4.4. ELLEN WHITE AND THE ADVENTIST VISION OF THE END
The Millerite ash was the ideal fertilizer for the rise of several groups generically called “Adventist.” All these groups preserved, more or less, the features of Millerism and have been characterized by the obsession for the end of the world. Of all, the best-known group is the one initiated by Hiram Edson and Joseph Bates, and later completed by James and Ellen White.
In January 1845 Joseph Turner tried to explain the Great Disappointment through the “shut-door” theory based on the Parable of the Ten Virgins from Matthew 25:11-12. After the “heavenly door” was closed on October 22, 1844, people could no longer be saved. The period of the testing of the world was over. The wise virgins (the true believers) were going to be in the kingdom, while the foolish virgins (the infidels) were left outside, regardless of their subsequent actions.1123
Hiram Edson came up with an even more interesting theory, which somehow complemented Turner’s argument. After he, allegedly, had a vision the day after the Great Disappointment, Edson said that on October 22, 1844, an extraordinary event took place indeed, but in Heaven, not on Earth, where Christ entered the second part of the heavenly sanctuary. Together with Owen R. L. Crosier and Franklin B. Hahn, Edson conducted a thorough biblical study at the end of which he concluded that the “sanctuary” from Daniel 8:14 does not represent the earth or the Church as Miller previously thought, but the heavenly sanctuary.1124 Hence, the 22nd of October marked indeed the Second Coming of Christ, but on the heavenly realm. These new eschatological theories were published at the beginning of 1845 in the Day Dawn magazine. They were accepted and supported by many former Millerite leaders of the time, confirmed through numerous revelations of Ellen White and used for the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.