for the Home
promise did the Saviour make concerning His second coming?
Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told
you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for
you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am,
there ye may be also." John
What was to take
place before the lord should return?
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into
blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come."
Upon hearing Christ
say that the time would come when the temple at Jerusalem should be
entirely destroyed, what did the disciples ask Him?
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto
him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall
be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Matthew
Did He intimate
that the end was then close at hand?
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take
heed that no man deceive you. For
many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not
troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not
yet." Matthew 24:4-6.
After telling them
there would be wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in many places,
what did He say these would be?
"All these are the beginning of
sorrows." Matthew 24:8.
To what extent is
the gospel to be preached before the end?
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then
shall the end come." Matthew 24:14.
What has been
already admitted concerning the progress of the gospel?
"Within a year, Central Africa, the last remaining strong- hold
of barbarism, has been opened up, and missionaries are now preaching the
truth in the territory of one of its fiercest and most powerful kings. If
the doctrine of the pre-millennialists be correct, that the gospel is to
be preached, not to convert the world, 'but for a witness unto all
nations,' and that when it is so preached we are to expect the end, then
it may well be that the end is nearer than most of us think."
Christian Union, Nov. 13, 1878.
After giving a
general summary of matters, how did the Lord particularize the events of
"When ye therefore shall see the
abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the
holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" Matthew
How is this same
thought expressed elsewhere?
"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed
with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." Luke
What did our Lord
say was to follow this destruction of the city?
then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning
of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew
How long was the
papal power to hold sway over the saints?
"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall
wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and
they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing
of time." Daniel 7:25.
What is the meaning
of the expression, "time and times and the dividing of time?"NOTE. - The
period here given is again expressed in verse 14, by "time, times,
and half [dividing of] a time." Twelve hundred and sixty days, then,
is here meant by the expression "time, times, and half a time."
But these days themselves are symbolic, and must refer to some literal
period of time.
"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place
prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred
and threescore days." Revelation 12:6.
What does a
symbolic day indicate?NOTE. - These
symbolic days would therefore indicate an equal number of literal years.
The papacy received its power to correct heretics in 538 A.D., by the
confirmation of Justinian, the Roman emperor. The time to which the papal
power over the saints would extend (1260 years), ended in 1798.
"Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall
of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it
shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a
sign to the house of Israel. Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the
iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the
days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I
have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number
of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the
iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie
again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of
Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year."
What did the Lord
say would be done in view of the rigor of that persecution?
"And except those days should be shortened,
there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days
shall be shortened." Matthew 24:22.
Did the Lord say He
would return immediately after the tribulation ceased?
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." Matthew
What did He say
would immediately follow?
"Immediately after the tribulation of
those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her
light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens
shall be shaken:" Matthew 24:29.
How is this
expressed by Mark?NOTE. - That
is, in the days of the papal power, but after the tribulation ceases,
shall these events take place. The persecution was the strongest under the
direction of the Jesuits. This order was founded by Ignatius Loyola, and
established by Pope Paul, Sept. 27, 1540. It finally became so distasteful
to the popes, on account of its continually growing power, that by a papal
bull the order was dissolved, July 21, 1773. From this time on there is no
record of any open persecution of the saints. Then, according to the last
text quoted, somewhere between 1773, when the persecution ended, and 1798,
the time to which the prophetic days extended, we must look for the first
of these signs given by our Lord the darkening of the sun.
"But in those days, after that
tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give
her light," Mark 13:24.
Was there such a
phenomenon? If so, when did it occur?NOTES. -
"The 19th day of May, 1780, was a remarkably dark day. Candles were
lighted in many houses. The birds were silent, and disappeared. The fowls
retired to roost. It was the general opinion that the day of judgment was
at hand. The Legislature of Connecticut was in session at Hartford, but
being unable to transact business, adjourned." President Dwight,
in Connecticut Historical Collections.
On May 19,1780.
"The greatest darkness was at least equal to what is commonly called
candle-lighting in the evening. The appearance was indeed un- common,
and the cause unknown." The Connecticut Journal, New Haven, May 25,
"The Dark Day, May 19, 1780, so called on account of a remark-
able darkness on that day, extending over all New England. In some places,
persons could not see to read common print in the open air for several
hours together... The true cause of this remarkable phenomenon is not
known." Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, in Explanatory and
Pronouncing Vocabulary, art. Dark Day.
The inquiry may be raised, Why was the darkening of the sun confined to so
limited a district as a portion of the Western Hemisphere, if it was to be
a sign of the Lord's coming? To which we reply: God has given to the
inhabitants of the Old World many signs of Christ's second coming; and why
should not others be favored in this respect? Shall we criticize Him who
is too wise to err? The inhabitants of the Old World can say: On our
territory mighty kingdoms arose and fell, according to the sure word of
prophecy. Here the pope lost his temporal power at a time marked by
prophecy a sure indication of the end near; and here great nations are
taking the lead in preparing for the last great battle. It is for God to
distribute the signs according to His wisdom and good pleasure, and it is
for us to accept them with submission and gratitude, whether we witness
them ourselves, or whether others witness them and report them to us. The
Jews never saw the star that led to the spot where the Saviour was born,
nor did most of them witness many of the Saviour's mighty miracles. Were
they therefore justified in not believing on Him?
When did the moon
refuse to shine?NOTE. - The
darkness of the night was as supernatural as that of the previous day,
from the fact, as stated by Dr. Adams, that "the moon had fulled the
"The night succeeding that day (May 19, 1780) was of such pitchy
darkness that in some instances horses could not be compelled to leave the
stable when wanted for service." Stone's History of Beverly (Mass.).
When did the stars
fall, as predicted in the prophecy?NOTES. -
"But the most sublime phenomenon of shooting stars of which the world
has furnished any record, was witnessed throughout the United States on
the morning of the 13th of November, 1833. The entire extent of this
astonishing exhibition has not been precisely ascertained; but it covered
no inconsiderable portion of the earth's surface... The whole heavens
seemed in motion, and suggested to some the awful grandeur of the image
employed in the Apocalypse, upon the opening of the sixth seal, when 'the
stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her
untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.' " Burritt's
Geography of the Heavens, page 163, ed. 1854.
"No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that
magnificent display; and I hesitate not to say that no one who did not
witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if
the whole starry heavens had congregated atone point near the zenith, and
were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to
every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted; thousands
swiftly followed in the track of thousands, as if created for the occasion."
Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833.
When the trees put
forth their leaves, what does it indicate?
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When
his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer
is nigh." Matthew 24:32.
What just as surely
indicates the Lord's speedy coming?
"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all
these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." Matthew
How near is the
Lord's coming when these signs have been fulfilled?NOTE. - As
though he said, This generation of which I speak; the one that actually
sees the last sign, has seen all of them in the sense that we have
seen the progress of science. We have not actually lived during its entire
development, but we look back and say we have seen it. So in this case.
The same original word here used and translated "this," also
occurs in Luke 17:34: "I tell you in that night [the night of
which I speak] there shall be two in one bed."
say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things
be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not
pass away." Matthew
Can we know the day
and hour of His coming?
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man,
no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew
What will be the
moral condition of the world when the Lord comes?
as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered
into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so
shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew
If we have
knowledge of the Lord's coming, what is our duty?
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an
hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Matthew 24:44.
What will be the
doom of those who say in their hearts that the Lord is not soon coming?
and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his
coming. And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink
with the drunken. The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he
looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut
him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall
be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew