“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.”Foundation Laid Between 1840 and 1844

Ellen White makes numerous statements about the messages that were given between 1840 and 1844:

“The warning has come: Nothing is to be allowed to come in that will disturb the foundation of the faith upon which we have been building ever since the message came in 1842, 1843, and 1844. I was in this message, and ever since I have been standing before the world, true to the light that God has given us. We do not propose to take our feet off the platform on which they were placed as day by day we sought the Lord with earnest prayer, seeking for light. Do you think that I could give up the light that God has given me? It is to be as the Rock of Ages. It has been guiding me ever since it was given. Brethren and sisters, God lives and reigns and works today. His hand is on the wheel, and in His providence He is turning the wheel in accordance with His own will. Let not men fasten themselves to documents, saying what they will do and what they will not do. Let them fasten themselves to the Lord God of heaven. Then the light of heaven will shine into the soul-temple, and we shall see the salvation of God.” General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903 par. 35

In the passage above the truths that arrived in the stated time period are called the “foundation of the faith” and the “platform.” They are also likened to the “Rock of Ages.” Christ is the Rock of Ages (Psalm 95:1, 1 Cor 10:1-4). The Bible teaches that Christ is the only true foundation upon which a Christian can build their faith (1 Cor 3:9-11). Those seeking to build their doctrinal understanding and religious experience on any other foundation do so at the cost of failure and the loss of their salvation (Matthew 7:26-27).

“The truths that we received in 1841, ’42, ’43, and ’44 are now to be studied and proclaimed. The messages of the first, second, and third angels will in the future be proclaimed with a loud voice. They will be given with earnest determination and in the power of the Spirit.” The Paulson Collection, 322.2

“Those who stand as teachers and leaders in our institutions are to be sound in the faith and in the principles of the third angel’s message. God wants His people to know that we have the message as He gave it to us in 1843 and 1844. We knew then what the message meant, and we call upon our people today to obey the word, “Bind up the law among My disciples.” In this world there are but two classes,–the obedient and the disobedient. To which class do we belong? God wants to make us a peculiar people, a holy nation. He has separated us from the world, and He calls upon us to stand on vantage ground, where He can bestow on us His Holy Spirit.” General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1903 par. 42

The truths that arrived between 1840 and 1844 are also referred to as the First, Second and Third Angel’s messages. They are the messages that in the future will be proclaimed with a “loud voice” or Loud Cry. Those Seventh-Day Adventists who wish to be part of the remnant that God will use to call His people out of Babylon will study and proclaim these messages.

“God bids us give our time and strength to the work of preaching to the people the messages that stirred men and women in 1843 and 1844.” The Paulson Collection, 60.6

“We have, as had John, a message to bear of the things which we have seen and heard. God is not giving us a new message. We are to proclaim the message that in 1843 and 1844 brought us out of the other churches. We need the Holy Spirit to kindle in our hearts the zeal and earnestness that were then seen among God’s people. I thank the Lord that there are still living a few who can remember those days, and who know whereof they speak.” Review and Herald, January 19, 1905 par. 22

“All the messages given from 1840-1844 are to be made forcible now, for there are many people who have lost their bearings. The messages are to go to all the churches.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 21, 437.1

The Angel’s messages are what stirred the hearts of the people in the Millerite time-period. They are the messages that brought the pioneers out of their respective denominations, and they are the messages we are to preach today. Many Seventh-Day Adventists have “lost their bearings” as a result of not understanding these truths. As a ship lost upon the sea without chart or compass, their spiritual ship is lost upon the waves of false doctrine, human interpretation, confusion, and darkness.
 
 

Habakkuk’s Two Tables: 1843 Chart

The Three Angel’s messages are the foundation of Adventism. They are the messages that were given between 1840 and 1844. But where are these messages most clearly delineated? Consider the following:

“As early as 1842, the direction given in this prophecy, to “write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it,” had suggested to Charles Fitch the preparation of a prophetic chart to illustrate the visions of Daniel and the Revelation. The publication of this chart was regarded as a fulfillment of the command given by Habakkuk. No one, however, then noticed that an apparent delay in the accomplishment of the vision—a tarrying time—is presented in the same prophecy. After the disappointment, this scripture appeared very significant: “The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. . . . The just shall live by his faith.” The Great Controversy 1888 Edition, 392.

The command given to “write the vision and make it plain upon tables” was fulfilled in the production of the 1843 chart by Charles Fitch. This chart sets forth pictorial representations (with explanations) of the messages that arrived between 1840 and 1844.

“I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them; that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until His hand was removed.” Early Writings, 74.1

This chart was directed by the hand of the Lord and contained a mistake that God suffered to exist. This mistake led to a miscalculation in the date for the termination of the 2300 year prophecy and to the “great disappointment”.
 

daniel-43-sm

 
Contained on this chart are the messages which (according to 21 Manuscript Releases pg. 437) are to be studied and proclaimed.
 
 

Testimony of the Pioneers

It was the united testimony of the Adventist pioneers that the 1843 chart was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy; and that it contained the messages that they preached in that time period:

“In May, 1842, a general conference was again convened in Boston, Mass. At the opening of this meeting Br. Chs. Fitch and A. Hale of Haverhill, presented us the Visions of Daniel and John which they had painted on cloth, with the prophetic numbers and ending of the vision, which they called a chart. Br. F., in explaining the subject said in substance as follows: he had been turning it over in his mind, and felt that if something of this kind could be done, it would simplify the subject, and make it much easier for him to present it to the people. Here new light seemed to spring up. These brethren had fulfilled a prophecy given by Hab. 2468 years before, where it says, “And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” This thing now became so plain to all, that it was unanimously voted to have three hundred of these charts lithographed forthwith, that those who felt the message may read and run with it.” Joseph Bates, Second Advent Waymarks and High Heaps, 52

“William Miller was the leading man, and all who preached the same doctrine and from the same chronological charts, was of the same faith, or oneness of the message.” Joseph Bates, A Seal of the Living God, 33

“Those who gave the advent proclamation claimed that this “vision” with its “appointed” time, mentioned by the prophet Habakkuk, included the visions of the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelator. These they made so plain in their delineations of them upon their prophetic charts, that he who read the interpretation could indeed “run” and impart the information to others.” J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress, 108.3

The centrality of the chart and the messages upon it is conveyed in James White’s statement about the “original faith” of Seventh Day Adventists:

“It was the united testimony of Second Advent lecturers and papers, when standing on “THE ORIGINAL FAITH,” that the publication of the chart was a fulfillment of Hab.ii,2,3. If the chart was a subject of prophecy, (and those who deny it leave the original faith,) then it follows that B. C. 457 was the year from which to date the 2300 days. It was necessary that 1843 should be the first published time in order that “the vision” should “tarry,” or that there should be a tarrying time, in which the virgin band was to slumber and sleep on the great subject of time, just before they were to be aroused by the Midnight Cry.” James White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Dec. 1850, pg.13
 
 

Habakkuk’s Two Tables: 1850 Chart

The command given in Habakkuk was to write the vision and make it plain upon “tables”—in the plural. Therefore the production of the 1843 chart could only constitute a partial fulfillment of this command. In 1850, another chart was produced by Otis Nichols. This chart contained all the positions set forth on the 1843 chart but corrected the “fullness of the year” mistake that led to the “great disappointment”. The 1850 chart also included some of the pillars1 of Adventism such as the Sanctuary and God’s law (See footnote).
 

1850chart

 
The Spirit of Prophecy also attests to the divine origin of the 1850 chart:

“God showed me the necessity of getting out a chart. I saw it was needed and that the truth made plain upon tables would affect much and would cause souls to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Letter 26, 1850, p. 1. (To Brother and Sister Loveland, November 1, 1850)

“On our return to Brother Nichol’s, the Lord gave me a vision and showed me that the truth must be made plain upon tables, and it would cause many to decide for the truth by the third angel’s message with the two former being made plain upon tables.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 5, 202-203

“I saw that God was in the publishment of the chart by Brother Nichols. I saw that there was a prophecy of this chart in the Bible, and if this chart is designed for God’s people, if it [is] sufficient for one it is for another, and if one needed a new chart painted on a larger scale, all need it just as much.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 13, 359.1

“My dear Brother and Sister Loveland:

I hope to send you some papers soon. The chart is being executed in Boston. God is in it. Bro. Nichols has the charge of it.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 15, 213.1-2

The 1843 and 1850 charts are the only charts that have received divine endorsement through the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. These are the tables of Habakkuk 2:2 and they contain the “vision” that was proclaimed between 1840 and 1844.
 
 

The Repetition of History

The question then arises—given that these two charts contain the truths that represent the foundation of Adventism, why is it that they do not hold a more prominent place within our church today? The answer to this question is solemn and important—we are repeating the history of the Jewish nation.

“The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ–how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.” Selected Messages, Vol. 1, 406.1

“Satan is working that the history of the Jewish nation may be repeated in the experience of those who claim to believe present truth. The Jews had the Old Testament Scriptures, and supposed themselves conversant with them. But they made a woeful mistake. The prophecies that refer to the glorious second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven they regarded as referring to His first coming. Because He did not come according to their expectations, they turned away from Him. Satan knew just how to take these men in his net, and deceive and destroy them.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 17, 13.1

What was the mistake of the Jews? They misinterpreted Bible prophecy. The Jews had so far perverted their religion, burying its God-given statutes under a mass of tradition, that they lost the true interpretation of the prophecies pertaining to the Messiah. This mistake proved fatal to their entire nation:

“Those who rejected the testimony of John were not benefited by the teachings of Jesus. Their opposition to the message that foretold His coming placed them where they could not readily receive the strongest evidence that He was the Messiah. Satan led on those who rejected the message of John to go still farther, to reject and crucify Christ. In doing this they placed themselves where they could not receive the blessing on the day of Pentecost, which would have taught them the way into the heavenly sanctuary. The rending of the veil of the temple showed that the Jewish sacrifices and ordinances would no longer be received. The great Sacrifice had been offered and had been accepted, and the Holy Spirit which descended on the day of Pentecost carried the minds of the disciples from the earthly sanctuary to the heavenly, where Jesus had entered by His own blood, to shed upon His disciples the benefits of His atonement. But the Jews were left in total darkness. They lost all the light which they might have had upon the plan of salvation, and still trusted in their useless sacrifices and offerings. The heavenly sanctuary had taken the place of the earthly, yet they had no knowledge of the change. Therefore they could not be benefited by the mediation of Christ in the holy place.” Early Writings, 259.1

Within Adventism today, all the truths set forth on the 1843 and 1850 charts have been rejected or are being fought against by theologians and scholars at the highest levels of the church organization. Many who have been in the church for years have no understanding of these truths, nor do they see the need to study them. These truths are no longer taught to new converts; and when they are, they often receive little more than a surface treatment. The “foundation of the faith” has been set aside.

As the Jews turned from the purity of their faith unto traditions, Seventh-Day Adventists have turned to the traditions of the world and of the fallen churches. This is seen in the inroads of Spiritual Formation, false and worldly methods of evangelism, the reinterpreting of the prophecies, and the rejection of Biblical reforms—such as dress and health reform.

Where is the prevailing state of affairs leading us? One need only see where it led the Jews in their time. The Jews closed their probation on the wrong side of the Great Controversy and they reaped the harvest of their apostasy in the terrible destruction of A.D. 70. So it will be with Modern Israel at the end of the world. The rejection of foundational truth is placing Seventh-Day Adventists in a position where they do not understand the prophecies that are to be fulfilled in our day. The events (or prophecies) connected with the close of probation have been revealed; but today many Seventh-Day Adventists have no understanding of these events as if they were never revealed (Great Controversy pg.594). It has been Satan’s object to keep God’s people in ignorance of these truths. This he has done by tearing down the foundational truths that are crucial to a correct understanding of Bible Adventism—present truth.
 
 

Restoration of the True Foundation

In order to be able to stand in the time of trouble such as never was; a time when every position we hold as Seventh-Day Adventists will be severely criticized; when wealth, genius and education combine to cover God’s people with contempt—Adventists will have to build their religious experience on the solid platform of foundational truth (Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 450, 451, 716). “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

The Bible points to a work of restoration in our day:

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12

“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:” Amos 9:11

This is the work of the remnant. In Christ’s day there was a remnant that upheld the banner of true religion and present truth. The remnant then stood upon the foundation of the prophecies of the Old Testament. This remnant recognized in Christ the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Messiah. They were thus prepared to receive His instruction to flee from Jerusalem when the Roman armies encompassed the city (Matthew 24:15-18). It is the testimony of the Spirit of Prophecy that not a single one of these people perished in the destruction that soon followed (Great Controversy 1888 pp.30).

Scripture asks an important question in Psalms 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The answer is given in the 58th chapter of Isaiah—repair them! Those who will stand through the Sunday law will be repairers of the breach that has been made within Adventism. They will stand upon the foundation of the First, Second, and Third Angel’s messages as revealed on the 1843 and 1850 charts. They will thus be prepared to understand and teach present truth, and prepare their characters to stand in a time of trouble such as never was.

May we be found in that number.
 
 
1The seven pillars of Adventism are: Creation, The Nature of Man (Entrance of Sin, and the Mortality of the Soul), God’s law, the Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgement, the Personality of God, the Three Angel’s Messages, and the Messages of Adventism’s Past (as shown on the 1843 and 1850 charts). See Prophets and Kings pp.625, Sermons and Talks vol. 1 pp.344, Manuscript Releases no.760 pp.9, Review and Herald May 25, 1905 par.28, Counsels to Writers and Editors pp.77, Manuscript Releases vol.4 pp.249, 1888 Materials pp. 804, Paulson Collection pp.423.

 

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