WORDS FROM W.W. January 11, 2011

Today has a lot of ones in it! It’s similar to January 1, except it has expanded to another one spot: 1-11-11. Days like this are perplexing. Some people put special emphasis on them. Others don’t, but at the same time are wondering if something strange is going to happen.
On October 10, 2010 (10-10) there were several special events and initiatives that took place. One organization (350.org) asked the questions “Where will you be on the tenth minute of the tenth hour of the tenth day of the tenth month of the tenth year?” The group then took those questions to point people to an emphasis on global climate issues and energy saving initiatives. Another group used 10-10-10 as a launch day to emphasis a cross-denominational initiative about starting healthy new churches.
I remember seeing a news story about thousands of couples getting married by Sun Yung Moon on 10-10-10.
So what might January 11 of 2011 at 11:11 hold?
The Bible does emphasize certain numbers. “7” is the number of completeness. If you read the book of Revelation you’ll see it mentioned a “number” of times. “12” indicated the number of tribes of Israel, plus the number of Jesus’ disciples. “40” has significance, “40 years in the desert”, 40 days in the wilderness”, etc.
But sometimes we like to make a certain date and time seem extra-significant because of it’s number scheme on the calendar. Using it as a launching for an environmental initiative is one thing, but using it to chart my future is another.
It reminds me of William Miller, who in 1833, first shared publicly his belief in the second coming of Christ. From his study of the scriptures, especially the book of Daniel, Miller became convinced that Jesus would return in 1843. From 1840 onward, “Millerism” ** was transformed from an obscure, regional scripture return to their towns and cities and promote the ideas of Millerism in their locales.
Based on his interpretation of Daniel 8:14 (“He said to me, ‘It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.’”), Miller determined that Jesus would return sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. When the time frame has passed the majority of the followers maintained their faith because of “the softness” of the time frame. Another man, Samuel Snow brought another interpretation to the setting and a new date of October 22, 1844 was established. Families sold their possessions and expected to be raptured into heaven.
But it didn’t happen!
Sometimes we, without malice, try to make something into something it isn’t. There is an increasing danger in an increasingly Biblical-illiterate world to believe that scripture says something that it doesn’t; or says something to support a position that has already been determined.
Signs are often seen where there are no signs. And, on the other hand, signs are missed when they are so evident. We look for some supernatural event at 11:11 on 1-11-11, but what God desires us to be about is helping the elderly woman who is struggling to carry her sacks of groceries out of the store.
We might be looking for a glow on the mountaintop, where as God might want us to lower our vision to a friend who is walking through a valley.
So, my friend, don’t squint too hard looking today. And if you don’t agree with that never fear. The ones will be expanded by one in exactly ten months: 11-11-11-11:11.

**- For a more extensive article on “Millerism”, use Wikipedia.org.

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2 Comments on ““1-11-11-11:11””

  1. Ed Says:

    Buy some white sheets for everyone to wear on May 21. I suppose you know the world is ending this year in October, after the Rapture in May. The latest Miller “clone” is Harold Camping of Family Radio, who also said the world would end in 1994. There are some interesting facts on him at the Apologetics Index site:

  2. gerry doty Says:

    Pastor Bill:
    If were still here after May, I’m glad you mentioned
    11-11-11, that is the day you will be buying pie for all of us old Vets.

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