Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”
It happened 172 years ago. A group of people joined a New York Baptist farmer, William Miller, in expecting the Lord Jesus Christ to return in fulfillment of His promise, "I will come again" on a certain date, October 22, 1844.
Of course, they were mistaken and their experience became known as the "Great Disappointment," for it was widely publicized. Their belief grew out of the study of Daniel 8:14, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days [which they correctly understood as literal years]; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" (KJV). It was the general assumption in the churches that "the sanctuary" is this earth to be cleansed with fire at the second coming. The assumption was wrong but they had the date right: "the sanctuary" is the heavenly one to be cleansed by the heart preparation of a people ready to meet Jesus when He does return.
Does the genuine Holy Spirit ever permit people to be "disappointed" if they haven't studied? Yes! He permitted the Lord's disciples to suffer a terrible disappointment in His crucifixion, because they misunderstood the event. The true Holy Spirit was working in that 1844 movement for it heralded the beginning of Christ's closing ministry as High Priest in the Most Holy Apartment ministry of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Pentecost heralded the beginning of His ministry in the first apartment.
But the ridicule heaped on William Miller has burgeoned into a dislike to think of anyone living to see Jesus return. "Everybody will die" is freely said repeatedly; but the apostle Paul boldly says the opposite: "Listen! I will unfold a mystery: we shall not all die, but we shall all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet-call. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise immortal, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor. 15:50-52, The New English Bible).
Now the question faces us: is the second coming of Christ near? Can we still cherish what Paul also said is the "blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ"? (Titus 2:11-14).
In our zeal to ridicule that sincere and godly Baptist minister of long ago let's not sacrifice a fundamental Bible truth for today. Jesus is coming again--soon. And He intends that people now living will see Him come.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 29, 2007.
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