Case by Casebolt: The Millennial Sabbath Theory

“Case by Casebolt” is a recurring series examining the prophetic interpretations that Ellen White appropriated from William Miller.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Miller never knew, nor acknowledged angels visiting him. He even testified of not being inspired during his calculations of the prophetic time. Interestingly, strangely enough, Ellen White was shown all of this!


I don’t understand how prophecy became a “saving message” for the world? No where does Paul teach such an idea. Paul instead presents justification by faith, being declared right with God, as a saving message. “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” Rom 3:28.

We could add too Paul writings and say that “We maintain that a person is justified by faith alone, apart from works of understanding prophecy.”


i believe Noah’s prophecy of the destruction of the world by a flood would have qualified as a “saving message”…Jonah’s prophecy of the fall of Nineveh in 40 days would have also qualified as a “saving message”…certainly Peter’s prophecy of the destruction of the world by fire, 2 Pet 3:7, which is what the 1844 message was originally given as, would have qualified as a “saving message”…

prophecy is pretty integral to the message of salvation given in the NT (see the Book of Revelation)…a dominant theme for Paul, who was one writer in one part of the bible, is the judgement of God against sin and sinners…i think his prophecy about the destruction of “the man of sin” and “them that perish”,
2 Thess 2:3-12, can be thought of as a “saving message”…

How can the failed prophecy of 1844 be a “saving message” to the world? Instead I think that most would agree that Romans & Galatians with Ephesians present a clear saving message to the world. Nowhere do they talk about 1844 or the view that Sunday/Sabbath as the final test for civilization. In fact, Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles fails to even mention Sabbath keeping in any of his letters to Gentile churches. For that matter neither does the letters of Peter or John even suggest the final test is the worship of one day above another.


i agree that it’s exceptional that a misunderstood prophecy can be a saving msg…but if you read accounts of the wide-spread reception of the miller message, the fact that a middle aged farmer started it all, and that thousands of people actually sold all their possessions in order to prepare for Oct 22, 1844, it does sound like it had a big impact, and that a supernatural element attended it…

i think the NT fails to mentions Sabbath keeping because it wasn’t questioned at the time…everyone, including Gentiles, knew about it, and likely accepted it, if we can infer that the Council of Jerusalem would have addressed it if it was something questioned by the Gentile church, as was the case with circumcision, and other specifically Jewish practices…Paul does emphasize the importance of the decalogue, Eph 6:1-3…he could have relied on some other source of authority, including his own visions, to emphasize the importance of obedience to parents, but chose the decalogue because he presumably believed it had applicable value, and that his Ephesian Gentile audience accepted its authority…

but i agree that outside of pre-Jew scripture, but also scripture dealing with the Exodus and its aftermath, we have scant mention of Sabbath keeping…this likely explains why none of the Reformers kept or taught it…i think, ultimately, adventism emphasizes Sabbath-keeping and its end-time significance because this is what egw clearly teaches…i don’t think there’s anything clearer in egw than the end-time significance of the seventh-day Sabbath…

Thousands followed Joseph Smith and believed him about a supernatural experience with golden tablets and an angel. Thousands joined the Watchtower. These movements have continued to today and were fueled by supernatural claims.

Not a good argument…



In my experience, supernatural arguments have two things in common.

One, you can’t argue with them logically as they, by definition, have no basis in rational thought, natural explanations or scientific observation.

And two, magical thinking invariably insists that rational arguments and personal experience are at least questionable and/or misguided, if not universally bad.

In other words, brace yourself @frank_merendino, as @vandieman ‘s response will be predictably not a rational or good one!

(Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about his insults anymore since he’s gone from being tone deaf to my way of thinking to completely disregarding any and all of my criticisms, obviously because I haven’t read as much EGW as him and therefore simply cannot not understand his heroic, even supernatural level of frivoli…I mean, religiosity!)



Evidence is an interesting concept here. It should be remembered that the Bible is the claim, not the evidence. Belief in prophecy is the claim. Interpretation is the *claim. None of these constitute evidence.



Or figure out for the first time?!?!


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Good point. The learning curve is steep here…

don’t forget the phenomenon of counterfeits, which aren’t going to be convincing unless they mimic the genuine to a tee…

i look at the fact that at about the time adventism arose, the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Science arose, all in the same part of the world…is this coincidence, or is it design…as i see it, there is a power who doesn’t want the public to see adventism as anything other than one of several sects that demonstrate a disturbed historical time…

and let’s face it: adventism doesn’t work for everyone, just like Jesus didn’t work for everyone…probably all of us know people with adventist roots and ties that sound like they need therapy, if not actual medication…and we know that symptoms are inter-related…maybe the back pain or psoriasis people are suffering from is really because they have a problem with egw and the Investigative Judgement…

Don’t forget the phenomenon of delusion. In this case, those in a similar context of time, place, and presuppositions all shared in delusional thinking, certain that the Bible was an infallible source for truth and that it could be interpreted to prove their beliefs.


I’ve heard that argument umpteen times. It’s weak. It’s assuming that Adventism isn’t rooted in error. It was.

Secondly, equating Jesus with one denomination is even weaker. As Paul said, “We do not preach ourselves, but we preach the messiah Jesus and ourselves your servants for his sake.” Adventism has crossed that line throughout its history of exceptionalism. It often preaches itself, in its public evangelism especially.

Finally, William Miller preached gross error. If anyone else did so, you would call it out. But, because Adventism is your flavor of choice you don’t and won’t. You make excuses, as you did in your first post. EGW endorsed his entire fifteen prophetic proofs saying that angels guided him and that it was from God. Nonsense! He never claimed angelic guidance and in the end admitted his error.

The whole apocalyptic sabbatarian movement that arose from the ashes simply doubled down on his error. As you do…



yes, delusion is another consideration…certainly people involved in counterfeits are experiencing delusion, by definition…

this isn’t true…egw’s endorsement of Miller wasn’t meant to endorse everything he taught or thought anymore than her endorsement of Martin Luther endorsed his drinking, adultery, or anti-semitic views…in Miller’s case, she was particularly deferential, due to their shared past, but also her strong respect and love for him…anyone familiar with her writing can see this…

this is one way to see it…another way is that the Miller mvt was genuine, but mistaken, much like the disciples’ beliefs and expectations were genuine, but mistaken, at the time of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus…and just as the disciples gradually began to understand their error, and go on to do great things through the guidance of supernatural visions, the egw Millerites began to understand their error, and have gone on to do great things through the guidance of the supernatural visions of egw…

there is nothing in Paul, or the bible, that adventism doesn’t teach…it is the most complete system of truth the world has ever seen, although, of course, we expect even more expansion under a future prophet, or prophets…

What I like about it most is Adventism’s humility!!!



Guided his mind into error?! What’s the matter with us?


I thought that the prophetic gift meant more about God’s leadings in people’s personal lives and maybe some people that they’d come in contact with- as God willed.

You think that another person might be proclaimed as a prophet in the SDA church? I think I heard of one in Puerto Rico some years ago, but haven’t heard about them for a while. Then there are SDA offshoot groups that have been led by people who seemed to imply they were prophets. How do you think that a new prophet might be recognized and confirmed in the SDA church? Through the general conference? Would they get a salary for evangelism? Would they author books? I thought that there was some understanding from EGW that she was to be the ‘last prophet for the end times’. But then there is that thing about ‘new light’ that I remember hearing mentioned somewhere.

The term “counterfeit” in this context presupposes that there is in fact a “genuine”. Don’t discount the possibility/probability that the whole construct is a delusion.

I’m not sure why you replied to Frank’s comments in response to me. I would never quote Paul as an authority. After all, he claimed to see and hear things unseen by others. Should we term that as delusional or would hallucination be more accurate?


IOW, that “talking out of both sides of her mouth” thing!!!

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