“Signs In The Heavens” 05/22

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. Joel 2:31.

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.” 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.

“Almost if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, … stands the dark day of May 19, 1780—a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England.”—R. M. Devens, Our First Century, 89….

The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist. “After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast.” “Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light….”—Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy: or, American Oracle of Liberty, vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780)….

The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfilment: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.”

Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent, and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“The Violent Earth” 05/21

I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake. Revelation 6:12.

Prophecy not only foretells the manner and object of Christ’s coming, but presents tokens by which men are to know when it is near…. The revelator thus describes the first of the signs to precede the second advent: “There was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”

These signs were witnessed before the opening of the nineteenth century. In fulfilment of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa, engulfing cities, and causing great destruction.

It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the inflowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, “some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very foundations.” …—Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, p. 495…. “The earthquake happened on a holy day, when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of whom escaped.”—Encyclopedia Americana, art. “Lisbon,” note (ed. 1831)… It has been estimated that ninety thousand persons lost their lives on that fatal day.

How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Healing Can Be From The Devil” 05/20

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8.

The fallacies of Satan are now being multiplied, and those who swerve from the path of truth will lose their bearings. Having nothing to which to anchor, they will drift from one delusion to another, blown about by the winds of strange doctrines. Satan has come down with great power. Many will be deceived by his miracles.

I am instructed to say that in the future great watchfulness will be needed. There is to be among God’s people no spiritual stupidity. Evil spirits are actively engaged in seeking to control the minds of human beings. Men are binding up in bundles, ready to be consumed by the fires of the last days. Those who discard Christ and His righteousness will accept the sophistry that is flooding the world. Christians are to be sober and vigilant, steadfastly resisting their adversary the devil, who is going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles….

We need not be deceived. Wonderful scenes, with which Satan will be closely connected, will soon take place. God’s Word declares that Satan will work miracles. He will make people sick, and then will suddenly remove from them his satanic power. They will then be regarded as healed. These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test….

If those through whom cures are performed, are disposed, on account of these manifestations, to excuse their neglect of the law of God, and continue in disobedience, though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God. On the contrary, it is the miracle-working power of the great deceiver. He is a transgressor of the moral law, and employs every device that he can master to blind men to its true character. We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation, that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Sights, And Sounds, And Criminality” 05/17

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Psalm 101:3, 4.

There is reason for deep solicitude on your part for your children, who have temptations to encounter at every advance step. It is impossible for them to avoid contact with evil associates…. They will see sights, hear sounds, and be subjected to influences which are demoralizing and which, unless they are thoroughly guarded, will imperceptibly but surely corrupt the heart and deform the character….

Some fathers and mothers are so indifferent, so careless, that they think it makes no difference whether their children attend a church school or a public school. “We are in the world,” they say, “and we cannot get out of it.” But, parents, we can get a good way out of the world, if we choose to do so. We can avoid seeing many of the evils that are multiplying so fast in these last days….

To the active minds of children and youth the scenes pictured in imaginary revelations of the future are realities. As revolutions are predicted and all manner of proceedings described that break down the barriers of law and self-restraint, many catch the spirit of these representations. They are led to the commission of crimes even worse, if possible, than these sensational writers depict. Through such influences as these society is becoming demoralized. The seeds of lawlessness are sown broadcast. None need marvel that a harvest of crime is the result…

Say firmly: “I will not spend precious moments in reading that which will be of no profit to me, and which only unfits me to be of service to others. I will devote my time and my thoughts to acquiring a fitness for God’s service. I will close my eyes to frivolous and sinful things. My ears are the Lord’s, and I will not listen to the subtle reasoning of the enemy. My voice shall not in any way be subject to a will that is not under the influence of the Spirit of God. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and every power of my being shall be consecrated to worthy pursuits.”

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Turmoil In The Cities” 05/13

Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13.

It was not God’s purpose that His people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents in a garden amidst the beautiful sights and attractive sounds of nature, and these sights and sounds He desires men to rejoice in today.

Light has been given me that the cities will be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things will increase till the end of this earth’s history.

It is time for our people to take their families from the cities into more retired localities, else many of the youth, and many also of those older in years, will be ensnared and taken by the enemy.

“Out of the cities; out of the cities!”—this is the message the Lord has been giving me.

The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labor unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God’s planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no wise acknowledge. God’s word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned.

We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trade-unions. We are to stand free in God, looking constantly to Christ.

The ungodly cities of our world are to be swept away by the besom of destruction. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of cities God is showing us what will come upon the whole earth. He has told us: “Now 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 it [the coming of the Son of man] is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:32, 33.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White