Prophecy & Fulfilment

Biblical predictions:
Matthew 24:29
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mark 13:24-25
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
Revelation 6:12-13
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Fulfilment dates:
1 November 1755
19 May 1780
12/13 November 1833
Fulfilment documentation:
Prophecy not only foretells the manner and object of Christ’s coming, but presents tokens by which men are to know when it is near. Said Jesus: “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.” [Luke 21:25.] “The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” [Mark 13:24-26.] The Revelator thus describes the first of the signs to precede the second advent: “There was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon become as blood.” [Revelation 6:12.] [The Great Controversy (1888) 304.1]
These signs were witnessed before the opening of the present century. In fulfillment of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa, engulfing cities, and causing great destruction. [The Great Controversy (1888) 304.2]
It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the inflowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains—some of the largest in Portugal—“were impetuously shaken, as it were from the very foundation; and some of them opened at their summits, which were split and rent in a wonderful manner, huge masses of them being thrown down into the subjacent valleys. Flames are related to have issued from these mountains.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 304.3]
At Lisbon “a sound of thunder was heard underground, and immediately afterward a violent shock threw down the greater part of that city. In the course of about six minutes sixty thousand persons perished. The sea first retired, and laid the bar dry, it then rolled in, rising fifty feet above its ordinary level.” “The most extraordinary circumstance which occurred at Lisbon during the catastrophe, was the subsidence of the new quay, built entirely of marble, at an immense expense. A great concourse of people had collected there for safety, as a spot where they might be beyond the reach of falling ruins; but suddenly the quay sunk down with all the people on it, and not one of the dead bodies ever floated to the surface.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 305.1]
The shock of the earthquake “was instantly followed by the fall of every church and convent, almost all the large and public buildings, and one-fourth of the houses. In about two hours afterward, fires broke out in different quarters, and raged with such violence for the space of nearly three days that the city was completely desolated. The earthquake happened on a holy day, when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of whom escaped.” “The terror of the people was beyond description. Nobody wept; it was beyond tears. They ran hither and thither, delirious with horror and astonishment, beating their faces and breasts, crying, ‘Misericordia! the world’s at an end!’ Mothers forgot their children, and ran loaded with crucifixed images. Unfortunately, many ran to the churches for protection; but in vain was the sacrament exposed; in vain did the poor creatures embrace the altars; images, priests, and people were buried in one common ruin.” “Ninety thousand persons are supposed to have been lost on that fatal day.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 305.2]
Twenty-five years later appeared the next sign mentioned in the prophecy,—the darkening of the sun and moon. What rendered this more striking was the fact that the time of its fulfillment had been definitely pointed out. In the Saviour’s conversation with his disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church—the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which he had promised that the tribulation should be shortened—he thus mentioned certain events to precede his coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” [Mark 13:24.] The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Between these two dates, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled. [The Great Controversy (1888) 305.3]
“Almost if not altogether alone as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780,—a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England.” That the darkness was not due to an eclipse is evident from the fact that the moon was then nearly full. It was not caused by clouds, or the thickness of the atmosphere, for in some localities where the darkness extended, the sky was so clear that the stars could be seen. Concerning the inability of science to assign a satisfactory cause for this manifestation, Herschel the astronomer declares: “The dark day in North America was one of those wonderful phenomena of nature which philosophy is at a loss to explain.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 306.1]
“The extent of the darkness was also very remarkable. It was observed at the most easterly regions of New England; westward, to the farthest part of Connecticut, and at Albany, N. Y.; to the southward, it was observed all along the sea coast; and to the north, as far as the American settlements extended. It probably far exceeded those boundaries, but the exact limits were never positively known. With regard to its duration, it continued in the neighborhood of Boston for at least fourteen or fifteen hours.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 306.2]
“The morning was clear and pleasant, but about eight o’clock there was observed an uncommon appearance in the sun. There were no clouds, but the air was thick, having a smoky appearance, and the sun shone with a pale, yellowish hue, but kept growing darker and darker, until it was hid from sight.” There was “midnight darkness at noonday.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 307.1]
“The occurrence brought intense alarm and distress to multitudes of minds, as well as dismay to the whole brute creation, the fowls fleeing bewildered to their roosts, and the birds to their nests, and the cattle returning to their stalls.” Frogs and night hawks began their notes. The cocks crew as at daybreak. Farmers were forced to leave their work in the fields. Business was generally suspended, and candles were lighted in the dwellings. “The Legislature of Connecticut was in session at Hartford, but being unable to transact business adjourned. Everything bore the appearance and gloom of night.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 307.2]
The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist. But “this interval was followed by a return of the obscuration with greater density, that rendered the first half of the night hideously dark beyond all former experience of the probable million of people who saw it. From soon after sunset until midnight, no ray of light from moon or star penetrated the vault above. It was pronounced ‘the blackness of darkness!’” Said an eye-witness of the scene: “I could not help conceiving, at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable darkness, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete.” Though the moon that night rose to the full, “it had not the least effect to dispel the death-like shadows.” After midnight the darkness disappeared, and the moon, when first visible, had the appearance of blood. [The Great Controversy (1888) 307.3]
The poet Whittier thus speaks of this memorable day:—
“‘Twas on a May-day of the far old year
Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell
Over the bloom and sweet life of the spring,
Over the fresh earth, and the heaven of noon,
A horror of great darkness.”
“Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp
To hear the doom-blast of the trumpet shatter
The black sky.” [The Great Controversy (1888) 308.1]
May 19, 1780, stands in history as “The Dark Day.” Since the time of Moses, no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration has ever been recorded. The description of this event, as given by the poet and the historian, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfillment: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” [Joel 2:31.] [The Great Controversy (1888) 308.2]
These signs were witnessed before the opening of the nineteenth century. In fulfillment of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa engulfing cities and causing great destruction. [The Great Controversy (1911) 304.2]
It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the inflowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, “some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very foundations, and some of them opened at their summits, which were split and rent in a wonderful manner, huge masses of them being thrown down into the adjacent valleys. Flames are related to have issued from these mountains.”– Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, page 495. [The Great Controversy (1911) 304.3]
At Lisbon “a sound of thunder was heard underground, and immediately afterwards a violent shock threw down the greater part of that city. In the course of about six minutes sixty thousand persons perished. The sea first retired, and laid the bar dry; it then rolled in, rising fifty feet or more above its ordinary level.” “Among other extraordinary events related to have occurred at Lisbon during the catastrophe, was the subsidence of a new quay, built entirely of marble, at an immense expense. A great concourse of people had collected there for safety, as a spot where they might be beyond the reach of falling ruins; but suddenly the quay sank down with all the people on it, and not one of the dead bodies ever floated to the surface.”–Ibid., page 495. [The Great Controversy (1911) 305.1]
“The shock” of the earthquake “was instantly followed by the fall of every church and convent, almost all the large public buildings, and more than one fourth of the houses. In about two hours after the shock, fires broke out in different quarters, and raged with such violence for the space of nearly three days, that the city was completely desolated. The earthquake happened on a holyday, when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of whom escaped.”– Encyclopedia Americana, art. “Lisbon,” note (ed. 1831). “The terror of the people was beyond description. Nobody wept; it was beyond tears. They ran hither and thither, delirious with horror and astonishment, beating their faces and breasts, crying, ‘Misericordia! the world’s at an end!’ Mothers forgot their children, and ran about loaded with crucifixed images. Unfortunately, many ran to the churches for protection; but in vain was the sacrament exposed; in vain did the poor creatures embrace the altars; images, priests, and people were buried in one common ruin.” It has been estimated that ninety thousand persons lost their lives on that fatal day. [The Great Controversy (1911) 305.2]
Twenty-five years later appeared the next sign mentioned in the prophecy–the darkening of the sun and moon. What rendered this more striking was the fact that the time of its fulfillment had been definitely pointed out. In the Saviour’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church,–the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised that the tribulation should be shortened,–He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” Mark 13:24. The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled. [The Great Controversy (1911) 306.1]
“Almost, if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780,–a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England.”–R. M. Devens, Our First Century, page 89. [The Great Controversy (1911) 306.2]
An eyewitness living in Massachusetts describes the event as follows: “In the morning the sun rose clear, but was soon overcast. The clouds became lowery, and from them, black and ominous, as they soon appeared, lightning flashed, thunder rolled, and a little rain fell. Toward nine o’clock, the clouds became thinner, and assumed a brassy or coppery appearance, and earth, rocks, trees, buildings, water, and persons were changed by this strange, unearthly light. A few minutes later, a heavy black cloud spread over the entire sky except a narrow rim at the horizon, and it was as dark as it usually is at nine o’clock on a summer evening. . . . [The Great Controversy (1911) 306.3]
“Fear, anxiety, and awe gradually filled the minds of the people. Women stood at the door, looking out upon the dark landscape; men returned from their labor in the fields; the carpenter left his tools, the blacksmith his forge, the tradesman his counter. Schools were dismissed, and tremblingly the children fled homeward. Travelers put up at the nearest farmhouse. ‘What is coming?’ queried every lip and heart. It seemed as if a hurricane was about to dash across the land, or as if it was the day of the consummation of all things. [The Great Controversy (1911) 306.4]
“Candles were used; and hearth fires shone as brightly as on a moonless evening in autumn. . . . Fowls retired to their roosts and went to sleep, cattle gathered at the pasture bars and lowed, frogs peeped, birds sang their evening songs, and bats flew about. But the human knew that night had not come. . . . [The Great Controversy (1911) 307.1]
“Dr. Nathanael Whittaker, pastor of the Tabernacle church in Salem, held religious services in the meeting-house, and preached a sermon in which he maintained that the darkness was supernatural. Congregations came together in many other places. The texts for the extemporaneous sermons were invariably those that seemed to indicate that the darkness was consonant with Scriptural prophecy. . . . The darkness was most dense shortly after eleven o’clock.”–The Essex Antiquarian, April, 1899, vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 53, 54. “In most parts of the country it was so great in the daytime, that the people could not tell the hour by either watch or clock, nor dine, nor manage their domestic business, without the light of candles. . . . [The Great Controversy (1911) 307.2]
“The extent of this darkness was extraordinary. It was observed as far east as Falmouth. To the westward it reached to the farthest part of Connecticut, and to Albany. To the southward, it was observed along the seacoasts; and to the north as far as the American settlements extend.”–William Gordon, History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the U.S.A., vol. 3, p. 57. [The Great Controversy (1911) 307.3]
The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist. “After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast.” “Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light, which, when seen from the neighboring houses and other places at a distance, appeared through a kind of Egyptian darkness which seemed almost impervious to the rays.”–Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy; or, American Oracle of Liberty, vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780). Said an eyewitness of the scene: “I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete.”–Letter by Dr. Samuel Tenney, of Exeter, New Hampshire, December, 1785 (in Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 1792, 1st series, vol. 1, p. 97). Though at nine o’clock that night the moon rose to the full, “it had not the least effect to dispel the deathlike shadows.” After midnight the darkness disappeared, and the moon, when first visible, had the appearance of blood. [The Great Controversy (1911) 307.4]
May 19, 1780, stands in history as “The Dark Day.” Since the time of Moses no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration, has ever been recorded. The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfillment: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” Joel 2:31. [The Great Controversy (1911) 308.1]
Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King. “When these things begin to come to pass,” He said, “then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” He pointed His followers to the budding trees of spring, and said: “When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 21:28, 30, 31. [The Great Controversy (1911) 308.2]
But as the spirit of humility and devotion in the church had given place to pride and formalism, love for Christ and faith in His coming had grown cold. Absorbed in worldliness and pleasure seeking, the professed people of God were blinded to the Saviour’s instructions concerning the signs of His appearing. The doctrine of the second advent had been neglected; the scriptures relating to it were obscured by misinterpretation, until it was, to a great extent, ignored and forgotten. Especially was this the case in the churches of America. The freedom and comfort enjoyed by all classes of society, the ambitious desire for wealth and luxury, begetting an absorbing devotion to money-making, the eager rush for popularity and power, which seemed to be within the reach of all, led men to center their interests and hopes on the things of this life, and to put far in the future that solemn day when the present order of things should pass away. [The Great Controversy (1911) 309.1]
When the Saviour pointed out to His followers the signs of His return, He foretold the state of backsliding that would exist just prior to His second advent. There would be, as in the days of Noah, the activity and stir of worldly business and pleasure seeking–buying, selling, planting, building, marrying, and giving in marriage–with forgetfulness of God and the future life. For those living at this time, Christ’s admonition is: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34, 36. [The Great Controversy (1911) 309.2]
The condition of the church at this time is pointed out in the Saviour’s words in the Revelation: “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” And to those who refuse to arouse from their careless security, the solemn warning is addressed: “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:1, 3. [The Great Controversy (1911) 309.3]
It was needful that men should be awakened to their danger; that they should be roused to prepare for the solemn events connected with the close of probation. The prophet of God declares: “The day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Who shall stand when He appeareth who is “of purer eyes than to behold evil,” and cannot “look on iniquity”? Joel 2:11; Habakkuk 1:13. To them that cry, “My God, we know Thee,” yet have transgressed His covenant, and hastened after another god, hiding iniquity in their hearts, and loving the paths of unrighteousness– to these the day of the Lord is “darkness, and not light, even very dark, and no brightness in it.” Hosea 8:2, 1; Psalm 16:4; Amos 5:20. “It shall come to pass at that time,” saith the Lord, “that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.” Zephaniah 1:12. “I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” Isaiah 13:11. “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them;” “their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation.” Zephaniah 1:18, 13. [The Great Controversy (1911) 310.1]
The prophet Jeremiah, looking forward to this fearful time, exclaimed: “I am pained at my very heart. . . . I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried.” Jeremiah 4:19, 20. [The Great Controversy (1911) 310.2]
“That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm.” Zephaniah 1:15, 16. “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, . . . to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Isaiah 13:9. [The Great Controversy (1911) 310.3]
Chap. 141 – The Violent Earth
I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake. Revelation 6:12. [Maranatha (1976) 149.1]
Prophecy not only foretells the manner and object of Christ’s coming, but presents tokens by which men are to know when it is near. . . . The revelator thus describes the first of the signs to precede the second advent: “There was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.” [Maranatha (1976) 149.2]
These signs were witnessed before the opening of the nineteenth century. In fulfilment of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa, engulfing cities, and causing great destruction. [Maranatha (1976) 149.3]
It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the inflowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, “some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very foundations.” . . .–Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, p. 495. . . . “The earthquake happened on a holy day, when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of whom escaped.”– Encyclopedia Americana, art. “Lisbon,” note (ed. 1831). . . It has been estimated that ninety thousand persons lost their lives on that fatal day. [Maranatha (1976) 149.4]
How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger. [Maranatha (1976) 149.5]
Chap. 142 – Signs in the Heavens
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. Joel 2:31. [Maranatha (1976) 150.1]
In the Saviour’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church–the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised that the tribulation should be shortened–He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled. [Maranatha (1976) 150.2]
“Almost if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780–a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England.”– R. M. Devens, Our First Century, p. 89. . . . [Maranatha (1976) 150.3]
The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist. “After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast.” “Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light. . . .”–Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy: or, American Oracle of Liberty, vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780). . . . [Maranatha (1976) 150.4]
The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfilment: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” [Maranatha (1976) 150.5]
Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent, and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King. [Maranatha (1976) 150.6]
Chap. 143 – The Stars of Heaven Fall
The stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Matthew 24:29. [Maranatha (1976) 151.1]
In 1833, . . . the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Saviour as tokens of His second advent. Said Jesus, “The stars shall fall from heaven.” And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that should herald the day of God, “The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfilment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; “the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another.” “Its sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds. . . . Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. . . . The display, as described in Professor Silliman’s Journal, was seen all over North America. . . . From two o’clock until broad daylight, . . . an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens.”–R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5. . . . [Maranatha (1976) 151.2]
Thus was displayed the last of those signs of His coming, concerning which Jesus bade His disciples, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” After these signs, John beheld, as the great event next impending, the heavens departing as a scroll, while the earth quaked, mountains and islands removed out of their places, and the wicked in terror sought to flee from the presence of the Son of man. [Maranatha (1976) 151.3]
But the day and the hour of His coming Christ has not revealed. . . . The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God’s mystery. [Maranatha (1976) 151.4]
Chap. 144 – Ottoman Empire in Prophecy
Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. Revelation 9:14, 15. [Maranatha (1976) 152.1]
The history of nations that one after another have occupied their allotted time and place, unconsciously witnessing to the truth of which they themselves knew not the meaning, speaks to us. To every nation and to every individual of today God has assigned a place in His great plan. Today men and nations are being measured by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. All are by their own choice deciding their destiny, and God is overruling all for the accomplishment of His purposes. . . . [Maranatha (1976) 152.2]
All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order. [Maranatha (1976) 152.3]
In the year 1840, another remarkable fulfilment of prophecy excited widespread interest. Two years before, Josiah Litch, one of the leading ministers preaching the second advent, published an exposition of Revelation 9, predicting the fall of the Ottoman empire. According to his calculations, this power was to be overthrown “in A.D. 1840, sometime in the month of August;” and only a few days previous to its accomplishment he wrote: “Allowing the first period, 150 years, to have been exactly fulfilled before Deacozes ascended the throne by permission of the Turks, and that the 391 years, fifteen days, commenced at the close of the first period, it will end on the 11th of August, 1840, when the Ottoman power in Constantinople may be expected to be broken. And this, I believe, will be found to be the case.”–Josiah Litch, in Signs of the Times, and Expositor of Prophecy, Aug. 1, 1840. [Maranatha (1976) 152.4]
At the very time specified, Turkey, through her ambassadors, accepted the protection of the allied powers of Europe, and thus placed herself under the control of Christian nations. The event exactly fulfilled the prediction. . . . A wonderful impetus was given to the advent movement. [Maranatha (1976) 152.5]
Christ has given signs of His coming. He says that we may know when He is near, even at the doors. When the trees put forth their leaves in the spring, we know that summer is near. Just so surely, when the signs appear in the sun and the moon and the stars, we are to know that Christ’s coming is near. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 176.2]
These signs have appeared. On May 19, 1780, the sun was darkened. That day is known in history as “the dark day.” In the eastern part of North America, so great was the darkness that in many places the people had to light candles at noonday. And until after midnight the moon, though at its full, gave no light. Many believed that the day of judgment had come. No satisfactory reason for the unnatural darkness has ever been given, except the reason found in the words of Christ. The darkening of the sun and the moon was a sign of His coming. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 176.3]
November 13, 1833, there was the most wonderful display of falling stars ever beheld by men. Again thousands believed that the day of judgment had come. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 176.4]
Since that time earthquakes, tempests, tidal waves, pestilence, famine, and destructions by fire and flood, have multiplied. All these, and “distress of nations, with perplexity,” declare that the Lord’s coming is near. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 176.5]
Of those who beheld these signs He says, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:34, 35. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 176.6]
“The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 177.1]
Christ is coming, coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 177.2]
He will come to honor those who have loved Him and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. [The Story of Jesus (1896, 1900) 177.3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1755_Lisbon_earthquake
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, occurred in the Kingdom of Portugal on Saturday, 1 November, the holy day of All Saints’ Day, at around 09:40 local time. In combination with subsequent fires and a tsunami, the earthquake almost totally destroyed Lisbon and adjoining areas. Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake had a magnitude in the range 8.5–9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, with its epicentre in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. Estimates place the death toll in Lisbon alone between 10,000 and 100,000 people, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.