In a recent Sabbath School class discussion the topic arose of the “little season” or 100 years during which time Satan will gather the resurrected wicked in an attempt to rush and overthrow the Holy City, New Jerusalem before being cast into the lake of fire. Actually it slipped out of my mouth without thinking as we were discussing what the earth would be like during the millennium—without form and void. A women in the class spoke right up and said “Where did you get that from?” I responded, “It is found in Isaiah 65:20 would you like to go read it?” Everyone in class quickly turned in their Bibles and read the verse. Another said, “I have never heard of this before” and looked straight at me. I asked the class, “have you ever heard of Elder Wilcox?” to which several folks said, “yes”. Then I mentioned that Elder Wilcox explained this “little season” along with several other Adventist authors that were published in the Signs of the Times, a flagship Adventist magazine, around the turn of the 19th century. The lady who first questioned me then replied, “I would like to see that” to which I replied, “someone once shared this forgotten truth from the church beliefs with me and I gathered up all of the original source materials to confirm what I had heard.” I asked her if she would like for me to email her a copy. As she said “yes” and several others chimed in and asked for me to send it to them also.
One might be lead to believe that this is an isolated instance of no real consequence to our soul salvation, but this a dangerous presumption. As it turns out there are other very important doctrinal teachings that were standard teaching in the church in the days of Ellen White and shortly thereafter that were widely circulated by the church publishing houses and authored by recognized Bible teachers. For example, Elder Taylor Bunch was a highly respected author and wrote persuasively that the Seventh-day Adventist church was fulfilling an anti-typical Exodus experience as the Israel of today arguing that the church entered into a forty wilderness wandering as a result of rejecting the message of Christ’s Righteousness brought by Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner during the 1888 General Conference Session in Minneapolis. Several other authors wrote and commented on the parallels between the Exodus experience for ancient Israel and saw the direct application to Israel of today, the Seventh-day Adventist church. By a wilderness wandering these men meant that no more revealed truth on Bible prophecy arose in the church after this famous meeting. Although Ellen White continued to write and publish many books, they contained no new revelations beyond what had already been shown to her prior to 1888 and her epic prophetic masterpiece, the Great Controversy. Below is a list of links to digital scans of the original documents for your earnest study and preview.
“Forty Years in the Wilderness” by Taylor Bunch, 1925 (45 page tract)
“Certainties of the Advent Movement” by W. A. Spicer, 1929 (chapts. 5 and 6 covers the Exodus type/antitype).
Review and Herald Oct. 10, 1929 (“The Remnant Church–Part II”.)
Review and Herald Jan. 23, 1930 (two articles mentioning the antitypical Exodus).
“The 144,000 Their Triumphs and Reward” by Taylor Bunch, Signs of the Times, May 3, 1927 (PDF)
The last article by Elder Bunch on the 144,000 introduces the clearly reasoned explanation that the 144,000 are the first fruits of the final harvest of souls in this earth’s history and they in turn go forth to gather in a great multitude of second fruits from the fallen churches of the world during the Loud Cry. This concept of a two fold harvest is further enhanced and amplified in the writings of the Shepherd’s Rod message. Remarkably the 40 year wilderness wandering for the church came to an end in 1930 (1930 -1890 = 40 yrs.) exactly on time. And what new revelation of light came to the church at this time? Facts confirm and history proves that is was none other than the Shepherd’s Rod message, an amazing coincidence. There is a prophecy in the fourth chapter of Ezekiel that confirms this. So the idea that Victor Houteff made up the doctrine of a two fold harvest from his own imagination is shown to be without foundation and was part of the approved church teaching that has been buried in the archives of which nearly all church members today have no idea about. Well that has all changed now that you are reading this article. So please go investigate for yourself and see if these things are so. Pray and invite the Holy Spirit to guide, lead, and direct you unto all Truth as it is “present truth the flock needs now.” (Early Writings, p. 63).