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*** For what did Christ
censure the Jewish people?
“O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can
ye not discern the signs of the times?” Matt. 16:3.
*** What sign had
Isaiah given by which Christ might be known as the Messiah?
“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Be- hold, a
virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name
Immanuel.” Isa. 7:14.
*** Was this fulfilled?
“Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with
child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name
Emmanuel.” Matt. 1:22, 23.
*** Where had the
prophet said Christ should be born?
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the
thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to
be ruler in Israel.” Micah 5:2.
*** Where was Christ
“Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.” Matt. 2:1.
*** What had been
predicted of His ride into Jerusalem?
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of
Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is just, and having
salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an
ass.” Zech. 9:9.
*** Was this fulfilled?
“All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the
prophets, saying Tell ye
the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting
upon an an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” Matt. 21:4, 5.
*** Did the believers
of these and other evidences of His Messiaship, expect a sign of His
“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?” Matt. 24:3.
*** How does Luke
record our Saviour’s answer to this query?
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the
stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea
and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking
after those things which are coming on the earth.” Luke 21:25, 26.
*** What is said of
these signs by an Old Testament prophet?
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood,
and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord
come.” Joel 2:30, 31.
*** Have the sun and
the moon been darkened in fulfillment of these predictions?NOTE. “But especially I mention that wonderful darkness on the 19th
of May [ 1780]. Then, as in our text, the sun was darkened; such a
darkness as probably was never known before since the crucifixion of our
Lord. People left their work in the house and in the field. Travelers
stopped; schools broke up at eleven o’clock; people lighted candles at
noonday; and the fire shown as at night. Some people, I have been told,
were in dismay, and thought whether the day of judgment was drawing on. A
great part of the following night, also, was singularly dark. The moon,
though in the full, gave no light, as in our text.” From a
manuscript sermon by Rev. Elam Potter, delivered May 28, 1780.
They have, as stated in the following:
“The 19th 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.” Pres.
Dwight, in Conn. Historical Collections.
*** Has there been a
display of falling stars that would meet the specifications predicted?
The celebrated astronomer and meteorologist, Prof. Olmstead, of Yale
College, says: “Those who were so fortunate as to witness the
exhibition of shooting stars on the morning of Nov.13, 1833, probably saw
the greatest display of celestial fire works that has ever been since the
creation of the world, or at least within the annals covered by the pages
of history... The extent of the shower of 1833 was such as to cover no
inconsiderable part of the earth’s surface... This is no longer to be
regarded as a terrestrial, but as a celestial, phenomenon; and shooting
stars are now to be no more viewed as casual productions of the upper
regions of the atmosphere, but as visitants from other worlds, or from the
planetary voids.” “Our Lord’s Great Prophecy.” page 35.
*** What may be said
with reference to the late unusual ocean tempests?
Burnet, in his “Sacred Theory of the Earth,” remarks:
“Let us then proceed in our explication of this sign, the roaring sea
and waves, applying it to the end of the world. I do not look upon this
ominous noise of the sea as the effect of a tempest; for then it would not
strike such terror into the inhabitants of the earth, nor make them
apprehensive of some great evil coming upon the world, as this will do.
What proceeds from visible causes, and such as may happen in a common
course of nature, does not so much amaze or affright us.”
*** What other sign is
to indicate the time of the end?NOTES. - The
increase of knowledge referred to in this text evidently means, primarily,
religious knowledge; but it covers scientific knowledge also. Since 1799
there have been five great Bible and tract societies organized; namely,
the London Religious Tract Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society,
the American Bible Society, the American Tract Society, and the
International Tract Society. From these have gone forth to the world more
than 200 million Bibles, and countless pages of tracts, disseminating
knowledge upon the truths of salvation. Besides these, millions of
religious papers are being circulated in the various countries of the
earth daily. This has all been accomplished since the nineteenth century.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to
the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be
increased.” Dan. 12:4.
*** What is predicted
of the moral condition of the world in the last days?
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers,... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Tim. 3:15.
*** How will the
message of the Lord’s coming be generally treated?
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days,
scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the
promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things
continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3, 4.
*** What will God’s
faithful servants be doing at this time?
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made
ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” Matt 24:45.
*** What are all
admonished to do when these signs have appeared?
“Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye
think not the Son of man cometh.” Matt. 24:44.
*** What will be done
to those evil ones who say in their hearts that the Lord delays His
“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.” Matt.24:50, 51.
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