- Christ Comes -
Letter 2, August 24, 1874
Letter 97, April 29, 1886
Manuscript 56, May 21, 1886
Manuscript 6a, June 27, 1886
Letter 113, July 11, 1886
Manuscript 15b, July 21, 1886
Manuscript 81, September 21, 1886
Letter 137, April 6, 1896
Manuscript 39, March 11, 1898
Manuscript 159, September 4, 1903
Letter 257, July 27, 1904
Manuscript 36, March 24, 1906
Letter 2, August 24, 1874, (see also 1SM 74; 3SM 36-37)
When Christ the great Life-Giver shall come in the clouds of heaven to raise the dead, there will be a terrible earthquake. The trump of God will be heard resounding through earth's remotest bounds, and the voice of Jesus will call forth the dead from their graves to immortal life....Christ is coming with power and great glory which shall illuminate the earth from east to west, from north to south, with the flash of lightning.
What a scene will these mountains and hills [of Switzerland] present when Christ, the Life-Giver, shall call forth the dead! They will come from caverns, from dungeons, from deep wells, where their bodies have been buried. They will come forth with the sound of the trumpet and the voice of God at the last great and terrible day of the Lord.
Before the glory of Him who is to reign, the mountains will tremble and bow, the rocks will be moved out of their places, for once more will the Lord shake, not alone the earth, but the heavens also. The scattered ones, who have fled for their lives to the rocks, the dens, the caverns of the earth, because of the fury of the oppressor, will be made glad at the voice of God.
As John exiled upon the Isle of Patmos was startled from his contemplation of the works of God in nature, and, as on bended knees he was praying to Him, he hears a voice saying, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" [Revelation 1:8]. At the sound of the voice, John falls down in astonishment as if dead. He is unable to bear the sight of the divine glory. But a hand raises John up, and the voice he remembers as the voice of his Master. He is strengthened and can endure to talk with the Lord Jesus. So will it be with the remnant people of God who are scattered--some persecuted. When the voice of God is heard, and the brightness of the glory is revealed, when the trial is over, the dross removed, they know they are in the presence of the One who has redeemed them by His own blood.
Just what Christ was to John in his exile, He will be to His people who are made to feel the hand of oppression for the faith and testimony of Jesus Christ. These very martyrs will one day be resplendent with the glory of God, because He has faithful ones who have been loyal, while the world and the churches have made void His holy law. These were driven by the storm and tempest of persecution to the crevices of the rocks, but were hiding in the Rock of Ages, and in the fastnesses of the mountains, in the caves and dens of the earth, the Saviour reveals His presence and His glory.
Yet a little while, and He that is to come will come and will not tarry. His eyes as a flame of fire penetrate into the fast-closed dungeons and hunt out the hidden ones, for their names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
These eyes of the Saviour are above us, around us, noting every difficulty, discerning every danger; and there is no place where His eyes cannot penetrate, no sorrows and sufferings of His people where the sympathy of Christ does not reach. They reach the persecuted ones everywhere. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me" [Matthew 25:40]. Every deed of darkness that Satan, united with wicked men may do, Christ's eyes like a flame of fire detect, and it is noted and registered by the great Heart Searcher.
The child of God will be terror-stricken at the first sight of the majesty of Jesus Christ. He feels that he cannot live in His holy presence. But the word comes to him, as to John, "Fear not." Jesus laid His right hand upon John. He raised him up from his prostrate position. So will he do unto His loyal, trusting ones, for there are greater revelations of the glory of God to be given them.
There is also to be a revelation to the transgressors of the law of Jehovah--they who made void the law of God, who have taken their stand on the side of him who thought to change times and laws. From the terror-stricken myriads comes the cry, "The great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" [Revelation 6:17].
[In Revelation 20:11-15] is presented before us the great and solemn day when the judgment is to sit and the books to be opened, and the dead are to be judged according to the things that are written in the books. I have questioned in my mind, as I have seen the people of our cities hurrying to and from business, whether they ever thought of the day of God that is just before us. Every one of us should be living with reference to the great day which is soon to come upon us....
Do we consider from day today that a record is going up to heaven of all our actions here? If we would take heed to our ways, and if we would have the fear of God before us, our lives here would be far better than they are today....Angels of God in heaven are sent to our earth to weigh moral worth. And our heavenly Father has sent us the message of warning, that we shall get ready for that day of final reckoning....
It is our privilege to understand the great responsibilities that God has placed upon us, so that we shall not be in darkness as to what is coming upon our world. We cannot afford to meet that day without a preparation. But when we think of this great and solemn event of Christ's coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, we should live in great humiliation before God, lest we fail of the grace of God and prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life....
We see that the world at large have no thought of this great day, and many of them do not care to hear anything about it. But we must meet the record of our lives. We must remember that there is a witness to all our works. An eye like a flame of fire beholds us in all our actions of life. Our very thoughts and intents and purposes of our hearts are laid bare to God's inspection. As the features are produced upon the polished plate of the [photographic] artist, so are our characters upon the books of record in heaven....
Everyone then will see just where he departed from the right way. Everyone will then discern the influence he had upon his fellowmen by his own departure from God's righteousness, to turn them away from the ways of truth and right. Everyone then will understand just what he did to dishonor the God of heaven by breaking His law.
Everyone who comes forth from the dead, when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven, and those who are living, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The deeds and acts which we have thought to have been done in secret where no eye could see, are made known. There was an eye that saw and registered the deeds done by man....
Enoch walked with God three hundred years previous to his translation to heaven, and the state of the world was not then more favorable for the perfection of Christian character than it is today....Enoch was a representative of those who will be upon the earth when Christ shall come, who will be translated to heaven without seeing death....
When the judgment shall sit and the books opened, and everyone judged according to the deeds done in the body, those who have imitated Christ in obedience to God's commandments, will be blessed. "And another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" [Revelation 20:12].
John also saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem with its twelve gates and twelve foundations, coming down from God out of heaven. He was shown that city, and saw the streets of transparent gold, clear as crystal. Everyone that goes into that city is changed and sanctified in character here in this life. The nations that have kept the truth enter into the city of God, and a voice is heard clear and distinct, "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" [Revelation 22:14].
There the crown of immortal glory is placed upon the head of the overcomer....As John sees this precious company, refined and purified, around the throne of God, the angel inquires, "What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" And John answers, "Sir, thou knowest," and the angel answers, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them" [Revelation 7:13-15]....
Do not place your influence against God's commandments. That law is just as Jehovah wrote it in the temple in heaven. Man may trample upon its copy here below, but the original is kept in the ark of God in heaven; and on the cover of this ark, right above that law, is the mercy seat. Jesus stands right there before the ark to mediate for man....Seek for immortality, and the crown of life, and then you will have heaven at last.
I look forward in imagination to the time when the trump of God shall sound and all that are in their graves shall hear His voice and come forth, those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.
Oh, what a scene will we then see--some coming forth to life eternal at the first resurrection. Upon them the second death shall have no power. And then at the end of a thousand years the wicked dead come forth. I cannot endure to think of this. I dwell with pleasure upon the resurrection of the just, who shall come forth from all parts of the earth, from rocky caverns, from dungeons, from caves of the earth, from the waters of the deep--not one is overlooked! Every one shall hear His voice. They will come forth with triumph and victory. Then there is to be no more death, no more sin, no more sorrow.
In the midst of their unbelief and godless pleasure the shout of the archangel and the trump of God is heard. The fatal deception is broken at last, and they find themselves weighed in the balances and found wanting....
Just when the world has been rocked to sleep by the peace and safety cry of the professed watchmen; just when the scoffer is uttering his bold challenge, "Where is the promise of His coming?"--when everything in our world is busy [with] activity, immersed in selfish ambition for gain, Jesus comes as a thief in the night. Watch therefore for the solemn events predicted. The believing, watching ones are addressed, "Yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them...and they shall not escape" [1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3].... Grand and magnificent buildings will be shaken down. The guilty worshipers will be buried in their ruins.
In regard to the coming of the Son of Man, this will not take place until after the mighty earthquake shakes the earth [and] after the people have heard the voice of God. [But before that time] they are in despair and trouble such as never was since there was a nation, and in this the people of God will suffer affliction. The clouds of heaven will clash, and there will be darkness, then that voice comes from heaven and the clouds begin to roll back like a scroll, and there is the bright, clear sign of the Son of Man. The children of God know what that cloud means.
The sound of music is heard, and as it nears, the graves are opened, and the dead are raised, and there are thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand of angels that compose that glory and encircle the Son of Man. Those who have acted the most prominent part in the rejection of Christ come forth to see Him as He is, and those who have rejected Christ come up to see the saints glorified, and it is at that time that the saints are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. The very ones who placed upon Him the purple robe and put the crown of thorns upon His brow, and those who put the nails through His hands and feet, look upon Him and wail. This is the very sign of the coming of the Son of Man....
There are many signs that will take place before the coming of the Son of Man, but when the white cloud is seen, this will be the sign of the coming of the Son of Man. There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and the nations in perplexity. These all testify that Christ is coming, and He is revealed in the clouds with power and great glory.
The straight testimony must be borne whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. Those reproved who will not be warned, counseled or reformed but who justify their own course of actions, will be left to their own ways, to be filled with their own doings. Like the inhabitants of the old world, they will follow with persistent zeal the imagination of their own hearts, and they will perish in their sins.
When the earth is reeling to and fro like a drunkard, when the heavens are shaking, and the great day of the Lord is come, who shall be able to stand? One object they behold in trembling agony, from which they will try in vain to escape: "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him" [Revelation 1:7]. The unsaved utter wild imprecations to dumb nature--their god: "Mountains and rocks, 'fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb'" [Revelation 6:16].
Creation is loyal to her God, and deaf to the frenzied call. That unrequited love is now turned to wrath. Sinners who would not let Jesus take away their sins are rushing from place to place in search of a hiding place, crying, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and our souls are not saved!" [see Jeremiah 8:20]. Oh that they had seen the Rock of shelter and perfect safety--the Cleft of the Rock--whither they might flee until the indignation be overpast! "A man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest" [Isaiah 32:2]. That Lamb whose wrath will be so terrible to the scorner of His grace, will be grace, and righteousness, and love, and blessing to all who have received Him.
The pillar of cloud that was dark with terror and avenging wrath to the Egyptians, was to the people of God a pillar of fire for brightness. So will it be to the Lord's people in these last days. The light and glory of God to His commandment-keeping people are darkness to the unbelieving. They see that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. The arm, long stretched, strong to save all who come unto Him, is strong to execute His judgment upon all who would not come unto Him that they might have life....The sure provision has been made to shelter every soul, and shield those who have kept His commandments until the indignation be overpast.
The Son of Man will come in the clouds of Heaven in His own glory and the glory of His Father, and of all the holy angels. There will be no lack of honor and glory. In that day the law of God is to be revealed in its majesty, and man who has broken that law and stood in defiant rebellion against its holy precepts, will understand that law which he has despised, discarded and trampled under foot is God's standard of character.
In the day of His (Christ's) coming, the last great trumpet is heard, and there is a terrible shaking of earth and heaven. The whole earth, from the loftiest mountains to the deepest mines, will hear. Everything will be penetrated by fire. The tainted atmosphere will be cleansed by fire. The fire having fulfilled its mission, the dead that have been laid away in the graves will come forth--some to the resurrection of life, to be caught up to meet their Lord in the air, and some to behold the coming of Him whom they have despised and whom they now recognize as the judge of all the earth.
All the righteous are untouched by the flames. They can walk through the fire--smoke and flame will be powerless to harm the righteous. Those who are united with the Lord will escape unscathed. Earthquakes, hurricanes, flame, and flood cannot injure those who are prepared to meet their Saviour in peace.
When Christ comes to gather to Himself those who have been faithful, the last trump will sound, and the whole earth, from the summits of the loftiest mountains to the lowest recesses of the deepest mines will hear. The righteous dead will hear the sound of the trump, and will come forth from their graves to be clothed with immortality and to meet their Lord. And those who pierced the Saviour, those who scourged and crucified Him, will also be raised to behold Him whom they mocked and despised, coming in the clouds of heaven, attended by the heavenly host, ten thousand times then thousand, and thousands of thousands.
When Christ comes, He takes those who have purified their souls by obeying the truth. Some will go into the grave who are now in active life, and some will be alive and be changed when Christ shall come. This mortal shall put on immortality, and these corruptible bodies, subject to disease, will be changed from mortal to immortal. We shall then be gifted with a higher nature. The bodies of all who purify their souls by obeying the truth shall be glorified. They have fully received and believed in Jesus Christ.