Chapter 2 - Signs of Christs Return

      Compilation of writings of Ellen G. White on the topic . . .

                          S i g n s    of    C h r i s t ' S    r e t u r n                                   

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                                            o u r     l o r d' s     g r e a t     p r o p h e c y                                                                      

 

  Christ forewarned His disciples of the distruction of Jerusalem and the signs to take place prior to the coming of the Son of Man. The whole of the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is a prophecy concerning the events to precede this event, and the distruction of Jerusalem is used to typify the last great distruction of the world by fire. -- Ms 77, 1899   { LDE 18.1 } 

 

Christ upon the Mount of Olives rehearsed the fearful judgments that were to precede His second coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: ... Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” [Matthew 24:6-8]. While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application in the last days.—Testimonies for the Church, Vol.  5, page 753 (1899). { LDE 18.2} 
Complete Quote:  These lessons are for our benefit. We need to stay our faith upon God, for there is just before us a time that will try men’s souls. Christ, upon the Mount of Olives, rehearsed the fearful judgments that were to precede His second coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days. { 5T 753.1} 

                  ( . . . ) is "See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."                                                                    Note:  "times that try men's souls"  written by Thomas Paine in 1776

 

                             s i g n s    i n    t h e    h e a v e n s

                             

 At the close of the great papal persecution, Christ declared, the sun should be darkened, and the moon should not give her light. Next, the stars should fall from heaven. And He says, “Learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that He is near, even at the doors” ( Matthew 24:32, 33, margin).  { LDE 19.1} 

Christ has given signs of His coming. He declares that we may know when He is near, even at the doors. He says of those who see these signs, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” These signs have appeared. [Footnote: See Great Controversy, 306-308, 333, 334.]  Now we know of a surety that the Lord’s coming is at hand.—The Desire of Ages, page 632 (1898). { LDE 19.2}                                                                                                    

Original Quote:  At the close of the great papal persecution, Christ declared, the sun should be darkened, and the moon should not give her light. Next, the stars should fall from heaven. And He says, “Learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that He is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:32, 33, margin. { DA 632.1} 

Christ has given signs of His coming. He declares that we may know when He is near, even at the doors. He says of those who see these signs, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” These signs have appeared. Now we know of a surety that the Lord’s coming is at hand. “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” He says, “but My words shall not pass away.” { DA 632.2} 

   

Footnote 1:  Great Controversy, p. 306   "Twenty-five years later appeared the next sign mentioned in the prophecy — the darkening of the sun and moon. What rendered this more striking was the fact that the time of its fulfillment had been definitely pointed out. In the Saviour’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church,— the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised that the tribulation should be shortened,—He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” Mark 13:24. The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled."  { GC 306.1} 

 

 

                             s i g n s    o n    t h e    e a r t h

 

  Jesus declares: “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations” ( Luke 21:25; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-26; Revelation 6:12-17). Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to “know that it is near, even at the doors” ( Matthew 24:33).—The Great Controversy, 37, 38 (1911).  { LDE 19.3} 

 Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape; so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Jesus declares: “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations.” (Luke 21:25; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-26; Revelation 6:12-17).  Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to “know that it is near, even (page 38) at the doors.” Matthew 24:33.  “Watch ye therefore,” are His words of admonition. Mark 13:35. They that heed the warning shall not be left in darkness, that that day should overtake them unawares. But to them that will not watch, “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5. { GC 37.2} 

   Conference call ended here on Dec. 5, 2019

 

The nations are in unrest. Times of perplexity are upon us. Men’s hearts are failing them for fear of the things that are coming upon the earth. But those who believe in God will hear His voice amid the storm, saying, “It is I; be not afraid.”— The Signs of the Times, October 9, 1901.  { LDE 19.4}  

We are living in a time that calls for decided action. The world is more bitterly opposed than ever to Gospel reform. But notwithstanding this, God’s work is to go forward. The words of Christ come down to us who are living at the close of the earth’s history: “When these things shall begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” The nations are in unrest. Times of perplexity are upon us. Men’s hearts are failing them for fear of the things that are coming upon the earth. But those who believe in God will hear His voice amid the storm, saying, “It is I; be not afraid.” The world is lying in wickedness and apostasy. Rebellion to God’s law seems almost universal. But amid the tumult of excitement, with confusion in every place, there is a work to be done for God in the world.  { ST October 9, 1901, par. 11 }

   

 

Strange and eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven—events which it was declared should shortly precede the great day of God. Everything in the world is in an unsettled state.—Manuscript Releases 3:313 (1908). { LDE 20.1} 

  We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecies are fulfilling. Strange and eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven—events which it was declared should shortly precede the great day of God. Everything in the world is in an unsettled state. The nations are angry, and great preparations for war are being made. Nation is plotting against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The great day of God is hastening greatly. But although the nations are mustering their forces for war and bloodshed, the command to the angels is still in force that they hold the four winds until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.— Manuscript 117, 1908. { 3MR 313.1 } 

   

 

                              f a l s e    p r o p h e t s                                

 

  As one of the signs of Jerusalem’s destruction, Christ had said, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” [Matthew 24:11].  False prophets did rise, deceiving the people and leading great numbers into the desert. Magicians and sorcerers, claiming miraculous power, drew the people after them into the mountain solitudes. But this prophecy was spoken also for the last days. This sign is given as a sign of the second advent.— The Desire of Ages, page 631.1  (1898).  { LDE 20.2} 

   Now, in unmistakable language, our Lord speaks of His second coming, and He gives warning of dangers to precede His advent to the world. “If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” As one of the signs of Jerusalem’s destruction, Christ had said, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” False prophets did rise, deceiving the people, and leading great numbers into the desert. Magicians and sorcerers, claiming miraculous power, drew the people after them into the mountain solitudes. But this prophecy was spoken also for the last days. This sign is given as a sign of the second advent. Even now false christs and false prophets are showing signs and wonders to seduce His disciples. Do we not hear the cry, “Behold, He is in the desert”? Have not thousands gone forth into the desert, hoping to find Christ? And from thousands of gatherings where men profess to hold communion with departed spirits is not the call now heard, “Behold, He is in the secret chambers”? This is the very claim that spiritism puts forth. But what says Christ? “Believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  { DA 631.1} 

   


We shall encounter false claims, false prophets will arise, there will be false dreams and false visions, but preach the Word; be not drawn away from the voice of God in His Word.— Selected Messages 2:49 (1894).  { LDE 20.3} 

We shall encounter false claims; false prophets will arise; there will be false dreams and false visions; but preach the Word, be not drawn away from the voice of God in His Word.  Let nothing divert the mind. The wonderful, the marvelous, will be represented and presented. Through satanic delusions, wonderful miracles, the claims of human agents will be urged. Beware of all this. {2SM 49.1}   Christ has given warning, so that none need accept falsehood for truth. The only channel through which the Spirit operates is that of the truth.... Our faith and hope are founded, not in feeling, but in God. —Letter 12, 1894. { 2SM 49.2} 

   

 

I have been shown many who will claim to be especially taught of God, and will attempt to lead others, and from mistaken ideas of duty they will undertake a work that God has never laid upon them. Confusion will be the result. Let everyone seek God most earnestly for himself that he may individually understand His will.— Selected Messages Book 2, page 72.1 (1893).  { LDE 20.4} 

I have been shown many who will claim to be especially taught of God, and will attempt to lead others, and from mistaken ideas of duty they will undertake a work that God has never laid upon them. Confusion will be the result. Let everyone seek God most earnestly for himself that he may individually understand His will.— Letter 54, 1893. { 2SM 72.1} 

   

 

                  a n    e x p e r i e n c e    w i t h    a    f a l s e    p r o p h e t    

 

Last night a young man, a stranger to us all, but professing to be a brother from Victoria [Australia], called upon us and asked to see Sister White. It was evening and I declined seeing him. We invited him to remain with us during the night, however, and to take breakfast. After our usual morning worship, as we were about to go to our various employments, this young man arose and with a commanding gesture requested us to sit down. He said, “Have you any hymnbooks? We will sing a hymn, then I have a message to give you.” I said, “If you have a message, give it without delay, for we are very much pressed to get off the American mail and have no time to lose.” He then began to read something he had written, which stated among other things that the judgment has now begun upon the living.... { LDE 21.1} 
   I listened as he went on and finally said, “My brother, you are not exactly in your right mind. State plainly how your message concerns us. Please let us know at once. Your mind is overstrained, you misapprehend your work. Much that you have said is in accordance with the Bible, and we believe every word of that. But you are overexcited. Please state what you have for us.” { LDE 21.2} 

   Well, he said that we must pack up and move at once to Battle Creek. I asked his reasons, and he responded, “To give this message that the judgment has begun upon the living.” I answered him, “The work which the Lord has given us to do is not yet finished. When our work here is completed we are sure the Lord will let us know that it is time for us to move to Battle Creek, instead of teaching you our duty”.... I left him for Brother Starr to talk with further while I resumed my writing. { LDE 21.3} 

   He told Brother Starr that when Sister White spoke to him so kindly, and yet with such authority, he began to see that he had made a mistake, that the impressions which had moved him so strongly were not consistent or reasonable. Although our family is large, consisting of ten members, besides three visitors, we decided to have this young man stay with us for a time. We dare not have him go with people who will treat him harshly and condemn him, neither do we want him to repeat his “revelations.” We will have him remain for a little time where we can associate with him and if possible lead him in safe, sure paths.— Letter 66, 1894. { LDE 22.1} 

 

This letter is not found on Complete writings of EGW - CD

 

                 g l u t t o n y    a n d    i n t e m p e r a n c e  

 

Gluttony and intemperance lie at the foundation of the great moral depravity in our world. Satan is aware of this and he is constantly tempting men and women to indulge the taste at the expense of health and even life itself. Eating, drinking, and dressing are made the aim of life with the world. Just such a state of things existed before the Flood. And this state of dissipation is one of the marked evidences of the soon close of this earth’s history.— Letter 34, 1875.  { LDE 22.2} 

Letter 34, 1875  not found - - I will keep looking

   

The picture which Inspiration has given of the antediluvian world represents too truly the condition to which modern society is fast hastening. — Patriarchs and Prophets, 102 (1890). { LDE 22.3} 

  A similar condition of things exists now. That which is lawful in itself is carried to excess. Appetite is indulged without restraint. Professed followers of Christ are today eating and drinking with the drunken, while their names stand in honored church records. Intemperance benumbs the moral and spiritual powers and prepares the way for indulgence of the lower passions. Multitudes feel under no moral obligation to curb their sensual desires, and they become the slaves of lust. Men are living for the pleasures of sense; for this world and this life alone. Extravagance pervades all circles of society. Integrity is sacrificed for luxury and display. They that make haste to be rich pervert justice and oppress the poor, and “slaves and souls of men” are still bought and sold. Fraud and bribery and theft stalk unrebuked in high places and in low. The issues of the press teem with records of murder—crimes so cold-blooded and causeless that it seems as though every instinct of humanity were blotted out. And these atrocities have become of so common occurrence that they hardly elicit a comment or awaken surprise. The spirit of anarchy is permeating all nations, and the outbreaks that from time to time excite the horror of the world are but indications of the pent-up fires of passion and lawlessness that, having once escaped control, will fill the earth with woe and desolation. The picture which Inspiration has given of the antediluvian world represents too truly the condition to which modern society is fast hastening. Even now, in the present century, and in professedly Christian lands, there are crimes daily perpetrated as black and terrible as those for which the old-world sinners were destroyed.  { PP 101.3} 

   

We know that the Lord is coming very soon. The world is fast becoming as it was in the days of Noah. It is given over to selfish indulgence. Eating and drinking are carried to excess. Men are drinking the poisonous liquor that makes them mad.— Letter 308, 1907.  { LDE 23.1}

Letter 308,  1907  is not found on EGW  CD ROM

   

 

                  d e e d s    o f    v i o l a n c e                        

 

In the days of Noah the overwhelming majority was opposed to the truth, and enamored with a tissue of falsehoods. The land was filled with violance. War, crime, murder, was the order of the day. Just so will it be before Christ's second coming. -- 1BC 1090  (1891)  {LDE 23.2}

as of duty

   

 

The labor unions are quickly stirred to violence if their demands are not complied with. Plainer and plainer it is becoming that the inhabitants of th world are not in harmony with God.  No scientific theory can explain the steady march of evil workers under the generalship of Saten.  In every mob wicked angels are at work, rousing men to commie deeds of violance . . .  The perversity and cruelty of men will reach such a height that God will reveal Himself in His majesty. Very soon the wickedness of the world will have reached its limit and, as in the days of Noah, God will pour out His judgments.  Uppward Look, page 334  (1903)  {LDE 23.4}

as of duty they will underta 72.1} 

   

 

The terrible reports we hear of murders and robberies, of railroad accidents and deeds of viole3nce, tell the story that the end of all things is at hand. Now just now, we need to be preparing for the Lord's dsecond coming. -- Letter 308, 1907  {LDE 23.5}

as of duty  

   

 

 

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