By George R. Knight

Theological historical past of the 7th day adventist church

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Dare to believe the Bible” (ibid. 18, 19). Moving toward his conclusion, Fitch noted that the book 49 r A Se a r c h for I de nt i t y of Revelationtaught that, those who remained in Babylon must be destroyed. Thus in his final appeal, he pleaded for his hear­ ers to “come out o f Babylon or perish.. . Not one that is saved can remain in Babylon” (ibid. 24). Not everyone was happy with Fitch’s interpretation. Himes and several other prominent leaders didn’t accept it until the late summer of 1844, while Miller, who saw it as disruptive to the Second Advent mission, never did adopt it.

By the nineteenth century Puritan ideas on Sabbatarianism had infiltrated the general thinking of religious people in the United States. In short, Sabbatarianism had become as much a social and politi­ cal concern as it was a church issue. It also brought the impor­ tance of the Sabbath to the minds of the early Sabbatarian Adventists. Beyond that, it also provided them with a basis to interpret the last-day conflict over the keeping of God’s 35 A Search for Identi ty commandments mentioned in Revelation 12:17 and 14:12.

Historicizing the parable, they read it as a prophecy of the preaching of the Second Coming in their own time. Miller saw the ten virgins as “mankind in general, in a probationary state,” the five wise virgins as “believers in God,” the five foolish virgins as unbelievers, the lamps as the word of God, the oil as faith, the bridegroom as Christ, and the marriage of the bridegroom as the Second Advent. T he trimming of the lamps Miller interpreted to be the Bible and missionary soci­ eties that had arisen during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to spread the Bible and its message to the far corners of the earth in a manner that prepared the en­ tire world for the preaching of the Second Advent (ESH [1842], 235-238).

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