The Trials and
Attitudes of the First and Second Advent Movements
these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our
instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has
come.Therefore let any one who thinks
that he stands take heed lest he fall.”1 Corinthians 10:11, 12, RSV.
Reading: Testimonies, vol. 6, 14–22;Selected Messages, Book
work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in
every great reformation or religious movement.The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same.The important movements of the present have
their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former
ages has lessons of great value for our own time.
truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit
especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the
carrying forward of the work of salvation.”The Great
are nearing the time of the latter rain, the final warning, and the close of
probation.These important movements of
the present time and immediate future have their parallel in those of the past.In this next series of studies, we want to
study the trials and attitudes of the first advent movement as they have a
counterpart in the second advent movement.It is the objective of these studies to help
God’s people to be prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the latter
rain and to stand faithful during the time of trouble.
1What did Jesus say to the disciples in the
upper room concerning their understanding of His life and ministry?John 16:12. See also Mark 4:33.
His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to
death and to rise again from the tomb [on the third day], and angels were
present to impress His words on minds and hearts.But the disciples were looking for temporal
deliverance from the Roman yoke, and they could not tolerate the thought that
He in whom all their hopes centered should suffer an ignominious death.The words which they needed to remember were
banished from their minds; and when the time of trial came, it found them
unprepared.The death of Jesus as fully
destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them.”The Great Controversy, 594.
Jesus with us today, He would say to us as He did to His disciples, ‘I have yet
many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now’ (John ).Jesus longed to open before the minds of His disciples deep and living truths, but their earthliness,
their clouded, deficient comprehension made it impossible.”Selected Messages, Book 1,
2Following His crucifixion, what did Jesus
say about the disciples’ understanding of the events that had taken place?Luke 24:25–27, 44, 45.
the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, His disciples listened with
wonder and amazement to His lessons of truth; for they seemed as new ideas to
them; but He told them, ‘These are the words which I spake
unto you, while I was yet with you. . . .Then opened he their understanding, that they
might understand the scriptures’ (Luke 24:44,
45).The truth is constantly
unfolding and presenting new features to different minds.All who dig in the mines of truth, will constantly discover rich and precious gems.We are anxious that all who claim to believe
the truth now open before us, and especially those who take the responsibility
of teaching the truth to others, should have a clearer conception themselves of
the all-important significance of the themes of the Bible.”Selected Messages, Book 1,
3What does God say about the understanding of
the people in the second advent movement concerning
the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan?(See reference below.)
in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to
the disciples by the words of Christ.The events connected with the close of probation and the work of
preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have
no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been
revealed.Satan watches to catch away
every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of
trouble will find them unready.
God sends to men warnings so important that they are represented as proclaimed
by holy angels flying in the midst of heaven, He requires every person endowed
with reasoning powers to heed the message.”The Great
4What does the Spirit of Prophecy say
regarding the attitudes of the people at the time of Christ and those of the
people just before His Second Coming?
want to understand the time in which we live.We do not half understand it.We
do not half take it in.My heart
trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we
are prepared to meet him.The trials of
the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of
Christ have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position
of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ—how
the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today
he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able
to discern the precious truth.”Selected Messages, Book 1, 406.
5What does Paul say about the experiences of
the past and their purpose?1 Corinthians 10:11–13?See also Romans 15:4, 5.
a people in whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured.They are one with Him.But the Jews had separated themselves from
God.Because of their sins they were
suffering under His judgments.This was
the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation.Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past
the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins.They flattered themselves that they were
better than other men, and entitled to His blessings.
things ‘are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are
10:11. How often we misinterpret God’s blessings, and
flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us!God cannot do for us that which He longs to
do.His gifts are used to increase our
self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.”The Desire of Ages, 106.
6What is an important standard that Jesus has
set for His people?John 17:20–23. See also Acts 2:1.
we draw nigh to God, individually, then don’t you see what the result will
be?Can’t you see that we will draw nigh
to one another?We cannot draw nigh to
God, and come to the same cross, without our hearts being blended together in
perfect unity, answering the prayer of Christ ‘that they may be one’ as He is
one with the Father.And therefore we
should seek in spirit, in understanding, in faith, that we may be one, that God
may be glorified in us as He is glorified in the Son; and that God shall love
us as He loves the Son.”“Ellen G. White
Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible
Commentary,vol. 7, 937.
7For what purpose is this unity
required?John 17:21,last part, 23.
disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in
their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ.Putting away all differences, all desire for
the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship.They drew nearer and nearer to God, and as
they did this they realized what a privilege had been theirs in being permitted
to associate so closely with Christ. . . .
days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their
spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them
for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves
merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They
realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the
power that Christ had promised.”The Acts of the Apostles,
8What did Jesus do to announce the beginning
of His ministry in the first advent?John 2:13–16.
the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah,
and entering upon His work. . . .In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus
announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the
earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the
soul.”The Desire of Ages,161.
9What is the counterpart in the second advent movement to the first cleansing of the
temple?(See reference below.)
When Jesus began His public ministry, He
cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation.
Almost the last act of His ministry was to cleanse the temple again.So in
the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the
churches; the second angel’s message [Revelation 14:8], and  the voice heard in heaven,
‘Come out of her, my people, . . . for her sins have reached unto
heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’(Revelation 18:4, 5).”The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 725, 726.[Emphasis supplied.]
this reference, the Spirit of Prophecy states that the second angel’s message
is a counterpart to the first cleansing of the temple by Jesus at the beginning
of His ministry.The second angel’s
message was proclaimed in the summer of 1844.Thus we see that there was a cleansing of the
second advent movement at its very beginning.
10What did Jesus do at the close of His
ministry?Matthew 21:12–16.See also Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45, 46.
the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who
defiled it by their unholy traffic; and His stern and godlike demeanor had
struck terror to the hearts of the scheming traders.At the close of His mission He came again to
the temple, and found it still desecrated as before.The condition of things was even worse than
before. . . .The dignitaries
of the temple were themselves engaged in buying and selling and the exchange of
money.So completely were they
controlled by their greed of gain that in the sight God they were no better
than thieves.”The Desire of Ages,589.
11What counterpart to the second cleansing of
the temple do we see in the following reference?
When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its
sacrilegious profanation. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the
temple.So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls
are made to the churches. The second angel’s message
is, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen,
that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of
her fornication.’[Revelation 14:8.]And in the loud cry of
the third angel’s message, a voice is heard from heaven, ‘Come out of her, my
people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of
her plagues.For her sins have reached
unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’[Revelation 18:4, 5.]”Review
and Herald, December 6, 1892. [Emphasis supplied.]
the above two references, we are told that the second cleansing of the temple
has its counterpart in the second advent movement in connection with the loud
cry of the third angel.We know that the
loud cry of the third angel’s message [Revelation 18:1–5] is the last message given to the world just
before the close of probation.In future
lessons, we will study the trials and attitudes of the people involved in the
first and second advent movements that will help us to
know and understand the times in which we live and to make the proper
preparation for the latter rain.
12Who only will stand in the last great
last great delusion is soon to open before us.Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight.So closely will the counterfeit resemble the
true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures.By their
testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.
who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and
derided.They can stand only in
God.In order to endure the trial before
them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can
honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government,
and purposes, and act in accordance with them.None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible
will stand through the last great conflict.”The Great
Controversy, 593, 594.