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    LO, HERE AND LO, THERE

    After speaking of the great tribulation, the Saviour said: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 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.” Verses 23-27.EMTF 35.1

    This is a very important and much-abused part of this great prophecy. Its connection and obvious intention are generally quite disregarded; when it is used, it mostly so applied as to teach the opposite of the idea presented by the Saviour. Because of the importance of its testimony on the question under consideration, we feel warranted in noticing it at some length.EMTF 35.2

    1. When offering proof from the Bible that “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” we are often met with the remark that “we are commanded not to follow the lo here’s and lo there’s.” That this is a perversion of the Scriptures is easily shown. The only text in the Bible from which it is professedly drawn is that above quoted; and the only caution given in the text is against those who say, Here is Christ.” But Seventh-day Adventists never say so. To argue in favor of his future coming is to argue that he is not here—that he has not yet come. Therefore the caution is not against us or against our doctrine.EMTF 36.1

    2. They who deny our position, and contend for a figurative or spiritual coming of the Son of man, are the very ones against whom the warning is spoken. Some say the Lord came in A. D. 70, at the overthrow of Jerusalem. Then in that day they could in truth say, “Lo, here is Christ.” But our Saviour said, Believe it not;” and we obey his word,—we do not believe it. And some say his coming is at the death of a saint,—that the coming of Christ to each one is at his death. Even learned ministers say so. If that be so, his coming is not a public event, but is literally “in the secret chambers.” To this also the Saviour says, “Believe it not.” And again we heed his word,—we do not believe it. We hope that they who contend for such forced and unnatural constructions of the Saviour’s language do not intentionally make nonsense of his words, but that such a construction is nonsensical it is easy to show.EMTF 36.2

    When the Lord said of John, “If I will that he tarry [literally, abide or remain] till I come, what is that to thee?” the disciples thought that John should remain till he came, and therefore thought he would not die. That is to say, that so far from the coming of Christ meaning the death of his servants, they who remain till his coming will not die at all: For further proof of this, see John 11:24-26; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52;1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. But if it were so that John should live till Christ’s coming, and if it were also true that Christ’s coming would be when John died, then the language of the Lord, correctly interpreted, would read, “If I will that he live till he die, what is that to thee?” Sure enough, what is that to anybody, even to John himself? We wish that a view of its absurdity would lead those who teach thus to correct their theology and confess their error.EMTF 36.3

    3. Adventists, or literalists, are the only ones who cannot be deceived by false christs. They who take the Scriptures literally, who believe the coming of Christ is a literal, personal, visible coming; that it is yet future; that it will be with wondrous power and glory, such as to strike his enemies with awful dread; that “all kindreds of the earth will wail because of him,” when every eye shall see him; “that at his coming the graves will be opened and the dead will be raised; that the living saints will be changed to immortality, and all be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,—they, we say, who believe these things cannot be deceived by false christs and by counterfeit comings, because they cannot counterfeit these events, while they who spiritualize his coming, or make it mean anything whatever but a person visible coming, are open to the deceptions against which the Saviour warns us.EMTF 37.1

    4. The fact or event against which the Saviour wants us is fulfilled by those who spiritualize the coming of Christ, who say he is here, coming at death or in any other event past or present. But most notably is it fulfilled in these last days by Spiritualists, who assign the name or title of Christ to a class, and deny that it specially belongs to an individual, or to Jesus of Nazareth. We have conversed with those who professed to be christs, and they actually “show great signs and wonders.” Multitudes are deceived by them. Christ said that if possible they would deceive the very elect. Many who consider themselves of the elect—who profess to love the Lord and to believe the Scriptures—are deceived by them, because they have imbibed the erroneous views of the nature of the second coming of Christ, and of the nature of man, and of the true source of immortality.EMTF 38.1

    5. As has been noticed, they who say the coming of Christ was at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, assert that his coming was figurative—he came in judgment to the Jews. The judgment was inflicted by Titus and the Roman army; therefore Titus and that army represented Christ in his coming. To suit such a supposed fact we will read the caution given by our Saviour: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Roman army, believe it not,—go not forth. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth unto the west, so shall the coming of the Roman army be.” But we insist that the Roman army never came to Jerusalem in any such manner. Yet in such manner will the coming of the Son of man be. For he shall come in power and great glory (Matthew 24:30); he shall come in the glory of his Father (chapter 16:27), and in the glory of the holy angels (Luke 9:26); all the holy angels shall come with him (Matthew 25:31). His coming will be as glorious and resplendent as the lightning. When Jesus revealed himself to Saul of Tarsus, there was a light above the brightness of the sun (Acts 26:13); of the angel who appeared at the tomb after the resurrection of Jesus it is said, “His countenance was like lightning” (Matthew 28:3); and Ezekiel says of the messengers of the Most High, they “ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning” (Ezekiel 1:14).EMTF 38.2

    When Jesus comes in the glory of his Father, with such a glorious train attendant, his coming will indeed be as the lightning coming out of the east and shining to the west, and no one will have more occasion or opportunity to say to his fellow, “See here,” than one would to call another to behold a flash of lightning coursing through the heavens. What a pity that men will so mystify the truth of God as to denude this precious doctrine of all the glory with which the Scriptures have invested it.EMTF 39.1

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