“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:38-40

“And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.” Luke 11:29-30
 
 

Introduction

The only sign given to the Jews in Christ’s day was the sign of the prophet Jonah. This sign warned of impending judgement and the obligation of each individual to accept Christ—the embodiment of present truth in their day. The antitypical sign of Jonah is now being given to Adventism. It is now the duty of each soul to make thorough work of repentance; that they make escape the judgements to fall upon the sinners in Zion at the Sunday law.
 
 

The Evil and Adulterous Generation

Christ called the Jews in his day an evil and adulterous generation that sought after signs. The Jews here parallel God’s people at the end of the world as all the transactions of sacred history are but types of events taking place at the end of the world (1 Corinthians 10:11, Romans 15:4). Their being referred to as “adulterous” means they developed the character of spiritual Babylon the “Mother of Harlots”, Rome—Satan’s representative at the end of the world (see Great Controversy pg.50). How have God’s people at the world’s end come to reflect the character of Rome? In Christ’s day this was accomplished through the weaving of Greek philosophy into the fabric of Hebrew theology and education.1

“It has been stated that the history of Greece fills the time between the prophecy of Malachi and John the Baptist. We are now ready to appreciate the reason why Israel was so long without the sound of the prophet’s voice. God gave Israel a system of education, separate and distinct from the system of all other nations; a system which, if followed, would forever make it impossible for the people to go into captivity. But Israel often gave up her God-given system for the teaching of heathen nations. When the Jews returned from Babylon, they were strongly tinctured with Babylonian ideas of education and religion. This prepared them to accept with readiness the teachings of the Greeks. The rabbis of Jerusalem mingled the principles of Greek philosophy so thoroughly with the statutes of Jehovah, which they were commanded to teach the children, that from the death of Malachi to the birth of John the Baptist, there was not a family in Judah to whom the education of a prophet could be entrusted.

“The Greek games were performed in Jerusalem itself, and Jewish youth, dressed only in the scarf and broad hat in imitation of the god Hermes, wrestled like the Athenian athletes. It is stated by Dr. Mears that the priests, when the signal was given for the sports, left their work in the temple to watch the games. Greek names replaced the Jewish in many instances, and even priests intermarried with the Greeks. It is no wonder that Gabriel gave specific instruction concerning the name to be given the babe of Zacharias and Elizabeth, for although there was once a time when every child in Israel was named under the inspiration of the Spirit, the Israelites had now chosen Greece in place of God.

“The whole Jewish teaching was Hellenized; and when John the Baptist was born, his mother and father were commanded to leave the city of Jerusalem, and educate the child in the desert, away from the influence of the schools and society of the Jews. Christ himself never entered the schools of his day because of the mixture of the truth of God with heathen philosophy. Greek teaching exalted nature; but the Son of God could not hear the voice of the Father in the teachings of the schools, and he wandered through the woods alone, or in company with his mother. Then it was that nature, the great object lesson of the Creator, was opened to his expanding mind. Other Jewish youth sat at the feet of the rabbis, learning what the spirit of the Greeks taught, and they crucified the Lord of life.” The Story of Daniel the Prophet pg.190-191, by Stephen N. Haskell

Thus Greek philosophy prepared the way for the rejection of Christ. This has been accomplished in Adventism through the rejection of God’s blueprint for Christian education, and the acceptance of a worldly system of education in the early years of the 20th century.2 The system of education predominant within the world today comes from Rome, which in turn obtained it from Ancient Greece.3 The Greeks are highlighted in scripture for their scholarly attainments; but their vast knowledge, rather than bringing them closer to God, left them in spiritual darkness.

“Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:20-24

The acceptance of worldly education has extended to the methods of interpretation used to understand the Bible. The effect of the acceptance of false methods over the proof-text method (which is the only biblical method) has been the exaltation of human theories over the plain teachings of scripture. This has been followed by spiritual blindness and settled unbelief towards the present truth for this time. Christ was the present truth made flesh to the Jews in their time. The disbelief manifested towards Him by His own people parallels the disbelief of Seventh-Day Adventists towards the present truth for our day. The present truth today is the Third Angel’s message which is Daniel 11:40-45, and the increase of knowledge that has been taking place since the time of the end in 1989.4 These truths have their foundation in the messages on the 1843 and 1850 charts.

Christ’s teaching was not new, but an unfolding of that which had been from the beginning.

“The teaching of Christ, though it was represented by the new wine, was not a new doctrine, but the revelation of that which had been taught from the beginning. But to the Pharisees the truth of God had lost its original significance and beauty. To them Christ’s teaching was new in almost every respect, and it was unrecognized and unacknowledged.” The Desire of Ages, 279.2

But the Jews were unfitted by their false education to recognize and receive Christ.

“…The Lord Jesus was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. Its imposing rites were of divine appointment. They were designed to make the worship of God impressive, and to teach the people that at the time appointed One would come to whom these ceremonies pointed. But the Jews exalted the forms and ceremonies, and lost sight of their object. The traditions and maxims and enactments of men hid from them the spiritual lessons that God intended to convey. These maxims and traditions became an obstacle to their understanding and practice of true religion. And when the reality came, in the person of Christ, they did not recognize in Him the fulfillment of all their types, the substance of all their shadows. They rejected the Antitype, and clung to their types and useless ceremonies. The sum was proved, the Son of God had come, but they continued to ask for the proof. The message brought to them from heaven, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” they answered by demands for a miracle. Their demand for a sign from Christ and the apostles was not for the purpose of obtaining a clearer understanding of the truth of the Gospel. All the evidence that Christ would give them would not satisfy them. And to this day the Jewish nation require a sign, and look for the Messiah to come,–one adapted to all their inventive imaginations,–to place them again in possession of the Holy Land.

“The Gospel of Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews, because they required signs instead of a Saviour; but the Lord would not have His people rest in signs and outward forms. He would not have them wait until every seeming objection is removed before they believe. God will never remove all seeming difficulties from our path. Those who wish to doubt may find opportunity; those who wish to believe will find plenty of evidence on which to base their faith.” Signs of the Times, November 3, 1898 par. 9-10

This scenario is being repeated today. This is communicated in the following passage along with the additional truth that it is the leadership of God’s people who lead out in rejecting present truth in the time when the Holy Spirit is being poured out.

“Those who live just prior to the second appearing of Christ may expect a large measure of His Holy Spirit. If God has ever spoken by me, some of our leading men are going over the same ground of refusing the message of mercy as the Jews did in the time of Christ. If they turn away from the light, they will fail to meet the high and holy claims of God for this important time. They will fail to fulfill the sacred responsibility that He has entrusted to them.

“The character and prospects of the people of God are similar to those of the Jews, who could not enter in because of unbelief. Self-sufficiency, self-importance, and spiritual pride separated them from God, and He hid His face from them. . . .

“The Jews despised the good that was proffered them in the time of Christ, and after the long forbearance of God, the things that were for their peace were hidden from their eyes–that which, if received, would have been to them their greatest blessing became their stumbling block. Thus it is today among us. . . .

“The light of truth is shining upon us as clearly as it shone upon the Jewish people, but the hearts of men are as hard and unimpressible as in the days of Christ, because they know not what they oppose. Many who claim to be standing in the light are in darkness, and know it not. They have so enshrouded themselves in unbelief that they call darkness light, and light darkness. They are ignorant of that which they condemn and oppose. But their ignorance is not such as God will excuse, for He has given them light, and they reject it. They have before them the example of the past, but they will not be warned, and unbelief is enclosing them in impenetrable darkness. They refuse to accept the testimonies they ought to believe, and are ready to accept tidbits of gossip and testimonies of men, showing their credulousness and readiness to believe that which they want to believe.

“There is an alarming condition of things in our churches. Says the Word of God, “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. For among My people are found wicked men: they lay in wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. . . the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jeremiah 5:25, 26, 31). “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, Peace; when there is no peace” (chapter 6:14). “And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by My name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh, And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren” (chapter 7:13-15). God will surely fulfill His word to those who will not hear, will not see, and refuse the light that He sends them.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 11, 286.3-287.4

The final generation of Adventism is the generation that seeks after signs. Not the evidence which Christ in His righteousness has been pleased to give—but that which conforms to their own erroneous theories and ideas.
 
 

The Sign of Jonah

It is to this final generation of Adventism that Christ directs the words “…there shall no sign be given to it [the evil and adulterous generation], but the sign of the prophet Jonas…“(Matthew 12:39). In Christ’s day these words referred to His death prior to His resurrection, but what are they communicating to God’s people today? Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days and nights typifying the Three Angels’ Messages which are present truth today. The Three Angels’ Messages are the truths on the 1843 and 1850 charts.5 The messages on these charts are the foundations of Adventism. They are also likened to the Rock of Ages—Christ.6 The understanding of the Three Angels’ messages has been obscured by the acceptance of false theories and methods of Biblical interpretation. But these foundations, which are also the “old paths” to which God’s people are called to return, are now being restored (Jeremiah 6:16); and as a result of their restoration the Three Angels’ messages are being understood and proclaimed again in their proper bearing.

Luke 11:30 states that Jonah himself was a sign to the Ninevites.

“And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.” Luke 11:29-30

The name Jonah means “dove.” In Christ’s day the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove at His baptism. This was a sign to John the Baptist, and the Jewish nation, that Christ was the Messiah.

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29-34

Christ’s anointing was prophesied to take place in the final week of the 490 years of probationary time allotted to the Jews (see Daniel 9:24-27). Therefore His anointing and ministry were also a warning to the Jews that their probation was about to close; and that the judgement upon the unrepentant in the destruction of Jerusalem was soon to follow.

“Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Luke 3:7-8

“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15

This parallel’s events in Millerite history—on August 11, 1840 the Angel of Revelation 10 descended to empower the Advent message (see Great Controversy pg. 335).7 This empowerment took place at the fulfillment of a prophecy marking the restraint of the Ottoman Islamic Empire. As Christ entered into the wilderness to undergo a threefold testing process immediately following His anointing, August 11, 1840 marked the beginning of a testing process which culminated in the development of two classes of worshippers on October 22, 1844. At the end of the world this sign is fulfilled in the descent of the angel of Revelation 18 at 9/11/2001.8 9/11 marked the entrance of Radical Islam on the stage of prophetic history. As the Ottoman Empire was restrained on August 11, 1840, radical Islam was restrained by the world-wide war on terror subsequent to 9/11. The descent of the Angel of Revelation 18 marked the beginning of the sprinkling of the Latter Rain, and the commencement of a testing process which will culminate in the separation of two classes of Adventists at the Sunday law; and two classes within the world at the close of human probation (see Daniel 12:1, Isaiah 3:13, Revelation 22:11-12). Christ uttered His words about the sign of Jonah in a time when “the people were gathered thick together” in response to His ministry (see Luke 11:29). The sign of Jonah is given to the final generation in a time when God is gathering His people through the Three Angels’ messages empowered by the Fourth Angel which descended at 9/11.

Combining the prophetic symbols delineated above, the sign of Jonah can be understood to represent the raising up of a movement preaching the Three Angels Messages from the 1843 and 1850 charts (which are the foundations of Adventism). The giving of this message takes place in a time when the Holy Spirit is being shed upon God’s people following the restraint of radical Islam after 9/11. This movement is raised up in the final generation of Adventism which is marked by a departure from the foundational truths, conformity to the world and the acceptance of Catholic concepts of theology and education. The sign of Jonah coincides with a testing process. How God’s people respond to this sign and the truths in connection with it has life or death consequences.
 
 

In Closing

The sign of the prophet Jonah is the only sign that will be given to this final generation of Adventism; to warn them that the Sunday Law is on the horizon, that their probation is about to close, and they are now to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Without which they’ll find themselves without a part in the closing work and without a shelter in the outpouring of the seven last plagues.
 
 
1…PHILO JUDAEUS (d. c. A.D. 47), of Alexandria, had lived in the generation just prior to Josephus. Under Philo the inroads of Greek Platonism reached their peak in deflecting the faith of a large segment of the Jews from the primal Mosaic teachings on Conditional Immortality and its inseparable corollary, the ultimate destruction of the wicked.

Over a period of some two hundred years prior to Christ, tangent positions had been developing under the impact of Platonic philosophy. Thus the concept that Hades contained two chambers appeared in 4 Ezra 4:41, along with the idea that the righteous inhabit one chamber (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1), while the wicked are accursed, scourged, and tormented in the other (1 Enoch 22:9-13). The Midrash (on Ruth 1:1, Proem) likewise assigns one chamber to the righteous, with the other to the wicked. The Talmud (Erubin 19) also tells of the torment of the wicked. – The Conditionalist Faith of our Fathers (1966), pg. 257, by Leroy Edwin Froom
 
2For more on the history of the rejection of God’s blueprint for Christian education see The Broken Blueprint by Vance Ferrel
 
3The American Sentinel, July 22 1897, pg.448-449, by Alonzo Trevier Jones; The Place of the Bible in Education, pg.49-51, by Alonzo Trevier Jones
 
4See article entitled The Centrality of Daniel 11:40-45
 
5Ibid.
 
6See article entitled The Foundation of Seventh Day Adventism
 
7The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg.184-187, by Stephen Haskell
 
8“How comes the word that I have declared that New York is to be swept away by a tidal wave? This I have never said. I have said, as I looked at the great buildings going up there, story after story, ‘What terrible scenes will take place when the Lord shall arise to shake terribly the earth! Then the words of Revelation 18:1-3 will be fulfilled.’ The whole of the eighteenth chapter of Revelation is a warning of what is coming on the earth. But I have no light in particular in regard to what is coming on New York, only that I know that one day the great buildings there will be thrown down by the turning and overturning of God’s power. From the light given me, I know that destruction is in the world. One word from the Lord, one touch of his mighty power, and these massive structures will fall. Scenes will take place the fearfulness of which we can not imagine.” {RH, July 5, 1906 par. 14}

 

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