From Here to Forever


Chapter 19—Why the Great Disappointment?

The work of God presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God's dealing with men are ever the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former ages has lessons for our own time. HF 214.1

God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in carrying forward the work of salvation. Men are instruments in the hand of God. To each is granted a measure of light sufficient to enable him to perform the work given him to do. But no man has ever attained to a full understanding of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully comprehend in all its bearing the message which they utter in His name. Even the prophets did not fully comprehend the revelations committed to them. The meaning was to be unfolded from age to age. HF 214.2

Peter says: Of this salvation “the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister.” 1 Peter 1:10-12, italics supplied. What a lesson to the people of God in the Christian age! Those holy men of God “inquired and searched diligently” concerning revelations given for generations yet unborn. What a rebuke to the world-loving indifference which is content to declare that the prophecies cannot be understood. HF 214.3

Not infrequently 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. The disciples of Christ, even when the Saviour was with them, had the popular conception of the Messiah as a temporal prince who was to exalt Israel to universal empire. They could not understand His words foretelling His suffering and death. HF 215.1