Editorial – The Great Disappointment

“And at midnight a cry was made, Behold the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet Him” (Matthew 25:6, literal translation).

In 1844 this midnight cry was heralded by thousands of believers and “like a tidal wave the movement swept over the land. From city to city, from village to village, and into remote country places it went.” The Great Controversy, 400.

Jesus, the bridegroom, was coming to engage in the last phase of His work as our great High Priest to receive His kingdom. (See Hebrews 3:1.)

“And as they heard these things, He added and spake a parable, because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:11, 12 KJV).

In 1844 Jesus went before the Father to receive a kingdom. When the process is complete, then every case will have been decided for life or death. (See Acts 3:19–21.) The number of the subjects of Christ’s kingdom will be made up and it will then be too late for anybody to change sides in the great controversy—you will either be saved or lost and your destiny will be fixed by an unalterable decree. (See Revelation 22:11, 12.)

After He receives the kingdom, which is also likened to a marriage, He returns to this earth to take His people from here to the Father’s house. Jesus said, “And you be like men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him immediately” (Luke 12:36, literal translation).

The believers in 1844 had the date for the fulfillment of the 2300 day prophecy (Daniel 8:14) right, but they misunderstood the important event that was to transpire and the result was what is called “The Great Disappointment.”

However, the greatest disappointment is yet in the future. Jesus predicted it in Matthew 7:21–23.

Ellen White described it as follows: “The great mass of professing Christians will meet with bitter disappointment in the day of God. They have not upon their foreheads the seal of the living God. Lukewarm and halfhearted, they dishonor God far more than the avowed unbeliever. They grope in darkness, when they might be walking in the noonday light of the Word, under the guidance of One who never errs.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 970.

May you not be part of the great disappointment that is coming.