Coming Judgments Upon the Cities
This tract set consists of a collection of Spirit of Prophecy statements on the judgments which will soon fall on the wicked cities of the world. Three earlier tract releases are included in this collection. The earlier tracts were these: A Terrible Destruction is Coming [PG 51; now WM1029], which we published in May 1986; A Storm is Coming [PG 62; now WM1030], which we printed in October of that year; and Out of the Cities [RS-1; now WM1031], which we printed in the fall of 1980. Those tracts, which were in our "Prophetic Guidance Series" and "Remnant Standards Series" contained invaluable information. An additional two pages is added at the front.
Conditions in the world today are actually far worse than they were in 1980 and 1986! The end is near!
There is a type/antitype relationship to many final events. The type of the soon-coming overthrow of the cities (and also the final destruction by fire from heaven upon the wicked at the Third Advent) was Sodom with its overwhelming prevalence of sexual perversion. The God of heaven considered that sin to be especially evil.
Yet homosexuals are now teaching perversion on all grade levels of the public schools in America; and laws are in the planning stage which will make it illegal to speak negatively about Sodomy.
The signals are obvious. The final crisis is rapidly approaching. In the time of the siege of Jerusalem, the ensigns of the Romans around the city was the signal for the faithful to flee to the country; in the time of Sodom's destruction, the signal was the flagrant, legal openness of homosexuality. Let the reader be warned. How many more warnings do we need?
Wickedness is today so open, so widespread, and increasing so rapidly, that surely it cannot be long before God steps in! Listen not to those who would tell you we are not nearing the end of time!
The Spirit of Prophecy predicted that such high levels of wickedness would exist at the end of time. Those prophecies are now being fulfilled. The promise of judgments on the cities was also promised by the God of heaven. And those prophecies will also be fulfilled.
The warnings are clear: Get out of the cities!
"Fairest among the cities of the Jordan Valley was Sodom, set in a plain which was as the garden of the Lord in its fertility and beauty . . The profusion reigning everywhere gave birth to luxury and pride. Idleness and riches make the heart hard that has never been oppressed by want or burdened by sorrow. The love of pleasure was fostered by wealth and leisure, and the people gave themselves up to sensual indulgence.
" Behold, says the prophet, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw good. Ezekiel 16:49-50 . .
"In Sodom there was mirth and revelry, feasting and drunkenness. The vilest and most brutal passions were unrestrained. The people openly defied God and His law and delighted in deeds of violence. Though they had before them the example of the antediluvian world, and knew how the wrath of God had been manifested in their destruction, yet they followed the same course of wickedness.
"At the time of Lots removal to Sodom, corruption had not become universal, and God in His mercy permitted rays of light to shine amid the moral darkness . .
"God was speaking to that people by His providence, but the last ray of light was rejected as all before had been.
"And now the last night of Sodom was approaching. Already the clouds of vengeance cast their shadows over the devoted city. But men perceived it not. While angels drew near on their mission of destruction, men were dreaming of prosperity and pleasure. The last day was like every other that had come and gone. Evening fell upon a scene of loveliness and security. A landscape of unrivaled beauty was bathed in the rays of the declining sun. The coolness of eventide had called forth the inhabitants of the city, and the pleasure-seeking throngs were passing to and fro, intent upon the enjoyment of the hour . .
"The last night was marked by no greater sins than many others before it; but mercy, so long slighted, had at last ceased its pleading. The inhabitants of Sodom had passed the limits of divine forbearance the hidden boundary between Gods patience and His wrath. The fires of His vengeance were about to be kindled in the vale of Siddim.
"The angels revealed to Lot the object of their mission: We will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it. The strangers whom Lot had endeavored to protect, now promised to protect him, and to save also all the members of his family who would flee with him from the wicked city. The mob had wearied themselves out and departed, and Lot went out to warn his children. He repeated the words of the angels, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed to them as one that mocked. They laughed at what they called his superstitious fears. His daughters were influenced by their husbands. They were well enough off where they were. They could see no evidence of danger. Everything was just as it had been. They had great possessions, and they could not believe it possible that beautiful Sodom would be destroyed.
"Lot returned sorrowfully to his home and told the story of his failure. Then the angels bade him arise and take his wife and the two daughters who were yet in his house and leave the city. But Lot delayed. Though daily distressed at beholding deeds of violence, he had no true conception of the debasing and abominable iniquity practiced in that vile city. He did not realize the terrible necessity for Gods judgments . .
" The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. The bright rays of the morning seemed to speak only prosperity and peace to the cities of the plain. The stir of active life began in the streets; men were going their various ways, intent on the business or the pleasures of the day. The sons-in-law of Lot were making merry at the fears and warnings of the weak-minded old man. Suddenly and unexpectedly as would be a thunder peal from an unclouded sky, the tempest broke.
"The Lord rained brimstone and fire out of heaven upon the cities and the fruitful plain; its palaces and temples, costly dwellings, gardens and vineyards, and the gay, pleasure-seeking throngs that only the night before had insulted the messengers of heaven--all were consumed. The smoke of the conflagration went up like the smoke of a great furnace. And the fair vale of Siddim became a desolation, a place never to be built up or inhabited, a witness to all generations of the certainty of Gods judgments upon transgression.
"The flames that consumed the cities of the plain shed their warning light down even to our own time. We are taught the fearful and solemn lesson that while Gods mercy bears long with the transgressor, there is a limit beyond which men may not go in sin. When that limit is reached, then the offers of mercy are withdrawn, and the ministration of judgment begins.
"The Redeemer of the world declares that there are greater sins than that for which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Those who hear the gospel invitation calling sinners to repentance, and heed it not, are more guilty before God than were the dwellers in the vale of Siddim. And still greater sin is theirs who profess to know and to keep His commandments, yet who deny Christ in their character and their daily life. In the light of the Saviour's warning, the fate of Sodom is a solemn admonition, not merely to those who are guilty of outbreaking sin, but to all who are trifling with Heaven-sent light and privileges . .
"Before the destruction of Sodom, God sent a message to Lot, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. The same voice of warning was heard by the disciples of Christ before the destruction of Jerusalem: When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains. Luke 21:20-21. They must not tarry to secure anything from their possessions, but must make the most of the opportunity to escape.
"There was a coming out, a decided separation from the wicked, an escape for life. So it was in the days of Noah; so with Lot; so with the disciples prior to the destruction of Jerusalem; and so it will be in the last days. Again the voice of God is heard in a message of warning, bidding His people separate themselves from the prevailing iniquity . .
"When Lot entered Sodom he fully intended to keep himself free from iniquity and to command his household after him. But he signally failed. The corrupting influences about him had an effect upon his own faith, and his children's connection with the inhabitants of Sodom bound up his interest in a measure with theirs. The result is before us. Many are still making a similar mistake. In selecting a home, they look more to the temporal advantages they may gain than to the moral and social influences that will surround themselves and their families . . Their children are surrounded by temptation, and too often they form associations that are unfavorable to the development of piety and the formation of a right character. Like Lot, many see their children ruined, and barely save their own souls. Their lifework is lost; their life is a sad failure. Had they exercised true wisdom, their children might have had less of worldly prosperity, but they would have made sure of a title to the immortal inheritance." Patriarchs and Prophets. 156-166, 168-169.
There are, literally, dozens of Spirit of Prophecy statements warning of the terrible depravity in the cities and the need for Gods people to get out of them. But in one passage, we are told that now, before the arrival of the final crisis, property should be properly disposed of before leaving the cities. See 2 Selected Messages, 361-363 for this clarifying statement. Get out, but take time to do it deliberately and efficiently.