In spite of the fact that 1844 is the central point in tracing the prophetic identity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the real focus of 1844 is Jesus as our High Priest interceding in the heavenly sanctuary in behalf of every believer.
According to the interpretation of Daniel 8:14 and Revelation 14:6-12, two events took place almost simultaneously in 1844. One event took place in heaven and the other on earth. In heaven, according to the book of Hebrews, Jesus moved from the Holy Place to the Holiest or Most Holy Place. This began His pre-advent judgement and special intercession in behalf of His people. On the earth, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Advent Movement was brought about with the specific responsibility of preaching the "everlasting gospel unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Rev 14:6).
This year the Adventist Church celebrates 150 years of history. But as we celebrate such an event let us not forget two realities. First, the Adventist Church came into existence by the direct intervention of Jesus. Second, she fulfils her mission under His direct assistance. "For without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).
In this special issue, Elder's Digest joins millions of Adventists around the world praising God for what Jesus has done. Let us regain the vision of our prophetic identity and mission and with the power of the Holy Spirit move on, overcoming the obstacles and making the dreams of the Global Mission come true in our time for the glory of God.
It is good at this point in our history, after 150 years of operating our church program, to read again the words of confidence that the servant of the Lord spoke so many years ago. It is good to refresh in our memories our commitment to the Lord as individuals and as a church. "In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.
"We are debtors to God to use every advantage He has entrusted to us to beautify the truth by holiness of character, and to send the messages of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin." E.G. White, Life Sketches, page 196.
Joel Sarli is an Associate Secretary of the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and editor of Elder's Digest. He is originally from Brazil where he worked as pastor, evangelist, ministerial secretary, and dean of the Theological Seminary at Brazil College. He has a D.Min. from Andrews University Theological Seminary. In 1984 he came to the North American Division and pastored in Toronto, New York and the Potomac Conference.