150 years ago, thousands of people around the world, but mainly from the United States, preached with excitement that Jesus was coming to take His children home to heaven on October 22, 1844. Their proof? A prophecy in Daniel 8:14.
Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (KJV)
For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state. (ESV)
Using clues from the next chapter, the believers determined the starting date of the prophecy, and using another common prophetic tool, the day-year principle, they counted 2,300 years from that date—10/22/1844.
Of course, we know that Jesus didn’t come in 1844. The careful Bible students had gotten the event all wrong. Jesus’ second coming will happen on a “day and hour that no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Mathew 24:36). The people were sincere, and had done a good job of studying the Bible, but they had a few things confused. They didn’t understand the passage completely. They thought the sanctuary to be cleansed or restored was the earth, when in fact, it was the Heavenly Sanctuary.
What do we do when don’t understand something? When we suddenly realize we are wrong, or we can’t seem to figure anything out? Some people who had strongly believed Jesus was coming soon in 1844 left the faith altogether, or at least abandoned any hope of Jesus ever coming back again. Others simply continued believing in Jesus, and faithfully followed Him to the best of their abilities. Still others studied the Bible more, and prayed more, trying to figure out what they had missed!
God blessed those people who kept praying and studying, and soon they began to glimpse a picture so amazing that they couldn’t keep it to themselves. They realized that Daniel 7 and 8 were tied together, and that the date that some call The Great Disappointment ought to have been called The Great Appointment, when Jesus Christ received the title of High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When troubles come up and you don’t know what went wrong, what do you do? Do you abandon your faith? Or do you fall on your knees and ask God to guide you, and keep going until everything is figured out?
The Millerite group in 1844 weren’t the only ones who didn’t understand this vision. Daniel became so depressed that he got sick.
“And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.”
God answered Daniel’s prayer in a very special way, but that is a story we’ll look at in the next chapter.
Until then, don’t let life’s challenges keep you from Jesus! Keep focusing on Christ alone–His Kingdom and His righteousness–and you will have everything else you need.
Timmy Baze 😀