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Summary: UTTERLY NEW ANTICIPATION IS THE HOPE GIVEN THAT WE MAY WALK IN THE LIGHT OF GOD!

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ADVENT: UTTERLY NEW ANTICIPATION

ISAIAH 2: 1-5

NOVEMBER 28, 2004

INTRODUCTION: In the late 19th Century in America, there was a wave of enthusiasm for prophecies predicting the actual date for Christ’s Second Coming.

One such prophet was an Adventist leader William Miller (1782-1849). And it is in his movement that both the JW’s and the Seventh Day Adventists find their roots.

Miller first predicted that Christ would return on 21st March 1842, but then revised the date to April 3, 1843. Over 3,500 of his followers jammed the Boston Advent Temple, only to be disappointed.

You might have thought that the movement would have died. But it didn’t. Rather it continued to grow.

Miller decided to recalculate his date for the

Second Coming and soon publicised a new

date - April 18, 1844. When the messiah did not show up on that date, there was again frustration and some followers left the Adventist ranks.

Undeterred by these failures, Miller came up with a third date - 22nd October 1844. The date was publicized as the Millerite publication True Midnight Cry. And, surprisingly, this third date surprisingly rallied his followers.

They began to spread the news of the new date of the second coming with an enthusiasm that had not seen before. Churches which did not accept this message were denounced as agents of “Babylon.” and the devil

And - despite opposition from established, mainline religious groups -, thousands of people – including many clergy – began to defect to the Millerite cult.

As doomsday approached, the Millerites began to prepare.

One account notes that “Fields were left unharvested, shops were closed, people quit their jobs, paid their debts, and freely gave away their possessions with no thought of repayment.”

Huge press runs of Advent publications like The Midnight Cry warned the public that “The Time Is Short”. “Prepare to Meet Thy God!” and “The Lord is Coming!”

William Miller himself began peddling white “ascension robes” to the faithful, many of whom waited for the miraculous event in freshly dug graves.

But as we all know, the Second Coming did not occur on 22nd October 1844. Contributed by: Martin Dale

TRANSITION THOUGHT: UTTERLY: COMPLETE, ABSOLUTE AND UNCONDITIONAL; NEW: RECENTLY MADE, DISCOVERED, INVENTED, ETC.; UNFAMILLIAR; NOT THE SAME AS BEFORE, DIFFERENT; NOT USED BEFORE. STARTING AFRESH; UNACCUSTOMED; ANTICIPATION: EXPECT; FORESEE; REALIZE BEFOREHAND; BE AHEAD OF TIME OR OF ANOTHER; FORESTALL.

What does this have to do with anything? It is all about Advent. The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.


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