The Signs of the Times


October 9, 1901

The Coming Crisis


Troublous times are right upon us. The signs of the times give evidence that the judgments of heaven are being poured out, that the day of the Lord is at hand. The daily papers are full of indications of an intense conflict in the future. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. Men possessed by demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. All these things testify that the Lord's coming is near. ST October 9, 1901, par. 1

The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, disasters by sea and by land, follow one another in quick succession. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. Men can not discern the sentinel angel restraining the four winds, that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed; but when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture. ST October 9, 1901, par. 2

The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. Even before the last great destruction comes upon the world, the flattering monuments of man's greatness will be crumbled in the dust. God's retributive judgments will fall on those who in the face of great light have continued in sin. Costly buildings, supposed to be fire-proof, are erected. But as Sodom perished in the flames of God's vengeance, so will these proud structures become ashes. I have seen vessels which cost immense sums of money wrestling with the mighty ocean, seeking to breast the angry billows. But with all their treasures of gold and silver, and with all their human freight, they sank into a watery grave. Man's pride will be buried with the treasures he has accumulated by fraud. God will avenge the widows and orphans who in hunger and nakedness have cried to Him for relief from oppression. ST October 9, 1901, par. 3

The words of Revelation 18 will be fulfilled. John writes: “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her; for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” ST October 9, 1901, par. 4

“As the days of Noah 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 Noah 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.” In the days of Noah God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. “And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.... And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold I will destroy them with the earth.” ST October 9, 1901, par. 5

But though men were so wicked, God would not destroy them without warning. “My Spirit shall not always strive with man,” He said, “yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” During this period of probation the message of warning given to Noah was to sound in their ears. ST October 9, 1901, par. 6

At first many were startled by this message. Some believed it, and some died in the faith. But as time went by, the message lost its power over the careless, world-loving people. They forgot all thought of peril, and laughed at Noah for building an ark on dry land. But still the work of building went on. Noah showed his faith by his works, and by his faith and works condemned the world. ST October 9, 1901, par. 7

As Noah warned the world, so the people of God today are to warn the world. By their faith and works they are to condemn transgressors. They will meet the same wicked resistance that Noah met in his day. But they are not to fail or become discouraged. God calls for men who will deal prudently and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. ST October 9, 1901, par. 8

The Lord sends to His people the warning: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” ST October 9, 1901, par. 9

In these words the danger signal is uplifted. The warning is given to those who have received the important truth for this time, yet are not making ready for the coming of Christ. There is no time when spiritual slothfulness is excusable. Only by being clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness can we escape the judgments that are coming upon the earth. ST October 9, 1901, par. 10

We are living in a time that calls for decided action. The world is more bitterly opposed than ever to Gospel reform. But notwithstanding this, God's work is to go forward. The words of Christ come down to us who are living at the close of the earth's history: “When these things shall begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” The nations are in unrest. Times of perplexity are upon us. Men's hearts are failing them for fear of the things that are coming upon the earth. But those who believe in God will hear His voice amid the storm, saying, “It is I; be not afraid.” The world is lying in wickedness and apostasy. Rebellion to God's law seems almost universal. But amid the tumult of excitement, with confusion in every place, there is a work to be done for God in the world. ST October 9, 1901, par. 11

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children; ... let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; and let them say, Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach.” “Turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if He will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him?” ST October 9, 1901, par. 12

Mrs. E. G. White