The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress


The Time for the Signs

In the previous chapter we saw how knowledge was obtained concerning the termination of the twenty-three-hundred-day period, and that it extended to the “hour of his judgment.” In the parable here introduced we are brought to the Lord’s time for this parable and the “judgment” message to be proclaimed to the world. After speaking of the great “tribulation” which was to come upon his people which should be “shortened,” the Saviour said, “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: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.” 3 GSAM 93.3

Mark, it does not say of the last sign mentioned that it is a sign of his coming; but a sign that the Son of man is there, is seen coming. The events given in this text as signs on which to base faith in his near coming, are the signs in the sun, moon and stars. The other events which follow take place in connection with his actual coming in the clouds of heaven. So immediately after the third of these signs—the one in the stars—comes the Lord’s time to raise up his teachers to teach that Christ’s coming is at the doors. GSAM 94.1

Now as to the time of the appearance of these signs: It was to be immediately after the tribulation that the sun was to be darkened. 4 As Mark records, it was to be “in those days, after that tribulation.” 5 Our Saviour had said that the days should be shortened. By the decree of Maria Theresa, and the Acts of Toleration from 1773 to 1776, the rage of persecution against the church was shortened. Although the persecuting power retained control of the civil arm until 1798, its persecutions were closed about 1773. Comparing the statements of the Saviour would place the first of these signs between 1773 and 1798. GSAM 94.2