1 – The Great Disappointment in 1844

William Miller, based on Daniel 8:14, said that Jesus would return to Earth in the year 1844. According to his interpretation, the 2,300 evenings and mornings (Dan 8:14,) represent 2,300 years, counted from 457 BC, the year of Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9.24-27). Thus, to Miller, Jesus would return to Earth in 1844 and would purify the sanctuary corrupted during the Tribulation.

[1] The time itself showed that this interpretation was wrong because year appointed arrived and Jesus did not return. The episode became known as the “Great Disappointment”.[2]


2 – The Starting of the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment and the Second Stage of Atonement

Some of the disappointed left the sect, while others continued and gave an explanation to the problem. One of Miller’s followers, Hiram Edsom, claimed to have received a vision in which the prophecy was explained to him. According to him, Jesus, on October 22, 1844, did not leave the holy place to come to earth, but to enter, for the first time, into the holiest place of the heavenly sanctuary in order to carry out the second stage of his work of atonement .[3]

From then started the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment, which states that Jesus, from 1844, is investigating the works of men (since Adam), to determine which of them will participate in the first resurrection, which will precede the Millennium.[4] Jesus is also analyzing the work of the living, to determine which of them will be transferred in glorified bodies to heaven during his coming.[5]


3) Tribulation

Adventists believe that the Sabbatarian church will go through the tribulation period, however, they do not specify the duration of the period prescribed (which may be several years, or even two months[6]). For them, the Antichrist is the Roman “Papacy”, while the False Prophet is the Protestant church that accepts Sunday (considered the mark of the Beast) as a day of worship, to the detriment of the Sabbath (considered the seal of God). The Sabbatarians will suffer harsh persecution culminating in the Battle of Armageddon.


4) The Second Coming of Christ

After the process of Heavenly Atonement and the Investigative Judgment are completed, Jesus will be Coming to the earth for the second time. The Adventist Church believes that this Coming will be visible, literal and personal. At this time, the wicked alive on Earth who was sentenced in the Investigative Judgment will be killed in the Battle of Armageddon. The righteous living will be translated to heaven and the righteous dead will participate in the first resurrection of Revelation 20.

Revelation 20 speaks of two resurrections. For the Adventist church, the first resurrection, before the Millennium, is only for the saints who was not sentenced on the Investigative Judgment; the second resurrection, only for the wicked, who will be resurrected to pass through final judgment and will be destroyed again.


5) Millennium

The living righteous will be translated and resurrected righteous dead will be in heaven during the Millennium. Their function will be to judge the wicked, analyzing each one of his works, to determine what will be the level of his sentence, which will be recorded in Book of Death.[7]

During this period, the Earth will be inhabited only by Satan and his angels, while the wicked men will be annihilated. Only at the end of the millennium, the wicked men will be raised (i.e., re-created) to ally with Satan in a final revolt.

During the Millennium, the sins of the righteous will be placed upon Satan, in an analogy to the scapegoat that carried out the sin of the people to the desert. In other words, for Adventists, Jesus is the goat who paid the price for the sins of the righteous; Satan, is the one who bore the sins of the righteous away.[8]

Adventists define the Millennium as follows:

The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.).[9]


6) Third Coming of Jesus and Judgment

At the end of the Millennium, Christ will return again to earth to establish once for all his kingdom. He will come down on the Mount of Olives along with his saints. At that time, will take place the second resurrection, and the resurrected wicked will join Satan and his angels–who were alone in the desolate earth during the Millennium. Satan and all the rebels will unite to attack Christ and his saints.

At that time, the Last Judgment will take place because all of them will be burned with fire, and will suffer according to the degree of the sentence. [10] This war will result in the total annihilation of all the wicked, including Satan and his demons. This means that Adventists do not believe in an eternal suffering hell, but in a total annihilation.


7) Eternity

After the total annihilation of Satan, his angels and the wicked, the earth will be completely renovated and the righteous will live forever on it.






[1] O Grande Desapontamento <http://www.cacp.org.br/o-grande-desapontamento/> (07/02/2015)

[2] O Grande Desapontamento <http://www.cacp.org.br/o-grande-desapontamento/> (07/02/2015)

[3] Ellen G. White. O Conflito dos Séculos, p. 422

[4] Ellen G. White. O Grande Conflito. Pg 420

[5] Crenças Fundamentais da Igreja Adventista do Sétimo Dia <http://centrowhite.org.br/iasd/ crencas-fundamentais-dos-adventistas-do-setimo-dia/> (07/02/2015)

[6] David Reagan. Seventh-Day Adventist Eschatology. Pg 13

[7] Ellen White. Maranata! – Meditação Matinal. Pg 333

[8] Ronald Reagan. Seventh-Day Adventist Eschatology. Pg 13

[9] http://www.adventist.org/fileadmin/adventist.org/files/articles/official-statements/28Beliefs-Web.pdf> (05/02/2015)

[10] David Reagan. Seventh-Day Adventist Eschatology. Pg 13

 Author: Leonardo Costa