Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22nd, 1844: Does it still mean anything?

For Seventh-day Adventist October 22nd, 1844 is forever engraved in our history, for out of what happened, or didn't happen on that date a movement arose (technically it had already started) and became known today as the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Brief History

During the Second Great Awakening a Baptist by the name of William Miller through the study of Bible prophecy came to realize that Jesus was coming soon. One of the main texts he used is found in Daniel 8:14: "Unto two-thousand and three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Miller had come to understand along with others that the 'sanctuary' that needed cleansing was this earth. He also concluded that the 2,300 day prophecy began around 457 B.C. and would conclude sometime between March 21 1843-March 21 1844.

Miller's preaching moved, and stirred hearts as others began to study the same prophecies. A man by the name of Samuel Snow was the one that eventually came up with the more specific date of October 22nd, 1844 as the date that Jesus would return to 'cleanse the earth (sanctuary)'.

Obviously Jesus didn't return and thousands of Millerites were 'disappointed' thus we have what is called 'The Great Disappointment.' After this date believers scattered into different 'sects' one can say. One of them led through careful study of the bible by people such as Hiram Edson, O.R.L. Crosier and F.B. Hahn began to understand that something did indeed happen on October 22nd, 1844 but it obviously wasn't here on earth. They began to believe that the 'cleansing of the sanctuary' of Daniel 8:14 was not the earth but the 'sanctuary' in heaven that needed cleansing. Here is where the doctrine of the 'Pre-Investigative judgment' began and as stated before, the Seventh-day Adventist church arose from.

For a bit more information on Seventh-day Adventist beliefs click HERE.

Significance for today?

1844 was 166 years ago today! Jesus has not yet come! Yes we say, 'He's coming soon', 'sooner today than yesterday', 'Jesus come soon!' Nonetheless it's been 166 years and counting. Yet a few questions that Seventh-day Adventist perhaps need to ask themselves is if this date so engrained in our church still has any real significance in our lives? What does it really mean for us? Does it have any implications on us today in this 21st. century world?

If you're not a Seventh-day Adventist and reading this post (I know there are some) would love for you to click the link above, go online, google 'Great Disappointment', learn about what happen and lets talk about what this date means here at 'Bathos.'

Many, many, people have died believing that 'Jesus is coming soon', believing and even understanding the significance of this date. But did understanding the significance of this date change the way they lived out the rest of their lives once they comprehended everything surrounding October 22nd, 1844?

You see the bottom line to a great degree is this. Once we have understood biblically what happened on October 22nd, 1844, then what? Good doctrinal information without transformation makes at best a person simply informed.

So this post is not about explaining everything that happened on October 22nd, 1844, it's not about unpacking the often debated 'Pre-Advent judgment' doctrine that we as Seventh-day Adventist believe. No, because if you call yourself a Seventh-day Adventist than you should already have some kind of grasp of what it's all about. The question again though is: Has it had any significance on how you live your life?


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