Case by Casebolt: William Miller Misunderstood Luke 13:32–33

In this series's first installment, I discussed the 2,520-day-year prophetic period, that is, the seven times of the gentiles. In the second installment, I explored William Miller's interpretation of Hosea 6:1–3. The third article focused on Revelation 9. Now, Luke 13:32–33 serves as the fourth in this series of about a dozen cases showing that Miller's interpretive method and results were mistaken.   

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Miller himself confessed that he was not inspired about his theory of 1844. So who informed Ellen White that he was visited by angels, yet was misled, and plunged his followers into a great delusion? I don’t see God’s hand in this movement at all. It was Satan’s grand deception.

I don’t see “satan” involved. The human mind is capable of all manner of imagination without resorting to fantastic supernatural explanations.

The biggest error made (and which continues to be made) is the erroneous assumption that the biblical text is written in some sort of code to be deciphered.


Some say Satan’s greatest illusion is that he was able make people believe he doesn’t exist.

I’m convinced that just the opposite is the case.

That is, evil people do not, or cannot allow themselves to see themselves as they really are, so they’ve created an imaginary scapegoat and can now say “The devil made me do it!”

But as the old Beck lyric implies, this is perhaps the greatest evil of all:

“Who could ever be so cruel?
Blame the Devil for the things you do.”

Adding a supernatural element to it is like bolting training wheels to a racing Ducati.

BTW, to say Miller was “mistaken”, is like saying Columbus was “kinda wrong” when he mistook the Bahamas for India!

Thinking that anything John saw in his nightmares applies to anyone other than the proto-Christians of his time is like believing one’s future can be seen in tea leaves or being convinced that one should stake his fortune on fortune cookies.


If the BRI or ATS try to defend EGW’s understanding of Miller, we’re then talking about a hyper apologetics that doesn’t square with reality. The reality of how such an interpretive mess would be evaluated on its own merits today.

If Miller were a theology student at any Adventist institution today, and presented this, he’d fail out. Her defense would be regarded as quackery. Funny thing…this is how his views were regarded by the churches in Miller’s day. And EGW’s family created such a ruckus over this in their Methodist church that they were disfellowshipped.

Neither Miller, his followers, nor EGW would listen to a simple axiom from Jesus himself, “No one knows the day nor the hour.” The whole movement was a house built on sand…that includes the little band that EGW was part of post Miller, that tried to vindicate one of his “proofs” by an impression in a cornfield.

No explaining this away. At least Miller admitted his error. EGW???



I’ve tried to explain this before.

1st Adventist Axiom: EGW was inspired by god and therefore cannot have made any mistakes.

1st Adventist Corollary: Given the first axiom, EGW never had any occasion to admit she was wrong about anything.

2nd Adventist Corollary: Anyone who claims to have evidence which might lead one to believe that EGW was mistaken in any regard, or who insists that EGW should have owned up to some supposedly self-evident shortcomings, has made a mistake and should refer back to the first axiom.

Unfortunately, some Spectrum commenters are so invested in their anti-EGW vitriol that they cannot see the elegance of god’s plan in this simplistic-I mean simple application of logic.

(And yeah, I’m kinda looking at you, Mr. Merendino….



Yeah, you got nuttin on me, see! And it’s all victrola…er…I mean vitriol. Victrolas were sinful! Check the books…:rofl::rofl:

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Let’s get down to a level about EGW beyond the plagiarism, beyond the apparent dishonesty and failed prophecies and all the apologetics that sweep it all under the rug.

Her theology itself was a confused mess. Between her endorsement and expansion of an eschatological interpretive monstrosity, her lifelong pushing of holiness movement perfectionism that majored in minors and often emphasized an unhealthy, introspective spirituality, and an attempt to combine law, and the demand for perfect law keeping/character development with the gospel, it’s no wonder that many in Adventism have been wounded and confused.

The one broad area that is a positive is that she identified God’s main attribute as love. I’ll take that over Calvinism’s central emphasis on God’s holiness or sovereignty. I think that Jesus reveals EGW’s emphasis above Calvin’s. However, it’s a shame that the particulars of her writings so often don’t.


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