By the time John Wesley came up with his prediction, it seemed as if everyone was making them. No one was as big as Wesley at that time; after all he was the founder of the Methodist church. He started his preaching talking in open spaces, you know like every other nut-job screaming that the end is near. The difference is that Wesley, unlike most loons that scream about the end of days actually got a following.
Wesley just like anyone who needed some credibility those days started his very own interpretation of the bible. When he got to Revelation 12:14 (“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent”) somehow he got that it meant that the world would end in 1836… yeah we don’t know either.
He started preaching that the passage referred to the years 1058 to 1836 and that is why Jesus should come back on that year. Needless to say the year ended and Jesus did not return nor did the world end. That big failure of course was not enough to make him the recipient of ridicule in fact he still became the leader of an entire movement. Maybe it was because there was no internet then.
His idea was that in 1836 “wicked powers” would be overthrown and then there would be a thousand years of peace. After that, the horned one would be unleashed pitch fork and all at which time Jesus and the saints would be watching the world having an ale and popcorn (Ok that last part was ours). Then Jesus would come down and destroy all evil and the planet with fire (I wonder how that would go in the ocean).
John Wesley, yet another failure with his own religion! I bet they do not focus on that during sermon.