The Glory of God in the Earth


1. Declaration of Christ that the buildings of the temple shall be destroyed. GGE 19.4

2. Inquiry of the disciples, “when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” GGE 20.1

3. Christ proceeds to name events that shall transpire before the end of the world. GGE 20.2

(1.) There shall be false Christs. GGE 20.3

(2.) Wars, rumors of wars, etc. GGE 20.4

(3.) Famines, pestilence and earthquakes. GGE 20.5

(4.) Persecutions. GGE 20.6

(5.) Betraying and hating one another. GGE 20.7

(6.) False prophets. GGE 20.8

(7.) Iniquity abounding, love waxing cold. GGE 20.9

(8.) Gospel preached in all the world, a witness to all nations; then shall the end come. GGE 20.10

4. Christ teaches his disciples what course to pursue at the siege of Jerusalem-to flee, etc. GGE 20.11

5. He tells them how to distinguish between false Christs and himself. Go after none into deserts or secret chambers. For as lightning from heaven shall the coming of the Son of man be. Hence, receive none as Christ, until I shall thus come. Of these I have told you before, that is, in the former part of the chapter. GGE 20.12

6. Another sign-the sun darkened, the moon giving no light, and the stars falling from heaven, etc. GGE 20.13

7. Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven-tribes of earth shall mourn, and the Son of man shall be seen coming in clouds, with power and great glory. GGE 20.14

8. He shall send his angels to gather his elect, that is, to take up the righteous into the clouds. GGE 21.1

9. As surely as the summer is near when the fig-tree putteth forth leaves, so surely is my coming in clouds near, even at the doors, when these things have come to pass. What things? The signs already enumerated. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. “This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.” This verse I shall notice hereafter. GGE 21.2

I shall for the present raise the following inquiry. Have these signs been fulfilled? GGE 21.3

(1.) False Christs. Of these the Religious Encyclopedia names twenty-four, giving also the places and the periods where and when they rose and fell, with some other circumstances. The last of these appeared in Germany, in 1682, and was called Rabbi Mordecai. That sign was fulfilled. GGE 21.4

(2.) Wars, rumors of wars, etc. None surely will deny that that has been fulfilling, and is now. GGE 21.5

(3.) Famines, pestilence, earthquakes. All fulfilled. GGE 21.6

(4.) Persecutions. Of these there were ten general persecutions, in the days of the Roman emperors, in which it is supposed three millions perished. Besides these, we have the persecutions of Protestants by Papists, century after century, up to within a short period; in which it is believed that fifty millions have suffered death for their religion. (See Religions Encyclopedia.) That sign has surely had fulfilment. GGE 21.7

(5.) Betraying and hating one another. Episcopalians persecuted non-conformists in England in the time of Charles II. Presbyterians persecuted Episcopalians in 1645. Congregationalists persecuted Baptists and Quakers in New England. In the reign of Charles II. the Quakers and non-conformists were greatly persecuted-thousands deprived of their goods, confined in prison, and many brought to the grave. Thus have Christians hated and betrayed one another. This sign has had fulfilment. GGE 22.1

(6.) False prophets. Within the last hundred and fifty years many have arisen, and taught, professedly from the Bible, that Christ shall not come under, at least, a thousand years, or perhaps 360,000; declaring that there shall be such a period of unexampled prosperity in the earth before our Lord’s appearing; a thing of which neither Christ, nor one of the writers of the New Testament, ever gave the least intimation. It is declared that many shall be deceived. This is strikingly fulfilled. This false prediction is founded upon prophecies of the Old Testament, which are to be fulfilled only in the new earth after Christ has come. The sixtieth chapter of Isaiah is one of these Scriptures, to be fulfilled, as we learn from the 21st verse, in a land which all the righteous shall inherit forever; of course not in this land, which is reserved unto fire, and therefore not till after Christ’s coming. But this prophecy of a temporal millennium has “deceived many,” who love the Lord Jesus, to put off his coming; and other multitudes, who know not Christ, are deceived in the same way, with the cry of “peace and safety, while sudden destruction is about to come upon them as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.” This false prediction of a temporal millennium previous to Christ’s coming, is a fatal delusion, and will prove eternally so to many souls; because it will lead them to defer preparation for the Lord’s coming until it shall be eternally too late. Not that the dear brethren who hold to it are wilfully uttering falsehood, but that they are deceiving themselves, and deceiving others, while they should be faithfully sounding the alarm, and warning the world to prepare for the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord. False prophets have arisen, and many have indeed been deceived. This sign therefore is fulfilled. GGE 22.2

(7.) Iniquity shall abound, and love wax cold. This is emphatically true, of vast multitudes of professed Christians, at this moment. Iniquity is love of this present world. “Demas hath forsaken us, having loved this present world.” “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” When the gospel was first preached, we read that “as many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” Thus obedience was rendered to the injunctions of Christ, “Sell that ye have and give alms; provide for yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth,” etc. GGE 23.1

But what has been the course of multitudes of professed Christians for the last fifty years? Much indeed has been done, by way of missionary effort, to spread the gospel, and bring to pass that temporal millennium for which we have been looking; but instead of selling houses and lands for such an object, Christians have been laboring to add house to house and field to field, and by all manner of speculations to increase their worldly substance, and get to themselves a treasure on earth. I know the pretence has been, to make money for doing good; that is, ten dollars to the contribution-box, and ten thousand to purposes of personal aggrandizement-so as to be able to dwell in a fine house, and drive a splendid equipage, and wear purple and fine linen every day; and thus, by a respectable appearance among men, to give respectability to the religion of the meek and lowly Jesus. All this time the love of this present world has been increasing in the hearts of Christians, and in equal proportion their love to Christ has been waxing cold; because the love of this present world, and the love of Christ are perfect incompatibilities. Hence, love to Christ has waxed so cold, through the love of this world, that when we now tell professing Christians, that their Savior, “who gave himself for their sins, that he might deliver them from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father,” is coming soon to complete that deliverance, and give his people to inherit forever that new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness; multitudes who profess to love Christ above all, are by no means willing to see him. They love this present evil world so well, that it is pleasure to them to believe that Christ will not come under a thousand years; and some think that there is great glory in the thought, that his coming may be delayed 360,000 years. So that, instead of needing now the inspired injunction, “Be patient, brethren, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” many professed friends of Christ seem greatly to want patience to endure being told, that their glorious Lord and Master is now to appear. Has the grace of patience so greatly increased since the days of the apostles, that Christians now can so well endure to have their Lord’s appearing delayed for thousands of years? No-no. Such Christians love this present world, and therefore they wish it to remain. Their love to Christ has waxed cold, and they wish him not to come; they do not love his appearing. This sign is fulfilled. GGE 24.1

“But he that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” He whose love to Christ and his glorious and everlasting kingdom shall hold out, through all this earthliness, so that he trample this world beneath his feet, and love and look out for the coming of his Lord, “and seek a better country, even an heavenly,” “the same shall be saved.” GGE 26.1

I am fully convinced that the doctrine of a temporal millennium, by putting off the expectation of Christ’s speedy coming, from the minds of his people, has accomplished a vast amount of evil, in causing iniquity, that is, the love of this world, to increase, and love to Christ and his glorious kingdom to wax cold. Tell Christians that this world is accursed of God, and reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, and that Christ’s glorious kingdom, which is to stand forever, can be found only in that new earth which John saw in vision, after that the first heaven and first earth had passed away-and that there only the tabernacle of God is to be with men, and he is to “dwell with them and be their God, and there wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, nor pain;” tell them that the time is near, when Christ will come, and this world be no more, and you strike at the root of their worldliness, and make them feel the importance of being prepared to meet their Lord. I do not say that all whose hearts are fixed on a temporal millennium have that expectation because of their want of love to Christ. I do believe that this is true of vast multitudes; while some who love Christ truly are deceived, expecting the glory of the Lord in a temporal millennium in this accursed world, which must pass away; instead of Christ’s immortal glory in that new earth which is to remain. See Isaiah 66:22. GGE 26.2

(8.) “The gospel shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come;”-the end of the world, of which the disciples inquired. Some maintain that this preaching of the gospel in all the world for a witness to all nations, proves that the world is to be converted: but this is impossible, for the children of the wicked one are to remain here till the harvest at the end of the world. Has the gospel been preached in all the world since Christ uttered this prediction? The gospel was preached in Asia in the first century, in Africa in the fourth century; it has gone over Europe, over this continent, to the shores of the Pacific. Multitudes beyond the Rocky Mountains have been converted. The isles of the Pacific have received God’s law. Thousands have there embraced the gospel. Since about the commencement of the nineteenth century, the Bible has been translated into about a hundred and sixty different languages, and missionaries are at this moment in nearly, if not quite, every nation under heaven. And now, since the children of the wicked one are to remain till the end of the world, and Christ at his coming is to find the world as before the flood, and in the days of Sodom, I see not what more we have to expect. I cannot resist the conviction that even this sign is fulfilled. GGE 27.1

Our Savior, having given his disciples the foregoing signs of his coming and of the end of the world, then directs them what to do at the time when Jerusalem shall be destroyed. GGE 28.1

4. “When ye shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel,” or, as it is by Luke, “when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh;” therefore flee into the mountains. GGE 28.2

Those who oppose the truth that the coming of Christ is near, tell us that the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel was Antiochus Epiphanes, and that the prophetic periods in Daniel had their fulfilment in him, and of course can have no reference to the present time. But Antiochus died about 170 years before Christ was born, while this was a power that was to compass Jerusalem with armies at a period still future, when Christ spake the words we are considering. Of course it could not refer to a power which had ceased to be, two hundred years before. It is therefore certain that the 2300 days in the eighth of Daniel, unto which this abomination was to continue, since they referred to this abomination, could not have been fulfilled in Antiochus. Since, therefore, they refer to the Romans, they must have denoted years, instead of literal days, as many claim; and since the time appointed reaches to the end of indignation, when the sanctuary shall be cleansed, the 2300 days must measure the time of pagan and papal Rome, at the end of which the Ancient of days shall come, with his fiery flame, and his wheels of burning fire, and the body of the beast shall be slain and given to the burning flame. Thus shall the sanctuary be cleansed. GGE 28.3

5. Having directed his disciples to flee when Jerusalem should be compassed with armies, and informed them that this fact would be a sign to them that the desolation thereof was nigh; our Savior again directs their attention to the things of which he had already spoken as betokening his coming and the end of the world; and directs them how to distinguish between false Christs and his own second advent. They would be seen in deserts and secret chambers, but He like lightning from heaven. GGE 29.1

6. Another sign of his coming, not previously mentioned, is now presented. “The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” GGE 29.2

John tells us, in Revelation 12:1, that he saw a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. This woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. This refers to the time when the church of Christ, (the light of the world, through the light received from Christ,) was persecuted and driven into dens or caves of the earth, and the light of her sun, moon, and stars quenched; so that the deep, moonless, starless midnight of the dark ages brooded for centuries over the world. This was the dark night of papal authority, when the church, for a thousand two hundred and threescore days, (each day denoting a year,) or time, times, and a half, was given into the hands of that power. This period commenced when the bishop of Rome became Pope, in 538, and ended when the Pope was carried captive, in 1798; since which time an angel has been flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people; saying, “Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” GGE 30.1

This darkening of the light of sun, moon, and stars, must have a figurative fulfilment, because there is to be no sign of our Savior’s coming that will open the eyes of an unbelieving world, until he shall come upon them as a thief in the night. The literal darkening of sun and moon, and the falling of stars from heaven to earth, would be what none could disregard. Since, therefore, it must be a sign which unbelievers will disregard, it must be figurative. In the way now described, it has had its fulfilment. It is the last sign which our Savior gave: and in the Revelation, the last sign previous to the fall of Babylon is that very preaching of the gospel for a witness, in relation to which our Savior said, in this very chapter, the gospel shall thus be preached, and then shall the end be; that is, the end of the world, at Christ’s coming; of which the disciples had inquired; or the fall of Babylon. The angel flying to preach that gospel is to cry with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment has come; not the hour of the world’s conversion, but of its destruction. Another follows, saying, “Babylon is fallen. GGE 31.1

Everything, therefore, mentioned by our Savior to precede his coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, has transpired. And he has told us, when ye see these things, be as sure that my coming is at the doors, as that summer is nigh when ye see the trees putting forth leaves. It is, therefore, a matter of certainty, as absolute and unchanging as the truth of Him who cannot lie, that the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven is near, even at the doors. Everything set forth in Daniel, and in Revelation, and in the words of our Savior, and of his apostles, to precede his coming, has transpired. Not an event is mentioned in these prophecies which is not now in the past, not a sign named which is not now fulfilled. All that can now be done, by way of effort to prove that the Lord’s coming is still to be delayed, is the attempt to make it appear that all the earth is to be filled with the glory of the Lord, before Christ comes to destroy it. But this is impossible-impossible-impossible. The children of the wicked one, I repeat, are to remain to the harvest, at the end of this world; and when Christ’s dominion commences, it is to be without end; and when the saints take the kingdom with him, they are to possess it forever, even forever and ever.” Again I say, therefore, that a temporal millennium is impossible. GGE 32.1

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man,” etc. True; but that it is near, even at the doors, we do know. Prophetic events which were to precede, have all come to pass. Signs are all fulfilled, and all prophetic periods terminate in 1843. (See works of Miller, Litch, and others.) GGE 32.2