By Dudley Ross Spurs
Notable among the date setters for the end of time have been such familiar names as William Miller, Hal Lindsay and a few more. But have you ever heard of such men as Montanus, Hans Hut, Thomas Muenzer or Melchior Hofmann? It is not likely that readers will be familiar with these names unless they are avid students of church history. But all of them have something in common. They are all very radical, unstable and have convinced people of their generation that they had the key to unlock all prophecies in the Bible.
William Miller, one of the founders of the Seventh-Day Adventist cult, set the date at 1843. People fanatically followed him and were deceived. Hans Hut was a fanatic preacher of the millennial concepts and set the date for the coming of Christ and the millennium in the summer of 1529. Then came Melchior Hofmann who set the year of 1533 as the time when this age would end. It is interesting that he claimed that Strassburg would be the New Jerusalem and that the magistrates would there set up the kingdom of God; that the new truth and the new baptism would prevail irresistibly throughout the earth. However, he was wrong about the date and died in jail in 1543. Then there were the famous “Fifth Monarchy Men” in England. Historians describe them as, “enthusiasts, misled by the study of prophecy” (A Short History of the Baptists, Vedder, p. 223).
It is really this simple. All prophecy regarding the reign of Christ has been fulfilled. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, not of this world (John 18:36). No one knows when the Lord will return and those who predict it are made fools by the progress of time (Matt. 24:36, 42). However, we may all know that when Jesus returns He will come to judge the wicked and righteous, not to set up a world government over which He will force His law on His subjects. Don’t be misled by the millennial miscalculations that come from fanatics.
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 18, p. 554
September 15, 1983