October is a very important month for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
On October 22, 1844 the advent movement (there was no Seventh Day Adventist Church until 1863) went through a great disappointment, when their expectations of seeing Jesus’ second coming were frustrated. They had come from all existing denominations and paths of life at the time, and had left all behind for the sweet expectation to be taken to heaven with their Lord. However, on October 22, 1844 life continued as usual; no trumpet sound, no disasters, no Jesus sitting on the clouds of heaven. All there was left was disappointment and questions. Why hadn’t Jesus come? Were they not ready? Had they not done all they should’ve? And lastly, is it possible that they were wrong? If so, where had they made the mistake?
Contrary to what common sense dictated, a small group decided that instead of doing what others were doing (returning to their churches of origin or giving up religion altogether) they would press on studying the Bible, and find out what had happened. Their sincere, honest efforts and prayers were rewarded, with the revelation that Christ had begun the second phase of his ministry in heaven, as foreshadowed in the Bible. This understanding also opened their understanding that the message of the first angel had been preached and rejected, while the message of the second angel, also in Revelation 14 was being preached in their time. Among many other, this understanding did three things: 1) revived the hope of the second coming, 2) made evident that the message of the third angel (Rev. 14: 9-11) was still to be preached. and 3) laid the foundation for, and establishment of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, a well recognized and respected Christian denomination today, which fulfills the threefold mission of the Gospel: Heal, Evangelizing and Educating.
All Seventh Day Adventists in Tokyo, and around the world: be proud of the church you belong to; be proud of the message that you bear; but moreover, live up to the calling you have, to preach the final message to this world. Happy Anniversary!