Sabbath School Lesson for May 11-17, 2024

Overview of Lesson 7, Motivated by Hope

Memory Text: “And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.’ ” Isaiah 25:9 NKJV

Being motivated by hope, God’s faithful followers have waited for many centuries for their salvation to be complete in the Second Coming of Christ. But our hope shouldn’t be overshadowed by grief and sorrow, despite the tough times we experience in this dark world. Those who came before us did not always have an easy time either.

Amazingly, however, we are buoyed up and made glad by the knowledge of His Coming. Even our patient waiting can be a time of rejoicing, if we fully understand the happy ending described in God’s prophetic word.

The prophecies haven’t always been clear to us. But following the longest, prophetic time period of 2,300 days/years in Daniel 8:14, the light slowly came to some of the Adventists who had been disappointed by William Miller’s failed prediction in 1844.

Read chapters 18-21 of “The Great Controversy”, to learn more about an American Reformer, named William Miller and the Great Religious Awakening of the 18th and 19th centuries.

This lesson covers…

  • Sunday: The Promise of His Return–what we have to look forward to
  • Monday: Anticipating the Time–what will the Second Coming be like
  • Tuesday: William Miller and the Bible–how did William Miller study the Bible
  • Wednesday: The 2,300 Days of Danial 8:14–why is God’s time line important
  • Thursday: The Longest Prophetic Time Line–when did the 2,300-day/year prophecy begin and end

Sunday: The Promise of His Return

Jesus’ promise to return to this earth has been the blessed hope of generations of faithful Christians. The early apostolic church, many of the Protestant Reformers, and the pilgrims who came to the New World joyfully embraced this promise. Like them, we must keep our focus on the earth  made new. It will be a world of peace and joy–an end to the suffering and death we now endure.

Satan has done his best, however, to make the Second Coming something fearful, not something to be embraced. He has warped the truth about what happens after death, making it all the easier to instill fear of God, instead of love. The manner and timing of His Coming has been blurred and misunderstood.

Paul comforted the Thessalonians when they saw their loved ones die before the great event of His Coming (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). His reminder that death was but a sleep, a temporary time to rest in the grave, relieved their grief, as it should relieve ours. There’s a great resurrection to look forward to sharing. Together we will meet the Lord.

Bible Verses:

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, John 14:1-3, and Titus 2:11-14

How is looking forward to the Second Coming made easier with a correct understanding of the state of the dead?

How does it comfort us to know where our loved ones are when they die, and when we might see them again?

Monday: Anticipating the Time

Israel and most of the Jews, even the disciples, had misunderstood Jesus at His first Coming. Only a few, such as Simeon and Anna in the temple, were looking for the redemption of Israel (Luke 2:25, 38). It was thought by most of the Jews that the Messiah would free them from their bondage to Rome. They pictured Him as a conquering general and failed to notice His quiet, humble birth and ministry.

On the other hand, Satan has once again been successful in confusing the manner of Christ’s Second Coming. Some Christians are seeing it as a quiet, secret affair (a doctrine called the secret rapture). And others believe the prophecies about it are all symbolic and spiritual, and won’t happen in a literal, tangible way.

But the Scriptures clearly indicate that it will be visible and audible to all (Matthew 24:27, 30, 31). This time He will come in all His glory, as a conquering King of kings and Lord of lords.

Someone has estimated that there are 1,845 references of the Second Coming in the Old Testament, and 300 in the New Testament. Satan knows that such an important doctrine as this must be attacked, and he’s been very successful in causing people to misinterpret this vital redemptive event. Many twisted ideologies have been invented to cause us to put off preparing for our salvation.

Bible Verses:

  • Matthew 24:27, 30, 31

How visible and audible will the Second Coming be?

  • Acts 1:9-11 and Revelation 1:7

What are some of the ways people are misled about the manner and timing of the Second Coming and how are these confusing, false beliefs harmful?

Tuesday: William Miller and the Bible

William Miller was a Reformer of the nineteenth century who preached fervently about the Second Coming of Christ. Just as Martin Luther and others studied their Bibles and uncovered the truth about justification by faith, this humble farmer studied his Bible, trying to learn as much as he could about God’s salvation. His careful, historical approach to Bible study led Miller to the understanding that Christ’s Second Coming was nearer than they thought.

He determined that prophecy was best learned by letting the Bible interpret itself. For instance…

  • beasts represent kings or kingdoms (Daniel 7:17, 23)
  • waters represent inhabited areas or people (Revelation 17:15)
  • woman represents the church (Jeremiah 6:2 and 2 Corinthians 11:2)

Thus, comparing Bible passages, here a little, there a little, as described in Isaiah 28:9, 10, William Miller discovered, through a careful reading and study of the entire Bible, that the likelihood of Christ’s coming at the end of the 2,300-year prophecy in Daniel 8:14, would be in 1844.

Bible Verses:

  • Isaiah 28:9, 10, Proverbs 8:8, 9, John 16:13, and 2 Peter 1:19-21

What principles of Bible study do we find in these verses?

  • Daniel 1:17, 2:45, 1 Peter 1:10, 11, and Revelation 1:1-3

What is the role of the Holy Spirit, when it comes to our study of the Bible?

Wednesday: The 2,300 Days of Daniel 8:14

Other Protestant Reformers weren’t given all the truth at once  They uncovered special gems of truth that were needed at the time. William Miller’s joyful, hope-filled discovery was no different.

God evidently has a timetable that He shares with His people to help prepare them for certain events. William Miller thought that the 2,300 days mentioned in Daniel 8 and 9 must be of great importance. And he set out to find out when that time began, so he would know when it would end.

He was correct in predicting the time when something important would happen–when the sanctuary would be cleansed (Daniel 8:14). He was just incorrect about the location and purpose of the event. Others would need to follow and uncover a better understanding of God’s sanctuary in heaven.

Regardless of Miller’s miscalculation of the event, the date was no doubt significant in marking the beginning of the “time of the end”. Christians would still need to get ready for the grand Second Coming that Miller was so fond of which preaching about.

Bible Verses:

  • Mark 1:15, Galatians 4:4, and Romans 5:6

How do these verses show us that God had a timeline for the First Advent?

  • Daniel 8:14

Why would it be natural for William Miller to assume that this cleansing of the sanctuary marked the end of the world?

Thursday: The Longest Prophetic Time Line

Daniel was especially troubled by his vision in Daniel 8. Especially disheartening was the 2,300 days, which Daniel assumed must be 2,300 years till the sanctuary would be cleansed (Daniel 8:14). Would it really be that long before our salvation would be complete, he must have wondered. An angel came to interpret the vision several years later, giving the prophet Daniel more guidance on what to expect for God’s people.

In order to know when the 2,300 years would be over, William Miller needed to know when it would start. Daniel 9:25 seemed to provide the information he needed. “That from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem” must be the starting point for this amazing prophecy.

There were actually three decrees that sent Jews back to their home country. But the third one in 457 B.C. was the most complete directive, and it fit perfectly with the events in the rest of the vision. This would be exactly when the anointing of the Messiah (His baptism in 27 A.D.) and His death (being “cut off” in the middle of the week in 31 A.D.) would happen.

It was therefore obvious to William Miller that the sanctuary would be cleansed in the year 1844 A.D.

Bible Verses:

  •  Daniel 9:24-27

Although the 2,300 days are not mentioned here, what do these verses tell us about when they would start?

Friday: Final Thoughts

Many have wondered why God allowed Miller’s mistake on what would happen on October 22, 1844. But Ellen White saw that their Great Disappointment nevertheless served a purpose for God’s faithful followers. She wrote in The Great Controversy, p. 353…

“…in His providence the people were brought to the test of a definite time, in order to reveal to them what was in their hearts. The message was designed for the testing and purification of the church. They were led to see whether their affections were set upon this world or upon Christ and heaven. enable them to discern their true spiritual state; it was sent in mercy to arouse them to seek the Lord with repentance and humiliation.”

Next week, our lesson will be based on chapters 22-24 and 28 of “The Great Controversy” .

Next Week: Light From the Sanctuary

To read the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly and see more resources for its study, go to