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E.G. White Statements About the Shortness of Time

  Here is a collection of quotes reflecting Ellen White's perception of the shortness of time, showing that she lived in constant expectancy of the imminent fulfillment of last day events. The statements are arranged by the year in which they were written.

[1851] "I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the most holy place was nearly finished, and that time can last but a very little longer." (Experience and Views; also in EW p58; (See EGW's discussion of this statement in 1SM p66-67, written in 1883, quoted below.)

[1854] "Truths that we have been years learning must be learned in a few months by those who now embrace the Third Angel's Message." (UM Feb. 12; see Ellen G. White and Her Critics by F.D. Nichol, p.259)

[1856] "I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." (1T 131-2)

The statement above was written of people, presumably not children, who were then present, 153 years ago (as of 2009).

[1862] "God's people must take warning and discern the signs of the times. The signs of Christ's coming are too plain to be doubted, and in view of these things everyone who professes the truth should be a living preacher. God calls upon all, both preachers and people, to awake. All heaven is astir. The scenes of earth's history are fast closing. We are amid the perils of the last days." (1T 260)

[1868] "The perils of the last days thicken around us. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. ... Now the shortness of time seems to be urged as a motive to seek righteousness." (2T 121)

[1879] "We are now upon the very borders of the eternal world ..." (4T 306)

[1881] "We should have a continual sense of the shortness of time and the fearful events which prophecy has declared must speedily take place." (4T 612)

[1881] "It is high time we devoted the few remaining precious hours of our probation to washing our robes our character and making them white in the blood of the lamb ..." (RH Aug. 2, 1881 in TKH 65)

[1882] "But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months." (EW 67)

[1883] "The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the Word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of God are alike conditional. (Evangelism p65)

[1883] "The fact in the case is, that in these visions I was carried forward to the time when the resurrected saints shall be gathered into the kingdom of God. In the same manner the judgment, the second coming of Christ, the establishment of the saints upon the new earth have been presented before me. Does anyone suppose that these scenes have yet transpired?" (1SM 65)

If she was carried forward into the future to see these events which had not yet occurred in her day, it helps to explain how she could talk of future events as though they were happening or had happened and also say things like "As we near the judgment, all will manifest their true character, ... The judgment is to set, the books are to be opened ..." (1T 100)

[1883] "A statement published in 1851 in Experience and Views, ... is quoted as proving my testimonies false: 'I saw that the time for Jesus to be in the most holy place was nearly finished, and that time can last but a very little longer.

As the subject was presented before me, the period of Christ's ministration seemed almost accomplished. Am I accused of falsehood because time has continued longer than my testimony seemed to indicate? How is it with the testimonies of Christ and His disciples? Were they deceived?

Paul writes to the Corinthians:
'But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though the wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not.' (1Cor. 7:29,30).

Again, in his epistle to the Romans, he says:
'The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light' (Rom. 13:12).

And from Patmos, Christ speaks to us by the beloved John:
'Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand' (Rev. 1:3). 'The Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book' (Rev. 22:6,7).

The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me ... It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional. ...

Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith ... Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward." (1SM 67-8)

[1886] "We are in the great day of atonement, and if the investigative judgment has not already commenced for the living, it will soon begin..." (Letter 51, Sep. 6; Manuscripts and Letters p49)

[1888] RH Apr. 10 1888 "...what is brought to view in the Revelation ... some of us are to be the very actors on the stage in the last days when these things are revealed." (RH Apr. 10 1888)

[1888] "You are to maintain your allegiance, bearing testimony for God and for truth. ... On the very eve of the crisis, it is no time to be found with an evil heart of unbelief, departing from the living God." (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials; Let the Trumpet Give a Certain Sound)

[1888] "Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. Scenes of stupendous interest are right upon us..." (The Ellen G. White 1888 materials)

Note that this places the sounding of the trumpets in the future from her day.

[1888] "The time of peril is now upon us. It can no longer be spoken of as in the future." (The Ellen G. White 1888 materials)

[1889] "When the angel was about to unfold to Daniel the intensely interesting prophecies to be recorded for us who are to witness their fulfillment, the angel said 'Be strong, yea, be strong.'" (RH, Dec. 24, 1889)

Note: the scripture quoted above is from Dan 10:19 - following verse 19 are prophecies yet to be witnessed!

[1889] "Time is very short, and all that is to done must be done quickly." (5T 573)

[1889] "The most momentous struggle of all the ages is just before us." (5T 711)

[1889] "This evil [persecution] is on the point of realization." (5T 712)

[1890] "I expect that during the year 1890 there will be great mortality. ... During the past year, 1889, there has been brought to us almost daily the news of disasters by sea and by land --unusually destructive fires; earthquakes burying cities and villages with their inhabitants; railway accidents most terrible; tornadoes and floods that destroyed an immense amount of property ... The disasters of the past year in America have caused hearts to tremble, and similar disasters have fallen upon other countries. Already sprinklings from the vials of God's wrath have been let fall upon land and sea, ..." (5MR 15-16)

[1892] "The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun..." (7BC 984; earlier, on 7BC 984, this angel is associated with "the prophecies in the eighteenth of Revelation" which "will soon be fulfilled.")

[1892] "But if you ... fail to dig deep in the mines of truth, you will not be ready for the crisis that is soon to come upon us." (RH Apr 26, 1892)

[1896] "The words of Christ through the gospel prophet, ... are for us in this last generation." (MB 43)

[1900] "A crisis is right upon us. We must now by the Holy Spirit's power proclaim the great truths for these last days. It will not be long before everyone will have heard the warning and made his decision. Then shall the end come." (6T 24)

[1900] "...the great day of the Lord, which is soon to break upon the world. We have no time to lose." (6T 333)

[1900] "The judgments of God are about to fall upon the world and we need to be preparing for that great day." (6T 407)

[1900] "The last years of probation are fast closing. The great day of the Lord is at hand." (6T 446)

[1901] "The signs of the times give evidence that the judgments of heaven are being poured out, that the day of the Lord is at hand. The daily papers are full of indications of an intense conflict in the future. All these things testify that the Lord's coming is near." (ST Oct 9, 1901)

[1902] "Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads-it is not any seal or mark that can be seen but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved-just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already." (LDE 220; 4BC 1161)

[1904] "We need not say: The perils of the last days are soon to come upon us. Already they have come." (8T 315)

[1904] "The judgments of God are in the land. The wars and rumors of wars, the destruction by fire and flood, say clearly that the time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to loose. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfillment." (RH Nov. 24)

[1906] "...I know that judgment day is right upon us." (Letter 154, May 12, 1906; ManLet 219)

[1908] "The Lord is coming very soon, and we are entering into scenes of calamity." (9T 62)

[1909] "The Lord is coming. The end is near; yea, it hasteth greatly! In a little while from this we shall be unable to work with the freedom that we now enjoy. Terrible scenes are before us, and what we do we must do quickly." (Ev 40)

[1909] "Many of us are asleep, and the end of all things is at hand. Everything testifies to the fact that we are living in the closing days of the earth's history." (5RH:10)

[1909] "God cannot forbear much longer. Already His judgments are beginning to fall on some places, and soon His signal displeasure will be felt in other places." (9T 96)

[1911] "Among the Jews are some who, like Saul of Tarsus, are mighty in the scriptures, and these will proclaim with wonderful power the immutability of the law of God. The God of Israel will bring this to pass in our day." (AA 381)

[1914] "We have no time to lose. ... The coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. Every report of calamity by sea or land is a testimony to the fact that the end of all things is at hand." (Ev 218-9)

[1914] "We are living in the closing years of this earth's history, and it is especially important that we lose no time in acquainting others with the precious truth that will prepare them to stand blameless before God in the day of judgment." (8MR:212)

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