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Thursday: Anticipation of the Second Advent — 13 Comments

  1. I have often wondered why Jesus asked the question, "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Lk. 18:8 NKJV). The preceding parable had to do with persistence in prayer but this question moves it to the realm of faith in Jesus' return at the end of time.

    As I consider the times in which the disciples lived and try to visualize being among them I realize that they were privileged to see all the miracles including the raising of Lazarus and above all the death and resurrection of the Lord. As they saw with their own eyes Jesus ascending up into the clouds how could they not have faith in His promise to return (Acts 1:9-11)?

    Jesus once voiced a blessing on those who believe and yet didn't see these things, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (Jn. 20:29 NKJV). Belief in the second coming is a faith experience that believes in spite of never actually seeing any demonstration of proof (Heb 11:1). It is solely based on the testimony of people that wrote their experiences down over 2000 years ago:

    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-- the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us-- that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 Jn. 1:1-3 NKJV)

    It is faith in that kind of a thing which Jesus said that we need to keep to the end (Mat 10:22; 24:13).

    For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:36-38 NKJV).

    • Greetings Tyler,

      At least you ask the question! We know at the 2nd Advent, all will be present who have faith,from Adam to you and maybe even me! So is Jesus mistaken with His question? We know He is not. So, the delema. How do we harmonize the text with our understanding of the 2nd Advent? It can't be done. Therefore, we must be missing something in the Scriptures that would identify with the Lord coming at a time, a time other than the 2nd Advent; when there is so little faith in the earth, that the question must be asked. Ellen White would have to verify such with dreams and visions of course. The parable of the 10 virgins in Matt. 25 is an excellent place to start.

      And now please, let me ask you a question, as strange as the Lords' referred to in Luke 18:8. Where does it say, in the Bible and/or Sister White's writings that the Lord does not touch the earth at the 2nd Advent? You will go to 1 Thess. 4:16, 17; but it does not say any such thing there. And if it did, Sister White would surely confirm?

      God bless you in your search for Eternity.

      • Ben, I think the answer to Christ's question depends on how a person views the Second Advent. You state that all will be present at His coming but I believe that is considering both those who are alive at the advent and those resurrected. I think Paul makes it clear that, "the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:16-17 NKJV). Also Revelation states that the four winds are held until the servants of God are sealed (Rev 7:1-8) which are said to be the 144000. I believe most pastors prefer to believe that verse 9 is speaking of that group as "a great multitude which no one could number" but my inclination is that interpreting it that way is wishful thinking. If I am wrong and I could be, then we indeed have a problem with the question Jesus raised.

        If, however, the remnant at the end is a relatively small group then Jesus would have been hinting to that as a prophetic fact. That is, that by the time probation closes there will be very few left that can endure the trials that the 144000 go through because they will essentially experience the same kind of stress Jesus had on the cross which is why they are the only ones that, "sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth" (Rev. 14:3 NKJV). That song is a song of experience. Of all the humans that have ever lived on the earth only that group has that experience and can sing that song.

        I believe that they are the ones who "are alive and remain," who go through the seven last plagues after probation has closed and experience a stress so strong that, "unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matt. 24:22 NKJV).

        As for the second question you ask, perhaps the reason why Ellen White doesn't get specific about how close to earth Jesus comes is because Paul tells us that, "we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17 NKJV) not on earth. Jesus went to great lengths to warn everyone, "Therefore if they say to you, `Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or `Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it" (Matt. 24:26 NKJV). To me it is not only that His coming will be visible by all but because He will not be walking around here on earth so that someone can say He is here or there.

        • Tyler, thank you for answering so quickly.

          What a shame if after 6,000 years of trying the Lord Jesus is only able to get 144,000 together for His Grand Event.

          “One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ's second coming, to complete the great work of redemption… The doctrine of the second advent is the very key-note of the sacred Scriptures..." GC 299.

          Yes, we are not to go chasing around after someone when they say "he is there, he is here"; especially out in the desert.

          So you don't have any Scriptures or SOP quotes that say He doesn't touch the earth at His Second Coming? The Bible and SOP are very clear on this subject and speak of the Lord's Coming 100's of times, maybe 1,000's.

          The resurrected are raised first, not to the Lord first but from the grave first, THEN all the living and the resurrected are "caught up together to meet the Lord in the air." I and we, I am sure, would hope that would be a vast number who through 6,000 years have faith.

          Remember what the Angels said at Christ's Ascension? They were very clear about the Second Advent, weren't they?

          Hope to see those quotes soon,
          God bless your search.


        • Ben, first of all I think you misread what I said. I didn't say, "Lord Jesus is only able to get 144,000 together for His Grand Event" or anything like it. What I did say is that it is my belief that the 144000 will be the only righteous ones that are still alive when Jesus comes back. The vast majority of the saved will be resurrected. Nor did I go into exactly how many the group we call the 144000 are since I feel that number is symbolic but apparently you must feel that it is literal. Either way I do believe that number is going to be quite small with respect to the world's population which would be consistent with what we see repeatedly in scriptural history concerning a remnant including what Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt. 7:13-14 NKJV). Notice that only a few even find the narrow gate let alone stay on the path. If you want to believe that there is going to be a huge number of saints alive to see the Second Advent then so be it and I doubt that I will be able to change that.

          As far as finding a quote from Ellen White goes, I don't need to, Paul makes it very clear that we are going to meet the Lord in the air and scripture takes priority over Ellen White. As for what was said at Christ's ascension it is obvious to me that the angels were referring to the fact that Jesus will come on the clouds of Heaven (Mat 24:30; 26:64; see https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_DA.832.2). But to satisfy your curiosity here is one quote from EGW that should do.

          Then Jesus' silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, "Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise." Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, "Alleluia!" as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. We all entered the cloud together . . . (Early Writings 16.1,2, https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_EW.16.1)

          It is also quite obvious to me that she was much more concerned about the doctrine of the secret rapture than to explain to her church what Paul clearly wrote on where the saints and the Lord were to meet. Where she speaks of the Second Advent for the most part she simply quotes 1 Thessalonians 4.

  2. I am so greatful to have this message of hope everlasting. The three important rituals as foot washing, Lord's Supper and the Baptism are a great and very sacred. It helps us to repent and forgiven, remember the saviour of the world, and follow the commandment and the testimony of Christ that leads us to life eternal. Life eternal is the life after death or life on the second coming determined by how we treasure and follow the commands of the mighty and the Living God.

  3. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” These were the words from the man Himself according to Mathew 26. 29. Until that day I drink with you in my Father's kingdom, surely He is coming back to take us home so that we drink with Him in His Father;s kingdom. Communion service reminds us of that promise, assurance and the hope and keep it alive till the day.
    I wait for the blessed hope until my guardian angel tells me that golden morning, "......look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh Luke 21. 28. Can't wait to go home and drink with Him, don't you!

  4. Indeed, these three ordinances are a means to an end and not an end in themselves. By accepting to undergo through these rituals, it means that we have firstly, by faith accepted the Lordship of Christ in our individual lives.

    Now, as we anticipate His soon return, it is imperative that we iron our wrinkled characters to His similitude. By just undergoing through these ordinances in our respective churches on a regular basis does not place us on a higher ground than others. Christ is looking for people who are going to model after His character because this is the only thing that we enable us to see Him come in the clouds of Heaven.

    Yes, without His crucifixion on the cross as portrayed by the communion service, there could be no need for a second coming, then, as we partake of the rituals, let them make us realize where we are coming from and where we are going and know why we need these rituals, only then can we be changed by faith into His similitude.

    Let us daily invite the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth to mould our characters into Christ's, then and only then can we be confident to meet Him when He returns.

  5. This week's lesson has been such a blessing. It has laid out the clear difference between a biblical worldview and a mystical one. Our faith tradition sees baptism, foot washing, and the Lord's supper as ordinances (ordained acts) that speak practically about our relationship to the Savior and the hope it brings. Other faith traditions emphasize a focus on sacrements and their mystical power. But a mystical power to do or be what? I am so pleased with how this lesson has explained the purpose and power of the ordinances.

  6. Praise God for your ministry in the service of the Lord, an example of saved to serve, thanks for the spiritual edification. May God richly bless you and one day may your crowns shine ever so bright because of the souls saved by your ministry. You and your ministry in my prayers.

  7. Greetings Tyler,

    I understood your words just as you presented them. Thanks for your comments to me. Yes, there is no secret rapture, all SDA's understand this, I hope. The 1,000 years is spent in Heaven with the Lord.

    Now to my question, please, a simple yes or no will be accepted gratefully.

    Can you find in the Scriptures or SOP writings a quote that says at the Second Advent the Lord does not touch the earth? Yes or no?

    God bless you in your search,

  8. Greetings again Tyler,

    I know you must be very busy so thank you for your time in this important matter.

    I am SDA, so I understand the deception of the secret rapture and the teaching that the 1,000 years is spent here on earth. And to seek out someone on earth, like we missed It, and had to be told of It; would not be Scriptural either. Thank goodness for Ellen White's Testimony to help us understand the Scriptures! When I came in the church, I was told we were special, in that we had a text (even many) for every Truth that we teach.

    Yes, the texts you give are all are descriptions of the events pertaining to the Second Advent. With such a universal teaching of such an important subject; such as the Lord does not touch the earth, you would think there would be one clear uniquivical text (Bible or SOP) saying so. The Ellen White Estate can not provide a quote. There isn't any, not one. (see below).

    If you have time, read the angels account again (Acts 1: 6-11) with a discerning, Berean eye. The angels tell us why there are no quotes to confirm such a teaching; they report exactly how the Second Advent is going to take place. There are plenty of quotes that verify their teaching.

    God bless you for caring,

    "Thank you for contacting the Ellen G. White Estate. The New Testament's description of Jesus' return in 1 Thess. 4:16, 17 suggests that Jesus will not alight on the earth at that time, for we will be "caught up" to meet Him in the air, and so to be with Him forever, not that He comes to be with us forever. Similarly, John 14:1-3 indicates that we are to be where He is, not that He is coming to be where we are. He receives us to Himself; we do not receive Him to ourselves. Again, this implies departing with Him from this earth to go to heaven, not that He comes down to this earth. Though it is widely believed and asserted in Seventh-day Adventist circles that Jesus' feet will not touch the earth when He returns at the start of the millennium, I know of no statement from Mrs. White that says this explicitly. I believe it is an appropriate conclusion to draw, based on the Bible's testimony, but I do not know of a statement that says it outright. More to the point, I think, are the statements that describe what Jesus' coming will be like--not something local (in the wilderness or the desert, for instance), but like that lightning that is seen everywhere (see Matt. 24:26, 27). All the tribes of the earth will see Him come on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and He will send out His angels to gather His elect from everywhere (Matt. 24:30, 31). Rev. 1:7 says that "every eye will see Him, "even they who pierced Him [this will require a special resurrection]. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him." These are more reliable signs than looking to see whether His feet touch the earth. I hope this may help.
    Thank you for writing, and God bless!"

    William Fagal Associate Director Ellen G. White Estate
    12501 Old Columbia Pike
    Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 U.S.A.
    Phone: 301 680-6550 FAX: 301 680-6559


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