The Original City Builders
Upon receiving the curse of God, Cain had withdrawn from his father's household. He had
first chosen his occupation as a tiller of the soil, and he now founded a city, calling it
after the name of his eldest son [Gen. 4:17]. He had gone out from the presence of the
Lord, cast away the promise of the restored Eden, to seek his possessions and enjoyment in
the earth under the curse of sin, thus standing at the head of that great class of men who
worship the god of this world.--PP 81 (1890).
For a time the descendants of Noah continued to dwell among the mountains where the ark
had rested. As their numbers increased, apostasy soon led to division. Those who desired
to forget their Creator and to cast off the restraint of His law felt a constant annoyance
from the teaching and example of their God-fearing associates, and after a time they
decided to separate from the worshipers of God. Accordingly they journeyed to the plain of
Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. . . .
Here they decided to build a city, and in it a tower of such stupendous height as
should render it the wonder of the world [Gen. 11:2-4].--PP 118, 119 (1890).
The Cities Are Hotbeds of Vice
The pursuit of pleasure and amusement centres in the cities. Many parents who choose a
city home for their children, thinking to give them greater advantages, meet with
disappointment, and too late repent their terrible mistake. The cities of today are fast
becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. The many holidays encourage idleness. The exciting
sports--theatre-going, horse-racing, gambling, liquor-drinking, and revelling--stimulate
every passion to intense activity. The youth are swept away by the popular current.--COL
Light has been given me that the cities will be filled with confusion, violence, and
crime, and that these things will increase till the end of this earth's history.--7T 84
The world over, cities are becoming hotbeds of vice. On every hand are the sights and
sounds of evil. Everywhere are enticements to sensuality and dissipation.--MH 363 (1905).
Judgements Coming on the Cities
Terrible shocks will come upon the earth, and the lordly palaces erected at great
expense will certainly become heaps of ruins.--3MR 312 (1891).
When God's restraining hand is removed, the destroyer begins his work. Then in our
cities the greatest calamities will come.--3MR 314 (1897).
The Lord gives warnings to the inhabitants of the earth, as in the Chicago fire and the
fires in Melbourne, London, and the city of New York.--Ms 127, 1897.
The end is near and every city is to be turned upside down every way. There will be
confusion in every city. Everything that can be shaken is to be shaken and we do not know
what will come next. The judgements will be according to the wickedness of the people and
the light of truth that they have had.--1MR 248 (1902).
O that God's people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities,
now almost given to idolatry.--Ev 29 (1903).
The time is near when large cities will be swept away, and all should be warned of
these coming judgements.--Ev 29 (1910).
Catastrophe-proof Buildings Will Become Ashes
I have seen the most costly structures in buildings erected and supposed to be
fireproof, and just as Sodom perished in the flames of God's vengeance so will these proud
structures become ashes. . . . The flattering monuments of men's greatness will be
crumbled in the dust even before the last great destruction comes upon the world.--3SM 418
God is withdrawing His Spirit from the wicked cities, which have become as the cities
of the antediluvian world and as Sodom and Gomorrah. . . . Costly mansions, marvels of
architectural skill, will be destroyed without a moment's notice when the Lord sees that
the owners have passed the boundaries of forgiveness. The destruction by fire of the
stately buildings, supposed to be fireproof, is an illustration of how in a short time
earth's architecture will lie in ruins.--TDG 152 (1902).
Men will continue to erect expensive buildings, costing millions of money. Special
attention will be called to their architectural beauty and the firmness and solidity with
which they are constructed, but the Lord has instructed me that despite the unusual
firmness and expensive display, these buildings will share the fate of the temple in
Jerusalem.--5BC 1098 (1906).
New York City
God has not executed His wrath without mercy. His hand is stretched out still. His
message must be given in Greater New York. The people must be shown how it is possible for
God, by a touch of His hand, to destroy the property they have gathered together against
the last great day.--3MR 310, 311 (1902).
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. . . . Death
will come in all places. This is why I am so anxious for our cities to be warned .--RH
July 5, 1906.
On one occasion, when in New York City, I was in the night season called upon to behold
buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be
fireproof, and they were erected to glorify their owners and builders. . . .
The scene that next passed before me was an alarm of fire. Men looked at the lofty and
supposedly fireproof buildings and said: "They are perfectly safe." But these
buildings were consumed as if made of pitch. The fire engines could do nothing to stay the
destruction. The firemen were unable to operate the engines.--9T 12, 13 (1909).
Chicago and Los Angeles
Scenes that would soon take place in Chicago and other large cities also passed before
me. As wickedness increased and the protecting power of God was withdrawn there were
destructive winds and tempests. Buildings were destroyed by fire and shaken down by
earthquakes. . . .
Some time after this I was shown that the vision of buildings in Chicago and the draft
upon the means of our people to erect them, and their destruction, was an object lesson
for our people, warning them not to invest largely of their means in property in Chicago,
or any other city, unless the providence of God should positively open the way and plainly
point out duty to build or buy as necessary in giving the note of warning.
A similar caution was given in regard to building in Los Angeles. Repeatedly I have
been instructed that we must not invest means in the erection of expensive buildings in
cities.--PC 50 (1906).
San Francisco and Oakland
San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit
them. Not far hence they will suffer under His judgements.--Ms 30, 1903.
The terrible earthquake that has visited San Francisco[1. THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE
AND FIRE OF APRIL 18-19, 1906, LEFT 503 DEAD AND RESULTED IN AN ESTIMATED $350 MILLION IN
PROPERTY DAMAGE.] will be followed by other manifestations of the power of God. His law
has been transgressed. Cities have become polluted with sin. Study the history of Nineveh.
God sent a special message by Jonah to that wicked city. . . . Many such messages as his
would be given in our age, if the wicked cities would repent as did Nineveh.--Ms 61a, June
Even in the cities where the judgements of God have fallen in consequence of such
transgression there is no sign of repentance. The saloons are still open, and many
temptations are kept before the people.--Letter 268, Aug. 20, 1906.
Other Wicked Cities
As we near the close of this earth's history, we shall have the scenes of the San
Francisco calamity repeated
in other places. . . . These things make me feel very solemn because I know that the
judgement day is right upon us. The judgements that have already come are a warning, but
not the finishing, of the punishment that will come on wicked cities. . . .
[Hab. 2:1-20; Zeph. 1:1-3:20; Zech. 1:1-4:14; Mal. 1:1-4, quoted.] These scenes will
soon be witnessed, just as they are clearly described. I present these wonderful
statements from the Scriptures for the consideration of everyone. The prophecies recorded
in the Old Testament are the word of the Lord for the last days, and will be fulfilled as
surely as we have seen the desolation of San Francisco.--Letter 154, May 26, 1906.
I am bidden to declare the message that cities full of transgression, and sinful in the
extreme, will be destroyed by earthquakes, by fire, by flood.--Ev 27 (April 27, 1906).
All the warnings of Christ regarding the events that will occur near the close of this
earth's history are now being fulfilled in our large cities. God is permitting these
things to be brought to light that he who runs may read. The city of San Francisco is a
sample of what the whole world is becoming. The wicked bribery, the misappropriation of
means, the fraudulent transactions among men who have power to release the guilty and
condemn the innocent--all this iniquity is filling other large cities of the earth and is
making the world as it was in the days that were before the Flood.--Letter 230, 1907.
Labour Unions in the Cities
Satan is busily at work in our crowded cities. His work is to be seen in the confusion,
the strife and discord between labour and capital, and the hypocrisy that has come into
the churches. . . . The lust of the flesh, the pride of the eyes, the display of
selfishness, the misuse of power, the cruelty and the force used to cause men to unite
with confederacies and unions--binding themselves up in bundles for the burning of the
great fires of the last days--all these are the working of satanic agencies.--Ev 26
The wicked are being bound up in bundles, bound up in trusts, in unions, in
confederacies. Let us have nothing to do with these organisations. God is our Ruler, our
Governor, and He calls us to come out from the world and be separate. "Come out from
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing" [2
Cor. 6:17]. If we refuse to do this, if we continue to link up with the world and to look
at every matter from a worldly standpoint, we shall become like the world. When worldly
policy and worldly ideas govern our transactions we cannot stand on the high and holy
platform of eternal truth.--4BC 1142 (1903).
Labour Unions a Source of Trouble for Adventists
The trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of
trouble such as has not been since the world began. . . .
A few men will combine to grasp all the means to be obtained in certain lines of
business. Trades unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be
marked men. . . .
Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our
institutions to carry on their work in the cities. My warning is: Keep out of the cities.
Build no sanitariums in the cities.--2SM 142 (1903).
The time is fast coming when the controlling power of the labour unions will be very
oppressive.--2SM 141 (1904).
Many in the Cities Long for Light and Truth
Strictly will the cities of the nations be dealt with, and yet they will not be visited
in the extreme of God's indignation, because some souls will yet break away from the
delusions of the enemy and will repent and be converted.--Ev 27 (1906).
The spiritual darkness that covers the whole world is intensified in the crowded
centres of population. It is in the cities of the nations that the gospel worker finds the
greatest impenitence and the greatest need. And in these same cities are presented to
soul-winners some of the greatest opportunities. Mingled with the multitudes who have no
thought of God and heaven are many who long for light and for purity of heart. Even among
the careless and indifferent there are not a few whose attention may be arrested by a
revelation of God's love for the human soul.--RH Nov. 17, 1910.
Earnest Effort Needed in the Cities
In preparation for the coming of our Lord, we are to do a large work in the great
cities. We have a solemn testimony to bear in these great centres.-- Words of
Encouragement to Self-supporting Workers (Ph 113) 5 (1909).
The warning message for this time is not being given earnestly in the great business
world. Day after day the centres of commerce and trade are thronged with men and women who
need the truth for this time but who gain no saving knowledge of its precious principles
because earnest, persevering efforts are not put forth to reach this class of people where
they are.--CW 14 (1909).
The third angel's message is now to be proclaimed, not only in far-off lands, but in
neglected places close by, where multitudes dwell unwarned and unsaved. Our cities
everywhere are calling for earnest, whole-hearted labour from the servants of God.--RH
Nov. 17, 1910.
Not All Can Leave the Cities Yet
Whenever possible, it is the duty of parents to make homes in the country for their
children.--AH 141 (1906).
More and more, as time advances, our people will have to leave the cities. For years we
have been instructed that our brethren and sisters, and especially
families with children, should plan to leave the cities as the way opens before them to
do so. Many will have to labour earnestly to help open the way. But until it is
possible for them to leave, so long as they remain, they should be most active in doing
missionary work, however limited their sphere of influence may be.--2SM 360 (1906).
Our cities are increasing in wickedness, and it is becoming more and more evident that
those who remain in them unnecessarily do so at the peril of their soul's salvation.--CL 9
Cities and towns are steeped in sin and moral corruption, yet there are Lots in every
Sodom.--6T 136 (1900).
Schools, Churches, Restaurants Needed in the Cities
Much more can be done to save and educate the children of those who at present cannot
get away from the cities. This is a matter worthy of our best efforts. Church schools are
to be established for the children in the cities, and in connection with these schools
provision is to be made for the teaching of higher studies, where these are called
for.--CG 306 (1903).
Our restaurants must be in the cities, for otherwise the workers in these restaurants
could not reach the people and teach them the principles of right living.--2SM 142 (1903).
Repeatedly the Lord has instructed us that we are to work the cities from outpost
centres. In these cities we are to have houses of worship, as memorials for God, but
institutions for the publication of our literature, for the healing of the sick, and for
the training of workers [colleges], are to be established outside the cities. Especially
is it important that our youth be shielded from the temptations of city life.--2SM 358
Precipitous Moves to the Country Not Advised
Let everyone take time to consider carefully and not be like the man in the parable who
began to build and was not able to finish. Not a move should be made but that movement and
all that it portends are carefully considered--everything weighed. . . .
There may be individuals who will make a rush to do something, and enter into some
business they know nothing about. This God does not require. . . .
Let there be nothing done in a disorderly manner, that there shall be a great loss or
sacrifice made upon property because of ardent, impulsive speeches which stir up an
enthusiasm which is not after the order of God, that a victory that was essential to be
gained, shall, for lack of level-headed moderation and proper contemplation and sound
principles and purposes, be turned into a defeat.--2SM 362, 363 (1893).[2. WRITTEN
DECEMBER 22, 1893, IN REPLY TO A LETTER FROM A LEADING WORKER IN BATTLE CREEK WHO HAD
INFORMED MRS. WHITE THAT, IN RESPONSE TO HER URGING, "BETWEEN ONE AND TWO
HUNDRED" WERE PREPARING TO LEAVE THE CITY FOR A RURAL LOCATION "AS SOON AS
POSSIBLE." SEE SELECTED MESSAGES , BOOK 2, PP. 361-364.]
The Signal for Flight From the Cities
The time is not far distant when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek
a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies
was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part
of our nation, in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath, will be a warning to us. It will
then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for
retired homes in secluded places among the mountains.--5T 464, 465 (1885).
Some Righteous Still in the Cities
After the Death Decree Has Been Passed In the time of trouble we all fled from the
cities and villages but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints
with a sword.--EW 34 (1851).
As the saints left the cities and villages they were pursued by the wicked, who sought
to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God's people broke and fell as
powerless as a straw. Angels of God shielded the saints.--EW 284, 285 (1858).
Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment-keepers may be put to
death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time
specified will endeavour to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians
stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in
their flight from the cities and villages, but the swords raised against them break and
fall as powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.--GC