After completing his secondary schooling at Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin, in 1955, Angus McPhee was employed for the next six years as a clerk, cashier and supervisor in the Social Security Department in Christchurch, New Zealand. At a Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting (convention) at the end of 1961, influenced by the preaching of Pastor Ron Vince, a church youth leader, he decided to change his career, and attend Avondale College (the former Australasian Missionary College), Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia, and there study theology with a view to becoming a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
At the end of 1965 he graduated with a B.A. (Theology). Annita and he were married in January 1966. From then until the end of 2004 he has pastored churches in the North Island of New Zealand (where their three sons were born) for 9 years, in South Australia for 4 years, the Northern Territory for 3 years, back in South Australia for the next 24 years, and, later, voluntary work in the South Island of New Zealand. In all he has been in pastoral work with 35 congregations of various sizes, at one time for 6 congregations.
Further studies were done in theology at extension schools at Avondale College, culminating with an M.A. (Religion) from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
He is now retired from full-time ministry.
Because the Seventh-day Adventist Church grew out of a misinterpretation of Biblical prophecy by Baptist preacher, William Miller, who from 1831-1844 presented thousands of lectures in eight of the north-eastern states of the U.S.A., and in Washington, D.C., understandably the author has had more than a passing interest in those prophecies.
Believing that the sanctuary spoken of in Daniel 8 was the world and that it would be cleansed (Daniel 8:14, KJV) by fire, William Miller and his followers eventually expected the return (second advent) of Jesus Christ on October 22, 1844.1 Subsequent to their disappointment some then believed and taught that, beginning on the same date (October 22, 1844), the heavenly sanctuary had begun to be cleansed (Daniel 8:14 KJV) by an investigation of the books of record held there and by a second atonement, i.e., the blotting-out of those sins shown to be already recorded as forgiven.2
Thus the Seventh-day Adventist Church was born.
There have been many books and magazine articles published by the Seventh-day Adventist Church on this and related topics. Unfortunately there has been a complexity of material in some and a failure to address underlying issues in others. The author has often been frustrated in this respect
He now firmly believes that the simplest, in context, and Bible-based, explanation is the one that is closest to the truth. It is his hope that what is submitted herewith will bear this out!
Besides, he must confess to being motivated somewhat by the sentiment expressed in this statement:
“When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.” 3
And so it is his hope and prayer that you, the reader of these prophetic pictures of the dawn of a new day, might feel your heart “strangely warmed,” * and be rather encouraged to continue your walk with the Lord than to give up, if you have ever been so inclined.
* as was the heart of John Wesley on the evening of May 24, 1738, in a chapel in Aldersgate Street, London.4
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1 The KJV text of Daniel 8:14 reads: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” It is important to point out that William Miller and his supporters depended on and used the King James Version of the Bible in their presentations. The intricacies of the method used by Miller and the position urged by Samuel Stow and George Storrs, two of his supporters, that the return of Christ would occur on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Karaite (version of the Jewish) calendar, 1844, are well documented, explored and explained in Kai Arasola’s The End of Historicism, (dissertation submitted to the Theology Faculty of the University of Uppsala, 1989). “And now to contend that we were not mistaken is dishonest. We should never be ashamed to frankly confess our errors,” wrote William Miller in his Apology and Defense of 1845 (quoted by Arasola, page 19).
2 This whole process is known in the SDA Church as “the investigative judgment”. How this continues to be taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church might come as a surprise. See Appendix 7.
3 White, Ellen G., Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1962), 114.
4 John Wesley wrote this in his journal: “In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
Note: These chapters have grown from an article by the author published in the “Signs of the Times” (Warburton, VC: Signs Publishing Company, December 1993) and also a series of the author’s sermons on the books of Daniel and Revelation preached in the 1990s.
© 2010, Angus McPhee