Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a remarkable and rich history. Today marks an historic period in the Seventh-day Adventist Church as 174 years ago, on October 22, 1844, our pioneers experienced what was called the Great Disappointment. They interpreted the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14, for the cleansing of the earth by fire and they were looking for the literal return of the Lord. After prayerfully seeking answers to their shattered hopes, the Lord revealed to them that the cleansing of the sanctuary was not to be a work on earth but in heaven, where our heavenly High Priest was to begin a new phase in His ministry.
The great disappointment does not indicate that the Adventist movement was false, because it was prophesied in scripture many years before in Revelation 10: 9-10 “The eating of the little book that was sweet in the prophet’s mouth and bitter in his belly…” The thought that Jesus was returning stirred up eager joy and anticipation in their hearts as “it was sweet as honey”, but when Christ did not come as they expected, their experience was indeed bitter. But the prophecy did not stop there, verse 11 says, thou “must” prophesy again before many peoples and nations, and tongues, and kings… A great work remains to be done.
We are even closer to the return of Christ and God has called us for such a time as this. We must go forth and proclaim the Message of the Three Angels of Revelation 14:6-12. It is my hope that the spirit and passion of the pioneers will be awakened in our hearts, and like them, we will preach with power the imminent return of our Lord.
Until then, we must live in light of this grand day because there will not be another great disappointment. Instead, when Jesus returns together we will say “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation”. Isaiah 25:9
May God continue to bless you.