Union Conference Record, vol. 3

Union Conference Record, Vol. 3

1900

June 1, 1900

“The Sign of the Final Sign” Union Conference Record 3, 6, pp. 15-18.

ATJ

Sabbath, P. M., June 9.

WHEN the disciples showed to Jesus the buildings of the temple, he said to them: “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 15.1

When He stood on the Mount of Olives, weeping over Jerusalem, Jesus exclaimed: “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Luke 9:42-44. UCR June 1, 1900, page 15.2

But He would not have even one of his children destroyed or even suffer, in the sore calamities that were coming upon that rebellious city. Therefore He gave to them, and through them to all, a sure sign: “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Luke 21:20-22. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.1

When the disciples should see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, then they were to know that the desolation thereof was nigh; and then they that were in Judea were to flee into the mountains. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.2

It was not till they saw Jerusalem encompassed with armies that they were to flee. But when this should be seen, then they knew that the desolation thereof was nigh; and their flight must be so sudden that he who was on the housetop could not come down to take anything out of his house, and he who was in the fields could not turn back to take his clothes. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.3

Then the time of the approach of the Roman armies towards Jerusalem was the time of preparation, in which all who believed should get all things ready, so that when the armies encompassed Jerusalem, the believers could flee suddenly, as they were commanded to do. When Jerusalem was encompassed, the time of preparation was past. Then was the time for flight. Those who were in Judea were to flee, and those who were not in Judea, were not to enter thereinto. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.4

They were to watch for the sign, pray always with regard to their flight when the sign appeared. In so doing, they were a light to all people in Judea, and had a message for all, that they too might so watch for the sign, and pray with regard to the flight, and be ready when the sign appeared. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.5

After the Lord’s ascension the Gospel was preached with the witnessing of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem and in Judea. And to all in these places the message was given as to the approaching desolation of the land, the deliverance of all who would believe, and the sign by which it should be known when flight was essential in order that they should be delivered from the certainly coming destruction. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.6

Years passed, with much violence, frequent insurrections, and great slaughter; but yet there were no armies marching upon Jerusalem. At last, however, the approach of the Roman armies began. Cestius, the Roman commander in the East, “removed with His whole army” from Ceserea, “and marched to Antipatris.” Then “on the fourth day” “he put his army in array,” and brought it into the suburbs, or outer city. The people “retired from the suburbs, and retreated into the inner part of the city, and into the temple.” Cestius burnt the suburbs, or new city, and passed on, and “came into the upper city, and pitched his camp over against the royal palace.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.7

And now the real city was encompassed and the siege was begun. But after besieging the place five days, when the Jews were fearing that the place would be taken immediately, when a faction had actually started to open the gates from the inside, “and to admit Cestius as their benefactor,” and when, “had he but continued the siege a little longer, he had certainly taken the city, ... that very day,”—just then, Cestius, “despairing of any expectation of taking it,” and “without having received any disgrace,” “retired from the city, WITHOUT ANY REASON IN THE WORLD.” And then “many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.8

The given sign had come to pass. The believers had fled from Judea when the city was encompassed. But those in the city could not flee when it was surrounded. But when the army was withdrawn, then they fled also. Then, as soon as possible, all the armies that could possibly be gathered were brought into Judea, and to Jerusalem; the city was compassed round and kept in on every side; she was laid even with the ground, and her children within her; of the beautiful and massive temple not one stone was left upon another; and the nation was blotted out—and all simply because she knew not the time of her visitation; because that, though she dwelt in the blazing light of the very throne of God, she had not discernment to perceive her opportunity, nor to know, even in her day, the things that belong to her peace. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.9

Now, the Lord has given to His Disciples to-day, signs by which we shall know when the great destruction is near, just as really as to the disciples of old, were given signs by which they should know when the destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of that land, were near. And, just as they were to study the signs which Jesus had given, and watch for the appearing of the signs, and act when the time came, if they would be delivered, so we must study the subject of these signs for our day,—must watch for the appearing of these signs,—and be ready to act when the signs appear, that we may be delivered. The people who are looking for the coming of the Lord—the people of the third angel’s message are to flee as really as were the disciples of old; for it is written: “I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.10

There is to be a time of trouble in the land, violence of every sort, and finally utter destruction and desolation, in our time, as really as there was in the time of the disciples in Jerusalem and Judea; for it is written: “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” “Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled.” “That day is a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation.” “It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he saved out of it.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.11

That there is to be a sign to us, just as to the disciples in Judea, is settled by the following words: “As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, SO may” a certain thing “be a SIGN TO US that the limit of God’s forbearance as reached, that the measure of OUR NATION’S iniquity is FULL, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, NEVER TO RETURN. The people of God will THEN be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob’s trouble.”—Testimony No. 32, p. 207. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.12

It is, therefore, certain that all this is written for our learning, and is instruction to us in our day, just as it was instruction to them in their day. UCR June 1, 1900, page 16.13

What, then, is this certain thing in our day which may be a sign to US that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return,” just “as the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem?” What is it? Read it:— UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.1

“When ... our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, THEN we may know that the time has come for the marvelIous working of Satan, and that the end is near.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.2

And “as the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, SO may THIS APOSTASY be a SIGN to US that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.3

Now, do you see this sign? Do you see any sign of the sign is sufficiently apparent to be seen, and you do not see anything of it, then where do you stand with reference to being ready, in this time of the end? If all this is so, will there not be danger that you, not knowing this, will be among those who are saying, in their hearts, “My Lord delayeth His coming?” Will there not be danger that you shall not know the things that belong unto your peace, nor the time of your visitation? UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.4

Bear in mind that it was “the approach of Roman armies” that was a sign to the disciples, not only the surrounding of the city, by the armies. The surrounding of the city was the final sign; the approachof the Roman armies was the sign of this final sign. The approach of the Roman armies was the sign by which the disciples should know that they must be ready for instant flight when the final sign, which was but the consequence of this sign of the sign, should appear. And as that approach of the Roman armies was a sign to them of the final sign, so this apostasy of the United States from Protestant and republican principles, is to be to us the sign of the final sign: the sign by which we shall know when we must prepare and be ready for flight when the final sign shall appear. UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.5

Do you, then, see any signs of this sign? Is our country repudiating any principle of its Constitution as a Protestant government? Do you see any sign that it will soon repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant government? UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.6

But our nation’s repudiation of Protestant principles is but one part of the sign; for it is written: “Our country shall repudiate” not only “every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant government,” but also “every principle of its Constitution as a REPUBLICAN government.” Both of these together constitute the sign. UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.7

This being so, and the repudiation of republican principles by our country being a vital part of the sign which the Lord has given, by which we shall know when the time of Jacob’s trouble will break upon the world—then should you not be looking for this sign? Should you not be interestedly noting whether there be anything of this kind passing? And if it should be that all that is passing just now, and you do not see it, then what? Then how do you really stand with reference to the dangers, and the duties of this present time? If any of this should be passing and you not see it, is there not a fearful danger that you may be of those in this our day who know not the things that belong to their peace, and know not the time of their visitation? UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.8

Do you see any token of a repudiation of republican principle by this country? Do you see anything that suggests the “apostasy” designated by the Spirit of Prophecy? UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.9

There are people who see exactly these things. European nations see it. A single quotation from a European thinker, and one from one of the most substantial journals of the United States, will illustrate what candid observers see. A German writer says:— UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.10

“If the American republic ever meant anything historically, it meant a protest against Europe. Its Declaration of Independence was a looking backward over European conditions, and a summing up of all the thus won. It corresponded politically to Luther’s theses: just as the one was a renunciation of and defiance of imperialism. Over one hundred years it has endured. UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.11

“Europe has not changed essentially meanwhile. It has forms of liberty, but the substantial reality is still militarism, or government by authority and the night of the strongest. So if Europe be unchanged, why should America relinquish her avocation of protestation by turning round and becoming like her? ... Oh, madness! I say, madness! They are doing they know not what,—giving up their birthright for a mess of pottage; surrendering their grand attitude of protest, wherein they commanded the respect of the powerful and the adoration of the idealists of the world.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.12

The Springfield (Mass.) Republican says:— UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.13

“The time has come in this republic when a resolution repeating word for word the preamble of the Declaration of Independence can not be suffered to reach a vote in a religious denominational convention.... Such incidents indicate an apostasy from the Declaration somewhere, somehow, by some one.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.14

Luther’s theses were the origin of Protestantism. The Declaration of Independence was the origin of modern republican government. In this nation not only republican principle, but Protestant principle, has had its fairest field before the world, as a light and an example for the world. And now, when it has come to pass that every principle of the Constitution of this nation, as a Protestant and republican government, is being steadily repudiated, and the nations are seeing it and are noting this “apostasy,” should not we know that the time has almost come “for the marvellous working of Satan, and that the end is near”? UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.15

Then is it not time, yes, is it not HIGH TIME, that you began to perceive, in all this, the sign of the FINAL SIGN that is to tell us that the time of Jacob’s trouble is about to break upon the world, and that the end is, indeed, near? UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.16

The truth is that, in the repudiation of republican principle, this nation has gone fully as far as it has in the repudiation of Protestant principle. The two belong together. They came in together; and when one is repudiated, the other must go. The signs of the FINAL SIGN have now become so abundant—so much of the course has been taken—that, in the nature of things, the space between where we are now, and the sign which shall be the the [sic.] appearing of the FINAL SIGN, can be only VERY, VERY BRIEF! UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.17

Do you see the progress of this twofold movement, as the disciples saw “the approach of the Roman armies?” This is what must be seen to-day, by those who will be ready to-day; for this is the situation as it is to-day. UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.18

This corresponds to the period when the approach of the Roman armies had reached that “watch-tower” station, ready, next, to descend to the suburbs of the city. And every one who will be ready, must awake, arouse, and bestir himself, in preparation, to be ready when the FINAL SIGN shall appear. UCR June 1, 1900, page 17.19

That FINAL SIGN is the repudiation by this country of every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government. It is impossible to be long before every principle will have been repudiated. The FINAL STEP is that “Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power,” and “shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism.” THEN IT IS that “under the influence of this threefold union” “our country shall repudiate EVERY principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 18.1

And then, when this final step occurs, “THEN we may KNOW that the time HAS COME for the MARVELLOUS WORKING OF SATAN, and that THE END IS NEAR.” And “as the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return. The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob’s trouble.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 18.2

“Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.” Do you see this sign to us as the disciples saw the “approach of the Roman armies? In this time of preparation, are you preparing to depart? In this time of watching are you readyto flee? Are you so separated from this world and all things in the world that you can go suddenly without looking back? So suddenly that you shall not need nor want to go down to take anything out of the house nor turn back to take your clothes? Are you getting ready for this? Are you giving the message with the certain sound of the trumpet? or are you dwell hesitating, uncertain, and “do not know, ought you not to know? And how shall you know but by seeking the Lord with all the heart? UCR June 1, 1900, page 18.3

“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let them return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and unto our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 18.4

Now is the time to prepare, to be ready, to watch, and to pray; and to pray “that your flight be not in the winter neither on the Sabbath day.” UCR June 1, 1900, page 18.5

A. T. JONES.