Larger font
Smaller font

The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    V. Prophecy Held in Balanced Relation to Gospel Fundamentals

    One is impressed with this first recorded statement of faith carefully committed to some blank pages in his old sheriff’s record book. (Illustration appears on p. 464.) It was not written for other eyes to read, but to crystallize into tangible form a balanced expression of his own inner beliefs after six years of close Bible study, since his conversion in September, 1816. Unable to find a major flaw in his facts and his reasoning, he could come to no conclusion other than that he had already reached.PFF4 465.2

    To Miller the prophecies were simply an integral part of the whole message and provision of the gospel of God. And being of a pronouncedly methodical turn of mind, he framed his convictions, in logical sequence, into an over-all expression of his beliefs. He was a Calvinistic Baptist in church affiliation. So he begins with certain basic fundamentals of Christian truth and follows them with the detailed listing of related points, which together comprise his personal creed. He recorded this “regular system of divinity,” or “my faith,” as he called it, on September 5, 1822, in harmony with the phrasings of the time. This was done, he states, after due “prayer and meditation.”PFF4 465.3


    Because of its importance in understanding Miller’s work as a whole, this illuminating document is here given practically in its entirety as it reveals the deliberate convictions of this interesting character which are foundational to all that comes hereafter.PFF4 466.1

    “Art. I. I believe the Bible is given by God to man, as a rule for our practice, and a guide to our faith,—that it is a revelation of God to man.PFF4 466.2

    “Art. II. I believe in one living and true God, and that there are three persons in the Godhead....PFF4 466.3

    “Art. III. I believe that God, by his Son, created man in the image of the Triune God, with a body, soul and spirit; and that he was created a moral agent, capable of living, of obeying, or transgressing the laws of his Maker.PFF4 466.4

    “Art. IV. I believe that man, being tempted by the enemy of all good, did transgress and became polluted; from which act, sin entered into the world, and all mankind became naturally sinners, thrust out from the presence of God, and exposed to his just wrath forever.PFF4 466.5

    “Art. V. I believe that God, knowing from eternity the use that man would make of his [free] agency, did, in his council of eternity, ordain that his Son should die; and that through his death salvation should be given to fallen man, through such means as God should appoint.PFF4 466.6

    “Art. VI. I believe that, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, sinners are made the recipients of mercy, in conformity to the Divine plan, founded on the wisdom and knowledge of God; the fruits of which are manifested in the recipient by works of repentance and faith; and without which no man, coming to years of discretion and able to choose between good and evil, can have an interest in the blood and righteousness of Christ.PFF4 466.7

    “Art. VII. I believe that Jesus Christ is an offering of God to sinners for their redemption from sin, and that those who believe in his name may take him by faith, go to God, and find mercy; and that such will in no wise be rejected.PFF4 466.8

    “Art. VIII. I believe that Jesus Christ was the sacrifice for sin which justice demanded; and that all those who confess their sins on the head of this victim, may expect forgiveness of sin through the blood of the atonement, which is in Jesus Christ, the great High Priest in the Holy of Holies.PFF4 466.9

    “Art. IX. I believe the atonement to be made by the intercession of Jesus Christ, and the sprinkling of his blood in the Holy of Holies, and upon the mercy-seat and people; by which means the offended is reconciled to the offender, the offender is brought into subjection to the will of God; and the effect is, forgiveness of sin, union to the Divine person, and to the household of faith.PFF4 466.10

    “Art. X. I believe all those for whom Christ intercedes, who are united to God by a living faith, and have received the forgiveness of sin through the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, can never perish; but are kept by the mighty power of God through faith unto salvation.PFF4 467.1

    “Art. XL I believe that all the promises of God are and will be accomplished in Christ Jesus; and that none of the human family are or can be entitled to the promises of grace, but those who are born of the Spirit in Christ Jesus, any more than the antediluvians could have been saved from the deluge without entering the ark.PFF4 467.2

    “Art. XII. I believe that Jesus Christ will eventually take away the sin of the world, and cleanse the earth from all pollution, so that this earth will become the abode of the saints forever, by means which he has appointed; all believers being regenerated, sanctified, justified and glorified.PFF4 467.3

    “Art. XIII. I believe that all final impenitents will be destroyed from the earth, and sent away into a place prepared for the Devil and his angels.PFF4 467.4

    “Art. XIV. I believe Jesus Christ will come again in his glory and person to our earth, where he will accomplish his Divine purposes in the saving of his people, destroying the wicked from the earth, and taking away the sin of the world.PFF4 467.5

    “Art. XV. I believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near, even at the door, even within twenty-one years,—on or before 1843.PFF4 467.6

    “Art. XVI. I believe that before Christ comes in his glory, all sectarian principles will be shaken, and the votaries of the several sects scattered to the four winds; and that none will be able to stand but those who are built on the word of God.PFF4 467.7

    “Art. XVII. I believe in the resurrection, both of the just and of the unjust,—the just, or believers, at Christ’s second coming, and the unjust one thousand years afterwards,—when the judgment of each will take place in their order, at their several resurrections; when the just will receive everlasting life, and the unjust eternal condemnation.PFF4 467.8

    “Art. XVIII. I believe in the doctrine of election, founded on the will, purpose and fore-knowledge of God; and that all the elect will be saved in the kingdom of God, through the sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the truth.PFF4 467.9

    “Art. XIX. I believe in the ordinance of baptism by immersion, as a representation of Christ’s burial and resurrection,—also of our death to sin and life to holiness.PFF4 467.10

    “Art. XX. I believe in the ordinance of the Lord’s supper, to be” 8Ms., in Sheriff’s Record Book; also printed in Bliss, Memoirs, pp. 77-80. Here the writing breaks off.PFF4 467.11


    We are here carried along logically from basic belief in an inspired and authoritative Bible, on through Miller’s concept of the Godhead, the creation and fall of man, the covenanted death of Christ for the redemption of man, the work of the Holy Spirit in that salvation, Christ’s substitutionary atoning death, the atonement continued and applied by the intercession of Christ and His ministry in the heavenly holy of holies, the keeping power of Christ through faith, the necessity of the new birth, the earth first to be cleansed by fire, then to become the eternal abode of the saved, and the finally impenitent to be destroyed from the earth at the second coming of Christ in glory, when He will punish the wicked and save the righteous as the climax of the divine plan of the ages.PFF4 468.1

    All fourteen of these fundamental premises of the gospel are laid down before Miller comes to Article XV, which sets forth his belief in the imminent second advent of Christ, about “1843.” Then follows his belief that only those established in the Word of God will survive the impending wrath of God. And next comes the two literal resurrections—that of the righteous at the beginning of the millennial thousand years, and the wicked at its close—with the last three points on election, immersion, and the Lord’s Supper. He is clearly premillennialist.PFF4 468.2

    Prophecy, and Miller’s belief concerning the “last things,” are thus held in subservience to the fundamentals of the gospel, and their logical place depicted in the light of the over-all plan of salvation. They fit logically into their related place in the latter phases of the divine plan of the ages. Miller does not here give the reasoning process and the evidence for his belief in Christ’s return about “1843.” That comes later.PFF4 468.3

    Larger font
    Smaller font