Love Under Fire


Chapter 19—Why the Great Disappointment?

From age to age, the work of God presents a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of how God deals with people are always the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the church's experience in previous ages has lessons for our own time. LF 145.1

By His Holy Spirit God especially directs His servants on earth in advancing the work of salvation. Human beings are instruments in God's hand. He gives each one enough light to perform the work God gives him to do. But no one has ever had a full understanding of God's purpose in the work for his own time. God's representatives do not fully comprehend in all its aspects the message they speak in His name. Even the prophets did not fully understand the revelations God committed to them. He would unfold the meaning gradually, from age to age. LF 145.2

Peter says concerning this salvation that “the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering” (1 Peter 1:10-12, italics added). What a lesson for the people of God in the Christian age! Those holy men of God “inquired and searched carefully” concerning revelations God gave for generations that were not yet born. What a rebuke to the world-loving indifference that is content to declare that no one can understand the prophecies. LF 145.3

At times the minds of even God's servants are so blinded by tradition and false teaching that they only partially grasp the things revealed in His Word. Even when the Savior was with His disciples, they had the popular concept of the Messiah as an earthly prince who would exalt Israel to a universal empire. They could not understand His words predicting His suffering and death. LF 145.4