Will Jesus Return in 2031? (El Gran Engaño)

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October 25, 2015

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There is a growing group of people in the Spanish speaking world that believe Jesus is coming again in 2031. It has also entered in other parts of the world, thus we have chosen to publish this thorough study, to enlighten you on the topic. The background is a ministry based in Spain called El Gran Engaño, where the leader Victor Sanvicens has developed this theory. They call themselves Seventh-Day Adventists, but they are not members of the Church.
If you have heard about this topic and/or are listening to messages about it or studying it, please, go through this study which provides many clear Bible texts and Spirit of Prophecy-quotes. This will enlighten you greatly on the topic!

Just to make things clear, Empower Missions do not believe that we are to set any dates for Jesus second coming. Find out why through this study.


  1. Historicist Method for Interpretation of Prophecy
  2. What is the Age of the Earth?
  3. Can We Know the Time of Christ’s Return?
  4. Twelve Reasons Why the 2031 Theory Is Error
  5. Conclusion

“Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support.”  {GC 595.1}

1. Historicist Method for Interpretation of Prophecy

First of all, let’s take a look how to interpret Prophecy.

Since its beginning, Seventh-day Adventists have used the historical method of prophetic interpretation to explain the symbols and their meaning.

This method outlines the prophecies from the past, through the present and into the future. It is also called the continuous historical view. This was also believed by the majority of the great reformers including Luther and Calvin.
Take for example Daniel 2
that starts explaining Babylon, then Medo-Persia that was to take over as a second kingdom, and then going on to future predictions, by which most of them are fulfilled by now.

Definition of Prophecy: “An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will. A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration.”
– American Heritage Dictionary

We can divide this method into classical prophecy and apocalyptical prophecy.

Classical prophecy deals with contemporary issues – a person or a country.
This kind of prophecy was directed primarily to ancient Israel, as the old testament clearly reveals. It is, of course, still highly instructive for us today.
Some examples:

  • Daniel and Jeremiah spoke to kings.

  • Daniel 4 is predicting the fall of Nebuchadnezzar

  • Israel spent 430 literal years in Egypt

  • The jewish captivity in Babylon was indeed 70 literal years.

This kind of prophecy have a
literal language with literal persons performing literal actions.

Apocalyptic prophecy (also called outline prophecy) deals more specifically with the future. These prophecies unveils rise and fall of nations, from the prophets day until the end of time. A prominent characteristic for these prophecies is that they have lots of symbols. The visions given in Bible prophecy is primarily symbolic.

For this reason we also take the time periods given to be symbolic.

The day/year principle (a symbolic day = a literal year) therefore needs to be applied here, so that we understand the symbolic time.

There are many reasons for why we need to apply this method.


9 Reasons why we need to apply the day/year principle (Video)

How shall we interpret time when it comes to prophecy?
We have some prophecies where we have interpreted it as literal, and some as symbolic.

A Bible month equals 30 days. (Genesis 7:11, 8:3-4 – The flood lasted 5 months/150 days)
One year equals 12 months (I Kings 4:7 and I Chronicles 27:1-15)

Here is a list of nine reasons, but there are for sure more!

The day/year principle is to be applied in apocalyptic prophecies which involves time.

#1: Explanation within the prophetic context
Numbers 14:34: After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

Ezekiel 4:6: And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

#2: Jesus used this method.
Luke 13:32: And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

Luke 13:33: Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

Jesus is prophesying about His work and death. He was working for 3,5 years. So one day for each year.

Jesus used the historicist method for interpreting Daniel when He announced, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). In this affirmation of prophetic fulfillment He referred to Daniel’s 70 week prophecy (Dan 9:24-27) which foretold the coming of the Messiah.

Near the close of His life, Jesus again referred to the same prophecy. This time, however, He pointed to another aspect of the prophecy when he predicted the fall of Jerusalem and the temple (Matthew 24:15 and Luke 21:20): “prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (Daniel 9:26)
These events took place after His death and ascension, in A.D. 70 when it was destroyed by the Romans.

#3: Apocalyptic prophecies are symbolic.

Would you tell your friend: “It is 1260 days since you started college?” Or would you say 3,5 years?
Or, another example: In 70 weeks, I will graduate! Daily speaking, we are using years, while adding months and days if necessary.
The Bible does the same:

II Chronicles 36:9: Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

James 5:17: Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

Apocalyptic prophecy has a lot of symbols, and the time used here is usually shorter.
Classical prophecy has a literal language with literal persons performing literal actions.
For example 70 years in Jer 25:11-12 and 120 years in Genesis 6:3.

Let’s look at the 1260 years.

The symbolic time periods are always found in the context of visions where symbolism is used.
– 1260 days: Woman, clothed with sun, moon, stars, dragon. (Rev 12)
– 42 months: Beast, horns, dragon, sea, image, mark (Rev 13)
– 2300 days: Beasts, horn, etc. (Dan 8)

#4: The 2300 days refers to the end time. (v.17, 26)
Daniel 8:17: So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

If this was literal days, the end time would have been a long time ago.

#5: The kingdoms in Daniel 8 lasted longer than 2300 days.

When Gabriel came in Daniel 9 to explain the vision, you see a connection with the prophecy of kingdoms, which is clearly apocalyptic.

Now talking about the kingdom of Rome predicted, this question comes:
Daniel 8:13:…How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation…

Daniel was in Persia at this time, and the prophecy is then supposed to start in Persia at some point, which we also know happened in 457 b.c.. It was more than 2300 literal days until Rome took over, and continued.
The countdown started when Cyrus of Persia gave the decree. This is why Daniel 8 starts with Persia and not Babylon. These kingdoms lasted more than 2300 days.

#6: Days and years are paralleled in the Bible
Exodus 13:10 – The hebrew word: “Yom” is used, which means day. But it obviously means year here, since passover is celebrated every year.

Genesis 5:5: And all the days [Yom] that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Psalms 90:9: For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

Psalms 90:10: The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Job 10:5: Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man’s days,

When we come to the occurrence of the word ‘days’ in the time prophecies, therefore, an ancient Semite whose mind was steeped in this parallelistic type of thought would naturally have made an association of ‘years’ with the ‘days’ found in a symbolic context, just as he naturally would have identified ‘years’ as the B-word that would follow the A-word ‘days’ in its occurrence as part of a well-known parallel pair.” (William H. Shea, Selected Studies in Prophetic Interpretation, p. 69).

#7: Jesus spoke about Daniel as all had not yet been fulfilled.

Matthew 24:15: When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Luke 21:20: And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Daniel 9:27 is predicting the desolation of Jerusalem in AD 70, as a result that God’s people rejected Messiah.
Time frame must be more than just days, for this prophecy to fulfill.

#8: New testament’s statements about antichrist.
In 2 Thes. 2:1-13 Paul speaks about antichrist as if he was come (v. 3-7), and still was going to work in the future until Jesus comes back (v. 8). We also see that he gets the picture from the little horn in Dan 7.

Antichrist is already here working, but will also be present at the coming of Christ. (v. 7-8)
He doesn’t use the word antichrist, but it seems like he has been studying Daniel.

Revelation 13 is clearly referring to Daniel 7, talking about the end time.

#9: It fits well with history

  • The Papacy did rule for 1260 years, and the church was persecuted during this time (538-1798).

  • The Church period of Smyrna did indeed experience 10 years of severe tribulation/persecution (Rev 2:10, under Diocletian of Rome in 303-313 A.D). 10 days would not have been as bad.

  • The decree to build and restore Jerusalem was given in 457 B.C., Jesus was anointed in 27 AD, and He died in 31 A.D. To finish of the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9, Stephen was stoned in 34 A.D.

  • The great awakening in the 1830s by the Millerites who preached the 2300 days, and thus pointed to this important event in heaven must be a fulfillment of Revelation 10.
    God did raise up a prophet for this time.

Generally when the time periods are short in apocalyptic prophecy, it is more likely to be symbolic. Because these periods of time simply won’t fit all the prophecy is talking about. For instance the last week of Daniel 9.

If we would interpret days as literal days or anything else in Bible Prophecy, they would not fulfill the kingdoms, (for instance Rome that lasted for several centuries)

Joshua 23:14: And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you [Israel]; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

If we would have interpreted days literally in these prophecies, or trying to apply another principle, they would have appeared to fail.

The preterist and futurist view of interpreting prophecy deny this principle, and the preterist would interpret the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8 being Antiochus Epiphanes (171-164 B. C.), a Macedonian ruler who persecuted the jews.
The futurist put it in the future, one who will arise in Israel.

Why would they deny the day/year principle? Because then it would ruin their theory and reveal them. They say that the prophetic time of 3,5 years, 1260 days, and 2300 days are literal. Otherwise it would reveal the Papacy to be antichrist.

The historicist view on the contrary, believe as we have seen, that when it comes to time in apocalyptic prophecy, it is to be understood symbolically – one day for a year.


Is futurism on the rise in our church?

We discovered that historicism and in particular the day/year principle is the key to unroll the symbolic time periods so that we are able to locate the predicted events along the highway of history.

On the contrary we have the futurist and preterist methods, developed by jesuits in the counter reformation, as a result of the reformation. Why were these developed?
The historicist method, believed by most of the reformers revealed the catholic church as the antichrist, so then the jesuits developed these two theories, as they respectively put the majority of the prophecies in the past, and in the future.

Futurism got more acceptance in Protestant Churches in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The most prominent form of futurist interpretation today places the fulfillment of the of Revelation (except chapter 1-3) in a 3,5 year period of tribulation at the end of time.
Some adventists, while claiming to believe in the historicist method of interpretation, they are also more futurist focused. They say there is a dual fulfillment in many prophecies – and in particular of the end-time. But there is usually not any consistency. Only certain chapters are reapplied. For example, some teach that the beasts of Daniel 7 and 8 are currently meeting another fulfillment in the activities of the United States, Russia, Iraq, and Iran. Some argue that the 1260 year time period is to have another fulfillment in the future on a day-for-a-day basis, while others have suggested a dual fulfillment for the 70 week prophecy.

“Seventh-day Adventists have always recognized from the biblical data itself that certain of the classical prophecies (in the major and minor prophets) give clear evidence in their contexts that a more complete fuffillment may be expected after a partial application (for example, Joel’s prophecy about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit [Joel 2:28-32] and Malachi’s prophecy of an Elijah message [Mal 4:5-6]). However, we have never taken such a position on the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. That would destroy it’s significance. Obviously the 7 churches was literal letters, which was also a lesson of the God’s church during the ages.” – Biblical Research Institute

“The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world.” – The Acts of the Apostles, p. 585.

There were indeed 7 literal churches at this time, that needed these letters.

Notice that the “messages extend to the end of time”.

The dual fulfillment theory and futurism

“In terms of prophetic interpretation the Adventist Church stands at a crossroads. The spirit of the Counter Reformation knocks on the Adventist door. The decision to open the door and to go the way an earlier Protestantism went is one option. In today’s ecumenical climate the temptation to go that way is alluring. But there is valid reason why we should remain loyal to the prophetic faith of our pioneer fathers.” – Biblical Research Institute

Are we going to stick to our roots, proclaiming the message based on a historicist view on prophecy? Or are we going to mix it with a Jesuit view, that developed as a result of the reformation?

Did Ellen White believe Bible Prophecy to have a dual fulfillment?

“There is not the slightest evidence that Ellen White intended for the church to follow any other method of interpreting the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation than the historicist method.”- Biblical Research Institute

Let’s take a look at some statements of her regarding prophetic interpretation.

“The book of Revelation opens to the world what has been, what is, and what is to come; it is for our instruction upon whom the ends of the world are come. It should be studied with reverential awe. We are privileged in knowing what is for our learning. – Ellen G White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 954

She puts the prophecies quite clearly on a time line. Some in the past, some for the present, and some in the future. This is the historicist view.

“In the Revelation are portrayed the deep things of God. . . . Its truths are addressed to those living in the last days of this earth’s history, as well as to those living in the days of John. Some of the scenes depicted in this prophecy are in the past, some are now taking place; some bring to view the close of the great conflict between the powers of darkness and the Prince of heaven, and some reveal the triumphs and joys of the redeemed in the earth made new. – The Acts of the Apostles, p. 584

Notice that she is not saying: “Some of the scenes in this prophecy are in the past and the future”. No, she places the prophecies at different parts of the time line. This shows how apocalyptic prophecy was designed by God to find a sequential fulfillment in history.

  1. Some of these prophecies have fulfilled in the past.
  2. Some of the prophecies are now taking place.
  3. Some focus on the final conflict in the controversy and have not yet been fulfilled.
  4. Some relate to the new earth.

In her writings, she gives a clear interpretation of:
– The little horn (Dan 7)
– The dragon (Rev 12)
– The beast from the sea (Rev 13) and the related time periods (3 1/2 times = 1260 days = 42 months = 1260 years of papal supremacy, 538-1798)
– The two-horn beast from the earth (Rev 13)
– The final conflict over the Sabbath and God’s Law symbolized by the enforcement of the “mark of the beast” by the “image of the beast.” (See The Great Controversy, pp. 438-450).

These views fully support the historicist method and the main conclusions and positions arrived at by our pioneers who employed this system. Her divinely guided writings confirm the prophetic foundation, based from Daniel and Revelation, on which the Seventh-day Adventist Church rests today.

What will be repeated?

Hosea 12:10: I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

Similitude means being like something, a comparison, parallel. This verse indicates that similtudes from the lives of the prophets is for our learning. Take for instance Daniel chapter 3 that have many lessons for the people living in the end time.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10: The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

Reading this in context, it is easy to see that the text is referring to nature – the things around us. The nature is following God’s laws (which of course also has been affected by sin).

However, we can also see that history seems to repeat itself.
God has used events in history to point forward to another event in the future:
– Passover – Crucifixion of Christ.
– 12 tribes of Israel – 12 disciples and apostles, etc.

This is also true for events in our time. The book of Revelation uses the picture of Babylon in Bible Prophecy. The book of Daniel as well as other parts of the Bible will help us to understand the prophecies of the end time, and in this context Babylon and antichrist.

Here is a statement from Ellen G. White regarding a portion of Daniel 11.

“We have no time to lose. Troublous times are before us. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place. The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated. In the thirtieth verse a power is spoken of that “shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” [Verses 31-36, quoted.] Scenes similar to those described in these words will take place. We see evidence that Satan is fast obtaining the control of human minds who have not the fear of God before them. Let all read and understand the prophecies of this book, for we are now entering upon the time of trouble spoken of: [Daniel 12:1-4, quoted.] {13MR 394.2}

She says that “much of the history” of this prophecy will be repeated, and specifies which part: v. 31-36. To make it clear that she is not talking about a dual fulfillment, she says: “Scenes similar to those described in these words will take place.”
This quote was not meant to be applied to any prophecy of the Bible. Neither was it meant to be used as an equal sign by the verses she referred to, and the future. Doing any of these things is to take the quote out of it’s context.

Here is another one, more generally applied:

“We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side.” {RH, August 31, 1897 par. 7}

Again, she makes it clear that it is the history that is to be repeated, not the prophecies, because they have their fulfillment in its time.

What part of the history?
– Old controversies
– Peril

This has already happened several times in history, and the “old controversies” and “peril” will surely be seen again.

“Ellen White uses the expression, “history will be repeated,” a number of times. But history and prophecy are two different things. It does not follow that a repetition of a historical experience also means a repetition of the same prophecy. Such a conclusion distorts her meaning. Ellen White is counseling us to study the prophetic fulfillments of the past – to study the principles involved – because similar issues will rise again, and God’s people will have to meet them. “Old controversies will arouse to new life.” We prepare ourselves for such issues by understanding the challenges involved in those past events. History will, indeed, be repeated, but not the same, specific prophecy that has already met its fulfillment in the past.”

– Bible Research Institute

Take Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:7 as an example. These are two prophecies about the persecution of God’s people during the 1260 years of papal dominance in Europe. We know that persecution against God’s people will be repeated in the closing scenes of earth’s history. How do we know this? Another prophecy says it will! (Rev 13:15-17) This is how we need to understand the fact that history will be repeated. It’s for us to learn from historical experiences. Even if a persecution will arise again in the future based on the prophecies, it does not mean that there will be a repetition of the fulfilled prophecies in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:7.

But what is this supposed to mean then? We can study the lives of God’s faithful, the issues they had to face in their times, and how they met them. Daniel and his friends lived in Babylon, they were persecuted by earthly powers because they chose to be loyal to God. God saved them out of their trouble. Today, we live in a world of Babylonian influence. Soon, very soon, we too, if we remain faithful, will be persecuted by earthly powers because of our loyalty to God. Thus the experiences from Daniel may strengthen our faith and equip us to meet persecution in our own times.

How did Ellen White relate to people who looked for dual fulfillment of prophecies?

In the l890’s, a few Adventists were suggesting future fulfillment of the three angels’ messages (Revelation 14). Ellen White reproved such attempts and regarded their proponents as misled. Here is what she said:

“In our day as in Christ’s day, there may be a misreading and misinterpreting of the Scriptures. . . .And many are doing the same thing today, in 1897, because they have not had experience in the testing messages comprehended in the first, second, and third angel’s messages. There are those who are searching the Scriptures for proof that these messages are still in the future. They gather together the truthfulness of the messages, but they fail to give them their proper place in prophetic history. Therefore such are in danger of misleading the people in regard to locating the messages. They do not see and understand the time of the end, or when to locate the messages. –Evangelism, pp. 612-613

“I have not been able to sleep since half past one o’clock. I was bearing to Brother T a message which the Lord has given me for him. The peculiar views he holds are a mixture of truth and error. . . . The great waymarks of truth, showing us our bearings in prophetic history, are to be carefully guarded, lest they be torn down, and replaced with theories that would bring confusion rather than genuine light. . . .There have been one and another who in studying their Bibles thought they discovered great light, and new theories, but these have not been correct. The Scripture is all true, but by misapplying the Scripture men arrive at wrong conclusions. . . . Some will take the truth applicable to their time, and place it in the future. Events in the train of prophecy that had their fulfillment away in the past are made future, and thus by these theories the faith of some is undermined.
From the light that the Lord has been pleased to give me, you are in danger of doing the same work presenting before others truths which have had their place and done their specific work for the time, in the history of the faith of the people of God. You recognize these facts in Bible history as true, but apply them to the future. They have their force still in their proper place, in the chain of events that have made us as a people what we are today, and as such, they are to be presented to those who are in the darkness of error…
Very well do we know how every point of truth was established [by the pioneers], and the seal set upon it by the Holy Spirit of God. And all the time voices were heard, “Here is the truth,” “I have the truth; follow me.” But the warnings came, “Go not ye after them. I have not sent them, but they ran.” (See Jeremiah 23:21.)…The leadings of the Lord were marked, and most wonderful were His revelations of what is truth. Point after point was established by the Lord God of heaven. That which was truth then

, is truth today. But the voices do not cease to be heard – “This is truth. I have new light.” But these new lights in prophetic lines are manifest in misapplying the Word and setting the people of God adrift without an anchor to hold them. If the student of the Word would take the truths which God has revealed in the leadings of His people, and appropriate these truths, digest them, and bring them into their practical life, they would then be living channels of light. But those who have set themselves to study out new theories, have a mixture of truth and error combined, and after trying to make these things prominent, have demonstrated that they have not kindled their taper from the divine altar, and it has gone out in darkness.” Manuscript 31, 1896. – Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 101-104

The warning is pretty clear:
1. Sister White bids us to carefully guard the great way marks of truth, sticking to our prophetic foundation.
2. We are warned about new theories based on a light that someone discovered from the Word.
3. This so called new light was based on prophecies that had fulfilled, applying them also to the future. She calls it “setting the people of God adrift without an anchor to hold them.”
4. She says that those who study out new theories regarding prophecy have a “mixture of truth and error”.


2. What is the age of the earth?
According to the Bible’s genealogy along with historians such as Josephus and modern day scholars, the earth is about 5970 years.

If you do a search in Ellen G. White’s writings, you will find about 90 statements, where she says the earth to be about 6000 years. But It varies how she refers to this time:
– “6000 years.”
– “about 6000 years,”
– “nearly 6000 years,”
– “almost 6000 years,”
– At least one even says “more than 6000 years.”

Here are some examples.

In 1872 she wrote: “God endowed man with so great vital force that he has withstood the accumulation of disease brought upon the race in consequence of perverted habits, and has continued for six thousand years. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 138)
Does this mean exactly 6000 years until 1872?

In 1879 she writes: “Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record, because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, pp. 91, 92; also in 1SP 87 and Signs of the Times, March 20, 1879)
She even states “now” in this statement in 1879. What about today?

1884: “The great controversy between Christ and Satan, that has been carried on for almost six thousand years, is soon to close. (Signs of the Times, May 8, 1884)
Is this statement regarding when the war started in heaven?

1887: “A cunning and cruel foe attends our steps, and is working every moment, with all his strength and skill, to turn us from the right way. Ever since he succeeded in overcoming our first parents in their beautiful Eden home, he has been engaged in this work. More than six thousand years of continual practice has greatly increased his skill to deceive and allure. (Signs of the Times, September 29, 1887)

Does this mean that her statement in 1884 said the exact age somewhere between this year and 1887? Because here she says “more than”. If you look for a set age, it would be a hasty conclusion. Consider these next ones:

1896-1900: “To this earth angels have come, with the message of redemption, and its hills and valleys have echoed their songs of rejoicing. Its soil has been trodden by the feet of the Son of God. And for more than six thousand years, in its forms of beauty and gifts for sustenance, the earth has borne witness of the Creator’s love. {SJ 183.3}

The great controversy between Christ and Satan, that has been carried forward for nearly six thousand years, is soon to close; and the wicked one redoubles his efforts to defeat the work of Christ in man’s behalf and to fasten souls in his snares. (The Great Controversy, p. 518)
Here in 1911 she says “nearly six thousand years, contrary to “more than six thousand years” that she made in two statements earlier.

Different expressions in the same book:
In the 88′ release of the Great Controversy she states:
For six thousand years that master-mind that once was highest among the angels of God, has been wholly bent to the work of deception and ruin.” (Intro. Page X).

Toward the end of the book she says: “The great controversy between Christ and Satan, that has been carried forward for nearly six thousand years, is soon to close; and the wicked one redoubles his efforts to defeat the work of Christ in man’s behalf, and to fasten souls in his snares.” (page 518)

It is pretty evident from these that at sister White’s time, the earth is “about six thousand years”, which supports the approximate age calculated from the Bible. However, her expressions do not support an age with precision.


3. Can we know the year of Christ’s return?
More than 200 dates/years has been set for Jesus’ coming. Most of them are in the late 1900’s and from the year 2000.

J. N. Andrews developed the Week of Time idea in a series of articles published in the Review in the 1870s. Andrews was making an analogy between the seven-day week and what he expected would be the history of this world: as the week had six days, followed by a Sabbath of rest, so the world would have 6000 years, followed by the millennium of rest. He concluded that the 6000 years would end sometime before the year 1900.

Mrs. White greatly respected J. N. Andrews. She never confirmed that Andrews’s analogy about the great week of time was correct. She often wrote about the approximately 6000 years of earth’s history thus far, and she clearly believed that Jesus’ coming was very near. For those who believe that we have to take it as an exact number, we have a problem since she refer to this differently, as mentioned earlier.

In the 1950s, there was another theory on a year for Jesus’ second coming based on Jesus’ statement in Luke 17:27: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man,” speaking about events that would precede His coming. The theory reasoned: “Noah preached for 120 years. From 1844, 120 years would take us to 1964.”

Jesus was not comparing the length of time of Noah’s preaching with the time of the Advent movement. He was talking about the conditions of the time of Noah would also be present in the end. We should not go beyond the teachings of Scripture.

David Koresh: 1993.

Another guy used Ussher’s date of 4004 B.C. for the Creation, did the math, and concluded that Jesus must return by 1’6, 6000 years from the start. But, he added, it will likely be sooner, because Jesus spoke of those days being shortened. We are now more than ten years beyond his “final date.”

More recently, others have used what they thought were better numbers for Jesus to come, as in the 7th millennium (for instance the year 2000). These predictions, too, have failed.

Nowhere in Scripture do you find a clear idea of the “week of time”. What we find is a comparison between the seven-day week and the history of this earth, which we believe has gone on for about 6000 years.


What about the 2031 theory?

There are people that predict Christ’s coming in 2031.

When studying this as other topics, we must set aside our picture and views of things, and let the word and SOP explain itself!

To start with, they base it on 2 Peter 3:
II Peter 3:8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

II Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

II Peter 3:10: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

What is the context here?
v. 3 is a prophecy about scoffers that will say: “Where is the promise of His coming?”
They are doubting His soon coming, even if Jesus promised it.
What does soon mean?
Peter goes on to explain that the scoffers seem to forget something related to God.
– God was in charge of the creation
– He has control over the investigative + executive judgement (1844 + after the 1000 years in heaven) (v.7)
Then he explains how God looks upon time: He is eternal, so for him: a thousand years is a short time, from his perspective. Because for him a thousand years is as one day.

This is a comparison, because the words “as” is used. This is a rebuke to these scoffers.

So the context is judgement and patience with these believers.

If this is used to explain a new interpretation on prophecy we have to be consistent.
And how do we know that we are to convert one day to a thousand years, and not a thousand years to one day?
Since both of them are included, we know it’s just a comparison.

Statements on time
Let us first take a look at EGW’s statements about 4000 years. I have looked up all of them and have noted something very important.

“In A.D. 31, three and a half years after His baptism, our Lord was crucified. With the great sacrifice offered upon Calvary, ended that system of offerings which for four thousand years had pointed forward to the Lamb of God. Type had met antitype, and all the sacrifices and oblations of the ceremonial system were there to cease. {GC 327.3}
– The 2031 theory claim this quote to determine exactly 4000 years at the death of Christ. Let us compare it with other quotes to see if it can be so.

When Jesus accepted humanity

  • “But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life. {CSA 6.7}
  • The Son of God humbled Himself and took man’s nature after the race had wandered four thousand years from Eden, and from their original state of purity and uprightness. Sin had been making its terrible marks upon the race for ages; and physical, mental, and moral degeneracy prevailed throughout the human family. When Adam was assailed by the tempter in Eden he was without the taint of sin. . . . Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure.–The Review and Herald, July 28, 1874. {7ABC 448.1}This is also clearly pointing to a specific event, but a different one than in a.d. 31. None of them are more clear than the other.

4000 years – wilderness of temptation

  • “Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home.. {Con 32.1}
  • For four thousand years, ever since the declaration was made to Adam that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, he had been planning his manner of attack. He put forth his strongest efforts to overcome Christ on the point of appetite, who endured the keenest pangs of hunger. {Con 78-79}
  • “Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. {1SM 267.3}

These statements are also clear, pointing to a third event.

In Paul’s day:

“If for four thousand years the righteous had gone directly to heaven at death, how could Paul have said that if there is no resurrection, “they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished”? No resurrection would be necessary. {GC 546.3}

From Adam’s sin, to the day of Christ.

“Satan had succeeded so well in deceiving the angels of God, and in the fall of noble Adam, that he thought that in Christ’s humiliation he should be successful in overcoming Him. He looked with pleased exultation upon the result of his temptations and the increase of sin in the continued transgression of God’s law for more than four thousand years. He had worked the ruin of our first parents, and brought sin and death into the world, and had led to ruin multitudes of all ages, countries, and classes. He had, by his power, controlled cities and nations until their sin provoked the wrath of God to destroy them by fire, water, earthquakes, sword, famine, and pestilence. By his subtlety and untiring efforts he had controlled the appetite and excited and strengthened the passions to so fearful a degree, that he had defaced, and almost obliterated the image of God in man. His physical and moral dignity were in so great a degree destroyed, that he bore but a faint resemblance in character, and noble perfection of form, to dignified Adam in Eden. {1SM 269.2}

So far we can see that Ellen White is not clearly specific about the exact year.

Let’s take a look at some other statements on time:
“In conclusion, let all, both old and young, give diligent heed to the words of the Lord penned by the wise man three thousand years ago: “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments. For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee. Bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” {RH, December 13, 1881 par. 13}

– Solomon wrote Proverbs 3:1-4 3000 years ago, according to this statement made in 1881.

Solomon died in spring 931 BC, after reigning about 40 years. It may sound like an exact number of years, but consider the next one.

Three thousand years ago, David asked the question, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Souls already impure need to be cleansed, purified, and sanctified. Then the testimony can be borne, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” {PH079 20.2}

– These verses in Ps 119 were written 3000 years ago according to this statement in 1899. David, the Father of Solomon, lived between 1040–970 BC, whereafter Solomon got on the throne.
It is clear that this cannot be taken as exact year as this statement is written in 1899 (19 years after the statement about Solomon), knowing that David is the father of Solomon.

(A few paragraphs from a letter written in reference to the revival in Portland under Father Miller’s labors will give a good idea of the character of his work. At the time, he was “lecturing to crowded congregations in the Casco-street church on his favorite theme, the end of the world and the literal reign of Christ for one thousand years.” Eld. L. D. Fleming wrote of these meetings:– {RH, November 25, 1884 par. 12} )
– To be consistent to the interpretation of 2 Peter 3:8, this should have been only one day.

All these statements on time makes it evident that we cannot take it as exact measurements on the year, but rather an approximate referral to time.

This theory that claim the first quote to be exact in the 4000 years, goes on to connect it with this verse:

Hosea 6:1: Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

Hosea 6:2: After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Hosea 6:3: Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

The newly established way of interpreting prophecy is used – A thousand years for one day. How can we establish this way of interpreting prophecy only on this verse, and not other verses?
What about the 2300-day prophecy and the 70 weeks?
These two prophecies have to do with Christ’s coming and judgment, as was the topic in 2 Peter. The historical interpretation of these prophecies have proved to be correct, using the firmly established day-year principle. How is it logical to use a new theory for a prophecy about the same topic, as where the theory is taken from.

It would make more sense to then apply this to the 2300 days as this is about judgement. But that would ruin our foundation.

Taking the verses in 2 Peter 3, and creating a new theory, only applying it here, introduces a completely new way of reading the Bible. The advocates of this need then to be consistent in applying this to all apocalyptic prophecies. However, then they will fail, so they cannot make such a step. The theory also is more futuristic in nature, contrary to the historicist view. Futurism was, as earlier noted, created by a Jesuit.

Will there be new light?
“In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new. When Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His resurrection, He began “at Moses and all the prophets” and “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. But it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old. He who rejects or neglects the new does not really possess the old. For him it loses its vital power and becomes but a lifeless form. {COL 127.4}

It says the new light is unfolding the old truth. The context here is talking about the prophecies about Christ in the old testament, and the fulfillment of them.

“Christ in His teaching presented old truths of which He Himself was the originator, truths which He had spoken through patriarchs and prophets; but He now shed upon them a new light. How different appeared their meaning!…Ever since the first promise of redemption was spoken in Eden, the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ have been the study of human minds. Yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new. The truths of redemption are capable of constant development and expansion. Though old, they are ever new, constantly revealing to the seeker for truth a greater glory and a mightier power. {COL 127.3}

To know about the sanctuary that pointed to Christ is different than seeing Him face to face, and following His example. This truth was never contrary to old established truth.

After the quote on page 127.4, it continues to say:

“The Old Testament sheds light upon the New, and the New upon the Old. Each is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ. Both present truths that will continually reveal new depths of meaning to the earnest seeker. {COL 128.3}

Two more quotes from the same book:

“The signs which He Himself gave of His coming have been fulfilled, and by the teaching of God’s word we may know that the Lord is at the door…Thus the preaching of Christ’s second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message. {COL 226-227}

“Christ on the Mount of Olives had spoken to His disciples of His second advent to the world. He had specified certain signs that were to show when His coming was near, and had bidden His disciples watch and be ready. Again He repeated the warning, “Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Then He showed what it means to watch for His coming. The time is to be spent, not in idle waiting, but in diligent working. This lesson He taught in the parable of the talents. {COL 325.1}

We read that “The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it.” What about new light regarding Christ’s return? If we have “old light” about it, the new light shall not contradict it.
“Should we advance in spiritual knowledge, we would see the truth developing and expanding in lines of which we have little dreamed, but it will never develop in any line that will lead us to imagine that we may know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power. Again and again have I been warned in regard to time-setting. There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ. {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 7}

The so called new light will “never develop in any line that will lead us to imagine that we may know the times an seasons”!

It’s not only about a date, but “times and seasons” was not to be known. This matter was shown by God to her repeatedly. Why? Because God knew there will be time setters! And she said this in general, but specifically pointed out time regarding the coming of Christ.

“There is that in the human heart which inclines to accept anything new and odd and strange, even of the most inconsistent and revolting character. {PH030 10.3}

“Satan hopes to involve the remnant people of God in the general ruin that is coming upon the earth. As the coming of Christ draws nigh, he will be more determined and decisive in his efforts to overthrow them. Men and women will arise professing to have some new light or some new revelation whose tendency is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks. Their doctrines will not bear the test of God’s word, yet souls will be deceived. False reports will be circulated, and some will be taken in this snare. They will believe these rumors and in their turn will repeat them, and thus a link will be formed connecting them with the archdeceiver. This spirit will not always be manifested in an open defiance of the messages that God sends, but a settled unbelief is expressed in many ways. Every false statement that is made feeds and strengthens this unbelief, and through this means many souls will be balanced in the wrong direction. {5T 295.3}

The tendency of new light “is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks”. With other words, this is where it usually leads.

How are we supposed to read Ellen White?
A rebuke from herself to people that read her in the wrong way:

”Letters come to me entreating an answer; I know that many men take the testimonies the Lord has given, and apply them as they suppose they should be applied, picking out a sentence here and there, taking it from its proper connection, and applying it according to their idea. Thus poor souls become bewildered, when could they read in order all that has been given, they would see the true application, and would not become confused. Much that purports to be a message from Sister White, serves the purpose of misrepresenting Sister White, making her testify in favor of things that are not in accordance with her mind or judgment. This makes her work very trying. Reports fly from one to another regarding what Sister White has said. Each time the report is repeated, it grows larger. If Sister White has anything to say, leave her to say it. No one is called upon to be a mouthpiece for Sister White.” (Selected Messages 1, p. 44)

If we are in doubt how to apply a certain scripture/quote, we would do well to do the following:
“The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture.” (Selected Messages 1, p. 42)

With other words, not human wisdom, but if there is anyone that are to explain Ellen White’s comments, it’s herself – her own writings!

Both the compromisers and the fanatics have the same problem at heart. They choose to believe some parts of the Testimonies which happen to agree with their ideas, while that which does not suit their mind, they discard or try to explain in a different way.

Also all passages of the Bible need to be read in its context that it is given.

Isaiah 28:10: For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

What does this mean? Is there a danger in doing this?

It does not mean that we can take pieces from different places of the Bible, and make our own puzzle. History has already revealed many of those. But in particular, we need to compare one verse with the others of the same topic.

Ellen White comments on this verse, comparing scripture with scripture:

“When thus searched out and brought together, they will be found to be perfectly fitted to one another.” (Ed 123)

Just like with the Bible, we need to take all of it, not just focus on a few parts, a few verses, or passages.

If we humbly read it as it is, comparing one passage with another, through much prayer, we will have success.

A common mistake is to take out one or two quotes on a certain topic, taking it out of context, and thus creates a false idea.

Take the example of hell:
Mark 9:43: And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Some use Luke 16 as a proof + for example the following verses:

Revelation of John 14:10: The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Revelation of John 14:11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

If you take these texts alone, hell may look like something else than what it is. But unless you compare it with the other verses about hell, you may get the wrong understanding of it.


What does Ellen White say about the time of Christ’s coming?
In the book Last Day Events chapter 3, “When Shall These Things Be?”, we find many valuable statements.

The disciples asked two questions in Matthew 24.

“Jesus did not answer His disciples by taking up separately the destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of His coming. He mingled the description of these two events. {LDE 32.2}

Definite time is beyond the ken of mortals

Many who have called themselves Adventists have been time-setters. Time after time has been set for Christ to come, but repeated failures have been the result. The definite time of our Lord’s coming is declared to be beyond the ken of mortals. Even the angels, who minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation, know not the day nor the hour. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”–4T 307 (1879). {LDE 32.3}

We will see as we read more quotes from Ellen White, that when talking about definite time, it’s not only about a date, it can be season, year or period.

Let’s look at the context given in 4T 306-307. It starts like this:

“In the late vision given me at Battle Creek during our general camp meeting, I was shown our danger, as a people, of becoming assimilated to the world rather than to the image of Christ. We are now upon the very borders of the eternal world, but it is the purpose of the adversary of souls to lead us to put far off the close of time. Satan will in every conceivable manner assail those who profess to be the commandment-keeping people of God and to be waiting for the second appearing of our Saviour in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will lead as many as possible to put off the evil day and become in spirit like the world, imitating its customs. I felt alarmed as I saw that the spirit of the world was controlling the hearts and minds of many who make a high profession of the truth.

Because the times repeatedly set have passed, the world is in a more decided state of unbelief than before in regard to the near advent of Christ. They look upon the failures of the time setters with disgust; and because men have been so deceived, they turn from the truth substantiated by the word of God that the end of all things is at hand. {4T 307.1}

Those who so presumptuously preach definite time, in so doing gratify the adversary of souls; for they are advancing infidelity rather than Christianity. They produce Scripture and by false interpretation show a chain of argument which apparently proves their position. But their failures show that they are false prophets, that they do not rightly interpret the language of inspiration. The word of God is truth and verity, but men have perverted its meaning. These errors have brought the truth of God for these last days into disrepute. Adventists are derided by ministers of all denominations, yet God’s servants must not hold their peace. The signs foretold in prophecy are fast fulfilling around us. This should arouse every true follower of Christ to zealous action.

  1. Ellen White was shown a vision about the danger as a people.
  2. Satan lead people to put far off the close of time.
    To put this time 15 years in the future can certainly be dangerous!
  3. Preaching definite time leads to more unbelief in others regarding the nearness of Christ’s return.
  4. The preachers of definite time are called false prophets that wrongly interpret scriptures.
  5. Signs foretold of the coming should arouse every true believer to zealous action.
    What action? Let’s continue:

“Those who think they must preach definite time in order to make an impression upon the people do not work from the right standpoint. The feelings of the people may be stirred and their fears aroused, but they do not move from principle. An excitement is created; but when the time passes, as it has done repeatedly, those who moved out upon time fall back into coldness, darkness, and sin, and it is almost impossible to arouse their consciences without some great excitement…Men will reject the solemn message of warning in our day, as they did in Noah’s time. They will refer to those false teachers who have predicted the event and set the definite time, and will say that they have no more faith in our warning than in theirs. This is the attitude of the world today. Unbelief is widespread, and the preaching of Christ’s coming is mocked at and derided. This makes it all the more essential that those who believe present truth should show their faith by their works…{4T 308.2}

People in the end will be led astray by false prophets that preach a definite time of Christ’s Coming, so that when the warning of the nearness of Christ’s Coming goes out, they will reject it, and the blood these souls, will be on the hands of the time setters.

Knowing the definite time would retard God’s Work

Let’s take a look at a quote from the Great controversy. Before we do, note Ellen White’s statement regarding her book:
How many have read carefully Patriarchs and Prophets, The Great Controversy, and The Desire of Ages? I wish all to understand that my confidence in the light that God has given stands firm, because I know that the Holy Spirit’s power magnified the truth, and made it honorable, saying: “This is the way, walk ye in it.” In my books, the truth is stated, barricaded by a “Thus saith the Lord.” The Holy Spirit traced these truths upon my heart and mind as indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God, upon the tables of stone, which are now in the ark, to be brought forth in that great day when sentence will be pronounced against every evil, seducing science produced by the father of lies.–Letter 90, 1906. {CM 126.2}

“The majority of Adventists rejected the truths concerning the sanctuary and the law of God, and many also renounced their faith in the advent movement and adopted unsound and conflicting views of the prophecies which applied to that work. Some were led into the error of repeatedly fixing upon a definite time for the coming of Christ. The light which was now shining on the subject of the sanctuary should have shown them that no prophetic period extends to the second advent; that the exact time of this advent is not foretold. But, turning from the light, they continued to set time after time for the Lord to come, and as often they were disappointed. {GC 456.1}

When the Thessalonian church received erroneous views concerning the coming of Christ, the apostle Paul counseled them to test their hopes and anticipations carefully by the word of God. He cited them to prophecies revealing the events to take place before Christ should come, and showed that they had no ground to expect Him in their day. “Let no man deceive you by any means” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), are his words of warning. Should they indulge expectations that were not sanctioned by the Scriptures, they would be led to a mistaken course of action; disappointment would expose them to the derision of unbelievers, and they would be in danger of yielding to discouragement and would be tempted to doubt the truths essential for their salvation. The apostle’s admonition to the Thessalonians contains an important lesson for those who live in the last days. Many Adventists have felt that unless they could fix their faith upon a definite time for the Lord’s coming, they could not be zealous and diligent in the work of preparation. But as their hopes are again and again excited, only to be destroyed, their faith receives such a shock that it becomes well-nigh impossible for them to be impressed by the great truths of prophecy. {GC 456.2}

We see that Ellen White uses the phrase “definite time” quite a lot regarding Christ’s coming. Is this only about the hour or day of Christ’s coming?

We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ. . . . Why has not God given us this knowledge?–Because we would not make a right use of it if He did. A condition of things would result from this knowledge among our people that would greatly retard the work of God in preparing a people to stand in the great day that is to come. We are not to live upon time excitement. . . . {LDE 33.1}

You will not be able to say that He will come in one, two, or five years, neither are you to put off His coming by stating that it may not be for ten or twenty years.–RH March 22, 1892. {LDE 33.2}

1. The truths found in The Great Controversy was as “indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God”. Indelible means making marks that cannot be removed.
2. The majority of the Advent movement rejected the sanctuary doctrine, the law of God, and later adopted views on the prophecies.

3. Because of this, they missed the important truth in the Sanctuary that there will be no prophetic time periods reaching the second advent.

4. Definite time means not only the day and the hour, but the year as well.

Who dares to go against this clear counsel?

This was the message for the disciples and also for us.

Notice, Ellen White says: “You will not be able to say” – this is future tense, still valid today. The same shows when she says: “we may always be in state of expectancy and preparation”, as a reason to why God will not reveal this for us.

Time after time is set, but rebuke is not accepted

We are not of that class who define the exact period of time that shall elapse before the coming of Jesus the second time with power and great glory. Some have set a time, and when that has passed, their presumptuous spirits have not accepted rebuke, but they have set another and another time. But many successive failures have stamped them as false prophets.–FE 335 (1895). {LDE 34.1}

The context also tells us:

“”Be ye also ready: for in an such hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”…Great pains should be taken to keep this subject before the people. The solemn fact is to be kept not only before the people of the world, but before our own churches also, that the day of the Lord will come suddenly, unexpectedly. The fearful warning of the prophecy is addressed to every soul. Let no one feel that he is secure from the danger of being surprised. Let no one’s interpretation of prophecy rob you of the conviction of the knowledge of events which show that this great event is near at hand. {FE 335.2}


Live as each day might be the last – God gives no man a message with the year

God gives no man a message that it will be five years or ten years or twenty years before this earth’s history shall close. He would not give any living being an excuse for delaying the preparation for His appearing. He would have no one say, as did the unfaithful servant, “My lord delayeth his coming,” for this leads to reckless neglect of the opportunities and privileges given to prepare us for that great day. Everyone who claims to be a servant of God is called to do his service as if each day might be the last. The words of Christ have a direct application to this time: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” {“Prepare to Meet the Lord.”, RH, November 27, 1900 par. 4}

Ellen White explains specifically the meaning of the day and the hour. This includes the year, because God’s prophet says:

God gives no man a message that it will be five years or ten years or twenty years before this earth’s history shall close.”

She continues in the same article:
“The Lord wishes all to understand his providential dealings now, just now, in the time in which we live. There must be no long discussions, no presenting of new theories in regard to prophecies that God has already made plain. The great work from which the mind should not be diverted is the consideration of our personal standing in the sight of God. Are our feet on the Rock of Ages? Are we hiding ourselves in the only Refuge? The storm is coming, relentless in its fury. Are we prepared to meet it? Are we one with Christ as he is one with the Father? Are we heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ? Are we working in co-partnership with the Saviour? {RH, November 27, 1900 par. 13}

This is a warning in particular regarding the prophecies of Christ’s coming, which she explained earlier, we will not know – not the day, hour or year! Instead we are to focus on building a character and examine our hearts.

So if we are not to present any new theories in regards to the second coming, that must mean that the current one that she held is still valid!

Ellen White, the prophet of God Expected Christ’s Return in Her Day, and she said He could have come, if God’s people would have gotten ready.

Time-setting Leads to Unbelief

We saw earlier (in #2) that the faith of those proclaiming time, after a disappointment “receives such a shock that it becomes well-nigh impossible…to be impressed by the great truths of prophecy.”
Here are some other quotes:
“I understand that Brother [E. P.] Daniels has, as it were, set time, stating that the Lord will come within five years. Now I hope the impression will not go abroad that we are time-setters. Let no such remarks be made.
They do no good. Seek not to obtain a revival upon any such grounds, but let due caution be used in every word uttered, that fanatical ones will not seize anything they can get to create an excitement and the Spirit of the Lord be grieved. {LDE 34.4}

We want not to move the people’s passions to get up a stir, where feelings are moved and principle does not control. I feel that we need to be guarded on every side, because Satan is at work to do his uttermost to insinuate his arts and devices that shall be a power to do harm. Anything that will make a stir, create an excitement on a wrong basis, is to be dreaded, for the reaction will surely come.–Letter 34, 1887. {LDE 35.1}

There will always be false and fanatical movements made by persons in the church who claim to be led of God–those who will run before they are sent and will give day and date for the occurrence of unfulfilled prophecy. The enemy is pleased to have them do this, for their successive failures and leading into false lines cause confusion and unbelief.–2SM 84 (1897). {LDE 35.2}
– She did not want the world to look upon SDA as time setters. Why? Because she herself condemns it!
– Time setters to her was also those who set the year.

There were many proclaiming a new time after this[1844], but I was shown that we should not have another definite time to proclaim to the people… I have ever had one testimony to bear: The Lord will not come at that period, and you are weakening the faith of even Adventists, and fastening the world in their unbelief. {10MR 268-269}

– The time she is talking about is clearly the second coming.

The time-setters have pronounced the curse of the Lord upon me as an unbeliever who said, My Lord delayeth His coming. But I have told them that the books of heaven would not make my record thus, for the Lord knows that I loved and longed for the appearing of Christ. But their oft-repeated message of definite time was exactly what the enemy wanted, and it served his purpose well to unsettle the faith in the first proclamation of time, which was of heavenly origin. {10MR 269.3}

Jesus’ Coming was delayed!
Jeremiah 18:8: If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

Jeremiah 18:9: And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

Jeremiah 18:10: If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

– God sometimes sends prophecies on condition. This means that God’s original plans can be changed, even though He knows the future. It is a way o communicating.

“Had Adventists after the great disappointment in 1844 held fast their faith and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been

completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward. . . . It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. . . . {LDE 37.5}

For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.–Ev 695, 696 (1883). {LDE 38.1}

It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness; He desired to lead them directly to the land of Canaan and establish them there, a holy, happy people. But “they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19. Because of their backsliding and apostasy they perished in the desert, and others were raised up to enter the Promised Land. In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out. {GC 458.1}

1. The coming of Christ was delayed because of unbelief, wordliness, uncosecration and strife.

2. Jesus would have come shortly after 1844, if His people kept their faith, went on unitedly, receiving and proclaiming the third angels message.

“Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.–DA 633, 634 (1898). {LDE 38.2}

We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel, but for Christ’s sake His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action.–Ev 695, 696 (1901). {LDE 39.1}

It is because the work has not been done for the wicked that time delays. {10MR 275.4}

So the delay is because God’s people personally is not ready, and it is because God’s work for the wicked is not done.

We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel, but for Christ’s sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action. Now, have men who claim to believe the Word of God learned their lesson that obedience is better than sacrifice? “He hath showed thee (this rebellious people), O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8). {10MR 277.3}

“He is coming soon, and we must be ready and waiting for His appearing. O how glorious it will be to see Him and be saved through His merits. Long we have waited, but our faith is not to become weak. It is to grow stronger as we see the signs of the times fulfilling. The end is near and we are to put all our energies into the work of preparing to move from this lower school to the school above.–Letter 94, 1903, p. 1. (To Lucinda Hall, May 21, 1903.)

“They speak of their hopes and faith with animated countenance, looking forward and hastening unto the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. The message of the third angel sounding in solemn warning calls their minds to the sacred truths which once affected their hearts so sensibly. The Lord is good. He is very precious to His people.–Letter 31, 1875, pp. 3,4. (Written from Richmond, Maine, to W. C. White, September 3, 1875.) {10MR 281.1}

From our viewpoint, there has been a delay because we have not done the work we should have.

But from God’s viewpoint, there is no delay, even though He wished to come earlier.
He has not put His plans entirely in our hands. He is all powerful and is in control.
Yet, He has chosen us to influence His appearing. Of course He knows when this time is.

4. Twelve Reasons Why the 2031 Theory Is Error (Based on 2 Pet 3:8, Hosea 6…)
Until now we have already looked at some important reasons, here is a review and some more.

1. It does not follow the historical interpretative method that we have in our roots

Adventists have traditionally believed in this, and based it in the Bible. We have to let the Bible explain itself. When it comes to apocalyptic prophecy, the Bible gives many reasons why we need to apply the day year principle.

  • Jesus used this method
  • Ellen White affirmed it clearly
  • The Seventh-Day Adventist Church have traditionally believed in this

We are to understand the Bible in its context, comparing scripture with scripture.

Letting Scripture explain itself, we will not get to this conclusion

II Peter 1:19: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

II Peter 1:20: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

II Peter 1:21: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

II Peter 2:1: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

II Peter 2:2: And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Because of theories of private interpretation, people will speak evil of the truth.

2. Using one day for a thousand year has no firm foundation

This theory is futuristic in nature. Futurism was created by a Jesuit. Using this interpretative method only for one prophecy makes no sense. There has to be consistency.

What about the:

  • 490 days (Daniel 9)
  • 2300 days (Daniel 8)
  • 1260 days (Daniel 7, Revelation 12,13)

  • ?

These are all apocalyptic prophecies.
Why is not the method applied to these too?

Where is the consistency? (Context of judgement in 2 Pet 3:8)

Who determines where this method needs to be applied? – The Bible should!
The Bible doesn’t say anything regarding using this as a principle in interpreting prophecy.

On the contrary it tells us many things regarding applying one day for a year.

The Bible does not say that we need to take one day for a thousand years in any prophecy, and certainly not only for one.

What did Ellen White say about prophetic time?
“A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. {DA 233.1}

“Following his rule of making Scripture its own interpreter, Miller learned that a day in symbolic prophecy represents a year (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6) {GC 324.3}

A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. {PK 698.1}

If it would also mean something else, Ellen White would not have made such statements.


3. Ellen White’s statements on thousands of years are not exact

Ellen White make many statements regarding 6000 years:
– “6000 years.”
– “about 6000 years,”
– “nearly 6000 years,”
– “almost 6000 years,”
– At least one even says “more than 6000 years.”

“And for more than six thousand years, in its forms of beauty and gifts for sustenance, the earth has borne witness of the Creator’s love. {SJ 183.3}

In one book she says twice: “for six thousand years” and “nearly six thousand years” (GC ’88)

She gives reference to 4000 years at different points of time:
1. When Jesus accepted humanity, after sin had been in the world “for 4000 years”.
2.” 4000 years” of sin until Christ was tempted in the wilderness
3. When Christ died on the cross
4. When Paul made a statement regarding the state of the dead (in Acts)

None of these statements are proving to be more exact than the other.

3000 years:

– Regarding a statement by Solomon, written by EGW in 1881
– Regarding a question that David asked, written in 1899.

It is clear that this cannot be taken as exact year as she wrote these things 19 years in between, knowing that David is the father of Solomon.

Looking at all these different statements regarding time, it should be evident that none of them are exact. If so, she would have said it.


4. Ellen White speak against time setting dozens of times

She had a sermon about it, she wrote articles about this topic, she included the warning in several of her books. Until now we have seen plenty of them!
A study will show that:

  • This was not only for her time, but will be true also in the future
  • She called this the work of satan
  • Not setting time includes the day, the hour, times, seasons, years. We are not to know any of this, only when the time is near through signs in prophecy.

When we study the Bible as well as Ellen White it is not only important that we read things in context, but compare scripture with scripture. We cannot just pick and choose what suits us best. In this context it is important to read all she have said regarding knowing the time of Christ’s coming.
According to my knowledge, she doesn’t state even once that we can know the year of Christ’s coming, neither any other thing than the signs, knowing the nearness of His coming. Let the words of the prophet of God speak for themselves.

There is one exception though, and that is right before Jesus comes. During the time of trouble, Ellen White states this:
“And as God spoke the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth.” {EW 34.1}
Shortly after this, Christ will come.
So when Jesus said that only the father know this time. He will be the one who will make it known, but only right before Christ’s coming.

Also, if there is anyone who has a fancy explanation to her many statements, they are not true unless we let Ellen explain it herself. Why?
“The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture.” (Selected Messages 1, p. 42)

I didn’t get a good answer to the many quotes warning about knowing the time in the discussion with those proclaiming this theory. This is not easy though, because Ellen White is so clear.

According to the theory it should be fairly simple to calculate also the very day and the hour. But I don’t think that is something the advocates of this theory want to talk loud about – at least not yet.


5. Jesus said that this is not to be our knowledge

Jesus repeated this thought regarding His coming again, and again:
Matthew 24:35: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24:36: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Matthew 24:42: Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Matthew 24:44: Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Matthew 25:13: Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

v. 44 is a fact also for the church as EGW said.

What does the word day and hour mean in greek?
Day – G2250 ἡμέρα hēmera hay-mer’-ah

Two meanings:
1. Literally the time space between dawn and dark or the whole 24 hours
2. Figuratively a period, age + alway (mid-) day (by day [-ly]) + for ever judgment (day) time while years.

It can be “Used of time in general, i.e. the days of his life.”

Thus it this can certainly imply more than a literal day.

Knowing that the proclaimers of the 2031 theory uses one day for a thousand years, it would be natural to apply this also to this text, for the sake of being consistent.
In that case, for them, the meaning would need to be a thousand years, because both are a prophecy about Christ’s coming.
But of course, this would ruin the whole theory. But who are to judge when to use this principle and when not to use it?
Only the Bible can give us the explanation. But it is actually silent on this.

Hour – G5610 ὥρα hōra ho’-rah

Literal or figuratively meaning: – day, hour, season, time.
It can apply to “the seasons of the year” as well as a point of time. In fact it is used as time and seasons several times in the new testament.

In the context of quoting this verse, Ellen White says, as we have read earlier:
“God gives no man a message that it will be five years or ten years or twenty years before this earth’s history shall close.” ( Prepare to Meet the Lord.”, RH, November 27, 1900 par. 4)
So she is pretty clear that this is to be taken figuratively as the greek word also implies.

In 1892, Ellen White had a sermon called: “It Is Not for You to Know the Times and the Seasons.”

Where did she get this title from? These are Jesus own words from Acts:

Acts 1:7: And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

Jesus had just told the disciples: “ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Then they asked him: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”

Just as the disciples wanted to know when the Holy Spirit would be poured out, and when the kingdom would be restored, today, there are people who want to know the time of Christ’s return.

Ellen White said in her sermon that “we are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ.”

The disciples were anxious to know the exact time for the revelation of the kingdom of God; but Jesus tells them that they may not know the times and the seasons; for the Father has not revealed them. To understand when the kingdom of God should be restored, was not the thing of most importance for them to know. They were to be found following the Master, praying, waiting, watching, and working. They were to be representatives to the world of the character of Christ. That which was essential for a successful Christian experience in the days of the disciples, is essential in our day.

{RH, March 22, 1892 par. 2}

“This is the work in which we also are to be engaged. Instead of living in expectation of some special season of excitement, we are wisely to improve present opportunities, doing that which must be done in order that souls may be saved. Instead of exhausting the powers of our mind in speculations in regard to the times and seasons which the Lord has placed in his own power, and withheld from men, we are to yield ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit, to do present duties, to give the bread of life, unadulterated with human opinions, to souls who are perishing for the truth. {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 3}

She continues, a little later in the same sermon:

We are in continual danger of getting above the simplicity of the gospel. There is an intense desire on the part of many to startle the world with something original, that shall lift the people into a state of spiritual ecstasy, and change the present order of experience. There is certainly great need of a change in the present order of experience; for the sacredness of present truth is not realized as it should be, but the change we need is a change of heart, and can only be obtained by seeking God individually for his blessing, by pleading with him for his power, by fervently praying that his grace may come upon us, and that our characters may be transformed. This is the change we need today, and for the attainment of this experience we should exercise persevering energy and manifest heart-felt earnestness. We should ask with true sincerity, “What shall I do to be saved?” We should know just what steps we are taking heavenward. {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 6}

Contrary to knowing the year or season of Christ’s coming, this is what we need – a change of heart, preparing ourselves and others for His coming.

As we read earlier, from the same sermon, the so called spiritual advancement “will never develop in any line that will lead us to imagine that we may know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.” {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 7}

Then she again pleads: “Again and again have I been warned in regard to time-setting. There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ.”

{RH, March 22, 1892 par. 7}

This is future tense: There will never again be a message on time!
It is impossible to misunderstand! Not an hour, a day, week, month, year…

She continues:

I have no specific time of which to speak when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will take place,–when the mighty angel will come down from heaven, and unite with the third angel in closing up the work for this world; my message is that our only safety is in being ready for the heavenly refreshing, having our lamps trimmed and burning. Christ has told us to watch; “for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” “Watch and pray” is the charge that is given us by our Redeemer. Day by day we are to seek the enlightenment of the Spirit of God, that it may do its office work upon the soul and character. O, how much time has been wasted through giving attention to trifling things. Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. {RH, March 29, 1892 par. 5}

It was so much time wasted in time setting in her day that it made her perplexed.

She connects these ideas with the parable of the Bridegroom, later on:

“It is the duty of the people of God to have their lamps trimmed and burning, to be as men that wait for the Bridegroom, when he shall return from the wedding. You have not a moment to lose in neglect of the great salvation that has been provided for you…Our duty is not to be looking forward to some special time for some special work to be done for us, but to go forward in our work of warning the world; for we are to be witnesses of Christ to the uttermost parts of the world. {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 11}

The last generation is the one that finally will meet him, and again she says that there will not be any special work proclaiming a special time!

The times and seasons God has put in His own power. And why has not God given us this knowledge?—Because we would not make a right use of it if He did. A condition of things would result from this knowledge among our people that would greatly retard the work of God in preparing a people to stand in the great day that is to come. We are not to be engrossed with speculations in regard to the times and the seasons which God has not revealed. Jesus has told His disciples to “watch,” but not for definite time. His followers are to be in the position of those who are listening for the orders of their Captain; they are to watch, wait, pray, and work, as they approach the time for the coming of the Lord; but no one will be able to predict just when that time will come; for “of that day and hour knoweth no man.” You will not be able to say that He will come in one, two, or five years, neither are you to put off His coming by stating that it may not be for ten or twenty years…. We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ.—The Review and Herald, March 22, 1892.

– Jesus said watch, “but not for definite time”!

6. God will cut the last days short

Matthew 24:22: And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

– This is talking about the days of persecution in the context.

Romans 9:28: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

If God says He will cut the work short, we can be sure that it is true!
This is why we cannot know as clearly described in reason #5.


7. The fruits of these teachings are bad

We have already seen Ellen White describe the bad fruits of such teachings in the past.

Let us first ask some questions:
What are the fruits from people advocating this?

Is Christ in the center?
Do they have Godly lives?

Do they have Christ in the center of their sermons, and do they teach practical Christianity?

When I talked with some people from the ministry of “El Gran Engaño”, that started proclaiming this, they seemed to be nice people, especially one of them. I shared some of my background, among other things that I had studied at Amazing Facts, and mentioned Doug Batchelor. The one I talked with seemed interested in what I shared. The next day we agreed to study together.
Later in an official video from their ministry they talked about my friend and I. They said I am proud because I learned from Doug Batchelor. They also talked about our discussion and study we had about Christ’s coming:
“they came with many computers and books, they studied the whole time, night and day… When we were enjoying and having fun”

We didn’t bring any books, and we actually only studied a few hours before the study.
They accused us in this video for being too proud to admit that they were right. One of them mentioned that I bowed my head in amazement to what they said and that we actually realized their theory was right. My head was bowed only because of great sadness for the people being deceived by this theory.
They also said that we came with lies to prove our point, and that they just came with the truth.

Many of the things they said about us in public are not true and were said in a mocking way.

The fruits of the people that are following this ministry include the following:
– Very critical and judgmental against the Church.

– Staying home from Church to watch the live stream of this ministry rather than going to Church.

– They believe the Church has fallen or will fall.

Jesus said, look at the fruits! (Matthew 7)

A strong SDA friend in India said two of his closest church Brothers had stopped attending church because of this sermon, with a similar theory. They said: “Jesus is going to come back before 2031 anyway, so what need is there to go to church now”? They see no reason to go to a sleeping church, because Jesus will come back so soon anyway.

This well known SDA pastor that preached a similar message, had a more humble approach, and said Jesus will come back at the latest 2031. He as well as another known speaker within our church seems to get to 2031 through a different theory, and thinks the time could be “be cut short”, as Jesus said it will.

He only made a comment in his sermon about it. Not any big explanations. Even if the approach was more humble and short, people reacted in this way. He saw the results of his preaching. After he talked with the General Conference about it, he decided not to preach this any longer, but focus on other things.

He told me personally: “There was so much opposition to that statement that I decided to not talk about it again as it was only a passing comment. What I believe is that most probably 2031 could be the outside limit of time allocated by God…I know God can and most probably will cut it short in righteousness so probably time is much shorter than that. Also I know that if God should delay time he can do that if he wants. He is God.”

And he is right. Jesus told us that it is not for us to know “times and seasons”.

“The Lord has shown me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, and that it should not be hung on time; for time never will be a test again. I saw that some were getting a false excitement arising from preaching time; that the third angel’s message was stronger than time can be. I saw that this message can stand on its own foundation, and that it needs not time to strengthen it, and that it will go in mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness.” CEV p.25

We are not to preach time – it’s only a false excitement. The third angel’s message is “stronger than time can be.”

If Jesus comes before 2031, people looking to this theory might be lost because a date is set far into the future, thinking they have more time than they actually have.

If Jesus comes after 2031, a lot of people will loose their faith and get lost, as many experiences from earlier time setters tells us. And also, God’s prophet said so.

We already know that Ellen White said that unbelief and disappointment would be the fruits of teachings of time. Also it would destroy God’s work. So if the fruits are wrong, the theory cannot be right.

8. There will be no prophecy based on time after 1844

God’s prophet has mentioned this over and over again as well as:
Revelation of John 10:6: And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.

– This is pointing to 1844, and Ellen White makes this clear that it is talking about prophetic time.

I plainly stated at the Jackson camp meeting to these fanatical parties that they were doing the work of the adversary of souls; they were in darkness. They claimed to have great light that probation would close in October, 1884. I there stated in public that the Lord had been pleased to show me that there would be no definite time in the message given of God since 1844.–2SM 73 (1885). {LDE 35.3}

No definite time after 1844. We know from earlier what definite time means.

At the same time as these people at the Jackson camp gave a message of time, they criticized the church:

“Those who have taken the course these men have, will go to great extremes in fanatical errors and wild, unreasonable vagaries. They began to find fault with the church; the church was backslidden, the leaders were backslidden. They had a wonderful message. God had left the church and the leading men one side, and these men were God’s messengers, to give the last message of mercy, and proclaim the end of time which Mr. Garmire’s daughter had professed to see in vision. {PH030 10.5}

These people that claimed to have great light, setting a time for Jesus Second coming was called fanatics. The so called fanatics also looked for fault with the church and spoke against it that God had left it.

There were many proclaiming a new time after this[1844], but I was shown that we should not have another definite time to proclaim to the peopleBut the sanctuary which was to be cleansed at the end of the prophetic periods was the heavenly sanctuary and not the earth as we all supposed. The Saviour did enter the Most Holy Place in 1844 to cleanse the sanctuary and the investigative judgment had commenced for the dead. I have been repeatedly urged to accept the different periods of time proclaimed for the Lord to come. {10MR 268-269}
Note that the times predicted is not about when the sanctuary to be cleansed, but regarding the Lord’s coming.

Ever since 1844 I have borne my testimony that we were now in a period of time in which we are to take heed to ourselves lest our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon us unawares. Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time-proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord’s coming. We do not know the day nor the hour, or when the definite time is, and yet the prophetic reckoning shows us that Christ is at the door. {10MR 270.1}

– She wrote this in 1888. This was the position of the church!

The people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time [Revelation 10:4-6], reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844.–7BC 971 (1900). {LDE 36.2}

“The preaching of a definite time for the judgment, in the giving of the first message, was ordered by God. The computation of the prophetic periods on which that message was based, placing the close of the 2300 days in the autumn of 1844, stands without impeachment. The repeated efforts to find new dates for the beginning and close of the prophetic periods, and the unsound reasoning necessary to sustain these positions, not only lead minds away from the present truth, but throw contempt upon all efforts to explain the prophecies. The more frequently a definite time is set for the second advent, and the more widely it is taught, the better it suits the purposes of Satan. After the time has passed, he excites ridicule and contempt of its advocates, and thus casts reproach upon the great advent movement of 1843 and 1844. Those who persist in this error will at last fix upon a date too far in the future for the coming of Christ. Thus they will be led to rest in a false security, and many will not be undeceived until it is too late. {GC 457.1}

The end of prophetic periods is set: 1844. She says this cannot be changed.

As she herself said, we have to let her explain her own writings. According to my knowledge, there is no other explanation in her writings than she has stated over and over again:
The end of prophetic periods is in 1844, there will be no other time – yet people try to change this year, so that they can interpret time prophecies to the future!
If we remove this, we remove part of our foundation, part of the “old light” that is unchangable.

9. We are to hasten the coming of the Lord

If Jesus could have come in Ellen White’s time, as we saw earlier, there cannot be a set year for when He will come (even though God knows this time, since he is all-knowing)
In the same chapter as we read about one day and a thousand years, we also read:

II Peter 3:10: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

II Peter 3:11: Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

II Peter 3:12: Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
– Ellen White commented, as we saw earlier, on Matthew 24:44 that indeed Christ’s coming will be suddenly and unexpectedly – even to the church! Here Peter is describing it in a similar matter.

The word hasten – G4692 σπεύδω speudō spyoo’-do = speed

“By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return. We are not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 2 Peter 3:12, margin. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.” {DA 633.3}

His kingdom will not come until the good tidings of His grace have been carried to all the earth. Hence, as we give ourselves to God, and win other souls to Him, we hasten the coming of His Kingdom. Only those who devote themselves to His service … pray in sincerity, “Thy kingdom come.” . . . {AG 348.2}

Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. {LDE 39.2}

It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.–COL 69 (1900). {LDE 39.3}

In the Great Controversy, God chose to work with human beings, and we know that because of this cooperation, God will be able to reproduce His character in His people. This is not something He can force upon us. As Christ is cleansing the heavenly Sanctuary, He is cleansing His people from sin.

When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. {AA 111.1}

“It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain. {8T 22.4}

God could come any time, but He will not come until His people are ready. This takes time, and we have already delayed the coming.

“Just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming (MS 173, 1902). {4BC 1161.6}

“One brother said to me, “Sister White, do you think the Lord will come in ten years?” “What difference does it make to you whether He shall come in two, four, or ten years?” “Why,” said he, “I think I would do differently in some things than I now do if I knew the Lord was to come in ten years.” {LDE 41.5}

“What would you do?” said I. {LDE 42.1}

“Why,” said he, “I would sell my property and begin to search the Word of God and try to warn the people and get them to prepare for His coming, and I would plead with God that I might be ready to meet Him.” {LDE 42.2}

Then said I, “If you knew that the Lord was not coming for twenty years, you would live differently?” {LDE 42.3}

Said he, “I think I would.”. . . {LDE 42.4}

How selfish was the expression that he would live a different life if he knew his Lord was to come in ten years! Why, Enoch walked with God 300 years. This is a lesson for us that we shall walk with God every day, and we are not safe unless we are waiting and watching.–Ms 10, 1886. {LDE 42.5}

“May the Lord give no rest, day nor night, to those who are now careless and indolent in the cause and work of God. The end is near. This is that which Jesus would have us keep ever before us–the shortness of time.–Letter 97, 1886. {LDE 42.6}

Revelation of John 7:1: And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

Revelation of John 7:2: And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Revelation of John 7:3: Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

“The Lord promised the children of Israel: “Ye shall see the altering of my purpose” [Numbers 14:34]. Thus we see that the Lord’s promises are upon condition of obedience. He says, “Ye shall do My judgments, and keep Mine ordinances, to walk therein; I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep My statutes, and My judgments; which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord” [Leviticus 18:4, 5]. Read the first chapter of Deuteronomy carefully, and see why the Lord refused to bring the adults of the army that left Egypt into the promised land. Also Deuteronomy 28. {15MR 292.3} [Numbers 32:6-15, quoted.]

The Lord God is a jealous God, yet He bears long with the sins and transgressions of His people in this generation. If the people of God had walked in His counsel, the work of God would have advanced, the messages of truth would have been borne to all people that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Had the people of God believed Him and been doers of His word, had they kept His commandments, the angel would not have come flying through heaven with the message to the four angels that were to let loose the winds that they should blow upon the earth crying, Hold, hold the four winds that they blow not upon the earth until I have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads. But because the people are disobedient, unthankful, unholy, as were ancient Israel, time is prolonged that all may hear the last message of mercy proclaimed with a loud voice. The Lord’s work has been hindered, the sealing time delayed. Many have not heard the truth. But the Lord will give them a chance to hear and be converted, and the great work of God will go forward.–Letter 106, 1897.

Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. March 12, 1986. Entire Letter. {15MR 292.4}

“Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, “Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.”
I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He said to me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that He gave His angels charge over things on the earth; that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let them go; but while their hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads. {EW 38.2}

Here we see that Christ is waiting and has compassion for His people.

“We have long been looking and waiting for the coming of the Lord; but are we doing all in our power to hasten his coming? “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” While the Lord is ever working, while all heaven is engaged in the work on earth to draw men to Christ and repentance, what are the human agents doing to be channels of light, that they may co-operate with the divine agencies?

{RH, May 16, 1893 par. 12}

“Remember that your money is yours only in trust. Give the light to others by giving of your means to send workers into new fields. Thus you will hasten the coming of Christ. He who is truly converted will feel it a privilege to give of his means to send the truth into the dark places of the earth. {RH, February 4, 1904 par. 5}

Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

“But before that coming, Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” His kingdom will not come until the good tidings of his grace shall have been carried to all the earth. Hence, as we give ourselves to God, and win other souls to him, we hasten the coming of his kingdom. Only those who devote themselves to his service, saying, “Here am I; send me” to open blind eyes, to turn men “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God,”—they alone pray in sincerity, “Thy kingdom come.” {RH, November 14, 1912 par. 20}

These quotes and verses stand strong. If it has a different meaning than this, God’s Word and sister White’s writings has to explain it. This is the only method to trust, not man’s views.

10. Time Prophecies don’t include signs

In time prophecies you have a set time, but you don’t have many or any signs taking place right before.

The 490 year prophecy in Daniel 9 doesn’t give us any particular signs right before it will fulfill, it just gives the event of the fulfillment.
The same with the 1260 days and 2300 days.
When it comes to Christ’s first coming, being born, there were many signs, but no prophecy that put the year of his birth. When it comes to the second coming of Christ again there are A LOT of signs, but no set time.

Further, in Matthew 24, in context of the last days, Jesus made it clear that many will be deceived. Thrice he warned for false religious teachers that could deceive even “the very elect”. The same “sermon” as when he says that no one will know the day nor the hour of His coming.

11. Jesus wants us to have an attitude of constant expectancy for His coming

This is why he said it is not to be our knowledge, and repeated this thought.
He also kept saying: Be ready, be aware!

“We are nearing the great day of God. The signs are fulfilling. And yet we have no message to tell us of the day and hour of Christ’s appearing. The Lord has wisely concealed this from us that we may always be in a state of expectancy and preparation for the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven.–Letter 28, 1897. {LDE 33.3}

“We may always be” – Again this is referring to the future as well as something constant.

“But the day and the hour of His coming Christ has not revealed. He stated plainly to His disciples that He Himself could not make known the day or the hour of His second appearing. Had He been at liberty to reveal this, why need He have exhorted them to maintain an attitude of constant expectancy? There are those who claim to know the very day and hour of our Lord’s appearing. Very earnest are they in mapping out the future. But the Lord has warned them off the ground they occupy. The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God’s mystery. {DA 632.4}

After He had given the signs of His coming, Christ said, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “Take ye heed, watch and pray.”…
So Christ’s disciples were given warning of the destruction of Jerusalem. Those who watched for the sign of the coming ruin, and fled from the city, escaped the destruction. So now we are given warning of Christ’s second coming and of the destruction to fall upon the world. Those who heed the warning will be saved. {DA 634.1}

Matthew 24 is a prophecy about the time before the destruction of Jerusalem as well as the time before Jesus second coming. Jesus gave signs to know when the time was at hand, not a specific time. And this is true for both events. They didn’t have any year for when it would happened, and as EGW said: “Those who watched for the sign” was saved.

12. New light never contradicts established truth

Since the church was founded, we have had a belief that we cannot know the time of Christ’s coming.

Yet, there have been several adventists and others who have tried again and again only to meet disappointment.
Ellen White always spoke against such attempts, and pointed us to what we rather should spend time on:
– Personal Preparation
– Keep working

God has not passed His people by and chosen one solitary man here and another there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with His truth. He does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body. In every reform men have arisen making this claim. Paul warned the church in his day: “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” The greatest harm to God’s people comes through those who go out from among them speaking perverse things. Through them the way of truth is evil spoken of. {5T 291.2}

Let none be self-confident, as though God had given them special light above their brethren. Christ is represented as dwelling in His people. Believers are represented as “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” …This has been tried again and again. One accepts some new and original idea which does not seem to conflict with the truth. He talks of it and dwells upon it until it seems to him to be clothed with beauty and importance, for Satan has power to give this false appearance. At last it becomes the all-absorbing theme, the one great point around which everything centers; and the truth is uprooted from the heart…Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous.” {5T 292.2}

We find that:
1. God doesn’t choose to reveal truth only to a few people.
2. The new light is not given to anyone, contrary to the established faith and body.

In the fundamental beliefs in the SDA Church we read that “the time of that event has not been revealed” (#25, Second Coming)
3. There will be people who goes “out from among” God’s church with disciples after them, “speaking perverse things”.

4. The so called new light doesn’t seem to conflict with the truth, but rather seems to be eloquent.

5. It becomes “the all-absorbing theme”

What was “the established faith of the body” when Ellen White wrote this?
It is important to know that, to see what it includes!
In the fundamental beliefs in 1872 we read the following in the introduction:
“As Seventh-day Adventists we desire simply that our position shall be understood; and we are the more solicitous for this because there are many who call themselves Adventists who hold views with which we can have no sympathy, some of which, we think, are subversive of the plainest and most important principles set forth in the word of God. As compared with other Adventists, Seventh-day Adventists differ from one class in believing in the unconscious state of the dead, and the final destruction of the unrepentant wicked; another, in believing in the perpetuity of the law of God as summarily contained in the ten commandments, in the operation of the Holy Spirit in the church, and in setting no times for the advent to occur; from all, in the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord, and in many applications of the prophetic scriptures. With these remarks, we ask the attention of the reader to the following propositions, which aim to be a concise statement of the more prominent features of our faith.”

One reason why they come up with a set of beliefs was to correct false statements and to make clear what some fanatics were claiming.

So, one of the “most important principles” of the Word of God, that people who called themselves adventists was going against, was setting times for the second coming. Therefore, Ellen White’s words is highly applicable to us today as well. Notice that it says: “setting no times”.

In 1889, the fundamental beliefs was revised. In the introduction, we read:

“The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principal features of their religious faith, upon which there is, so far as we know, entire unanimity throughout the body.”
Entire unanimity means that there is total agreement by all involved. Ellen White certainly was included of agreeing. Let’s take a closer look to what the SDA Church believed:

#9: of the fundamental beliefs in 1872, as well as in 1889, includes the following:
“That the mistake of Adventists in 1844 pertained to the nature of the event then to transpire, not to the time; that no prophetic period is given to reach to the second advent, but that the longest one, the two thousand and three hundred days of Dan. 8:14, terminated in 1844, and brought us to an event called the cleansing of the sanctuary.”

– There was no change made to this belief. Here we find two important truths of “the established faith of the body”, that Ellen White said will by no means change:

1. There is to be no prophetic time period after 1844. Ellen White has stated this over and over again, and in particular she states that regarding the second coming. If she was opposed to this belief, she would on the contrary have spoken against it. But instead, she affirms it, and strongly warns about time setting, in many of her writings.

2. We find that they believed that we cannot set any time for Christ’s Coming.

Ellen White wrote Testimonies vol. 5, where the above quote is from, during 1881-1889. The belief of setting no times for Christ’s coming, and the end of time prophecies in 1844 have stayed in our church since this time.
She stated plainly: “
He[God] does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body.”
However, she said that men will rise up, gathering disciples after them, presenting things that they call new light, even though they contradict the “established faith of the body”.

Testimonies for the Church is addressed specifically to the Church, and we have quoted from these volumes already several times.

In 1888, she affirmed this particular official belief of the Church:
“Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time-proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord’s coming.–10MR 270 (1888). {LDE 36.1}
This was the view of the church, which the prophet of God specifically held up strongly.

“Landmarks – An expression taken apparently from Prov. 22:28 (“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” ( cf . Prov. 23:10 ; see also Deut. 19:14 ) and used by Seventh-day Adventists to describe the doctrines that have made them a distinct religious group. These doctrines are commonly understood to be those relating to the sanctuary, the three angels’ messages of Rev. 14 , the Second Advent, the millennium, death, the seventh-day Sabbath, and the Spirit of Prophecy.”
(Seventh-Day Adventist Encyclopedia)

The view on the second coming is clear both from Ellen White, and of the established pillars of our faith. There are so many statements and warnings from the Spirit of Prophecy, that it is impossible to misunderstand her view on time prophecies and in particular Jesus second coming. With this in mind, we just have to consider the following:

‘When Truth is presented to someone who is honestly mistaken, they will either cease to be “mistaken” or they will cease to be “honest.”’ (Samuel K. Pipim)

So why was this an important truth that they established?
After 1844 the adventists realized that they had made a great mistake of setting a time for Jesus coming, and God showed them clearly that they cannot do that, thus this got important and they put it down in their doctrines, and Ellen White wrote a lot about it.

The name “Seventh Day Adventist”, indicates a waiting for His return. Unless we understand our name, and the fundamental truth it was built upon, we will go astray. If suddenly the truth that was established by the pioneers, including Ellen White, could be changed from not setting any time for Christ’s coming to the opposite, what is there left?
What is the next step?

There is a reason why this teaching is not of our church. The name should remind us from our position we have had since it was established.

“You must look at facts, because they look at you….If you don’t look the facts in the face, they have a way of stabbing you in the back.” (Winston Churchill)

The quote regarding “new light” is true regarding our historical understanding of interpreting prophecy, and the day year principle.

No “new light” can change this established truth, that also God’s prophet affirmed.

Only she can explain what she meant by her statements.


Repetition of the 12 reasons why this theory is wrong
1. It does not follow the historical interpretative method that we have in our roots
2. Using one day for a thousand year has no firm foundation
3. Ellen White’s statements on thousands of years are not exact
4. Ellen White speak against time setting dozens of times
5. Jesus said that this is not to be our knowledge
6. God will cut the last days short
7. The fruits of these teachings are bad
8. There will be no prophecy based on time after 1844
9. We are to hasten the coming of the Lord
10. Time Prophecies don’t include signs
11. Jesus wants us to have an attitude of constant expectancy for His coming
12. New light never contradicts established truth

The name of this ministry that is proclaiming this, El Gran Engaño, means the great deception. Indeed, their work is a great deception!
A big part of the messages they share, they link to this heresy, that we can know the time of Jesus coming.

5. Conclusion

Being careful with “new light”

There is in human nature a tendency to run to extremes and from one extreme to another entirely opposite. Many are fanatics. They are consumed by a fiery zeal which is mistaken for religion, but character is the true test of discipleship. Have they the meekness of Christ? have they His humility and sweet benevolence? Is the soul-temple emptied of pride, arrogance, selfishness, and censoriousness? If not, they know not what manner of spirit they are of. They do not realize that true Christianity consists in bearing much fruit to the glory of God. {5T 305.4}

“They [God’s people] are to purify themselves even as Christ is pure. [John 17:17]. When they understand fully the meaning of the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John, they will be so closely united with Christ that there will be no place in their minds for the speculative theories that spring out of nothingness and end in nothingness.” The Southern Missionary (March 1, 1904).

“Those willing to be guided may know God’s will – The Lord reveals His will to those who are earnest and anxious to be guided. – Prayer p. 225

– There is only one way, and that is to be completely humble, and we can only be safe by using “Thus saith the Lord”.

The fact that the Church is doing mistakes here and there may lead people to skepticism and seeks sympathy with groups that strongly criticizes the church.
There may even be right in many things that is said, but it can go to an extreme in different views. Where is the focus?

“We want to understand our proper relation to God: we want to know how we stand in the presence of God. I want you to see that it is not in the providence of God that any finite man shall, by any device or reckoning that he may make of figures, or of symbols, or of types, know with any definiteness in regard to the very period of the Lord’s coming. What shall we know? We are to study the signs which show that He is at the door…
We may be waiting, but not in idle expectancy, saying, “I will not plant that tree, because the Lord is coming. I will not do this work in building a meetinghouse for the people to assemble to worship God, because the Lord is coming.” No: if the Lord is coming, we want to work with the more diligence to uphold and to gather the Lord’s sheep and to bring them into the fold. {10MR 272.1}

What is she saying here?
1. Basically, it is not God’s will that any man shall use symbols, figures or types in order to come to any conclusions in regards to the Lord’s coming.

2. She talks of the time in any sense, and have mentioned all possible ways earlier.
What shall we do instead? Study the signs!
3. Also, before the Lord’s coming, there will be a fold. God’s Remnant Church, will be there until the end. The time for Christ coming was not stated by Jesus, but there were many signs!

Matthew 24:24: For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

“Truth is straight, plain, clear, and stands out boldly in its own defense; but it is not so with error. It is so winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it in its crooked form” (Early Writings, p. 96).

I saw that there are 31 hours explaining Ellen G. White’s quotes and how we can set a time for Christ’s coming.
I would rather let her explain her statements herself. We need to take God’s Word as it is.

“We are living in an age of great light; but much that is called light is opening the way for the wisdom and arts of Satan. Many things will be presented that appear to be true, and yet they need to be carefully considered with much prayer; for they may be specious devices of the enemy. The path of error often appears to lie close to the path of truth. It is hardly distinguishable from the path that leads to holiness and heaven. But the mind enlightened by the Holy Spirit may discern that it is diverging from the right way. After a while the two are seen to be widely separated. {CCh 322.5}

It is those who have had the most light that Satan most assiduously seeks to ensnare. He knows that if he can deceive them, they will, under his control, clothe sin with garments of righteousness, and lead many astray. {CCh 324.2}

“Walk firmly, decidedly, your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. You may be sure that pure and undefiled religion is not a sensational religion. God has not laid upon anyone the burden of encouraging an appetite for speculative doctrines and theories. My brethren, keep these things out of your teaching. Do not allow them to enter into your experience. Let not your lifework be marred by them. 584 {CCh 325.6}

“We must follow the directions given through the spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy. The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer? {CCh 326.6}

I beseech those who are laboring for God not to accept the spurious for the genuine. Let not human reason be placed where divine, sanctifying truth should be. Christ is waiting to kindle faith and love in the hearts of His people. Let not erroneous theories receive countenance from the people who ought to be standing firm on the platform of eternal truth. God calls upon us to hold firmly to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority. {CCh 326.7}

“Into the hearts of many who have been long in the truth there has entered a hard, judicial spirit. They are sharp, critical, faultfinding. They have climbed upon the judgment seat to pronounce sentence upon those who do not conform to their ideas. {CCh 327.1}

Do not present theories or tests that Christ has never mentioned and that have no foundation in the Bible. We have grand, solemn truths to present.” It is written” is the test that must be brought home to every soul. {CCh 327.3}

“God’s word is true philosophy, true science. Human opinions and sensational preaching amount to very little. – LHU 217

God’s Word has to explain itself. If there is no explanation given, we cannot make a “private explanation” to the plain Word.

“I saw that for some time past, Sister J has had a rebellious spirit, has been self-willed; that her will had not yet been broken; that that will was her idol, and that that idol would shut her out of heaven unless speedily sacrificed. I saw that she did not bring the coming of the Lord as near as she should, and that her mind, instead of being at Rochester, [New York], should be all swallowed up in the work of God, and she should be seeking opportunities to help her husband, to hold up his hands, and to labor wherever there was an opportunity.–Ms. 3, 1867, p. 1. (To a prominent worker and his wife, circa 1867.)

Ellen White heard the hour of Jesus Coming in vision, but she didn’t remember that. Like we have seen, it is not good for us to know the time, whether it is the day, the season, the period or the year. If in 1867, Ellen White rebuked a person for not bringing the coming of Christ as near as she should, what about today?
Can it be that we do the same mistake? We saw that setting a time is hurting many.


How did the Pioneers studied and established our faith?

Let us take a look at how they studied, and how we can learn from this.
Those who sincerely desire truth will not be reluctant to lay open their positions for investigation and criticism, and will not be annoyed if their opinions and ideas are crossed. This was the spirit cherished among us forty years ago. We would come together burdened in soul, praying that we might be one in faith and doctrine; for we knew that Christ is not divided. One point at a time was made the subject of investigation. Solemnity characterized these councils of investigation. The Scriptures were opened with a sense of awe. Often we fasted, that we might be better fitted to understand the truth. After earnest prayer, if any point was not understood, it was discussed, and each one expressed his opinion freely; then we would again bow in prayer, and earnest supplications went up to heaven that God would help us to see eye to eye, that we might be one, as Christ and the Father are one. Many tears were shed. If one brother rebuked another for his dullness of comprehension in not understanding a passage as he understood it, the one rebuked would afterward take his brother by the hand, and say, “Let us not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus is with us; let us keep a humble and teachable spirit;” and the brother addressed would say, “Forgive me, brother, I have done you an injustice.” Then we would bow down in another season of prayer. We spent many hours in this way. We did not generally study together more than four hours at a time, yet sometimes the entire night was spent in solemn investigation of the Scriptures, that we might understand the truth for our time. On some occasions the Spirit of God would come upon me, and difficult portions were made clear through God’s appointed way, and then there was perfect harmony. We were all of one mind and one Spirit. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 4}

We sought most earnestly that the Scriptures should not be wrested to suit any man’s opinions. We tried to make our differences as slight as possible by not dwelling on points that were of minor importance, upon which there were varying opinions. But the burden of every soul was to bring about a condition among the brethren which would answer the prayer of Christ that his disciples might be one as he and the Father are one. Sometimes one or two of the brethren would stubbornly set themselves against the view presented, and would act out the natural feelings of the heart; but when this disposition appeared, we suspended our investigations and adjourned our meeting, that each one might have an opportunity to go to God in prayer, and without conversation with others, study the point of difference, asking light from heaven. With expressions of friendliness we parted, to meet again as soon as possible for further investigation. At times the power of God came upon us in a marked manner, and when clear light revealed the points of truth, we would weep and rejoice together. We loved Jesus; we loved one another. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 5}

In those days God wrought for us, and the truth was precious to our souls. It is necessary that our unity today be of a character that will bear the test of trial. We are in the school of the Master here, that we may be trained for the school above. We must learn to bear disappointment in a Christ-like manner, and the lesson taught by this will be of great importance to us. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 6}

We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 7}

When our church was established, the pioneers studied things very thorough, with God’s guidance and His prophet involved.
One of the pillars that was established was the second coming, and that we cannot know the time.

Great Controversy – ch. Snares of Satan
– preparing a sermon. He distracts people from hearing it, etc.

“We are near the end, but if you or any other man shall be seduced by the enemy, and led on to set the time for Christ’s coming, he will be doing the same evil work which has wrought the ruin of the souls of those who have done it in the past. {TM 60.3}

“If you are wearing the yoke of Christ, if you are lifting His burden, you will see that there is plenty to do in the same lines wherein the servants of God are laboring–in preaching Christ and Him crucified. But anyone who shall start up to proclaim a message to announce the hour, day, or year of Christ’s appearing has taken up a yoke and is proclaiming a message that the Lord has never given him. {TM 61.1}


Letters of special importance

“I was searching through my writings, before coming to this meeting, to see what I should take with me to Australia, and I found an envelope on which was written, “Testimony given in regard to time-setting, June 21, 1851. Preserve carefully.” I opened it, and this is what I found. It reads, “A copy of a vision the Lord gave sister White June 21, 1851, at Camden, N. Y. The Lord showed me that the message must go, and that it must not be hung on time; for time will never be a test again. I saw that some were getting a false excitement, arising from preaching time, that the third angel’s message can stand on its own foundation, and that it needs not time to strengthen it, and that it will go with mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness. {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 8}

“I saw some were making everything bend to this next fall; that is, making their calculations, and disposing of their property in reference to that time. I saw that this was wrong for this reason, instead of going to God daily, and earnestly desiring to know their present duty, they looked ahead, and made their calculations as though they knew that the work would end this fall, without inquiring their duty of God daily.

“E. G. White. “Copied at Milton, June 29, 1851. A. A. G.” {RH, March 22, 1892 par. 9}

Again, and again Ellen White emphasized the point that we shall not set any time for Jesus coming, that this is the work of satan, but that we rather must search our own hearts and get ready.

If we let the Bible and Ellen White explain themselves, we will only come to one conclusion. But if we listen to and dwell on fancy explanations that may make sense and even fit into our picture, they can be easy to accept.

“Truth is straight, plain, clear, and stands out boldly in its own defense; but it is not so with error. It is so winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it in its crooked form” (Early Writings, p. 96).

“There will be those once united with us in the faith who will search for new, strange doctrines, for something odd and sensational to present to the people. They will bring in all conceivable fallacies, and will present them as coming from Mrs. White, that they may beguile souls{1SM 41.3}

Ellen White emphasized doing the work and living the life rather than calculating the time. Only God knows when the end will be, but we must always work and live in the belief that it is near.

To ask “When?” is to ask the wrong question; rather, we should ask how to be ready whenever it will be.

While the soon coming of Christ should give us an earnestness to work, the way of salvation is not different in these last days. Thank God, many have reached the standard in Christ and many are reaching it today. May we be among them!

What influence is it would lead men at this stage of our history to work in an underhand, powerful way to tear down the foundation of our faith–the foundation that was laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the Word and by revelation? Upon this foundation we have been building for the past fifty years. Do you wonder that when I see the beginning of a work that would remove some of the pillars of our faith, I have something to say? I must obey the command, “Meet it!” . . . {1SM 207.3}

Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority. {1SM 208.2}

Isaiah 9:15: The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

II Timothy 4:3: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

“You have My word. If you will believe, you shall see the glory of God. Natural impossibilities cannot prevent the work of the Omnipotent One. Skepticism and unbelief are not humility. Implicit belief in Christ’s word is true humility, true self-surrender. {DA 535.2}

“A wealth of moral influence has been brought to us in the last half century. Through His Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction, to confirm the faith of the believers in the Spirit of prophecy. Repeatedly the word has come, Write the things that I have given you to confirm the faith of My people in the position they have taken. Time and trial have not made void the instruction given, but through years of suffering and self-sacrifice have established the truth of the testimony given. The instruction that was given in the early days of the message is to be held as safe instruction to follow in these its closing days. Those who are indifferent to this light and instruction must not expect to escape the snares which we have been plainly told will cause the rejecters of light to stumble, and fall, and be snared, and be taken. If we study carefully the second chapter of Hebrews, we shall learn how important it is that we hold steadfastly to every principle of truth that has been given.—The Review and Herald, July 18, 1907. {1 SM 41.1}

“Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support.” GC P. 595

“One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan’s banner will first give up their faith in the warnings and reproofs contained in the Testimonies of God’s Spirit.”—Selected Messages, book 3, p. 84

My friend, do you dare to go against so many clear “Thus says the Lord”?

I plead with you: Do not join the ranks of this group, that one day will have a lot of blood on their hands – blood coming from people that will be lost as a result.

Resources for further study:

  • https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/prophecy/ellen-g-white-and-interpretation-daniel-and-revelation

  • A Prophet for This Generation, ch. 23: “Balanced or Lukewarm”

  • https://www.audioverse.org/english/sermons/recordings/5889/part-3-balanced-or-lukewarm.html

  • Book: Hindsight, Chapter: When the books where opened.

  • Testimonies vol. 9 – Chap. 31 – Deceitfulness of Sin

  • March 22, 1892 “It Is Not for You to Know the Times and the Seasons.”[SERMON AT LANSING, MICH., SEPT. 5, 1891.] (3 part article)
  • Counsels for the Church Chapter 59 —False Science—Satan’s Modern Robe of Light
  • MR No. 816 – Nearness and Delay of the Second Advent



During 1893 and 1894 there was a maiden lady at Battle Creek by the name of Anna Phillips, sometimes called Anna “Rice-Phillips,” who claimed to have the gift of prophecy. She wrote her visions and sent them to the leading elders. The report was whispered around among some of the lay members, which naturally caused concern and comments.

It was about the middle of April, on a Sabbath morning in 1894, that Elder Jones in the Dime Tabernacle, which seated about 4,000 people, presented Anna Phillips’ testimonies as a genuine manifestation of the spirit of prophecy.

I will never forget seeing him standing in the pulpit and reading her testimonies. He spoke of the sheep following the true Shepherd, for “they know his voice.” (John 10:4) Then he read some of Sister White’s testimonies, and said, “Do you hear the voice?” (He referred to the voice of God through the Holy Spirit.) “Yes,” said he, “we hear the voice.” Then he read some of Anna Phillips’ testimonies and said, “Do you hear the voice?” “Yes,” he said, “It is the same voice.” He then argued the genuineness of Miss Phillips’ testimonies simply because he could hear the voice, as he claimed. Some of the rest of us,

for some reason, did not hear the voice.
When the meeting closed, the people quietly

passed out of the building, but instead of going to their homes, they gathered in groups and began to express themselves. They began to discuss the new prophetess. “Can it be so?” some said. Others said, “Do you think Elder Jones is right, or may he be mistaken?” “Will she and Sister White work together?” some inquired. “I should like to know what Sister White has to say about it,” remarked others. Finally the crowd dispersed and went to their homes, musing on the way.


It is good to take some time – to decide what to think… – jones was quick – jumb up on the wagon…

What Philips said at first was good. – but then – came in things wasnt good.


I was a young man attending Battle Creek College, and knew not what position to take. I had confidence in Elder Jones, yet I wanted more evidence of the genuineness of Anna Phillips’ testimonies. The Sabbath was passing and the shades of another night drew on.

On Sunday morning I went to the Review and Herald post office and purchased a postal card. I had just stepped to the writing board when Elder Jones came in.

“Any mail?” he inquired in his characteristic way. I watched, and saw a long envelope bearing the return address of Mrs. E. G. White. I was immediately interested, for I recalled his sermon just the day before concerning Anna Phillips. I stood there and closely watched him as he sat down on a bench and began to read. I saw he was deeply affected, and the tears began to flow freely. He read on.

Presently, Elder O. A. Tait came in, and Elder Jones said, “Oscar, come here. Sit down. You heard me preach that sermon yesterday?”

“Yes,” replied Elder Tait.

“Well, read this,” he said, as he handed him the testimony he had just received from Sister White.

Here is a part of what Elder Tait read:
”No. 3, George’s Terrace


“Elder A. T. Jones “DEAR BROTHER:

St. Kilda Rd. Melbourne, Vic. March 15, 1894

“I know that we are living very near the


The date of the letter – one month before he preached the sermon


“I know that we are living very near the close of this earth’s history; startling events are preparing for development. I am fully in harmony with you in your work when you present the Bible, and the Bible alone, as the foundation of our faith. Satan is an artful foe, and he will work where he is, by many, least expected. I have a message for you. Did you suppose that God has commissioned you to take the burden of presenting the visions of Anna Phillips, reading them in public, and uniting them with the Testimonies the Lord has been pleased to

give me? No, the Lord has not laid upon you this burden. He has not given you this work to do.

“My dear brother, I wish to present before you some things concerning the dangers that threaten the work at the present time. The work of Anna Phillips does not bear the signature of heaven. I know what I am talking about…

She couldn’t say that unless the lord had revealed it to her. – btw – she said to elder olsen. – god didn’t send me to Australia. – you did. – satan used her absence.


“How is it, my brother, that you have taken up these communications, and presented them before the people, weaving them in with the Testimonies God has given Sister White? Where is your evidence that these are of God? You cannot be too careful how you hear, how you receive, how you believe. You cannot be too careful how you talk of the gift of prophesyings, and state that I have said this and that in reference to this matter. Such statements I well know, encourage men, women and children to imagine that they have special light in revelations from God, when they have not received such light. This, I have been shown, would be one of Satan’s masterpieces of deception. You are giving to the work a mold which it will take precious time and wearing soul-labor to correct, to save the cause of God from another spasm of fanaticism. These unadvised movements tend to a demoralized state of things which will give unbelievers an opportunity to reproach the precious cause of God. May God in His infinite mercy give you clear spiritual eyesight, that you may see distinctly the dangers which threaten us as a people.

“Our only safe course is to move correctly upon every question, and healthfully in all our works that concern the interest of the little flock which is God’s heritage. Your action in bringing before them the Anna Phillips revelations is not the fruit of wisdom from heaven, you are moving ignorantly. We want not to encourage any one in self-deception.


“Who told Sister White a month ago,” said Elder Jones, “that I was going to preach that sermon

about Anna Phillips as a prophetess?”


Lets suppose – that letter – arrived on Friday instead of Sunday. – then – he would not have preached. – probably she would have been called a falseh prophets since she said something that didn’t happen…

Shows – god has the control of the mail! – exactly at the right moment. – Sunday morning. – stop it as quick as possible…  – but of course – had to wait a week and even then not everybody would be there… – heard the false message. – but the majority…


“Ah, you know, Alonzo,” declared Elder

”Yes, I do know. God knew what I would

do, and He impressed Sister White a month before I preached the sermon to send the testimony that I am wrong. Look at that date, ‘March 15, 1894.’ I am wrong.” The two men then left the post office.

Here we see an example – what we should say – read something – step on our toes: “I am wrong”. Not as many do: “she is wrong”.

There has been over time – a big drifting. – on issues the bible is clear about – but not as clear as EGWs writings. – standards drop… etc.

One ex. – in my lifetime – there was little or no warning against TV. – before that. – the movie industry started before TV came along. – GC warned against movies… but people didn’t listen – so when TV came – no warning. – I think more people will be lost – due to the TV – than just about every other thing and the internet…

So these are all problems that come as a result of setting aside the SoP – so that we no longer can see – the dangers… and we end up – just falling in all the pitfalls – like all the other people…if the SoP would have been used – as we are talking about here – it would have protected against all the other things…


I was greatly stirred. Thought I to myself, “God sees the future, and He used the Spirit of Prophecy as the ‘eyes’ of the church.”

The next Sabbath Elder Jones read part of the testimony mailed him full thirty days prior to the date he preached his sermon, mailed from Melbourne, Australia. It reproved him for his

position taken concerning Anna Phillips’ testimonies. He said, “I am wrong, and I confess it. Now I am right.”


That ended the matter and saved the church from the pitfall of Satan. Thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy, the eyes of the church.–The Review and Herald, July 7, 1949, pp. 10-12.

(Note: Miss Phillips accepted the reproof implied in the testimony to Elder Jones and with full confidence in Ellen White’s guiding counsel, renounced her extreme views, repudiated her experience as a deception of the enemy and fully consecrated herself to the Lord. She became a valuable Bible instructor in the cause of truth and was used by God in winning souls to Christ. A.L.W.)

Christian is founder of Empower Missions. He is an experienced teacher of the Bible, a nurse, and a public speaker. Christian loves to help others to more healthy and meaningful lives. He is fascinated by bible prophecy, that is very relevant today. Within health he has a passion for lifestyle, preventive health and natural remedies.