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    SIGNS OF THE FIRST ADVENT

    1. Christ was born of a virgin, Matthew 1:18-25, spoken of in Isaiah 7:14.ST186x 2.1

    2. Bethlehem was his birthplace, Matthew 2:1, mentioned in Micah 5:2.ST186x 2.2

    3. The act of Herod in slaying all the children in Bethlehem, from two years old and under, Matthew 2:16-18, prophesied of in Jeremiah 31:15.ST186x 2.3

    4. His forerunner, John. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Isaiah 40:3. All Judea and Jerusalem saw this sign when they went out to be baptized of John. Matthew 3:1-6.ST186x 2.4

    5. The gospel preached. When Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read, he opened the book and read where it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings.” Isaiah 61:1. The eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened upon him. And he said unto them, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:16-21.ST186x 2.5

    6. His humility when on trial, Matthew 27:12-14, described by the prophet in these words: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted; yet he opened not his mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7.ST186x 3.1

    7. The manner and circumstances of his death. “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me. They pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Psalm 22:13-18. “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness; and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Psalm 69:20, 21. These prophecies had an exact and literal accomplishment at the crucifixion of Christ, and the Jews saw it. Matthew 27:35; John 19:28-30.ST186x 3.2

    8. The fulfillment of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24-27. The Jews understood this, or might have understood it. Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied [or taught the prophecies] that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” John 11:49-52. We might add to these signs the miracles of Christ, his resurrection, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of pentecost, and still others which were distinctly spoken of by the prophets.ST186x 3.3

    But notwithstanding the fact that these prophecies were fulfilled before the faces of the rulers of the Jews, and that all these signs were actually accomplished in a little more than thirty years, they themselves having to acknowledge that notable miracles had been done by our Lord, yet they believed not. Well may it be said by this generation, that the Jews deserved wrath, and God was just in destroying their nation and place. But are they less guilty of the sin of unbelief than were the Jews? Do they believe in that Word which they blame the Jews for rejecting?ST186x 4.1

    The Jews were looking for a temporal kingdom. They applied many of the prophecies of Christ’s second appearing in power and great glory to his coming as a prince to deliver them from the Roman yoke, and exalt them to worldly glory. They were disappointed and grieved with the humility of Jesus of Nazareth, and in their pride rejected the signs of his first advent. The popular professors of our day as a body are looking for a temporal millennium, and they overlook the signs of his second advent, which are much more numerous and forcible than those of his first advent. Then if the signs of Christ’s second coming are held in doubt, and are rejected by the professed people of God of this generation, the sin of unbelief will rest upon them heavier than it did upon the Jews, in proportion as they reject greater light.ST186x 4.2

    Prophecy is history in advance. From the very nature of the case Daniel could not understand his own prophecy, because it related to the rise and fall of future kingdoms. When the prophet inquires: “O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things,” Gabriel answers: “Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Daniel 12:8, 9. To this agrees the apostle, who speaks of the prophets, “Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister.” 1 Peter 1:12. We will now consider the subject of the signs of our times in the light of the fulfillment of prophecy.ST186x 5.1

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