I hope that you have had a wonderful week and are looking forward to the upcoming Sabbath. This Sabbath, in fact, is an extra special day, as the world church has designated October 17 as “Spirit of Prophecy and Adventist Heritage Day.”
This special day gives us a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how the Lord has led us in the past and how we can have confidence for the future. If you would like more information and resource material for this special Sabbath, I encourage you to visit the Ellen G. White Estate website at whiteestate.org.
As Ellen White was nearing the end of her life and reflecting on the wonderful way in which God had led His people, she penned these well-known words:
“In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (Last Day Events Page 72).
As we look into the uncertain future of tomorrow, what peace, hope, and assurance these words bring to our heart! Here we have the testimony of someone who saw God raise up this special, last day remnant movement just at the time predicted by prophecy, guide its formation and growth, and who is still leading us today.
When we think about how this movement began, it is really quite amazing. God took such a small group of dedicated people—people who loved God, were studying Bible prophecy and looking for His coming—and guided them into His full Bible truth—helping them to understand the true message of Christ our Righteousness, Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary, His Three Angels’ Messages, His Second Coming, the blessing of the Sabbath, the understanding that the dead sleep until He comes, the great controversy, the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy, the importance of healthful living, and much more.
As the Lord led, the movement grew, expanding not only across the United States, but around the world! Today, Seventh-day Adventists number more than 21 million members, located in more than 200 countries around the world! This is truly the blessing of the Lord, and we praise God for all that He has done.
Nevertheless, it is so important, as the servant of the Lord has pointed out, that we never forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.
In the mid-19th century, when the Advent movement began, there were already many Christian denominations in various parts of the world. So, why did God raise up the Seventh-day Adventist movement at this time? Was it just to add one more to the many other Protestant denominations? Or was there a special purpose, a special mission for this group?
The answer is found in Rev. 12:17—identifying the characteristics of God’s remnant people—those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” and Rev. 14:6-12, describing the message that the remnant is to give—that of the Three Angels, urging us to “preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him, who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
To proclaim that “Babylon is fallen,” and giving the warning, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God.”
Today, God is calling us to remember His leading and “His teaching in our past history,” and is urging us to move forward, through the power of His Holy Spirit, in the calling He has so graciously given. The world is looking, eagerly waiting for answers to the monumental problems we are facing today. Praise God He has given us an incredible, beautiful, hopeful message to share!
Let's pray together:
Father in heaven. Thank you for the amazing calling of the Advent movement. Seventh-day Adventists who have been called as part of your remnant people as the remnant church to proclaim to the world, the precious Three Angels Messages of Revelation 14 and the fourth Angel of Revelation 18, calling people out of confusion and out of Babylon and calling them to the true worship of God.
Lord, help us to be powerful witnesses for you. As we proclaim that you are our Creator, you are our Redeemer and you are our coming King. Lord bless each one around the world. As they participate in the final proclamation in this advent movement and help us to remember how you have led us in the past and your teaching in our past history so that we will have no fear for their future.