on which they unitedly held the correct view could refer grammatically to either (1) “the ‘daily’” itself or (2) the fact “that the word sacrifice was supplied ... and does not belong to the text.” Against (1) is the fact that she later wrote that she had “had no instruction on the point under discussion”—the point, as mentioned five lines earlier (Selected Messages 1:164) being “the true meaning of the daily.”

And in favor of (2) is the fact that the Millerites had unitedly and repeatedly insisted that the word “sacrifice” was not in the text. They used this argument to refute many of their opponents who contended that the taking away of the “daily” was the taking away of the Jewish sacrifices by Antiochus for a period of 2300 (or 1150) literal days. 5For example, Litch, Prophetic Expositions (1842), vol. 1, p. 127; S. Bliss, Inconsistencies of Colver’s Literal Fulfilment (1843), pp. 11-18; this argument occurs repeatedly in Millerite literature in combating their opponents who made the cleansing of the sanctuary the restoration of the Temple and sacrifices after the three-year pollution by Antiochus. They insisted that the period was 2300 years, not days, and that the cleansing at the end of that time had nothing to do with the Jewish sacrifices.

Further, it is interesting to note that, among the “other views” embraced “in the confusion since 1844” was at least one exposition, by a Literalist, interpreting the “daily” as “the Jewish daily sacrifices which are yet to be restored” in a future temple, and computing the 2300 as literal days. 6John Fondey, “The Twenty-Three Hundred Days,” Bible Examiner, 3:175, 176, November, 1848. Thus it can be seen that in this paragraph the “daily,” the supposed sacrifices, and “the time” have a logical connection after all.

[d] The Lord has shown me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, but it must not be hung on time. I saw that some were getting a false excitement, arising from preaching time; but the third angel’s message is stronger than time can be. I saw that this message can stand on its own foundation and needs not time to strengthen it; and that it will go in mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness.

This warning against connecting the third angel’s message and timesetting was given in a vision of June 21, 1851. It is a direct reference to Bates’ 1851 expectation. 7The original printing of this vision (The Review and Herald, Extra, July 21, 1851, p. [4]) included a second paragraph referring to the error of setting time for “this next fall.” In a July Extra this would be an important warning, but when it was reprinted in a more permanent form, “this next fall” would be irrelevant. Hence there was a logical reason for omitting it thereafter. For the date and the longer text, see Selected Messages 1:188-189.

[e] Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes.

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