THE TWENTY-FOURTH CHAPTER OF MATTHEW, AND THE SIGNS OF CHRISTíS COMING

   "And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be?  and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.  And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:3-14.)

   The direct question put to Christ and His answer as to the assurance of His second coming, and the end of this present world, is too plain and self explanatory to leave room for doubt.  He did not say that the end of the present sinful world was not to come, but He plainly stated that it will come.  However He said before the end shall come, "This gospel of the kingdom [the signs of His second coming as foretold in this chapter] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations [not that all nations shall be converted, but for a witness] and then shall the end come."  Those who teach contrary to this plain statement of the Master, are they of whom He says: "Many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many."  Furthermore, the Lord says: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. 24:27.)

   While some of these false prophets make a complete denial of His coming, others dare say, "He is already come."  Still others claim that no one shall see Him when He comes, but, He shall establish His kingdom on earth, and this world will never come

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to an end, etc.  We ask the question: Is Christ telling an untrue story, or are these false prophets fulfilling His prediction by trying to deceive the saints concerning His coming, and overthrow their faith in the Master's Word, and thus defraud them of a crown of life?  If these are not the deceivers of whom He speaks, then who are they?

   If such workers of iniquity dare try to contradict His plain language as in this instance, may it not be expected that they shall attempt to overthrow the entire truth of the Bible?

   When Christ shall come "as lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west," these false prophets shall be ashamed.  The Revelator also declares: "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: [that is, they that pierced Him; [that is, they that pierced him shall be resurrected prior to His coming. See Dan. 12:2] and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.  Even so, Amen." (Rev. 1:7.)  Yes, our Christ shall come and we shall see Him as He is, "And it shall be said in that day, Lo this is our God: we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." (Isa. 25:9.)

   Though these false prophets and sinners do not want to see Him come, they must: "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:15-17.)  And so shall the end come to the sinners, but not to God's people: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thess. 4:16, 17.)

   To the sinners that day shall be a fearful day, and to them shall He come "as a thief in the night," but not so to those who wait for Him.  For, speaking of the great persecution that overtook His people in the dark ages during the 1260 years of Daniel 7:25, He says: "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: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of

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heaven with power and great glory.  And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matt. 24:29-31.)

   The Master looking forward to this generation, says, "there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars." (Luke 21:25.) Thus, "immediately after the tribulation" (the great persecution) the sun was to be darkened.  On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled.  Quoting from "The Great Controversy": " 'Almost if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind,... stands the dark day of May 19, 1780 -- a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England'."  An eyewitness living in Massachusetts describes the event as follows:

   'In the morning the sun rose clear, but was soon overcast.  The clouds became lowery, and from them, black and ominous, as they soon appeared, lightening flashed, thunder rolled, and a little rain fell.  Toward nine o'clock, the clouds became thinner, and assumed a brassy or coppery appearance, and earth, rocks, trees, buildings, water, and persons were changed by this strange, unearthly light.  A few minutes later, a heavy black cloud spread over the entire sky except a narrow rim at the horizon, and it was as dark as it usually is at nine o'clock on a summer evening....

   'Fear, anxiety, and awe gradually filled the minds of the people.  Women stood at the door, looking out upon the dark landscape; men returned from their labor in the fields; the carpenter left his tools; the blacksmith his forge, the tradesman his counter.  Schools were dismissed, and tremblingly the children fled homeward.  Travelers put up at the nearest farmhouse.  'What is coming?' queried every lip and heart.  It seems as if a hurricane was about to dash across the land, or as if it was the day of the consummation of all things....

   'The extent of this darkness was extraordinary.  It was observed as far east as Falmouth.  To the westward it reached to the farthest part of Connecticut, and to Albany.  To the southward, it was observed along the seacoast; and to the north as far as American settlements extend.'

   "The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist.  'After sundown, the cloud came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast.' 'Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; not withstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of

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some artificial light, which, when seen from the neighboring houses and other places at a distance, appeared through a kind of Egyptian darkness which seemed almost impervious to the rays.' Said an eye witness of the scene: 'I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence the darkness could not have been more complete.'  Though at nine o'clock that night the moon rose to the full, 'it had not the least effect to dispel the death-like shadows.' After midnight the darkness disappeared, and the moon, when first visible, had the appearance of blood.

   "May 19, 1780, stands in history as 'The Dark Day.'  Since the time of Moses, no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration, has ever been recorded.  The description of this event, as given by eye-witnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfillment: 'The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.'"

   "In 1833, two years after Miller began to present in public the evidences of Christ's soon coming, the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Saviour as tokens of His second advent.  Said Jesus, 'The stars shall fall from heaven.'  And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that should herald the day of God 'The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.'  This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great metoric shower of November 13, 1833.  That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; 'The whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another.' 'It's sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds.... Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west north, and south, it was the same.  In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion.... The display, as described in Professor Silliman's journal, was seen all over North America.... From two o'clock until broad daylight, the sky being perfectly serene and cloudless, an incessant play of dazzling brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens.'

   'No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display;... no one who did not witness it can form

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an adequate conception of its glory.  It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted -- thousands swiftly followed in the tracks of thousands, as if created for the occasion.'

   "In the New York Journal of Commerce of Nov. 14, 1833, appeared a long article regarding this wonderful phenomenon, containing this statement: 'No philosopher or scholar has told or recorded an event, I suppose, like that of yesterday morning.  A prophet eighteen hundred years ago foretold it exactly, if we will be at the trouble of understanding stars falling to mean falling stars... in the only sense in which it is possible to be literally true.'

   "Thus was displayed the last of those signs of His coming concerning which Jesus bade His disciples, 'When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.'  After these things, John beheld, as the great event next impending, the heavens departing as a scroll, while the earth quaked, mountains and islands removed out of their places, and the wicked in terror sought to flee from the presence of the Son of man." -- Great Controversy, pp.  306-308, 333, 334.

   Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent, and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King.  "And when these things begin to come to pass," He said "then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28.)  He pointed His followers to the budding trees of spring, and said: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." (Matt. 24:32, 33.)  While the Saviour has clearly pointed out the nearness of His coming to the generation that shall witness all these signs, He has not left us in darkness as to how long it will be from the time of the fulfillment of these signs to that great and glorious event, for He added: "This generation [the one that has seen the signs] shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matt. 24:34.)  As the generation spoken of by the Master is about to pass away, and the kingdom of everlasting life ushered in, the searcher of truth should not neglect his opportunity by allowing things of lesser importance to occupy his mind, or time.

Committed to S. D. A. Denomination

   The gospel of the coming of Christ in this generation, and the signs of the times as in Matthew 24, was committed to the

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Seventh-day Adventist denomination since 1844.  No other body of people has had the burden of the message that is taught in this chapter (the signs and the end of the world), and the urgency of its speedy delivery in this generation.  Therefore, whatever commendation, or condemnation is written to the "servant" in Matthew 24, cannot be applied to another people.  Furthermore, as the rest of Christendom had fallen by 1844 because they rejected the messages that were sent to them and thus God would not let light shine through them since that time, it is evident that the gospel of the 24th chapter of Matthew could not have been preached by any other people.  Therefore, the statement concerning the servant in the following verse is applicable only to the foregoing denomination.

   "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them [to the world] meat in due season" -- present truth? (Matt. 24:45.)  Note, that there is a question as to whom this faithful servant could be.  If that people to whom primarily this gospel was committed had been faithful, then the following promise would have been their's: "Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.  Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His goods." (Matt. 24:46, 47.)  The significance of "all His goods" is the finishing of the gospel, bringing everlasting righteousness, and ushering in the kingdom of Christ!  What a wonderful promise!  But, observe the danger of losing this everlasting glory: "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken." (Matt. 24:48, 49.)  The "servant" (singular) that shall "begin to smite his fellow servants" (plural) signifies the leadership -- the "angel" of the church of the Laodiceans -- those who have charge of the "household."  But the "servants" (plural) apply to the ministry under that leadership.  By the unfaithfulness of "that servant," the gospel has been delayed; the generation is about to pass, and the work is years behind.  The result is, that the delay has not been expressed by action only, but it is even said by words, "My Lord delayeth His coming."  And as one sin leads to another, the doctrine of "Health Reform," eating foods that have been devitalized by modern inventions the "dainties" of Babylon, etc. -- indulging fleshly lusts, has been largely disregarded, thus fulfilling the words, "eat and drink with the drunken."

   The doctrine of health reform is said to be "the right hand and arm of the Third Angel's Message," and that the medical work is "the right hand of the message."  The idea of health reform is a thing of the past so far as the church as a body is concerned,

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and the leadership cares little.  But that is not the worst, this unfaithful servant of God has even dared stretch his hand over the gulf to form an unlawful alliance of the denominational medical institutions with those of the world who are bitterly opposed to the idea of health reform -- right hand and arm of the "Third Angel's Message."  The very channel which was instituted to uphold and carry that part of the work, is being bound by a confederacy and now in order to maintain this alliance it has been compelled to sacrifice the very principle for which it was organized.  Thereby God's agency for treating the sick and preventing disease by healthful living and divine healing through obedience of the truth, has been substituted by drugs.

   Thus the devil has cut off the right hand and arm of the "Third Angel's Message," and by this cunning device has robbed the church of God of its medical institutions!  What a calamity!  What a loss!  Would not God's faithful people at such a time as this come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty?  How a body of people with so much light can become so blind is beyond human understanding; it is a mystery!

   Had they (those who were charged with this great responsibility) been faithful to the trust committed to them, the everlasting blessings found in the following verse would have been their's: "That He shall make him ruler over all his goods."  But to him who neglects his Master's commission: "The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 24:50, 51.)  Had they taken heed to the last urgent message sent them, calling for decided changes in these things, the following chapter (Matthew 25) would have been prophetically different.

The Ten Virgins---Matthew 25

   "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  And while they went

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to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matt. 25:1-13.)

   Observe that the 25th chapter is a continuation of the 24th.  Mark the word, "then," meaning the time they fulfilled the prophetic words contained in Matt. 24:48-51.  The virgins are a figure of the church.  Number "ten," has the symbolic meaning of universal (the church as a body).  Note that they are all "virgins."  The 144,000 are designated by the same word. (See Rev. 14:4.)  The word "virgins," signify that the class represented by them (ten), are not those who are called out from Babylon (fallen churches) at the time the "cry" is made.  For, if they were to come out of Babylon by the call "Come out of her, my people" (Rev. 18:4), they would have been defiled with "women" (fallen churches), and therefore, could not be called "virgins."  Thus, the message of the "Midnight Cry" must find them in the house of God -- virgins.

   The "Midnight Cry" was first proclaimed prior to 1844, and the coming of the "Bridegroom" was Christ's coming to the Most Holy place in the heavenly sanctuary for the investigative judgment of the saints.  The investigation being in two sections; first, the judgment for the dead, and the second for the living, the "cry" must be repeated, otherwise we would have no present truth for the time of the judgment of the living.  The "cry" for the living being of a greater importance to the world than the one for the dead, and as the "virgins" are a figure of the living church, the parable must have a direct application to the church at this present time, -- the coming of the bridegroom for the judgment of the living.  But indirectly it points back to the commencement of the "Midnight Cry" (the first angel's message -- the judgment for the dead).  The messages being of the same event, judgment, both (for the living and for the dead) are called the "midnight cry."  The same is proven by the parable itself.

   "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps."  Note that they "slumbered and slept" before the cry was made.  In the summer of 1844, midway between the time when it was first thought that the 2300 days would end (on March 21), and the second date (October 22 of the same year), this period they applied as being the "tarrying time."  But mark that the "cry" had been going on for some

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years (the message by Miller), and the tarrying time was applied at its close after they had discovered their miscalculation, which is contrary to a proper application of the parable; for according to the parable they tarried before they cry was made.  Therefore, the tarrying time must be the judgment for the dead, before the bridegroom came to the investigation of the living, in which time the "ten virgins" developed.  So, that is the time in which they all slumbered and slept.  This application is also in perfect harmony with the message to the Laodiceans. (See Rev. 3:14-19; Isa. 52:1, 2.)

   If the foregoing application is correct, then at the end of the tarrying period, or just prior to the commencement of the judgment of the living, there must be a message -- "cry"; and if the "virgins" are a figure of the church as a body in the time of the "cry," then, the message must be for the church only.  This is also proven in "The Great Controversy," page 425.  In as much as there is just such a "cry" presented in "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, it not only shows that the application of the parable is correct, but it also proves that church to be the "House of God."

   "They all slumbered and slept."  This statement by the Master proves that the church as a body has been asleep -- being in perfect harmony with the previous explanation of the 24th chapter of Matthew.  Five were foolish and five wise.  Number "ten" being a symbol of the church as a body, the number five and five, mean half and half.  The denomination numbers at the present time a little over 300,000; half of this number would be about 150,000.  If we should subtract the dead material (backsliders, but still on the church record), the number derived after such deduction would be about 144,000.  Thus again it proves that the 144,000 are the five wise virgins; and the foolish ones are they who shall fall under the destroying weapons in the hand of the "five men.'

   "But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps."  The "oil" is a symbol of the Spirit of God in the form of a message (truth); for, it is the substance that gives the light (the prophetic Word of God).  The lamp must be a symbol of the heart into which the Word (oil) is being retained.  The trimming of their lamps, is the "trimming" of their hearts; that is, their conscience being aroused they began to show interest.  But only five of them had an extra supply of oil in their vessels.  As they started out to meet the bridegroom, the lamps of the foolish ones went out; and as they found themselves in darkness, it made their progress impossible.  Now, the question arises: What made their lamps go out, and why could they go backward, but not forward?  As the message of the judgment for the dead was the

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present truth since 1844, at the beginning of the judgment for the living (when the cry was made), it became present truth no longer.  Consequently their lamps went out.  They could not move forward because they were foolish; that is, they did not accept the light -- the judgment for the living.  Was the "oil" beyond their reach?  The words in the parable prove that they all heard the "cry, "arose, and trimmed their lamps."  Five of them failed to get the supply of oil because they were "foolish," -- they did not study for themselves.  Allowed others to think for them; they chose the easy, popular side, and accepted the decisions of the leaders, copies the mistakes of others and were thus left without a supply of oil, -- robbed of the truth, cheated of glory, and left in darkness!

   "And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out."  At last the foolish virgins saw themselves in darkness.  Then they went to the wise and asked for oil as a gift; "But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves."  The oil is sold and there must be something given in exchange to obtain the supply.  The price they had to pay was to "sigh and cry for the abominations done in the midst thereof," give up sinning and obey the truth.  Their receipt for the value of exchange would have been the seal of the living God in their foreheads.

   "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not."  As the foolish virgins at last came to the door, it is evident that they obtained the oil (learned of the message) but there had been a delay -- the door was shut, and they were left out.  Now, why were they unconcerned at first, and very zealous at last?  The experience in this instance is about the same as that of the deluge.  While Noah preached the coming of the flood, the world paid little attention to this message; but those who believed, went into the ark at a given time and the door was closed.  But not long afterwards, signs of Noah's prediction appeared; and as drops of rain begain to fall the wicked multitude became alarmed and rushed for the ark, but the door was closed and they were left out.  The door that "was shut," is a symbol showing that probation for the church had closed just shortly after the foolish virgins became alarmed.  At last they were willing to pay the price and buy the oil; but it was not a change of heart, only the fear of losing out.  Their course of action had left them without the seal -- "the man with the writer's inkhorn"

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had passed them by.  What a terrible mistake! What a disappointment! Almost saved, but entirely lost.

   "The coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place, for the cleansing of the sanctuary, brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days, as presented in Daniel 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ, in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25." -- "The Great Controversy p. 426.

   The description by Daniel applies to the commencement of the judgment for the dead; but the one by Malachi 3:1-3, is applicable to the judgment for the living -- all of the same event-day of atonement -- cleansing of the sanctuary.

   "The coming of the bridegroom, here brought to view, takes place before the marriage.  The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom.  The holy city, the New Jerusalem, which is the capitol and representative of the kingdom, is called 'the bride, the lamb's wife.'  Said the angel to John, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.'  'He carried me away in the spirit,' says the prophet, 'and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.' Clearly, then, the bride represents the holy city, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church.  In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper.  If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride.  Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of days in heaven; 'dominion, and glory and a kingdom;' He will receive the New Jerusalem, the capitol of His kingdom, 'prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.'  Having received the kingdom, He will come in His glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, for the redemption of His people, who are to 'sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,' at His table in His kingdom, to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb." -- "The Great Controversy, pp. 426, 427.

   The virgins were called to meet Him, and thus by faith go in with Him to appear before the Father -- the Great Judge.  The seal is the permit; it places their names in the Lamb's book of Life and thus it grants to them the right to appear before the Father in the judgment; not in person, but in figure; thus having their sins blotted out.  Matthew 24:36, 50, are descriptions of the same event.  "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matt. 25:13.)  This has reference to the time of the judgment, and not of His coming to earth; for, the saints shall know the day and the hour

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of Christ's coming in the clouds to receive the redeemed, as it shall be announced by the Father shortly before His coming. (See "The Great Controversy," p. 640.)

Summary of the Ten Virgins

The number, "ten", being a symbol of universal, it represents the church as a body prior to the commencement of the judgment of the living -- in the sealing period of the 144,000, and before the "Loud Cry" of the Third Angel's Message; being the period of the first fruits of the harvest.  The five wise virgins were they who trusted in God and His word only; having no confidence in man, and were hungry for truth, searching for light, and gladly accepting it when it came.  Thus they received the seal of God's approval, their sins were blotted out, and their lives made sure -- they passed from condemnation and death into glory and life eternal.  They are God's servants, kings and priests -- 144,000 in number.

   The five foolish virgins are they who had confidence in men; they were willing that others should think and study for them.  Their love for this world and the things of it, exceeded their love for Christ and the world to come.  They had no true sense of the awful result of sin.  Their zeal for self, drowned their zeal for the house of God and His honor.  They were satisfied with their lamps trimmed and but little oil in them.  They saw no necessity for more light -- prophets, truth or message.  They said in their hearts, we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.  They were prejudiced against light upon the word of God, and accepted not the truth because the channel through which it came was not of their choice.

   The knowledge of present truth, which the five foolish virgins possessed since 1844 is the judgment of the dead, and was the only oil in their lamps.  When the judgment of the living commenced, and the "cry was made," they were found without this extra oil in their vessels; they had neglected their Lord's command: "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."  Thus when the wise ones started out to meet the bridegroom the lamps of the foolish went out, for, the judgment of the dead had passed.  Therefore, it was present truth no more, and thus they were left in darkness.  At the beginning of the judgments of God they saw their mistake and rushed for the ark of safety, but it was beyond their reach for they knew nothing of the message, and by the time they acquired it (filled their lamps with oil), there had been a delay, the angel had passed "through the city, through Jerusalem," the

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church -- the sealing was finished, and probation for the church had closed -- the door was shut.  Thus they were left out.  Then they came with these words: "Lord, Lord, open unto us, But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not."  "Appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  What a disappointment that will be!

   It will be noticed that the close of probation for the church and the one for the world are two different events.  The former is a miniature representation of the latter.  The Scripture for the preceding one is found in Matthew 25:11, 12; but of the final one we read: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Rev. 22:11, 12.)  At this time those who were like the five foolish virgins, will say, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. 8:20.)  "And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:12.)

Shepherd's Rod book, Vol. 2                     186