FRIDAY MORNING MANNA December 7, 2018
Nathaniel Fajardo Email: email@example.com
Tracing the Advent Movement from Its Embryonic Origins
God still works in mysterious ways. This past Sunday evening, as I sat in front of my computer, my eyes wandered on its own towards a faded, soft-bound book squeezed between larger books arranged in my computer’s book shelf. (I am old school, preferring to read directly from the book itself where my fingers can feel its pages and hear the soft, rustling sound as I flip through them. Sorry. E-books deny me this satisfaction).
With the book’s position, it was impossible to see its title until I righted it. Here’s why I quickly concluded that this was no fluke or happenstance. The book’s title? “Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists With Tokens of God’s Hand in the Movement and a Brief Sketch of the Advent Cause from 1831 to 1844” by John N. Loughborough, published 1892, Battle Creek, Michigan. I couldn’t have asked for more or researched for additional material regarding the topic we are currently serializing. It was there in front of me!
I recall acquiring it at a church yard sale in the early 1990’s. It somehow got lost in the shuffle. No longer now. The unusual way and timing tells me it would be denying the Holy Spirit’s leading if I fail to share these additional enlightenment on our topic by a diligent student of prophecy and a keen observer of the earliest stages of the late nineteenth century movements leading up to the intense three-and-half year period, 1840 to 1844.
While we correctly pointed out earlier the clear parallel of the Exodus and Advent movements, a massive, God-led movement transpired between them, forming the Christian Era bridge that spanned the centuries, linking the Mosaic dispensation and the dispensation of the “time of the end” reckoned from 1798, and moving onward till it reaches October 1844–the culminating date of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8: 14.
The Reformation Movement in the Old World Paralleled with the Advent Movement in Europe, Middle East, and the New World
Loughborough says in Chapter II, “God’s Hand in The Advent Movement,” p. 15-17: —
“[2 Pet. 1: 16-18 quoted]. The scope of this book is not to present the proofs of the Advent doctrine, but rather to call its attention to its rise and progress, leaving the reader to study the argument as presented in other volumes. D’Aubigne, in his ‘History of the Reformation’ of the sixteenth century, presents as one indisputable proof of God’s hand in the work, the fact that men, in different countries, with no knowledge of one another, were moved upon to investigate, and came before their respective countrymen, to herald the doctrine of pardon and salvation through Christwithout the imposed penance and absolution of the Catholic Church.
“If this fact is an evidence of God’s hand in the Reformation in the sixteenth century, why is it not an evidence that He is in the Advent movement in the nineteenth century? for at this time men in different parts of the world, without any knowledge of one another, have been moved to investigate the Scriptures, and embracing the doctrine of the near coming of Christ, have zealously proclaimed it to their respective countrymen, until in the years 1831 to 1844 their combined efforts gave the message to the entire civilized world -–literally to every nation on earth. If a heavenly stamp was given to the Reformation from the manner of its rise, we claim the same for this Second Advent proclamation.”- Ibid, pp. 15-16.
“Comparing the rise of the Reformation in Germany with that in Switzerland, the historian [D’Aubigne] says: ‘Germany did not communicate the truth to Switzerland, nor Switzerland to France, nor France to England. All these countries received it from God, just as one part of the world does not transmit the light to another part; but the same shining orb communicates it directly to all earth. Christ, the Dayspring from on high, infinitely exalted above all mankind, was, at the period of the Reformation, as that of the establishment of Christianity, the divine fire which gave life to the world. In the sixteenth century, one and the same doctrine was at once established in the homes and churches of the most distant and diversified nations. The reason is, that the same Holy Spiritwas everywhere at work producing the same faith.
“The Reformation of Germany and that of Switzerland demonstrates this truth. Zwingli had no intercourse with Luther. There was, no doubt, a link between these two men; but we must search for it above the earth. He who from heaven gave the truth to Luther, gave it to Zwingli. God was the medium of communication between them. ‘I began to preach the gospel,’ says Zwingli, ‘in the year of grace 1516, in other words, at a time when the name of Luther had never been heard in our country. I did not learn the doctrine of Christ from Luther, but from the word of God. If Luther preaches Christ, he does what I do; that is all.’ – “History of the Reformation,” book VIII, chap. 1, pars 2, 3.
“Speaking of the work of Farel and Lefevre in France, the historian says:– ‘The Reformation in France, therefore, was not a foreign importation. It had its birth on the French soil; it germinated in Paris; it had its first roots in the university itself, which formed the second power in Roman Christendom. God placed the principles of the work in the honest hearts of men of Picardy and Dauphiny before its commencement in any other country.
“We have seen that the Swiss Reformation was independent of the German Reformation. The French Reformation in its turn independent of both. The work began at once in different countries . . . . as in a battle, all the different forces comprising the army move at the same instant, though the one does not tell the other, because one and the same command, proceeding from the same commander-in-chief, is heard by all. . .” –Ibid, book XII, chap II, par. 10.
“Of the Reformation in England, under Thos, Bliney, Fryth, Tyndale, and others, D’Aubigne further says: — ‘There was in all these countries of Christendom a simultaneous action of the divine word. The origin of the Reformation at Oxford, Cambridge, London, was the Greek New Testament published by Erasmus . . .’
The Advent Movement arose in a similar manner to that above traced in the Reformation. Men were moved out simultaneously in various parts of the world, with no knowledge of, or any communication of sentiment with, one another, and began the proclamation of the same Scripture truths, not simply in four nations of the earth, but to the whole [then-known] world.
“In 1831 Joseph Wolff, D.D., was sent as a missionary from Great Britain to labor among the Jews of Palestine. He, ‘according to his journals, between the years 1821 and 1845, proclaimed the Lord’s speedy advent in Palestine, Egypt, on the shores of the Red Sea, Mesopotamia, Crimea, Persia, Georgia, throughout the Ottoman empire, in Greece, Arabia, Turkey, Bokhara, Afghanistan, Cashmere, Hindustan, Tibet, in Holland, Scotland, Ireland, at Constantinople, Jerusalem, St. Helena, also on shipboard in the Mediterranean, and at New York City, to all denominations. He declares that he has preached among Jews, Turks, Yeseedes [cruelly targeted by ISIS as ‘apostates’], Syrians, Sabcans, to pasha, sheiks, shahs, the kings of Organthsh, and Bokhara, the queen of Greece, etc.’- “Voice of the Church,” p. 343.
“In Yemen, the region inhabited by the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law [Zipporah’s father], Joseph Wolff saw a book of which he thus speaks: ‘The Arabs of this place have a book called ‘Seera,’ [‘sura’ or ‘surah’] which treats of the second coming of Christ, and His reign in glory. – ’’Wolff’s Mission to Bokhara.”
“In Yemen he spent six days with the Rechabites*, of whom he says: — ‘They drink no wine, plant no vineyards, sow no seed, live in tents, and remember the words of Jonadab the son of Rechab. With them were children of Israel, of the tribe of Dan, who reside near Terim in Hatramawt, who expect, in common with the children of Rechab, the speedy arrival of the Messaiah in the clouds of heaven.’ – Wolff’s “Mission to Bokhara.”
“We see, from the above, that the doctrine of the Second Advent had preceded the visit of Joseph Wolff to Yemen, as the Rechabites and Arabs held the doctrine when he visited them, and the latter had the book, ‘Seera’ treating upon that theme. D. T. Taylor, in the ‘Voice of the Church,’ says of the Advent doctrine, ‘It has been extensively agitated in Germany, particularly in the South among the Moravians.’ An English writer, Mourant Brock, informs us that in Wurtemberg there was a Christian colony numbering hundreds, who looked for the speedy advent of Christ.’ The doctrine was proclaimed in some parts of Germany by Hengstenberg, at that time, the most talented theologian of Germany.
“At La Porte, Indiana, in the year 1858, the writer had a lengthy interview with an intelligent German brother by the name of Swartz. He told me that during 1840 to 1844 he was a member of a Lutheran church in Germany. The pastor of that church was a faithful student of the writings of Bengel, the commentator of earlier times, who died, according to Dr.Schaff, Nov. 1, 1751. This pastor wrote a book on the prophecies and the prophetic periods, claiming that the Lord would come about 1843. He preached the doctrine quite extensively from place to place, and supposed that he and his followers would have to present it to other nations. To their great surprise, after a few months they learned of what was already being done to enlighten the world in regard to the Master’s coming.
“From a letter written by Elder L. R. Conradi from Wiesbaden, Germany, dated July 31, 1891, we gain the following interesting particulars respecting the Advent movement in Germany: —
‘Henri Leonhard Kleber was a school-teacher in Bavaria, and wrote a number of pamphlets. The following I found in the catalogue from which you will get some idea as to the contents and design of the books: ‘The End is Coming: Proved by the word of God, and the latest events, in a convincing manner, so as to remove all prejudice against the waiting for our Lord, and against setting the definite time for His advent.’ Stuttgart, 1841, second edition. The German title is, ‘Das Ende Kommut.’ ‘The Antichrist,’ Weimar, 1841, 4the edition.’— Ibid, pp. 17-19.
‘Brother Schache, from Austria, who during that time was in the province of Silesia, and labored part of the time in the interest of the home mission of Father Goszner, a noted German evangelical divine, gives the following items as to the pamphlets of the above author:
‘After 1836, or when the date of Bengel’s computation had expired, there appeared in the Schweidnitz county paper a notice from the book store of Mr. Sommerfeld there, concerning the book from Henry L. Kleber concerning the great and glad events which were to take place in the year 1843 and 1844. . . . . We procured the said book, and read it with a number of interested persons, with doors locked, in the year 1839-1840. The book showed from Daniel, the Revelation, and Matthew 24, that the end was at hand, and had also a table of computation, showing how the above date [1843 and1844] was reached.”- Ibid, pp.19, 20.
*Rechab’s son, Jonadab, was the founder of the Rechabites who, though offered by prophet Jeremiah, firmly refused to drink wine in obedience to Jonadab’s command. God used their example to condemn the unfaithfulness and disobedience of Israel and Judah towards Him. See Jer. 5: 1-19. (Continued next week)