Copyrighted 1918-1922 -- All Rights Reserved
(Copyright has Expired)
Although this work by Clarence Larkin is over 85 years old, the material found in it has been little improved upon in the succeeding years. By the estimation of many Bible believers Larkin was the most insightful and well-equipped Bible student of his day, and even to this present day. His books are filled with truth and his charts are absolutely phenomenal. Rarely does the Lord bless the world with such a gifted individual.
As we are getting ever closer to the Lord's glorious return (each day makes us one day closer), the Scriptural information concerning his return is even more essential and relevant. We know of no better resources to guide a seeking soul than the works of Larkin.
While the modern day "prophecy scholars" rehash Larkin's and Scofield's material into copyrighted books and articles so they can make a buck on them and restrict their distribution, Larkin's works have all passed into the public domain enabling free distribution.
Maybe, just maybe, it was the Lord's plan for these valuable works to pass into public domain soon before His son's return so their precious truths could be spread abroad.
This page has been formatted to closely resemble the layout of the printed version of this excellent resource. It includes all the charts and cuts found in the 71 page booklet. The full size charts are represented by thumbnails which can be clicked to access.
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.
There is no fact in history more clearly established than the fact of the "First Coming" of Christ. But as His "First Coming" did not fulfill all the prophecies associated with His "Coming," it is evident that there must be another "Coming" to completely fulfill them. It was because the religious leaders of Christ's day failed to distinguish between the prophecies that related to His "First Coming," and those that related to His "Second Coming" that they rejected Him. Peter tells us (I Pet. 1: 10, 11) that the prophets themselves did not clearly perceive the difference between the "Sufferings" and "Glory" of Christ. That is, they did not see that there was a "TIME SPACE" between the "Cross" and the "Crown," and that the "Cross" would precede the "Crown." But we have no such excuse. We live on this side of the "Cross," and we can readily pick out all the prophecies that were fulfilled at Christ's "First Coming" and apply the remainder to His "Second Coming." It is clear then that Christ's "First Coming," important as it was, is not the "doctrinal centre" of the Scriptures, that is, Christ's "First Coming" was not the centre of a circle that contains all doctrine, but was one of the foci of an ellipse of which the other is the "SECOND COMING."
This is shown on Chart No. 1. The Chart takes in the whole Mediatorial Work of Christ, Prophetic, Priestly and Kingly. This is included in an ellipse, the foci of which are the "First" and "Second" Comings of Christ. The "Cross" represents His "First Coming" and the "Crown" His "Second Coming." Between the "Fall" and the "First Coming" we have the "ALTAR," which points backward to the "Fall" and forward to the "Cross." Between the "Comings" we have the "TABLE" which points backward to the "Cross" and forward to the "Second Coming." Between the "Second Coming" and the surrender of the "Kingdom" we have the "THRONE," which points backward to the "Second Coming" and forward to the surrendering of the "Kingdom." The Apostle Paul in his epistles clearly distinguishes between the "Comings" and their doctrinal significance. In his letter to the Hebrews he classifies Christ's "appearings" as "Hath He appeared" (Heb. 9:2'6), "Now to appear" (Heb. 9:24), "Shall He appear" (Heb. 9:28). In his letter to Titus (Titus 2: 11, 12), he brings out the doctrinal significance of these "appearings." As a Prophet He died for our "JUSTIFICATION," as a Priest He lives at the right hand of God not only as our Advocate, but our "SANCTIFIER," and when He comes again as a King it will be for our "GLORIFICATION."
While the First and Second Comings of Christ are separated by this Dispensation they are nevertheless not complete in themselves, the Second necessitated the First, and the First demands the Second. They are both necessary to complete the Plan of Salvation. The First Coming was for the salvation of my "SOUL;" the Second is for the salvation of my "BODY," for there can be no resurrection of the body until Christ comes back.
Matt. 25: 31, 32. "When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the `Throne of His Glory;' and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats."
John 14: 2, 3. "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And 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 21: 22. "If I will that he tarry till I come what is that to thee? Follow thou me."
This passage declares that the SAME JESUS shall return IN LIKE MANNER as He went, that is, that His return will be visible and personal. The two "men" that "stood by" were probably Moses and Elijah. They appeared with Jesus on the Mt. of Transfiguration, they were doubtless the "two men" who testified to the women at the tomb that Jesus had risen (Luke 24: 4, 5), and they will be the "Two Witnesses" that shall testify during the Tribulation. Rev. 11: 3-12.
"Looking for that `Blessed Hope' and the `Glorious Appearing' of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2: 13.
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the 'Second Time' without sin unto salvation." Heb. 9: 28.
JAMES-"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." James 5: 7.
PETER-"For 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." II Pet. 1: 16.
Peter here refers to the Transfiguration of Christ on the mount (Matt. 17: 1-5), which was a type of His Second Coming. Moses was a type of the "resurrection saints," and Elijah of those who shall be translated without dying. Peter, James and John were a type of the Jewish Remnant that shall see Him when He comes, and the remaining disciples at the foot of the mount, unable to cast the demon out of the boy, of those professed followers of Jesus who shall be left behind at the Rapture, and who shall be powerless to cast the demons out of the demon-possessed people of that period.
JUDE-"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoke against him." Jude 14: 15.
JOHN-"And *now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming." I John 2: 28.
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." Even so, Amen. Rev. 1: 7.
The Lord's Supper is not a permanent ordinance. It will be discontinued when the Lord returns. It is a Memorial Feast. It looks back to the "Cross" and forward to the "Coming." An engagement ring is not intended to be permanent. It is simply a pledge of mutual love and loyalty, and gives place to the wedding ring. So the Lord's Table may be looked upon as a betrothal pledge left to the Church during the absence of her betrothed.
Paul in all his epistles refers but 13 times to Baptism, while he speaks of the Lord's return 50 times. One verse in every 30 in the New Testament refers to Christ's Second Coming. There are 20 times as many references in the Old Testament to Christ's Second Coming as to His First Coming.
1. That His Coming Again Is "SPIRITUAL" and Was Fulfilled at Pentecost.
It was not Christ but the Holy Spirit that came at Pentecost, and his coming was conditioned on Christ's absence, for Jesus said, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter (H. S.) will not come unto you; but if I DEPART, I will SEND HIM UNTO YOU." John 16: 7. If the Holy Spirit is only another manifestation of Christ, then they are identical, and that NULLIFIES THE TRINITY. The fact is, the whole New Testament was written after Pentecost, and declares over 150 times that the Second Coming of Christ was still future. And more, none of the events predicted as accompanying the Second Coming occurred at Pentecost, such as the Resurrection of the "Dead in Christ," the Translation of the "Living Saints," the "Binding of Satan," etc.
2. That the "CONVERSION OF THE SINNER" is the Coming of the Lord.
This cannot be, for at conversion the sinner comes to Christ, not Christ to the sinner; and the sinner's conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit, and not the work of Christ. It is true that there is such a thing as the spiritual indwelling of Christ in the believer, but His Second Coming, like His First Coming is to be an outward, visible, personal coming.
3. That "DEATH" is the Coming of the Lord.
The text that is used more than any other for funeral sermons is -"Watch, therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh." Matt. 25: 13. The context shows that this refers to a future coming of Christ. Christ could not come to the earth every time a person dies for two reasons
(1) A soul passes into eternity every second, and this would necessitate Christ's remaining continuously on the earth.
(2) Christ is engaged in His High Priestly functions in the Heavenlies, and could not leave them to come to the earth for the souls of the dying.
The fact is, that at death the believer goes to Christ. Christ does not come for him. Death is always spoken of as a departure. "Absent from the body, present (at home) with the Lord." II Cor. 5: 6-8.
If Jesus had meant by His Second Coming "Death," He would have said to His Disciples-"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will send `Death' to bring you to myself," but He did not. He said-"I will come again and receive you unto myself." The last chapter of John's Gospel settles the matter. Peter said to Jesus-"Lord, and what shall this man (referring to John) do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple (John) should not DIE." John 21: 21-23. We see from this that the Disciples did not think that the "Coming of the Lord" meant "death." There was a great difference between these two things in their mind. Death is an enemy (I Cor. 15: 26, 55), it holds us in the grave, it robs the body of its attractiveness, it is the "Wages of Sin" (Rom. 6: 23), and the result of God's wrath, while the Second Coming of Christ is a manifestation of His love. Christ is the "Prince of Life." There can be no death where He is. Death flees at His coming. When He was on earth nothing could remain dead in His presence. His Coming is not death but resurrection. He is the "Resurrection" and the "Life," and when He Comes, He will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His "Glorious Body." Phil. 3:20, 21.
4. That the "DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM" in A. D. 70 by the Romans Was the Second Coming of the Lord.
The Lord was not present at the destruction of Jerusalem. It was destroyed by Roman soldiers, and none of the things that are to occur at the "Second Coming" occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem, such as the resurrection of the dead, the translation of living saints, and the physical changes that are to occur at Jerusalem and in the land of Palestine at Christ's coming. Zech. 14: 4-11. Ez. 47:1-12. Christ's purpose in coming back is not to destroy Jerusalem, but to RESTORE it. It must be trodden down of the Gentiles until the "Times of the Gentiles" are fulfilled, "then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Luke 21: 24-28. The Book of Revelation, written 26 years after the destruction of Jerusalem, speaks of the Second Coming of Christ as still future.
5. That the "DIFFUSION OF CHRISTIANITY" is the Second Coming of the Lord.
This cannot be true, for the "Diffusion of Christianity" is gradual, whereas the Scriptures declare that the "Return of the Lord" shall be SUDDEN and UNEXPECTED, as a "Thief in the Night." Matt. 24: 27, 36, 42, 44. I Thess. 5: 2. Rev. 3: 3. Again the "Diffusion of Christianity" is a process, while the Scriptures invariably speak of the "Return of the Lord" as an EVENT. The diffusion of Christianity brings Salvation to the wicked, whereas the "Return of the Lord" is said to bring not salvation but SUDDEN DESTRUCTION. I. Thess. 5: 2, 3; II Thess. 1: 7-10.
While we do not know the day or the hour of Christ's Coming we know that it will be
The very structure of the New Testament demands that Christ shall return before the Millennium. Here are a few reasons.
2. When Christ comes He will SEPARATE THE "TARES" FROM THE "WHEAT," but as the Millennium is a period, of UNIVERSAL RIGHTEOUSNESS the separation of the "Tares" and "Wheat" must take place BEFORE the Millennium, therefore there can be no Millennium before Christ comes. Matt. 13: 40-43.
3. When Christ comes Satan SHALL BE BOUND, but as Satan is to be bound during the Millennium, there can be no Millennium until Christ comes. Rev. 20: 1-3.
4. When Christ comes Antichrist is to be DESTROYED, but as Antichrist is to be destroyed before the Millennium there can be no Millennium until Christ comes. II Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:20.
5. When Christ comes the Jews are to be RESTORED TO THEIR OWN LAND, but as they are to be restored to their own land BEFORE the Millennium, there can be no Millennium before Christ comes. Ez. 36:24-28; Rev. 1: 7 (Zech. 12: 10).
6. When Christ comes it will be unexpectedly, and we are commanded to watch lest He take us unawares. Now if He is not coming until AFTER the Millennium, and the Millennium is not yet here, why command us to watch for an event that is over 1000 years off?
The First Stage of His Return is called "THE RAPTURE;" the Second Stage-"THE REVELATION." The time between the two Stages is not less than seven years, and is occupied in the heavens by the "JUDGMENT OF BELIEVERS FOR WORKS," and on the earth by "THE GREAT TRIBULATION." See Chart No. 4, p. 36.
From this we see that "The Rapture" will be twofold.
1. The Resurrection of the "DEAD IN CHRIST."
2. The Translation of the "LIVING SAINTS."
This twofold character of "The Rapture" Jesus revealed to Martha when He was about to raise her brother Lazarus. He said to her.
"I am the `Resurrection and the Life,' he that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he LIVE (First Resurrection Saints) ; and whosoever LIVETH (is alive when I come back) and believeth in Me shall NEVER DIE." John 11: 25, 26. This twofold character of The Rapture, Paul emphasizes in his immortal chapter on the Resurrection.
"Behold, I show you a Mystery, we shall not all Sleep, but we shall All Be Changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, and we shall be changed. For this Corruptible (the dead in Christ) must put on incorruption, and this mortal (the living saints) must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.
O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING?
O GRAVE, WHERE IS THY VICTORY?"
I. Cor. 15:51-57.
The last two lines refer only to those who are "changed without dying," for it is only those who will not die who can shout
"0 Death, Where Is Thy Sting?
"0 Grave, Where Is Thy Victory?"
In II Cor. 5: 1-4, Paul expresses his longing, and the longing of the Saints, to be among those who should not be "unclothed" by Death, but who should be "clothed upon" by Immortality "without dying."
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (the body), were dissolved (that is die), we have a building of God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. For in this (body) we groan, earnestly desiring to be `clothed upon' with our house which is from heaven; if so be that being `clothed' we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle (the body) do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be `unclothed' (by death), but 'clothed upon' (by immortality), that `mortality' might be swallowed up of life."
In his letter to the Philippians, while Paul hopes that
"If by any means he may attain unto The (out from among the dead) Resurrection, yet he pressed toward the mark for the 'prize' of the High (out and up) Calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3: 11-14.
That is, while Paul would esteem it a great thing to "rise from the dead" at the First Resurrection, and be "caught up" with those who should be "changed," yet he would esteem it a "prize" if he could be caught up "without dying," that is, live until Jesus came back.
We see from this that when Christ comes back it will be when we are not expecting Him. He will come as a thief comes. A thief does not announce his coming. He comes for a certain purpose. He does not take everything there is in the house. He takes only the precious things, the jewels, the gold, the silver and fine wearing apparel. He does not come to stay. As soon as he secures what he is after he departs. So Jesus at the Rapture will come and take away the saints only. The thief leaves much more than he takes. He leaves the house and the furniture and the household utensils. So the Lord at the Rapture will leave the wicked and the great mass of the heathen behind for those who will be taken will be comparatively few.
We must not forget in our study of this subject that there are to ,cc two resurrections of the dead. The first, of the Righteous dead before the Millennium, and the second of the Wicked dead after the Millennium. Rev. 20: 4-6. The subject cannot be treated fully in this pamphlet but will be found in the author's larger work on "Dispensational Truth," in the chapters on "The Resurrection" and "Spirit World" with charts.
"I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." Luke 17:34-36. The words "men" and "women" in this passage are in italics. That means that they are not in the original, and so the passage should read there shall be "two in one bed," husband and wife, or two brothers, or two sisters, or two friends. Two in "bed" indicates night; two grinding at the mill, morning or evening; two in the field mid-noon. This shows that the Rapture will happen all over the earth at the same time or as the Apostle describes it in a "moment," or the "twinkling of an eye." "As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man Be" (Matt. 24: 27) is the way Jesus puts it.
The "Rapture" will be the most startling "event" of this Age and Dispensation. As it is to occur in the "twinkling of an eye" and all over the earth at the same time, that part of the world that is not asleep will witness the event. As to the "Shout of the Lord," the "Voice of the Archangel," and the "Trump of God" we do not know whether their sound will be heard and distinguished by others than the "dead in Christ" and the "living saints." We know that one day the Father spoke to Christ in a voice that He understood, but the people who stood by mistook it for "thunder." John 12: 28, 29. When the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus and spoke to him, the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, "hearing a voice," but seeing no man, and not understanding what was said. Acts 9:3-7. We know however that the "dead in Christ" will hear the sound, for it will be "intensely penetrating." There will be no graves so deep, no catacombs so rock covered, no pyramids or mausoleums so thick, but what the sound shall reach their depths and the "dead in Christ" shall hear the cry-"awake ye sleeping saints and arise from the dead, it is MORNING, the morning of the FIRST RESURRECTION."
On the morning of that glorious day the air will be filled with the "spirits" of the "Dead in Christ," come back to earth to get their bodies, raised and glorified. Whether the cemeteries and country church yards will look like ploughed fields, and monuments and grave slabs be overturned and vaults and places of sepulchre be shattered by the exodus of those who found their last resting place there, and thus testify to the fact of the literal bodily resurrection of the dead, or whether the sainted dead shall slip out of their sepulchres without disturbing them, as Christ arose and left the tomb without breaking the seal, the angel rolling away the stone simply to show that the tomb was empty, we are not told, only the event itself will disclose the manner of the First Resurrection.
If the dead slip out of their places of sepulchre without disturbing them, the First Resurrection will be secret and probably unknown to the world, but it will not be so with the "Living Saints" who arc translated. If it is night on our side of the globe when the Rapture occurs the community will wake up in the morning to find all the real Christians gone, disappeared in the night. Many may hear the sound of the "Midnight cry"
If it be at a pleasant time of the year, the boats, and cars, and parks will be filled with pleasure seekers. If it be in the midst of the week, and during the business hours of the day, the shops and stores will be filled with shoppers and the mills with toilers, and the streets of the cities lined with men and women and children on pleasure and business bent. Suddenly a noise from heaven will be heard like a great peal of thunder. The people will rush to doors and windows, and those on the streets and in the fields will look up to see what has happened. To the vast majority it will be but a startling and alarming sound, but to many it will be the
At first the whole thing will be a Mystery, until some one who had heard or read about the "Rapture of the Saints," realizing what has happened, will explain the situation.
But one of the surprises of that day will be that so many professing Christians, and among them many ministers and Christian workers, will be left behind, while some who were not known to be Christians will be missing. The next day's papers will be full of what happened the day before, and many of them will be swelled to twice their ordinary size by the pressure on their advertising columns for information as to missing ones, and for help to fill important vacancies and positions of trust. For a few days the excitement will be intense. Then the people will settle down to the inevitable. With the exception of a few who will repent and turn to God, the mass of the people will become more hardened and wicked than before, and some who lost loved ones will be embittered. As the Holy Spirit will have gone back with the "Raptured Ones," and the "Saints," the SALT of the earth, been taken out, there will be nothing to prevent the rapid degeneration and "Moral Putrefaction" of those who are "left," and sin and iniquity and all manner of crime and worldliness will increase and pave the way for the manifestation of Antichrist, under whose administration the world will rapidly ripen for judgment.
The order of the Resurrection is-"Christ the 'First Fruits,' afterward they that 'are Christ's at His Coming.' " Paul says-"Behold, I show you a Mystery; we shall not all 'sleep,' but we shall ALL Be Changed." I Cor. 15:51.
Then there is another fact that we must not forget, and that is, the Unity of the Church.
"For as the Body Is One, and hath many members, and ALL the Members Of That One Body, Being Many ARE ONE (BODY; so also is Christ. For by One Spirit are we ALL Baptized Into One Body." I Cor. 12: 12, 13.
All then who have been "born again" (John 3: 3-7) are part of Christ's "Body," and we cannot conceive of Christ's "Body" being divided ; part of it remaining "asleep" in the grave, and part of it "raised in glory" ; part of it left to pass through the Tribulation, and part of it "changed" and caught up to meet Him in the air.
If "all" the Church are to pass through the Tribulation, then instead of waiting and watching "for the Lord," we should be waiting and watching "for the Tribulation," which is contrary to the teaching of Christ Himself. Matt. 24:42-44.
The Tribulation is not for the perfecting "of the Saints." It has nothing to do with the Church. It is the time of "Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30: 7), and is the "Judgment of Israel," and it is God's purpose to keep the Church Out Of It. Rev. 2: 10. The Book of Revelation is written in chronological order. After the fourth chapter the Church is seen no more upon the earth until she appears in the nineteenth chapter coming with the Bridegroom "from" Heaven. The entire time between these two chapters is filled with appalling judgments that fall upon those that "dwell on the earth," and as the Church is not of the earth, but is supposed to "sit together in 'Heavenly Places' in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2: 6), she will not be among those who "dwell on the earth" in those days.
The confusion is largely due to the fact that students of Prophetic Truth do not distinguish between Christ's coming FOR His Saints, and WITH His Saints. The former is called the "Rapture," the latter the "Revelation."
Numerous passages in scripture speak of Christ coming "with" His Saints (Zech. 14: 5, Col. 3: 4, I Thess. 3: 13, I Thess. 4: 14, Jude 14), but it is evident that they cannot come "with" Him, if they had not been previously caught out "to" Him. All such passages refer therefore to the "Revelation" and not the "Rapture."
The typical teaching of the Scriptures demand that the Church be caught out "before" the Tribulation. Joseph was a type of Christ and he was espoused to, and married Asenath, a Gentile bride, during the time of his "rejection by his brethren," and "before the famine, which typified the Tribulation, because it was the time of "Judgment of his Brethren." This is the time of Christ's rejection by "His Brethren"-the Jews, and to complete the type He must get His Bride the church, "before" the Tribulation.
Moses, who is also a type of Christ, got his bride, and she a Gentile, "after" his rejection by his brethren, and "before" they passed through the Tribulation under Pharaoh. Ex. 2: 23-25.
Enoch, a type of the "Translation Saints," was caught out "before the Flood, and the Flood is a type of the Tribulation, and Noah and his family of the "Jewish Remnant" or 144,000 sealed ones of Rev. 7: 1-8, who will be preserved through the Tribulation.
How thrilling the thought that some of us shall not die, that in a moment, in the "twinkling of an eye" without being unclothed by the ghastly hands of Death, and instead of the winding sheet of the grave, we shall be instantly changed and clothed with the glorious garments of immortality. What a transport of joy will fill our being as we suddenly feel the thrill of immortality throbbing through our veins., and find ourselves being transported through the air in the company of fellow Christians and of our loved ones who fell asleep in Jesus. What welcome recognitions and greetings there will be as we journey up with them to the "Bridal Halls of Heaven," where we shall join in the new and triumphal song of Moses and the Lamb. Rev. 5: 9, 10.
It may readily be supposed that the taking away of loved ones at the Rapture will cause many of those left behind to seek the Lord, but as the Holy Spirit goes back with the Church, and for the time being ceases His Office Work of Regeneration, who is to convert those who are left? There is a passage in Hebrews that has troubled many a sincere soul who has feared that they had committed the "Unpardonable Sin." It is this
That there will be a "Great Multitude" saved after the Church is "caught out" in the "Time Space" between the "Rapture" and the "Revelation," is clearly revealed in Rev. 7:9-17, and some of them may be of those "left behind," but they will have to pass through great tribulation and suffer a martyr's death for refusing to worship the "Image of the Beast." Rev. 13: 11-17. And we read that-When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed (at the close of the Great Tribulation) from Heaven with His mighty angels, in "flaming fire" He shall take vengeance on them that "KNOW NOT GOD," and that "OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST." II Thess. 1 : 7-10. Let us not run the risk of being left behind.
The judgment of the Believer is threefold. At the Cross as a "Sinner" for sin; this is Past. John 5: 24. As a "Son;" this is Present, and consists of "self-judgment" and confession, or else the punishment of chastisement. I Cor. 11: 31, 32. As a "Servant;" this is future, and is a judgment for "Works" at the
It will not be a judgment in the sense of a "trial" to see whether the judged are innocent (saved) or guilty (lost), for it is a judgment of the "saved only." It will be like the judges' stand at a Fair, or Race Track, where rewards are distributed to the successful contestants. Paul describes such a scene in I Cor. 9:24-27.
It is not a judgment for sin, but for "works." This judgment is described in I Cor. 3: 11-15.
"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones (valuable building stones, as marble, etc.), wood, hay stubble; every man's 'Work' shall be made manifest; for the 'Day' (Judgment Day) shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by 'fire,' and the fire shall try every man's 'work' of what sort it is. If any man's work 'abide' which he hath built there upon he shall receive a reward.' If any man's work shall be 'burned' he shall suffer 'loss;' but 'he himself shall be saved;' yet so as by fire."
The result of this judgment is "reward" or "loss." All our "bad" and "dead works," represented by the wood, hay and stubble, will be consumed, and only our "good works" shall remain. There is much which passes for Christian service which is merely human and secular, and does not count in our eternal reward. For those who deserve a "reward" it will be
"Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried (tested) and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful 'unto death,' and I will give thee a 'Crown of Life."' Rev. 2: 10.
Notice it does not say "until" death, but "unto" death. They were not to recant, but to remain faithful unto a martyr's death. To recant was to lose the crown. This refers to the martyrs of the Tribulation Period.
2. The Crown of "GLORY."
This is the "Elder's" or "Pastor's" crown, given by the Chief Shepherd when He shall appear. But it is not for those who serve for "filthy lucre" or "lord it over God's heritage." I Pet, 5: 2-4.
3. The Crown of "REJOICING."
This is the "Soul Winner's" crown. Those brought to Jesus by us will be our "crown of rejoicing" at His Coming. I Thess. 2:19, 20. Phil. 4: 1.
4. The Crown of "RIGHTEOUSNESS."
This is the crown of those who "love His appearing and will be given in 'that day--the Day of His Appearing. II Tim. 4:8.
5. The "INCORRUPTIBLE" Crown.
This is the "Victor's" crown, and is for those who "keep under their body." I Cor. 9: 25-27. Who do not yield to their fleshly lusts. Who do not permit themselves to be diverted from the work for the Master by worldly amusements and pleasure, nor saturate their body with drugs.
If we do not want to be "ashamed at His Coming," I John 2:28, let us see to it that we keep our body "under" and so live that we shall secure a crown.
The "Marriage" of the Church is prophetically referred to by Jesus in the Parable of the "Marriage of the King's Son" (Matt. 22: 1-14), and is consummated in Rev. 19: 7-9. "Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him: for the Marriage of the Lamb' is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of Saints. And he saith unto me, write, Blessed are they which are called unto the MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB."
Notice that it does not say the "Marriage of the Bride," but the "Marriage of the LAMB." That grand event will be not so much the consummation of the hopes of the Bride, as it will be the consummation of the plan of God for His Son, arranged for before the foundation of the World. Eph. 1: 4. The "Marriage of the Lamb" is the consummation of the joy of Christ as a MAN. It would not have been possible if Christ had not been born in the flesh. Otherwise it would have been the union of "dissimilar natures," for the "Bride" is of "human origin." This is why Jesus took His "human nature" back with Him to Heaven, and today we have in Heaven the MAN Christ Jesus. I Tim. 2: 5.
While the "Bride" was chosen for Christ "before the foundation of the world," the "espousal" could not take place until Christ assumed humanity and ascended to Heaven as the Man Christ Jesus. There have been many long betrothals but Christ's has been the longest on record. He has been waiting for His Bride nearly 1900 years, but He will not have to wait much longer. Soon Heaven shall resound with the cry-
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him, for the Marriage of the Lamb is Come." Rev. 19: 7.
There have been many royal weddings of international interest, where the invited guests and spectators witnessed a spectacle magnificent in its appointments, and rejoiced in a union that bound together different nations. But the wedding of the Lamb and His Bride the Church will surpass them all, for it shall unite Heaven and Earth in a bond that shall never be broken, for what God (the Father) shall join together, no man shall ever put asunder, and that union no divorce shall ever break.
The Bride shall be "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of Saints." Rev. 19: 7, 8. The word "righteousness" is plural, and should read "righteousnesses." Not the imputed righteousness of Christ, but the "righteous acts and works" of the saints themselves, that shall remain after they have passed through the "fiery test" of the "Judgment for Works" at the "Judgment Seat of Christ." I Cor. 3: 11-15. What a contrast there will be between the purple and scarlet colored dress, and jewel bedecked person, of the "Harlot Wife" of Antichrist (Rev. 17: 3, 4), and the spotless white robe of fine linen of the Bride of the Lamb.
During the time occupied by the "Judgment of Believers" and the Marriage of the Lamb in the Heavenlies, there will be awful times on the earth. The Jews will have, in large numbers, been gathered back to their own land, Palestine. About this time ten of the Nations occupying the territory of the old Roman Empire will enter into a Federation of Nations. Among the "Ten Kings" of those nations will arise the "Antichrist." He will soon prove himself to be a "Great Ruler" and will be made PRESIDENT. The Government will be a "Democratic Monarchy." The President will make a "Covenant" with the Jewish people. It may be a Covenant restoring to them their own land and recognizing their national existence. Whatever its character, the Prophet Isaiah speaks of it as a "Covenant with DEATH and HELL." Isa. 28: 15. For 3/ years the President of the Federation will keep the Covenant. Then he will break it. For the balance of his reign 3/ years he will cause an awful persecution of the Jews, called by Jesus "The Great Tribulation." Matt. 24: 21, 22. For a description of this period see my larger work.
In the Middle of this period, or at the time when Antichrist shall break the Covenant, there will be
The "Tribulation Period" of 3Y2 years will be the "Judgment of the Jews." As all of God's promises to the Jews are earthly, their Judgment must be earthly. This judgment is a "National Judgment." For all their national sins God is going to make them "Pass Under the Rod." Ez. 20: 34-38. He is going to cast them into his "MELTING POT." Ez. 22: 19-22. Malachi 3: 1-3. In the midst of their "fiery trials" in this time of "Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30: 4-7; Dan. 12: 1), they will cry to the Lord as they did amid the brick-kilns of Egypt and God will send them Him of whom Moses was a type, even the Lord Jesus, who shall then come "with" His Saints in the "Second Stage" of His Coming, the Revelation, and as He shall descend upon the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4), they shall look upon Him whom they "pierced" and a nation, the Jewish Nation, will be re-born in a day. Ezek. 36: 24-27. Isa. 66: 8.
When Christ comes for the Saints at the Rapture, He will be the "Morning Star." Rev. 22: 16. When He comes with His Saints at the Revelation He will be the "Sun of Righteousness." Malachi 4:2. When Christ shall come back at the Revelation He shall find the armies of Antichrist gathered together at Armageddon (Rev. 16: 13-16), and He shall destroy them with the "Sword of His Mouth" (Rev. 19: 15, 20, 21), and the "Beast" and the "False Prophet" shall be cast alive into the "Lake of Fire." Then all the Gentile Nations will be summoned to the Valley of Jehoshaphat for judgment, and the "Son of Man" shall sit upon the
2. AS TO JERUSALEM AND PALESTINE.
"Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; in the day that I will cleanse you
from all your iniquities I will cause the cities (of Palestine) to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be builded. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled. . . And they shall say, this land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden." Ez. 36: 33-35. Joel 3: 18. Joel 2: 24-26. "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; there shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." Zech. 8: 4, 5. Zech. 14: 20, 21.
3. AS TO THE NATIONS.
When the Lord Jesus Christ returns He will sit upon the "Throne of His Glory" at Jerusalem, and shall separate the "Sheep Nations" from the "Goat Nations," and only the "Sheep Nations" will survive as nations and be permitted to become part of the Millennial Kingdom. Matt. 25: 31-40. These nations will become righteous. "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. As the result of all this the nations "shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But '-hey shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid." Micah 4: 3, 4. Isa. 2: 4. The only way then to stop wars and labor troubles and all socialistic -nd anarchistic movements is for Christ to return and set up His Millennial Kingdom.
4. AS TO SATAN.
The only way to get rid of Satan and all his evil influences and powers is for Christ to come back, for when He comes back Satan will be bound and cast into the Bottomless Pit for 1000 years. Rev. 20: 1-3.
5. AS TO THE EARTH.
Since the Fall of Man the earth has been cursed with thorns and thistles and all kind of insect pests and disease germs, and man by the sweat of his face has been compelled to earn his daily bread. Even the brute creation became carnivorous and learned to prey upon each other, and the "whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." Rom. 8:22. But all this will be changed when Christ comes back, for then "the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." Isa. 5: 1. "Then shall the earth yield her increase." Psa. 67: 6. And the ploughman will "overtake the reaper," and the treader of grapes him that "soweth seed." Amos 9: 13.
"The Blessed Hope" is also a "Purifying Hope." "And every man that hath this hope in him PURIFIETH HIMSELF." I John 3:1-3. That is, every one who is looking for the Lord's return will try to keep himself pure. It will make us "Patient." "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the Coming of the Lord. . . . Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the Coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5: 7, 8. It will make us "Watchful." "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 13:35-37. If we are watching for the Lord we will be careful of our conduct. We will not want Him to come and find us doing questionable things, or in questionable places. We will not want to hoard money, nor spend our money in an extravagant manner, we will want to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven by contributing to missions. We will see to it that in our homes there is no kind of literature, or art, or pictures, or anything that we would not like His pure eyes to see if He were to be a visitor in our home. In short, "The Blessed Hope" helps us to cling lightly to this world. It will not make us idle and negligent, butt will fill us with zeal to be found a faithful servant at His return. For this reason it is a noteworthy fact and a witness to the power of the doctrine, that those who believe it are the most consecrated, unselfish, and strenuous workers in the Master's service.
This "Hope" will also keep us from being "ASHAMED" at His Coming. "And now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ASHAMED before Him at His Coming." I John 2:28. If we are watching for Him and our house is in order, and we are ready to give a faithful account of our Stewardship we shall not be ashamed before Him at His coming. Matt. 25: 14-30.
The "Hope" of the Lord's Premillennial Return fills the heart of those who believe it with joy. In Luke 24: 52 we read that when Jesus was parted from His Disciples and ascended into Heaven, that "They returned to Jerusalem with GREAT JOY, and were continually in the Temple, PRAISING and BLESSING God." That seems strange conduct on their part, for naturally we would suppose that His Departure would have filled them with sadness. But when we recall that, when He Ascended, two men stood by in white apparel and told them that Jesus would come back again, we can understand their joyfulness. Acts 1: 11.
It has often been said in opposition to the doctrine of the Second Coming, "If Christian people believe that Jesus is soon coming back why do they build houses and churches and make investments and plan for the education of their children and so on?" The answer is that Jesus' coming back will not do away with the need for houses and churches and education. The world moved on just as before after His First Coming, and it will do the same after His Second Coming. People will need homes and churches. Business will go on as before, and the unconverted children of Christian believers will be left behind and need homes and education and means to live on. The prosperity of the world will be greater during the Millennium than ever before. So there is no occasion for those who are looking for the Lord's Return to neglect the affairs of this life. What we as Christians hope for is that the Lord will come back and take us out of the world before the awful days of the "Tribulation Period" come, and then when they are over and Jesus comes back to reign we shall come back with Him as glorified beings to rule and reign over the Millennial earth, and probably visit churches where once we worshiped, and institutions that our money built.
The preacher of the Doctrine of the Premillennial Coming of Christ wields a "two-edged sword." The unbeliever when urged to become a Christian may say I am young and there is plenty of time and so may put off the time of decision, but when he is told that it is not a question of time, or the mere salvation of his soul, but that Jesus may be back at any time and it is a question of being ready to meet Him, then he sees the importance of immediate decision.
Dear reader of this pamphlet, are you a Christian, and as a Christian are you a believer in the "Blessed Hope," and are you looking for the speedy coming of the Lord, and doing all you can to hasten His Return, and thus bring back THE KING? If not, I beseech you to drop everything and settle the question of whether you will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air when He comes, and thus escape the awful days that are coming on the earth-days in which no one can buy or sell unless he has the "Mark of the Beast," and all those who have that "Mark" are eternally doomed. Rev. 13:15-17.
Another passage has been cited in the attempt to prove that the Coming of the Son of Man is only spiritual. It is
*For a full account of the "Spirit World" see the writer's book on "The Spirit World
When Jesus died on the Cross His body was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Matt. 27: 57-60), and His soul went to Paradise, where He had an engagement that day to meet the soul of the "Penitent Thief" (Luke 23:43), whose body was buried in the "Potter's Field." It was in their "Soulish Bodies" then that they met in Paradise. When Jesus' "soul" returned from "Paradise" on the third day to reoccupy His body in Joseph's tomb, He did not return alone, He led "captivity captive" (Eph. 4: 8-10) and brought out with Him all the souls of the "Righteous Dead" imprisoned in the Paradise section (P) of the "Underworld," and placed them in the "Paradise" of the "Third Heaven" (E), to which Paul was caught up. II Cor. 12: 1-4. This is clear from other scriptures. Jesus said the "Gates of Hell" (Hades, the Underworld) should not prevail against the Church. Matt. 16: 18. Then "Hell" (Hades) has gates to prevent the escape of its inmates. What Jesus did before He came back from the "Underworld" was to seize the "Keys of Hades," unlock the "Gates" of the "Paradise Section'' (P) and empty it of its inmates, and then lock it up that it might remain empty. As proof of this we have Jesus' declaration to John on the Isle of Patmos, 66 years later, when He said-"I am He that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen: and have the 'KEYS OF HELL' (Hades) and of DEATH (the Grave)." Rev. 1: 18. Jesus then by His Resurrection unlocked not only the "Paradise Section" of "Hades" and transferred the souls of the "Righteous Dead" to the "Paradise Section" of the Third Heaven, but He also has the "Keys of DEATH," that is, of the "GRAVE," and when the time comes He will unlock the graves of the dead and resurrect their bodies. As far as we know the souls of the "Wicked Dead" are still in the "Hell Section" of the "Underworld," and will remain there until the "Second Resurrection" at the close of the Millennium, when they will return to the earth and get their bodies, and then go to the "Great White Throne judgment," from which they will be consigned to the "Lake of Fire." Rev. 20: 12-15.
While "Paradise," as a suburb of Heaven, is a glorious place, it does not follow that the state of the Righteous there is more blissful than, it was in the "Paradise Section" of the Underworld. We must not forget that while the souls of the Righteous in Paradise are free from sorrow and sickness, and enjoy the society of the saints of all ages, their state is more one of rest and waiting than of activity or service (Rev. 6:9-11), for it is a state of limitation and incompleteness, for they have not as yet received their resurrection body with all its glorious powers, nor been judged so as to receive their reward, or crown, if they are entitled to any. The description of Heaven and the New Jerusalem as given in the Book of Revelation is still future, and the things there described will not come to pass until after the Rapture of the Church. From this we see the meaning of the Apostle when he says-"We groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY" (Rom. 8:18-23); and as this is not possible until the Return of the Lord Jesus, who will then change our "vile body," that it may be fashioned like unto His GLORIOUS BODY" (Phil. 3:20-21), we should be doing all we can to hasten His Return.
*For a fuller description of the Resurrections see the writer's book on "The Spirit World."
It is the firm conviction of the writer that there has been unnecessary delay in the Return of the Lord, caused by the failure of the Church to obey the "Divine Commission" to evangelize the world (Matt. 28:19, 20), and it is past the time when He should have returned. Of course, this was foreseen by God, and His foreknowledge has held back the development of the forces of evil, etc., until the "Fulness of the Gentiles" should be gathered in, and the "Harvest" is ripe for the gathering. Rev. 14:14-20. At no time in the history of the Christian Church have the conditions necessary to the Lord's Return been so completely fulfilled as at the present time; therefore, His Coming is IMMINENT, and will not probably be long delayed. Let us be ready and watching.
While the writer, as stated, is disposed to believe that the Return of the Lord is "past due," and while he is no "time setter," yet there is a "theory" that may throw some light on the
If our inference is correct, then it follows that the Return of the Lord will take place before the close of this present century. How much before is uncertain. If the Millennium is to be ushered in in A.D. 2000, then the "Rapture" must take place at least 7 years before that. See Chart No. 5, on "The Seven Thousand Years of Human History." But right here we must sound a note of caution. There is too much confusion in Biblical Chronology to fix any dates with certainty. Doubtless God has ordered it so, so as to keep us in doubt as to the exact date of the Lord's Return. It may have been 4075 years, instead of 4004 (as generally given), from Adam to Christ. In that case we are living in the year 5993 from the creation of Adam, or on the eve of the Rapture. Again we must not forget that God uses in "Prophetical Chronology" the Calendar Year of 360 days to a year, while we use the Julian or Astronomical Year of 365% days, and it would be necessary for us to find out what kind of year is used and reduce it to the Calendar year. Thus we might find that we are nearer the end of the six thousandth year than we are aware, and that the Return of the Lord is IMMINENT. However, while we may look upon the above theory as suggestive and in a way confirmatory of the near coming of the Lord, it is not conclusive, and we are not warranted in fixing any date based upon it. And further, we must not forget that the "Rapture" may take place some time before the "Tribulation Period" begins and Antichrist is revealed. So if we could fix the exact date when this century will close, and count back 7 years, the Rapture might occur 5, 10 or even 25 years before that, so as to give time for the rebuilding of Babylon and other events that are to occur before the Tribulation Period can begin, otherwise the Rapture would not be a surprise. It is not for the Christian to look for "Times" and "Seasons" and "Signs." To do so will put him in the class of those who say: "My Lord delayeth His Coming" (Luke 12:42-48). and he will become preoccupied with other things and neglect to be watchful. Let us live as if we expected the Return of our Lord at any moment.
When Constantine became sole Emperor of Rome in A. D. 323, he united Church and State, and bestowed such great gifts and privileges ion the Church, that it claimed that the Millennial blessings of the Old Testament had been transferred from the Jews to the Christian Church. The arrogance and persecution of the Papal Church led to the charge that it was the "Beast" (Antichrist) of the Book of Revelation. This led to an effort to expunge the Book of Revelation from the Sacred Canon, and when this failed, the Bible was locked up and became a sealed book, and the gloom of night settled down upon all Christendom. The result was the "Dark Ages." But amid the gloom God was not without witnesses to the Blessed Hope. At the Reformation the doctrine of the Premillennial Return of the Lord was revived, but was again lost sight of in the religious controversies that led to the formation of numerous sects. The result was an ebb of spirituality and the growth of Rationalism, which refused to believe that the world was fast ripening for judgment, and a new interpretation of the Millennial Reign of Christ was demanded. This interpretation was furnished by the Rev. Daniel Whitby (1636-1726), a clergyman of the Church of England, who claimed that in reading the promises made to the Jews in the Old Testament of their restoration as a nation, and the re-establishment of the Throne of David, he was led to see that these promises were spiritual and applied to the Church. This view he called a "New Hypothesis."
He claimed that Israel and Mount Zion represented the Church. That the promised submission of the Gentiles to the Jews was simply prophetic of the conversion of the Gentiles and their entrance into the Church. That the lying down of the lion and the lamb together typified the reconciliation of the Old and New natures, and that the establishment of an outward and visible kingdom at Jerusalem, over which Christ and the saints should reign, was gross and carnal, and contrary to reason, as it implied the mingling together of human and spiritual beings on the earth.
The times were favorable for the "New Theory." A reaction had set in from the open infidelity of those days. All England was in a religious fervor. The "Great Awakening" followed under Whitefield and Wesley, and it looked, as Whitby claimed, that the Millennium was about to be ushered in. That he was mistaken the events of history since that time have shown. It is evident that we are not in the Millennium now, as the "Godless Civilization" of today proves.
Nevertheless his "Theory" was favorably received everywhere, and spread with great rapidity and became an established doctrine of the Church, and is what is known today as the "Post-Millennial" view of the Second Coming of Christ, and supposed to be the orthodox faith of the Church. In short, "Post-Millennialism," as advocated in our day, is barely 200 years old, while "Pre-Millennialism" dates back to the days of Isaiah and Daniel.
The sad thing is that this "false doctrine_e" of "Post-Millennialism" is taught in our Bibles by the headings of the chapters in the Old Testament. For illustration the headings of chapters forty-three and four of Isaiah read-"The Lord comforteth The Church with His promises," whereas the chapters are not addressed to the Church at all, but to Jacob and Israel, as we see by reading them. The ordinary reader overlooks the fact that the chapter headings of the Bible are put there by the publisher and should be omitted, as they are misleading, as for illustration the title to the Book of Revelation, which is called
"The Revelation of St. John the Divine," whereas it should be called
2. The Church is a BODY.
The Church is not only an "Elect Body," it is the "BODY OF CHRIST." Eph. 1:22-23. As its "HEAD," there could be no Church until Christ had been raised from the dead and seated at the Right Hand of God, for God does not make headless bodies. In I Cor. 12:12-13 we are told how this "Body" is formed. It is formed by "Spirit Baptism." The Church then could not have existed until the "Gift" of the Holy Spirit on the "Day of Pentecost." Therefore the Church is composed only of those who are baptized into it by the Holy Spirit, that is by the "New Birth," and when the Holy Spirit ceases His work of "Baptism" the formation of the Church as Christ's "BODY" will cease, and the Church will be complete, and be taken out of the world. The Church then is not an "Organization," but an "ORGANISM"-a LIVING BODY.
3. The Church is a BUILDING.
In I Cor. 3:9 the Church is spoken of as "God's BUILDING," and in verse 16 as the "TEMPLE OF GOD." In Eph. 2: 20-22, as a building in process of construction, it is spoken of as being "fitly framed together" and growing into a "HOLY TEMPLE" for the "HABITATION OF GOD" in the Person of the HOLY SPIRIT. As God's Presence was manifested in the Tabernacle by the "Shekinah Glory," so now in this Dispensation, when Israel, nationally, is out of fellowship with God, and there is no Temple at Jerusalem, the Church is the "Habitation of God" on earth, where He manifests Himself through the "Third Person" of the Godhead-the HOLY SPIRIT. Matt. 18: 20; 28: 20. The "Spiritual Temple" of the Church could not be erected until Christ became the "ROCK." Matt. 16: 18. I Cor. 3:9-11. Then upon Christ the "Rock," the "Foundation of the Apostles and New Testament Prophets" was laid (Eph. 2:20-22), and the first layer of the superstructure of 3000 "Living Stones" (I Pet. 2: 5) was laid on the "Day of Pentecost" (Acts 2:41), and a few days later the second layer of 5000 was added (Acts 4: 4), and so on, down the centuries, the Church has been growing as a "HOLY TEMPLE."
What time is it then on the Dial of God's Timepiece? It is NIGHT. But what time of the Night? Let the Apostle Paul answer. "The night is far spent, the day IS AT HAND." Rom. 13:12. Jesus divided the night into "Four Watches."
"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." Mark 13:35. The "Four Watches" are
SECOND WATCH:-"Midnight." From 9-12 P. M. Corresponding to the "Dark Ages."
THIRD WATCH:-"Cock-crowing." From 12-3 A. M. Corresponding to the "Period of the Reformation."
FOURTH WATCH:-"Morning." From 3-6 A. M. We are living in the "MORNING WATCH."
That tempest tossed boat on the Sea of Galilee is a type of the Christian Church breasting the waves of sin and worldliness and false doctrine of this Dispensation. It is long past midnight, and it seems as if all the available forces of evil are associating themselves together, to, by one cyclonic effort, swamp the frail bark of the Church, and cause it to be engulfed in the waves of sin and unbelief. Over against it blow the "CONTRARY WINDS" of Atheism, Skepticism, Infidelity, Ritualism, Formalism, Unitarianism; Rationalism, Spiritualism and the "False Cults." To many it is a dark hour. Sabbath Desecration, Lukewarmness, Indifference, and Worldliness are sapping the strength of the toilers in the boat. The clouds thicken and blacken, and the sky becomes more overcast as the "Falling Away" advances. II Thess. 2: 3. Many are pessimistic. But amid the deepening gloom we must not forget that the "darkest hour" of the night in just before the dawn. Jesus has not forgotten His Disciples. He sees them "toiling in rowing." Soon He will leave the "Place of Intercession" and come to their rescue. Soon above the clouds that are now beginning to hide the "Empress of the Night"-the Church, as she sinks toward the horizon, will be seen
After nearly 1900 years of Gospel preaching are the churches of Christ throughout the world multiplying with great rapidity? Are the congregations in the churches increasing in numbers and taxing the seating capacity of the churches to accommodate them? Are the churches in downtown and congested districts stronger and more crowded and influential than ever? Are the professing followers of Christ more consecrated, spiritual, and benevolent than ever before? Are Christian men and women taking their religion into their business and social affairs as never before? Are our young men and women forsaking the world in large numbers and giving themselves to the ministry and missionary work? Are the treasuries of the missionary societies burdened with an oversupply of funds? Have our churches no difficulty in meeting their financial needs? Have the cities, towns and countries of the world, where the Gospel has been preached for centuries, become thoroughly Christianized, so that today worldliness and sin is largely unknown in them? Is it a fact that the children of Christian parents naturally and willingly accept the Gospel so that Christianity is growing as rapidly as the birthrate in Christian families? Is Christianity so influencing business, commercial and manufacturing enterprises, that business is now being conducted on Christian principles? Are the combinations of capital and labor run on the basis of the "Golden Rule," and in the "Spirit of Christ"? Are the nations of the earth beating their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks? Are they dismantling their navies and diminishing the size of their armies? Have cities and towns ceased building jails, prisons, penitentiaries and houses of correction? Is there no further use for officers of the law and courts of Justice? Is the government of our towns and cities and nations more free from misrule than ever before? Is the law more honored, and are there fewer divorces and more purity of life in the 20th century than in the 19th?
To ask these questions is to answer them. Is the Gospel then a failure, or have we misinterpreted its mission? There are three lines of argument we may follow in seeking our answer.
In His "Olivet Discourse" (Matt. 24: 1-31), delivered by Jesus on the Tuesday night before His Crucifixion, in answer to the Disciples' question-"And what shall be the 'SIGN' of Thy Coming, and of the end of the world (Age) "-Jesus said
What an awful time is here revealed. It is not a picture of a Gospel converted world gladly welcoming the return of its Lord, but of a panic stricken world seeking to escape from His presence, when He shall be revealed in "FLAMING FIRE" taking VENGEANCE on them that know not God (the Heathen), and that obey not the "Gospel of Christ" (the Wicked). II Thess. 1: 7-10. Truly Christ will not find "THE FAITH," covering the earth, when He returns. Luke 18: 8.
All that is needed to answer these objections is to compare the boasted civilization of today with that of 100 years ago, to see that the civilization of today has degenerated. The nations today are like "wild beasts" preying upon each other, as foretold by Daniel. Dan. 7: 1-28. The boasted genius of today is engaged not so much in constructive work, as in the invention of destructive instruments of war. Men and women and nations have become brutalized, and appear to be but "veneered barbarians." The "Blood Poison" of SIN, no longer hidden in some internal organ of the "Body Politic," is now revealed on the surface, and is seen in the lawlessness of the world. As just before the Flood, the earth is filled with "corruption" and "violence" (Gen. 6: 11-12), as Jesus said it would be, when He said
"AS it was in the 'Days of Noah,' SO shall it be ALSO in the 'Days of the Son of Man."' Luke 17: 26.
A comparison of those "Noah Days" with the present will indicate that we are living in the last days of this Dispensation.
3. There was a union of the "Holy Line" of Seth and the "Wicked Line" of Cain, so that at the time of the Flood there were only 8 persons fit to be saved in the Ark. Gen. 7: 7, 13. So today there is an "Unholy Alliance" between the Church and the World.
4. A vast increase and "Congestion of Population" in the cities. Gen. 4: 16-17; 6: 1. This tended to all kinds of wickedness and corruption. Gen. 6: 5, 11-12. This is true of our great cities today, they are hotbeds of crime.
5. Undue "Prominence" of the "Female Sex." God's sentence upon Eve was that she should be subject to her husband (Gen. 3: 16), but the record of the cause of the Flood reveals the fact that the women of those days were not "stay at homes," but were prominent in public affairs. How true is this of today.
6. "Unlawful Intercourse" of the "Denizens of the Air" (Angels in human form) with the "Daughters of Men." Gen. 6: 2-4. For a full explanation of this see my book on "The Spirit World." The revival of Spiritualism and the resorting to "Familiar" or "SEDUCING SPIRITS" is one of the "Signs" of the "Latter Times," or last days of this Dispensation. I Tim. 4: 1-3. The restored city of Babylon will be the "hold" of all kind of "FOUL SPIRITS." Rev. 18:2.
7. The "Rejection" of the Preaching of Enoch and Noah. Jude 14-15. Today the preaching of the Pre-Millennial Coming of the Lord is scoffed at (II Pet. 3: 3-4) and turned away from, and teachers who will "itch the ear" with some smooth doctrine are popular. I Tim. 4:3-4.
From these seven marked features of the "Days of Noah" we see, by comparison, that we are bordering on the "Days of the Son of Man."
Roman Catholics ...........100,000,000
Greek Church ................30,000,000
Roman Catholics ...........280,000,000
Greek Church ................110,000,000
After 123 years of Foreign Missionary work, from A. D. 1792 to A. D. 1915, there are today in round numbers only about 4,000,000 professing Christians in Heathen lands, which include China, India and Africa. Counting the Roman Catholics, the Greek Church, and the Protestants, only one-third of the world's population is nominally Christian, and of the Protestants only one-half, or 100,000,000, are church members, and of them possibly 50 per cent have never been born again. If in 123 years, from A. D. 1792 to A. D. 1915, Heathenism has increased from 420,000,000 to 875,000,000, and converts from Heathenism have only increased in the same time from the first convert to 4,000,000, is it not evident that there are more than a 100 times as many persons born into the world each year than are "NEW BORN?" How many centuries at this rate will it take the World not to be converted, but to BECOME HEATHEN? Then ,we must not forget that, alarmed at the spread of Christianity, there is a revival of the Heathen religions, and that the sending out of "Modern Theology" missionaries is hampering our Foreign Missionary Work. What do these facts and figures prove? Do they prove that the Gospel is a failure? No! The Gospel has never failed, and never will fail. It is the "Power of God" unto SALVATION. Rom. 1: 16. The "Gospel" is accomplishing just the mission that God intended it to. What these figures prove is, that it is not God's purpose to convert the world in this Dispensation, but simply to gather out an "Elect Body"-THE CHURCH.
1. POST-MILLENNIAL SCOFFERS.
In II Pet. 3:3, 4 we read: "That there shall come in the 'Last Days' SCOFFERS, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of HIS COMING? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
How true this is of the present day. The Doctrine of the Second Coming is "scoffed" at, and those who hold it are looked upon as deluded fanatics, and sad to say, this opposition comes from prominent religious leaders of the Day.
'In II Thess. 2:3, we are told that "THAT DAY (the Day of the Lord) shall not come, except there come a`FALLING AWAY' first." This "Falling Away" is evidenced on every hand.
3. FALSE TEACHERS.
In II Peter 2:1, 2 we are warned against "False Teachers" who shall privately bring in "damnable heresies," even denying the Lord that bought them, such as Christian Scientists and Russelites, and that many shall follow their "pernicious ways," and sad to relate these "followers" are recruited from the orthodox church members, of whom the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy (II Tim. 4:3, 4), saying: "The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto FABLES." This "turning away" is evidenced on every hand. There is a "turning away" in doctrinal standards, in the demand for a regenerated church membership, in church and Sunday school attendance, and in Sabbath observance. Many church goers will not endure "sound doctrine." They will not go to hear those who preach the "total depravity" of man, the necessity of the "New Birth," and the conscious and endless torment of those who reject Christ as a personal Saviour. They demand teachers who will "itch" (tickle) their ears with pleasing, novel and
In I Tim. 4:1 we are warned of a departure from the faith. That in the "Latter Times" (the Last Days of this Dispensation), some shall "depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." This is being fulfilled in the increasing number of those who are forsaking their Christian belief to become followers of Spiritualistic. Mediums and to dabble in Psychical Research.
5. PERILOUS TIMES.
Of these times Paul told Timothy. "This know also, that in the `LAST DAYS' Perilous Times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection (for their own offspring), truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God : having a FORM of
godliness, but denying the POWER thereof." II Tim. 3:1-5. We have neither time or space to enlarge upon the above, but what a catalogue we have here of the "perilous conditions" of the times in which we live.
6. HEAPED UP TREASURE.
In James 5:1-6, we are told that in the "LAST DAYS" there shall be a class of "rich men," who shall have "HEAPED treasure together," and that by "FRAUD," and who shall use their ill-gotten gain in the pursuit of "pleasure" and "wantonness," and that God will hear the cry of those who have been cheated of their just share of the profits, and will send a sore judgment upon the guilty. What a description we have here of the unprincipled speculative and profiteering spirit of the days in which we live, when men become millionaires, and multi-millionaires, in a few years. Truly we are living in the "Last Days" of this Dispensation.
7. A LAODICEAN CHURCH.
In the Message to the Church of Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22) we have a description of the last stage of the professing Church on earth. It is described as neither "hot" nor "cold," but nauseatingly lukewarm, so that Christ says He will "spue it out of His mouth." It boastingly will claim to be "rich" and "increased with goods," and to have "need of nothing," not even of Christ, for He will be excluded and will have to knock for admittance, and it will be ignorant of its true condition, that it is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Unspeakably sad it is that this is the condition to a large extent of the professing Church of today.
8. THE FIG-TREE SIGN.
When Jesus' Disciples asked Him, after He had foretold the destruction of the Temple: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the SIGN of THY COMING, and of the end of the world (Age) ?" (Matt. 24:1-3), Jesus gave as a "Sign" of His Coming the "Fig-Tree Sign." The "Fig-Tree" symbolizes the nation of Israel, and its "budding" the revival of Israel as a nation. Here again we have evidence of the nearness of the Lord's Return for the revival of Zionism, and the passing of the Land of Palestine into the hands of a Christian nation, opens the way for the restoration of the Jews to their own land, and the fulfillment of the Fig-Tree Sign. The fact that the City of Jerusalem surrendered without the firing of a shot is significant. Jesus said that Jerusalem was to be trodden down of the Gentiles until "The Times of the Gentiles" should be fulfilled (Luke 21:24), and the taking of Jerusalem at this time may signify that "The Times of the Gentiles" is drawing to a close.
9. THE DISTRESS OF NATIONS.
In Luke 21:24-27 Jesus tells us that as the "Times of the Ge.itiles" come to a close, "there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth DISTRESS OF NATIONS, with perplexity; the sea and the waves (the peoples of
the earth) roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the 'Powers of Heaven' (the Principalities and Powers of Evil, Eph. 6:11, 12), shall be shaken. And THEN shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." In the prophecy of Haggai 2:6, 7, we read: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will SHAKE ALL NATIONS, and the DESIRE (Christ) OF ALL NATIONS WILL COME." This has never been fulfilled as yet, and the present "Distress of Nations," the uprising of the masses in "National Revolutions," the "Tottering Thrones" and other indications that the nations are Being Shaken, is still further proof that we are living in the times just preceding the appearing of the Son of Man, the "DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS" who will bring peace to this troubled earth.
10. NOAH DAYS.
The last "sign" that we would mention is the "sign" of the "Noah Days." Luke 17:26-30. As it was in the days of Noah, they did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. Where you say is the sin in doing these things? They are not only commanded, they are necessary. That is true. The sin was not in "doing" them, but in doing them "UNTIL the Flood came." That is, they did nothing else. They forgot to worship their Maker. So today men and women are so busily engaged in doing the good things of life that they have no time to worship !God. They are so busy building homes for themselves on earth that they are neglecting to secure a home in heaven. They are more anxious that their children should make a good match on earth, than that they should be united to the Lord. They are so much concerned ',about their case in Court, that they have forgotten that they must stand at the Judgment Bar of God. For a fuller description of these "Noah Days" see my larger work on Dispensational Truth.
11. LOT DAYS.
In the same connection with the "Noah Days" is classed the "LOT DAYS." Lot was Abraham's nephew. Gen. 12: 5. The herdsmen of Abraham and Lot could not agree, and to prevent a quarrel between them, which would have been a scandal in the eyes of the heathen in whose land they dwelt, Abraham suggested a separation. Gen. 13: 5-13. Lot, with the thought of worldly advantage for him;elf and family, first "looked" toward Sodom, then "pitched his tent" hear it, then became a "dweller in Sodom," and though he was a 'righteous man (not a holy man) and daily vexed his soul with the
filthy conversation of the wicked (IT Pet. 2: 6-10), he entered into the )political life of the city and became a judge. The result was that Lot lost his "TESTIMONY." And when he made a plea to the Sodomites to save his "Angel Visitors," and to his "Sons-in-Law" to flee, with their wives, with him, they "MOCKED" him. Gen. 19:1-38.
Nevertheless, because he was a child of God, though a backslidden one, he was saved "out of Sodom." So today there are many true Children of God who have become entangled in the world, of which Sodom is a type, and have "lost their TESTIMONY," and as a result will lose the salvation of their loved ones even though they th®mselves, like Lot, shall be "saved by FIRE." 1 Cor. 3: 11-15. But while Lot was saved from being consumed in Sodom, Sodom could not be destroyed until Lot was taken out. So the Wrath of God cannot fall upon a wicked world until the Church is "caught out." 11 Thess. 1:7-10. There are many Lots in these days.
2. GOD THE SON is waiting for the completion of His Bride
3. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT is waiting to escort the Bride to
her Heavenly Home.
4. THE DEAD IN CHRIST are waiting the call of the Arch
5. THE LIVING SAINTS are waiting to he "caught out."
6. THE SOULS AND SPIRITS OF THE JUST are waiting
in Paradise for their resurrection bodies.
7. THE JEWS are waiting for their Messiah, and restoration
to their own land.
8. CREATION is waiting for the removal of the Curse.
9. THE CHURCH is waiting not for a "Love Letter" from her Beloved, not for "Precious Gifts" that will display His Riches and Bountiful Provision for her happiness, not a"Wireless Message" that will convey the thought that He, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, is with her, but she is waiting for His Personal, Bodily, and Visible Return. Come, Lord Jesus, COME!
It may be in the midnight
When 'tis heavy upon the land,
And the black waves lying dumbly
Along the sand;
When the moonless night draws close
And the lights are out in the house,
When the fires burn low and red,
And the watch is ticking loudly
Beside the bed;
Though you sleep tired on your couch,
Still your heart must wake and watch
In the dark room;
For it may be that at midnight
I will come.
It may be at the cock-crow,
When the night is dying slowly
In the sky,
And the sea looks calm and holy,
Waiting for the dawn of the golden sun
Which draweth nigh;
When the mists are on the valleys, shading,
The rivers chill,
And my morning star is fading, fading
Over the hi11;
Behold, I say unto you, watch !
Let the door be on the latch
In your home,
In the chill before the dawning,
Between the night and morning,
I may come.
It may be in the morning
When the sun is bright and strong,
And the dew is glittering sharply
Over the little lawn,
When the waves are laughing loudly
Along the shore,
And the little birds are singing sweetly
About the door;
With the long day's work before you
You are up with the sun,
And the neighbors come to talk a little
Of all that must be done;
But, remember, that I may be the next
To come in at the door,
To call you from your busy work,
As you work, your heart must watch,
For the door is on the latch
In your room,
And it may be in the morning
I will come.
So I am watching quietly
Whenever the sun shines brightly
I rise and say,
Surely it is the shining of His face,
And look unto the gate of His high place
Beyond the sea,
For I know He is coming shortly
To summon me;
And when a shadow falls across the window
Of my room,
Where I am working my appointed task,
I lift my head to watch the door and ask
If He is come!
And the Spirit answers softly
In my home,
"Only a few more shadows,
And He will come."