Silence at Midnight! 

  Page 1 of 5   Pages

 Sleeping in the Camp 

of the Three Angels!

"at even" (6 PM)

Deepening darkness for Adventists  after 1888

"Midnight" (12 PM)
First 3 angels' messages - 

"Essene Gospel" 1844 

Protestant reformation affirmed 1847 - 1888

7th day Sabbath - 1847

4th angel, clearest representation of Saturn, reaping actually happens atomic bomb - 1945

7th angel, (not represented in Rev 14)

World Trade Center 9-11-2001


Cockcrowing (3 AM)

 5th and 6th angels - 1987-1994 (Rapture Trib)

"Morning" (6 AM) 

      Less than a month before Pastor Bryan Aalborg called my attention to Mark 13:32-37, I had stumbled across the problem of determining the identity of the final three angels of Revelation 14, a subject that Seventh-day Adventists have avoided just as they have the Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls, afraid, I suppose, of finding out something new that might show they will not, as they suppose they will, judge the whole world as "kings and priests" for 1000 years.  To be sure a world of "dead people" , but the whole world, anyway.   I discovered in these last three of a series of six angels what I needed to identify now what  Mark 13:35 meant by "evening, midnight, cock-crowing, and morning". 

       The "evening" Coming of Jesus belongs to Seventh-day Adventists and the first three angels of Revelation 14.   Although Jesus did not show himself to all those Millerites with their packed suitcases on the backyards and mountain-tops of New England and upstate New York, He did indeed show himself to Ellen Harmon, the teenager with her visions and dreams.

      Ellen described her first important vision in terms that brought hope to her listeners who had been disappointed when William Miller's prediction of Jesus' Second Coming on October 22, 1844 failed to occur in the manner he and his listeners hoped it would occur.   Ellen saw some of these same disappointed people on a path that would eventually take them to what they wanted, for Jesus to come, destroy all their sinful neighbors, and take them to heaven where they could live forever without pain, sorrow, disease, or death. As her vision continued, however, she saw some of those who started on this path fall off into the dark and sinful world below.  

      In a second major vision in 1847 at Topsham, Maine, Ellen White saw Christ himself as a Jewish High Priest dressed in typical Jewish high priestly garments of blue, purple, and scarlet, with a fringe of bells and pomegranates.  Standing between the holy place and most holy place of a heavenly sanctuary, holding a smoking golden censer which was interpreted as the prayers of her Adventist brothers and sisters while an investigative judgment was going on. He was not motionless and confined to one particular spot, as he is sometimes imagined, but was able to take Sister White on a sort of "tour" of the most holy place, and showed her the tables on which the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God. Once this investigative judgment was finished, which could occur at any time, then Jesus would throw down his golden censer, take off his Jewish priestly garments, and come to earth to accompany those Adventists that had learned to live perfect lives to the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, where for 1000 years they will judge the world as kings and priests.  They must, however, keep the Seventh-day Sabbath, and were strongly encouraged to become vegetarians.

       With Ellen White's participation in the process, the Seventh-day Adventists "adopted" the first three angels of Revelation chapter 14 as a symbolic representation of their message to the world, with the message of the third angel, which they interpreted as being a return to keeping the Seventh-day Sabbath, being the most important.    Indeed, keeping Sunday became in their opinion the "Mark of the Beast", the "Beast" being the Roman Catholic Church, which under Constantine's directions in the fourth century AD had changed the regular weekly rest day from Saturday to Sunday.    The World would end, taught Adventists, when an international Sunday law was passed and Sabbath-keepers were sentenced to death.

William Miller and the "Everlasting Gospel"


       Revelation 14: 6 "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of the heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."

       This is a complex verse with grand and far-reaching themes that neither William Miller nor the Seventh-day Adventists who later replaced him ever really understood, but for now let's accept William Miller's simple interpretation that this present earth was to be judged at a second coming of Jesus in plain sight of everyone living, and also the dead from all former ages resurrected to see Jesus return.  Jesus would act as a judge at this coming, and more or less instantaneously choose the righteous dead and the living Millerites, with angels descending to carry those worthy to join Jesus on the cloud or clouds full of angels that appeared in the sky on October 22, 1844.   What they expected to see is represented by this picture.

        It is assumed by Seventh-day Adventists that William Miller and his fellow preachers had an absolutely correct picture of how the expected "second coming" will occur, and this same picture is still used, although no one has pictured how the angels will carry the individual Adventists and their children up into the sky, and how much baggage they might be able to take with them.   There are seemingly reliable accounts of some women on October 22, 1844 that had large trunks ready to go with many changes of fashionable clothes, while other less reliable accounts speak of special "ascension robes".   Harold Camping's followers in the spring of this year (2011) were disappointed in their expectation of a similarly very public second coming and here's a picture of the believers sedately walking up a stairway made of clouds that solves some of these visual difficulties.   There are no trunks or suitcases.  Indeed it would have to be a very long stairway, so perhaps an escalator is a more appropriate description.

     Revelation 14:8 "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."  The original Millerites saw "Babylon" as everyone who refused to join their revival, confess their sins, and attempt to live righteous lives for the relatively short period of time, first several years, then a number of months, then weeks and days before the expected "end of the world."  After the resurrected and living "saints" (specifically those people expecting Jesus and emotionally and spiritually "ready to go") were safely up in the clouds, Christ would some way or another (perhaps by a fiery glance) ignite a world-wide conflagration that would "cleanse the world sanctuary" so that once the flames died down and the earth cooled, "saved" men and women, or angels, or perhaps both in a cooperative effort, could begin rebuilding a world to God's and their specifications and preferences.   It is generally conceded that the Millerites had no idea what the message of the "Third Angel" of Revelation 14 was all about, and it's doubtful that they even noticed there was a 4th, 5th, and 6th angel in this chapter.   But no 7th angel.

       After nothing much happened (on earth, anyway) on October 22, 1844, most of those waiting went back to their farms and jobs, while William Miller's family and neighbors built him a little chapel in which he preached sermons almost every Sunday until he died of old age. A rather small group still studied the Bible diligently and discovered that  the whole earth was never really considered a "sanctuary" by the Bible writers, and proposed a "heavenly sanctuary" existed somewhere out in space, with Jesus as its "High Priest".   When Ellen White in 1847 actually visited this "heavenly sanctuary" in her vision, this added credibility to Hiram Edson's ideas on this subject.   But the big issue  about this time was Joseph Bates' tract on the Seventh-day Sabbath, studied and adopted by both Ellen White and her husband James White, who by now had considerable influence among this small but growing group of "Adventists".   Eventually the message of the "Third Angel" was connected with 7th day Sabbath-keeping by Adventists, but by very few other modern students of Bible prophecy.   And the Adventists adopted their now quite famous "Three Angels" logo.

NEXT: Page 2 of "Sleeping

in the Camp of the Three Angels"

Hi, -- I'm Dr. Bob Holt, md, a frequent attender at Bryan Aalborg's church.   My disappointment about William Miller's being wrong about this date is more than offset by the knowledge that this "mistake" allowed my father to be born about 66 years later, and myself to be born almost a hundred years later!   And write this page 160 years later!