Jesus is Coming
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Chapter 1 – Jesus is Coming Again
Chapter 2 – Literal Interpretation
Chapter 3 – His Coming Does Not Mean Death
Chapter 4 – The Three Appearings
Chapter 5 – The Millennium
Chapter 6 – Post-Millennialism
Chapter 7 – Pre-Millennial Arguments
Chapter 8 – Diagram of Events
Chapter 9 – Rapture and Revelation
Chapter 10 – The Church and the Millennial Kingdom
Chapter 11 – The Tribulation
Chapter 12 – Antichrist
Chapter 13 – Principal Event
Chapter 14 – Some Objections Considered
Chapter 15 – Israel Is to Be Restored
Chapter 16 – The Study of Prophecy
Chapter 17 – A Practical Doctrine
Chapter 18 – Outline of the Order of Events
Chapter 19 – Anathema or Comfort
Chapter 20 – The Time
Chapter 21 – Signs of Christ’s Speedy Coming
Chapter 1 – Jesus is Coming Again
Reader, do you know that Jesus is coming again?
He said, “I will come again” (John 14:3) and His word endureth forever (1 Pet. 1:25), for He is the truth (John 14:6).
The angels said He would come again. “This same Jesus,” and “in like manner” (Acts 1:11), and they were not mistaken when they announced His first coming (Luke 1:26-33; see also Luke 2:8-18).
The Holy Spirit, by the mouth of the apostles, hath repeatedly said He would come again (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Heb. 9:28; 10:37). Is not such an event, stated upon such authority, of vital importance to us?
At His first coming, the world rejected Him. He was the despised Nazarene. But when He comes again, He will appear as “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (1 Tim. 6:13-15).
He is coming to sit upon the throne of His glory (Matt. 25:31), and to be admired in all them that believed (2 Thessalonians 1:10), and to rule, in judgment and equity, all the nations of the earth (Psalm 2:9; Isaiah 9:6-7; Rev. 2:25-27).
How glorious it will be to see the King in His beauty (Isaiah 33:17).
Perhaps you are not a Christian, and say—
“I Don’t Care Anything About It.”
Then, dear friend, we point you to the crucified Savior as the only hope of salvation.
We beg of you to “kiss the Son,” lest ye perish from the way. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Psalm 2:12). What shall it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul? (Matt. 16:26-27) He is coming, and we know neither the day, nor the hour, when He may come (Matt. 25:13). What if He should come now? Would you be found of Him in peace (2 Pet. 3:14), or would you be left behind to endure the terrible things which shall come upon the world (Luke 21:25-26), while the church is with Christ in the air (Luke 21:36; 1 Thessalonians 4:17), and be made at His appearing (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10) to mourn (Matt. 24:30) and pray to the mountains and rocks to hide you from His face? (Rev. 6:16).
“Prepare to meet thy God,” was the solemn injunction to Israel (Amos 4:12), and every one of us, both Jew and Gentile, must meet Him, either in grace or in judgment.
We, then, as ambassadors for Christ, beseech you: be ye reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20), now, in the accepted time, in the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2; Luke 14:31-33). Do let us entreat you to repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 10:42-43; 17:30-31), and that you may turn “to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from Heaven” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10), and be unblamable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
But if you are a Christian, then we point you to His coming again, as
The True Incentive to a Holy Life. (1 John 3:2-3)
Jesus is coming, therefore mortify your members which are upon the earth, that you may appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:4-5).
Strive and pray for purity of heart, that you may be like Him and see Him as He is (Matt. 5:18; 1 John 3:2-3). Search the Word, that you may be sanctified and cleansed thereby (Eph. 5:26), and that your whole spirit, and soul, and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23). But possibly you say, with contempt,
“Oh, That’s Second Adventism.”
Beloved, have you considered that Moses (Deut. 33:2), so David (Psalm 102:16), Isaiah (Isaiah 59:20; 60:1), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:5-6), Daniel (Dan. 7:13), Zechariah (Zech. 14:4-5), all the prophets and apostles (Acts 15:15-17), were believers in the second advent of Christ? And because some, by setting dates, and other errors, have brought disrepute upon this doctrine, shall we cast it aside altogether?
But it may be you say (as we have been pained to hear from so many even earnest Christians):
“Well, I Don’t Think It Concerns Me Much, Anyway:
I’ve always thought that in most cases it meant death, and if I’m prepared for death, that’s enough; and there is too much speculation about it to suit me; and I don’t believe it’s a practical doctrine; and, more than that, I think it’s a mistake to pay so much attention to it.”
Yes, even thus do many Christians, —who profess to be members of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27), and who have been espoused unto one husband, that they may be presented to Him (2nd Corinthians 11:2) — summarily dispose of this precious truth, that Jesus is coming, to take unto Himself His bride (John 14:3; Eph. 5:23, 32).
O, beloved, do not thus deprive yourself of this comforting truth. Please take your pencil and mark in your Bible the passages that pertain to it; and see
How Large a Portion of the Word Is Devoted to It.
If the Holy Ghost has deemed it so important, is it not worthy of our attention? The Word exhorts us (1 Thessalonians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 1:7) to give attention to it (Rev. 1:3); and the danger of condemnation is to them who do not (Luke 12:45-46; 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7).
Again, please examine the passages cited under the heading, A Practical Doctrine, and see how Jesus and the apostles used this doctrine to incite us to watchfulness, repentance, patience, ministerial faithfulness, brotherly love, etc., and then decide whether anything could be more practical.
Surely no doctrine, in the Word of God, presents a deeper motive for crucifying the flesh, and for separation unto God, and to work for souls, as our hope and joy and crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19; Dan. 12:3) than this does.
For the whole teaching of it is, that our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Phil. 3:20-21). It awakens groaning for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:23; Luke 21:28).
It gives us a view of the world, as a wrecked vessel (Matt. 7:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 2 Pet. 2:3-9; 2 Pet. 3:5-12), and stimulates us to work with all our might that we may save some (1 Corinthians 9:22). Most, if not all, of the evangelists of our day are animated by this doctrine, and surely their work is practical.
Again, Peter says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Pet. 1:19); and he exhorts us to be mindful of these words (2 Pet. 3:1-2). Therefore we are not speculating when we prayerfully study prophecy.
Chapter 2 – Literal Interpretation
Perhaps you ask, “Are not these prophecies to be interpreted ‘spiritually’? And does not this ‘coming’ mean our acceptance of Him at conversion, and the witness of the spirit? Or does it not mean His reign over the Church?” etc.
No! Not at all. Think a moment. Do you condemn the Jews for rejecting Christ, when He came in such literal fulfillment of prophecy, and yet reject the same literalness about his second coming? This is not consistent, and while we believe Luke 1:31, to be literally true, let us believe likewise in regard to verses 32 and 33.
Luke 1 :31-33:
“31. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”
“32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:”
“33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
The inconsistency of accepting literally verse 31, and ‘spiritualizing’ 32 and 33; is clearly illustrated by the following account of a conversation between a Christian minister and a Jew:
“Taking a New Testament and opening it at Luke 1:32, the Jew asked: ‘Do you believe that what is here written shall be literally accomplished, — The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever?’ ‘I do not,’ answered the clergyman, ‘but rather take it to be figurative language, descriptive of Christ’s spiritual reign over the Church.’
“‘Then,’ replied the Jew, ‘neither do I believe literally the words preceding, which say that this Son of David should be born of a virgin; but take them to be merely a figurative manner of describing the remarkable character for purity of him who is the subject of the prophecy.’ ‘But why,’ continued the Jew, ‘do you refuse to believe literally verses 32 and 33, while you believe implicitly the far more incredible statement of verse 31?’ ‘I believe it,’ replied the clergyman, ‘because it is a fact,’ ‘Ah!’ exclaimed the Jew, with an inexpressible air of scorn and triumph, ‘You believe Scripture because it is a fact, I believe it because it is the Word of God.'”
And now, dear reader, was not the argument of the Jew candid and forcible? There are symbols, figures or tropes, metaphors, etc., used in Scripture and there are, also, allegories.
But, unless they are so stated in the text, or plainly indicated in the context, we should hold only to the literal sense.
The words of Christ in John 7:38 we are told in the very next verse were spoken “of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.”
The allegory in Gal. 4:24-31 in no possible manner detracts from the literal sense of Scripture, but on the contrary it confirms it. We know that both Hagar and Sarah had a literal physical existence. Mt. Sinai and Jerusalem are literal.
We have a literal Christ, the mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 12:24). And so we believe that the Jerusalem which is above, of which Sarah is typical — “the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22), the “new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from God” (Rev. 3:12; Rev. 21:2, 10), is also literal, tangible and real. How then, are we authorized, from such examples as these (which are most prominent among those cited by Post-millennialists as authority for “spiritualizing”), to do away with the literal sense of Luke 1:32-33, or of the multitude of passages which predict the restoration of Israel, the coming of Christ, or which describe His glorious Kingdom? There can be no warrant for it. It subverts the authority and power of the Word of God, and Post-millennialists, by so doing, open wide the door for skeptics and latitudinarians of all descriptions. There are a portion of the Israelites in the present day who style themselves “reformed” or “liberal.” They likewise spiritualize the Old Testament prophecies and have therefore ceased to look for any literal Messiah. One of them not long since said to the writer “the nineteenth century is the Messiah,” and this absurd doctrine is now quite generally preached in their principal congregations. That even Jews should thus join with Gentiles in “spiritualizing” Scripture, is a marvelous sign of the times in which we live. (“When the Son of man cometh, shall he find [the] faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8.) Why! the same process of spiritualizing away the literal sense of these plain texts of Scripture will sap the foundation of every Christian doctrine and leave us to drift into absolute infidelity, or the vagaries of Swedenborgianism.
What is the purpose of language, if not to convey definite ideas? Surely the Holy Spirit could have chosen words to convey His thoughts correctly. Indeed it is all summed up in the inquiry of a little child, “If Jesus didn’t mean what He said, why didn’t He say what He meant?” But we believe that He did mean what He said, and that His words will “not pass away.” Matt. 24:35.
He said that He came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfil, and “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Mat. 5:17-18.
Prophecies Literally Fulfilled at the First Coming.
If He came and literally fulfilled the prophecies of a suffering Messiah, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, etc., will He not as surely come and likewise fulfill the prophecies of a glorified Messiah reigning in victory and majesty? Psalm 2; 72; Dan. 7:13-14, Isaiah 9; 11; 60, etc. Think of the many prophecies descriptive of a suffering Messiah, which we have seen literally fulfilled, and upon which we rest, as such strong evidence for the truth and inspiration of the Word, to wit:
Isaiah 7:14—Born of a virgin.
Micah 5:2—At Bethlehem.
Jeremiah 31:15—Slaughter of the children.
Hosea 11:1—Called out of Egypt.
Isaiah 11:2—Anointed with the Spirit.
Zech. 9:9—Entry into Jerusalem.
Psalm 41:9; 55:12-14—Betrayed by a friend.
Zech. 13:7—Disciples forsake Him.
Zech. 11:12—Sold for thirty pieces of silver.
Zech. 11:13—Potter’s field bought.
Isaiah 50:6—Spit on and scourged.
Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20—Not a bone broken.
Psalm 69:21—Gall and vinegar.
Psalm 22—Hands and feet pierced; garments parted; lots cast.
Isaiah 53—Poverty, suffering, patience, and death.
And many other passages.
All these were literally fulfilled when Christ came. Do not, then, reject the literal fulfillment of those numerous prophecies which describe His future coming, and His glorious reign upon the earth. Namely:—
Prophecies to be Literally Fulfilled at the Second Coming.
That He shall come Himself,— 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
That He shall shout,— 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
That the dead will hear His voice,— John 5:28.
That the raised and changed believers will be caught up to meet Him in the air,— 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
That He will receive them unto Himself,— John 14:3.
That He will minister unto His watching servants,— Luke 12:37.
That He will come to the earth again,— Acts 1:11.
- To the same Mount Olivet from which He ascended,— Zech. 14:4.
- In flaming fire,— 2 Thessalonians 1:8.
- In the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,— Matt. 24:30; 1 Pet. 1:7; 4:13.
- And stand upon the earth,— Job 19:25.
That His saints (the Church) shall come with Him,— Deut. 33:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Jude 14.
That every eye shall see Him,— Rev. 1:7.
That He shall destroy Antichrist,— 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
That He shall sit in His throne,— Matt. 25:31; Rev. 5:13.
That all nations will be gathered before Him, and He will judge them,— Mat. 25:32.
That He shall have the throne of David,— Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32; Ezek. 21:25-27.
That it will be upon the earth,— Jeremiah 23:5-6.
That He shall have a kingdom,— Dan. 7:13-14.
And rule over it with His saints,— Dan. 7:18, 22, 27; Rev. 5:10.
That all kings and nations shall serve Him,— Psalm 72:11; Isaiah 49:6-7; Rev. 15:4.
That the kingdoms of this world shall become His kingdom,— Zech. 9:10; Rev. 11:15.
That the people shall gather unto Him,— Gen. 49:10.
That every knee shall bow to Him,— Isaiah 45:23.
That they shall come and worship the King,— Zech. 14:16; Psalm 86:9.
That He shall build up Zion,— Psalm 102:16.
That His throne shall be in Jerusalem,— Jeremiah 3:17; Isaiah 33:20-21.
That the Apostles shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,— Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:28-30.
That He shall rule all nations,— Psalm 2:8-9; Rev. 2:27.
That He shall rule with judgment and justice,— Isaiah 9:7.
That the Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt (Ezek. chapters 40-48), and the glory of the Lord will come into it (Ezek. 43:2-5; 44:4).
That the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,— Isaiah 40:5.
That the wilderness shall be a fruitful field,— Isaiah 32:15.
That the desert will blossom as the rose,— Isaiah35:1-2.
And His rest shall be glorious,— Isaiah 11:10.
And many more we might mention.
Surely, there is no symbolism in these plain prophecies, which gives us any authority to “spiritualize” them. Rather let us expect that He will as literally fulfill these as He did the others at His first coming.
Chapter 3 – His Coming Does Not Mean Death
His first coming did not mean death to the Jews, and they did not so understand it; neither does His second coming mean death to Christians, nor should they so understand it.
Jesus makes a clear distinction between death and His coming in John 21. He tells Peter how he should die, and then, by contrast, He speaks of John, saying: “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” That is, that John might not die, but live till Jesus should come again. The disciples so understood it, and reported that he should not die.
Death is an enemy, and at Christ’s coming we are raised from the dead, and shout victory over death and the grave. “0 Death, where is thy sting’ 0 Hades, where is thy victory?”
If we are faithful unto death (that is, though faithfulness cost us our lives) He has promised us a crown but we do not receive it until He comes.
Nothing is promised us at death, except to be at rest in Paradise. But we are promised all things in the resurrection, when Jesus comes.
Therefore we find Paul yearning for this resurrection.
He did not want to be unclothed by death but clothed upon by the resurrection.
Let anyone insert “death” in the passages which speak of Christ’s coming and he will see that it will not apply. For instance:
“For ‘death’ shall come in the glory of His Father.” Mat. 16:27.
“When ‘death’ shall sit in the throne of His glory.” Mat. 19 :28.
“Hereafter shall ye see ‘death’ sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Mat. 26 :64.
“Behold he (death) cometh with clouds and every eyu shall see Him.” Rev. 1:7.
“For our conversation is in heaven, from whence, also, we look for ‘death!” Phil. 3 :20.
If the reader thinks that these are exceptional passages, we beg of you to try it in other Scripture referring to His coming. The only possible similarity consists in analogy: in the fact that we do not know the time when we shall die. But thanks be to God, we may not die at all, for “We shall not all sleep.” 1 Cor. 15:51.
There will be one generation, at least, who will realize that the coming of our Lord is not death.
And if it is not admissible to say “for ‘death,’ himself, shall descend from heaven with a shout” (1 Thes. 4:16), neither is it admissible to say, “Watch, therefore j for ye know not what hour ‘death’ doth come.” Mat. 24 :42.
For, by such wresting of Scripture, we jostle this prominent truth, of our Lord’s advent, into the back-ground, and substitute therefor the ‘grim monster,’ death.
Death Is Not Practically the Coming of the Lord.
It is assuming too much, to say that death is practically, to the believer, “the coming of the Lord. For we do not know it, and the Scriptures do not assert it. On the contrary, the events which occur, as the Scriptures teach us, when the Lord comes, do not occur at the death of a Christian. The dead are not then raised, nor are the living believers changed, as they will be when the Lord comes. We know very little about Hades or the intermediate state of the dead. It is probably true that, since the resurrection of our Lord, the souls of believers, at death, go to a Paradise above, so that Paul could say “absent from the body, present with the Lord.” 2 Cor. 5 :8. But it would appear, from Rev. 6 :9-11 that certain of the departed souls yearn for the execution of Judgment, which occurs when the Lord comes. Spiritually, the believer is with Christ now, and always but, to be with Christ, bodily, is only to be attained by the resurrection, at His coming. Therefore, it is entirely unscriptural to instruct the believer to look for death, as being synonymous with, or equivalent to, the Lord’s coming.
Dr. David Brown’s Testimony.
Rev. David Brown, although a prominent Post-millenialist, recognizes this and he says: “The coming of Christ to individuals at death-however warrantably we may speak so, and whatever profitable considerations it may suggestis not fitted for taking that place in the view of the believer which Scripture assigns to the Second Advent.” And he very properly illustrates by the following passages:
“‘Let not your heart be troubled (said Jesus to his sorrowing disciples): In my Father’s house are many man- sions; I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go away’ – What then? ‘Ye shall soon follow me? Death shall shortly bring us together? Nay; but ‘If I go away, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.’ John 14:3.
” ‘And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven, this same Jesus which is taken up, from you into heaven shall’ – What? Take you home soon to himself at death? Nay, but shall ‘so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ Acts 1 :10-11.”
“And,” he adds, “how know we that by jostling this event (the Advent) out of its scriptural place in the expectations of the Church, we are not, in a great degree, destroying its character and power as a practical principle? Can we not believe, though unable to trace it, that God’s methods are ever best; and that as in nature, so perhaps in revelation, a modification by us of the divine arrangements, apparently slight, and attended even with some seeming advantages, may be followed by a total and unexpected change of results, the opposite of what is anticipated and desired? So we fear it to be here.” We would that we had space to quote more, for we admire this frank admission-that death is not the coming of our Lord-from one who labors so hard to support post-millennialism. Again, the substitution of death for the coming of the Lord practically degrades the grand doctrine of the resurrection, from its lofty prominence in Scripture, to almost an unnecessary appendage.
But we believe in the preaching of Jesus and the resurrection16 and we look forward with joyous anticipation to the resurrection from the dead, as the time when Jesus shall give us the victory over death.
Oh! that Christians might realize “the grace that is to be brought unto” us (not at death but) “at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Nowhere in the Savior’s teachings are we commanded to watch or prepare for death. But we are commanded to watch and prepare for Christ’s coming.
Therefore, let us not be deceived by the thought that our great enemy, Death, is the precious coming of Jesus.
So, beloved, we conclude that this glorious doctrine does concern you.
Search the Scriptures.
Perhaps, you say: “I don’t know much about it, and I can’t understand it.” But do you want to understand it’ If so, God’s word is open to you. The Holy Spirit will teach you. He will show you things to come, and these pages are written with the earnest desire to aid you in the study of this truth.
Will you study it? Will you search for yourself, as did the noble Bereans? not merely to read through this little book, but to use it simply as an index, and go to the Word, search out the passages herein referred to, read them and pray over them, until the Holy Spirit guides you into the truth? If so, we believe that you will see the light, and find comfort to your soul.
Said a Christian, who had long opposed the truth of the pre-millennial coming of Christ: “I have spent the happiest night of my life, for last evening I saw the truth concerning the second coming.” It filled him with joy, and he is one who has been greatly used in leading souls to Christ. May God bless and thus use you, dear reader.
Chapter 4 – The Three Appearings
The grandest fact in history is that Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, has been in this world.
And the most important fact of the present is that He is now in Heaven making intercession for us [we who are believers in the Lord Jesus and are trusting Him for our salvation] (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1).
And the greatest prophesied event of the future is, that He is coming again.
These three appearings are beautifully set forth in the 9th of Hebrews (Heb. 9:24, 26, 28).
His appearing upon earth “to put away by the sacrifice of Himself.” Verse 26.
His entering “into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Verse 24.
“And unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Verse 28.
While He was here upon earth He said: “It is expedient for you that I go away” (John 16:7) and He went away (Acts 1:9). He said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” But
“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3. He gave us this promise as our hope and comfort while He is away.
He said: “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33), “ye shall weep and lament, and … be sorrowful but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice.” Verses 20, 22.
Nothing can be more comforting to the Church, the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25-32), then this precious promise which our absent Lord has left us, that He will come and receive us unto Himself, and that we shall be with Him, to behold His glory (John 17:24).
He has given us
The Lord’s Supper,
that we should take the bread and the cup in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19), and to show His death, till He come (1 Cor. 11:26). We have this simple and loving memorial for a continual sign of this promise during all the earthly pilgrimage of the Church (Heb. 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11), and through it we look forward from the cross to His coming, when He will drink it anew with us, in His Father’s kingdom (Matt. 26:29), at the marriage feast of the Lamb (Matt. 22:2; Rev. 19:9; also Luke 14:16-24).
It is a constant reminder of His promise, pointing our eye of faith to His coming again. “He is faithful that promised” (Heb. 10:22-25) and we are exhorted to have confidence and patience, that we may “receive the promise,” “for yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Heb. 10:35-37.
One has truly said that the coming of Christ is
The Very Pole Star of the Church,
And the apostle Paul calls it “That blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). Jesus and the apostles and the prophets have given great prominence in the Scriptures to this inspiring theme. THE EARLY FATHERS and the Christian Church, for the first two centuries of our era, found in it their chief source of hope and comfort. The belief that Jesus was coming in glory to reign with His saints on the earth, during the Millennium, was almost universal with them.
But in the third century there arose a school of interpreters, headed by Origen, who so “spiritualized” the Scriptures that they ceased to believe in any literal Millennium whatsoever. Their system of interpretation has been severely condemned by Martin Luther, Dr. Adam Clarke and other commentators.
When Constantine was converted and the Roman empire became, nominally, Christian, it appeared to many that the Millennium had come, and that they had the kingdom on earth. The Church, hand in hand with the world, plunged into the dark ages, until awakened by the great reformers of the sixteenth century, who again began to proclaim the comforting hope and blessed promise of the coming of Christ; and since that time the subject so long neglected has been studied and preached with increasing interest. Indeed, in the last two centuries, it seems to have risen (with the doctrine of salvation by simple faith in a crucified Savior) into somewhat the same prominence which it occupied in the early Church. God be praised for it.
Chapter 5 – The Millennium
Millennium (Latin) is the same as Chiliad (Greek), and both mean a thousand years. Both terms stand for the doctrine of a future era of righteous government upon the earth, to last a thousand years.
Jewish writers throughout the Talmud hold that this Millennium will be chiefly characterized by the deliverance of the Jews from all their enemies, recovery of Palestine and the literal reign of their Messiah in unequaled splendor therein.
Pre-millennial Christians hold much in common with the Jews, but also that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Messiah; that He is to return to the earth and overthrow Satan, all ungodly government and lawlessness, and establish a kingdom of righteousness, having the Church, with Himself as sovereign, Jerusalem as the capital, regathered and converted Israel as the center, and all nations included in a universal, world-wide kingdom of pure and blessed government.
Post-millennialists, for the most part, hold that the present preaching of the gospel will result in the conversion of the world and usher in a golden era of righteousness and a government of justice and peace to last a thousand years, after which the Lord will return for a “general judgment” and introduction of an eternal state. It is well to have these distinctive views of the Millennium clearly in mind.
Contrary to the post-millennial view, the literal reign of Christ, with His saints, for a thousand years is plainly stated in the twentieth chapter of Revelation. Six times is the expression “A thousand years,” repeated. Verses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The teaching is so plain that “wayfairing men shall not err therein.” Isaiah 35:8.
But those who oppose this “blessed hope,” of the pre-millennial coming of our Lord usually begin their arguments by the assertion that the doctrine of the Millennium is nowhere taught in Scripture except in this 20th chapter of Revelation, and that the symbolical character of this book forbids our founding any doctrine upon it. The superficial character of such a statement is glaringly apparent from the fact that the Jews had fully developed the doctrine of the Millennium as the teaching of the Old Testament scriptures long before the Book of Revelation or any portion of the New Testament was written. It was the view most frequently expressed in the Talmud that “the Messianic kingdom would last for one thousand years,” and this was commonly believed among the Jews. It is easy to discern upon what they founded the doctrine. It is the Sabbath of God’s weeks.
The division of time into sevens, or weeks, permeates the Scriptures. A fundamental enactment of the Mosaic law was the keeping of the Sabbath, Ex. 20 :8. This was based upon God’s great rest day in Gen. 2. Upon this is founded not only the week of days, but also the week of weeks unto Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16); the week of months, with the Atonement and seven days’ feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Lev. 23:27-28); the week of years, ending with the Sabbatic year (Lev. 25:4); the week of weeks of years, ending with the seventh Sabbatic year, and followed by the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:. 8-12).
Even the duration of Israel’s great punishments was based upon this law of the sevens. Their captivity in Babylon was for seventy years. Jeremiah 25 :11-12; Dan. 9 :2. The great period revealed to Daniel (Ch. 9), unto the coming of the Messiah was divided into seventy sevens. The unequaled period of Israel’s punishment and dispersion in the lands of their enemies, prophesied by Moses, is, with four-fold emphasis, specified to be for seven times. (Jeremiah 26:18, 21, 24, 28). This sacred seven is woven into the law3, life and history of the chosen people, with whom God established His theocracy. And notwithstanding all of Israel’s rebellion and sinfulness and consequent chastisement, there still remains for them and the whole world a keeping of the Sabbath. Heb. 4:9 margin. With God a day is as a thousand years (Psalm 90), and a thousand Years as one day. 2 Pet. 3 :8.
Upon this rock of the sacred sevens we can consistently, with the Jews, base our conclusion that as we have the scriptural week, week of weeks, week of months, week of years, week of weeks of years, week of seventy years, week of times, week of olams or aions (ages), see page 222, so we also have the great week of Millenniums. Six thousand year days of labor and then the Millennium, or blessed seventh thousand years of rest.
Shine on, 0 blessed Revelation of God, and the Lord stamp upon our hearts the warning that, “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophesy, God shall take away his part from the Tree of Life.” Rev, 22:19.
Chapter 6 – Post-Millennialism
About the year seventeen hundred a new error crept into the Church, to-wit, Post-millennialism.
This was instituted by Daniel Whitby, an English divine, or proclaimed by him as a new hypothesis, namely, that the Church would prosper and extend until the world should be converted, and this triumph of the Church would constitute the Millennium; and that Jesus would not come until after the Millennium.
No wonder that he calls it a “new hypothesis,” for he himself bears testimony in his “Treatise on Traditions” that the doctrine of the Millennium, or the reign of Saints on earth a thousand years, passed among the best of Christians for two hundred and fifty years, for a tradition apostolical, and as such is delivered by many fathers of the second and third century, who speak of it as the tradition of our Lord and His apostles.
For want of space we refer the reader to “The Voice of the Church,” by D. T. Taylor, to show the long line of eminent witnesses, embracing Hermas, Justin and the Martyrs, Luther, Melanchthon, Mede, Milton, Burnett, Isaac Newton, Watts, Charles Wesley, Toplady, and a host of others, illustrious in the annals of the Church, who, through the past eighteen centuries, have borne overwhelming testimony to the truth of the pre-millennial coming of Christ.
Strange, indeed, that the Church, in the face of such evidence, should drift away from the simple teaching of the Word and the faith of the fathers. And yet, though of such recent origin, this error of post-millennialism has not only crept into the Church, but has been accepted by the great majority of Christians, pastors and people. This, then, is the principal point of the question, namely: Will the coming of Christ occur before the Millennium, and may it therefore happen at any moment, as Pre-millennialists believe, or will it occur after the Millennium, and thus be, at least, a thousand years in the future, as Post-millennialists believe?
Chapter 7 – Pre-Millennial Arguments
We now invite your prayerful attention to the following scriptural arguments, which, we believe, show that the coming of our Lord will be pre-millennial.
No. I. The Antichrist.
In 2 Thessalonians 2 :8,(1) The Antichrist, who is on all sides confessed to be pre-millennial, is to be destroyed with the brightness of His (Christ’s) coming, or more literally the epiphany (appearing*) of His own presence. This fixes the coming of Christ to be pre-millennial.
Bishop McIlvaine says of this argument that “it is wholly unanswerable.”
Even Mr. Brown, the great champion of post-millennialism, admits that this is an apparent evidence for the pre-millennial advent, and he has been obliged to meet it by that process of “spiritualizing” Scripture which has been so condemned by Dr. John Pye Smith, Martin Luther, Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Hooker, Dr. Adam Clarke, and others. On this argument alone we might rest, but we have others fully as conclusive.
No. II. Immediately After the Tribulation.
In Mat. 24:29-31, the coming of the Son of Man is said to be immediately after the Tribulation. But this Tribulation is pre-millennial, or before the reign of peace. See also the diagram on page seventy-two. Therefore the coming is pre-millennial.
No. III. A Persecuted Church.
The true Church is a persecuted, suffering, cross-bearing people. thereunto appointed, so that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3 :12), and this will continue until Christ comes, which precludes any Millennium until after His coming.
No. IV. Tares and Wheat.
We are nowhere in the New Testament directed to look for the Millennium before the coming of Christ. But we are expressly taught that the tares and the wheat will grow together until the end (of this age); that evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse; that as it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. And such is the character and number of the tares that their destruction, before the harvest, would endanger the children of the kingdom. Mat. 13 :29. This absolutely precludes the idea of a millennial reign of righteousness in this dispensation.
From the time that the first Adam surrendered the kingdom to Satan, the effort to re-establish it with man has been a continual failure, though it was given to Noah, Saul (1 Sam. 9:16; 13:13), Nebuchadnezzar9 and others. And it will be a failure in this sin-cursed earth until the second Adam, who has overcome Satan, shall return to purify the earth and establish the kingdom on resurrection ground. Therefore there will be no Millennium until Christ comes.
But while we are not told to look for the Millennium, we are repeatedly and most solemnly enjoined to look for the return of our Lord. So we again conclude that His return must be pre-millennial.
No. V. The Literal Reign of Christ.
The millennial kingdom will be a literal reign of Christ on the earth, and not simply a spiritual exaltation of the Church.
“A king shall reign in righteousness” (Isa. 32:1; Jer. 23 :1-6), “upon the throne of David”l0 “in Jerusalem.” The apostles shall sit upon the twelve thrones (Mat. 19 :28), and the Sajnts shall reign upon the earth. Rev. 5 :10.
Speaking of the kingdom, or crown of Israel, the Lord God says: “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.” Ezek. 21 :27.
The multiude of passages which bear upon this fact we can not even refer to. Dr. J. Pye Smith says that they are far more numerous than those which describe the humiliation and suffering of Christ.
And they are so specific, so full of detail, so like the prophecies concerning the first coming, in their literalness, that our post-millennial brethren are compelled to do the utmost violence to the laws of interpretation in the “spiritualizing” method with which they meet this argument.
We believe that we have the word of prophecy spoken by “holy men of God,” “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1: 21), and that we should direct our first efforts toward understanding the literal sense (as it is called), “which alone,” as Martin Luther says, “is the substance of faith and of Christian theology.”
Jesus is in “heaven,” at “the right hand of God” (1 Pet. 3:22), “upon the throne with the Father” (Psa. 110:1; Rev. 3 :21), in the Holy of Holies, or true Holy Place (Heb. 9:24), making intercession (Rom. 8:34), for those that come unto God by Him. Heb. 7 :25. But Heaven has only received Him until the time of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His. holy prophets (Acts 3 :21), when He shall come again, to sit in the throne of His Father David.
This again proves His coming to be pre-millennial.
No. VI. Argument From the Order of the Resurrection. We believe we have a conclusive argument based upon the Resurrection, which may be briefly stated as follows: All the dead will be raised, but, as Jesus was raised out of the dead and the rest of the dead were left, so the dead in Christ that are His at His coming, will be raised out of the dead, and the rest of the dead will be left until another and final resurrection, and the Millennium will occur between these two resurrections, thus clearly showing Christ’s coming to be pre-millennial.
We believe that any unprejudiced mind will be convinced of this by simply reading the following passages:
Order of the Resurrection.
1 Cor. 15:22-26. For as In Adam all die, even so In Christ shall all be made alive. But every man In his own order. Christ the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then (or afterwards) the end…… The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Dead in Christ Rise First.
1 Thes. 4:13-17. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For IF WE BELIEVE that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep In Jesus will God bring with Him…… For 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.
The First Resurrection.
Rev. 20:4-14. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast. . .. and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. BUT THE REST OF THE DEAD LIVED NOT AGAIN UNTIL THE THOUSAND YEARS WERE FINISHED. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION, on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations .And I saw a GREAT WHITE THRONE, and Him that sat on It, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away;… And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;… and the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them…
These three passages are so plain that the wayfaring roan need not err therein.
In the first, we are told the order of the resurrection- each “in his own order” (Gr. Band.). The figure is taken from troops moving by bands or regiments.
First, Christ (“the first born from the dead.” Cot 1: 18).
Next, the godly, who die in Christ and who are His at His coming.
Next, the end, when “the rest of the dead” (who are not Christ’s) shall come forth and death itself be destroyed.
The second passage reiterates and emphasizes the fact that the dead in Christ shall rise first and that they rise when the Lord descends from Heaven with a shout. The resurrection of the ungodly is not spoken of, for they have no part in this blessed first resurrection.
In the third passage we have the first resurrection completed by the resurrection of the Tribulation Saints and the reign with Christ for a thousand years is stated to occur before the rest of the dead are raised. And after the thousand years the rest of the dead, who lived not again until the thousand years were finished, stand before God, and death and Hades deliver up the dead in them.
This one thousand years is the Millennium (Latin, mille annum). What could be plainer than this proof that Christ’s coming is to be pre-millennial? The dead in Christ are raised at His coming and they are raised before tht millennium. Therefore His coming must be pre-millennial.
It is objected that we have no right thus to bring together these passages from different parts of the Word.
We answer-why not? Are they not all inspired? Are they not all the product of one mind? See how plainly we are taught that they are all the utterances of the Holy Spirit. And it is clear that they all relate to the same subject, viz.: the resurrection.
Paul uses quotations in the same manner in Rom. 3 to prove that all have sinned, and again in Rom. 10 to prove the righteousness which is of faith, and in Heb. 11 to show the fruits of faith. We must certainly acknowledge the propriety of following his example.
Indeed, the same method of aggregating proof texts is used and relied upon to show the divinity of Christ and every evangelical doctrine.
Only Souls Mentioned.
It is objected that only the souls are mentioned in Rev. 20 and therefore it cannot be a literal resurrection, but is only the regeneration, or spiritual resurrection and present life of believers in Christ.
The fallacy of this is easily seen, for these holy dead enjoyed the spiritual resurrection before they “were beheaded for the witness of Jesus.” Clearly, it was because of this spiritual life in Christ and their faith in the Word of God, that they became witnesses for Jesus and refused to worship the beast, or his image or receive °his mark, and therefore they were beheaded (see chap. 13:11-15). Besides, (psukas-souls) means also life, person or individual. See same word in Acts 2 :41, “there were added unto them about three thousand souls (persons)” and in Acts 7:14; 27:10-37; 1 Cor. 15:45; 1 Pet. 3: 20; Rev. 12 :11; 16 :3, it unmistakably means persons. A spirit could not be beheaded. Only a person having body and spirit could be beheaded, and such it is evident these were. But they suffered physical death; that is, separation of soul and body, and became part of the great company of the dead. The 5th verse emphatically confirms this-these being that portion of the dead ones (nekron) who lived, while “the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished,” and “this is the first resurrection.”
In this objection Post-millennialists manifest one of their most remarkable inconsistencies. They labor assiduously to disprove the literalism of the first resurrection, described in verses 4-6, where zao = to live and anastasis = resurrection are each twice used, while they hold that verses 12 and 13 do describe a literal resurrection, though neither zao nor anastasis are used therein. Consistency requires that, if either is spiritual, it should be the latter. How much better to accept both as literal.
Spiritual Life in Paradise.
Equally fallacious is the interpretation which claims that the first resurrection is the spiritual life of believers with Christ in Paradise (the intermediate place of the holy dead). For this spiritual life begins, not at death, but at the regeneration. It begins with the first exercise of faith in Christ. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” John 3 :36. Hath it now. Is quickened already (Col. 2:13), and has been raised (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1), and lives the life he now lives by the faith of the Son of God. Gal. 2 :19, 20. This spiritual resurrection spoken of in Eph. 2:6; Col. 2 :12, 13; 3 :1, is expressed by words entirely different from anastasis, which is used in Rev. 20: 5-6, and which everywhere in the New Testament expresses a literal resurrection.
Only the Beheaded Mentioned.
Again it is objected that only the beheaded are mentioned and those who have special1y to do with the beast and His image.
This is true of the latter part of the verse only. And we believe that these are the Tribulation Saints who accept of Christ and become His martyrs under the reign of Antichrist after the Church has been caught up to meet Christ in the air, But notice that the first part of the verse speaks of some as though they had already been raised. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them.”
Nothing is said about the resurrection of these because they had already been raised at the Rapture previous to the Tribulation.
They are all ready to occupy the thrones and reign upon the earth according to the proDlises,18 But John sees the Tribulation Saints also raised to take part in this reign with Christ, which is in perfect accord with the order of the first resurrection.
CHRIST………………………………… THE FIRST FRUITS.
The Church and the Old Testament Saints who are raised at the Rapture when Christ comes in the air. The Tribulation Saints who are raised at the Revelation when Christ comes to the earth.
The Last Day.
Again we hear it objected that Christ said He would raise up those who believe in Him at the last day (John 6 :39, 40, 44, 54), and if it is at the last day there can not follow a thousand years before the unbelievers are raised. But Peter says “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Pet. 3 :8. This is the great Millennial day ushered in and ending with resurrection and judgment, and during which Christ shall rule the nations and judge the world in rightousness.
It is “the day of an age” as the Holy Spirit designates it in 2 Pet. 3 :18. See the Greek (heemeran aionos). In harmony with this we find that the same word (heemera-day) signifies “a long period,” in John 8:56; 9:4; Rom. 10:21; 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 4:7-8.
is the key to the book of Isaiah and many of the other prophets. Note how frequently it occurs. Isa. 2:11; 3:7, 18; 4:1, 2; 5:30; 7:18, 20, 21,23; 10:27, etc.; Jer.25:33; Ezek. 38 :14, 16; 39:11; 48:35; Joel 3 :18; Amos 9 :11; Micah 4:6; 7:11, 12; Zeph. 3:11, 16; Hag. 2:23; Zech. 9:16; 12:3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11; 13:1, 2, 4; 14:6, 8, 13, 21; Mal. 3:17; Mat. 7:22; 24:36; Mark 13:32; Lu. 21:34.
See how plainly it is identified With the Day of the Lord. Compare Isa. 2 :12 with 20. “For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty. . . . . In that day a man shall cast his idols . . . . . to the moles and bats.” Also Zeph. 1 :14, 15. “The great day of the Lord is near. . . that day is a day of wrath.”
See the same in Zech. 14:1-4.
In Hosea 6:2 we read “After two days will He revive as; in the third day He will raise us up.” These are evidently three days of one thousand years each, for “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” So “that day’ is doubtless the last thousand year day of God’s great’ week of aions (ages).
Mentioned in Same Verse.
Again it is objected that, while there will be a great difference in the character of the resurrection of the just and of the unjust, yet they must be simultaneous in time, for both are mentioned in conjunction, that is in the same verse.
But Jesus has taught us that this objection has no force, by giving us a remarkable example to the contrary. In Luke 4 :16-21, we read, that He opened the book, found the place and read from Isaiah 61, to the comma (or division of clauses) in verse 2, and closed the book, saying: “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Why did He stop there’ Because the time had not come to proclaim “the day of vengeance.” That comma has been over eighteen centuries long and will continue until Christ (having gathered His saints, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) shall appear with them executing vengeance on the ungodly. 2 Thessalonians 1 :7-10; Jude 14, 15. Therefore, Jesus, Himself, having taught us, that two events, stated consecutively in Isaiah 61 :2, are separated by more than eighteen hundred years, surely we should respect God’s Word, when it so plainly states that there will be a period of a thousand years between the resurrection of the “blessed and holy,”-and that of “the rest of the dead.”
The word (hora-hour) which Jesus used in John 5:28 is the same word as that used in verse 25.22 The latter we all believe has been over eighteen hundred years long. Why, then may not the former be at least a thousand years long and thus perfectly harmonize with Rev. 20? See also John 4:21, 23 and Rom. 13:11 (high time = hora = it is already the hour) in each of which hour signifies a long period.
Tregelles-who is supported by the Jewish commentators-renders Dan. 12:2 as follows:
“And many from among the sleepers or the dust of the earth shall awake; these shall be unto everlasting life; but those (the rest of the sleepers who do not awake at this time) shall be unto shame.” (See Jamieson, Fausset and Brown on this passage.) It is needless to add that this most intensely confirms the doctrine of the first resurrection.
Only One Text.
Lastly it is objected that a difference in time for the resurrection of the just from that of the unjust is stated in only one place in the Word, to-wit: Rev. 20. and that this is a book so symbolical, that we must not rely upon it for such an important fact.
Only one place indeed! But is not that enough? Why! the existence of all light rests upon the single sentence in Gen.’ 1 :3, and it rests safely, because God spoke those words. The most marvelous fact, in connection with our Lord’s first appearing, was the immaculate conception. It has caused suspicion of Mary’s character, and it calls for the greatest exercise of faith to believe in the Holy Ghost Fatherhood of her Son. It professes the holiest purity where the world can see only fornication and shame. And yet this astonishing event rested for centuries upon a single passage of prophecy, “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” Isa. 7 :14, and although it was given by the Lord to the Jews as a special and important sign they will not rely upon it, because it occurs in a poetical book, and so they reject the Babe of Bethlehem. But shall we,-who believe that Isa. 7 :14 has been literally fulfilled-condemn the Jews for not accepting it, and yet justify ourselves in rejecting the literal fulfillment of this plain statement in Rev. 20? God forbid. Remember that He says, “Behold I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Rev. 22:7; 1 :3. Oh then let us earnestly entreat you, to heed this one passage even though it may pierce through your established opinions.24 Don’t reject it. Don’t pervert its simple teaching, for it is God’s holy Word of prophecy and is as immovable as the rocky fastness of the mountains-yea more-for these shall pass away” but the Word of the Lord endureth forever.”
Dean Alford’s Comments.
And here, dear reader, let us invite your careful attention to Dean Alford’s comment upon this passage, viz.: “this is the first resurrection.” He says: “It will have been long ago anticipated by the readers of this commentary, that I cannot consent to distort its words from their plain sense and chronological place in the prophecy, on account of any considerations of difficulty, or any risk of abuses which the doctrine of the Millennium may bring with it. Those who lived next to the Apostles, and the whole Church for three hundred years, understood them in the plain literal sense; and it is a strange sight in these days to see expositors who are among the first in reverence of antiquity, complacently casting aside the most cogent instance of unanimity which primitive antiquity presents. As regards the text itself, no legitimate treatment of it will extort what is known as the spiritual interpretation now in fashion. If, in a passage where two resurrections are mentioned, where certain souls lived at the first, and the rest of the dead lived only at the end of a specified period after that first, if in such a passage, the first resurrection may be understood to mean spiritual rising with Christ, while the second means literal rising from the grave; then there is an end of all significance in language, and Scripture is wiped out as a definite testimony to anything. If the first resurrection is spiritual, then so is the second, which I suppose no one will be hardy enough to maintain. But if the second is literal, then so is the first, which in common with the whole primitive church and many of the best modern expositors, I do maintain and receive as an article of faith and hope.”
Resurrection From the Dead.
Now if Christ is coming to raise the righteous a thousand years before the ungodly, it would be natural and imperative that the former should be called a resurrection from, or out of the dead, the rest of the dead being left until after the thousand years. We rejoice therefore that this is just what is most carefully done in the Word, and in this we believe we have another most comprehensive and definite proof of the pre-millennial coming of Christ. It consists in the use made, in the Greek text of the words (ek nekron).
These words signify “from the dead” or, out of the dead, implying that the other dead are left.
The resurrection (nekron, or ton nekrop-of the dead) is applied to both classes because all will be raised. But the resurrection (ek nekron = out of the dead) is not once applied to the ungodly.
The latter phrase is used altogether 49 times, to-wit: 34 times, to express Christ’s resurrection, whom we know was thus raised out of the dead.
Three times, to express John’s supposed resurrection, who, as Herod thought, had been thus raised out of the dead.
Three times, to express the resurrection of Lazarus, who was also raised out of the dead.
Three times, it is used figuratively, to express spiritual life out of the deadness of sin.
Rom. 6 :13: “As those that are alive from the dead”; 11 :15: “Life from the dead.”
Eph. 5 :14: “Arise from the dead.”
It is used in Luke 16 :31. Parable of the rich man. “Though one rose from the dead.”
And in Heb 11 :19. Abraham’s faith that God could raise Isaac from the dead.
And the remaining 4 times it is used to express a future resurrection out of the dead, namely, in Mark 12 :25, where Jesus says: “When they shall rise from the dead they neither marry, nor are given in marriage;, but are as the angels which are in heaven,” and in Luke 20 :35-36. “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection which is from among (the) dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
*Mat. 22:31; Acts 17:32; 23:6: 24:15. 21;’ 1 Corinthians 15:12, 13, 21, 42 and especially John 5:28-29 (R. Y.): 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, In which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 29 and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. %Mat. 17:9; Mark 9:9-10; Luke 24:46: John 2:22; 20:9; 21:14: Acts 3:15; 4:10; 10:41; 13:30; 13:34; 17:3; 17:31; 26:23; Rom. 1:4; 4:24; 6:4-9; 7:4; 8:11; 10:7, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:12, 20; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 1:18; 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:8; Heb. 13:20. 1 Pet. 1:3. 21. Mark 6:14, 16; Luke 9:7. 2nd John 12:1, 9. 17.
In Acts 4:1-2: The Sadducees were grieved because Peter and John “preached, through Jesus, the resurrection which is from among (the) dead”
And in Phil. 3 :11, it is used in a manner remarkably significant. Our version renders it, “resurrection of the dead,” which is especially wrong, for the Greek preposition ek occurs here in a duplicate form, in all the oldest manuscripts.* The phrase is (teen exanastasin teen ek nekron), and the literal translation is the out resurrection from among the dead, which peculiar construction of language gives a special emphasis to the idea that this is a resurrection out from among the dead.
These passages clearly show, that there is yet to be a resurrection out of the dead; that is, that part of the dead will be raised, before all are raised. Olshausen declares that the “phrase would be inexplicable if it were not derived from the idea that out of the mass of the dead some would rise first.”
That no unrighteous have part in this “first resurrection” is evident from Luke 20 :36: they “are the children of Golf” and “equal unto the angels.”
It is the resurrection of a select class only, Viz.: the righteous, and therefore Jesus calls it the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:14,-“And thou shalt be blessed; for they can not recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”
Paul calls it the better resurrection. It is the resurrection of those that are Christ’s at his coming, “the dead in Christ,” who shall “rise first.”
The First Resurrection.
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.” Rev. 20:6.
Paul, as a Pharisee, believed in the general fact of the resurrection. But we see from the foregoing, why he counted all things but loss that he might win Christ, . . . and know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, . . . if by any means he might attain unto the out resurrection from among the dead. Phil. 3:8-11.
And we see also, why the three favored disciples were “questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.” They understood perfectly, what the resurrection of the dead meant, for this was a commonly accepted doctrine of the Jews.3O But the resurrection from the dead was a new revelation to them.
And it is an important revelation to us, for it is “the resurrection of life.”31
But there is also to be a resurrection of judgment (so the Greek). John 5:29. It is the resurrection of the unjust.32 It is the completion of the resurrection (nekron or ton nekron) of the dead. Hence we see there is a difference in time as well as in character in the order of the resurrection; the first being that of the just, and the second that of the unjust; and this difference in time is perfectly in accordance with the account in Rev. 20, where the interval is stated to be the 1000 years of the Millennial kingdom. And as Christ comes at the resurrection of the just, or those who sleep in Him (1st Thessalonians 4:13-16), His coming must be pre-millennial.
No. VII. Watching.
We are commanded to watch for His coming. Again and again did Jesus tell His disciples to watch I He said: “Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Mat. 24:42. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.” Mat. 25:13. Adding, “And, what I say unto you, I say unto a11,- Watch.” Mark 13:35-37. He places especial emphasis on the word Watch, particularly in Rev. 16:15, “Blessed is he that Watcheth.”
Now it is absolutely inconsistent with the constitution of the human mind, thus to watch for an event which we believe to be one thousand years or more in the future. And yet this is just the position which Post-millennialists are forced to take.
We humbly invite a candid and prayerful consideration of the above argument. on the part of Greek students. Dr. David Brown quite superficially disposes of it by the erroneous presumption that Pre-millenarians apply the resurrection (nekron or ton nekron), of the dead, only to the ungodly. Whereas, we hold that it embraces all, even Christ Himself, but that (ek nekron) from the dead applies only to the select class who have part in the first resurrection. Again is he wrong In his citation of the texts, Mark 9:9-10; Acts 10:41; 13:34; 26:23, and Rom. 1:4, each of which. according to Griesbach have ek nekron or exanastaseos nekron.
Matthew Henry, commenting on Luke 12 :45, says: “Our looking at Christ’s second coming as a thing at a distance is the cause of all those irregularities which render the thought of it terrible to us.” And on watching, he says: “To watch implies not only to believe that our Lord will come, but to desire that He would come, to be often thinking of His coming, and always looking for it as sure and near, and the time of it uncertain.”
As followers of Christ we are compared to soldiers, fighting the fight of faith (1 Tim. 1 :18; 6 :12; 2 Tim. 2:3; 4 :7), and perhaps no better illustration could be given us of watching, than that of picket duty in the army.
Old soldiers know that out on the skirmish line it is full of life and excitement, because they are watching for something immediately possible. But in camp it is a dull, soulless drudgery, because they are expecting nothing until the outer pickets, perhaps five or six miles away, are driven in.
How intensely do we increase this difference in watching, if we separate the. pickets by a thousand years. And this is what post-millennialism does.
We believe this argument appeals to the common sense of every person, and we pray God that these seven arguments may be blessed to the perfecting of that which is lacking in your faith.
True watching is an attitude of mind and heart which. would joyfully and quickly turn from any occupation to meet our Beloved, rapturously exclaiming “this is the Lord we have waited for Him.” Isaiah 25 :9.
Continue to Watch.
But, perhaps, you say: “The Church has been watching for eighteen hundred years and He has not come, and He may not come for eighteen hundred years more.” Well, possibly He may not; but do we know He will not? and shall we set a date for His coming? and cease to watch?
Post-millennialists say that He will not come for a thousand years or more, which is equivalent to setting a date, as it places His coming out of all possibility in our life-time; and then, dear reader, how quickly do we lay down our watching.
The principal condemnation pronounced in the Scripture, in regard to the Lord’s return, is to those who say “My Lord delayeth His coming.”
It is immeasurably better to be ready than to be late.
Pre-millennialists believe that He may come any moment, and that we should ever be found watching and waiting, with our loins girded about, and our lights burning, and ourselves like men that wait for their Lord. Lu. 12:35.
The eighteen hundred years which have passed only make “our salvation” much “nearer than when we believed,” and it is “high time to awake out of sleep.” Rom. 13 :11.
A Little While.
There is no prophetic event which has to be fulfilled before His coming in the air to receive the Church. Therefore we have need of patience that we may receive the promise: “for yet a little while” (Greek-very, very little while) “and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Heb. 10:37.
“But,” you say, “it is not a little while.” Ah! beloved, does it seem long to you from creation to the flood, or from the flood to Christ? The “little while” of Hag. 2:6- 7,36 we believe, has not ended yet, and it certainly covered the five hundred years up to Christ’s first coming. Remember that God speaks to you as to an immortal soul.
Wait until you have realized a few of the mighty cycles of eternity, and then these eighteen centuries will indeed appear to be “a very, very little while.”
O! let us fix our eyes upon Jesus. Let us watch and wait for the King Eternal.
The Faith of the Early Church.
It is admitted on all sides that the pre-millennial coming of Christ, and His reign with His saints upon the earth a thousand years, was the faith of the early church. Indeed, this is substantiated by such an abundance of evidence, that it cannot be denied.
We would that we had space to quote at length, from the many authorities on this point, but must be content to select a few:
Mosheim says: “The prevailing opinion that Christ was to come and reign a thousand years among men before the final dissolution of the world had met with no opposition previous to the time of Origen.”
Geisler says: “In all the works of this period (the first two centuries) Millenarianism is so prominent that we can not hesitate to consider it as universal.”*
Chillingworth, with his characteristic in “Ulneraple logic, argues: “Whatever doctrine is believed and taught by the most eminent Fathers of any age of the Church and by none of their cotemporaries opposed or condemned, that is to be esteemed the Catholic doctrine of the Church of those times. But the doctrine of the millenaries was believed and taught by the most eminent Fathers of the age next after the Apostles, and by none of that age opposed or condemned; therefore, it was the Catholic doctrine of those times.”
Stackhouse, in his “Complete Body of Divinity,” says: “It cannot be denied but that this doctrine (Millenarianism) has its antiquity, and was once the general opinion of all orthodox Christians.”
Bishop Newton says: “The doctrine of the Millennium (as held by Millenarians) was generally believed in the first three and purest ages.”
Bishop Russell, though an anti-millenarian, says: “Down to the beginning .of the fourth century, the belief was universal and undisputed.”
Dr. Daniel Whitby,-the father of the modern post-millennial theory,-in his “Treatise on ‘traditions,” candidly acknowledges that, “the doctrine of the Millennium passed among the best of Christians, for two hundred and fifty years, for a tradition apostolical, and as such is delivered by many Fathers of the second and third centuries, who speak of it as a tradition of our Lord and His Apostles, and of all the ancients who lived before them, who tell us the very words in which it was delivered, the Scriptures which were so interpreted, and say that it was held by all Christians that were exactly orthodox.”
Lest anyone should lose the full force of these quotations, it may be proper to state, that this “ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium,” as Gibbon styles it, was the belief in the pre-millennial coming of Christ, and His reign on the earth for a thousand years. It was commonly called chiliasm, which see in Webster’s Dictionary.
Such, in brief, is the testimony of historians, both ecclesiastical and profane upon this subject. And some of the early Fathers, of whom they speak, were very nearly, if not quite, the cotemporaries with the Apostles.
Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, who was a disciple of St. John, or who at least received his doctrines from the immediate followers of the Apostle, was an extreme Millennialist, and has been called the father of Millenarianism. (See McClintock and Strong’s Enc.) Irenreus, as a disciple of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, was directly connected with St. John. And also Justin Martyr was one of the earliest of the Fathers.
Is it not solemnly incumbent upon us, to respect and heed this doctrine, which these eminent Christian Fathers so undisputedly taught, as being the “tradition of our Lord and His Apostles”? Why is it, that, upon every other subject connected with our holy religion, such as Baptism, Church government, Forms of worship, Articles of faith, etc., we go back and search diligently to ascertain the doctrine of the Fathers, placing so much stress upon what we think they believed and taught, and yet upon this most important theme, cast aside what we know was their faith and testimony? Is it consistent? Dear reader, do let us here emphasize Paul’s exhortation to the Thessaloniaus:
“Brethren, stand fast and hold the Traditions (teachings) which ye have been taught whether by word or by our epistle.”39 That is, whether taught in writing, or orally, see Verse 5. Now, what were these traditions (teachings) if not the coming of Christ and the Reign of the Saints, of which Paul and the other Apostles wrote so freely? Being thus exhorted, it is reasonable to believe that they did hold them, and that they are the very traditions which Whitby and the other authorities clearly prove were held by the early Church. Then let us also hold,-not the comparatively modern post-millennial theory of Whitby, -but the aged faith of the Fathers.
The Apostles Were Not Mistaken.
We cannot believe (as some assert) that the Apostles were mistaken, and consequently not inspired upon this theme, nor that they and all the early Christians mocked themselves with false hopes in regard to the pre-millennial coming of Christ. They watched and waited for the return of our Lord, as a sure event, the hour of which none but the Father knew, but which had been enjoined upon them as uncertain and imminent. And as they passed away to the unseen domain of Paradise, they have left us the written Word, their reiterated traditions (teachings handed down), and their great hope. So we take up their vigil, hopefully watching, not daring to sax that He will come tomorrow, nor a thousand years hence, but only this are we sure of, He may come now.
God has held this glorious hope constantly before the Church, to keep her in her proper attitude of expectancy and longing, until the Bridegroom comes. Like Israel in the wilderness, we should realize that we are pilgrims and strangers, seeking a Land, a City, and a King, which are beyond our Jordan of death and resurrection.
Death and Resurrection is the common lot of the great mass of the Church. But, of course, there will be some living when Christ comes,42 who will not die but be changed in a moment,43 and be caught up, like Elijah, with the raised saints to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4 :16-18.
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking, When sunlight thro' darkness and shadow is breaking, That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory, To receive from the world "His own." It may be at midday, it may be at twilight, It may be perchance, that the blackness of midnight. Will burst into light in the blaze of His glory, When Jesus receives "His own." While its hosts cry Hosanna, from heaven descending, With glorified saints and the angels attending, With grace on His brow, like a halo of glory, Will Jesus receive "His own." Oh, Joy! Oh, delight! should we go without dying; No sickness, no sadness, no dread, and no crying; Caught up thro' the clouds, with our Lord, into glory, When Jesus receives "His own."
Chapter 8 – Diagram of Events
We here present the following diagram, merely as an outline of the order of events, in connection, with our Lord’s return. We exhort (1st Thessalonians 4:18, margin) a faithful study of it, together with the references and explanations appended, believing that, as an object lesson, it will be a great help to the reader to understand these mighty questions.
* – The birth of Christ, the King of the Jews. Mat. 2 :2.
T – The death and resurrection of Christ.
A – Ascension of Christ. Acts 1 :9.
D – Descent of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2.
Church – Mystical body of Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23; 3 :3-6; Romans 12:4-5; Colossians 1:24-27; 1st Corinthians 12:12-27; and the Bride of Christ, Ephesians 5:21-23.
De – Descent of the Lord (1st Thessalonians 4:16) to receive His Bride. John 14:3.
R – Resurrection of the just. Luke 14:14; Acts 24:15;1st Thessalonians 4:15-16; and change of living’ believers. 1st Corinthians 15:23,51,52
Rapture – Translation of the saints who (like Enoch) are caught up to meet Christ in the air. 1st Thessalonians 4:17.
M – The meeting of Christ and His Bride. 1st Thessalonians 4:17; Ephesians 5 :21-32; 2nd Corinthians 11:2. This is our gathering together unto Him. 2nd Thessalonians 2:1. And the marriage of the Lamb. Matthew 22:2-10; 25:10; Luke 14:15-24; Revelation 19:7-8. So shall we ever be with the Lord. John 12 :26; 14:3; 17:24; 1st Thessalonians 4:17. It is the Hope of the Church. Philippians 3:20-21; Titus 2:13; 1st John 3:2-3. And the redemption mentioned in Luke 21:28; Romans 8:23; Ephesians 4:30. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. 1st Thessalonians 4:18; Thus the Church escapes the tribulation. (Luke 21 :36; 2nd Peter 2:9; Revelation 3:10).
T – Period of unequaled tribulation to the world (Dan. 12:1; Mat.24:21; Lu. 21:25-26), during which-the Church having been taken out-God begins to deal with Israel again (Acts 15:13-17; Psalm 51:18; 102:16), and will restore them to their own land. Isaiah 11:11; 60; Jeremiah 30:3; Jeremiah 31; 32:36-44; Amos 9:15; Zechariah. 8:10; Rom. 11.
Antichrist will be revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2 :8. The vials of God’s wrath poured out. Psalm 2 :1-5; Rev. 6:16-17; Rev. 14:10; 16. But men only blaspheme God. Rev. 16:11-21. Israel accepts Christ (Zech. 12:10-14; 13:6), and are brought through the fire. Zech. 13 :9. They pass not away. Mat. 24 :34; Psalm I 22 :30.
Rev. – The revelation of Christ and His saints (Col. 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:13), in flaming fire (2 Thessalonians 1:7-]0) to execute judgment on the earth. ‘Jude 14-15. This is Christ’s second coming to the earth. Acts 1 :11 ; Deut. 33:2; Zech. 14 :4-5; Mat. 16 :27; 24 :29-30.
J – Judgment of .the nations, or the quick. Mat. 25 :31- 46; 19 :28; Acts 10 :42; 1 Pet. 4 :5. . Antichrist is destroyed. 2 Thessalonians 2 :8. The Beast and the False Prophet are taken. Rev. 19 :20. Gog and his allies are smitten. Ezek. chapters 38 and 39. Satan is bound. Rev. 20 :1-3; Rom. 16 :20.
R. T.– Resurrection of the Tribulation Saints, which completes the First Resurrection. Rev. 20 :4-6.
Mill’m. – The Millennium. Christ’s glorious reign on the earth for 1,000 years (Rev. 20 :4) with His Bride, 2nd Timothy 2:12; Rev. 5:10; 1saiah 2:2-5; 4; 11:1-12; 25:6-9; 1sa. 65:18-25; Micah 4:1-4; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Zechariah 8:3-8; Zech. 8 :20-23; 14 :16-21.
S – Satan loosed for! a little season, and destroyed with Gog and Magog. Revelation 20:7-10; Hebrews 2:14.
Res. – The Resurrection of Judgment. Revelation 20:12-15; John 5:29; Daniel 12:2.
J. W. T. – Judgment at the Great White Throne of all the remaining dead. Revelation 20:11-15. Death and Hell destroyed. Revelation 20:14; 1 Corinthians 15:26. E. E. -Eternity, or rather, The eons to come. Ephesians 2:7.
But we trust it will enable the reader to apprehend, in some degree, the extent to which the future has been revealed, unto us, by the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21; John 16:13; 1st Corinthians 2:10) and to realize that ETERNITY ITSELF will not be a blank, or statue like condition. but a continually unfolding manifestation of God to us throughout the “ages to come” (Ephesians 2:7) even the “AGES OF AGES.” See Greek Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21; Philippians 4:21: 1 Tim. 1:17; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet 4:11; Rev. 1:6, 18;4:9, 10; 5:13; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5. See page 218.
Chapter 9 – Rapture and Revelation
To rightly understand the second coming of Christ, it is of vital importance to recognize] the distinction between the Rapture and the Revelation.
Rapture means to be caught up, or away.
Revelation (apokalupsis) means Appearing or shining forth or manifestation (Rom. 8:19).
The Rapture occurs when the Church is caught up to meet Christ in the air (1 Thess. 4:14, 17), before the tribulation; and
The Revelation occurs when Christ comes, with His saints, to end the Tribulation, by the execution of righteous judgment upon the earth (2 Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 14).
At the Rapture, Christ comes into the air for His saints (John 14:3).
At the Revelation, He comes to the earth with them (1 Thess. 3:13; Zech. 14:5). He certainly must come for them before He can come with them. The assurance that God will bring them (Greek — lead them forth) with Jesus (1 Thess. 4:14) is evidence that He will first come for them, they being caught up to meet him in the air. Verse 17. The Greek word here rendered “to meet” signifies a going forth, in order to return with. The same word is used in Acts 28:15, where the brethren came out to meet Paul and had a season of thanksgiving with him at Appii Forum and the Three Taverns, when he was on his way to Rome. This exactly accords with our being caught up to meet Christ and afterward returning to the earth with Him.
Again, at the Rapture Christ comes as the Bridegroom (Matt. 25:10) to take unto Himself His bride, the Church (Eph. 5:25-32).
At the Revelation, He comes, with His bride, to rule the nations (Rev. 2:26-27; 5:10; 19:15).
At the Rapture He comes only to meet the saints in the air, 1 Thess. 4:17.
At the Revelation, He comes to the earth (Acts 1:11), and His feet stand upon the same Mount Olivet from which He ascended (Zech. 14:4-5).
At the Rapture the Church, like Enoch, is taken out of the world (Acts 15:13-17).
At the Revelation, the Millennial Kingdom is begun (Rom. 8:23).
In Luke 21:28, the Rapture is referred to at the beginning of the Tribulation. “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Redemption here meaning the first resurrection, same as in Rom. 8:23.)
In Luke 21:31, the Revelation is referred to, when “these things” (the Tribulation) have come to pass, and the kingdom of God draweth nigh.
The Rapture may occur any moment (Matt. 24:42).
The Revelation can not occur, until Antichrist be revealed, and all the times and seasons (which point to the day of the Lord) in Lev. 26, Daniel and Revelation be fulfilled.
The Revelation ushers in the day, the Day of the Lord (1 Thess. 5:2; Luke 17:30; 2 Thess. 1:7-10).
The failure to make this distinction has led to great confusion among commentators upon this subject.
For instance: In 2 Thess. chapter 2, the apostle, in the first verse, speaks of the Rapture, to-wit: the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto Him, of which He had written so fully in the previous epistle, especially in the 4th chapter.
In the second verse he speaks of the Revelation, or Day of the Lord, which could not come, except there be a falling away first, and the “man of sin” and “that wicked,” or the Antichrist, be revealed.
And yet, most commentators have argued that the apostle, in both of these verses, referred to one and the same event, and thus they have made Scripture contradict itself.
But we see plainly, that Paul had no intention of contradicting Christ’s admonitions, unto all, to watch for His coming, as being imminent. Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:35-40. He only made the distinction, as above stated, between the Rapture and the Revelation. The persecuted Thessalonians thought that they were in the Tribulation, and that the Day of the Lord had set in. But Paul corrects them, first by reminding them that the Lord had not come for them yet, as He had said that He would (1 Thess. 4:15-17), and then by adding certain other things which must occur before the Day of the Lord should come. He had told them that the Day of the Lord should come as a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2), but that they were not of the night, and therefore He exhorts them to watch and be sober (Luke 21:36).
Another evidence of the difference between the Rapture and Revelation consists in the fact that the Church is to escape the Tribulation, which precedes the Revelation (Matt. 24:29-30).
Enoch, a type of the Church, by his rapture, — that is by being caught away or translated (Heb. 11:5) — escaped the flood.
Christ says, in Luke 21:36, “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.”
And in keeping with this injunction He gave a blessed promise to the Church, in Rev. 3:10, viz.: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly,” etc. A special hour, or time, of temptation — i.e., trial — is here mentioned, which shall come upon all the world (oikoumenee — the whole habitable — same word in Matt. 24:14 — all the world).
It is a time of trouble not limited to Judea, but as extensive as the inhabited earth. This accords with the great tribulation described in Mat. 24:21, a “tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world … nor ever shall be.”
Jesus promises to keep the Church from, or (ek) out of this tribulation, or hour of temptation, that is, the watchful and prayerful believers will escape it. Luke 21:36. Now, as it covers the whole earth, there is no way of escape from it, but to be taken out of the world, and this is accomplished by the Rapture. Acts 15:14, and 1 Thess. 4:17, which thus presents a glorious deliverance for the Church.
The elect (Matt. 24:22), a portion of Israel (Isa. 65:9, see also verses 15, 22 and Rom. 11:5-7), will be gathered back to Jerusalem (Isa. 1:26-27; Zech. 10:6-10), and pass through the fire, or great trial (Zech. 13:8-9; Psa. 57:1; Isa. 26:20-21). Like Enoch, the Church escapes from it.
Like Noah, Israel passes through it.
So the Church should humble herself to walk with God (Micah 6:8), as Enoch did (Gen. 5:24), having the testimony that she pleases God (Heb. 11:5), and watch for the Rapture at any moment.
The Jews, through their dates and seasons, may look for the Revelation, or day of the Lord, a day of thick darkness to them, in which there is no light at all (Amos 5:18-20). Yet, in it they will accept Christ (Zech. 12:9-10) and “at evening time it shall be light,” and “living waters shall go out from Jerusalem.” Zech. 14:6-8.
The Rapture, or being caught away, at the coming of the Bridegroom, is full of the sweetest comfort for the believer, and therefore Paul says, “Comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thess. 4:18.
But the Revelation of Christ with His Saints, to take vengeance on the ungodly, is full of solemnity and terror to them who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 6:12-17; also 2 Thess. 1:7-10).
Chapter 10 – The Church and the Millennial Kingdom
The Christian Church (ekkleesia) , meaning assembly or congregation, is distinct from the congregation of the Mosaic dispensation, or Church in the wilder- ness. For, until after Christ came, it was a thing of the future. This is proved by His assertion in Mat. 16 :18, “On this rock will I build my Church,” showing that it had not yet been built.
And, it is likewise distinct from the Millennial Kingdom, which is to follow it.
The Church is a companion of Christ in His humiliation, manifesting His sufferings and filling up the afflictions which are behind.
The Kingdom is the manifestation of the glory of Christ which shall follow, when He “shall sit in the throne of His glory,” and when they who have suffered with Him during this time of the trial shall also be exalted to regal power and authority. This Kingdom was at hand, that is, it came nigh (or approached, same Greek word), when Jesus, the King, came. So much so, that the three favored disciples witnessed a foretaste of its glory and power on the Mount of Transfiguration.
It was in the future when the thief cried, “Lord remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.” Luke 23 :42. Joseph of Arimathea, who laid Jesus’ body in the sepulchre, “waited for the Kingdom of God,” which also indicates that it was still in the future. Mark 15 :43.
It was still future when Paul exhorted the disciples to continue in the faith, and said “that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.” Acts 14 :22. It was in the future while the persecuted Thessalonians suffered, that they might “be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God.” 2 Thes. 1 :4-5.
It was most assuredly future when, years afterward, Peter gave his exhortations as follows: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” ,2 Pet. 1 :10-11. And it has been future during all the long, sad history of the faithful and godly Church, while she has suffered the terrible persecutions of fagot, inquisition, banishment, ridicule and false accusation.
And it will be future until Jesus, “having received the Kingdom,” shall return to recompense tribulation to
But the Jews rejected it and slew their King. They were not willing to have this man reign over them, and therefore the Kingdom did not “immediately appear.” It became like a nobleman which “went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.” See Luke 19 :11-27. By this parable Jesus distinctly taught that the Kingdom was in the future.
The Kingdom Still Future
It was in the future when Christ said: “I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof (the Passover) until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God,” and again, “For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God shall come.” Luke 22 :16-18; also Mat. 26 :29; Mark 14 :25. those who have troubled the Church11 and “sit in the throne of His glory.”
Then the Kingdom, which, for these centuries, has been hid in mystery; shall be manifested in power and glory.
Then shall “the kingdom of the world become our Lord’s and His Christ’s,” and then shall the Kingdom be given unto the Saints of the Most High.18 Therefore we pray, as Jesus taught us,
“Thy Kingdom Come.”
The Church militant, which was begun on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) ends at the Rapture, before the Tribulation.
The Kingdom begins with the Revelation, at the close of the Tribulation.
It is the personal reign of Christ on earth.
He was prophesied to be king of the Jews. Isa. 9 :6.
He was born King of the Jews. Mat. 2 :2.
He said he was the King of the Jews. Mat. 27 :11.
He was crucified as King of the Jews. Mat. 27 :37.
He came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, saying, “The time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Mark 1:14-15.
He said the Kingdom was among them. Luke 17:21,’ margin.
He came unto His own, but His own received Him not. John 1 :11.
He would have set up the Kingdom (Mat. 23:37-39), but they rejected and crucified Him.
However, God raised Him from the dead and set Him on high.
He sent the Holy Ghost into the world, and under His power and guidance the apostles went out preaching the good news of the Kingdom (Acts 2, etc.) to the Jews first, but they rejected it, and the disciples turned to the Gentiles. Thus the Kingdom came nigh unto the Jews, who spurned it, and while it waits God visits “the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name” (Acts 15:14), breaking down the middle wall of partition to make of twain (all Jews and Gentiles who believe in His name) one new man, that is, the Church, or Mystical Body of Christ.
*This we believe Is the true explanation of this subject. The Kingdom did come “nigh” when Christ came, and had they received Him, it would have been manifested, but now it is In abeyance, or waiting until He comes again. However the Greek word engizo, which is translated at hand in Mat. 3:2; 4:17: 10:7, and Is come nigh in Luke 10:9-11, does not necessarily mean Immediately near. For we find the same word used In Rom. 13:12: “The day Is at hand,” and in Heb. 10:25, ”as ye see the day approaching” and In James 5:8, “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” and in 1 Pet. 4:7, “the end of all things Is at hand,” each of which passages are yet unfulfilled.
So we see that the word englzo (is at hand) covers a period of more than 1800 years, and reaches unto the second coming of the Lord.
Thus the Church came in as a mystery, and was but rarely, if at all, spoken of in the Old Testament prophecies. For we read in Rom. 16:25 that it is a “mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,” and in Eph. 3 :3-6, “The mystery. . . which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men,” and in Col. 1 :24- 27 . . . “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest . . . the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles.”
It was this mystery of the Church which so puzzled the prophets and caused them to inquire and search diligently what the Spirit meant when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ. See 1 Pet. 1 :10-12. They could understand the glory of the Kingdom, which should follow, but could not understand the mystery, which has been revealed unto us, and which interested the angels; to-wit, a suffering Messiah and a persecuted Church.
The Church is to be the Bride of Christ, which He is going to present unto Himself. Eph. 5 :23-32.
But now she is a Virgin of sorrow and affliction, a companion in suffering with her espoused Husband-the Lord Jesus Christ.
He said: “Because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you,” and “if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:19-20), and “in the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16 :36), and the apostle says, “yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Tim. 3:12. See also John 17:14; 1st Thessalonians 3 :3. And this is perfectly consistent. For this world bas murdered the Son of God, and is guilty of His blood, but the Father bears this insult to His matchless love and grace, patiently staying the day of vengeance, being long suffering and not willing that any should perish.
If He thus bears with the murderers of His Son, will He not bear with the persecutors of His Church?
And this persecution will continue until Jesus comes and takes the Church away, and saves her from the great hour of temptation (or trial), which shall come upon all the world, when He shall recompense tribulation to them that have troubled her. And this spirit of rebellion and persecution will continue, even through the tribulation and up to the very day of the Lord, when Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire, with His Saints, to execute judgment upon the earth. So we see that there is no place in the whole earthly history of such a persecuted Church, for the Millennial Kingdom. For, in that time, “righteousness and peace” shall kiss each other, “truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look out of heaven.”
“A King shall reign in righteousness, and Princes shall rule in judgment.” Isa. 32:1. With righteousness shall He judge the poor. Judah and Israel shall be restored and dwell safely. There shall be no harm nor destruction in all God’s holy mountain, and even the animals” shall be at peace.
Again, from all of these passages, and especially Isa. 60, we see that restored Israel and Jerusalem are to be the very central glory of the Millennial Kingdom. But God does not restore Israel and rebuild Zion, or Jerusalem, until He appears in His glory.
“When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.” Psa. 102 :16. And He does not build up Zion or the tabernacle of David until He has taken out the Church. Thus we see a clear distinction between the suffering Church and the glorious Kingdom, which are separated by the Tribulation, to-wit:
The Church Shall Be Rewarded
But, do you ask: “Is the Church always to suffer and be persecuted?”
Surely not. For she shall yet be married. And the light affliction shall work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory in the things which are not (yet) seen, and the church shall be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which she suffers, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven. Therefore we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope. Rom. 5 :3-4. And when Christ, who is our hope (1 Tim. 1 :1) and our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him. We shall reign on the earth. Rev. 5:10. Hence we conclude that the Church shall be recompensed in reigning, with Christ, over the Millennial Kingdom. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Lu. 12 :32; Dan. 7 :18-22-27. O! then, let us pray as Jesus taught us: “Thy kingdom.’ come.”
But, do you say, “The Church is not persecuted, and does, even now, enjoy comparative peace?”
We answer, it is because the professing Church (and by this we include Roman Catholics, Greeks and all nominal Christians-in all perhaps 400,000,000) has conformed so largely to the world that the world has little, if any, controversy with her.
Of what avail to God are nominal, cold-hearted, world-conforming Christians’ He wants a separate and holy people, and the command is, “Come out and be ye separate.” 2 Cor. 6 :14-18.
We believe that the birds of the air and the leaven in the parables of Mat. 13 represent the children of the wicked one, or hypocrites, which have lodged in the Church and the false doctrines which have crept in and so pervaded the professing Church that it has, in the main, become merely formal and nominal.
God wants zealous Christians, in whom the Word of Life shall burn as it did in Jeremiah’s bones. And are not the number of these few, even today?
The professing Church is luke-warm, and, we fear, almost ready to be spued out of the Master’s mouth. But, thanks be unto His name, there are those who are rebuked and chastened, and who are buying gold and white raiment and anointing their eyes that they may see, and who will overcome and sit down with Christ in His throne. Rev. 3:14-22.
The True Church
There is truly a Church, and it is THE BODY OF CHRIST , one and indivisible, composed of all true believers in Him. It may be called a church within, or among the churches-the wheat among the chaff. And let us remember that this true Church of Christ is appointed unto affliction, and that the intervals of rest (Acts 9 :31) only strengthen her to endure new and varied forms of persecution. This has been her history, and we may expect it will be her future, amid the scoffers, evil men and seducers of the last times.
And yet it is her blessed privilege, in all her affliction, to know that she travails in the birth of souls,44 which are born from above by the Holy Ghost (John 3), and that the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom, which she preaches is the power of God unto salvation unto all who believe.
The Bride of Christ
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
In this precious passage (Eph. 5) the Church, as the Bride of Christ, is typified by the most intimate, tender and sacred relationship known among the children of men.
Abraham’s servant went into a far country (Gen. 24) to seek a bride for Isaac, who was the honored type of Christ as a sacrifice. Gen. 22. So has the Holy Spirit come into the world to seek a Bride for Jesus. The servant said, “Hinder me not.” So the Holy Ghost is striving with the world, and pleading with cold-hearted professors, that He may hasten the presentation of the bride to the Bridegroom. See Matthew 22 :2-10.
Rebekah said, “I will go.” So the Bride should be yearning to go. God has made the wedding and prepared the feast, and all things (except the Bride) are ready for the rapturous meeting, and blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. -Revelation 19:9.
0h that the Church would work a hundredfold more earnestly for the conversion of souls and the edifying of the body of Christ, that the bride might be complete, and thus hasten the coming of her Lord, ever listening to catch the midnight cry: “Behold the Bridegroom cometh!” and “so be ready to go out to meet Him.” Matthew 25:6.
“O! I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved Is mine; He brings a poor vile sinner Into His ‘house of wine.’ I stand upon His merit -I know no safer stand, Not e’en where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face; I will not gaze at glory, but on my King of Grace; Not at the crown He giveth, but on His pierced hand – The Lamb Is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.”
Chapter 11 – The Tribulation
It is certain that there will be in it a period of unequalled trial, sorrow and calamity, spiritual darkness and open wickedness. It is the night of the world. But the true Church, which is not of the night, being watchful and prayerful, will be accounted worthy to escape it, by the Rapture, and to stand before the Son of Man, while a third part of Israel will be brought through it, and for the elect’s sake the days of this culminating tribulation shall be shortened by the revelation of Christ. From Isaiah, chapters 24 to 28, an idea may be gained of the terrible character of this period, during which Antichrist will also be revealed. Some, especially from the remnant of Israel, will accept of Christ and become His witnesses, and be slain by Antichrist. These we call the tribulation saints, who are to be raised at the close of the great tribulation, as the gleanings of the great harvest of the first resurrection.
In regard to the Resurrection, we would say that the literal rendering of 1 Corinthians 15 :23, is “but each one in his own band.”
It seems plain that the resurrection of those “who are Christ’s at His coming,” includes both those who constitute the Bride, who are raised at the Rapture, when Christ comes into the air; and the Old Testament saints, the friends of the Bridegroom, who doubtless are raised in a different band from the Church, see Rev. 6:9-11, and also those who believe and suffer during the tribulation, who will be raised at the Revelation (when Christ comes to the earth), to take part with Him in the Millennial Kingdom.
This latter we represent by “R. T.” on the diagram. Then, the great harvest of the first Resurrection-or the Resurrection of Life-includes:
CHRIST – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – THE FIRST FRUITS.
The second Resurrection, or Resurrection of Judgment, occurs after the Millennium, and includes the remaining dead.
We often hear Post-millennialists use the expression “General Judgment,” thereby conveying the idea of some future day in which all mankind will simultaneously appear before God to be judged.
The expression is not in the Scriptures. Pre-millennialists believe that the Judgment is general, only in the sense that all are judged-but not all at the same time.
The Judgment of believers, as sinners, is past, being accomplished in Christ on the cross.
“He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (Greek, Judgment) ; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24. See also John 3:17-19 (R. V.) Judged instead of condemned.
There is a Judgment day coming, not a day of twenty- four hours, but a long series of years. Day is used to designate such a period in 2 Corinthians 6:2; Eph. 6 :13, and Heb. 3 :8.19 The “Hour” in John 5 :25, has been over eighteen centuries long. So “the hour” in John 5:28 may be centuries of years.
This “Day of Judgment” a is also called “The Day of the Lord,” “The Last Day,” and “The Great Day.”
It is ushered in with plagues and closes in fire, between which lies a long season of the “sure mercies of David,” or the Millennium. In it there will be four visible judgments, in the following order:
I. The Judgment of the Saints for their works.
This is not on earth. Compare 1 Thessalonians 4 :13-18, with 2 Thes.l:6-10; Rev. 19:11-16.
These glorified Saints receive their judgment undeniably before that of the ungodly. See Mat. 25:14–30. The judgment of the servants occurs before the judgment of the nations. Mat. 25 :31-46. See also 1 ret. 4 :17-18.25
II. The Judgment of the living nations, who are upon the earth at the Revelation. Jesus is Judge of the quick (or living) and dead.
The Church or Saints, having been before caught up in the Rapture, Come with Christ to execute judgment upon the world or living nations. This is the judgment of the quick, or those who are living upon the earth, when Christ comes at the Revelation. He separates the sheep from the goats, gathering out all things that doth offend (Mat. 13: 41-42), and sets up His kingdom (verse 43). The third party, His brethren, are the Israelites, who are never to be reckoned among the nations.
4 Then follows the Millennium, which is one continuous day of Judgment (Acts 17:31), when the righteous Judge will be upon earth (2 Tim. 4:8), and when judgment shall be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet. Isaiah 28:17.
III. The judgment of the dead at the Great White Throne.31-38
IV. The Judgment of angels, into fire “prepared for the devil and his angels.” The ungodly go there first. Compare Rev. 19:20 with Rev. 20:7-10; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6.
Such events, requiring intervals of time, preclude the idea expressed in the term, “general judgment.”
The “Day of the Lord” has two aspects, to-wit: Judgment on God’s enemies, and deliverance and blessing on God’s people.
So we have the Judgment:
Of believers, as to their character, on the cross.
Of believers, as to their works, at the Judgment seat of Christ.
Of the living nations at the Revelation.
Of the ungodly at the Great White Throne.
Chapter 12 – Antichrist
This name introduces to us one of the most solemn and foreboding subjects in the Word of God. An antichrist- one absolutely opposed to Jesus Christ-we are told, shall come. The spirit of antichrist is already in the world, denying the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, either in the past or in the future.
This spirit of antichrist, now possessed by many, will culminate in one person, the Antichrist, who will deny both the Father and the Son.
That he is a single individual is plainly taught in 2 Thessalonians 2, where he is called “that. man of sin” . . . “the son of perdition”-“that wicked,” or properly, “the lawless one.”
As Christ is the express image of God, so it appears that antichrist is the culminating manifestation of Satan, “the prince of this world.” His coming is “after the working ( energy, or inward working) of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders and deceivableness of unrighteousness.”
He will be a “strong (or inward working) delusion;” to them who believe not the truth.
This mystery of Lawlessness (so the Greek) already worked in the days of the apostle, but there has been a hindering power, which, we believe, is the Holy Spirit, in His present manifestation, or office, viz.: as the reprover of the world and gatherer of the Church. When He, the restraining one, is taken out of the way (or out of the midst), at the rapture of the Church, then shall the mystery be unveiled, and the Lawless one be revealed. (Verses 7 and 8).
He will be received, even by the Jews, who, having returned to their own land and rebuilt their temple, will make a treaty with him, called by the prophet “a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.” And antichrist will exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God (the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem) and sheweth himself that he is God. 2 Thessalonians 2 :4. Doubtless he is the king described in Dan. 11 :36, etc., who shall do according to his own will and magnify himself above every god. Again, he is seen as the beast described in Rev. 13:11-18 whose number is the number of a man, 666, and who performs “great wonders and deceiveth them that dwell upon the earth,” by means of his miracles, and has the power to kill those who will not worship the image of the beast. And again he is seen in Lucifer, or the day star, of Isaiah 14,12 of whom the king of Babylon was a type, and who weakens the nations, exalts his “throne above the stars of God,” and sits “upon the mount of the congregation.”
Such, in brief, is the awful picture which Scripture gives us of this great opponent of Christ. Many think that he has already been manifested in Antiochus Epiphanes-or the Popes of Rome-or Mohammed and his successors, all of which we regard as erroneous. The Popes have received their exaltation and power, as the pretended vicars of Christ, and not as His opponent. It is a great mistake, therefore, to call them the antichrist, or the opposing one. Antiochus was doubtless a type of antichrist. And in his opposition to the worship of Jehovah, his sacrifice of the hated swine in the temple and his merciless treatment of the Jews, he has given us a miniature picture of what the final antichrist will do. But he passed away long before Paul and John wrote of the antichrist to come. Likewise Mohammed may be in some sense a type, but that is all.
No, antichrist is still in the future, and he will not be manifested until the true Church has been taken away, at the rapture, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4 For Paul says, “We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him,”- that is, by this very fact of the rapture, of which he had previously written them, and which must first occur before the apostasy should come to the full, and the man of sin be revealed. This is confirmed by verse 7. The Holy Spirit, who, while he is gathering the Bride, reproves the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, will, when he is taken out of the way, catch up the Bride to meet the Lord in the air, leaving the apostate church, adulterous Israel and the ungodly world, to believe a lie, and then shall the lawless one be revealed. Praise God, that the Church is to be kept from this awful hour of temptation. She shall be with her Lord while the world is ruled by antichrist.
But, though antichrist shall so greatly exalt himself and rule over the world with such power, yet “shall he come to his end, and none shall help him.” The Lord shall destroy him “with the brightness of His coming,” literally “will paralyze (him) with the forthshining of His arrival”, when He shall come, with His saints, to execute judgment upon the un. godly. Yes, he shall “be brought down to hell (sheol), to the sides of the pit.” They that see him shall narrowly look upon him and consider him, saying, “is this THE MAN that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof?” Isaiah 14:15-17.
We would call special attention to the fact that antichrist denies the Father and the Son, and that the Greek words in 2 Thessalonians 2 :7-8 should be rendered “the mystery of lawlessness”-“the lawless one.” This, we think, gives an alarming significance to the atheistic and lawless trio of socialism, nihilism and anarchy, so rapidly spreading in our day, and which seeks to wipe out all law relating to marriage, property, etc.
It may be that these are the immediate precursors of antichrist. At any rate, he is surely coming, and sad indeed is the thought of a godless world, rushing on to such a culmination of evil.
Chapter 13 – The Principal Event
We believe that the foregoing outline of the order of events will commend itself to every careful student of the Word. However, we persistently urge but ONE POINT, and that is the PRE-MILLENNIAL COMING OF CHRIST AND RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS. This we believe to be the GREAT HOPE for the church, and the principal event for which believers wait.
Much has been revealed in regard to the Tribulation, the Kingdom, etc., which follow the Rapture; but it is, as it were, only an outline. And, dear reader, let us not be discouraged if we cannot fully understand it.
Do not forget that THE KING is coming. And when He comes it will be time to make known, in detail, the manner of the Kingdom.
Post-millennialists apparently forget this altogether, and because they cannot fully understand those things in regard to the Lord’s coming, which we now see through a glass darkly, they reject what is plainly revealed.
If, even in the present dispensation, we cannot explain the doctrines of “Free Will,” and “God’s Sovereignty,” to our mutual understanding,-much less can we comprehend the glory, which shall be revealed in us, in the coming Kingdom. Let us not be disturbed, then, by the questions which they ask; such as-
How will men be saved during the Millennium? What will be the means of grace?
What may take the place of the preaching of the gospel? and of the sacraments of the Church?
The Jews could not have answered similar questions before the first coming of Christ. It was not revealed until He came.
Jesus is coming AGAIN, and it is just as consistent that we shall receive an addition to the revealed Word of God when He comes, as it was when He came before.
He will speak again, who spake as never man spake, even the dead will hear His voice, and the gracious words which shall proceed out of His mouth will be a continual revelation.
It will all be plain when Jesus comes, for we shall be like Him and see Him as He is, eye to eye, face to face.
Post-millennialists seem to think that all must be accomplished under the Church, and with present instrumentalities.
Pre-millennialists look for the main accomplishment under Christ Himself, who will cut short the work in righteousness, and with different instrumentalities.
Post-millennialism exalts the Church
Pre-millennialism exalts Jesus and fills the heart of the believer with a LIVING, PERSONAL, COMING Savior.
Post-millennialists, though ACKNOWLEDGING that the Second Advent of Christ is the very POLE STAR of the Church, have little heart in it, and are disposed to say very little about it. This is natural and perfectly consistent for those who believe the event is at least a thousand years away.
They very seldom preach or talk about it.
Preach the Word
What a contrast to Paul, who charged Timothy to PREACH THE WORD (2 Tim. 4 :2); and when writing to Titus, of the blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus, he said: “THESE THINGS SPEAK.” Ch. 2 :15.
And again, when writing to the Thessalonians of the descent of the Lord and the rapture of the church, he said: “WHEREFORE COMFORT (or exhort) ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS!’ Ch. 4 :18; see also 2 Tim. 3 :16; Heb. 10 :25; 2 Pet. 1 :19.(12)
We ask our post-millennial brethren, Why do you not give the Church these -comforting words,-this “meat in due season “, “Blessed is that servant whom His Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.” Lu. 12 :43. Ah! brethren, post-millennialism is hiding this STAR OF HOPE from the church, and incurring thereby a responsibility that God alone can estimate. The Church is languishing because of this neglected truth.
We beg of you to heed the following solemn words from Dr. Hugh McNeill: “My reverend brethren, watch, preach the coming of Jesus. I charge you, in the name of our common Master,-PREACH THE COMING OF JESUS; solemnly and affectionately, in the name of Gad, I charge you,- PREACH THE COMING OF JESUS. WATCH ye, therefore, lest, coming suddenly, He find the porter sleeping.” Pre- millennialism has a vital life in it, and gives the disciple a real love and relish for the Word of God, which opens up to him like a new book.
Even Dr. Brown recognizes this, and he says: “Premillennialists have done the Church a real service by calling attention to the place which the second advent holds in the Word of God and the scheme of divine truth.”
Many have we heard say, “Why, the Bible is another book to me since I accepted this truth.” And though one is almost lost in the unfolding majesty and infinity of God’s plans revealed therein, yet do we find it such a storehouse of truth and comfort, that continual study ever gives us richer food.
It is the MOST PRACTICAL DOCTRINE in the Christian faith, for “every man that hath this hope in Him (Christ) purifieth himself even as He ( Christ) is pure.” 1st John 3 :3. And do we not want ‘PRACTICAL HOLINESS?
Again, this doctrine when received into the heart is a mighty power to separate one from the love of the world. And were it thoroughly believed and preached in the Church, she would readily give of her substance so liberally that we should not be begging for money to sustain our missions.
It was this doctrine that inspired the sainted Bliss, and gave his songs such favor. How all of us love to sing “WHEN JESUS COMES,” or “HOLD THE FORT FOR I AM COMING.” The Church and the people want this truth, and God wants them to have it, we are ‘assured, by the manifest interest and attention with which He blesses its presentation.
Chapter 14 – Some Objections Considered
No. I. It Discourages Missions
It is objected that this doctrine discourages missions. This is not true. The missionary spirit among the evangelists of to-day is a sufficient answer to this. And let us name, among the missionaries who held this faith, Ben Ezra, Joseph Wolf, James McGregor Bertram, L. D. Mansfield, Gonsalves, Dr. Kelley and Hewitson.
“This was the hope that inspired Heber, the great missionary bishop of the English Church, who gave us that glorious missionary hymn, ‘From Greenland’s Icy Mountains,’ and who spent his strength and rested from his labors ‘on India’s coral strand!’
“This was the hope that energized Gutzlaff, the opener of China, and Bethlehem, the opener of Japan; that inspired the noble Duff, who, under its influence, woke moderate Scotland from its lethargy, and was the pioneer of his indomitable race in India. This was the hope that inspired and cheered and everjoyed McCheyne and our own Poor, and Lowrie, and Rankin, and Lowenthal, and a host of others.”
Mr. Lord affirms that among missionaries of all denominations, there is as great proportion of pre-millennialists, as there is among the ministry at home. They earnestly labor, as did the apostle, to save some from the wrath to come.
No. II. It Discourages Work
It is objected that it discourages work. This is most inconsistent and untrue, for the very essence of the doctrine is to WATCH, WORK AND WAIT, and to work NOW for the night cometh when no man can work.
No. III. So Many Unsaved Friends
Some object that they have so many unsaved friends, they cannot wish Jesus to come.
WORK THEN, for we read “all that my Father giveth me, shall come to me” (John 6 :37-39), and whosoever will may come. Knowing the terror (fear) of the Lord, let us persuade men. 2 Cor. 5 :11.
The Antedeluvians would not heed the preaching of Noah, and even Lot’s kindred (his sons-in-law) would not go with him out of Sodom. So there will be those who will not accept of Christ. But of all who believe in Him4 not one will be lost. The Israelites were often led to repentance, in the midst of adversity and calamity, and so if our friends will not be entreated to accept of Christ now, it is perhaps possible that they may do so under the visible judgments of God, during the Tribulation.
But whether they will or not, let us consider, that the great mass of humanity are engulfed in the maelstrom of sin, which is sweeping its millions down to graves of destruction (Mat. 7 :13), and compared to them, in numbers, the true believers are but a handful. In the Millennium all this will be changed, “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11 :9), and all men shall bow to the righteous scepter of King Immanuel.
We would not sacrifice the hundreds of lives upon a passenger train, to save the life of even a FRIEND who willfully exposed himself to danger upon the track; and are not all men our brothers? and shall we not yearn to save them from the tide of spiritual death? Oh I then, let us cry with the Holy Spirit: “Even so come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. 22 :20. For when He comes the work will be cut short in righteousness.
No. IV. My Kingdom Is Not of This World
It is objected that Jesus said: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” John 18 :36. True! not of the spirit of the world (1 John 2:15-17); just as believers are not of the world. John 15:19. The correct rendering of the passage is, “My Kingdom is not (ek) out of this world.” That is, it does not emanate from this world. He is not (ek) out of this world. Both He and His Kingdom are from above. But it will be set up on this earth, in accordance with the prayer which He taught us “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11 :2. Earthly kingdoms are corrupted by the deception of Satan. But in the Millennial Kingdom he will not deceive them, for he shall be bound.
There is nothing essentially sinful in matter. Adam was sinless before his fall and he had a material body. Christ has a material body and is without sin. The earth was cursed because of sin and the spirit of the world clings to sin. But when the curse is removed, and all things that offend are gathered out of the kingdom, then shall all creation have that for which it groans, and the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
No. V. The Kingdom Within You
It is objected, that the kingdom of God is not material and visible, but that it is spiritual and invisible. In support of this the following words of Jesus in Luke 17 :20-21 are cited: “When He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said: The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, here! or, there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Observation should be translated “careful watching,” see Dr. Adam Clarke, or “narrow watching,” see Rotherham. The marginal, and better reading for “within you” is “among you,” see Rotherham, Wilson, Prof. Whitting, and others. He did not say that the kingdom’ of God was within, or in the hearts of those wicked Pharisees, but that it was among them, viz.: within the Jewish nation. As Bengel states it, “within is here used, not in any respect of the heart of individual Pharisees, . . . . but in respect to the whole Jewish people. The King, Messiah, and therefore the kingdom is here: ye see and ye hear.”
The sense, then, is as follows: The kingdom of God cometh not with “careful watching.” That is, not in such a way as to be discerned only by sagacious critics, nor is it to be seen only by those who are scrupulously watching for it. They shall not say, Behold here or there, for the kingdom of God is among you, to-wit: it was then visibly present among them, in the person of Jesus the King, And so it will be visibly present when He comes again. It did not, and will not, need scrupulous watching to discern it, Had they received Him with faith,-instead of (narrowly) watching Him with deceitful spies they might have realized that their King was then visibly present, and ready to usherin the universal manifestation of the kingdom, which had been seen by the favored disciples of the Mount. How gladly He would have then fully manifested Himself as King, and established His Kingdom among them, is shown by His words of tender yearning in Mat. 23 :37-39 :
“0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate, For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord,”
He came in His Father’s name; but the Israelites to whom He spoke would not receive Him.
Preferring a robber, they rejected and crucified their King and so the kingdom waits until they shall accept Him,21 when the kingdom of the world shall become the kingdom of our Lord’s and of His Christ’s and He shall reign for the AGES OF AGEs.
Oh! Blessed “KING OF KINGS !” COME, and may “THY KINGDOM COME.”
The King there in His beauty, Without a veil Is seen; It were a well-spent journey, Though sev'n deaths lay between, The Lamb, with His fair army, Doth on Mount Zion stand, And glory, glory dwelleth In Immanuel's land.
No. VI. The Kingdom Is Not Meat and Drink
It is objected that Paul said, “The Kingdom of God Is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17.
Indeed it is not “meat and drink,” or eating and drinking, or simply outward observances. Neither was the Kingdom of Israel meat and drink, nor the Roman Empire. But the subjects of each did eat and drink, and Paul simply taught that they should do so circumspectly and with charity. So will the subjects of the kingdom of God eat and drink. “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” -Luke 14:15. “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. -” Revelation 19:9, See the Feast of Isaiah 25 :6-8.
Jesus himself said, “I will not drink henceforth of this. fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” -Matthew 26:29.
And again: “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.” -Luke 22:29-30. This is the strongest proof that the kingdom will be literal and material, though it shall be freed from the curse of sin. 24
No. VII. Flesh and Blood
It is objected that flesh and blood cannot inherit the’ kingdom of God.
Certainly we do not INHERIT it through the flesh-the unregenerate man. But through the Spirit we are born again, created anew in Christ Jesus, and made “joint heirs” with Him. The flesh profiteth nothing. The Spirit quickeneth.
Paul in this chapter (1 Corinthians 15) is treating of the subject of the resurrection which he proves to be so important, that without it, we could not inherit, or become possessed of the kingdom of God. “Flesh and blood” he says cannot inherit it, and therefore he shows that at the resurrection, our bodies of corruptible flesh and blood, which have died, shall be raised in incorruption and immortality. And the bodies of those who are living at that time shall be changed and “fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Now, in our flesh and blood, we are bearing the image of Adam, the first man, “which is of the earth, earthy.” But at the resurrection we shall be changed so as to “bear the image of the heavenly” “the second man,” “the Lord from heaven.”
And He who raised up Christ from the dead, and who hath given us the Spirit of adoption (sonship) whereby we become heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, will, by His Spirit that dwelleth in us, also quicken (or make alive) our mortal bodies. Then, and then only, can we inherit, or come into possession of the kingdom, which God hath promised to give unto us. Hence, we see the vital importance of the resurrection, without which we could not inherit the kingdom of God. The evident purpose of this objection is to support the assertion made by Post-millennialists that the kingdom is only spiritual and that there is nothing literal or material in it. But Paul says nothing of the kind and his whole argument is entirely to the contrary. For he asserts that our (soma-body) which is sown in corruption, dishonor and weakness, will be raised in incorruption, glory and power, or if living, will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. In these glorified bodies we shall “inherit the kingdom prepared for” us “from the foundation of the world.” For Christ the rightful heir of all things will be there and we shall be there to reign with Him.
And He will have his glorified body, His body that was raised and ascended and entered into heaven.
The glorified body which Stephen saw there, and which Paul saw (Acts 9:5) and also John, Rev. 1:13.
The body which bears the scars of the cross ;44 “A Lamb as it had been slain.” Yes, He will return in the flesh. Acts 1 :11. The true reading of 2 John 7, is, “who confess not Jesus Christ coming in the flesh.” See also Isaiah 63: 1-6, and Rev. 19 :11-16. And “we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him.” 1 John 3 :2. Therefore it is clear, that we, in these same bodies, changed into the image of Christ’s glorious body, shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
No. VIII. The Work of the Holy Spirit a Failure
It is objected that this doctrine disparages the work of the Holy Spirit.
Not so! For what is the work of the Holy Spirit? He is gathering the bride. He teaches, guides, and comforts her, until she is presented to Christ.
At the same time he reproves the world of sin, and of righteousness, and judgment. John 16 :8.
He may be grieved, resisted, and quenched now, but He will not always strive with man. His present work will be finished, and the King of kings and Lord of lords will come forth with the armies of heaven to subdue His enemies (Rev. 19) and finish the work.
It was “the Spirit of God,” which “moved upon the face of the waters” in the beginning (Gen. 1:2), and we believe He had a part in all the work of creation, Gen. 1 :26. He strove with sinners before the flood, Gen. 6 :3. He spake by the prophets, Acts 1 :16; 2 Pet. 1 :21. He was specially granted unto Joseph and others. Gen. 41:38; Ex. 31:3; Num. 11:17; 24:2; 27:18; 2 Kings 2:9, etc. In short, He has been engaged in all the work of creation and redemption. We do not believe that His work is a failure because of the flood, nor because the Jews have rejected Christ, and as natural branches, have been broken off. Rom. 11 :20. Neither do we believe His work will be a failure, though the preaching of the gospel in the present dispensation shall only result in the salvation of “some.” We feel sure that He shall have a part in the glory and triumph of the millennial dispensation, for even the Israelites shall then have a new Spirit within them. And the nations are to be ruled, in peace and righteousness, by Him upon whom the Spirit of the Lord doth rest.
Let us then have no fear of jealousy on the part of the Spirit, because of the triumphs of Christ. Rather let us be sure that He seeks to hasten the presentation of the bride. -which is being sealed by Him (Eph. 4:30), -unto her Lord-who hath the Spirit without measure, that these twain, united into one, may be the one perfect man, the Holy Temple, built for the habitation of God in Spirit. And who can estimate what shall be accomplished by the Spirit, through this holy, living Temple, in which He shall dwell. No wonder that He yearns to hasten its completion. See the type of His haste in Gen. 24 :56. But this completion shall not take place until the Lord comes, when the Head shall forever be united to the body. 1 Thessalonians 4 :18. Therefore, in this we may realize, to some extent, the meaning of that yearning cry of the Spirit “EVEN SO COME LORD JESUS.” Rev. 22 :20.
No. IX. The Gospel a Failure
It is said that it makes the gospel a failure. But this is not so. Man is a failure. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (Rom. 1:16). It is not the incompetency of the gospel, but the willful unbelief of sinners that prevents the conversion of the world. Jesus said: “Him that cometh unto me I Will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37. But He also said “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” John 5 :40. While we are to preach the gospel everywhere, we are not to expect that all will receive it. For, when He said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” He also added, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16 :15-16. But “what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make THE TRUTH of God of none effect? God forbid.” Rom. 3 :3. Salvation shall be revealed in the last time.
Jesus shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied Isaiah 53 :11.
“After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands, and cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God Which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Rev. 7:9-10. Alleluia; Amen; Alleluia.
No. X. The Gospel Not Preached in All the World
It is objected that the gospel has not yet been preached in all the world, as Christ asserted it should be, in Mat. 24:14, and therefore we cannot yet look for Christ, nor the end to come. Let us carefully examine this passage: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
1st. The end is unquestionably the end of the age (tou aionos) of which the disciples asked in verse 3.
2d. The world (oikoumenee) means habitable, that is, the inhabited earth.
These glad tidings, it is asserted, shall be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth for a witness unto all nations and then (tote) shall come the end of this age-or dispensation. It will be noticed that the time, during which the preaching shall continue, is determined entirely by the qualifying clause “for a witness unto all nations.” When the witness is complete, then shall the end come.
When the Witness Is Complete
Now, no finite mind can determine when the witness is complete. If we could, the evidence is to the effect that it has passed already. For when the gospel was preached on the day of Pentecost, there were present “devout men out of every nation under heaven.” Acts 2 :5. Afterward the disciples were scattered abroad and went about preaching the Word. Acts 8 :4. “And they went forth and preached everywhere.” Mark 16 :20. Paul says, in Rom. 10 :18, “Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world,” (world here being from the same word oikoumenee that is used in Mat.24:14).
And again he says in Col. 1 :23 that the gospel had already been “preached to every creature which is under heaven.”
These inspired statements as to the universal preaching of the gospel ought to be conclusive. Mighty as it makes the work of the early disciples, I do not see how we can refuse to accept it. (See Dr. A. Clarke on Mat. 24:14 as to the special point of the universality of this preaching, also the authorities previously cited.) Surely we must give no broader meaning to the word (oikoumenee) used by the Holy Spirit in Mat. 24:14 than in Rom. 10 :18, or than to the equally strong words used in Col. 1:6 and 23. If we limit the one, we can, with equal propriety, limit the other. Because we have so full an account of Paul’s work, we are apt to depreciate what was accomplished by the other Apostles and Disciples. Peter was in Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13), and tradition gives us account of the preaching of the gospel in Parthia, India, Ethiopia, Scythia, Spain and Britain.
So then we may rest confidently on the plain statement of Col. 1 :23, as being such fulfillment of Mat. 24 :14, that the Church from that day to the present has not had, neither can have, in this, any sign or prophesied event ‘standing between believers and the Lord’s coming. If we take it upon ourselves to judge that the witness is not complete, or more presumingly, that it cannot be complete for centuries to come, then are we foolishly assuming a prerogative which belongs to God only.
Only God Knows
Surely, only God can judge when the witness to all nations is complete, and here lies the essence of this entire question. If the Church is the agent which is to proclaim the gospel until the witness is complete, no mortal can judge but what the witness shall be completed this moment. But we have no evidence that the Church is the only agent, and it is quite probable that she is not, for we read of another agent in Rev. 14:6.
Therefore the witness may not be completed, until after the Church is taken away, and this other heavenly messenger proclaims the everlasting gospel to them that dwell on the earth, even unto every nation and tribe and tongue and people. Rev. 14:6 (see Greek). In this case it is not the Church which shall complete the witness and it evidently can be no sign to her.
We conclude then that like the “day and hour,” it is known to God only, and the Church can have no definite sign in it. Therefore nothing is left for us to do, but faithfully to continue proclaiming the glad tidings of the coming kingdom while we watch momentarily for the Bridegroom.
No. XI. Some Here Live to See Kingdom
It is objected, that we are taught in Mat. 16 :28; Mark 9:1, and Luke 9 :27, that the coming of Christ, and of the kingdom, should occur during the lifetime of some of the multitude ( Mar. 8 :34) to whom Jesus spake, and that therefore His coming ‘and kingdom can only be interpreted spiritually, viz.: the establishment of the power of the gospel by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, or as some hold, figuratively, viz.: the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity by the Romans, and the establishment of the Church. That is, as they say,-Christ came, by His Spirit, on the day of Pentecost and manifested His power through the disciples, in the preaching of the gospel, performing of miracles, etc.,-or, He came through the Roman army, destroyed Jerusalem and overthrew the Jewish polity,-and that His Kingdom’ is the Church over which He now reigns, or (as some say) in which or through which He now reigns over the nations of the earth.
We answer-The Holy Spirit is a distinct person, not to be confounded with the person of Christ. The Savior expressly said: “I will pray the Father and He shall give you another comforter” (John 14:16), and if it be another, it cannot be Himself. He, the Holy Spirit, came according to the promises,67 and it is entirely inconsistent to confound this event with Christ’s return, which latter is in accordance with other promises, that He should Himself come again. They are two events, as distinct as the births of Moses and John.
It is true that Christ is spiritually with, or in, believers, and it is just as true that He always has been, and that in this sense He has never left them, for He said: “Lo, I am with you always,” Mat. 28:20. Mark the language: “I AM with you always!’ He was with them during those days of prayer previous to the day of Pentecost, and He has been with His people all the time. But suddenly the (Parakleetos) Comforter came, another person and for a special and glorious purpose. It IS, therefore, conclusive, that this coming of the Holy Spirit is a manifestation of the Divine presence, entirely different from, and superadded to, the spiritual presence of Christ, which latter, according to His own language, has never been withdrawn from His people. He never went away spiritually, but He did go bodily and visibly, and in like manner shall He return.
Again, after the day of Pentecost, the disciples continued to talk of the coming of Christ, which they surely would not have done if His promise to return was fulfilled on that day. And after the destruction of Jerusalem (about A. D. 71), St. John wrote the book of Revelation (about A. D. 96), in which he repeatedly speaks of the coming of Christ as being yet future, clearly showing that it could not have been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem.
Again, as we have before shown, the Church is not the kingdom, but the body of Christ? She is not to be reigned over but to suffer and reign with Christ. She is “to be ‘counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which she suffers,” and therefore Paul exhorts the disciples (members of the Church) “that they must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), and Peter stirs us up, putting us in remembrance to add the Christian graces and give all diligence to make our calling and election sure, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto us “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. 1 :5-11.
Surely this language plainly distinguishes between the Church and the kingdom, and as plainly asserts that the kingdom is yet future. So we see that both the spiritual and figurative interpretations of the coming of Christ are without foundation.
Another theory has been advanced, viz.: that the coming of Christ in His Kingdom (Mat. 16 :28) was fulfilled in what they term the spiritual coming on the day of Pentecost,-and that His coming in the clouds of heaven, in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels, etc., is his real, personal, visible coming at the end of the gospel age (which they also hold to be the end of time and of the world).
This seems to us to be founded upon a mere distinction of terms, where there is no difference in fact. For is it not at His coming in His Kingdom that He shall be manifested in His glory? History proves:-and all our ideas of the glory of Kings coincide with the fact-that such glory is identical with the majesty and manifestation of their kingdoms.
It is in Christ’s Kingdom that He shall rule all nations with a rod of iron, and it is in His Kingdom that He is to be manifested as “the Blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of 10rds.” Therefore His coming in His Kingdom and His coming in His glory are synonymous, and both are yet future.
Some of Them Did See the Kingdom
Then what do the passages mean, to wit: Mat. 16 :28, “verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom,”-or as in Mark 9 :1, “till they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power,”-or as in Luke 9:27, “till they see the Kingdom of God.”
death” may have the deep signification, in which sense the true believers, who were standing there, shall never experience it. This is certainly the signification the same language has in Hebrews 2 :9,78 and if we understand it likewise in these passages, then we have all eternity for the fulfillment. However we only suggest this. We do not rely upon it, for we believe the word “till” more than intimates that the “some” should taste of death, and that therefore natural death or separation of soul and body was meant.
Peter Saw It
But now let us mark well what the “some” standing there were to see, and then let us go up the Mount of Transfiguration, and gaze through the favored eyes of Peter, James and John upon the scene which is recorded immediately after the passage we are considering. Behold His face shining as the sun and His raiment white and glistening as the snow, or as the light. See Moses and Elias as they appear in glory with Him, and listen to the communings of this exalted trio. Then bow in silent awe, as the cloud of surpassing glory overshadows them, and reverently listen to the voice of God, the Father, saying “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him.” No wonder that even the favored and beloved disciples trembled with fear beneath this supernatural majesty and effulgent glory. Surely this was I AM spanning the centuries and giving these apostles a view of His coming and kingdom.
So they understood it and Peter especially confirms it
“For,” he says, “we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.” 2 Pet. 1:16-18.
We cannot tell how much of the future they saw in that enraptured hour, but doubtless they had a specific vision of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in His kingdom and glory.
John Saw It
We have only to turn to Revelation, where we find that He “which is and which was, and which is to come” permitted John to see (Rev. 1:2, 11, etc.) it most definitely. His enraptured vision swept the centuries. Time, to him, was annihilated and he gazed upon the literal facts. He actually saw them. Thirty-six times does he say “I saw,” seven times “I beheld,” and five times “I looked,” besides many similar expressions. And he saw the very things mentioned in the passages.
“And I SAW heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and Truth. and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire and on His head were many crowns,. . . . and He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.. . . And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
He saw the beast and kings of the earth gathered and taken and cast into the lake of fire. He saw Satan bound, and he saw Christ and His saints reigning for a thousand years. He saw it all in perfect fulfillment of the statements in the passages we are considering. Rev. 19 :20.
Paul Saw It
Paul also saw Christ in His glory and doubtless he saw all that John did, and probably more, for he saw things that it was impossible for a man to utter. (2 Corinthians 12 :4, margin.) Surely these are an absolute and literal fulfillment of what Jesus promised “some” should see, and satisfactorily explain the passages in question.
Ye Shall Not Have Gone Over the Cities of Israel
Another passage is cited in support of the above theories, viz.: the spiritual coming on the day of Pentecost or the figurative coming, in the destruction of Jerusalem, etc., and that is Mat. 10 :23, “verily I say unto you ye shall not have gone over (or finish) the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.”
In regard to this we answer, that this was spoken to the twelve disciples, when Jesus sent them forth two by two, with a message especially for and exclusively to Israel. We find from Mark 6 :30, and Luke 9 :10, that they returned to the Master, of course, without finishing the cities. And there is no evidence that they ever, in like manner, renewed the visitation preaching the message “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Indeed they could not, for Israel had rejected their King, and the kingdom had become like a nobleman which went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and return.
But from the force of the word “till” we believe that the message will be renewed (perhaps by the “two witnesses” after the Church is taken away), to the unbelieving Israelites, who shall yet return to their land and restore Judaism, and before they shall have gone over the rebuilt cities, the Son of Man shall appear again.
No. XII. Gloomy View of the Future
It is objected that this doctrine presents a gloomy view of the future; that “it is the philosophy of despair,” that it stands opposed to the popular idea, viz.: that the world is growing better, and “if it is true,” it is sarcastically said, “we might as well fold our hands and wait for Christ to come.”
We candidly think that many who raise these objections have altogether mistaken the spirit and work of pre-millennialists.
We do Not Despair
We neither despair, nor fold our hands to sleep. On the contrary, we are filled with a lively (Greek-living) hope (1 Pet. 1:3), the most “blessed hope” (Tit. 2:13), while we strive to save some from this worldly. sinful and adulterous generation, which is nigh unto cursing and whose end is to be burned.
We would not deceive them with the hallucination that they are “growing better,” for, as the apostle has said, “we know that we are of God and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (Greek-in the wicked one), 1 John 5:19- and therefore we would tell them in the plain words of Scripture, that they are in the broad way that leadeth to destruction (Mat. 7:13), and that they must repent or perish. Luke 13 :3. And further, that this same world, once overflowed by the flood, is now “stored with fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Pet. 3:5-7.
We rejoice over every one of those, who, by believing the gospel, the good news of the coming kingdom, are saved from this awful fate and made “joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16-17) “to an inheritance. . . reserved in heaven for us,” and “who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time,” and who “hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto” us “at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet. 1 :4-5-13.
Surely this positive conviction of coming doom is a mightier incentive to action than can be the quieting fallacy that things are moving on prosperously and that EVEN THE WORLD IS GETTING BETTER.
And this is clearly proved by the zeal and faithful work of the ministers, evangelists and laymen, who hold and proclaim this doctrine of the pre-millennial coming of Christ.
It is true that they do not expect the conversion of the world in this present evil age* (Gal. 1:4), but they do believe that a millennial age of peace is coming, and they do strive “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,” to :’shine a lights in the world holding forth the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16), that they may snatch some brands from the burning (Mal. 4:1; 1 Cor. 3:13-15; to increase the godly company who shall be ready to welcome the Bridegroom.
Why, then, should they be so bitterly opposed for pro. claiming this scriptural doctrine’ Are they not all members of the body of Christ’ And, as such, do they not merit the warmest sympathy and prayers of the Church? Shall they be condemned because, like the early Church, they are holding the traditions (or teachings handed down) of the apostles, and looking for Jesus? God forbid! But let us remember that “we be brethren,” strangers and pilgrims (Heb. 11 :13), whose “citizenship” is in heaven (Phil. 3 :20). And let us speak “the truth in love,” be built up in love (Eph. 4:15-16), and “walk in love” (Eph. 5:2), “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
The Days Are Evil
Yes, THE DAYS ARE EVIL, and we freely admit that this doctrine does present a gloomy future in the present evil age, for this world of sinners, who are full of unbelief and radically opposed to Christ, His people and His salvation. They are rejecting God’s gracious entreaties for reconciliation, and rushing madly on toward the day of wrath. Rev. 6 :15-17.
But there is no gloom in the future for those “who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us,” and “who have received the Spirit of adoption,” become “children” and “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ . . . For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” Rom. 8 :15-18.
There seems to be a prevailing disposition to balance up the good and the bad in the world by a process of general average, in which the triumphs of art and science, the progress in inventions, discoveries, etc., are counted as moral goodness, and it is concluded that the world, on the average, is growing better.
But this is utterly fallacious and, we fear, a grand deception of Satan.
The Church and the World
First, there is no such thing as averaging together the true church and the world. There is no possible consanguinity. The one is “from beneath,”-the other “from above.” The one “is of this world,”-the other “not of this world.” John 8:2 They must not be yoked together, for there is no fellowship, communion, concord, part or agreement between them. They are and always must be separate. The true church is in the world, but not of it, There are three parties in the world, viz.: the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God, As the Jews were a separate, called-out and peculiar people, not to be reckoned among the nations, so is this true church a separate and peculiar people, called unto cleansing and holiness, sealed by the Spirit of God, unto the day of redemption (Eph, 4:30), no longer darkness, but “children of light,” and exhorted to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5 :8-11), They are of God, while the whole world lies in the wicked one. There is an irrepressible conflict between them – no possible harmony exists. On the contrary, their principles and tendencies are absolutely opposite. It is therefore entirely inconsistent that they should be spoken of as forming one general mass.
Art, Science and Invention
Second, the triumphs of art and science, the progress in inventions, discoveries, etc., by no means argue an increase in godliness.
Many of the acknowledged leaders today in science and philosophy-yes, even those who rank the very highest among them, are positive infidels. And very many more, who disclaim absolute infidelity, deny the divinity of Jesus Christ.
It is strange, indeed, that the Christian optimists, in their noisy trumpetings of the strides of science, should lose sight of this momentous fact. And history bears a similar testimony. The power, splendor and wisdom of David and Solomon were followed by the idolatry and innocent blood of Ahab and Manasseh, resulting in the overthrow of Jerusalem and the Babylonish captivity.
The temple, built by Herod, was one of the grandest works of art. It fairly flashed with splendor, and the temple service was conducted on a magnificent scale. The Jews of his time enjoyed great privileges in literature and learning, and yet they crucified the Lord Jesus.
The Greeks rose to a pinnacle of triumph in literature, poetry and art, and yet they failed by wisdom to find out God. To them he was the unknown God. See how plainly this is brought out in 1 Cor. chapters, 1, 2 and 3: “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” (1 :21). The trouble is not with the heads, but with the hearts of men. No matter how great the learning, man must have “a new heart, and this is obtained not by education, but by the operation of the Spirit of God. It was not many wise men after the flesh who received the grace of God in Corinth, but the simple and the despised. “I thank Thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth,” said Jesus, “that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent (discerning ones) and hast revealed them unto babes.” Luke 10 :21.
The world, then, by “wisdom” or “philosophy” (Col. 2: 8), or “science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20), can never find out God. Indeed, we have a clear evidence of this in the rationalism, infidelity and atheism of our day. No matter how refined and polished is their garb or the delicacy with which they may be set forth, still they are only the poisonous deceptions of him who can appear as “an angel of light.” I The truth is that Satan is the arch enemy of God, and the world, in this present evil age (Gal. 1:4), is in his power (1 John 5:19), so that he besets the people of God with his “wiles,” and arrays against them “principalities. . . . powers. . . . and the rulers of the darkness of this world.” ‘.. Eph. 6 :11-13. Therefore the Christian must “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2 :15-16.
The World Not Growing Better
Surely, then, this wicked world, which is so radically opposed to God, and under the present control of His arch enemy, is not growing better. On the contrary, judgment, fire and perdition are before it.l03 Perilous times are coming.104 “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” The tares, which naturally grow much faster than the wheat, shall continue up to the harvest. Mat. 13 :40. “The mystery of iniquity” which already worked in the days of the apostles, shall culminate in “the man of sin,” the personal antichrist, whom even the mass of the Jews will receive; and who will be so great and rule with such universal authority that he is to be destroyed only by the personal appearing of the Lord Himself.
There is no hope, then, for the world, but in the coming of Christ the King. And, praised be God for the promises, the Lord will come at the end of this age. Antichrist will be destroyed. All things that offend shall be gathered out and the Millennial Kingdom of righteousness shall be established on the earth. So, while there is a gloomy prospect for the world during this evil age, there is a bright and glorious prospect during the coming millennial age.
Civilization and Beneficent Institutions
But perhaps it is still insisted that the world has made great progress in civilization and refinement, in benevolence, in personal liberty, international fraternity, Christian work, etc. In proof of this, the abrogation of slavery is cited; also the cessation of the inquisition and martyrdom, the establishment of charitable institutions, the great postal and commercial means of communication, built upon the agencies of steam and lightning; the right of trial by jury, international arbitration, missionary triumphs, etc.
Well, first of all we answer that Civilization and Refinement are not the Source of Holiness. They may elevate the head, while the heart is untouched. The gilded palace of sin is as certainly the gateway to hell as the darkest den of vice.
The cultured and scientific atheist is as surely in the service of Satan as the thief or the murderer. Jesus Himself classed them all together when He said, “He that is not with Me is against Me.” Mat. 12 :30. So it matters not how much more like an angel of light the serpent may appear, nor how civilized and refined the world may be. Satan is the devil still.
And the world is still the world
His manifestations and methods may be changed, but the spirit of darkness is the same. And accordingly we see that while slavery is disappearing, communism, socialism and nihilism are lifting their godless, headless forms. And darker are their forebodings than were even the days of the inquisition and martyrdom. Oppressing monopolies, systematic peculation and fraud are parallel with charitable institutions. The mails, so useful for news and correspondence, afford a most convenient agency for disseminating the flood of obscene literature which is blasting the morals of the young. Trial by jury has too often proved a mere farce, in which the criminal escapes. The nation which opened the way for the missionary also forced upon the teeming millions of China the awful curse of opium.
While missionary efforts have been greatly blessed abroad (and praise God that they have), infallibility, ritualism, skepticism and desecration of the Lord’s day have more than equally triumphed at home. And let it not be forgotten that the monstrous assumption of infallibility has triumphed in what was once an apostolic church of Christ.
The past century has had its full share of war and carnage. Numerous, dark and fearful have been the fields of blood up to this very year. In short, Satan is on the alert and fully up to the times, multiplying his deceptions on either hand, as he will continue to do, until chained by the angel at the beginning of the Millennium.
Is the Church Progressing?
Lastly, it is argued that, as Christians are the light of the world and the salt of the earth the greatly increased number of professed Christians must certainly have augmented the light and the salt, and consequently have made the world better.
Jesus was indeed the light of the world, but He shone in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. Men loving and clinging to the darkness, because their deeds were evil, would not see the light, and were not made better by it. So true Christians, reflecting the light from heaven, only intensify the darkness about them. The darkness is still darkness and cannot be improved. The sinner must forsake it and come to the light, or he can never be saved.
Losing the Saltness
Let us notice carefully that Jesus speaks of the salt losing its saltness and becoming good for nothing, and He also intimates that the light may be hid under a bushel. And therefore He exhorts, “Have salt in yourselves.” Mark 9 :50. Evidently the Jews lost their “savour” (Mat. 5 :13) and “were broken Off.” This leads to the solemn query, is the professing Church progressing or declining in faith and spiritual life?
The kingdom in mystery or the state of Christendom until Christ comes again, is taught us, we believe, by the parables of Mat. 13.
“The parable of the Sower shows the varied and imperfect reception of the Word. The parable of the Tares shows the early and continued effects of Satan’s presence among the saints. The parable of the Mustard-seed shows outward growth sheltering evil. The parable of the Leaven shows the gradual and utter corruption of the truth. The parable of the Treasure hid in a field shows what Israel is to be in the world. The parable of the Pearl of great price shows what the Church is to Christ. And the parable of the Dragnet shows the cleansing of the kingdom at His second coming.”
There is, perhaps, but little opposition to this interpretation of the parables, excepting that of the Leaven, which has quite extensively been interpreted to teach exactly the opposite, viz.: that the power and influence of the gospel or Christian life is to permeate the masses of the world, until the whole is leavened into holiness. The inconsistency of this is seen when we consider that precisely the contrary is taught by the parable of the sower and the tares, each of which most undisputedly shows that evil is to continue and grow up to the end of the age. This is surely the most sufficient and scriptural reason for assigning the same typical meaning to the Leaven, in this and the correlative passage, which we find it to bear in the numerous other passages, where the same word is used, viz.: the corrupting influence of evil and the symbol of death. See carefully Mat. 16 :6-12. Here then we ‘are most emphatically taught not only that the world is growing no better, but that the professing Church itself will lose its saltness, becoming nominal and lukewarm, fit only to be spued out of the Master’s mouth. The entire teaching of the Word of God, we believe, agrees with this.
And we have but to take an unprejudiced survey of the Church even now, to see the truth of it. The loss of spiritual power in the different branches of the great nominal Church has not resulted from the casting out of truth, but from the imbibing and internal workings of false doctrine, which, like leaven, has fermented the mass. Little by little the ordinary bishop of. Rome has developed into an infallible Pope. Image worship, the confessional, world conformity and post-millennialism have all worked out their enormous growth like the little leaven in the meal.
How do the great Papal and Greek churches, in their stateliness, formality, popularity and spiritual weakness of today, compare with the despised Nazarene and his followers, or with the persecuted, consecrated and godly congregations (ekkleesias) of the first two centuries?
And are not the present evangelical denominations, by worldly conformity and increeping doubts regarding the inspiration of the Word, etc., dangerously tending in the same direction? How very few of the members in them are to-day crying out for separation and holiness. Surely, no one can fail to see the corrupting influences of the leaven permeating them.
We realize that this is an awful fact. It is not even pleasant to state it. But, while Noah’s preaching was not pleasant to them that heard it, still it was true and the flood did come. Likewise the prophesying of Jeremiah was exceedingly unpleasant, but it was true and was followed by the terrible fate of the city, and the Babylonian captivity. The preaching of Jesus was at times of fearful severity, but was it not true? So would we humbly yet faithfully proclaim the Word of God. We would “cry aloud and spare not,” fully believing that, upon an apostate church rebellious and murderous Israel, and a sinful world, the day of darkness is coming.
The Faithful Remnant
But even in the darkness, so gloomy for the ungodly, there is hope-bright, glorious hope for the faithful. For God always has had, and ever will have a faithful remnant. There were those, in blind unbelieving Israel, who waited for and accepted the Messiah. Luke 2, etc. So there will be those in the Church who will wait for (1 Thes. 1 :10) and welcome the coming Bridegroom. Mat. 25 :10. And there shall be a remnant in Israel, who, passing through the darkness and fire (Zech. 13:9), will yet accept their King. Zech. 12 :10; Rom. 9 :27; 11 :25-26. And there shall even be a remnant (residue or remainder) among the Gentiles (ungodly world) who shall seek after the Lord.
Glory to God! the darkness shall yet flee away before the Sun of Righteousness, arising with healing in His wings, when He comes to sit in the throne of His glory. The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established and all nations shall flow unto it (Isa. 2 :1-6; Mic. 4 :1-5, please read it) during that bright millennial day of peace and glory, which shall follow “this present evil age” (Gal. 1 :4) and in which even the creature “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Rom. 8 :21. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 11 :9.
“A better day is coming, a morning promised long, When girded Right. with holy Might, will overthrow the wrong;
When God the Lord will listen to every plaintive sigh, And stretch His hand o’er .every land, with justice by and by.
The boast of haughty Error no more will fill the air, But Age and Youth will love the truth and spread it everywhere;
No more from want and sorrow will come the hopeless cry; And strife will cease, and perfect peace will flourish by and by.
Oh! for that holy dawning we watch, and wait, and pray. Till o’er the height the morning light shall drive the gloom away;
And when the heavenly glory shall flood the earth and sky, We’ll bless the Lord for all His Word, and praise Him by and by.”
No. XIII. Cruel to the Unsaved
It is objected that it would be cruel for Christ to come in Judgment upon the world, while there are so many millions unsaved.
We answer, Is not such a declaration a presumptuous criticism of God’s motives? Was the flood an expression of cruelty, or rather was it not a manifestation of God’s love and mercy, toward them who should live after, in that He swept away the great overflow of wickedness? Surely it was done in mercy. And now let us remember that this world DIES every thirty-three years. The average of human life is even a little less than this. The world is in the power of the devil, and he has the power of death. He has slain this world with the sword of death, over fifty times in the present dispensation.
Think of it! more than fifty worlds gone down in the whirlpool of death. Each generation brings on to the scene an entirely new world. And how few out of these are converted. How few are reached by the gospel lifeboat, and how few of those reached heed the message of salvation. The great mass sweep on, like a wrecked vessel, in darkness and unbelief, to the Judgment.
The coming of Christ will inaugurate a far better state of things. For, when He comes, all things that offend shall be gathered out and the kingdom shall be established in righteousness And even though the subjects of the kingdom (not the reigning ones) may die during the millennial age, yet shall they die in a good old age, the child even a hundred years old and’ their death shall be blessed, and though the Millennium is not the perfect state, yet Judgment will speedily follow the sinner of that day, or the nation which shall swerve from serving God.
Surely, then, His speedy coming cannot be counted an unmerciful event. The wonder is rather at the long-suffering of God, which now (as before the flood) waits in such patient pleading. But He will fulfill His promise, and the Coming One will come and cut short the work in righteousness. Rom. 9 :28.
Then let us not look upon Christ’s coming as cruel or unmerciful. He has said “SURELY I COME QUICKLY,” and let us have the mind of the Holy Spirit, who replied “EVEN! SO COME LORD JESUS.” Rev. 22 :20.
“Then welcome, thrice welcome, ye tokens of God. What else but His coming can comfort afford? What presence but His set this prisoned earth free? O Star of the Morning, our hope is in Thee!”
No. XIV. This Generation
Jesus said: “This generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled.” Lu. 21 :32. See also Mat. 24 :34; Mar. 13:30.
Some have construed “generation” to mean a time of thirty or forty years; and, as Jerusalem was destroyed within forty years after Christ spoke, they refer all he said to that event.
Israel the Generation That Passes Not Away.
We believe “generation,” as there used, means the whole existence of the Israelitish race. Compare the following passages where the same Greek word is used.
In Psalm 22 :30, we read: “A seed shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.” And in Psalm 24:6: “This is the generation of them that seek Him.”
In Proverbs 30:11-14, the generation of the righteous and the generation of the wicked are clearly distinguished. Hence we conclude that the generation of the Israelites were not only to see the destruction of Jerusalem, but the COMING of Christ (at the revelation) and the end of the age. Mat. 24 :3.
And their wonderful preservation, as a distinct people, through all the persecutions, vicissitudes and wanderings of the past eighteen centuries down to the present moment, is a standing miracle, attesting the truth of God’s word, and assuring us of His purposes in their future history.
Said Frederick the Great to his chaplain: “Doctor, if your religion is a true one, it ought to be capable of very brief and simple proof. Will you give me an evidence of its truth in ONE WORD “, The good man answered, “Israel.” Other nations come and go, but Israel remains. She passes not away. God says of her, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer.” Isaiah 54:7-8.
3d. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news, or glad tidings of the kingdom to come.
Chapter 15 – Israel Is to Be Restored
But, perhaps, you say: “I don’t believe the Israelites are to be restored to Canaan, and Jerusalem rebuilt.”
Dear reader! have you read the declarations of God’s word about it? Surely nothing is more plainly stated in the Scriptures. We would that we had space to quote the passages, but we can only give you a portion of the references. We beg of you to read them thoughtfully. Divest yourself of prejudice and preconceived notions, and let the Holy Spirit show you, from His word, the glorious future of God’s chosen people, “who are beloved” (Romans 11 :28), and dear unto Him as “the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2 :8.
1st. God calls Abraham. Genesis 12:1.(1)
2nd. God's promise to Abraham. Gen. 12:2-7. " " " Gen. 13:14-17. " " " Gen. 15:18. " " " Gen. 17:8. " " Isaac. Gen. 26:1-5. " " Jacob. Gen. 28:1-15. " " " Gen. 35:10-12.
3rd, The land described. Exodus 23:31; Numbers 34; Deut. 11:24; Deut, 34:1-4; Josh. 1:2-6.
4th. The land partially possessed. 1st Kings 4:21.
5th. Punishment prophesied for disobedience. Leviticus 26:14-39; Deut. 4:22; 28:16; 31:16.
6th. Israel’s sins. Judges 2:11-19; 1st Samuel 8:6; 2 Kings 21:11; 2 Kings 24:3; Jeremiah 16:4; and many others, ESPECIALLY Matthew 27:26.
7th, The promises to be remembered and restoration assured: Lev. 26:40-45, especially verses 42, 44, 45, Deuteronomy 4:30-31, 30:1-10, 2 Samuel 7:10-11, Joel 2:18-32. Acts 15:13-16,-very important, as it is the apostle’s summary of the prophets.
And now, reader, if you have faithfully studied these passages, or if you have even read them, do you wonder that the great mass of Jews, at the present time, have an abiding faith that they are to be returned to Canaan?
All the orthodox Jews tenaciously cling to this hope; and shall we, who have accepted so much greater light, refuse this overwhelming testimony of the Word? God forbid.
It may be that you say, “These prophesies were fulfilled in the return from Babylon.”
Not so, that was the FIRST TIME. But there is to be a Second Restoration.
“And It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand AGAIN the SECOND TIME to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the Islands of the sea.” Isaiah 11:11.
In the first restoration only those who were MINDED came back from Babylon (Ezra 7:13), while many remained both there, and in Egypt and elsewhere. But in the future, or second restoration, not one will be left.
“If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee.” Deuteronomy 30:4.
“Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the ear and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; EVEN far, and ONE that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him,” Isaiah 43:5-7.
“For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, 1, even 1, will both search my sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day; and I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel.” Ezek. 34:11-13.
“Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led Into captivity, among the heathen; but I have gathered them unto their own land, and HAVE LEFT NONE OF THEM ANY MORE THERE.” Ezekiel 39:28-29.
In the first restoration it was only Jews who returned.
In the second, or future restoration, it will be both Judah
(the two tribes) and Israel (the ten tribes).
“In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an Inheritance unto your fathers.” Jeremiah 3:18.
“And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, EVEN ALL OF IT, and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded.” Ezek. 36:10.
Ezekiel was directed to take two sticks, representing Judah and Joseph, which should be joined and become one stick in his hand, and when the people enquired what it meant, he was directed to- say unto them:
“Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them Into their own land: and I will make them ONE NATION In the land upon the, mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them ALL and they shall be No MORE two nations, neither shall they be divided Into two kingdoms any more at all.” Ezek. 37:15-22.
At the first restoration they returned to be overthrown and driven out again. But in the second, they shall return to remain, no more to go out. They shall be exalted and dwell safely, and the Gentile nations shall flow unto them.
“I will plant them upon their land, and they SHALL NO ,MORE BE PULLED UP out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord their God.” Amos 9:15.
“And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beasts of the land devour them: but they shall DWELL SAFELY, and none shall make them afraid.” Ezek. 34:28.
“And I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: -yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my, people Israel;-and thou Shalt NO MORE HENCEFORTH BEREAVE THEM OF MEN.” Ezek. 36:11-12.
“Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that- no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a Joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shall suck the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah 60:15-16.
All Nations Shall now unto Israel. “As I Live saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, a bride doeth.. I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall ‘bring thy sons In their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders, and kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet.” Isaiah 49:18, 22, 23.
“But In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow into it. And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk In His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:1-2.
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; it shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the Inhabitants of many cities And the Inhabitants of one city, shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will also go. Yea, MANY PEOPLE and STRONG NATIONS shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that Is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Zech. 8:20-29.
“And it shall come to pass, THAT EVERY ONE THAT IS LEFT OF ALL THE NATIONS which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zech. 14:16.
In the first Restoration, because of their blindness, and hard, stony hearts, they rejected and killed Jesus. But in the future Restoration they shall REPENT of all this, and have CLEAN HEARTS, and ACCEPT of CHRIST, who will be their King.
Look Upon Me
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have PIERCED, AND THEY SHALT MOURN FOR HIM, AS ONE MOURNETH FOR HIS ONLY SON, AND SHALL BE IN BITTERNESS P014 HIM, AS ONE THAT IS IN BITTERNESS FOR HIS FIRST- BORN. In that day there shall be a great mourning In Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon -In the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the ‘family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” Zech. 12:10-14.
“They shall Rome with weeping and with supplications will I lead them; I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a. straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim Is my first-born. Hear the word of the Lord, 0 ye nations, and declare It In the isles afar off, and say, He that scattereth Israel will gather him. and keep him, as a shepherd doth his Bock. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their INWARD I-ARTS, AND WRITE IT IN THEIR HEARTS; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your Idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you. and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people. and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn, and will increase It, and lay no famine upon you.” Ezek. 36:p4-29.
“Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their Idols nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwellIng places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them; so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: . . . and they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children and their children’s children, forever: and my servant David shall be their prince, forever, . . . my tabernacle shall also be with them: yea, I will be their God and they shall be ray people.” Ezek. 37:23-27
“And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and Increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. Behold, the days ,come, saith the Lord, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute Judgment and Justice In the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this to his name whereby he shall be called, ‘THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. [Jehovah, Tsidkenuj] Jeremiah 23:3-6.
“And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and ‘he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.- Ezek. 34:23-24.
Nothing has ever yet been built like the temple which Ezekiel describes in chapters 40 to 48, and this includes a definite description of the location of each tribe, as they shall be settled in this great future restoration. See Ch. 48.
Confusing Israel with the Church
It would seem that such overwhelming testimony would convince every fair-minded reader, that there is a glorious future restoration in store for Israel. And yet, many say, that we must interpret all this Scripture “spiritually,” and they fritter away the point and the force of such explicit declarations, in attempting to apply them to the persecuted Church.
This is a very great error, and we believe it has arisen, principally, from a misunderstanding of Paul’s arguments in his epistles. He does not confound Israel with the Church when he says, “They are not all Israel which are of Israel.” Nor does he confound the Church with Israel when he makes us children of Abraham by faith; but he demonstrates that we all stand by faith alone. In I Cor. 10:32,17 he makes a clear distinction between the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church of God. There are special blessings for the Church, and special blessings for Israel He plainly shows that not all the natural seed are true Israelites. He only is a Jew who has circumcision of heart in the spirit.” And though multitudes of Israel have passed away in unbelief, still Paul distinctly declares that there is a remnant WHICH SHALL BE SAVED.10 He so loved them that he could sacrifice himself, and even be separated from Christ for their sakes.20 He saw their future glory, as the natural branches yet to be grafted into their own olive tree, which should be nothing less than life from the dead .21 Jesus said, in Luke 21:24, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” And Paul understood this mystery, that when “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in,” “there should come out of Zion the Deliverer, who should turn away ungodliness from Jacob!’ Rom. 11:25-26.
And this is fully confirmed by the following: In Amos 8 and 9, we read of the awful calamities which should come upon Israel. And not until- they had been SIFTED AMONG ALL NATIONS ‘would the Lord gather -and plant them, and raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen. When the apostles and elders were gathered in the first council at Jerusalem, considering this same question about Israelites and the Church, the Holy Spirit directed the mind of James to this very prophecy in Amos, to show that during this sifting of Israel, God was to TAKE OUT of the Gentiles a people to His name, and AFTER THIS to build again the tabernacle of David. Acts 15:13-17. So we see that these restoration prophecies can not be applied to the Church, which is first to be TAKEN OUT before Israel and Jerusalem are to be restored.
Again, one of the most specific prophecies of their restoration is addressed, not to the people, but to the MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, which leaves no possible doubt as to the LITERAL MEANING intended.
The Day of Jacob’s Trouble
Surely Israel SHALL BE RESTORED; but there is an AWFUL TIME OF TROUBLE awaiting her. Their sins are mountain high. Upon them is the guilt of innocent blood, even the precious-blood of Jesus, Christ. Mat. 27:25.
The faithful prophet saw it when he wrote:
“And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
“For thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
“Ask ye now, and see whether 9. man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his -hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness.
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none Is like It: It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of It.” Jeremiah 30:4-7.
“Then shall ye remember your own evil ways and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” Ezek. 36:31.
Yes, they shall repent and loathe themselves. They “shall pass through the sea with affliction.” Many shall die,, but the third part shall be saved.
“And I will bring the THIRD PART through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold Is tried; they shall call on my name and I will hear them; I will say, it is my people; and they shall Say,, the Lord Is my God.” Zech. 13:9.
All this is intimately connected with the coming of Christ, not at the Rapture, but at the Revelation.
For we read, “When the Lord shall build up Zion, Hz SHALL APPEAR IN His GLORY.” Psalm 102:16.
It is when He appears with His saints (the Church) in flaming fire to execute judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14) upon the nations and upon Israel, who are the third party in Mat. 25:36, and who are not to be reckoned among the nations. Numbers 23:9. It is when He sits as a refiner and purifier.
“Behold I will send- my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
“But who may abide the day of His coming? and who, shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.
“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering In righteousness.
“Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
“And I will come near you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling In his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.” Mal. 3:1-5.
“He shall indeed refine Israel in the furnace of affliction. 1125 And they shall arise and shine, for THEIR LIGHT SHALT COME.26
Arise and shine In youth immortal, Thy light is come, thy King appears! Beyond the centuries’ swinging portal,
Breaks a new dawn-THE THOUSAND YEARS!
We might fill a book with comments upon how Israel shall be restored, but all we have desired to do was to show that it is an incontrovertible fact of prophecy, and that it is intimately connected with our Lord’s appearing, and this we trust we have satisfactorily ‘accomplished.
The detail of the manner of their restoration, and of their repentance and acceptance of Christ, is not so important to us. For those who are of the Church are to be taken away first, in the Rapture, and escape all these things through which Israel must pass.27
True, many have found the study of this detail a rich blessing, and we give the result which one has reached on pages 187 to 195, and yet we believe that we cannot now discern the order of these things so clearly as Israel will in the great rush of events, after the Church is taken away, and when the Book is more completely unsealed and opened. Dan. 12:4.
It is enough for us to know that it will be in the LATTER DAYS (Isaiah 2:2) that Antichrist is to be revealed and destroyed by Jesus the King of the Jews, who is coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8), and that Israel, His people, “are at hand to come.” Ezekiel 36:8.
Chapter 16 – The Study of Prophecy
It may be you disapprove the study of prophecy, because Jesus said: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Mat. 24:36), and, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.” Acts 1:7.
Dear reader! do not conceive that the study of prophecy consists merely in the setting of dates or forecasting future events. For wise reasons the Master has withheld from us “the day and the hour” when He will come, but He called the Pharisees hypocrites, because they could not discern the signs of the times, and He has commanded us to WATCH, and he has pronounced a blessing upon the study of prophecy.
Peter exhorts us to GIVE HEED unto the sure word of prophecy. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3 :16.
The greater part of this Scripture consists of prophecy, and’ if Christians would give more attention to it, they would not find themselves distracted from present service, but “they would find much light thrown on their present path, much practical encouragement given to their ministry.” Their faith would rest upon a broader and deeper comprehension of God’s character and ways, and their spiritual horizon would stand out in clearer outline than before.
“But to perceive and understand all this requires much more than a surface study of Scripture, or the mere forecasting of future events. It must be read in its profounder teachings, in those wonderful depths of meaning that underlie its illustrations, its metaphors, its history, as well as sparkle up to the sunlight, in its bright prophetic announcement of coming glory.” Such a study of God’s word will be found of paramount importance to meet the skepticism of the day, “for it furnishes us out of God’s own armory, and trains us in His school of warfare.” See how God uses prophetic truth to confound the philosophers and skeptics. And He points to the prophecies fulfilled as an assurance of the ‘accomplishment of the new things declared by Him. “Before they spring forth I tell you of them.” And He sets forth Israel as the WITNESSES before all nations of the Word He has declared and that He is God.
And such they are today. Prophecy is their history. Who but God could thus preserve them? Who but God could foretell their history?
“This weapon alone out of God’s armory can cut through all the sophistries and opposition of men.” God forbid then that we should despise prophecies. -1st Thessalonians 5:20. “0 Earth, Earth, Earth, hear the Word of the Lord.” Jeremiah 22:29.
Chapter 17 – A Practical Doctrine
We have asserted that [the] truth of the coming of the Lord is eminently practical. In proof of this, we here append the following references, to show how Jesus and the Apostles used the prophecies of His coming again as a motive to incite us.
1. To watchfulness,—Matt. 24:42-44; 25:13; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:35-38; Rev. 16:15.
2. To Sobriety,—1st Thessalonians 5:2-6; 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.
3. To repentance,—Acts 3:19-21; Rev. 3:3.
4. To fidelity,—Matt. 25:19-21; Luke 12:42-44; 19:12-13.
5. Not to be ashamed of Christ,—Mark 8:38.
6. Against worldliness,—Matt. 16:26-27.
7. To moderation or mildness,—Phil. 4:5.
8. To patience,—Heb. 10:36-37; James 5:7-8.
9. To mortification of fleshly lusts,—Col. 3:3-5.
10. To sincerity,—Phil. 1:9-10.
11. To the practical sanctification of the entire being,—1 Thessalonians 5:23.
12. To ministerial faithfulness,—2 Tim. 4:1-2.
13. To induce obedience to the Apostle’s injunctions,—1 Tim. 6:13-14.
14. To pastoral diligence and purity,—1 Pet. 5:2-4.
15. To purify ourselves,—1 John 3:2-3.
16. To abide in Christ,—1 John 2:28.
17. To endure manifold temptations and the severest trial of faith,—1 Pet. 1:7.
18. To bear persecution for the sake of our Lord,—1 Pet. 4:13.
19. To holy conversation and godliness,—2 Pet. 3:11-13.
20. To brotherly love,—1 Thessalonians 3:12-13.
21. To keep in mind our heavenly citizenship,—Phil. 3:20-21.
22. To love the second coming of Christ,—2 Tim. 4:7-8.
23. To look for Him,—Heb. 9:27-28.
24. To confidence that Christ will finish the work,—Phil. 1:6.
25. To hold fast the hope firm unto the end,—Rev. 2:25; 3:11.
26. To separation from worldly lusts and to live Godly,—Titus 2:11-13.
27. To watchfulness because of its suddenness,—Luke 17:24-30.
28. To guard against hasty judgment,—1 Corinthians 4:5.
29. To the hope of a rich reward,—Matt. 19:27-28.
30. To assure the disciples of a time of rejoicing,—2 Corinthians 1:14; Phil. 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:19.
31. To comfort the apostles in view of Christ’s departure from them,—John 14:3; Acts 1:11.
32. Practical faith in the second coming, is a crowning grace and assurance of blamelessness in the day of the Lord,—1 Corinthians 1:4-8.
33. It is the principal event for which the believer waits,—1 Thessalonians 1:9-10.
34. It is declared to be the time of reckoning with the servants,—Matt. 25:19.
35. Of judgment for the living nations,—Mat. 25:31-46.
36. Of the resurrection of the saints,—1 Corinthians 15:23.
37. Of the manifestation of the saints,—2 Corinthians 5:10; Col. 3:4.
38. It is declared to be the source of consolation to those who sorrow over the dead who sleep in Jesus,—1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
39. It is declared to be the time of Tribulation to unbelievers,—2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
40. It is proclaimed every time the Lord’s Supper is celebrated,—1 Corinthians 11:26.
Such are some of the uses made of this doctrine in the New Testament. It is employed to arm the appeals, to point the arguments, and to enforce the exhortations. What is there more PRACTICAL in any other doctrine? We would that we had space to give the passages referred to in full. But it will be a greater blessing to you, dear reader, if you will go to the Word and search them out.
We have made no distinction between those passages which refer to the Rapture, and those which refer to the Revelation, both classes being equally used as a motive for the practical purposes mentioned.
Chapter 18 – Outline of the Order of Events
And Some Subsequent Events in Their Connection with the Church’s Future.
“Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth Is come,… He will show you things to come.” John 16:13.
THE LORD’S PROMISE.
“I go to prepare a place for you. will come again, and receive you unto myself..’ John 14:2, 3
“I go away, and come again unto you.” John 14:28.
“A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father..’ John 16:16.
“I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice.” John 16:22.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise..’ 2 Pet. 3:9.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope (a) without Wavering; for He is faithful that promised; . . . and so much
the more as ye see the day approaching.” He. 10:23, 25.
“For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” He. 10:37.
“The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:8.
“Surely I come quickly: Amen..’ Rev. 22:20.
The Hope of the Church.(b)
“Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.” He. 9:28.
(a) So the Greek.
(b) All believers of the present dispensation. 1 Co. 12 :12, 13, 27.
“Our conversation (b) Is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ph. 3:20.
“Waiting for the adoption, to-wit, the redemption of our body.” Rom. 8:23.
“Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 1:7.
“Looking for that blessed hope.” Ti. 2:13.
“The patient waiting for Christ.” 2 Th. 3:5.
“To wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead. even Jesus.” 1 Th. 1:10.
THE COMING of The LORD as The Bridegroom, into the Air, for His Church. (c)
“The Lord Himself (d) shall descend from heaven with a shout, (e) with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God.” (f) 1 Th. 4:16.
“At the last trump (f); for the trumpetshall sound.” 1 Cor. 15:52.
“Them also which sleep In Jesus will God bring with him.” (g) 1 Th. 4:14.
The Dead in Christ raised.
“The dead in Christ shall rise first.” 1 Th. 4:16.
“In Christ shall all be made alive. . . They that are Christ’s at His coming.” 1 Cor. 15:22, 23.
“The dead shall be raised incorruptible.” 1 Cor. 15:52.
“Raised in incorruption;… raised in glory; . . . raised in power; . . . raised a spiritual body.” 1 Cor. 15:42-44.
(b) Or “Citizenship,” see Jno.17:16; Ep. 2:19; He. 11:10,
13, 16; 12 :22.
(c) “Watch, therefore; for ye know not what hour your
Lord doth come.” Mk. 13:32, 37; 1 Th. 5 :6.
(d) That is, personally, yet seen by none but believers;
vide Jno. 14:19; Acts 1:3, 4,9; 9:7; 10:40. 41; 1 Co. 15:5-8.
(e) Understood by those only to whom addressed; see Jno.
lZ:Z8. 39; Ac. 9:4. 7.
(f) The trumpet sounded twice when the Lord descended
upon Sinai, see Ex. 19 :11,17. And so when He descends
to take the church unto Himself, at Its first sounding
the dead In Christ will be raised, and at Its last sounding,
the living saints will be changed.
(g) The Old Testament saints also will doubtless at this
time receive their glorified bodies, see Heb. 11:19, 40,
Living Believers Changed.
“We which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent (a) them which are asleep.” 1 Th. 4:15.
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. . . . and we shall be changed.”(b) 1 Cor. 15:51, 52.
“The Lord Jesus Christ. . . shall change our vile body, (c) that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Ph. 3:20, 21.
“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Cor. 15:49.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Cor. 15:53.
Both Caught up into the Clouds. (d)
“Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together, with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,” 1 Th. 4:17.
“The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and. . our gathering together unto Him.” 2 Th 2:1.
To be Ever with the Lord.
“So shall we ever be with the Lord.:’ 1 Th. 4.17.
“That where I am, there ye may be also.” Jno. 14:3.
“Where I am, there shall also my servant be.” Jno. 12:26.
“With me where I am; that they may behold my glory.” Jno. 17:24.
“They shall never perish.” Jno. 10:28.
“Because I live, ye shall live also.” Jno. 14:19.
“That we should live together with Him.” 1 Th. 5:10.
“An . . . eternal weight of glory.” 2 Cor. 4:17.
“Eternal Inheritance.” He. 9:15; 1 Pet. 1:4.
“He (e) shall go no more out… ” Rev. 3:12.
(a) That Is, ‘Anticipate’ or ‘go before,’
(b) “Then. . . . Death Is swallowed up In victory,” 1 Co. 15 :54;
and “Mortality swallowed up of life,” 2 Co, 5:4.
(c) The body of our “humble” or “low estate,” Lu. 1:48;
Ac. 8:33; Ph. 2;8.
(d) “The redemption of the purchased possession.” Ro.8:23; Ep. 1 :14.
(e) The overcomer, Re. 3:12; 1Jno. 5:4,5.
The JUDGMENT SEAT 0F Christ, (b)
“We (c) must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done, in his body, 0F Christ, (b) according. to that he hath done, whether It be good or bad.” 2 Cor. 5:10.
“We (c) shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; . . . every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom. 14:10-12.
“Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:12.
Manifeslation of Works.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: .. . and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” 1 Co. 3:13.
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to the light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.” 1 Co. 4:5.
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, (d) he shall receive a reward.” 1 Co. 3:14.
“Whatsoever good thing (e) any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.” Ep. 6:8.
“But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done.” Col. 3:25.
“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; (f) yet so as by fire. … For the temple of God is holy which temple ye are.” 1 Cor. 3:15-17.
“Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.”1 Cor. 3:8.
“The prize of the high calling.” Ph. 3:14.
“The reward of the inheritance.” Col. 3:24.
“The kingdom.” Jas. 2:5.
“The crown of life.” Jas. 1:12; Rev. 2:10.
(b) For Christians only. In reference to service. Ro. 14:4, 10, 12.
(c) “The church, the saints.” 2 Co. 1:1.
(d) The foundation, “which Is Jesus Christ.” Isa. 28:16: 1 Co. 8:11.
(e) “Service as to the Lord.” Ep. 6:7.
(f) “No condemnation.” Jno. 5:24; Ro. 8:1.
“A crown of Righteousness.” 2 Tim. 4:8.
“A crown of glory.” 1 Pet, 5:4.
“An incorruptible” (crown). 1 Cor, 9:25.
“The things which God hath prepared..’ 1 Cor. 2:9.
“And then shall every man have praise of God. 1 Cor. 4:5.
The MARRIAGE of the lamb and the Church.
“The marriage of the Lamb Is come, and his wife (a) hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; and for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” . Rev. 19:7, 8.
“Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it, … that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that It should be holy and without blemish,” Eph. 5:25-27,
[The Tribulation, or Time between the Rapture and the Revelation In which there will be a period of seven years,
(1) at the commencement of which those Jews who shall have returned to their land In unbelief,
(2) and have rebuilt or be rebuilding their temple,
(3) benter Into a seven-years’ covenant with the Antichrist.
(4) On the expiration of three and a half years he Is revealed In his true character as the Man of Sin, (5) kills the two witnesses who had been prophesying during that time,
(6) stops the dally sacrifice which had been resumed,
(7) and has his own Image set up In the Holy Place.
(8) The Devil and his angels are cast out Into the earth, having great wrath, because their time Is short.
(9) Then follow, during the last three and a half years
(10) the treading under foot of the holy city
(11) and the time of the “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world, no, nor ever shall be,”
(12) which, under the Antichrist
(13) and his Prophet.
(14) shall come upon all the world:
(15) the penalty of death being suffered by as many as refuse to worship the Image of the Beast,
(16) and unparalleled persecution undergone -by all who have not received his mark.
(17) A third part of the Jews In the land are brought through this time of trouble,
(18) and are gathered by the Lord Into Jerusalem,
(19) to be purged of their dross.
(a) “Christ and the church.” Ep.. 5:32.
(1) Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:3, 7 with 13:5.
(2) Isa. 6:13; 17:10, 11; 18:4, 5; 66:3, 4.
(3) Isa. 66:1, 2; Rev. 11:1, 2.
(4) Dan. 9:27; Jno. 5:43.
(5) Dan. 9:27; 2 Th. 2:3; Rev. 11:7; 13:1.
(6) Rev. 11 :3-7.
(7) Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11.
(8) Mat. 24:15; 2 Th. 2:4; Rev. 13:14, 15.
(9) Rev. 12 :7-12.
(10) Dan. 7:25; 9:27; Rev. 13:5.
(11) Dan. 9:28; Lu. 21:24; Rev.11:2.
(12) Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Mat.24:21; Rev. 13:14, 17.
(13) Dan. 7:21, 25; 2 Th. 2:2; Rev. 13:1, 8.
(14) Rev. ]3:11, 17; 19:20.
(15) Rev. 3:10.
(16) Rev. 13:15; 20:4.
(17) Rev. 13:16, 17.
(18) Zec. 13:8. 9.
(19) Eze. 22 :19.
(20) Isa. 1 :21-?5; 4:4; Eze. 22:17-22; Zep. 1:11, 13;
(20) Thenations are assembled against the city; which is taken by them, great suffering being inflicted upon the inhabitants, half of whom are carried Into captivity.
(21) The remnant no more again stay upon him that smote them, but stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, In truth.
(22) The kings of the earth are gathered to battle against Jehovah and against his Anointed.
(23) Then shall the Lord go forth,
(24) with his saints, for the destruction of his enemies and the deliverance of his people.
THE COMING of the LORD, as King to the Earth
“THIS same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11,
“And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives.” Zech.14:4.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days. . . they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Mat. 24:29, 30. (Mk. 13:26; Lu. 21-27.)
“Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Mk. 14:62. (Mat. 26:64.)
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; andevery eye shall see Him:’ Rev. 1:7.
“And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced:’ Zech. 12:10.
“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels:’ 2 Thes. 1:7. (Mat. 25:31.)
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True.” Rev. 19:11.
“Behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.” Isa. 26:21. (Mi. 1:3.)
“The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgressions in Jacob.” Isa. 59:20.
“Sing and rejoice, 0 daughter of Zion; for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” Zec. 2:10.
(21) Zec. 14:2.
(22) Isa. 4:3; 10:20, 21; 17:6-8; Jer. 2:27; Hos. 5:15; Zec. 13:9.
(23) Ps. 2:1-3; Rev. 16:14, 16:, 17:14; 19:19.
(24) Iea. 13:3-6; 26:21; Zec. 14:3.
(26) Isa. 60:2; 66:5. 6; Hos. 5:15; Zec. 12:9, 10; Mal. 4:1-3;
Together with the Church
“And the armies which were in heaven, followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (a) Rev. 19:14.
“They that are with Him are called, and chosen and faithful.” (b) Rev. 17:14.
“The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Zech. 14:5.
“Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints.” Jude 14.
“The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” 1 Thes. 3:13.
“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye (C) also appear with Him in glory.” Col.. 3:4.
“When He shall appear, we shall be like Him.” 1 Jno. 3:2.
“The manifestation of the sons of God.” Rom. 8:19.
[The power of the Antichrist Is broken and destroyed by thevoice of the Lord:
(1) he and the False Prophet are taken and cast alive Into the lake of fire burning with brimstone,
(2) and the ten allied kings and their armies are slain by the sword proceeding out of the mouth of the King of Kings.
(3) The Devil Is bound for a thousand years In the bottomless pit,
(4) during which time the martyrs under the Antichrist, who shall have been raised as the completion of the first resurrection, will reign over the earth with the Lord Jesus and their fellow-saints.
The Resurrection of LIFE. (a)
“AND I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, (b) and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received His mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev. 20:4.
“Shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life.”Jno. 5:29.
(a) “The fine linen Is the righteousness of saints,” Rev. 19:8.
(b) “Called,” Those “whom he did foreknow,” Rom. 8 :29-30;
Mat. 7:23; Rev. 1 :6. “Chosen,” Ep. 1:4. “Faithful,” Ep. 1:1.
(c)”The saints,” Col. 1 :2.
(1) Isa. 11:4; Dan. 7:11; 2 Th.2:8.
(2) Isa. 30:31, 33; Rev. 17:2, 19:20.
(3) Ps. 2:4, 5: 110:5; Zec. 12:9; Rev. 17:14; 19:21.
(4) Rev. 20 :2-3.
(5) Rev. 20:4-6.
(a) For the rest of the dead, see Rev. 20 :5.
(b) Under Antichrist. Rev. 6:9; 13:15.
“Shall awake, … to everlasting life,” Dan, 12:2,
“This Is the first resurrection,” (C) Rev. 20:5,
THE LORD REIGNS over the Earth
“And In the days of these kings (d) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed,” Dan. 2:44.
“I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth,” Jer. 23:5.
“And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” Lu. 1:32. (Isa, 9:7.)
“My king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Ps. 2:6.
“The Lord of hosts shall reign In Mount Zion and In Jerusalem, and before his ancients, gloriously.” Isa. 24:23. (MI. 4:7,)
“The king of Israel, even the LORD Is In the midst of thee.” Zep. 3:15,
“He must reign till He hath put all enemies under his feet.” (6) 1 Cor, 15:25.
“Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.”Ps. 72:11
“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” Rev. 11:l5.
“He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” Ps. 72:8. (Zec. 9:10,)
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; In that day there shall be one LORD, and His name one.” Zec. 14:9.
With His BRIDE, the Church
“King of kings, and Lord of lords,” Rev, 19:16.
“We shall also reign with Him.” 2 Tim. 2:12.
“Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; … glorified together.” Rom. 8:17.
(c) Including, “Christ the first fruits; afterward they that
are Christ’s at his coming,” the ingathering, 1 Cor. 15:23;
and here the martyrs under Antichrist (the Gleanings), Rev. 20:4.
(d) Antichrist and the allied kings. Dan. 7:2C: Rev. 17:12-13.
(e) “Unto me every knee shall bow,” Isa. 45:23; Ph. 2:9, 11.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” Rev. 3:21.
“Thou. . . hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on (a) the earth,” Rev. 5:9, 10,
“Kings and priests unto God and His Father.” Rev. 1:6.
“The Father. . . who hath translated us into the kingdom of His dearSon.” Col. 1:12, 13,
“And I saw thrones, and they (b) sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.” Rev. 20:4.
“The saints sha1l judge the world.” 1 Cor. 6:2.
[The Kingdom having been set up, and all that offend gathered out of the land,
(1) the Lord Jesus judges first his own people, the Jews, as to their fidelity to him,
(2) and then the nations on earth as to their treatment of his people in their trouble.
(3) The ten tribes of Israel, after purification,
(4) are brought Into the land
(5)and together with the two tribes of Judah become one nation,
(6)The Lord makes the new covenant with his people, Israel and Judah,
(7) forgiving their Iniquity, and remembering their sin no more;
(8) while punishments are visited by him upon his enemies,
(9) Including Gog and his armies,
(10) who are overthrown and destroyed,
(11) The Jewish people come into possession of the full extent of their land
(12) according to promise,
(13) Including the Great Desert, which “blossoms as the rose,”
(14) The temple
(15)and the city
(16) are rebuilt after the Divine plan; and the Levitical sacrifices and form of worship are with some modifications re-established.
(17) Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all the holy mountain.
(18) The Lord sets his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, both Israel and Judah, from the four corners of the earth,
(19) Jerusalem is made a praise, the joy of the whole earth.
(20) The Lord In her midst ‘
(21) Is her glory and everlasting light; there shall be no night there.
(23)All nations go to worship the King and keep the feast of tabernacles.
(23) The earth Is full of the glory of the Lord.
(a) Or, Over.
(b) The saints, “the armies which were In heaven,”
Rev. 19 :8, 14.
(1) lea. 13:9; 33:14; Mat. 13:30,41.
(2) Mat. 25:14-30; Lu. 19:12-27.
(3) Joel 3:2, 12; Mat. 25:31-46; Acts 17:31.
(4) Eze. 20:33-38; Am. 9:9, 10.
(5) lsa. 49:12-23; Eze. 20:40-42; 36:24; Am. 9:14, 15.
(6) lea. 11:13; Eze. 37:16-24; Hos. 1 :11.
(7) Jer. 31:31-33; 32:40; 50:4,5; Eze. 37:26; Ro. 11:26, 27;
(8) lsa. 60:21; Jer. 31:34: 33:8; 50:20; Eze. 36:25-33; Mic. 7:18, 19;
(9) Isa. 2:17-21; 26:9; 84:2; Eze. 28:26; Mic. 5:15; Nah.1:8.
(10) Eze. 38:1-17.
(11) Eze. 38:18 to 89:21.
(12) Eze. 47:13 to 48:29.
(13) Gen. 15:18; Deu 11:24; Josh. 1:4.
(14) Isa. 32:15; 35:1, 2; 51:3; Eze. 36 :33-36.
(15) Eze. 40:1 to 43:17.
(16) Isa. 60:10; Jer. 31:38, 40; Eze. 48:15-17 30-35; Zec.14 :10, 11.
(17) Eze. 43:18 to 46:24; Mal.3:3, 4.
(18) Isa. 11:6-9; 33:24; 35:9; 55:13; 65:25; Eze. 34:25;
Hos. 2:18; Rev. 22:3.
(19) Isa. 11:11, 12; Jer. 50:4-5; Eze. 89 :25, 28.
(20) Pa. 48:2; Isa. 1:26; 60:14; 62:7; 65:18; Jer. 31:23; Zec.8 :3.
(21) Eze. 48:35; Joel 3:17. 21; Zeph. 3:15-17; Zec. 2:10.
(22) Isa. 60:19. 20: Zec. 2:5: Rev. 22:5.
(23) Isa. 2:1-3: Jer. 3:17; Mic. 4:2: Zec. 3:20-22, 14:16-19.
(24) Num. 14:21: Ps. 72:19; Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14.
The Heavenly City, the Home of the Bride.
” And there came unto me one of the seven angels. . . saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he … shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” Rev. 21:9-10.
“The city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven, from my God.” Rev. 3:12.
Its Magnitude and Beauty.
” And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev. 21:12.
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Rev. 21:14
“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Rev. 21:18.
“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.” Rev. 21:19.
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” Rev. 21:21.
Its Glory and Purity.
“And I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Rev. 21:22, 23.
“Having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal:” Rev. 21:11.
“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of It shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it,” Rev, 21:24-26.
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written In the Lamb’s book of Life,” Rev. 21:27.
[On the expiration of the Millennium, or thousand year, Satan being loosed from his prison for a little season,
(1) goes out to deceive the nations In the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and to gather them together to battle,
(2) They compass the camp of the saints and the beloved city,
(3) but fire from God out of heaven devours them,
(4) and the Devil who deceived them Is cast Into the lake of tire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever, (5)]
The JUDGE of all the Earth.
“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it,” Rev. 20:11.
“The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead,” 2 Tim, 4:1.
“He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. Ac. 10:42. (1 Pe, 4:5.)
“The Father. . . hath committed all Judgment unto the Son.” Jno. 5:22.
“And I saw the dead (a) small and great stand before God” (b) Rev. 20:12.
The Resurrection Of Damnation.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it and death and hades (C) delivered up the dead which were in them.”Rev. 20:13.
“Shall come forth. . . they that have done evil, unto the resurrection ot damnation.” Jno. 5:29.
“Shall awake. . . to shame and everlasting contempt.” Dan. 12:2.
The Last Judgment.
“And the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Rev. 20:12.
(1} Re. 20 :3-7. (2) Re, 20 :8. (3) Jerusalem, see Isa. 4:3.
(4) Re. 20:9. (5) Re. 20:10.
(a) Those who had no part in the first resurrection, see
Rev. 20:5. 6.
(b) “The Son,” see Jno. 5:22; Rom. 2:16.
(c) So the Greek.
“And whosoever was not found written In the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:15.
“The lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” Rev. 21:8.
The Last Enemy.
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1 Cor. 15:26.
“And death and hades (C) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Rev. 20:14.
Heaven and Earth pass away.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away.” Mark 13:31-
“The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up. (a) . . The heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.”2 Pe. 3:10-12.
“The heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment.” lsa. 51:6.
“They shall perish. . . they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed.” Heb. 1:11-12.
“From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; (b) and there was found no place for them.” Rev. 20:11.
New Heavens and New Earth
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5.
“Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.” Isa. 65:17.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea,” Rev. 21:1.
“New heavens and a new earth, where- In dwelleth all righteousness.”2 Pe. 3:13.
(c) So the Greek.
(a) Compare Gen. 6:11. 13; 9. 11, 16 with Isa. 24 :5; 2 Pet. 3’7.
(b) See also Ps. 68:8; Nah. 1:0. and Job 10:1G; 25:0.
GOD ALL IN ALL.
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” 1 Cor. 15:2.4.
“And when all things shall be subdued unto Him. then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him, that put all things under Him, that God may be all In all.” 1 Cor. 15:28.
The Lamb’s Wife.
“And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (a) Rev. 21:2.
GOD Dwells with Men
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He wil1 dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Rev. 21:3-4.
(a) “That In the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Eph. 2 :7, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” 1 Cor. 2: 9, 10.
“Now he that hath wrought us for this selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit,” 2 Cor. 5: 5.
“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen,” Eph. 3: 21.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, withoutspot, and blameless.” 2. Pet. 3:14.
Chapter 19 – Anathema or Comfort
There are several passages which convey a very solemn import in connection with this subject, especially two, which we mention, as follows: One occurs in the salutation of Paul, 1 Corinthians 16:22. Before he pronounces the BLESSING, he excludes those who do not love Jesus, in the following words: “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be
Anathema means accursed, condemned, devoted to destruction.
Maranatha means, the Lord cometh.
Let him be accursed-the Lord cometh
It is easy now, while the long suffering of God waits for men to reject, despise and hate the Lord Jesus. But JESUS IS COMING, and woe be unto them who now reject Him, “when once the Master of the house is risen up and hath shut to the door.” Paul understood this, and therefore he says, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9 :22), “from the wrath to come.” -1st Thessalonians 1:10. O! that men would “seek the Lord while He may be found,” and “flee from the wrath to come.” The other passage is in 2nd John 7: “For many deceivers have entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come (coming) in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist.” The correct rendering of (erkomenon) is COMING. Jesus was especially called the “Coming One.”
But these deceivers denied the incarnation-the coming of Christ in the flesh-either past or future. See Alford, also Jamieson, Fausset and Brown. This, then, is of special significance. He that denies.
Jesus Christ’s Coming in the Flesh
is a deceiver and an Antichrist. That is, he is possessed of the same spirit, which will ultimately find its personification in the GREAT PERSONAL ANTICHRIST.
It is lamentable that this passage has been so improperly translated in our version. It is such a strong assertion that Jesus is coming in the flesh, that it would doubtless have prevented much of the unwarrantable “spiritualizing” of Scripture, which has prevailed so largely.
Jesus is coming HIMSELF at the Rapture,6 to receive us unto HIMSELF, 7 and He is coming to this earth again, at the Revelation, 8 the SAME JESUS, and in LIKE MANNER as He went away.
Lo! He comes, with clouds descending, Once for favored sinners slain; Thousand thousand saints attending, Swell the triumphs of His train; Hallelujah! God appears on earth to reign.
But while there is such fearful foreboding of impending judgment and just retribution to those who love not the Lord Jesus, there is, on the other hand,
The Sweetest Comfort
for those who do love our Lord’s appearing. This is apparent when we understand the true position of the Church. We have seen that it is not to be confounded with the coming Kingdom, neither does it include the Old Testament Saints, for it was founded after Christ came.10 It was begun on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2)
And will be complete at the Rapture. 1st Thessalonians 4:17. It is like a parenthesis in God’s dealing with His people, Israel. While they are broken off because of unbelief, the Church is grafted in.
And being a companion in suffering with her Lord; following His example, walking in humility (Phil. 2 :2-8; 1 John 2:6), during His humiliation; she shall “be counted worthy” of the greatest blessing in her exaltation with Him.
The Bride of Christ
Jesus is the Bridegroom, and the Church is His Bride.
John the Baptist stood as the last representative of the Mosaic dispensation. He said, “I am not the Christ. . . He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom, but the friend of the Bridegroom which standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice; this, my joy, therefore, is fulfilled.” John 3:28-29. Here we have a clear distinction between the Old Testament Saints and the Bride of Christ.
They shall be perfected, but God has “provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Heb. 11 :40. Not that the Church is more worthy, but because, that in the overflowing grace of God.
He has chosen the Church to be the heavenly Bride of Christ
The Church is the body of Christ, and her precious union with Him is most clearly set forth in the epistle to the Ephesians. She is there regarded as spiritually quickened and seated in the heavenlies with her risen Lord, having been “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world” to “be holy’ and without blame before Him in love.” She is to be “to the praise of the glory of His grace. . . accepted in the Beloved,” being “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of her inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.”
Oh I that we might receive “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” to “know what is the hope of His calling and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” 1 :17-18. We should not walk ”as other Gentiles walk,” “but speaking the truth in love,” grow up into Christ our living head, working together for the “increase of the body” and edification “in love” (4 :15- 17) “till we all come into the unity of the faith and of the I knowledge of the Son of God, unto A PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” 4 :13. That is, Christ as the head, and the Church ‘as the body, will make one perfect man. “They twain shall be one flesh, 24 “the NEW MAN which is created in righteousness and true holiness” (4:24). The true seed of the woman, which shall bruise the serpent’s head.
Wherefore, the Church is exhorted to “grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby” she is “sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30), but to be “kind one to another, tender-hearted” (4:32), “walking in love” (5:2) ”as children of light” (5:8), “circumspectly” and “wise, redeeming the time” (5:15-16), “filled with the Spirit (5:18), nourished and cherished (5:29) until sanctified and cleansed, she is presented unto the Lord “Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,” but “holy and without blemish,” the Bride of Christ. “For we are members of His body.” Can there be anything more precious than the thought of Jesus coming to take unto Himself His Bride? It is full of tenderness and love. What will He not do for her when He presents her unto Himself! The ecstasy of that meeting is above the power of description by tongue or pen. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1 Cor. 2:9. We have indeed “an earnest” “by His Spirit,”-the “first fruits” a foretaste of the joys to come. But THEN shall the Church experience the rest of love-the fullness of communion- the rapture of her Lord’s embrace, and be satisfied in the sweetness of His love.
The comfort of this truth is all lost if we fail to make the proper distinction between the Church and the Kingdom. The Church is not to be reigned over, but is to reign with Christ.
No more heart-pangs nor sadness When Jesus comes; All peace and joy and gladness When Jesus comes. He'll know the way was dreary, When Jesus comes; He'll know the feet grew weary. When Jesus comes. He'll know what griefs oppressed me. When Jesus comes: Oh, how His arms will rest me! When Jesus comes.
This subject of our Lord’s coming again is of such vital importance 8.nd is so largely interwoven with the whole’ of Scripture, that it affords a boundless field of investigation and an exhaustless mine of truth. There is much more we would be glad to say about it, but our little book has already exceeded the intended limit, and we will only add a few words in regard to the time.
Chapter 20 – The Time
And first let us make a clear distinction between the time of the Rapture and the time of the Revelation.
The principal thought in regard to the former is that it may happen NOW. Nothing is given us in Scripture so definite as to form a sign of or date for the Rapture. We are to be always watching and waiting for it, and expecting it at any moment.
It is true that the Church may see the “fig tree signs” BEGIN to come to pass l before she shall be taken out of the world to escape the Tribulation.
But these signs are of such a nature, especially the “wars and earthquakes,” “distress of nations, sea and waves roaring,” that the Church in each of the past eighteen centuries might consistently have believed that the signs were BEGINNING.
So we have no date for the Rapture, ONLY that it will precede the Revelation. That is, that Christ will come for His Church before He comes with His Church, the period of the Tribulation lying between the two.
The time of the Revelation, we believe, is designated by many prophetic periods, in Leviticus 26, Daniel and Revelation. But their symbolical character and our imperfect chronology render the interpretation of them difficult and uncertain. We must not take space here to consider them, but we venture to state that earnest and prayerful study of them has given us an assured conviction that they are rapidly drawing to a close.
Two events must precede the Revelation, which will indicate its proximity, to-wit: the Restoration (partial at least) of Israel, and the rise of Antichrist.
But Antichrist will not be revealed–as we understand from 2nd Thessalonians 2:7–until after the Rapture. Neither is it probable that the restoration of Israel (except partially in unbelief, Zephaniah 2:1-2), will take place until after that event. For “Jerusalem shall be trodden down. . . until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24), and the tabernacle of David shall not be rebuilt until He has taken out of the Gentiles a people to His name. Acts 15 :14-16.
It has pleased God to give signs, or evidences, of the approach of these events and by which we might know that the day was drawing near, but, as we have before said, they have been of such a character that the Church could see them repeated in each generation. And this we believe was purposely designed, in order to give the church NO DATE and NO SIGN which might so definitely indicate the time of her Rapture, that she should in any interval cease to be vigilant. It was evidently all planned, so that the unfolding of events should be, to her, a constant incentive to watchfulness.
The High Priest went into the Holy of Holies alone, and the whole congregation waited in expectation without until he had made the offering and came forth to bless them (Leviticus 16; Numbers 6:23-26; Luke 1:10). So has our High Priest entered once for all into the TRUE HOLY PLACE, and the Church should look for Him in fervent expectation, until He appears the second time without Sin unto salvation. She must watch “with loins girded about and lights burning, like men that WAIT for their Lord.”
Yet we have the blessed assurance that every passing day brings our salvation nearer than when we believed. And, while it is true that the church, during all her history, has had repeated evidence that the day was approaching, we ask, what are these evidences in our time? Surely they are of especial significance.
We believe, if we can rightly read the signs of the times, that the godless, lawless trio of communism, nihilism and anarchy, so alarmingly permeating the nations today, are unclean spirits preparing the way for Antichrist.
The Jews Returning
And, again, the Jews are, even now, returning to Jerusalem.
It is said that, “At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Porte allowed no more than three hundred of the hated people to live in the city. Forty years later that restriction was removed, but another still remained, by virtue of which they were permitted only to reside in a particular quarter of the town, which was much too small for them. It was in the year 1867 this last regulation was removed and since then the progress made by the Jews in peopling their ancient capital has been extraordinary. Almost every one of the old houses as it fell vacant has been bought by them while they have built a prodigious number of new ones in all parts of the town. Schools, hospitals, and religious associations have been started on a grand scale, as also a school for manual training and of agriculture.”
At the present time, 1908, the city of Jerusalem has spread over a large extent of ground outside the walls. Great hospices, hotels, churches, stores, etc., have been erected, but most notable of all, a multitude of dwellings for the Jews.
The number of Jews now residing in the inner and outer city is estimated at from 40,000 to 50,000, being more than half the entire population. Besides these, there are large colonies at Tiberias, Safed, Joppa and Hebron, and several other smaller ones in various parts of the country. The entire Jewish population of Palestine is said to be more than 80,000, so that a greater number have already returned than the 49,697 who went up with Zerubbabel from Babylon. Ezra 2:64-65.
The anti-Semitic agitations in Germany, Austria and France, and the fierce persecutions in Russia and Roumania, have stirred up the Jews of the world as the eagle doth her nest. Deut. 32 :11.
National hopes and aspirations have found vent in the organization of Chovevi Zion (Lovers of Zion) societies, and Shova Zion (colonization) societies throughout Europe and America. Land is being purchased and funds raised, on installment plans, to send back the members by lot.
A railroad has been completed from Joppa, and the engine speeds up to Jerusalem like one of Nahum’s “flaming torches,” (Nahum 2,3) which, the prophet says, “shall be in the day of His preparation,” over the roadway which the Arabs call “Trek el Kods,” significantly coinciding with the Hebrew “Derech Hakodesh” (Way of Holiness) of Isaiah 35:8.
This “highway,” cast up as the Hebrew “Maslol” indicates, is a special preparation for the return of the people to Zion. Isaiah 35 :10.
Other lines of railway are projected or actually under construction to Hebron, Jericho, Acre, Tiberias and Damascus.
The Turkish hold upon the country is continually weakening, and there is considerable talk of a Jewish state. May we not conclude that the Lord is even now setting “His hand again the second time” for the restoration of His people?
“He that scattereth Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock.” Jeremiah 31 :10.
Besides these, we have other evidences. Many are running to and fro upon the highways of travel, or searching diligently through and through the prophetic Word, which is doubtless the true meaning of the passage (Daniel 12:4) and which is a sign of “the time of the end.”
The awful dearth of spiritual life in the great nominal church is another evidence.
The restless and perplexed condition of the nations is also suggestive.
And there are several other evidences of which we might speak, all of which substantiate the fact that the day is “approaching.” Hebrews 10 :25.
And lastly, while it is entirely unscriptural and wrong to put the second coming of our Lord any distance into the future, and likewise unscriptural and wrong to fix a date, or name the time when He shall come for His bride, yet there will be a privileged company of saints living upon the earth at the time when He shall descend from heaven, and who shall say that they will all be taken by surprise? Every generation that has lived since He went away, however dark and unspiritual it may have been, has had its band of faithful watching ones.
Shortly previous to the first coming of Christ, the Holy Ghost, although He had given, through Daniel, the definite prophecy of the seventy weeks, gave a special revelation unto the devout Simeon,-who was “waiting for the consolation of Israel,” to-wit: “that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Luke 2:26. And this leads us to ask: May not the same blessed Spirit, who thus revealed this rightly event to Simeon of old (and probably to the aged Anna, also) likewise give unto a favored one, or a chosen few of the faithful watching ones, to know that their glad eyes shall see His appearing, and that they shall never taste of death. Even so now, many of the most devout and faithful of God’s people, in all denominations, both in this and foreign lands, are seriously impressed with the conviction, that the coming of the Lord is near.
These are certainly sufficient evidences to enforce the apostle’s injunction, that we should exhort one another “and so much the more as” we “see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10 :25.
For, if the day, or Revelation, is near, the Rapture is still nearer. And again the general conviction among Bible students and earnest Christians, that the great prophetic periods, which point to the Revelation are nearly ended, and the deep conviction expressed by many, including even statesmen and scientists, that some great event is near, may well lead us to enquire,
Watchman, What of the Night?
Ever since the sin of Adam and Eve this world has been a DARK PLACE, a moral “Night.” By faith the believer looks forward, through prophecy, to the Day, the glorious Day, which is coming, when salvation, which is now by faith and hope, shall be revealed in all its grandeur and glory. For this Day the hearts of God’s people yearn with earnest desire.
“Watchman; what of the Night?”
The watchman said: “The MORNING cometh, and also the NIGHT.” Isaiah 21 :11-12.
To the believer it will be Morning;
To the ungodly it will be Night.
Jesus is the Morning Star, and He is also the Sun of Righteousness. Only those who are up early and watching see the Morning Star. So it will be only the true and faithful church which will see Christ at the Rapture as the Bright and Morning Star.
As the Son of Righteousness He will appear to Israel, and all the world, at the Revelation.
Over forty centuries of the Night were past when Paul wrote, “the Night is far spent, the Day is at hand.” (Romans 13:12). .And surely, as eighteen centuries have since passed, it must now be ALMOST MORNING.
O! then, dear reader, “let us who are of the Day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the HOPE OF SALVATION. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1st Thessalonians 5:8-9. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us Watch and be Sober. 1st Thessalonians 5:6.
A dear brother writes us as follows: “I find so many who are willing to receive the truth of the Second Coming, but it is generally those who are passing through affliction, or those living very near the Lord. Those who are enjoying the well watered plains of this world, seem to care very little about seeing the Owner of the Estate. But He will come. Hallelujah! He will come. Yes! He is coming. The bride who knows the Bridegroom, and is true, says, He is coming. ‘Come Lord Jesus,’ Come! Come!! Come!!! Come!!!! A poor cursed earth (Rom. 8 :19-22) groans out “Come!” Thank heaven, He speaks:
SURELY I COME QUICKLY!” Revelation 22 :20.
I'm waiting for Thee, Lord, Thy beauty to see, Lord, I'm waiting for Thee, For Thy coming again. Thou art gone over there, Lord, A place to prepare, Lord, Thy home I shall share At Thy coming again. 'Mid danger and fear, Lord, I'm oft weary here, Lord, The time must be near Of Thy coming again. Whilst Thou art away, Lord, I stumble and stray, Lord, Oh, hasten the day Of Thy coming again.
Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. -Luke 12 :37.
“Occupy TILL I COME.”
WAITING FOR THE MORNING -Revelation 19:7.
There is no roof in all the world, of palace or of cot. That holdeth not some burdened heart, nigh breaking for it. lot; The earth is sunk in pain and tears, and closer draws the gloom; And balm for cure there can be none, till Christ, the Lord, shall come.
“0 morn, when like a summer bird, my spirit shall go free,- When I shall see Thee as Thou art, and be, my God, like Thee! Like Thee! like Thee! All spotless white-this heart, this will, as Thine! ” 0 love of God, 0 blood of Christ, 0 grace and power divine!
“My Saviour, who doth know the thirst the longing spirit feels,- 0 Bridegroom, now so long afar, why stay thy chariot wheels? Were ever eyes so dim with grief, breasts so oppressed with care? Did ever hearts so yearn to catch Thy whisper from the air?”
Thou lonely one, lift up thy head, array thee for the feast; He that hath tarried long is near-the glow is in the East! 0 Morning Star, so soon to lead Thy chosen one away- 0 Sun of Righteousness, bring in the everlasting day!
“REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.” Luke 21 :28.
My soul crieth out for a Jubilee song! There is joy in my heart, let me praise with my tongue; For I know, though the darkness of Egypt still lowers, That the time ere release is not ages, but hours. As sailors, not yet within sight of the strand, Know well their approach by the “loom of the land;” So they, who will bend but a listening ear, Can now catch the whisper that tells He is near. He is near-the stars in their courses prepare To utter the sign He hath bid them declare! The world in Its guilt waxeth haggard and grim, And its cup of iniquity tills to the brim! The curse so long camped upon Bosphorus’ slde, And she that sits queen upon Tiber’s foul tide, And Famine and Pestilence stalk In the band Of witness, attesting the Lord Is at hand. Spent at last the long cycle of wilderness dearth, Once again sounds of latter-rain gladden the earth In the land, still despised, but preparing even now For the feet that shall stand upon Olivet’s brow. And thither to gather the tribes have begun, From the East and the West, from the climes of the sun For the times of the Gentiles have answered their need, And the hiss has gone forth unto Israel’s seed. The world as of yore, naught of all doth divine, Saith again that believers are filled with new wine, Suffers warning to pass all unseen and unheard, And, like Herod, fulfills while opposing His word. Then welcome, thrice welcome, ye tokens of God! What else but His coming can comfort afford? What presence but His set this prisoned earth free? 0 Star of the Morning, our hope Is In Thee
Chapter 21 – Signs of Christ’s Speedy Coming
We believe that the coming of our Lord is to be personal and premillennial, also, that it is imminent. Let us remember the admonition that we must distinguish between the Rapture-His coming into the air to receive His saints, 1st Thessalonians 4, which may occur at any moment-and the Revelation
– His coming down to the earth with His saints- which latter will not occur until after the preaching of the gospel as a witness, the gathering of Israel, in unbelief, the manifestation of Antichrist, and other prophesied events. Now we are to consider, what are the evidences for also believing that His coming, the Rapture, is near. Out of many reasons we will give seven, as follows:
I. The Prevalence of Travel and Knowledge.
“Shut up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4.
A comparison of recent years with the present shows a most marvelous increase in both travel and knowledge. An incident is told of a woman in England who, after long consideration had decided on a journey. Friends gathered to assist her departure and walked by the conveyance a mile or more to bid her God-speed, but lo, her entire journey was only fifty miles.
Now, invention has chained the mighty forces of steam and electricity to palatial carriages by land and sea, so that one can go round the world, with comfort and ease, in sixty days.
Railways cover the earth and steamers track the sea like a mighty spider’s web.
Our text says, Many shall run to and fro. In the year 1896 the number of passengers carried on the railroads in the United States was 535,120,756 and the mileage was 13,054,840,243, and in the whole world the railroad passengers were 2,384,000,000 and the mileage 28,677,000,000. Add to this the travel by steamers and private conveyance, the explorations into every conceivable corner of the earth, from the equator to the poles, and the enormous aggregate is surely a literal fulfillment of this sign of the end.
And knowledge shall be increased. The unprecedented educational facilities are a remarkable feature of our time. We have public schools for our youth, colleges and universities for higher education, and denominational schools for religious education.
The public press, with its ceaseless streams of news and information, covers the earth with its ever increasing circulation, like falling leaves from1 some mighty tree of knowledge. And, of the making of many books, there is truly no end.
The means of communication by the mail, telegraph and telephone have been multiplied in geometrical progression.
By the Universal Postal Union, printed matter is carried as cheaply to Iceland or China as to the next street in Chicago.
But perhaps the prediction of our text refers more especially to the increase of Bible study, and here again we have a wonderful fulfillment. Since the year 1804 over 230,000,000 of Bibles, Testaments, and portions have been distributed by the Bible Societies alone, and millions more by private publication agencies. The Bible bas been translated into over 287 languages, and parts into 340. Over nine-tenths of the race have the Bible to read in their own language.
Religious papers and periodicals are issued by the million. The great system of universal Sunday-school lessons, the Bible Institutes, the Chautauqua Summer Schools and Bible Conferences have developed a world-wide study of the Word of God.
With this there has come a wide-spread study of the Prophetic Word, especially concerning Israel and our Lord’s return. While the skeptic and destructive critic are studying about the Word, trying to undermine and tear it down, the reverent students by the thousand are looking into the sure Word of Prophecy as to a light that shineth in a dark place.
ll. Perilous Times.
“This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come.” -2nd Timothy 3 :1.
a. Perilous times.
Physically: Pestilence, famine, earthquakes, cyclones, etc.
Possibly the recently vented oil and gases of the earth are a preparation for some mighty conflagration to be aided by newly manifested heat and electrical forces from the sun.
b. Politically and Socially.
Under this head we need only refer to the progress of Nihilism, Socialism, Communism and Anarchy. Could there be anything worse than the creed of the latter, viz.: The first lie is God and the second is Law. They openly avow that their mission is to destroy the present social structure, and they prophesy (perhaps with the accuracy of Caiphas), that something better will come.
c. Distress of Nations.
National jealousies have caused offensive and defensive preparations on a scale of such magnitude as to literally grind out the life of the people with oppressive taxation. All Europe is practically a soldiers’ camp, with 23,000,000 of drilled men ready to fly at each other in a universal war, with weapons so ingenious and deadly as to put all the past record beneath the shadow of comparison.
Governments vie with each other in the suicidal policy of adding corps to corps and ships to ships, piling up their national debts in the face of absolute bankruptcy.
It is appalling to contemplate the woe and carnage that would follow in the wake of these forces, if once let loose. No wonder the statesmen strain every nerve to defer that day by their struggle to preserve the peace of Europe.
In the very midst of the scene, lawlessness lifts its hydrahead. Capital cringes before the coming revenge of labor. Jas. 5. Men’s hearts fail them for fear of the things that be coming on the earth. And well they may, for Satan will combine all these forces in his mighty culminating effort to stamp out the name of God from the earth. He will head them up in his masterpiece, the atheistic Antichrist, who will deny both the Father and the Son.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” 1st Timothy. 4 :1.
Modern Spiritualism is by no means mere trickery. There is plenty of fraud and deception that requires darkened rooms and suspicious cabinets, but there are also unquestionable mysteries and spirit manifestations, demons that long to possess the bodies of men, wicked spirits which love darkness rather than light.
It is a definite sign of the times.
So also is Christian Science a doctrine of devils, for, like, Theosophy, it denies the atonement of Christ, and asserts that every man is his own Savior.
There are said to be more esoteric Buddhists in and about Boston than there are natives in Australia. Christian Science has swept over the country like a prairie fire, and Spiritualism has its myriads of adherents. This surprising prevalence of these three delusions is, like a cloud of darkness, a sign that the end is near.
The day of the Lord (the revelation), shall not come, “except there come a falling away first.” 2 Thessalonians 2 :3. The Laodicean, or the last state of the Church, is one so sickening that the Lord says He will spue it out of His mouth. There is to be a dearth of faith especially in regard to the coming of the Lord. “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh shall He find the faith on the earth?” -Luke 18 :8.
An aged minister once said that he did not believe the Lord was coming for 60,000 years. I concluded that he could not be watching for it.
Post-Millennialists say very little about the coming of the Lord. An elderly Methodist clergyman in Florida, said that he had never heard only five sermons on the Lord’s coming, and he preached them all himself. In many large audiences where an expression has been taken it is surprising to see what a great majority have never heard a single sermon on this Blessed Hope, which finds so large a place in the Holy Scriptures.
There is a notable dearth of power in the preaching of the Word to-day! Men descant on how to reach the masses but the masses go on unreached.
Every period of hard times and business depression heretofore, has been followed by a wonderful revival. But not so this last time. Why so few conversions during this last era of hard times? There is evidently one answer. The attacks by Higher Critics upon the inspiration of the Bible have found so many adherents in the ranks of the clergy and theological professors who proclaim their doubts that the faith of the masses has been undermined and the great truths of the Bible have no longer that firm hold upon their consciences which has heretofore stimulated the disciples to faithful service, and brought sinners to repentance. With the great Greek church wedded to politics, the Catholic church worshiping Mary in the place of Christ and pronouncing blessing upon those who idolatrously kiss the toe of the image of Agrippina and Nero, and the Protestant churches so largely stiffened with formalism and honeycombed with infidelity, we see the apostacy moving forward with such rapid strides that we again conclude the end is near.
V. World-wide Evangelism.
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, then shall the end come.” Mat. 24:14.
We ought just here to explain that while the Church is the present agent for the world’s evangelization she may be caught away at any moment. Then the tribulation saints-those who will believe by the very fact of the Church being caught away-may become the agents, for God will always have a witness in the earth. Later it may be converted Israel. Lastly it is to be a heavenly messenger.
So we are simply to work while the day lasts, watching and waiting because we have no sign nor event that stands between us and the coming of the Lord.
But let us see what has been accomplished.
What is a witness?
We have only one exemple or illustration in the Word, and that is Jonah’s three days preaching in the streets of Nineveh.
Every nation in the world to-day has a testimony comparatively as great, with the exception of Tibet, Nepaul and Bhotan and the Mohammedan countries of Afghanistan and the Soudan, and into the former the Bible has already gone in great numbers, and missionaries stand at the doors waiting the privilege of entering in.
Is it not impressively significant that the missionaries sent forth during this century have seemingly without any human supervision, been impelled to go to every land, island, nation and tribe of the earth.
“Oh, Church of Christ, behold at last The promised sign appear; The gospel preached In all the world, , And lo! the King draws near.”
VI. Rich Men.
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. . . Ye have heaped treasures together for (in) the last days.” James 5:1,8.
The accumulation of riches, in the hands of a few men, is specially characteristic of the present times.
It is needless to mention the financial kings who, through trusts and various manipulations, continue to add to their enormous estates.
If Adam had lived to the present time and accumulated $10,000 additional wealth each year of his life, this vast aggregate would not equal several individual fortunes which have been amassed in recent years. What limit these colossal estates shall attain by joining “house to house” and “field to field,” none can tell. But we know that “woe” has been uttered concerning it, and that it is distinctively a sign of the last days.
If we want to know our place in chronology, our position in the march of events, look at Israel. God says of Israel: “I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee, but I will not make a full end of thee.” Jeremiah 30:11, R. V.
Like Tennyson’s brook they can sing, nations come and nations go, but I go on forever. They are the generation which pass not away.
Israel shall be restored to Palestine and no more be pulled up out of their land.6
Hundreds of prophecies affirm this dispensational truth. Like the red thread in the British rigging, it runs through the whole Bible. Prophecies to the people like Ezek. 37, and prophecies to the land like Ezek. 36.
The title deed to Palestine is recorded, not in the Mohammedan Serai of Jerusalem nor the Serglio of Constantinople, but in hundreds of millions of Bibles now extant in more than three hundred languages of the earth.
The restoration was summed up at the first council of the apostles in Jerusalem, as their conclusion based upon the words of the prophets.
As the fig-tree which Jesus found bearing nothing but leaves, Israel hath been set aside for a whole (aion) dispensation.
Jerusalem was to be trodden down until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
But note carefully that a little later Jesus said, “Now learn a parable of the fig-tree (and all the trees): when her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near. So likewise, ye, in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.” Mark 13 :28; Luke 21-29.
In Ezekiel 31 the trees are used as symbols of the nations.
“The fig-tree was THE JEWISH PEOPLE full of the leaves of an useless profession, but without fruit.”-Dean Alford.
Now if Israel is beginning to show signs of national life and is actually returning to Palestine, then surely the end of this dispensation “is nigh, even at the doors.”
This brings us to speak of Zionism, the present movement of the Jews to return to the land of their fathers.
Zionism is a modern term expressing the national hopes and sentiments of the Jews.
These sentiments, however, are based upon widely different views, as held by the most extreme sections of the parties into which the Jews are divided.
As is well known the Jews have, in the past fifty years, become divided into three great sections, viz.: the orthodox, the status quo, and the reformed.
The orthodox hold to the Old Testament Scriptures, as interpreted by the Talmud, as the literal Word of God, and also to the hopes and heritage of their ancestors founded thereon. They believe in the oft repeated utterances of the prophets, that some day they shall return to Palestine and become permanently settled as a holy and happy nation, under the sovereignty of their coming Messiah.
These hopes are the very core of their intensely religious life, and are embedded in the most solemn devotions of their prayer-book.
Every morning, throughout every nation and clime, whither they are scattered over this whole world, the orthodox Jew lifts up his prayer:
“Save us, 0 God of our salvation, and gather us together and deliver us from the nations.”
“May it be acceptable unto thee, Eternal; our God and the God of our Fathers, that the sanctuary may be rebuilt speedily in our days and our portion assigned us in thy law. There will we serve thee in reverence as of old, in days of yore.”
In that solemn service of the Passover they cry out,
“At present we celebrate it here, but the next year we hope to celebrate it in the land of Israel,” and again, “0 build Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord!”
With such faithful and earnest prayers have these orthodox Jews kept alive the fires of devotion and the glorious hopes of restoration, while being driven up and down the earth with the rods of enmity, ostracism and banishment. But for over seventeen centuries, while they have thus fervently prayed, they have made no effort to return to Palestine, believing that they should wait until God Himself, brought about their restoration by supernatural means.
About 200 years ago the persecutions began to abate, and in the eighteenth century they were gradually emancipated from these various disabilities. With this coming of liberty, there was a noise and a shaking and the dry bones of Ezek. 37 began to come together.
The Universelle Israelite Alliance was organized in Paris in 1860, and later the Anglo-Jewish Association in England. Through these powerful organizations the Jews can make themselves felt throughout the world. And now, within a few years, there have been organized Chovevi (lovers of) Zion and Shova (colonizers of) Zion societies, mostly among the orthodox Jews of Russia, Roumania, Germany, and even in England and the United States. This is really the first practical effort they have made to regain their home in Palestine.
In a few words, followers of the status quo are striving to reconcile the genius of Judaism with the requirements of modern times, and in Western Europe are in a great majority.
The Reformed Jews or Neologists have rapidly thrown away their faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures. They have flung to the wind all national and Messianic hopes. Their Rabbis preach rapturously about the mission of Judaism, while Joining with the most radical higher critics in the destruction of its very basis, the inspiration of the Word of God. Some have gone clear over into agnosticism.
Strange to say, from these agnostics now comes the other wing of the Zionist party. And not only have they joined this party, but they furnished the leaders, viz.: Dr. Max Nordau of Paris, and Dr. Theodore Herzl of Vienna.
The orthodox Jews who have enlisted under the Zionist banner, are animated by the most devout religious motives. But the agnostics aver that this is not a religious movement at all. It is purely economic and nationalistic. Dr. Herzl, its founder and principal leader, espoused it as a dernier resort, to escape the persecutions of anti-Semitism, which has taken such a firm hold of the masses of the Austrian people. He conceived the idea that if the Jews’ could regain Palestine and establish a government, even under the suzerainty of the Sultan, it would give them a. national standing which would expunge anti-Semitism from the other nations of the world, and make it possible for all Jews to live comfortably in any nation they may desire.
Not all the orthodox Jews have joined this movement. Indeed, the leaders of the Chovevi Zion Societies hold aloof.
The call, issued by Dr. Herzl, for the Zionist Congress, held in Basle, Switzerland in 1897 met with severe opposition from the German Rabbis and also a large portion of the Jewish press, as well as the mass of rich reformed Jews. Nevertheless, over 200 delegates, from all over Europe and the Orient and some from the United States, met and carned through the program of the congress with tremendous enthusiasm.
Memorials, approving the object of the congress, came in from all sections, signed by tens of thousands of Jews. The congress elected a central committee and authorized the raising of $50,000,000 capital.
It has certainly marked a wonderful innovation in the attitude of the Jews and a closer gathering of the dry bones of Ezekiel.
And now, after ten years of wonderful growth and progress it remains to be seen what the providential openings in the Ottoman Empire may be that shall give opportunity to realize its object.
Zionism is now the subject of the most acrimonious debate among the Jews. Many of the orthodox criticize it as an attempt to seize the prerogatives of their God.
While others say that God will not work miracles to accomplish that which they can do themselves.
Most of the reformed Jews, now that they can no longer ridicule the movement, decry it, as an egregious blunder that will increase instead of diminishing anti-Semitism. They have no desire to return to Palestine. They are like the man in Kansas, who, in a revival meeting said he did not want to go to heaven, nor did he wish to go to hell but he said he wanted to stay right there in Kansas.
Just so these reformed Jews are content to renounce all the prophesied glory of a Messianic kingdom in the land of their ancestors, preferring the palatial homes and gathered riches which they have acquired in Western Europe and the United States. They coolly advise their persecuted brethren, in Russia, Romania, Persia and North Africa, to patiently endure their grievous persecutions until anti-Semitism shall die out.
But these brethren retort that their prudent advisers would think very differently if they lived in Morocco or Russia, and that even in Western Europe anti-Semitism instead of dying out, is rather on the increase.
In the midst of these disputes, the Zionists have seized the reins and eschewing the help of Abraham’s God they have accepted agnostics as leaders and are plunging madly into this scheme for the erection of a Godless state.
But the Bible student will surely gay, this godless national gathering of Israel is not the fulfillment of the glorious divine restoration, so glowingly described by the prophets.
No, indeed! Let it be carefully noted that while God has repeatedly promised to gather Israel, with such a magnificent display of His miraculous power, that it shall no more be said, “The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands whither he had driven them,” Jeremiah 16:14; yet has He also said, “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, 0 nation that hath no longing, before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you.” Zephaniah 2 :1, 2. Could this prophecy be more literally fulfilled than by this present Zionist movement?
One of the speakers at the first congress said of the Sultan, “If His majesty will now receive us, we will accept Him as our Messiah.”
God says, “Ye have sold yourselves for nought and ye shall be redeemed without money.” Isaiah. 52 :3.
But Dr. Herzl is reported to have said, “We must buy our way back to Palestine, salvation is to be by money.”
What a sign is this that the end of this dispensation is near.
If it stood alone we might well give heed to it. But when we find it supported by all these other signs, set forth in the Word, how can we-refuse to believe it?
Shall we Christians condemn the Jews for not accepting the cumulative evidence that Jesus is the Messiah; and ourselves refuse this other cumulative evidence that His second coming is near?
It is significant that this first Zionist congress assembled just 1,260 years after the capture of Jerusalem by the Mohammedans in A. D. 637. Dan. 12:7.
It is probable that “the times of the Gentiles” are nearing their end, and that the nations are soon to plunge into the mighty whirl of events connected with Israel’s godless gathering, “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30 :6, 7), that awful time of tribulation, like which there has been none in the past, nor shall be in the future. Mat. 24 :21.
But we, brethren, are not of the night. We are to watch and pray always that we may escape all these things that shall come to pass and stand before the Son of Man. Lu. 21:36.
Oh! glorious Hope. No wonder the Spirit and the Bride say come. No wonder the Bridegroom saith, “Surely I come quickly,” and shall not we all join with the enraptured apostle,
“Even so come, Lord Jesus”?
“I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.”-John 9:4.
All the World-Wide Mission Field demands increased consecration of ourselves, our time, and our substance.
O fellow servants, let us improve the wonderful opportunities of our day to make investments for eternity.
Jesus is Coming Again “WATCH therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Matthew 24:42.
“WATCH therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25 :13.
“Take Ye Heed, WATCH and pray; for ye know not when the time is.”
“WATCH ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning, lest, coming suddenly, He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto ALL, WATCH.”
Mark 13 :33-37. “Blessed is he that WATCHETH, and keepeth his garments.” Rev, 16 :15.
“If therefore thou shalt not WATCH I will come on thee as a thief.” “BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY,” Rev. 3 :3, 11,
“YE SHALL BE WITNESSES.”
Reader, what shall be our occupation, as disciples of the Lord Jesus, while we watch and wait for His return’ It is not enough that we have a personal experience of repentance, faith, forgiveness, adoption and sanctification; it is not enough that we study the Word to search out the deep things of Providence and prophecy. We must join heart and hand in the great practical work of
EVANGELIZING THE WORLD.
For this is our Lord’s command: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mat. 28 :19); and He has said “This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come.” (Mat. 24:14.) While the Church remains on earth (see page 86) she is certainly the agent to accomplish this purpose, because Jesus said: ‘”Ye shall be witnesses unto me . . . unto the utter- most part of the earth.” (Acts 1 :8; Luke 24:47-48.)
Let us engage, with all our might, in this world-wide mission work. Let us give of our means, our prayers and our words of encouragement to those who go to preach in the by-ways and hedges and in distant lands (Rom. 10 :15), and, if possible, let us go ourselves, thereby insuring ourselves of His fellowship Who said, “and 10, I am with you always.”
Thus shall we best please the Master.
Thus shall we hasten the day of God. (2 Pet. 3 :12 margin Mat. 24:14.)
The progress already made inspires us to greater effort. The world is belted with centers of evangelization. From Greenland to Patagonia, from Norway to Good Hope, from Siberia to Tasmania, and throughout the Islands of the sea, multitudes of Gospel messengers are proclaiming the Word of Life. Only a few strongholds of Satan are yet without any witness, and of these Nepal and Tibet are opening their doors to waiting missionaries, while Central Africa unbars her millennial fastness to advancing heroes from every quarter. Read the missionary periodicals, especially those giving general news, and your soul will rejoice in the hope that even now the witness is almost complete. Then arouse ye, comrades, and let us obey our marching orders, until we hear the welcome “well done” when the “ambassadors” are called home.