Antitype
A person, thing, or event represented by an earlier type or symbol.
Type
A person, thing, or event that foreshadows a later, often more important, antitype or fulfillment.
The Great Disappointment and the Birth of Adventism
Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
Publish date:
Summary: The 1800s were a period of intense disappointment—and intense growth—for God's Church.
 
This article is part of a series. We recommend that you first read: The Second Advent Movement.
 

William Miller

In the early 1800s, a young Baptist farmer named William Miller (1782-1849) published a series of articles in the Baptist weekly Vermont Telegraph about the prophecies of Daniel. He used a simple set of rules to unravel the great themes of prophecy:

William Miller. Source:...

 

  • The New Testament is the expositor of the Old Testament

  • Scripture must be its own expositor

  • The symbolism of type and antitype

  • Every word must be taken into consideration

  • Prophecy compliments prophecy

 


Miller's study of Daniel 8 led him to believe that the cleansing of the sanctuary, which was to take place at the end of the 2300-year period (Daniel 8:14), referred to the cleansing of the earth from sin. He concluded that this meant Christ would return at that time.

Miller was just beginning to understand the sanctuary message, and misunderstood its connection to the 2300-day prophecy. He believed that the cleansing of the sanctuary meant the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary—the cleansing of the Church at the return of Christ. However, the sanctuary referred to here is instead the heavenly sanctuary.

Using the day-year principle, he at first calculated that Christ would return in 1843. He believed the “spiritual sanctuary,” the Church, would be cleansed at that time.

Miller rejected the popular interpretations of the day such as futurism, preterism, and dispensationalism. He stressed the premillennial return of Christ, and reintroduced the old Protestant, Christ-centered interpretation, which saw the followers of Jesus at the heart of the end-time prophecies. And even though Scripture tells us that we cannot know the hour of Christ's return (see Matthew 24:36 and Luke 12:40), Miller eventually set a definite date for this event: October 22, 1844.i

The Great Disappointment

Miller, together with some 100,000 others were expelled from their churches for their beliefs. These believers in the soon advent of Christ came from all denominations, and included at least 200 ministers from prominent Protestant churches.

Drawing from the parable of the ten virgins, Miller's message became known as the “midnight cry," the return of the bridegroom. There was a return to primitive godliness, as the various groups of believers awaited the return of the Lord.

As we know, Jesus did not return to this earth in 1844. Those that eagerly awaited His return were devastated, and the day became known as the Great Disappointment. Many were disillusioned and left the movement. Those that remained were ridiculed and became objects of scorn.

Rediscovering the Truth

Centuries before the Great Disappointment, the Church experienced a similar disappointment. The followers of Christ had awaited His coronation as the Messiah in Jerusalem. They had hailed Him as their King and thrown palm branches before His feet (John 12:12-13). But instead of a coronation, they had to witness a crucifixion. Their disappointment was real, and many lost their faith. Even the disciples were filled with fear and hid themselves “for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19).

Two followers of Jesus were contemplating His death when Jesus Himself joined them and, "beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27 NKJV).

Similarly, the Great Disappointment of 1844 led to ardent study of the Scriptures and the truths uncovered by the Reformation. Those who remained in the Advent movement after 1844 considered themselves “the remnant.” The prophecies of Daniel were reexamined and a number of believers discovered that the books of Hebrews and Revelation are full of references to a sanctuary in heaven—the very topic of Daniel's sealed prophecy in Daniel 8.

They rediscovered the great doctrine of the sanctuary. The role of Jesus as our sacrificial lamb and high priest in heaven were understood in the correct context. The typology of the Jewish feasts and their meaning and fulfillment were also uncovered.

Along with this breakthrough in understanding came the realization of what the ancient Day of Atonement symbolized, and what its relevance was in terms of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary or the judgment in heaven. The standard of judgment—the law—and its significance was also understood in its relationship to the plan of salvation. The truths that had served as a guard against evil were being rebuilt, as Isaiah had prophesied.

The law and the Sabbath were rediscovered, as was the correct relationship between the law and grace. The commandments of God and faith in Jesus Christ became pillars on which the faith of the remnant rested, fulfilling Revelation 12:17's description of the last generation of believers before the return of Christ:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The Birth of Adventism

Out of the ashes of the Millerite movement grew the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They adopted, coordinated, and continued reforms that had been lost since the Reformation. These doctrines were grounded on Scriptural teaching about the following concepts:

  1. The Second Coming of Christ

  2. The binding claims of the Seventh-day Sabbath

  3. The Third Angel’s Message in relation to the First and Second Angels' Messages

  4. The ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary

  5. The non-immortality of the soul


Learn more about the doctrines of this young Adventist movement in our next article

 


 

i. Miller originally calculated the end of the 2300-day prophecy to be in 1843. However, he was a year off because he had not considered the transitional year when the calendar moved from BC to AD. This is why, upon recalculation, Miller's date was moved to 1844.

This article is adapted from Truth Matters by Professor Walter J. Veith, an international speaker who has studied Biblical issues in-depth in his quest for truth. His popular series Genesis Conflict brings the debate between Creation and evolution to a new climax as he dissects the arguments with a scientific eye. His highly-acclaimed series Total Onslaught sheds light on the state of the world today as we move to a one-world government and an anticipated apocalypse.
Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Reformation
Spiritual Deceptions
Health Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
The Big Bang Theory Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Mechanisms For Variation "Species" versus "Kind" Creating Life in a Test Tube? Molecules That Began Life Natural Selection Natural Selection as a Creative Force Ernst Haeckel's Theories Variation and Classification Why So Many Species? The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
Can You Feel the Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Hollywood and Gnosticism
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes Christianity and Violence
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Is the Bible True?
If archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true, then why is it a point of so much controversy?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God The Lost Books of the Bible
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is What Christianity Teaches True? Is Jesus God? Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth The 70-Week Prophecy What Day Did Jesus Die? Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
Christian Living
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life with author Wendy Goubej.
What to do About Low Self-Esteem What does the Bible have to say about money? Why Should I Study the Bible? Examine the Roots How God Saves Us God’s Supreme Sacrifice for You Conversion and Repentance A True Christian Spiritual Life What is Faith? Surrender Christian Growth God's Promises to You Baptism: the New Birth Experience
Good God, Bad World. Why?
Did God create sin? If not, where did it come from?
The Prince of this Planet The Origin of Sin The Great Controversy God's Plan to Eradicate Sin
A Day of Rest
Have you taken a day to recreate lately?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Gospel Story
Since the beginning of time, God has communicated timely messages to the inhabitants of planet Earth. It all started in Eden, with the first Gospel announcement.
The Second Advent Movement The Beginning of the End of Time The Great Disappointment and the Birth of Adventism What are the Three Angels' Messages? Adventism and the Final Conflict
Signs and Wonders
Are miraculous signs the best way to be sure that God exists?
Supernatural Deceptions Stigmata - a sign of God or a deception?
Walking Through Daniel
Dive into prophecy and history in this chapter-by-chapter commentary of the book of Daniel.
Introduction to Daniel Daniel 1 Commentary Daniel 2 Commentary Daniel 3 Commentary Daniel 4 Commentary Daniel 5 Commentary Daniel 6 Commentary Daniel 7 Commentary Daniel 8 Commentary Daniel 9 Commentary Daniel 10 Commentary Daniel 11 Commentary Daniel 12 Commentary
Walking through Revelation
Join us on a journey through the pages of this letter from Christ to His people.
The Chiastic Structure of Revelation Is Revelation a Sealed Book? Revelation 1 Commentary: The Revelation of Jesus Revelation 1: Jesus, The Heart of Revelation Revelation 2 Commentary: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira Revelation 2-3: Letters to Seven Churches Revelation 3 Commentary: Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea The Throne, The Lamb and the Sealed Book Revelation 4 Commentary: The Throne in Heaven Revelation 5 Commentary: The Scroll and the Lamb Revelation 6 Commentary: The Vision of Seven Seals Revelation 7 Commentary: The 144,000 Revelation 8 Commentary: Seven Trumpets Revelation 9 Commentary: The Bottomless Pit Revelation 10 Commentary: A Little Book Revelation 11 Commentary: Two Witnesses Revelation 12 Commentary: The Woman and the Dragon Revelation 13 Commentary: Two Beasts Revelation 14 Commentary: Three Angels' Messages Revelation 15 Commentary: Seven Angels, Seven Plagues Revelation 16 Commentary: Seven Bowls of God's Anger Revelation 17 Commentary: A Woman Rides the Beast Revelation 18 Commentary: Babylon Falls Revelation 19 Commentary: The Rider on the White Horse Revelation 20 Commentary: Millennium and the Judgment Revelation 21 Commentary: The New Jerusalem Revelation 22 Commentary: Invitation and Warning
Deceptions Today
The greatest deceptions are still being formed in society today. Secret international alliances, the mark of the Beast, the New Age, and other issues are discussed.
The Antichrist Identified Politics and the Papacy Unity at All Cost? Pentecostalism The New Age Movement Secret Societies The United Nations' Global Government What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Seven Plagues
The Millennium of Peace
Learn about the Bible's prophecies on God's judgment, deliverance, Armageddon, and the earth made new.
Viewpoints What is the Judgment? Probation and God's Promises Consequences Begin Deliverance and Armageddon Satan Bound God's People will Judge Postmillennial Return of Christ The Resurrection of those who Reject God The Crowning of Christ The Punishment for those who Reject God The Earth Made New
Spiritual Gifts
Learn from Paul as he teaches the Corinthian Church about spiritual gifts.
Understanding 1 Corinthians Pagan Practices What are Spiritual Gifts? 1 Corinthians 12: Spiritual Gifts Defining the Spiritual Gifts A Lesson in Love Dealing with Tongues Prophecy: God's Guiding Gift
The Mystic Realm of Death
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus
Excitotoxins
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction. Learn about the main types of exitotoxins and what can be done to avoid them.
Aspartame MSG: Is This Silent Killer Lurking in Your Kitchen Cabinets
Is a Little Wine Good for the Heart?
Reports show that red wine may be beneficial to heart health. Is that a good enough reason to start drinking alcohol?
Is a Little Wine Good for the Soul?
The Dairy Controversy
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
Drink Milk? Udder Propaganda Lactose Intolerance Calcium
Poisoned Meats
Today's meat and dairy industries are focused on profit rather than health.
The History of the Human Diet
Genetically Modified Foods
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Soy Safety Summarized Still Eating Genetically Modified Foods? The Big GMO Cover-up
Refined Grains
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
The Gluten Connection: Weighing in Against Modern Wheat
Coffee
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
America's Number One Drug Problem—Coffee Caffeine
Sugar—Affecting the Body and Mind
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
Sugar and Mental Illness Eating Sugar is Worse than Eating Nothing at All Sugar Substitutes The Truth About Evaporated Cane Juice
Can You Beat the Nicotine?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year. Can you beat the nicotine?
Kicking the Tobacco Habit Nicotine and Depression
Necessary Treatments?
From mammograms to prescription drugs, the modern medical industry is always presenting a new way to diagnose and solve health issues. But are these new treatments really healing anything?
Mammograms or Thermal Imaging? How to Kill a Cold, Starve a Fever Many Doctors Ignore the Root Cause of Cancer Are Hospital Births or Home Births Safer? Compromise in the Pharmaceutical Industry Hepatitis B Vaccines Mercury Poisoning from Amalgam Dental Fillings Tylenol, the tip of the iceberg
Deathtraps in the Cosmetics we Use
There isn't one person I have ever met who knew anything about cosmetics, and that is because the chemistry of cosmetics has always been cloaked in secrecy.
Depression
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
Diseases of the Mind Lifestyle Principles for Treating Depression SAD and Bright Light Therapy
Get Healthy!
We are surrounded by unhealthy foods, unwise practices, and even harmful medical advice. Learn how to overcome these obstacles and choose a healthy lifestyle.
The Eight Laws of Health "You've Changed" When Sin Has Nothing To Feed Upon Physical and Spiritual Health Use it or Lose it! Living off the Land An Attitude of Gratitude Serving Others The Healing Power of Honey A Healthy Attitude Iron in the Vegan Diet Healing
Helpful Health Charts
These graphs and tables can help you jumpstart your health routine.
Sources of Calcium - Chart Animal Products and Food-borne Illness Chocolate and Carob Compared Compatible Combinations of Plant Foods - Graph Acid and Alkaline Ash Food Groups - Graph Schedule for a Healthy Lifestyle